Cards in D&D Next

I'd like to see cards used D&D Next for monsters, encounters and even magic items in D&D Next (not necessarily your standard baseball-sized card, but some double-sided, laminated sheet that is sold in packs).

I envision them having artwork on one side of the card (e.g. an image of the monster, magic item, or setting of an encounter), and on the other have the specifics for running the monster, item, or encounter. 

Think of how easy it would be to put together a combat encounter with a few cards set aside instead of having to flip through the Monster Manual; how simple it would be to create an adventure by pulling out a couple different encounter cards from your deck; how simple handing out a random magic item would be or finding an appropriate image to convey what players are encountering.

They could be sold in packs that could be as general or specific as necessary:

-'Basic' to 'Advanced' packs
-Campaign setting specific packs
-Story or location based adventure packs
-Level based packs
-Combat, Exploration, or Interaction focused packs

There's lots of possibilities, and I think cards would be an excellent way to streamline a business model and product organization.

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

As a companion to the relevant book (be that a Monster Manual, PHB, campaign setting, whatever), I would quite possibly purchase a deck of cards for $9.95 plus tax.  Of course, that relies on the base game being worth playing, which remains to be seen.

The metagame is not the game.

i'd be for it so long as the things on the cards were things that had previously been in regular books.
I never utilised cards in 4th ed and wouldn't see myself using them in D&D Next. I'd much rather open up my iPad and flip through the book to the relevant page. I can have multiple copies of the same book open and switch to each book for the relevant page for multiple monsters. If my players go somewhere unexpected I don't need to scramble for the right encounter deck, I just open up the table of contents and click on a link that takes me to the relevant page.

To be honest, I found the old monster binders way more useful than cards ever were. The prep for compiling the pages per setting is the same, the pages give you more information. Cards are more portable but the advantages of actually having a page with a full size picture and relevent information outweighs the disadvantage of portability,  I think.


I don't see myself using cards in D&D.

I think making customizable cards part of the DDI offering for Next would be he way to go.  I created my own versions of the Encounters Reward cards as well as Item, Quest, Delve, and Monster cards.  The Monster cards in particular were customized based on pre-rolled character knowledge rolls for the monster lore.

Reward Card

Quest Card

Monster Card

Item Card

Delve Card

Kalex the Omen 
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The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

It just has a canned feel that I don't like. To each their own and there's no harm in putting out cards if people find them useful but they're not my taste.
I find that players like to have props they can touch.  Cards fulfill that very nicely.  Especially if customizable players can take pride in the way thier magical armor looks unique, the monster cards remind the players what their characters know about a given monster so they can role play that knowledge correctly (instead of using the metagame knowledge they gained from reading the Monster Manual), quest cards are useful because players don't have to take notes about quest and can keep their note taking to NPC names and interactions.  I'm not sure I'd do the Reward Cards again, but they were fun in the same way that magic items are.

Kalex the Omen 
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Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

If there are people out there who want them, they can have them.

I don't want them to be required in any way (i.e. the items/spells/NPCs only found on the cards not in a book).

Personally I do most of my game electronically even if I'm playing face to face - so they aren't going to be anything I'll use. 

I'm not a fan of the cards either - I'd rather there be an application that lets me as the DM design the cards for the players and then I can print them out (similar to how I use the current Magic Set Editor to do). 
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I don´t want buy them. I buy books to create stories. 

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Flatly,

no.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Heh.

I already don't use miniatures when I DM, I use Magic the Gathering cards on a grid.

I'd buy.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

As a companion to the relevant book (be that a Monster Manual, PHB, campaign setting, whatever), I would quite possibly purchase a deck of cards for $9.95 plus tax.  Of course, that relies on the base game being worth playing, which remains to be seen.

I agree. Here's to hoping that all our time and energy makes that so! Wink

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

i'd be for it so long as the things on the cards were things that had previously been in regular books.

I'd be for it as a direct replacement, but I'd be happy if they were a companion to the book...I'd be even happier if the books and the packs were sold together!

