View Full Version : Deck of Many Things

Tor the Fallen
2007-08-03, 01:05 AM
At what level is a Deck of Many Things all good; the bad being negated by magic?

Evil DM Mark3
2007-08-03, 01:17 AM
The deck you refer to has many names, The cards of fate, The deck of many thing, The Taro of Game Destruction...

Seriously only include it when you want a game to die, some of the cards can't be negated by anything and some have utterly warping effects. The card that changes AL is a good example here.

Just put the cards down and save your game.

2007-08-03, 03:53 AM
Yah, there is no level at which you can completely avoid the negative effects of the cards. That being said, I would give them to your players at level one, becaus frankly, there is nothing more fun then a deck of many things :)

(Note, in the only game that I have seen them in, I wound up throwing them into a sphere of annihilation.... some people just lack the self control that a deck of many things requires)

2007-08-03, 04:14 AM
Hmm... let's see, the bad effects are:

Undoable by magic
Imprisonment, if your party figures it out, just a freedom away.
-1d4 int, restorable

Undoable by plot
-1 to saving throws, need divine intervention ie plot.
The legendary Void, Potentially undoable by plot if you have plane hoppers in your party (well, plane shift is a 5th level Cleric spell, so 11th level)

DM weapons
Enmity with an Outsider, your DM loves you.
Enmity of a NPC, might hurt, might be a new (recurring) villain.

The real bad stuff
Alignment change, hurts roll players.
-10k exp, must draw again, maybe undoable with greater restoration or plot? DM call.
All nonmagic items and property lost. This one can hurt bad.
All magic items lost. This one will hurt bad.
Dread Wraith - ECL what, 16? 18? Good luck.

So, we're left with two (of 10) bad effects that are directly undoable by magic. Notice I'm not counting the DM weapons, as that might be defined as fluff.

Of the good effects, 1/3 are meh. 4th level fighter? yay. 50 gems, 50k gp. If your DM doesn't opt for economics. A keep somewhere? Meh! Three XP-giving ones, one for a full level. Not bad. 1d4 wishes? 25,000 - 100,000gp, you might need one to undo a bad effect or get 1..4 magic items.

Comparing the good stuff to the bad stuff (and the odds). I think I'd go with the previous poster and throw the deck into a bag of devouring.

Of course, you could do what someone suggested and summon a monster/undead to draw from the deck, to make money from the gems and items. You might even go for Archons since Archon-usable major magic items are nifty.

Famous last words: "I know if I draw a card, it'll be the Void."

2007-08-03, 04:38 AM
I'll have to jump in on the bandwagon; you don't need to be Admiral Akbar to see the Deck of Many Things for what it really is. It's particularly insidious due to its exploitation of human behavior concerning all forms of gambling: the irrational belief that one can beat the system and the unwillingness (in this case, the inability) to cut one's losses.

If you feel the urge to use the Deck of Many Things, just remember: it came from Gary Gygax's brain.

2007-08-03, 04:57 AM
The alignment change is undoable for 4,000gp: Helm of Opposite Alignment. Though there is the Will save...

2007-08-03, 05:06 AM
The Best use of a Deck of Many Things is, always has been, and always will be as a Disjunction deterrent. Simply attach it to a a necklace and proclaim your possession of an artifact to any spellcasters capable of casting disjunction that you are in combat with. They're likely to not disjunction you now due to risk of losing their magic.

Evil DM Mark3
2007-08-03, 05:28 AM
The alignment change is undoable for 4,000gp: Helm of Opposite Alignment. Though there is the Will save...

THOUT SHALL NOT SPAM HOOA! Seriously there are certain players who declare that it should be used for all moral dilemas.


2007-08-03, 05:33 AM
Deck of many things shouldn't be used before 9th level (Even a minor artifact is to "artifact" for anything below this level).

The beauty of Deck of Many Things is that there is no level where you're immune to the effects. As some bad effects become weaker, others become more powerful.

Epic is where nothing is absolutely fatal (well the PC might commit suicide if they lose all their magic items at epic level, but technically that's not the deck killing them).

To avoid silliness you should probably use the old restriction on max cards drawn. I'd reccommend no more than 3, absolute limit of 6. Otherwise you'll get wisearses who'll draw 100 cards on the principle that they either get lots of great stuff, they get a new PC and do it again, or you save their butt and they get loot. It can also be used by people who have philosophacal objections to the Deck of Many Things, and will use unlimited draws to try and destroy the game and blame it on the Deck.

There's another thread a couple of months back that showed how it completely offends some peoples style of game play (and I don't mean "annoyed" I mean "foam at the mouth" offend) so keep that in mind if you use it.

Edit: Re: Changing alignment. This can be reversed with the Atonement spell. It's one of the official purposes of the spell.-
"Atonement may be cast for one of several purposes, depending on the version selected.
Reverse Magical Alignment Change

If a creature has had its alignment magically changed, atonement returns its alignment to its original status at no cost in experience points. "


The Glyphstone
2007-08-03, 06:10 AM
I've seen some pretty neat alternate DoMT out there - the best one I saw IMO (don't remember where) was, I believe, 100 different effects, each of them scaling by level of the drawer in ranges. I think the justification was that the deck sensed your importance on the cosmic scale, and rewarded/punished you based on such.