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Arguments in favour of play helping products

Sun 17 Nov 2019, 17:31

This post is mainly aimed at the Fria Ligan Crew, but I would definitely want to know what you think about it.

It is about play helps like cards, dice, and standees, minis, battle mats. While I do not use minis and battle mats, I would personally be an avid buyer of anything that puts rules on cards. Monster cards, weapon cards, planetary system cards.

I am a senior GM with little time on his hands to prepare sessions, and these types of products are a boon!

Also, since a lot of the art already exists, I suspect these would be relatively easily designed and produced. And it’s a great way to get more money from the existing player base.

The last advantage of producing such products from an editors standpoint, is that you drastically augment shelf space vs other games that don’t offer such products. Your in-store visilibility is multiplied by 4 or more, easily.

When you go in any store, D&D and Pathfinder stand out because the RPG section is covered in their logos and products! Next in the visibility hierarchy comes the FFG Star Wars lines, then TOR, Doctor Who and Cthulhu games.

I know FL games are Indy games, but they have such a powerful art direction that given more visibility, they would attract the casual gamer IMO.

For Coriolis, you could produce:

Stock NPC cards
Ship cards
Weapon and gear cards
Planetary system and space events cards

I would personally buy all sets.

What I’m saying is, I guess, that these products are also a powerful marketing tool. And they make the game easier to manage for GMs!

(The GM screen is excellent, in that regard, by the way.)
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Re: Arguments in favour of play helping products

Tue 19 Nov 2019, 13:12

The Icon cards deck has NPC cards with stats, so this is covered in a very nice way. The ship position cards also list the actions you can do (I hope I recall this, the deck is not near me to check). I like the deck and how it can be used generate something on the fly from prophecy to scenario seeds. Initiative and dice roll - great bang for the bucks. The dice - love them all. Except the Alien ones, they look and feel cheap. :D

On the other things
  • I always considered gear cards as gimmick. It is great way to get into the mood, but for me it puts too much board game feeling and extra costs for the hobby. Nice to have but not mandatory and for system as Coriolis - the table in GM screen and printout from the book is enough.
  • The Atlas compendium has awesome tables to generate insane amount of systems, the cards will be limited and I don't think it will be commercially viable. And having those tables on cards... don't see the point, especially with the different sizes. But if the cards are having different planets drawn on the back.... hm, might consider if I run game that involves a lot of travelling and sight-seeing. 
  • Pre-defined combat maps does not work for groups who are used to the flexibility of the vinyl battle-matts. They, along with miniatures, are huge money sink and with little return of the investment. My group owns a box of miniatures from the old 3.5 days and some Star Wars and that's about it, but I moved to games where you don't need that much any of those and theater of mind and zone-based mechanics is great relief. 
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Re: Arguments in favour of play helping products

Wed 04 Dec 2019, 06:19

I agree with the above mostly. Theater of the mind is far superior. Especially because once you get into battle mats, miniatures, and tile sets it limits you to what you have which just incentivizes even more purchases while also restricting game play.

The only card packs I would like to see are DM aids. Give me nice concise cards for the monsters in a format that makes it easy for me to build more with my own note cards. Give me a quick table with Dark Point costs for triggering environmental effects, hazards, and other things. I don't mind having a quick reference for the DM in that way. The players have a character sheet for that kind of stuff. The DM needs all the help they can get.
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Re: Arguments in favour of play helping products

Sat 07 Dec 2019, 23:46

I'm for pretty much any type of player/GM-aid, regardless of weather it caters to my particular play style or not. 

I think it's great if there is support for multiple different game styles in a game, even if the game itself has a certain focus. And if they are not to specialized, creative GMs can use them for all sorts of things other than the obious. 

Paper cutouts would be great just for tracking how many bad guys there are, and what kinds. Even if you just line them up infront of the GM screen rather than using a grid. Sure, you could use dice, or beads, or pieces of paper. But paper cut outs would look pretty nice! And they and they can be used by those who prefer a more game-y, tactical experience. 

Gear cards are as great for randomizing loot, as they are for keeping track of rules. 

I love the NPC-cards, and I'm thinking about picking up another set so I can sleave them (covered back side) and have one deck of stats cards and one deck of just portrait cards and just use the to randomize NPCs and stuff.

There is of course always a risk that if you put a game aid out there, some people will assume that is how the game is intended to be played. So I'm guessing the chance for stuff like paper cut outs is pretty slim. 

Of course... nothing stopping me from going to other games for that stuff, and using it in coriolis. But it is always nice with "proper" stuff =D

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