The One-Page Character Sheet

I offer no apologies for my appreciation of D&D 4E, as it gives me everything I look for in a heroic roleplaying game. For me, it’s not enough to act like someone different, or take on unbeatable foes, or tick off numbers on papers. Don’t misunderstand, I love all these bits, but I also love the cooperative side of the game, how a goal can only be achieved if the party works together. So here is a game that I really do enjoy, and yet, there is this scar on my beloved which prevents me from embracing it completely.

The character sheets are <hyperbole>8000 pages long</hyperbole>.

My brain is old and dusty, and has lost any ability to retain information, and this game of mine has lots and lots of things you really do have to remember. There are triggers and immediate actions and opportunity actions and conditional powers and situational feats, and this is all spread across a half-dozen or more pages in no detectable order, resulting in the following popular phrase at the gaming table: “Wait, wait, wait, I think I can do something now,” following by shuffling paper. This is running neck-and-neck with the phrase, “Wait, wait, wait, I could have done something last round / last battle / last week.”

I find myself digging about for a solution. I experimented with a folded Trigger Sheet, with the top labeled ENEMY TURN and the bottom labeled MY TURN, and I would flip my sheet over depending on the circumstances. There are a few issues. First, I almost always get caught up in the excitement and forget about my Trigger Sheet, and thus forget about my actions/reactions. Second, I wind up outsourcing my confusion to a brand new document, and face an intimidating block of powers and effects. And third, my Trigger Sheet has no context, which can be important in the middle of battle. I might consider responding with this power, but this one, performed later on my turn, would be even better, so it might be better to skip the trigger this time.

After this, I turned my attention to a one-page character sheet. It seemed like an absurd solution, considering how much data makes up a typical 4E character, even a low heroic one. Am I really so optimistic, hopeful, and deluded to believe I can cram it all on a single page? Of course I am.

This was not an easy exercise, and it’s probably not quite finished yet. Maybe it’ll never be finished. I keep stumbling across another race/class/build that won’t conform to my current configuration, and so I have to go back and muck about with it again. I have test driven this one-page a few times in actual games, and it has been extremely satisfying, along the lines of eating pasta and meat sauce while watching Regular Show and listening to Judas Priest. Pure joy.

Because I have no design skills, I totally copied a layout that I actually like, the Essentials character sheet. It looks clean and sharp and modern and other pretend design words, and I can always find the bits I’m after. Granted, I had to resort to some micro-fonts, and also had to reword some power paragraphs for clarity and brevity. For example, whenever a line read, “hit points equal to Wisdom modifier (+4),” I wrote, “4 hp.” That’s converting 40 characters into four, which is a deal I’ll always take.

Also, I try to stick to powers and feats with the smallest footprints possible, with as little mental overhead as I can find. If it’s aΒ feat that always modifies a type of roll, then I’m a big fan, my face painted with Improved Initiative, my We’re #1 foam Weapon Expertise, my ball cap of Toughness.

My biggest issue with the one-page is that the manufacturing process is not exactly a factory environment. You know those Get-Smarter shows where they demonstrate how to make fire hydrants or cream pies or fake vomit? The lathes and grinders and extruders are banging along with blurred quickness, popping out hundreds of the items per minute. My character sheets aren’t like that. They’re more like one of those products that require a hands-on approach, like a surfboard or a pool cue or a RealDoll, taking hours or days to create with loving attention. Edits are a hassle; format is everything. If I mess up the leading for Strength, everything below it goes all to pieces.

It’s not efficient, and it takes a surprisingly long time, but I feel like the time I spend in pre-game preparation is time saved and powers remembered in combat. All I have to do is roll my dice and add my bonuses. Wait, what are those again?

********** EDIT EDIT EDIT **********

Here’s a link to my template, as promised, with many thanks to Dave the Game:

One Word template, all zipped up with nowhere to go

Comments

  1. What program are you using? Do you have a template we might snag? I’m very interested in a solid 1 page sheet πŸ™‚ This is a project I would like to tinker with myself.

  2. That’s nice. I agree- I’m a big fan of the essentials layout,especially the one used in encounters. I could never find a blank sheet that had the same layout as the encounters sheets, though.

