Friday, September 16, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Tarot Magic

Tarot Magic
Digging deep tonight with one going all the way back to the d20 days. Everything about it just fills me with early 2000s nostalgia. Is it the lens flare on the logo? Is it the repeated use of the Morpheus font (which I STILL like)? I don't know. But whatever it is this one has been sitting on my hard drive for nearly 15 years or more (20 if you count the softcover I used to have) waiting for me to review it.

Tarot Magic

PDF. 90 pages, color cover, black & white interior art.

This book had been published originally back in 2002-2003 by Mystic Eye Games for the d20 OGL and STL. Yes we are going all the way back to the d20 System Trademark License here.

Now it has been updated in a 2016 re-upload by Samurai Sheepdog.  I still have my original PDF on a backup drive so I can compare them. The cover is the same, but a bit brighter and the Samurai Sheepdog logo and website is there.  Also, all mention of Mystic Eye Games is gone. The back cover is missing as well. But the PDF is also clearer to read and generally of better quality.

I will note that this book is filed under the D&D 3.5 category, but it is really D&D 3.0.  I don't think it makes much practical difference to be honest.

The book is divided into five major sections.

Chapter 1: Tarot Reading in the Game

This cover the basics of card layout and meaning and how they can be used in a game situation. In most cases, the book advises the GM to control what the deck will be saying to fit the narrative/structure of the game.  The most value here are the card meanings, though that information is also widely available elsewhere.

Chapter 2: Tarot Mage Class and Prestige Class

Now, this is fun.  Presents the Tarot Mage class that can be used as a regular class or as a prestige class.  Honestly, I like the option.  I think it works well as a Prestige Class with someone starting as a wizard, sorcerer, witch, or even a thief with some arcane ability.  Example NPCs of both a Tarot Mage and a Wizard/Tarot Mage are given.

Chapter 3: Tarot Mage Spells

This is a meaty chapter and kudos for coming up with all these spells. There are 38 pages worth of spells. Not a lot of art means a lot of text. 

The spells are all "Arcane" so they are also listed by their school.

Chapter 4: Magic Items

These come in three major types; cards, materials to make cards,  and items related to what are on the tarot cards. 

Chapter 5: Foul Locales

Ok. This one is odd. Chapters 1 to 4 all proper headers with large fonts.  This one starts at the bottom of a column when the magic items end.  The only thing connecting it to the book is the fact that members of the family living in this locale are all Tarot Mages.

In any case it is an interesting book and one I tried many times to use back in the 3.x days.  It is high on concept but the usability of the core class was limited compared to the Wizard/Sorcerer.  The prestige class was much more useful. 

Still it was rather fun.

The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween

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