Posted by : David Guyll January 06, 2011

Hot on the heels of Gamma World's randomized card mechanic is another randomized card mechanic, this time for Dungeons & Dragons: Fortune Cards. Based on the little information that there is, Fortune Cards seem to function a lot like Alpha Mutation and Omega Tech cards: you draw one at the start of an encounter, and each provides you with a temporary bonus such as a bonus to defenses or damage resistance, or a conditional effect, such as granting a reroll. Oh, and you can also build personalized decks with them, and while there's no word on the restrictions, I'm going to assume that a deck will require a minimum card count and allow only a certain number of a given card.

Despite being an optional accessory, people are of course complaining about it. Some liken it to the irrefutable fact that D&D has become a card game, while others think that it "breaks the game" by allowing players with more money to build decks in order to give themselves as many advantages as possible (which ties in with WotC being nothing but money-grubbing capitalists). I'm not sure whose games these people play, but in my experience a DM can simply disallow their usage, and I like to hope that most groups actually, you know, communicate with each other. I know that I wouldn't let just one player use them, and in all likelihood I'd just have one community deck to draw from (as in my Gamma World games).

The only real issue I have with Fortune Cards is that they seem to grant only benefits. I'd rather have some disadvantages in there and give players a choice to draw from the deck when an encounter starts, keeping the ratio at half fortunes and half "misfortunes" (perhaps having to keep the same rarity-ratio, as well), and making it more of a gamble. Players feeling lucky might opt to draw, while others who like what they have can just go without. Maybe you could have two decks and require players to alternate: if they draw from the fortune deck in one encounter, they have to draw from the other at the start of the next.

Personally I plan on getting a few packs to see how it plays out, and if I don't like them, I won't use them. Some events in the Wizards Play Network will demand a purchase, while D&D Encounters will not.

{ 5 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. i will most likely make my own fortune cards with both good and negative outcomes. Also, people seem to forget that the cards are an option, one that could enrich the D&D experience for a group of gamers or that it wouldn't. In the end, its all about choice.

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  2. There has always been people that even if it is an option they feel they must use it. The designers can scream until they are blue in the face that it is an option, the players feel if it is there they need it.

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  3. Those players have issues, and there should be a support group for them.

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  4. I don't really see a need for this product, and I probably won't buy any. I can't possibly understand why anyone would get upset about it, though. It's clearly a bolt-on, optional accessory. I think some people just like to get mad.

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  5. what i plan on using the cards in games, i own over 50+ cards so each player at the beginning of each session they draw from the top picking three of each of the catergories (attack, defence and tactics) and them draw one extra of the players choice. and that is there deck for the session and new ones are drawn next session so they wont have the same cards all the time.

    The bonuses on the cards i dont feel are game changers they are just temp bonuses and i treat them as such , and i could even offer extra cards for players as a boon and rewards.

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