View Full Version : Tarot of Fate [Artifacts]

The Demented One
2006-12-21, 10:08 PM
The Fate Tarot

The Fate Tarot are a group of major artifacts imbued with extraordinary occult power. Who made the cards, or why, remains unknown–magical divinations into the matter give no answer whatsoever, and even the gods are thought to be ignorant. Though the cards may have been united into a full deck at one time, they have been scattered for centuries–all attempts at uniting the cards have failed, and those who undertake such attempts often die mysteriously. The cards of the Fate Tarot are almost found by chance or coincidence, and rarely does a creature retain possession of one for long. So great is the power of the cards, spoken of in countless legends, that the surfacing of one is often cause enough to instigate wars or bitter vendettas. Each card can only be activated by a specific ritual. The effects of a card vary greatly, as do their penalties–most cards impose some burden on their invokers after being used, a burden which cannot be removed by any mortal magic. Only the Major Arcana of the Fate Tarot are known to exist–it is believed their creator did not trifle with the lesser cards.

The Fool
The Fool card depicts a young man perched on a cliff, his feet dangerously close to the edge. It is a symbol, not so much of ignorance, but of adventure, setting out to discover the world. The ritual to invoke the card is not difficult–one must create a circle of rose petals around the card, and then flip a single golden piece onto the card. Once The Fool has been invoked, it teleports the invoker to a truly random location on a random plane, determined by the DM. The Fool will never send its invoker into an environment in which he cannot survive. Though most of the invoker’s possessions are teleported with him, the Fool card itself, along with any other Major Arcana of the Fate Tarot the invoker may possess, are not. They are likewise teleported to random locations.

Strong Conjuration, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Magician
The Magican card depicts young man dressed in red and white robes, presiding over a table bearing ritual tool and instruments. He raises an ivory wand in his left hand towards the heavens, and points his right hand to his feet. A snake has wrapped itself around his head, forming the symbol of Ouroboros. To invoke the Magician, the invoker must first acquire a platinum piece, a masterwork dagger, a finely wrought chalice worth at least 50 gp, and an ivory wand worth at least 250 gp. He must arrange the first three items around the card to form a rough triangle, and then tap the card with the wand. Upon invoking the card, he is immediately imbued with a single spell slot, containing a randomly chosen arcane spell. To determine the level of the spell, the DM rolls 1d10-1, and then chooses a spell of the appropriate level at his own whim. The invoker learns what spell he has been imbued with. Casting the spell requires no components whatsoever to be provided. The spell has a caster level of 20th, and its DC is equal to 10 + the spell’s level + the invoker’s Int modifier. Once the spell is cast, the granted spell slot vanishes until the next time the card is invoked. However, after casting the spell, the invoker also takes 2 points of ability burn to each of his mental ability scores. Until he recovers this ability burn, he cannot invoke the Magician. In addition, until the burn is healed, the invoker suffers horrible dreams of being devoured alive by the Magician whenever he sleeps, function as the nightmare spell, caster level 20th, DC 25.

Strong Universal, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The High Priestess
The High Priestess card depicts a woman of meek but noble countenance, dressed in the white robes of a cleric, seated between a black and a white pillar. She wears a diadem resembling a crescent moon, and holds a book, whose writing is obscured by her left hand. The High Priestess can only be invoked on the night of a full moon; the ritual requires that the invoker place the card in the center of a circle made of stones–which can be anything from pebbles to megaliths–in clear sight of the moon, and to pray before the card for three hours, thirty three minutes, and three seconds. Once the ritual is complete, the invoker gains the benefits of the commune spell, caster level 20th. However, the invoker does not commune with his own deity–instead, he communes with a primal and fierce moon goddess whose name has long since been forgotten. Once the commune effects ends, the moon goddess lays her mark on the invoker–a brand depicting the crescent moon, which appears on his left hand, imparting a -2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. The mark lasts until the next new moon, after which it fades.

