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Subject: Monster Life Meter - Which would you prefer? rss

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Isac Sandelin
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Which would you prefer?

In my game you will fight monsters, each monster has its own deck, and the first three cards are turned up before the quest begins.
They contain information about the monster such as attacks, life, defense and some story text. The rest of the deck is the monsters AI.

When you have dealt enough damage the monster goes into rage, and then it might behave differently.

Which of these cards would you prefer to keep track of the monsters remaining life points? There shouldn't be more that 1 or 2 of these in game at the same time. The "art" is temporary.

A


B (updated to make it more difficult to take the wrong one)


C (thanks Pierre for the idea)


D (thanks Kevin for the idea)


Any other ideas?
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Pierre Rebstock
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I find B more interesting but would require more work for PnPers (and more costs for a potential publisher). Version A is probably more "classic" hence more familiar to gamers. Have you considered having tracking numbers around the edge of the card and a paperclip to keep track of where the monster is at? (somebody came up with that in a design contest a while back and i thought that was pretty neat) Using a paperclip also somewhat prevent accidental knocking of the tracker.

 
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Håkan König
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A.

When you have a lot of marker of two kinds there is always the possibility of taking the wrong marker. Don't fall into that trap by trying to use B.

[edit]

After seeing option C, I'd say that's also a quite attractive option. I have one old game that uses paperclips to track information and it works quite nicely.

Even the edited version of B is less good than either A or C.

[/edit]
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Paul Dodds
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I agree completely with Håkan. I much prefer A.
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Jason
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I would agree with A as well
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Nigel Swan
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option a for me please.
 
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Isac Sandelin
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So, looks like (A) is leading (dominating in fact).

The problems with (A)/(C) that I see as the designer are:

1. What if the maximum health goes beyond 30 something (could probably still work with C).
2. What if you want there to be a way for the monster to attack the player who as dealt the most damage or something like that or if you want to give a reward to the player who dealt the most damage.
3. You would have to make a unique health card for each monster type (was planing to do that anyway).

I will probably run with C as it stands now.
Now I only have to find some fancy paperclips laugh
 
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D. Watson
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Personal preference is C. It seems like you can do more with the card that way, like add a picture. Also, sometimes counters move (being bumped), with the "paperclip" option, it seems that there would be less of a chance of this.
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Sam Mercer
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I prefer A and C, B starts to where down on you and requires a lot of extra brain power to compute the idea correctly of "what am I looking at" which of course, needs to be of minimal resistance to normal continuation of the game. I don't know why I used some crazy words there, but basically:

A) nice an simple, people "get" it. BUT because of the numbers of rows, you cannot see the "full picture" very easily as if it was on a straight line or a pie chart. In order for me to get the full picture: I need to count the remaining spaces to the right of the counter, then add the below two lines for its health.

B) The different tokens can be confusing and as soon as someone jarrs the table, it will be ruined. I do like the ideas of the different tokens for normal and rage state though - thats cool. Also adding so many tokens will add to the games resource requirements and if I lostt one of those counters: I would be screwed.

C) This is my favorite. I love the simpleness and the elegance of it: the "whole picture" is quite easy to see eg: the big bad scary monsters would have literally: "A higher starting point" so I would play your game, turn the card and go: "Hah, look this monster will be week, he does'nt even have the left card side filled, trololol" and its nice and easy to extract the required info. Also you could include a groovy paperclip with maybe some nice decals or colour on - shouldn't be too pricey. And finally it leaves a nice big spac in the middle of the card to leave you room for some flavor text or an awesome picture.

Hope I've helped and best of luck!

Cog
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Isac Sandelin
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Cogentesque wrote:
...

Yes, I agree, good points. In fact I have already started to look for fancy paperclips.

Bonus: My wife likes (C) as well
 
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Levi Mote
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I agree with the points others have made about all three cards.
Let me point out that even if your cards are fairly high quality the paper clips will fray the edges of the cards. If you have / know someone who has the original Betrayal at House on the Hill game, take a look at those player tiles. The clips sliding around the edge chew at the finish.
Another idea might be to use another card (laid face down over the active one) to track damage in a vertical column, of course you'll cycle through cards faster this way. Although I guess you could use the current tracker card as the next active card to slow down cycling.
 
