In A Wicked Age

There’s yet another interesting indie game that just hit the market–from the maker of Dogs in the Vineyard comes In A Wicked Age, a sword & sorcery game with a lot of interesting twists.

What makes this game extra cool is its use of a standard poker deck as a plot-setting “oracle” (you can fiddle around with an electronic version on the website). By randomly drawing a selection of cards and interpreting their meaning, much like a slimmed-down Tarot deck, you get a selection of variables which the GM ties together for the night’s adventure.

Some of the oracles tie together really well, such as the following:
4H: A token indicating that its bearer speaks for the high general.
4D: The arrival of a hundred fearsome warships on an unprepared, prosperous, peaceful coast.
JS: A fortress guarding the only pass through treacherous mountains, overseen by a corrupt and voracious war-captian.
3D: A war-sorceress, slender but commanding, with golden hair.

Or, try this one–the same card draw, but read via another oracle:
4H: An ambitious petty-wizard, quick to take offense.
4D: The soul of a dead wizard, seeking an advantageous rebirth.
JS: A knowledge-mad sorceress, delving into ancient secrets.
3D: The captain of a foreign troop, sent to collect tribute.

As you can see, this oracle deck has a lot of potential–the above four cards give a really nifty frame for a couple nights of adventure, all ready for the GM to make the oracles fit together neat and tidy over the course of the game. Given the Conan-esque swords and sandals feel to the oracles, epic enough to make for some interesting gaming but generic enough to fit into a lot of settings, these oracles have some incredible utilitarian value.

We’re planning on using the oracle system to generate plots for our Exalted and D&D games. They’re just too damn cool to ignore.

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