I have a bad cold today so I'm not going out. I told my wife that it was probably a particularly virulent strain of swine flu and she should stay at home and nurse me from death's door by catering to my every whim, but the heartless woman went to work instead. So instead I'm sitting alone listening to the cricket on the BBC and thinking more about feudal management.
I have a longstanding interest in using playing cards in games. Here's my latest idea for that.
You play your feudal management game - something like Pendragon, Dragon Warriors or AD&D 2e is preferable for the mechanics of the adventuring portion, and you use your own rules or crib those from Pendragon Book of the Manor (thanks to sirlarkins for that), Houses of the Blooded, Birthright or LUG Dune or whatever for the actual resource management bit.
In my mind it would run something like this: the game is divided into "game years" and each year has four seasons. In each season one traditional adventure can be freely undertaken, and a number of management tasks can be completed (though these have a role playing component rather than a boring "I build a new castle" affair). But each season you also randomly determine weather (is the season ordinary, severe or mild?) and a Big Event.
For the big event you could simply roll a d1000 and consult a gargantuan chart, but the thought struck me: wouldn't it be both weird and fun and also rather in keeping with the medieval feel to use randomly drawn Tarot cards to determine these events? (I feel compelled to say I think Tarot as a means of divination is utter bunkum but I find the concept interesting.)
Here's an example: It's winter. The player draws a Major Arcana and comes up with The Heirophant. This means that the table concerning education, knowledge, conservatism and tradition is to be consulted. The player then draws a Minor Arcana and gets the 10 of Wands. The DM consults the Heirophant table, and finds that the 10 of Wands taken with the Heirophant means that the clergy are up in arms pestering the player to build a new library (or whatever).
The problem with this is that it would require a shitload of tables: 22 tables for each Major Arcana, each with 56 entries means...1232 separate possibilities. Repetition is therefore unlikely, but coming up with 1232 different events is a task that I frankly balk at. Maybe many of the entries could be blank, representing the fact that something doesn't happen every single season?