Saturday, February 6, 2021

Magic Cards

It is incredibly easy to make a magic card. Almost disconcertingly so. Even children can do it. Note that magic cards here are not merely a playing card with a bit of sacrificial blood sprayed on it, nor is it the cards of the diviner, though they are indeed incredibly similar and diviners often mix magic cards into their divination decks for the specific purpose of making their readings more accurate.

In order to create a magic card, three steps are required. The first is to create the card. Standard materials may be used, but magic ink and quality cardstock is at the very least required. Cards made with colorful dyes, powdered gemstones, or gold leaf or by the hands of a skilled artist are more powerful then ameaturish cards. The second step is to align the card. To do this, the card-maker must imprint their idea of what the card should “do” based on the picture and their wish. Poorly made cards or if the card is seen and interpreted differently during this process can “taint” the result, making it have a different or even opposite effect of what the card maker wished.

The third and final step to making a card is charging it. Charging a card takes away something from the creator- life force, their health or their youth, a string of bad luck or loss of sanity. It is for this reason that not everyone tries to create magic cards. Blood sacrifice or the inclusions of powerful spells can also charge up cards; hence why they are still considered occult despite how straightforward they are to create.

Sidebar- Magic Cards are my version of scrolls. I think using a scroll to cast a one-time use spell is kind of dumb; unless you can do the same for pages in a magic tome, which a scroll basically is just a ripped out page. Still I don't like the aesthetic of it. I think using a magic tarot card to cast a spell with its big illustration is a lot more cool and fitting.

Every magic card has a chance to be tainted and unlucky. There is a 1 in 4 chance any shoddy or low budget magic card has a reversed or unlucky effect, based on its picture. For instance, a card about gaining a fortune may kill off a family member, with the guilty murderer giving you their severed finger with a gold ring on it as an “apology”. These cards come about from the potential taint a magic card can be made with. Higher quality or professionally made magic cards, or magic cards found in ancient tombs or traded on the endless caravans only have a 1 in 20 chance to be tainted.

Random Magic Cards Table
– Roll 1d12 for a random magic card

[1] The Fool
Depicts a jester dancing on a hill. When this card is played, you gain +6 to +12 to the next saving roll you make. Alternatively, you may use the power of excuse to excuse yourself from any social situation, obligation, or curse. The exact level of excuse or saving throw bonus is based on how powerful the card is and how oblivious the jester looks.

[2] Storm of Flames
Depicts a rolling ball of fire. When this card is played, it creates a firestorm that deals 2d6 to 4d6 fire damage to all creatures within the area of a single room, save for half. Alternatively, you can evoke this card to grant yourself two hours of furious, productive energy where you will work on a task and accomplish about as much work as you could do in 4 to 8 hours.

[3] Oola Chain
Depicts a chain of different sized lengths, with a strange metallic background. You can play this card to cast Charm Person on any person you see. The exact pull and duration of the spell is based on how high quality the card is. You can also play this card on any person you want and have the spell being played on any other person within the eyesight.

[4] White Lady
Depicts a deathly pale woman, sitting up from a funeral casket. You can play this card to create an exact, naked duplicate of yourself as a corpse. How convincing it is based on how high quality the card is. Additionally, you can play this card while touching someone to deal 1d10 unavoidable damage that drains 1d6 points of a random stat.

[5] Cherry Merchant
Depicts a red-faced merchant selling berries in a stall- the color of the merchant's cheeks are the same as the color on the cherries. When played, this card fills a room with red wine. The exact speed it fills is based on the quality of the card- cheap cards may take a full turn, exalted cards may take only three rounds. Large rooms will only be filled with waist height, small rooms will be totally filled and those within may drown. The wine is shitty fruit-juice level of wine regardless of the quality of the card. You can get drunk off of it but it's pretty bad. It dries up after 6 hours and stains everything.

[6] Furious Fingers
Depicts a bloody hand gripping an axe handle. By playing this card, you can boost any being within your general area with a +4 to +8 To-Hit bonus and +1d6 to +1d12 damage bonus on their next attack. The next attack does not have to be immediate and can be saved up for days, weeks, even years before it needs to be used. Also, you can use this on a wound immediately after it was made to cause blood to shoot out and blind anyone within melee range (usually the perpetrator of that wound). This does not cause any extra damage or distress to the victim, if anything it just tickles.

[7] Sucking Monster
Depicts a large, ogre-like body with a long head of a lamprey- it's usually painted in a vivid color, with nonsensical teeth in a rainbow of other colors. When played, this card summons any monster the user thinks of of 4 HD or less. This monster's abilities and powers match the monster from the user's memory, not what the monster is actually like, and obeys any command its user gives it. The monster has a normal amount of health and dies after 4 turns to three hours. When this card is played, the player takes 2d6 damage from a sudden huge bite appearing on their chest- this “cost” cannot kill and will always leave the user with 1 Hit Point remaining. Any excess points they went below zero (such as using this card at 1 HP) will instead manifest as damage to their Constitution stat.

[8] Ten Golden Pins
Depicts nine golden pins on a table- there's a vague, mysterious shine underneath the table, implied to be the missing pin. When played, this card gives its user between 1000c and 5000c standard coins, based on the quality of the card. The coins disappear after one day. Alternatively, you can throw this card when played like a shuriken. If it hits an enemy; their body turns to gold and they are petrified for two combat rounds.

[9] Potion of Combat
Depicts a swirling green potion, usually on the belt of a dead guy with a spear stuck in his chest. By playing this card, you can escape from a fight. No matter what- some coincidence of luck, fate, freak weather, or random swirling vortexs of green energy will give you a chance to escape. The difficulty of chasing you down and catching up with you after your escape is determined by the quality of the card- high quality cards can keep you save for a full day from whoever you were just fighting, but doesn't work on any other beings or wandering encounters.

[10] Megalomania
Depicts an evil looking queen on a throne, wearing black, often depicted with a horned helmet and drinking blood from a chalice. When you use this card, you get to choose the next 1 to 3 die rolls that happen within your immediate area. As in whenever a die roll is made; saving throw, attack roll, damage roll, or wandering encounter roll; you get to state the number (result) that you want. The number of rolls you control is based on the quality of the card. Using this card makes you ping as evil for up to a week, with less time if the card is higher quality.

[11] Bell-Tower Silence
Depicts a row of people sleeping on a slopped church roof- the bell is in motion and yet they still sleep, as though the call to prayer is silent. When this card is played, you can curse someone to be ignored. That person will be as though they succeed stealth constantly- if they want to or not. They can yell out and people will simply not hear them. They can touch or attack others, and people can retaliate, but they won't be able to remember why just minutes later, even after they stabbed the poor victim of this card in self defense. However the subject afflicted by this card can walk right past guards or steal things from people while they ignore them. This card lasts between two and six exploration turns, once again based on the quality of the card.

[12] Nightmare Steppe
Depicts a black cliff face at night, a torn gown fluttering from a branch on the sheer drop. When this card is played, a 20 to 60 ft high plateau is created at the user's feet and rapidly rises up. This card can also be played inverted, creating a 20 to 60 ft deep hole. The height or depth of this creation is based on how high quality the card is. The hole or plateau created by this spell is made of normal earth and is otherwise permanent.


  1. I also always thought scrolls were a weird aesthetic. I'm...definitely stealing this. Good idea!

  2. Suddenly the deck of many things makes a lot more sense!