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Kaiju

Tokens, counters, dice - what player aids/gadgets do you find useful?

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Hi everyone,

I have been gearing up for a big campaign, and contemplate what kind of tokens or player aids would be most useful without cluttering the table entirely. I have 2 dice set + dice tray obviously, GM screen and all FFG products minus the playmat of course.

So, first thing I got was cherry-petal shaped tokens for strife. I have about 35 of these, which should be enough for a party of 4. I plan on using D10 dice for relevant NPCs because it takes less tablespace.

Now I am contemplating an initiative tracker, and was wondering if ring tokens for combat to indicate stances make sense? Do you handle fatigue with tokens, counters, or just good old writing them down? Any other stuff that you use for your games?

 

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I made some stance counters for my players, should make it easier to keep track of who is in what stance.  Really simple to make, and my players tend to get a kick out of using tokens so should go over well.

Plus I get to say "Show me your stance!"

I also made some software to keep track of badguy stances and initiative, and npcs in general, because it seemed silly to make a whole second batch of 5 tokens per badguy in skirmish.

 

2019-03-19.jpg

Edited by Miwt
picture was too big

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One thing I find essential for all my games in whatever system is one or more of those little whiteboards with a whiteboard pen.

Order of initiative, quick maps, NPC hit points in a random encounter, secret notes to a particular player - anything temporary can be added to it and wiped out as needed (literally in the case of NPC's).

Another thing I have that I will be using specifically for L5R is a small stack of Chinese style coins - the kind you get in ornaments or for IChing etc., round with a square hole, Very handy for general token usage. Just adds a bit of oriental flavour.

 

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On 3/19/2019 at 7:37 AM, Kaiju said:

Now I am contemplating an initiative tracker, and was wondering if ring tokens for combat to indicate stances make sense? Do you handle fatigue with tokens, counters, or just good old writing them down? Any other stuff that you use for your games?

I've not found an initiative tracker all that useful, so I stopped. It's not like in WFRP or Star Wars, where the slots are  hot-swappable... It's also easier for me to simply use an index card, as then I can record stances, and not have to ask.

Tokens for strife and fatigue is good, but not worth breaking out the poker chips for me. My players loved doing so in Pendragon, but NOT in L5R (we tried in playtest of 5E). And it's >3 kg I don't have to lug in. 

The one thing I really want is a stance-die - d6, 5 sides stances, 1 side with the rosette. 

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4 hours ago, alagron said:

I use some wooden tokens I made for strife, fatigue, and void points. I like the idea of a D6 with the elements on them.

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How did you make the wooden tokens? They look great! 

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Ok I am making a "pain sheet" right now, which is a way to see and track all the damage, conditions, wounds etc. on a single laminated sheet, with paper clips, markers and such. I contemplated making wound cards and condition cards, but this would end up being like 25 cards per player to get everything covered, which seems a bit over the top to me, especially given how rarely you ll see some of these. The old Deadlands game from the 90s had a smart way of tracking ammo and wounds on the sides of your character sheet, and I am building on that idea. Once I am happy with the result, I ll post a picture here.

 

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19 hours ago, Miwt said:

How did you make the wooden tokens? They look great!  

Thank you! I used a 3D laser printer to engrave then cut them. You can also use particle board, acrylic, or plywood; but I went with different types of hardwoods. I couldn't be happier with how they turned out.

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Cheap set of plastic poker chips is what our group settled with. Red for Fatigue, Blue - Strife, and White for Void points. Stack of chips sits right in front of the GM screen within easy reach of me, or a couple of players. for the stances, I created a simple doc for each element, with the symbol. Printed on card-stock, or mounted to 3x5 cards, and go.

Image is borked up by Kansen. View the cards here: 

 

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On 3/21/2019 at 7:01 AM, AK_Aramis said:

...

The one thing I really want is a stance-die - d6, 5 sides stances, 1 side with the rosette. 

I had the same idea and went to work, using gareth_lazelle's symbol font, blank dice and stickers. For the sixth side I chose the Clan Mon.

I like the result and will try them next week.

89F1F102-4DAD-41C5-87DA-4B14591E08C6.jpeg

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First, the materials at Dojo Creative Design are useful: https://www.dojocreativedesign.com/l5r-roleplaying

Second, I've tried a few things and some have worked better than others.  Here is what went well.

My players enjoyed the five-page reference document from Dojo Creative Design (DCC).  Having the commonly used actions for a skirmish or intrigue listed on one page is helpful.  I plan on adding a six page listing each character's techniques by using the Technique Sheet templates from DCC.  I've tried giving players cards with common actions and their techniques on them, but sheets of paper has worked better than cards.

Previously, I had little pieces of paper explaining each condition and would either hand these to a player when their character suffered that condition or would place the piece of paper next to their token if we were having a skirmish on a map.  All I did was copy the conditions pages out of the Beginners Game rulebook and cut out the paragraph for each condition.  It was a quick project and works well enough.  I've since printed out double-sided versions of the Conditions and Wound cards from Dojo Creative Design onto card stock and plan to use those next time.  Ideally, I would have little tokens for the most common conditions and would put those next to affected characters during a skirmish.  Everyone at the table would have the relevant Condition cards in case we needed to re-read the details.

A common problem at my table has been that players forget or get overwhelmed by their options for using opportunities.  I've tried giving players two-page copies of the opportunities tables from the rulebook, but that has been difficult for them to use on the fly.  Next time I'm going to give them the double-sided Stance and Opportunity Cards from DCC.  Those list the relevant opportunity options for each element on the back.  Its been my experience that players aren't choosing their stances based on what their opportunity options might be and only think about opportunities after they role the dice so having cards with just the subset of opportunities available to them at that moment will probably work better than a big sheet to look through.

For what it's worth, no, I don't work for Dojo Creative Design.  I just like their stuff.

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Wonderful cards. i love them! Would it be too demanding if you could share the samples to print? Anyway i will have to translate them since my players cant speak english

 

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So many props!

I just use a whiteboard and occasionally my laptop.

I used to use black poker chips for Void points, but then corona hit and ... you know ... touching stuff that other people have touched is bad.

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On 9/21/2020 at 6:32 AM, Tenebrae said:

So many props!

I just use a whiteboard and occasionally my laptop.

I used to use black poker chips for Void points, but then corona hit and ... you know ... touching stuff that other people have touched is bad.

Agreed! I use a custom grid on roll20 with an initiative tracker and stance icons similar to a battlemat. Players have multiple icons so they can record things without me needing to do it. We were already playing remotely, so no issues with touching things.

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On 4/6/2019 at 11:24 AM, klatschi0212 said:

I designed cards for my gaming group that have all relevant information on them, helping us to keep track of all the different actions available to our samurai. I also did some smaller cards for all the different conditions.

 

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I need these cards :D

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