Wizards of the Coast is gearing up to release their final product of 2023, The Book of Many Things. This new Dungeons & Dragons 5e release contains a book on how DMs can prepare to implement the Deck of Many Things into their campaign, as well as a physical set of the Deck of Many Things in a gorgeous box.
Last week we had a chance to hear from Jason Tondro, Lead Designer, and Mackenzie De Armas, Game Designer.
We heard about what you'll get in the physical box, what information you'll get in the Book of Many Things, and how Wizards of the Coast have created a way to create one-shots like never before.
Inside the Book of Many Things Physical Package
Inside the Deck of Many Things release you'll get the following items:
- The Book of Many Things, a 192 page Sourcebook
- 66 Tarot cards that represent the 22 Deck of Many Things as well as 44 cards being referred to as the Deck of Many More Things
- Card Reference Book, an 80-page reference that gives you detailed information on every card in the Deck
This physical package will MSRP for $99.99.
As with all of Dungeons & Dragons releases you'll be able to pick this up in the standard cover art by Ekaterina Burmak, but game shops will also have an alternate art cover.
Interestingly this alternate art is only for the Book of Many Things whereas the cards and card reference book will be the same no matter which version you pick up.
What Information Is In the Book of Many Things?
Inside the Book of Many Things, you'll find 192 pages of character options, over 35 new monsters, new magical items, and a variety of adventure locations related to the Book of Many Things. Tondro even added that there are sections for DM advice for puzzles and traps related to the Deck of Many Things.
Tondro explained that there's nothing that's specific to any setting and they intended for this book to be a 'toybox' experience.
What is the Deck of Many More Things?
The original Deck of Many was 22 cards that had a variety of effects. It's been part of D&D for a long time, and the deck and its cards were even detailed in the original D&D 5e Dungeon Master's Guide but knowing they were revisiting the concept they took this as a chance to expand upon the original concept.
The Deck of Many More Things makes up the new 44 cards that have just as many wild and powerful effects, but are an attempt to balance out the effects of the deck for other types of characters.
An example given was that the Key card makes a Rare or Rarer Magical Weapon you're proficient with appear, but for spellcasters, this card was always limited. There are now cards of equivalence for different classes and other effects.
De Armas highlighted the new Dragon card. When you pull this card a Dragon Egg appears and immediately hatches into a Wyrmling. This Wyrmling will immediately see you and bond with you, thinking you're its parent.
Now you have a "challenge of adventuring as well as the challenge of parenthood"
More Information To Help the Dungeon Master
While the Deck of Many Things has always been present there hasn't been much to assist the DM in how to deal with those effects. Now that there are pages of information dedicated to each card the DM has a lot less to worry about.
For the Flames Card, there are now three different devils that could be hunting you down, each with their own motive and stat block. What could be a barebones experience for the party can suddenly become a much more important adventure hook.
"A powerful devil becomes your enemy. The devil seeks your ruin and plagues your life, savoring your suffering before attempting to slay you." - The Deck of Many, Flame Card
There are a number of monsters that are tied to the different card effects. Monsters in the Book of Many Things range from CR ¼ all the way up to CR 25. The CR 25 creature is the Grim Champion of Desolation, an avatar of Death that appears when the Skull card is pulled.
What else can I do with the Deck of Many?
This book doesn't just explain what to do when a party member pulls from the Deck of Many but also a variety of different ways to use it.
You will be able to learn how to use your Deck of Many as an Oracle Deck to tell the future of your characters, use it as a tool for Astrology where your characters were born under different signs, and you can even use it to plan your next one shot.
There are also variants of the Deck in the Deck of Dimensions, Deck of Wonders, and even a Deck of Mundane Objects. For the DM who wants to introduce their party to the concept of the Deck of Many Things in the shallow end of the danger pool, you can give them the Deck of Wonders.
The Deck of Wonders is "baby's first Deck of Many Things", a deck of 22 cards inspired by the original but with more temporary effects. It won't be as impactful as the original Deck of Many Things but it's less likely to throw a giant randomized wrench into your campaign.
Creating A One-Shot with Adventure Spread
One of the neatest things that was shown to us was the Adventure Spread. As each card in the Deck of Many can represent not just the card, but also a person, place, monster, etc there's a way that you can lay out cards to create a one-shot.
An example given was that a DM could pull cards that represent a starting location, inciting incident, travel event, a few encounters, a boss creature, and a treasure. These cards can then inform the skeleton of your next one-shot.
A Dragon card being pulled could mean that you run into a Dragonborn as an inciting incident, that the location of the adventure is a Dragon's cave, or that your party is going to have to fight a dragon.
With this design, you can create small adventures for a rainy weekend day, or build a long-form campaign around the random cards that you pull.
The Deck of Many Things has been a magical item that players have historically feared and loved. This book is planning on allowing the Deck of Many Things to inform player decisions through Astrology, DM decisions, add random events to your long-form campaigns, or create a new one-shot on the fly.