As I prepare to kick off a new D&D Next (playtest) inspired campaign I went looking for the community’s ideas on alternative character sheets. The one in the playtest packet gets the job done, but I tend to dislike the one-size-fits-all approach to record sheets. More after the break… but this is a snapshot of what I’ve come up with:
Who remembers these treasures from the 80’s?
I’d like to create something similar for my players… and I’d like to use the AD&D sheets as examples. I’ve got only one of these left for both the Cleric/Druid and Magic-User/Illusionist classes. I’ve got all of the original Multi-class/Bard sheets, which I guess tells you that I favored the Fighter and Thief back then. What do I like about these?
- Class-specific record sheets – by customizing the format for each class, you emphasize the uniqueness of each and cut down on wasted space
- Two-page format (though in this case, it is front/back) – keeping actual character definition on a single page that might change frequently (or be re-printed nowadays) while the second page can then stick around through multiple re-printings with captured notes on possessions, wealth, and other accumulated details
- Accommodation for multiple weapon attacks suggest to the player that it’s OK to carry an arsenal with you
- There is room for role-playing details like debts and obligations… there’s even a space for your character’s will!
With these (and a bunch of others from WotC’s recent character sheet contest) as inspiration, I took a shot at designing my own character record sheet for our upcoming game. I wanted to hit a few design goals in the process:
- Because the class definitions themselves are still in flux, I didn’t want to create class-specific sheets just yet. Instead, I settled on one for spell-casters and one for martial characters.
- Somebody on the WotC forum suggested using landscape orientation. I like the idea, because it seems that my players are always fighting for vertical space at the table… spreading out is easier.
- Keep character definition (attributes, skills, class and race features, etc.) on page one and use page two for possessions and notes. I went to a third page for the spellcaster’s spellbook, but for a low-level character it could probably be combined on page two.
This is designed to be printed and then filled out with pencil in true tabletop form. Let me know what you think.
UPDATE: I’ve expanded my first attempt to 4 record sheets, each specific to a class in our party. These are now based on the 06/07/2013 playtest packet.
View the Microsoft PowerPoint 2010/2013 files below: