Character Sheet Tips

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robert4818
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Character Sheet Tips

#1 Postby robert4818 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:45 pm

Decided I'd create a thread for thoughts and advice on character sheet creation. Feel free to post your general thoughts on character sheets.

Here are mine:

Avoid black blocks. Ink is expensive, and large areas tend to be easy to smear or take a while to dry. This includes white text on a black background. You can still use shades of gray for highlighting, but avoid solid black.

Ditch the "Edge" Block. Most edges come via advancement. As such, I would recommend ditching the Edge Block with just an advancement tracker. Add 3-4 lines at the top of the advancement tracker to track how you spend your hindrance points, but beyond that, simply use the advancement track to hold your edges. It serves a good double duty.
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#2 Postby Virgobrown72 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:40 pm

Some folks dig the Die shapes for skills and attributes, some don't. Just keep in mind, if you do use Die shapes, they will take up much more real estate than a blank line or box.

My character sheets have a section for derived stats that show the base stat, modified stat, and the average after mods. It makes calculating this stuff really fast. (For my purposes...)

Some folks like tracking Power Points on their character sheets. If so, you could do a stat block instead of individual markers if real estate is an issue.

Some people prefer skill sections without listed skills, and some people do. I like to have the skills listed so my players can spend points on skills without looking things up constantly. Some people prefer without. Your mileage may vary...

Make sure your fonts are clear and legible. I love fonts that are evocative of the setting, but remember, above all else, the character sheets are for your players, and not just you!!! Others have to be able to use them easily...

My two cents!!! :wink:
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#3 Postby Virgobrown72 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:23 pm

Now, in my honest opinion, I feel that the character sheet in the Deluxe Edition covers everything you need for any normal Savage Worlds game, so the question is, what is it that makes folks create their own character sheets? You have to consider what additional information you require on a character sheet, and how best to present it on a character sheet...
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#4 Postby robert4818 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:39 pm

Virgobrown72 wrote:Now, in my honest opinion, I feel that the character sheet in the Deluxe Edition covers everything you need for any normal Savage Worlds game, so the question is, what is it that makes folks create their own character sheets? You have to consider what additional information you require on a character sheet, and how best to present it on a character sheet...


Well, I like different sheets for different settings for a variety of reasons.

First, a character sheet can help Evoke setting. A James Bond game can help players get in the mood by looking like it was typed up on an old 60's style typewriter. My Agents of Oblivion sheet does this.

Second, different character sheets can help a bit on organization. Different looking sheets can help a busy (or disorganized) gm find characters for different games by glance, something the generic sheet can't do.
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#5 Postby Virgobrown72 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:52 pm

First, a character sheet can help Evoke setting.


Absolutely!!! I concur 200%

Second, different character sheets can help a bit on organization. Different looking sheets can help a busy (or disorganized) gm find characters for different games by glance, something the generic sheet can't do.


I concur again!!! Although I'm a bit lazy, and will use the same sheet over and over again... :(

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#6 Postby SmokestackJones » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:01 pm

Virgobrown72 wrote:Now, in my honest opinion, I feel that the character sheet in the Deluxe Edition covers everything you need for any normal Savage Worlds game, so the question is, what is it that makes folks create their own character sheets?


To me it boils down to B/W is cheaper to print than color.

Yes, I can print color character sheets in B/W but some of them look downright dingy and hard to read.

-SJ

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#7 Postby Virgobrown72 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:22 pm


To me it boils down to B/W is cheaper to print than color.

Yes, I can print color character sheets in B/W but some of them look downright dingy and hard to read.

-SJ


I agree. When making character sheets, I try to check them in grayscale...
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#8 Postby DragonDeadite » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:15 pm

I'm wondering if anyone cares about using an Excel character sheet.

I prefer to use an excel sheet so I can fill it, change it, adapt it to what I want it to be, and can do that much easier and cheaper than with Adobe. I've actually made a fairly plain and easy to read/print character sheet and am in the process of making it look a bit nicer. Here's an image of the first page of the character sheet I made for my character.

Image

I'd like to post the character sheet somewhere for everyone to use if that would be possible.[/img]

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velikch
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#9 Postby velikch » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:51 pm

Wow, I like the excel sheet...a lot actually.

I use PDFill Editor which is free online (or has a free version?). It's easy to use but trying to use it to fill out a character sheet is pretty tedious since you have to create a new text box (sans borders for those worried) for every line. I put checkboxes with X's in them for the attribute and skill dice (to X off the die type when they're displayed).

I think the free version doesn't let you save your fillable character sheets, but if you buy it (or if the free version does allow this, I don't really recall) and you save your fillable sheets, then you have a permanent, awesome looking character sheet.

I've made PDFill sheets for Rippers using a font called Blackadder ITC font (taken from the TV sitcom Blackadder starring Rowan Atkinson) and for Weird War II and used a font called Boston Traffic. I tend to use these for one-shots, NPC's, or for when someone asks me to create a character for them - the character sheets come out looking GREAT, but because things are printed on to them it's rather difficult to make changes (i.e. losing dice from permanent injuries) - hence the reason I usually reserve them for one-shots.

I kept these saved on my computer for future use, but they took a good long while to setup all the fields and such. If you're looking to make your life easy while still wanting some awesome-looking character sheets for one-shots, this is DEFINITELY the way to go.

Worth MUCHO bonus points to people who have never played Savage Worlds before too! :wink:

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Other Mike
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Re: Character Sheet Tips

#10 Postby Other Mike » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:58 pm

robert4818 wrote:Ditch the "Edge" Block. Most edges come via advancement. As such, I would recommend ditching the Edge Block with just an advancement tracker.


Of course, my personal preference would be ditching the Advancement Tracker and keeping the Edge block. Advancements can be Skills, Edges or Attributes. As such, I find (my opinion) that the attribute trackers do this very poorly. I hate sheets with those on them ... cause enough to create my own sheet for the setting.

Yes, it's a second sheet ... could be printed on the back of the normal character sheet ... but I created a tracker sheet just for tracking advancement, separate from the character sheet. It's sole purpose is to track advancement. It's a PDF form, but a spreadsheet would work just as well.

I also hate the space wasted by having the die types for attributes and skills. I prefer just a place to write d6, d8 or whatever.

I picked this up from Evil Mike and Chaos Steve, at Con on the Cob, but since then, I like a sheet that can be cut, folded in half, and fit into a 4x6 or 5x7 hard plastic postcard holder. That's all I use for Con games I run now.

But those are just my opinions. :wink:
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velikch
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#11 Postby velikch » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:21 pm

Actually regarding the Edge Block, I like to have an Edge Block as my Advancement Tracker. I just notate the edges with the XP threshold at which that edge was acquired and put in the skill up's and such if the Edge Block is big enough, also with XP thresholds.

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#12 Postby jasales » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:03 pm

I use excel also and it has many advantages.

You can design a pretty nice sheet. It is small < 50K (not 50 megs like the official one). It can be uploaded to sites like Epic Words, Obsidian portal or easily emailed.

the players can use them over and over again.

Paperless for those with tablets.


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