Strong Divination, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Empress
The Empress card depicts an aristocratic women seated upon a throne in the middle of a field of grain, wearing a twelve-pronged crown and clutching a scepter. A potent figure of life and motherhood, the ritual to invoke her can only be performed by an adult female. The invoker must make a mixture of fermented and distilled grains and her own menstrual blood, and use this mixture to draw a circle about the card. When invoked, the Empress can bring forth life in one of three ways. It can heal the invoker or another character present at the time of the ritual, as the heal spell, caster level 20th. It can resurrect a character known to the invoker, as the true resurrection spell, caster level 20th. Finally, it can cause the invoker to become immediately pregnant. The pregnancy and delivery are free from any complications and virtually painless, and the child born–always female–is always healthy and strong-willed. The Empress bestows no penalties on those who invoke her, but a character must wait nine months before she can invoke the Empress a second time. A character that invokes the Empress to induce a pregnancy can never invoke it again.

Strong Conjuration, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Emperor
The Emperor card depicts a nobleman crowned and seated upon a golden throne, wielding scepter and orb, and accompanied by a giant eagle. A masculine figure of authority and control, the ritual to invoke him can only be performed by a male. The invoker bind the card to his forehead with a golden braid, and stab himself in the chest with a masterwork dagger. This is treated as a coup de grace attempt made with the dagger, though the invoker gets a +6 circumstance bonus on the save to avoid dying. Upon completing the ritual, the invoker gains one of the following benefits. He may gain Leadership as a bonus feat, and gains a permanent +5 inherent bonus to his leadership score. Loyal men seek out the invoker to serve as his cohort or followers, arriving within a day. Should the invoker’s cohort or one of his followers die, a replacement will seek out the invoker within a day. Alternatively, he may grant himself a +5 inherent bonus to Charisma. Finally, he may create a dominate monster effect, caster level 20th, with a save DC of 19 + the invoking character’s Charisma modifier. The dominate monster effect has no range limit–the invoker must simply visualize a creature to enslave. If it succeeds, the dominated creature immediately seeks out the invoker as quickly as possible, and begins serving him. After this, however, the invoker permanently loses 2 points of Constitution, which can never be regained, as his self-inflicted wounds gush out a torrent of blood before closing and scarring over. An invoker who uses the former two effects of the Emperor can never invoke it again.

Strong Enchantment and Transmutation, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Hierophant
The Hierophant card depicts a stern-faced man dressed in clerical attire, wearing a miter and raising his right hand in benediction. Invoking the Hierophant requires the invoker to lay the card upon an alter of his deity, and spend eight hours in prayer, burning rare incenses worth 100 gp. At the end of the invocation, the invoker gains the benefits of the atonement spell, caster level 20th. Unlike the High Priestess card, the Hierophant actually serves as a direct conduit to the invoker’s patron deity. After the invoker has atoned, his deity lays a quest on him, as the geas/quest spell, caster level 20th, with no save. The specifics of the quest are determined by the DM, but it always serves to advance the cause of the god. A character may only invoke the Hierophant a single time.

Strong Abjuration, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Lovers
The Lovers card depicts a pair of youths embracing each other passionately beneath a towering apple tree. The card, unlike all others, can only be invoked by a pair of people. Invoking the Lovers requires both invokers to kiss each other. Once the card is invoked, a mystic bond is created between the invokers, functioning as a permanent status effect and a permanent telepathic bond effect, both of which work in both directions. However, the Lovers also ties its invokers together–should one of them die, the other dies as well, with no save allowed. A character may only invoke the Lovers a single time.

Strong Divination, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Chariot
The Chariot card depicts a noble figure seated in an ornate chariot, born by a pair of horses–one black as night, the other as white as snow. The ritual to invoke the Chariot requires the invoker to spend a week traveling in solitude, carrying nothing but the card itself, and sleeping only by the side of the road. At the completion of the ritual, the invoker gains the ability to use the phantom steed spell as a spell-like ability at will, caster level 20th. However, his own legs are blighted, reducing his base land speed by 20 ft., to a minimum of 10 ft, and causing him to permanently lose two points of Dexterity. A character may only invoke the Chariot a single time.

