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person29
2011-04-03, 05:34 PM
if you are like me and my groups then you too love the deck of many things

what my question is, what do you think the "ideal" level range for a party encountering the deck would be...i think of "ideal" as any bad things/combats resulting from it being difficult but not impossible, and any good things not being game breaking

thanks

Shpadoinkle
2011-04-03, 05:37 PM
As I understand it, most groups consider that particular artifact a campaign ender.

In my experience, the DM giving the party a DoMT is an unofficial way of saying "Okay guys, campaign's over, let's just screw around with stuff until everybody's dead or gods."

Sinfonian
2011-04-03, 05:37 PM
Never. (http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/6/28/)Ten character minimum.

Thurbane
2011-04-03, 09:14 PM
Ideal level range is variable with DoMT - I would recommend it be done on the last session of the campaign, whatever level that is. :smallwink:

DoMT is a great concept, and can be fun, but it has a proven track record as a campaign killer. It tends to either gimp characters to the point of being unplayable (or outright destroying them with little hope of Resurrection), or give them outrageously overpowered abilities or items.

I think there is a Lesser Deck of Many Things out there (maybe homebrew, or an online article at WotC) with toned down effects - I'd recommend this over the standard DoMT.

Safety Sword
2011-04-03, 09:22 PM
It's A Trap!

Amnestic
2011-04-03, 09:27 PM
What everyone above me has said. The Deck of Many Things is an awesome idea. Gambling with your characters? Aces! You can win or lose everything. That's also the problem. If it's not the end of your campaign, chances are your party's going to be decimated by the end of it. Some people will get good draws and probably raise in level dramatically, others will likely end up dead or crippled and incapable of fighting properly without DM intervention.

Viskocity
2011-04-03, 09:56 PM
I'm currently in a campaign which has survived the DoMT and is still ongoing. Still, the results were not pretty. All but one of us drew, and we had maybe 40-50% character death or disfigurement (lots of players, hard to remember exactly), and a few cases of brokenly powerful abilities.

The only reason this didn't end worse was because we traded the deck away to some NPCs before the newly rolled characters could draw their cards from the deck. All in all, it was a fun experience but not one likely to be repeated. (Also, the DM used some cool tarot cards as a prop, which made drawing even more irresistible).

Alleran
2011-04-03, 10:12 PM
Never. (http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/6/28/)Ten character minimum.
I don't get it. The Wish spell isn't that powerful - as far as I'm aware, it just does the same thing that a regular Wish would do.

Also, one of my current characters survived using a Deck of Many Things. Got lucky and drew the "you get your own keep and a +6 bonus to Diplomacy" card.

sonofzeal
2011-04-03, 10:24 PM
The easiest way to break DoMT - Suggestion. "Hey, you should totally draw twelve cards!" If Suggestion is insufficient, try Diplomancy or Dominate Person.

You can almost guarantee that the person drawing twelve cards is pretty much completely screwed, but you can also expect a hefty pile of loot left there afterwards. And possibly a castle.

Yora
2011-04-04, 01:59 AM
I don't get it. The Wish spell isn't that powerful
The wish spell isn't. The Deck of Many Things (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/artifacts.htm#deckofManyThings) is!
And it's not that it's too powerful, but that it just randomly screws everything up. And there aren't that many cards. The chance for a particular event to happen are quite high.

Alleran
2011-04-04, 03:32 AM
The wish spell isn't. The Deck of Many Things (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/artifacts.htm#deckofManyThings) is!
And it's not that it's too powerful, but that it just randomly screws everything up. And there aren't that many cards. The chance for a particular event to happen are quite high.
No, I don't get the comic. He says he draws the Wish card. Okay, he has 1d4 wishes.

Except the Wish spell can't remove Tiamat from existence. It isn't that powerful. Yes, the Deck of Many Things can tear a campaign apart, but the Wish card is small potatoes compared with some of what the DoMT can do (e.g. Talons, Vizier, Void, Fates... especially Void), because Wish has a built-in "DM can screw with you" clause.

