The Fury of the Feywild set is the third installment in the Dungeons & Dragons Fortune Cards line of roleplaying game enhancements. This Design & Development column looks at what’s new and different this time around.
This Fortune Cards set is being released along with the Heroes of the Feywild supplement, so I wanted the cards to have a distinctly fey feel. I spent some time thinking about what qualities especially describe fey beings and decided on four: caprice, politics, mystery, and majesty.
Fey are mischievous, mercurial beings: One moment they might be gleeful, and the next drawing blades in fury. The “capricious” series of cards captures the unpredictable nature of fey magic. I tried to capture the idea that a person might enjoy unexpected success or unwelcome humiliation. An example is Capricious Ground, a Defense card that is played when an enemy’s attack knocks a character prone. You can chance a dangerous attack in response, though you might end up with egg on your face.
When among fey, one misspoken word or insufficient show of respect can doom a careless visitor. Bargains must be carefully worded, and they are ironclad once struck. I wanted to introduce a sense of politics into combat by allowing players to use their characters’ interpersonal skills to influence tactics. Clever Retort is one example; it allows you to punish an enemy that hits your character with an attack. A character can make a Charisma check (with a +4 bonus if trained in Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate), and if the result is at least equal to the enemy’s Will, it is dazed. Similarly, the Oh, Really? card lets you use your political acumen to blunt the damage of an enemy’s attack.
The lands of the fey are wondrous, holding great secrets and terrible danger. I wanted to provide a taste of these magical realms during an encounter. The Fortune Cards I designed accomplish this in two ways: temporary terrain and thematic events.
Temporary terrain places a 2-square-by-3-square zone on the battlefield for 1 round. The card might have a beneficial effect for allies, such as Goodberry Bushes, which provides temporary hit points. Alternatively, the card might hinder enemies, such as Poisonous Thorns, which deals poison damage.
Thematic events refer to important locations within the Feywild. Each card creates an effect that has some of that locale’s flavor. For example, Murkendraw Curse evokes a sense of the corrupted swamp by dealing necrotic damage to an enemy. Emptiness of Cendriane reflects that lost city’s hidden wonders by letting you escape a mortal blow.
The lords of the fey are powerful, awe-inspiring beings. Adventurers can “borrow” some of these qualities by playing Fortune Cards such as Frost Prince’s Offering and Summer Court Pavane, which evoke a sense of these powerful fey. Similar to dealings with mighty fey figures, each granted benefit comes with a slight drawback.
Charm and illusion are heavily associated with fey magic, so I made sure to include cards that evoke these ideas. Fey Trickery, for example, grants a bonus to charm or illusion attacks, with a higher bonus if you are fey.
Try Them Out!
Now that you’ve seen a little of what this set of Fortune Cards has to offer, try picking up a pack or two. Then add a touch of the fey to your D&D Encounters sessions as well as your home games!
Jennifer Clarke Wilkes
Jennifer came to Wizards in 1995 as the editor for the Ars Magica roleplaying game, after gaining freelance experience with White Wolf Game Studio. When that game was discontinued, she moved to editing Magic: The Gathering until 1999, when she became an RPG editor. She has been involved with many game lines in the company, from writing world documents for Magic and flavor text for a variety of games, to playtesting various TCGs and board games, to editing miniatures game rules, and occasionally trying her hand at RPG design.