Review of Fortune Cards

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After trying out the new Fortune Cards at D&D: Encounters and mulling it over for a night, here is a review of what I think of them.

Overview:  The description of the Fortune cards is as follows: "Fortune takes many forms. The hand of fate, destiny, divine intervention, or even just plain luck—adventurers attribute their good (or bad) fortune to such agents. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Fortune Cards™ represent these forces acting on your character and his or her allies. Try using these cards in your DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® roleplaying game. May fortune favor you!" (taken from www.wizards.com/dnd/files/FortuneCardRul...)  Each player brings their own deck, and the deck needs to contain any multiple of 10 cards.  There are three types of cards: Attack, Defense, and Tactics.  There needs to be at least three of each type of card in a 10-card deck, 6 of each in a 20-card deck, and so on.


At the start of an encounter, each player shuffles their deck and draws one card.  You are only allowed one card in your hand.  At the start of the turn, the player can discard their card to draw a new one, draw a new card if there is not one in your hand, or hold on to the current card.  One card can be played per round, and the cards say when they can be played (i.e. while attacking, when hit, etc.).  The card requires no action to be played.


Each pack comes with nine cards, one rare, two uncommon, five common, and one rule card.  Here are the cards I currently have (I did one or two trades):


Reckless Violence (Common, Attack): Play when you make an attack on your turn.  You take a -2 penalty to the attack rolls and gain a +4 bonus to the damage rolls of that attack. You grant combat advantage until the start of your next turn.


Trained Advance (Common, Tactic): Play when an ally within 5 squares of you takes a move action to shift.  You shift one square as a free action.


Whoops! (Common, Defense): Play when an attack knocks you prone. One creature adjacent to you also falls prone.


Live and Let Live (Common, Defense): Play at the end of your turn if you did not make an attack on that turn. You gain a +4 to all defenses until the start of your next turn.


Might Makes Right (Uncommon, Tactic): Play when you make an Intimidate or Diplomacy check.  You gain a bonus to the check equal to the number of unbloodied allies adjacent to you.


Exposed Target (Uncommon, Attack): You gain a +2 bonus to the attack roll against any target of that attack that does not have cover.


Skulking Strike (Uncommon, Attack): Play when you attack a target while hidden.  If the attack hits, you also slide the target 1 square.  After the attack, you can make a Stealth check to remain hidden.


Balance of Fate (Rare, Defense): Play either when you are bloodied by an attack or when you are hit by an attack while bloodied.  You gain a Stroke of Luck, which you can use at any time before the end of the encounter.  (Use a Stroke of Luck to reroll any one attack roll, saving throw, or skill check you make. You can only have one Stroke of Luck at a time, and you cannot use it to affect the event that granted it to you.)


The character I play is Nachpikin, an elf ranger who uses ranged attacks.


I should note before I get into my review that the official D&D site (other than the one linked above), found atwww.DungeonsandDragons.com/fortunecards, is not currently up.  There may be added rules on this site; however I doubt if too much would change given that they have already put rule cards in the booster packs.


Review:  My first reaction, I admit, was "what is this madness!  Keep trading cards out of D&D!"  Back in high school, I gave up trading cards, having played Yu-Gi-Oh! and before that, Pokémon.  I found it to be much too expensive to keep playing, and of course the best cards are almost always the rare ones, meaning that it becomes more a battle of who can buy more rather than skill.  Yes, skill is involved, but those with the money to buy more cards do get quite an advantage.  One reason I enjoy D&D because the only thing one really needs to buy is a set of dice (and even that could be avoided if people shared dice or used random number generators).  Once I got over my initial frustration over the whole trading card idea, I decided to give them a fair shot and see how it went.  Since it's a new addition to D&D, I'll start with the criticism.  This isn't just muttering; I am pointing out ways to make it better.


My first issue with these cards occurred on my first turn.  I used my move action to climb up to the roof so that I could used my ranged attacks more effectively without taking damage, but I only made it halfway up so instead of risking falling while attacking, I used my standard action to keep climbing.  The card I had was Live and Let Live, so I decided to play it for the heck of it.  I really didn't need it as I had cover and I was a long way away from any enemies, but I figured "why not?".  Instant +4 to all my defenses until my next turn, on top of the cover, no action taken.  Now wait a minute.  Partial cover, i.e. a bush or something in the way, only gives an attacker a -2 penalty.  I could be standing on top of the roof waving my hands around and still have a +4 to all defenses?  Za?