Forbiddenwar
2011-04-04, 11:09 AM
No, I don't get the comic. He says he draws the Wish card. Okay, he has 1d4 wishes.

Except the Wish spell can't remove Tiamat from existence. It isn't that powerful.

Hyperbole (, from ancient Greek 'exaggeration') is a rhetorical device in which statements are exaggerated. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally.

On topic: does anyone know of the minor deck of many things mentioned. That would be nice to find.

Teln
2011-04-04, 11:22 AM
...Here (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=lesser+deck+of+many+things), maybe?

Tyndmyr
2011-04-04, 11:28 AM
I'm currently in a campaign which has survived the DoMT and is still ongoing. Still, the results were not pretty. All but one of us drew, and we had maybe 40-50% character death or disfigurement (lots of players, hard to remember exactly), and a few cases of brokenly powerful abilities.

The only reason this didn't end worse was because we traded the deck away to some NPCs before the newly rolled characters could draw their cards from the deck. All in all, it was a fun experience but not one likely to be repeated. (Also, the DM used some cool tarot cards as a prop, which made drawing even more irresistible).

Yeah, I found me a Cuthulu themed Tarot deck. I use it for the DoMT and certain other RPGs that utilize a Tarot deck. None can resist it.

But yeah, it's generally horrific. I'll make an exception for at level one. If the characters are replaceable, it's not so bad.

person29
2011-04-04, 12:50 PM
Yes it may be a campaign killer etc...but if it were to be used, what do you think would be a balanced level to do it, where the wraith, imprisonment etc are challenging to overcome, but not impossible...and the rewards (magic item etc) are not game breaking

Shpadoinkle
2011-04-04, 01:00 PM
The appropriate level to use it is the level at which you want your campaign to end.

Hecuba
2011-04-04, 01:08 PM
The appropriate level to use it is the level at which you want your campaign to end.

That's only really fair if you would also end the campaign for, say, a 60% party kill. Personally, I find that the deck is an interesting way to shake up the story by randomly changing the party makeup.

Garagos
2011-04-04, 01:08 PM
Yes it may be a campaign killer etc...but if it were to be used, what do you think would be a balanced level to do it, where the wraith, imprisonment etc are challenging to overcome, but not impossible...and the rewards (magic item etc) are not game breaking

I haven't looked at the Deck in awhile but I'd guess maybe 13th to 17th level since no one else seems to be answering the question the way you want.

Tyndmyr
2011-04-04, 01:11 PM
Yes it may be a campaign killer etc...but if it were to be used, what do you think would be a balanced level to do it, where the wraith, imprisonment etc are challenging to overcome, but not impossible...and the rewards (magic item etc) are not game breaking

See, this just doesn't happen.

Consider the following possibilities:
1. Change alignment instantly. This can pretty much screw a character concept over pretty hard. Taken alone, as the only thing that happens to a party, it can be overcome, but it's major. It's also not level dependent.

2. One of your friends turns against you. Causes disruption. In general, for this to matter, it ends up being a friend of about your level, either in or out of the party. End conclusion: Equally bad regardless of level.

3. Permanently lose 1d4+1 int. Pretty much always terrible, if int matters to you. You may be able to hobble along, but it's never irrelevant. In worst cases, it kills a char concept based on int being a secondary stat.

4. Immediately lose all wealth and real property. Yeah. Always sucks. Always.

5. All magic items you possess disappear permanently. See 4.

6. Body functions, but soul is trapped elsewhere. Bad. Always bad. Sure, with 9th level spells, you can determine WHERE it's trapped, but it still results in a PC not playing while you rescue them.

In short, even at the highest of levels, it still wrecks campaigns.

cfalcon
2011-04-04, 01:19 PM
About level 14, when the PCs have enough going on that they'll risk it all... maybe.

Do remember, it can blow up everything. You can lose characters permanently from your game, or you can end up with them spawning an array of small keeps and stacking up wishes.

