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Subject: using a standard deck of cards to keep track of money rss

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maf man
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So I assumed I'm not the first to think of this but I couldn't find anyone talking about if or how this idea would be good.
Heres the idea:to use a deck of cards like a number ticker
each player has a deck of cards and would use each suit as a digit with ace being one and ten being zero.
diamonds= thousand , spades= hundred , hearts= tens , clubs= ones

As far as I have thought it through it seems like a good idea
can track numbers 1 to 9999, more if you use the face cards as 10,000 markers
tracks that scale by exact, whole, singular numbers
would keep numbers hidden
quickly read what the amount is rather than counting chips or bills

as far as cons go I'm just wondering if its too demanding as far as physical math goes? Its very easy to take 7 in coins but with this card idea it could get finicky.

So why have I not seen this recommended with pnp games? Are there more negatives that I'm not thinking of? Are there simply not many games that would need exact digits for a range such as this? Other thoughts?

If this is even halfway decent I hope to spread the word and for this to help others design and test games.
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Sam Eckels
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I have rarely seen money in those quantities in physical games. Monopoly being a notable exception, going beyond 100 or so is pretty rare. Plus, if we're doing digit manipulation with that many digits, enough people will need (or want for verification) pencil and paper that you might as well just track it there.

Where I could imagine the hassle being worthwhile is if a game let you gather some intel on the player's totals by seeing some portion of the cards left in their deck or giving you direct partial information about their total. I don't have the rest of the mechanics to make that interesting in my head, but that's what I'd expect to make the fiddliness worthwhile.
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Rob Robinson
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What about Poker Chips?
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Eery Petrol
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I think the drawbacks are just the ones you state. I am curious to see if you like the system once you try it out. There might be two things to consider as possible downsides to this system.

1)
Each time you change a digit of your value, you have to take a value card back, find its position in the deck, put the card there, find the new card in the deck, take it out and put it on the table. Depending on how many digits change, this will be done one to three times per value change.

Now consider that there is a market for 20 sided dice that have incremental values placed on neighboring faces, instead of on scattered faces, so that you only need to turn your dice by one side for each value increment. People are looking for ways to minimize the amount of abstract actions and focus on the fun. The deck idea sounds to me like more actions.

2)
When one token is one point, it means something when you collect it. It means something when you lose it. With the card system... it's not the same intuitive thing. When you go from 19 to 21... your single digit suit goes from a 9 to a 1. That's intuitively a bad thing, while it's actually good, so there's a disconnect there. Same as going from 11 to 22; both suits increase by the same amount, so upgrading both suits' values intuitively feels equally good, yet one is obviously better.

I think the card system does have some merit in games with more number crunching than most. I would argue that such number crunching is a design flaw, but there could be good examples where it is justified
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Phillip Harpring
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mafman6 wrote:
So I assumed I'm not the first to think of this but I couldn't find anyone talking about if or how this idea would be good.
Heres the idea:to use a deck of cards like a number ticker
each player has a deck of cards and would use each suit as a digit with ace being one and ten being zero.
diamonds= thousand , spades= hundred , hearts= tens , clubs= ones

As far as I have thought it through it seems like a good idea
can track numbers 1 to 9999, more if you use the face cards as 10,000 markers
tracks that scale by exact, whole, singular numbers
would keep numbers hidden
quickly read what the amount is rather than counting chips or bills

as far as cons go I'm just wondering if its too demanding as far as physical math goes? Its very easy to take 7 in coins but with this card idea it could get finicky.

So why have I not seen this recommended with pnp games? Are there more negatives that I'm not thinking of? Are there simply not many games that would need exact digits for a range such as this? Other thoughts?

If this is even halfway decent I hope to spread the word and for this to help others design and test games.


The main negative is the one you pointed out: it's finnicky to change the exact number. It is certainly less complicated to use an app or even a scratch piece of paper.
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maf man
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Yeah pen and paper does the job. I came up with this idea because I want to design a economic game as I have yet to find one that scratches the itch I'm after. Besides monopoly idk what to test this idea on. I was also thinking, in comparison the the pen and paper, when adding your physically replacing the card you have there as a digit and perhaps thats enough of a record to verify your doing your math right.

poker chips just can't do the same job. too much mass to get the range and too hard (well takes too much time doing it over and over) to count rather than read. At lest that is my conclusion.


