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English 15 Summer 2015
  1. Wheel of Fortune
  2. Fortuna & The Wheel of Fortune
  3. Irish Film Institute Logo
  4. Event Information

The heresy owes its origins to the pagan goddess Fortuna, a deity who appears in the pantheons of many ancient societies. To imagine the contemporary lottery player paying homage to the goddess is not to dignify the prospect of poor people blowing grocery money on impossibly long odds, or to imply that government-sponsored gambling is an appropriate way to raise public revenues.

But it does suggest that gambling is about more than mere money. Modern games of chance reenact ancient rituals of divination—casting lots, throwing pebbles, bones, shells, or dice—designed to provide glimpses of the sacred and to conjure luck or its spiritual equivalent, grace.

Rather than the static and timeless cosmic order of orthodox monotheism, the sense of the sacred sought by diviners was a pluralist plentitude, symbolized in Western tradition by inconstant Fortuna and by similar figures in American Indian and African traditions. These cross-cultural ingredients combined to create the syncretist stew that became the American culture of chance—a culture at ease with uncertainty, doubtful that diligence offers the only path to success, and suspicious of the idea that money means moral worth.

Wheel of Fortune

For the bettors and believers who embrace this perspective, chance represents a portal of possibility, not a heresy to be demonized or a statistical probability to be managed. I n ancient Rome, Fortuna began as a fertility goddess but soon came to embody prosperity in general, as well as a basic principle of potentiality. She merged with the older Greek divinity Tyche, whose devotee Palamedes, the mortal grandson of Poseidon, supposedly invented dice and dedicated the first pair, made from the ankle bones of hoofed animals, to her.

The iconography of Fortuna linked her with emblems of abundance but also with uncertainty and ceaseless change: she carried a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables yet stood on a ball or turned a wheel that rotated her beneficiaries.

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But Fortune did not fit well with Christian ideas of Providence. To early Christians, the divine plan unfolded as mysteriously as the fluctuations of luck, but however remote the planner or apparently perverse his decrees, his purpose was ultimately benign. Boethius , unjustly imprisoned in the sixth century after a distinguished public service career, endorsed this idea in the Consolation of Philosophy.

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria. This was the traditional Christian argument that would be repeated for centuries. Based on faith in a transcendent cosmic order, the lesson taught its students to look for the silver lining in clouds of gray. But even pious Christians sometimes found it difficult to submit to the perversities of fate.

Fortuna, unlike Jehovah, could be propitiated through ritual, and her presence survived in the magical belief system that formed the foundation of the medieval church—the vernacular faith that sacraments and sacred artifacts could bring material luck in this world as well as spiritual luck, or grace, in the next. Beginning in the fifteenth century, Protestant reformers assaulted these rituals as part of a broader war on the medieval culture of chance. Taking their cues from John Calvin , theologians disparaged Fortuna, deriding belief in her powers as a pagan excrescence on the Church.

As early as , when dissenting sects proliferated amid the English Civil War, a female sectarian confessed that she could not stand to see her neighbors prosper, as it meant they had prayed more than she had.

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For the upwardly mobile, as well as for the already prosperous, Providence surrounded affluence with an aura of sanctity. But the continued precariousness of existence sustained a belief in Fortuna, and the need for propitiatory rites at her shrines, especially as the faith in paganistic Catholic rituals declined among English Protestants. Amid the changes wrought by the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the exploration of the New World, everyday life in the early modern era remained full of uncertainty.

Crime and catastrophe abounded in places like London, where the high incidence of fire made reversals of fortune a routine event. Secular individualists like Machiavelli argued that ingenious men might court Fortuna, adapt to her moods, and ultimately bend her to their will.

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Despite occasional revolts, faith in Fortune endured in a variety of ways, even in the language that people used to describe their circumstances. Happiness, in short, happens to you. Its incidence can be cultivated but never contrived, its blessings courted through the use of talismanic items like the amulets, charms, omens, and portents that pervaded early modern England. Suffused with hope and foreboding, these objects took the form of everything from base effluvia to mundane detritus: urine, graveyard dirt, pebbles, chicken feathers, fingernail clippings, glass beads, and cowrie shells.

In colonial America, the idea of Fortune flourished in all cultural strata: the indigenous, the enslaved, and the colonists themselves. French Jesuits in the late sixteenth century observed the Iroquois, the Huron, and the Seneca using caribou bones and peach pits to divine the will of the cosmos. In fact, the development of the American culture of chance depended on the African presence in the population and the receptivity of American colonists—including the educated elite—to African beliefs.

With faerie dust. Adventures as part of an immortal Queen Elizabeth I's royal secret service.

Fortuna & The Wheel of Fortune

Gear up in ornate clockwork mechas and seek out the numerous enemies of the realm. Investigate the many nefarious plots afoot in fair Albion and uncover the mysteries of the enchanted queens alliance with sinister and mysterious powers. Gaining the trust of some of this worlds inhabitants could be key to helping Icarus and uncovering his fate.

The realm of Chymes could also be the key to discovering the identity of the founder of the sinister group known as the Cabal. Moorcock's 'Gloriana' meets Ian R. As well as creating various world books we have several Fortune's Wheel game books planned - starting with the Fortune's Wheel system book that goes deeper into playing the game than the quickstart can and adds more advanced tools for play. There are also plans to create some custom Tarot decks. An app for playing the game without needing a physical deck of tarot cards is something we are looking into.

If that is we can get one created that is up to the job.

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We have some demo videos showing some of the ways to play the game at the designers youtube site. You can get Fortune's Wheel T-shirts, art prints, phone and tablet skins, mugs and bags etc at Hybridartifacts Redbubble store. The art you will see in the Quickstart PDF and in the finished game will mostly be created by Hybridartifacts and Winggleam. We are also using some public domain art from archive.

Some of the artwork here is still work in progress at the moment. Various books, pamphlets and ephemera have been published over the years in Witching and we will be including samples of some of these for the game. As well providing some local colour they might also include some important game information for the more perceptive players to spot.

Click on your 'ticket to adventure' to see some of the art for the game! Proin gravida nibh vel velit auctor aliquet. Aenean sollicitudin, lorem quis bibendum auctor, nisi elit consequat ipsum, nec sagittis sem nibh id elit. Updates and Ramblings can be found on our Facebook page for the game.

Just 'like' the Facebook page to get updates. We also have a blog where we post updates and general ramblings about rpgs and anything else that strikes us as noteworthy. We are a husband and wife indie game development team.

Event Information

There is no big corporate entity funding us and we get by as best we can with our various creative projects. We depend totally on the support of people who like what we do and want to see us create more. When we are not creating games we create all sorts of art, write fiction, play games, watch other people play games, travel when we can and take lots of photographs handy for the art.

The creator of the Fortune's Wheel creative game and story system as well as a lot of the artwork. He has been playing rpgs ever since the first copies of Dungeons and Dragons began to arrive in England. Yes, yes, we know he is a Puffin wearing a Napoleonic hat. He is the web mascot for this site and Hybridartifacts current artistic muse. About this Event Dame Fortune's Wheel and the Three Estates is a storytelling session about the three 'classes' of men and women from long ago; those who worked, those who prayed and those who fought.

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