View Full Version : Bloodied Monsters & Creature Names

December 2nd, 2010, 08:25
1) Does anyone have a trick to make bloodied monsters stand out?

2) How do people deal with naming of creatures?, i.e. do people just rename the creature? I am trying to figure out a place to put the actual monsters name so I can see it, yet change the name so my players don't?

December 2nd, 2010, 08:45
You can hide creatures in combat so the PCs can't see them. I don't know if you can limit this to names. The hide function is an eye which will be there when you drag creatures into the combat tracker. You can make them appear/disappear by clicking on that eye.

December 2nd, 2010, 09:11
I know about the hide, I am more thinking about when a monster gets bloodied, and I want the players to know, it just isn't obvious from a token standpoint, I was thinking of dragging something on top of them. I know everyone can look in the combat tracker, but just hoping for something a little more.

Also, I know I can hide the creatures name when attacking, but then they don't know where it is coming from, I am more thinking about how people hide the name when the creature is showing up in chat.

December 2nd, 2010, 17:15
1) The combat 4e combat tracker shows whether an NPC is not damaged, lightly damaged, or bloodied. If you're looking for an option to show this on the map too, I cannot think of anything that is easy. The problem with multiple tokens (e.g., a bloodied token) is that stacked tokens get lost (i.e., if you put one token on top of another, the top token will obscure the view of the bottom token). If you need to show statuses on the map, you could do what I've done in my games to show altitude. I have a set of numbers that I drop on the lower right intersecting grid lines of a token to show how many spaces of altitude flying NPCs have (e.g., a 1 means up 1 square). You could do this with condition tokens as well, but I think that that would become difficult to manage very quickly with multiple NPCs, especially since the CT already shows bloodied status and can be toggled to reveal effects also. You'd have to move the condition token and the NPC token any time the NPC moves. I just let the PCs reference the CT to see effects. Often, they'll point out things that I've missed as a GM (e.g., "That NPC is immobilized, so you can't move it."), which helps keep the game running more smoothly.

2) Concerning monster naming, you can toggle auto-numbering of multiple monsters of the same type, although I don't think that this is what you were asking about. I typically don't worry about hiding monster names because the passive knowledge check to know the name of a monster is pretty low (DC 15 at heroic levels), and it would be extremely rare that nobody in the party would succeed on that check. If it is important that the PCs not know the name of a particular monster (e.g., in my campaign, the PCs encounter a nemesis at Level 2 that they repeatedly and unknowingly encounter until they engage that nemesis in combat at Level 7), then I just change the name of the monster when I parse it (in this case, the nemesis is simply named "hooded figure"). You can do this on the fly by changing the name of the NPC in the combat tracker prior to making the NPC visible to the PCs. If you then click on the red link icon to open the NPC's power entries, you'll see that the original name of the NPC is preserved even though the CT entry has been renamed.

December 2nd, 2010, 21:50
Thanks, good advice and suggestions.

December 3rd, 2010, 02:36
I've been thinking about this. Would it be possible to add a border to a token? You can add one to a larger portrait. When the token becomes bloodied, either the GM can change the "border" through a right click or the system can do it automatically.

Just a thought...

December 3rd, 2010, 02:59
Yes, that is an option, but you wouldn't be able to preload the token on the NPC data sheet because you can only link one token to the sheet. You'd have to put the extras in a token folder and pull them up when the target becomes bloodied. But then, I'm not sure how difficult it would be to link the new token with the CT entry for the newly bloodied monster. Imagine how much of a hassle this would become with NPCs that have healing or regeneration abilities. Doesn't seem like it would be worth doing to me. I'd just tell my players to pay attention to what's going on in the CT.

December 3rd, 2010, 03:45
I went and made some transparent "bloodied" tokens, and even a border, but none seemed to work very well. I also created a small "bloodied" one to drag around, but in the end nothing is really seeming to work very well.

I may put in a suggestion to the developers to do something that makes the tokens stand out more, either on the board, which would be great, a red circle or something, or in the combat tracker.

With so many powers, etc. based off bloodied, I think it needs to stand out more than it does. Players and especially DM's shouldn't have to have to search to figure out which ones are bloodied.

This problem is heightened when I have 10 creatures on the battle field, and 5 are bloodied.

