Deck of many things

From PathfinderWiki
Deck of many things
(Magic item)

Aura (1E)
Strong (all schools)
Caster Level (1E)
20th
Item Level (2E)
22
Type
Slot (1E)
None
Usage (2E)
Held in one hand
Source: Classic Treasures Revisited, pg(s). 16–21

A deck of many things is a rare and powerful, but chaotic, minor artifact in the form of a deck of 22 unique cards.1 They are said to be the duplicated progeny of Shelana the Mother Deck, an intelligent deck believed to be the first on Golarion.2

Appearance

A deck is typically contained in a box or leather pouch. Each deck is composed of either cards of vellum paper or plaques of ivory that are engraved with symbols and sigils representing its suit.12

Cards

A standard deck contains these 22 cards, each affecting the wielder in some way:123

  • Balance: Their alignment radically and instantly changes.
  • Comet: If they alone defeat the next hostile monsters they encounter, their abilities rapidly increase in proficiency.
  • Donjon: They are instantly stripped of their gear and spells and imprisoned by either magic or a powerful being. The prison might be on another plane.4
  • Dullard: Their intelligence is drained and the card permanently disappears, but they can draw again.
  • Euryale: They are permanently cursed, and the curse can be lifted only by The Fates card or a deity.
  • The Fates: At any point in the future, the wielder can permanently alter reality to avoid or reverse a past occurrence that affected the wielder.
  • Flames: The deck summons an outsider or fiend who is irresistibly angry with, jealous, or envious of the wielder.
  • Fool: Their abilities regress. The card is discarded, and the wielder is forced to draw again.
  • Gem: They are showered with gems or jewelery.
  • Jester: They can choose for either their abilities to rapidly increase in proficiency, or to draw from the deck two additional times.
  • Key: A magical weapon suddenly appears in their hand.
  • Knight: A fighter instantly appears and pledges to serve them until death.
  • Moon: They can make at least one wish within one minute. The number of wishes is indicated by the moon phase depicted in the image of a moonstone gem on the card, with a full moon granting four and a quarter moon granting one.
  • Rogue: One of their friends is destined to betray them and begins plotting against them in secret.
  • Ruin: They lose ownership of all of their mundane wealth and property.
  • Skull: The deck summons a dread wraith or lesser death, and the wielder must single-handedly defeat it. Failure permanently destroys the character so thoroughly that no wish or miracle can revive them, and only a deity can restore them to life.
  • Star: They immediately become significantly stronger, faster, stouter, smarter, wiser, or more charismatic.
  • Sun: They acquire a random wondrous item, and their abilities rapidly increase in proficiency.
  • Talons: All of their magic items are immediately and permanently lost, except for the deck itself and any artifacts more powerful than it.
  • Throne: They instantly become much more competent at diplomacy. A small castle appears in any location they desire within one hour of drawing the card, with ownership granted to them.
  • Vizier: Within a year of drawing the card, they can learn the solution to any one problem or receive the answer to any one question unless the information is obscured by a deity.
  • The Void: Their mind or soul is instantly trapped in an object on another planet or plane, leaving their body comatose. Wishes and miracles can do no more than reveal their location.

Usage

The wielder of a deck speaks aloud the number of cards they intend to draw, and must then draw at least one card per hour until they have drawn their announced limit. If they do not, the deck draws from itself on its own. After drawing a card, it disappears and returns to the deck which shuffles itself immediately, unless it is the Jester or Dullard.2

Destruction

To destroy a deck, its wielder must lose it in a bet with a lawful deity who is ignorant of its nature2 or trick the grim reaper into drawing the Skull card.1

On Golarion

History

At some point after indirectly causing the War of Keeps in -5933 AR, Shelana devised a way to manipulate her wielders into drawing certain cards, and discovered that she could control a wielder who drew both the Sun and Moon cards and force them to duplicate herself. She repeated this feat for decades, making her the progenitor of Golarion's other decks of many things.2

Desnans, who are fascinated by decks of many things, believe Shelana descended from their deity's home of Cynosure.2

Locations

Facing an orc invasion from the Hold of Belkzen on 17 Arodus 4517 AR in Lastwall, Sergeant Strom Gauntwood drew a Moon card from a deck of many things and wished Castle Everstand into existence.567 As of 4713 AR, the fate of that deck was unknown.8

The Blakros Museum is known to possess a deck of many things, and has displayed a replica of one created by Dhrami Blakros.9

Organizations

The Dire Gambler's Club travels Avistan and participates in Fate Dueling, a game that uses a mundane simulation of a deck of many things.2

Variants

Related items

A phylactery of faithfulness prevents or warns its wielder from drawing the deck's Balance card, which would change its wielder's alignment.11

In the Great Beyond

In Stethelos of the Dimension of Time, the elebrian Click this link to see if this article exists on StarfinderWiki. Zo! Click this link to see if this article exists on StarfinderWiki. hosts a contest, Draw That Card!, in which participants draw from a deck before an undead audience. Survivors win a special collectors' version of the deck and a Book of Infinite Spells.12

References

Paizo published a chapter on decks of many things in Classic Treasures Revisited.