Friday, September 14, 2012

Dangerous Enemies: The Iaijutsu Master (Monster Card)

As I struggled to find a way to present my custom Dungeons & Dragons monster, a friend and follower of the blog suggested I do something akin to the way I do character cards. Honestly, it had been an idea I had been floating around for some time. I liked the idea of having a monster in a concise format, say a 3x5 or 4x6 card, but I never found a good way to lay it out. Keeping his advise in mind, I sat down and thought about how I could present my Iaijutsu Master in an easy-to-read format. From that, I created my first Monster Card.
Mitsurugi Yoshikage, the Iaijutsu Master.
I was surprised to find all of his abilities fit in 4x6.
I think that the Dungeons & Dragons: Encounters card has a lot of positive aspects but there were some notable deviations I made when generating a monster card. First of all, I shrunk the size down to 4x6. As a Dungeon Master, I like the idea of having monster cards, but 8.5x5.5 is just far too large to be workable. I first started with 3x5 but realized quickly that 4x6 was probably a more acceptable aspect ratio.

Another notable change I made was to change some slight details as to how monster powers were displayed (as compared to PC powers). Keeping consistent with the standard monster block format, I organized the powers by what type of action it was (Standard, Move, Minor, or Triggered Action). Once the powers were organized in that fashion, I quickly realized that there was no reason to state in every power what type of action it was. So, people familiar with looking at my character cards will see that notable deviation.

I realize that this format will not fit some of the more disastrous solo monsters from the epic tier. Furthermore, it will be surprisingly bare for minions and other creatures with only one or two attacks. However, I really do like the idea of the monster card and I hope to continue working on the design going forward.