Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Fortune Cards

I'm going to come at this from a different angle than most of the blogs so far. One of the places we play is at a game store. The owner makes his living running his store. He emailed me a few weeks back and asked my opinion of these cards. I hadn't heard of them and I am always a sucker for add ons like this. I told him I find them interesting. So for his sake, the friendly neighbor gaming store, I hope they sell a ton.

Am I surprised that WotC went to these kind of cards? Yes, in timing only. I figured they would hitch that wagon onto D&D a long time ago. When gaming with inexperienced gamers, it's sometimes good to have a tangible prop for them to use.

I know Pazio has their Plot Twist cards and the several other decks they have developed and I think they're great. My favorite were the Whimsy Cards. Very simple cards that players could influence the way the game unfolded. So Fortune Cards are not new. Not by a long shot. I plan on getting a couple booster packs to check them out and go from there.


  1. Whimsy Cards were very important in a game I ran, oh, back in the early '90's, and we loved 'em. However, they weren't collectible nor could the players 'stack their own decks'. I see that as a significant difference, and is also why I am avoiding the new game with the GW name attached to it.

    I hope it works for you and your Players. :D

  2. Yeah, I think it's the collectible nature of the things that's freaking people out.

    I still don't know what to think about it all. I don't really have a horse in this race, so to speak, but on the other hand I'd hate to see the flagship product of our hobby changed into something bearing little resemblance to the rest of the games out there.

  3. How did I miss this non-doom-crying post before? :)

    Anything that keeps our FLGS afloat the better. History will decide how long it will last. By then, we;ll be playing the game via iphone apps alone!

    My game already has fortune cards in them. They're called the Deck of Many Things! :)


  4. Having little knowledge of 4e it's probably not fair for me to make a judgment, but that's never stopped me before. Personally, I think the idea is fairly ridiculous and cheesy and let's face it, by throwing the word" collectible" on them, they're simply producing these in the hopes that players will buy them up. I can't hold that against them as they are a business and need to make money to survive, but I think using these will eventually lead down a dark path where player skill becomes less important than simply having enough money to have some fortune cards to bail you out of a situation. It reminds me of Magic the gathering, a game I used to love back in its heyday. I quickly soured on that game for the same reason, however, because the game was less about skill as a player and more about having enough money to acquire powerful cards to make strong decks and win. Again, to me it is a slippery slope introducing these to a rpg dependent upon imagination.

  5. At least these just look like more narrow versions of the RPGA/Organized Play cards from the past, which I don't mind. The whole Gamma World "Build your power deck" thing I think was going too far down the Dragon Storm route.

    As a game aid, and an optional one at that, and one that can be used for Organized Play to get income into a store, I find this to be a neat product. I don't expect to be investing into it anytime soon, but it's not the death of D&D as other people want to make it out to be.

  6. I'd also flinch at the word 'collectible', but that doesn't necessarily lessen the value. The argument that something tangible can help new players is a good one. A mechanism may be suited to cards or not, and that's really the measure.

    Sometimes you just don't know how things will work till you try them, though even then different circumstances may bring different results. That said, I dislike the view that we have to buy and try. If we all bought one of a product the firm might break even, but who's to say a business model couldn't be built around disappointment coming too late?

    I can be as objective as anyone here given the ones I'm pushing are as much yours as they are mine, and I'm still not sure what portion of the idea is a joke.

  7. These are just the RPGA Rewards cards (aka Living Greyhawk cards) in for-sale form. They just represent situational dice bumps. Like you can get a card that lets you reroll a natural 1, or get a +X to hit on one attack when you have X amount of enemies adjacent.

    A manufactured outrage at best.

  8. @pseckler13:
    'manufactured outrage'(get the joke :-)). Excellent choice of words. It'd be nice if instead of stuff like this, WOTC would be making with the cool campaign worlds, adventures, etc... But, you go with what you know. Unnecessary(and uninventive) cruft, that does remind me about of the TSR days a bit, though... My favorite example is also card-derived; the Adventure Design DM Deck! Even more non-essential than the 'Fortune' Cards!

  9. I'm certainly not outraged or upset by this. If it helps my FLGS I'm all for it.

    I really would rather see them do something like a campaign guide for the Magic setting, maybe find a way to use magic cards (of any edition) in your D&D game.