A quaint home packed to the rafters with trinkets, curiosities, and the occasional miracle. A sleepy kingdom on the cusp of disaster. A wicker gate hanging by its hinges, with Somewhere Else lurking beyond. Three guardians who can save everything-- if they can stop squabbling long enough.
Wickedness is a peculiar tabletop game written for exactly three players and one tarot deck, with no dice and no GM. Together, you'll form a coven between three mystical archetypes (the innocent and gentle Pure Heart, the volatile, revelrous Wild Spirit, and the uptight, scholarly Old Soul) and try to keep your world of magic and mystery in balance with the mundane world, in spite of its ignorance, poverty and violence.
Wickedness is played in three acts: in the first, players discover their coven, the sanctuary they call home, a mundane fantasy nation, and the treacherous underworld lurking beneath it. Each player will be assigned one of the three coven archetypes (The Pure Heart, The Old Soul, and The Wild Spirit) by the tarot deck, and then together they’ll create the world where they live, and the underworld's strange laws and denizens. Finally, they’ll ask heavy-hitting questions about the covens’ relationships to one another.
In the second chapter, the cards point to a series of challenges detailed in the games’ interpretation Guide, and the players respond: the coven can fall prey to their archetype-specific follies in order to collect cards, spend the cards to solve challenges with wisdom, or use the vast and terrible magic powers at their fingertips-- which is miraculous, but costs the user a piece of their essential nature, striking out and maybe even blackening and replacing a truth on their character sheet. So the players have to strike a balance between keeping the worlds from falling into darkness, and keeping one another from falling apart. If the scales tip too far in any direction, it’s entirely possible for the game to come to an abrupt and apocalyptic end.
The final chapter tempts the coven to go their separate ways, but also offers them opportunities to learn from their past mistakes and heal, and finally they'll face their ultimate fates, determining the future of the kingdom, the underworld, and the art of magic itself.
Wickedness uses a bespoke tarot-drawing system loosely inspired by Jay Dragon’s Sleepaway, and is a distant descendent of the Belonging Outside Belonging framework developed by Avery Alder and Benjamin Rosenbaum.
Check out all three parts of the Wickedness Actual Play with Brennan Lee Mulligan, Jeeyon Shim, and Jay Dragon here: