Back when I was experimenting with d20 games to play with my son I spent some time with Big Eyes, Small Mouth d20. In that game there is a character class call Pet Monster Hunter, which is supposed to mimic the anime tropes of various monster fighting shows. Think Pokemon, Yugi-oh! and others. My son, being a huge Pokemon fan opted for this class right away, and since he was very young at the time most of his pet monsters were various Pokemon critters. Now I am not sure about you, but I have not run into many stats for cute fuzzy fighting monsters. To me it was just easier to use Pokemon. One day my son wanted to bring his actual Pokemon cards and use them in play, sort of a game within the game. I knew that A. it would work, but B. I needed to limit the cards he brought to the table. So based on the power level of his character (the book tells you how many monsters you can have) I said he could bring in X number of cards. It worked out well.
We later discovered that it worked just as well for his small collection of Yugioh cards, some deck of monster cards I got free at a Con sometime back and nearly everything. The cards did their own damage (as dictated by their own game) to each other it worked great.
When playing C. J. Carella's WitchCraft I have a deck of Tarot cards I use sometimes in place of dice. The cards are shuffled and drawn instead of rolling a d10. If a suit card comes up then we play it like the "Rule of 10" plus something extra. If a Major Arcana comes up then something weird and special happens.
Where am I going with this?
Well WotC has announced that they are going to start implementing a new set of "Fortune Cards" to D&D. And of course people are complaining.
Man, somedays I swear dealing with gamers is worse than dealing with 3-year olds.
Fortune cards, briefly, are sold in packs of 8 for about 4 bucks. The cards basically detail something that can happen in an encounter. The example they give is when you or an ally adjacent to you fails a save, you can pull a card for a re-roll. Game shattering to be sure.
I also should point out that these cards are designed to be used with "Wizards Play Network programs and other D&D organized play games in 2011" and "It's important to point out that Fortune Cards are not a requirement for D&D play".
But that has not stopped the cries of "Oh noes! Its teh death of D&D! Wizards is ruining it!!"
I hope Wizard's makes an absolute ton of money on these.
I might allow them in my game, I might not. I'll have to buy a couple packs to be sure (see there, WotC is at least getting 8 bucks from me and I am not even sure I'll use them). It's just a funky little edition to the game.
Who knows the text on the cards might even be worded generically enough that they can be used with ANY version of D&D. Miss a saving throw in the Tomb of Horrors? Not now! I have my "Re-roll a save card" who is to say that save is a D&D4 style death saving throw, a D&D3 Fortitude save or a Save vs. Poison?
Just like Pokemon, I'd limit the number of cards a player could bring to the table. And is this such a big deal? I mean who am I talking about here? My "players" are my kids and I have control what they the rest of the time as well and that includes what they buy and how often they get to the game store. But even if someone new comes in I can still say "house rules are no Drow and only 1 Fortune card for every 3 levels".
And it is nothing new. Paizo has their Plot Twist Cards and didn't Torg have some sort of fate card as well? And according to some, Dave Arneson even used something very similar.
Much ado about nothing I say.