3e SRD:Deck of Many Things

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This material is published under the OGL 1.0a.

Deck of Many Things: A deck of many things (both beneficial and baneful) is usually found in a box or leather pouch. Each deck contains a number of cards or plaques made of ivory or vellum. Each is engraved with glyphs, characters, and sigils. As soon as one of these cards is drawn from the pack, its magic is bestowed upon the person who drew it, for better or worse.

The character with a deck of many things who wishes to draw a card must announce how many cards he or she will draw before drawing. Cards must be drawn within 1 hour of each other, and a character can never again draw from this deck any more cards than he or she has announced. If the character does not willingly draw the allotted number (or if the character is somehow prevented from doing so), the cards flip out of the deck on their own. Exception: If a jester is drawn, the possessor of the deck may elect to draw two additional cards.

Each time a card is taken from the deck, it is replaced (making it possible to draw the same card twice) unless the draw is a jester or fool, in which case the card is discarded from the pack. A deck of many things contains 22 cards. To simulate the magic cards, you may want to use tarot cards, as indicated by the second column in the accompanying table. If no tarot deck is available, substitute ordinary playing cards instead, as indicated by the third column.

Deck of Many Things
Plaque Tarot Card Playing Card Effect
Balance XI. Justice Two of spades Change alignment instantly.
Comet Two of swords Two of diamonds Defeat the next monster you meet to gain one level.
Donjon Four of swords Ace of spades You are imprisoned (see above).
Euryale Ten of swords Queen of spades –1 penalty to all saving throws henceforth.
The Fates Three of cups Ace of hearts Avoid any situation you choose . . . once.
Flames XV. The Devil Queen of clubs Enmity between you and an outsider.
Fool 0. The Fool Joker (with trademark) Lose 10,000 experience points and you must draw again.
Gem Seven of cups Two of hearts Gain your choice of twenty-five pieces of jewelry or fifty gems.
Idiot I. The Juggler Ace of clubs Lose Intelligence (permanent drain). You may draw again.
Jester XII. The Hanged Man Joker (without trademark) Gain 10,000 XP or two more draws from the deck.
Key V. The Hierophant Queen of hearts Gain a major magic weapon.
Knight Page of swords Jack of hearts Gain the service of a 4th-level fighter.
Moon XVIII. The Moon Queen of diamonds You are granted 1d4 wishes.
Rogue Five of swords Jack of spades One of your friends turns against you.
Ruin XVI. The Tower King of spades Immediately lose all wealth and real property.
Skull XIII. Death Jack of clubs Defeat Death or be forever destroyed.
Star XVII. The Star Jack of diamonds Immediately gain a +2 inherent bonus to one ability score.
Sun XIX. The Sun King of diamonds Gain beneficial medium wondrous item and 20,000 XP.
Talons Queen of pentacles Two of clubs All magic items you possess disappear permanently.
Throne Four of staves King of hearts Gain a +6 bonus on Diplomacy plus a small keep.
Vizier IX. The Hermit Ace of diamonds Know the answer to your next dilemma.
The Void Eight of swords King of clubs Body functions, but soul is trapped elsewhere.

Balance: The character must change to a radically different alignment. If the character fails to act according to the new alignment, he or she gains a negative level.

Comet: The character must single-handedly defeat the next hostile monster or monsters encountered, or the benefit is lost. If successful, the character moves to the midpoint of the next experience level.

Donjon: This signifies imprisonment-either by the imprisonment spell or by some powerful being, at the DM’s option. All gear and spells are stripped from the victim in any case. Whether these items are recoverable is, likewise, up to the DM. Draw no more cards.

Euryale: This card brings a curse that only the Fates card or a deific being can remove. The -1 penalty to all saving throws is otherwise permanent.

Fates: This card enables the character to avoid even an instantaneous occurrence if so desired, for the fabric of reality is unraveled and respun. Note that it does not enable something to happen. It can only stop something from happening or reverse a past occurrence. The reversal is only for the character that drew the card; other party members may have to endure the situation.

Flames: Hot anger, jealousy, and envy are but a few of the possible motivational forces for the enmity. The enmity of the outsider can’t be ended until one of the parties has been slain. Determine the outsider randomly, and assume that it attacks the character (or plagues the character’s life in some way) within 1d20 days.

Fool: The payment of XP and the redraw are mandatory. This card is always discarded when drawn, unlike all others except the jester.

Gem: This card indicates wealth. The jewelry is all gold set with gems, each piece worth 2,000 gp each, the gems all of 1,000 gp value each.

Idiot: This card causes the loss of 1d4+1 points of Intelligence immediately. The additional draw is optional.

Jester: This card is always discarded when drawn, unlike all others except the fool. The redraws are optional.

Key: The magic weapon granted must be one usable by the character

Knight: The fighter appears out of nowhere and serves loyally until death. He or she is a magic construct (not a real person) but appears to be of the same race (or kind) and gender as the character. He or she is equipped with the starting fighter package.

Moon: These wishes are the same as those granted by the 9th-level wizard spell and must be used in a number of minutes equal to the number received.

Rogue: When this card is drawn, one of the character’s NPC friends (preferably a cohort) is totally alienated and forever after hostile. If the character has no cohorts, the enmity of some powerful personage (or community, or religious order) can be substituted. The hatred is secret until the time is ripe for it to be revealed with devastating effect.

Ruin: As implied, when this card is drawn every bit of money (including all gems, jewelry, treasure, and art objects) is lost (disintegrated). All land owned is struck by blight and forever ruined, buildings collapse into dust, etc.

Skull: A minor death appears. Treat this minor death as an unturnable spectre with a ghost touch scythe that never misses and deals 2d8 points of damage. The character must fight it alone-if others help, they get minor deaths to fight as well. If the character is slain, he or she is slain forever and cannot be revived, even with a wish or a miracle.

Star: The 2 points are added to any ability the character chooses. They cannot be divided among two abilities.

Sun: The XP granted are immediately available.

Talons: When this card is drawn, every magic item owned or possessed by the character is instantly and irrevocably gone (disintegrated).

Throne: The character becomes a true leader in people’s eyes. The castle gained appears in any open area the character wishes (but the decision where to place it must be made immediately).

Vizier: This card empowers the character drawing it with the one-time ability to call upon supernatural wisdom to solve any single problem or answer fully any question upon the character’s request. Whether the information gained can be successfully acted upon is another question entirely.

The Void: This black card spells instant disaster. The character’s body continues to function, as though in a coma, but the character’s psyche is trapped in a prison somewhere - in an object on a far plane or planet, possibly in the possession of an outsider. A wish or a miracle does not bring the character back, instead merely revealing the plane of entrapment. Draw no more cards.

Caster Level: 20th; Weight: —.

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