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The Deck of Miraculous Luck [Free!]

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The Deck of Miraculous Luck
A player reward system by Justin Andrew Mason

Many of us have seen it: dumb luck—an event that can only be attributed to a miraculous stroke of serendipity that manifests (almost as if by magic) appearing in the right place at the right time. Some call it fate; others call it the work of the gods. Regardless of the label applied to them, these improbable moments do happen and they can have a tremendous effect on those privy to luck’s sweet embrace.

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The Deck of Miraculous Luck consists of 30 cards, each presenting a different lucky effect that simulates those unexpected miraculous moments for player characters. As a meta-mechanic, the deck can also serve as a perfect alternate reward system, providing incentive to players to strive for exceptional endeavors.

A GM should use the deck sparingly. Many of the effects are quite powerful and if too freely distributed, could run the risk of unbalancing the intended challenge of the game.

When looking to reward a player for exceptional role-playing, solving a particularly complex puzzle, or completing a difficult quest with their character, the GM may allow that player to draw from the deck, reaping the benefits associated with that card. Every card is designed to be a boon, and there are no inherently negative effects included.

About the Deck of Miraculous Luck

This series consists of six different card types including: healing, magic item, spell, mechanic, storyline, and enhancement. There are five of each type in the 30-card deck, and every card has been sized the specifications of standard business cards (2” x 3.5”) to provide an easy method for print and use.

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There are seven “rare” cards, which are removed permanently from the deck once used. All other cards get shuffled back into the deck.

In addition to detailed text explaining how each card is used, they are individually numbered 1-30 and offer a title, an icon identifying card type, and a use indicator (automatic, triggered, or expend).

Automatic cards have an effect that happens immediately after the card is drawn. Expendable cards are held by the player who drew them until that player desires to use the card’s effect. Triggered use cards explain a stipulation that must be met before the card’s effect takes place.

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Get the Cards for Free!

This PDF is arranged to fit pre-perforated printable Avery® Business Card sheets (Compatible Products: 38373, 5881, 8373, 8869, 88220, 88221). However, you can download a compressed ZIP file that contains the individual card graphics and can be arranged to fit other templates if needed.

Enjoy! If you find The Deck of Miraculous Luck useful and would like to see it expanded with additional series, be sure to comment at the bottom of this article. I am considering releasing a new quarterly series of 30 cards that can be added to the deck if there is call for me to do so.

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Series I Deck Description & Card Texts

The content of each of the cards has been included below in order of the assigned card number.

Description Syntax
[#] - [Title] ([Use Indicator]) {Type} [Rarity Indicator]
Card Description

#01 – Is there a Medicus in the House? (Auto) {Healing}
The PC finds a stash of healing potions. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon the container (a simple non-descript burlap sack) containing several potions. Inside the sack are 3d4 cure light wounds potions, 2d4 cure moderate wounds potions, 1d4 cure serious wounds potions, and (1) cure critical wounds potion. There is nothing else in the sack. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#02 – Dead Man Walking! (Trigger) {Healing}
The next time the PC dies an automatic resurrection effect triggers (resurrection, CL 20th) that affects only that character. This effect remains permanent until used. If something prevents this effect from occurring when the PC dies, then it triggers as soon as possible instead. The PC must be DEAD to trigger this effect. In the story, the cause of this resurrection forever remains mysterious and unexplained. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#03 – All Together Now (Expend) {Healing}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to have the PC, party, and all allies instantaneously restored to maximum hit points and all their negative effects (poison, negative spell effects, curses, ability drains, etc.) are removed. Use of this card also restores any negative levels of the targets. This card can only be expended once by the owner before being returned to the deck. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#04 – Like a Rock (Expend) {Healing}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to activate an effect of Damage Reduction 20/— to target creature or character. This DR has a duration of 24 hours and cannot be removed by any means, magic or otherwise. This card can only be expended once by the owner before being returned to the deck. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#05 – Can’t Touch Me Now (Auto) {Healing} |Rare|
The PC automatically gains immunity to one (1) negative status effect type of choice from the following three status effects: poison, disease, fatigue. This immunity is permanent. When this card is used, permanently remove it from the deck.

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#06 – Take One Down, Pass it Around… (Auto)  {Magic Item}
The PC finds a small wooden chest containing 2d4 random magic potions. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon an un-trapped, unlocked chest containing the potions. There is nothing else in the chest. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#07 – Okay, Who Robbed the Magic Shop!? (Auto) {Magic Item}
The PC finds a small wooden chest containing 1d6 random minor wondrous items. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon an un-trapped, unlocked chest containing the magic items. There is nothing else in the chest. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#08 – Wyrd Place to Stash a Treasure (Auto) {Magic Item}
The PC finds a small wooden chest containing 1d4 random medium wondrous items. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon an un-trapped, unlocked chest containing the magic items. There is nothing else in the chest. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#09 – Fortune & Glory, Kid. (Auto) {Magic Item} |Rare|
The PC finds a small steel chest (with a masterwork lock, Disable Device DC 25) containing one random major wondrous item. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon an unlocked chest containing the magic item. Do not reveal what the item is until the chest has been opened. After this card is used, permanently remove it from the deck.

#10 – Stick to the Possibilities (Auto) {Magic Item}
The PC finds one fully charged random wand or one fully charged random rod (GM’s choice). This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon the rod or wand. Put this card back into the deck after use.