Strong Conjuration, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Strength
The Strength card depicts a women, seemingly the sister of the Magician, wrestling with a fearsome lion, forcing its jaws shut. The ritual to invoke it is simple–the invoker must simply seek out a creature whose CR is equal to or greater than his character level, and single-handedly slay it, with no outside assistance. Once the ritual is completed, the invoker gains his choice of a +5 inherent bonus to Strength, or a +5 inherent bonus to his natural armor. However, his mind is also reverted to a more bestial state to match his newfound strength, causing him to permanently lose two points of Intelligence. A character may only invoke the Strength a single time.

Strong Transmutation, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Hermit
The Hermit card depicts an elderly, wizened man traversing a wasteland, bearing a lit lantern in his left hand and a staff in his right. Invoking the Hermit requires the invoker to abandon all physical possessions excluding the Hermit card and seclude himself in the wilderness, living in isolation for three weeks. Once the ritual is complete, the invoker permanently gains 25 skill points to spend as he sees fit. However, his time in the wilderness leaves him out of touch with society, causing him to permanently lose two points of Charisma. A character may only invoke the Hermit a single time.

Strong Divination, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune card depicts a wheel engraved with the four suites of the Tarot, being spun by an angel, a fiend, a modron, and a slaad. To invoke the Wheel of Fortune, the invoker must simply flip the card in the air, and let it fall to his feet. To determine the effect of the Wheel of Fortune when invoked, roll 1d4 and consult the table below. Regardless of the effect rolled, the penalty of the Wheel of Fortune is the same–the invoker has the symbols of the Tarot suites permanently branded on his skin. This branding causes him to become quasi-obsessed with the Tarot and fate in general, causing him to permanently lose two points of Wisdom. A character may only invoke the Wheel of Fortune a single time.

1|Coins|100,000 gp in various coins and gems appears at the invoker’s feat.
2|Cups|The invoker permanently gains 30 hit points.
3|Swords|A +5 anarchic sword appears in the invoker’s hands. In the hands of anyone else, it functions as a -5 sword.
4|Wands|The invoker gains the benefit of a permanent arcane sight and a permanent analyze dweomer spell.[/table]

Strong Universal, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Justice
The Justice depicts a stern woman, bearing a sword in her right hand and a pair of scales in the left. The ritual to invoke the Justice is simpler–the invoker must simply state what injustice he seeks to avenge. Upon being invoked, the Justice produces either a dictum or a holy word effect, caster level 20th, DC 17 + the caster’s Wisdom modifier. Alternatively, it can produce a holy aura or a shield of law effect, caster level 20th. After invoking the Justice, the invoker falls unconscious for 1d10 minutes. At the end of this time, he must make a DC 25 Fortitude save to awaken. If he fails, he remains unconscious for a further 1d6 hours.

Strong Abjuration and Evocation, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man card depicts a youth being hung upside-down from a gallows, with a look of utter serenity on his face. Invoking the Hanged Man is simple–the invoker need simply hang himself. Once the ritual is complete, the invoker dies, even if the hanging attempt was insuccessful. However, he remains tied to the card–within 1d6 days, he reforms as a ghost. Should he be destroyed as a ghost, his rejuvenation ability revives him, and continues to do so as long as he maintains his tie to the Hanged Man. The only way to destroy a ghost’s tie to the Hanged Man is for another character to invoke the Hanged Man himself and be reborn as a ghost. After this has been done, the previous invoker can be truly destroyed. A character can only invoke the Hanged Man once.

Strong Necromancy, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Death
The Death card depicts a skeletal rider cloaked in black, mounted upon a pale horse. With his scythe, he cuts away the lives of all those around him. Invoking the Death requires the invoker to mutilate himself, carving occult symbols into his body, which deals 2d6 points of damage to him. Once the ritual has been completed, the invoker may name any being he knows of. That being must make a Fortitude save, DC 19 plus the Charisma modifier of the invoker, or die. However, the card also seeks to devour its invoker’s life. The invoker must make a Fortitude save at the same DC or die. Even if he succeeds, he takes two points of ability burn to each of his physical ability scores due to the mutilation. He must wait until he has fully healed the ability burn before he can invoke the Death again. A character that dies as a result of invoking the Death may never invoke it again.

