This work bestows upon any character of any class the ability to use the spells within its pages. However, upon first reading the work, any character not already able to use spells gains one negative level for as long as the book is in his or her possession or while using its power. The book of infinite spells contains 1d8+22 pages. The nature of each page is determined by die roll:
Once a page is turned, it can never be flipped back. If the book is closed, it always opens again to the page it was on before the book was closed. When the last page is turned, the book vanishes.
Once per day the owner of the book can cast the spell to which the book is opened. If that spell happens to be one that is on the character’s class spell list, the character can cast it up to four times per day. The pages cannot be ripped out without destroying the book. Similarly, the spells cannot be cast as scroll spells, nor can they be copied into a spellbook-their magic is bound up permanently within the book itself.
The owner of the book need not have the book on his or her person in order to use its power. The book can be stored in a place of safety while the owner is adventuring and still allow its owner to cast spells by means of its power.
Each time a spell is cast, there is a chance that the energy connected with its use causes the page to magically turn despite all precautions. The owner knows this and may even benefit from the turning by gaining access to a new spell. The chance of a page turning is as follows:
|Condition||Chance of Page Turning|
|Spellcaster employing spells usable by own class and/or level||10%|
|Spellcaster using spells foreign to own class and/or level||20%|
|Nonspellcaster using divine spell||25%|
|Nonspellcaster using arcane spell||30%|
A deck of many things (both beneficial and baneful) is usually found in a box or leather pouch. Each deck contains a number of cards or plaques made of ivory or vellum. Each is engraved with glyphs, characters, and sigils. As soon as one of these cards is drawn from the pack, its magic is bestowed upon the person who drew it, for better or worse.
The character with a deck of many things who wishes to draw a card must announce how many cards he or she will draw before drawing. Cards must be drawn within 1 hour of each other, and a character can never again draw from this deck any more cards than he or she has announced. If the character does not willingly draw the allotted number (or if the character is somehow prevented from doing so), the cards flip out of the deck on their own. Exception: If a jester is drawn, the possessor of the deck may elect to draw two additional cards.
Each time a card is taken from the deck, it is replaced (making it possible to draw the same card twice) unless the draw is a jester or fool, in which case the card is discarded from the pack. A deck of many things contains 22 cards. To simulate the magic cards, you may want to use tarot cards, as indicated by the second column in the accompanying table. If no tarot deck is available, substitute ordinary playing cards instead, as indicated by the third column.
|Deck of Many Things|
|Plaque||Tarot Card||Playing Card||Effect|
|Balance||XI. Justice||Two of spades||Change alignment instantly.|
|Comet||Two of swords||Two of diamonds||Defeat the next monster you meet to gain one level.|
|Donjon||Four of swords||Ace of spades||You are imprisoned (see above).|
|Euryale||Ten of swords||Queen of spades||-1 penalty to all saving throws henceforth.|
|The Fates||Three of cups||Ace of hearts||Avoid any situation you choose . . . once.|
|Flames||XV. The Devil||Queen of clubs||Enmity between you and an outsider.|
|Fool||0. The Fool||Joker (with trademark)||Lose 10,000 experience points and you must draw again.|
|Gem||Seven of cups||Two of hearts||Gain your choice of twenty-five pieces of jewelry or fifty gems.|
|Idiot||I. The Juggler||Ace of clubs||Lose Intelligence (permanent drain). You may draw again.|
|Jester||XII. The Hanged Man||Joker (without trademark)||Gain 10,000 XP or two more draws from the deck.|
|Key||V. The Hierophant||Queen of hearts||Gain a major magic weapon.|
|Knight||Page of swords||Jack of hearts||Gain the service of a 4th-level fighter.|
|Moon||XVIII. The Moon||Queen of diamonds||You are granted 1d4 wishes.|
|Rogue||Five of swords||Jack of spades||One of your friends turns against you.|
|Ruin||XVI. The Tower||King of spades||Immediately lose all wealth and real property.|
|Skull||XIII. Death||Jack of clubs||Defeat Death or be forever destroyed.|
|Star||XVII. The Star||Jack of diamonds||Immediately gain a +2 inherent bonus to one ability.|
|Sun||XIX. The Sun||King of diamonds||Gain beneficial medium wondrous item and 20,000 XP.|
|Talons||Queen of pentacles||Two of clubs||All magic items you possess disappear permanently.|
|Throne||Four of staves||King of hearts||Gain a +6 bonus to Diplomacy plus a small keep.|
|Vizier||IX. The Hermit||Ace of diamonds||Know the answer to your next dilemma.|
|The Void||Eight of swords||King of clubs||Body functions, but soul is trapped elsewhere|
Balance: The character must change to a radically different alignment. If the character fails to act according to the new alignment, he or she gains a negative level.