Our group did not use the cards too often, but they proved to be quite effective whenever they were used.  The only example I specifically remember is a card that automatically granted combat advantage even if the target is not flanked.  The group next to us reported that at least one person used every one of his eight cards and he said that they greatly increased his abilities and his team swept through the enemies.  Granted, this encounter was fairly easy, but they way it sounded was that the cards made them overpowered.


So, issue #1 with these cards: The fact that they are usable without any sort of action.  My suggestion: At the very least I feel that they should be a minor action, if not a standard.  Granted, that would be more like the character using the power rather than "good fortune", so it wouldn't really be realistic.


Issue #2:  You can theoretically use one every turn.  WHAT.  Now, good fortune may shine on characters occasionally, but that's being more than just a bit ridiculous.  I could see a couple of times per encounter, but the possibility of every turn?  That's game-changing to an insane degree, basically turning a good chunk of the game into D&D: TCG.  I assume the discard pile gets put back into the deck after every encounter (the rules don't explicitly say), so essentially the character gets a bunch of encounter powers that fortune grants them.  My suggestion: Once or twice per encounter.


Issue #3:  This is about fortunes, right?  So why is every fortune being beneficial to the character in some way?  Granted, some have downsides, and if there were bad fortunes they would never be used in a deck, but it does not seem realistic.  D&D is supposed to be a somewhat realistic role-plying game (more on that later).  About the only way that I see good and bad fortune balancing out is if players were forced to play cards and there was a certain ratio of good to bad.  But then it REALLY becomes a TCG.  I don't see any good way out of this other than to not use them.


Issue #4:  Yeah, I'm gonna bring up the whole TCG thing.  First of all, decks are supposed to be multiples of 10.  Cards come in packs of 8*.  Hot dog vs hot dog bun, anyone?  Secondly, compare my rares and uncommons to my commons.  There is a clear advantage to having rares and uncommons in a deck.  Many common cards have a downside to them (such as granting combat advantage) or are fairly trivial.  Yeah, there's a couple of decent ones in there, but compare to my uncommons.  NONE of then has a downside.  And then there's my Rare.  Once bloodied (which is almost a guarantee for most players engaging in combat), the player gets a "Stroke of Luck", which is essentially a second Elven Accuracy, but can be used on a wider variety of things.  Not only that, but the "Stroke of Luck" can be kept through the entire encounter while the player can keep drawing cards.  Seems a bit broken to me.  I've also been looking at other comments on-line, and the general consensus seems to be the same: The better the card, the rarer it is.  Brilliant marketing strategy, but then those willing to spend money get better cards than those of us who are struggling.  There's no skill in that.  On top of that, players who spend more money can better suit their decks to their characters, meaning that fortune happens to favor their specific character moreso than the person who has less cards.  My suggestion: Get rid of the whole rarity scale and balance them out.


*On a side note, is it just me or are booster packs getting smaller as they get more expensive?  When I played Pokémon, there were 11 cards per pack.  Yu-Gi-Oh! had 9 cards per pack.  Now this has 8.


Issue #5:  Probably the thing I have heard the most is "well, just don't use them".  Two things.  One, I've been wanting to write more reviews of things.  I reviewed Pokémon HGSS a while ago, but really haven't done much aside from that.  This was a controversial move by Wizards and our head DM was asking for opinions, so I figured I'd throw in my two cents worth (note that two cents won't even buy me a common).  Two, it looks like they will be allowed by Encounters.  While I am not obligated to use them and I have banned them from my upcoming campaign, I got the sense that they would probably be sticking around for Encounters.  Those that are using them will be able to be much more of a dominating force while Nachpikin just sits on a roof and watches, shooting off the occasional arrow as his companions are left to wonder why he does not have the amazing fortune that they have been granted.  My suggestion: Other than hoping that there will be a group at Encounters that doesn't use them, I guess either I put up with it or I don't go.  While I do play D&D at Doane, it is nice to play with my Lincoln friends as well.


Issue #6:  This isn't a personal complaint of mine, but one that I have heard several times, so I figure it should be mentioned in a review.  The only cards with artwork are the rares and Rule cards.  Dungeons and Dragons, as well as Wizards in general, does have a bit of a reputation for having fantastic artwork, so I can see where people are disappointed. Suggestion:  Put artwork on cards.


