Pathfinder Chronicles: Harrow Deck

4.40/5 (based on 25 ratings)

Our Price: $15.99

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This product is permanently out of print; please check out the Deluxe Harrow Deck instead!

Divine your future! Lose your shirt! All in one box!

In the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting, the Harrow™ deck has long been a sacred tool of Varisian fortunetellers. In skilled hands, the Harrow deck can predict crop results, divine the gender of your unborn child, or give hints about your immediate future. In unskilled hands, the Harrow deck is a sacrilegious gambling game—a cutthroat diversion for ruffians in every port to lose their hard-earned fortunes.

Harrow will be featured throughout the second Pathfinder Adventure Path, Curse of the Crimson Throne. At least once in each installment, players may divine their futures with the Harrow deck, and Pathfinder #7 contains an in-depth article about the history of Harrow and its in-game use.

Harrow is also a standalone card game designed by Jason Bulmahn, Mike Selinker, and Teeuwynn Woodruff for use inside or outside the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting. Harrow is lavishly illustrated by Kyle Hunter, the artist behind Downer: Wandering Monster and Downer: Fool's Errand, the Paizo Comics compilations of Kyle's original Downer comics from Dungeon magazine.

    Harrow contains:
  • One 54-card deck illustrated by Kyle Hunter
  • Five chronicle cards to aid in divination
  • One rulebook with divination rules and card game rules

Free Downloads:
32-Page Rulebook: 380KB zip PDF
Blank Harrowing Chronicle cards: 780KB zip PDF

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-124-4

Note: The declaration of Open Game Content was left out. Please use the following:

Product Identity: The following items are hereby identified as Product Identity, as defined in the Open Game License version 1.0a, Section 1(e), and are not Open Content: All trademarks, registered trademarks, proper names (characters, deities, etc.), dialogue, plots, storylines, locations, characters, artwork, and trade dress. (Elements that are in the public domain or have previously been designated as Open Game Content are not included in this declaration.)

Open Content: Except for material designated as Product Identity (see above), the game mechanics of this Paizo Publishing game product are Open Game Content, as defined in the Open Gaming License version 1.0a Section 1(d). No portion of this work other than the material designated as Open Game Content may be reproduced in any form without written permission.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscription.

Product Availability

Out of print

This product is out of print.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO9200


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GentleGiant wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
You should see some of the art. My god this thing is beautiful.
I'd wager that depends on whether one likes Kyle Hunter's art... which I have to say I generally don't. A shame really, sounded like a cool thing to get.

Agreed. I was interested until I saw the incredibly disappointing art. Very unfortunate.


My beef has little to do with art, I think Kyle can do a good job. I do have a problem with the cards being tied in with alignment, though. Ick. Good to hear there's no words on them, I can hopefully ignore that aspect. Looking forward to the blog entries regarding this.


Also, to be clear, is the deck a dm tool, or a player tool?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Anonymous User 28 wrote:
Also, to be clear, is the deck a dm tool, or a player tool?

Both, really. It's a GM tool in that it can help steer your campaign and give it a new bit of cool flavor. It's a Player tool in that there's a feat in the Player's Guide that lets you draw a card from the Harrow Deck to gain a once-per-day random bonus. There'll doubtless be other uses for the deck we come up with as Curse of the Crimson Throne progresses.

And yeah, there's nothing on the face of the cards that says anything like "Chaotic Neutral."

In fact, I believe that in-game, the nine "alignments" won't be referenced as that, nor will the 6 ability scores be so referenced. Not sure yet, but certianly, in world, people don't use phrases like Chaotic Neutral to describe folk, so they wouldn't do the same for this deck of cards. It's just a convenient way for us to model the game itself into the fabric of a fortune-telling mechanic.

The Exchange

hummmmmm ¬¬

good thing he's on the polite side of society now. And you guys at Paizo are so nice offering him a new job as illustrator.
old job.. ?!?!

and now the Paizo logo gains a new way to be seen..........

