These are pretty cool. They’re used mainly when starting a campaign with new characters and are intended for the players sitting around the table to draw cards and, through narrative, create backstories that link the characters closer together as a group. For example, someone might draw “You and PC worked to undermine or directly combat one of GROUP’S machinations. What did that conflict cost you? What did it cost GROUP?”
So we know that you and another player character worked together in the past, in this case the card (as seen on the Kickstarter project page) has an arrow pointing to the right, so it’s the person on your right that you fought GROUP with. The arrow might also point above, indicating the person opposite you. So it might not be the person that you’d like to do something with, and it might not be the character with the skill set that you want, but that’s what you need to work with. As you create an impromptu story with the other PC, you’ve deepened both character’s backgrounds, added some lore to the game, and possibly added a skill to your character. You’ve also deepened the story of GROUP, which might just be the group that you’re working with…
The cards work with ANY role-playing game because you’re just making background stories. I first learned of this from Ryan Macklin’s blog (http://ryanmacklin.com/) who provided me with an early beta of the cards. I immediately fell in love with them, unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to get a group together and test them out. The concept really appeals to me, I think any RPG is improved by having the characters more interconnected than ‘You meet in a tavern.’
The Kickstarter was created by Tim Rodriguez of Brooklyn Indie Games (http://brooklynindiegames.com/) and Ryan Macklin, it’s already reached its goal of $5,000 and will be open until Friday, July 18. $15 will get you a printed set of the cards, lesser amounts will get you the PDF for print and play. You can also download the beta if you’re a contributor.