TAROT (BASED) MAGIC SYSTEM (tamasys)
This document describes a means of using tarot cards for spellcasting mechanics in a roleplaying game. With little effort (besides creativity from the players) it can be added to an existing set of rules.
==== OUTLINE ==== OBJECTIVE: The aim of using tarot cards for the mechanics of magic in a roleplaying system are several. Firstly by the different combinations of cards a great variety is introduced. Rather than having a simple list of known spells characters know a set of building blocks and can construct their spells on the spot as circumstances and resources allow. Secondly creativity is called for on behalf of the player as to how to construct a spell. Thirdly a degree of randomness is introduced as to which cards (spell components) the player/character has access to currently. Finally, using tarot can re-introduce a certain mystery or “magic” to what often becomes just another simple tool of the character.
BASIC IDEA: At its heart the system is very simple, relying chiefly on the player’s creativity. The cards of the tarot deck represent basic components of magic. They can stand alone as simple spells or be combined with each other to create more complex and powerful spells.
The deck of cards (players probably use less than a full deck) represent the basic building blocks/components of magic that the character has studied or knows. The player’s hand represents those components that are currently in the character’s mind and can be employed in a spell.
A spell is thrown by laying/playing card(s) from the hand to define a spell effect. More cards equal more powerful or precise but also longer to cast (more cards to lay).
Additional spell components are called to mind by the player drawing from the deck into their hand.
SIMPLE EXAMPLES: Here’s an example based on 5 cards from the Thoth tarot. These might represent the current components available to the character at a particular time (the player’s hand). Ace of Wands–A staff of red energy thrusting into the foreground with curls of fire emanating from its tip. Power, Creation, Vigor. The Moon–A washed out landscape with two jackels guarding a pass between two towers. Illusion, Deceit, Change. 4 Discs (Power)–A top down view of a solid grey castle with 4 corner turrets in an orange landscape. Law & Order? Earthly Power. 7 Cups (Debauch)–From a 4-tiered ornament/chandelier of 7 cups drips a green viscous fluid into a pool. Corruption, Indulgence etc. The Priestess–A seated alabaster female figure in the background holds a net between her outspread arms. Purity, Spirituality.
The Ace of Wands could be used as a bolt of fire. The Moon is the basis of illusion magic–with something like Justice (a set of scales) you’d have a detect illusion spell. The 4 discs alone could be a simple spell to improve armour. The 7 Cups alone could make a simple poison or acid or alternatively plant the seed of corrupt thoughts in a mind. The Priestess alone might be a web spell (her net).
Combined, the Ace of Wands and 7 Cups might give a bolt of acid. The Ace of Wands and 4 Discs together could imbue a character with energy such as some simple healing (recovering fatigue) or even increasing stats (constitution) for a period.
Putting The Moon (drawing on its madness/hysteria and change aspects) together with 7 Cups (debauch, dissipation etc.) and The Priestess (spiritual purity–almost directly opposed to 7 Cups) might give a powerful spell to drive people insane by invading their minds with conflicting and rapidly changing thoughts of indulgence contrasted with their higher/moral conscience.
==== DETAILS ==== DECK, HAND & CURRENT SPELL: The cards representing the magic that a player’s character controls are divided into three sets. Firstly the deck of face down cards represents magical components or concepts that the player can control, understand, and utilise but are not currently foremost in their mind. A powerful mage might have a large deck representing control over many different forms of magic, while an apprentice might have a much smaller deck, having only learnt a few basics. A good default deck size might be something like 20+ cards. These should be selected with thought to the expertise/specialty of the mage (see later sections for more details).
Secondly, a player’s hand represents those spell aspects that are foremost in the character’s mind at the moment and can most readily be utilised in a spell. Powerful mages might have a large hand representing their ability to conceptualise and synthesise complex and powerful magic. On the other hand a hedge wizard might have a small hand representing their inability to control and integrate several aspects of magic simultaneously and thus limiting the power of any spell they can cast. Similarly the hand of a just awoken wizard might be small or non-existent as they are currently unprepared to cast magic. A good default hand-size is 5 or 6 (see below for more details).
