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6e Character Sheet for beginners?


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So, HERO used to include beginning characteristics on their character sheets. Both the base characteristic and its cost was included until 6e. I know they're pushing the "universal" aspect of the game, but who doesn't actually start with normal beginning characteristics?! This seems a simple little nit-picky detail, but it matters when you're trying to teach the game to beginners. Now they have to flip around through the rule book, which is confusing enough, to determine which set of beginning characteristics they're starting with. Seriously, when I handed the character sheet to my buddy to teach him the HERO System, he asked me what his starting characteristics were and I was flabbergasted that the base and cost weren't included anymore. So then I had to flip to the correct section to show him the beginning characteristics, which was just a bit of a confusing mess to start things off with. 

 

Normally, HERO Designer would fill this gap, but I'm not expecting a bunch of first time players to purchase anything in order to learn the game. If they decide to stick with it, I'll nudge them in that direction, but for now, I'd like to be able to give them few pages as necessary to begin learning.

 

Anyway, has anyone modified the standard 6e character sheet to include the base stats so that new players don't have to keep flipping through pages to figure out what they begin with? I can modify the PDF if necessary, but if someone else has done the hard work I'd like to know. 

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3 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

Brian

I would seriously suggest using a build sheet to teach how to build a character but to get as much of the building dross out of the way on a play sheet.

Doc

 

What is a build sheet? Is this the old list of character conception questions from the early years?

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2 hours ago, Brian Stanfield said:

 

What is a build sheet? Is this the old list of character conception questions from the early years?

 

To me, a build sheet is a sheet with all the numbers on it, all the detail. It is, by necessity, more mechanical and less evocative than a sheet to be used in play.

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I am just creating character sheets for my upcoming Golden Age game.  I am thinking that I am going to present the players with a sheet that simply has D&D style modifiers next to everything and the idea will be to have success acquaint to achieving a (modified) roll of 10 or greater on 3D6.

 

so to attack, the player will decide his manoeuvre, allocate skills and add all the modifiers to his dice roll.  So rolling 11+8 (OCV)-3 (Range) is 16.  That will be a success for any DCV of 6 or less.  

 

To know some fact about Berlin, Tam O’Shanter asks if his KS: EUROPEAN CAPITALS (+3) would allow him to know.  I reckon the fact is relatively obscure for such a broad knowledge skill and apply a difficulty modifier of -4.  That would mean Tam rolls 3D6, adds 3 for his knowledge skill, subtracts 4 due to the obscurity.  If the result is 10 or greater, he knows.  I think the notation of (+3) on a sheet is cleaner than 14- or 14 or less.  I also like having that target number concept that is consistent across every task the players choose to attempt.

 

I will see if I can do two versions, for you to compare.

 

Doc

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6 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

I am just creating character sheets for my upcoming Golden Age game.  I am thinking that I am going to present the players with a sheet that simply has D&D style modifiers next to everything and the idea will be to have success acquaint to achieving a (modified) roll of 10 or greater on 3D6.

 

so to attack, the player will decide his manoeuvre, allocate skills and add all the modifiers to his dice roll.  So rolling 11+8 (OCV)-3 (Range) is 16.  That will be a success for any DCV of 6 or less.  

 

To know some fact about Berlin, Tam O’Shanter asks if his KS: EUROPEAN CAPITALS (+3) would allow him to know.  I reckon the fact is relatively obscure for such a broad knowledge skill and apply a difficulty modifier of -4.  That would mean Tam rolls 3D6, adds 3 for his knowledge skill, subtracts 4 due to the obscurity.  If the result is 10 or greater, he knows.  I think the notation of (+3) on a sheet is cleaner than 14- or 14 or less.  I also like having that target number concept that is consistent across every task the players choose to attempt.

 

I will see if I can do two versions, for you to compare.

 

Doc

Here is Roddy Reyburn with nothing but (damage dice), (dice modifiers) and [END costs].

 

Doc

 

PS: I do not have an electronic build sheet yet, just lots of scribbled notes...

GA-RoddyReyburn[10].pdf

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I honestly think people should not shy away from the rules, hide things, or create some dumbed down version.  We all learned Champions the hard way, people learn D&D from the big rulebook with all the complicated stuff in it today.  People are less literate than they used to be (that is, don't like to and have difficulty with reading long form writing) but they're no dumber than they ever were.

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25 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I honestly think people should not shy away from the rules, hide things, or create some dumbed down version.  We all learned Champions the hard way, people learn D&D from the big rulebook with all the complicated stuff in it today.  People are less literate than they used to be (that is, don't like to and have difficulty with reading long form writing) but they're no dumber than they ever were.

 

As a teacher, I have to correct you and say they’re no less dumb than they ever were. ?

 

I agree with with you here, and think that the character sheets are actually a good way to teach the game, since everything is broken into sections, etc., which show the parts. What chaps me, though, is that for decades you got the starting values of the characteristics as a courtesy for beginning the character building process. You don’t need it if you’re building your fiftieth character, but for beginners I think it makes more sense to include those starting base values so that’s its one less chart they have to interpret (hey, wait, are we normal, skilled normal, competent? What numbers am I supposed to be using?!). I love the 6e sheets, but they suddenly removed those base values and their cost. It only saves a little room, but makes things more confusing for beginners. 

