D&D 4th Edition UPDATED 6/20/08! kiznit's 4e Fold-over Character Sheet w/ Cards




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  1. #1
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    UPDATED 6/20/08! kiznit's 4e Fold-over Character Sheet w/ Cards

    Hey guys!

    After the pretty good reception of my 4e Combat Crib Sheet, I thought I'd take a stab at making an easier-to-use and easier-to-read version of the character sheet, the official one of which I find to be pretty blech and I bet a lot of you do too.

    This sheet is meant to be the ideal analogue sheet for those of you who eschew computers, but I'd love it if someone (like NeoLithic did with an earlier version) wanted to make a form-fillable or even an auto-calculating version.


    Better pics of the sheet filled out coming soon! (The wife has the digital camera, these were taken with my cel phone)
    Spoiler:



    The Power Cards come in two flavors! Four of the six cards are basic attack cards, the remaining two are trigger or non-attack cards. These could definitely use some play-testing, so let me know how they work.

    Since it's usually pretty tough to print color onto cardstock, I personally recommend getting a few different colors of cardstock paper and then printing B&W to help differentiate At-Will/Daily/Encounter.


    Design Notes:
    • A good character sheet has to keep several things in mind. First and foremost is how easy it is to play off of - i.e. does it "read" well right-to-left, top-to-bottom? Are the important items obvious and easy to find? Do the constantly-changing stuff have lots of room for notes, scribbling and re-scribbling?
    • In terms of layout the 3.5e DMG2 took a nice hard look at this, redesigning stat blocks so that basic encounter-first abilities are towards the top (init, senses, languages, etc.) then Defensive abilities, then Offensive abilities, then Special abilities, and so on. I think a good character sheet has to incorporate some of this prioritizing.
    • Secondly, a character sheet has to be easy to fill out, specifically in the order of how one creates a character (see p.14 4ePHB). This traditionally does things like put the Ability scores nicely in the top-left where everybody knows where they are despite the 3eDMG2 and other pre-generated character sheets (like from H1 and DDWWGD) usually putting them last. So we've got two somewhat conflicting "methodologies" of how to lay this puppy out, and I've tried to find some nice middle ground.
    • Next is how big to make it. A well-designed character sheet usually tries to fit on two pages, since double-sided on cardstock is nicely compact and quite durable. I've seen some really cool character sheets laid out on four pages, which if printed on a single 11x17 cardstock makes a really nice "foldover" character booklet, if you will. Other character sheets range to even longer.
    • My hope is to pare this thing down to a two-pager, but seeing how dense the official sheet is I know that's going to be a nightmare. It bothers me quite a bit that all your character powers on the official sheet, arguably your most crucially examined options, are slimmed down to single lines with simple checkboxes in one corner of the page. Since I already know that I'm going to have to "space out" the entire sheet to make it much more readable, I was thinking of building a PDF that consists of 2-pages plus a third page of various blank fill-outable power cards laid out nicely, perhaps in a 6-up. That way you could print your main character sheet out nicely double-sided, and print out as many of the 3rd page you need to be able to cut apart and track all your powers. Sound cool? I hope so.


    Download the sheet here (v1.0):
    http://www.koboldstyle.org/stuff/4eC..._kiznit_v1.pdf (7.2 megs)

    NeoLithic's Form-Fillable Version (Now updated for the latest version)!
    kiznit_cs_v1.0_form_v2.pdf
    Thanks, Neo! Please give this guy some props for his hard work as well.

    This is very much meant to be a living document. Any comments or critiques are still very much appreciated!
    Last edited by kiznit; Sunday, 22nd June, 2008 at 08:38 PM.
    Edition shmedition. D&D is a lot of fun, no matter how you play it.

    Also, My Day with Diaglo.

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    A thought from left-field.

    I've never seen it on a character sheet before, but I was thinking that given 4e's tactical focus it might be cool to have room on the sheet for various powers/race-based combat effects.

    Things like:
    • Bonuses for Opportunity Attacks
    • Combat Advantage
    • etc.


    Edit - Something like this:
    Last edited by kiznit; Monday, 9th June, 2008 at 05:16 AM.

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    a few comments

    I like your overall design approach. A few specific comments:

    • The box under HP probably shouldn't say "wounds", since very clearly in 4E more than ever hit points represent morale, endurance, and, well, narrative verve as much as or more than they represent physical damage.
    • Also, as I commented on Mad Irishman's 4E sheet, I use scrap paper for this rather than scribbling on my character sheet, so that box is kind of a waste. I do like the idea of the death saving throws checkboxes, though. I suppose I could get used to having it there and printing a new sheet more often.
    • XP can probably go on page 2, yeah?
    • Initiative and speed aren't Senses, but they're under the "senses" section.
    • Languages seems shoved in at an odd point.
    • Should "Attack and Damage" say "Basic Attacks"?
    • I like what you've done with the armor penalty checkboxes ó much cleaner than having n/a written.
    • The feat list seems too narrow to write the names of many of the feats, let alone short notes on what they do. This is probably less of an issue in 4E where feats tend to give always-on benefits rather than situational options ó which to me means that the main list can be moved to the second page, with only special cases noted on the front (maybe in the "other notes" section).