Finally a character may be in the process of casting a spell. The player represents this by laying down cards from their hand to build up a spell, and explaining how the cards combine together to define the spell. A single card spell might be weak (e.g., get a camp fire started or distract a person with a noise) but very fast while a multi-card spell would be considerably more powerful but could take sometime (e.g., several rounds) to cast. The size (power) of a spell can never be larger than the maximum hand-size of the character.
ACTIONS: Fundamentally a mage can perform one of two actions related to magic. They may either be in the process of casting or completing a spell, or they may be in the process of drawing on their knowledge/ability to compose a new spell that they will soon cast.
A mage may not partially cast a spell then attempt to draw on further knowledge/ability. A spell that is initiated must be completed before further magical resources can be drawn from memory (or however it works in your game world). In mechanics terms this means that you must complete a spell with those cards currently available in your hand. You cannot start, draw some additional cards, then continue with a spell.
An interrupted spell is out of the player’s control and functions as the GM determines and the cards that currently compose the spell dictate. A mage may also abandon a partially complete spell. In this case they may possibly weave it into a simpler spell, let it dissipate harmlessly or go off wildly as above.
While casting a player may lay X cards per Time Unit. The value X is highly dependent on how magic works in your world and in particular for that spellcaster. A good default value might be 1.5 per round for your generic “adventuring wizard”. This allows simple (weak) spells in one round of combat and mediumly powerful (damaging spells, control spells etc.) in a couple of rounds. A more experienced wizard might have a faster cast rate while a demon summoner might have a cast rate of 1 card per game hour (so powerful demons take much longer to summon) to represent the long ritual involved.
Characters can replenish their casting pool (refill their hand) in one of three ways. Firstly they may allow their own subconscious to select and bring forth knowledge/ability. This is the fastest method but gives unpredictable results. Secondly the conscious mind can partially guide the subconscious and pick only the most favourable selections from those offered. This is somewhat slower. Thirdly the mage can deliberately search their mind for the spell component they require. This is the slowest method but the most reliable.
Subconscious refill occurs at the rate of X cards per TU (time unit). A suggested value (once again for the generic adventuring wizard) is 2 per round.
Guided subconscious refill occurs at the rate of Y cards per TU. From this Y one card is selected and the others shuffled back into the deck. A suggested value for Y (GAW [Generic Adventuring Wizard]) is 3 per round…you get to look at more cards than the subconscious refill but only get to keep one.
Deliberate search refill occurs at the rate of Z TU. Once every Z TUs the player may go through the deck and select one card to place in their hand. The deck is reshuffled afterwards. A suggested value for Z (GAW case) is 2 rounds.
If through replenishment the cards in hand exceeds the maximum hand size the player must discard down to the specified maximum. There is no need to discard before drawing cards (this is to allow players the most options in being able to compose a useful spell).
INTERPRETING CARDS: At the heart of this system lies the assumption that (tarot) cards can represent the fundamental magical building blocks that a mage employs to compose a spell. Without becoming all mystical its pretty safe to say that a good tarot deck is rich in symbolism and can represent a diverse range of human experience. This rich symbolism (a good tarot deck’s images should “speak to you” and reveal more the longer they are studied) and coverage of such a wide spectrum of experience allows us to view the cards as building blocks for magic.
In order to build spells from combinations of the cards its first necessary to understand the individual cards. Firstly a good card is incredibly rich in imagery and symbolism. You don’t need to use it all each time. This is what allows a single card to act as a poison component on one occasion and an evocation of boiling rage on another. Just take the portion of the card thats relevant.
There are many ways to “read” a card. The best is simply to look at the picture and feel what it means/says to you. Look at the whole picture and elements within the image, pick something. Try then to imagine that in context of the world in which your character exists and the “rules of magic” (the way magic works) in that world.
