Zin's Character Sheet




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  1. #1
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    Zin's Character Sheet

    Landscape 4E Character sheet in color. PDF form with calculated fields

    We introduced a new player to the group recently, and I noticed how much trouble she had finding things on the official character sheet printed out by the Character Builder. All the boxes look the same and kind of blend together. I took that as my inspiration to start working on a project I've had in mind for months. So I've been working on a 4E character sheet in landscape format.

    It's a bit different from some others out there. The first page covers character information including abilities, skills, feats, background, race and class features - all the stuff that makes your character who he or she is. The second page is dedicated to combat, and includes attack power summaries, and a special section on conditional effects which I believe is unique. I've found it all too easy to miss using conditional effects that are scattered among race features, class features, items, and powers. By summarizing these based on condition type, I hope to make it easier to find and use them when the appropriate trigger happens.

    The file is PDF form that will perform many calculations automatically. Because it's a PDF form, the file is best viewed with Adobe Reader 9. There are likely still has some bugs and design issues with it. I'd appreciate any comments people cared to make, from aesthetics to missing or incorrect tooltips or form field errors.

    Edit: Now updated to add in a portrait area on the second page. Unfortunately I don't know a good way to let the user put in an image in a form, but I'm still looking into it. The preview images have been updated to show the current version.

    Zin's Character Sheet version 0.6





    Last edited by Zinovia; Friday, 26th February, 2010 at 09:14 PM. Reason: Updated the file
    Red meat isn't bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.
    4E color landscape character sheet 4E hex spell templates
    Silly Poetry: The Dragon

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    OMG I love it! I made a custom one, too, but in b&w and I thought it totally rocked but now I dont b/c yours is truly outstanding! Love it, and I may use until I can get around to um, colorizing my own. Gr8 job!

    Edit: Oh but mine does have a big box for a character portrait! Got u there.
    Last edited by Rachel; Wednesday, 17th February, 2010 at 01:01 AM.
    "Life is blonde".
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    Very nice sheet.

    It is one thing the character builder messed up, not having customizable templates.
    "We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects."
    - Attributed to Herman Melville.

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    Thanks for the compliments. I've spent a lot of time putting this together. I had made a portrait frame and was really hoping to fit it in, but given the other stuff I wanted to include, it didn't work out. The sheet is still under development, so maybe I can make room later.

    Once I try this sheet out under field conditions (as it were), and finalize any needed changes to the design, I will be attempting to make it work with the Character Builder.

    The biggest problem I anticipate there is fitting the descriptions for powers and items into the small areas allotted for them. The default descriptions include a lot of info that flat out does not need to be there for normal use, such as the Level 21 effect lines on At-Wills. You don't even need the damage formula to be in the abbreviated description - instead you want a calculated version of it for ease of use. i.e. 1d10+7 rather than 1[W]+STR.

    When using it with the Character Builder, I may have to eliminate my conditional effects section, or leave it to be filled out by hand (or the Adobe Reader Typewriter tool). That section is something I am hoping will help people remember all their "When X happens, I can do Y" abilities, and so I would be disappointed if it couldn't be included in a Character Builder version. I'm not sure there's a way to automate it however.
    Red meat isn't bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.
    4E color landscape character sheet 4E hex spell templates
    Silly Poetry: The Dragon

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    Very good job. A couple of constructive comments I hope:

    1. The whole upper left of the second page is duplicated from the first page. Obviously, you intended that, but I don't personally like the duplication. I especially don't think the name info should be duplicated. I remember your comment in another thread, so putting the portrait there instead of the name info on the combat page should hopefully make the one player in your game happier.

    2. The colors for initiative and speed on the second page should also be used on the first page. You match colors for the defenses, so might as well do so here or not use different colors for initiative and speed on the second page.

