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Daedalum

Ideas & advice for managing components

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I'd like to hear peoples methods of running WFRP3. How do you keep an organised and efficient table once all the tracking tokens, puzzle pieces and cards are in play. Particularly for the GM as there can be a lot to track behind that screen.

 

 

I'll get the ball rolling with one easy tip and a second thats a bit involved but does really help, honestly :)

 

PAPERCLIPS

These help on the GMs various tracking cards and on cards that are likely to get handed around during play, or that you would like to encourage players to interact with, like the Party Card or Favour Cards. Last thing you want is tokens sliding of the track.
DSC_0693.JPG

 

HASH MARKS

I kid you not. I like tokens on the player side of tracking as it keeps everything visible and, well, tangable. But on the GM side, once you start a large combat, good luck counting out tokens for everything. The kiss principle is best here as you want o be able to get things running fast. So, how to track W,A,C,E fo a bunch of mobs for an encounter to haven't planned? I suggest placing a post-it note to the back of  the ceature card, a different colour for each mob. A,C,E is easy to hash off under the stat while wounds can be tracked beneath.

DSC_0691.JPG

Its quicker than een writing out the WACE and mob number on scrap paperand easier to track as the stats are right there. For mobs I only hash up to the indiviual wound threshhold so its easy to see when a mob member bites the dust. I've taken some coloured markers at coloured the inside underside of a couple of bases to match so mob tracking is easier.

DSC_0690.JPG

DSC_0692.JPG

Well thats it for me any other wise or wacky suggestions welcome :)

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Man, I am glad I read this little thread of yours. The sticky pad paper on the card is brilliant.

I do the classic scrap paper tracking stats stuff for battles, but it is a bit easy to get sidetracked as a GM, do to the fact you are always engaged in the story. I plan on adopting your sticky pad paper on the back of the card ploy. Its brilliant.

The only sort of organized prep I do is for the evenings planned or possible battles, I prep my creature vault box with the proper locations cards, monsters, monster action cards and standups and keep it all in the ready. That way, everything is conveniently at my disposal and I don't have to pause to grab stuff. I hate it when the mechanics of the game get in the way of the story.

The chits, various wound and what not cards are all in a central convenient area for the players, adjacent to the party card. Other than that any battles or what not that may transpire are played out in front of me. We work alot in story mode.

 

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Daed' :  excellent ideas and good illustration.

My refinements/improvements:
* Like you, I use sticky notes and hash marks for opponent ACE tracking and wounds. It cuts the time-organization-consumption on GM. Pencil and paper ~ what a novel concept! ;)
* All of my players use either hash marks and/or paperclips for tracking Stress/Fatigue. Nobody currently uses chits for these.
* Stance meters are TAPED on the back side so they don't fall apart during games and a couple players use paperclips to track.
* Each player has a table tent with a tray on the back and a box inside. Cards are clamped together between games.
* One player marked his stance meter on the top of his table tent and just uses a slider paperclip there
* One of my players uses sticky notes with hash marks for his action cards (although he's determined to trim it and stick it to the side with a round-tracker on his cards and track it with a paperclip ----> 0 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 etc.
* Party Sheet goes into a VERTICAL plastic holder with a tracker on the SIDE (with paperclip). ----> 0 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 etc.  Fortune or talent CARDS go in the top. For the most part, party sheets have gone essentially unused by the GM and the players however. It's held up with the adventrueres toolkit, which holds our dice.
* You can make more boxes with your own artwork here btw: gallery.rptools.net/v/contrib/emirikol7/wfrp+char+box.jpg.html
* Players are using either my or gitzman's fillable character sheet and all of them started with the demo character sheets from Liber Fanatica (modified as necessary)
* I use a post it and a pencil to mark initiative.  Again, it keeps me from dancing over chits, which speeds the game, and keeps me focused on the action and roleplaying rather than game components (rules-lite seems a bad name to me, because I use the same rules..I just don't dance over chits :)
* I use an Easy Reader book stand to put my scenario on, mark with post-its and roleplaying notes, and clamp it with oversized clamp. 
* I hype my players up on coca cola before we start so they aren't tired during game night (we play on Thursday evenings)
* Lastly, I leave the GMs screen flat on the table with the d10 Chaos and Comet effects chart taped to the side (along with all the other useful stuff that isn't on the inside). 

I haven't purhcased the creature vault yet, but the way you guys talk about it, I'm probably headed that way.  Currently, I just clamp the page of the monsters open.

jh

..
 

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Because I'm an obsessive graphic designer with a doctorate in 'procrastination from real work', I make up encounter sheets with all the information I need at a glance and spaces for tracking wounds etc. Though with the new Creature cards I may simplify these a bit in future.

wfrpgamesheet.jpg

 

 

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UniversalHead said:

Because I'm an obsessive graphic designer with a doctorate in 'procrastination from real work', I make up encounter sheets with all the information I need at a glance and spaces for tracking wounds etc. Though with the new Creature cards I may simplify these a bit in future.

wfrpgamesheet.jpg

 

 

 

Oh man, this is amazing...please tell me what software you use for designing these!

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Word to that UH.

I'm seeing consensus on a particular theme here...

