Tarot spells in a modern day setting.
The big spread forms a tetrahedron around the globe. The purpose of which is yet to be determined. Perhaps one of the cards is not aligned perfectly and we are waiting for it to align, perhaps by a natural disaster, the move of a building, the move of a circus, the move of a ship, a tattoo on an individual, something. And only when it is in place can the big spell be invoked. This will put pressure on the participants racing the “clock.” Therefore the big spread has 4 cards in it. The medium spread each consists of 4 cards, 3 for the actual spell and the subject, with the subject being another card (other than the one this medium spread is sitting on) in the big spread. The purpose of each medium spread is to provide a more solid magical connection from one card to the next and in fact, subtly points out the path that should be taken when following the big spread. The little spreads on top of each of the medium spreads are all different, even between the locations of the big spread. Each is either an offensive or defensive protection spell to protect the area from things and events that could disrupt the spread at a location. Example: one spread is in a Mayan temple, surrounded by rain forest/jungle - quite humid and rains a lot. One protective little spread might be to keep all the cards dry, including the big one.
Card one in the big spread is visited twice - first and last. Card four should be the moving card; by stopping the motion they have stopped the big spell. However, that layout is a decoy and the real one is still moving in place. This should be realized as they have something received from each card having path-worked and the items are unusual, or realize because they happen upon the first card just as the antagonist begins the big spread spell.
The second card is the one where they loose there path-working guide (NPC), but one of the party members will have learned enough under his tutelage to continue in his or her footsteps.
Perhaps each of the subject cards, within the card, has been convinced to perform some kind of ritual at some set signal or portent, thereby activating the “connection” spell in each medium spread. This would provide the opportunity for great variety among magics.
Remember, each card path-worked will use a different randomizer mechanism. Card three should be the one where they think they are out, but they are not.
Possible sites: stone henge, Mayan temple (Guatemala), pyramids (Egypt), Bermuda triangle, the meteor crater in Arizona, easter island, Hawaii (this would be the water), Ayers Rock (Australia), underground city in turkey, T’ai Shan mountain in China, the Taj Mahal Consider red herrings
A visible one such as stone henge might be visible only under certain circumstances such as a full moon. Look for something in Japan, China, India, Russia
So what is the purpose of our antagonist
- To contact a god, demon, angel
- To call forth and demand a favor from some power
- To bring about a fortuitous cataclysm, like fill the meteor crater in Arizona with water since he owns all the territory around it and would all become a lakefront property
- To cause a major change in geography, political relationships
- To raise Atlantis or Mu
- To bring about a malevolent life form/agent that will extinguish a race or species of animal/human
- To raise a volcano
- To cause a tidal wave
- To destroy one or more major cities in a green piece type of thing
- To Give plants and animals in the affected area the capability of defending themselves and fighting back against men
- To cause an EM pulse that will destroy all electronics and electrical systems on the half of the glove the spell is centered on
- To reach out and effect Mars in such a way as to start it moving toward a livable planet
- To achieve immortality
- To cure vampire/werewolf
- To create vampire/werewolf
- To bore a hole to the hollow earth, whether it exists in this plane or not. Could result in partial ??? which could lead to further campaign with things coming into our plane/earth from the hollow earth, and our intrepid adventurers going to the hollow earth
- To open a gate to another dimension, to either go there or allow something to come here — ala Rifts
- To cause a major shift in the magnetic poles of the earth thereby initiating a major cataclysm for humanity
- To create or bring forth a local or perhaps global effect that will allow psychics to realize their full potential - probably with dramatic and bad effects
- To open wide the gates from our world to a “dream time” - the one where time is not or does not have an influence IE all things exist at the same time
- To cause mass genocide of everyone above and/or below a certain age
- To raise all the dead in the hopes of bringing about Armageddon/Revelations
- To cause an entire country or race to become sterile
- To melt the poles to cause global flooding
- To create a massive size year-long lighting storm to attempt to rebuild the ozone layer
Perhaps several of these could be selected as side effects while the spell at the different locations is winding up and preparing to go off.
The place of the major effect is actually opposite the primary spell on the globe If we go with the side effect thing on spell windup, perhaps the culmination of the adventure, or a reasonable alternative ending, is to connect the local effects. Deliver the bad news, like sterility.