Issue #7:  This is the biggest issue I have overall.  It was nagging at the back of my brain during the entire encounter, and it wasn't until late last night when I figured out what I disliked about it the most.  Dungeons and Dragons, at least the way I see it, is supposed to be a somewhat realistic dice-based role-playing game.  In Encounters, it is somewhat easy to forget this (and kudos to our DM for encouraging more role-playing and consistency).  Players have certain skills that are best suited to their character's attributes and personality, and they have to strategically use these skills in order to win.  The way these fortune cards are used just do not seem to fit in with the feel of the game.  Yes, good fortune may influence the way a battle goes (a.k.a. a merciful DM).  One example of this are the rewards for earning Renown Points (something that I don't quite understand how they are earned, but whatever).  Those rewards must be earned, not bought, so I find that much more acceptable.  Not only that, but only one can be used per encounter, and while helpful, I don't think they're nearly as powerful as some of these cards.  As mentioned before, the fact that a character can have good, if not excellent, fortune on theoretically every turn is just completely unrealistic.  And when I say "every turn", I mean EACH CHARACTER could have good fortune on each turn.  What a lucky group.  Not only that, but the player (who should be role-playing) is deciding "do I keep this fortune or do I disregard it and instantly get another?"  Yes, it is possible to roleplay some of these fortunes, but many of them I find quite difficult to even understand how they could be roleplayed.  Take for example the rare card that Laura received.  You roll a dice, and if you roll a 1-9 you're immobilized, while if you roll a 10-20 you get a +4 to your speed.  So Nachpikin (who, I should note, has nothing magical) suddenly freezes up or gets super-fast speeds on a whim?  I don't think any reasonable DM (the former controllers of fortune) would do anything quite that dramatic.  On top of that, because the decks are assembled by the player, a player can assemble decks suited specifically to their character, as noted above.  I feel that this undermines the skills that each character has learned and must use on their own.  Suggestion:  The DM controls the cards and uses them sparingly, if at all.


The Good News:  That being said, there are some good things.  The fact that there are some cards based on skill challenges is nice, and means it's not all about combat.  They can only be used in encounters, so during a campaign the character still must rely on their own skills.  It does help characters that are playing at Encounters events who are more skilled outside of fighting, such as thieves or bards, actually participate more.  It also does change up the battles a bit.  Nachpikin suddenly is capable of a little more than just raining shafty death from above (and by death, I mean DOUBLE CRIT TWIN STRIKE!  WOO!).


Overall, I dislike this addition to D&D and I hope it does not stick around, but I do see ways that Fortunes could be improved.  Most notably, I like the idea that the DM controls the cards and uses them sparingly.  I am curious as to the opinions of others.  I have not relegated my cards to the trash heap yet, but I'm doubtful if I would ever allow them in one of my campaigns as I prefer encounters to involve skills of the character rather than a whole lot of good fortune.


Further references:


Here is another review of these cards:  wgamingresource.proboards.com/index.cgi?...


Also, an advertisement from Wizards:


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The new Wizards Play Network in-store program pits tactically-minded players against a super challenging adventure where the difference between victory and defeat is dependent upon your game knowledge, ability to adapt, and a little bit of luck. You’ll pit your wits against some of the most challenging encounters you’ve ever played. Each adventure plays in just a few hours, but for many players, they’ll need to make more than one run at it in pursuit of victory. A season lasts 2 months, and stores can schedule their sessions at any time during the season.


Bring extra character sheets. Bring Fortune Cards. You’ll need them.


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Thanks for your review. I too will not be allowing these in my campaigns and seeking play opportunities that don't involve these cards (or at least try to come to gentlemen's agreements to not use them). 
The two encounters groups at my store used a few preview packs of Fortune Cards for last night's encounters. I don't think anyone at either table had such luck where they used a card every turn. So they didn't have a huge effect on the game.

My two cents on them include one of your points Stretch,  the cost favors players with more disposable income (which is good from a company perspective, but not good from a game play balance perspective, which is odd since balance is one of the main tenets of 4e).

My second issue is with encounter time. Adding fortune cards adds one more option for players to choose from when determining what they will do on their turn (although some cards are reactionary and out of turn) and I think everyone here has a good understanding that encounter length is a big problem with 4e. I find it strange that there was a recent retrofit (with MM3 and MV) to make encounters flow faster and now they are adding an option that will slow them down (eve if it's just for a few seconds more). Well, not that strange since Fortunate Cards are clearly (to me) a way to push D&D into wotc's Magic business model.
Would you be willing to provide the card numbers? I'm trying to compile a "spoiler" of sorts, which is a fancy way of me saying I'll make my own cards.

I've been thinking I would like to use them in a couple of possible ways:

Associate cards with the various deities - if the character does something that pleases the god they get a card as a reward.