    3. I'm not a big fan of listing out all the components of a particular calculation. I'm not sure if it's required for the form or not, but I'd personally rather not see all those boxes under Initiative and all the defenses. All these boxes just make bookkeeping A LOT harder when manually entering everything. And, if not manually entering it, the information is useless! You can double check the totals if you need to, but you don't need to "show your work" everywhere. Really, the same thing goes for skills.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infiniti2000 View Post
    1. The whole upper left of the second page is duplicated from the first page. <snip> ...putting the portrait there instead of the name info on the combat page should hopefully make the one player in your game happier.
    Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. The comment was not a player in my game, but I agree that a portrait would be nice to have on the sheet, ideally on the first page, as that is the page that describes the character and what he can do. As for page 2, it's the combat page, so not the ideal place for the portrait. Even so, I had tried to fit it in that very corner. Ideally it should be square, and making room for it in that space wasn't really working. If I move the calculations all to another page (see my comments below), I should be able to make room on the front for it.

    2. The colors for initiative and speed on the second page should also be used on the first page. You match colors for the defenses, so might as well do so here or not use different colors for initiative and speed on the second page.
    I was using the stylized frames with the circles on the first page for Speed and Initiative, so there wasn't a color associated with them on the first page. When I did the combat section, I started with plain black boxes for Speed and Initiative, but decided they were too similar to each other. I tried making one of those boxes a different shape, but didn't like the look. Color worked best to distinguish them on page 2. I will try putting the color on the front as well and see how it looks.

    3. I'm not a big fan of listing out all the components of a particular calculation. I'm not sure if it's required for the form or not...
    They are.
    ...but I'd personally rather not see all those boxes under Initiative and all the defenses. <snip> Really, the same thing goes for skills.
    Moving the calculations somewhere else hadn't occurred to me, because I wanted this sheet to be able to be filled out by hand. I tend to like having those boxes to show where a given number came from. When the swordmage tells me she has 25 AC, it's good to know how the heck that happened to a 6th level character in leather armor. Swordmages are just OP like that.

    You make a good point regarding the ease of use. Numbers that aren't generally needed can be distracting, which is why I tried to put the ones that matter into a big box or circle. I could put the calculations on another page altogether, making more room for the good stuff. I'll give it some thought, as it would involve a major redesign. I like this one as a "print it and fill it out by hand" sheet, but perhaps I will make a different version with the calculations on their own page, suitable for reference, but out of the way. Good idea.

    Thanks again for the feedback.
    Red meat isn't bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.
    4E color landscape character sheet 4E hex spell templates
    Silly Poetry: The Dragon

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    With the CB, no one in our group handwrites the character sheets anymore. Moreover, I never bother checking any of the math, I simply trust the players. I understand this isn't possible for everyone (I have had players like that in the past so believe me I know the pain), but at least for me I would prefer none of the calcs to be visible. Putting them on the last page or having the option to hide them, anything like that would be okay.

    Anyway, please don't go out of your way for me. Like I said, we use the CB so unless your sheet can be integrated with that, it's unlikely we'll use it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zinovia View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. The comment was not a player in my game, but I agree that a portrait would be nice to have on the sheet, ideally on the first page, as that is the page that describes the character and what he can do..
    Unfortunately, I can't play with you b/c I live in NH of all places. But I would like to.

    Also, I absolutely like having the "calculation boxes" on a character sheet, and prefer to use a sheet with those. For me they are must. I want to be able to see where all my mods are coming from, and to be able to easily double-check their accuracy or to improve them and then quickly refigure the overalls stat result.

    BTW, I make character sheets in MS paint (how archaic, I know!). They always have a cool character pic I found that fits the character perfectly, and plus I use the typing tool to just type in all the data (Naksim font 10).

    "Life is blonde".
    "Stirges suck".
    "So do vampires."
    "In other games you get to battle...Broccoli!"

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Nifelhein View Post
    Very nice sheet.

    It is one thing the character builder messed up, not having customizable templates.
    I have often wondered aobut that. Im mean, at the end of the day, the characters are only XML. Has anyone out there done alternate style sheets (XSL) for producing character sheets?

    (p.s. to OP. This is good. Prioritises information a bit more appropriately that character builder does, especially the second page)

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    I have thought about that, it is probably possible to do a template picker much like programs are importing the saved character, then tell it to apply XSL templates and viol!

    Though I am not versed in xml/xsl ways so i am not sure how hard that would be.
    "We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects."
    - Attributed to Herman Melville.

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