The legendary Deck of Many Things has returned to the game of Dungeons & Dragons, this time with a touch of Fifth Edition glamour and polish. This potentially game-ending magical deck of cards has been part of D&D since 1975 and has existed in some form in every edition. 2023’s release will contain more cards more story hooks and be a full supplement for the game, rather than a simple entry in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

The Deck of Many Things gimmick is that it offers incredible boons or curses, all at the luck of the draw, making it the stuff of legend for players and Dungeon Masters alike. This single item is much storied and even almost ended the world-famous Critical Role Campaign One: Vox Machina adventure.

The Deck of Many Things set will include The Book of Many Things, a 192-page ‘toy box’ style supplement filled with story hooks, characters, legends and the like surrounding this cursed deck of cards, including ideas such as ‘the prime deck’ and those who trawl the multiverse looking to end the threat these near-god-like cards represent. There are also new backgrounds: one for heroes who have had their lives ruined by the cards and one for whom the cards have transformed their lives for the better. 

We will also get an origin of sorts for the deck, as well as the introduction of some new core characters to push stories forward. 

It also has a ‘tarot card format’ deck of cards. This set expands the deck from its original 22 cards to 66, but the new 44 cards promise to keep the same harsh flavour as the original cards but also generate. Lead designer Jason Tondro has described the new set as ‘chaotic as you want it to be’, 

which sounds like a lot of fun to us. Games designer Makenzie De Armas told the press that the cards had been designed in such a way that they would work for “all kinds of different gameplay”, meaning that DMs can still scare the pants off the players without having to totally derail their beloved campaign. 

The set will also include guidance on how to use these cards to generate spontaneous stories in a technique described as ‘The Adventure Spread’. This isn’t a new trick. Decks of cards have been used to spin tall tales for centuries, and many older Dungeon Masters have fond memories of Everway, a ’90s-era ‘Oracle’ style deck of cards used to create fantasy TTRPGs.  

Up until now, The Deck of Many Things has been a little too short to pull this stunt with, but the new deck at 66 cards promises to allow uninspired DM’s to create stories on the fly, all with a D&D twist. The set will contain a small guidance booklet for those who need a rapid reference to what each card means.

A digital set will also be available, and there’s even a Dice of Many Things option coming to DnDBeyond. The supplement will be released on November 14th, 2023. 

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