Trade in 20's - if the character rolls a nat 20, they can choose to ignore it and get a card instead.  Could be useful to "save" 20s rolled on minons and get some type of effect later.
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Each pack comes with nine cards, one rare, two uncommon, five common…


And I jsut stopped caring about this product. Random packagaing for miniatures is one thing, but random packaging for something that actually imapcts the play of the game is something else entirely. If Fortune Cards had a face I would punch it.
Advice for DMs: When you are ad lib or improve DMing don't self-edit yourself. Some of the most fun you'll ever have is by just going with whatever crazy thing crosses your mind based on what your players are doing. Advice for Players: When your DM is ad libbing there are bound to be plot holes and inconsistencies that crop up. You'll all have a lot more fun if you just roll with it instead of nitpicking the details.
Previous Advice
Advice for DMs: Always dangle a lot of plot hooks in front of you players. Anything they do not bite you can bring back and bite them later. When considering a new house rule ask yourself the question "Will this make the game more fun?" Unless the answer is a resounding yes don't do it. Advice for Players: Always tell the DM not just what you want to do but also what you are hoping to accomplish. No matter how logical the result is it will never happen if it simply never occurred to the DM. "That's what my character would do" is not a valid excuse for being a disruptive ass at the table. Your right to have fun only extends to the point where it impedes the ability of others to do likewise.
Basically what I'm thinking from looking at the rules: get exactly the card you want 40% of the time.  Your rogue needs CA?  You have it on 4/10 rounds automatically!  Your barbarian needs +attack?  You have +2 to attacks 4/10 rounds automatically!  All at no cost to your character: just the low low cost of however many booster packs it takes to find 4 of the rare/uncommon card you want 4 of.

These are banned at my table.  Further, if someone shows up to a game (where I'm not DMing) with these, and the DM is like "sure, use those" I'll be all like "Wanna play L5R?" to the guys I know would rather do that, and scuttle the game out of spite.

Yeah, I'm that guy.
I appreciate the review. Good to read pros and cons. I'm pretty excited about the cards and look forward to using them in our delves. We will pretty much use them as instructed. Good stuff.
good review, it just reinforces the fact i would never allow these in a game nor would i play in a game that uses them. being able to buy special powers is reprehensible to me and adds a level of crass commercialism to the game that i will do my best to avoid. we dont get essentials hybrid rules, we get trading card packs. sad
If wotc would only playtest these products before launching them, maybe they'd get some decent feedback.

If you want to sell me cards I'd actually use, there are 4 decks I would consider

1. Deck of Many Things
2. Critical Hits
3. Critical Misses
4. Random Encounters (Heroic, Paragon, Epic Tiers)
   - Perhaps theme these for various locations too
We did a random-ish distribution of these cards before Encounters.  I ended up with "Stroke of Luck."

What... is this card?  It has no rarity.  It seems to need some way to enter play.  The back of the card is different than the rest of the cards. 
Yup. I am not going to touch these with a ten foot pole, or allow them in any games I ever run.
All I got is:
"Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind."

~ David G. Allen

Only 4/10 are ever useful? That assumes that you have absolutely no use for any card in either of the other categories. They don't all have to give attack benefits to be helpful.

As far as the "power through wealth" concern goes: while this won't work in organized play, a game group could fairly easily maintain a single common deck: everyone puts their favorite 10 in, those all get shuffled together, and everyone draws from it. That also makes the events a little less predictable. (You'd need to note down who put what in each time, obviously, but that's hardly a major effort.)

I still don't like the collectible-rarity element or the fact that organized play will assume their use, but neither do I see them as The End Of Gaming As We Know It (tm).
Scott: Balance of Fate 27/80, Skulking Strike 21/80, Exposed Target 3/80, Might Makes Right 64/80, Live and Let Live 37/80, Whoops! 49/80, Trained Advance 76/80, Reckless Violence 19/80

Sigfile: Stroke of Luck is a different Rule Card.  If you look at my Balance of Fate description, it grants the player one "Stroke of Luck", which is basically a reroll on a skill check, attack roll, or saving throw.

Drorain: I think the point of last night was to playtest them.  Unfortunately, I don't forsee them changing it. 
Only 4/10 are ever useful?

I think they were just saying that those are the odds of pulling a specific card in your deck.

Sigfile: Stroke of Luck is a different Rule Card.  If you look at my Balance of Fate description, it grants the player one "Stroke of Luck", which is basically a reroll on a skill check, attack roll, or saving throw.

