The Alchemists of Pwang

Background

The alchemists of Pwang commit soul staining sins in an effort to cleanse their souls. Unfortunately, no one in Pwang can be sure what the gods approve of and what they do not, at least while they live.

Miracles

Take a tarot deck, separate the minor arcana from the major arcana. Shuffle both decks.

Each player writes on a card one miracle that alchemy can perform. Place a random minor arcana under the miracle’s card.

The recipe for the miracle will require doing something immoral and something illegal.

(Miracles can’t give eternal life, but they can save you from death by restoring a spent life token.)

Each player writes a sin on a card next to their lefthand miracle. Place a minor arcana facedown under the sin’s card.

Each player writes something on card next to their righthand miracle that the tyrant of Pwang has declared illegal. Place a minor arcana faceup by the sin’s card. Larger values = more severe punishments for the crime. Face cards mean the death penalty.

You must commit that sin and that illegal act during a scene to perform the miracle.

Alchemists

Draw a major arcana and interpret it to explain why you hate the alchemist on your right.

Draw a major arcana to explain why you need the help of the alchemist on your left.

Every character starts with a life token on their character sheet.

Name you alchemist something grandiose.

Gameplay

Starting with the oldest player, you’ll take turns framing scenes where you are pursuing one of the miracles. The player on your left will describe opposition and problems along the way.

When you reach the climax of the action in a scene, draw a major arcana card. If you were working to harm the alchemist you hate (their call) or if you were given assistance from the alchemist that you need help from, you get to interpret the tarot card to describe how the scene turns out. Otherwise, the player on your left interprets the card as negatively as possible.

If you drew the Death card or if the interpreter thinks you were in danger, then you experience a brush with danger. You can remove the life token from your sheet to survive. If you don’t spend a life token, then your alchemist dies.

If you’re dead, then you can frame scenes for NPCs, such as the Tyrant’s Secret Police or the Mawgwamite Church’s witchhunters. NPCs hate your right and lefthand players.

Judgment

Write down any sins you commit in play, or any miracles you perform.

When everyone has died, turn over the sin and miracle cards. For your sins, discard all Cups and face cards, then add up the numerical total. For your miracles, discard all Swords and add up the numerical total (face cards are worth 12.) If your miracle total is higher than your sin total, then the gods welcome you to paradise. If your sin total is greater than your miracle total, then you are sent to eternal torment.

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