Update: The Kickstarter is live and can be found here.
The Deck of Many is a series of D&D 5th Edition reference cards for Monsters, NPCs, Conditions and Weapons.
A few weeks ago I was approached by the creators of the Deck of Many and was asked if I was interested in checking out their product. In fact, what I was going to receive were prototypes.
The first thing that impressed me the moment I took a look at the cards was their size. They have the size of tarot cards. I’ve always prefered cards this size because they fit better in my hand and can contain more information. A downside to that is that you will definitely need special sleeves. I would never use them without sleeves, especially since some of them would be handled by other people. However, this was taken into consideration and tarot card sized sleeves are an add-on in the Kickstarter.
The anatomy of the cards is pretty straightforward. Condition and weapon cards are very simple, since there aren’t many rules to cover. The weapons card will mostly be useful to new players. Players with even a tiny bit of experience know their weapons like the back of their hands.
Conditions, however is another thing. These ones are going to be very handy, for both the DM and the players. The DM can just hand the condition card to the player so they don’t forget about it during their turn. Also, an interesting decision was made for the condition cards. They are flip cards, meaning each side has a different condition printed on it, so that each deck has multiple copies of each condition.
Monster and NPC cards have more information on them. One side contains the monster’s or NPC’s artwork, while the other contains pretty much the Monster Manual’s stat block. While for most of the monsters one card is enough, for the really awesome ones that have a lot of different actions, more than one is necessary. For example, the Tarrasque needs two cards.
What I liked a lot in the monster and NPC cards are some small icons that are used to show where each monster or NPC is expected to be found. However, I hope there’s going to be a note with the meaning of each icon because I couldn’t figure out some of them.
Also, one thing to keep in mind is that these cards are released under the Open Gaming License. This means that some iconic D&D monsters can’t be included in the Deck of Many Monsters. But, while the Mind Flayer may be missing, the infamous Behind Flayer takes its place. Yes, I’m serious. It’s a parody monster that’s going to be included in the deck.
The artwork of the cards is really nice. It takes a more cartoonish approach which is refreshing and fun. If you enjoy the game Munchkin, then you will probably appreciate the art style. Moreover, based on the stretch goals, there will be some guest artists, so there are probably going to be some cards with a different art style, like the Tarrasque for example.
As for the quality of the cards, I believe it’s going to be really good. To be honest, with the quality the prototypes have, I could see them being the finished product. However, the quality of the cards people will receive from the Kickstarter is going to be much better.
The main stretch goals are extra cards for the decks. However, there are also extra artists and a stretch goal for an actual Deck of Many Things. There are also some useful add-ons, such as deck boxes and sleeves, as I mentioned above.
Overall, this Kickstarter looks good to me. It offers a set of useful accessories that, while not necessary, could make DMing easier. I’m seriously thinking about backing it, mostly for the Monster and NPC cards but also for the chance of getting a Deck of Many Things.
The Kickstarter is going to launch on the 5th of September. I will add a link to it in this post when it’s live.