That other review you linked to has some comments about this:

The Ugly: I was very unimpressed by the randomly distributed Rule card I got in my pack. It's called Stroke of Luck and goes on to describe what a Stroke of Luck is and how you use them. None of my cards said Stroke of Luck on them and this card actually confused me as it looked different from the rest of my cards. It wasn't until another player pointed out that he got a different card that explained how to use these new cards we had that I figured out that this was a randomly distributed rule card. Then it dawned on me that with just my pack I had no idea how to use these cards... I didn't even have the rules to use them. Now thankfully another player did get a rules card that told us all how to use our new cards, but with out that I may have been standing there with 8 cards of uselessness.

"Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind."

~ David G. Allen

A game group could fairly easily maintain a single common deck: everyone puts their favorite 10 in, those all get shuffled together, and everyone draws from it.


At that point, you've paid at least $5 or so for something that could have been covered by a, say, 3x5  chart, and a d10 roll.
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Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)

We got a surprise at our FLGS, today.  Free Fortune Cards for the D&D Encounters crowd.

The booster packs are 8 cards for 4 bucks.  You get 1 rare, 2 uncommon, 5 common.  The Rares have a color illo, the commons & uncommons a generic sort of icon.  Plus, there's an insert, a card with advertising on one side, and a semi-useful extra on the other (we got an initiative tracker and a condition tracker).  One of the packs did have an adverising insert with the rules to use the cards on it.  They're a little scary.

No info on how to build a deck, but:

You shuffle your deck and draw a card at the start of the encounter.  Using a card doesn't require an action.  You discard a card after using it.

Each round you can choose to retain your current card, discard & draw a new one, or use the card (actully, the card says when you can use it, many are 'start of your turn,' meaning you probably can't use it immediately upon drawing it... probably).  Anyway, depending on exactly how you read it, you might be able to use a card every round, or about every other round.  There are three kinds of cards:  Attack, tactic, and defense - fairly self-explanatory.  Numbering indicates there are 80 cards.

The common cards are about on par with low-level utilities.  In fact, some of them were almost exactly existing utilities.  For instance, 'Not in the Face!' is almost exactly like the Fighter Encounter Utility 'No Opening.'

Uncommons are a little better.  Rares are kick-ass, but a little funky.

Anyway, I have two boosters in front of me, here are the cards, judge for yourself:

4  Fair Fight;  U; A; Play at the start of your turn.;  Until the end of this turn, you gain a +2 bonus to the attack rolls of at-will attack powers.

7.  Grim Determination; R; A; Play at the start of your turn.; You gain a bonus to your first attack roll this turn equal to the umber of bloodied allies within 5 squares of you.

16.  Phantom Ally; C; A; Play at the start of your turn.; Durring this turn you gain combat advantage against the targets of your at-will powers.

18.  Not in the Face!; U; D; Play when an enemy attacks you with combat advantage.; You do not grant combat advantage for that attack.

22.  Sucker Punch; R; A; Play when you deal damage to an enemy granting you combat advantage; That enemy takes 1d6 extra damage.  On a roll of 6, you also take 6 damage.

28.  Beat Feet;  C; D; Play at the start of your turn.;  Durring this turn, you can take a move action to move up to your speed + 2.  You cannot end this movement adjacent to an enemy.

36.  Inner Strength; C; D; Play either when you spend a healing surge or when you take the total defense action.; You make a saving throw.

57.  Get A Grip; C; T; Play when you or an ally adjacent to you fails a saving throw.; That character re-rolls the saving throw.

62.  Look at Me; U; T; Play at the start of your turn.;  Until the start of your next turnenemies that are adjacent to you grant combat advantage to your allies, and you grant combat advantage to enemies that are adjacent to you.

67.  Push Through the Crowd; C; T; Play at the start of your turn.; Until the end of this turn, you can moe through enemies' spaces.  Enemies that make opportunity attacks against you on this turn gain combat advantage for those attacks.

69.  Reinforcement; U; T; Play at the start of your turn.; Once asa move action during this turn you can shift up to 3 squares to a square adjacent to an ally.

71.  Risky Move;  U; T; Play at the start of your turn.;Once as a move action durring this turn, you can shift up to your speed.  At the end of this shift, roll d20.  On a result of 9 or lower, you fall prone.

76. Trained Advance; C; T; Play when an ally within 5 squares of you takes a move action to shift.; You shift 1 square as a free action.

