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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Game Day: The Tarokka of Ravenloft

by Ken Newquist / May 11, 2007
Cover Art: Ravenloft Tarokka Deck

There comes a point in every expedition to Ravenloft Castle where the stalwart adventurers must seek out a certain Vistani woman for advice … and to have their "Tarokka" (a fantasy version of the Tarot) read. The cards drawn set the objectives of the expedition, and determine where certain random elements -- like the fabled sun sword -- can be found.

We have reached that point. Tonight we will visit the fortuneteller, get our futures told … and the real adventure will begin.

The Future is Online

 In honor of our impending visit, I decided to go searching for some online Tarot cards. I should note that I in no way accept or embrace the supernatural mumbo jumbo that is fortune-telling as offering actual truthes in the real world … but these online Tarot decks and readings do make for amusing diversions.

No matter what you think of the mystical aspects of the Tarot, there's no denying that the decks can be works of art. Llewellyn's Tarot Readings features 12 different decks including Celtic Dragon, Quest Tarot, and Legend. There all works of art, and they can be used in seven different spreads, from "Past, Present Future" to "Planetary".

Tarotpedia is an online encyclopedia dedicated to every aspect of the Tarot, from cards to decks, to usage to history.

IF you're trying to figure out what all these cards mean so you can read your own Tarot futures, check out Learn Tarot, which offers a free online course on reading tarot cards.

Itching to make your Ravenloft game even more authentic? Then buy a copy of the Ravenloft Tarokka Deck from White Wolf games, a 79 card illustrated deck  of cards. Unfortunately I couldn't find any pictures of the cards online.

A Fool's Errand

A Fool's Errand is one of my favorite computer games of all time. It's a story/puzzle game for the Macintosh that was released in 1988. It features the story of a Fool who is on an epic quest inspired by the Holy Grail-style Tarot cards. Each puzzle ties into the Tarot in some way, and run the gamut from jigsaw puzzles to crosswords to cryptographic challenges to simple video games.

The game's still available for download from the author's web site in Windows, Macintosh and Amiga (yes, Amiga) formats. You have to jump through several hoops to get these games running after all this time (and Intel Macs can't run the game at all, because it requires Classic mode, which they no longer support) but if you have a little time, it's worth checking out.