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.