In case it isn't obvious:

Common
Uncommon
Rare

Attack
Defense
Tactic

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

I would not spend money on them, and would only allow them if they were bought for me (the DM) to use as a tool to reward players with.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
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quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
I don't really want to use these in any of my games, but if the profit from these cards helps to keep the devs churning out more material, I'm all for it.  So, long live fortune cards!*


*in games other than mine
Yeah...these are a no-go for me.

Recent D&D design continues to disappoint.
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
First of all, as this is the first forum I have posted in on this site, let me extend kudos to everyone for their polite responses.  It's not often one gets the pleasure of visiting a forum and seeing this good of manners, particularly when discussing a topic that seems to have a fair amount of people irked.

Another idea was presented by one of my Twitter followers (I am @spoofyrandomnes).  Limit uncommons to once per encounter, and rares as once daily.  While it doesn't address all of the issues, most notably Issue #7, it does help balance the game so that it does not come down to who can afford the best cards. 
Yeah...these are a no-go for me.



Same here.

I accept that how good you are around the table is partially tied to your wallet being the status quo for Magic, I don't care for the idea in D&D.

Since the rewards for the next season of Encounters will be coming in the form of Fortune Cards, I will allow them at my Encounters table (I won't give renown for playing them, if there is a renown reward to be given for doing so, your renown should be tied to your play, not your liquid cash). But we won't be using them in our home games.

Recent D&D design continues to disappoint.



These have been in design for quite a while. I remember seeing them in the product catalog for Winter 2010 since June of 2010. I would rather they had gotten dropped instead of the Player's Handbook Races: Human, but PHB Races had proven an unprofitable line by late August, and this idea had yet to be tested.

I think it will fail, and hope it doesn't cost D&D too much in the process.

First of all, as this is the first forum I have posted in on this site, let me extend kudos to everyone for their polite responses.  It's not often one gets the pleasure of visiting a forum and seeing this good of manners, particularly when discussing a topic that seems to have a fair amount of people irked.



It depends on what you post and how you post it. A polite, well reasoned post usually invites more of the same in its responses.

However, we do have our "hot button" topics, and sometimes, as the topic gets more heated, the manners get left at the door.

Take it all with a grain of salt, and enjoy your stay. 

Dear D&D development team.  Please tell the MtG development team to get back over to their side of the office.  We know you guys have better snacks, but that's no excuse.

Adding a component like this to D&D is cumbersome, unnecessary, and ultimately irrelevant.

I'm a bit confused who this product is for.  If it's meant to be for Encounters, then the Encounters content needs to be harder.  not that said content isn't already trivial.  If it's meant for home games, that makes it more cumbersome to balance an encounter, and slows down play.  The 4e system is already perfect, and does not need this kind of add-on. 

I have tested these in both groups, and speaking as an Encounters DM, a player, and as an at-home DM who usually champions 4e in edition arguments, I cannot endorse this product, will not be purchasing it, and it will not find use in my games.

WotC's time and money would be better spent on new pre-essentials style content, and we would be grateful to go back to that style of product.
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Dear D&D development team.  Please tell the MtG development team to get back over to their side of the office.


Hey now, let's not blame this on M:tG.  M:tG's cards are, generally speaking, better thought out, better designed, and better looking.

Tongue out
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Also, the magic side of the aisle has:

Better communication
A clear plan for the future
Better play testing
etc.

I wish the D&D people would take more lessons from the Magic people when it comes to customer relations and quality control.  That said...


I agree with Mr. Bean.  WTF.  No, I have no interest in this product, and its mere existence makes me less interested in D&D.  These cards will never be allowed in my games, and I will never play in a game where they are allowed.
Surely this can't be a surprise to anyone. I've been waiting for some Seattle marketing genius to spring this on D&D since WotC took over the system. It's an inevitable consequence of their entire business plan.

What does this mean for the game of D&D?

It means I'll probably be playing more PathFinder in the future. That's what it means. 
I see that the number of posters who oppose this product is pretty overwhelming. You don't very often see that happen much on forums.
I don't necessarily think the fortune cards are a bad concept. But I hate the implementation.

And, even if it had been implemented better--say, at the start of combat each player draws a card, Gamma World style, and it modifiers their fortunes for that combat in a way that is balanced and doesn't attract attempting to minmax a deck. And doesn't leave out people who don't want to buy trading cards for D&D--I still would think it's only an "adequate" concept. But I would never, ever, ever^i allow them at my games. Simply because, I'm a firm believer that D&D is more fun when the outcome of combat is determined a) by actual good fortune in the form of d20 rolls, and b) talent at taking a bad situation, combining your unique talents and turning it into a victory.

