When Wizards of the Coast (WotC) bought TSR in 1997 and acquired the oh-so-valuable Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) license, one fear voiced repeatedly by fans was that WotC, creators of the Magic: The Gathering (M:TG) collectible card game, would try to include a collectible card game element to the world’s most popular tabletop role-playing game.
Three years of development later, WotC has introduced the third edition of D&D without a collectible element in sight. All the fears were shown unfounded.
Of course, the internet being what it is, even unfounded fears of fanboys warning that collectible cards for D&D were coming could still be heard from time to time.
Seven years later came the fourth edition and still no collectible cards. Just power cards that anyone an print when needed. All talk of collectible cards in D&D died away, with only a mumble when collectible cards appeared in Gamma World.
Apparently, the Gamma World cards are a hit and WotC now plans to release Fortune Cards for D&D and I can’t help but hear ghostly echoes of the warnings from a decade ago.
It looks like these cards will be used similar to Gamma World with just one draw per player for every encounter to add randomness.
WotC promises the cards augment the game and will never be necessary for play, as only players that buy the cards have the option of using them.
That sounds good in theory but I have my doubts. A players builds and draws from his own decks, so every draw will help him. A guaranteed bonus might not be necessary but it’s all good, all the time, so using these cards is every bit as important as optimizing the rest of a character. Who wants to be the poor player at the table, lagging behind everyone else with the cards and bonuses? Reading the ENWorld forums, I see I’m not the only one to worry like this.
Eight card boosters will go for $3.99 a pop, starting on February 8, 2011. That’s 50 cents a card, not exactly cheap, especially if there will be a 60 card minimum (like in M:TG). Factor in that there will be expansions just like M:TG, and you’ll probably have to purchase many boosters to get the all-important rares that make up a strong deck, and you’ll need a deck for every character, and D&D could become a very expensive game for all but the most casual player.