Over the years I have made several character sheets and other aids for roleplaying games. Here are just a few:
Character Sheets for GURPS 4e and D&D 4e
Every character sheet I’ve ever seen had one major flaw: it was never suitable for every character the game could make. Mages need spell space (or have lots of powers). Fighters have lots of weapons, gadgeteers have lots of gadgets, and so on. One enterprising HackMaster Basic player made customized character sheets for each of the four classes in that book simply to get around that problem.
That was the last straw for me, so I designed some character sheets for the games we play most with three major goals in mind:
- Earth- and wallet-friendliness. In other words: cheap to print.
- Only force the positioning of things that will be present on every character or are tedious to hand-write every time: stat blocks; name, race, age, etc.; skills; and so forth.
- User-customizable depending on player taste and character class, if applicable. This includes having the lowest item on the front page of the D&D sheet be the column headings of the weapons table. That way it as long as needed, no more or less, yet still details out the math for new players and for ease of making changes as needed (leveling, new magic items, increases in skills, etc.).
I’ll add my HackMaster 5e sheet as soon as I finish it. My HackMaster Basic sheet was nearly done when we got out Player’s Handbook, which added a bunch more stuff that needed to go on each sheet, but I can finish it off and post if there’s enough interest. At the moment I’m in the process of adapting it to full HM 5e.
Update 2012.09.10: I’ve nearly finished the HM5 sheet. I’ve got one more element to design (encumbrance and fatigue). After that all I have to do is arrange the various items the way I want them and then tweak them a bit for the best fit.
Update 2012.10.26: The HM5 sheet is finished and available on the Downloads tab.
HackMaster 5e Count Up Tracker
HackMaster 5e has an absolutely amazing combat system that dispenses with the artificial rounds favored by most trpgs. Instead, each character can act on each second, limited only by weapon speed.
But keeping up with everything can be overwhelming, so I developed a couple of tools to help me out that others might find useful.
Instead of players having to add their modified weapon speeds to the current count and then remembering to go again on that second, everyone simply acts when the arrow says to, then put their tokens on their weapon speeds; no math required.
We’ve been using this for months and it has streamlined combat tremendously. HM5e already has the best combat system I’ve ever seen in a trpg, this just makes it even better – especially for more math-phobic players.
HackMaster 5e Encounter Builder
The other item is an Encounter Builder to make it easier to improvise encounters. I very, very rarely plan out encounters ahead of time, so I needed a way to keep all of the pertinent info of frequently used monsters close at hand so I didn’t waste game time flipping through HackMaster Basic (or the Hacklopedia of Beasts once we finally get a copy). Over time, what started as a simple spreadsheet developed into a full-blown encounter builder.
To use it you must first fill out each tab with the monsters that can be found in that area; areas like forest, mountain, cave, sewer, or whatever else is appropriate for your setting. (If I filled it out for you then I’d get sued by K&C and that wouldn’t do any of us any good. Besides, this way you’ll have to give my favorite game designers some money in order to make use of my creation. The more money they get, the sooner we get the class books, and I can’t wait for the 5e version of the Spellslinger’s Guide to Wurld Domination.)
Then, making an encounter is as easy as copypastaing the monsters you want lower down on the sheet. OpenOffice.org will then roll each monster’s hitdice and initiative (defaulting to d12, but easily changed) for you. Easy as pie.
I’ve been using it for more than a year now and love it (which is no surprise considering that I made it), so try it for yourself and let me know what you think.
For convenience sake, here are the links to the items I discussed above: