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Tarokka Critical Hit Deck
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Tarokka Critical Hit Deck


Count Strahd von Zarovich turns from the smoldering fire. He can feel the newest souls led to his domain, as do the Dark Powers. The freshly poured water settles to a gentle ripple in the wide silver bowl. Strahd peers down, his own reflection abscent from the crystal clear water. "Show me. Now." A part of his realm, even the water has no choice but to heed his command, suffused with the near limitless magic tied to the Dread Lord of Barovia. He sees them in the liquid - the travelers to his land. He sees their wounds, their fallen. He sees the threads of fate tied to them all, tied to himself. 

He lifts the lid of the ancient jewelry box, the deck of cards safely stored within, wrapped in purple silk. The cards are creased with use, the edges stained by decades of oily fingers before they ever came to his posession. The reflection of a warrior, brutally driving his axe into an animate mass of thorns, does little to draw Strahd's attention from the cards. "Vistani" he whispers and runs a cold finger across the back of the card - sliding it from the deck. The threads of fate pulled his hand as much as his own curiosity. The Artifact. The reflection of the brute screams in panic, the head of his axe shattering agaisnt his enemy like glass on a stone floor. The Dark Powers are feeling cruel today, it seems. Strahd Von Zarovich settles a pot of ink and sheet of vellum on his waxed table, polished to a mirror shine - he has an invitation to write. 

Version 2 out now! Full update!

Old to New versions

Utilize the Tarokka Deck! If you're like me, you love the idea of the Tarokka deck, but realistically there is only one chance in the entire game for the Tarokka deck to see real use. Instead of leaving it sitting in box (wrapped in silk, of course), I chose to keep them on the table for those rare occassions when my players rolled a much needed crit. 

Playing Card Enabled. Complete rules to use regular playing cards if the Tarokka deck wasn't of interest to you. All you need is a cheap deck of cards complete with the two jokers, and you're good to go!

Critical Hits All Around. There are 40 critical effects in this PDF for players lucky enough to draw one. They range from paying hard earned gold for additional damage, channeling the cosmos through a particularly powerful spell, or even turning a creature into a bauble to keep forever. 

DM's High Deck. As well as effects for players, there is a sub-deck comprised of 14 cards for Dungeon Masters to draw from when the need arises. Interesting effects that can change the landscape of the game in crazy, interesting ways. Enormous clawing fog clouds, shattered weapons or armor, deals with spectral creatures. You cannot have a card called "Darklord" without having something cool happen when it shows up. 

Rules as Written. I did my best to include very specific rules for how the common deck and high deck operate - a TL'DR is: the High Deck isn't meant to punish your players or their characters, only enrich the game. The common deck effects are in addition to the critical hit rules for 5e D&D. A greatsword wielding barbarian draw The Warrior card? That target's probably having a very bad day.  

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Reviews (3)
Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Pedro G March 05, 2021 8:30 pm UTC
I have been searching for this! Excellent! Is there a table for critical failures as well?
Customer avatar
Robbie S December 28, 2019 5:01 pm UTC
Absolutely love this. The only thing is that where it should say “1 of Coins”, “2 of Coins” etc instead it reads “Stars.”

But you know it’s otherwise a perfect little document. Hopefully an easy fix for an otherwise great product. :)
Customer avatar
JB L December 29, 2019 8:09 pm UTC
Massive oversight on my part - i'll fix that and roll out a new version as soon as I can. Thanks Robbie!
Customer avatar
Alan G August 04, 2020 9:09 pm UTC
Interestingly... I have a tarot deck with coins, another that uses stars for the coin cards and another that is straight up pentacles. I think you're good however you choose to leave it.
Customer avatar
JB L August 14, 2020 9:22 pm UTC
I updated the whole document with new everything, including fixing the coins/stars issue. =D
Customer avatar
Robbie S October 24, 2020 9:11 am UTC
Well I wanted to simply come back and thank you for the revision, but I've gotta say comparing Version 1 and Version 2 as a whole is just a great experience.

The new version feels very thematic and is quite an inspiring work of art akin to some of the best stuff you can find on DMsGuild. I think going that extra step is so helpful in getting DMs into the right mindset to tell a compelling story. Well done on Version 2, and thank you for the update.
Customer avatar
JB L November 24, 2020 11:29 pm UTC
That's very kind! You learn a lot in a year and going back to revamp and update older work can have some great catharsis and help you show how much you've improved. I'm glad you like it!
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File Last Updated:
May 07, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on October 24, 2018.