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Castle Falkenstein: The Second Tarot Variation $1.95
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by James E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2017 09:46:36

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product for the purpose of this review.

The Second Tarot Variation is an alternative set of rules for Castle Falkenstein - namely, replacing the normal Fortune Deck with an expanded one that uses the 22-card tarot deck. This is generally something of a powerup, although the limit on how many cards a player can have in their hand at any time means they are giving up the normal benefits of the minor arcana. It's very much a player-focused system, as Hosts won't make much use of the tarot effects. The product itself is a six-page, full-color PDF.

I'm actually rather fond of this addition, since it adds an additional level of spontaneity and excitement to drawing cards... and in the end, aren't people present to have fun? That said, being unpredictable also means the Host needs to be good at improvising. For example, the Emperor allows a player to discard a card from the Host's hand for awhile - which could throw a wrench into your plans - while the Fool has the possibility of making a Feat succeed in, and I quote, "the most spectacular way possible".

To put it another way, this product is probably best for experienced Hosts, either with a number of Castle Falkenstein games under their belt or significant experience running other systems. I don't feel this is a drawback, exactly - not every product is meant for first-time players - but it is something to be aware of before you buy. Aside from that note, though, I enjoyed this product and it gets a full score from me.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Castle Falkenstein: The Second Tarot Variation
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