Comet: The character must single-handedly defeat the next hostile monster or monsters encountered, or the benefit is lost. If successful, the character moves to the midpoint of the next experience level.
Donjon: This signifies imprisonment-either by the imprisonment spell or by some powerful being, at the DM’s option. All gear and spells are stripped from the victim in any case. Whether these items are recoverable is, likewise, up to the DM. Draw no more cards.
Euryale: This card brings a curse that only the Fates card or a deific being can remove. The -1 penalty to all saving throws is otherwise permanent.
Fates: This card enables the character to avoid even an instantaneous occurrence if so desired, for the fabric of reality is unraveled and respun. Note that it does not enable something to happen. It can only stop something from happening or reverse a past occurrence. The reversal is only for the character that drew the card; other party members may have to endure the situation.
Flames: Hot anger, jealousy, and envy are but a few of the possible motivational forces for the enmity. The enmity of the outsider can’t be ended until one of the parties has been slain. Determine the outsider randomly, and assume that it attacks the character (or plagues the character’s life in some way) within 1d20 days.
Fool: The payment of XP and the redraw are
mandatory. This card is always discarded when drawn, unlike all others except
Gem: This card indicates wealth. The jewelry is all gold set with gems, each piece worth 2,000 gp each, the gems all of 1,000 gp value each.
Idiot: This card causes the loss of 1d4+1 points of Intelligence immediately. The additional draw is optional.
Jester: This card is always discarded when drawn, unlike all others except the fool. The redraws are optional.
Key: The magic weapon granted must be one usable by the character
Knight: The fighter appears out of nowhere and serves loyally until death. He or she is a magic construct (not a real person) but appears to be of the same race (or kind) and gender as the character. He or she is equipped with the starting fighter package.
Moon: These wishes are the same as those granted by the 9th-level wizard spell and must be used in a number of minutes equal to the number received.
Rogue: When this card is drawn, one of the character’s NPC friends (preferably a cohort) is totally alienated and forever after hostile. If the character has no cohorts, the enmity of some powerful personage (or community, or religious order) can be substituted. The hatred is secret until the time is ripe for it to be revealed with devastating effect.
Ruin: As implied, when this card is drawn every bit of money (including all gems, jewelry, treasure, and art objects) is lost (disintegrated). All land owned is struck by blight and forever ruined, buildings collapse into dust, etc.
Skull: A minor death appears. Treat this minor death as an unturnable spectre with a ghost touch scythe that never misses and deals 2d8 points of damage. The character must fight it alone-if others help, they get minor deaths to fight as well. If the character is slain, he or she is slain forever and cannot be revived, even with a wish or a miracle.
Star: The 2 points are added to any ability the character chooses. They cannot be divided among two abilities.
Sun: The XP granted are immediately available.
Talons: When this card is drawn, every magic item owned or possessed by the character is instantly and irrevocably gone (disintegrated).
Throne: The character becomes a true leader in people’s eyes. The castle gained appears in any open area the character wishes (but the decision where to place it must be made immediately).
Vizier: This card empowers the character drawing it with the one-time ability to call upon supernatural wisdom to solve any single problem or answer fully any question upon the character’s request. Whether the information gained can be successfully acted upon is another question entirely.
