Deal With It (Kings of Chaos – Card Mages 1)

Yesterday, we examined Purple Duck Games class illuminatus as a deeper dive into the chaos of magic. Among the possible implements of that class is a deck of cards. The illuminatus uses its cards to deceive and transform. While the implement biases wonder selection for that class, the deck serves them as a focus for chaos, producing its few reliable marvels. But other classes use their decks is far more random ways, the first of which we are looking at today is from Dreadfox Games.

Card Mage/”Gypsy*” – (Kings of Chaos-Dynamic Dealer)

As chaos and card mages go this one is delightfully random, here are some of its highlights:

  • Deck of Divination (Sail into the Storm!) – The deck your card mage is both amazingly powerful (having access to ALL spell lists) and completely random (other than choosing which spell cards go in it for the day). This allows for each character with this class to nearly completely unique and for a (small) degree of thematic customization. Pick all curses for a classic fortune teller of doom, summons for a menagerie master, evocations for a deck of destruction and so on…
  • Augury (Hey look a Handle!) – Auguries for this call are unique cards for your deck that do other effects specific to the class. Random placement and unreliability allow for effects both too strange and too strong for a standard caster to only rarely manifest and keep things under control while allowing exceptional spikes of potential. You also gain your first abilities to control selection and draw here.
  • Premonition (Dial-Up the Disaster!) – Your character also gains the ability to have visions of the future. The catch is you can control this vision a few times a day. Your GM can also inflict the mechanic on you at any time. Did we mention your character gains the unconscious condition during the vision? A couple other passive abilities enhance your Perception, Sense Motive and Use Magic Device (allowing access to predictable wands and scrolls),
  • Greater Auguries (Eye of the Storm!) – Your Greater Auguries include a number of abilities to predicatively and conciously alter your card draws. Allowing random access to become more selective but usually at the cost of burning other options. It puts this class in an interesting resource game placing abundance versus control and forcing you to favor different playstyles depending on your work day.

This class is seething with chaotic and iconic appeal but is so random as to not be within reach of a casual player unless you really don’t need to be apart of the party’s metabalance. This selection makes a great fifth wheel with a skilled player who doesn’t mind occasional frustrations with timing with remarkable bursts of effectiveness.

(*There is no small contention about Dreadfox’s choice of this class’ name due to its real world and potentially derogatory nature. Despite this, the mechanics are interesting enough to bare discussion, but for the remainder of this post we will refer to them as Card Mages)

(Slightly less crazy character options are available from us at:  d20pfsrd.com, drivethruRPG, paizo and RPGNow.)

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