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    Default [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    OK, so Wizards of the Coast is going to release Fortune Cards in randomized booster packs for D&D. You get a deck, you draw from it and they are meant to represent 'blind luck' (I wonder what critical hits and dice are for, then). They will be required for some Wizards Play Network Programs.
    Relevant info here.

    Now, my opinion (warning - long rant)
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    This is dumbest thing I ever saw in the gaming industry ever (and the gaming industry in my country gets pretty dumb, I might add). It's crazy, but it even seems like WotC is trying to push the old players away. If I got on a game with this, where a guy suddenly succeeds at anything because he spent all his money on cards, I'd be disgusted. OK, the cards won't allow you to succeed at anything, but you get my meaning - basically, spending more money means you get a better character. This is not like sourcebooks, they just present options - even in 4e, some of the stronger stuff is from the PHB. Archer Ranger is still the best in damage and even after nerfs Blade Cascade is still the best Ranger power of it's level. 4e was already awkward with 'I spend more money, so I'm better' with a few new powers that made others useless, but this? I want to play D&D, I don't want to play Magic the Gathering!
    I like some stuff in 4e. I could play in 4e games if I don't think about things much. I played in two 4e campaigns. They were okay (well, one of'em was, at least). There is many things about 4e that I dislike though. But this things? Fortune cards? I despise it. It seems like a dirty move of WotC, a way to drain every cent from new D&D players because many people won't even know you don't need those booster packs to play. I'm just, I don't know, angry doesn't describe it. I'm disappointed and I'm afraid.
    I really think WotC will end up killing D&D this way. Essentials is apparently selling badly, since they canceled so many books. They canceled the minis lines. Now they have these cards. What's the next steps? Cancel the books? Cancel the dice? Cancel character sheets?

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    *Shrugs*

    If you don't like them, don't use them and don't go to the events that will require them. Yes, it's a way to WoTC to get more money, but that's pretty much what they're expected to do, being a company and all, so while I don't plan on using them, I simply don't care about them.
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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    I don't mind the "if I have more stuff, I have more options available to me" thing - that's been the case since 2nd ed, after all. I mean, are you really going to tell me you can build just as great of a character with only core 3.x as with all the splatbooks? Didn't think so.

    But, I really don't like this idea. It just "feels" wrong to me for some reason.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    I don't mind the "if I have more stuff, I have more options available to me" thing - that's been the case since 2nd ed, after all. I mean, are you really going to tell me you can build just as great of a character with only core 3.x as with all the splatbooks?
    I don't have a problem with more options. I have a problem with more power. It's hard to find stuff in 3.x that is more powerful than what you get in core; it's where you find Druid, Wizard and Cleric, for crying out loud.


    Quote Originally Posted by Reverent-One View Post
    If you don't like them, don't use them and don't go to the events that will require them. Yes, it's a way to WoTC to get more money, but that's pretty much what they're expected to do, being a company and all, so while I don't plan on using them, I simply don't care about them.
    Of course I won't use them. I just presented my personal opinion on why I dislike and I find it agravating as one more turn in a possible death of D&D in a roleplaying game. And please, of course they should get money, but to get money from D&D, you should make good D&D material.
    I really think this won't sell. I can't think of a way why anyone would want this, really.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-01-16 at 11:10 PM.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    It's important to point out that Fortune Cards are not a requirement for D&D play; they are an enhancement that simulates blind luck, the winds of fate, or divine influence.... For some Wizards Play Network programs aimed at experienced players, Fortune Card purchase will be a requirement to participate, but our broadly-appealing programs like D&D Encounters will feature their use without such a requirement.
    Ah, so it's not so much that you will have to play the card, as much as you'll need to buy a deck. I mean, it's only a smaller turd on the waffles, but it's still a smaller turd.

    I'd like to see some more rules on things before I throw my flaming pitchfork, like how big the deck size is and how many cards are drawn per encounter. I mean, honestly, I'm not going to any Wizards Play Network games anyways, so it really doesn't matter to me except maybe a few people in my group will go "Dude you totally need to buy some cards so you can stay alive and keep healing us," to which the response will be, "after I get a job, mkay?"