Deck of Many Things is the best item in the game, IMO ;)

cfalcon
2011-04-04, 01:28 PM
Two caveats:

1- It can change things dramatically. Characters may have to reroll, and you may have to adjust your campaign world suddenly.
2- You should NOT give it to very low level characters. They have nothing to lose, and much to gain- for them, drawing from the deck is not a choice, it's mandatory- much like very poor or oppressed people will take any chance to better themselves, up to and including gambling their own organs, a rich person would not be likely to gamble their entire worth with a 50/50 shot of doubling it- or, for that matter, not even 75/25 in their favor, because the rewards don't outweigh the penalties.

person29
2011-04-04, 01:57 PM
See, this just doesn't happen.

Consider the following possibilities:
1. Change alignment instantly. This can pretty much screw a character concept over pretty hard. Taken alone, as the only thing that happens to a party, it can be overcome, but it's major. It's also not level dependent.

2. One of your friends turns against you. Causes disruption. In general, for this to matter, it ends up being a friend of about your level, either in or out of the party. End conclusion: Equally bad regardless of level.

3. Permanently lose 1d4+1 int. Pretty much always terrible, if int matters to you. You may be able to hobble along, but it's never irrelevant. In worst cases, it kills a char concept based on int being a secondary stat.

4. Immediately lose all wealth and real property. Yeah. Always sucks. Always.

5. All magic items you possess disappear permanently. See 4.

6. Body functions, but soul is trapped elsewhere. Bad. Always bad. Sure, with 9th level spells, you can determine WHERE it's trapped, but it still results in a PC not playing while you rescue them.

In short, even at the highest of levels, it still wrecks campaigns.

1 - sucks more for divine casters...but could be mostly irrelevant for some

2 - does it say a PC turns against you? could be an npc...

3 - yeah sucks especially for int classes...fighter/barb prob doesnt care

4 - unless you are VoP

5 - see 4

6 - perfect if you have a player leaving for awhile (especially if you rig the deck)

You bolded the part about benefits being game breaking but never talked about that...?

Amnestic
2011-04-04, 02:12 PM
1 - sucks more for divine casters...but could be mostly irrelevant for some

Mechanically it sucks for divine casters, yes, but your character shifting from Neutral Good to Neutral Evil is a pretty huge character switch and changes his character - something which (if you're drawing at level 14+) has been crafted over what is likely a fair bit of time and who you've probably grown quite attached to. It sucks for anyone who cares about their character's personality.

TurtleKing
2011-04-04, 02:19 PM
I know of one guy's character that survived drawing 23 cards!!!!!!!

Everyone is right about it being a campaign ender.

Tyndmyr
2011-04-04, 02:27 PM
You bolded the part about benefits being game breaking but never talked about that...?

I bolded the part that talks about game breaking. The deck breaks the game, not merely the benefits. The negatives are actually far more likely to end a campaign.

Consider the benefits:
1. Defeat next monster to gain a level. -Eh, results in an almost one level disparity. XP is a river. Feh.
2. Avoid any situation you choose, once. -Very cool, but the one shot nature of it means it isn't a source of permanent power differential.
3. Gain 25 pieces of jewelry or 50 gems. -At low level, a substantial WBL boost that does provide a power differential, and not a small one. At medium-high levels, it's trivial. So, it fixes itself.
4. Gain 10k xp or 2 more draws. -Everyone picks the xp. At low levels, results in an almost two level disparity(since you can't level more than once at once). Again, very cool, but the XP is a River effect mitigates the long term effects. At higher levels, it's not as big.
5. Gain a major magic weapon. -Perhaps the single biggest thing at low levels. This one actually does matter. Mostly for lower tier chars, tho.
6. Gain a 4th level fighter. -It's non-scaling leadership. Feh. Becomes irrelevant in a bit.
7. 1d4 wishes. -Ok, potent. But it's always potent.
8. +2 inherent bonus. -Not that important. A +2 bonus can be had in many ways, and is very rarely overpowering.
9. Medium wonderous item & 50k xp. -Perhaps the best. Provides you with lots of power at any level.
10. +6 bonus on diplomacy and small keep. -Least disruptive bonus yet, really. Having a keep doesn't generally affect party balance.
11. Know the answer to your next dilemma. -Not unbalancing at all. It's a way for a GM to provide hints. Meh.

