I know some people hate and fear the deck of many things, but as a GM running a high-lethality sandbox campaign, there's many things I like about it - and I'd like to deploy one for my players to find.
That being said, there's something I've always been a bit confused by. Every version of the deck that I've ever seen has had some variant of this line:
The character with a deck of many things who wishes to draw a card must announce how many cards she will draw before she begins.
My players don't have access to the identify spell and other sure-fire ways of identifying a magic item without using it, so it's safe to say they'll try to work out what the deck is by experimenting with it.
What I don't get is, how am I supposed to present this question to my players if they don't already know it's a deck of many things?
I mean, if they're familiar with the deck, they'll immediately guess that they've found one, and will use that information to decide how many cards to draw. I'm fine with that - but if they're not familiar with the deck, they'll give me funny looks, because the only sensible answer to "How many cards are you planning to draw from that deck of cards over your entire lifetime" is "How should I know? It's not like I've planned out every game of poker I'll ever play."
Given that people have been drawing from unidentified decks of many things for decades, there must be a simple solution to this issue that I'm not thinking of.
How do I ask my players how many cards they're planning to draw without the sensible answer being "I haven't decided yet?"
Oh, and just because it's causing some confusion: I am not asking for the rules for identifying items. I already know how to identify items. I am asking about how to ask the specific question relevant to this item when the players have not identified this specific item, and have no way of identifying it other than experimenting with it.