Secondly most tarot decks come with a small booklet that includes the author/artist’s interpretation of the cards. This can be employed also (try to form your own impressions first though).
Thirdly there’s certain archetypal meanings to a number of the cards (e.g., everyone knows about the Major Arcana cards like Death) as well as suits (e.g., discs/coins associated with matter/earth etc.) and role assignments for the number cards (one is creation/ initiation etc.). This is also useful.
Finally the cards in combination suddenly show new meanings (ways of viewing them) based solely on their juxtaposition.
COMPOSING A SPELL: If there is an interesting aspect to this system then surely it is in combining cards to describe a magical effect. The range and scope of effects (spells) that can be built is fascinating. However in order for the player to successfully employ multiple cards for a single spell they must “understand” each card (previous section) and then how those elements combine.
In building a complex (more than one card) spell it is necessary to define two things with the cards. The first is to describe the spell itself and the second optional component is to increase the basic power of the spell by employing cards that compliment and re-enforce the basic spell structure. At times the distinction between these two categories is not always clear.
Here’s an example contrived from looking at about a dozen cards and picking four to illustrate. Garnian of Etworth is a trader and traveler with more than a smattering of magical ability. Entering a new town his traveling companion and love interest is dragged off by the locals in a case of mistaken identity as being a cruel local bandit. The local mob want to lynch the companion and only the actions of Garnian can stop the miscarriage of justice and loss of his love. Knowing that force is not a solution Garnian plans a spell of mass persuasion which he will inter-weave with an enpassioned appeal (from the scaffolds) that he will make. Garnian’s player will employ four cards in the spell–two (or possibly 3 depending on your interpretation) to define the spell and another two (or one) to give it more umphh. The cards themselves are:- Princess of Cups–a woman in long robes swaying gently in the water. Queen of Cups–a calm and gentle reflective pool of water. 2 Discs (Change)–Yin/Yang symbols surrounded by a snake swallowing its tail. Prince of Wands–A fiery young man in a red chariot drawn by a lion.
At the heart of the spell and defining it are the Princess and Queen of Cups. Being cups they are emotional so the spell will appeal to the hearts of the mob. The princess represents the swaying of peoples’ opinions while the Queen is a calming and tranquiling effect to calm the mob’s rage. So the spell should calm the mob’s mindless bloodlust and sway them with empathy.
Adding power to the spell are the 2 of Discs, and the Prince of Wands. The 2 Discs lends power in the form of Change (balanced opposites) as Garnian is trying to change peoples’ minds. The Prince of Wands can symbolise a noble and heroic young man. Garnian uses this to make himself seem more noble and heroic, thus giving more weight to his words and making them more persuasive (spell more powerful).
With such a well constructed/targeted and powerful (4 cards) spell Garnian should be able to at least sway enough heads to raise the doubt that the traveling companion is not the local bandit and thus temporarily halt the lynching (the story might progress with the mob only being partly mollified and holding the companion who will be hanged in a fortnight if Garnian can’t bring in the real bandit as proof). If the additional strengthening cards had not been used however Garnian’s “voice of reason” wouldn’t have had the power to sway/halt the mob.
So in effect the cards in a complex (multi-card) spell are used in two ways. One is to “map out” or describe the key features of the spell–this will describe the basic function and form of the spell itself (in the above example a spell to induce a reflective frame of mind and sway minds emotionally). Secondly additional cards can act as adjuncts to the basic structure adding extra detail and strength (in the example the influence of Change and a heroic/virtuous demeanour for the speaker).
Describing how to combine cards is difficult. Basically just as when we free-associate when we look at a card to see its meaning (the images spark thoughts and memories for us) we can free-associate the cards together–look for links, contrasts, similarities when the cards are considered together. The current situation in the game can also provide a focus or filter through which to see how cards can be combined. For example if Garnian in his trade wagon encounters a group of toll-extorters just as he is about to cross a bridge spanning a river in the wilderness then the river (storms?, spirits?), bridge (wood based spells?) wagon, river banks and environments and the enemy all provide lenses through which to see how cards might be combined to form a spell.
