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End Times 2021: Adaman

In spite of my love for card games, I had never looked into printing the Decktet deck because I mistakenly thought it would be a hassle. But as I was searching the internet for games to fill my End Times posts with, I found out this is not the case at all. It is just 36 cards (plus an expansion of 9 which you won't need for all games). Veselko Kelava, the YouTuber who frequently films PnP playthroughs showcased it on his channel and said it's addictive. That was enough to spark my curiosity.

So, the Decktet is a deck of cards that shares similarities with both the poker deck and the tarot. The basic difference is in the suits. The Decktet suits are: sun, moon, water, earth, knots, and wurms. Some cards are single-suited, others are double and triple-suited, meaning they show e.g. a moon, sun and earth symbol on the side. This allows the player more liberty in forming combinations, and Adaman is based exactly on this feature.

Your goal is to exert influence on all the "personalities" in the capital so that you can take over the throne. You will do this by spending your resources and capturing the people who reveal themselves as you play. This usually means you will breeze through most of the personalities until you get stuck. At least that's what happened in my plays so far. The requirement for capturing a person is to spend one or more cards with a value equal to or above the value of the person, and also match the person's suit(s). For example, to capture the Penitent, you need to have one or more cards that show a sun or wurm symbol and total up to 6 or more. If you do, you discard those cards and the Penitent, and fill up the resource row with new cards from the main deck.

You insta-lose if you happen to draw too many personality cards, but you can reset and start over immediately. The game is driven by both luck and strategy, with luck weighing in a little bit more. When you run out of resources with which to capture a person, you will seek to gain cards from the middle row - the capital - sometimes as a last means to get the game going.

What makes the Decktet worth printing is not just the games you can play it with, but also the charm of its personality. Most of the scenes and figures are slightly different when you turn them upside-down, and the whole set is weird and whimsical. The cherry on top is that you can use the Decktet for cartomantic purposes, and as you know I have a soft spot for those. I found the card interpretations in the Decktet wiki and promptly asked it how 2022 will pan out for me, what to expect in the new year. This is what it had to say:

The Castle:The Castle is a community. It is a place of civility or power, but only rarely of both.

The Chance Meeting: Two stories half-written find themselves writing one another. The Chance Meeting is a card of possibilities.

The Borderland: The edge of things. A place of chance and uncertainty, harbouring threats and resources in equal measure.

So, 2022 will be a mixed bag, it appears. I can only hope the chance encounter will be with someone nice. :) The deck is available to purchase from the Game Crafter, if you don't want to print the files from the Decktet website, and you can find the rules for all the games in the Decktet wiki.

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