Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Olympus Tarot and using tarot cards for Tribal

Now it's no secret that I like the Tribal rules, but that's not to say that I don't think it can be spiced up a little, especially since the Trojan War is not specifically covered in the rules.

One of the things that occurred to me was that divine intervention in the Iliad can perhaps be represented by the addition of special cards to the deck, and that a good source of an 'off the shelf' deck of cards with special cards is of course tarot cards. Some googling turned up the Olympus Tarot, which comes in the standard tarot count of four suits of 14 minor arcana cards and 22 major arcana cards. Each card depicts a god (for the major arcana) or a scene from a tale from the Greek mythology (for the minor arcana); many are familiar, but I can't tell what some are supposed to depict because the manual that came with the deck is in Russian.

It is relatively simple to use the minor arcana to replace the standard deck: the four suits (sword, wand, cup and pentacle) represent the four suits (clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds), with values running from 1 to 14.

The major arcana required a little thought.

As the major arcana each represent one Greek god, I thought I would model the effect of each card based on the manner in which the gods intervened in the Iliad. But as not all the gods intervened in the war, and some intervened only for one side, I cannot use all the cards. My current idea is to just include eight of the major arcana, to be split between the two players: the Trojan player will add Aphrodite, Ares, and Apollo to his deck, and the Greek player will add Athena, Hera, and Poseidon to his deck; one each of the remaining two cards, Hephaestus and Zeus, will be dealt hidden to the two players, such that each player has a deck of 60 cards. Alternatively, both players may each receive one Zeus card and one Hephaestus card. The Card Pools rule will be used.

The major arcana cards may be played as a 'numbered' card, in which case they are of the suit that the player chooses, and beats all minor arcana cards (but does not Overpower) if played in combat. If two major arcana cards are played, the card with the lower number in the sequence of the major arcana beats one of a higher number.

The major arcana cards can also be played as an event cards outside of the normal situations called for in the main rules (called a divine intervention) and they have the following effects:

Zeus (I): Zeus forbids the gods to intervene! Played after a divine intervention - negates the effect of the divine intervention.

Hera (II): Hera seduces Zeus! Played after Zeus has been played - negates the effect of Zeus.

Aphrodite (III): Aphrodite rescues her favourite! Played when a Chief or Hero has been charged or is in combat - removes the Chief or Hero in combat and places him three long sides away.

Ares (IV): Ares fills a captain with battle fury! Played just before combat - a Chief or Hero in combat draws two extra cards for his combat hand.

Athena (VIII): Athena encourages her champion! Played when a Chief or Hero charges - the Chief or Hero may cast a Throwing Weapon twice* or gains another long side to move into combat.

Poseidon (IX): Poseidon rouses the troops! Played after completing the activation of a friendly unit - another unactivated friendly unit may activate immediately.

Hephaestus (XI): Armour of Hephaestus! Played when a Chief or Hero receives a hit - the hit is negated, even if it was an overpowering hit.

Apollo (XIX): Apollo thwarts my enemies! Played when a Chief or Hero is charged - the enemy unit that has declared a charge against the Chief or Hero must end its move a short side away from the Chief/Hero instead.

Once played as a divine intervention, major arcana cards are not re-shuffled back into the deck when all the cards are played, but are kept aside.

That's all I have for now. In the next post I will share some other additional rules I am planning for Homeric warfare.

(* - I plan to modify the Throwing Weapon rule such that all Chiefs and Heroes gain the Throwing Weapon skill and may in addition also cast a Throwing Weapon against a Chief or Hero after the charging Chief/Hero has resolved his attack.)

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