    I’m also in agreement about feats and equipment with static bonuses. Much, much easier to keep track of and helps speed up combat immensely.

    This is a creation to good to keep to yourself. Even if I have to spend a long time setting it up, I’d love to get my hands on this. Any chance of sharing this? Don’t give us a taste and then keep all the lovin’ to yourself. πŸ™‚

  3. I like the Encounters sheets and what you’ve done here. I really want these types of sheets for new players. I wish DDI did an output like that.

  4. +1 to Clayton’s request.

    I’m considering doing this in Excel. It’s not the best at design, but it could handle those powers that have an effect that’s a formula (ex., WIS mod) automatically.

  5. I was just thinking last night (during Encounters) that I wish there was a way in Character Builder to move powers around on the final character sheet so that they’re in an order that makes sense to the player. While not a 1 page sheet (which is an idea I fully support, BTW), it would go a long way to reducing page shuffling.

  6. Yes, those are seriously nice sheets. I don’t mind having cards with my 4e character for powers, as it gives me something to shuffle through while playing, but I would definitely use a sheet like that if I had it.

  7. Michael Hasko says:

    I think the best takeaway from this is the highlighting of the triggers. I DM more often than not, but doing that for triggered or recharging powers for monsters might be the thing that makes me not forget to use those things…

    Kudos on the layout though, seems like the effort is worth it.

  8. This is absolutely brilliant. I use only Essentials classes in my campaign, and we’re heroic tier, so it might be easier to set it all up in my case. You MUST share a template, seriously!

  9. Very nice, and something I’ll definitely have to consider for myself. Out of curiosity, what program are you using to do this?

  10. Philo Pharynx says:

    What’s better that the one-page character sheet? The one screen character sheet. I use my laptop as my sheet and I have a custom excel sheet that I use. Heck, when you use your laptop you need to make your own sheet just to be able to use all of your screen space. I fix the top part of the sheet so that when I get more powers than can fit, I can scroll through them while keeping the rest visible. One of the good things about excel is that I can abbreviate the power and put more detail in a comment field so I can clarify it without resorting to the compendium (mostly). I also love that I can use formulas to keep track of details. Like effects that happen when you’re bloodied and temporary modifiers. It’s a lot of work, and each new character has something that requires a new change, but it makes things so much easier.

    Even so, there are always effects that you can’t seem to remember. I end up making bigger notes and bolding them. And if that doesn’t work, I always have my backup. Retraining. That solves the problem, and I can usually find a new feat/power/item that’s just as fun and easier to deal with.

  11. I noticed that my players constantly shuffled through their power cards to make decisions. Then I noticed that the cards were in completely different locations from one minute to the next. The real problem was actually locating the cards.

    So… I told them to stop cutting out the cards, and my games sped right up.

    Going to one page could only make things better and save space at the table.

  12. Dixon Trimline says:

    Please allow me to reiterate that my sheet generation process is very clunky, and outside of outsourcing it to an army of dopey Bieber-lovers, I don’t see it getting any better. My process is this:

    * Roughed a template in Photoshop, saved it as a BMP.
    * Put the scratch BMP as the background of a Word document, and using it as a guide, I created an empty doc using Word’s extremely limited design functionality (squares, circles, rectangles, etc.).
    * Deleted the scratch BMP and converted the empty doc into a PDF, and then used Photoshop to create a new and pretty layout image.
    * Put the new and pretty layout image as the background of a new Word document and added Text Boxes in specific spaces for typing in character data.
    * Saved the new Word document as TEMPLATE, and then I’ve just been copying and typing to fill in all the bits.

    For the powers section, I figured out a particular organization and have just copied and pasted this as table cells. Word gets VERY finicky with table cells, and really, really wants to eff it all up if given the chance. The basic structure is:

    [LEFT COLUMN] At-Will / Encounter Attack Powers
    [MIDDLE COLUMN] Racial / Class Powers, Daily Attack Powers
    [RIGHT COLUMN] Second Wind, Special Items, Utility Powers, and in a separate box, feats or class abilities that are conditional or super-specific.

    It’s just that easy.

    It would be swell if the process could be programmed, but given that I’ve had to manually shift around data blocks and screw around with the font sizes just to get the stupid columns to fit.