No, the ones like suddenly losing everything are more problematic.

Amnestic
2011-04-04, 02:54 PM
(since you can't level more than once at once).

I'm not so sure. The PHB states(Pg.58) that you can't level more than once per "adventure" (but never defines what an adventure is as far as I can tell), the DMG(Pg.36) just talks about when you might like to award experience points with regards to sessions/encounters and while it once again references the term "adventure" it also does not define it in any sort of length. The choice of 50k experience from the DoMT seems odd when looking at the pre-epic EXP table. If we do assume that the boon of EXP offered could not be used to level more than once and instead puts you one exp short of your next level, why then does it offer 50k and not 40k?

153,000 is starting at 18th, and 190,000 is starting at 20th. 40k is more than enough to reach it, but it offers 50k.

The Deck seems, in this manner, to go against the rules with its offerings, and I can only assume it is yet another case of WotC making rules they didn't entirely think through, especially since, to some people, "adventure"=the campaign, which feasibly stretches over a dozen or more levels.

Tyndmyr
2011-04-04, 03:00 PM
I'm not so sure. The PHB states(Pg.58) that you can't level more than once per "adventure" (but never defines what an adventure is as far as I can tell),

While that's true, I don't think that anyone can reasonably argue that drawing a single card constitutes multiple adventures.

My guess is that 50k was chosen on the base of it being a nice, large, round number. Sadly, I don't think more thought than that went into it.

Amnestic
2011-04-04, 03:08 PM
While that's true, I don't think that anyone can reasonably argue that drawing a single card constitutes multiple adventures.


Depends on the card :smallcool:

I do away with the rule personally, I would not be surprised if the majority of others do the same.

You're probably right that 50k was just chosen as a round number though. Nice job WotC.

adecoy95
2011-04-04, 04:15 PM
the trick with the deck is to draw alot of cards, like 7 or so. that way you will likely be able to come out on top, or at least even (if you wish you never drew from the deck at all)

Forbiddenwar
2011-04-04, 04:18 PM
After some google fu, I've discovered the official Lesser Deck of Many Things.
It's called the Totem Deck and appeared in Dragon issue #271.
Thanks to the power of the public library I will soon have a copy of the issue emailed to me.

The Cat Goddess
2011-04-04, 04:26 PM
the trick with the deck is to draw alot of cards, like 7 or so. that way you will likely be able to come out on top, or at least even (if you wish you never drew from the deck at all)

Best card... the one you want first: avoid any situation, once.

Perfect for avoiding the Void, the wealth loss, etc.

Metahuman1
2011-04-04, 04:52 PM
Ok, Deck of many things adventure.

Cleric drew one card and got impresioned. Fighter Drew one and got the rouge, so he though he'd kill the ranger right there. (He had 9 Int and 8 Wis.).

Ranger was using a poisoned sword and had a poison that dealt primary and secondary con damage. They fought, and the ranger was killed, but the fighter lost the very last of his con when he blew the secondary save and the ranger's player rolled one under max for the secondary damage. So they both died.

Wizard drew two, took 5 points of Int damage and lost all magic Items, then opted to draw again, and got the idiot card again, and took ANOTHER 5 points of Int damage, so now she was down to 9 Int and unable to cast spells.

My rouge was last to be offered a draw and said "Can't I just tell the big bad evil guy to pick a card?"

And then it was off to recruit new characters for the ranger and fighters players and too then grab the cleric, our leader, and don't think THAT didn't prove a pain.

Otherworld Odd
2011-04-04, 06:03 PM
This whole thread gave me an idea to throw at my players: Just a room, with a deck of many things sitting in the middle. Once they enter the rooms and draw their cards, they get their various boons or gruesome deaths. After someone leaves the room however, they realize that all their prizes were illusions. If someone dies, they merely think they're dead inside the room, but a person outside the room looking in sees him or her clearly alive and just standing there.


