file [Suggestion] Sect and Title icons

05 Sep 2018 15:56 #90439 by tksolway
Lately games have moved to icons for a lot of stuff. This is great for printing games in different languages. But can cause problems for people that play casually. If you've ever played seven wonders you know what I mean. Everyone takes turns with the manual seeing what their card actually does, because it's all symbols.

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05 Sep 2018 16:24 #90441 by jblacey
There is a number of way to fix cards and add artwork but I would question where would you draw the line? Why votes specifically?

Should there be an Icon and number for Bleed?

What about Stealth, Intercept, Strength, or Hunt?

At this moment VTES has a large amount of traits with numeric values.

If your print vampires with an icon for their title does that you mean you need an updated version with each card using that title using that icon as a requirement? It doesn't seem practical.
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05 Sep 2018 20:58 - 05 Sep 2018 21:03 #90448 by cmdrKEEN
@tksolway: Clan and discipline icons are also used in addition to the text.
On the left bar; we already have the clan symbols there, that work the same way but they are also on the vampires, so you can just match them... ideally vampires would get sect symbols too, but that might be too much of a change.

jblacey wrote: Why votes specifically?
Should there be an Icon and number for Bleed?
What about Stealth, Intercept, Strength, or Hunt?


As you said yourself, all the cases you stated use numbers. Titles dont use numbers. You have to learn them to know what they do.

And for the sidebar, I just like to have a reminder on if I can play the card or not. I checked, there are 19 library cards, that would have just prince as requirement. I thought it would be more....

I do not want to apply symbols where they are not needed. But titles are one part of the game that is harder to learn than it should be.
Last edit: 05 Sep 2018 21:03 by cmdrKEEN.

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05 Sep 2018 21:38 - 05 Sep 2018 22:09 #90449 by LivesByProxy

cdmrKEEN wrote: The next suggestion would be to create symbols for the various titles in the game. Different simple outer shapes could indicate the number of votes the title grants and a sect symbol inside could indicate if the votes and title is associated with being in a specific sect. This would help with the fact, that at the moment especially new players have to memorize a lot of strange sounding title names to know how many votes are on the table.


I do not like this suggestion and I think it would be a step in the wrong direction. You identify part of the problem: new players have to memorize a lot of strange sounding titles. The other part of the problem, as I see it, is that the titles are effectively keywords, but they are placed right beside non-keyword traits of a card. For example, Camarilla is a trait. (So are all the other Sects.) It has no rules text inherently, but cards can reference it. 'Prince of Nowhere' is a keyword that means, "This vampire is considered Titled and gets 2 votes during referendums. Only one vampire can be associated with the city 'of Nowhere.'" Mixing keywords into the trait line in the cards text box is something that was done back when the designers didn't know any better (1995-1997) and continues to this day because VTES is torpid. Even the Prince of Nowhere keyword has a trait embedded in it: Titled.

What's more ridiculous, IMO, is that the game has multiple different keywords (prince, archbishop, baron) that all result in the same thing: +2 votes and association with a particular city.

VTES also falls flat in the graphic design department. The largest symbol on the cards is usually the expansion symbol i.e. information that is not relevant to gameplay (something that the boys here on VEKN and BC have continued I'm sorry to see.) VTES' vampires have a clan symbol, but lack the corresponding clan trait. The vampiric disciplines, which are relevant to gameplay, are small and not readily identifiable (this is compounded by the obscure words assigned to each discipline, but that's another story.) The cards have lots of dead space - an oval frame for artwork is less area than a rectangle of the same width and height - and, to top everything off, the vampires don't even have a corresponding sect symbol, despite having the sect trait.

Adding icons for number of votes might work if this game wasn't already loaded with icons, but as jblacey said, where would you draw the line? Does stealth, intercept, bleed, strength, and hunt need its own icon? I don't think so, and I think it would be more visual clutter than anything else. I appreciate that you took the time to make icons for your idea, but I think it is unnecessary.

Edit: For the record, I think the problem of titles and votes is tied to VTES being so closely bound to VTM, which is a mistake IMO. VTM had (and still has) many elements that don't make sense. I think one of those is the concept of titles and rule of a particular city. You mean to tell me that, despite their being 20+ clans / bloodlines, more than a few of which are based on geography and race, there are only really 3-4 sects (political factions)? I think it would make more sense if a vampire's 'title' was not his or her rank within a party, but along the lines of flavor text. An appellation: an indicator of their reputation, distinction, or preeminence attached to a person by virtue of rank, office, precedent, privilege, attainment, or lands.

