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Character Sheets & Format


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Hello Herodom! As some may know, I've never been a big fan of the Hero stat blocks, and have started working on something knew for my group. That said, I was curious about the community thought about a few things and wanted to ask a few questions. 

 

1. How many pages is your idea Hero Character Sheet?

2. Do you think a sheet strictly for combat would be a helpful addition? This would contain all the charts and tables specifically for combat, and perhaps list various attacks.*

3. Do you prefer a list format, or do you like something more condensed (like have a paragraph of skills rather than one skill per line)?

4. What do you think is missing from or needs to change on the current sheets? 

 

Thanks in advance for any input. 

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Ooh!  My FAVOURITE topic!!! 😃

 

1. All good character sheets should be two sides of A4 max. Everything you need 85% of the time should be on page 1.

 

2. I am all for a generic combat sheet to take the mechanics off the character sheet. 🙂

 

3. This depends on the genre. If skills define the character, like in a detective or spies game, they should be detailed and front and centre.  In a superhero game I cut down the skills and focus on character and powers.

 

4. Flavour.  The character sheet is the players GUI to the game. Everything about the character sheet should evoke the genre you are trying to play.

 

If the character sheet is brand and soulless you risk the game being that way too.

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I prefer a character sheet that fits all on one page, but if you have two, put the combat info on the back, so you swap between play and fight.  The classic hero character sheet was made so that you could build your character with a pencil writing on the sheet.  So it has data that isn't needed now.  We don't need the cost of stats.  We don't need base stats.  We don't need modifier values listed.  All of that can be in the HDC of the character, just put what is needed on the character sheet.  As long as the sheet is readable and clear, it doesn't matter how its presented. 

 

Making it look "cool" like style features which match the genre is a big help.  If I had it to do again, I would have made the Western Hero character sheet look like a weathered wanted poster, but I did like how the revolver cylinder look worked with the stats.

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I prefer a character sheet that fits all on one page, but if you have two, put the combat info on the back, so you swap between play and fight.  The classic hero character sheet was made so that you could build your character with a pencil writing on the sheet.  So it has data that isn't needed now.  We don't need the cost of stats.  We don't need base stats.  We don't need modifier values listed.  All of that can be in the HDC of the character, just put what is needed on the character sheet.  As long as the sheet is readable and clear, it doesn't matter how its presented. 

 

Making it look "cool" like style features which match the genre is a big help.  If I had it to do again, I would have made the Western Hero character sheet look like a weathered wanted poster, but I did like how the revolver cylinder look worked with the stats.

 

I'm trying to figure out the revolver cylinder as a html file

 

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LOL I love Runaround Sue just for the name :)

 

"here's my story, its sad but true..."

 

 

But yeah that's the kind of thing I had in mind; strip it down to the bare minimum (you don't necessarily even need the costs) and leave out the modifier values, etc.  Give it style so it feels like its part of the genre.

Edited by Christopher R Taylor
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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the suggestions, folks. I think this is getting closer for my sheet. Creative criticism is always welcome. 

 

I should note: This is based on a player's sheet and includes some house rules that we use (such as Luck and HAPs). 

 

 

image.thumb.jpeg.a3c3c4310aa8f1d91f3bfb88965c0ab4.jpeg

Edited by Sketchpad
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My thoughts: 

1) I'd swap around the movement/ range mod/ defensive blocs so that the defensive is first, then movement, then range mod.

2) I would make the SPEED section more prominent and put it in the stats block.  Its one of the more puzzling bits of the rules to newbs and until you get really comfortable with it, you need it more blatant.  Listing out every segment and highlighting or circling the ones character acts on can make things clearer and the phases moved on easer to find

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Well, it is a clean functional character sheet.  I like that you have stripped back the detail.

 

In the Gravity Control section, you say at the top that all powers are unifued, so there should be no need to repeat it, so you can lose three "Unified power - Gravity powers".

 

Under scientist, I would be inclined to lose the SS: and just list the sciences.

