Monday, February 7, 2011
D&D Fortune Cards for non-4e D&D
So far I fail to see what the big deal is. It adds another random element to play that can be fun. They are really not all that different than say playing with Drama points, except that you don't get choose the effect they have when you use them.
Basically you start with a deck say of 30, 40 or 50 and then you shuffle them and draw a card each round. You can hold or play your card. Some have conditions that need to be met (you or an ally make a skill check) or when something happens to you (you are moved or teleported) or in combat.
Some negate some bad effect, other add a +2 to a roll or even say you can have 1/2 damage or extra damage depending on another roll.
So far I have seen a single card that I would say is a balance or game breaker. There are some that might give a character an undo advantage, but I also see it as a way to help make combats interesting and constantly changing.
I also didn't see a thing in them that screamed "this is for 4e only". In fact outside of some minor terminology I could see these working in any version of D&D you care to play. Sure some would need to be tweaked, shifting has a particular meaning in 4e and saving throws mean something different. But others would be perfectly fine to use in your favorite retro clone.
There have been some images of cards posted by Wizards, so lets look at them.
Here are two.
Get a Grip - Every version of D&D has a Saving Throw. They might mean something different, but they have them and making them is good, not making them is bad. If an ally fails their save, then play this card and they get a second chance. Yeah-yeah you "save or you die" types are squealing, but frankly these cards were never for you to start with.
Grim Determination needs more definition, but not so much if you just say "bloodied mean half your hit points are gone".
While I may never use these cards in my 4e game, I am going to make a point of trying them out in at least one old-school game sometime soon just to see if they work out.