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Difference between revisions of "Whispering Deck"

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'''Rank/Suits''' Six (suns, wyrms, ''personality'')
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'''Rank/Suits''' Six (suns, wyrms)
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'''Tags''' ''personality, adverse''
  
'''Influence Move''' You may cast ''[[pfsrd-spell:p/paladin's-sacrifice|paladin's sacrifice]]'' at will as a spell-like ability.
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'''Influence Move''' When you take damage or suffer some other hardship, you may point at an ally within far range. That ally then suffers your fate instead of you. If a loop of multiple invocations of this move is ever created (e.g. player A transfers damage to player B, then player B immediately transfers it back to player A), everyone in the loop suffers the hardship and the influence cycles.
  
'''Ritual Result''' Each player at the table (including the GM, but not including you) selects an alignment other than your own, with no two players selecting the same alignment. The player gains control of a duplicate of you, changed to have the alignment the player selected. Any effects of changing alignment are applied to the duplicate (e.g. loosing paladin-hood, changing worship to a compatibly aligned deity, altering alignment specific spells, etc.). The player in control of the character may also change one feature of the duplicate (e.g. selecting a different bloodline, changing a feat, etc.). These duplicates appear at random locations within 20 miles.
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'''Ritual Result''' Duplicates of the querent, different in outlook, appear at random locations within 20 miles of the ritual, each intent on pushing the querent to atone for wrong-doing (as they see it).
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Each player at the table other than the GM and the player of the querent selects an alignment other than than the querent, with no two players selecting the same alignment. The player gains control of the duplicate with that alignment, getting a copy of the querent's playbook. The player marks as many advanced moves as the querent has, but need not make the same choices as the querent.
  
 
'''Whispers''' The duplicates all know of the querent and have reasons for opposing her plans. The duplicates also perceive frequent, irritating reminders that they are just copies.
 
'''Whispers''' The duplicates all know of the querent and have reasons for opposing her plans. The duplicates also perceive frequent, irritating reminders that they are just copies.

Revision as of 06:34, 27 March 2015

This is a magic item for Dungeon World based on P.D. Magnus’ Decktet and inspired by the deck of many things. The text makes use of the Class Warfare supplement, as it conveniently breaks Dungeon World into smaller pieces that are easier to reference (particularly “spheres of influence” and “schools” for spells).

A Pathfinder version of this item can be found on this wiki as the pandemonium deck.

The Decktet, including the art on this page, has been made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license, which means that so is the text of this page. Dungeon World is by Sage LaTorra and Adam Koebel and released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Class Warfare is by Johnstone Metzger and released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

This worn deck bears an evocative image upon each of its forty-five cards. Mundane whispering decks grace the tables of fortune-tellers all over the world, said to be potent oracles. Among gamblers, whispering decks are said to make their own luck and favor the lawless. Tall tales sometimes speak of the cards in these decks whispering lies mixed with unpleasant truth, usually leading those who hear them to ruin or fortune (or both).

These pedestrian replicas, however, are but faint shadows of the one true Whispering Deck, a potent agent of disorder and turmoil. When fully assembled, the deck can potentially shape the world, in its way, but it rarely remains assembled for long. More often, its cards (and its power) are scattered, hidden in lonely corners or hiding in pedestrian versions of the deck. But the deck does whisper sometimes, planting an idea at just the right place at the right time to spread chaos and further its own ends.

Adding the Deck to a Game[edit]

The Whispering Deck should not be found intact. Rather, its cards should be scattered and, at least at first, discovered individually. By itself, a card provides some benefit to its holder, but need not become anything more involved than that. If and when the players focus on locating more of the cards, play may suggest fronts, or even whole campaigns revolving around various groups intent on assembling the deck for themselves.

Should the players decide to walk this road and succeed in assembling the deck, a big ritual becomes possible, during which cards drawn from the deck can radically alter the character’s situation, even their world itself. Should such a ritual occur, often the deck will divide or scatter afterward, launching the cycle anew.

When adding the deck to a game, also consider that, having been created to spread chaos, the deck possesses a rudimentary consciousness which helps further that aim. As the cards of the deck are assembled, the decks consciousness gains strength and focus. It wants the cards to be found and used, so cards will never wind up anywhere too obscure or unaccessible (e.g. surrounded by solid rock, the bottom of unclimbable ravine, etc.). Instead, they tend to appear in places where they might get found eventually (e.g. the bottom of a chest in an attic, the pocket of a rarely used coat, tucked into a library book, a family crypt, etc.).

The deck is most content when its presence sows discord or upsets the status quo, and favors getting cards into the hands of destabilizing forces (like your average group of PCs). While it has little direct agency over the world, the deck can work through rumor, dreams and innuendo, particularly when it gets stronger. Any time people mention some nebulous “they” as having said something, or can’t quite remember where they heard something, or spread rumors with no discernible source, that may be the deck working to change things.

Card Influence[edit]

The sections below detail a number of moves that players may gain access to as they assemble the Whispering Deck, but there is one special rule added to games making use of the deck: card influence. It is meant to represent how the deck influences the world to further its own chaotic ends and assumes you have an actual Decktet deck on hand (if not, you should be able to figure out some reasonable alternative).

At the start of each session, the GM gathers any cards in proximity to the PCs. This would include cards they have claimed as their own, cards that nearby NPCs might have, cards hidden near where the PCs are at the start of the session and so on. Any cards that might influence immediate events. One of those cards is then selected at random and shown to the table. That card is said to influence the session.

The GM will then read (or otherwise disseminate) the influence move associated with that card. For the rest of that session, all players may trigger that move and gain its benefits. The GM, likewise, can incorporate the influence of the card (using the influence move as a guide) when making moves during that session.

Some influence moves may indicate that the influence cycles. If this happens, the GM should gather cards as if it were the start of a new session, but omitting the current influencing card. A new card is drawn from this stack and becomes the new influence for the remainder of the session. The old influencing card no longer had influence and its influencing move can no longer be used.

Note that moves in this document may reference Earth-like occurrences (such as moon phases, seasons, eclipses and so on) as a way of pacing certain moves. If you play on in a world that lacks such things, replace with some similar situation on your world that occurs roughly as frequently.

Deck Moves[edit]

The following moves can be triggered when dealing with the deck or its cards; however, the players need not be made aware of all these moves at first, much less the PCs. Certainly, if a player has the ability to trigger one of the moves, they should know they can, but some moves are not even possible until multiple cards are gathered in one place. The GM may want to hide such moves until the PC’s have the cards they need or have done research into the deck.

Claiming Cards[edit]

When you hold a card of the Whispering Deck in your hand and focus on it for a few minutes, you lay claim to that card as being “yours”. Unless and until someone else claims that card, your claim remains, no matter where the card actually is.

Luck Charm[edit]

When you start the day with a claim on one or more the cards of the Whispering Deck, lose any previous hold, then hold 1. If at least one of the cards you claim has the adverse tag, gain an additional 1 hold. After you have made a standard roll, spend one hold to reroll one of the two dice and keep the new result.

Just Paper[edit]

Individual cards are no more or less durable than mundane cards. When a card of the Whispering Deck you claim becomes seriously damaged, it turns to dust and your claim on it is relinquished. A new copy of the card forms in some random location in the world.

Agent of Chaos[edit]

Through other moves, the deck may bestow an ability to cast a particular spell or spells. When you cast a spell granted to you by the Whispering Deck, roll+nothing. Take +1 if you claim at least one card with the adverse tag. On a 10+, you cast the spell, but choose a consequence from the list below. On a 7-9, you cast the spell, but choose two:

  • The spell has other effects as well.
  • You may not cast this spell again until after you get a full night’s sleep.
  • You draw unwanted attention or put yourself in a spot. The GM will tell you how.

Granted a Boon[edit]

In rare cases, the deck may grant a boon. When you claim a boon granted to you by the Whispering Deck, choose one of the following and describe what you want. The GM may make some adjustments, but what you request happens.

  • The effect of any spell can be produced on, or removed from, any target.
  • An effect that could be produced by a powerful magical ritual (Dungeon World, pg. 147) can be produced instantly.
  • Counter the effects of any drawing ritual (other than one that granted that particular boon).
  • All afflictions and maladies (debilities, damage, missing limbs, diseases, curses…anything up to and including death) can be instantly removed from one person.
  • A single recent event can be undone and reality reshapes itself to accommodate the new result.
  • Some other desire may be requested, but the more grandiose the wish, the more likely the deck will fulfill it only partially and/or in undesirable ways.

