I was listening to a podcast recently (2GMs1Mic) where the hosts talked about the Star Wars game that one of them was running. Apparently, if I remember correctly, they had a stack of the tcg cards (Decipher, maybe) that they drew from for random finds. I am gearing up to run a game of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, and have a lot of cards from the 1996 Doctor Who tcg. I have been waffling on how to present this, and have decided to put the idea out there and see what you think.
Put together a deck of gadgets to see what may be in that secret UNIT storage shed. Stumped for what villain the PC's should encounter next, put some villain/alien cards together to draw from. So what if you do not have access to any cards? There are plenty of online card lists, take advantage of them and create a random roll chart. The appeal of cards is that they have pictures that you can show your players, and with a little cut/paste magic, you can make your own cards courtesy of the magic of the internet. Just think of the possibilities! I am working on an expanded list of alien/human encounters by taking the list from the '96 tcg (daleks, mongols, cybermen, etc.) and adding the stuff from the new series, like weeping angels or judoon. I will include the final version of the list soon. In the meantime, let me know if any of you have tried this and how it has worked for you.