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Custom Character Sheets

The 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons has all been about streamlining. Making the rules easier, making the fights faster, and so on…

But there still seems to be one thing, which is a little bit bulky, a bit hard to use: the character sheets. They just seem to be too long, with two pages of stats and many pages of powers.

Some people have suggested solutions for that. There is the one page essentials character sheet made by Wizards of the Coast themselves, which is quite nice. And there is, for example, the character sheet by Dixon Trimline, which has all stats and all powers on one page.

But I don’t think it really matters if your character sheet consists of only one page or of ten, as long as you find the information you need. I think, the biggest problem is to remember what your character can do in certain situations – on your turn and on the enemies’ turns.

As your character advances to higher levels, he will gain more and more powers and conditional bonuses. And there is no way you could remember all those things. So you probably will forget that one of your powers is triggered when an adjacent enemy gets bloodied, or that you can add a +2 bonus on attack rolls against enemies that wear a hat, or whatever…

So I suggest expanding your character sheet pile by one more sheet, something like the trigger sheet that Dixon Trimline uses. But it must not happen that you “wind up outsourcing [your] confusion to a brand new document, and face an intimidating block of powers and effects”, as Dixon describes it.

On such an improved trigger sheet, I would write down a chart like the following containing all the triggered actions, sorted by who has to do what to trigger the power. I included the name and short description of each triggered power, and a shortcut describing if it’s an encounter or a daily, which level it is and if it’s an interrupt or a reaction (e.g., E3R for an 3rd level encounter power that is a reaction).

Plus there would be a list of conditional bonuses and such things, which reminds you of these tiny little bastards…

I don’t think, this sheet will look like “an intimidating block of powers and effects”. What do you think?

Foto by Laenulfean under a Creative Commons license.

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