“Embracing Chaos” – D&D: The Deck Of Many Things & Book Of Many Things Review

2023 may well be known as the year Dungeons & Dragons wholly embraced chaos, and The Deck Of Many Things boxed set helps exemplify that. It seems like most of the year, D&D 5e has leaned into the strange and chaotic possibilities the TTRPG can offer, with releases like Phandelver & Below: The Shattered Obelisk, Planescape, and now The Deck Of Many Things all allowing players to have fun in the mayhem of the multiverse. Of all of these, however, The Deck Of Many Things bundle may best illustrate just how fun all that randomness and chance can be in DnD 5e.



Based on the in-game item originally from Greyhawk, 5e’s physical The Deck of Many Things is made up of over sixty cards that can be beneficial or disastrous, adding an element of randomness to any session. The box set also includes The Book Of Many Things, a new DnD sourcebook that includes player options, magic items, and more. The 192-page book, like The Deck Of Many Things bundle, is available in digital and physical form, with early access on D&D Beyond having already begun on October 31, 2023. However, some of the items are only part of the physical set.

Related: Tony DiTerlizzi on Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse, Yoshitaka Amano, Star Wars & More

What’s In The Deck Of Many Things Boxed Set

The D&D Deck Of Many Things bundle with two books, cards, and a box.

The Deck Of Many Things bundle includes the following:

The Deck of Many Things Bundle

Physical Only

Digital Only

Hardcover Sourcebook

Hardcover Sourcebook

Digital Sourcebook

Hardcover Guidebook

Hardcover Guidebook

Digital Dice Set (pre-order)

66 Card Set

66 Card Set

Digital Frames & Backdrops (pre-order)

Custom Box

Custom Box

Digital Sourcebook

Digital Dice Set (pre-order)

Digital Frames & Backdrops (pre-order)

The bundle is priced at $109.99, with current discounts often sitting at around $99.99 ahead of its full release. However, for those only interested in The Book Of Many Things, the digital copy is currently listed as $29.99, offering a more affordable option.

The Book Of Many Things Sourcebook Review

A goblin laying out the Deck of Many Things in D&D art.

As a sourcebook, The Book of Many Things provides a lot of what players and DMs have come to expect from DnD 5e. There are new stat blocks – including ones for characters like Asteria and Euryale, player options, magic items, spells, and a steady flow of new content that can be incorporated into 5e campaigns. Guilds also play a big role, introducing new factions with bosses, members, and their own goals.

Due to a manufacturing error, physical copies of the cards from The Deck Of Many Things were not available for this review. However, the digital copies of the bundle are in early access and will launch fully on November 14, 2023, as expected. Because of this, a digital copy of The Book Of Many Things was primarily used for this review.

There is a lot of information inside The Book Of Many Things, something that works in the sourcebook’s favor. There’s plenty to pore over in relation to character creation sections, including Zodiac signs through the Sky of Many Things. Fates, a card that lets the player rewrite events from their life, is a fun way to shake things up – along with the table of Fated Destinies. Then there’s the Deck of Many More Things, introducing 44 new cards to the traditional 22. The new cards address problems from the original deck while also being formatted to fit within DnD 5e.

Overall, The Book of Many Things is an impressive addition to Dungeons & Dragons. The sourcebook itself is great for DMs who want to try new things and for players looking to spice up their adventures with some chaotic fun. The “Starter Deck” suggestion is ideal for low-level parties and newcomers, but there’s a wealth of options inside this book that will likely keep interesting things happening for countless future sessions.

How The Deck Works In Roleplaying & Narration

Deck Of Many Things Artwork showing a female in a white dress holding the deck while a dwarf watches.

The options for cards to use inside the Deck of Many Things is ultimately up to the player. The owners of the deck are free to choose which cards are included, and options for Roleplaying Focus, Lighthearted, and Deck Of Horrors are provided in the sourcebook, along with a recommended “Starter Deck.” The important thing to keep in mind here is that choosing cards are unpredictable by nature, meaning some thought and strategy will need to go into picking cards for the deck. The more cards, the more unwieldy and chaotic an adventure might get.

There are also tips on using the Deck of Many Things in the narrative, suggestions for when the cards’ effects occur, and examples of how to introduce the deck into an adventure. Adventure Spread is a new feature that DMs can use to create a one-shot or even a short campaign, as the cards can be laid out to create an adventure. Groups that have been playing for a long time together may find this an interesting way to shake things up, either as a one-off or between segments of a longer campaign.

Final Thoughts

Asteria fighting a monster in the desert in Deck Of Many Things key artwork.

The Deck of Many Things boxed set and its Book of Many Things sourcebook are nice additions to DnD 5e. The price of admission is a bit steep, which may sadly impact just how many people get to experience what the bundle has to offer. The Book of Many Things continues 5e’s current infatuation with weirdness and chaos – which is a good thing – but it also feels like the most accessible 5e content to release in months. Phandelver & Below focused on cosmic horror while Planescape provided fun content for those interested in the Planes, but both of those recent releases felt targeted to specific groups of horror and sci-fi fans.

The Deck Of Many Things is more open-ended, more customizable to what a player or DM is looking for. Anyone uninterested in Planescape and Phandelver – but who still wants to embrace the randomness of the multiverse – should give the deck a try. The real question here, however, is just how much chaos can take place before everything becomes a mess – and in some ways, The Deck of Many Things bundle provides an answer. The best moments in a Dungeons & Dragons adventure are the ones that boil to chance, and The Deck of Many Things is all about taking chances and seeing what can happen.

A digital copy of The Book Of Many Things and The Deck of Many Things bundle was provided to Screen Rant for the purpose of this review.

  • Dungeons & Dragons (Tabletop)

    Dungeons and Dragons

    Tabletop Game


    Wizards of the Coast, TSR Inc.

    Adventure, RPG, Fantasy

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