WHAT’S IN A DECK?: The choice of a tarot deck is an important decision and will greatly influence the way you view, and even what spells you compose, the magic of your character. A good deck is a good deck for you–there’s no absolute best deck. However good guidelines are that the deck has rich imagery (including for the Minor Arcana/Suits–many decks have good artwork only for the Major Arcana) and that you can interpret it in context of your character and the world they exist in.
For example for me Crowley’s Thoth tarot is a good choice for a classic fantasy (medieval) setting. The Voyager tarot has an incredible amount of imagery on each card (collage of photographic images) and is for me better suited to modern day games (WW’s Vampire or Changling) than a feudal setting. On the other hand I find the Rider/Waite tarot (the most “famous” and easily available) somewhat plain in imagery and better suited to storytelling than the richness of magic. Other good choices might be the Elemental tarot (no longer in print?) or The King Arthur tarot (obviously rather setting specific :-).
Recently books have been published which have examples of the cards from many tarot decks. This is a good place to check to see what type of deck might suit you. Its also possible to use other cards (e.g., those from a collectible trading card game), though tarot seems to be the best choice for diversity and depth of imagery/interpretation. You could even make your own set of cards.
==== GRITTY DETAILS ==== CUSTOMISING A SPELLCASTER: In most worlds mages are highly individualistic people with uniquely personal skills and power. As their personalities are different so is their magic–different levels of power, sources of magic, preferred spells, raw talent etc. By setting appropriate parameters and constraints on Tamasys (Tarot Magic System) its possible to create a wide and diverse range of spellcasters.
Further, in many roleplaying games its possible for a character to improve through experience. This is also possible in Tamasys by assigning experience costs for improving the various aspects (e.g., to acquire another card to add to the deck or increase casting rate).
The following is a list of the different parameters that can be adjusting in creating the envisioned character along with comments on their impact and importance.
=== Deck Size and Composition === The deck size and composition are primary in reflecting the range of raw magic that a character can draw upon. The size of the deck (number of cards) reflects the diversity of magic that can be drawn upon while the particular composition shows the character’s specialties and magical leanings.
For example a character with a deck size of 5 or 10 understands very few magic principles and the range of spells they can cast is correspondingly limited. On the other hand a character with 50 cards has grasped many of the principles of magic and should be able to throw a wide range of spells.
The selection of cards in the deck also goes a long way to defining the character’s magic. A deck with a smattering of all 4 suits and some Major Arcana might be a wizard-of-all-trades while one who’s deck is primarily composed of the suit Cups might be a water elementalist.
Deck size is a reflection of the power of a wizard. A starting level adventuring wizard might (this is incredibly world dependent) have have an initial deck of about 10 or 15 cards. With experience the character should gain knowledge/control over further aspects of magic and this is reflected by adding further cards to the deck.
Deck composition (the particular cards) will define the type of magic a character can cast. With an eye to the type of spells the character will cast the player (with the GM’s guidance) should pick the cards that compose their deck. As new cards are acquired these should also be selected to reflect the directions of magical interest/learning of the character.
=== Hand Size === Hand size is a measure of the number of different magical aspects that a wizard can control simultaneously as well as defining the upper power limit of any spell that wizard can cast.
A character with a hand size of 3 cannot concentrate on many aspects of magic simultaneously and correspondingly can only cast weak spells (maximum of 3 cards). Alternatively a character with a hand size of 9 can control many aspects of magic simultaneously and is capable of casting truly powerful spells (up to 9 cards).
Hand size is thus another measure of the power of a wizard. It can range from a value of 1 (cantrip caster) up to values in excess of 10 (world shakers). Probably a good value for a starting spellcaster is 3 to 5, with 7 being a very respectable value for an experienced character.
