Do I need to know anything about Tarot to play Divination?
Not at all! Everything you need to know about Tarot for the game is built into the rules, and there is a lot of Tarot symbolism that you’ll pick up intuitively simply by playing.
Think of the many RPGs that come with a large volume – or multiple volumes – of lore and worldbuilding and history more. You can choose how deeply to immerse yourself in that lore and be just as satisfied (albeit in different ways) at any level. The Tarot element of Divination is the same. Learning the basics will be no different than learning the rules and mechanics of any unfamiliar system, and the deeper layers of Tarot are there for you to explore as much or as little as you like beyond that.
This tiered approach is not just for players; Diviners, too, may customize their experience and learn only as much Tarot as they are interested in learning in order to read the cards in the way that is most comfortable. The Divination RPG Preview contains a crash course on Tarot in Part Two: Running Divination that explains this in full detail.
What is this RWS Tarot deck you keep talking about?
RWS stands for Rider-Waite-Smith. Artist Pamela “Pixie” Colman Smith illustrated a Tarot deck on the instructions of mystic A.E. Waite, which was published in 1909 by the Rider Company. The RWS deck contains 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards, for a total of 78.
Two other deck styles, Thoth and Tarot de Marseille, follow the same 78-card system, though some of the names, numbers, and interpretations are slightly different. Divination was structured around the system and symbolism of the RWS tradition, though the game will work with most Thoth or Marseille decks as well.
Decks with a completely different structure, such as Lenormand or most oracle decks, are not compatible with Divination RPG.
Why do you capitalize Tarot?
We made a choice early on that all Divination RPG materials will capitalize the word Tarot. The rest of the world may not – it is not a proper noun, after all. Nevertheless, Tarot is at the heart of Divination, and in the pages of our materials it gains capitalization to signify its importance and presence as a character in every story it helps create.
How does the “shared Hero” thing work? Don’t I get to play my own character?
You absolutely get to play your own character – a fully formed, fully independent, fully realized individual, and probably one of the more unique ones you’ve ever played! You are wholly yourself, and you are wholly the Hero. And the same is true of your three fellow Aspects.
What makes Divination so unique and fascinating is the ebb and flow between the internal and the external. Aspects trade off controlling the Hero in the world, and the player in control at any given time is roleplaying the Hero, making decisions, interacting with NPCs and the environment.
But at any time, another Aspect could use a Power to interfere or to wrest control, or the focus of play could shift inside the mind to conversations between the Aspects. In real life these internal dialogues typically play out faster than we consciously realize, but in Divination you give literal voice to the Hero’s inner conflicts, competing desires, self-sabotage, and everything else that dictates their actions in the world.
Where can I find people for a game of Divination?
The best place is in our Discord community, where we regularly run play tests of one-shots and campaigns! We’ll also be at Gen Con Indy and Gen Con Online, and possibly a few of the pop-up Gen Cons at local FLGSs. we’ll update this page and our blog, as well as our various social media pages, when those details are live.
Where can I purchase the full version of Divination?
Currently we’re still playtesting some of the more advanced campaign mechanics and worldbuilding, so the only version of Divination available right now is the Divination RPG Preview, which is split into a player’s guide and a gamemaster’s guide. As of today the guide is only available in our closed playtests, but those on our mailing list will be notified the second we make it publicly available, which is expected to be any day now!
As we continue playtesting in our community, our next big focus is cleaning up and balancing our campaign growth mechanics, and further developing the Tarot-based world in which the game resides. Once those two pieces are better established, we’ll be Kickstarting a full print version of our core rulebook.