    I just hope it doesn't devolve into Type-2, Unlimited, and Purple Monkey Dishwasher play. YES I KNOW IT IS COMPETITIVELY AND MECHANICALLY SOUND BUT DANG IT I DON'T LIKE IT.

    At least, you know, it's cards produced by a company that was already producing cards for another product, it probably doesn't cost them all that much to make them. And, I guess, if you really wanted to stretch things, you could just call it a buff to the Deck of Many Things and call it a day.
    "Okay, so I'm going to quick draw and dual wield these one-pound caltrops as improvised weapons..."
    ---
    "Oh, hey, look! Blue Eyes Black Lotus!" "Wait what, do you sacrifice a mana to the... Does it like, summon a... What would that card even do!?" "Oh, it's got a four-energy attack. Completely unviable in actual play, so don't worry about it."

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    I don't have a problem with more options. I have a problem with more power. It's hard to find stuff in 3.x that is more powerful than what you get in core; it's hwere you find Druid, Wizard and Cleric, for crying out loud.
    But if you're playing a non-tier one, and especially a melee fighting type, character, there's lots of powerful stuff you get from the splatbooks. Yes, the main overpowered stuff in 3.5 is in core, but that doesn't mean there isn't any outside of it by a long shot.
    Thanks to Elrond for the Vash avatar.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverent-One View Post
    But if you're playing a non-tier one, and especially a melee fighting type, character, there's lots of powerful stuff you get from the splatbooks. Yes, the main overpowered stuff in 3.5 is in core, but that doesn't mean there isn't any outside of it by a long shot.
    Yes, you get a lot of options. But that doesn't mean a guy that bought, dunno, Tome of Battle will always be able to play a more powerful character than the one who bought only the PHB. I'm fine with that.
    3.x has a lot of problems, no arguing that. This thread is not about edition wars anyway - it's about WotC weird decisions towards the D&D line.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    But that doesn't mean a guy that bought, dunno, Tome of Battle will always be able to play a more powerful character than the one who bought only the PHB. I'm fine with that.
    A person who buys the deck will not always play a more powerful character than someone who didn't buy the deck. If I optimize a Ranger without a deck, I'll still undoubtedly be a more effective character than an un-optimized Seeker with a deck.

    /edit - And it's not archer Rangers that are top DPR, but rather two-weapon Rangers.
    Last edited by tcrudisi; 2011-01-16 at 11:22 PM.
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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Yes, you get a lot of options. But that doesn't mean a guy that bought, dunno, Tome of Battle will always be able to play a more powerful character than the one who bought only the PHB. I'm fine with that.
    Yeah! Cause he'd share Tome of Battle with his friends! That way they all have optimized characters.

    Meh, these cards are quite silly. If that artwork was in, say...Divine Power 2, I'd pay money for that instead.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Of course I won't use them. I just presented my personal opinion on why I dislike and I find it agravating as one more turn in a possible death of D&D in a roleplaying game. And please, of course they should get money, but to get money from D&D, you should make good D&D material.
    I really think this won't sell. I can't think of a way why anyone would want this, really.
    I really don't see much demand for the cards either. On the other hand, they're probably cheap to make, so it's (theoretically) a quick and easy way to make money.

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Yes, you get a lot of options. But that doesn't mean a guy that bought, dunno, Tome of Battle will always be able to play a more powerful character than the one who bought only the PHB. I'm fine with that.

    3.x has a lot of problems, no arguing that. This thread is not about edition wars anyway - it's about WotC weird decisions towards the D&D line.
    Edition wars? This has nothing to do with that, the idea that you're not more powerful in 3.5 with splatbooks than with just core would be strange to me even if you said it before 4e ever existed.
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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    The problem with fortune cards representing "blind luck" and the way it's different from dice representing same is that giving WOTC more money doesn't let you change what's written on your dice. Essentially this is a mechanic to let you load your dice by spending more money if prebuilt individual decks are allowed. If you simply buy a stack for the table, don't edit it, and everyone draws from it, it's less offensive. (And in fact I hope they end up selling a non-CCG "full deck" for precisely this use.)

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Players don't need another freebie, especially if encounter balance stands still. It doesn't teach them new options for play either, despite the advertising claim. Seriously, you're just paying cash for a random extra encounter power. Want the best ones for the character? Just keep forking out cash.

