Is there a mechanical reason why a creature who activates the Magic of Eberron psionic power forced dream (104-5) can't reset his turn to before he drew a card from the deck of many things (DMG 278-9), obviating the card's effects, then, in under an hour, have a different creature draw from that deck with the same known card on top?

The Deck of Many Things says

A deck of many things (both beneficial and baneful) is usually found in a box or leather pouch. Each deck contains a number of cards or plaques made of ivory or vellum. Each is engraved with glyphs, characters, and sigils. As soon as one of these cards is drawn from the pack, its magic is bestowed upon the person who drew it, for better or worse. (DMG 278 but emphasis mine)

The psionic power forced dream, in part, says

While this power is active, any time during its turn the target can choose (as a swift action) to “restart” its turn. Everything that has transpired since the start of its turn is erased, effectively allowing the target to step back a moment in time to relive the turn. Doing this ends the power’s duration.

When this effect is used, everyone and everything is reset to the state they were at when the subject’s turn began. Any spells or abilities used are available again, any damage dealt is healed, any effects incurred are negated, any objects or creatures moved are reset to their original position, and so on. The only exception to this is that any power points spent to manifest forced dream are not recovered (meaning that if you manifest the power and activate its effect in the same turn, you return to the start of the turn but you do not get back the power points you spent to manifest the power.) (MoE 104-5 but emphasis mine)

If the answer is "No, that interaction is valid according to the rules," I'm curious if there're additional reasonable house rules or interpretations beyond those below that make this particular interaction difficult or impossible (short of banning the power forced dream or removing the deck from the campaign).

  1. The DM can house rule that as an artifact the deck's effects are unalterable by mortal means. This is not supported by the deck of many things's text, even if it's supported by Rule 0. I thought I'd read that nothing could predict the deck's next card and nothing could change the deck's next card, but this goes unmentioned in any Dungeon Master's Guide (1E 142-3, 2E 166-7, and 3.5E 278-9) as well as 2E's Encyclopedia Magica (379-81).
  2. The DM can house rule that no other creature can draw from the deck until the current creature's draws are completed. This, while elegant, isn't supported by the text.
  3. The DM can interpret that creatures who are nonintelligent or unintelligent, whose bodies and souls are one, or without souls cannot draw from the deck. The deck won't allow draws by constructs, elementals, outsiders, and undead, nor will it allow draws by creatures incapable of reason. This is somewhat supported by the text in that, although the void card uses psyche, the Deck of Many Things chart (DMG 278) uses soul in the void's Summary of Effect, and if the creature doesn't have a soul to lose--or can't choose to lose it--no draws for that creature. Strangely, despite all this, casting the spell summon monster I [conj] (PH 286, 288) and ordering the celestial monkey or fiendish octopus to draw remains a thing.
  4. The DM can interpret that the phrase The character with a deck... (DMG 278) means each creature who chooses to draw encounters the deck separately. That is, once a deck's in a creature's possession the order of the cards is, for that creature, fixed until that creature draws and the card's effects are resolved. Thus the DM secretly records the cards' initial order then new order after each draw for each creature. While this will inspire head-tilts and noggin-scratching, it's interesting--but the DM is likely to suffer horribly when the players realize the DM goes into the other room, fakes snapping a pic, and uses the void-on-top photo for everybody all the time. In other words, trust might be an issue.
  5. The DM can interpret that drawing takes a swift action, 2 or more rounds, or even 59 minutes. Mildly unsupported by the text as there's no action given for drawing, but drawing should probably fall under Activate a Magic Item (a standard action) or possibly Retrieve a Stored Item or Pick Up an Item (both move actions) (PH 141).

Resolution: Thanks to the answers below in my campaign I decided that if a character draws a card and uses the power forced dream to replay the round, even if others draw in between, when the time elapses or when the character draws from the deck , he'll still get the same card drawn during the dream. The dream then gives him a chance to prepare for whatever horrible thing will soon happen to him.


3 Answers 3


What you posit is reasonable except for one thing: The Deck of Many Things has a random outcome that the DM determines by a die roll.

As a magical artifact, I would say that it consists, as a whole of the cards it contains, not of a bunch of independent magical cards. The whole Deck itself is the magic item here, not the cards themselves, they are just pieces/components of the larger artifact. So the individual cards do not necessarily have an independent existence outside of the deck, nor any independent, fixed or specific order inside of it. When a character draws a card it is "randomly" determined by the Deck.

And this element of randomness is very important to the artifact's nature and being (in fact, I would say that it is the central attribute of it). So, technically, the DM should re-roll the die if the draw/turn gets re-set, not just play it as though there now (or ever was) any specific pre-determined card on the top of the deck. (of course that's up to the DM).

Look at it this way: If a party engaged in combat resets the turn with Forced Dream, is the DM going to say that the turn gets played over, but everybody gets exactly the same attack and damage rolls as the first time? Or does the DM rule that everything has to be re-rolled fresh and as it happens? My guess is most DMs would say the second, both for combat and for the Deck. Which means that while Forced Dream could be used to avoid a bad outcome from the Deck, it could not be used to then guarantee that same bad outcome on someone or something else: it gets a new random roll.


What you've mentioned are house rules, not interpretations

The RAW is super-simple; forced dream resets the entire turn (or more if you've got some quintessence to hand) and cannot be gainsaid or activated partially. The deck of many things is certainly powerful but it doesn't have any especial resistance to psionic powers.

With that in mind, forced dream has a very strong 'you didn't actually do that, it was a really vivid prophetic daydream' sort of flavor, and I don't see a lot of reason that the combination should be banned - especially since the deck is also sometimes known as the Eater of Campaigns.


Picking up an object (such as, say, drawing a card or scooping up a weapon) is a move action.


I think you missed a bit of text from the Deck of Many Things entry:

Each time a card is taken from the deck, it is replaced (making it possible to draw the same card twice) unless the draw is the jester or the fool, in which case the card is discarded from the pack.

So it's pretty strongly implied that there is a random element involved like in the Deck of Illusions.

However that still leaves the (opposite) problem of the player using Forced Dream to negate bad picks. But this tactic also makes it more likely that this sad fate happens to them if they get too greedy:


This card signifies imprisonment— either by the imprisonment spell or by some powerful being. All gear and spells are stripped from the victim in any case. Draw no more cards.

This fate seems unaffected by Forced Dream. Same thing with The Void card, you can't use a Swift Action when you're comatose (or dead for that matter). Then again there is the Fates card:

This card enables the character to avoid even an instantaneous occurrence if so desired, for the fabric of reality is unraveled and respun. Note that it does not enable something to happen. It can only stop something from happening or reverse a past occurrence. The reversal is only for the character who drew the card; other party members may have to endure the situation.

Which ties in with the Euryale card:

The medusalike visage of this card brings a curse that only the fates card or a deity can remove. The -1 penalty on all saving throws is otherwise permanent.

And all this strongly implies that mortal magic cannot undo the effects of this Artifact. Certainly not a level 3 spell/power. Meh I still prefer allowing it (Forced Dream) to have an effect and letting greed take care of the player by "eventually" getting one of the 3 bad cards that can't be reversed this way.


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