D&D's latest physical book has been delayed due to bad luck of the draw: 'The defect rate is too high. I cannot in good conscience ship this stock'

An image of a reaper clawing towards an unfortunate adventurer who has drawn poorly from The Deck of Many Things, D&D's latest core rulebook.
(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast, art from The Deck of Many Things.)

Dungeons & Dragons has a new book coming out—but you'll have to wait a while longer for the physical copy. The release of The Deck of Many Things core rulebook has been delayed thanks to a streak of bad luck (or poor manufacturing, depending on how charitable you're willing to be). On October 28, the official D&D Twitter account made the following post: 

A post that reads: "We drew from the Deck of Many Things and...", followed by an image that reads: "Due to a manufacturing issue, the physical version of The Deck of Many Things will have a delayed release date. The digital release of The Book of Many Things will not be impacted by this delay and will still release on Tuesday, November 14. Purchasers of the physical + digital bundle will still receive early access to The Book of Many Things on Tuesday, October 31."

(Image credit: @Wizards_DnD on Twitter/X)

The digital release won't be impacted, which tracks—you'd have to try real hard to get manufacturing defects in a PDF. "After an internal review we found the product didn’t meet our manufacturing standards," a further post on D&D Beyond states. "We are sorry to those of you who have put in your preorders already or planned on picking up your copy on November 14."

The book promises to expand one of D&D's most infamous items: the titular Deck of Many Things. This thing's like giving your players a bandolier of grenades that'll either blow them up or give them free candy. For example, you could draw the Gem card, which gives you around 50,000 gold's worth of jewellery or shiny rocks. Or you could get the Ruin card, which strips you of all valuables, any property you own, and the very clothes on your back. And that's one of the nicer bad cards.

Polygon spoke with D&D's Executive Producer Kyle Brink on the subject: "The defect rate [of The Deck of Many Things] is too high. I cannot in good conscience ship this stock. We need to fully inspect it, understand exactly how many units are defective—all that." The full release was planned to include a set of physical cards, which seem to be the major issue according to Polygon, who received a pre-release copy.

The website writes: "The cards as shipped had conflicting shapes, with some cards concave and others convex …  the paper bands used to secure the cards for shipment were so tight that removing them damaged the foil on the edge of the cards … not all the cards were the same size, meaning that they could not be easily shuffled."

Brink believes these issues could be due in part to Hasbro's recent shift away from using waste products like cello wrap. "We inspected very closely everything throughout the production process to make sure everything was going fine with that, and yet some of the problems that we are seeing here are specifically because of some of the paper packaging that we use."

So—yay for the environment, boo to teething issues. Brink does, however, say they're hoping to get these issues solved before the end of the year: "We hope that our investigation will meet our expectations [and] that we will be able to get the product out to people this year." Until then, you'll just have to derail your DM's hopes and dreams with the new 66-card strong deck in digital format.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.