Saturday, December 1, 2012
Towards a Visual MM
What do you think? (I wouldn't worry too much about these monsters I needed some examples, though I did try to make them interesting.)
I think a coil-bound A5 book full of monsters like this would be cool. Of course, this might be limiting the amount of info you can use to describe a monster a bit too much. I could probably double the space between monsters to allow for more text.
It might be useful to have symbols to represent common special attacks like poison. But I'm not sure that Level Drain and Paralysis, for example, are ideas that would have very recognizable as icons. In this draft I just put them as words in bold.
Color could be helpful too. I love some of the stuff Roger has done with it. But I've always been thinking about the home DIYer with just a laser printer, like myself.
What else would be necessary? Save is tied with HD in my game and would be redundant. Move? Usually not interesting unless it is out of the ordinary and then it could be listed in the text. Ah, morale. I forgot, I was going to use a little flag underlay for that stat. XP and treasure probably too. Roger has size. For my personal use I could just skip most the text and use the extra space for more stats.
Imagine a tablet app set up like this where each column could be sorted and tapping on each part of the entry would zoom in for more info. Tapping HD could automatically roll HP. Tapping Dmg could roll the appropriate digital die. The text could blow up into a full ecology if you wanted, maybe with a sample lair.
I'd make it so you could sort for monsters with special attacks (give me all the constrictors), type ( let me see the reptiles) or whatever (allow the user to add tags to entries -- maybe Creepy, never used, or OGL).
I like the challenge of paper but if digital tools are inevitable it would be cool to have something which uses the spreadsheet's strengths and trys to address its weaknesses.