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Tokens & Cards - keep it to a minimum


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#1 tensider

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:13 AM

I have run the Beta once thus far. Both me and my players really loved the thematic narrative style.

That said, I had a bad experience with the FFG Warhammer RPG and its plethora of tokens and tiny cards. Some people love them, but my me and my players didn't. They were too fiddly and took too much time to set up, utilize, put away, and store. They were more of a joke than an asset to the game.

Now I see that the Beginners Boxed Set will include "8 Destiny Tokens, 35 Character Tokens, and 5 Vehicle Tokens". That might be okay for a learning set, but please try to keep the token bloat to a minimum. I know you guys make great gaming bits. I enjoy them in the X-Wing Minis set.They're fine in a board game. In an RPG, where the focus should be what's in your imagination, don't overwhelm the players with too much stuff on the table. A character sheet with space for notes continues to be a great way to track nearly everything you'd need.

(Note that this is my personal feedback, not the opening statement in a debate. Feel free to add your opinion, but I'm not going to argue my point further)

Thanks!
tensider



#2 schi0384

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:57 AM

 I agree with this. 

Over the years, I've been RPGing with a friend that had some difficulty keeping track of a scene in his imagination, like where everyone was relative to him, missing vital details or clues in scene descriptions, etc. This was partially due to him just not paying attention, but I tried some strategies to help him stay in "it".  This included a host of visuals aids, tokens to represent mana points, damage or whatever, portraits for NPCs, maps of almost every scene or room. As a result, it just created a mess. The table was littered pages of pics, references, tokens, dice. A cluttered mess. The visuals became distracting to all players including the player I was doing it for. They just stare at or play with the tokens instead of paying attention. My prep time for a session went through the roof and was easily triple the time we spend playing a session. Players felt overwhelmed that they have to keep track of every sheet.

I have RPG'd both ways (with a ton of materials and with just a book, sheet and dice) and I think I now prefer the cleaner, simpler "all in your head" approach. I definitely see and understand the appeal of a material heavy RPG system from a designer POV (more sales) and player POV (something to grasp and focus on) but I hope they keep old school and the fans and customers can adjust and appreciate that.    



#3 dirklancer

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:58 AM

 I have to agree as well. I find that while visual representations are good at times, sometimes it seems to impair the creativity instead of enhance it. On another thread I've been looking for alternatives to using a map and minis because I noticed as soon as they were part of the game, some players in my group just weren't as imaginative with using things like advantages and relied more on what was on the actual map. When we used more abstract systems and less clutter, the creativity seems to flourish. Plus, as a long term gamer, I already have enough tokens, maps, cards, etc. laying around, so for me a book and some dice would be fine.



#4 Callidon

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:29 AM

I guess I'm confused at the point of the OP and subsequent responses. This game, as designed, doesn't assume the use of any cards, tokens or minis. Nor have they begun packaging anything besides the Beginner Game (which is a separate line from the Edge of the Empire rpg similar to D&D Essentials or other rules-lite versions of games). So I guess what I'm saying is…your wish has been granted? Celebrate in the streets?

If FFG releases tokens, cards, and other stuff for this game or the Beginner Game line as supplementary accessories in the future you don't have to buy them.  When Edge of the Empire (the commercial release of this Beta) hits the streets it will do so in the form of a hardback book (as mentioned on the Beginner Game page, and around these forums by Sam).   If they subsequently release counters, cards or other items as accessories you won't be forced to pick them up unless you feel they would add value to your life in some way.  Thus balance is restored to the galaxy.

 


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Edge of the Empire: Talent Trees; Force Powers; Character Sheet

 


#5 GM Chris

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:49 AM

Yeah.

 

The rules are very clear that tokens, cards, and/or maps aren't needed to play.  The Beginner's Box has them… but even then - they're just aides.


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#6 LethalDose

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:13 AM

I asked about this at the In-Flight report where they announced the game.  They said they had no plans on producing for EotE anything similar to what they had done with WHF.  It was pretty different from all of the other responses they gave for other likely products: "we can't comment on possible future products"

My players and I really like some of what was done with that system, tho, so I got a bunch of chessex glass gaming stones and use those to track strain, wounds, destiny,  who has acted in the round, and even ranges.  It works great.  It may not be perfect for every group, but it works really well for us.  Food for thought.

Oh, and old WotC SW minis for the characters.

 

-WJL



#7 FFG_Sam Stewart

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:12 PM

Hi everyone,

Just to be perfectly clear, the final version of this book will be a hardcover book with a separate dice pack available for purchase. Hope this clears things up!



