Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lotería Cards

Years ago dungeonmum had a blog post about Italian lottery cards.  I can't find it now because her blog is in hibernation.  But I commented at the time about Mexican style bingo cards that seemed similar.  According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the Mexican Lotería cards actually developed from those Italian ones.

Anyway, I finally got a set of these puppies. They appeal to me in the same way the Rider-Waite tarot does, simple archetypal images boiled down to the essence of a thing, but also attractive and slightly mysterious.  Lotería cards also have little rhyming riddles associated with each which reminds me of runes and rune poems. 

The Lotería cards have become so iconic that, like tarot cards, there are different interpretations of the cards by different artists, including Dia del los Muertos versions and a Star Wars version.

One unfortunate thing about the set I have is that it is a lesser quality version.  Apparently the set I've seen in collages and art boxes, was the Don Clemente set.  The cheaper set doesn't really compare. Here is a comparison, the best version first:
Sorry for the crappy color on the second set, but the color isn't the problem.  Check out Atlas' hair, the parrot's cool stand gets dumbed down, and look at the perspective on the tiles under the drunk.  I might splurge and try to buy the better version.

I think this deck would be perfect for a system of fortune telling or dreams in a D&D game.  Because it is a bingo game, the cards with random assortments of the images could be used some way as well.


  1. You've got to be kidding. My wife came home with an "autentica" set of Don Clemente Lotería cards today. This is a great backgrounder because I didn't know anything about them. I agree that they have some great in-game potential (Deck of Many Things?), but the coincidence is just too weird...

  2. those are great. Have you seen any collections of tarocchi cards? I think there are some at bibliophile.

  3. @Madx3: That's awesome! You know that means it's Fate and you must use them in your game now.

    @richard: I don't think I have. I'll go take a look. Thanks.

  4. Nice! Actually I like the drunk's pose better in the second one, who hasn't held on to a lamp post like that after a few? He looks like he's addressing someone who left awhile ago "I..I j'swanna say.. love you guys..."

    Atlas' hair on the other hand is clearly an attempt to cover up a badly drawn head!!

  5. Thanks for sharing. Always love reviews and articles on tarot. Love that there are so many to choose from as well, they all speak in their own language.