Kirt writes "Cunningly carved and painstakingly painted, the plaques of power deal succor and mayhem to those favored by fate and consumed by chance...
Erevan's Plaques of Power (New Spell)
By: Kirt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.)
Note: This spell is formatted for 2nd edition. Adapting it for 3e is left as an exercise for the reader.
Erevan's Plaques of Power
Third level Priest Spell (Specialty Priests Only)
Spheres: Combat, Healing, Chaos
Components: S, M
Duration: 1 round per level, or special
Range: 0 (caster only)
Saving Throw: None or Neg.
Casting Time: 1 round
By means of this spell, a specialty priest or priestess of Erevan Ilesere is able to enchant a deck of cards. Cards drawn from the deck may then be thrown at friends or foes. The cards strike unerringly, with special magical effects depending on the suit. Spades wound, Clubs stun, Hearts heal, and Diamonds increase luck. The priest is not able to choose which cards are drawn (Erevan is, after all, a god of chance), but may choose the target of each card. The priest may also reserve some cards in his hand, saving them for more appropriate targets. If a Joker is drawn, however, the effects of the spell are largely out of the priest's control.
The material componant of this spell is a normal deck of playing cards with all 54 cards present. A deck will cost the priest between 5 and 100 gp depending on quality. The priest may manufacture his own plaques, doing the woodcutting and painting himself. This will cost at least 20gp and require two weeks of work. Saves against such a hand-made deck are made at -1, however. If the priest has a NWP in woodworking or painting the saves are at –2 (and -4 if he has NWP in both). These modifiers are used as bonuses when the cards thrown are beneficial (hearts and diamonds). Since the cards are consumed by the spell when used, the same deck may not be used twice unless no cards were activated.
The spell is cast by shuffling the deck seven times in succession, which requires a full round and both hands free. At the end of this round the spell is complete and the deck has been made magical; the priest may begin drawing and throwing cards on the next round.
If the priest suffers damage at any point during the initial round of shuffling, the spell is delayed, but not canceled. The spell may be completed on any subsequent round in which the priest is able to perform all seven shuffles without interruption. If at any time the priest suffers damage of a type that might cause him or her to drop cards (DM's decision), he must make a dexterity check. If the check is failed, the amount the save is failed by is the number of cards that are dropped. If cards are dropped in the initial round of shuffling, the spell completion is delayed, but the priest may resume the spell if the cards can be retrieved and shuffled again. Any cards dropped after the spell has been completed, however, immeadiately affect the caster! If cards are dropped when the spell is active, the priest may decide if they are dropped from palmed cards or from the deck, but the cards themselves are chosen at random. A priest with the Gaming NWP may make a -2 bonus to the dexterity check for dropping cards. If more than one card is dropped (in this or other situations), their order of resolution is determined randomly.
Once the spell has been completed, the deck becomes magical. The priest may draw forth cards and "palm" them (holding them in his hand for later use), may throw them at a target, or may drop them (in which case they affect the priest). The priest sees each card when drawn and makes the decision to palm, throw, or drop for each card in turn.
The priest must have both hands free to draw, palm, throw, or (intentionally) drop a card. However, once the spell has been successfully cast, the priest may simply hold the deck, including palmed cards, in one hand while the other hand is used for attack, defense, or item use (but not spell casting). The priest may also put the deck (and palmed cards) away into a safe place (such as a pouch or pocket), but this requires one round to put the deck away and another to draw it forth again.
The priest may palm any number of cards in a round, but may hold at any one time a total of one card for each two levels of experience, rounded down. If a priest has the Gaming NWP he may attempt to hold more cards than normally allowed by level. The priest is treated as one level higher for the number of cards which may be safely held. Beyond that, the priest may attempt to palm more cards, but must make a Dexterity check each time a card is palmed beyond the safe number. Failure indicates that the card is dropped. Failure on a natural "1" indicates that all palmed cards are dropped.
The priest may throw one card per round for each two levels of experience, rounded down.
A priest may throw a card just drawn, or one that has previously been palmed. Any palmed card may be thrown, regardless of the order in which it was drawn, but the priest may not exceed the limit on the number of cards thrown per round. The priest gets one initiative roll for each card that could be thrown and determines the card to be thrown when the initiative arrives. Drawing, palming, and dropping cards may be done at any time, without using initiative.
