A downloadable deck of design lenses

Buy Now$20.00 USD or more

This has almost 7,000 downloads and has made $23. If you feel it has been worth $20 to you and your work, please throw that my way so I can pay some artists for upcoming projects. I'm removing pay what you want from this because it makes me feel uncomfortable now.

Here's a tool for designing and playtesting ttrpgs or other physical games. I made this to help myself update my old work, and hopefully it will help others. As far as I know, there aren't any decks made specifically for TTRPGs available elsewhere. I tried to make it applicable to card games and boardgames the best I could, but you may have to ignore a few points that don't apply.

If you're unfamiliar with design lenses, they are cards that help you to focus on an important topic across all aspects of the game without getting distracted by other things that need to be done. Each card contains a list of items to contemplate, most often phrased as questions to get you thinking. The goal is not to answer each question so much as it is to use them as a starting point to consider what might need to change. Game design is a massive domain, and each item on a card is approximately a whole twitter thread's worth of theory, so feel free to research a topic if you feel you could learn more about it.

There's no particular order you need to use them in, and my recommendation would be to take a break of at least an hour after using each card. If you're not working to a tight deadline, it can be easier to just pick a single card for the day and apply it to however many projects you're comfortable working on in a day.


Pricing note: This design tool is now $20. All exceptions to that have been removed.


The "Crowdfunding" card is based largely on Riley Rethal's PUNCHGO! and Trinity Knot Studio's TKS Pre-Crowdfunding Checklist, which are both great resources from Ken Davidson's TTRPG Resource Jam.

This is a submission to TTRPG Resource Jam and Itch.io's Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality.


Buy Now$20.00 USD or more

In order to download this deck of design lenses you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $20 USD. You will get access to the following files:

TTRPG Design Lenses (md).md 13 kB
TTRPG Design Lenses (png).zip 10 MB
TTRPG Design Lenses (Black and White Print Friendly).pdf 137 kB
TTRPG Design Lenses (pdf).pdf 2 MB

Development log


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This is the most helpful thing ever, and it does not just apply to TTRPG's, these design lenses can be used on everything from video games to trading card games (like mine!).

Thank you for creating this, it deserves more than five stars :