Strong Necromancy, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Temperance
The Temperance card depicts an angelic woman, pouring water from one vessel into another while hovering above a stream. The judge of souls, Temperance delivers the dead to their final resting place. Invoking the Temperance requires the invoker to create a complex alchemical formula, requiring ingredients worth 500 gp and a DC 20 Craft (Alchemy) check. This compound must then be used to scribe occult symbols on a wooden door. Once the ritual is complete, that door becomes a gate to any of the Outer Planes, as the spell, caster level 20th. The gate can only be used to travel. If the invoker opens a gate to a plane that does not share his alignment, an outsider or outsiders native to the plane whose total EL is equal to the invoker’s character level come through the gate and fight him to the death. Once the Temperance has been used, it cannot be invoked again for a week.

Strong Conjuration, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Devil
The Devil card depicts a savage, vile fiend, though to be an amalgam of all the Lords of the Nine. Invoking the card is all too easy–the invoker need only sign his name in blood on the card. Doing so creates a greater planar ally effect, caster level 20th. Only evil outsiders can be summoned in this way, but they require no payment at all. However, at the end of their service, they do not return to their home plane–instead, they turn on their attacker, seeking to kill him. Even if he lives, when he dies, his soul is immediately damned to hell, and he can never be resurrected.

Strong Conjuration, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Tower
The Tower card depicts a massive tower being struck by lightning and set aflame. Invoking the card summons the ultimate catastrophe at the ultimate cost. To invoke the Tower, the invoker must kill himself. Once he has completed the ritual, a earthquake effect, a storm of vengeance effect, and a whirlwind effect, all with caster level 20th, and a DC equal to 19 + the invoker’s Wisdom modifier. These effects are guided by the invoker even as he dies–he remains aware of his surroundings, even as a disembodied soul, until they end. The invoker of the Tower can never be resurrected.

Strong Conjuration and Evocation, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Star
The Star card depicts a nude nymph beneath a starry sky pouring the water out of two jugs–one she pours into a stream, the other onto the banks. The Star can only be invoked at night. The ritual to invoke the Star requires the invoker to submerge himself in water in sight of the sky, and to hold his breath until he can no longer do so. Just as the invoker’s breath runs out, the ritual is completed. The Star creates the invoker’s choice of an etherealness or an astral projection effect, caster level 20th, affecting only the invoker. If the invoker chooses the astral projection effect, his physical body cannot be harmed or killed for the effect’s duration. Every time a character invokes the Star, a pentagram-like symbol is branded onto him, giving him a cumulative -1 penalty on saves against spells. The brands are permanent.

The Moon
The Moon card depicts the moon shedding its light on a pair of wolves dancing about two stone towers. The ritual to invoke the Moon requires the invoker to slay an animal with his bare hands and paint his body with its still-warm blood, and then to dance all night under the full moon. Upon invoking the Moon, the invoker immediately gains the lycanthrope template, becoming a were-animal of the type of animal whose blood he used in the ritual. However, whenever he enters his animal or hybrid form, he is struck by a mad rage, and becomes incapable of distinguishing friend from foe–instead, he simply attacks the creature nearest to him each round, attacking a random foe if more than one creature is equally close to him. A character can invoke the Moon only once.

Strong Transmutation, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Sun
The Sun card depicts an infant bearing a red banner riding a white horse, under the rays of the sun. Invoking the Sun simply requires the invoker to watch the rising of the sun, and to build a bonfire after doing so, burning rare incenses worth at least 1,000 gp. Once the ritual is complete, the invoker gains the benefits of the greater heroism spell, caster level 20th, for the rest of the day. However, that night, he becomes extremely weak. Every hour, he must make a Fortitude save, DC 25 + one for every save he has previously failed, or take one point of Constitution burn. If he takes Constitution burn in this way, he cannot invoke the Sun again until he has fully healed all of it.