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

I think making customizable cards part of the DDI offering for Next would be he way to go.  I created my own versions of the Encounters Reward cards as well as Item, Quest, Delve, and Monster cards.  The Monster cards in particular were customized based on pre-rolled character knowledge rolls for the monster lore.

I Love it! Now were talking! 

I'd still like to see BIG artwork on one whole side (so I could flash it or pass it to my players) with a name or title, and all the info on the other (so there's more room and so my players can't see all the info when they take a look at the artwork).

I'm glad people support this idea... I wasn't sure how it would be received.

*prays that WotC see's the thread*

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

Here is my issue with this.

1. If it's like 4E, they will errata them dead in a week.
2. If it's like 4E, they will sell them in random booster packs.

They aren't for me anyway, but even if I were on the fence, both of these would be a deal breaker.

∴ "Virtus junxit, mors non separabit." 

I wish power cards had taken off better during 4th ed's run.  I also wish that Wizards hadn't ****-canned D&D mini's.  I know that this type of conversation usually brings out those who fear that having supplemental material like cards somehow makes D&D a collectible card game, but that's not what this is about.  This is about having nice, simple organization material to use that looks professionally made and isn't just some scribbles on a sticky note.  Sure, all the information can be drawn up and distributed by the DM if they want, but how many times have you had to keep reminding the party of the specifics of their quest because the group's note taker forgot to write it down, or didn't show up that day?  How many times is a game interrupted because a player needs to find out what his or her power does in one of the piles of books you have?  These cards are just simple tools that make games go smoother.  Yes, you can do them on your own if you are so inclined, but some of us like having cool professional looking materials to enhance our game.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

If there are people out there who want them, they can have them.

I don't want them to be required in any way (i.e. the items/spells/NPCs only found on the cards not in a book).

Personally I do most of my game electronically even if I'm playing face to face - so they aren't going to be anything I'll use. 

I'm not a fan of the cards either - I'd rather there be an application that lets me as the DM design the cards for the players and then I can print them out (similar to how I use the current Magic Set Editor to do). 



I'm down for that! 

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

Here is my issue with this.

1. If it's like 4E, they will errata them dead in a week.
2. If it's like 4E, they will sell them in random booster packs.

They aren't for me anyway, but even if I were on the fence, both of these would be a deal breaker.

NO RANDOM BOOSTER PACKS!!Yell
 
Tongue Out

...but, seriously. 

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

I wish power cards had taken off better during 4th ed's run.  I also wish that Wizards hadn't ****-canned D&D mini's.  I know that this type of conversation usually brings out those who fear that having supplemental material like cards somehow makes D&D a collectible card game, but that's not what this is about.  This is about having nice, simple organization material to use that looks professionally made and isn't just some scribbles on a sticky note.  Sure, all the information can be drawn up and distributed by the DM if they want, but how many times have you had to keep reminding the party of the specifics of their quest because the group's note taker forgot to write it down, or didn't show up that day?  How many times is a game interrupted because a player needs to find out what his or her power does in one of the piles of books you have?  These cards are just simple tools that make games go smoother.  Yes, you can do them on your own if you are so inclined, but some of us like having cool professional looking materials to enhance our game.


I absolutely agree. 

And having a digital option caters to those players who aren't interested in 'canned' material - I think there's a way to bring this to the light of day. 

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

I wouldn't mind the cards at all, BUT they must follow 3 criteria.

1) Completeness: If I buy a pack of monster cards, it better have them all. I'm not going to buy a booster pack of information I have in a book already, I'm buying them for convienience.

2) Affordability: Also, as stated above, 15 or so bucks isn't a bad asking price for a companion and isn't above some of the like products that Paizo produces. Knowing wizards though, it would be closer to 30 :P

3) Brevity: I would want the cards to not have all the flavour on them. A picture is fine, but after that just have the stat block. If I want to see all the flavor I will just crack open the MM and read. If I need their stats mid combat, that's where the cards would be useful and hiding the stats amongst a host of flavor would just defeat the purpose of the cards.

