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Archive for May, 2012

I didn’t even know this was a thing until it was brought to my attention yesterday. But there it is: World Tarot Day is Friday, May 25, and this whole week is World Tarot Week.

In that spirit, let me give shout-outs to two of the decks that heavily influenced the writing of House of Cards. First and foremost, the deck I carry to every demo, and whose illustrations shaped some of the flourishes in the in-game material, is Paulina Cassidy’s Tarot deck. The very reason that Bearers can use Thousand Faces to wear carnival masks is because of her deck. 🙂

Another lovely and evocative deck is Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s Shadowscapes Tarot, which I’ve been following since before it was published. Stephanie’s watercolors are phenomenal, and I love some of the recurring motifs that appear in her card designs.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, deck selection goes a long way towards setting the tone and flavor of your game. A specifically licensed deck can be used to run a game in a particular setting, for instance. Even without an external property attached, though, a strongly themed deck will shape your Bearers and your narration.

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I had the chance to chat with Alison Baziak for her podcast, Memoirs of a Gamer, which discusses personal experiences with a different game each week. On the latest episode, House of Cards is the topic. I had a wonderful time talking with Alison about story games, and my evolution as a gamer and then as a designer. The show is available at iTunes: give it a listen!

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