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Cardcaster

Cardcasters derives their powers from the tarot—a deck of mysterious cards purported to divine the future. By opening their minds to the tarot’s whims, cardcasters can exert a degree of control over fate. Though cardcasters are sometimes maligned for practicing an inscrutable and unreliable art, their proponents recognize that what a cardcaster sacrifices in predictability she makes up for in adaptability. By accepting the cards they are dealt, cardcasters can see actions play out as foretold and issue a masterful response.

Contents

Additional Materials

To use this class, you—the player—will need your own real-life tarot deck.

Clarifying Card Magic

To define game terms, the tarot “set” refers to what the character owns in the story, the “deck” refers to the prop owned by the player, and the “hand” and “discard pile” are mechanics for using said prop at the table during a game. Despite the appearance of these mechanics, a cardcaster typically begins play with an entire tarot set in-universe, and uses them all in regular readings.

Creating a Cardcaster

As a cardcaster, one of the most important relationships is the one you have with your cards.

Did you inherit them from a wizened teacher, or did you uncover the set and its powers on your own? Are your card powers ones you invoke yourself, or are they instead a spontaneous upwelling of fate?

Multiclassing

To qualify for new class levels as a cardcaster, you must have Intelligence 13 or better. You gain proficiency in game set (cards) and one skill from the class’s skill list.

Class Features

As a cardcaster, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d6 per cardcaster level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per cardcaster level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: None
Weapons: Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows
Tools: Game set (cards)
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, Deception, History, Insight, Investigation, Nature, and Religion

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a quarterstaff, (b) a dagger, or (c) a longsword (if proficient)
  • (a) a component pouch, (b) an arcane focus, or (c) a holy symbol
  • (a) a scholar’s pack or (b) a priest’s pack
  • Leather armor (if proficient)
  • A set of tarot cards

Cards of Power

Your insight into the secrets of the tarot grants you their power and some capacity with spells.

Cantrips

You know two cantrips, which are determined by your Focus Card (see below).

Playing Your Cards

You release your magic by playing tarot cards. You begin with magical access to the major arcana cards numbered 0 through V, all of which go to form your deck. As you advance in level, you add major arcana cards to your deck as per the Major Arcana Available column on the Cardcaster table.

When you complete a long rest, draw cards from your deck until you have a full hand. You can play a limited number of cards from your hand to unleash magical effects; the uses are restored after a long rest. Played cards are moved to the discard pile. At the end of your turn, if you have less than a full hand, draw until your hand is full. When you complete a long rest, discard whatever cards you wish from your hand, then shuffle the deck and discard pile together and refill your hand. Both the hand size and the number of plays improve as per the Cardcaster table.

The Cardcaster
LevelProficiency BonusFeaturesMajor Arcana AvailableHand SizeMajor Arcana Plays
1st+2Cards of Power, Focus Card0–V22
2nd+2Focus Card Feature0–V23
3rd+2Arcana Surge (2nd level)0–VII34
4th+2Ability Score Improvement0–VII35
5th+3Arcana Surge (3rd level)0–IX35
6th+3Focus Card Feature0–IX46
7th+3Arcana Surge (4th level)0–XI46
8th+3Ability Score Improvement0–XI47
9th+4Arcana Surge (5th level)0–XIII47
10th+4Focus Card Feature0–XIII48
11th+4Mulligan0–XV58
12th+4Ability Score Improvement0–XV58
13th+50–XVII58
14th+5Focus Card Feature0–XVII58
15th+50–XIX68
16th+5Ability Score Improvement0–XIX68
17th+60–XXI68
18th+6Card Mastery0–XXI68
19th+6Ability Score Improvement0–XXI78
20th+6Signature Card0–XXI78

Spellcasting Ability

Intelligence is your key ability for cardcaster features, powers, and spells, since you discern portents through your esoteric knowledge. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for your cardcaster features, powers, or spells, or when making a spell attack roll.

Spell and feature save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + Your Intelligence modifier

Ritual Casting

You can cast a divination spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell memorized. Furthermore, if a card in your hand has an optional spell with the ritual tag, you can cast that spell as a ritual without discarding the card.