  13. This is totally the way I do things in 3.5, all the mathy bits and remembering when to use powers is impossible, it seems. What I don’t get is all the people who play with just a pile of papers and the PHB. Here’s my spell list.

    I agree with you in theory, here’s a bit about the practice. If you totally replace “β€œhit points equal to Wisdom modifier (+4)” with “4 hp,” then when you level up or make a new character you have to look up the power again to see where the “4” came from — what stat, or is it just a static number? So I might go with “+ Wis hp [4]” instead. I remember throwing Produce Flame only three times per combat for four levels because I wrote down its duration at third level and didn’t realize it was per level.

  14. That’s why I think Excel might work. Formula lookup to insert your WIS mod automatically on the printing tab.

  15. Dixon Trimline says:

    @clayton: I’ve given the details in a global response in the comments, and I’m looking into adding some sort of link to the template I use.

    @Quirky DM: Trust me, I’d love to share and I’d love to see it grow and evolve, especially in the hands of someone brighter than me… for example, your average potato. The problem I’m running into is the method of distribution. Because Word and ZIP documents are rendered from pure evil, websites get very antsy when you try to upload them.

    @Robert A.: You and me both. The whole reason I started on these things was because I was trying to figure out how to generate my own Encounters sheets. Needless to say, I failed completely.

    @Ethan: Excel’s probably the way to go, since it is built out of blocks, and it has mathematics built right into it. My concern would be the layout/design aspect, since a completely functional page tends to bruise the eyes. I realize developers tend to react along the lines of, “Who cares about appearance if the damn thing works???” I’d answer: “Most humans do.”

    @Benoit: Oooooh, I like the potential there of reorganizing the individual powers, but currently each page of the character sheet is treated as one MASSIVE image instead of bite-sized data blocks. Remember back when we could unlock the power cards and drag them wherever we pleased? Those were good days.

    @ruined: I’ve always wondered about the players who spend the first 10 minutes of the game carefully scissoring up their character sheet, since it seems like all you’ve got now are dozens and dozens of scattered mega-confetti.

    @Michael Hasko: Thank you! If there’s one thing that drives me crazy, it’s the triggered power I forgot about. Usually the DMs are cool about it–crap! I should have blocked the attack last round–but it bothers me as a player when I can’t keep track of my powers.

    @Learning DM: I’m looking into some sort of distributable template. If I had the full-blown version of Adobe Acrobat, I’d probably look into creating a Form PDF, but alas, I lack the tools and talent.

    @Jeremy Morgan: You’ll see my breakdown below, Photoshop –> Word –> PDF –> Photoshop –> Word. The great thing about brilliant gamers is, someone’s going to see this little kernal of a idea and say, “I can do that better!” More power to the smart people, I always say.

    @Philo Pharynx: I like the sound of your laptop/Excel sheet management, though I’ve seen laptops at the gaming table gobble up an awful lot of room that’s already going to piles of dice, battle maps, and various food and drink. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it does create some new challenges.

    @uhf: I agree with you about the cards, since my personal memory management is based upon context, so if I accidentally drop this immediate interrupt in a new location on the table, I grossly increased the likelihood that I’ll forget about it.

    @Noumenon: That’s a fair point about the math, but my intent is to maintain the character in Character Builder and allow it to continue doing all the math for me. I’m not duplicating effort this way, AND I’m giving myself a refresher course on the character with every level-up.

  16. My local game store, Guardian Games, has made some 2-pagers where the back looks like your bottom half. They use Power2ool, which shortens the process somewhat (the text is provided). I think there is an issue with having to repeatedly edit your character sheet, especially since you may be leveling fairly often. It becomes especially tricky with multiple PCs if you have several home games and/or living campaigns. I use custom power cards via Magic Set Editor and it takes a bit of time to set up, plus printing stuff. I don’t expect most people would go through what I do, especially for all my LFR PCs.

    The real question is which Judas Priest album. I’ve always been about Turbo, myself.

  17. @ruined @dixon I cut out my cards so that I can ditch the ones I don’t need cards for (Second Wind, Ranged Basic Attack, the skills card). If I cut out and toss the cards (and cut the bottom half of most cards off) I can just about fit everything i need into my tablespace. But it’s work and very cluttered.