All of it hinges on the fact that I already have the MM with all the information. The cards need to serve some purpose in order to justify their purchase :P

The encounter and treasure cards are a little more understandable, and to an extent don't they already have these in print? 
My two copper.
Not my cup of tea, but I wouldn't begrudge them to others if Wizards thought it would make money.  For me, gimmicks like cards draw people out of the "reality" of the game.  heck, that's a reason I don't like character sheets that exceed a two-sided page.

interesting that there's a sentiment of just including stats and a picture when I would consider them more of a presentation aid in a session. In that context I would really not want them to have anything but a picture and a name because I'm showing them to the player to give them a visual aid and I wouldn't want them as a resource about mechanics.


I wouldn't use them in any case so it's all academic to me, but maybe I'm misunderstanding what people use these cards for.

I wouldn't mind the cards at all, BUT they must follow 3 criteria.

1) Completeness: If I buy a pack of monster cards, it better have them all. I'm not going to buy a booster pack of information I have in a book already, I'm buying them for convienience.

2) Affordability: Also, as stated above, 15 or so bucks isn't a bad asking price for a companion and isn't above some of the like products that Paizo produces. Knowing wizards though, it would be closer to 30 :P

3) Brevity: I would want the cards to not have all the flavour on them. A picture is fine, but after that just have the stat block. If I want to see all the flavor I will just crack open the MM and read. If I need their stats mid combat, that's where the cards would be useful and hiding the stats amongst a host of flavor would just defeat the purpose of the cards.

I've often handed out index cards for magic items, with a picture on one side (either hand-drawn or pulled from the 'net) and the stats on the other side. These are for items that aren't just "longsword +1" but instead have interesting properties that it might be hard for the player to remember. A DM I played with a looong time ago had index cards for all his monsters.

I wouldn't mind having item and monster cards along the line of Jenks' requirements above. There were also Wizard and Priest card decks, too, a while back. One of my players used those a lot.

Cards can be good tools for those who need memory jogs or like to see what's being described (since not everyone can imagine pictures). It's easily one of those "if you don't need them don't buy them, but if you need or want them, it's good that they're available" things that WotC could offer.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

As long as the cards don't distribute rules via a randomized collectable method, I am fine with them. I have found cards with abilities on them very useful in 4e and WFRPG 3e. 
To be honest, I found the old monster binders way more useful than cards ever were. The prep for compiling the pages per setting is the same, the pages give you more information. Cards are more portable but the advantages of actually having a page with a full size picture and relevent information outweighs the disadvantage of portability,  I think.

For me, the issue is of space around the game table.  Character sheets and dice take up enough space, even when people aren't trying to bring in a laptop for everything.  I need a book to know what a monster is aside from the stat block, but that's a preparation issue; if I'm going to reference something frequently during play, then having everything ready on a card is significantly convenient.

interesting that there's a sentiment of just including stats and a picture when I would consider them more of a presentation aid in a session.

Maybe put the picture on one side, and stats on the other?

The metagame is not the game.

To be honest, I found the old monster binders way more useful than cards ever were. The prep for compiling the pages per setting is the same, the pages give you more information. Cards are more portable but the advantages of actually having a page with a full size picture and relevent information outweighs the disadvantage of portability,  I think.

For me, the issue is of space around the game table.  Character sheets and dice take up enough space, even when people aren't trying to bring in a laptop for everything.  I need a book to know what a monster is aside from the stat block, but that's a preparation issue; if I'm going to reference something frequently during play, then having everything ready on a card is significantly convenient.

interesting that there's a sentiment of just including stats and a picture when I would consider them more of a presentation aid in a session.

Maybe put the picture on one side, and stats on the other?


Honestly, I could care less if it's full page, half page, card sized, etc. I just like the idea of being able to organize it myself for each encounter and being able to show my players what it is their dealing with. A monster binder or an adventure binder would be great, too.  

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

One of the greatest possibilities I see with the encounter cards is pulling 3 random cards from the deck and immediately having the mechanical backbone of an adventure.

For example, say you pull 'crossing the desert', 'waylayed by bandits' and 'An apparition appears'. There's a lot of room to string those together to make a unique and interesting adventure for the night in about 5 mins.