#8 dirklancer

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:59 PM

 Excellent, and good to know! Thank you!

And on a side note, if you have someone with a copy of the Othello game (also known as Reversi), the pieces make excellent Destiny Point tokens.



#9 Sturn

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 02:22 PM

I do want some bits and pieces. Just not so much as Warhammer.

FFG's Warhammer started with tons of bits and pieces, then realized they went overboard (for many of us) and later released hardback books that didnt' require all of the cards and pieces.

It looks like FFG learned from this and is going to start with the hardcover books. What I'm hoping is this will not mean they aren't also going to add playaids next, after the core books.

What do I mean? Warhammer had some excellent ideas in cards and tokens used as PLAYAIDS. Creature cards, Talent cards, etc. were really only small playaids. Instead of flipping through a book, a player could have all of his talents in a stack. Or, the referee could have his selected adversaries for the game session at his finger tips on cards. Warhammer went a little overboard and it became a chore to store and keep all of the tokens and cards in order.

What do I want? Soon after the release of the core books, start releasing boxed toolkits with all of the cards and tokens for those who want them.

Player's Toolkit - Simply a set of dice, character tokens like we see in the Basic set, and a stacks of talent cards. Nothing else, keep it simpler then Warhammer. Perhaps a playmat/cheat sheet?

Referee's Toolkit - A set of dice, adversary tokens, and adversary cards (brief descriptions upon them). GM screen?

Vehicles & Starships - Round tokens of starships/vehicles and reference cards for each. Add a book of advanced starship combat? Starhip and vehicle playmats?

Locations? - A large collection of location cards similar to Warhammer, but of a larger size.

I don't want an overload of bits and pieces, but I DO want something. Just keep it simpler then Warhammer please.



#10 tensider

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:56 AM

Sturn said:

Perhaps a playmat/cheat sheet?

 

I like this idea -- a cheat sheet for a career's ability tech tree, rather than having each ability on a separate card.

 

Good discussion, everyone.



#11 I. J. Thompson

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 03:57 AM

Sturn said:

What do I want? Soon after the release of the core books, start releasing boxed toolkits with all of the cards and tokens for those who want them.

Player's Toolkit - Simply a set of dice, character tokens like we see in the Basic set, and a stacks of talent cards. Nothing else, keep it simpler then Warhammer. Perhaps a playmat/cheat sheet?

Referee's Toolkit - A set of dice, adversary tokens, and adversary cards (brief descriptions upon them). GM screen?

Vehicles & Starships - Round tokens of starships/vehicles and reference cards for each. Add a book of advanced starship combat? Starhip and vehicle playmats?

Locations? - A large collection of location cards similar to Warhammer, but of a larger size.

I don't want an overload of bits and pieces, but I DO want something. Just keep it simpler then Warhammer please.

This is a great idea. They'd be cheap enough to produce, and players could buy only the ones they're interested in (which, let's be real here, would be all of them). And then storage would not be an issue, because each set could go right back into its box. Brilliant. 



#12 Mestre dos Magos

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 04:53 PM

I like WHFRP, I agree tokens and cards were overused, but I reallt would like to see action cards, creature cards, etca released for SW

It would of course be optional, but I for one (and i am sure I would not be alone) would purchase all the optional kits…



#13 Venthrac

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:08 AM

I've got a bunch of cheap Star Wars minis that I bought online to use in my Saga campaign. For EotE, I have been using these to show relative position and distance on the tabletop. It's actually been helpful to have a visual reference like that, but it is certainly not required for the game.



#14 Sirkamina

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:51 AM

Part of the reason I like this system so much is that we do not need any miniatures or gaming aids. The dry erase Grid that once was the tactical tool for saga editions ranges has now become a glorified notepad. The only thing we activley use it for is to draw two little boxes to put the destiny points in for when we play rocket tag, sliding them back and forth from light to dark.



#15 GM Chris

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:21 AM

Sirkamina said:

Part of the reason I like this system so much is that we do not need any miniatures or gaming aids. The dry erase Grid that once was the tactical tool for saga editions ranges has now become a glorified notepad. The only thing we activley use it for is to draw two little boxes to put the destiny points in for when we play rocket tag, sliding them back and forth from light to dark.

We've been using Othello tokens.  Worked great.  And the dry-erase board has become the tool to show initiative order.  [shrug]


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#16 Sirkamina

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:38 AM

Its kind of amusing to see gaming aids reduced to the usefullness of a grocery list.