Cards of a Feather[edit]

When you claim at least six cards of the Whispering Deck, take +1 on any attempt to aid or hinder someone who claims a card of the Whispering Deck.

Well Suited[edit]

When you claim at least one card of each suit (from 3 to 6 cards) and draw one to give you insight into a question, roll+CHA. On a hit, the image on the card animates and, through gestures or something similar, shows the direction or course of action most likely to upset the status quo. On a 7-9, also choose one from the list. On a miss, in addition to whatever else happens, choose all items from the list:

  • You may no longer draw cards in this way today.
  • You draw unwelcome attention or put yourself in a spot. The GM will tell you how (note, the unwelcome attention might come from the deck itself).

Packing the Deck[edit]

When you claim at least a third of the Whispering Deck (15 cards), everyone who sees you senses, at least subconsciously, that you control some chaotic mojo. Any who have come in contact with cards from the deck before will recognise this specifically as stemming from the deck.

Walking the Walk[edit]

So long as you claim more than half of the Whispering Deck (23 cards), your alignment is chaotic. If this causes a shift in alignment (Dungeon World, pg 34), choose a new alignment move.

Spreading the Word[edit]

When you claim the Excuse and at least one card of each rank and concentrate on “broadcasting” a short spoken message, all who claim at least six cards of the Whispering Deck will hear your words as if you were standing next to them, no matter where they are. Each who hears may respond with one short message of their own, which is also heard by everyone who claims at least six cards. You may do this only once per day.

Bedlam the Gathering[edit]

When you claim at least two thirds of the Whispering Deck (30 cards) and spend several minutes concentrating on a card you do not yet claim, you immediately gain knowledge of the exact location of that card, no matter where it is, even if protected by magic that otherwise would obscure or conceal it. You may use this move only once each day.

Willing Pawns[edit]

When you claim all four pawns of the Whispering Deck and a hireling you recruited makes demands of you (for example, due to a partial success on a Order Hirelings move), you can get them to stay with you without meeting their demands, as long as you give them something.

Holding Court[edit]

When you claim all four courts of the Whispering Deck and you make yourself available to the public to hear their grievances, the GM will tell you of at least one local opportunity to upend an orthodoxy, subvert an authority or upset an equilibrium.

Trump Cards[edit]

When you claim all six crowns of the Whispering Deck and parley with someone, on a 12+, they not only do what you want, they change their mind about you and become your ally. They will no longer advance GM’s dangers and will instead support your plans.

In the Hole[edit]

When you claim all six aces of the Whispering Deck and one of the deck’s cards is destroyed within near range of you, when a new version of the card forms (see Just Paper, above), it will appear within far range of you. This ability does not work on cards destroyed during a drawing ritual.

Cards on the Table[edit]

When you claim all 14 personality cards of the Whispering Deck, the deck grants you the ability to cast the Prophecy spell (Class Warfare, pg. 207). If you draw a sympathetic connection between a personality card and the target while casting it, take +2.

Cut (With) the Deck[edit]

When you claim all 14 location cards of the Whispering Deck, the deck grants you the ability to cast the Rainbow Bridge spell (Class Warfare, pg. 209). If you draw a sympathetic connection between a location card and the target while casting it, take +2.

Revealing Hand[edit]

When you claim all 13 event cards of the Whispering Deck, the deck grants you the ability to cast the True Discernment spell (Class Warfare, pg. 213). If you draw a sympathetic connection between an event card and your current situation while casting it, take +2.

Straight[edit]

When you start the day claiming all ranks of one or more suits of the Whispering Deck (14+ cards), name one of those suits and take +1 ongoing to any rolls using the ability associated with it until the start of the next day:

  • moons: +1 ongoing to roll+WIS
  • suns: +1 ongoing to roll+CHA
  • waves: +1 ongoing to roll+DEX
  • leaves: +1 ongoing to roll+CON
  • wyrms: +1 ongoing to roll+STR
  • knots: +1 ongoing to roll+INT

Fearful Symmetry[edit]

When you claim all seven symmetrical cards when the card influence is first revealed at the start of a session, you may immediately force the influence to cycle.

Drawing Ritual[edit]

When you claim all the cards in the Whispering Deck and perform an elaborate drawing ritual, while the ritual lasts you become the reader. Designate someone willing (other than yourself) to be the querent, who will draw from the deck and be the target of the ritual. All others present for the ritual are witnesses.

At the climax of the ritual, the querent draws cards from the deck. If lawful, the querent may draw only one card. If chaotic, the querent may draw up to three cards. Otherwise the the querent may draw up to two cards. Once the cards are drawn, you (as the reader) choose one of the drawn cards, and the ritual result listed for that card activates.

Ritual results are permanent and cannot be eliminated without extremely potent ritual magic.

Afterwords, each card drawn turns to dust (triggering Just Paper). You immediately become aware of the new location of the card that was activated (but not the other cards drawn, if any). No longer able to claim the complete deck, you must track down the lost cards in order to complete the deck and draw again. Some ritual effects also cause additional cards from the deck to vanish and reappear elsewhere. This may happen in one of three ways:

  • When the deck divides, undrawn cards are placed at random into four separate piles, as evenly as possible. Unless the effect says otherwise, one pile, chosen at random, remains where it is. The other piles teleport to different random locations within 100 miles.
  • When the deck is distributed to a specific group, undrawn cards are randomly allocated to the creatures in the group mentioned in the text, as evenly as possible.
  • When the deck scatters, all undrawn cards teleport to different random locations within 2,000 miles.

Once the ritual effect starts, the deck will leverage the result by spreading rumor, dreams, lies, and sometimes even the truth, to sow more discord. Possible strategies it might employ are listed in the whispers section for each card.

Cards[edit]

The deck contains six suits (in order: moons, suns, waves, leaves, wyrms and knots) with a complex structure. For each suit, there is an Ace and a Crown. Ranked between them are other cards numbered 2 through 9, each with two suits. Four Courts each have three suits and are ranked beneath Crowns. Four Pawns each have three suits as well, ranked below Courts. The Excuse has no suit or rank.

Suit combinations do not occur with equal frequency. Some suit combinations are considered sympathetic and some antipathetic (these tags are provided for your use, but little in this document makes use of them).

All cards also have a theme or meaning, written on the face of the card (one third represent people, one third represent places and one third represent events). Some cards appear the same (or effectively so) when upside down (tagged as symmetrical), most do not.

Name Rank Suits Tags
Huntress Crown Moons personality, ambivalent
Bard Crown Suns personality, ambivalent
Sea Crown Waves location, ambivalent, symmetrical
End Crown Leaves event, location, adverse
Calamity Crown Wyrms event, adverse
Windfall Crown Knots event, auspicious, symmetrical
Consul Court Moons Waves Knots personality, antipathetic, ambivalent
Rite Court Moons Leaves Wyrms event, antipathetic, ambivalent
Island Court Suns Waves Wyrms location, ambivalent
Window Court Suns Leaves Knots location, antipathetic, ambivalent
Harvest Pawn Moons Suns Leaves event, antipathetic, sympathetic, ambivalent
Watchman Pawn Moons Wyrms Knots personality, antipathetic, sympathetic, adverse
Light Keeper Pawn Suns Waves Knots personality, antipathetic, ambivalent
Borderland Pawn Waves Leaves Wyrms location, sympathetic, ambivalent
Pact 9 Moons Suns event, sympathetic, ambivalent
Darkness 9 Waves Wyrms location, adverse, symmetrical
Merchant 9 Leaves Knots personality, auspicious
Diplomat 8 Moons Suns personality, sympathetic, auspicious
Mill 8 Waves Leaves location, sympathetic, ambivalent, symmetrical
Betrayal 8 Wyrms Knots event, sympathetic, adverse
Chance Meeting 7 Moons Leaves event, auspicious
Castle 7 Suns Knots location, auspicious
Cave 7 Waves Wyrms location, adverse
Lunatic 6 Moons Waves personality, adverse
Penitent 6 Suns Wyrms personality, adverse
Market 6 Leaves Knots event, location, auspicious
Forest 5 Moons Leaves location, ambivalent, symmetrical
Discovery 5 Suns Waves event, auspicious
Soldier 5 Wyrms Knots personality, sympathetic, adverse
Mountain 4 Moons Suns location, sympathetic, ambivalent
Sailor 4 Waves Leaves personality, sympathetic, auspicious
Battle 4 Wyrms Knots event, sympathetic, adverse, symmetrical
Journey 3 Moons Waves event, ambivalent
Painter 3 Suns Knots personality, auspicious
Savage 3 Leaves Wyrms personality, adverse
Author 2 Moons Knots personality, auspicious
Desert 2 Suns Wyrms location, adverse
Origin 2 Waves Leaves event, location, sympathetic, auspicious
Moon Ace Moons auspicious
Sun Ace Suns auspicious
Wave Ace Waves adverse
Leaves Ace Leaves auspicious
Wyrm Ace Wyrms adverse
Knot Ace Knots adverse, symmetrical
Excuse auspicious

Author[edit]

Author

Rank/Suits Two (moons, knots)
Tags personality, auspicious

Influence Move When you spout lore, on a 12+, the GM will also ask you a question about the subject. Whatever you answer, it is the truth.