 

I realize that HERO Designer alleviates this need, but as I said, I’m not requiring new players to invest in the books and program up front. I think, as you say, learning with pencil and calculator in hand is useful for their first creation attempts. 

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11 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

To me, a build sheet is a sheet with all the numbers on it, all the detail. It is, by necessity, more mechanical and less evocative than a sheet to be used in play.

 

Ah, got it.  I’ve seen you discuss this before. I think for the pre-gens I create I may do this. I’ll give them a very basic version of their characters, and then also give them the full versions for their own reference when they create their own first characters. They can look at their pre-gens, which they will become familiar with, and use those to interpret the building process. 

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13 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I honestly think people should not shy away from the rules, hide things, or create some dumbed down version.  We all learned Champions the hard way, people learn D&D from the big rulebook with all the complicated stuff in it today.  People are less literate than they used to be (that is, don't like to and have difficulty with reading long form writing) but they're no dumber than they ever were.

 

I do not honestly think I have done any of those things with this sheet.

 

The Target 10 method involves no fewer calculations. I have hidden nothing necessary to playing the game, nor removed any of the rules. The fact that you might consider that I have shows I succeeded in my goal, to make the game more accessible to a wider range of people.

 

I am VERY not convinced that just coz we learned the hard way, we should expect everyone else to.

 

Doc

 

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1 hour ago, Brian Stanfield said:

 

Ah, got it.  I’ve seen you discuss this before. I think for the pre-gens I create I may do this. I’ll give them a very basic version of their characters, and then also give them the full versions for their own reference when they create their own first characters. They can look at their pre-gens, which they will become familiar with, and use those to interpret the building process. 

 

I do prefer play sheets to have more words and fewer numbers. I want to provoke the players to engage narratively with their characters.

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10 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

No, but a lot of suggestions here are stuff like "don't mention OCV!  Don't use Speed!"

 

Over the years, these are the same type of comments that people make in different threads, and I have to agree that avoiding basic terminology in teaching the basics seems counterproductive. The mechanics are pretty much set, so it's imperative to learn about OCV, PD, and all those things. The trick is to not make it seem like drinking from the fire hose. I think there are some things on some  of the character sheets that are useful, even if they look a bit daunting: I like the hit locations chart and the maneuvers chart rather than the blank spot for a picture because they are practical, incredibly useful, and minimize having to drag out other charts and such. It's when you have to flip through 15 different pages of information to resolve combat that it becomes so darn confusing to beginners (and beginning GMs like me, for that matter!). 

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24 minutes ago, Brian Stanfield said:

 

Over the years, these are the same type of comments that people make in different threads, and I have to agree that avoiding basic terminology in teaching the basics seems counterproductive. The mechanics are pretty much set, so it's imperative to learn about OCV, PD, and all those things. The trick is to not make it seem like drinking from the fire hose. I think there are some things on some  of the character sheets that are useful, even if they look a bit daunting: I like the hit locations chart and the maneuvers chart rather than the blank spot for a picture because they are practical, incredibly useful, and minimize having to drag out other charts and such. It's when you have to flip through 15 different pages of information to resolve combat that it becomes so darn confusing to beginners (and beginning GMs like me, for that matter!). 

 

The second page of that character sheet is essentially a reference of different charts that I think the player might find useful - each player will have some of the same and some different.  I do like to customise the sheets to the user needs...

 


Doc

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On 3/31/2019 at 2:05 PM, Brian Stanfield said:

 

What chaps me, though, is that for decades you got the starting values of the characteristics as a courtesy for beginning the character building process. You don’t need it if you’re building your fiftieth character, but for beginners I think it makes more sense to include those starting base values so that’s its one less chart they have to interpret (hey, wait, are we normal, skilled normal, competent? What numbers am I supposed to be using?!). I love the 6e sheets, but they suddenly removed those base values and their cost. It only saves a little room, but makes things more confusing for beginners. 

 

I realize that HERO Designer alleviates this need, but as I said, I’m not requiring new players to invest in the books and program up front. I think, as you say, learning with pencil and calculator in hand is useful for their first creation attempts. 

 

I suspect that this has less to do with trying to encourage people to use HD than it does with the fact that, dependent upon the game being run and the desire of the GM those starting values could deviate from the standard.  For example, if someone is wanting to run a low-powered fantasy game, they may decide to use starting values of 8 instead of 10 for most stats.  Someone running a high-powered supers game may decide that most characters should start with base values of 15 instead of 10.

I kind of like to start with the Average Person template from the back of 6e1 (pg. 438) for my Fantasy Hero games so the players can clearly see how exceptional their characters are...but then, I generally prefer a relatively low-powered game (at least to start) with plenty of room for character growth.

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1 hour ago, Brian Stanfield said:

So I modified the 6e sheet to include the Base Value and Cost of each characteristic. Is this something I'm allowed to post, or upload or something for others to use? Does anybody know how to find out?

 

I think you're fine to upload it, just give credit to the original author (if known) I would say.

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