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Pixie Cards - Universal Game and Story Cards

Pixie Cards - Universal Game and Story Cards

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Pamela Colman Smith - “Pixie”

This deck is named for Pamela Colman Smith’s nickname of “Pixie.” She was an illustrator at the turn of the 20th century and created many beautiful works of art in her own charming style. She is best known for illustrating one of the most widely used Tarot decks created by Arthur Edward Waite and published in 1910 by Rider & Company, London (though previewed in a December 1909 article in the Occult Review).

Printed Card Deck

84 Story Images

The art on these cards are derived from the 2nd printing of these cards. I fixed some inconsistencies (the Sun card is a notable example), obfuscated nudity (so that the cards can be used by inmates and older children), and created 6 new cards based on other pieces of her art from various books and paintings. Some are combinations of various illustrations (The Esoteric Rose, for example).

The more I researched the illustrator, the more I admired her work and was equally saddened by her trials through life.

84 Story Characters

Each of the cards in the main suits were given new names. For example, the 10 of Hearts (cups) is named “The Family,” the Ace of Clubs (wands) is named “The Wand of Wonder,” and the Queen of Diamonds (coins) is named “The Healer.” 

The character names can be used for improv story-telling, random encounters in role-playing games, or even used for a “who’s the thief” kind of game.

The original card titles and ranks are also provided in case you play a game of Tarocco Piemontese and need to know the original trump rank.

84 Plot Elements

Each card rank is assigned an overall theme (i.e., completion, growth, influence, etc.) by card rank.  Keywords provide a simplified tarot interpretation that can be used in traditional fortune-telling. The keyword could be used to great effect to drive the plot of improv, story, and role-playing games.

6 Suits

Clubs (Wands), Diamonds (Coins), Hearts (Cups), Spades (Swords), Shields (Crowns), and Flowers (Stars)

The 2 extra suits (Shields and Flowers) were built by dividing the tarot trump (major arcana) cards into 2 groups: The Empire and The Church. This provides story-telling options in additional to the traditional suit social groups: Clubs = Laborers, Diamonds = Merchants, Hearts = Caregivers, Spade = Military.

14 Card Ranks + 2 Jokers

Ace, 1-10, Jack, Cavalier (Knight), Queen, King.

For traditional 52-card games you could remove the Champion and the 2 extra suits. If you want an added challenge for games like Rummy, Gin, Poker, Solitaire, or others, leave them in.  The Cavalier (designated by a C and related to the Knight or Cavalier European cards) typically sits between the Jack and Queen.

Six new cards were added: The Crown of Dominion (Ace of Shields), The Esoteric Rose (Ace of Flowers), The Chaperones (Cavalier of Flowers), The Fleet (Cavalier of Shields), The Herald (3 of Flowers), and The Sorcerer (3 of Shields).

4 Elements

Fire, Earth, Water, and Air

Assigned by original tarot suit (clubs = fire for example) or consensus from various readings. Equal number of elements distributed across the cards (21 of each).

12 Astrological Signs

Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius

The astrological houses (Cancer, Leo, etc.) associated with each card. The cards were associated directly with the element (Water = Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) and season (Autumn = Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius) assigned to the cards and suits.

10 Planets

Sun, Mercury, Venus, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto

The modern astrological planets (Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto) were associated with their Astrological Signs. For spreads of cards with the same sign (2-4, 5-7, and 8-10) the planet from the sister signs (left and right by season) were chosen.

13 Creature Types

Aberration, Beast/Vermin, Celestial/Angel, Construct, Dragon, Elemental, Fey, Fiend/Devil, Giant, Humanoid, Monstrosity, Plant/Ooze, and Undead

Each creature types assigned by card rank and suit to provide a statistical spread based on approximated creature varieties / rarities in common RPG games (beasts and humanoids being most common).  Use this for random encounters, plot drivers, or even game bonuses.

6 Character Attributes

Brawn, Agility, Vitality, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Presence

The attributes were assigned based on loose interpretations of keywords with an equal distribution among all cards. This could be used to assign primary attributes to non-player characters in your stories and games.  Since it is closely related to Tarot, it may be useful as an in-game divination tool.

4 Character Personality Drivers (Alignments)

Self, Community, Freedom, and Order

Like attributes, these are assigned based on the loose interpretation of assigned keywords. There is also an even distribution among the cards. This could be used to assign alignments or motivations for characters in your games and stories.  You will notice there is no good or evil for these alignments. An idea to determine good or evil would be to decide based on if the card is right-side up or upside down.

7 Chakras

Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye, and Crown

Chakras were assigned to cards loosely based on various tarot interpretations. The chakra could be used to fine-tune story elements and divinations.  For games, this could be a useful tool for hit locations or random body area selection. An even distribution of chakras icons were associated with the cards.

24 Futhark Runes

Runes were assigned by astrological sign using the runes associated with seasons.  The Runes are primarily for use in various role-playing cards, possibly as enchantments. If used for rune divination, it is recommended that you select 1 card for each rune.

7 Dice Icons

4-sided, 6-sided, 8-sided, 10-sided, 12-sided, 20-sided, and an action dice

The dice are evenly distributed across cards with a few minor exceptions. The 8, 10, and 20-sided dice have 4 extra values chosen near the middle of each quartile of the dice (for example, 3, 8, 13, and 18 for the 20-sided).

The action dice is comprised of 3 unique symbols loosely representing Success (a star), Failure (a stylized X), and Middle (a stylized S or O). Most cards have 1 icon (54 cards with 18 of each symbol). Some have 2 different icons (24 cards with 16 of each symbol). And a few have 2 identical icons (6 cards with 2 for each symbol)


I am putting the finishing touches on a comprehensive reference book that is free for download as a companion to this deck. It takes very complex subjects (like astrology, chakra, etc.) and breaks them down into bite-sized chunks to be used within various games or to augment fortune-telling.  For example, the Chakra reference lists a mission, element, sense, energy, emotion, and insight as well as associated anatomy.

Using the anatomy associated with the Chakras could help embellish combat, where tide-turning successes happen (“you strike your foe hard in his shoulder, causing him to come unbalanced”).  Maybe a poison, infection, or disease has affected your character and you want to know what it’s affecting.

The astrology compatibility can be used to augment social interactions. Have each character assign a sign to their character. They might get better prices with that compatible merchant or quickly anger the town guard with an incompatible sign.

I am also adding various ideas for using the dice symbols in place of real dice. One example is allowing each character to hold on to a number of cards equal to their proficiency modifier to save that rare 20 (only 4 in the whole deck) for a specific need.

I will also put up a set of reference cards that can be printed off instead of the book. I had them with the original and 2nd versions, but I tried to cram too much information on each card. They’ll be back up as soon as I clean them up more.

Thank you for taking the time to look at these cards. I had a wonderful time putting them together and playing with them. I hope you find new uses and enjoy them greatly. 

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Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Jean-Louis C March 16, 2019 8:55 pm UTC
15 properties in addition to the suit and the value. A bit confusing. With such a complexity it is difficult to check everything and I confess that I haven't got all the logic behind the distribution of the characters so far. There is two "XV of Trump" and no "XVI" >> 5 of Flower and 8 of Shields. I suspect a mistake.
Customer avatar
Chris S June 28, 2018 3:38 pm UTC
Hi, thanks for this deck, and I was wondering if the "comprehensive reference book that is free for download as a companion to this deck" is available? Thanks, Chris
Customer avatar
Stephen S May 02, 2018 3:21 pm UTC
I'm enjoying the cards. I like the changes you've made to the traditional NA tarot cards. How is the reference coming?
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