If you were hoping to tuck a fixed copy of Dungeons & Dragons’ Deck of Many Things amongst the holiday gifts, perhaps consider some alternatives because the replacements to a botched production run on the fantastical artefact won’t arrive until after the new year.
Wizards of the Coast, the company responsible for Dungeons & Dragons products, already delayed the physical deck of cards that accompanied The Book of Many Things supplement and represented a beloved, chaotic magical artefact within the world of the popular tabletop RPG. Copies arrived to players and journalists with numerous defects, printing errors and poor construction quality (thanks, Polygon), eventually leading to a recall and rare apology from Wizards of the Coast.
The publisher didn't provide a release date for the fixed production run at that time, but many fans who paid the $99 price tag on the supplement hoped it might arrive before the holiday season, given the initial October 31st launch and a fairly quick response from Wizards of the Coast. A statement posted November 20th by the publisher dashed those hopes.
“On October 27, we announced a delay in the shipment of The Deck of Many Things set due to the product not meeting our manufacturing standards. We're excited to announce that production on a new round of The Deck of Many Things sets has begun,” reads a post on the D&D Beyond website.
“For US players and stores, we expect The Deck of Many Things set to be in hand starting January 5. EMEA and APAC will see shipments a little later than this; we will update you further when we can share a more exact timeline. If production runs into issues that cause further delays, we will provide additional updates as soon as possible.”
Wizards of the Coast claimed it conducted an internal review of The Deck of Many Things’ and “found the product didn’t meet our manufacturing standards”, something D&D’s maker doesn’t admit very often. The company never explained what caused the misprinting and other damages, nor how they managed to pass quality control and ship to previewers and press outlets in such a state.
Update on the shipment of The Deck of Many Things:— Dungeons & Dragons (@Wizards_DnD) November 20, 2023
Production on The Deck of Many Things set has begun. We anticipate the product being in player hands and in U.S. stores starting January 5.
When the defects were first reported, Wizards executive producer Kyle Brink told Polygon that a recent switch to more ecologically friendly packaging and shipping materials might be to blame. Both the US and Chinese production facilities that Wizards uses retired a biodegradable plastic known as “cello tape” as part of Hasbro’s 2022 Climate Action Plan.
The Deck of Many Things is a tarot-sized collection of cards representing the eponymous item that has delighted and vexed D&D players for decades, across several different editions of the RPG. Groups could use the deck during their campaign, drawing cards and manifesting dozens of wondrous and wacky effects. The companion sourcebook explains the origins of The Deck along with providing creative DM tools and adventure hooks. It sounds like the perfect gift for D&D fans, as long as they don’t mind an IOU in their stocking.