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattdm
    I like your overall design approach. A few specific comments:

    The box under HP probably shouldn't say "wounds", since very clearly in 4E more than ever hit points represent morale, endurance, and, well, narrative verve as much as or more than they represent physical damage.
    Heck of a good point. Changed to "Current Hit Points".
    Also, as I commented on Mad Irishman's 4E sheet, I use scrap paper for this rather than scribbling on my character sheet, so that box is kind of a waste. I do like the idea of the death saving throws checkboxes, though. I suppose I could get used to having it there and printing a new sheet more often.
    Yeah, I'm mixed on this one too. Everyone's got a different way to track their hit points, but at this point I feel it's a crueler thing to limit those who want to track them on the sheet when they pick up and play.
    XP can probably go on page 2, yeah?
    Yeah, it probably can, I agree. There's something to be said for it being grouped with other rewards. Will decide later when I'm deep into designing page numero two or am desperately looking to make more room on page one for something.
    Initiative and speed aren't Senses, but they're under the "senses" section.
    Agreed. I feel like they should still be grouped in the same area, though. Just can't think what to call it, and "Reaction, Movement and Senses" or something is too wordy. Will think on this and change it.
    Languages seems shoved in at an odd point.
    Yeeeah. True. I do feel like they belong somewhere mid-to-top though.
    Should "Attack and Damage" say "Basic Attacks"?
    Agreed. Changed.
    I like what you've done with the armor penalty checkboxes ó much cleaner than having n/a written.
    Thanks!
    The feat list seems too narrow to write the names of many of the feats, let alone short notes on what they do. This is probably less of an issue in 4E where feats tend to give always-on benefits rather than situational options ó which to me means that the main list can be moved to the second page, with only special cases noted on the front (maybe in the "other notes" section).
    Yeah, these were poorly squeezed together. Need at least 19 lines for Feats (maybe more?) and maybe it's just my holdover 3e sensibilities that wants to group them near skills. I could indeed see them moving to page 2.


    Edit: OP updated with some of these new changes. Thanks, Matt!
    Last edited by kiznit; Monday, 9th June, 2008 at 06:14 AM.

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    How do you guys feel about paper-doll style magic-item equipping lists?

    Too ostentatious/scattered? Kinda cool?



    I think it has potential, but it's a definitely space-waster.

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    With the magic item tracker, you could put in a check box to track the daily powers used, like the official one.

  7. #7
    Hm strange, managed to post a partial double post. Deleted.
    Last edited by Serensius; Monday, 9th June, 2008 at 05:23 PM.
    I love Enworld!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kiznit
    How do you guys feel about paper-doll style magic-item equipping lists?
    Loved it! You should definitely keep it, it makes the sheet unique and more visually interesting. It also seems like it would make keeping track of your stuff much easier.

    Other thoughts:

    - The top logos don't look right. I understand that the are probably just placeholder, but they just put me off as soon as I saw the sheet
    - The little headlines, Ability Scores, Reactions, Hit Points and so on, should use a larger font so it's easier to spot them right away
    - Indicating somewhere that you include 1/2 your level to ability checks would be nice
    - Gray boxes are both aesthetic and easy on the printer, good call
    - Maybe include which ability scores apply to which defense in small print (like Wisdom and Charisma for Will)
    - More fields in the skills section to sort the various bonuses after. Having more misc fields is never bad
    - Just a suggestion: have a field for page numbers in the feat and power lists? Kind of struck me as something that might be useful
    - I realize you're probably pressed for space, but the power section is too small. At least this close to release, you're going to want to have more room to write your powers in, so you don't have to go back and check the book all the time.
    - Move at-will powers to basic attacks? Seen some character sheets do this, seems practical
    - Maybe include some bullet points in the power list? Bullet points are always good
    - Equipment section: Maybe sort it in a table of sorts, with a field for location (ie, which bag you keep it in or similar) and weight

    Overall, it looks and reads quite nicely, although some areas need more definition. Looking forward to see how this progresses!
    I love Enworld!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiznit
    I think it has potential, but it's a definitely space-waster.
    I think it's worth it: there's less to cram in on 4E sheets anyway (especially if one uses cards for powers ó I'm interested to see how that works out in real play).

    I'm concerned, though, because the character in the current graphic appears to be in the process of donning latex gloves, and I'm a bit worried about what he/she is going to do next.

  10. #10
    Well, here's my 2 cents:
    - The DnD logo needs to be full, the way you have it now is kind of an eyesore
    - The sheet doesn't need its own title really, you know what it is just by looking at it
    - You should try and get at least a semblance of a grid going; the various part of the sheet don't really fit in with any other parts, they just kinda float one next to each other
    - You could organize the sections a little bit better; try and separate things which don't have much in common from each other, while grouping things that are often used together, or one after the other
    - Some sections are really big for some reason (for example, xp sticks out quite prominently, for just being a number) and others are wedged in (feats are really tight, they need more room and so on)
    - Try accentuating the important part of each section in some manner; all the gray on the sheet makes a person's eyes wander a bit

    Think of this as general advice, it's your sheet and it needs to serve your purposes. Also, I just finished making my own character sheet (I'll probably be posting a thread soon), so I have an idea what works, and what troubles you'll face.
    Last edited by Mezzer; Wednesday, 11th June, 2008 at 02:21 AM.
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