Jokers & Journeys: The Tarot Expansion

To play Jokers & Journeys with Tarot cards, use the pip cards as usual. A Royal Family becomes that much more difficult to score; a Blackjack is played with the Page of each suit and its corresponding 10 (you can call it a “reversed reading” if you want to). The Major Arcana are as follows:

0. The Fool: A spectacular failure, but the character suffers no harm. The player returns their hand to the DM, then names a card. If that card is in the deck, the DM gives the player that card, plus three random cards. If the named card is not in the deck, the DM gives the player four random cards.

1. The Magician: A simple success, and the character gets a +2 on all similar actions for the rest of the session. The DM searches the deck for any Wands card and gives it to that player.

2. The High Priestess: The character knows some piece of information, preferably a secret, pertaining to their attempt. Draw again for the same task, and add +2 if the information was employed or the information changed the approach.

3. The Empress: The attempt succeeds if it directly aids someone else; that entity cannot directly come to harm until the next draw. The DM searches the deck for any Cups card and gives it to that player.

4. The Emperor: The attempt succeeds if it involves the character exerting their will directly upon something else. The DM searches the deck for any Swords card and gives it to the player.

5. The Hierophant: A simple success, brought on by a previously-undiscovered skill or area of expertise that the DM thinks might be applicable to future draws.

6. The Lovers: The DM searches the deck for a King and an Ace and shuffles them in secret, then presents them face-down to the player who drew the Lovers. That player chooses one, and that card dictates the outcome of the attempt, then returns to the deck.

7. The Chariot: The attempt succeeds if the character agrees to abandon some degree of control over the situation and returns one card from their hand to the DM.

8. Strength: The attempt succeeds if violence was not involved.

9. The Hermit: The attempt succeeds if the character is making the attempt with no outside assistance.

10. The Wheel of Fortune: The player draws again. The player then rolls a d20, adding any even value or subtracting any odd value from the result of the second card; the final result dictates the outcome of the attempt. The DM searches the deck for any Pentacles card and gives it to that player.

11. Justice: All players other than the player making the attempt vote yay or nay, based on their character’s judgment of the ideal outcome of the attempt. The attempt succeeds if yay votes outnumber nay votes and fails if nay votes outnumber yay votes. The DM acts as tie-breaker, representing an organization or NPC in the world.

12. The Hanged Man: The attempt succeeds if the character sacrifices something to achieve it, or if the player allows for the removal of a significant opportunity or physical good in the attempt.

13. Death: Death either acts as either a Jack or a Queen; flip a coin. Each player switches hands with another player. If there is only one player, that player counts the number of cards in their hand. They receive a new hand of that many cards off the top of the deck, and then return their old hand to the DM.

14. Temperance: The attempt succeeds if it serves to create something. Each player gives a card from their hand to the player who drew Temperance.

15. The Devil: The player returns their hand to the DM. The attempt succeeds if the character is betraying their own interests or moral code by making the attempt. If the character is holding true to their interests or morality, the player may choose to compromise these values and draw again with a +2 bonus.

16. The Tower: The attempt is a critical failure. All players return their hands to the DM.

17. The Star: The Star acts as a zero, which the player can increase by cashing in a trick. The DM gives another card off the top of the deck to the player before a trick is selected.

18. The Moon: The attempt is a failure. No players may trade cards until another Major Arcana is drawn.

19. The Sun: The attempt succeeds. The DM gives a new card to each player, and all players may freely exchange cards in hand until the next draw, as if their characters were in the same place.

20. Judgment: Rather than drawing cards from the deck, each player selects their next draw from amongst the cards in their hand and returns that card to the DM. The player who drew Judgment makes such a selection immediately, and that selection details the outcome of the attempt. (A Major Arcana cannot be selected in this way).

21. The World: The attempt is an exceptional success. The DM fans the deck, and each player, starting with the player who drew The World, chooses one card and puts it in their hand.