We all even keep bringing our dice, despite only ever using the android and Iphone apps until real dice become available. Combine that with the ability to put all of your characters stats and abilities onto an index card, and you make for a very lightweight gaming experince. I will say it does lend more towards the story as we are never fiddling with rules, numbers and ranges.

The character I had when we were playing saga edition was both wealthy and a techie, using many of the item customization rules. The character sheet was 4 pages of hand typed information. The character was well built and well rounded, however the depth got me away from the game and into the book a little too much.

I am much happier with this system. Making a character athletic here requires a decent brawn and some 2 or 3 in athletics. In saga, it took several feats, training in jump, climb and swim, and then you were still limited by the level of your character. My starting character was able to climb a cliffside in 3 rounds that the rest of the party spent 8 rounds walking up in our very first session. Despite the lack of complexity there is no lack of customization.

 



#17 Venthrac

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:15 AM

When I ran an office game of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3E, we played in a conference room that had a big whiteboard. We used that to illustrate the battlefield and sketch out where everyone was, to show distances and what not. I came to really like that. It was so much easier than using a battle grid.

In fact, the only reason I'm inclined to use miniatures with EotE is because I already own them, and they look like Star Wars characters (because that's exactly what they are). It's kind of cool to say, "You see two squads of stormtroopers approaching" and then actually put down little stormtroopers on the table. I still don't use a battle grid with them, I just stick them down and them place the PCs and tell everyone how far apart the characters are. The stormtroopers cost me ten cents each, which I think is a bargain given that they're painted.

It's just a matter of personal preference, really. One of the nice things about this game is that there are many ways to go about handling encounters visually. Pick the one that works for you, and get rolling the dice :)



#18 Sturn

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:24 AM

I may go the way you are Venthrac. Thanks for the post.

When playing Warhammer I used over-sized location cards and placed the standups upon them. It worked pretty good except when having to place down several location cards when the party got split up.

I already have a large dry-erase board with magnetic back and I can field an entire platoon of Stormtroopers. I don't want to have to draw out detailed huge maps like I used to with 1" graph paper. That took too long between and during games. A rough sketch board with no scale would be easier. I can imagine moving the figures around and adding notes with markers:

You jump out of your landspeeder by a large tree (quickly draws a speeder and a large tree, figures placed around the speeder). Stormtroopers open fire from a nearby ledge (place Stormtroopers, draw a wavy line to represent the edge of the ledge, make a note they are at Medium range). Etc.



#19 CStevenRoss

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 01:14 AM

If your Galaxy Master has the time and resources to prep beforehand, something I've found really useful is to have small color printouts of what the major NPCs in an adventure/heist look like. I generally do this by putting 6 portraits on an landscaped 81/2x11 sheet of paper, cut and fold to make tents thatcan stand up on their own. Or just go whole hog on the printer ink and print out one page per portrait.

In my experience, this has been especially useful to the players who are NOT diehard Star Wars fans. One thing that I've seen and heard consistently about all versions of Star Wars RPGs is these types of players' frustration when a very knowledgeable Star Wars fanatic is playing, usually GMing, and they get overwhelmed by the humongous volume of EU material that the GM mistakenly assumes everyone else is familiar with.

For example, your GM might describe a character as an elderly Cerean. For a lot of us reading these forums, I'm sure we can all draw up a mental image right away as to what that probably looks like. But for the majority of gamers, they have no idea what a Cerean is, even though they probably would recognize a picture of one as being "from Star Wars".

A little picture goes a long way.



#20 Sturn

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 06:00 AM

CStevenRoss said:

 

If your Galaxy Master has the time and resources to prep beforehand, something I've found really useful is to have small color printouts of what the major NPCs in an adventure/heist look like…..<my snip>…..

A little picture goes a long way.

 

 

The basic set has "Character Tokens", and "Vehicle Tokens". These appear to be cardboard circular tokens you lay flat, or "pogs", to some of us. Looks like a cheaper version of the standups used in FFG's Warhammer. I can imagine getting sheets of these in future EotE products. Luckily for us, D20 related software can be used to easily make custom pogs without any talent needed. Download TokenTool for free, buy some cardstock, print some sheets and cut.

I tried my own instructions above and was able to make some great tokens (haven't printed them yet) in seconds using "borrowed" graphics from the internets.

EDIT: I would be concerned about how easily they are to pick up off the table when done in cardstock. Perhaps buy something thicker to glue them to?






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