A few weeks before its release, Wizards of the Coast revealed it’s pushing back the physical editions of its Deck of Many Things set.
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On the Dungeons & Dragons forums, WOTC explained that an internal review led to the team realizing the upcoming product “didn’t meet our manufacturing standards.” As such, the physical version will be pushed back from its original November 14 release date, both on the Wizards website and the in-person retailers selling it. “We are sorry to those of you who have put in your preorders already or planned on picking up your copy on November 14,” continued WOTC. “We believe that delaying the release of this product will ensure it is delivered to you in the way our team envisioned it.” Digital owners won’t be affected by this, while those who purchased the bundle (which combines the physical and digital versions together) will still receive The Book of Many Things this Tuesday, October 31.
Speaking to Polygon, executive producer Kyle Brink affirmed the company would “get to the bottom of this [defect] and re-manufacture and re-distribute copies that don’t have these issues.” He added that the defect rate is “too high,” and that he personally “cannot in good conscience ship this stock. We need to fully inspect it, understand exactly how many units are defective — all that.” Those who reviewed the set—like Polygon—noted issues such as cards having varying shapes (concave vs. convex) and sizes, along with the paper bands being so tight as to damage the cards upon removal.
Brink is hopeful the set will still release by year’s end, and assured that the issue won’t happen again. He was adamant in saying the issues were unrelated to cost-saving strategies recently mentioned by parent company Hasbro, and if anything, the issues stem from recent waste reduction efforts for Hasbro packaging. “We want to reduce plastic waste, and so we use paper packaging. We inspected very closely everything throughout the production process…and yet some of the problems that we are seeing here are specifically because of some of the paper packaging that we use.”
Revealed back in August during GenCon, Deck of Many Things is a tarot-esque deck that’ll feature 66 cards, 1/3 of which are from the original 22-card deck introduced with 1975’s Greyhawk. The newer cards’ mechanical effects were designed by Makenzie De Armas and Jason Tondo, and were originally conceived of as a way to address niches left unfilled by the original Deck. This new Deck iteration also features a new celestial origin, which explores how the fate goddess Istus created the original Deck. Creating a new origin that fit D&D Fifth Edition was the primary goal for creating this new Deck, said De Armas, along with “paying homage to the deck’s many, many iterations and origins all throughout the history of D&D.”
Whenever the Deck of Many Things comes to physical stores, it’ll also come with an 80-page hardcover book showing off all the cards and the aforementioned Book of Many Things. At time of writing, all this will run customers $100.
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