Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Deck of ̶M̶a̶n̶y̶ ̶T̶h̶i̶n̶g̶s̶ Just One Thing, (and That Thing is Bees.)


The Deck of Just One Thing, and That Thing is Bees.

This powerful relic takes the appearance of a deck of cards. Once per day, you may take a draw from the deck. Before you draw a card, you must declare how many cards you wish to draw. Then randomly draw exactly that many. Each card causes some magical effect to immediately occur. The magical effect is always bees.

If an effect refers to "[cards]", that means the number of cards you drew. So if you drew 7 cards, then "[cards] minutes" means "7 minutes".

Unless otherwise mentioned, any summoned creatures or items last until dawn (or 0 hp) before vanishing.

To use this in a game, draw cards from a deck of Tarot cards and consult the tables below.

If you are using a poker deck, then just ignore the knight cards and trumps. And treat the red/black jokers as The Fool and the Pagat, respectively.




Clubs - Carpenter Bees


Ace: Summon Xylie, the jumbo sized carpenter bee. 

    About the size of a beachball. Really good at chewing through wood. Can burrow a passage large enough for a human to crawl through at a rate of 1 foot per minute.
    Loves to imagine herself as a master thief and will volunteer to help with heists, but terribly clumsy and makes lots of noise. Enjoys chatting about food and carpentry, spitting out pulped wood as she talks. Terrified of birds.
   (2 HD, no armor, 1 damage sting, flies at half normal speed.)



2-10: Summon a swarm of 2-10 regular carpenter bees.

X normal blue carpenter bees appear, where X is the number of pips on the card you drew. 
- They don't speak your language, but you can magically order them around. 
- They move as a unit, and have X hp. Each bee that dies reduces the swarm's hp by 1 and vice versa.  
- The swarm can attack for dX damage. (Carpenter bees  don't die when they sting; that's a honeybee thing.)




Jack: Summon Sal the enforcer

She's mostly like much a normal summoned carpenter bee, but she carries a tiny little truncheon and is weirdly good at intimidating people with it. You have advantage on any attempts to intimidate while she is along side you, as she angrily buzzes and gesticulates to emphasize your points. Also, if you can sneak her onto somebody's person, she'll steal small items from their pockets. 


Knight: Summon the Carpenter's Shroud

This item appears in your hands, and you instantly gain full knowledge of its fabulous magical powers.

The Carpenter's Shroud is a magical balaclava with two potent effects:

Firstly, the wearer gains the ability to chew through wood without drawing attention. As long as the wielder is gnawing on wood, onlookers will believe that this is entirely normal behavior. 

Secondly, the shroud allows the wearer  to become intangible to wood for up to [cards] seconds. But after using this effect, the summoned item vanishes.


Queen: Summon Queen Xena

Queen Xena has supernatural skills at sneakery. She grants any nearby bees the ability to move silently through the shadows to avoid detection. Other than her powers of stealth, Queen Xena is exactly like an ordinary carpenter bee queen. 
 (1 hp, no armor, 1 damage sting attack, can fly)
.

King: Summon King Joshua, the carpenter drone

Despite the fancy name, he's just a normal blue carpenter bee drone. He doesn't have a stinger. He doesn't speak your language but you can magically order him around. If there is a queen nearby, he will ignore your commands. 
(1 hp, no armor, no attack, can fly)






Cups / Hearts - Honey Bees


Ace: Summon Phoebe, the jumbo sized honey bee. 

    About the size of a beachball. Supernatural sense for nectar and pollen, and can lead you to any species of flowering plant you ask about. She will also offer advice about gardening, but this advice is entirely useless; she just likes the excuse to make conversation.
    Incredibly social, and will try to make friends with everything -- people, animals, elves, rocks, etc. Cannot resist the compulsion to eat sweet things, and immediately regurgitate them as honey.
   (2 HD, no armor; 1 damage sting, but it kills her to use it; flies at half normal speed.)


2-10: Summon a swarm of 2-10 regular honey bees.

