Old Game Notebook: Card Deck, Used for Divinations

Michael O. Varhola

Card deck, used for divinations. Infinite number of cards. All are archetypal themes, and intuitively known to a practiced oracle. Four main suits (swords, stars, staves, cups), but actually no limit to the number; items from other suits may turn up when appropriate. For example, the "5 of Pearls" might appear in a certain context. Other Major Trumps: The Four Horsemen (one card or four?); Warfare (J.M.'s card); The Beast (Winter?). (This was with a number of other items in a memo pad that dated to 1993 or earlier. What is most striking to me is its similarity to a magic item I just created last month for our home D&D game! I am not sure about everything I was talking about above but some of it will be of use in the continued development of the newer item, which we are calling the Deck of Fortune). 


As part of my ongoing struggle to keep Skirmisher HQ/my home office under control, I have decided that it is time to do something with the hundreds of pages of handwritten game rules, ideas, and other content that I have been compiling for decades. Some of this material, in fact, goes back more than 30 years, to when my friend George and I were developing our "Skirmish Wargaming Rules." And, when I began playing D&D in 1982, the notebooks, index cards, and scraps of paper with notes and stats increased exponentially. Some of that material has ended up in one form or another in various Skirmisher products, of course, but much of it has sat fallow for many years. So, with an eye to getting some fresh use out of it, I will be incrementally posting it here -- and then disposing of the hardcopy originals. Material will be presented in the order I discover or feel like keying it in. And I reserve the right to correct misspellings and add punctuation and the like!