Ritual Result On the first new moon of each season, the querent is granted a boon to spend on a stranger’s behalf (see Granted a Boon, above). The stranger must have been unknown to the querent since they last time they used such a boon (or initially drew this card in the ritual). The stranger must articulate their wish to the querent in some way before it can be granted.

Whispers Rumors spread that the querent grants wishes, but most of the stories are coupled with untruthful riders about what the character wants (or must have) in order to grant one. For example, a story starts to circulate in the village the character just entered that the first person who presents her with a cup filled with the blood of a sacrificed virgin will be granted a wish. Or that wishes are only granted to those who truly hate the character’s race. Or that whoever sleeps with the character under a full moon automatically gets their wish.

Bard[edit]

Bard

Rank/Suit Crown (suns)
Tags personality, ambivalent

Influence Move When you roll+CHA, take +1.

Ritual Result The querent gains an alter ego as a notorious bard. The GM will provide a bard-based playbook to the querent’s player, who will advance the playbook to be the same level as the querent, making different choices for gender, race and alignment than the querent. That player controls the original PC and the alter-ego, but only one at a time. Should the player fail a roll, the GM’s move may be to cause the character to transform into its alter-ego (or vice-versa).

The two characters are aware of each other, but maintain separate (and possibly conflicting) personalities, motivations and memories. Personal possessions are tracked separately, and swap when the other character takes over. Experience gained by either character is applied to both.

Whispers Wherever the querent goes (either as herself or the bard), the locals remember some past trouble or scandal the bard caused.

Battle[edit]

Battle

Rank/Suits Four (wyrms, knots)
Tags event, sympathetic, adverse, symmetrical

Influence Move Everyone becomes a bit more aggressive towards you. When you take damage from something with emotions, take +1 damage.

Ritual Result The deck divides. Whenever a faction to which the querent swears allegiance is involved in open conflict involving more than 100 people, the faction always looses (though the querent may survive). A “faction” refers to some group, organization, army, nation or other body that might enter into conflict with similar factions. If the querent somehow manages to swear allegiance to more than one conflicting faction, all of them loose (either through mutual destruction or by one gaining a victory that costs more than it gains).

The querent gains this move: when you break a sworn oath of allegiance, the universe will extract a heavy toll from you when it is least convenient. The GM will tell you when. Such oaths are binding until you are released from them.

Whispers A prophesy surfaces that any military force which claims the allegiance of the “chosen one” (who bears an uncanny resemblance to the querent) cannot be defeated. Those who learn of this prophesy may make tempting offers or apply terrible leverage to gain the character’s allegiance.

Betrayal[edit]

Betrayal

Rank/Suits Eight (wyrms, knots)
Tags event, sympathetic, adverse

Influence Move When you order a hireling, they get -1 loyalty ongoing as long as Betrayal remains the influencing card. This penalty is cumulative, increasing each time they are ordered. On a failure, in addition to whatever else happens, the hireling will reveal a secret they know about one of the PCs.

Ritual Result If the querent dies, all of the PCs may select an advanced move from the 2-5 level list of their playbooks. If the lethal blow was dealt by an ally (not necessarily the other PCs), the move may be selected from the 6-10 level list of their playbooks instead. Should the querent be raised or otherwise brought back to life, access to these moves is lost.

Whispers Any animal companions, familiars and the like who were witnesses become convinced that if they arrange the death of their master, they will be set free. Meanwhile, if the querent does anything counter to the interests of another PC, the deck sees to it the PC finds out about it.

Borderland[edit]

Borderland

Rank/Suits Pawn (waves, leaves, wyrms)
Tags location, sympathetic, ambivalent

Influence Move When you would deal or take damage, roll a d6. If the result is even, you become briefly insubstantial and no damage is dealt.

Ritual Result The querent becomes a native of an ethereal plane which overlaps reality, immediately gaining access to the initial move of the ethereal native specialty. The Deck also grants the querent access to the Charm Animal spell, with the restriction that it can only be cast on natives to the ethereal plane.

Whispers Rumors circulate among natives to the ethereal plane regarding the querent. The nature of these rumors is up to the GM but might include things like: “the character intends to conquer the ethereal plane”, “the character will save us from our enemies”, “the character is destined to lead us in war against the Material Plane”, etc. In addition, ethereal natives within three miles of the character are filled with an odd restlessness which encourages them to visit the Material Plane. It doesn’t take long for those who travel with the character to gain a reputation for attracting ethereal mischief.

Calamity[edit]

Calamity

Rank/Suit Crown (wyrms, event)
Tags event, adverse

Influence Move When you succeed on a roll with a 13+, in addition to whatever else happens, a highly improbably calamity befalls one of your allies (a sinkhole opens, the wall collapses, etc.). Should this move be triggered, the card influence cycles.

Ritual Result In 1d4 days, a massive natural catastrophe will threaten to wipe out all life on your world. Perhaps a great rock falls from the sky, igniting massive fires and kicking up dust that blots out the sun. Maybe volcanoes erupt, flooding the land with molten rock and poisonous air. Maybe quakes drop the earth, allowing the ocean to rush over the land. Maybe fire ejected from the sun scorches the half the surface. Maybe a rift to another plane starts swallowing the world. Whatever occurs, the querent, the reader and all witnesses will miraculously survive the initial effects, left to make their way in the broken world.

Whispers Any survivor who invests any sort of trust in the querent will, sooner or later, discover that the character was responsible for the calamity.

Castle[edit]

Castle

Rank/Suits Seven (suns, knots)
Tags location, auspicious

Influence Move When you defend another person, add the following to the list of choices:

  • You take +3 Armor ongoing so long as you do not move away from that spot.
  • The person you are defending takes +5 Armor ongoing so long they do not move away from that spot and you stand in defense.

Ritual Result A mystical portal opens at the site of the ritual. On the other side of this portal is a pocket dimension containing a large castle, surrounded by a moat and modest grounds. A brand burns into the palm of the querent, signifying lordship over the castle, its gate, and its staff of faceless phantom-servants. The magic portal can never be closed or dispelled.

Whispers Displaced extraplanar refugees hear stories of this new plane, convinced it will welcome them with open arms.

Cave[edit]

Cave

Rank/Suits Seven (waves, wyrms)
Tags location, adverse

Influence Move When both dice come up 1 when you roll+something, whatever else happens, your voice is stolen from you. Until you next recover, if you speak, you hear yourself echoing as if in a large cavern, but no one else can hear you.

Ritual Result The querent, the reader, and all witnesses, are teleported to random locations within a cavern somewhere in the middle an extremely large dungeon complex (probably, but not necessarily, on your home world or plane). The querent arrives naked, possessions scattered at random throughout the complex. Others retain anything they were holding and any armor, clothing or jewelry, but other possessions (bags, packs, sheathed weapons, etc.) are similarly scattered.

The deck divides, but all four stacks appear at random in the complex. For the next two days, any intelligent creature in the complex gains the following move: when you discern realities about any item you have ever observed personally (even if you do not currently have it), the following choices are added to the list:

  • How far away is the item?
  • In what direction is the item?

Whispers Intelligent denizens of the complex become vaguely aware that the group’s possessions have newly arrived in the dungeon. Some inherit intimate knowledge of the details of some of the items, as if having firsthand observation of them.

