The Fortune Oracle: How to create descriptions and NPC conversations

The Fortune oracle generates keywords you can use for descriptions, random events, and NPC conversations. Whenever you want to talk to an NPC or generate a description, you can use this oracle for the scene. This oracle creates roleplaying scenes through the question and answer method we described in Introduction to Solo Roleplaying – Part 2. This roleplaying oracle is available for free as part of the Solo Gaming Tool.

Whenever you have a question about a place or character , you can ask the Fortune oracle that question instead of a DM. Whereas the Fate oracle creates roleplaying scenes through simple yes/no questions, the Fortune Oracle creates scenes through more complex questions such as:

  • What do I see in the marketplace?
  • Why did the villain attack me?
  • What does the NPC want from me?

Originally, I experimented with Curse of Strahd’s Tarokka deck. The Tarokka deck was inspired by the tarot, but the Tarokka deck wasn’t meant for solo roleplaying. The Tarokka deck is a prop that DM’s use for in-game fortune-telling. To help players create roleplaying scenes more easily, we created the Fortune oracle.

Using the Fortune Oracle

To use the Fortune oracle is very simple. Ask a question about your roleplaying scene, and draw a card. Then look at the keywords associated with the card and come up with an answer based on these keywords.

The fortune oracle

Card Meanings

Each playing card has a meaning represented by a set of keywords or ideas. The 5 of Clubs is linked with the keywords arguments, hostility, and conflict. Drawing this card means a fight or argument is taking place in your scene.

If you draw a card such as the 3 of Hearts, the card represents a different scene. The keywords are happiness or celebration. As a result, when you draw this card it means that something joyous is happening in your scene like a party or celebration.

Here are a few examples to illustrate how the Fortune Oracle works. Be as creative as you want to be in your interpretations, there are no right or wrong answers.

Example 1:

Scene: You’re hired as extra muscle by a merchant who expects to be attacked by his enemies. You decide to ask the client “When do you expect them to attack you?”

Card drawn:  7 of Spades

Keywords: Lies, trickery, cunning.

Interpretation:  The client believes that they will lead him into a trap.

Example 2:

Scene: You’re in the marketplace of a city. You ask “What catches my eye in the market?”

Card drawn: 5 of Clubs

Keywords: Arguments, hostility, conflict.

Interpretation: An argument between two men turns into a fistfight.

Example 3:

Scene: You visit a wealthy aristocrat and arrive at his home. You ask “What is happening at his home?”

Card drawn: 10 of Hearts

Keywords: Happiness, enjoyment, fulfillment.

Interpretation: There is a massive party at his home with many guests.

Example 4:

Scene: You’re eavesdropping on two guards. You ask, “What are they talking about?”

Card drawn: Jack of Hearts

Keywords: A child, teenager, or unknown/mysterious NPC.

Interpretation: They are talking about their children.

Fortune Oracle meanings

To help you interpret the Fortune oracle, here are descriptions of what the cards can mean. The meanings I provide are suggestions and you should adapt them to your adventure and setting.

You will see that the different cards all refer to characters. Characters don’t just refer to NPCs. The characters on these cards can also refer to groups and even objects. These kinds of objects can be powerful books or artifacts.


2 of Spades

Keywords: Choices, options, possibilities.

Meaning: A character is presented with many options choices and possibilities. A character could also be weighing several options or want more choices.

3 of Spades

Keywords: Sorrow, trauma, betrayal.

Meaning: A character is harmed or experiences sorrow. This card also means that someone could be betraying or have betrayed a character in the past. A scene depicting sadness and trauma.

4 of Spades

Keywords: Rest, recuperation, relaxation.

Meaning: A character or group of characters are relaxing. The character could also be recuperating from illness or injuries. A scene of peace and calm.

5 of Spades

Keywords: Arguments, hostility, conflict.

Meaning: Conflict is taking place or took place in the past. Whether it be a simple argument in a tavern or hostility between nations. This card always means conflict.

6 of Spades

Keywords: Moving on, departure, leaving behind.

Meaning: A character is leaving something or someone behind and moving on. This could also mean that a character is departing on a journey and leaving for a destination.

7 of Spades

Keywords: Lies, trickery, cunning.

Meaning: A character is lying or engaging in trickery. The character might also be using their cunning to gain the upper hand.

8 of Spades

Keywords: Imprisonment, restriction, trapped.

Meaning: A character or group of characters are trapped, imprisoned, or restricted in some way. This includes not only arrests but other restrictions or obstacles.

9 of Spades

Keywords: Fear, anxiety, nightmares.

Meaning: A character is motivated by or experiencing fear or something to be afraid of. This can range from mild worry to being presented with a nightmarish scenario.

10 of Spades

Keywords: Disaster, ruin, death.

Meaning: A character is dead or is facing death and ruin. A scene shows disaster and someone or something’s downfall.


