Bosch and Tarot

Bosch and Tarot

Here is a thought dump at the intersection of two blog posts I read this week, Bosch and Tarot.

The first blog post was about Playing around with Kult's Tarot Rules. It points at the Kult Tarot Card Rules.

The second blog post extracts Five Beasts from Bosch and turns them into OSR monsters.

I have a Bosch Tarot in my referee toolkit. I don't use it in a formal, divinatory way, I simply draw a card hoping it'll inspire me. I don't drain myself at filling random table, I keep the inspiration stash fermenting on its own and use it at the table, with the help of a card.

I could write I use it like an Oblique Strategies deck. Not sure.

Fermenting, fermenting, there is a piece of cheese in that NPC's pocket, wrapped in a big leaf.

Jheronimus "Bosch" van Aken, came from Aachen (Aken) the city where Charlemagne liked to reside and where the Holy Roman Emperors were crowned King of the Germans. He died in 1516, three years before Da Vinci. The Burgundian Netherlands where he lived were very rich. After Nancy in 1477 and the death of Charles the Bold, the province was split between the French Crown and the Habsburgs. Charles Quint.

Sorry, it's late, but this region at the heart of the middle ages and their end makes me dreamy.

But I have lately been using an Art Nouveau tarot. I haven't used it as an inspiration generator, but more like a way to "taint" the imagination of my players when their characters travelled to the faeries and met a King there.

We use the art in the player handbooks and on the gamemaster screen to "drive" the imagination of the players. I did it with tarot cards, it could have been postcards, though I think playing cards bring a whiff of "game".

Art Nouveau performers re-imagined the Middle Ages or the Dark Ages, while Bosch used the dress of his dage to figure scenes from the Bible or from the Golden Legend. The former is a best match for the mood I want.

Speaking (writing) of oblique strategies and inspiration decks, I have to nod at the ICRPG Think Deck, it's not a tarot but a french-suited deck. I love the name "Think Deck".

Finally, I just discovered this beautiful tarot card somewhere on a TTRPG blog.