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Author Topic: How do you design your Character Record Sheets?  (Read 2138 times)
ace pilot
Member

Posts: 20


« on: January 22, 2003, 12:06:48 PM »

Hey all,

I wanted to know how people put together Character Record Sheets for their games?  Do you do it by hand?  Word Processor? (e.g., Word)  Photoshop?  Other?

Cheers.
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Shreyas Sampat
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Posts: 970


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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2003, 12:43:08 PM »

Before we start answering, I think we need to clarify your question, ace.

Are you asking what media we use to make character sheets, or about the methodology behind it?

Concerning the second, there are already a couple of threads on it, including this.
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Enoch
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Posts: 84


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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2003, 01:00:41 PM »

I use Microsoft Publisher XP.  Not for any reason besides the fact that I actually legally own it and I've had a class (horribly basic and boring as it was) about its use.

-Joshua
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omnia vincit amor
The Enclave
ace pilot
Member

Posts: 20


« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2003, 01:37:59 PM »

Four Willows,

I'm asking about both the media and the methodology.  

Thanks!
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M. J. Young
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Posts: 2198


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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2003, 07:53:59 PM »

Decades ago I did character sheets by hand. Then finally the Commodore 64 came into my price range, and computer printouts made sense.

Seriously, I wouldn't do character sheets any other way. I've got Word templates on the computer for several games I run or play, so that I can select New Document and have the form pop up on demand. My templates are packed--my theory is that it's easier to put everything into the template and delete what I don't need than to have to look up stuff and add it, so my OAD&D template has tons of race and class and other information in it that gets wiped when a character is made.

Once the character sheet is made, it's stored on the computer and updated on the computer. Nine times out of ten, I'm printing new sheets for people for the next game, because paperwork just gets lost too easily and hard drive contents are a bit easier to locate (although I do keep some backups).

Some of the templates have space for character-related artwork, but I'm not an artist and don't do any decoration on my sheets other than trying to copy character symbols into the papers (and I've got a scanner now, but that's new and I haven't done character sheets with symbols since I got it).

I would be surprised if anyone had a computer and did sheets by hand; but then, I've been surprised before, and I'd be interested in the reasons.

--M. J. Young
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Jack Spencer Jr
Guest
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2003, 10:53:44 PM »

I try to make game that don't need character sheets. Seriously.

My friend has been using MS Excell to make his character sheets for his own Heartbreaker kind of game, but I really really hate it. Spreadsheets may be a boon to some, but I am not one of those people. I hate, hate hate it.
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richks
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2003, 03:33:51 AM »

I user Corel Draw, mostly because that's what I have to hand and it can get some great results.  I'm of the (rather old fashioned) opinion that a well designed character sheet can really help the atmosphere of a game's setting.

The character is recorded on the sheet and the players look at the sheet all the time.  If the sheet looks the part, and it emphasizes the important stats etc it can really help people get into things.  Especially great for people unfamiliar with the system.  For instance, if your system puts a lof of emphasis on a personality mechanic (like the Devil in Dust Devils), then that needs to be fairly prominent on the sheet.

It's not gonna make or break your game, but I think it's nice.
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Jason Lee
Member

Posts: 729


« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2003, 11:22:31 AM »

Media:
Quark & Photoshop.
I plan to move to InDesign when we move onto the next revision of our game.  InDesign has better Adobe product integration (as it is an adobe product), a more image oriented approach, and the big reason is I hate classic (macintosh reference).  Though, InDesign has less gradient options than Quark - I'll miss that.

Methodology:
I like a graphical approach (read: dots instead of numbers); it reduces the need for legible handwriting and erasing.  
I like making the sheet modular - one sheet per function; not building a mage? you don't need the magic sheet.  I for one never use my history section or character sketch (I keep it in my head), so I don't need that sheet.  
I think small logical groupings are easier to process mentally (lists of 10 skills instead of 30) - which reduces search time.  I also think you need to keep your groupings vertical - that is also quicker to search.
I'm fond of campaigns, so the longer and more detailed the sheet the better.
I try for pretty.  I also like color.
Actually making the sheet is more of just doing it until it looks right and has everything I need on it - must like drawing a picture.
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- Cruciel
Ben Morgan
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Posts: 307


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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2003, 01:38:42 PM »

Currently, I rely heavily on Xara X and Paint Shop Pro (for vector and bitmap graphics respectively), and put sheets together in Microsoft Word (with liberal use of tables). I do plan on learning to use Pagemaker or Quark or some such thing sometime in the near future.

One point I pride myself on is the fact that when I do a sheet for a game, 99% of all the graphics are completely original (barring the logos on my CP2020 and D&D 3E sheets), even if it's just a redrawing of a game logo. I consider this a significant achievement, as I place a high priority on the aesthetics of a character sheet as well as the functionality.
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-----[Ben Morgan]-----[ad1066@gmail.com]-----
"I cast a spell! I wanna cast... Magic... Missile!"  -- Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light
Jared A. Sorensen
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Posts: 1463

Darksided


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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2003, 01:52:57 PM »

Quote from: Ben Morgan
One point I pride myself on is the fact that when I do a sheet for a game, 99% of all the graphics are completely original (barring the logos on my CP2020 and D&D 3E sheets), even if it's just a redrawing of a game logo. I consider this a significant achievement, as I place a high priority on the aesthetics of a character sheet as well as the functionality.


ALL HAIL BEN MORGAN!  HAIL! HAIL! ETC. OKAY, ENOUGH WITH THE HAILING HE IS ONLY HUMAN YOU KNOW!!!

- J, goin' right to his head, I knows it.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
unodiablo
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Posts: 149


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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2003, 11:35:41 AM »

I used to use Microsoft Powerpoint, when I made them at work, but now I use Serif PagePlus 5.0 (free version), and then distill them into Adobe Acrobat PDF files for easy printing at Kinko's. I create graphics with Micrographics Picture Publisher (a freebie I got w/ my scanner).  

My design goal for charsheets: White space! Make the lines big enough to write on and the fonts big enough to read. None of that backround grey that looks great off a laser printer, but like total crap off a photocopier...

I just made a new charsheet for my Dwindling Suns BESM game that looks sooooo nice.

Sean
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Jürgen Mayer
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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2003, 05:12:08 PM »

I use Corel Draw for my home-brewed charsheets. I created the charsheet for the print version of Der Letzte Exodus using Adobe Pagemaker (I never used that one before, and I needed one afternoon and evening to learn how to use the program and do the charsheet - good results with this one).

I agree with Sean that the fonts and the spaces to write in have to be big enough.
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