View Full Version : Deck of Many Things Question!

2011-02-09, 03:35 AM

I'm a DM in search of some clarification. I foolishly introduced the Deck of Many Things into by 3.5 campaign. The Dread Necromancer pulled the Balance Card. Now the rules are pretty vague around this card. It states:

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

Now what does 'radically different' really mean? He's Neutral Evil. Is it:

1) It's reverts to the opposite on the alignment grid. Which pretty much he's screwed as it would be Neutral Good.
2) It changes both parts of the alignment to something else. So LG, LN, CG or CN. So he would be okay to choose Chaotic Neutral.

Your opnions please!



2011-02-09, 03:37 AM
I think this would be a definite opposite, so Neutral Good.

2011-02-09, 03:38 AM
Dread Necromancers can't be good. No, really, look at the book. It says they can't, full stop.

If you put a helm of opposite alignment on an evil Dread Necro, the universe explodes. Therefore, this is already a DM call if you're going to ignore that, so it's up to you to decide what you think is fair and best for the game.

Personal opinion: go with the option that screws the player over least, and never use a Deck of Many Things again. :smalltongue:

Also, this belongs in the Roleplaying Games subforum, I believe.

2011-02-09, 03:40 AM
Apologies, slightly wrong forum.

But yes, i know. If it is option a, he would indeed be screwed. Hence the need for clarification!

2011-02-09, 04:52 AM

I'm going to dispute that, Jarian.

From the Dread Necromancer section in Heroes of Horror:
Alignment: Not all dread necromancers are evil, although the best of them could easily be described as evil-tolerant. No dread necromancer can have a good alignment. Performing evil acts is a basic feature of the class, but some dread necromancers manage to balance evil acts with good intentions, remaining solidly neutral (most PC dread necromancers fall into this category).
Thus, Dread Necromancers cannot be good, but there doesn't appear to be any consequence if you are FORCED good. Playing a good DN would severely hamstring the class: you could still cast Death spells, but you can pretty much forget any Evil spells, such as Animate Dead and Create Undead. These are staple abilities of the class, and you don't want to lose them.

I would suggest screwing him over as much as possible, however. He pulled from the Deck. He knew he was risking utter obliteration and ceaseless torment in exchange for power when he did so.

2011-02-09, 05:09 AM
It's just a humorous case of writers forgetting to add the usual clause about what happens if a character becomes an unsupported alignment. According to HoH, a Dread Necromancer literally cannot have a good alignment. Hence, universe explosion.

The obvious answer is to treat it like any other class that falls, but since when does logic apply to RAW silliness? :smalltongue:

2011-02-09, 05:15 AM
If the book says Ninjas can't fly, when a Ninja gets a flight spell cast on him does your universe explode? You must go through a lot of campaigns. :smallwink:
Anyway, I suspect the OP would be helped better if we left our opinions regarding the often-silly nature of RAW at the door.

I'd simply make him whatever alignment he'd be the most opposed to, which will likely result in some serious power loss however you want to flavor it.

2011-02-09, 05:20 AM
Because I was totally being serious about that.

Also, I think we'd be (even) better served directing comments to the thread in the appropriate subforum. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186707)

2011-02-09, 10:24 AM
The rules don't state that anything happens when the alignment requirement is violated (unlike a paladin who cannot advance, loses class abilities, and has to atone). Technically, there is no consequence for violating the alignment restriction. I checked the errata on this and the FAQ.

What happens during the course of the game can alter things drastically as you've found out. That said, before you penalize the player for this, talk it over with him (or her). It's not really fair to add restrictions and consequence after the fact.

Over on the WotC boards I found this: http://community.wizards.com/bleak_academy/wiki/Dread_Necromancer/Overview Considering how many people were involved in this, it might be worth a look.

Dread Necromancers cannot be good, but there doesn't appear to be any consequence if you are good. Thus, a DN might be able to turn good after character creation. Playing a good DN would severely hamstring the class: you could still cast |Death| spells, but you can pretty much forget any |Evil| spells, such as animate dead and create undead. These are staple abilities of the class, and you don't want to lose them.

Of course, an atonement spell will correct the alignment back to evil. It works on any alignment to revert it to normal.