Hello, all! I present to you “In the Cards,” where you play a budding psychic learning how to use your powers in a medieval fantasy world where spirits, fae, and humans live side-by-side - not quite intertwined, but not separate either. After being gifted your grandmother’s tarot deck, you discover the Butterfly Court is making spirits and fae run amok, wreaking havoc on the physical world. Will you be able to stop them before they overturn the laws of reality?
So far, I’ve written four chapters (~116k words) out of a planned sixteen chapters.
You can play the demo here: https://dashingdon.com/play/kalouco/in-the-cards/mygame/
Major Update - New Chapter and Rewrites June 28, 2023: Have added a new chapter and rewritten parts of early chapters, which resulted in the former prologue and chapters 1-2 being turned into chapters 1-3. It’s not a huge change to the story overall, but there are some significant tweaks to improve things. You will need to start the game over due to some changes in the startup file.
Detailed Summary of Updates
- Deleted the prologue, started chapter one earlier, and split the former chapter one into two so it’s not overly long. (About 5k words of new content at the beginning with more interaction with your family.)
- Added a new chapter (22k words total). (Only one. It just looks like more because of the aforementioned rewrites.)
- Renamed PC’s hometown; it’s now called Blackthorn.
- Renamed the Beyond to the Otherworld.
- Gave a bit more flavor to the setting. Put in a mention of local dishes (based on traditional Irish cooking) and the autumn festival from chapter 2 (now chapter 3) is now called Autumnsmeet, with a bit of ritual inspired by the Celtic celebration for the beginning of harvest, Lúnasa.
- Made tweaks to how psychic “magic” is referred to; rather than “castings,” they’re now called spells or sigils.
- Added a variable, “suitaffinity,” to the startup. It was already present in the Stats page, but I wanted to use it a bit more in the game itself. You can see an example of this playing out in the new chapter, where there’s a spot the PC can have a difference response based on which suit(s) they have the most affinity with (Cups, Pentacles, Swords, or Wands). This part is a bit more experimental, so let me know what you think.
- As mentioned in the details above, there’s an experimental bit I’d like feedback on. If you decide to act as a tour guide in the latter half of the new chapter, you will have an option to distract someone, and how you distract them will be based off of your personality stats. Let me know whether the way your PC reacts feels out of place, if you wished you could have done some other distraction, etc.
- Let me know if there’s anything confusing or if you find an obvious remnant from the old version.
- New choice suggestions - places you wanted a certain option but there wasn’t one, etc.
August 6, 2023: Minor update with edits and a few added choices in ch3 and 4.
July 20, 2023: Minor update with bugfixes.
June 28, 2023: Chapter update, deleted prologue, chapter 1 rewrite, chapter reorganization.
Feb 27, 2023: Minor update with an expanded scene in chapter two and misc adjustments.
Dec 31, 2022: Chapter two update.
Dec 6, 2022: Minor update with bugfixes.
Nov 23, 2022: Posted demo with the prologue and chapter one.
The story has a fantasy medieval setting inspired by Irish and Scottish mythology. Spirits, fae, and humans live side-by-side - not quite intertwined, but not separate either.
You’ve always had psychic powers. Reading auras, speaking with the dead, and channeling spiritual energy through runes - these number just a few of the things you’re capable of. The Sight is not an unusual gift in the kingdom of Khepris, though it’s uncommon enough that you’ve only met a few other people with such abilities in your small hometown of Blackthorn.
After a plague sweeps through the kingdom, unrest bubbles up in the realm known as the Otherworld, home to fae and spirits alike. A group of fae who call themselves the Butterfly Court are testing the boundaries between your worlds, spurring both spirits and fae to lash out at unsuspecting humans. And as someone with the Sight, it doesn’t take long for you to get pulled into the crossfire as well.
Eventually, you’re approached by two different groups - the King’s Guardians and the Hounds - to join them in taking down the Butterfly Court. Choose whether to join the kingdom’s elite team or an alliance of fae and humans and investigate the Court and whoever might be helping them. Act as a spy, uncover their plot, and save the kingdom - or sit back and watch the world burn.
- Select your own gender and sexual orientation
- Befriend or romance one of four characters
- Specialize in different psychic skills: intuition, mediation, or concentration
- Perform castings - the human version of magic - to subtly influence the world around you
- Collect tarot cards and consult with spirits
- Uncover a hidden plot that threatens the border between your world and the Otherworld
- Investigate the Butterfly Court by joining either the King’s Guardians, an elite guard loyal to the royal family, or the Hounds, an alliance of fae and humans alike
Note: the story has a slow build-up, so you won’t meet half of these ROs until several chapters in. As of chapter four, you’ll be able to meet Rekai/Reika and Niran/Nira.
- Rekai/Reika, the Free-Hearted Fae (m/f)
R is young for a fae and enthralled with the human world. They enjoy traveling to different places and partaking in local cultures, particularly food and dance. They can get along with pretty much anyone and like to make friends wherever they go - but of course, that doesn’t mean they haven’t made a few enemies, as well.
- Niran/Nira, the Gentle Acolyte (m/f)
Kind-hearted and patient, N tends to be shy, especially when meeting new people, but can be quite talkative once they feel more comfortable. They believe strongly in using their gifts to help other people. When you first meet N, they’re studying to become an acolyte and later a priest of the World Temple in Tepar.
- Deigan, the Stalwart Squire (m)
Deigan is the sort to only speak when he has something to say, and being taller than most, tends to strike an intimidating figure. In reality, though, he is quite kind and considerate, and believes in using his natural talents for the sake of the kingdom.
- Odissa, the Sharp-Witted Sage (f)
Odissa is a firecracker with a wit as sharp as a knife and twice as dry. Despite specializing in runes and sigils, she’s not the type to hole up inside and drown in text. She has ambitions to become the city’s most in-demand sage and the drive to make it happen.
Thank you for your time!