Custom Card Ideas: Hand of Glory
In various mythologies, a hand of glory is what a thief's left hand, after being hung, is when cut off and waxed over to be used as a candle for occult purposes. The power it gives varies among media source, being a source of light that won't go out, the ability to walk through walls, to summon the dead, and whatnot else. In Munchkin, I don't feel that there is enough universal danger among the decks that your items might be stolen (which makes custom cards like Photo of Dorian Gray not nearly as exciting to use). Thus, I designed the ultimate thief's tool that's usable in any Munchkin thematic deck.
What the Card Does
The card reads like this: "Discard a card and roll a die. On a 4+, add a +1 Bonus to this card and you steal any one card from another player. Less than 4, you lose 2 levels. If you don't have 2 levels to lose, you die." It initially gives a +1 Bonus with No Value and takes up 1 Hand.
Pretty nifty, right? The original ability is based on the Thief card from the original Munchkin fantasy themed deck, which does roughly the same allowing you to steal one item or lose 1 level. However, the stakes are definitely raised. Instead of any item, it's any card. While you can't pick up a fully enhanced item, you can steal a player's race/class or card from their hand as well as what's in front of them. With a Loaded Die, this power becomes incredible. The +1 Bonus from a successful steal also adds extra incentive to steal more often.
However, there's the downside, 2 Levels. Normally the Thief can steal infinitely as long as he/she has cards to discard, even being at level 1. There's no such cushion for the owner of the Hand of Glory. If you fail at low levels, you will die and lose the Hand of Glory. This is to prevent the potentially endless trolling caused by last place players with the Hand of Glory, endlessly delaying the game when they have no chance of coming back.
This isn't a cheap card to use but it definitely can pay off. Any card in play is up for grabs, or any blind draw from another player's hand. Every time you successfully steal, this card gets stronger which basically gives you double the rewards. If you play this ability with Loaded Dice or other similar cards, you can make serious power plays. If you have Go up a Level cards to spare, you might chance the stealing attempts regardless.
With Star Munchkin, you have access to the Cyborg race which doesn't allow you to drop below Level 2. Where the Thief card requires you to lose a level, this requires you to lose two if you had a bad roll, or otherwise die. If you are at Level 2, you can't die, similar to how a Level 1 Thief can attempt to steal over and over again so long as you have cards to discard. Starting the game with a Cyborg and this card is extremely loaded, and even if you're falling behind in later games, you can cripple your opponents by taking their best resources.
Furthermore, if you have a setup that gains an advantage by dying, the Hand of Glory is a semi-reliable device to utilize. You either die, or get lucky to rob another player and receive at least a +1.
As a card that allows you to steal anything, this makes this card compatible with any other deck. It becomes a little redundant when paired with the original Munchkin deck due to the Thief, but the Hand of Glory actually becomes a bit more crippled when up against the Helm of Peripheral Vision (frankly I don't remember what it's actually called) from another expansion which prevents stealing.
When announcing you'll be using this card when paired up with the Madness Kleptomania in Munchkin Cthulu, you'll potentially gain more from being forced to steal as well.