Dogs and Magic

I've made these spell cards to use instead of rolling on a table and writing down the result. At level 1 you draw Read Magic and 3 other spells at random from the deck. This means that all the level 1 wizards in the same group will have different spells.

(I added some spells to the traditional LOTFP list, but realized too late that Ventriloquism is actually pretty much identical to a second-level LOTFP spell, Audible Glamour. Throw it out if that worries you.) 

I also made cards out of the entries in Zak's Available Dog Table.

 I printed them out, cut them up, and put them in card sleeves like these. Put a handful of them on the table at the beginning of the session, haggle for the price of each on an individual basis. "This dog dragged my grandmother from the ruins of our burning village! I couldn't accept less than 10 gold."

It worked really well. The spell cards were perfect for functionality, cutting down on character creation time and making it obvious what spells were available and memorized. The Dog cards were lovely as a ridiculous frippery. It's great how much dog descriptions can add to the world.

(eg.: "Why is the Carcassian Hoghunter trained to disarm enemies with a bite to the hand?"

"Clearly you've never seen a Carcassian hog.")

What I love most is that you can have an enormous world of possibilities, but your players only need to choose from a tiny amount of them at one time. So first, the world is bigger and stranger and more mysterious: you know this shop doesn't sell every dog in the world, and that you may never even see every dog in the world. Every shop is surprising and new. Second, it reduces the amount of time people spend staring down at pieces of paper, deciding what to buy.*

(The original table and this random generator version did both these things, but I never had easy access to the internet to get to it, and I like how instantaneous it is to just give people a card. No writing down, no rubbing out when the dogs die in waves.)

The only problem I found is that dogs can't really replace Hirelings: you can't play as your dog after you die. I wonder how far I should take this. A deck of hirelings? A deck of weapons, instead of using the equipment list? I'm very tempted to splurge even further and have decks for Weapons, Magic, Dogs and Men.