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ID: 258


February 13, 2007, 2:23 pm

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Deck of Fate


A new twist on the deck of many things with it’s own card game.

Deck of Fate

        The deck is currently owned by Chance, a wandering gambler.

The deck of fate is a set of thirty-nine cards made of paper. There are only three suits present, representing the three level of society. Diamonds represent the Royalty, Clubs signify the Military, and Spades for the Peasantry. The deck does not compel the owner to bid the deck into the pot unless the deck believes the owner would be better suited with out the deck.

To prepare a deck for play as a Deck of Fate, simply take a standard deck of playing cards and remove the hearts suit and any jokers. This leaves only the suits of Diamonds, Clubs and Spades. Betting is in items of value, backpacks, horses, rations, etc. Should the group of travelers decide to part ways, the deck is always included in the pot of the last hand. Keep track of the winning hand when the deck is in the pot for that is how the deck’s magic works. Hands are played as Vagabond poker. That is:

INITIAL DEAL: seven cards face down to each player and three cards up in the center, a beat card, a wild card, and a killer card.
PLAY: Do not look at your cards! The player to the dealer’s left is the lead player. The lead player starts rolling cards until his revealed hand beats the highest revealed hand on the table (initially, the beat card). As soon as his revealed hand becomes the best hand, he stops rolling cards and begins a round of betting. If he rolls all his cards and does not beat what is on the table, he is out and a betting round begins with the high hand. Either way, the next player becomes the new lead player and the process repeats, with a round of betting whenever someone stops rolling cards. If at any time the lead player rolls a card of the same rank as the killer card dealt up from the deck at the initial deal, he must immediately fold and a betting round begins with the high hand. The game continues until all the cards have been turned up or there is only one person left in the game.
WINNER: High hand

1. Straight flush, five cards of the same suit in sequence, such as 76543 of hearts. Ranked by the top card, so that AKQJT is the best straight flush, also called a royal flush. The ace can play low to make 5432A, the lowest straight flush. .
2. Full house, three cards of one rank accompanied by two of another, such as 777JJ. Ranked by the trips, so that 44422 beats 333AA.
3. Three of a kind, three cards of the same rank and two kickers of different ranks, such as KKK84. Ranked by the trips, so that KKK84 beats QQQAK, but QQQAK beats QQQA7.
4. Flush, five cards of the same suit, such as AJ942 of hearts. Ranked by the top card, and then by the next card, so that AJ942 beats AJ876. Suits are used to break ties and rank as follows: Diamonds (the Royalty), Clubs (the Military) and Spades (the Peasantry).
5. Straight, five cards in sequence, such as 76543. The ace plays either high or low, making AKQJT and 5432A. “Around the corner” straights like 32AKQ are not allowed.
6. Two pair, two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank and a kicker of a third rank, such as KK449. Ranked by the top pair, then the bottom pair and finally the kicker, so that KK449 beats any of QQJJA, KK22Q, and KK445.
7. One pair, two cards of one rank accompanied by three kickers of different ranks, such as AAK53. Ranked by the pair, followed by each kicker in turn, so that AAK53 beats AAK52.
8. High card, any hand that does not qualify as one of the better hands above, such as KJ542 of mixed suits. Ranked by the top card, then the second card and so on, as for flushes. Suits are used to break ties and rank as follows: Diamonds (the Royalty), Clubs (the Military) and Spades (the Peasantry).

After a winner is decided, the deck’s magical properties begin. Look up the winning hand when the deck was in the pot. The decks owner is the target of effects and encounters below.

Magical Properties:

Straight Flush - Pull out the stops. The party has done something really unlikely. Reward them with knighting, deeds to minor pieces of property, that thing they’ve been hunting down, give them something really nice. Nothing so wonderful their heart’s desire is fulfilled, they should want to keep adventuring after all, but some really choice gear.

Full house - The party will come across an abandoned but serviceable building. Any challenges to claiming this property will be minor, for example, the previous inhabitants might have been run off by a small party of orcs, or moved to another country due to a relatives financial windfall. The lord of the land will want property taxes and fealty of course, but only a small and reasonable fee.

Three of a kind - The party comes into a situation where they make the wrong assumptions and/or pick the wrong side. A woman fleeing a group of armed men turns out to be a thief/ spy/ murderer. The drunken fop they throw out of the tavern may be a baron’s son. The actions taken by the party result in placing them in the great disfavor of someone in a position of power. No simple apology will make amends and the person will actively hamper the party’s goals.

Flush - The suit of the flush is important to the effects of this hand.
1. Spade Flush - The party is indebted to by a craftsman of some type. He will offer his services to the party free of charge as long as the party does not abuse their relationship. For example, a blacksmith saved from ambush would gladly repair and sharpen their weapons and shoe their horses, but asking him to forge enough swords for an army would be unreasonable.
2. Club Flush - A soldier or fighter of some type wants to join the party. He has no dishonorable motives and only wants a fair share for his services. He is competent and loyal, and has his own equipment. His equipment is comparable to the party’s but nothing superior. For example, he would have a sword, but not magical, a horse only if the party had horses already, and his horse would not be a battle breed steed, but a reliable and able mount.
3. Diamond Flush - A person of minor nobility takes a favorable notice in the party. Within their realms the party can find shelter and services and contact their patron. The patron will use their influence and resources to help the party find information and persons to help them on their quests. After all, the patron is likely to have a quest or two in mind for the party themselves. The patron will only use the party for tasks they believe the party can accomplish, never for suicide missions or futile searches. The person of nobility is looking for competent, reliable people to aid them in their endeavors, not someone to spread evil through the land. Parties who over-stretch their authority in the name of their patron will find themselves abandoned and possibly hunted.

