The Enigmatic Deck of Fate and Adventure

The Deck of Many Things has long been a cherished artifact in the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Its intricate tarot-inspired design and potent effects have captivated players and Dungeon Masters alike, instilling both awe and fear. As an experienced player, I can attest to the challenge of incorporating this chaotic item into a campaign, as its reality-altering abilities can lead to unexpected outcomes. However, there is much more to this deck than meets the eye, and Wizards of the Coast has made an impressive effort to explore its potential in their latest release for Dungeons & Dragons.

Unlike previous versions, the official Wizards release of The Deck of Many Things is not just a stack of cards. It comes with an additional deck called The Deck of Many MORE Things, as well as two accompanying books: a comprehensive guide to all the cards and The Book of Many Things, which delves into various ways of incorporating the deck and its symbolism into gameplay. This package is truly appealing, especially with the inclusion of a beautifully designed box to house the deck. While The Book of Many Things could have been more substantial, it still adds value to the overall set.

Let’s start with the deck itself. If you are drawn to The Deck of Many Things solely for its physical appeal, you will not be disappointed. The cards are exquisitely crafted, adorned with gold edges and featuring unique artistic interpretations from a diverse group of talented artists. The accompanying card guide provides methods for utilizing the cards, and each card entry includes a brief description and different interpretations, such as representing a person, creature or trap, place, treasure, or situation.

The two books offer several options for utilizing the deck in gameplay. They provide methods for generating adventures, scrying, and even determining encounters for a party. The effort put into ensuring the deck is not just an in-game prop but a tool for Dungeon Masters to enhance their storytelling is evident. The books are narrated by Paladin Asteria, whose voice adds a touch of interest to the reading. Although not as entertaining as characters like Volo, these snippets of flavor text still valuable components.

The Book of Many Things is not just a collection of magical items centered around the deck—it also adds depth to the game’s lore. It introduces the Zodiac as a new form of scrying and presents two new organizations: the enigmatic and thieving Moonstalkers and the heroic Solar Bastion. Both organizations offer a range of non-player characters and character options for Dungeon Masters to enrich their campaigns.

Additionally, two new backgrounds are introduced: The Rewarded and The Ruined. The former represents characters who have found fortune after a challenging life, gaining helpful boons. Conversely, the latter represents characters who have suffered from ill fortune and focuses on enduring the hardships thrown their way.

While the book does not feature an abundance of new monsters, the ones included are noteworthy, particularly those inspired by fate. The Fate Hags, fey creatures capable of manipulating destiny, can inflict devastating curses when they sever someone’s thread of fate. The Ruin Spider is a prime example of how the magic of the deck can corrupt and empower creatures, transforming a simple spider into a formidable monster.

Although I initially expected The Deck of Many Things to be a collection of adventures, it is primarily a lore book. However, it does contain fascinating stories centered around different card-themed locations. One particularly intriguing locale is the Sphere of the Donjon, a realm one finds themselves imprisoned within when the corresponding card is drawn. It serves as an otherworldly prison, rife with surveillance and peculiar mechanical insects—an ideal setting for a thrilling prison break adventure. Another standout location is The Grim Harrow, a garden tainted by death and the arrival point for the ominous Skull card’s riders. It is a macabre place where skeletal unicorns roam—an atmospheric gem for any D&D enthusiast.

The allure of The Deck of Many Things awaits you, available for purchase from the D&D Shop, Amazon, and your favorite bookstores. The price is set at an MSRP of $109.99, and be sure to check out your local gaming store for an exclusive alternate cover edition!

Images via Wizards of the Coast

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《多事之卡(The Deck of Many Things)》长久以来一直是《龙与地下城》(Dungeons & Dragons)世界中备受珍爱的神器。它盘根错节的塔罗牌设计和强大的效果吸引了玩家和地下城主们,既令人敬畏又令人恐惧。作为一名经验丰富的玩家,我可以证明将这件混乱的物品融入剧情中的挑战,因为它改变现实的能力可能带来意想不到的结果。然而,这个卡组比表面上的更加深奥,而且Wizards of the Coast(海岸巫师)在最新的《龙与地下城》发布中已经努力挖掘了它的潜力。

与以前的版本不同,官方发布的《多事之卡》不仅仅是一叠卡片。它还附带了一个名为《多事之卡(The Deck of Many MORE Things)》的额外卡组,以及两本配套书籍:一本关于所有卡片的综合指南和一本探讨如何在游戏中引入卡组和其象征意义的《诸多事物之书(The Book of Many Things)》。这个套装真是非常吸引人,尤其是因为其中包含一个精美设计的盒子来存放卡组。虽然《诸多事物之书》可以更加实质性一些,但它仍然增加了整个套装的价值。


这两本书为游戏中使用卡组提供了几种选择。它们提供了生成冒险、预知和确定队伍遭遇的方法。为了确保卡组不只是一个游戏道具,而是一个能够增强地下城主们讲故事能力的工具,这方面付出了很多努力。这些书籍由圣骑士阿斯特里娅(Paladin Asteria)讲述,她的声音为阅读增添了一丝趣味。尽管不像沃洛(Volo)等人物那样有趣,但这些风味文本片段仍然是有价值的组成部分。

《诸多事物之书》不仅是围绕卡组的魔法物品的集合,它还为游戏的传说增加了深度。它引入了占星术作为一种新的预知形式,并介绍了两个新组织:神秘的盗贼月行者(Moonstalkers)和英勇的太阳堡垒(Solar Bastion)。这两个组织提供了一系列非玩家角色和角色选择,以丰富地下城主的冒险。

此外,还介绍了两种新的背景:被奖赏者(The Rewarded)和被毁坏者(The Ruined)。前者代表在充满挑战的生活后找到财富的角色,获得有用的福利。相反,后者代表遭遇不利命运的角色,并专注于经受困境。

尽管这本书没有大量新的怪物,但其中包含的怪物也值得注意,特别是那些受命运启示的怪物。命运女巫(Fate Hags)是能够操纵命运的仙女生物,当她们剪断某人的命运之线时,能够施加毁灭性的诅咒。毁灭之蜘蛛(Ruin Spider)是如何使卡组的魔力腐化和赋予生物力量的一个典型例子,它将一个普通的蜘蛛变成了一个强大的怪物。

尽管我最初期望《多事之卡》是一本冒险故事集,但它主要是一本传说书。然而,它确实包含了以不同卡片主题的地点为中心的迷人故事。其中一个特别有趣的场景是随机抽到天牢之卡时,人们将身陷其中的「天牢之球」。它作为一个超自然监狱,充满了监视和奇特的机械昆虫,是一个理想的惊险监狱逃脱冒险的场所。另一个杰出的地点是恶运重压(The Grim Harrow),一个被死亡污染的花园,它是不祥的骷髅牌(Skull card)骑士的到达点。这是一个骸骨独角兽漫游的恐怖之地,对于任何D&D爱好者来说都是一颗氛围瑰宝。


图片提供:Wizards of the Coast