December 3rd, 2010, 04:35
Yes, that is an option, but you wouldn't be able to preload the token on the NPC data sheet because you can only link one token to the sheet.
I don't think I explained this too well. The examples are using the d20_JPG ruleset. The character icons in the upper left corner have a background (portrait.png) and mask (portrait_mask.png) associated with an actual portrait (see your "portraits" folder). When the background is overlayed with a portrait and the mask is laid over the portrait, you end up with a perfectly circular reference.

Now, for example, if you were to somehow change the background to a "red" beveled edge to indicate "bloodied" by either a right click or programmatically when the HP <= 1/2 HP, then you'll get a "bloodied" indicator.

Again, all theory.

December 3rd, 2010, 04:38
Unfortunately I not smart enough to put something like that together, but it sounds really cool. Maybe someone will give it a shot.

December 3rd, 2010, 19:44
You know the PCs can see the Combat Tracker too, right? They see a limited version of it that doesn't

So they can see the initiative order, including all the monsters you've exposed to them, and whether they're bloodied or not.

I agree that having some kind of functionality like that on the map would be great, indeed I suspect even more useful than having it in the combat tracker, but that information is exposed to the PCs.

Moon Wizard
December 5th, 2010, 15:59
This is all something that I've thought about extensively, and it is something I want in my game as well. However, all the good solutions take a large amount of coding, so it hasn't been tackled yet. I have plans for a longer-term update to map and token functionality that will look at this.

For bloodied, the 4E ruleset does slightly darken the faction highlighting of tokens on the map to indicate bloodied status. This was an initial attempt at a workaround based on current FG functionality. However, the difference in the colors is not really strong enough to see well, and creating a larger difference make the colors look too dark (almost black). So, this is something for the long term list. As others mentioned, this is shown in the players combat tracker also, but I agree that I want to see on the map also.

For monster naming, this is an option that was added to one of the community rulesets, but as Fot5 mentioned it's not as useful in 4E. So, it's been a low priority item. The way I handle it in my game is that I build the encounters beforehand in the campaign Encounters section, and I give them a different name in the encounter screen. When an encounter is added to the combat tracker, it uses the name from the encounter screen instead of the name from the NPC sheet.


December 5th, 2010, 19:23
moon - Would it be possible to add Widget support to Token instances in a future release of the FGII API?

This way we could use widget graphics on token instances to infer conditions/state. e.g.

blood drop - bloodied
target symbol - marked
open eye - visible
closed eye - invisible
man lying down - prone
zzz - unconscious

etc . etc.

The same graphical widgets could also be applied to the CT entries to help standardise visuals.

December 6th, 2010, 07:09
Thanks Moon. Yes, after reading about the monster names, and remembering DC checks, etc., I've not worried about it as much, and I like the added idea of changing the names in the encounter list prior to pulling it over.

For the last several years I have DMed and played exclusively in MapTools, and worked putting together a framework with someone else who could code incredible well.

The visual condition states is what I miss the most from MapTools. I have attacked a small screen shot of some of the states that would appear on the tokens, they are very nice quality and people but a lot of work into that functionality, so it has been a little bit of an adjustment for me, because that was such a large part of the MapTools, in my framework.

I have now DMed two games, both about 6 hours each with 5 players. I am going to make a post about my experience vs. MapTools and why I changed even though I loved MapTools. But that is another post.

Anything to help show the bloodied people would be helpful, even something that makes them stand out in the CT would be better. Also, remember, when you turn on "night" lighting you can't see when player goes to -0- hit points because the tracking number goes to "grey" which is not visible, so at one point someone should figure out a way, whether through another area on the CT to indicate "Dying", "Bloodied", even a bold CAP statement in the conditions would work, but that is something that I believe should be cranked out--it was very difficult to manage 20 zombies attacking the players in the CT and trying to figure out who died and was bloodied, and I have a 30" monitor to stretch out the CT, would have been brutal on a 15" screen.

Anyway, thanks for your help and comments.

Moon Wizard
December 6th, 2010, 07:10
Adding widget support to tokens is exactly what I was thinking already.

I should probably sit down with MapTools to see the differences, but I just haven't had the time between family, work and FG dev. I have been wanting this feature for quite a while, and my players are constantly trying to figure out how the CT entries match to the tokens on the map. It's just that the original developers didn't build it in that way, so it's going to take some rebuilding of those features.

My plan is to add widget support to tokens, then have the ruleset apply widgets to the tokens for health condition, as well as effects.