Today we’re looking at one of those single use props that are completely worth buying. As I’ve always said, each person determines their own level of investment and involvement in purchasing gaming products. If you’re happy rolling in the lid of a shoe box and writing the various card names on index cards – DO THAT. Otherwise, let’s take a look at this Tarot style Deck of Many Things by VyseriArt from Etsy.
So I hope I did not troll you too hard with the article photo. These cards come in a very simple white cardboard sleeve.
But with $8 at a hobby store, I managed to piece this together from random stuff around my apartment and some thought.
You can pick out a small chest from the hobby store and stain it with coffee, tea, beets, Kool Aid, or any of the billions of things you can find online to stain wood with. When you’re done, wipe on some coconut oil or beeswax. Simple, easy, this doesn’t have to last forever, right?
Inside I used some foam, cut out the size of the deck, wrapped the whole thing in some old fleece I had. It makes a very striking figure!
Holy Pelor. These guys look fantastic. On the “back” of the card is the image of a dragon in negative space spitting a fire ball – in the common colors of the card: Red and Gold.
The faces of each card (23 in total) have similar themed art – all are kept minimalist and very well done, keeping to one of five similar, yet distinct, styles.
The first style, the Sun card – has a “splash background” of red, with a sharp, dark outline to the sun, using negative space for the actual body the sun.
Secondly – The Jester uses pure black to show a figure relief, highlighted with the striking red color for additional, often unneeded, details – artistically chosen to draw the eye to details within the spirit of the card. However I do question the mouth placement, as it seems the jester’s top lip is much higher.
Fates, on the other hand, uses the crimson color to much greater effect – “My Cup Runneth Over.” I enjoy just how well the red bleeds from the details of the card to the edges/frame of the card.
The Moon steps away from the rest of the cards, swapping the black for a cool silver-white color, making this the second most unique color composition of the deck, perhaps reflecting the insane power of the Moon card.
And lastly… Void – extreme blackness… helped only slightly by photo editing.
In addition to the traditional 22 cards that come in the deck, two more handy companions accompany each Deck of Many Things: a “reference” card, and a blank card for… something… I appreciate having a blank card with the back-art to accompany the deck, though I’m unsure why it’s such a comfort.
I have to admit, I’d prefer that the reference sheet have exact rules for 5e D&D (with the potential to buy other rules specific reference sheets, perhaps) – but it is appreciated none-the-less.
These cards are Tarot-style. Very large and heavy. Not your traditional playing card style/size.
Even though the cards are very large, having only 24 of them total, keeps the deck quite slim and easy to store.
I will say, my deck arrived in the 94% humidity of southern Mississippi a little warped. I do not, at all, blame the cards themselves.
Just be sure you keep these guys nice and flat, stored in a moisture-safe case, and you’ll not have any issues – of course, like all cards, bending them/folding them will ruin them. Strange I have to confirm that.
So I introduced my party of seven level 9-10 characters to a deck of many things. The very first card, much to my dismay was a Moon card – granting them a single wish. Since then, it’s been nothing but good stuff for them! Three cards in and we have a new Genasi knight, no more petrified characters, and a Giant-Killer shortsword named “Ankle Biter.”
But even when it’s not in use, when they look over and see the chest sitting there, the effect is never lost. Having the actual cards and allowing them to see the big heavy card and striking art makes all the difference in my opinion. For the price of a Pizza, this deck takes one of the most fantastical magic items in Dungeons and Dragons to a completely new level.
I don’t always advocate rolling, but when I do… be sure you have to Drop the Die.
Review by JB Little, Follow me on twitter for more “useful” information.