Straight - The party is press ganged into laboring. It may simply be a noble telling them they are going to help shore up a levy on a swollen river, or a military officer telling them they will be digging the earth works in front of the keep. The work will not put them directly in danger and they are cared for, injuries gotten while working tended to and food and shelter provided. The work only lasts for a number of days equal to the highest card in the straight, face cards worth two weeks, aces 3 weeks, and once done, the party is free to go. The party is informed by a foreman of this fact in the first few days, BEFORE the party can act on any rash, irrational ideas.

Two pair - The party receives a significant windfall. A teamster caught in an ambush could expire after the party drives off his attackers, but gives the party his wagon and team to the party if they will see to it his last delivery makes it to it’s destination. A wizard may reward the party for retrieving a component or escorting his person with a useful magical item. In short, the party gets their hands on something good and useful.

One pair - Party is very likely to get hurt. Over the next 1d6 days, each person will take 1d4 points of damage twice and 2d4 once during the time period. These wounds will not be grievous, but significant. Hammer on the thumb, slice on the webbing between thumb and forefinger, twisted elbow, black eye, twisted ankle are all examples of injuries that will slow down party, but not kill them outright.

High Card - Minor set backs will plague the party for 4d4 days. The buckle on a saddle cinch strap may be bent, woodland creatures may investigate the parties supplies, weather may turn wet and dreary. Nothing life-threatening, but inconvenient.

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Comments ( 15 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

December 13, 2002, 19:58
This is the most thoroughly made item I've ever seen... Wow...
Barbarian Horde
March 18, 2003, 3:13
if the spades were origonally swords wouldnt it make more sense for them to be the millitary?
March 18, 2003, 17:49
If the spades were indeed swords, by all means yes, although that might alter some of the results to a more military aspect, and change the clubs, which look like clovers to a more druidic or natural aspect.

However, as the deck stands, the spades represent a garden spade, and represents the lower, working classes.

If you want to alter the suits of the decks for more of a fighter druid feel, you are welcome to do so. Whatever works for your game. :)
Barbarian Horde
September 22, 2003, 22:19
I love it! Its so awesome but can take up serious game time.But it had no mention of using spells to cheat...
September 23, 2003, 2:39
Just have a deck prepared ahead of time, missing the appropriate suits or whatnot, and print out a copy of the results for the hands. Read through the results ahead of time as well and make some notes as to what you think would work for your players in your campaign.

As for cheating, assuming it was even possible, it would likely anger a god of chance or fate, and then the player would be in a world of hurt. If nothing else, have the "cheating" spell misfire and the hand results in an unfavorable result. The still get to win the hand, but the negative effect targets them.
Obsidian Shadow
April 1, 2004, 1:09
Man, I can't even think. There are almost limitless possibilities. I'm overwhelmed. This item is amazing!
April 14, 2005, 22:10
I love this item I wanted to do something with cards but I can't compete with this idea well I'll try though I hope I can get as great as this idea.
Dragon Lord
April 15, 2005, 9:09
Neat idea not brilliant, but certainly neat GMs could have some real fun with this one
Cheka Man
April 15, 2005, 12:47
April 15, 2005, 13:26
Hmmm. I don't like items that have somuch randomness - like a Wand of Wonder or a Deck of Many things... though they are useful for shifting responsibility for catastrophe from the shouldersof the GM ;)
Voted Chaosmark
November 7, 2005, 16:53
I read this a long time ago, yet I still like it for the sheer effort put into it. Great job!
Voted valadaar
October 10, 2006, 20:38
This is a unique variant of the Deck of Many Things from (A)D&D fame. Always loved that item, and I like this one.

Voted axlerowes
June 12, 2013, 0:04
A well thought item, I enjoyed the write up and hope to use it.
Voted Moonlake
June 12, 2013, 20:15
A good item for introducing random elements to PCs.
Voted Kassy
June 13, 2013, 9:09
Only voted

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       By: Ria Hawk

Perhaps those that practice elemental magic begin to take on characteristics associated with their chosen element. For instance, an earth elementalist might be prone to agoraphobia, while air and possibly fire elementalists might have problems with claustrophobia. Water elementalists might always seek the path of least resistance. A fire elementalist might have a cat's opinion of water. This could also apply to physical differences. Fire elementalists might have a freakishly high metabolism and a permanently high body temperature. Water elementalists would probably never get dehydrated, but might slow down a lot when it's cold. Etc, etc.

Ideas  ( System ) | March 10, 2003 | View | UpVote 1xp

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