Chance Meeting[edit]

Chance Meeting

Rank/Suits Seven (moons, leaves)
Tags event, auspicious

Influence Move When you fail to discern realities, carouse or recruit, instead of the usual result, the GM will introduce a surprise guest into the story, who is able to help you in some way. Should this move be triggered, the card influence cycles.

Ritual Result The querent suddenly and vividly remembers a seemingly innocuous encounter with a typical stranger (for example, a merchant who sold you something or a serving girl), with the realization that the stranger wasn’t mortal at all, but a deity (or other powerful being of similar disposition to you) in disguise. Something transpired during that encounter which caused the deity to taking a shining to the querent. The group and GM will determine when this occurred and who the deity is (if necessary, make up a new scene and insert it in some logical place in the past). Now revealed, the deity will make a point to visit the querent once a month for a quick chat.

Whispers Priests of the deity instantly recognize the querent as favored by their god. Rumors may circulate about the regular meetings and may result in surveillance or worse, as the faithful try to see divinity in the flesh. Enemies of the deity eventually become aware that the character is favored.

Consul[edit]

Consul

Rank/Suits Court (moons, waves, knots)
Tags personality, antipathetic, ambivalent

Influence Move When you venerate your ancestors or flatter the local spirits and ask for advice, roll+CHA. On a hit, a spirit gives you advice about your situation, but on a 7-9, it comes with strings attached. They want something from you as well—a favor, a sacrifice, or just an ear that will listen, perhaps. The GM will tell you what. If you act on the advice the spirit gives you, take +2 forward.

Ritual Result A powerful monster with the planar tag appears, claiming to be an emissary from its home realm sent to study this world, and choosing to focus its study on the querent. It will remain with the querent, observing and asking questions about events and people around it. It is friendly and shares a values system similar to the querent’s alignment, but will be largely oblivious to any collateral damage or effects its presence causes. It will gladly assist the querent, if asked (treat as a hireling with 2 Loyalty, 13 points of skills and a cost of “experiencing life through the querent”).

No amount of argument will persuade the planar monster from leaving, not even normal methods of banishing planar monsters.

Whispers If planar monster is killed, a replacement is sent within 1d6 days (either the original restored or a new monster sent to carry on the original’s work) and other (possibly stronger) planar monsters of the same type will hear of it.

Darkness[edit]

Darkness

Rank/Suits Nine (waves, wyrms)
Tags location, adverse, symmetrical

Influence Move While you remain in an area illuminated by anything brighter than a torch, take -2 ongoing.

Ritual Result A zone of utter darkness spreads ten miles out from the location where the card was drawn. No light short of that produced by a deity or the most powerful spells sheds any illumination in this darkness. Most cannot see at all in this perfect darkness, even with magic that would normally allow it. The querent, however, can see perfectly well, so long as there is no illumination at all, and is granted access to the Shadow Walk spell.

The radius of this darkness changes by 1d12-4 miles every day. If the radius ever reaches zero, the darkness disappears forever. If the darkness becomes large enough to engulf the world, it stops expanding and the world begins to merge into in an extradimensional realm of shadow and darkness.

Whispers Shadowy, planar monsters slowly become aware of a weakness at the center of the darkness that allows easier transition from their home plane.

Desert[edit]

Desert

Rank/Suits Two (suns, wyrms)
Tags location, adverse

Influence Move If another move tells you to mark off a ration, you also must consume an additional ration. If you have other moves or items allowing you to ignore the need to consume a ration, you must still consume the additional one.

Ritual Result The querent begins to dehydrate, even if they do not normally require water and suffers a random debility at the start of each day. These debilities cannot be healed and no amount of drinking can counter this effect. When the querent starts the day already having all debilities, they die.

The next day, the querent rises as a mummy. Their damage becomes d10 and they gain the following starting move: When the sun rises each day, roll 1d10. If you roll a 1 or 2, at some point during the day, a massive sandstorm lasting an hour or so will engulf everything within several miles of you. Accumulated sand from these storms will eventually smother crops, choke rivers and obscure roads.

The querent looses access to one advanced move they know, and gains the following as an advanced move: When you consume the eyes of a sentient being just before the sun rises, no sandstorm will come that day.

Whispers Among those affected by the sandstorms, a previously obscure legend arises, claiming that an ancient monarch will rise from the dead to eat the eyes of the living, turning their lands into a desert, and that the vengeful ruler will be served by several living heralds.

Diplomat[edit]

Diplomat

Rank/Suits Eight (moons, suns)
Tags personality, sympathetic, auspicious

Influence Move When under the influence of the Diplomat, you are granted the Charm Person spell.

Ritual Result During the next full solar eclipse (or similarly rare celestial event), the querent gains the following move: When you focus on any creature in the multiverse for a few minutes, you may make any one request in that creature’s power to grant (within the span of a month or so) and have it fulfilled. While fulfilling the request, the target uses any mental gymnastics required to convince itself that the request is in its best interest and will oblige, even at the cost of its own destruction (note that not all creatures, immortals in particular, can truly die).

Whispers Prior to the next full solar eclipse, every chaotic deity learns of the querent’s pending ability. Some will likely attempt to influence what the character does with it. Some time after the ability is used, the deck may plant doubts in the target’s head that fulfilling request was in his best interest (even if it actually was) or that he was manipulated into it.

Discovery[edit]

Discovery

Rank/Suits Five (suns, waves)
Tags event, auspicious

Influence Move You know the exact identity and location of all cards from the Whispering Deck within far range, even if contained within extra-dimensional spaces or protected from divination.

Ritual Result The querent gains the following move: When you take a walk on a beach during sunrise of the first day of the year while focussing on a single question or puzzle, the full answer or solution to that question becomes obvious to you and everyone else in the world. Whether the information revealed can be effectively acted upon is another question entirely.

Whispers Once this ability is used, those who spend time pondering difficult to answer questions will find themselves drawn to the querent.

End[edit]

End

Rank/Suit Crown (leaves)
Tags event, location, adverse

Influence Move When you fail or forgo your Last Breath, in your dying moments you may utter the name of a specific creature or object. Whatever you name rushes through its remaining natural life within a matter of seconds (a dragon ages and withers to bones then dust, a fortress erodes into unrecognizable rubble). Only the truly eternal are immune.

Ritual Result The querent, the reader and all witnesses are wracked with pain as the universe attempts to unmake them. All but the querent roll a d12. Any who roll an odd number are reduced to 1 hp and suffer three random debilities, but remain whole and alive. The querent and all who roll an even number have their body unmade completely. Left behind are all their belongings, and a large glowing gemstone containing their soul. If all present at the ceremony are unmade, the deck scatters, as do all of the gems.

As a vessel for a soul, a gem may be consumed by a Resurrection spell (Class Warfare, pg. 192) to restore the person to life. Until such time, each gemstone is a potent magical item. Anyone who holds a gemstone in their hand gains the following moves:

  • When you would take damage from a ranged attack, the gem sends forth waves of scintillating colors to counter it; take −1d8 damage.
  • When you touch the gem to a spell or magic effect in your presence, roll+nothing. On a hit, a lesser spells is ended, more powerful magic is just reduced or dampened so long as you are nearby. On a 7-9, you must pay some price in blood, effort or luck. On a miss, in addition to whatever else happens, you cannot use this move again today.

Whispers The gems created when the card is drawn eventually take on legends of their own, including false, but widely believed, rumors that anyone resurrecting the soul inside will be granted three wishes.

Excuse[edit]

Excuse

Rank/Suits None (none)
Tags auspicious

Influence Move When you fail a roll and the GM tells you what happens, you may offer up an excuse as to why that doesn’t actually happen (feel free to add new elements to the story, invoke deus ex machina, employ or refute a cliché, whatever it takes). If at least two other players buy it (indicated via thumbs up or similar gesture), your excuse happens and the influencing card rotates.

Ritual Result The deck scatters if this card is drawn as part of the ritual, even if a different card is selected to take effect. If the Excuse is selected to take effect, the deck grants the querent a boon (see Granted a Boon, above), but it may only be used to undo the past. This boon, however, is not restricted to just recent events, but can undo any past choice or action made by the querent. This might radically alter the course of history, restoring people to life and so on. The boon, however, cannot undo the drawing of the Excuse.

Whispers Once the querent has reshaped reality, rumors circulate of someone who cheated the gods of fate, who are not amused.