The Void: This black card spells instant disaster. The character’s body continues to function, as though in a coma, but the character’s psyche is trapped in a prison somewhere - in an object on a far plane or planet, possibly in the possession of an outsider. A wish or a miracle does not bring the character back, instead merely revealing the plane of entrapment. Draw no more cards.
Caster Level: 20th; Weight: -.
This appears to be an oversized, extra-heavy warhammer. A character smaller than Large finds it too unbalanced to wield properly in combat (-2 penalty to attack). However, a character of sufficient size finds that the hammer functions with a +3 enhancement bonus and deals double damage on any hit.
If the wielder (of any size) wears a belt of giant strength and gauntlets of ogre power and he or she knows that the hammer is a hammer of thunderbolts (not just a +3 warhammer), the weapon can be used to full effect: When swung or hurled, it gains a total +5 enhancement bonus, deals double damage, allows all girdle and gauntlet bonuses to stack (only when using this weapon), and strikes dead any giant upon whom it scores a hit (Fortitude save DC 16 to survive).
When hurled, on a successful hit the hammer emits a great noise, like a clap of thunder, stunning all creatures within 90 feet for 1 round (Fortitude save DC 12 to resist). The hammer’s throwing range is 180 feet, and its range increment is 30 feet.
Caster Level: 20th, Weight 15 pounds.
This rare and magic substance appears to be an ordinary, sooty piece of blackish rock. If the stone is broken open, a cavity is revealed at the stone’s heart. This cavity is lined with a magical quicksilver that enables any wizard to transmute base metals (iron and lead) into silver and gold. A single philosopher’s stone can turn from 500 to 5,000 pounds of iron into silver, or from 100 to 1,000 pounds of lead into gold. However, the magical quicksilver becomes unstable once the stone is opened and sublimates within 24 hours, so all transmutations must take place within that period.
The quicksilver found in the center of the stone may also be put to another use. If mixed with any cure potion, it creates a special potion of life that acts as a true resurrection for any dead body it is sprinkled upon.
Caster Level: 20th; Weight: 3 lb.
A sphere of annihilation is a globe of absolute blackness, a ball of nothingness 2 feet in diameter. A sphere is actually a hole in the continuity of the multiverse. Any matter that comes in contact with a sphere is instantly sucked into the void, gone, and utterly destroyed. Only the direct intervention of a deity can restore an annihilated character.
A sphere of annihilation is static, resting in some spot as if it were a normal hole. It can be caused to move, however, by mental effort. The brain waves of the individual concentrating on moving it bend spatial fabrics, causing the hole to slide. The range of this control is 40 feet initially, then 40 feet +10 feet per character level once control is established. Control is based on the character’s Intelligence and level of experience. (The higher the character’s level, the greater his or her mental discipline.) The character adds his or her Intelligence bonus and character level and then applies the total to a 1d20 roll. To control the sphere, the DC is 30. The sphere’s speed is 10 feet per round +1 foot for every point by which the control check result exceeds 30.
Any attempt to control the sphere causes it to move, but if control is not established, the sphere slides toward the character attempting to move it. It continues to move in the direction the character wills it to (or toward the character, if the attempt failed) for 1d4 rounds or for as long as the character is within 30 feet, whichever is greater. Control must be checked each round.
If two or more creatures vie for control of a sphere of annihilation, the rolls are opposed. If none are successful, the sphere slips toward the one who rolled lowest.
Should a gate spell be cast upon a sphere of annihilation, there is a 50% chance (a 01-50 result on d%) that the spell destroys it, a 35% chance (51-85) that the spell does nothing, and a 15% chance (86-100) that a gap is torn in the spatial fabric, catapulting everything within a 180-foot radius into another plane. If a rod of cancellation touches a sphere, they negate each other in a tremendous explosion. Everything within a 60-foot radius takes 2d6x10 points of damage. Dispel magic and disjunction have no effect on the sphere.
Caster Level: 20th; Weight: -.