    We ran a one-shot Chthulu game as a breather and the single sheet character sheet was amazing. Freed my mind.

  18. Philo Pharynx says:

    @Dixon, most of my games are more sitting around a living room that at one big table. For one of the we started using Maptool as a virtual map to avoid the attack of the toddlerasque. We liked it so much we kept it up.

    As for design, I set my Excel grid to a small size and merge cells to have enough space to work. I pick a font that’s readable and fits the characters for the name and labels. But I use a narrow font for power text to fit more in while being readable. Then I set the background colors and border colors to something appropriate for the character. (the colors also help in the game where I have two characters). I agree that both design and functionality are important.

  19. Dixon Trimline says:

    @Alphastream: All of those power card are quite excellent. I relied heavily on them when we started an Essentials game and Essentials hadn’t made it into the Character Builder yet. Sadly, I did found out that I can no longer do simple math (16+2=21).

    I completely understand about the inflexibility of my approach, being forced to manually edit for every single level, but it does work for me. As I noted above, it gives me an opportunity to review my character again, which is very valuable, especially if I’m managing multiple games.

    As for Judas Priest, my current go-to is the one featuring the glorious return of Rob Halford, “Angel of Retribution,” though I’ll always have a special place in my heart for that crazy machine-gun sound at the end of the guitar solo in Turbo Lover.

    @Ethan: Free your mind, and the rest will follow, right? I’ve seen players use your approach very successfully, but they’re usually a decade or two younger than I am and are better at tracking information in their completely functional brain.

  20. I’ve always used 1 page sheets for 4e – even when playing a paragon tier game. The default character sheet has a ton of math on it and general wasted space. I make my sheet in Excel so the math takes care of itself; I don’t really need to see it during game.

    Of course, my abbreviations are unreadable to most other people, so when I made NPCs for my friends I made their sheets two pages long.

    I don’t think there’s any game I’ve ever played that I haven’t immediately redesigned the character sheet for my own use. It’s just one of those things.

  21. Beautiful and efficient presentation. We definitely need a *useful* 1-page character sheet option like this. The 1-pager in the CB is all-text and missing critical power info for one, making it automatically not useful.

    Hopefully Wizards catches on and figures out how inefficient the current CB sheets are. At the very least, we need far more customization options on their content, the order of their content, and the size of the content within each sheet.

    It’s win/win all around – faster play from less page-flipping and less tree-killing.

    Again, very well done!

  22. The Encounters sheets are pretty snazzy. I know they’re low Heroic characters, but I wish they’d make the templates available.

  23. David Lundy says:

    I was running an 8th level intellectually-challenged dwarf battlerager who was “possessed” by The Mockery. Whenever he became bloodied, his mind would snap and he’d become a Barbarian (mechanically). All of his fighter powers were replaced with barbarian powers, though if he’d used one power (say a level 3 fighter encounter power), he’d lose the corresponding Barbarian power. He’d also become less…interested….in defending so much as killing. Unfortunately, managing two sets of character sheets got rather cumbersome.

    To work around that, I built 4×6 index card cheatsheets. One card had basic stats on it, the second had powers (sorted by level so I could replace them correctly). I left most of the nitty-gritty details on the character sheets (which I still kept with me), but found that I didn’t need to reference them but once in a blue moon.

    I don’t think this approach would’ve worked for a paragon/epic tier character though…too many powers to fit on a little 4×6 card. Still, the one-page idea is awesome.

  24. Very nice! What I love is how this spotlights the skills for each ability score.

  25. Dixon Trimline says:

    @Swordgleam: Yes, exactly! I don’t feel like I have to see the Character Builder’s work. Just print out the numbers! My personal pet peeve is the Level 21 benchmarks that are printed on the cards. If I am level 21, then do the math and print it. If I’m not level 21, why do I need to see it at all?

    @Kilsek: Thank you for your kind words. I feel like an automated one-page is possible, as just another drop-down option in the Character Builder. Why not? I’m not suggesting–not even to the tiniest little degree–that THIS is the perfect solution. But can we at least start talking about it?