Memorizing Divination Rituals

When you find a divination ritual spell of 1st level or higher, you can memorize it only if a cleric or wizard of your cardcaster level could prepare it, and you spare the time to practice it.

For each level of the spell, the process takes 2 hours and costs 50 gp, like a wizard copying a spell into their spellbook. The cost represents material components you expend as you experiment with the spell to master it, as well as the incense burnt to channel your mystical focus. Once you have spent this time and money, you can cast the ritual at will. When you play a tarot card from your hand, it unleashes a spell effect. Each card gives you an option of effects. To activate a card power, you must provide all the spell components, just like casting a spell (some of which may be automatically filled by the tarot deck as an arcane focus). A card power’s activation time is the same as the chosen spell’s casting time; playing a card does not require an action.

If you multiclass into a spellcasting class, you are considered to know these spells and may prepare them if such spells appear on the other classes’ spell lists.

Spell Focus

You can use an arcane focus or a holy symbol as a spellcasting focus for your cardcaster spells. While you have your tarot set on your person, you can use any card from it as an arcane focus.

Focus Card

At 1st level, you have chosen a face card of the minor arcana through which to channel your powers: Knight of Swords, Page of Wands, or Queen of Cups, all detailed at the end of the class description.

Your choice grants you features at 1st level, and again at 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 14th level.

Arcana Surge

Starting at 3rd level, your high arcana grow in power. When you cast a spell through your tarot cards, spells that improve when cast with higherlevel spell slots are cast with a 2nd-level spell slot.

This further improves with level:

  • 5th to 6th level: 3rd-level spell slot.
  • 7th to 8th level: 4rd-level spell slot.
  • 9th level onward: 5rd-level spell slot.

Mulligan

Starting at 11th level, once per day when you complete a short rest, you can discard as many cards from your hand as you wish and then draw until you have a full hand.

Card Mastery

At 18th level, choose a major arcana card numbered 0 through V. This card is always in your hand, and it does not count against the number of cards in your hand. You can play it as often as you like without consuming your daily uses, but doing so does not benefit from Arcana Surge.

By spending 8 hours in contemplation, you can change your card choice.

Signature Card

At 20th level, choose a major arcana card numbered VI–IX. This card is always in your hand, and it does not count against the number of cards in your hand.

You can play this card twice without expending the normal usage, but doing so does not benefit from Arcana Surge. You regain these extra plays once you complete a short or long rest.

Major Arcana

Each card entry lists spell options. When you play the card, you cast one spell from that list of your choice. Some cards have restrictions that limit how they can be used. If you have a restricted card in your hand, such as The Tower after playing The Star, you can discard it and draw a replacement card.

0—The Fool

Spell Options: detect poison and disease, expeditious retreat, hideous laughter, or mage armor.

I—The Magician

Spell Options: burning hands, create or destroy water, detect magic, floating disc, unseen servant, or silent image.

II—The High Priestess

Spell Options: charm person, fog cloud, identify, or sleep.

III—The Empress

Spell Options: animal friendship, entangle, goodberry, or speak with animals.

IV—The Emperor

Spell Options: detect evil and good, hold person, command, or protection from evil and good.

V—The Hierophant

Spell Options: bane, bless, sanctuary, or shield of faith.

VI—The Lovers

Spell Options: detect thoughts, mirror image, suggestion, or zone of truth.

VII—The Chariot

Spell Options: blur, enlarge/reduce, magic weapon, or spiritual weapon.

VIII—Justice

Spell Options: bestow curse, clairvoyance, lightning bolt, or protection from energy.

IX—The Hermit

Spell Options: counterspell, dispel magic, remove curse, or tiny hut.

X—Wheel of Fortune

Spell Options: confusion, death ward, divination, or freedom of movement.

XI—Strength

Spell Options: herculean force, resilient sphere, stone shape, or stoneskin.

XII—The Hanged Man

Spell Options: dominate beast, dominate person, geas, or planar binding.

XIII—Death

Spell Options: animate dead, cloudkill, contagion, or insect plague.

