Hand Of Fate 2 is a nail-on-the-head sequel (and one of our 2018 GOTYs), hanging onto what made the first game's card game/roguelite/brawling combo so compelling while expanding in smart ways that save it from repetition. However, one thing it arguably didn't do was make the best of HOF's excellent sneering narrator/nemesis figure The Dealer, who in HOF2 has an altogether more chillaxed thing going on.
The good news is that the game's first DLC, due out tomorrow and which is also free, is very much Dealer-centric. The news I genuinely don't know what to make of is that he's being cast in a new and very different role from before.
The Dealer DLC as The Dealer as a Companion character, which is to say primarily as an NPC who accompanies you during HOF2's slightly Arkhamy third-person combat sequences, helping to crowd control and having certain player-activated support skills. However, he also serves a role during the turn-based card game aspect of the game: "A master of the Game of Life and Death, he can influence any tabletop gambit, though at great personal cost."
My guess would be that he can be used as a do-over if you get a disastrous result, but only a limited number of times. Only a guess, though.
More importantly, he will apaprently offer 'new quips and insults' during argy-bargies, which I sincerely hopes means he's going to tell me I'm a total prick while I'm busying knocking seven bells out of some bandits.
I do have mixed feelings about The Dealer being effectively my assistant, however, even if HOF2 explicitly pitches the player and he as working together. In my head, whatever the fiction, he is the mortal enemy he was in HOF1. In other words, I want him to be Skeletor, not Man-at-Arms. But hell, it'll be nice to hear more from him, in any case.
The Dealer DLC lands tomorrow, as a free add-on via Steam. Note that you can't add him to your party unless you've completed the whole HOF2 campaign at least once. More DLC is promised for further down the line, but no details on whether that'll be free or paid just yet.