Reading the harrow is a traditional Varisian method of divination, and most Ustalavs believe to at least a small degree that the mystical forces that flow through a harrow deck influence their fate and control their destiny. The cards in a Harrow Deck are divided into six suits, one for each Character Statistic and nine alignments, one for each intersection of the alignment axis. The Harrow is used to tell fortunes, aid in divination, bestow curses, and execute all manner of chicanery. The Harrow Deck is as well known and understood as we might know and understand the Tarot: its symbology can be understood very generally by most and very specifically by specialists and mystics. Harrow cards are also used as part of many popular card games and gambling games including Towers.
Carrion Crown introduces a new use for Harrow Cards. Characters will sometimes be awarded Harrow Cards much in the same manner they are awarded hero points (for exceptional RP, completeing plot elements, acts of heroism, etc). Unlike Hero Points, there is no limit to the number of Harrow Cards a character can have at one time. The only limit is the capacity of a single Harrow Deck (54 cards). Players can elect to expend a Harrow Card in a manner similar to a Hero Point (detailed below) to gain a special bonus, power, or action. Unlike Hero Points, there are always unforseen consequences to playing a Harrow card. Expended Harrow Cards are returned to the DM. Harrow Cards are fated, mystical objects with signifiance greater than those you could buy in the local diviner’s shop!
Using Harrow Cards
Harrow Cards can be played by suit or by alignment, player’s choice. The unforseen consequences of envoking the mystic tapestry of the Harrow will depend on how the card is used (according to its suit, or its alignment).
When playing a card of the given suit, you may choose to gain the listed effect in place of that granted by the card’s alignment.
Hammers (Str): If used before a roll is made, a hammers card grants you a + 8 luck bonus on any one d20 roll. If used after a roll is made, this bonus is reduced to + 4. You can also use this card to grant a bonus to another character, as long as you are in the same location and your character can reasonably affect the outcome of the roll (such as by distracting a monster, shouting words of encouragement, or otherwise aiding another with the check). Cards of the suit of hammers spent to aid another character grant only half the listed bonus (+ 4 before the roll, + 2 after the roll).
Keys (Dex): You can spend a keys card to take your turn immediately. Treat this as a readied action, moving your initiative to just before the currently acting creature. You may only take a move or a standard action on this turn.
Shields (Con): You can spend a shields card on your turn to gain an additional standard or move action this turn.
Books (Int): You can spend a books card to recall a spell you have already cast or to gain another use of a special ability that is otherwise limited. This should only be used on spells and abilities possessed by your character that recharge on a daily basis.
Stars (Wis): If you feel stuck at some point in the adventure, you can spend a card of this suit and petition the GM for a hint about what to do next. If the GM feels that there is no information to be gained, the stars card is not spent.
Crowns (Cha): You may spend a crown card to reroll any one d20 roll you just made. You must take the results of the second roll, even if it is worse.
When playing a card of the given alignment, you may choose to gain the listed effect in place of that granted by the card’s suit.
Lawful Good: You may smite evil, as the paladin ability, gaining the benefits until the start of your next turn. If you have levels in paladin greater than half your total Hit Dice, use your paladin level to determine bonus damage; otherwise, your bonus damage equals half your character level, rounded down (minimum 1).
Neutral Good: You channel positive energy that cures a creature touched of an amount of damage equal to 1d6 × your character level. This effect damages undead creatures as spells like cure light wounds.
Chaotic Good: You receive a +4 circumstance bonus on one CMB check to avoid or escape a grapple or on one Escape Artist check.
Lawful Neutral: You gain a +10 bonus on any single Sense Motive check.
True Neutral: You may gain a one-time insight into the future as the spell augury, using your character level as your caster level. Meditating on the particular action in question requires 10 minutes and does not expend material components.
Chaotic Neutral: You gain the effects of rage, as the spell, lasting a duration of 1 round + an additional round for every 3 Hit Dice you possess above the first.
Lawful Evil: You can give another creature a command as per the spell command. This command can affect undead that are normally immune to mind-affecting effects, but not other creatures that are immune to mind-affecting effects. The DC of this command is equal to 10 + your character level.
Neutral Evil: You channel negative energy that deals an amount of damage equal to 1d6 × your character level to a creature touched. This effect heals undead creatures as spells like inflict light wounds.
Chaotic Evil: You may instantly force any creature to reroll a saving throw it has just made, taking the result of the second roll, even if doing so means the check will fail.
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