XIV—Temperance

Spell Options: contingency, globe of invulnerability, or true seeing.

Restriction: Once you play Temperance or the Devil, you cannot use either card again until you complete a long rest.

XV—The Devil

Spell Options: eyebite, force cage, or mass suggestion.

Restriction: See Temperance (above).

XVI—The Tower

Spell Options: disintegrate, divine word, magnificent mansion, or reverse gravity.

Restriction: Once you play the Tower or the Star, you cannot use either card again until you complete a long rest.

XVII—The Star

Spell Options: conjure celestial, plane shift, prismatic spray, or regenerate.

Restriction: See the Tower (above).

XVIII—The Moon

Spell Options: antipathy/sympathy, feeblemind, maze, or mind blank.

Restriction: Once you play the Moon or the Sun, you cannot use either card again until you complete a long rest.

XIX—The Sun

Spell Options: demiplane, holy aura, incendiary cloud, or sunburst.

Restriction: See the Moon (above).

XX—Judgment

Spell Options: foresight, imprisonment, mass heal, meteor swarm, or power word kill.

Restriction: Once you play Judgment or the World, you cannot use either card again until you complete a long rest.

XXI—The World

Spell Options: time stop, true polymorph, true resurrection, or wish.

Restriction: See Judgment (above).

Focus Cards

In addition to the major arcana, a tarot set also consists of the minor arcana—the lesser secrets.

The cardcaster draws power from these as well, primarily from a face card of their preferred suit.

Jack of Beasts

In forgotten corners of the world, certain cardcasters practice the forbidden art of monster tarot. Their decks are comprised of strange suits and faces, each of which contain the trapped spirits of monsters.

These cardcasters focus on the Jack of Beasts to unleash the creatures within.

Cantrips

You know the cantrips chill touch and dancing lights.

Bonus Proficiency

You are proficient with the Animal Handling skill.

Bonus Ritual

You know the find familiar spell and can cast it as a ritual.

This feature does not provide you with the spell slots to cast the spell normally, but you can use your spell slots from other classes to cast this spell if you choose.

Monstrous Arcana

The major arcana each provide you additional spell options.

Eye of the Cardshark

Starting at 2nd level, your predatory divination grants you insight into creatures’ breaking points.

As a bonus action, choose one creature you can see within 30 feet. You learn that creature’s hit point maximum, present hit point total, and any damage types against which it has weakness. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you complete a long rest or a short rest.

Empowered Summoner

Starting at 6th level, at your option, creatures you summon or manipulate with card powers, or those you summon with Capture Card (starting at 14th level), receive the following benefits:

Your familiar gains these benefits when you first summon it or after you complete a long rest.

Voice of the Void

Starting at 10th level, the otherworldly arts of spirit binding empower you to communicate with all creatures. You are constantly under a tongues effect. You are also constantly under a speak with animals effect that extends to any creature without a language, such as unintelligent undead or constructs.

These effects can’t be dispelled.

You can also use this feature to cast either speak with dead or speak with plants. Once you do so, you can’t cast either spell again with this feature until you complete a short rest or a long rest.

Capture Card

Starting at 14th level, you can capture a creature within your cards. As an action, choose one creature you can see within 20 feet of you. This creature must have a hit point maximum of at least 30 hit points and have 10 or fewer hit points remaining.

An unwilling target must make a Charisma saving throw. If it fails this save or is a willing target, it disappears into extradimensional space within one of your tarot cards. If it succeeds, you can’t use this feature on it again for a year and a day. So long as you have trapped an unwilling creature with this feature, you cannot attempt to capture another unwilling creature.

As an action, you can discard a major arcana card from your hand and expend a major arcana play to summon your bound creature within 20 feet of yourself. It is friendly to you and obeys your orders as if affected by dominate monster. You can release the creature or return it to its tarot card as an action, and it returns automatically after 1 hour. Its hit points are fully restored whenever you complete a long rest.

If the creature is killed, its form and consciousness return to and remain trapped within the card.