Lone Shark Games

James Jacobs wrote:
Both, really. It's a GM tool in that it can help steer your campaign and give it a new bit of cool flavor. It's a Player tool in that there's a feat in the Player's Guide that lets you draw a card from the Harrow Deck to gain a once-per-day random bonus.

Another way to think of this is that the deck is always in the hands of a character. That character can be an NPC or a PC. In both cases, the DM is involved in the results.

Also, there are no words on the divination cards except the card names. I think we've revealed enough about the game mechanics, though. More in our next preview.

Mike


I have this pre-ordered. I am very excited about it.

Mike Selinker wrote:
DarkArt wrote:
To think, an actual deck to fondle...

As one of the Harrow deck's designers, I just need to say: Ick. I mean, "Them Ogres Ain't Right!"-level ick.

Still, I'd say you may need to buy ten copies of Harrow for these purposes. I'm just saying.

Mike

Well, if there's ever multiple Harrow Deck versions, using all of the Paizo artists' take on it, I'll consider it, hee hee.

Mike Selinker wrote:
Goroxx wrote:
Will the cards have rules text on them, like the Three Dragon Ante cards?

Dude, I am not going to go down in history as the guy who ruined 54 pieces of Kyle Hunter art. So, heck no.

Mike

Another plus. I was hoping for textlessness.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The_PenDRaGoN wrote:

hummmmmm ¬¬

good thing he's on the polite side of society now. And you guys at Paizo are so nice offering him a new job as illustrator.
old job.. ?!?!

and now the Paizo logo gains a new way to be seen..........

HA! I'm pretty sure that's a different Kyle Hunter.

...
...
...

But not 100% sure.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

LOL.

Different guy. Kyle always complains about turning up that dude when he puts his own name into Google.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Erik Mona wrote:

LOL.

Different guy. Kyle always complains about turning up that dude when he puts his own name into Google.

Aw man. My hopes have been dashed.

What does Paizo have against hiring someone with a background in softcore?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Eyebite wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

LOL.

Different guy. Kyle always complains about turning up that dude when he puts his own name into Google.

Aw man. My hopes have been dashed.

What does Paizo have against hiring someone with a background in softcore?

Not a thing! It worked for me! (oops)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

There's an Ex-mousketeer whom I share a name with. I used to get e-mail all the time. I finally started answering it "That was before all the drugs and booze, I don't like to talk about those days."

Now for really scary, there's another Matthew Morris in Columbus, with the same date of birth.

Guy has always drifted across my path, but we've never met.

Lone Shark Games

There are quite a few other Mike Selinkers, but my wife has forbidden me to use the cloning machine at home. Still, the same one of me hasn't been to the Paizo offices in at least a year.

Mike


Eyebite wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

LOL.

Different guy. Kyle always complains about turning up that dude when he puts his own name into Google.

Aw man. My hopes have been dashed.

What does Paizo have against hiring someone with a background in softcore?

So you're looking for a job with Paizo? What movies did you play in?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

KaeYoss wrote:
Eyebite wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

LOL.

Different guy. Kyle always complains about turning up that dude when he puts his own name into Google.

Aw man. My hopes have been dashed.

What does Paizo have against hiring someone with a background in softcore?

So you're looking for a job with Paizo? What movies did you play in?

All the good ones.

Hot Rods 6 and 7.

Saving Ryan's Privates.

Jurassic F#&!

Deuce Bigalow: Get it on with a Gigolo.

And many more.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mike Selinker wrote:
There are quite a few other Mike Selinkers, but my wife has forbidden me to use the cloning machine at home. Still, the same one of me hasn't been to the Paizo offices in at least a year.

That explains *so* much.

Lone Shark Games

Mike Selinker wrote:
As to the number of cards question, there are 54 divination cards and 6 cards that help you with your divination results.

Proof that I should never open my mouth till the product has shipped: There are FIVE divination cards, not six. Sorry about the confusion.

Mike

Scarab Sages

Jub-Jub wrote:
Is this anything like the Three Dragon Ante Character Creation Article featured in one of the Dragons?

