The Saving Throw
Deck of Many Things Dec. 29, 2005
The final Saving Throw of 2005!

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And so it begins. . .

Welcome to the last edition of the Saving Throw of 2005. May everyone have a happy new year!

In today's Saving Throw, we have Beaudoin explaining his tip of the day as he recounts his misadventures with a Deck of Many Things in today's featured story. I also give you the first in a series of a guides I'm writing on running roleplaying adventures without dice. I also bring news about FanPro looking for gamemasters for Shadowrun adventures for Origins 2006 and a writing contest for Dungeons and Dragons from Wizards of the Coast to you.

Also, for anyone interested in doing some forum-based roleplaying, RPGamer has reopened the Forum-based Roleplaying section in our message boards. Anyone interested in either gamemastering or roleplaying here should take some time to express their interest.

And with that, let's move on to the column!

Gaming Tip of the Week
"If your Dungeon Master gives you a Deck of Many Things, run away. Run away as fast you possibly can."
- Beaudoin

Gaming Hall of Fame
Today's Featured Story: Know When to Walk Away
Unluckiest Gaming Moments submitted by Beaudoin

One of my friends decided to run a short-term Dungeons and Dragons campaign over Christmas break this year. As he was generous, he decided to start us all at 10th level. This story concerns the second session of that campaign.

Our party had just entered a room inside a dungeon containing one sole item: an ivory box containing a deck of cards. Immediately upon seeing this deck, the passageway to the room was sealed and three demons appeared. The lead demon, a glabrezu, had a proposition for us. We could either defeat the three to escape, or each of us could draw at least one card from the deck, a Deck of Many Things. The demon then sweetened the deal slightly, saying that if we dared to draw two cards, he would grant us magic items. Seeing as how we were still in terrible shape from an earlier fight with a red dragon, we decided to play their game.

For those of you who arenít aware, a Deck of Many Things is an artifact in Dungeons and Dragons, the effects of which can and often are simulated using a deck of playing or tarot cards. The deck contains 22 cards, half of which bestow beneficial effects while the other half bestow curses. Typical benefits include getting magic or valuable mundane items, extra experience, or stat boosts. Curses include a forced alignment change (murder if youíre a Paladin or Cleric), permanent Intelligence drain, or losing all real wealth you own.

I drew first and came across bad luck. The two cards I drew resulted in my magic items being destroyed, and my character receiving the enmity of an outsider. Another player had it even worse, however, as he drew the card which cast Imprisonment on him.

Luckily for us, there was a scroll of freedom (the only spell which can undo Imprisonment) elsewhere in the cavern. We left to search for it, and eventually found it. The problem with Freedom, however, is that it must be cast where the Imprisonment spell was cast, i.e. the room with the demons. We go back, and lo and behold we need to play their game again. I forget the results of all the card draws, but some choice examples were one player having his soul (somehow) taken from his body on three separate occasions, the imprisoned playerís cohort turning against him, and my player getting the enmity of three more outsiders (in addition to the one I had earlier). The few benefits we received didnít really compare to this string of misfortune.

I never did trust Decks of Many Things, and the entire session served to solidify my opinion.

This Week's New Hall of Fame Entries

Unluckiest Gaming Moments

   Know When to Walk Away by Beaudoin


This Week's Guides
Diceless Adventures: Introduction
submitted by Nwash

This is the first in a series of guides relating to planning and running diceless roleplaying adventures. This guide focuses on the choice between using dice or not using them. Read more...

This Week's Fan Adventures

Want to be the first to submit a fan adventure to The Saving Throw? Read more...

This Week's Fan Reviews

Want to be the first to submit a fan review? Read more...

Upcoming Releases

Mage: The Awakening
Legacies: The Sublime
Jan. 16, 2005, $26.99

(no image available)
Shadowrun, Fourth Edition
GM Screen
Jan. 16, 2006, $19.99

Vampire: The Requiem
Bloodlines: The Legendary
Jan. 16, 2006, $24.99


Recent Releases

Dungeons and Dragons, 3.5 edition
Spell Compendium
Dec. 25, 2005, $39.95

Pendragon, 5th Edition
Dec. 12, 2005, $34.99

World of Darkness: Chicago
Dec. 12, 2005, $39.99


Tabletop Gaming News
Shadowrun Gamemasters needed for Origins 2006
Source: Shadowrun

FanPro is looking for gamemasters to run Shadowrun, Fourth Edition adventures at Origins 2006, which will be held in Columbus, Ohio from June 28 to July 2. They are looking for gamemasters who are willing to plan their own adventures, but are also willing to accommodate those wishing to use precreated adventures. The selected gamemasters will be responsible for writing blurbs for the convention booklet and actually running the adventures during the convention. Compensation includes applying hours worked against one's hotel bill, new FanPro books, or one's convention badge.

Interested individuals are requested to send an email to The email should express one's love of Shadowrun and include an adventure blurb of approximately 150 words.

Wizards of the Coast Looking for Tactics and Tips Against New Monster
Source: Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast has been developing a new monster with reader input in their Design and Development's You Craft the Creature. The creature so far has been nicknamed the AMM, and will appear in a forthcoming sourcebook. Now, Wizards of the Coast is running a contest for their Tactics and Tips column. Interested individuals have their chance to provide their own Tips and Tactics article, up to 1,000 words in length, for dealing with this creature and its special abilities. Alternatively, articles can also be submitted for dealing with the other suggested special abilities which were not selected for the creature. The winning article will be edited and posted as an official Tips and Tactics column on the Dungeons and Dragons official website.

Entries for this contest must be posted on this message board thread, though it is recommended that interested individuals read the contest page first. The winning article will be determined through a vote by the player community. The winner will be paid a $70 (USD) flat rate and will receive a free copy of the recently released Spell Compendium for the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition game. The deadline for entry is midnight, January 13, 2006 PDT.

And so it ends. . .

And with the end of this column, I again wish all of you the best of new years. I hope all of you had a chance to game during this holiday season, and I equally hope you'll be telling us about these experiences soon with new hall of fame entries. If you haven't had a chance, then I wish you the opportunity during the few remaining days of this holiday season.

Either way, may all your saving throws be successful. I'm outta here... see all of you next year!

Shawn "The One Without Dice" Bruckner

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