Monday, April 1, 2013

Improved Character Sheet v1.0

Hey everyone, I've got an even better version of this character sheet now! You can check it out here.

Or here's the download link:
d20 Despot Advanced Character Sheet v3.0

But, if you prefer version 1.0, read on.
Download the PDFs here:
Advanced Character Sheet v1.0
Spellcaster and Animal Companion Sheet

Read on for more info.

Your character sheet is one of your most important tools for gameplay.  It needs to be legible, it needs to present the information you need in a logical and accessible manner, and it needs to be resistant to stains.  I can't help with the last one, but I tried my hand at creating a better character sheet than the default pathfinder one.

Here's the first page:

  • First of all, approximately 0% of the page is spent telling you what game you are playing.  I assume you would know that without having to check your character sheet.  This sacrifices "branding" for extra space to write things about, say, your character.  
  • There is a line for "Distinguishing Characteristics," which I always thought was fun.  
  • There is a section for "Rolled HD," which can be handy for keeping track of your hit point progression and making sure you have as much HP as you are supposed to.  It also comes in handy during those times when you find yourself with negative levels.  
  • I moved Spell Resistance up near Damage Reduction instead of squirreled away in a corner, and I added a section for resistances and immunities since nearly every non-core player race has one or more of those and a lot of magic items provide them.  
  • I replaced the "Size Bonus" box in AC with "Dodge Bonus."  For the most part, you either have a +1 size bonus to AC or you don't.  I've found you get a lot more mileage out of Dodge bonuses.  
  • There is a section for armour fortification.  
  • A "Temporary AC" box for all those times you have broken armour, are temporarily wearing a different suit of armour than usual (or no armour), have a changed AC due to a spell or special ability, etc.  
  • A "Conditional Attack Modifiers" section.  I noted on a lot of my character sheets that I was scrawling bonuses from the Point Blank Shot feat, the barbarian Rage ability, and various other things in the margins.  Well, no more! Now there is a handy place on the front page to put your +3d6 Sneak Attack or your +2 favoured enemy bonus on attack and damage rolls.  
  • A "Notes" section with every weapon slot lets you record any helpful information you want, whether keeping track of the weapon's reach or ability to make trip or disarm maneuvers, recording unusual magical properties or special materials, or just noting its physical characteristics (e.g., "lion-head pommel w/ruby eyes").  
  • A place for you to note your every weapon's weight, value, and location on your person.  Hey, sometimes it's nice to know where on your body you are keeping all these weapons.  
Here's the second page:


  • The big one: no spells section.  The spell section on two-page character sheets is usually pretty awful.  If you don't cast spells, it is taking up room that could better be used recording your precious treasure.  If you do cast spells, good luck trying to write them all down in that little space.  So I've created a special third page just for spellcasters (see below).
  • A more compact section for your armour and shield, rather than the nebulous "AC Items" box.  The "Spell Failure" bit for your armour and weapons is given a more peripheral location.  I find that most characters that wear armour don't need to know their arcane spell failure chance, as most characters that would be concerned with that don't wear armour in the first place.  
  • Item slots! Without a specific place to record what slotted magic items you are wearing and what they do, they often get lost in your inventory.  
  • Much expanded inventory section! Broken down into the stuff you are wearing on your person (that are not slotted items), the stuff you have in your backpack, stuff you have in an additional container, and stuff you have, but not on you ("Sometimes possession is an abstract concept...").  Now there will be no confusion in those situations where you lose your backpack or sack and struggle to determine what items you have left.  There are spots to write down what types of containers you are using too (Handy Haversack, Bag of Holding Type II, masterwork backpack, etc.).  
  • A miniature breakdown of encumbrance rules! Serves as a little reminder to your players that they can't port the contents of the entire dungeon out on their backs.  
  • A section for Traits.  
  • Expanded "Money" section includes a place to record your gems and "other" treasure like jewelry and art objects.  Plus there is a little section to record the total weight of your coins, an oft-overlooked aspect of dungeon-looting.  (Sure you found a dragon's hoard, but 50 coins weigh one pound and you're already carrying the equivalent a small magic item shop on your person.)
Here's the optional Spellcaster/Animal page:

  • First off, it exists at all.  That's nice.  
  • Separate lists for Spells Known/in Spellbook and Spells prepared.  And a little section for spellbook pages used in case you keep track of that kind of thing.  
  • A breakdown of how Concentration works.
  • A section for info about your cleric's domain, sorcerer's bloodline, wizard's school of specialization, or what-have-you.  
  • And the whole bottom half of the page is a rather extensive mini-character sheet for your familiar, animal companion, mount, eidolon, pet, or whatever.  Given the sheer number of classes that have some kind of animal friend, it is ridiculous not to have this on your character sheet.  

So there it is.  I've playtested it a bit and reactions have been very positive.   I made this in Word on a tiny little netbook, - not ideal circumstances - so the formatting may be a bit off.   If you've got any suggestions for improvement, feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Edit: apparently it's not best to print them off directly from the web.  I have found it works well to insert each page onto a blank page of a Word doc (be sure to set all the margins to 0").

Edit 2: I've finally figured out how to host PDFs of my character sheets, so that should be more convenient for everyone involved.  Links are at the top of the page.

Edit 3: New character sheet! Check the top of the page.

-your humble d20 despot

1 comment:

  1. Great character sheet, use it for all my games, its really nice to not use the back of a character sheet to store a whole bunch of information that I end up using all the time