=== Casting Speed === The casting speed determines how rapidly a wizard can get their spells off and away. At the macro level this is a GM decision as to how magic works in their world– can magic be cast during a physical combat or is it a slow considered action taking many hours and lots of concentration?
Thus the GM decides on the TUs (Time Units) that casting speed is measured in (whether it range from seconds or combat rounds through to hours). However within that framework of magic casting speed a character may be faster or slower than the average.
Casting speed is measured in number of cards per TU and can be fractional (e.g., 1.5/round means 1 card on 1st and subsequent odd numbered rounds of spell casting and 2 on the 2nd and subsequent even rounds), with steps of 0.5 probably being precise enough. For example a character with a casting speed of 2/round is significantly “faster on the draw” than one with a speed of 1/round.
A value of 1/TU is a reasonable value for a starting level character with 2/TU being a respectable value and anything at 3/TU or above is exceptionally fast and rare.
There is no need for casting speed to be linear. For example it might be exponential (take much longer for longer spells) or even log (hardly take any additional time for longer spells). Consider a casting speed of 2/round, 1/round, 0.5/round [there after]. A spell of 2 cards takes 1 round, 4 cards takes 3 rounds and 7 cards takes 8 rounds. Non-linear casting speeds are also a GM decision.
=== Refill Rate === Refill rate is a measure of how quickly a wizard can draw on new magical components to compose a spell with, in effect how quickly they can start composing a new spell after they have cast one.
There are 3 types of hand refilling which operate independently. Subconscious refill works by drawing the top X cards every TU. Guided subconscious works by drawing the top Y cards every TU and keeping one. Deliberate refill means that every Z TUs the character may search their deck and take 1 card. As for casting speed the particular time units is a GM decision (the TUs for casting speed don’t even need to correspond to the TUs for refill though that would most commonly be the case).
Good initial values for the 3 types of refill (subconscious, guided subconscious and deliberate) for a starting character might be 1/TU, 2/TU, 3. For an experienced wizard values of 2/TU, 3-4/TU, 2 might be more reasonable and for truly powerful wizards values of 5/TU, 10/TU and 0.5 might not be unreasonable.
Obviously there is no need for these 3 types of refills to develop/improve in parallel. Indeed its likely that individual wizards favour one type of refill or another.
There is a fourth rare type of refill known as automatic. Every X TUs the top card from the deck is drawn. This type of refill works even if the wizard is casting/composing a spell (remember the other types of refill cannot be performed during spell casting). For the greater majority of wizards the value of X is 0 (no auto refill). A value for X of 2 or 3 even is powerful and values of 1 or less are truly exceptional.
=== Affinities === A spell casting character may have an affinity (special rapore or understanding) for one of the components of magic. In game terms this means that a card is particularly attuned to a character.
Whenever a character with an affinity refills their hand they can automatically take the card for which they have an affinity as one of the refill cards. Effectively they can always have that card available for spell casting.
Specialist spellcasters (e.g., elementalists) often have an affinity (e.g., a pyromancer could have an affinity for the Ace of Wands–creation of fire) while more general spellcasters do not. It is extremely rare to have more than one affinity.
=== Mastery === A spell casting character may have mastery over one of the components of magic. In game terms the character has complete control and understanding of that aspect of magic.
A character with mastery always has the card in question available for use in spell casting (never “consumed” in spell use). Further the card does not count against the hand limit size (e.g., a character with a hand size of 7 and mastery may hold up to 8 cards–the card for which mastery is possessed and 7 additional cards for the hand).
It is very rare (and powerful) to find a character with mastery. Typically they are specialists in one type of magic and have decades of experience (as well as scads of raw talent).
=== Split Decks === Characters with a particularly orderly mind and understanding of magic may split their deck. In game terms they have systemised their own understanding of magic such that they have a sort of mental filing system and thus are more likely to pull out the spell component they need.