The dead creature still counts against your limit of only one unwilling trapped creature. You can release the remains as an action, freeing the dead creature. If you have no other unwilling, living captured creatures—or if the creature was willingly captured—you can also spend eight hours in isolated meditation to revive the creature at full hit points. This meditation is strenuous spiritual activity, and cannot be completed during a long rest.

Intelligent creatures are harder to control in this way. If the target has an Intelligence of 8 or higher, it has advantage on the saving throw against getting captured. If it fails the saving throw and has an Intelligence of 12 or higher, it can also repeat the saving throw whenever you complete a long rest until it succeeds and is freed from this feature’s effects. If freed, the creature appears at a safe location approximately 5 miles away from your present location.

A creature that willingly lets you capture it never attempts to escape, and does not count against your ability to capture with this feature again.

King of Pentacles

Pentacles, also called coins, call you to invest in practicality and worldliness. Their powers pertain to thrift, wealth, pragmatism, and taking joy in the here-and-now. Those who strive for the success of the King of Pentacles embrace the safe—and lucrative—options.

Cantrips

You know the cantrips fire bolt and prestidigitation.

Lucre

You begin play with an additional 50 gp.

Spendthrift

You can leverage your knowledge of low prices for even greater discounts. You can use this feature to receive a 25% discount on any one item you purchase, up to a discount of 100 gp × your cardcaster level squared. Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you complete a long rest.

Profit Margin

Starting at 2nd level, you develop an almost supernatural talent for finding riches. Whenever you discover a new source of cash—such as by plundering a chest or looting a room—you discover an additional amount of money equal to 10% of the funds discovered. Whenever you obtain cash payout from a job—such as your cut from a group contract or by selling your share of treasure—you mysteriously gain an additional amount of money equal 10% of the funds secured.

This feature does not increase the amount of noncash forms of wealth you receive, such as jewelry or trade goods, nor does it affect moneys casually redistributed amongst allies. Whether this feature is simply your preternatural ability to sniff out wealth and haggle, or the King of Pentacles subtly rewriting reality in your favor is anyone’s guess.

Insightful Shopper

Starting at 6th level, the tarot reveal to you items which would be fortuitous to buy. When you complete a long rest in an area you can shop, write down three items available at market, each worth 100 gp or less. Once before you complete another long rest, you can use your action to declare the presence of one of the items on your person. You may draw out the item as part of this action.

Since the item you obtain with this feature was “really” on your person the whole time, you must have available storage space for the item. For example, if you become separated from your backpack, the item you obtain with this feature must fit elsewhere on your person.

Once you obtain an item with this feature, you can’t do so again until you complete a long rest. You can use this feature up to three times before returning to market, selecting each item on the list no more than once.

Bribe the Fates

Starting at 10th level, you can sacrifice your money to alter luck. Whenever you or a creature you can see within 30 feet makes a d20 roll, you may sacrifice a portion of the wealth on your person to grant advantage or disadvantage on that roll. You can do so even after the roll is revealed, but before you know if it succeeds or fails. The amount of gold you must sacrifice to use this feature is equal to your character level × 10 gp; this money instantly vanishes.

You can use this feature as many times as you like, but each additional time costs 10 times the previous use. This count resets when you complete a long rest.

Mystical Mint

Starting at 14th level, you spontaneously generate wealth. Whenever you roll a d20, percentile dice, or for damage, and a die shows its maximum value, you mysteriously gain that number × 10 gold pieces.

This feature is not affected by Profit Margin.

Knight of Swords

Swords embody mental force and determination— the will envisioned as a blade. Cardcasters who focus on the brave Knight of Swords draw the sword to become warriors in their own right.

Cantrips

You know the cantrips mage hand and sacred flame.

Bonus Proficiencies

You are proficient with shortswords, longswords, and rapiers. You also gain proficiency with light armor, medium armor, and shields.

Warrior’s Fortitude

Your resolve increases your Hit Dice from this class by one step. You gain 2 additional hit points, your hit points per cardcaster level are 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier, and cardcaster Hit Dice are d8s.

Resounding Charge

Starting at 2nd level, the wind at your back roars as you charge into battle. As a bonus action, you call up the wind to speed your way. Until the end of your next turn, your movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks, and hostile creatures you become adjacent to must succeed on a Strength saving throw or fall prone. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you complete a long rest or a short rest.

