As a player in a new fantasy RPG campaign, I used the cards to help create make my character's background using the RPG Inspiration Cards and a modified 3x3. A 3x3 is an idea I found on RPG.net. You can read more about the basic idea here: http://wiki.rpg.net/index.php/Midnight_PRE-GAME_Character_Background.
I modified the idea slightly for use with the cards. I laid out nine random cards into a 3x3 grid. The first row represents friends and family, the second row represents contacts and acquaintances, and the third row represents enemies and rivals. In addition, the first column represents the past, the second column represents the present, and the third column represents the potential future.
|friend/family||past friend/family||present friend/family||potential future friend/family|
|contact||past contact||present contact||potential future contact|
|enemy/rival||past enemy/rival||present enemy/rival||potential future enemy/rival
I used elements of the random cards to inspire my ideas using this framework. Here is my example:
My GM told me that the new campaign would be a fairly typical fantasy game mainly set in a large city. The game would involve intrigue and politics with the PCs eventually (potentially) becoming influential players. The city is filled with corrupt officials, powerful guilds, and rich thieves (think Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser's Lankhmar). With that information, I dealt my cards and got:
|potential future friend/family|
|potential future contact|
|potential future enemy/rival
With this, I started to put my character's background together. I am a young, low ranking member of the city's wizards guild. Here are the meanings I assigned to each position/card.
past friend/family: Lovers - Almost one year ago, my romantic partner of several years disappeared on a stormy night, leaving no clues.
present friend/family: Wine - My father, a former bare-knuckles brawler turned wine merchant drinks more than he sells, barely keeping his business afloat.
potential future friend/family: Midwife - An influential member of the midwife's guild was a friend of my deceased mother. She has been making overtures of alliance between out two guilds.
past contact: Riddle - All wizard guild members are assigned an adviser. My original adviser left the city a little over one year ago, claiming he was on an assignment for the guild. Since that time, mysteriously no one in the guild seems to have any memories of him except for me.
present contact: Owl - My current adviser is a wise, experienced wizard who seems to have little time for me, but is nonetheless friendly. If only I could prove myself to him.
potential future contact: Wave - The merchant guild is slowly taking over control of the city by wrenching power from the decadent royalty.
past enemy/rival: Council - The previous merchant guild's council member started their rise to power. He was very antagonistic towards the wizards guild, but he has since lost his council seat.
present enemy/rival: Temple - The temple to a particular god is a fierce opponent of the wizards guild, going so far as to claim magic is evil.
potential future enemy/rival: Trickster - A fairly high ranking member of the wizards guild has always seemed to hate you for some unknown reason.