    @Ethan: I agree with you about the Encounters sheets. It would be nice if those were an option in some form or other. When I was at SynDCon this year, one of the DMs had gotten his hands on an original PDF and unpacked it inside Photoshop, allowing him to rebuild the entire thing from scratch. Pretty cool, but still at truckload of work.

    @David Lundy: This is one of the coolest character concepts I’ve read. I absolutely love the idea of the SWITCH character, and how he completely changes when bloodied. And kudos to your DM for not getting all, “But it’s not in the rules,” on you.

    @Andy: I like the idea of the skills under ability scores, but in practice, it’s a bit of a hassle to locate a specific skill when they’re not alphabetical. I’m trying to think about it logically while playing, to varying success.

  26. JssSandals says:

    This project instantly sounded worthwhile! Using your one page examples as inspiration I put together a sheet of my own.

    I had to simplify a lot of the text on powers and was able to collapse the skills section quite a bit. Trained skills are labeled in bold. I left out static bonus feats, class features, and race features that would be included into power blocks. The powers are laid out in order of action type (free, minor, move, standard). The less frequently used parts of the character sheet are a subdued gray color that can be referenced but not eat up the valuable space on a one page document.

    The application I used was OmniGraffle Pro, an amazing program to set up layouts. You can find a preview of it here:

    http://tinyurl.com/3h49dbe

  27. Dixon Trimline says:

    @JssSandals: By Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Warvan, that’s one gorgeous character sheet. The layout and readability is just about perfect! Will you be using this at your next game? I’d love to hear how it goes.

  28. This is really awesome, and also the use of essentials materials is spot on – they’re the poster boy for “streamlined” in D&D at the moment, I think.

    However, that aside, this idea really reminds me of the 1 page dungeon contest – it’s even from this very website, albeit from a couple years back – http://critical-hits.com/2009/04/14/new-grand-contest-the-one-page-dungeon/

    It’s really awesome to see what can be done with condensing information. The same quest for condensing information gave us the Tactical Encounter in the latter days of 3.5e, for instance (that is, you no longer had to go flipping around in other books or to the end of an adventure to find the monsters’ stats). I’m a big fan of Einstein’s “If you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough”, too, so this resonates with me personally. If I ever get around to playing at a real table again I will definitely look into using this concept myself!

  29. Dixon Trimline says:

    @TheHydraDM: Yup, you’re right about the streamlined approach, and about the 1-page dungeon contest. I hadn’t thought of that, but it’s all coming from the same school: what is the absolutely minimum I need to understand/play/run this character/adventure? There’s nothing wrong with brevity! Unfortunately, in our litigious society, we need answer every question before they’re even asked, which means lots and lots of words. Power descriptions can just read, “4 hp,” because some players will ask, “How did you get that?,” and others might decide, “It doesn’t say I CAN’T do this, therefore I will.”

    If I were to design the Character Builder 1-page sheet, I might add a new field in the source database containing the powers, along the lines of:

    Long Description: The target can spend a healing surge and regain additional hit points equal to your Charisma modifier. You also slide the target 1 square.
    Level 6: 1d6 + Charisma modifier additional hit points.
    Level 11: 2d6 + Charisma modifier additional hit points.
    Level 16: 3d6 + Charisma modifier additional hit points.
    Level 21: 4d6 + Charisma modifier additional hit points.
    Level 26: 5d6 + Charisma modifier additional hit points.

    Short Description: Target spends surge + [ChaMod] + [LVLMod]; Slide target 1 square.

  30. @JssSandals says: Lovely! I am here to encourage you to continue this fine work πŸ™‚
    I really want to get my hands on a copy of this sheet. πŸ™‚

  31. David Lundy says:

    My only issue with having “4 hp” or “1d8+12” on the power sheet would be because of the ubiquitous exceptions that makes 4e work. I’d rather have the bonuses spelled out (even in tiny print) so that I know that under certain conditions, a certain bonus might not apply.

    I had a halfling thief who got some obscene bonus to his OA defense (+8?) under “most” circumstances. But I couldn’t just put +8 OA on his sheet, because the exceptions would pop up every 2-3 encounters. Having the bonus math spelled out made it far easier to allow for exceptions.

