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Arcana • 2017 rpg

Chris Martens • twitter.com/chrisamaphone

Storytelling game for 2. Need:
Tarot deck
Drawn cross shape 6-8 inches diameter. Label the points: N=⭐  S=🔮 W=🏆 E=⚔️  center=⚡
2 distinct tokens

Suits: pentacles/coins/⭐ , wands/🔮, cups/hearts/🏆, swords/⚔️, and ⚡ (major arcana). 

Shuffle deck. Draw 3 cards.

Give each a name and description. Assign stats for hero & opposition: ⭐ (wealth)  🔮 (magic/creativity) 🏆(empathy/charm) ⚔️(intellect/wit) ⚡(spirit/resolve) by drawing 5 cards and taking the maximum in each suit.

Place hero token on cross point corresponding to hero suit; opposition token likewise. Take turns:
On opposition’s turn, may move 1 unit along cross (toward center from outside, or to any outside point from center).
Draw card C.
Describe event it represents.
If suit=quest suit on hero’s turn, hero compares C’s rank to their relevant stat. If >, hero completes the quest.
If opposition shares position of hero, compare C’s rank to relevant hero stat. If >, opposition beats hero.
Otherwise, describe event resulting in strengthening of the stat corresponding to C’s suit. If C’s rank R > current stat for C’s suit, new stat value = R. 
Move to cross point of C’s suit.

Author Comments

This game depends on a cooperative, creative attitude from both players to tell a story with one another using the tarot as a guideline, with interpretations geared toward fitting well with the story rather than being true to their tarot-specific meaning.

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