By this measure, VTES already has 'titled' vampires. Agaitas, Scholar of Antiquities; Elimelech, the Twice Damned; Grendle, the Worm-Eaten; Idalia, Prophet of Guadalajara; Patrizia Giovanni, Collector of Secrets; Richard Tauber, Aleyea's Puppet; Roxanne, Rectrix of the 13th Floor. All of these vampires have a 'title' by which they are known by other vampires in-universe. Not all vampires give votes though. Each vampire would have votes approximate to their perceived power in-universe. Aaron Duggan, Cameron's Toady might have +1 vote while Cameron is in play, but none otherwise. Ox, Viceroy of the Hollows might get +1 vote (because he's a notable Nosferatu) or +votes related to the number of Nosferatu you control. My point is the VTM system of titles is not necessary, out-dated, and likely doesn't reflect the way things would actually work.

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Last edit: 05 Sep 2018 22:09 by LivesByProxy. Reason: addendum

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05 Sep 2018 21:57 - 05 Sep 2018 21:59 #90450 by TwoRazorReign
The only way introduction of more symbols would work better than the current system is if the rulebook is updated to have a section listing all symbols and a short description of what each symbol means. What probably should not happen is just plopping sect symbols on cards in an upcoming expansion and expect everybody to know what, for example, the anarch sect symbol looks like.
Last edit: 05 Sep 2018 21:59 by TwoRazorReign.

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06 Sep 2018 08:53 - 06 Sep 2018 08:54 #90457 by Bloodartist

LivesByProxy wrote:
I do not like this suggestion and I think it would be a step in the wrong direction. You identify part of the problem: new players have to memorize a lot of strange sounding titles. The other part of the problem, as I see it, is that the titles are effectively keywords, but they are placed right beside non-keyword traits of a card. For example, Camarilla is a trait. (So are all the other Sects.) It has no rules text inherently, but cards can reference it. 'Prince of Nowhere' is a keyword that means, "This vampire is considered Titled and gets 2 votes during referendums. Only one vampire can be associated with the city 'of Nowhere.'" Mixing keywords into the trait line in the cards text box is something that was done back when the designers didn't know any better (1995-1997) and continues to this day because VTES is torpid. Even the Prince of Nowhere keyword has a trait embedded in it: Titled.

In my opinion the idea of title symbols (or rather, vote symbols) is good because when done right, it REDUCES the amoung of stuff you have to memorize. If at a glance, you could see how many votes a vampire has, you wouldn't have to memorize the name of the title unless you had cards that interacted with that specific title. Or at least other players wouldn't have to memorize your titles and how many votes that title has.

What if there was simply one symbol for a vote, and that symbol was placed in for example right side of the portrait (opposite side from clan/discipline requirement symbols). Number of these symbols would indicate how many votes the vampire has. Vampires text box would still give the name of the title and other specifics, but other players could instantly see how many votes that particular vampire has. Symbol for vote could be for example a scroll or a closed letter.

VTES also falls flat in the graphic design department. The largest symbol on the cards is usually the expansion symbol i.e. information that is not relevant to gameplay (something that the boys here on VEKN and BC have continued I'm sorry to see.) VTES' vampires have a clan symbol, but lack the corresponding clan trait. The vampiric disciplines, which are relevant to gameplay, are small and not readily identifiable (this is compounded by the obscure words assigned to each discipline, but that's another story.) The cards have lots of dead space - an oval frame for artwork is less area than a rectangle of the same width and height - and, to top everything off, the vampires don't even have a corresponding sect symbol, despite having the sect trait.

I agree with your criticism on the expansion symbol, but not with the other symbols. Significance of the expansion symbol is very small and is mainly improtant for collector value and sometimes anti-counterfeiting (or knowing that a printed card is from a PDF set and not a proxy). The importance of collector values is greatly diminished as we move toward LCG-style bundles. Expansion symbol could be smaller or less prominent.

For the other symbols, I think they are clear enough. Its really difficult to actually improve them.

"Plenty of little men tried to put their swords through my heart. And there's plenty of little skeletons buried in the woods."
- Tormund Giantsbane, Game of Thrones
Last edit: 06 Sep 2018 08:54 by Bloodartist.

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