A character with split decks can have one deck for every 20 cards (or fraction there of) in their entire deck (i.e., a character with up to 20 cards can only have one deck, with 21 to 40 cards they can have two decks etc.). The player decides which cards go in which deck (their mental filing system) and spent or discarded cards are always reshuffled back into the appropriate deck. A deck may not have less than 8 cards. When performing refill actions the player decides which deck to draw from (can even refill from different decks in the same action, e.g., with a refill of 4 could draw 3 from deck A and 1 from deck B).
Effectively only spellcasters with command of a large number of magical components (a large deck) and an orderly mind will have the split decks “ability”.
It should be noted that the deliberate hand refill method still allows the player to search all decks (but then they’d all need shuffling too, and why would you use split decks unless you knew where your cards were roughly anyway?).
=== Limiting Interpretation of Cards === Tarot cards lend themselves to an incredible range of interpretations:-this is what makes them so great for this purpose. However many spellcasters use only part of the range of magic. In these cases its important to interpret the cards within the confines of the type of magic that the character uses.
Consider the following apparently tough example:-a character’s magic is tied to birds. Spells like flight, improved vision, lots of summon bird-type I suppose (curses like “bird brain”? :-) etc. Most of the cards would be unusable wouldn’t they? Not really. For example the Ace Wands (fiery staff), it might be tied to the summoning of the mythical Garouda or Phoenix. If we think about the range of birds in the bird kingdom (vultures, penguins, eagles, hawks, hummingbirds, mythical Rocs, sparrows, seagulls, owls, ducks, nightingales, parrots, etc.) then there’s an enormous range of abilities and ways to see the cards as they relate to those abilities (parrots and colours, nightingales and music, ducks and water, owls and nightvision or wisdom, etc. etc. etc.).
So for those wizards who draw their magic from particular sources or only express it in a limited way its important to view the cards in that context and be true to the vision of the character. With a bit of thought most cards should still be usable by any time of wizard.
==== INTERFACING TO ROLEPLAYING MECHANICS ==== In order to use this system with an existing roleplaying game its necessary to decide how it interfaces to the existing mechanics. This is a two-way interface. How do the game mechanics affect the wizard’s ability (this is primarily the way magic works in the world and how experience improves magical ability) and how does the wizard’s magic affect the rest of the world (things like damage, resistance rolls etc.)?
The more narrative/diceless your game is the less work that will be required to addon Tamasys as it is heavily interpretative/ qualitative in nature. Conversely a heavily numeric/qualitative system will require more work in order to more strictly define the interface (in particular how spells affect the world).
In defining how magic affects the world you may need to consider (1) spell durations [standard and extended], (2) spell damage as a function of number of cards and type of spell [surprisingly most of the time players seem to use their spells to inflict damage on the world at large :-] (3) spell resistance as a function of number of cards and type of spell [often when players aren’t trying to destroy something they’re trying to control its mind :-] (4) area of affect as a function of number of cards and spell type (5) range as a function of…(6) plusses/ minusses as a function of number and type of cards [in those rare occasions when players aren’t blowing something up or taking over its mind they’re cursing it or blessing themselves :-].
To be honest its very hard to make a set of hard rules that won’t be broken on occasion. It seems far better to me to have a set of guidelines that can be used to adjudicate spells on a case by case basis as needed (and magic is special isn’t it?).
Here’s an example for a totally hypothetical roleplaying system that might look like a bit of a mix between Runequest & AD&D:
Duration: Most spells are instantaneous. Those that by their very nature have a duration (e.g., summon a creature) have a default duration of 5 minutes. Every card in the spell used to increase duration doubles the previous duration (5, 10, 20,40 etc.). Truly appropriate duration related cards have triple effect.
Damage: 1 dice per card in spell for first three, 2 dice per card for next 3 etc. (e.g., a 7 card spell would do 12 dice!). +1 or 2 dice for truly appropriate cards and -1 or 2 for truly inappropriate cards.
