The deck of many things states

If you fail to draw the chosen number, the remaining number of cards fly from the deck on their own and take effect all at once.

For example: You declare that you will draw 3 cards
You draw your first and say its something good.
You then fail to draw your next one in an hour and the whole deck unleashes on you.

How does that "whole deck unleashes at once" feature work with the Donjon and the Void card(s)?

Does it just trigger last or would you be able to use one of the other cards to wish yourself out of the Donjon (or Void), or drawing finished anything altogether, since it states the whole deck unleashes "all at once?"

The Void and the Donjon cards (where you are trapped and the result is that "you draw no more cards"), if drawn before you've drawn the full number of cards, would seem to trigger the "all at once" result once the hour is up.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I saw the edit, but it kind of re worded my question to not what I was asking. My main question is if you draw 3 cards, you draw your first and say its something good. you then fail to draw your next one in an hour and the whole deck unleashes on you. how does that work with the Donjon card, does it just trigger last or would you be able to use one of the other cards to wish yourself out of the donjon card or drawing anything all together, since it states the whole deck unleashes all at once. \$\endgroup\$ – Skeither7 Jan 26 '17 at 18:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ I read "the remaining cards" as the remainder of what you declared you would draw, not all the cards still in the deck... \$\endgroup\$ – Zeiss Ikon Jan 26 '17 at 18:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ZeissIkon Yeah, which forms the basis of an answer. I guess I owe you a beer. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 26 '17 at 19:02

You should only get as many cards as you declare - three

The character being removed from the deck's presence opens up some some cause and effect chains, but it is the two remaining cards (not yet drawn) that erupt after the hour, not "the whole deck unleashes at once" as stated in the question's text.

Three cards should get drawn, but the last two may not be usable

If you fail to draw the chosen number, the remaining number of cards fly from the deck on their own and take effect all at once.

If you declare three, and you only draw one, then after an hour the other two cards come out of the deck and take effect immediately. The text does not specifically state "the whole deck," so this reading of that description makes the most sense to me.

That doesn't completely solve the conundrum. The DM will need to make a ruling on which card takes effect first, but the description suggests that you aren't drawing the cards at this point: they are being drawn for you by the magic of the deck. Let's call that "autodraw."

The above 'draw no more cards' lacks a card drawing character, but it leads to some other "how does this work?" questions for the DM to resolve.

Example based on your scenario:

First card: Jester (yay, XP for you)
Fail to draw, so one hour later ...
Second Card (autodraw): Donjon (you are trapped!)
Third Card (autodraw): The Fates (you can undo Donjon1, lucky you)
Third Card: Balance (you are trapped and you change alignment).
Third Card: Knight (The DM may rule that he appears wherever you are trapped, so maybe he can help you get out1, but he may appear where the deck is and where you are not).

1 What suspended animation means, for this result, isn't explicitly spelled out

Donjon. You disappear and become entombed in a state of suspended animation in an extra-dimensional sphere.

We can get an idea from the Astral Projection spell description (PHB, p. 215):

... the material body you leave behind is unconscious and in a state of suspended animation; it doesn’t need food or air and doesn’t age.

The Sequester spell description (PHB, p. 74) says for suspended animation ...

"Time ceases to flow for it{what's being protected by the spell} and it doesn't grow older."

It appears that you'd be awake, and maybe able to communicate with that Knight, but the DM may rule otherwise. (For example, the DM may rule that the Knight pops into existence where you are as you pop into that other place).

Which spell description's sense applies? DM ruling needed here.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This leads to a follow up question, 5e says for the donjon that you are trapped in a state of suspended animation, would you be able to use other cards drawn if your situation took place? \$\endgroup\$ – Skeither7 Jan 26 '17 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that would answer it, I would also assume a state of suspended animation implies lack of consciousness \$\endgroup\$ – Skeither7 Jan 26 '17 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Skeither7 I don't think so, but only because the Astral Projection says Unconscious AND in a state of suspended animation. That implies to me that Suspended Animation by itself does not render you unconscious so they made sure to include both points. (Unconscious is a Condition in Appendix A). Sequester, meant to protect someone, is not even that explicit. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 26 '17 at 19:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Skeither7 what exactly do you mean by "be able to use other cards"? All of them simply result in an unconditional effect, no "using" required, it happens no matter what you do or don't do. For example, The Moon grants you an ability to cast the wish spell 1d3 times - that's it, the card "happens" and disappears; you have gained a new ability, and whenever you would be able to cast a spell, you can cast the wish. The relevant question is more like "does Donjon prevent me from using spells or similar abilities", and it doesn't really matter if that ability was granted by card or something else. \$\endgroup\$ – Peteris Jan 27 '17 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @peteris That's actually a separate (and very good) question. Would you care to ask it? The suspended animation result doesn't have a lot of detail in the magic item description. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 27 '17 at 14:46

The number remaining is the number of cards you declared you would draw, not the whole deck. That aside, I'll continue with exactly what the rules say, and don't say. You the draw the first card, whatever it is, it happens. Then the other cards get automagially pulled an hour later. One of them is Donjon. Donjon reads:

Donjon. You disappear and become entombed in a state of suspended animation in an extra-dimensional sphere. Everything you were wearing and carrying stays behind in the space you occupied when you disappeared.

So, you disappear. leaving behind all your gear and the deck. Whatever else also happens, but it happens at the same time, meaning in the same instant. Moreover, Suspended animation means literally motion stopped (all movement, heart beat, etc. is stopped). So, gaining a wish or weapon or whatever might still happen, but you are unable to use them until you are no longer in suspended animation. Weather you are awake or not is unclear; but I'd personally rule that you are aware of the passage of time and the nothingness around you (because how awesomely cool and uncool would that be if your character is there for an extended period of time), but you do not age as there is no cellular movement.

If it is an item or creature that appears, it gets left behind. Perhaps it could be used by others to help get out, but you can't use it in that instant.

If it is a wish, you have it but you cannot use it. The wish spell clearly states that "By simply speaking aloud you can alter the very foundations of reality..." -- thus it has to be spoken which you cannot do in suspended animation.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The way he asked the question, he first drew one good card, and then stopped. So only two remain, the presumed Donjon and one other that both happen after that jour. Or so I read the question. Your answer addresses the same basic conundrum -- if drew the Donjon first and then ... where does the effect take place when the next cards are 'drawn by magic.' \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 26 '17 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, mine answers both, because the cases are the same. Though I see how that isn't evident in my answer. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Jan 27 '17 at 3:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ The edit is the kind of ruling a DM might have to make. My earlier point is that you didn't follow the script of the scenario. You wrote YOU disappear. An hour later, two more cards pop out of the deck of many things and happen. The scenario was the first card being something beneficial, then the Donjon and something else popping out "at the same time" an hour later. Suggest you slightly edit the answer to fit the scenario. (see the words under the quote block in the question) . There's a lot of good reasoning in this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 27 '17 at 13:07

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