I had this same question. If there isn't a char-gen method using these already built in, the rules governing such would be awesome as a blog or maybe a free pdf or something, perhaps to celebrate the release when they finally come out?


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
That is a pretty long post.

Thanks... I guess.


daysoftheking wrote:
Jub-Jub wrote:
Is this anything like the Three Dragon Ante Character Creation Article featured in one of the Dragons?
I had this same question. If there isn't a char-gen method using these already built in, the rules governing such would be awesome as a blog or maybe a free pdf or something, perhaps to celebrate the release when they finally come out?

This was already asked on another thread. The answer is: Paizo hasn't the manpower to do something like that right now, but that doesn't mean it won't be done.

In fact, two people alrady said that they might give it a shot (and one of those was the guy who made the Three Dragon Reading method).

So rest assured: We'll have a method (or several) to generate stats with Harrow, and it's not unlikely that it will show up soon after the deck's release (maybe even sooner, in case we get to know the cards before the release)


I can see a new internet meme approaching:

"I have no idea what you are talking about, so here's a Unicorn with a pear on its horn."

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The unicorn is one of my favorite pieces. To me, it has a look in it's eye that tells me just what it's thinking: "How the heck am I going to get that pear off there?"


For those who are interested in it:

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/pathfinder/pathfinderChroniclesProduct s/characterGenerationUsingHarrowDeck&page=1&source=rss

A first attempt at doing Ability scores with (what we know about) the Harrow Deck.

Scarab Sages

KaeYoss wrote:

For those who are interested in it:

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/pathfinder/pathfinderChroniclesProduct s/characterGenerationUsingHarrowDeck&page=1&source=rss

A first attempt at doing Ability scores with (what we know about) the Harrow Deck.

LINKED!

Lone Shark Games

Vic Wertz wrote:
The unicorn is one of my favorite pieces. To me, it has a look in it's eye that tells me just what it's thinking: "How the heck am I going to get that pear off there?"

I think it's thinking about the guy that just came along, took a bite, and left. I wanna smack that guy.

MIke

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

I think it's thinking "Hey, maybe after more than a thousand years of real world mythology, I might not be such a Good guy after all."

Or at least that's what I read on the Internets.


Will having a Harrow deck be necessary to playing the second adventure path? Do the rules icluded allow a competitive card game like poker or only as a fortunetelling game?


Vexer wrote:
Will having a Harrow deck be necessary to playing the second adventure path?

Nope. They have stated they will have rules for using other cards to do the same thing (like a typical card deck). They do add a LOT of flavor to the game though, so while I may not order them immediately (just got a job again and need to pick and choose my order of Game Mastery material I blow all my money on), I do think I will want a deck if I am going to run this campaign (it just isn't necessary).

Vexer wrote:
Do the rules icluded allow a competitive card game like poker or only as a fortunetelling game?

I believe there will be a game included that is a gambling game used in Varisia, though I don't know how much like Poker it is.

Sean Mahoney

Lone Shark Games

Vexer wrote:
Will having a Harrow deck be necessary to playing the second adventure path? Do the rules icluded allow a competitive card game like poker or only as a fortunetelling game?

Having a method of dealing with the deck's prophecies will be useful in the path. We suggest a Harrow deck for both visual effect and ease of reading, but there are two other methods involving more conventional randomizers included in Pathfinder 7.

The gambling game Towers has nothing to do with fortune telling. It has some similarities to a classic poker game called 3-5-7 in the way payment is handled, but given the lack of numbers on the cards, the game doesn't have much to do with the card play in poker. It does allow for winning a great deal of copper pieces, though.

Mike


The cards are supposed to represent an ability score and an alignment, right? So there's Lawful Good Strength, Chaotic Evil Charisma, True Neutral Wisdom, and so on.

We know 2 cards now, and if I recall correctly, the unicorn is CG Cha. But how do you tell it's CG Cha from the card? Or don't you? Is it colour? The frame?

