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High Arcana • 2017rpg

Andrew Beahm •

Take a standard Tarot deck. Separate the high arcana cards (0-21 with specific names like Death) from the four numbered suits. The dungeon master’s deck consists of the high arcana cards. Players choose their class from the suits. Swords- fighter, wands- wizard, coins- thief, and cups- cleric.

Everyone shuffles their cards. The DM draws 7, the players 4. 

The DM groups his cards into 3 “rooms.” He uses their symbolism and imagery to describe the contents of a harrowing dungeon aloud. Each room’s difficulty is the sum of the grouped cards.

The player left of the DM describes what his character does to overcome the first room’s dangers. He places cards face down in front of himself. The sum of these cards should reflect the effort he described, hinting at their value.* The other players do the same in order.

Next, flip the cards. If the total sum of their efforts beats the DM’s, the DM describes the next room. If the players beat 3 consecutive rooms, everyone continues adventuring by shuffling and drawing again. If the players fail, they reveal their remaining cards and whoever has highest remaining sum switches places with the DM.

*Ace = 1 Face Cards = 10

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