Monday, September 1, 2014

Suits for Decks of Many Things

 Lately, I have been thinking about how the Deck of Many Things would play into mythopoesis of the game world and not play and mechanics only.  You can see one result of my thoughts here.

As I continue to play with these ideas, it struck me that the DoMT, unlike the Tarot or the standard deck of playing cards, does not have suits.  This seemed an unfortunate oversight to me.  I like the idea of assigning suits according to the Lawful-Neutral-Chaotic alignment axis, since I use that for the cosmic level of struggle in my game worlds to make for interesting instructions of the cosmic conflict in experience of the PCs.  The standard DoMT has 22 cards.  There are other variations out there, such as Analog Games' 27-card deck.  Below are examples of taking the DoMT and dividing it up according to (from Top to Bottom), Law, Balance, and Chaos.  In the case of even-numbered versions like the standard deck, one card will need to be selected to be Unaligned.

William O'Connor's version for Wizards of the Coast

Analog Games Deck of Many Things

I really think that the DoMT has potential to do more for our games, and not simply be the Great Campaign Screw.  The mechanics can undoubtedly use more attention.  For starters, I think I'd like every card to have a positive and a negative possibility, depending on the position of the card. GMs/DMs, with some thought and care, can make this a tool for driving plot by predicting events rather than descending to mere detached consequences.  Directions along these lines that improve play and enrich the setting will be my future explorations.

UPDATE: Paizo is now taking preorders on Analog Games' deck, here!