Harrow readings... how important to the story?

Curse of the Crimson Throne

Dark Archive

Hello everyone. I am currently gearing up to begin Curse of the Crimson Throne for my group. Rading through the adventures, I have become worried about the harrow readings. I'm afraid I just will not be able to do them justice. Something about the rules for the readings is going right over my head. It just seems like I am missing something every time I read them. My question is, do you think the AP would suffer if the harrow readings were removed. I was thinking of still doing sort of a mini-reading for each book, letting the PC's pull from the 9 cards tied to each book, but eliminating the full readings. Thanks for any feedback you can give.

Dark Archive

They're not truly essential but my group is almost done History of Ashes and they've certainly enjoyed them and it helps give Zellara a more definite role throughout the campaign. Curious what is the difficulty your having with the rules for the readings? I generally do the spread and unless I know what the prescribed reading is for that card from the Harrow book I just wing off the picture, concept and somehow link it back to the adventure. As a GM for an AP its pretty easy as you know what's coming as opposed to a more free-form wandering campaign.

Still if it feels like it won't be fun than don't worry about it.

Dark Archive

I'm not sure why I'm having such a hard time grasping it. It just seems like I know how to do it, but don't really understand, if that makes sense. I may be just looking for something that isn't there and making problems for myself. Winging sounds like a good idea. Maybe I'll do a few test readings for myself to see how that works out. Thanks for the insight.

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Doing some practice readings alone helped me get comfortable with them also, so I urge you to do that. Also, remember that you're not supposed to interpret EVERY card. Once they're laid out, you look for true matches or misaligned cards, and ignore the rest. You only need to go to partial matches if you don't have one of the other type.

My suggestion is that you only pick ONE in each column, even if the spread would have more that you could interpret, and focus on just weaving those three together in a reading. If the side bar stuff about "these are the most important cards for this adventure should they come up" is getting too confusing, ignore it. Or just use that and ignore the way a reading would normally be done. Point is, if you want to incorporate it but are having trouble, just make it as SIMPLE for yourself as possible. That's when you'll start having fun with it.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Personally I ran them for the first 2 parts but my group just didn't get a kick out of them, they just saw it as too contrived, so I've dropped them since and it's running fine as we move into book 4 of 6.

I dropped the actual 9 card spread thing and just had the players draw their individual cards then told a short reading on that.

The other alternative would be to figure out the 9-card spread in advance and get your story worked out. There's a thread here somewhere that did that for the first two adventures, but didn't continue much after that.

As for critical to the PA, certainly not.

Dark Archive

Thanks for the help everyone. DMFTodd, that was my initial plan. I'm going to try a few readings on my own just to see how it feels. If it feels too contrived, thats what I'll go with.

Scarab Sages

I wrote a macro for MapTool that randomly draws the 9 cards and then displays an HTML table with the card images in it. :)

The players only see the card image and the name of the card, but the GM sees detailed information on each card, such as the ability score, alignment, whether it's misaligned, partial, and so on, and the mouseover tooltip for the image provides the Traditional and Misaligned definitions for each card. :) And there's a sidebar that describes how to do the reading so I don't forget stuff.

Not only does it give the players a graphic, but I can do off-the-cuff Harrow readings pretty easily with it.

The macro consists of a table in MapTool to hold the data and images, then a few campaign macros that the players have access to as well as the GM. But the macros function differently depending on who's running them, as described above.

Oh, and I keep track of every layout with the GM having the option of saying, "Save to Chapter X" so that I can recall previous layouts as well. And there's a macro the players click to draw a card from a given suit.

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