Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Pondering the Deck of Many Things
The item described in the Dungeon Master's Guide contains either 13 or 22 cards, same as the Greater Arcana. Some cards have the same designation--Moon, Sun, Star, Fool--but other cards are listed in the Deck, but not the Tarot, or vice versa. So why did the names of the cards in the D&D item get changed? What's wrong with cards with D&D-sounding names like the Magician, the High Priestess, or the Chariot?
If I ever put one of these in a game, I'll probably keep the same effects, but change some of the cards to match the Tarot, such as substituting the Tarot's Death card for the Skull of the Deck, the Hanged Man for the Fool, the Devil for Flames, and so on.
Game-wise, this is a powerful item that can really help a character out, but there are some pretty serious risks. Have you ever used or encountered a Deck of Many Things in your D&D games? If so, how did it work out?