Written by: Verity Lane, Editor of The Fablemaker’s Deck of Many Things by Hit Point Press
The Fablemaker’s Deck of Many Things puts a new spin on the old favorite magic item, the deck of many things. When characters draw a card from the deck, they might receive an amazing boon or a terrible curse. Each of the 22 cards has an Overworld and an Underworld version. The colorful Overworld cards have the effects we all know, love, and fear from this infamous magic item. Meanwhile, the monochrome Underworld cards have all-new effects based on the themes of the cards.
Not only are Czepeku maps ideal for playing out the consequences of drawing cards from the Fablemaker’s Deck of Many Things, but the variations can let you perfectly tailor an encounter to the Overworld or Underworld. Here are a few of our favorite pairings of maps with cards from the Fablemaker’s Deck of Many Things!
Donjon: Medieval Jail (Fire Purple & Massacre)
For the Donjon card, what could be more fitting than this fortified jail? Anyone who draws this card is instantly trapped in a prison within an extradimensional sphere, setting the stage for a thrilling jailbreak rescue. We love the Fire Purple version for its dramatic lighting that sets the right dramatic mood for an arcane prison.
The Underworld version of this card transports you through time. When you find yourself in the blood-stained Massacre version of the map, the question of when you are and what went on here before you arrived becomes viscerally urgent.
Whichever card you draw, escaping from the Donjon and reuniting with your party will be a challenge, especially if you meet the enigmatic jailer shown on the Donjon card.
Flames: Imperial Graveyard (Lava & Angelic)
If you draw the Flames card, a powerful devil decides it hates you and makes a hobby of ruining your life. You can take only so much devilish interference before you need a final showdown against this enemy. The Lava version of the Imperial Graveyard makes a perfect setting for when you take the fight to them. We think this devil is the kind of not-so-subtle villain who would have a massive statue of themself in their lair.
The Underworld card flips the cosmic balance of this effect. Instead of a devil, you draw the attention of a celestial. While that might seem preferable at first, it won’t take long to realize that an interfering angel can be just as dangerous as a spiteful devil.
The Angelic version of the Imperial Graveyard would be a great setting for a confrontation. Hopefully, you won’t end up joining the ranks of the dead!
Skull: Bone Dryad Ossuary (Original Day & Underworld Summon)
The Skull card puts you face to face with your own mortality as it summons an avatar of death that you must defeat in single combat. The dramatic architecture of the Bone Dryad Ossuary makes a beautifully morbid backdrop for this combat.
In the Underworld version of the card, the avatar of death demands an even greater sacrifice.
The spectral skeleton in the Underworld Summon version of the map sets the right tone as you face down death itself.
Throne: Island Fort: (Goblin Fort Ground Floor Day & Underground Tunnels)
The effect of the Throne card might seem great at first glance. Good news: when you draw this card, you gain ownership of your very own keep. Bad news: the keep is full of monsters. We like the Island Fort map as the setting for this keep. How will you approach this island and claim the keep? With brute force, stealth, or perhaps with diplomacy?
The Underworld effect of the Throne drops you into a leadership position in an organization. What this faction is depends on your Game Master, but we like the idea of taking the reins of a Thieves’ Guild. The Underground Tunnels of the Island Fort would make a perfect base for smuggling operations.
Of course, this is the Fablemaker’s Deck of Many Things, so the situation isn’t simple. Your new friends in your organization are beset with monsters and need your help.
Void: Deepsea Hatching Chamber (Astral & Sharks)
While the Donjon card imprisons your body, the Void card imprisons your soul. Drawing this card sucks out your soul and traps it in an object. But what does that look and feel like? We like the Astral Deepsea Hatching Chamber as a representation of this incorporeal prison so that whichever player gets trapped in the void can still enjoy the game until they are set free.
As the rest of the party scrambles to find the object that holds your soul, what will you experience under the glare of these statues? Perhaps you must face down manifestations of your inner demons or past enemies?
In another reversal, the Underworld Void instead burdens you with an object containing someone's—or something’s—soul. Until you return it to its body, your own soul is in danger of being sucked out should you fail in your mission to protect the trapped soul. It’s up to the GM to decide who or what the soul belongs to, but we suggest using the Sharks version of the Deepsea Hatching Chamber.
Making the monstrous infant in the center of the map the creature whose soul you carry, sets up a delicious dilemma. Will you release yourself of your burden but also release this creature? And if you do release it, will it be grateful or vengeful? And the sharks? Well, they add a delightful hazard should you delve down to the depths. Everything is better with sharks!
The Fablemaker’s Deck of Many Things: An Oracle for Risk and Reward
The Fablemaker’s Deck of Many Things: An Oracle for Risk and Reward is an oracle deck based on the 5th Edition Deck of Many Things. Beautifully illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani, these cards are perfect for asking yourself challenging questions and prompting reflection. Recommended for Tarot, Oracle, and 5e fans alike!
Back the deck on Kickstarter until November 3rd, 2023. After that, you can find the deck, as well as our other adventures and accessories, at hitpointpress.com!