In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the Deck of Many Things is a powerful fictional magic item. The item comes in the form of a deck of cards, each one causing a distinct effect upon the character who draws it. These effects can be either beneficial or baneful.
The deck of many things first appeared in the Dungeons & Dragons game's first supplement, Greyhawk (1975). This version of the deck contains 18 cards, corresponding to the ace, king, queen, and jack of each suit (hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs), and one joker. The deck also appears in the original Dungeon Master's Guide (1979). This version comes in packs of other 13 cards or, more rarely, 22 cards. The 13-card deck contains cards corresponding to the king, queen, and jack of each suit, as well as a joker; the 22-card deck contains the same cards, with the 2 and ace of each deck as well as the trademark joker. A 78-card tarot deck of many things appeared in Dragon #77 (September 1983). The deck from the first edition Dungeon Master's Guide also appeared in the second edition Dungeon Master's Guide (1989); it also appeared in the Encyclopedia Magica Vol. 1 (1994) along with a reprint of the tarot deck. The 22-card version of the deck appeared in the 3rd edition and 3.5 edition Dungeon Master's Guide as well.
The cards in a standard deck from the 3rd edition Dungeon Master's Guide include:
- Balance - Changes the character to a radically different alignment.
- Comet - If character single-handedly prevails in the next hostile encounter, the character attains the next experience level.
- Donjon - Character is imprisoned and loses all gear and spells are stripped from the victim in any case.
- Euryale - Causes a permanent penalty on all saving throws.
- Fates - Changes reality to allow the character to avoid even an instantaneous occurrence if so desired.
- Flames - Causes an enmity between the character and an outsider.
- Fool - Character loses experience points and is forced to draw another card from the deck.
- Gem - The character gains significant wealth.
- Idiot - The character's Intelligence score is permanently lowered.
- Jester - The character can gain experience points or two more draws from the deck.
- Key - A major magic weapon appears out of nowhere in the character's hand.
- Knight - A fighter appears from out of nowhere and serves the character loyally until death.
- Moon - The character gains a number of magical wishes which come true.
- Rogue - This card causes one of the character’s NPC friends to turn against him.
- Ruin - The character immediately loses all of his wealth and non-magical possessions.
- Skull - The character must defeat a powerful undead creature alone.
- Star - One of the character's ability scores increases.
- Sun - The character gains a beneficial magic item.
- Talons - Every magic item the character owns or possesses disappears permanently.
- Throne - The character becomes more charismatic and a gains a small castle.
- Vizier - The character gains an answer to solve any single problem or answer fully any question upon request.
- The Void - This card sends a character's soul to some other desolate location, leaving his body in a catatonic state and forcing the adventuring party to find a way to rescue the soul.