 

Finally, you use a lot of text to put in the rules about the contacts. I would be inclined to use that text to drop some colour into the sheet.  You could get the same info across while bringing them to life a bit.

 

Speaking of colour, so finally finally, I might be inclined to drop some colour in, either as a block behind different sections, or as a boundary box to each section.

 

Doc

 

PS: just noticed, I would put the Defensive section next to the Offensive one, keep all the CV values in the same row.

Edited by Doc Democracy
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5 hours ago, Christougher said:

Swap the point cost / value columns for stats.  Makes so much more sense for the points to always be the first number.

 

That is, if you're not going to strip out point costs for everything on the sheet.

 

I went back to Sketchpad's charactersheet because I thought he had, then I realised you were replying to the first post.  Have a look at what he is proposing a couple of posts up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gosh, I just use a txt file for the character sheets and a handwritten cheat sheet to keep combat stats close by in one spot. That and whiteboards to keep BODY STUN and END, and another whiteboard for the current initiative and SPD rollout.

Much less dynamic than all of these, but I've been using one format for thirty-five years and I know it so well that no other system is worth the downgrade in expertise.

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8 hours ago, JackValhalla said:

Gosh, I just use a txt file for the character sheets and a handwritten cheat sheet to keep combat stats close by in one spot. That and whiteboards to keep BODY STUN and END, and another whiteboard for the current initiative and SPD rollout.

Much less dynamic than all of these, but I've been using one format for thirty-five years and I know it so well that no other system is worth the downgrade in expertise.

 

That is the sign of system mastery, you don't need the crutch of the character sheet because the detail is in your head.  I often play fast and loose when running villains, a few key stats and numbers being enough to deliver a challenge to the players.

 

But to riff on what
@Christopher R Taylor said, the wrapper is the first thing new players and GMs see.  It is what incentives people to buy into the game and hopefully buy product.

 

I think you are right though in that the design should not detract from practical playability.

 

Doc

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On 6/14/2024 at 9:49 PM, Doc Democracy said:

Well, it is a clean functional character sheet.  I like that you have stripped back the detail.

 

In the Gravity Control section, you say at the top that all powers are unifued, so there should be no need to repeat it, so you can lose three "Unified power - Gravity powers".

 

Under scientist, I would be inclined to lose the SS: and just list the sciences.

 

Finally, you use a lot of text to put in the rules about the contacts. I would be inclined to use that text to drop some colour into the sheet.  You could get the same info across while bringing them to life a bit.

 

Speaking of colour, so finally finally, I might be inclined to drop some colour in, either as a block behind different sections, or as a boundary box to each section.

 

Doc

 

PS: just noticed, I would put the Defensive section next to the Offensive one, keep all the CV values in the same row.

 

Thanks, Doc. Sorry it took a bit to get back... I've been working on some... things. I've shifted a few things around, and will be using color in the final. I wasn't sure about the Unified Power bit (man do I miss Elemental Controls), but I see your point.  

 

On 6/28/2024 at 8:37 PM, JackValhalla said:

Gosh, I just use a txt file for the character sheets and a handwritten cheat sheet to keep combat stats close by in one spot. That and whiteboards to keep BODY STUN and END, and another whiteboard for the current initiative and SPD rollout.

Much less dynamic than all of these, but I've been using one format for thirty-five years and I know it so well that no other system is worth the downgrade in expertise.

 

I've either used lined paper, printed character sheets, or, more recently, export formats from Hero Designer. I've always looked for something more visually appealing.

 

On 6/28/2024 at 10:34 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

I agree, simple is usually better, but for promoting a game or trying to sell it to new players, snazzy and eye-catching can be useful

 

On 6/29/2024 at 5:34 AM, Doc Democracy said:

But to riff on what
@Christopher R Taylor said, the wrapper is the first thing new players and GMs see.  It is what incentives people to buy into the game and hopefully buy product.

 

I think you are right though in that the design should not detract from practical playability.

 

Doc

 

Most definitely. This is one of the main factors behind the last sheet I posted. It's since been updated a bit with some of the suggestions, as well as some suggestions from folks off the boards.

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