Forest[edit]

Forest

Rank/Suits Five (moons, leaves)
Tags location, ambivalent, symmetrical

Influence Move The deck grants you the ability to cast any spell from the plants sphere of influence (Class Warfare, pp. 202-203) with a level lower than your own; however, after any attempt at such casting (succeed or fail), you partially transform into a tree, gaining 1d4-1 random debillities (though if you randomly roll one you already have, you ignore it). If you gain all six debilities, you become a tree permanently. Otherwise, if you heal a debility gained in this way, that part of the transformation is also undone.

Ritual Result The querent sees several clear visions of the future, at least one of which visions will come true. Every other person at the gaming table—including the GM, but not including the querent’s player—presents a short vision of the future. Groups are encouraged to take some time to come up with their visions, even stopping the game for the day and presenting the visions next session. Each vision presented is seen by the querent.

The querent then may make a choice. If they sacrifice theirselves, they may select which vision comes true. They can be raised normally, but only the most powerful magic can prevent this new future. If the querent refuses to pick a future, the GM chooses which vision comes true.

Whispers Those with a vested interest in preventing the chosen future are granted the same vision of it the querent saw. Their actions to prevent the vision will, of course, be instrumental in making it happen.

Harvest[edit]

Harvest

Rank/Suits Pawn (moons, suns, leaves)
Tags event, antipathetic, sympathetic, ambivalent

Influence Move When you discern realities about a person or monster, add the following to the list of questions you may ask:

  • Does the target think they know the answer to a simple question (tell the GM which question)? (Note, this doesn’t supply the answer to the question, merely tells you if the target knows the answer.)
  • What are the target’s general beliefs about a specific topic (tell the GM which topic)?

Ritual Result A dark gem materializes in place of the card, containing a priceless unique soul (as if caught by the Soul Gem spell, Class Warfare, pg. 157). Within hours, a representative of one of Hell’s most reputable soul auction houses presents the querent with an offer to auction the soul, in exchange for a 10% commission. It strongly suggests the querent take, for an additional 5%, the auction house’s offer to protect the soul in their vaults until auction time, and will happily agree to a binding contract keeping everyone honest. The devil reminds everyone how seriously Hell takes contracts and will deal fairly with you at all times (the prestige and future business the auction house will gain by fairly selling this soul outweighs any advantage they might gain from trying trick you, by several orders of magnitude). Should the querent take the offer, the querent, the reader and the witnesses are invited to attend the auction. The GM will determine who the interested buyers are based on your initial asking price, and will determine the winner and final price.

Whispers The outer planes nearly ignite with the news that this soul gem exists. Should the querent refuse the protection of the auction house, interested parties will definitely come after the soul directly.

Huntress[edit]

Huntress

Rank/Suit Crown (moons)
Tags personality, ambivalent

Influence Move Once you have shed someone’s blood, you can track them anywhere as long as this card retains influence. No matter where they go you can always find them.

Ritual Result A powerful, generally female-ish, planar monster concludes that the querent’s fate is to mate with her and impregnate her (even if she has to polymorph the querent or herself to do so). She prefers a willing mate, so she must woo the querent, rather than use (for example) mind-dominating magic.

Whispers Militant religious zealots become convinced that the monster and the querent will spawn a child destined to destroy the world (even if the character obviously spurns her advances).

Island[edit]

Island

Rank/Suits Court (suns, waves, wyrms)
Tags location, ambivalent

Influence Move When you take damage from or deal damage to a monster, the defender ignores damage from all sources except the attacker, until the attacker deals damage to someone else or becomes incapacitated.

Ritual Result You become the center of a magical zone that extends out to far range in all directions. Within this zone…

  • …no one within this zone can speak any deliberate and intentional lies.
  • …extradimensional travel (teleportation, summoning from other planes, etc.) fails.
  • …invisibility or other concealing magic is suppressed.

Whispers Anyone who enters into the island immediately associates the zone with the querent.

Journey[edit]

Journey

Rank/Suits Three (moons, waves)
Tags event, ambivalent

Influence Move When you undertake a perilous journey, if you travel at all by sea or by night, take +1, otherwise take -1. This card remains the influencing card until journey’s end, but cycles afterwards.

Ritual Result A band of disembodied consciousnesses, united in pursuit of a single purpose, latches on to all present during the ritual, intent on using them as tools to complete their own journey. These might be disembodied ghosts with unfinished business, extraplanar refugees out to settle a score, or something similar. Whatever the case, these beings take up residence in items belonging to the reader, the querent and each witness (one consciousness each). These travelers prefer to inhabit magical items, weapons in particular, the more powerful the better; however, they really connect with the person, so will move to a new possession of that person when and if that becomes more convenient.

To the ritual participants, it will appear as if their items magically gained sentience and potency. Each item will communicate with its owner telepathically and can sense what is happening around it, even in total darkness. Each ritual participant chooses one advanced move from any speciality and, so long as they possess the item, may use that move.

The being inhabiting the querent’s item will be the leader of the disembodied consciousnesses. The entire band will share an outlook on the world similar to the querent’s alignment. The GM will decide on the band’s hidden agenda and ultimate goal. The disembodied beings can all telepathically communicate with each other at will, though they will generally not reveal this to those who wield them. Collectively, they will try to transform their wielders’ journey and goals into their own.

The leader of the beings can produce an effect similar to that of a particular 7th level spell (chosen by the GM at the outset), but will only do so when it wants, and in pursuit of its own agenda. The other beings have a similar ability, except that of the reader’s item matches a 5th level spell, while the abilities of the witness’s items match 3rd level spells. The items may or may not advertise they have this ability.

When a PC carrying one of these “intelligent items” fails a roll, the GM may use her move to reference or further the agenda of the item in some way. This could be subtle or overt, even going so far has having the item momentarily seize control of its bearer, make use of its spell power or some other blatant act.

The consciousnesses cannot be banished by normal means, but an extremely powerful magical ritual might send them away en masse.

Whispers Though the consciousnesses may not remember this, they were not always disembodied. Those who knew them in their prior incarnations may receive hints of their fate, or recognize their current forms.

Knot[edit]

Knot

Rank/Suit Ace (knots)
Tags adverse, symmetrical

Influence Move When you miss on an roll+INT roll, in addition to whatever else happens you thinking becomes muddled. Hold 1. Additional failures accumulate more hold. Lose all hold when this card is no longer influencing. Take -hold ongoing to any roll+INT rolls so long as this card remains the influencing card. If you have at least one hold and your hold exceeds your INT, you can do little other than babble and be led about.

Ritual Result The deck is distributed among the witnesses. The querent vanishes, entombed, with all gear, in a state of suspended animation within a spherical prison deep below ground. The location of the drawing ritual becomes a place of power, with a “feel” generally inimical to the querent’s alignment and outlook. An extremely potent magical ritual performed in this space can free everyone from the prison.

Within the hour six potent intelligent, planar monsters appear in the location, intent on preventing escape from the prison. Anyone who would be forced to face their last breath due to the actions of these monsters instead becomes imprisoned (fully healed) just as the querent was. Should any of these monsters be defeated or banished, they return within hours.

Anyone who conducts a ritual to free the incarcerated gains two benefits. First, the deck grants them a boon (see the Granted a Boon move, above). Secondly, they may demand that each person they liberated perform a specific task. Tasks must be completable within ten years and fulfilling a task must be within the ability of the person from which it is demanded. That person gains this move: When you prevaricate (or are prevented) from carrying out your assigned task for most of a day, you gain a random debility. If you already have all debilities, you permanently lose a point from all ability scores and all your debilities are removed. If you spend most of the day pursuing the task in earnest, any debilities you gained in this way are removed.

Whispers All beings in the world become magically aware that the querent has been imprisoned, as well as the benefits of releasing her. Some receive hints as to the location where the querent can be freed.

Leaves[edit]

Leaves

Rank/Suit Ace (leaves)
Tags auspicious

Influence Move When you defend on a 12+, you briefly transform into a whirlwind of leaves. All of the available options occur. In addition, you lift or push the attacker back a bit before reforming nearby.

Ritual Result The deck grants the querent a boon, but requires that it be requested wrapped in the trappings of an elaborate and public prayer to a god of fortune, chaos or forests. The spectacle need not actually involve genuine clergy or rites of that god, so long as it gives the appearance of doing so. The larger the audience and the more grand the offering, the more accommodating the GM should be when adjudicating the boon.

