Deck of Wondrous Power

So incredibly obscure!

The Deck of Wondrous Power. Red cards with a star pattern and border, spread out above the instruction card and box, which has a sanded section to display the text for deck of wondrous power, all laying on a shiny purple surface.

WOW, this is an obscure one! As mentioned at the bottom of the 0e Deck of Many Things, apparently the Encyclopedia Magica had a handful of deck-related items as well! Most of them with regular single-function uses, all of the items in there a compiled list from Greyhawk, DMG1e, The Book of Marvelous Magic (most of them, including this one), and various other places and magasines, but it had one other deck, one deck that I had not yet built in physical... the Deck of Wondrous Power. And so, we needed to create another artifact.

As stated by the item description, when touched, the deck exclaims that that its power will disappear in 24 hours, and that each member of the group that finds it may draw one card only, if they wish. The deck will apparently straight-up vanish if you try to draw two lol! It uses a regular deck of cards, and depending on whether you draw red or black, the result is good or bad. 52 cards to be clear, no jokers in this one. It even explicitly says that the results cannot be altered even with the wish spell, so even Dennis can't help with this one! Though as pondered in the Epic Level DOMT, I'd allow you to travel to the outer planes to petition a deity to save you. Always be a good DM.

An optional rule as well, hearts and spades do double! Again, outer planes deity lol.

Anyways, what do the cards do? It's arranged by face, and is basically gain or lose something depending on the colour:

Ace:   If red, gain 1 wish. If black, lose 1 wish already possessed or the first wish gained thereafter.
King:  Gain (red) or lose (black) 50,000 experience points (minimum of 0).
Queen: Gain (red) or lose (black) two points from the character's Prime Requisite score. If score reaches 3 or 18, apply excess points to or against Constitution.
Jack:  Gain (red) 50,000 gp in gems or lose (black) either three-fourths of all cash assets owned (counting all coins, gems, and jewelry either carried or stored) or 50,000 gp, whichever is less.
Ten:   Gain (red) or lose (black) 10,000 experience points (minimum of 0).
Nine:  Gain (red) one beneficial miscellaneous magic item (useful, not cursed), or lose (black) the most valuable magic item owned (checking miscellaneous magic items first even if cursed, then rings, rods, staves, wands, etc.)
Eight: Gain (red) or lose (black) two points of Constitution (maximum of 18, minimum of 3, excess applied to or taken from Strength).
Seven: +1 bonus (red) or -1 penalty (black) to all saving throws.
Six:   -1 bonus (red) or +1 penalty (black) to Armor Class because of unalterable skin changes.
Five:  Gain (red) or lose (black) two points of Charisma.
Four:  +1 bonus (red) or -1 penalty (black) to all hit rolls.
Three: +1 bonus (red) or -1 penalty (black) to all damage rolls.
Two:   Movement speed is gained (red) or lost (black) by 3.

As we can see, as The Book of Marvelous Magic was released in 1985, they still used the reverse Armor Class THAC0 method, so for use in current editions, give them a +1 AC bonus or -1 AC penalty. And movement to 5 feet would make sense.

And so we have it, the, by far, most obscure random-draw deck that I have found yet! I only actually discovered this thanks to Jorphdan's YouTube video on the history of the deck of many things, which led me to look up this Encyclopedia Magica volume that he mentioned, which led me to discover this deck! It's somehow mentioned even less online than the Deck of hazards, but maybe it's less popular as it's not a "many things" named deck (hazards is a kinda many things deck, also in a video game). But tis indeed a deck of random chance, and so, for collection purposes, we must make it.

Now, this was going to turn out to be a fairly easy build, as we don't need to modify or write on the cards. Or resize the box. Conveniently, of the Jokers can become the instruction page!

And so, one more trip to the printing office later, and we had a handful of ever-so-slightly different sized version of the text. Selecting the one that best fit a playing card again (with a free-use sparkle flourish beneath the text), we taped that to the face of one of the jokers, and our instruction card was born. The box as I said didn't need sizing modification, but we once again used the technique of writing the text on post-it notes, and then writing that firmly onto the box so that we could sand away the needed area. And thus, one quick project later, we have the Deck of Wondrous Power. A mysterious deck, a 1e deck, a curious thing indeed.

Discovered January 4, 2024, built January 5, 2023

Aw yeah you can draw!
Five printouts with the draw results for the deck of wondrous power, each of a slightly different size. The second smallest one is cut out and taped to the face of a playing card sitting beside. Technically there were several smaller not photographed, but I didn't have room in the photo for them. All of this is sitting on a cardboard surface.The partially finished box, showing the post-it note slivers with the text for the title firmly written on them, beside the box, a W H Smith set of playing cards, with an upper portion sanded away above a flexible, wavey card design on the front, showing the text for deck of wondrous power beneath the sanded portion, also laying on a cardboard surface.

The cards spread out above the box and instruction card. The cards are red with a star and checkerboard pattern with an elaborate border, all of this laying on a shiny pinkish purple surface.