These cards seem to remove both of those factors... judging by reviews, it seems to turn D&D from a "I use this combo of abilities, and coordinate my strike with the fighter and wizard with precise timing to deal xd6 damage and kill the dragon!" game, which is fun, to a "I play a winning card. I win." game.

Boo. 
Assuming you wanted to make money, you can't really use these in online games. And it appears now that people are just going to compile lists of what they do and toss it out randomly, if it is going to be used. So even if fortune cards are going to be used, why would anyone actually pay for them when it's simpler to just use lists of them, divy them up to your players in some sort of "draft" kind of way, and play that way? That is what is going to happen with many of the groups that will use the cards. It appears many people aren't even going to use the cards in their games. How many customers will that leave? Did WoTC seriously not anticipate this?

This is going to be piracy in real life.
I like the idea of a shared deck... that makes it purely random luck ... and people could play the card on there allies and even some of the luck could mess with enemies.  
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Another one for only using these cards in my game as the DM controlling the deck and handing them out as rewards for good role-playing and good ideas. If you get a card you can't/don't want to use, turn it in for five temps. 

At this point Wizards is just trying to see what sticks to the wall. 
I don't necessarily think the fortune cards are a bad concept. But I hate the implementation.


I think these "fortune cards" are a bad concept as well.  Mostly in that they're purely mechanical, randomly distributed, far too common, and somewhat devoid of flavor.

I'll say it again: Paizo's "Plot Twist Cards" nailed the concept better, are implemented better, and are just a better purchase (since they're [largely] edition neutral, and not randomly distributed but sold in a full "deck").
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)

I see that the number of posters who oppose this product is pretty overwhelming. You don't very often see that happen much on forums.

They would be fine if 1) they weren't collectible, just a deck of 80 cards and 2) they couldn't be used by every player every freaking round.

At low levels, the use of fortune cards would completely overshadow utilities. 

At higher levels, they'd be a little trivial, I suppose.


Reasonable uses of them (that is, of a complete deck) might be:

  • The DM uses them to reward players for 'good behavior' - for playing in-character to advance the plot, for not metagaming, for bringing tasty snacks, whatever. The player earns a card, and gets to use it at some point. If he doesn't like it, he discards it. While he has one, he doesn't earn another.  The DM could let players draw from the full, randomized, deck, from a set of cards he's chosen, or he could give a specific card of his own choosing.

  • The cards go into a communal 'Fortune Deck.' At the Top of each round a card is drawn. Any player can choose to use it.  If it's not used, it's discarded at the bottom of the round.  Thus it represents 'constantly changing random factors' on the battlefield.  To make it interesting, the DM could draw a card for the monsters, too.

  • The cards go into a communal 'Fortune Deck' at the start of an Encounter, each player gets a card.  At the end of the combat, the card is discarded if not used.  If a player rolls a natural 20 before he uses his card, the card is discarded - he's 'used up his luck.'

  • The cards go into a communal 'Fortune Deck.'  Whenever a player rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll or badly fails a skill check (with meaningful consequences), he can choose to draw a card.  If he already has a card, he discards it if he choses to draw one.

 

 

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I see that the number of posters who oppose this product is pretty overwhelming. You don't very often see that happen much on forums.

They would be fine if 1) they weren't collectible, just a deck of 80 cards and 2) they couldn't be used by every player every freaking round.

At low levels, the use of fortune cards would completely overshadow utilities. 

At higher levels, they'd be a little trivial, I suppose.


Reasonable uses of them (that is, of a complete deck) might be:

  • The DM uses them to reward players for 'good behavior' - for playing in-character to advance the plot, for not metagaming, for bringing tasty snacks, whatever. The player earns a card, and gets to use it at some point. If he doesn't like it, he discards it. While he has one, he doesn't earn another.  The DM could let players draw from the full, randomized, deck, from a set of cards he's chosen, or he could give a specific card of his own choosing.

  • The cards go into a communal 'Fortune Deck.' At the Top of each round a card is drawn. Any player can choose to use it.  If it's not used, it's discarded at the bottom of the round.  Thus it represents 'constantly changing random factors' on the battlefield.  To make it interesting, the DM could draw a card for the monsters, too.

  • The cards go into a communal 'Fortune Deck' at the start of an Encounter, each player gets a card.  At the end of the combat, the card is discarded if not used.  If a player rolls a natural 20 before he uses his card, the card is discarded - he's 'used up his luck.'

  • The cards go into a communal 'Fortune Deck.'  Whenever a player rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll or badly fails a skill check (with meaningful consequences), he can choose to draw a card.  If he already has a card, he discards it if he choses to draw one.