Whispers Those most inconvenienced by the changes brought about by the boon are certain the querent is the cause. The deity (or clergy or followers thereof) will likely react as well. If the boon and the prayer that (seemed to) cause it paint the god in a favorable light, some may consider the querent specially blessed. Likewise, a poor portrayal of the god may inspire reprisal.

Light Keeper[edit]

Light Keeper

Rank/Suits Pawn (suns, waves, knots)
Tags personality, antipathetic, ambivalent

Influence Move You can see magical auras. When you discern realities on a person, place or item, in addition to whatever else happens, the GM will tell you about any magical forces at work on the target.

Ritual Result The querent gains a reputation as a prophet. At least once a day, when the querent’s conversation can be overheard in public, at least one eavesdropper will be filled with the conviction that something they heard, however innocuous, is the key to some great life-changing truth. If the querent engages in any sort of public oratory, 1d10 people in the crowd will be similarly affected. Unfortunately, the querent has no control over which statements will be latched onto by the listeners. Affected listeners will largely rearrange their life in order to pursue this truth. Some will try to follow the querent everywhere. Others will openly worship and do anything the querent asks (other than stop following him or her).

Whispers As the number of followers increases, debates will likely arise among the faithful, as most of them will be reacting to different, possibly contradictory, statements made by the querent, which may even give rise to violence and schisms. Religious and political leaders may also react to a growing cult in their midst.

Lunatic[edit]

Lunatic

Rank/Suits Six (moons, waves)
Tags personality, adverse

Influence Move When the light of the moon shines upon you, take +1 ongoing to +STR and +DEX rolls, but -1 ongoing to +INT and +WIS rolls. If the moon is full, double the bonus and penalty.

Ritual Result All present at the drawing ritual gain a form of lycanthropy based on magical monsters instead of normal beasts. Each rolls 1d4 to determine which type of beast now corrupts their soul. The reader adds +1 to this roll; the querent adds +2:

d4 Inner Monster
1 Blink Dog (Dungeon World, pg. 268)
2 Fire Beetle (Dungeon World, pg. 238)
3 Rust Monster (Dungeon World, pg. 295)
4 Otyugh (Dungeon World, pg. 240)
5 Bullette (Dungeon World, pg. 289)
6 Purple Worm (Dungeon World, pg. 241)

All affected gain the following move: when the full moon rises, you painfully transform into a raging abomination, mixing the features of your inner monster with those of your own race. You shred any clothing you are wearing and abandon your gear. The transformation lasts until dawn. While transformed:

  • You retain all of your stats and make basic and special moves as normal.
  • You lose access to all class and race moves.
  • Your base damage and armor become those of your inner monster.
  • You gain 5 hold when you initially transform. Spend one hold to make one of your inner monster’s moves happen, just like that.
  • Take +2 ongoing to any roll using physical stats (STR, DEX, CON).
  • Take -3 ongoing to any roll using mental stats (INT, WIS, CHA).
  • Gain any special qualities of your inner monster.
  • Gain the special quality “weak to silver”.
  • You may not gain XP from following your alignment this session.
  • You may gain XP by following your inner monster’s instinct this session.
  • If you deal damage to anyone, should they live until the next full moon, they become lycanthropes as well. Each victim makes their own (unmodified) 1d4 roll on the table above to find their inner monster.
  • If you fail a roll, the GM may use her move to narrate your monster taking over briefly and doing something other than what you were intending. This action should follow from your monster’s instinct, abilities and situation.

Only very powerful ritual magic can cure those present at the drawing ritual of lycanthropy; however, any lycanthropes they spawn can be cured by normal means. Characters who embrace their condition may be able to gain some measure of control over it (probably best reflected by using custom compendium classes).

Whispers Those dedicated to fighting lycanthropy uncover legends that make them suspect (incorrectly) that the afflicted characters are the source of all lycanthropy, and if they are all killed, the disease will be forever eradicated.

Market[edit]

Market

Rank/Suits Six (leaves, knots)
Tags event, location, auspicious

Influence Move When this card first gains influence, you may exchange competence in one ability for competence in another. Name two basic or class moves that require rolls. While the influence of the Market remains, rolls for the first move are treated as one degree of success higher (failures become 7-9 results, 7-9 results become 10+ results, etc.), and rolls for the second one degree of success lower (10+ results become 7-9 results, 7-9 results become failures).

Ritual Result The querent gains the following move: Any time you dream, you may choose to enter the Dream Market, a place where almost anything can be bought and sold. You may access all of your real world wealth and possessions to buy and sell in the Dream Market and any transactions made translate into the real world once you wake. Non-unique magic items are present in abundance and even unique magic items may come to market once in a great while. More esoteric items, such as souls, magical creatures, slaves and even intangible goods like knowledge, emotions, memories and the like can all be found with a little looking. With some wheeling and dealing, you may be able to buy access to the market for your allies.

Whispers Any time the querent enters the market, ten random sleeping people within 50 miles have vivid dreams where they see and hear everything the querent does in the market, though act within the market themselves. These people will remember the dreams, and may seek out the querent because of them.

Merchant[edit]

Merchant

Rank/Suits Nine (leaves, knots)
Tags personality, auspicious

Influence Move When you crush a gem or jewel, gain 1 hold for every 20 coins the gem was worth. Spend 1 hold after any action that requires a roll is performed in your presence (including your own) to adjust the result of that roll up or down by one (your choice). You may use as much hold on a single roll as you like. Lose all hold when the Merchant is no longer the influencing card.

Ritual Result The deck grants the querent the ability to cast Resurrection (Dungeon World, pg. 100). If and when they cast it, only one condition must be fulfilled: someone else must truly and willingly volunteer to die in the place of the being to be restored. Such a volunteer is entirely unmade, and no force, not even the most powerful magic, can restore them. Any time querent completes such a transaction, they take their cut, stealing a year of life each from both the volunteer and the creature being restored.

Whispers Those desperate to bring back their loved ones may come seek out the querent, as will death gods or others involved in bringing souls to their final destinations.

Mill[edit]

Mill

Rank/Suits Eight (waves, leaves)
Tags location, sympathetic, ambivalent, symmetrical

Influence Move When you would deal damage to a target, you may forgo that damage to instead force the target to part with a weapon or item being held, worn or otherwise on their person. If you are close enough to reach it, you make grab the item, otherwise it falls to the ground. If you would have dealt 10 or more damage, you may choose to also damage the item in some way.

Ritual Result The querent’s touch becomes antithetical to magic items, and they gain the following move: When you lift a magical item with both hands and focus on disenchanting it, roll+nothing. Take -2 if this is powerful or unique item, or -4 if the item is a potent artifact. On a 7-9, the enchantment on the item is undone and the item is ruined or worse. On a 10+, the enchantment on the item is undone, but something valuable is left behind. On a 3-, in addition to whatever else happens, you permanently loose 1 hp.

Whispers Intelligent magic items who sense the querent immediately understand she has this ability. Most will not be pleased.

Moon[edit]

Moon

Rank/Suit Ace (moons)
Tags auspicious

Influence Move When you cast a spell, treat the result as one category better (e.g. failures become a 7-9, 7-9 results become 10+).

Ritual Result The deck grants the querent three boons (see Granted a Boon, above); however, these boons are imperfect. Some condition or caveat must be included which, if completed, undoes the boon. This condition may be totally obscure and unlikely, but cannot name specific participants and must be something that others (not just querent) could do. For example, a boon might be requested “until a drow queen dances naked with a priest of a sun god during a solar eclipse”. The GM decides what the boon can and cannot accomplish and what qualifies as an acceptable condition.

Whispers Everyone in the world, no matter where they are or what they are doing, hears the querent requesting a boon, and stating the method of its undoing.

Mountain[edit]

Mountain

Rank/Suits Four (moons, suns)
Tag location, sympathetic, ambivalent

Influence Move You can transform your body into a form made of stone. When you assume earth form, roll+CON. On a 10+, hold 3. On a 7-9, hold 2. On a miss, in addition to whatever else happens, hold 1. In this form, you move more slowly an gain +1 armor. You still use your normal stats but some moves may be harder to trigger. You cannot eat, drink, sleep or breathe in this form. You may spend hold to trigger a monster move as an earth elemental (Dungeon World, pg 237). Once out of hold, you return to your normal form. Lose all hold when the Mountain is no longer the influencing card.