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Isac Sandelin
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levimote wrote:
I agree with the points others have made about all three cards.
Let me point out that even if your cards are fairly high quality the paper clips will fray the edges of the cards. If you have / know someone who has the original Betrayal at House on the Hill game, take a look at those player tiles. The clips sliding around the edge chew at the finish.

Yeah, that is true... I have to think about that in my pursuit of paper clips.

levimote wrote:
Another idea might be to use another card (laid face down over the active one) to track damage in a vertical column, of course you'll cycle through cards faster this way. Although I guess you could use the current tracker card as the next active card to slow down cycling.

I don't quite follow you there...
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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What about an option D, similar to B, but with only 1's and no 3's?

When the monster appears, put 9 generic yellow ("mellow") cubes on the left, and 7 red ("ragey") cubes on the right. For hits, take a yellow cube if any are left, and then start taking red cubes. When the yellows are gone, rage begins.

I don't know if that's the best option, but it seems better than B as shown. Cubes are cheap and plentiful. And allows you to track who did what damage, if you want to do that.
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James Hutchings
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How big are these cards going to be? If they're normal playing card or collectible card size, I think having two seperate sets of counters might be too much. Is it possible to have like option B, but two cards?
 
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Levi Mote
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levimote wrote:
Another idea might be to use another card (laid face down over the active one) to track damage in a vertical column, of course you'll cycle through cards faster this way. Although I guess you could use the current tracker card as the next active card to slow down cycling.

I don't quite follow you there...[/q]

Imagine a card face up with numeric values listed in descending order from top to bottom on the card. Then place a card face down on top of the first blocking the irrelevant numbers.

I don't think I'm explaining this very well. sorry.
 
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Isac Sandelin
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apeloverage wrote:
How big are these cards going to be? If they're normal playing card or collectible card size, I think having two seperate sets of counters might be too much. Is it possible to have like option B, but two cards?


The same size as MagicTG cards. 88x63 mm.
The pictures should be close to 1:1 when you view them in the gallery.
 
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Kai Peters
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I like version D, it's easy to use, quick to adjust (both for damage taken and if you ever want to have modifiers for the Health) and you can get the status with one glimpse.

I'm no big fan of using different denominations of lifepoints as seen in B (maybe if you have really big numbers, and then only 10s).

C seems too fiddly to me plus the cards won't look nice for long.
 
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Ilya Baranovsky
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I prefer variant A - very simple, cheap in production and functional.

Quote:
1. What if the maximum health goes beyond 30 something (could probably still work with C)

Use another custom Health marker with +10 on it (it can be on back side of standard health marker). Another solution - use several Health markers in stack. So 2 markers on 16 for example can show health of 26 (16+10).

C is good too. The good thing is you can place monster picture on card.
 
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The Elder
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Option D
Thanks to this game that also uses paper clips around the edges, but uses two paper clips and two tracks to records Tens and Units.

You could use this for variable Rage levels. Using the layout largely as in C, and dependent upon you using Zero Tens position or not, you could record up to 59 or 69 health. You could track current health by sliding two cubes or pawns. When the cubes pass below the Rage setting it is Enraged.

Option E
You could also use a track like in C with paper clips to set the Rage level and circles like in A to record the current health, both with tens and units. Uses up the real estate in the middle and means the cubes can slide freely, which is important if you use a counter.

Option "prime"
Thanks to the same game as well as this one, laminated cards with dry erase markers. Really doesn't count as its own option but as an alternative to A, C, D and E.

If you want to track damage done by players for monster reaction, is it enough to simply remember who did the most damage in the turn? "Player 1 hurt me the most this round," thinks the monster to itself, "so I shall chomp Player 1 with my attack this round."

If monsters can have more health than one card allows: two cards. Nice easy solution with effectively unlimited expansion. Maybe there's something a little psychological in seeing a two card monster because it looks so much bigger, twice as big one might say.


I don't like C for two reasons. It can lead to wear as someone else mentions but that depends on the card and care. I'm careful and have bent my paper clips specially so that there's a tiny gap between the loops but I don't suppose everyone is going to think to do that. The cards in Fed Com are much thicker than playing cards and heavily laminated to wear on them is light anyway. The other reason is that you have to pick it up and move the clip each time. Much easier to slide a cube or marker. It's not much but I think it would be annoying.

