Level Up (A5E) Minimalist character sheet mockup

niklinna

Legend
I find the official A5e character sheet a little hard on my eyes, so I thought I'd mock up a minimalist design that's easier to scan. I would like to do this with the heading font used in the rulebooks but I don't know what it is, so it's good old boring Helvetica for now.

UPDATE: See post 12 for latest drafts.

What do you think?

A5e Character Sheet.jpg
 
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FitzTheRuke

Legend
Not bad. I hate character sheets that are multiple pages. Of course, I also like ALL the information (on what the character can do) to be available. I also don't like any writing to be too small. (I know, I'm asking A LOT). Usually I can find a way to pull all that off. This works pretty well for a primary page. I assume that you plan to have a second sheet for feats, features, spells, and maneuvers?
 

niklinna

Legend
Not bad. I hate character sheets that are multiple pages. Of course, I also like ALL the information (on what the character can do) to be available. I also don't like any writing to be too small. (I know, I'm asking A LOT). Usually I can find a way to pull all that off.
I could probably shrink this by about a third and it would still be rather readable. That might give room for equipment on the primary page—not that it's really needed there, but everything else is too big. The official sheets otherwise have the info grouped in a pretty good way, though.
This works pretty well for a primary page. I assume that you plan to have a second sheet for feats, features, spells, and maneuvers?
Thanks! I am mucking about with the other stuff too, and thinking about whether the table design of white boxes on gray is too busy. A foolish consistency and all that. But, I find that outlines and underlines make everything look very cluttered indeed, and that nested filled boxes work well once you settle on the right shades.
 

niklinna

Legend
Here's the spells sheet. More free-form so you can list spells as you like; a digital version would let you click on the column headers to sort, maybe. Room for two spellcasting classes, and accounting for spells granted via heritage or other source. (I've left a large left margin for hole-punched paper, is that super unnecessary or do people still use binders?)

I might center-align the Spellcasting Class & Ability labels, even though I generally prefer left alignment for such things, just because it'll line up more nicely with the Save DC & Attack Bonus.

I'm not happy that cantrips are crammed in the corner under 9th-level spells but they are general exceptions to the whole slot schema anyhow. Do you prefer spells levels to be given as cardinal (2) or ordinal (2nd) numbers?

A5e Character Sheet Spells.jpg
 
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lichmaster

Adventurer
I like the general layout, but I' think that with the significant added depth and complexity of A5E this character sheet could be improved for usability.

With characters potentially having combat maneuvers, spells, class/culture/heritage features, feats, and other tidbits coming from the equipment, each of which may consume a different type of resource and can be used as either an action, a reaction, a bonus action or a situational instantaneous, I think that a character sheet that looks a bit more like the monsters' stat block could be very useful for playing.

The PC examples shown in the previous weeks are probably a good example of this. Having at least some specific blocks showing the possible actions, bonus actions, reactions and their resource cost would be very useful(maybe modifying or substituting the attack/spells block)
 

Masha

Villager
Minor gripe but I'm not sure the huge arrow between temp & current HP is necessary, especially if you want to go minimalist. I find it visually distracting - the darkest shade on the entire page, my eye keeps being drawn to it.
 

Vampersan

Explorer
I find the official A5e character sheet a little hard on my eyes, so I thought I'd mock up a minimalist design that's easier to scan. I would like to do this with the heading font used in the rulebooks but I don't know what it is, so it's good old boring Helvetica for now.

What do you think?

View attachment 145923
This is really great, actually! Like FitzTheRuke said, I usually like having ALL character options and features on display. But, I also know a lot of people in my group that would really dig this minimalist design and the ease it would allow them to glance at their character. Thanks for putting this together! :)
 

niklinna

Legend
Minor gripe but I'm not sure the huge arrow between temp & current HP is necessary, especially if you want to go minimalist. I find it visually distracting - the darkest shade on the entire page, my eye keeps being drawn to it.
Works for me! Rough drafts are for trying ideas and I'm definnitely not wedded to that one.
 

niklinna

Legend
This is really great, actually! Like FitzTheRuke said, I usually like having ALL character options and features on display. But, I also know a lot of people in my group that would really dig this minimalist design and the ease it would allow them to glance at their character. Thanks for putting this together! :)
Yeah I'm kicking around several ideas. Maneuvers turn out to be harder to do than spells, if you can believe that. Adepts get up to 26 total(!). I'm also thinking of putting spell/maneuver Save DCs and such on the main page and moving the destiny stuff to the page with backstory & such. You really want as few sheets as possible that require scribbling during encounters.
 

niklinna

Legend
I like the general layout, but I' think that with the significant added depth and complexity of A5E this character sheet could be improved for usability.