Contributor

KaeYoss wrote:
We know 2 cards now, and if I recall correctly, the unicorn is CG Cha. But how do you tell it's CG Cha from the card? Or don't you? Is it colour? The frame?

If I were to guess from the to cards we've seen, I'd say the symbol indicates the ability, and the symbol's position on the card the alignment.

Paizo Employee Chief Operations Officer

David Schwartz wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
We know 2 cards now, and if I recall correctly, the unicorn is CG Cha. But how do you tell it's CG Cha from the card? Or don't you? Is it colour? The frame?
If I were to guess from the to cards we've seen, I'd say the symbol indicates the ability, and the symbol's position on the card the alignment.

You are correct sir!


Though I'm not huge fan of Kyle Hunter's very distinctive art I must say I think it's perfect for the Harrow Deck. It reminds me somewhat of the stylised illuminations used in playing cards circa the 1400s.

In fact, I've shifted from "Definitely not getting this" to "Quite possibly will pick it up".

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mike Selinker wrote:
It does allow for winning a great deal of copper pieces, though.

Or gold pieces. Or shiny, shiny jewels. Or US Dollars. (Oops! Did I say that out loud?)


Vic Wertz wrote:
(Oops! Did I say that out loud?)

No worries, you probably didn't. You just wrote it down. My computer just said it out loud, though. Is that bad?


It would be nice if the deck includes a booklet with an alternate system for Destiny/Fate/Hero/Actions points : spend a point, draw a card!


Hmm... with all of the interest shown here, perhaps Paizo should see if the writer of the 3 Dragon Ante Character Gen article is available to do the same for Harrow.

Not that I have a bias ;)


Anglachel wrote:

It would be nice if the deck includes a booklet with an alternate system for Destiny/Fate/Hero/Actions points : spend a point, draw a card!

It probably won't, but I'm quite sure that you'll see enough games and ways to use the Harrow Deck on the forums here. Already, the guy who did the Three Dragon Reading method said he'd do something with Harrow as well, and one very talented poster here made such a system already (the link is further up in this very thread).

It think the idea is quite good.

Also, I think eventually someone will create an artifact level item Harrow Deck with 3e rules, similar to the Deck of Many things (or simply a Harrow table for the Deck).

Lone Shark Games

We got the first honest-to-goodness Harrow deck into the shop today. Vic told my fortune. Not surprisingly, he predicted doom.

Mike


Mike Selinker wrote:

We got the first honest-to-goodness Harrow deck into the shop today. Vic told my fortune. Not surprisingly, he predicted doom.

Mike

Well, of course it would be a board game. Now you're miffed it's not one of your own?


I have taken a look at all the preview art and tried to keep an open mind toward the project as a whole. I love the idea of the project, and of having an interesting prop to use. Try as I might, I just can't like the artwork. It looks too cartoon-like, too much like a kid colored it. The art really is not suitable for a fantasy game, or at least not for my game. I imagine that the rules for using a harrow deck will only be available in the deck. That's a shame, because I really do like the idea, and would pay for a pdf of the rules. Just thought you shuold know that there are folks out here who love the concept, but dislike the presentation.

Stephen Miller
Ancient Gamer and Curmudgeon


SJMiller wrote:
The art really is not suitable for a fantasy game...

Thats exactly how i feel about the art on the cards also. I really do admire Kyle's style, and think the art on Downer is pretty outstanding, but i just dont think its appropriate to a DnD prop intended to be used in game.

I personally think the deck would have been better served with an artistic style similar to the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot cards.

Lone Shark Games

KaeYoss wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:

We got the first honest-to-goodness Harrow deck into the shop today. Vic told my fortune. Not surprisingly, he predicted doom.

Mike

Well, of course it would be a board game. Now you're miffed it's not one of your own?

Now if he'd predicted Doom AND Gloom, that would have been a fine one-two punch.

Mike


I am not going to try to counter anyone's opinion regarding the art. I think that's highly subjective, and not something you can really disagree with or give people a hard time about.