Ritual Result The querent (and personal effects) grows to staggering size, a hundred feet tall at least. Their stats remain the same, but they certainly qualify for a custom compendium class that takes advantage of their new size. They also gain this move: When you reach zero of fewer hp or concentrate for a few minutes, you crouch down into a heap and transform into a block of stone. Your features warp and meld to look like an oddly shaped boulder, such that only a vague notion of your original form can be perceived. You do not age in this form, and are barely aware of what happens around you. While in this form, the deck grants you the ability to cast the Summon Monster spell (Dungeon World, pg. 155) but only to summon an earth elemental. If you have at least 1 hp, you may become flesh again at will, but any elementals you have summoned are banished.

Whispers Once tales of the colossal creature that can become a mountain spread, rumors will begin to circulate in mining communities that magical gems can be extracted from the querent’s stone form.

Origin[edit]

Origin

Rank/Suits Two (waves, leaves)
Tags event, location, sympathetic, auspicious

Influence Move When you discern realities about a person or item, add the following to the list of questions:

  • What led this person/item to be here, now?

Ritual Result The querent gains the following move: When a new moon rises, you may gain a perfect understanding of the history of an item you are touching, no matter how ancient, complex or epic. You fully understand all of its abilities and weaknesses. You know when, how and by whom it was made and the origin of all of its materials. If the item is a puzzle, lock or door, you know how to solve or open it. You learn the names and faces of any who have touched the item in the past.

Whispers If the querent makes information about a famous unique item available to strangers, they will not believe him. Academics who have studied the item will come out of the woodwork to discredit him.

Pact[edit]

Pact

Rank/Suits Nine (moons, suns)
Tags event, sympathetic, ambivalent

Influence Move When you swear an oath, take +1 ongoing to any actions aimed at fulfilling that oath, so long as the Pact remains influential.

Ritual Result The querent gains the following move: When you witness the signing of a contract between voluntary parties, you may, if the parties agree, press your thumb to the contract, leaving behind a glowing sigil. Anyone breaking such a contract will pay a drastic, supernatural price, levied by the deck at the worst possible time.

Whispers The deck wants people to violate sealed contracts, and will whisper in the ears of those close to the signing parties, attempting to manipulate them into breaking it.

Painter[edit]

Painter

Rank/Suits Three (suns, knots)
Tags personality, auspicious

Influence Move When the Painter first gains influence, you gain access to a move based on the predominant color of your wardrobe. You lose access to this move when the influence of the Painter wanes:

  • Red: When you take damage from fire, take -1d8 damage.
  • Orange: When you take damage from acid, take -1d8 damage.
  • Yellow: When you take damage from lightning, take -1d8 damage.
  • Green: Gain +2 armor
  • Blue: When you take damage from cold, take -1d8 damage.
  • Indigo: You may not be enchanted.
  • Violet: You see through illusions as if they were not there.
  • White: When you succeed at any roll with a 10+, in addition to whatever else happens, you heal 1d4 damage.
  • Black: When you wield a one-handed weapon with two hands, it gains the messy tag.
  • Brown: You may not be poisoned, intoxicated or infected.

Ritual Result The querent gains the ability to alter reality, as a painter might paint a canvas, gaining this move: When you spend several minutes holding a paint brush and meditating on change, roll+INT. On a hit, reality reshapes itself to match your will. While you cannot alter, add or remove sentient creatures, other changes will last about as many hours as your level, after which the word returns to its original state. On a 7-9, only minor changes are possible, such as changing colors of tapestries, adding decorative foliage, opening a locked door, etc. On a 10-11, significant changes can be made (adding an oasis to the desert, altering the weather, making a sealed tomb open). On a 12-15, major changes are possible, such as turning a forest into a fiery wasteland or vise versa, turning night into day, making a room full of advanced traps totally safe, etc. On a 16+, you can accomplish the impossible (altering the positions of the stars, moving mountains, etc.).

Whispers Lawful planar monsters who observe the querent automatically know she has this ability, and either resent her or consider her a danger because of it.

Penitent[edit]

Penitent

Rank/Suits Six (suns, wyrms) Tags personality, adverse

Influence Move When you take damage or suffer some other hardship, you may point at an ally within far range. That ally then suffers your fate instead of you. If a loop of multiple invocations of this move is ever created (e.g. player A transfers damage to player B, then player B immediately transfers it back to player A), everyone in the loop suffers the hardship and the influence cycles.

Ritual Result Duplicates of the querent, different in outlook, appear at random locations within 20 miles of the ritual, each intent on pushing the querent to atone for wrong-doing (as they see it).

Each player at the table other than the GM and the player of the querent selects an alignment other than than the querent, with no two players selecting the same alignment. The player gains control of the duplicate with that alignment, getting a copy of the querent’s playbook. The player marks as many advanced moves as the querent has, but need not make the same choices as the querent.

Whispers The duplicates all know of the querent and have reasons for opposing her plans. The duplicates also perceive frequent, irritating reminders that they are just copies.

Rite[edit]

Rite

Rank/Suits Court (moons, leaves, wyrms, event)

Influence Move You may spend a standard action to heal all ability damage to your Wisdom, Constitution and Strength. You may spend a standard action to heal all ability drain to either your Wisdom, Constitution or Strength.

Ritual Result You gain the ability to perform a ten minute branding ritual on any willing subject. At the end of this ritual, the subject gains a distinctive brand on their forehead and eternal youth (as the alchemist grand discovery). You gain three supernatural abilities over any you have branded. First, you have perfect knowledge of the whereabouts of one of the branded for each point of Intelligence you have, choosing which to track at the start of each day. Second, you may spend a full action to perceive the world through the senses of one of the branded, wherever they are and without their knowledge. Lastly, you may, as a free action, inflict debilitating pain on one of the branded, affecting them like a symbol of pain. Once per day, one of the branded, determined at random, may issue you a sending. When one of the branded dies, you take 3d10 points of damage and become nauseated for five rounds.

Only a willing subject, with full knowledge of effects of the brand, may consent to the ritual. Once formed, only powerful magic, such as a wish or miracle can remove the brand. You cannot brand yourself.

Whispers Various contradictory (and all totally false) rumors circulate, particularly among marginalized humanoid races (goblins, orcs, giants and the like), that killing one of the branded and drinking his or her blood bestows some desirable trait (health, virility, magical potency, etc.).

Sailor[edit]

Sailor

Rank/Suits Four (waves, leaves, personality)

Influence Move You may cast gust of wind at will as a spell-like ability.

Ritual Result You become a voyager on the inner and outer planes, gaining the following spell-like abilities, usable at will: ethereal jaunt, astral projection, plane shift. When using the plane shift ability to reach a location outside the Prime Material Plane you have seen before, you may make a Knowledge (Planes) skill check (DC 25) to arrive within 0-300 feet of the desired spot. The reader gains their choice of two of the spell-like abilities granted to you. All witnesses gain their choice of one of the three spell-like abilities.

Whispers Any who see the querent, reader or witnesses arrive on a different plane immediately know their plane of origin.

Savage[edit]

Savage

Rank/Suits Three (leaves, wyrms, personality)

Influence Move You grow a pair of claws, which provide two primary natural attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage (1d3 if you are Small). These claws disappear the instant you are no longer under the influence of this card. If you already have claws, instead you may attack with them as if you were the target of a natural rhythm spell.

Ritual Result One of your enemies gains a wish, which they vindictively use against you, the reader and the witnesses.

All players at the table (including the GM) present a suggestion of which enemy gets the wish and how they use it. (Take some time to think about these suggestions, perhaps stopping the session and pondering until the next one). The GM may object to any suggestion, either eliminating it or working with the group to file off the rough edges. Of the suggestions that remain, the querent chooses which one actually happens.

Whispers The querent, reader and witnesses become immediately aware of who used the wish against them.

Sea[edit]

Sea

Rank/Suit Crown (waves, location)

Influence Move When you roll+DEX, take +1.

Ritual Result You, the reader and the witnesses all gain the aquatic subtype and may swim at your normal movement rate, but loose the ability to breathe air. A gate opens nearby, obviously leading to an underwater realm, either in this plane or another, but closes after 20 rounds.

Whispers Sometimes, when the querent, the reader or the witnesses sleep, they have dreams which demonstrate or otherwise expose weaknesses in the power structure of the underwater realm at the other end of the gate.

