Yesterday, we examined a card mage from Dreadfox Games. The idea of random magic from cards is a huge draw to the fans of Chaos Magic. Some games might find card magic like the last one we looked at too wild. The class’ blatant and full-random access to spells from anywhere while occasionally fun might not work in your group. We’d like to look at another awesome card-wielding alternative: cartomancer (from Interjection Games).
Cartomancer – (Kings of Chaos -Focused Fortuneteller)
Compared to primalist, we are lapping its randomness several times in our first level of cartomancer. Compared to yesterday’s card mage, we see the possibility for a bit more control and focus with our potential character concepts and less general variation. People looking for a new spin on bard or witch might want to check this one out as well:
- Cartomancy & Portents (Sail into the Storm!) – The deck your cartomancer gets is similar to yesterday’s Deck of Divination but is made up of effects called portents instead of spells. These come in three levels (least, lesser and greater) that scale in power. You draw your hand at the start of the day as opposed to the beginning of combat, giving your character a good idea of what’s coming for them power-wise. Another cool effect is the workday extending cascade where lesser and greater portents shuffle lower power levels back into your “active deck” when used. This adds a unique random element to resource management. Portents are generally bonus or penalty based but include some other unique effects you won’t really see anywhere else.
- Fatespinning & Tell Fortune (Eye of the Storm) – Tell Fortune is a 10 min/level buff (or penalty) that you can do daily for allies (3+Charisma modifier). These bonuses give the class a bard-like quality. Your cartomancer also gains a pool of VERY useful points that allow you to augment your Tell Fortune on allies (again granting bonuses or penalties to various aspects of their character) and manipulate card draws, including action speed and card order. This pool is Wisdom based making the class M.A.D. for those in point-buy games or poor rolling karma. This ability gives you far more control than the other card mage we looked at. The class has more fun with action economy than almost any class pre-mythic play.
- Seals (Hey look a Handle!) – If your control with Fatespinning isn’t enough, you also gain Seals at the same level. Seals are ways to discharge a card’s energy that you learn at each even level allowing you a stable suite of abilities you can count on until you run out of fatespinning points. Usually the seals are bonuses or penalties (see the theme?), but also present a small selection of utility powers and reliable damaging abilities.
- Fortunetelling Scaling (Servant of Fate!) – Your fortune telling scales up to become a self buff that requires no fatespinning energy. Additionally, your these bonuses increase and you gain the ability to re-roll bonuses trying to match party needs more accurately. Eventually, the class gains the ability to discard cards to recharge their fate pool (too bad its a level 20 thing).
This class walks a delightful edge of chaos and control. The portents explode with short-term buffs and de-buffs you are likely to get access to again. Seals allow predictable performance if the case of a poor synergy between draw and situation. As with a lot of Interjection Games design, cartomancer is pretty much self-contained to its book. All class effects and a pile of desirable feats are contained. For a single-topic master this class might be perfect as that otherwise they can ignore the majority of most other rulebooks. You also might want a bonus tracking sheet depending on your build-out…