Sunday, 29 July 2018

Prophesy in The Gloom - A System using Tarot Cards

Inspired by my own love of Tarot conceptually and Zak Smith's use of it is as a resolution mechanic, I've added it to the Gothic milleu of The Gloom, mechanically and in fluff:

Prophesy.

During your Haven Turn in the Gloom you may have chosen Prophesy, which means you sought out a back-alley palm-reader or haruspex to give you some inclination of your future. Fate and fortune often hang on the blade of a knife. At the start of your next expedition, your DM will perform a four-card Tarot reading for you, with the cards granting certain boons or follies. It is necessary that this reading be performed for you alone and without the knowledge of your team-mates.

Minor Arcana

The Suit of Swords:
For any card in The Suit of Swords, the DM will give you the card to hold. You may expend it to add that number to an attack roll.  Page, Knight, Queen or King, you may expend it to turn any attack roll into a critical hit. You must use this ability after rolling the attack but before hearing the results of your roll.

The Suit of Cups: For any card in The Suit of Cups, the DM will give you the Page, Knight or Queen of Cups, you may expend it to automatically succeed on a survival check to find forage, provided such a check is possible. If you receive a King, you may expend it to remove one Foible. 



The Suit of Wands: For any card in The Suit of Wands, the DM will give you the card to hold in your play area until you choose to use it. You gain a one-use bonus to an Investigation, Perception, History, Arcana or Religion check, adding a bonus equal to the bonus on the card (1-10). You must use this ability after rolling but before learning the results of your roll.  If you receive a Page, Knight or Queen, you may expend the card to reroll a Spell Attack roll or Saving Throw against one of your spells, or your own Saving Throw against a magical effect. If you receive a King of Wands, you may expend the card to cast any first-level Wizard spell without expending any slots or material components, using any mental stat as your casting stat. This is fluffed as a prophesised event rather than your casting.

The Suit of Pentacles: For any card in The Suit of Pentacles, your DM will take the card and place it in their play area. Your DM may expend a card in the Suit of Pentacles to add sanity damage to a roll, with the damage reflecting the number on the card (1-10), expending the card. If your DM receives the Page, Knight or Queen of the Suit of Pentacles, they may expend it to add an extra monster to a random encounter. If your DM receives the King of Pentacles, they may expend it to curse one character with a Foible of their choice.  

The Major Arcana:

(00) The Fool—Give this card to your DM. He may expend it to turn any critical roll into a critical failure.
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(1) The Magician— Place this card in your play-area. You may use a Wizard spell up to third level without expending a spell-slot or material components, using any mental stat as your casting stat, expending the card.

(2) The High Priestess— Place this card in your play area. Once per day for this expedition, you may freely cast the Sanctuary Spell on yourself using any mental stat as your casting stat.

(3) The Empress— Place this card in your play-area. You have a moment of rapturous aura. You may charm all creatures that can perceive you within ten feet, expending the card.

(4) The Emperor— Place this card in your play-area. You have a moment of command and leadership, and may expend it to gain advantage on Persuasion, Intimidation and Deception for one day.

(5) The Hierophant— Place this card in your play-area. For this expedition, you have advantage on saves against supernatural possession and in performing exorcisms or other holy rites.

(6) The Lovers— Place this card in your play-area. You may expend it and tell a love-story from your characters past and be rewarded with immunity to all charm effects for this expedition. Alternatively, you may nominate one other character as your lover. This will enable you to have a shared pool of sanity points, but you will both gain a foible if you hit 0.

(7) The Chariot—Place this card in your play-area. You may expend it to either dash without spending any Action or Movement in combat, or to have your party travel twice as fast in an Adventuring Turn.

(8) Strength—Place this card in your play-area. Your carrying capacity increases by ten for this expedition.

(9) The Hermit— Give this card to your DM. He may expend it to give any character the Paranoia, Fatalistic Despair, This is a Game, Solipsism or Photophobia Foible.

(10) The Wheel of Fortune— Place this card in your play-area. You and the DM both gain a pool of three rerolls which you may expend through the expedition. They cannot be used to reroll the same die.

(11) Justice— . Place this card in your play-area. You may expend it to succeed at an Investigation, Insight or Religion check once in the expedition.
(12) The Hanged Man— Give this card to your DM. He may expend it at any time to add an extra complication or hazard to any encounter.

(13) Death— Give this card to your DM. He may expend it to force a player-character to fail two death saves immediately.

(14) Temperance—Place this card in your play area. You need only expend a food and water ration every two days to avoid exhaustion for this expedition.

(15) The Devil— Oh fuck. Give this card to your DM.  They will walk you to one side to discuss this. SPOILER FOR THOSE PLAYING THE GLOOM.





(16) The Tower— Place this card in your play area. You may expend it in an Adventure Locale and the DM will give you prophesied knowledge of the layout and character of the dungeon you are in, the location of several hazards or traps, and some hint at the greatest concentration of moveable wealth.

(17) The Star— Place this card in your play area. You cannot become lost during the next Expedition.

(18) The Moon— Give this card to your DM. He may expend it to add a pack of therianthropes otoany encounter or adventure locale.

(19) The Sun— Place this card in your play area. You may expend it at the start of an adventuring day in The Gloom to force the ‘Sunburst’ weather condition.

(20) Judgement—Place this card in your play area. If you commit an evil deed (murder, cannibalism, betrayal, rape, killing a prisoner, ambushing a neutral force…) you must pass this card to your DM. You lose all Sanity if above 0, and you gain two Foibles and a Curse. If you still have this card in your play area at the end of an expedition, lose one Foible.

(21) The World—Place this card in your play area. On your next expedition, you may ask the DM to look at the encounter tables and hazards of any region you enter.

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