A long wooden staff, shod in iron and inscribed with sigils and runes of all types, this potent artifact contains many spell powers and other functions. Some of its powers drain charges, while others don’t. The following powers do not drain charges:
The staff of the magi gives the wielder spell resistance 23. If this is willingly lowered, however, the staff can also be used to absorb arcane spell energy directed at its wielder exactly like a rod of absorption. The staff uses spell levels as charges, not as spell energy usable by a spellcaster. If the staff absorbs spell levels beyond its charge limit (50), it explodes as if a retributive strike had been made (see below). Note that the wielder has no idea how many spell levels are cast at him or her, for the staff does not communicate this knowledge as a rod of absorption does. Absorbing spells is risky, but absorption is the only way this staff can be recharged.
Retributive Strike: A staff of the magi can be broken for a retributive strike. Such an act must be purposeful and declared by the wielder. All charges in the staff are released in a 30-foot spread. All within 10 feet of the broken staff take hit points of damage equal to 8 times the number of charges in the staff, those between 11 feet and 20 feet away take points equal to 6 times the number of charges, and those 21 feet to 30 feet distant take 4 times the number of charges. Successful Reflex saving throws (DC 17) reduce damage by half.
The character breaking the staff has a 50% chance (a 01-50 result on d%) of traveling to another plane of existence, but if the character does not (51-100), the explosive release of spell energy destroys her. Only specific items, including the staff of the magi and the staff of power, are capable of a retributive strike.
Caster Level: 20th; Weight: 5 lb.
A good (LG, NG, CG) divine spellcaster who possesses this item can cause a flaming crack to open at the feet of an evil (LE, NE, CE) divine spellcaster who is up to 100 feet away. The intended victim is swallowed up forever and sent hurtling to the center of the earth. The wielder of the talisman must be good, and if he or she is not exceptionally pure in thought and deed (DM’s discretion), the evil character gains a Reflex saving throw (DC 19) to leap away from the crack. Obviously, the target must be standing on solid ground for this item to function. (In the air, in a high tower, or on a ship are all places of safety against this otherwise potent item.)
A talisman of pure good has 7 charges. If a neutral (LN, N, CN) divine spellcaster touches one of these stones, the spellcaster takes 6d6 points of damage. If an evil divine spellcaster touches one, he or she takes 8d6 points of damage. All other characters are unaffected by the device.
Caster Level: 18th; Weight: -.
An evil (LE, NE, CE) divine spellcaster who possesses this item can cause a flaming crack to open at the feet of a good (LG, NG, CG) divine spellcaster who is up to 100 feet away. The intended victim is swallowed up forever and sent hurtling to the center of the earth. The wielder of the talisman must be evil, and if he or she is not exceptionally foul and perverse in the sights of his or her evil deity (DM’s discretion), the good character gains a Reflex saving throw (DC 19) to leap away from the crack. Obviously, the target must be standing on solid ground for this item to function. (In the air, in a high tower, or on a ship are all places of safety against this otherwise potent item.)
A talisman of ultimate evil has 6 charges. If a neutral (LN, N, CN) divine spellcaster touches one of these stones, the spellcaster takes 6d6 points of damage. If a good divine spellcaster touches one, he or she takes 8d6 points of damage. All other characters are unaffected by the device.
Caster Level: 18th; Weight: -.
A talisman of this sort appears the same as a stone of controlling earth elementals. Its powers are quite different, however, and dependent on the Charisma of the individual holding the talisman. Whenever a character touches a talisman of reluctant wishes, the character must make a Charisma check (DC 15).
If the character fails, the device reduces the possessor’s speed to one-half of normal. Discarding or destroying it results in 5d6 points of damage to the character and the disappearance of the talisman.
If the character succeeds, the talisman remains with the character for 5d6 hours, or until a wish is made with it, whichever comes first. It then disappears.
If the character rolls a natural 20, the character finds it
impossible to be rid of the talisman for as many months as the character has
points of Charisma. In addition, the artifact grants the character one wish
for every 6 points of the character’s Charisma. It also grows warm and throbs
whenever its possessor comes within 20 feet of a mechanical or magic trap.
(If the talisman is not held, its warning heat and pulses are of no avail.)
Regardless of which reaction results, the talisman disappears when its time period expires, leaving behind a 10,000 gp diamond in its stead.
