Share this project


Share this project

The artist behind Albino Dragon's Playing Cards brings you a terrifying vision of the Cthulhu Mythos...The Writhing Dark.
1,626 backers pledged $116,213 to help bring this project to life.
Carlos Zepeda, Shane Tyree, and 12 more people like this update.


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Shane Tyree 3-time creator on

      @Julian, @Zoe So I am going to step in here. @Zoe, rest assured I have been researching the Tarot (specifically the Rider-Waite version) for awhile, even before the project began. When I ask questions during the hangouts it is largely to pull the listeners and participants into the discussion surrounding the apocrypha. The temperance card is not "positive" referentially, I may have used poor verbiage there, however visually it is of a much lighter tone than some of other major arcana. I am very well aware of the form and function of Tarot decks. The basics (of card orientation, order, and reading styles) as well as the symbolism (depending on the deck, blends of eastern mysticism, coptic gnosticism, and in the case of Aleister Crowley a mashup of dozens of different esoteric traditions).

      This particular card incorporates what I considered to be the most important visual elements of the Temperance card it was modeled after. The dilution of water to wine, preserving the upward flow orientation of the liquid. The crown in the sunrise was also carried over, as well as the blossoms. There are some notable omissions. The hebrew inscription, etc. However to marry a Tarot deck, with the symbolism of a completely unrelated work, will result in some changes.

      I lament that you won't stick around to get your hands on a set, that said you have to back what calls to you, and if this doesn't then I wish you happy hunting!


    2. Missing avatar

      Zoe on

      @Julian I'm having the same problem in convincing myself to commit.
      I know that these cards are going to be usable as not much more than a novelty item, but with how the artist is executing them... it's coming off that he doesn't really know anything about a tarot deck in the first place.

    3. Jeff Narucki on

      The WorldBuilders project is such a worthy cause and one of the primary reasons that pulled me into your last deck (that and the White Rabbit deck). Way to give back, dude!

    4. Julian Breen on

      I think that Julie is spot on with the lighter feel. Whilst it was announced that backer likenesses were allowed from the start, it all depends on how they're handled. For example, putting someone's face on a sinister Brown Jenkin I could see working. I presume that backers get to choose which tarot card they would like to star on and that's probably the problem. Some cards won't lend themselves too well to acts of vanity. In any case, I've dropped a 100 bucks pledge to $1, and that's only to post these comments here. Hopefully this will be useful feedback to Shane. You cant please all of the people all of the time of course but for future projects not everyone is keen on the approach taken. I've gone from being an enthusiastic backer to spending my dough on Cthulhu projects elsewhere. Oh well.

    5. Professor Stephen Candy

      @Julie - Fair enough, I know not everyone likes the whole vanity credit thing. At least there are only 11 of them and they fact they're going to happen has been clearly indicated from the very start of the project so they aren't coming as a shock. That still leaves 67 cards of uninterrupted Cthulhu tarot evils!

      @Jeff - So far! :oP

    6. JK

      I have to agree with Julian. No offense to Stephen or any of the others whose likenesses will appear, but the first two cards were just so awesome and I really would have like to seen a real, faceless nightgaunt on this one. Backer likenesses and personal touches, IMO, make for a lighter feel than I think a Cthulhu tarot should have.

    7. Jeff Narucki on

      @Stephen - You're only on one card?

    8. Professor Stephen Candy

      @Julian, have a look at the previous hangout, where the card design was initially sketched. A lot of people shared links to things like Hebrew translations for the symbols, we looked up things like the presence of a crown inside the sun and so on. A lot of the original symbolism has been included, but of course any purist might also be put off by the Cthulhu/Lovecraft elements as they are also not part of a standard tarot.

      Having things "buried" in the card adds to the fun, from my point of view at least, as the very fact they are buried means they can be ignored by those who don't need to use them - it's not like I'm grinning down a lens at you! :oP (See my KS profile pic for an example of that!)

      Naturally, it's not possible to be all things for all people - I hope that my presence on one of the cards in the whole deck doesn't put you too badly off the esoteric excitement that is the other 77!

    9. Julian Breen on

      @Stephen: I've just skimmed through that hangout and the only reference I found to symbolism or the RW deck is at 32:40 - where Shane describes the card Temperance as being one of the few cards considered positive(?!). Did I miss something?
      I also caught that you have your camera buried in the card and that other likeness backers will have similar personal effects (hats?) on their respective cards. This is great for you guys, I suppose, but not what I wanted to see. I think it draws away from the reverence of the cards themselves.
      When I backed this project it was on the strength of the two reveals Death and The Hanged Man. I planned on using this deck not for readings but as a prop in a game so the overall theme of the thing was important. If I _was_ going to be using it for readings I'd be irked by the personal flourishes mentioned above. Anyhow, I think I've seen just that little bit more now and I'm sadly no longer convinced that this is actually going to be for me.

    10. Professor Stephen Candy

      @Julian - Naturally I am going to disagree, since it's my face and all that, but I'll press on and do it anyway! There is a lot of symbolism in this card - much of it carefully researched by people during the hangout that it was created in. The Rider Waite tarot, on which Shane is basing this deck, features a lot of symbolism which has been carefully carried over to this card, alongside Lovecraftian influences. Since Lovecraft himself encouraged other writers to use and expand his ideas - and indeed this has formed the backbone of decades of Cthulhu related stories and development - I'm prepared to forgive a bit of flexibility with the concept of the Nightgaunt in this instance having a face.

      Well, either all of the above or I'm just trying to justify a vanity appearance in the deck, of course. (If it's good enough for Patrick Rothfuss, it's certainly good enough for me!)

      Tarot is best taken with a sense of humour anyway - or so the readers I know tell me anyhow...

    11. Julian Breen on

      I have to say that I really don't get this card. I'm always a little wary of projects that allow likenesses of backers, but with this card (and no offence to Stephen) I just don't get it. Nightgaunts are faceless creatures and for Temperance in particular I think that symbolism would fit the card better. This is also the first sign that the tarot is showing some comedy in its design, which isn't for me to be honest.

    12. Professor Stephen Candy

      Don't I look devilish! Lovely work Shane, thank you so much. (If lovely is the right word in this context!) I'm really excited to be a part of these decks.

      New stretch goal is amazing too - roll on those final few thousand dollars!

    13. Nick Josh on

      I have no idea why I love the idea of Gaff cards so much. I do though so I'm really excited about the next goal!

    14. Matt Brandon on

      Thanks Shane. That was what I thought. Appreciate the clarification.

      Excited as hell to see the final product mate. Keep going. :)

    15. Shane Tyree 3-time creator on

      @ Matt- once 90k is reached, every single unlimited deck will be upgraded.
      @ Quinton- thanks for supporing Worldbuilders. It's such an amazing charity.

    16. Matt Brandon on

      Just a clarifying question...

      Is the upgrade available to all unlimited decks for free once the pledge threshold is reached?

      Or is it an add on for $14 and as such something that I will need to add to my existing pledge?

      I suspect it is the former. But since I am unsure I have sought clarification. Thanks. :)

    17. Missing avatar

      Quinton Piekkola on

      Worldbuilders is why it's so hard for me to back anything this time of year. Thanks for being a part of it!