Extra Attack

Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Mark of Fate

Starting at 10th level, the tarot reveals to you the time to strike. As a bonus action, you can use this feature to seize this moment by selecting a creature you can see within 60 feet. For 1 minute, whenever that creature takes damage, it takes an additional amount of damage equal to your Intelligence modifier.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you complete a long rest.

Fatesever

Starting at 14th level, when you hit with a melee weapon attack, you gain a bonus to the damage roll equal to your cardcaster level. You can use this feature once per day, but you regain use of this feature when you are hit by a melee weapon attack.

Bonus Proficiencies

Also starting at 14th level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor and all martial weapons.

Page of Wands

Wands, often depicted as sprouting sticks, embody the magical power of creation. The Page—or Princess—of Wands enthusiastically explores her esoteric power, and those who focus on her develop even greater command of their tarot deck.

Cantrips

You know the cantrips minor illusion and produce flames.

Seeds of Possibility

Once per day when you finish a short rest, you can choose a used card numbered 0 through XIII to recover. Take the card from the discard pile and put it into your hand. Until you complete a long rest, you can play that card once more without expending an additional use of your high arcana plays.

Sprout of Curiosity

Starting at 2nd level, your proactive inquiries grant you more control over the tarot’s power. When you complete a long rest, before refilling your hand, search your deck for one card and put it into your hand. Then shuffle the deck and continue to draw your hand normally.

Backburn

Starting at 6th level, small burnt sacrifices bend chaotic power to your will. Once per day when you finish a short rest, put any number of cards from your hand and discard pile of your choice with numerals 0 through XIII back into the deck. Discard the rest of your hand. Search the deck for any two cards and add them to your hand. Then shuffle the deck and draw until you have a full hand.

Bloom of Revelation

Starting at 10th level, you can use your action to beseech the tarot to reveal themselves.

Roll percentile dice; if the result is equal to or less than your cardcaster level, the tarot reveal themselves. Choose one major arcana card other than those in your hand—even if your level is not high enough to include it in your deck. Play that card immediately, without expending any of your play uses. Playing a card in this way bypasses and does not trigger the restrictions of major arcana XIV and higher. If your cardcaster level is too low to include the card in your deck, set the card aside instead of putting it in your discard pile.

If the tarot reveal themselves, you cannot use this feature again for 7 days. Otherwise, you can use it again after you finish a long rest.

At 20th level, your call for insight automatically succeeds, no roll required.

Fruit of Knowledge

Starting at 14th level, whenever you draw cards from your deck, draw an equal amount of extra cards. Then, put that many cards of your choice from your hand back into your deck and shuffle it.

Queen of Cups

Cups, also called chalices, represent emotions— particularly love. Guided by the Queen of Cups, the cardcaster’s flowing affection rallies their allies and keeps their foes at bay.

Cantrips

You know the cantrips friends and ray of frost.

Sincerity

Your open heart easily connects with others. You gain proficiency in Insight and Persuasion, and you gain message as a bonus cantrip.

Toast to Friendship

Starting at 2nd level, your affection for others imbues you both with vitality. When you activate a card power that targets at least one friendly creature you can see, both you and one target of your choice gain temporary hit points equal to your Intelligence modifier + your cardcaster level.

Floweth Over

Starting at 6th level, when you use a card power to cast a spell with the range of self, at your option it instead has a range of 30 feet and targets a friendly creature you can see. If the spell has a duration based on concentration, the target of the spell must maintain that concentration.

Queen’s Entourage

Starting at 10th level, you can communicate telepathically with any creature you can see within 60 feet of you. You don’t need to share a language with the creature for it to understand your telepathic utterances, but the creature must be able to understand at least one language.

At your option, you can establish simultaneous telepathic communication with up to five other friendly creatures you can see within range. Members of the group can telepathically communicate with each other as well.

Court of Cups

Starting at 14th level, all the face cards of Cups shield you from malign forces of water and heart.

You gain resistance to acid, cold, necrotic, and psychic damage.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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