Caster Level: 20th; Weight: 1 lb.
Major artifacts are unique items - only one of each such item exists.
Unlike all other magic items, major artifacts are not easily destroyed. Each should have only a single, specific means of destruction.
This relic appears to be a simple, well-used cudgel, but its simple appearance hides great power. The Saint’s Mace has a +5 enhancement bonus and functions as a holy, lawful, disruption heavy mace. Further, the wielder can project searing light from the mace at will, at 20th caster level.
The Moaning Diamond appears to be an uncut diamond the size of a human fist. At all times, it gives forth a baleful moaning sound, as if in pain. The wielder of the stone can, three times per day, call upon it to reshape earth and stone as if by the spell stone shape, affecting 5,000 cubic feet of material. Further, the Moaning Diamond can summon an elder earth elemental with maximum hit points that serves the caster until it is slain. Only one such elemental can be summoned at a time; if it is slain, a new creature cannot be summoned for 24 hours.
Each contains the essence and personality of an ancient dragon of a different variety (one for each of the major ten different chromatic and metallic dragons). The bearer of an Orb can dominate dragons of its particular variety within 500 feet (as dominate monster), the dragon being forced to make a Will save (DC 25) to resist. (Spell resistance has no power against this effect.) Each Orb of Dragonkind bestows upon the wielder the AC and saving throw bonuses of the dragon within. These values replace whatever values the character would otherwise have, regardless whether they are better or worse. These values cannot be modified by any means short of ridding the character of the Orb. Further, a character possessing an Orb of Dragonkind is immune to the breath weapon - but only the breath weapon - of the dragon variety keyed to the Orb. Finally, a character possessing an Orb can use the breath weapon of the dragon in the Orb three times per day.
All Orbs of Dragonkind can be used to communicate verbally and visually with the possessors of the other Orbs. The owner of an Orb knows whether there are dragons within ten miles at all times. For dragons of the Orb’s particular variety, the range is one hundred miles. If within one mile of a dragon of the Orb’s variety, the wielder can determine the exact location and age of the creature. The bearer of one of these Orbs earns the enmity forever of all dragonkind for profiting by the enslavement of one of their kin, even if the character later loses the item.
Each Orb also has an individual power that can be invoked once per round at 10th caster level:
The Shadowstaff makes the wielder slightly shadowy and incorporeal, granting him or her a +4 bonus to AC and Reflex saves (stackable with any other bonuses). However, in bright light (such as that of the sun, but not a torch) or in absolute darkness, the wielder suffers a -2 penalty to all attack rolls, saves, and checks. The Shadowstaff also has these powers:
Summon Shadows: Three times per day the staff may summon 2d4 shadows. Immune to turning, they serve the wielder as if called by a summon monster V spell cast at 20th level.
Summon Nightshade: Once per month, the staff can summon a nightcrawler nightshade that serves the wielder as if called by a summon monster IX spell cast at 20th level.
Shadow Form: Three times per day the wielder can become a living shadow, with all the movement powers granted by the gaseous form spell.
Shadow Bolt: Three times per day the staff can project a ray attack that deals 10d6 points of cold damage to a single target. The shadow bolt has a range of 100 feet.
This +5 large shield, emblazoned with the symbol of the sun, allows the wielder to cast spells as if he or she were a 20th-level paladin with a Wisdom score of 20. The spells gained are cumulative with any existing spells per day that the character might have, even if the character is already a paladin. The Shield of the Sun also grants spell resistance 15 to its wielder. Furthermore, it absorbs the first 10 points of damage each round from fire, cold, acid, electricity, and sonic attacks. (Each element has its own limit of 10 points of damage per round.) In return for all this, once per year the shield’s owner must undertake a quest (no saving throw to avoid this) at the behest of a lawful good deity.
A character who is evil or chaotic (LE, NE, CE, CN, CG) gains four negative levels if the character attempts to use this artifact. Although these levels never result in actual level loss, they remain as long as the shield is in hand and cannot be overcome in any way (including restoration spells). The negative levels disappear when the shield is stowed or leaves the wearer’s possession.