Sunday, 12 February 2012

Esoteric Arts

Michael Moscrip, the Grumpy Old Troll,  mentioned Tarot card reading in D&D in a Google+ post a few days ago. It just so happened that I have written an article about this very thing for Fight On! #6. Here is the original version (it was cut slightly for the magazine).

You can, according to some occult writers, make perfectly valid Tarot card sets based on almost anything. King Arthur, cheesy soft-porn Vampires, cute liddle kitty-cats, all kinds of bad taste baloney has been employed, all you really need is a basic knowledge of the Qabbalah, the flexibility of mind to fit stories and images to the 22 paths of the Tree of Life and the lack of moral compass to market such tosh to the gullible.

I had a go at this myself many years ago in an effort to persuade a hippyish girlfriend to come back down to planet Earth by showing that any piffle could be turned into tarot, and created the bare bones of a 60's Pop Culture Tarot; the arrest of Mick Jagger on drugs charges was number 20, Judgement, Ken Kesey's infamous bus was The Chariot, The World was The Trip - I lost the notes many years ago (probably used them as rolling papers), but you get the idea.

In the article I mention a Carcosan Tarot, which Jeremy Duncan, the Dandy in the Underworld, said he'd like to illustrate. What other Tarot decks might be fun to inflict on unsuspecting gamers? Could they be turned into game aids you could sell?

3 comments:

  1. I always wanted to go ahead and make the tarot deck from the Amber books, but I'm sure somebody probably already has. Back in about 93 a friend and I started working on a Cthulhu Mythos tarot, but it never went anywhere. I'm sure by now someone has done that one as well. I almost don't have the heart to break open a google search and find out.

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  2. Unsurprisingly there are several Lovecraftian ones. If you nose about there is even one available as a pdf download, though I don't rate the artwork myself.

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  3. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    I've recently put out an ebook of my writing, called The New Death and others. It's mostly short stories, with some obvious gamer-interest material. For example I have a story inspired by OD&D elves, as well as poems which retell Robert E Howard's King Kull story The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune and HP Lovecraft's Under the Pyramids.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog (either a normal book review, or a review of its suitability as gaming inspiration).

    If so, please let me know your email, and what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy. You can email me (news@apolitical.info) or reply to this thread.

    You can download a sample from Smashwords:

    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/92126

    I'll also link to your review from my blog.

    Yours,
    James.

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