I would point out that it's way too late to do anything about the art. People should give their feedback about this, and it's their right to do so as customers.. But this can only influence future product decisions. Practically speaking, the Paizo folks couldn't get audience approval prior to designing this product and commissioning the artwork. The guys went forward the decision based on their taste, and they liked the art.

How well the first deck sells does impact upon whether they try doing something similiar again. That shouldn't feel like blackmail, but it's a practical consideration.

And I wager you'll be able to retrofit another medium to make your own Harrow Deck. For example, the Cyclone is pretty much the Tower from traditional tarot.

More food for thought: I asked our Pathfinder Editor-in-Chief if there might be support for the Harrow Deck in future AP's (Second Darkness, and so on). The answer was that really depends on how well this product sells and if people like it. If people dislike it, there isn't much point. That will be the practical determiner on whether the Harrow Deck is supported beyond Curse of the Crimson Throne AP.

Personally, I do like the art. I have seen and own many fancy decks, but there are lot of decks that have a style that might be called 'cute'.

It's not always strictly the art, it's whether the symbolism can reach you or not.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this.


I think the art somehow fits. It shows Fate's fickle humour. Fate never takes you seriously, and it's up to you if you take Fate seriously.

And I think we have enough Tarot decks out there if you want something more sombre.


KaeYoss wrote:

I think the art somehow fits. It shows Fate's fickle humour. Fate never takes you seriously, and it's up to you if you take Fate seriously.

And I think we have enough Tarot decks out there if you want something more sombre.

I don't want something that is sombre. I just want something that looks less like a cartoon and more like something a character in a game might actually own.

Stephen


Watcher wrote:
...People should give their feedback about this, and it's their right to do so as customers.. But this can only influence future product decisions.

This is the main reason i voiced my opinion. I understand there isnt anything they can do to change the current deck and frankly, enough people seem to like the art that i probably wouldnt want them to.

I just want them to know for future reference, that in this DMs opinion, game props that are designed to be shown to the players should evoke more of a fantasy feel, and to me this art does not do so.

That being said, i wouldnt mind picking up a deck, even if i dont intend to use it, because i do think the art is nice based on its own merits, i just think it would take my players too much out of the game if i used it in the game as intended.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Going into this, I was well aware that Kyle's style of art wasn't going to make everyone happy. Of course... no matter WHAT artist we chose... there'd be people saying that the art didn't match their ideas of what might or might not exist "in game."

Yet that said, I can't and couldn't imagine using any other artist on this project, partially because his style is perfect for what we envisioned for the cards, but also because Kyle's an INCREDIBLY imaginative guy who just happens to know a LOT about D&D. We pretty much left the design of each image up to him, asking him to work in all sorts of classic D&D style imagery into the cards and he did. Not many artists would have been able to do that without us spending an INCREDIBLE amount of time micromanaging every image... something that most artists detest. (In my experience, something that artists HATE with the fiery passion of a thousand dying suns.)

The cards aren't supposed to be photo-realistic images—to me, they look like images of stained glass windows or of the cool illuminations you might see in the glosses of books transcribed by artistic monks; both very much in-game and in-theme artwork types to the genre. And at the same time, the cards DO feel modern, which makes them fun and memorable.


James Jacobs wrote:
Kyle's an INCREDIBLY imaginative guy who just happens to know a LOT about D&D.

He is also INCREDIBLY talented, which may be part of why i was a bit disappointed with the direction he went with the art on this project.

The style Kyle went with, which seems to be his favorite style to utilize, has a very modern look in certain areas--such as the characterizations in expressions--and his line work often has a very pronounced edge to it, which i feel tends to lead to a very modern, graphic oriented style.

I think it would have been interested to see Kyle translate his recognizable style into...i dont know...let's say a linoleum print for instance. His images would still have defined hard edges, but he would be working in a medium that would also have context in a fantasy genre.

Ok so linoleum prints may be too time consuming now that i think about it...

I dont know maybe i'm just crazy but thats my 2 cp.

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