I'd meant to do this last week and then I was writing, which I'm also doing today, among many other things, but I have a little time before my next obligation and this is quick.
The Game: Wizards of the Three Moons
The Publisher: Parenthesis Press
Degree of Familiarity: I've played it once, and chargen is pretty easy.
Books Required: Just the one.
So! In this game you're playing wizards, kinda. Really, you play one scene as the godlike wizard, but then you spend the bulk of the game playing the pawns of one of the wizards as they go on a quest. It's kind of a cool setup, though the execution doesn't work very well (but I'm writing a review, so it'll be up this month sometime).
Anyway, the first thing I do is grab my handy Tarot deck (same company as House of Cards, you see) and split it into Major Arcana, the face cards and the aces, and the numbered suit cards. I then shuffle the Major Arcana and draw three to determine my wizard personality.
I get Temperance, the Emperor, and Judgement. Seems like there's a theme. That gives me Fair-Minded, Blusterous, and Short-Tempered, respectively. Seems like my guy is a like a stern dad or something; he's loud and kind of shouty, but he's fair. On we go!
Now I draw three court cards to determine my magical stylin'. I get three Pages: Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. Checking that book that means I'm down with Crystal Magic, Air Magic, and Fire Magic. Wow, I'm kinda like Vitruveous from Lego Movie, I guess.
Now for the tough part: Pawns. I draw five cards from the last batch (which is all the numbered suit cards, 2-10) and make up a pawn based on each one. Not bad, but see, each one has an advantage for every rank, so if I draw a 10 of cups, I have to make up 10 advantages. It's not really a lot of fun and it eats so much time at the table. But I've done worse for this project!
I draw 7 of Cups, 7 of Pentacles, 2 of Swords, 5 of Cups, and 6 of Swords. Well, no 10s, at least. Let's get to work. I guess I should figure out a little about my wizards. Wizards use big long flowery epithets rather than their real names, so my wizard is called Manilus, the Themisite (after Themis, the goddess of justice). He's basically what you think of as "wizard" - big white beard, long blue and red robes, flies in a carriage limned with fire and pulled by crystalline horses.
My first pawn is the 7 of Cups. Those are healers, medics, and clerics. I think this pawn will be an apprentice wizard. Or rather, someone who's learning enough magic to do some basic stuff, but probably won't ever be a real wizard (look, I'm Fair-Minded, not Egalitarian). Her name is Bliss. Bliss has seven advantages, which are: sees the good in people, can mend flesh with magic, herbs & poultices, a pouch of magic crystals, three gryphon feathers, unshakeable faith, and clear sight. (See, it's not hard to do this once, but imagine getting all high numbers.)
Next, 7 of Pentacles. These guys are thieves and rogues and so forth. I think this guy is a con artist who has convinced Malinus that he's really a good guy. His name is Wen. Wen's advantages are: twin sleeve daggers, a piercing whistle, can see in the dark, honest face, gilded lies, can jump from any height, and a heart of gold. (Maybe Malinus really sees potential in this guy.)
2 of Swords. Swords are warriors, and I have two of them. I want this one to be a crystalline rock monster that Malinus made and animated. His name is Kyssh. Kyssh has two advantages: crystalline flesh and mighty.
5 of Cups, and we need another healer-type person. I admit the artwork is influencing me somewhat. This pawn is dour and sad; we'll say he's an exorcist or a spiritualist. His name is Malf. His advantages are has seen the evil of the worlds, refuses to die, cloak that carries the night, speaks all the languages of the moons, and feared by evil spirits.
Finally, 6 of Swords, which is another warrior. She's going to be Ateni, the righteous swordmaiden of Malinus (her words). Actually, fuck it, that's her first advantage. Righteous swordmaiden of Malinus, armor of tiny crystals, eyes limned with fire, rides a crystalline horse, dazzling smile, and fearless in battle.
And that's me done! I'll try and do another character tomorrow so I stay on my "once a week" schedule.