B is annoying when you have to swap out a 3 marker for one or two 1 markers, especially if they are counters which are harder to lift. I don't even like doing that in Arkham Horror where there are a tiny amount of sanity and health markers to on a character card. However, if you're going to have enough markers to fit on the card you can track damage as players can take damage markers as they score damage on the monster.
 
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Pierre Rebstock
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levimote wrote:
levimote wrote:
Another idea might be to use another card (laid face down over the active one) to track damage in a vertical column, of course you'll cycle through cards faster this way. Although I guess you could use the current tracker card as the next active card to slow down cycling.

I don't quite follow you there...


Imagine a card face up with numeric values listed in descending order from top to bottom on the card. Then place a card face down on top of the first blocking the irrelevant numbers.

I don't think I'm explaining this very well. sorry.[/q]

I think i get it, I stumbled upon something similar while working on another poject.
Say each monster is made of two cards, the top one has picture, stats and associated card text. The one below is essentially a damage tracker and each time the monster takes damage, players slide the top card upwards.
Below some quick and dirty mockups:

Starting with 16 Health


I realised that this kind of setup allows you to introduce extra abilities (or weaknesses) for the monster as the players pile on the hapless creature.

New ability when the monster is down to 11 Health


And eventually gets to Rage mode at 7 Health


Like I said, i toyed with the concept before and it really comes great if you slide both cards into a sleeve. That way your damage tracker is protected for accidental knocks. No extra counters or tokens around. Heaps of space for extra moves for the monster (could even introduce the "limp" to indicate a monster is ready for capture... if you're staying with the MH theme). For extra large monsters, the tracker card can be double sided.
Also it keeps the players guessing when they first encounter that monster. Not knowing when a monster is going to go apesh*t on them might add to the intensity of the battle. Ideally each monster would have 3-4 damage trackers and one is drawn at random so technically nobody knows what's going to happen.
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Isac Sandelin
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Those are some really good ideas. Can't promise anything, but I will take note of them.
 
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The Elder
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PierreNZ wrote:
Imagine a card face up with numeric values listed in descending order from top to bottom on the card. Then place a card face down on top of the first blocking the irrelevant numbers.


Very elegant idea PierreNZ.



Similar to Spearpoint 1943 which uses damage cards under the unit card. Four types of units hence the four texts around the edges. The example image above shows numbers for turn tracking of limited duration effects. Damage cards are drawn from a shuffled deck in that game so you never know what effect will apply.

 
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Kevin B. Smith
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The Elder wrote:
I don't like C for two reasons. It can lead to wear as someone else mentions but that depends on the card and care.

Yes. Forbidden Island uses a paperclip to track the water rise level. It is only adjusted about 8 times per game, but I'm nervous about it. Especially when other people play my copy, and they don't realize that you should de-clip and then re-clip, rather than just sliding the clip up an inch.

And I'm not even particularly anal about the condition of my games. I can imagine many gamers going into a semi-freak-out over the issue.
 
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Isac Sandelin
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peakhope wrote:
The Elder wrote:
I don't like C for two reasons. It can lead to wear as someone else mentions but that depends on the card and care.

Yes. Forbidden Island uses a paperclip to track the water rise level. It is only adjusted about 8 times per game, but I'm nervous about it. Especially when other people play my copy, and they don't realize that you should de-clip and then re-clip, rather than just sliding the clip up an inch.

And I'm not even particularly anal about the condition of my games. I can imagine many gamers going into a semi-freak-out over the issue.

Yeah, in my game you would probably move it every 1-3 minutes.

I'm looking into Pierre's idea.
I also like the one with the wooden cubes. I like wooden cubes laugh
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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levimote wrote:
Imagine a card face up with numeric values listed in descending order from top to bottom on the card. Then place a card face down on top of the first blocking the irrelevant numbers.

I don't think I'm explaining this very well. sorry.

You explained it fine, but there is no need to imagine. Watch this review: Dice Tower Reviews: Dungeon Raiders (The relevant portion starts at 1:53)

Funny coincidence that I happened to watch that video this morning, after having watched this thread for the last couple days.
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