    Resistances would also apply to this argument. Instead of my attack line stating 1d8+8, it might read 1d8 + 3 (str) +2 (prof) + 3 (poison). So now I know that when fighting undead, the poison damage won’t necessarily apply. To make the blocks a bit smaller, one could use superscripts and just reference them at the bottom of the page.

  32. Thanks to this post I just used the free program Inkscape to create a fully editable .png file character page that operates this same way, but only takes one step (no going back and forth between programs). Here’s a link to the site:

    http://inkscape.org/

  33. Dixon Trimline says:

    @David Lundy: That’s a fair point, seeing as it’s a system built on exceptions. That’s what I discovered as I worked on a “one size fits all” for my controllers, leaders, defenders, and strikers spread across 10 or so different races. However, it might not always be necessary to divide up every single bonus unless they really are keyword-based or conditional.

    For example, my epic level tiefling seeker has an attack called Rabid Shot, which is +30 attack (+8 Wisdom modifier, +12 half level, +2 proficiency, +5 enhancement, +3 Bow Expertise feat) and +16 damage (+8 Wisdom modifier, +5 enhancement, +3 Weapon Focus feat). I don’t think I need to see all the math on HOW I got to +30/+16, since these bonuses apply all the time. There are conditions with this character, which is why I write Attack: +30 (+31 vs. bloodied) and Hit: 1d12+16 (+3 vs. lone creatures).

    Your halfling gets +8 vs. OA under “most” circumstances. Is there any bit of the bonus he gets all the time? Under the AC section, you could write +4 vs. Opp Atks (+6 vs. Large Crts, +8 vs. Large Dumb Crts).

    As for the superscripts, I’d have to take that for a spin to see if it works for me. It might be a perfect solution, but in the fog of war, I might get lost on my one-page character sheet if I have to look here, here, and here. Again, this is a personal preference, and it might be a good solution for most people.

    @DarkplaneDM: I’d be interested to see your example character sheet. I’m the first to admit that my process is clunky and ugly and a little bit smelly, so it’s hugely big that other people are running with the concept and streamlining it. Full speed ahead, you smart people!

  34. Aikimiller says:

    Excellent Idea. Inspired by this, I actually just finished a spreadsheet version, in which I used the graphics from your actual pdf as a background. The end result- a sheet that looks almost the same as yours, but auto-updates all the numbers numbers when your level or stats increase. Requires a little basic knowledge of using formulas in excel to reference other cells to put new powers in (which is something you could teach your average golden retriever to do in a couple hours, if they had opposable thumbs). But it allows you to organize your powers however you like, color them whatever way you want, use whatever shorthand you prefer, etc, and you don’t have to re-make the sheet every time you level, simply type in your new power and you’re done. If there’s interest I’d be willing to share it.

  35. @DarkPlane I second the request to see you .png file πŸ™‚ I love character sheet design, and I want to see how EVERYONE does it. It’s all a little bit different!

  36. @Aikimiller Yes, please. πŸ™‚

  37. I like the sheet, but I have one point of dissent:
    If space is at a premium, why include a (large) portrait? While cool to have, how often do you have to re-reference what your character looks like?

  38. Dixon Trimline says:

    @Aikimiller: Not only is Excel an accomplished number cruncher (and this is coming from a golden-retriever-in-training), but it also nicely squares off the sections of the page. You don’t have to goof with lots of click-click-aligns, as I do whenever I make a single bloody change.

    Do you have enough room for all the bits and pieces? Also, have you used the same sheet with other character combinations? That was a big surprise to me, when I went from low-level Essentials fighter to high-level Core seeker. Suddenly, I needed a ton more room.

    @TMcG: That’s a very reasonable dissent, and this is totally a matter of personal taste. When I started, the picture was almost twice as large as it is now, if you can imagine. That’s because I like an imagination touchstone that I can keep going back to when I play. While I’m playing, I don’t want to picture myself sitting at a table dropping dice, but this unearthly deva fracturing minds and driving enemies like puppets. It helps me to be able to see the actual character.