    The appropriate protest at sanctioned tables that require these is, "You can only require I buy them, not play them." A little egg on the face now and then is good for a company's soul.

    If I was interested in random draw format, I'd have played MtG. That game is interesting, but I see it as far too much hassle for too little return.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by OracleofWuffing View Post
    Ah, so it's not so much that you will have to play the card, as much as you'll need to buy a deck. I mean, it's only a smaller turd on the waffles, but it's still a smaller turd.
    I thought of this. It feels relevant.

    In any case, I just wonder what the future really does hold for D&D at this point. If you look at everything WOTC has done in the last year, there's just no coherent philosophy behind the moves they've been making. Are they constantly switching personnel in the design department? Is management getting obsessive about making changes to increase revenue? Did someone go off their meds?
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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Hal View Post
    I thought of this. It feels relevant.
    Heh, I assure you, though, I'm not an escapist reader or a Residing Evil, so the saying is coincidental.

    I'm guessing- and I do not pretend to understand WotC- that the reason behind "mandatory" deck purchases at official events is to make sure that everyone starts out at the same "level," card-game wise, and doesn't load the deck with all the best rare cards. Well, I mean, after the "Boy howdy we love money" factor, but that should go without saying.

    At least it doesn't require a motorcycle.
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    "Oh, hey, look! Blue Eyes Black Lotus!" "Wait what, do you sacrifice a mana to the... Does it like, summon a... What would that card even do!?" "Oh, it's got a four-energy attack. Completely unviable in actual play, so don't worry about it."

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by OracleofWuffing View Post
    how many cards are drawn per encounter.
    I can answer that. Every player can play a card every turn. You can also hold a card for awhile and not play any, but since all cards have a positive effect, it's not a bad idea to just play as many of them as possible.

    So that means that 15 cards per encounter is a reasonable estimate, assuming five players and 4 - 5 rounds of combat.
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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    ... Yeah, that's just sad.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Well, MtG and D&D are probably among their most profitable products.
    Its only natural that they would slowly try to combine them.

    Just watch for introducing campaign books (for multiple games in succession that follow a storyline, complete with outcome trees) and slight randomization to be introduced to MtG (unless they already have).
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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I can answer that. Every player can play a card every turn. You can also hold a card for awhile and not play any, but since all cards have a positive effect, it's not a bad idea to just play as many of them as possible.

    So that means that 15 cards per encounter is a reasonable estimate, assuming five players and 4 - 5 rounds of combat.
    I though every player had his deck. If it's a deck for everyone, it's a lesser evil, at least.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-01-17 at 08:37 AM.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    This isn't stupid in some ways, I mean, from a business standpoint cards are what have made WoTC so successful so it's only natural that they'd turn to them when things got tough.

    What makes this stupid is they're applying the cards to a game system which is traditionally played on pick and choose what you like basis. Add to that the average D&D fan is wary of spending even more money on the hobby what with the expensive books and other varying supplies (tilesets, minis, etc).

    If wizards truly wants more money they're going to have to find a different tactic that doesn't include 'bleed out every penny from our existing audience'.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    This isn't stupid in some ways, I mean, from a business standpoint cards are what have made WoTC so successful so it's only natural that they'd turn to them when things got tough.
    Fun fact: the comic implosion of the 90s is what made WotC so succesful. You had a lot of retailers ready to buy stuff, comics were not selling and then came Magic. It was a matter of luck, not something inherent about cards.
    I think this is a lot more about Hasbro meddling than WotC screwing up, though.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    I think this is a lot more about Hasbro meddling than WotC screwing up, though.
    Fun fact: several of the game designers have stated that they don't use the new rarity rules in their own home campaigns - so that also feels like executive meddling.
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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Fun fact: several of the game designers have stated that they don't use the new rarity rules in their own home campaigns - so that also feels like executive meddling.
    Ya know, a friend of mine said last night that the rarity rules are the only thing he liked about Essentials. That's pretty weird (specially because the new Assassin is oh so sexy).
    But all this recent changes... yeah, they smell of Hasbro screwing up. Hard.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    I'm just glad I can buy everything pre-essentials and be able to run campaigns for years to come with just those options.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    I'm just glad I can buy everything pre-essentials and be able to run campaigns for years to come with just those options.
    I'm sad mostly because I'm afraid all my kids will know about Dungeons & Dragons is that when they hear those words, daddy's friends will be visisting for a night around a table.
    Presenting them 20 year old books (if my books survive that long) probably won't make them interested.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Ya know, a friend of mine said last night that the rarity rules are the only thing he liked about Essentials.
    Fun fact: there is one heroic-tier rare. Precisely one. It's a glove that's only useful for melee characters.
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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    To be totally honest, I could see this being used in my campaign, but NOT in the way they are "supposed" to be used (which I am pretty sure I would never, ever, allow). I would hate the every player is now tossing these around randomly.