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#11 – You had to let it Linger (Expend) {Spell}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to have all spells cast by target PC gain x4 duration and/or range for a 24-hour period. This also affects applicable effects of spell like abilities or magic items (wands, rods, scrolls, etc.) used by the affected target. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#12 – I’m like Rubber, You’re like Glue… (Expend) {Spell}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to reflect any spell back at its caster as if with any five metamagic feats (your choice) at CL 20th. This effect appears in the story as an unexplained momentary ripple in arcane essence that alters the caster’s original spell. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#13 – Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe... (Expend) {Spell}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to change the target(s) of any spell cast in the presence of your PC. The nature or source of the spell doesn’t matter in regard to this effect. The new target is automatically affected by the spell (provided that the target could be affected by a spell of that type). This effect should appear in the story as an unexplained momentary ripple in arcane essence that alters the caster’s original spell. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#14 – What is this Sorcery!? (Expend) {Spell} |Rare|
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to cause target PC to gain immunity to magic (as a golem) for 24-hours. This effect cannot be negated or altered by any means for its duration, except by the affected target. The affected target may temporarily suspend the ability and be affected by magic normally for 1 round as a free action. After use, permanently remove this card from the deck. 

#15 – Need to See Your Papers (Auto) {Spell}
The PC finds a stash of scrolls. This effect is automatic, and should be worked into the story in such a way that the PC literally stumbles upon the container (a simple non-descript leather scroll tube) containing several scrolls. Inside the tube are 2d4 random arcane scrolls (maximum CL 10th) and 2d4 random divine scrolls (maximum CL 10th). There is nothing else in the scroll tube. Put this card back into the deck after use.

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#16 – Finish Him! (Expend) {Mechanic}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to turn any single d20 die roll result into a natural critical success (natural 20). If used on an attack roll it automatically confirms a critical hit. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#17 – Finding an Important Lesson (Expend) {Mechanic}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to turn any single d20 die roll result into a natural critical failure (natural 1). Put this card back into the deck after use.

#18 – Save the Best for Last (Expend) {Mechanic}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to activate an effect that causes all saving throws of one type (Fortitude, Reflex, or Will) for the PC to result in success (regardless of DC). This effect lasts for 24-hours and cannot be altered or removed in any way. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#19 – Hey, Mom: Watch This! (Expend) {Mechanics}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to turn any one skill check (trained or untrained) made by the PC into an automatic success. This does not enable the PC to do the impossible, but it provides the maximum success results for any skill check. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#20 – Wale of a High Roller (Expend) {Mechanic} |Rare|
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to add a +2 bonus to *all* of the PCs checks for a 24-hour period. This magnificently lucky effect should appear blatantly obvious in the story and seem to be caused by some unknown, unseen force or divine intervention. This bonus does not apply to rolls when determining permanent random numbers (hit die roll, for example). This bonus applies to all attack rolls, damage, saving throws, skill checks, and the like. After use, permanently remove this card from the deck.

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#21 – Can’t We All Just Get Along? (Expend) {Storyline}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to make target NPC more “friendly” towards the PC. This does not alter the NPC’s agenda or demeanor, or how he or she feels about other party members or NPCs. It changes only the target NPC’s demeanor towards the PC. This effect is at the discretion of the GM, but should be allowed if at all possible. The change in demeanor is liberal enough to be noticed. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#22 – If at First You Don’t Succeed… (Expend) {Storyline}
Keep this card. Return this card to the GM to undo the results of any encounter. The PC and allies start back at the beginning of the encounter as if it never happened and retain full memory of all events that took place during the encounter. This should be explained in the story as an intensely vivid sense of déjà vu. This card must be used during the encounter that is being “undone.”  Put this card back into the deck after use.

#23 – If I Knew Then What I Know Now (Automatic) {Storyline} |Rare|
You may choose one past event to change as if it never happened. Since this effect can have tremendous (or possibly even detrimental) effect on the story and whether or not a specific event can be changed is completely at the discretion of the GM. If the event you want to alter is deemed too important to be changed, the GM will work with you to select a narrower range of changes related to that specific event that can be allowed. If no agreement can be reached between the player and GM, then this card should be discarded and another card drawn by the player. After use, permanently remove this card from the deck.

#24 – Someone to Lean On (Trigger) {Storyline}
The PC gains a devoted follower. The follower must be of the same race as the PC, but can be any gender or class that you choose. The follower has one-fourth the experience level of the PC. This follower should come into contact with the PC as soon as the GM deems it plausible to the storyline, and should possess equipment and treasure typical for a NPC of that type and level. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#25 – It’s Your Lucky Day! (Auto) {Storyline} |Rare|
Congratulations! You’ve drawn the Lucky Bonus card. Permanently remove this card from the deck, and you should draw two new cards (gaining the advantages of both).

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#26 – Practice Makes Perfect (Auto) {Enhancement}
The PC gains a +5 miscellaneous bonus to any one skill of your choice (trained or untrained). This bonus is permanent. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#27 – Sometimes it Only Takes One (Auto) {Enhancement}
The PC gains +1 to any one ability score (STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, or CHA). This bonus is permanent. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#28 – My, What Big Feat You Have! (Auto) {Enhancement}
The PC gains an extra feat (your choice). The PC must meet all the prerequisites to obtain the chosen feat. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#29 – It’s the Spice of Life (Auto) {Enhancement}
The PC immediately gains +2d6 to his or her maximum hit point total. This bonus is permanent. Put this card back into the deck after use.

#30 – Taking Things to a Whole New Level (Auto) {Enhancement} |Rare|
The PC automatically gains 1 more experience point than is needed to advance to the next experience level. When used, permanently remove this card from the deck.

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[This entire guy is Justin Andrew Mason's wonderfully put together project! Send some love his way folks! -MM]

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