I like any and all of these ideas, but they depend on the deck being whole, not random.  We are not MtG players.  We do not want randomness, no matter how much WotC hopes we will accept random products.  The most randomness I want comes from the chance of failure the dice present.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
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quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Right, a full deck with any of those rules would be fine.  Still wouldn't have been a product I'd be interested in (because the cards just aren't interesting, as written), but would have been far better.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
> * The DM uses them to reward players for 'good behavior'

Ugh, no. "Popularity contest"-based character abilities are a terrible idea in any context.

--

I agree with this...

> 1) they weren't collectible, just a deck of 80 cards and

...but not with this.

> 2) they couldn't be used by every player every freaking round.

I'm pretty sure that I understand the 4E-complaint that the cards are meant to address. Whether it's the best way to do so is debatable, but they're not meant as "the DM likes you rewards" or "bad roll compensation" and they ARE meant to have a significant impact on the game every round, not just once per encounter. Why?

One of the complaints that has come up regarding 4E is that character abilities (and the resulting tactics) largely remain static from one encounter to the next. This is especially pronounced when you're comparing spellcasters to old-E ones, but even non-caster fans sometimes feel this is the case (and get very vocal about it).

Separately, another common gripe is the simple lack of variance that results from low-level characters having very few abilities other than your at-wills. (IE: Level 1 character tactics being described as, "Round one: Encounter Attack power. Round two and onward: Stand there and spam an at-will.") Even at higher level, "recharging encounter powers" are a frequent house-rule proposal for much the same reason.

You get a card every round. It gives a situational or conditional bonus or benefit - even if that condition is fairly broad. Now, you actually have a round-by-round difference in the character's capabilities and/or tactics, and it's significant enough to encourage you to want to leverage it. Both issues have been addressed.

And they've been addressed in a way that doesn't require WotC to completely rebuild the character power system, which really WOULD require a new edition in order to deal with all of the ramifications.

On the flip side, these issues aren't really issues for a DM running monsters, which is why there's no DM deck.

--

That said, I fully agree that the collectible model is a lousy one to do this with.
Caveat: Collectible cards give me an immediate urge to vomit, some of my opinions may be a bit too extreme.

These cards are probably the only thing I have ever seen Wizards put out for DnD that I cannot see any good coming from. They will not be used at my gaming-group's table. The collectible (spend tons of money to gain some mechanical advantage over players that don't spend tons of money) aspect just galls me. I wouldn't want to be the player who spent tons of money and is now making the other players less significant in the game, and I wouldn't appreciate my ability to impact in-game narrative to be defined by my disposable income. So, I wouldn't buy them. Also, if these cards are adopted widely, it would mean that I could not attend organised play events, because not having bought  a kazillion booster packs would punish me in-game.

There are games that have adventure decks(like the excellent Savage Worlds cards) but they work differently and don't turn a game of roleplaying into some boosterpack arms-race.

I am staying away.
Mad Scientist
After thinking it over, the only way I would implement them is an either an alternate reward in a treasure parcel, or if a character rolls a nat 1 he gets a fortune card.

From my deck.  And my deck would feature way more commons than rares.
I know I am going to get slammed for saying this, but does anyone else think that this could be WotC testing the waters for a design concept in 5E?  Turning 4E into a game more like Gamma World?
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> At that point, you've paid at least $5 or so for something that could have been
> covered by a, say, 3x5 chart, and a d10 roll.

See, that's what I was originally thinking too, but we're dealing with eighty different effects and a deck (of however many cards) won't repeat until you've gone through them all once each. While you can do that via a chart and die rolls, it's going to be clumsy compared to the deck of cards approach.

The suggestion that everyone put their favorite ten into a single big deck that everyone draws from each round is simply a quick way to address the concern that someone with a lot of money to spend will end up with an advantage over everyone else, since everyone now has an equal chance to draw those 'great' cards.

(Although given what we've seen so far, the 'great' cards aren't so much greater than the rest that it's liable to cause a significant disparity anyway, and rarity seems to have more to do with how circumstantial the benefit is - or in some cases, how prone to backfiring it can be.)

From what I've seen bandied about as the rules for upcoming events, the idea appears to be that something like a Game Day will require that everyone buy two boosters and build their deck from those on the spot, so there won't be any issue with someone bringing in a 'perfect preconstructed' deck.

So again: I don't mind the deck-of-cards idea as a game element, just the fact that WotC is trying to use the randomized-collectible model as part of it.
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