  39. Aikimiller says:

    Here’s my hybrid Swordmage/warlock, in one sheet format, level 8.

    https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B7DzO_DOMafkMDM0MGY0MWYtZjE5NC00YTNiLWFiNmUtNzQ5MzljMWZjYjgy&hl=en_GB

    Note, that the spreadsheet is in open office format- and doesn’t like to be converted to excel. But, as the program to view it is both monetarily free and low in saturated fat, I’m not going to convert it (also, when I tried, I lost the images). The only thing that isn’t straightforward are that rather than a accuracy and damage workspace, I simply put the bonuses next to the item (hence the 6 next to pact blade rapier includes the proficiency bonus, and then again without it for my implement powers). You could in theory move that to another sheet and give space for a full breakdown with explanations, but I can’t be bothered.

    I’ve done up a level 7 Sentinel as well, although obviously that requires less space for the powers (although the player requested the animal companion stats on another sheet). I’ve not done a higher level character yet. I suspect that space would become a problem if you load up on powers- but then that’s going to be an issue no matter what strategy you use. However, even if if takes up slight more than a single sheet- it’s still fits the core requirement- enabling smoother referencing.

  40. I printed my character portrait three times side by side with her name under it, folded it into a triangular standup, and stood it up on the table so everybody could see what I looked like and remember my name.

  41. Is there a way to post images here? I cranked out a version of my own, and want to show off πŸ™‚

  42. The thing I miss second-most from the old character builder is the ability to re-arrange and remove the `boxes’ in the character sheet. I had a one-page format that included all of the information (typically hand-edited from the terrible `summary info’ into actually useful data) that covered everything but the powers. For heroic characters, I printed it double-sided, the charsheet on one side and the power cards (with the unnecessary ones deleted) on the other. For paragon characters, I printed 2-up, double sided; the powers got a bit small, but were still usable.

    The new character builder seems designed to waste paper. :-/

  43. @Aikimiller: I think you may be onto something here, and several frosted kudos for your willingness to share. Now you have to look forward to that one glorious moment at a convention when you glance over and see someone using your design!

    @Noumenon: Man, that’s a pretty good idea. I wish I had a picture, but it sure sounds like a nice touch. Does everyone at your table use this sort of placard?

    @clayton: I definitely want to see it. Can you put it up on Google docs like Aikimiller did and include the link?

    @chad: Awwww, you are singing my song. The unanchor and drag functionality of the old CB was a beautiful thing, wasn’t it? I’ve played with the 2-sided character sheet at convention games and Encounters, and I wasn’t completely sold on them. It has a lot to do with design, but it sure felt like I was flipping my character back and forth a lot. As for wasting paper, trees are overrated. What did they ever do for us, besides the oxygen thing?

  44. @Dixon: Yup, I’ll get it up on there. I’m in heavy revisions now πŸ™‚ However, it is a form fillable pdf. So once I am done, all you will need to do is open it in any image editor, add your character portrait, and then print! I’m really happy with how it is going so far, it is heavily inspired by the one JSSsandal posted.

    My main issue at this point is finding a way to make the skills fillable without adding any bulky boxes etc to it….

  45. David Chen says:

    Like many people here, I was inspired by this post to create my own single page character sheet. I chose to use a spreadsheet so that leveling up would be easier, as well as to be able to examine the sources of bonuses. I used Apple iWorks rather than Excel or LibreOffice, though, so the sheet itself may not be as useful. It’s also not as pretty, but should be serviceable.

    Here’s the PDF for Ashidene Shava, a level 11 paladin and Divine Oracle: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/354044/ashidene.numbers.pdf . Note that while the PDF does have two pages, I don’t actually print out the second page–it’s just used as a workspace to denote the sources of bonuses and other numbers.

    And for those with iWorks, here’s the Numbers source file: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/354044/ashidene.numbers

    One thing that I like about constructing a character sheet this way rather than using the character builder is that you’re no longer constrained to what the official character builder allows. In the past, it wasn’t really worth the time trade off for me to do things manually filling out a normal multiple page character sheet, but when the result is a single page spreadsheet driven character sheet, it feels worth it again.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Critical Hits Dixon explored his struggle to design and perfect the one page character sheet.Β  We too have tried the one page sheet, though ours is double sided.Β  Not sure if that’s […]

  2. […] I was recently inspired by this post over at one of my favorite gaming sites, Critical Hits. Mr. Dixon Trimline and I have some similar […]