If anything else, it would be a good roleplaying and mindf*ck experience. >.>

LOTRfan
2011-04-04, 06:25 PM
This whole thread gave me an idea to throw at my players: Just a room, with a deck of many things sitting in the middle. Once they enter the rooms and draw their cards, they get their various boons or gruesome deaths. After someone leaves the room however, they realize that all their prizes were illusions. If someone dies, they merely think they're dead inside the room, but a person outside the room looking in sees him or her clearly alive and just standing there.


If anything else, it would be a good roleplaying and mindf*ck experience. >.>

That's just cruel. :smallannoyed:

I love it! :smallbiggrin:

John Campbell
2011-04-04, 06:51 PM
You're probably right that 50k was just chosen as a round number though. Nice job WotC.

That number predates the existence of 3.x, its drastically abbreviated experience point system, and even Wizards of the Coast itself by a good many years.

I don't have 1st edition books handy to check, but the AD&D 2E DMG lists the effects of the Sun card as the same 50,000 XP, which wouldn't even get a Fighter all the way from the bottom of 7th level to 8th.

The Cat Goddess
2011-04-04, 07:03 PM
That number predates the existence of 3.x, its drastically abbreviated experience point system, and even Wizards of the Coast itself by a good many years.

I don't have 1st edition books handy to check, but the AD&D 2E DMG lists the effects of the Sun card as the same 50,000 XP, which wouldn't even get a Fighter all the way from the bottom of 7th level to 8th.

Of course, back then you got XP for the items you looted, XP for the spells you cast and rogues got 1 XP for every 1 GP value they stole (not looted).

faceroll
2011-04-05, 05:20 AM
Question: could you set up a Card farm, where you have a bunch of chumps drawing cards and you take their loot?

Amnestic
2011-04-05, 05:26 AM
Question: could you set up a Card farm, where you have a bunch of chumps drawing cards and you take their loot?

I don't see why not, but if they draw a Wish card they can just wish bad things to happen to you, or for the deck to disappear, or things like that, so it's not really a fool proof plan.

It's especially bad if they draw the Vizier since then they know *exactly* how to stop you, since that is arguably their current and most pressing dilemma.

faceroll
2011-04-05, 05:35 AM
I don't see why not, but if they draw a Wish card they can just wish bad things to happen to you, or for the deck to disappear, or things like that, so it's not really a fool proof plan.

It's especially bad if they draw the Vizier since then they know *exactly* how to stop you, since that is arguably their current and most pressing dilemma.

In combination, I can see the two being bad. But the Vizier has this clause: "Whether the information gained can be successfully acted upon is another question entirely." I know the playground has a huge int fetish, but really, it's just another stat.

fortesama
2011-04-05, 10:36 AM
Ah yes, the DoMT. Our group's DM dropped one on us and a friendly psion with his cleric lover just for kicks. A few draws and several deaths, imprisonments, badly-worded greedy wishes and an overleveled player later, the couple decided to "reload the game" and put everything back the way it was before we got the deck.

Apparently the DM just wanted to show off.

Tyndmyr
2011-04-05, 12:01 PM
Question: could you set up a Card farm, where you have a bunch of chumps drawing cards and you take their loot?

Nah. Just tell people that the deck contains the possibility for massive wealth. Ask for a cut if they receive same.

A decent proportion of the people should survive drawing, and be grateful. Those that do not...well, they are no longer a problem.

big teej
2011-04-05, 06:00 PM
this thread calls to mind a campaign idea I had some time ago.

call every player I know
have every player show up.
have every player make a level 10 character.
have every player draw a card from The Deck Of Many Things

DM builds plot/story based on results.
DM belatedly remembers to tell players to expect casualties during character creation.

thoughts?

PlzBreakMyCmpAn
2011-04-06, 12:05 AM
Apparently the DM just wanted to show off.Showing off would be using the deck in a way that didn't screw over everyone:

There is a spell that arguably lets you know what you are about to draw. The save crystal trick would work as well. The DM in that case shouldn't allow excessive luck manipulation, as always.