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

One of the greatest possibilities I see with the encounter cards is pulling 3 random cards from the deck and immediately having the mechanical backbone of an adventure.

For example, say you pull 'crossing the desert', 'waylayed by bandits' and 'An apparition appears'. There's a lot of room to string those together to make a unique and interesting adventure for the night in about 5 mins.



This is actually a very cool idea, and one I totally support. I just got kind of turned off by the booster pack idea :P
My two copper.
Maybe put the picture on one side, and stats on the other?

That's what I'd prefer.

One of the greatest possibilities I see with the encounter cards is pulling 3 random cards from the deck and immediately having the mechanical backbone of an adventure.

For example, say you pull 'crossing the desert', 'waylayed by bandits' and 'An apparition appears'. There's a lot of room to string those together to make a unique and interesting adventure for the night in about 5 mins.

That's a great idea!

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

As long as the cards don't distribute rules via a randomized collectable method, I am fine with them.


I wholeheartedly share this sentiment.  I recall using cards in AD&D 2e, particularly the spell cards.  They were handy to have on hand as a DM so I could quick reference the effects of spells that monsters could use.  But the moment they start to introduce the MtG method of only making things available through randomized booster packs, that's where I draw my line, and I will not cross it.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

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Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

As long as the cards don't distribute rules via a randomized collectable method, I am fine with them.


I wholeheartedly share this sentiment.  I recall using cards in AD&D 2e, particularly the spell cards.  They were handy to have on hand as a DM so I could quick reference the effects of spells that monsters could use.  But the moment they start to introduce the MtG method of only making things available through randomized booster packs, that's where I draw my line, and I will not cross it.


They've been looking so hard for a way to do it too :P
My two copper.
As long as the cards don't distribute rules via a randomized collectable method, I am fine with them.


I wholeheartedly share this sentiment.  I recall using cards in AD&D 2e, particularly the spell cards.  They were handy to have on hand as a DM so I could quick reference the effects of spells that monsters could use.  But the moment they start to introduce the MtG method of only making things available through randomized booster packs, that's where I draw my line, and I will not cross it.


They've been looking so hard for a way to do it too :P


They can look all they want.  That is my dealbreaker.  I don't throw that term around all willy-nilly, because I don't have many of them, but that is the biggest one on my list.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Well, I hope WotC realizes that this kind of an idea could really benefit the game if implemented properly - I mean, they could even package whole 'campaign packs' that would have all the monsters, encounters, and treasure for a complete level 1 - 10 campaign. Talk about accessability.

By marketing specific packs, they could continue making products for the same rule set indefinitely, and there'd be no 'rule bloating' or over saturation - players would just pick up the packs they wanted to play with, play with them, then pick up more when they're through with them. 

I think it's a step in the right direction - it's just the specifics that need settling. And that's what we pay WotC for! ;) 

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

Having DM'd just a few games, I have noticed one thing that I miss from 4th.  I have some players who are a lot of fun to play with, but that haven't ever really taken the time to read the rules - they just do stuff when it is their turn to talk or fight.  I think that's fine.  But in our current playtest game they have both chosen to be Clerics. 

As compared to 4th edition, I think those players, and the rest of the players, would benefit if there were cleric spell cards.  They could just be the ones you could print off from the character builder.  But these players are kind of incapable of writing down spell effects and remembering them, and it's been slowing down our game every time they cast or rest.  I don't think I'd ever need them as a player, but for these guys it'd be a help, and it'd help their DM from getting frustrated when they ask what spells they can cast for the fourth time.

As for magic items, I don't know that I'd want them because it'd inhibit the DM from inventing his own weapons, but I admit it would be fun to have something physical to hand out to characters when they find cool things.  It'd also be good because it'd help players to shuffle gear around between them.

I agree that I draw the line at random booster packs.  I got suckered into that so that I could play Lair Assault and I regret it.  Never again.
I used spell cards and encounter cards in 2E. They were handy. I didn't use any in 4E. I had all of my powers printed in more of a spreadsheet format. I doubt I would use them in 5E, but I'm certainly not against them existing for those that do want them.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
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