Resistance: -5% to resistance roll for first 3 cards, -10% for next three etc. (e.g., a 4 card control spell would be resisted at -25%). -5% to 10% additional for truly appropriate cards and +5 to 10% for inappropriate cards.
Area of Affect: Typically one item/person etc. If by its nature the spell is an area of affect then it affects two people/items for the first card and doubles for each additional card (a 4 card spell affects up to 16 people). If its strictly area then 1 square metre with a doubling for each card.
Range: Default range is touch or 10 metres depending on the nature of the spell (decide on case by case nature as needed). Every card in spell used to increase to increase the range triples the previous range. Truly appropriate range related cards increase the range 6-fold.
Plusses/Minusses: Spells to increase decrease character stats do so at 1 point per card. Appropriate/inappropriate cards have increased/ decreased effect of 2 or 3 points. Similarly armour and weapons are increased at 2 points per card. Skills are increased/decreased at 10% per card. Once again appropriate/inappropriate card adjustments apply.
As to the second kind of interfacei how the world and game mechanics affect the magic system thats much easier. Chiefly it consists in assigning the Time Units for casting speed & redraw and assigning experience costs (levels whatever) for the various parameters of the magic system (cost to add a new card to an existing deck, cost to increase cast speed, etc.).
Its my hope that as people use this system they send in the interface they’ve designed for their world/mechanics and I can add it to this file. Future readers will then have a set of templates for different systems (AD&D, Pendragon, Vampire, CoC etc.) that they can employ with no effort.
==== CHARACTER EXAMPLES ==== I’ve included here a couple of example characters to show how the system might go about describing their characters.
=== WATER ELEMENTALIST === A reasonably experienced adventuring wizard. Spells focus on control of water, water courses etc. and to a lesser extent weather and emotions. Deck Size: 34 cards Deck Composition: All cups, about half the major Arcana, some discs. Too many to list with descriptions. Hand Size: 7 cards Casting Speed: 2/round Refill rate: subconscious: 3/round guided subconscious: 4/round deliberate: 1.5 round auto: 5 round Affinity: 1 Cups Mastery: Not yet Split Decks: No, this wizard’s magic is very intuitive. Comments: This wizard is quite powerful having a largish deck, large hand and fastish cast and refill rates. Not to be messed with.
=== DEMONOLOGIST === Your typical “trafficker with dark powers” type. Spells focus on summoning and binding. Deck Size: 50 cards Deck Composition: Diverse. Cards from all suits and the Major Arcana. Cards typically define properties of the entity to be summoned. Hand Size: 6 cards Casting Speed: 1.5/hour Refill Rate: subconscious: 2/10-minutes guided subconscious: 3/10-minutes deliberate: 10 minutes auto: 0 Affinity: Past that stage Mastery: The Devil representing a dark pact and the ability to create a circle of summoning. Split Decks: Yes, this guy’s knowledge is very systematic. Comments: Face to face this guy is probably a wimp. He’s not going to have time to get a spell off. However if time is available he can cook up just the right nasty (cards define nasty’s abilities) for any occasion. His hand size still needs to increase a bit before he can summon the greater devils.
=== HEDGE WIZARD/WITCH === The village spellcaster. Untaught except by the village spellcaster before them. Spells to do with minor healings, birthings, crops, finding and repairs. Deck Size: 30 cards Deck Composition: A real hodge-podge, bits and pieces from everywhere. Hand Size: 3 (6) cards Casting Speed: 0.5/round (1/10-minutes) Refill Rate: subconscious: 1.5/round (2/hour) guided subconscious: 2/round (3/hour) deliberate: 2 round (1 hour) Affinity: No Mastery: No way! Split Decks: No way! Comments: This character has two types of magic–a sort of “on the spot” weaker magic (hand size of 3) and a slower but stronger magic (hand size of 6) which involves more paraphenalia (herbs, brews, sympathetic magic etc.). Notice the long refill times for the stronger magic.