Soldier[edit]

Soldier

Rank/Suits Five (wyrms, knots, personality)

Influence Move You gain a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls, saves, and skill checks, as if under a heroism spell.

Ritual Result Someone, somewhere (perhaps someone you have wronged in the past) declares war against you, dedicating themselves to the destruction of you and all you hold dear. Hot anger, jealousy, and envy are but a few of the possible motivational forces for the enmity. Your new enemy becomes extremely persuasive, able to convince others to join his cause. He also has an innate knowledge of not only your enemies, but the enemies of the reader and the witnesses, and will find them sympathetic to his crusade.

Whispers The querent, the reader and the witnesses will, individually, receive flashes of insight related to the new enemy; however, these insights are sometimes flat out lies. For example, one of the witnesses might suddenly realize that a stranger they just met is an agent of this new enemy, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Sun[edit]

Sun

Rank/Suit Ace (suns)

Influence Move When you cast divine spells your effective caster level is increased by three.

Ritual Result You, the reader and the witnesses all gain exactly enough experience to advance to the next level, or 50,000xp, whichever is higher. Your bodies permanently glow, as if the target of daylight and you all gain a spell-like ability usable once per day: witnesses gain searing light, the reader gains sunbeam and you gain sunburst.

Whispers Whenever the glowing forms of the querent, the reader or the witnesses are seen in a new place, whispered legends circulate about glowing harbingers of a new sun god. Some will fear this new god, some will embrace him. Existing sun gods will likely have some reaction, eventually.

Watchman[edit]

Watchman

Rank/Suits Pawn (moons, wyrms, knots)

Influence Move You can see any objects or beings that are invisible within your range of vision, as if under the effects of see invisibility.

Ritual Result The deck divides. You immediately gain the ghost template (with the Fatal Fate variation), becoming incorporeal and losing possession of all physical items (including the deck), tasked with defending and assisting the “card leader” (i.e. whoever controls the most cards in the deck). If one individual gains more cards than anyone else, you immediately know the identity and location of that individual and must travel to them at best possible speed. Every day that passes without the card leader finding a new card inflicts one hit point of damage on you, which cannot be healed until the card leader finds a new card. This damage remains even if you are rejuvinated, but is healed automatically once a card is found. If all of your hit points are taken in this way, you are destroyed permanently. If the card leader controls the entire deck, no more hit points are lost.

If the card leader owns the Watchman card, any mind-affecting attacks you make on the card leader gain a +4 bonus to their save DC.

Should the Watchman card be selected in any subsequent drawing ritual, you lose the ghost template become corporeal again, while the individual drawing the card becomes the new ghostly watchman.

GM’s should be aware that the existence of this card makes it possible (but not guaranteed) that one ghostly watchman already exists before this card is ever drawn in play. Such a ghost can be used to introduce plot elements, or in other ways, during campaigns involving the deck.

Whispers Anyone possessing a card of the deck instantly becomes aware of the presence (but not location) of the ghostly watchmen if it comes within half a mile.

Wave[edit]

Wave

Rank/Suit Ace (waves)

Influence Move You gain evasion, as per the rogue class ability. If you already have evasion, instead gain improved evasion, as per the rogue talent or monk ability. If you already have improved evasion, you automatically succeed on Reflex saves against an attacks that normally deal half damage on a successful save.

Ritual Result A wave of pure chaos engulfs both you and the deck. The deck is scattered. You and everything you carry are destroyed (artifacts excepted). Your mind and soul are grafted into the body of an elder kraken in the largest body of water on your world. All of your stats and abilities are replaced with the kraken’s stat block, but you are in control of the kraken’s body and actions. While you inhabit the kraken, you gain regeneration 20 (sonic) and the spell-like abilities to cast tsunami three times per day and transmute rock to mud at will.

Apart from somehow getting others to cast a wish or miracle to restore you, the only escape from inhabiting the kraken is to destroy. If you manage to make five coastal cities uninhabitable, the effect ends: the kraken dissolves, leaving your original form behind, naked, but otherwise the same as when the effect started.

Whispers When the kraken moves towards a new city with the intent to destroy it, rumors of its coming circulate widely among the city’s population. In addition, the reader and witnesses need only meditate for a minute to gain accurate knowledge of the kraken’s location.

Windfall[edit]

Windfall

Rank/Suit Crown (knots, event)

Influence Move When you roll+INT, take +1.

Ritual Result You gain 20,000gp worth of gems and jewelry. Within 1d8 weeks, evidence is made public proving you have the most legitimate claim to a specific noble title or other influential office. The GM will determine the nature of the title, including who might currently hold it.

Whispers In whatever location the title holds influence, the evidence comes to light among both the poorest 20% and richest 20% of the population simultaneously.

Window[edit]

Window

Rank/Suits Court (suns, leaves, knots, location)

Influence Move You may spend a standard action to heal all ability damage to your Charisma, Constitution and Intelligence. You may spend a standard action to heal all ability drain to either your Charisma, Constitution or Intelligence.

Ritual Result You gain the ability to link to the minds of others. As a full action, you may stare into the memory of any sentient creature you can see, and view any one short memory you choose. This memory is revealed (both to you and the target) as it actually happened, even if the target doesn’t remember it clearly. The target gets no save and has no defense against this intrusion (not even mind blank or other magics), but stares back into your mind and may choose one of your short memories to view in return. This ability only works once on any given creature.

Whispers Whenever this ability is used, one other being somewhere also sees the two memories, gaining an understanding of who the querent and target are, and where they are at that moment. If the exchange of memories reveals secrets, often the eavesdropper will be chosen from among those with a vested interest in such secrets.

Wyrm[edit]

Wyrm

Rank/Suit Ace (wyrms)

Influence Move When you cast arcane spells your effective caster level is increased by three.

Ritual Result You transform into a true dragon of your same alignment, replacing its stats and abilities for your own. Your dragon age is determined by finding the lowest CR rating for that type of dragon that is higher than your character level. (For example, a 15th level CN character might become a old cloud dragon or an very old magma dragon, which are both CR 16). You retain your possessions, but if your new body cannot make use of them, they fall to the ground beside you. At the same time, an amulet bearing the likeness of your new draconic form materializes around the neck of one of the witnesses (determined randomly, though any with an amulet slot already filled are skipped). Whoever wears this amulet gains the ability to command your actions, as if by dominate monster, without any possibility for a saving throw, ever. Should the amulet be destroyed, you are no longer dominated, but revert back to your original form. Other than a wish or miracle, destroying the amulet requires breath from three dragons, who must each have different types of breath weapon, none of which is shared with your type of breath weapon. Should you die as a dragon, the amulet turns to dust.

Whispers Any true dragons who see either the amulet or the querent in dragon form become instantly aware of the connection between the two and how they were created. While many dragons will react with the same sort of vitriol they feel towards Orbs of Dragon Mastery, some will feel that the character is not a “real” dragon and have no compunction about using the amulet themselves.

Destruction[edit]

If the entire deck is assembled and then the cards ordered (first by rank, then by the first suit on the card), a dispel chaos spell will cause the deck to disintegrate forever.

Design Notes[edit]

The influence effects are not intended to be balanced with each other; some are clearly better than others. Cards with numeric ranks tend to be on par with second level spell effects. Pawns, Courts and Crowns tend to match third level spell effects. Aces are a bit stronger. Since these effects abandon you when the icon moves, their design choices tend to err on the side of being stronger. Unlike the major effects, influence effects are always constructed as a benefit; however, since the icon will move at random, this does not necessarily translate into a benefit for the card’s owner or her allies.

In some cases, suits are linked to abilities (moons=wis, suns=cha, waves=dex, leaves=con, wyrms=str, knots=int).

Major effects were designed to have an even mix of “good”, “bad” and “neutral” for the querent, 15 effects of each kind. This is somewhat subjective, however, so your mileage may vary, particularly since even the good effects come with some Notoriety. Wyrms are almost always bad. Cards with what the author of Decktet calls “sympathetic combinations” are almost always good. Generally, “neutral” effects mix things that are good and bad for you, but are almost always more good than bad. The “bad” in some effects (particularly the drawbacks of the neutral effects) involve reactions of others to the effect and/or providing knowledge about the effect to others. This is completely intentional. The main design idea is that life for you might get better or it might worse, but it will always get more complicated, often by pointing the agendas of other people at you.