So when your replacing the cards back into the deck, I was imagining a person would have it organized enough to have suits together and thats it, how long do you think it would take an average player to find the suit then the # they want?
I suppose that could be asking more than what I thought

haha, an app never even crossed my mind, i guess thats a testament to how much I like full physical games lol
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Martin Bell
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I would give each player a few pennies and tell them to track their scores in binary (tails=0 heads=1)
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Curt Carpenter
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mafman6 wrote:
poker chips just can't do the same job. too much mass to get the range and too hard (well takes too much time doing it over and over) to count rather than read.

Too hard??? That's the problem with the cards. You bump them and whoops, was that 735 or 375? All the math has to be done in your head. You can't just give or take a certain amount, and have it be easily auditable by everyone at the table. It's hard. And I would argue much slower. And tedius to keep the numbers sorted by suit so that you can quickly find the exact card you're looking for. Which of course requires one deck of cards per player.

As for mass, that's what mini chips are for. Or even with big chips I don't see the problem. It's not like you have to hold all the chips at once. Unless you're planning a game to take backpacking.
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maf man
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hehe binary. now I'm tempted to see what i could do with a programing theme.

bumping the cards wouldn't do a thing, thats why you'd want meaning to the suits. You are right that cards would be slower in action of give or take like the example earlier of one addition could turn multiple cards but having a running and readable total I think would be the change. When I try board games with chips it takes time to determine your total, much slower than simply reading. Do you tend to total you chips often? How many different chips do you use typically? Its common to have 3 colors and not go by tens.

As for the mass thing I had two thoughts; 1-packing in a game box and 2-table space, I see it easier to control a deck of cards on a full table.

I guess the biggest plus vs chips would be the hidden total attributes, I consider the small footprint and ease of total checking a part of that.
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Curt Carpenter
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mafman6 wrote:
bumping the cards wouldn't do a thing, thats why you'd want meaning to the suits.

Oh right. Good point.

mafman6 wrote:
You are right that cards would be slower in action of give or take like the example earlier of one addition could turn multiple cards but having a running and readable total I think would be the change. When I try board games with chips it takes time to determine your total, much slower than simply reading. Do you tend to total you chips often? How many different chips do you use typically? Its common to have 3 colors and not go by tens.

When it is important to know the exact amount of money someone else has, and you can't tell from a glance, we just ask. Maybe that's the difference. I tend to not play games where knowing the exact amount of money of other players at all times is super important. Or put another way, we tend to do monetary transactions much more frequently than asking about other players' totals. It's pretty easy to get an approximate count from across the table, which is one of the primary benefits of using chips rather than paper money.

mafman6 wrote:
As for the mass thing I had two thoughts; 1-packing in a game box and 2-table space, I see it easier to control a deck of cards on a full table.

For carrying in a game box, mini-chips are the way to go. Lots of "serious" xx gamers still prefer full-size chips. For table space, I'm not so sure. I think the pile of chips in front of each player is no bigger than a couple cards.
 
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B C Z
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If attempting to create a currency, having objects that can be handed back and forth is easier than each person having a 'counter' where one ticks up and the other ticks down.

 
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Russ Williams
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This sounds very cumbersome and Rube-Goldberg-esque to me compared to the more common familiar obvious methods (money in the form of tokens/chips/coins or bills, or writing numbers with paper and pencil).
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Naomi Ooooooooo

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If you have cards and need a money stand in you could just do something like:

Hearts - 20
Diamonds - 10
Clubs - 5
Spades - 1

Lighter than poker chips but not as fun to fiddle with while waiting your turn.
 
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Magnus Carlsson
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You can even go as far as having cards face up - 1, face down - 10. Then you wont have to remember if it was clubs or diamonds that was 5/10...
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Austin Andersen
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I suspect that if it was easier or more convenient than it would already be done as playing cards have been around for seemingly forever. Maybe not exactly the way you described, but in one way or another. As it isn't a common method at this point, I suspect that it requires too much from the players. If you think about it, a simple sheet of paper with a pen would be the quickest. If math is a problem, throw in a calculator.

I suspect when people play board games with money, they like handling something tangible, that behaves like the money that we use.
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maf man
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bbblasterfire wrote:
As it isn't a common method at this point, I suspect that it requires too much from the players.

exactly why I posted

So the general consensus is that its just never needed and its too far removed from acting/feeling like money. That lack of transactions?

So would anyone change their feelings if this was used for points?
 