Strong Enchantment, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The Judgement
The Judgement card depicts an archangel blowing a trumpet above the assembled peoples of the world. The ritual to invoke the Judgement varies, based on whether the invoker wishes to use the card to save or to damn. To save, he must spend 5,000 xp, and spend eight hours in self-flagellation. The creature he chooses to save, which may not be himself, must then drink the blood from his wounds. If it is good, it gains the half-celestial template. To damn, he simply has to spend 5,000 xp and strike the creature he chooses to damn with a weapon. If the damned creature is evil, it immediately gains the half-fiend template, but it is immediately dragged to Hell by an assembly of summoned fiends, never to return. A character may only invoke the Judgement once.

Strong Transmutation, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

The World
The World card depicts a naked woman wreathed in ivy dancing above the earth. The ritual used to invoke the World is barely a ritual at all–the invoker must simply wish to be in a safe place. Once the ritual is complete, the invoker is transported to the demiplane within the World card, which is similar to that created by the genesis spell, caster level 20th. The first time a character enters the demiplane, it immediately conforms to the character’s wishes of what it should look like. He may leave the demiplane simply by wishing to do so. No creature other than the invoker may travel to the demiplane. However, for every day the invoker spends in the demiplane, he ages a year.

Strong Conjuration, CL 20th. Major Artifact.

Fualkner Asiniti
2006-12-21, 10:48 PM
Nice, D1. They rock.

Winged One
2006-12-21, 10:54 PM
Truely wonderful artifacts. It's a pity I don't DM; an entire campaign could be based off of these things.

2006-12-21, 11:38 PM
I plan to do just that, myself.

The Demented One
2006-12-22, 01:04 AM
I wouldn't advise using them all in one campaign - that's just throwing around too much power. If you're planning on using them as the centerpiece of a campaign, I'd advise picking maybe two to five to have show up, and get fought over. As long as you balance out the cards the players get with the cards the bad guy holds on to, I think it should work out nicely.

2006-12-22, 02:15 AM
Am i missing something? or are these not so powerful seeing how they have such major drawbacks?

The Demented One
2006-12-22, 11:33 AM
They're intended to be powerful - that's the point of major artifacts, after all. The intent of these was for one or a few of them to be introduced into a high-level or epic game. The drawbacks mitigate the power somewhat, but they're still all very powerful items.

2006-12-22, 01:13 PM
no no, i mean some of them dont seem powerful enough to be major artifact, like the one that gives heroism or the chariot
however the 'hanged man' is powerful and i can see that as an artifact

The Demented One
2006-12-22, 01:17 PM
The Sun's actually pretty decent - greater heroism for a day, usable every day? Assuming your Fortitude save is high enough to mitigate the penalties, it's pretty powerful. As for The Chariot, consider that a CL 20th phantom steed is pretty nice - it lets you fly at somewhere around 250 ft./round.

2006-12-22, 02:50 PM
Well, they are good. I've done this before myself, even made a campaign where they are vital, but, I don't like some of the effects. They don't ring true to what the cards were supposed to symbolise. Perhaps they ring true to the image and/or name, but still...

Anyway, some are simply not useable. Judgement, for example, can be replicated with a "Visage of the Deity" and a "Permanency" at a lower cost. (4500 xp). And if you are at a level when you can survive such an experience loss (level 6), just purchasing the spells might be a better option. Others, like Heirophant or Priestess, are simply weak. Atonement or Commune as Major Artifacts? Rather minor (pardon the pun) me thinks.

Other than that, I think you've done a great job.

2006-12-22, 02:54 PM
Shouldn't there be some kind of resonance effect if one person holds them all together? Like a bonus feat:

I Win
Benefit: The game is over and the person with the feat wins.

2006-12-22, 03:01 PM
Oh, another thing. The magician. First of all, not all creatures sleep. What about them? Secondly, from the way I read it, the only way to regain the ability burn is by resting them back up. Nightmare prevents restful sleep, thus preventing natural regeneration of ability scores.

Shadow of the Sun
2006-12-22, 04:30 PM
Nah, the resonance effect should be immediate godhood. The BBEG could be collecting them, and you need to stop him. He could be using the Hanged Man as a method of continuing the search, even after death.

2006-12-22, 06:25 PM
Dear God, why must these artifacts rock soooo much?

I love 'em, I really do, and I will show these to my DM.