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In Curse of Strahd, p. 15, it shows two entries for "Broken One (King of Diamonds)", one after the other:

A. Broken One (King of Diamonds)
Your greatest ally will be a wizard. His mind is broken, but his spells are strong.

This card refers to the Mad Mage of Mount Baratok (see chapter 2, area M).

B. Broken One (King of Diamonds)
I see a man of faith whose sanity hangs by a thread. He has lost someone close to him.

This card refers to Donavich, the priest in the village of Barovia (see chapter 3, area ES). He will not accompany the characters until his son, Doru, is dead and buried.

Is there errata for this? Or have I missed something?

Actually, I've just noticed that there are other duplicate entries, so maybe I've missed the point. Am I supposed to pick whichever one I, as DM, think would be more interesting? I'd still appreciate some clarification on this, despite the fact that I might be missing the point.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ilmari Karonen Awesome! I didn't believe it was possible! I'll be referring back to this question next time I need to do complex spoiler quotes. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Oct 25 '19 at 21:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are these supposed to be upright and reversed results? \$\endgroup\$ – Xavon_Wrentaile Oct 25 '19 at 22:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Xavon I don't understand your question? \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Oct 26 '19 at 6:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS : In tarot reading, a card may appear in its normal orientation or reversed. The meaning associated with the reversed form is typically different. \$\endgroup\$ – Eric Towers Oct 27 '19 at 6:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EricTowers Ah, that's interesting, thanks! If that is indeed what Xavon meant, then all I can say is that, whilst that's how a DM could run with it, RAW there is no mentioning of reversed cards, and it seems that the DM can just decide the meaning of a given card (as per my answer below) based on circumstances such as party strength vs. the strength of the ally gains via, say, the King of Diamonds card (as per Pierre's answer below). This may also why they came up with their own term "tarokka" rather than using the term "tarot", even though that's clearly what it's based on. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Oct 27 '19 at 7:01
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For balance

There are other tarokka cards with multiple results. The point is to allow the GM to choose which reading is the right one for their game. Here, if the players are very good, give them a weak ally (Donavich). If they aren't too good, give them the powerful Mad Mage of Mount Baratok.

You can also choose the one that makes more sense to you story-wise or whatever.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I prefer this answer to my own because this offers justification as to why there are multiple cards. This will help inform my decision as to which one I pick when the time comes... \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Oct 25 '19 at 12:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, when you look at the entries where you have a choice, you'll notice one is low CR and the other is higher CR. \$\endgroup\$ – Pierre Cathé Oct 25 '19 at 12:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for this clarification. Given that we'll be a small party, that means I'll likely choose Mordenk- I mean, the "Mad Mage". \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Oct 25 '19 at 12:48
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Nevermind, I found it. From the same page:

(Some cards offer two possible results, A and B; in such a case, you can pick the one you prefer or that better suits the circumstances of the adventure).

So yes, I do pick whichever one I prefer as the DM.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Damn, I would've quoted it but I didn't have the book with me \$\endgroup\$ – Pierre Cathé Oct 25 '19 at 12:45

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