If you know the series you will draw (and therefore were best to stop) its a great 1shot treasure for a sever

Mojo_Rat
2011-04-06, 12:10 AM
We recently did a Two shot Game at lvl 18 before a friend went overseas. We were Stuck in the Demi plane of Lost things. There was a 'collector' Who had a Big book (the codex of infinate planes i think) which was the only way out of the Demi plane.

Anyhow we collected the Deck of Many things from the Well of Lost Toys. Two of the Players Chose to Draw from it. the worst tha thappend was a Dread Wrath then 3 as people tried to help. Though i know it could have been worse.

it was when We Handed the deck over to the collector and she failed to Read the Codex by 1 pt and 4 balor were gated in that it got ugly. Half the party got beheaded along witht he collectors Pet Jabberwocky.

The Cat Goddess
2011-04-06, 11:17 AM
Showing off would be using the deck in a way that didn't screw over everyone:

There is a spell that arguably lets you know what you are about to draw. The save crystal trick would work as well. The DM in that case shouldn't allow excessive luck manipulation, as always.

If you know the series you will draw (and therefore were best to stop) its a great 1shot treasure for a sever

Ah, you have hit upon the true evil of the Deck of Many Things... You can't just "stop".

When encountered, you have to decide if you will draw or not.
If you decide to draw, you have to decide how many cards you will draw.
If you choose to draw 3 cards, only things like the Dungeon Card, Void Card or dying to the Death Card will make you stop before you've drawn your third card.

So, even knowing that the third card you'll draw is the Void, you cannot stop drawing (unless one of the first two was the "avoid any event" card).

Cruiser1
2011-04-06, 01:14 PM
The save crystal trick would work as well.Traditionally, DM's will rule that divination spells like Augury (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/augury.htm) can't be used to peek within a Deck of Many Things (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/artifacts.htm#deckofManyThings), to decide whether to draw or how many cards to draw, because such simple magic can't penetrate the magic of an artifact. (e.g. "If I choose to draw one card, is the result weal or woe?". Cool, it's weal! Now I'll ask, "If I choose to draw two cards, is the result weal or woe?", etc.)

However, arrangements that actually let you go back in time should be able to undo the results of bad cards (unless a DM decides to really be obnoxious and rule that artifact choices affect all timelines, where if you go back in time, the same cards automatically pop out). A simpler undo that works with all character classes is to have a Amulet of Second Chances from MIC.

The Amulet of Second Chances only undoes to the beginning of your turn as a swift action, however it affects everyone around you, so have your ally be ready with it while you draw cards. In other words, choose to draw 2 cards, then immediately pull them both (you can assume pulling a card is a move action, so you can pull two cards in a round). If something bad happens, your ally hits undo, and then you can choose to pull fewer cards or not pull cards at all. The amulet functions once per day. If it always resets at dawn, you can pull 4 cards safely by choosing to pull 4 cards one minute before dawn. The use from the previous day covers the first 2 cards, and then dawn hits and you can use it again to cover the next 2 cards.

Since the amulet is activated as a swift action, and a swift action can only be done during your turn, your ally can't easily undo your actions. However a Belt of Battle or a casting of (Greater) Celerity should allow one to insert a swift action before their turn, allowing your ally to undo everything to the start of his last turn, which undoes your turn as well. If necessary summon and fight a weak monster you can ignore so combat is technically taking place and players are taking actions in order.

Metahuman1
2011-04-06, 01:32 PM
Far as that goes, couldn't the buddy just have a readied action too use the amulet?

Anxe
2011-04-06, 03:58 PM
One of my players did the card farm. He purchased two slaves every day. He used dominate person on the two slaves. Then he had them each draw 4 cards. He took all the treasurey stuff and then released the slave to whatever his new destiny had for him. I, like a good DM, did manage to make his plan backfire. Almost didn't work though.

Provengreil
2011-04-06, 04:12 PM
My party got one of them once. one of use drew one, one drew three, and drew four.

the guy who drew one got the void and basically died right there.

the guy who got three lost all his nonmagical stuff, then all his magic stuff, then got a dread wraith. also, he was a fighter, so he had no chance.

i got 2 wishes, a nullify one event, a void that i nullified, and +2 to a stat. they wanted to punch me.