D&D 5E My guesses for what will be in the Book of Many Things

So, next summer or early fall (there's actually two version of the publication timeline graphic WotC put out a few weeks ago), WotC will be publishing the Deck of Many Things-themed Book of Many Things.

Although I intend to pick up the Golden Vault and Phandelver books, the Book of Many Things is, by far, the item on the 2023 publication schedule that I'm most excited about.

According to WotC, the book will include "creatures, locations, and other player-facing goodies related to that most famous D&D magic item, the Deck of Many Things," most likely including the feat and spells from a recent UA.

A number of posters have expressed confusion about how that description can carry a whole book. Here's how I'm guessing it'll work:
  1. The book will be supported by a Deck of Many Things product, similar to (but hopefully more deluxe than) the Ravenloft Tarokka deck. (Beadle & Grimm will likely have an even fancier version as well.) Myself, I'm going with a fancy one off of Etsy, which has a bumper crop of decks, many of which are gorgeous.
  2. Almost nothing is known about the Deck of Many Things and, to my knowledge, that's been true throughout all editions of D&D. A Neverwinter Nights videogame said they were created by the Netherese, because of course they did, but this is the kind of classic and mysterious item that seems to cry out for something more mythic, tied to the First World. Maybe it's a creation of an ancient god of chaos, trying to stop the new multiverse from becoming a rigid, boring place?
  3. In addition to the spells and feat from the UA, I suspect we'll get some more player-facing content, like additional lesser decks, other card-related magic and, depending on how wacky the designers are feeling, maybe some stage magic inspired items. (The hat of vermin is all well and good, but where's our hat of conjuration that summons rabbits and doves?)
  4. A number of the cards either include or suggest monsters (Comet, Flames, Skull) and I would guess we'd see monsters for each of those and variant avatars of death for the Skull card. But even though the deck isn't a Tarot, I think Tarot-style figures could be created for many of the Deck's cards, as either creatures related to the card (what sort of entities guard the prisons of the Donjon and the Void?) or are creatures who may worship, seek to destroy or seek to (re)claim the cards themselves. Surely the deck has made a lot of waves across the history of the multiverse, and it seems entirely likely there would be entities devoted to harnessing the power or preventing it from causing more chaos. One or more sample knights for the Knight card seems like an easy thing to do.
  5. Likewise, there are a number of locations alluded to in the cards, including the Donjon and Void, but also the Throne. Sample castles for the Throne card also seem like an easy thing to include. And some or all of these could be either lightly or fully fleshed out adventure locations, so that a DM can immediately have his group rescue a friend trapped in the Void or claim the castle granted by the Throne.
  6. Other adventures also seem possible, although maybe just in the realm of DMs Guild. If we have adventures built around the Apparatus of Kwalish, surely there can be an adventure or two about past recipients who've previously used the card either trying to prevent anyone else from using it, perhaps out of fear that they'd lose their castle or wanting a chance to fix what the deck previously did to them. I could also see stretching the way the deck works a bit by having adventure locations where a single known card is being kept as a treasure. The Fates would be worth a king's ransom, or more, to the right people, for instance.
  7. And finally, it's an Everything book right at the end of 5E as we know it. It's time to get weird! How about rules for using cards -- either the deck, a standard 52-card deck or a Tarot deck) -- instead of dice? Plenty of games already use those mechanics, in whole or in part, as a central mechanic. Let's make characters using cards! Create adventure settings using cards! Run solo adventures with cards!
In any case, I'm psyched for this. Just hearing about this book made me want to include the deck in an upcoming game, as it's a classic item that I've never used as a DM, despite wanting to have classic D&Disms in my games, which have plenty of newbies in them, as I like them to experience the distinct D&D flavor of fantasy.

Is anyone else excited about this book?
 
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4E's Madness at Gardmore Abbey was an adventure focused on the Deck. In it the cards of the Deck had been scattered. Gaining the normal benefit of a card wasn't possible without drawing it from the complete Deck, but individual cards were magic items with unique abilities separate from what they did as part of the Deck. I imagine the individual cards as magic items might be a feature included.
 



4E's Madness at Gardmore Abbey was an adventure focused on the Deck. In it the cards of the Deck had been scattered. Gaining the normal benefit of a card wasn't possible without drawing it from the complete Deck, but individual cards were magic items with unique abilities separate from what they did as part of the Deck. I imagine the individual cards as magic items might be a feature included.
That feels like a location we're extremely likely to revisit in this book, then.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
4E's Madness at Gardmore Abbey was an adventure focused on the Deck. In it the cards of the Deck had been scattered. Gaining the normal benefit of a card wasn't possible without drawing it from the complete Deck, but individual cards were magic items with unique abilities separate from what they did as part of the Deck. I imagine the individual cards as magic items might be a feature included.
That sounds really interesting. I think I'd like to see a 5e version.
 







I wonder if they’ll expand the deck? Also I’d love a lavish tarot style deck as a prop.
Having another tier of even rarer cards would be a great way to flesh out the book and, I'm sure just coincidentally, make all the third party Deck of Many Things decks obsolete until they catch up.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I wonder if they’ll expand the deck? Also I’d love a lavish tarot style deck as a prop.
Having another tier of even rarer cards would be a great way to flesh out the book and, I'm sure just coincidentally, make all the third party Deck of Many Things decks obsolete until they catch up.
Honestly, I doubt it, since giving all 22 existing cards considerstion would push the book past the page count of most recent D&D publications.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Honestly, I doubt it, since giving all 22 existing cards considerstion would push the book past the page count of most recent D&D publications.
You don't think they could handle it all in a 64 page hardcover? :cool:

But honestly, Madness at Gardmore Abbey was such an awesome adventure I'll be sad if they don't riff on it somehow. And I'm both sure I'm not alone in that opinion and sure that WotC knows that.
 

Honestly, I doubt it, since giving all 22 existing cards considerstion would push the book past the page count of most recent D&D publications.
The existing Deck of Many Things doesn't even take up a page in the DMG, as I recall. Adding a few more cards on wouldn't be a crisis -- as new cards, they wouldn't have to get monsters and spells, etc. to go with them necessarily.
 



Alby87

Explorer
Kingmaker for Pathfinder have praised kingdom management rules. I hope this book will have rules for managing kingdoms too.
Having it printed on this book will permit to not print them on the new DMG, both saving spaces and have a good book to sell both to 5e and oneD&D masters. It's a win win for them!
 

pnewman

Adventurer
What about pet related content? The Deck might still let you draw a warrior companion, so if they included stat-blocks for all kinds of currently unstated animals then you could just stat it out with that template and a few levels form the Warrior Sidekick class. Why should a player have to reskin something else to get that ocelot or alpaca or platypus pet they want when WOTC can make money by selling them the official ocelot stats?
 

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