The priest may draw one card per round per level, but after the limit has been reached for the number palmed and thrown, every subsequent card drawn is considered automatically dropped. For example, a ninth level caster using this spell could draw eight cards, in succession, with this spell and decide to throw four of them and palm another four, making the decision as each card was drawn. But if the priest drew a ninth card that round, the card would have to be dropped and would thus affect the priest. The priest can choose to drop any number of cards per round, and this can be done at any time to "make room" for more palmed cards. A priest may choose to draw less cards than the maximum number, including not drawing any cards in a given round.
If a card is thrown it hits the target automatically. Cards have a range of 30 feet (30 yards outside). Cards may only be thrown at creatures, not inanimate objects. Cards dissapear when they take effect (hit their target or are dropped).
When a card is drawn, the player draws a card from the top of an actual (shuffled) deck. The card actually selected is the one drawn by the priest. The results of the cards are as follows:
These cards deal (magical) piercing damage to the target. The amount of damage is the numerical value of the card for 2 through 10. Face cards (jack, queen, king, ace) do 10 points of damage and require a save vs. Spells. If the save is failed, the wound is as inflicted by a sword of wounding; it will continue to bleed for one point of damage per round until bound or magically healed. If the save is made the wound does not bleed but the initial damage is still taken. Cumulative bleeding from multiple cards is possible.
These cards deal (magical) blows that stun or knock out the target. The target hit by the card will receive a penalty on his or her single next initiative roll equal to the value of the card for 2 through 10. Face cards cause a -10 penalty to the next initiative roll and require a save vs. Death Ray. A failed save results in unconsciousness for five rounds. If the save is made the target remains conscious but still suffers the initiative penalty. Initiative penalties can affect an initiative multiple times if it has not yet occurred, continuing to set the action later in the round. If the target receives multiple actions in a round, the initiative penalty will affect whichever action is set to occur the soonest.
Hearts cause (magical) healing in the creature hit. One hit point of damage is healed per value of the card for cards 2 through 10. Face cards heal 10 points of damage and require a saving throw vs Death Ray. If the save is sucessful one of the following debilitating conditions is removed: disease, blindness, paralysis, magical sleep, slow, hold, etc., but not curse. If multiple conditions apply, one is cured at random. If the save is failed no curing takes place but 10 points of damage are still healed.
Diamonds increase the skill or luck of the target for the next check made (attack or damage roll, saving throw, ability check, surprise, searching, etc.). The next roll is modified by 1/2 point per value of the card for cards 2 through 10, rounded down (by the full value of the card if the roll is made on a d100). Face cards give the target a modifier of 5 and require a save vs. Spells. If sucessful, the next roll of the target is considered "maximal" for whatever effects that brings (a "natural" 20, "maximum" damage, etc.). If the save is failed, the target still receives the modifier of 5. Multiple diamonds on the same target are not cumulative on the next roll, but are "stored" for successive rolls. For example, a fighter who had stored hits from the two and seven of diamonds could receive a +1 on his next hit roll and a +3 on the damage after that hit.
If a joker is drawn by the priest it immediately dissapears, but cards then begin flying out of the deck. All creatures within 30 feet (yards) of the deck (including the priest) are automatically hit by one card each, with effects as described above. (The priest’s player may determine the order in which targets are resolved, but may not see the cards until they hit. That is, cards are dealt out face down, and the player decides the order in which they are revealed). If a creature is hit in this manner by the second joker in the deck, a number of cards equal to the level of the priest fly from the deck, striking either the recipient of the joker or the priest. The priest may determine whom each card strikes as it comes out, but does not see the card until after the decision is made. The second joker is resolved first, and if cards remain in the deck, the effects of the first joker then continue.
The spell lasts for, at most, one round per caster level. However, the spell is cancelled if at any time no cards remain in the deck or the priest falls unconscious. When the spell ends, all remaining temporary effects ("stored" luck, unconsciousness, and bleeding) end as well, but any healing, curing, or damage remains. Any cards remaining become non-magical.
The presence of other priests of chance and fate may affect the outcome of this spell. If this spell is used in the presence of a priest of Ralishaz of at least 5th level, the priest of Erevan must drop one card at the end of each round. This will be a card randomly chosen from palmed cards, or, if no cards remain palmed at the end of the round, it will come off the top of the deck. If the priest of Ralishaz is of higher level than the priest of Erevan, the number of cards dropped is the difference between their levels.
If the spell is used to target a priestess of Istus of at least 5th level, that priestess may change the place of any card thrown at her with that of a palmed card once per round. That is, the card thrown becomes palmed and she chooses one palmed card to hit her instead. If the priestess of Istus has more levels than the priest of Erevan, she may switch one more card per round for every two levels of difference, for any target.