The Deck of Many Things is a magical item with a wide range of effects, but its uses are about to grow in the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons book, the DnD Book of Many Things. One of the new ways you can use the deck is to determine your DnD character’s star sign. Astrology is officially coming to fifth edition, and it determines everything from your character’s fate to their favorite color.
The reveal comes from a Wizards of the Coast press event Wargamer attended on October 12. Here, lead designer Jason Tondro and Makenzie De Armas unveiled details about the next DnD book in the DnD release schedule.
Tondro says The Book of Many Things is a reference book for all kinds of players, with “every kind of D&D content out there” tucked away inside. This includes new 5e feats and DnD backgrounds, a slew of new DnD monsters, adventure locations, advice on how to be a DM, puzzles, traps, and over 50 new 5e magic items. As Tondro says: “It’s a book of many things”.
All these tidbits are tied together by The Deck of Many Things, which has been expanded for a new release. Part of creating a new deck was giving it a new origin story. “We wanted to not only pay homage to the deck’s many iterations and origins, but we wanted to create a new origin specifically for fifth edition”, says De Armas.
According to the new mythology, the cards in the deck began life as constellations in the sky (AKA ‘the sky of many things’). Istus, the DnD god of fate, drew these down and turned them into cards with life-changing magical effects. Since each card is also a cluster of stars somewhere in the Astral Plane, it can also be a star sign.
The Book of Many Things features 12 star signs, each roughly correlating to a real-world month (yes, you can find your own star sign too). Previous editions of the Deck of Many Things featured 13 to 22 unique cards, and The Book of Many Things introduces 44 more cards, so not every card has a star sign. Tondro and De Armas alluded to the Rogue and Talons, but the full list of star signs hasn’t been confirmed.
What we do know is the effect a star sign has on your character. When they were born won’t determine their DnD stats, but it’ll offer several roleplay-focused effects. “You get a prophecy that comes along with [your star sign]”, Tondro says, “as well as favorite animals, a favorite color, and all the things that go along with astrology”. Each sign also apparently has a magical effect with a narrative impact.
Apart from star signs, The Book of Many Things doesn’t offer too many new character options. There’s no new content for DnD classes and DnD races, and only two new backgrounds appear. These are the Ruined and the Rewarded, which represent how drastically The Deck of Many Things can change a life – for good or ill.
The Book of Many Things and the new Deck of Many Things are set to release on November 14. If you want to learn more, here’s how DnD plans to fix the Deck of Many Things’ problems, as well as how the Deck of Many Things adventure spread works. And be check out our thoughts on the latest D&D book in our DnD Planescape 5e review.