Im a new DM, guiding my players through the beginning of a homebrew campaign we started off with great enthusiasm as i wasnt DMing too bad, according to the fun that was had in battle and roleplaying. because i heared of that cool thing, the deck of many things however, i decided to include this little cardgame into the 7th level campaign, wich the winner of the battle royale sould get, we did to teach and learn the different classes, rules and combat. what could go wrong i asked myself. well, things went very wrong pretty instantly. of cause the half orc barbarian was the one getting his hands on the deck and chose instantly to draw a card Out of pure curiosity what would happen.
me: are you Sure you wanna do this? something really bad could Happen.
barbarian: sure, only one Card.
me: go ahead.
first card drawn: euryale (-2 to all saving throws)
great start to begin the campaign with. not much later the barbarian chose to draw some more cards because “the probability to draw a positive effect should be greater now with that curse already drawn.”
barbarian: i draw 4 cards.
table: no, no, no, dont do it!
me: are you really sure you wanna do this?
barbarian: i draw the first card.
me: okay, go ahead.
secound card: star (+2 ability improvement)
barbarian: wasnt too bad, i draw the next card.
table: holds breath.
third card: the void (the soul gets pulled out of characters body)
the table: oh no
him being unable to draw further cards i tell the players that there is a possibility to save him, they just dont know how yet. the bard got the brilliant idea to draw more cards until they get something to save their friend.
the bard picks up the deck and declares carefully: i draw two cards.
me: are you sure you want to do this? you dont have to do this.
bard: i draw the first one.
me: if you really insist, go ahead. CLEAR WARNINGS HAVE BEEN SPOKEN.
his first card: throne (additional proficiency with persuasion and a small castle that now belongs to him somewhere)
bard: so far so good. secound card.
secound card: knight (a knight spawns at level 4, loyal to the player)
bard: ok, i wont risk any more.
first time playing warlock: i’ll continue, give me the deck.
me: are you really really sure? you dont have to do this at all, you guys are challangeing fate far to much.
warlock: i draw one card.
the first time playing rogue: oh no, this sure wont end well.
the bard gave him the deck and he draws his first card.
first card: moon (grants 1d3 wishes)
the player sat there mosty silent, refusing the ideas of his comrades for about 30 minutes while he was texting me to ask if he could do, what his character would certainly want to, as i gave him the OK. he silenced his party as he slowly said: i wish i would become one with my patron, the great old one.
(he was a warlock with a lovecraftian patron, which identity i wanted to keep secret to the other Players for later backstory reveals and a character based sidestory where he would awaken pretty much cthulu himself as he swore endless loyalty to the entity)
i described how he would slowly transform as he vanished into another plane and dissapeared infront of everybody (to not have them fight a god in the middle of the main city and die instantly at level 7).
right after the main story hook, i gave them the opportunity to use the deck wich they did. at about 2 hours into a new started campaign they managed to loose 2/5 of the party to the cards.
respect for the warlock with his decision (it was his first game ever) to take his brand new character out of the Game after only 2 hours because he built the character carefully and with natural talent for roleplaying but oh my god what a chaotic and hilarious way to start into the campaign.
deck of many things: not even once.
time for homework to implement two new characters into the campaign. what an evening.