For the Queen - do you use the "Queen" image cards?

Do the Queen image cards add to the experience of the game in your experience?

The one time I have played, it was off playtest cards, so we didn’t have.

But now that I have the full production game, wondering if it’s a good move to use them? My feeling is they will predispose the types of stories told.

What do folks think?

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Context: I’ve played FtQ a handful of times and it has failed to grab me.
But - I’ve always played with production versions and we had and used the image cards.

From my POV, the whole point is that they inform the stories. In my experience they certainly grabbed different players, suggested different hooks, and had a pretty big impact on play.

Which I think is the intended effect.

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While FtQ is not for me, there is a pretty strong reason to have the Queen cards used—it’s the same reason I like using headshots of unknown actors. When you look at someone, you pretty instantly place a personality on the person that the group can more easily picture and talk about.

When I do headshot casting exercises with acting students, they get REALLY territorial about actors they’ve never seen perform. It can have a lot of power.

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I’ve played with the Queen image cards, and with Dixit image cards instead. Both times were fun! Part of the point of using the cards is to organically prompt a discussion of setting among the players. “I like her! She looks Wakandan. Wouldn’t that be cool?” Using the provided Queens does this, as does searching further afield for inspiration. It’s not required, of course, and the setting will always develop somewhat as questions are drawn and answered. But it is a fun way to kick things off!

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It really depends on the group I’m playing with. Yeah, the first time I played, it was the playtest and a huge group so we collectively created the Queen in our head. The first time I facilitated a game, it was with the roll20 playset and I gave the group the option to either use as a jumping off point or we create the Queen on our own. We vaguely used one of the pictures but was really rarely referenced back again in the game.

The time I facilitated IRL with my friend’s deck, that group was 50/50 really creative naturally, and they relied heavily on the image of the Queen we chose from. Though one of my friends/players had watched the playtested game I was in and wanted to know why we didn’t create the queen that way. So probably next time I play with him and if the same group, we’ll not rely on the Queen cards and try the whole create an aspect from own imagination.

I think the Queen cards are gorgeous and varied. I think it helps if you’re playing with people not used to collaborative storytelling and eases them in, gives them more of a active participation whereas the questions on the cards are slightly more passive (until you really get a feel for your character and the Queen and start adding more elements).

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They absolutely add to the game, not least because there’s a broad range of ages, skin tones, style, and occasional fantastic detail that makes sure folks are thinking outside just Game of Thrones or Queen Elizabeth for their reference points.

I’ve come to realize that collectively choosing the Queen card is actually the first question of the game, before you flip the first card with an actual question mark on it. By collectively choosing, you’re starting everyone on the same foot, and getting buy-in to proceed. I think you don’t need the actual Queen cards to get this effect: a fantasy Pinterest board or other art source works the same way. But I’d hesitate to skip that step altogether.

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I just got into FtQ, but I’ve played it four times this week. I agree with @JimLikesGames and @Alexi_Sarge that it starts a discussion or sets some expectations before the first card is flipped.

I think it supports that player who flips first, so they don’t feel they have to make something out of nothing. That said, as I play may I expect to replace these images with other sources of inspiration or more open conversations about tone and focus.

In particular, I’d love to play where we chose a physical object that abstractly represents the queen to us (a little like Swords without Master).

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I love the idea is headshots of unknown actors. Where do you find them?

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I grabbed a bunch off of a photographer’s site a bunch of years ago that I use. You can also just type in “(type of actor) headshot”. Looking for an Asian male or nonbinary, etc. Some’ll come up.

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We played a game at Gencon, with an image of a Queen who looked stern and serious. And she was riding a large horse and she had solid black eyes. In the end, one player turned out to be the horse. And her black eyes drove the entire plot, with my character being convinced that they were a bad omen, so I laid an ambush against her to see if she possessed demonic power.

Neither of those things would have gone that way with a different Queen card. So the art had a very real, specific influence on us in those ways. And throughout our answers, the Queen’s stern expression had a more subtle influence on how we answered questions, as well.

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