With characters potentially having combat maneuvers, spells, class/culture/heritage features, feats, and other tidbits coming from the equipment, each of which may consume a different type of resource and can be used as either an action, a reaction, a bonus action or a situational instantaneous, I think that a character sheet that looks a bit more like the monsters' stat block could be very useful for playing.
I've already added a column for the class or other source that grants a feature, and I've been trying to figure out how to fit in resource tracking (uses used, uses available, when they refresh)—the official sheet doesn't even attempt that except for spells. That sheet does have "activation" for maneuvers, which I think might be action/reaction and such, I'm not sure. But I want to fit that in too if I can. The idea of singular tables though is so users can arrange their info as they like—they can order all their spells/maneuvers by name, group them by action/reaction/etc., level/rank, or whatever.

I'm also futzing around with putting all the general resource tracking and combat stats (spell/maneuver save DCs, spell slots and exertion) on the primary page, so all the others are reference pages that change only when you get gear or level up. (See what I did there?)
The PC examples shown in the previous weeks are probably a good example of this. Having at least some specific blocks showing the possible actions, bonus actions, reactions and their resource cost would be very useful(maybe modifying or substituting the attack/spells block)
The problem, of course, is that a print sheet has to have space for your character throughout their career up to level 20. I might make compact reference sheets that are good to level 10 or so though so it uses fewer sheets of paper.
 
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niklinna

Legend
Some things:
  • The bit about Initiative contains no actionable info, so I think I'm going to delete it.
  • Is there a multiclass build or other situation that would involve needing to record maneuver DCs based on both Strength and Dexterity?
  • If I put Spell Attack & Save DC on the main sheet, is it worth having two sets for multiclassers who take classes with different spellcasting abilities?
  • I might unify the features + maneuvers table for maximum flexibility, even though the Exertion column wouldn't be used for many entries.
  • Resource tracking usually counts down to zero (HP, exertion, supply, spell points)—except for spells, which are tracked by number of slots expended per level. Do you find this confusing, or would you find it confusing if I changed spell slot tracking to be "current" and "maximum"? (Notably, spells slots of a level are often very low in number compared to all the other resources and likely more commonly tracked via tick marks than writing digits.)
 



niklinna

Legend
I'm gonna be Miss Greedy Pants here and ask if you're going to do them as form fillable.
I've considered it, but I have never made a form-fillable PDF before and I hear the process is...rather painful. (I did submit a feature request to the makers of OmniGraffle so it can export directly as such, since all those boxes and whatnot are essentially text fields in the app.)

If this turns out to be not totally horrible to do I will see about doing it.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I've considered it, but I have never made a form-fillable PDF before and I hear the process is...rather painful. (I did submit a feature request to the makers of OmniGraffle so it can export directly as such, since all those boxes and whatnot are essentially text fields in the app.)

If this turns out to be not totally horrible to do I will see about doing it.
It's not too bad of a process depending on what editor you are using. Yes they are basically text boxes though so adding lots of them can be tedious unless you are building the pdf with a script & that requires some coding knowledge
Edit: I use an older version of pdf-x change from back before they followed Adobe with yearly licensing fees &find it works well both as editor as well as pdf viewer
 


niklinna

Legend
It's not too bad of a process depending on what editor you are using. Yes they are basically text boxes though so adding lots of them can be tedious unless you are building the pdf with a script & that requires some coding knowledge
Well I am just printing to PDF direct from OmniGraffle. But now that I've done the layout in a WYSIWYG app, turning this into a procedurally-generated PDF wouldn't be that hard, depending on tool/language/library availability on macos.

Yeah it’s easy but very tedious.
Tedious isn't so bad...it's just having to redo the whole thing from scratch if I edit the source document that's a killer. Or so I hear.

We'll see how many folks would actualy be interested.
 


niklinna

Legend
Where things are at. I'm not particularly happy about the Inspiration & Destiny info being in two places, but then again the heritage/culture/background features go on the feature tracker sheet too.

I hope everything is obvious, but I do plan to add a page explaining how to use some fields (like Cost can be any of Exertion, Inspiration, Spell Points, Sorcery Points, and more!).

I'm also trying to figure out how to do companions (humanoid, beast friends, familiars, and more). There's enough variation that they essentially need at least full stat+skill and feature sheets!

Let me know what you think of these. I'll have to figure out some way to add form-fillable to the PDFs; I don't have the software for that (yet).

1 Stats+Skills.jpg2 RP-Info.jpg3 Features-Martial.jpg4 Features-Caster.jpg5 Features-2Caster.jpg6 Equipment+Treasure.jpg
 

Masha

Villager
I used your V1 base to adjust them to A4 for my group (printing letter format would result in lots of wasted space).
Tightening up the white spaces in-between boxes just a little and the slightly longer format (albeit less in width) gave me more space to work with and I managed to squeeze destiny stuff back onto the front page. I also added an inspiration tracker next to the hit dice counter instead of the conditions, because I felt they could do just fine sized the same as the hit points boxes. Based on feedback from my party, we also moved the cash counters to the top of the inventory page. Otherwise they love it and thank you for your work :D
If someone can point me to a free / affordable software to do form-fillables I'll gladly put the time in, it's kind of meditative (spent an hour today only to find out the software I tried added an ugly watermark and that's hardly worth sharing).
 

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