View Full Version : D&D "helper" cards

2006-08-11, 06:51 PM
I just may have done something clever for once. I would appreciate some opinions...

I was doing some thinking the other day, and it occured to me that it's really annoying sometimes to keep flicking through a large number of thick manuals to find small amounts of information, like a spell's effects, or a monster's reflex save. So ... I have decided to put them on little cards instead!

The idea came from a card-based RPG I once tried to make many years ago. The game idea was rubbish, but the premise was to do away with character sheets and huge reference books with lots of cards instead, and certain things like health-points represented by counters. These cards won't do away with character sheets, but it might make D&D a little bit smoother.

Below are two of my sample creations: a monster card for a Shocker Lizard, and one of its abilities.

http://www.geocities.com/the_fire_wolf_uk/dndcard1.gif http://www.geocities.com/the_fire_wolf_uk/dndcard2.gif

Each card contains a very, very brief summary of whatever it's meant to be. The monster card, for example, contains everything but the skill modifiers (which I may put on the back) and flavour-info (which I would expect DMs to look up in advance anyway); and the ability card contains the ability in very accurate terms (the 1/arrow-thing at the top is a shorthand way of saving "usable once per turn".

I was thinking this could work for lots of things. Spells and feats could have special cards, to prevent players interrupting a fast-paced combat scene while the DM looks up if it was 10 or 20ft range. Each player could have a stack of cards for each of these, and it could reduce clutter on character sheets.

So, what do people think?

2006-08-11, 06:57 PM
Usefull but it'll get either expensive (for people with lots of cards / characters) or barely used (for people who have little abilities to be put on a card)

2006-08-11, 07:16 PM
Expense is the problem. For a while, I was full of desire for card based equipment for PCs, stack item cards on your Back Pack Card, Weapons and such on your Belt Card and so on. It didn't take long for me to realise the amount of work and expense involved for something that could otherwise be solved by writing it down. Helper Cards are a great idea, but the execution of that idea will be problematic and could potentially place artificial limits on your imagination through the standardisation of the items, creatures and everything else encountered in the game world. Nice design, though.

2006-08-11, 07:18 PM
I like it. Your samples are nice too (except for the watermarks, but I know how that's important). Actually, I commonly make Magic Cards, so I've got tons of templates along those lines that are in fancy colors and everything. I could help you with this.

-I remember I once pulled out a MtG card and tried to convince the DM to let me cast it. :-[

2006-08-12, 12:22 AM
I tried doing that for spells a few years ago, but I didn't actually get around to doing it. You've made a dream come true for me, thanks!

2006-08-12, 12:31 AM
These remind me of my DotBH Cue Cards I used a while ago...

2006-08-12, 12:48 AM
It's a cool idea, but a much cheeper way is to just buy a pack of 3x5 cards from your local dollar store and write what is relevent to a certain situation.

2006-08-12, 05:53 AM
Thanks for the replies guys.

I'll agree that expense is potentially an issue, but I really have no idea what they'd cost. Also, although I would like to legally sell these, but I am not quite sure that I can, and they may not be a viable product. If I can't sell, I'd certainly provide them for free online, and then the only cost would be for printing and paper.

That said, buying miniatures is expensive, problematic, time consuming, and places limits on what you can use, while you could easily just used coloured counters instead -- but people do it.

One way or another, I'm glad people like the designs/the idea, even if they wouldn't go so far as to buy them. :)

2006-08-13, 09:28 AM
I've been doing something similar to this myself. Though i personally just make greyscale cards and print them off with a fold mark and stick them together.

If your planning on actually marketing this idea for money well you would need to get them professionally printed. Remember to go to your local printer and ask them about what "stock" papers/card they have as they are generally 1/10th the price of the HP papers (or other big brands).

Personally though I would opt to bypass the whole expense issue by presenting the idea in digital format. The best way (for the customer) to provide this to people would be on a CD at a convention or Via the web. You could then produce them in an editable format so people can adjust and manage the cards themselves rather than buy a deck of 2nd level spell cards and only really end up using 3 of them.

Also provided in a digital format the user can house rule their cards, print them off cheaply in greyscale or colour and manually select which cards they want.

Hope that helps :D

2006-08-13, 07:02 PM
You could then produce them in an editable format so people can adjust and manage the cards themselves rather than buy a deck of 2nd level spell cards and only really end up using 3 of them.
Yeah, 'cause that's how Wizards rolls.

-Just kidding. The CD's are a good idea. I'm just sayin, you know, that these companies have a bad track record when it comes to this sort of thing.