‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Upcoming ‘The Deck Of Many Things’ Expansion To Introduce Franchise’s “First Prominently Featured Autistic Hero”

Asteria raises her blade on the cover to Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Many Things (2023), Wizards of the Coast
Asteria raises her blade on the cover to Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Many Things (2023), Wizards of the Coast

Ever the properly performative corporate ally, Wizards of the Coast will soon be introducing Dungeons & Dragons‘ “first prominently featured autistic hero” within the pages of its upcoming The Deck of Many Things 5E expansion set.

Asteria draws her deck on CoupleOfKooks' variant cover to The Book of Many Things (2023), Wizards of the Coast

Asteria draws her deck on CoupleOfKooks’ variant cover to The Book of Many Things (2023), Wizards of the Coast

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Set to release on November 14th, this new bundle of supplementary Dungeon Master materials will provide players with both a physical set of cards which can be used to expand upon the eponymous game mechanic, as well as a new, 192-page source book featuring “advice, adventure locations, and new monsters for Dungeon Masters, as well as character options, magic items, and organizations for players, all inspired by the deck” aptly titled The Book of Many Things.

In addition to these usual expansions on the franchise’s ever-expanding lore, the guidebook will also introduce players to the aforementioned autistic character, Asteria.

Wizards of the Coast unveils the contents of their The Deck of Many Things expansion set

Wizards of the Coast unveils the contents of their The Deck of Many Things expansion set

Asteria’s existence, as well as her neurodivergent backstory, were first brought to light courtesy of a photo-preview of The Book of Many Things provided by tabletop YouTuber NewbieDM.

Highlighting her introduction in a standard marketing one-sheet included with each preview copy, Wizards of the Coast explained that within their shipment, reviewers could “find an alternate cover of The Book of Many Things (artwork by CoupleOfKooks) package, which features the first brand-new POV character [specifically named individuals whose fire-person experiences are used to tell a specific story] to appear in D&D in nearly ten years, Asteria, the first prominently featured autistic hero in the game’s nearly fifty-year history.”

“Her father had grand plans for her future, but Asteria defied all his expectations and refused to fit into the mold he tried to place her in,” the publisher elaborated upon the hero’s backstory. “Asteria grew up isolated and independent, resenting the unending pressure placed on her to be someone other than herself.”

@NewbieDM discovers the existence of Asteria, Dungeons and Dragons' first canon autistic character.

Archive Link @NewbieDM via Twitter

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As noted above, Asteria’s introduction is far from the first ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’-motivated change Wizards of the Coast has made to the seminal tabletop RPG in recent years.

From dropping the use of such mechanics as Race and Half-species to removing various instances of ‘problematic lore’, the publisher regularly making changes to Dungeons & Dragons – as well as Magic: The Gathering – based on the constantly changing whims of the terminally online has unfortunately become their standard business model.

A player draws his flaming sword in a Japanese Dungeons & Dragon commercial presented during Wizards Presents 2022 - Dungeons & Dragons | Magic: The Gathering via D&D Beyond YouTube

A player draws his flaming sword in a Japanese Dungeons & Dragon commercial presented during Wizards Presents 2022 – Dungeons & Dragons | Magic: The Gathering via D&D Beyond YouTube

And unfortunately, given that they felt the need to so prominently market their latest release based on the mental health status of its characters, it seems like they won’t be changing it anytime soon.

he Deck of Many Things is currently set to be dealt onto shelves on November 14th.

A player rolls for damage in a Japanese Dungeons & Dragon commercial presented during Wizards Presents 2022 - Dungeons & Dragons | Magic: The Gathering via D&D Beyond YouTube

A player rolls for damage in a Japanese Dungeons & Dragon commercial presented during Wizards Presents 2022 – Dungeons & Dragons | Magic: The Gathering via D&D Beyond YouTube

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