Saturday, May 28, 2011

Complete Deck Of Many Things

So randomness is fun, and powerful artifacts are fun. One might naturally be tempted to combine these fun things with a Deck Of Many Things. But the Deck of Many Things has something of a reputation as a campaign-killer. Plus, check it out: that "Deck" of Many Things only has 22 cards! What a ripoff!

So perhaps there's some way to simultaneously solve both problems. Consider: expand the deck to a full 54 cards.

We make sure the deck is roughly evenly balanced between bad things and good things, and between major effects and minor effects. We can leave in the terribly bad or terribly good things from the original deck, because they're each less than half as likely as they used to be, and we'll balance them out with piddling minor effects like alterations to hair colour.

All effects are permanent, reversible only by divine intervention or the Fates card. Rules are otherwise the same as for the standard Deck Of Many Things.

Drawn Card - In-Game Name - Effect
Ace of Spades - Fates - Stop some bad thing from happening to you, even retroactively.
2 of Spades - Donjon - Lose all gear and magic effects, immediately imprisoned
3 of Spades - Balance - Change alignment or lose a level
4 of Spades - Patient Zero - Afflicted with random contagion, save DC35
5 of Spades - Metamorphosis - Change to a random new Type without otherwise changing race
6 of Spades - Frog - Polymorphed to a random race of the same type
7 of Spades - Dwarf - Decrease one size category
8 of Spades - Crone - Age 1d20 years
9 of Spades - Tongue - Your languages known is reduced to a single language, randomly chosen (not necessarily a language you knew).
10 of Spades - Coin - -4 penalty to the skill in which you have the most ranks
Jack of Spades - Rogue - An NPC friend or ally is forever hostile
Queen of Spades - Euryale - -1 to all saving throws
King of Spades - Ruin - All nonmagical possessions are permanently lost
Ace of Clubs - Talons - All magical possessions are permanently lost
2 of Clubs - Idiot - 1d4+1 permanent Int drain
3 of Clubs - Burdened Man - 1d4+1 permanent Str drain
4 of Clubs - Bleeding Man - 1d4+1 permanent Con drain
5 of Clubs - Cripple - 1d4+1 permanent Dex drain
6 of Clubs - Nymph - 1d4+1 permanent Wis drain
7 of Clubs - Leper - 1d4+1 permanent Cha drain
8 of Clubs - Acid - -1 natural armor
9 of Clubs - Blind Man - -1 to all attack rolls
10 of Clubs - Hermaphrodite - Gender inverted
Jack of Clubs - Skull - An unturnable dread wraith attacks, must be defeated alone
Queen of Clubs - Flames - Earn the enmity of a random outsider
King of Clubs - Void - Body functions, but soul is trapped elsewhere
Black Joker - Fool - Lose 10,000xp and draw again
Ace of Hearts - God-King - Random race considers you their leader
2 of Hearts - Wizard - 1d4+1 permanent Int gain
3 of Hearts - Titan - 1d4+1 permanent Str gain
4 of Hearts - Chicken Soup - 1d4+1 permanent Con gain
5 of Hearts - Ballerina - 1d4+1 permanent Dex gain
6 of Hearts - Sage - 1d4+1 permanent Wis gain
7 of Hearts - Demagogue - 1d4+1 permanent Cha gain
8 of Hearts - Armor - +1 natural armor
9 of Hearts - Guide - +1 to all attack rolls
10 of Hearts - Heart - Fall in love with the next person you see
Jack of Hearts - Knight - Gain the services of a 4th-level fighter
Queen of Hearts - Moon - Granted 1d4 wishes
King of Hearts - Throne - Gain a title, a small keep, and +6 to all diplomacy checks
Ace of Diamonds - Vizier - Know the answer to your next dilemma
2 of Diamonds - Gem - Gain 25 jewelries worth 2000gp each or 50 gems worth 1000gp each
3 of Diamonds - Envy - Eyes randomly change color
4 of Diamonds - Sea - Hair randomly changes color
5 of Diamonds - Shoes - Gain a bonus feat
6 of Diamonds - Nose - Gain breath attack with rod of wonder effect, usable 1/day
7 of Diamonds - Giant - Increase one size category
8 of Diamonds - Maiden - Youthen 1d20 years
9 of Diamonds - Gift - Gain random major magic item
10 of Diamonds - Comet - If you defeat the next enemy you meet alone, you gain a level
Jack of Diamonds - Star - +4 to skill in which you have the most ranks
Queen of Diamonds - Key - Gain a minor magic weapon
King of Diamonds - Sun - Gain a medium wondrous item and 50,000xp
Red Joker - Jester - Gain 10,000xp or 2 more draws


  1. This is good. It's not exactly what I'm looking for in my Undermountain oneshot, but I'll just take what I like. Thank you very much.

  2. The fall in love card is a middle ground whatif you fall in love with orcus or an evil deity

  3. My DM switched it to be "the next NPC you talk to falls in love with you." It's led to some funny awkward moments.

  4. Hm, yes. Mine was based on a long tradition of love potions etc, but your DM's is probably a lot better card in actual play, all things considered. I endorse this change.