X normal western honey bees appear, where X is the number of pips on the card you drew. 
- They don't speak your language, but you can magically order them around. 
- They move as a unit, and have X hp. Each bee that dies reduces the swarm's hp by 1 and vice versa.  
- The swarm can attack for dX damage, but each damage dealt also reduces their own hp and population by 1.


Jack: Summon Melly the bee ranger

She's like a normal summoned honey bee (see above). But she's also very skilled a tracking, and you can ask her to trail people for you, or to help you hunt them down.


Knight: Summon the Serene Scepter

This item appears in your hands, and you instantly gain full knowledge of its fabulous magical powers.

The Serene Scepter is an ornately gilded wand with a delicate loop at one end. The scepter can create two dazzling effects:

Firstly, the wielder can dip the tip of the scepter into any liquid, and then blow bubbles. Yes, any liquid! Not just soap! Astounding!

Secondly, this spectacular staff has potent preservative powers. Simply spit through the loop of the Scepter, and whatever your spit lands on will be guarded from the ravages of time for [cards] months. Food won't spoil, bodies won't decay, etc. After doing this, the effect lingers, but the summoned item vanishes.


Queen: Summon Queen Delphi

Her mere presence causes hope to flourish in the hearts of all bee-kind. As long as Queen Delphi is near, all bees are healed by 1 hp each round. (Unfortunately, most bees die after losing the 1hp, and she can't revive dead bees, so...). Other than her powerful aura, Queen Delphi is exactly like an ordinary honey bee queen, in both body and mind.
 (1 hp, no armor, 1 damage sting attack, can fly)


King: Summon King Apollo the honeybee drone

Despite the fancy name, he's just a normal honeybee drone. He doesn't have a stinger. he doesn't speak your language but you can magically order him around. If there is a queen nearby, he will ignore your commands. 
(1 hp, no armor, no attack, can fly)






Coins / Diamonds - Bumble Bees


Ace: Summon Bumbo, the jumbo sized bumble bee. 

    About the size of a beachball. Husky Voice. Very professional. Will provide any of the following services in exchange for a boquet of flowers:
  • Loudly and buzzily sing a song of your choice,
  • Help you fill out tax paperwork, customs forms, or the like,
  • Represent you in a court of law,
  • Use her arcane training to cast fireball at a target of your choice,
  • [REDACTED]
  • Help you plant a garden.
   (2 HD, no armor, 1 damage sting, flies at half normal speed.)


2-10: Summon a swarm of 2-10 regular bumblebees.

X normal blue bumblebees appear, where X is the number of pips on the card you drew. 
- They don't speak your language, but you can magically order them around. 
- They move as a unit, and have X hp. Each bee that dies reduces the swarm's hp by 1 and vice versa.  
- They can attack for dX damage. (The bumblebees don't die when they sting.)


Jack: Summon Syrus the baby thief.

She's pretty much a normal summoned bumblebee (see above). But if you let her get near a baby, she'll steal it and replace it with a bee baby, changeling style. Yes, she's done this before. It's apparently a pretty normal bumblebee thing.


Knight: Summon the Humble Bumbling Pantaloons

This item appears in your hands, and you instantly gain full knowledge of its fabulous magical powers.

The Humble Bumbling Pantaloons are a pair of loose-fitting magical trousers with two mind-boggling effects:

Firstly, the wearer may adhere food items to the Pantaloons with a touch. Only the wearer is capable of removing these items, and the wearer doesn't feel the items' weight when they walk about. When the summoned Pantaloons vanish, all the stuck food will drop to the ground.

Secondly, the Pants can allow the wearer to speak to any creature. Choose a message of no more than [cards] words. The Pantaloons will translate the message into the universal language of dance. Every sapient entity which witnesses your dance will perfectly understand your meaning. But after using this effect, the summoned item vanishes.


