Well, after several faulse starts and poor choices in players we finaly have a core group. Now we put an interesting premis together for the game. Useing Tarot Arcana for important aspects of the game. Each player chooses a random Arcana and builds his or her charicter of the idea of it. So far we have drawn The Hermit, Death, and The Tower for 3 of the 4 core players. We also drew for the Covanent, The Emporor.
Another idea we have been batting around is useing Tarot readings to build story arcs. Since all the major Arcana will have defined locations/ people/ ect. It would make for an interesting tool for when we need some ideas.
We are now in the develpoment stage of the game, Fleshing out our Magi and the site of our covenant. But I'm having a bit of trouble figureing in the Emporor and we have not yet defined what else is going to need the major Arcana. Has anyone else tried something like this before or any ideas on how it might be used?
Sounds like an intriguing and fun idea. If this is any help to you I looked up Tarot card meanings and got this for the Emperor:
Now, I have underlined a few telltale passages which, allowing for double entendre, could well inspire the role which your covenant might play.
Perhaps, and I only offer these as uninformed suggestions, your covenant could be largely Jerbiton, playing a leading role opposite the local population (village, city, dare say even nation) or may be the recognized authority by itself through some longstanding grant stretching back centuries. As such, one, some, or all of the magi might have some social obligations toward the governance of their territory and people (offers good fodder for possible wars, political intrigues, assassination attempts, any number of stories arising from requirements to adjudicate disputes, etc.).
Or perhaps the covenant is a Tremere covenant, revelling in its unmatched discipline and order and its role as the militant command post in a far flung location of the Order.
Or perhaps it plays an important role in the Bonisagus House duties to research new knowledge, enrich the Order with new insights and breakthroughs and also safeguard the secrets of the Order from falling into the wrong hands.
These are a few thoughts that spring immediately to my mind from the description of the Emperor.
Ah! I'm glad to see someone else uses Tarot correspondences for characters. I discovered years ago that they provide an excellent flavor for the game. Usually, I have Magi associated with one Major Arcana card and one Minor Arcana. The interaction of the two further develops their personalities and helps describe their magic. Companions can be Major and/or Minor Arcana, while Grogs are all Minor Arcana. If one is ever stuck for a concept, one need only shuffle the deck and draw a card or two to have a base from which to work.
As for what advice might be given, BoXer has some excellent points.
What you should keep in mind is that all three Magi have transformative Major Arcana. The Hermit is also Diogenes, searching the world for Truth. His lamp is also a beacon, representing the path to Enlightenment, wherever it might lead. The Hermit is, in my opinion, one of the most profound of the Major Arcana. One could say that Bonisagus and Criamon were both embodiments of the Hermit, though Bonisagus became the true embodiment of the Magician as well, whereas Criamon chose the path of the Hanged Man. It would help to know what Houses your players have chosen, as the exact form of the Major Arcana could then be better determined.
Death and the Tower are both indicative of an overthrow of stasis, perhaps violently, and the potential creation of a new order. Combined with the Hermit, this suggests research into areas which may be "forbidden" or perhaps scorned by much of the Order.
House Ex Miscellanea and Criamon are both excellent possibilities for all three Major Arcana. Bonisagus is possible, however, it would be someone like Malincka Capcek of the Thousand Caves in the Novgorod Tribunal, working at the very fringes of the Order to discover the keys to transfiguring it.
One has to keep in mind that the Tarot cards have inverted forms as well. The Emperor also symbolises tyranny, oppression, and an approach to the stasis of the Hierophant. Your Magi could be the younger members of an old, established Autumn Covenant who will either bring it back into Summer or cause its plunge into Winter--or perhaps are the ones who will survive it when it is brought about by others.
An equally viable option. Of course, IMO, the default context of Ars is already rife with forces opposing any covenant, from the demonic to the church to any number of mundane powers/personages. If it were up to me, I think Id use the Emporer to define the covenant itself and/or its role, but that's just me.
Sounds like a good start and an interesting if not potentially conflicting group. The Tower is described thusly:
Again I have underlined some telling passages which speak to me of a Criamon following one of the paths. Now, nobles parma here (since I am not fully awake yet and don't feel like trawling through the book), but the path this seems to whisper most to me is the Path of Strife which would produce a very formidable magus indeed. Combine that with a specialisation in Mentem perhaps and you could well have a character well armed to fight for a cause.
Sounds like a good process. Tinker till you are all satisfied.
Ok, pretty useless comments there
Use the ideas of rulership. Maybe they control some area, or are at a position of strategic importance, mundanely or hermetically?
Their covenant might be between 2 contested tribunal borders, having to choose one of these, and courted by both?
Sounds like a good interpretation of the Tower card, if I may say so.
Your character could be from landed nobility, but shooting for primus of Jerbiton is in itself an aspiration to authority so you might want to consider not allocating a virtue slot to a noble social status (also avoiding mundane obligations that might follow such a status).
What you could do is take the black sheep flaw and say you are a younger son of a noble family who has been cut off (likely due to the manifestation of your Gift). That would justify your will to power insofar as you had once had a life of luxury and want it back.
As for using powerful mentem and imaginem spellcasting to control minds, just be judicious in your practices lest you wind up with a quesitorial spotlight on you for "meddling with mundanes".
Otherwise, sounds good.
Puissant Guile and Puissant Intrigue might be useful virtues to consider if you want to play the political manipulation game (both mundane and Hermetic).