PREPARATION

As is always the GMs burden in a trad RPG the players only get out what the GM puts in (just kidding). But this game certainly rewards the GM for prepping and planning. All the tools and components can overwhelm a disorganised GM but as simpatikool points out organising those same components before a session is a great way to plan. Universal Head planning is the other end of the spectrum that we all aspire to, great stuff! Gets me thinking, would love to see some generic encounter plans that less graphicly competent GMs could fill out and prep on ;). In the interum, you guys mentioned planning to pick up the Creature Vault. The creature cards are deffinately a great planning and ingame tool. So here is some that you can fill out to tide you over, and is good for NPCs too

creaturecard_mono.jpgcreaturecard_colour.jpg

Some custom tools for the range of tracking methods descibed by Emirakol would be cool too. Got some crazy ideas involving magnets there...

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Yes, I sometimes very much envy the players, who just show up and have a good time. Whereas we're playing on Monday night and I know a good half of my Sunday tomorrow will be spent preparing for the game! 

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Sorry, but once I start doing that it's a slippery slope and before I know it I have to start supplying and updating encounter sheets for very main encounter for every adventure ... they're all custom designed to apply to my group anyway. 

I do all my boardgame reference sheets, but updating WFRP3 ones is just too time consuming. Also FFG have strict copyright rules from GW they have to abide by which have made it too much of a hassle for me to do WFRP reference material.

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Daedalum said:

Word to that UH.

I'm seeing consensus on a particular theme here...

PREPARATION

As is always the GMs burden in a trad RPG the players only get out what the GM puts in (just kidding). But this game certainly rewards the GM for prepping and planning. All the tools and components can overwhelm a disorganised GM but as simpatikool points out organising those same components before a session is a great way to plan. Universal Head planning is the other end of the spectrum that we all aspire to, great stuff! Gets me thinking, would love to see some generic encounter plans that less graphicly competent GMs could fill out and prep on ;). In the interum, you guys mentioned planning to pick up the Creature Vault. The creature cards are deffinately a great planning and ingame tool. So here is some that you can fill out to tide you over, and is good for NPCs too

creaturecard_mono.jpgcreaturecard_colour.jpg

Some custom tools for the range of tracking methods descibed by Emirakol would be cool too. Got some crazy ideas involving magnets there...

These are fantastic! I'm totally throwing a Paizo face card on the back and stealing these for custom NPC cards.

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Hope you dont mind UH, but i've just totally ripped these off for the continuation of my campaign  :)

These should help me no end!

 

UniversalHead said:

Because I'm an obsessive graphic designer with a doctorate in 'procrastination from real work', I make up encounter sheets with all the information I need at a glance and spaces for tracking wounds etc. Though with the new Creature cards I may simplify these a bit in future.

<snip>

 

 

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I know many of us craft our own cards, assets, etc. for our games. In the last month I've created a bunch of new cards/trackers, the most recent is a ritual system that includes a spell action card for invoking the ritual, and then each ritual is represented on a larger card, with a tracker managing the progress of casting the ritual.

But what I've found most useful is to prepare my encounters ahead of time similar to what UniversalHead has done. I do make use of the creature cards, so for a generic NPC party (e.g. the retinue listed below), I detail the main NPC, a couple of his lieutenants, and all others are simply soldier henchmen.  The examples I include revolve around the PCs encountering two witch hunter groups. One is ruthless but fair, the other... not fair.

Here is the social tracker (two counters, 1 for each witch hunter group):

Witch%252520Hunters%252520Cohort.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the NPC detail card (for the Witch Hunter and his two main lieutenants):

Grims%252520Retinue.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For generic encounters; I printed a bunch of these wound/ACE counter cards (they're quite small) for each major NPC or Henchmen group and attach to the creature cards.

wound-ACE%252520tracker.png

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Well, like anything, the real work is in the planning.  If I have a strong vision of the NPC and I know what talents and action cards I want to assign, then maybe 10-15 minutes. Adding art takes as long as finding a good piece of art to add, cleaning it up if necessary. If I need to whip up something very light, I can do it in 5 or less.

Granted, it took me about 4 hours to come up with the template; working through how I want to represent pieces of data (e.g. Wounds, ACE values, etc), layout and so forth. But now that I have a template in place, I literally drag and drop elements and type in values.

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I should also stay, none of my stuff is as sexy as the StrangeEONs made content (which I use to create custom action cards).

I try to make what I build printer-friendly, with some nice color to make things standout or more readable.  I am basically building a home brew province in the province which is linked to a fairly epic campaign, which I plan to make publicly available when I'm done.  All of the assets I use (Action cards, NPC cards, Encounter cards, custom trackers, etc) will be included.

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Quick note for all who don't have the gold and silver to buy Indesign or Illustrator -- the best (free) Open Source software (at least in my eyes) for this type of work is InkScape (inkscape.org) -- Mind you, I'm not saying it even comes close to the abilities of Indesign or Illustrator, which are meant for serious design work, but for the type of stuff here, it'll work just fine.

 

 

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I was considering using poker chips for the Fortune Dice. Using one colour for personal fortune, another for group fortune. All you do is throw them into a pot to announce the chips are down and you've used one.

For the stances I've considered using the coloured decorative glass beads (reds and greens). Then placing them in front of me to remind me where my stance is. The stance meters are lovely but ultimately they are bits of card and will shred and fall apart so an alternative is a better idea.

The recharge for powers is the trickiest because so far we've been using dice( 1D4, 1D6 etc) and changing the amount at the end of each round but this can be problematic so the post it notes is a good idea, might give that a try.

 

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