Queen: Summon Queen Sainte-Laguë

Miracle of miracles! Queen Sainte-Laguë bestows all nearby bees with the gift of flight! (And grants the ability to hover to any other creature wearing a convincing enough bee costume.) Other than the gift of flight,  Queen Sainte-Laguë is exactly like an ordinary bumblebee queen, in both body and mind. 
 (1 hp, no armor, 1 damage sting attack, can fly)


King: Summon King Ra, the bumblebee drone

Despite the fancy name, he's just a normal bumblebee drone. He doesn't have a stinger. He doesn't speak your language but you can magically order him around. If there is a queen nearby, he will ignore your commands. 
(1 hp, no armor, no attack, can fly)






Spades / Swords - Hornets

Yeah, yeah, they aren't technically bees. But they're bee-adjacent.

Ace: Summon Angelica, the jumbo sized hornet. 

    A giant giant hornet with a full-sized sword for a stinger. She loves killing, and wants to hear about all the things you've killed. Doesn't want to talk about anything else. She'll happily do anything you ask in exchange for more murder stories. Be warned, though, she'll often try to kill anything which you don't explicitly ask her not to kill.
    In combat, she deals the same damage as a normal sword-wielder, and attacks twice each turn, but attacks a random adjacent creature each time. (Most of her bodymass is in the sword, which messes with her swings.)
    Also, her sting glows blue when bees are near. Don't ask her about it; she finds it super embarrassing.
   (4 HD, armor as leather, 1d6 sting, flies at half normal speed.)


2-10: Summon a swarm of 2-10 hornets.

X normal murder hornets appear, where X is the number of pips on the card you drew. 
- They don't speak your language, but you can magically order them around. 
- They move as a unit, and have X hp. Each hornet that dies reduces the swarm's hp by 1 and vice versa.  
- The swarm can attack for dX damage. (The hornets don't die when they sting.)


Jack: Summon a real jerk of a wasp.

She's a jerk. She'll sting you for 1 damage and then fly away. She understands you, just like all the other summons; she just doesn't care. Otherwise, she's a normal murder hornet.


Knight: Summon The Spectacular Sadistic Stinging Sword

This item appears in your hands, and you instantly gain full knowledge of its fabulous magical powers.

It's pretty much just a normal sword though. 

Upon wounding someone, the wielder can choose to have the sword inject the victim with wasp venom. It's a dangerous amount, but unless they're allergic, the victim will probably still be more concerned with the stabby stabby. Also, after using this effect, the summoned item vanishes.


Queen: Summon Queen Vespina

Queen really knows how to handle her stinger. Any other bees nearby deal +1 damage when attacking. Wow, that's actually pretty dangerous. Other than her deadly aura,  Queen Vespina is exactly like an ordinary hornet queen.
 (1 hp, no armor, 1 damage sting attack, can fly)


King: Summon King Crabro, the hornet drone

Despite the fancy name, he's just a normal hornet drone. He doesn't have a stinger. he doesn't speak your language but you can magically order him around. If there is a queen nearby, he will ignore your commands. 
(1 hp, no armor, no attack, can fly)






