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New Deck of Many Things lets fate create your DnD adventure

Wizards of the Coast’s new Deck of Many Things can be used like a real tarot deck to randomly generate DnD encounters and campaigns on the fly.

DnD Deck of Many Things adventure spread - Wizards of the Coast art of the Dragon and Priest cards from the Deck of Many Things

In the Book of Many Things, Wizards of the Coast has found new ways to use the infamous DnD Deck of Many Things – both in and out of your game. One of its new features is the ability to generate adventures, Wizards revealed in a press event on October 12. This is done by drawing cards and laying them in a tarot-reading-style spread.

Lead designer Jason Tondro calls this “the adventure spread”. “We wanted to make sure the cards [in the Deck of Many Things] had a use for the DM and the players without any mechanical stuff”, he says. In-game, the Deck of Many Things is an iconic magic item in its own right, and the ‘Deck of Many More Things’ will give it a new spin when it releases alongside the Book of Many Things on November 14.

When characters draw a card from the deck, it triggers a major magical effect. When a Dungeon Master draws from the deck, however, they can use the cards as a DnD encounter builder – they simply use the Book of Many Things and the included card reference guide to interpret their results.

DnD Deck of Many Things set (image by Wizards of the Coast)

According to Tondro, the first card in the adventure spread represents where the party is before their adventure starts. The second card pulled decides the inciting event, and the third card details their journey.

Card four represents the entrance to the dungeon, and the next cards drawn determine the challenges the party faces. DMs can choose how many ‘challenge’ cards they draw here, with Tondro recommending one to three pulls depending on how long you’d like the adventure to last.

After the challenges comes the treasure card. And the final card determines the ‘guardian’ that’ll stand between the party and their grand prize.

The adventure spread offers a zero-prep way to run DnD one shots, and game designer Makenzie De Armas says she’s already run successful games with the new system. Describing her experiments at Gen Con, De Armas says “I was able to run an amazing session generated purely on the fly”.

Tondro describes the Book of Many Things as a “toy box book” that offers a host of new ways to use the deck it accompanies. It includes new DnD magic items, DnD monsters, traps, puzzles, and character options inspired by the Deck. You can figure out your DnD star sign with the deck, and its 44 new cards aim to fix many of the Deck of Many Things’ problems from past eras of D&D.

The Book of Many Things is the final book in the DnD release schedule for 2023. We’ve read every new title this year – check out our DnD Planescape 5e review for our thoughts on Wizards’ latest work.