The Dragon’s Horde – Deck of Many Things

The Deck of Many Things is a classic magic item from the first Dungeon Masters Guide which has found incarnations in many games since. You can roll for which card a PC draws, create your own with a deck of cards, or even buy a professionally printed one from Green Ronin:

Here’s someone who has made a really nice one from scratch:

Deck of Many Things: A deck of many things (beneficial and baneful) usually is found contained within a box or leather pouch. Each deck con- tains a number of thin plaques or plates. These sheets are usually of ivory or vellum. Each is engraved and/or inscribed with glyphs, characters, and magical sigils. As soon as one of these sheets is drawn forth from the pack, its magic is bestowed upon the person who drew it, for better or worse. The character gaining a deck of many things may announce that only 1 will be drawn from the pack, or he or she may opt to draw forth 2, 3, or even 4, but the number must be announced prior to the first plaque withdrawn. Note that if the jester is drawn, the possessor of the deck may elect to draw 2 additional cards. Each time a plaque is taken from the deck it is replaced unless the draw is a jester or fool, in which case the plaque is discarded from the pack. The deck will contain either 13 or 22 plaques, 75%/25% chance. Additional plaques in a 22 card deck are indicated by an asterisk (*) before their names. To simulate the plaques you may use the normal playing card indicated:

Sun (KD) Gain beneficial miscellaneous magic item and 50,000 experience points
Moon (QD) You are granted 1-4 wishes
Star (JD) Immediately gain 2 points on your major ability
*Comet (2D) Defeat the next monster you meet to gain 1 level
Throne (KH) Gain charisma of l 8 a n d small keep
Key (QH) Gain a treasure map plus 1 magic weapon
Knight (JH) Gain the service of a 4th level fighter
*Gem (2H) Gain your choice of 20 jewelry or 50 gems
The Void (KC) Body functions, but soul is trapped elsewhere
Flames (QC) Enmity between you and a devil
Skull (JC) Defeat Death or be forever destroyed
*Talons (2C) All magic itemsyou possess are torn from you
Ruin (KS) Immediately lose all wealth and real property
Euryale (QS) Minus 3 on all saving throws vs. petrification
Rogue (JS) One of your henchmen turns against you
*Balance (2S) Change alignment or be judged
Jester (J) Gain 10,000 experience points or 2 more draws from the deck
*Fool (J with Trademark) Lose 10,000 experience points; draw again
*Vizier (AD) Know the answer to your next dilemma
*ldiot (AC) Lose 1-4 points of intelligence, you may draw again
*Fates (AH) Avoid any situation you choose… once
*Donion (AS) You are imprisoned

Upon drawing the last plaque possible, or immediately upon drawing the plaques in boldface (The Void, Donion), the deck disappears. The plaques are explained below:

Sun: Roll on the MISCELLANEOUS MAGIC TABLE (III.E., 1.-5.) until a useful item (other than artifacts or relics) is indicated. The player gets experience pointsfor this as well.

Moon: This is best represented by a moonstone gem with the appropriate number of wishes shown as gleams therein. These wishes are the same as the ninth level magic-user spell (q.v.) and must be used in a number of turns equal to the number received.

Star: If the 2 points would place the character’s score at 19, use 1 or both in any of the other abilities in this order: constitution, charisma, wisdom, dexterity, intelligence, strength.

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