2 of Hearts

Keywords: Love, harmony, friendship.

Meaning: A character is experiencing or is motivated by love or friendship. A scene can depict harmony and good spirits.

3 of Hearts

Keywords: Community, gathering, celebration.

Meaning: Characters are gathering or engaging with a community. This can range from political gatherings and meetings to parties, festivals, and celebrations.

4 of Hearts

Keywords: Apathy, indifference, dissatisfaction.

Meaning: A character is bored, indifferent, or dislikes something. A scene can depict someone not caring, turning something down, or expressing boredom and disinterest.

5 of Hearts

Keywords: Loss, grief, disappointment.

Meaning: A character is experiencing physical or emotional loss. They might be experiencing sadness or depression. A scene can depict something tragic or disappointing.  

6 of Hearts

Keywords: Nostalgia, history, the past.

Meaning: A scene depicting history or the past. A character could be experiencing nostalgia or the scene could refer to a historical event, person, or monument.

7 of Hearts

Keywords: Dreams, fantasies, illusions.

Meaning: A character is experiencing a dream or fantasy. It could be that a dream is within reach, or that they are fooling themselves. A scene can depict any literal or figurative fantasy/ illusion.

8 of Hearts

Keywords: Abandonment, walking away, leaving behind.

Meaning: A character is abandoned or walking away from something. They might also be leaving something behind such as their family or important work. The scene can show abandonment, both literal and symbolic

9 of Hearts

Keywords: Contentment, satisfaction, achievement.

Meaning: A character is happy, satisfied, or has achieved a dream or goal. A scene might depict something comforting or satisfying.

10 of Hearts

Keywords: Happiness, enjoyment, fulfillment.

Meaning: A character is experiencing immense joy. Hopes have been realized and what is good has been fulfilled. A scene of great happiness.


2 of Diamonds

Keywords: Change, adaptation, alteration.

Meaning: A character is undergoing change or is changing something. The scene can depict any kind of change, either literal or symbolic.

3 of Diamonds

Keywords: Teamwork, collaboration, effort.

Meaning: Characters are working together or collaborating. This can range from individuals working together to scheming organizations.

4 of Diamonds

Keywords: Power, leadership, influence.

Meaning: A powerful character or someone striving for power. A scene can show powerful individuals and groups of characters that strive for power. This includes leaders and leadership of all kinds.

5 of Diamonds

Keywords: Hardship, struggle, loss.

Meaning: A character is struggling with physical loss. This includes financial hardship and other forms of struggle. A scene can depict poverty or people struggling with hardship.

6 of Diamonds

Keywords: Help, charity, generosity.

Meaning: Characters are giving or receiving help. This includes charity and any other kind of assistance.

7 of Diamonds

Keywords: Planning, patience, perseverance.

Meaning: Characters are planning or executing a plan. A scene can show patience and perseverance of any kind.

8 of Diamonds

Keywords: Skill, talent, expertise.

Meaning: A character is showing or pursuing a skill or talent. This card shows that skill, talent, or expertise has entered the scene.

9 of Diamonds

Keywords: Success, achievement, reward.

Meaning: A character is seeking or achieving success.  A scene can depict any kind of success and achievement, including rewards.

10 of Diamonds

Keywords: Ancestry, tradition, legacy.

Meaning: A character or group’s history, traditions or legacy is of importance. A scene can show these traditions or any other form of familial or historical influence.


2 of Clubs

Keywords: Progress, development, improvement.

Meaning: Progress is being made or needed. A scene can depict improvement or development.

3 of Clubs

Keywords: Vision, foresight, wisdom.

Meaning: A character needs or shows wisdom and foresight. A scene can also depict a vision or visionary person.

4 of Clubs

Keywords: Celebrations, parties, gatherings.

Meaning: A party, celebration, or social gathering. This includes everything from major festivals to patrons at a tavern.

5 of Clubs

Keywords:  Competition, rivalry, disagreement.

Meaning: Characters or groups are engaging in a friendly/unfriendly competition or rivalry. This card also means general disagreement.

6 of Clubs

Keywords: Success, victory, triumph.

Meaning: A character seeks or has attained success. This success could be real or imaginary and includes any kind of victory or triumph.

7 of Clubs

Keywords: Defense, protection.

Meaning: Something or someone needs or offers protection. This protection can range from protecting an object or character to defending a place.

8 of Clubs

Keywords: Excitement, exhilaration, anticipation.

Meaning: A character is excited or anticipating something important. Your scene can depict an excited person, group, or event.

9 of Clubs

Keywords: Perseverance, persistence, tenacity.

Meaning: A character is persevering or showing tenacity. Your scene can show any kind of persistence, both literal and symbolic.

10 of Clubs

Keywords: Burdens, responsibilities, obligations.

Meaning: A character is carrying a literal or symbolic burden. This burden can be due to their work, responsibilities, or other obligations. A scene can show hard work or other responsibilities.