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Ok.  Jonathan Tweet and his evil cohorts are responsible.
And yes, Wizards published it.

You can find it dirt cheap, because they made many many copies and sold very few.

There are, AFAIK no expansions.  Just one box of mystery.

It is a DiceLess system.  And it really really means it.

Conflict resolution?  The participants draw a tarot card each, and the StoryTeller interprets the results.  (or the results are interpreted by mass acclaim of the entire table falling about with laughter at the only posisble interpretation.)

You'd be surprised how well it works, as long as everyone is used to CollaborativeStorytelling? rather than traditional RollPlaying?.

It has a few wonderful features.  Plenty of ArtWork? is one.  CharacterGeneration? is a joy.  (Pick stats that total up to some figure, choose a few powers OverTheEdge style - but more importantly - generate your character by doing a quick tarot reading.  This is a wonderful way to come up with character ideas in no time, and is applicable to anything.  The ideas tend to have nice archetypical elements and my best justification for this system is that it allows me to come up with character ideas on the spot.  Something anyone can tell you I am awful at.)

It has one lousy feature though - a horrible lack of background.
The idea is simple - hub of worlds, some people able to travel through the gates - design your own world.  The key was nice - each world gets its own tarot card, replace the joker with that worlds card.  This gives each world a very definite flavour, and you never know how it will manifest itself.

Sadly, this world is barely detailed at all.  The sample world is undead egypt, and not very interesting.  It's a TempleOfEvil? style thing.  The example characters are lovely, though they don't exactly stretch the system.  It really feels like the designers had this wonderful AiryFairy? incomprehensible idea, then tried to tie it down to DungeonsAndDragons a play style.

But the incomprehensible idea.. well.  I strongly urge you to use it at least once.

This was used for a CursTwentyFourHourRoleplay? about five or six years ago.  It worked decently.

The sample tarot reading, IIRC (may look this up at home if anyone cares enough) goes like this:

You have readings of length 3 2 and 1.  A character creation uses all three.  Inverted means 'updside down' which when reading tarot means the card has its opposite meanings.

A single card is the key card.  It and its inverse are the key conflict, with the way around it was drawn being the outcome.  For a character, this is the key defining goal or challenge - which once met leads them to re-examine themselves completely.

Two cards are strength and enemy.  One card is the strength - that which the character or situation has going for it - and the other is that which opposes them, be it internal or external.  Used in conflict reslution in a sort of 'which is stronger in this situation' way, which leads to lots of "scissors can cut sheet rock" type of play.

Three cards are past present and future - why something was, what it is now and what the outcome will be.  They tell a developmental story.

I'm certainly wrong in the details, I'm probably wrong in the outline.  If anyone remembers the rage meter, they'll know how little it matters.  Similarly, you can use any tarot, and any interpretations, though the one supplied is very nice.

One thing that is not used, but which can make a nice addition is held cards.
Players hold on to cards, and add them to the story, or as their card for a conflict whenever they want to.  Cards can be dealt out at the start of each session, to replenish hands, as fate points or whenever.  Using them as PathOfHorror cards works very nicely.

OP = Vitenka

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Last edited September 23, 2003 12:45 pm (viewing revision 1, which is the newest) (diff)