Trump Cards - Bee Spells



Card # Card Name Magical Bee Effect
Fool/Excuse You turn into a bee for [cards] minutes. (1 hp; flight; d6 stinger, but stinging someone deals 1 damage to you; drop to zero bee hp and the transformation instantly ends.)
★1 Pagat/Magician A cloud of smoke fills the air within [cards]*5 feet. Everyone inside it must save or fall asleep. Arthropods automatically fail this save.
★2 Popess You are gifted the wisdom of the bees! Choose one of the following topics at random. You are now permanently an expert on this topic (roll with advantage on any checks where this knowledge is relevant).
    1. dancing
    2. brewing
    3. child-rearing
    4. gardening
    5. accounting
    6. trigonometry
★3 Empress In addition to any actually summoned bees, you also summon [cards]! intangible, illusionary bees. That's a factorial. Have fun.
★4 Emperor A diffuse cloud of pollen fills the air within [cards]*10 feet. It's not thick enough to block vision, but can aggrevate allergies. The cloud also miraculously pollenates all plants within the radius of effect, regardless of species.
★5 Pope All bees within line of site are invulnerable for the next [cards] rounds. They can sting with impunity!
★6 Lovers All surfaces within a radius of [cards]*5 feet are coated with a layer of sticky honey, which reduces movement speed by half.
★7 Chariot Everyone within [cards]*5 feet temporarily gains the powers of bee flight! Ghostly insect wings sprout from their bodies and they gain the ability to slowly and noisily hover at a speed of 5 feet per round. This ability instantly vanishes after one hour, or as soon as any one of its recipients loses conciousness, whichever comes first.
★8 Justice/Strength Choose one person you can see, and choose half of the other cards you drew, rounded up. Those card's effects take place as if that other person had drawn the cards instead. They control any summoned bees, all ranges are centered on them, and so on. If this is the only card you drew, then instead that person's teeth turn into bees.
★9 Hermit You are teleported away to some nearby isolated wilderness location. You can remotely control any bees you have summoned, and view the world through their eyes. After 1 hour, or when the last of your summoned bees is vanquished, you are teleported back.
★10 Wheel of Fortune Draw two more cards.
★11 Strength/Justice Any caniforms -- bears, badgers, and the like -- within [cards] miles learn of your current location and feel the urge to travel there.
★12 Hangman Every door within line of sight is covered in a layer of sticky honeycomb. Permanent. It's fairly easy to cut through, but will take about a minute of work with a knife to clear each doorway.
★13 Spooky Skeleton All bees within line of sight now hate you. They'll angrily attack you, and you lose control of any summoned bees.
★14 Temperance All water within [cards] feet turns into mead. Don't worry, this won't affect water inside anyone's body.
★15 Devil You suffer a bee themed mutation for one hour. Save or it's permanent. 1d6 example mutations:
    1. antennae,
    2. stinger (1d6 attack, you take 1 damage when you use it; single use, needs magical healing to restore),
    3. tiny wings,
    4. chitin plating (as protective as leather armor),
    5. third eye in the middle of your forehead (blurry vision, but can see into the UV spectrum),
    6. striped floof.
★16 Tower Giant bluebell flower the size of an oak tree sprouts up in front of you, tearing through earth and stone. Permanent.
★17 Star If your other cards summon bees, those bees manifest as an extension of your soul.
Good news: the bees form a protective barrier around your body, and any damage dealt to you can instead be dealt to the bees.
Bad news: the bees cannot travel more than [cards] feet away from your body.
If you didn't summon any bees, then all that happens is that you have an mysteriously buzzing aura for the next hour.
★18 Moon If your other cards summon bees, those bees are now also lobsters. They are still bees, but they are lobsters too. 
Good news: They can still fly and gain a 1d4 pinchy attack.
Bad news: lobsters are rebellious, and [cards]*5% of them will challenge you for dominance.
If you didn't summon any bees, then a single steamed lobster materializes in the air in front of you.
★19 Sun If your other cards summon bees, those bees cast light like torches, and are warm to the touch.
Good news: about 10 of them clumped together should be enough to set fire to dry paper or kindling.
Bad news: all the summoned bees start right next to you.
If you didn't summon any bees, then you instead summon a single firefly; it's not under your control.
★20 Judgement The nearest dead person comes back to life for one hour... kind of. What happens is that their skin is reanimated and filled with summoned bees, and this bee-filled skin ghost hovers around buzzing in a crude imitation of speech. The bee-zombie-thing has all the memories and personality of whoever it is that the skin comes from, and is unaware that they are actually undead and full of bees. Maybe don't tell them; that seems like a distressing thing to learn.
★21 The World Choose one of the following creatures: [goblin, parrot, liger, dairy cow]. All bees within [cards] feet -- including any you summoned, illusionary bees, and artistic depictions of bees -- are permanently transformed into that kind of creature. If the former bees are too close together, they are transported to the nearest empty space that can accomodate their new body size. (This transformation only affects the bodies of the bees, not their minds.)





2 comments:

  1. This is very enjoyable article, I especially like ace cards and knight cards.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, it's been a while since I've been in that server. Quite flattered to hear people are still abuzz about this old joke!

    ReplyDelete