Better Characters Through Tarot: Examples

Here are some alternative methods that focus on reversed Tarot card meanings:

Method B

Draw 2 cards. Use the first card to choose a Reversed Temperament, and use the second card to determine the regular Temperament. This highlights the character's weakness as their defining characteristic. 
Sample: A knightly antagonist.

Cards: #25, Three of Wands and #28 Six of Wands.

So the Three of Wands will be our Reversed Temperament - we've got Apprehensive, Lacking, and Low Ambition. I want the antagonist to be active and push the players around, so I'm going with Apprehensive. That will make this Knight impatient, second-guessing, and dynamic. Any problem with their plans will cause them stress and that should make them interesting to play against - I want the knight to be the opposite of a contemplative mastermind.
Now the Six of Wands will be our regular Temperament: Role Model, Praising, Self-Confident. With Apprehensive already chosen, I safely cut Self Confident. I don't see a way to integrate Praising into the character, but I like that the reason that the Knight is Apprehensive is that they are seen as a Role Model and feel a lot of pressure to perform. Perhaps their title is at risk if they make too many mistakes which will drive them to be more and more reckless as the players foil the knight's plans.

Method C

Draw 2 cards, and choose Reversed Temperaments for the character. Use this to create a deeply flawed character that will be driven by multiple problems that need resolving. And even though I'm using Reversed Temperaments for both cards, I find it easier to imagine a character if I chose from one card before checking the second one.
Sample: A mentor to the party that's past his prime.

Cards: #73, Nine of Pentacles and #59, Nine of Swords

Nine of Pentacles gives us Ascetic, Hollow and Codependent. I want this character to pull at the heartstrings, and I think a teacher that needs the attention of his students is pretty tragic so Codependent it is! The Nine of Swords has Self-Destructive, Facing their Fear, Serious Trial. Self-Destructive would work well with codependent if I wanted the mentor to be a drag on the party and end with tragedy. I'm passing on that one because I want the NPC to be a more active force on the story, to be an active participant in the story and not a foregone conclusion. So that leaves me with Facing Their Fear or a Serious Trial. The Serious Trial would be good for tying the Mentor into the plot with the main party. I'd like this NPC to have more of a personal problem - that he has helped others for most of his life, but now he needs to work something out for himself. So he's Codependent and Facing Their Fear - a fear of the end of their career, and not having developed relationships outside of work, of being alone. And until he can resolve that, he will be codependent with whichever students he can get a hold of.

Tarot Card ReferenceBetter Characters Through Tarot

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