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Russ Williams
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mafman6 wrote:
So would anyone change their feelings if this was used for points?

I would not; it seems more cumbersome than the existing common familiar methods for all the same reasons.
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André Silveira
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If you want to test try 1830.

The money goes from 1 dollar to 3000 dollars in the same game. It should put your mechanism to the test.

I prefer Excel on the computer or poker chips to track money, but found the cards interesting, although a little clumsy.
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Austin Andersen
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mafman6 wrote:
So would anyone change their feelings if this was used for points?


I still think that people would find it bothersome to have to put cards back in proper order and to go looking for the proper card from a maintained ordered deck of cards.

Most people don't want to have to shift focus of thought when gaming as it can be disruptive. Having to maintain an ordered deck of cards while seemingly innocuous, if performed repeatedly can detract from the immersion from a game. Most games I know, have piles or stacks where things get discarded to and these discarded piles or stacks tend to either be unorganized and random or established prior to play and made up of uniform things like piles of like bills or tokens.

I think putting back into appropriate pile is about as far as people are willing to go. Having to dig through to find where should be reserved for the end of a game and not a regular occurrence throughout a game.
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maf man
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bbblasterfire wrote:

I still think that people would find it bothersome to have to put cards back in proper order and to go looking for the proper card from a maintained ordered deck of cards.

So would you find yourself keeping to the exact order of the entire deck? Or do you feel keeping the 4 suits separate (and not in order) and having to read each of the 10 cards would be just as bad?

I was imagining that the 2nd wouldn't take a whole lot but I didn't test this during a game and perhaps I'm relying too much on my personal background of card games, plus everyone tends to read cards differently.
 
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Robert Wesley
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Ever played "Euchre"? We used the "5"s to keep 'score', covering/revealing ONLY the amount shown as the current scores' ongoing. whistle
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Austin Andersen
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mafman6 wrote:
bbblasterfire wrote:

I still think that people would find it bothersome to have to put cards back in proper order and to go looking for the proper card from a maintained ordered deck of cards.

So would you find yourself keeping to the exact order of the entire deck? Or do you feel keeping the 4 suits separate (and not in order) and having to read each of the 10 cards would be just as bad?

I was imagining that the 2nd wouldn't take a whole lot but I didn't test this during a game and perhaps I'm relying too much on my personal background of card games, plus everyone tends to read cards differently.


I think maintaining any type of index for more than two suits would be tedious if done repeatedly. It isn't so much the system is the problem as the fact that the system has to be used in conjunction with the actual game you are using it for. As an example, Star Realms has double sided cards 1/5 and 10/20 for keeping track of authority points. While the system isn't all that demanding or complex, a great many people voiced their dislike for it so much so that many of them track authority by some other method.

I think the problem above stems from the fact that you are using a card based tracking system with a card based game. It is too similar and bothers people. If Star Realms were let's say chip based and the cards were used to track, people would probably more accepting of the cards. I myself am okay with using the cards though I do admit I do dislike it. If I have some dice handy to track the authority instead, I will pass on the cards.
 
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maf man
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bbblasterfire wrote:

I think the problem above stems from the fact that you are using a card based tracking system with a card based game.

so in that example the similarities of components is a major factor? Is it about its identification when setting up and play so excessive thought has to be given to focus on cards in your own play area? I can see that as rather annoying, though dependent on the components and table set-up as a whole.

GROGNADS! how could you?! here I would have assumed you'd use an ace,2, and 7 all different suits.
 
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Nathaniel Grisham

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I don't think anyone has pointed out that this method of scorekeeping would use a 10 as a 0, which is another source of confusion. Instead of the 10, maybe use the back of a card to represent a 0, but I still don't like it.

You might as well have each player use 4 d10 instead. It would still be fiddly, but the digits would be correct and you only have to keep track of 4 items, instead of 40.
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maf man
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yeah, I just wish d10 dice and alike were a little more user friendly for this intended purpose.
I was also thinking the queen could stand in for a zero rather than the ten but then that eliminates the ability for the face cards to be used for anything as that would get even more confusing.


ps before everyone stops reading, if they haven't already, I really appreciate all the feedback and different views. Its really coming down to its just so counter intuitive and trying to make a ticker thats so hard to change is just a bad idea. Such a shame I really liked the idea of having something so slim. You guys have been very helpful and I like fleshing out ideas like this.
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