    As a DM, I would consider using them a decent perversity-style reward from the DM. ie. Did something really impressive/unexpected/heroic in game? Roleplayed the rest of us to tears/laughter? Well, you sir get to draw from the deck. Hold on to it now.

    Then let them trade it back in when they need it, a la get-out-of-jail-free-card.

    I do about the same thing with action points in my current game. You don't get them for leveling up, you get them for impressing me. Keeps the players on their toes. But the point is they would have to be rare, special, only occasional bonuses, certainly not every round!

    Alternatively, you could give each player one draw as some kind of alternative treasure, a blessing from some god maybe.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    It's money-grubbing bull. To quote their advert: "It's important to point out that Fortune Cards are not a requirement for D&D play; they are an enhancement that simulates blind luck, the winds of fate, or divine influence." Isn't that what dice are for or GM adjudication? This kind of crap is turning Dungeons and Dragons away from being as much an experience as a game solidly into boardgame-esque territory.

    I don't get it. 3.5 had a lot of hang-ups but was fixable and manageable, look at how Pathfinder's taken off. So they bring out 4.0 which some people like but turns off most of the traditional crowd such as myself. So what the hell is D&D Essentials? Edition 4.5? I don't know as I never really bothered with 4.0 after about the first six months. Everything being down to D&D by Wizards whether or not its on order from Hasbro just really seems schizophrenic lately.

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I can answer that. Every player can play a card every turn. You can also hold a card for awhile and not play any, but since all cards have a positive effect, it's not a bad idea to just play as many of them as possible.

    So that means that 15 cards per encounter is a reasonable estimate, assuming five players and 4 - 5 rounds of combat.
    Eeeh... I don't know about that reasoning. Every player can use an encounter power every turn, you can hold an encounter power and not play any, but since all encounter powers have a positive effect (barring your allies standing directly in the way of area of effects), it's not a bad idea to just play as many of them as possible, yet you don't get 15 encounter powers per encounter at the start of the game.
    "Okay, so I'm going to quick draw and dual wield these one-pound caltrops as improvised weapons..."
    ---
    "Oh, hey, look! Blue Eyes Black Lotus!" "Wait what, do you sacrifice a mana to the... Does it like, summon a... What would that card even do!?" "Oh, it's got a four-energy attack. Completely unviable in actual play, so don't worry about it."

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    Default Re: [4e] Fortune Cards and the future of D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Re'ozul View Post
    Well, MtG and D&D are probably among their most profitable products.
    Its only natural that they would slowly try to combine them.

    Just watch for introducing campaign books (for multiple games in succession that follow a storyline, complete with outcome trees) and slight randomization to be introduced to MtG (unless they already have).
    Actually I feel that is a pretty stupid move; if they get so much money from both of them, why merging them? If you combine them both, you will alienate people who like one of the games but not the other.

    I play both D&D and M:TG, but I play them for entirely different reasons.
    I don't want to draw cards or rely on blind luck (as the article itself calls it) when I am playing D&D; the idea that divine favour or sheer coincidence will help me through the adventures is something that I wouldn't like; my characters try to rely on their own skill and progress to overcome challenges (that is also why I despise fumbles or critical successes on skill checks).

    And when I play M:TG I want to play a game, where I know that despite all the randomness that goes into it, I can do something with what fate/luck/whatever gives me.

    I don't know if I am making sense, but this just seems stupid.
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