Showing posts with label character sheet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label character sheet. Show all posts

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Star Frontiers - Example Characters and House Rules

For my upcoming Star Frontiers Campaign, I was going to produce my own custom, 2-sided character sheets with a tent. This would help some of my first-time players quickly produce a character. And to save time, I changed my mind and decided to use the one on Polyhedral Nonsense

I find this massively amusing. I was ready to invest a ridiculous amount of time making my own sheet and found an amazing sheet on website labeled "nonsense". Each area is neatly designed with large areas suitable for either computer text or handwriting. It corrects the one-side flaw of the original and ups the game with a useful tent. 

This is the opposite of nonsense, it's fabulous! I use a 1-5 star system for ratings, so this sheet gets 5 stars. 

Sorry, I didn't mean to do a review. But since Polyhedral Nonsense saved me so much time and effort, I had to do it. 

Back to your article, already in progress. 

The characters... 

I assume the characters have lived through the Crash on Volturnus modules. The group lives on the planet Typhon, a water world whose colony supports the post-war effort of decommissioning and preserving warships on the planet Dust. This endeavor requires nearly every skill in known space, of which the characters have a bit. The players will find it easy to fit in and have opportunities to improve their career skills, whatever they might be. They are learning to operate and maintain spaceships. 

I have a couple house rules that will be in effect. Spaceship skills are available from the get-go, but this is slightly modified as we are creating higher-level characters. The players will be granted 30 experience points to select any skill from the Alpha Dawn rules and 10 experience points to select spaceship skills from Knight Hawks. 

That isn't too unusual. That places the characters with a non-combat PSA plus a couple of Military skills, and one spaceship skill. 

What is unusual is the characters all have professions, meaning they draw a salary. At generation, the players can buy a monthly salary of 1000 credits for one experience point, 2000 for 3 experience points, and so on. In addition to this, they get their normal roll for credits plus one month's salary cash. Star Frontiers has a lot of cool gear but hobbles the players and the characters with a lack of credits. I hate that. Each character also has a place to stay, which means they have far more than the typical adventurer. 

The players also start with a standard equipment pack plus a laser pistol, coveralls, and a backpack, mementos of their time on Vulturnus. Each one has a professional tool kit. Anyone who has a Military skill will have one appropriate personal weapon assigned to them. If they want more, they need to spend their savings.  

The players will discover that Typhon and Dust isn't really a place for weapons, but the moment they get moving on their adventure, they will need them. I need to build a bestiary and make maps for both planets. Life is not especially dangerous, more of a point of interest for the curious player. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Nostalgia '87 - The Character Sheet

Back in the day, there was no concept of "editions" for D&D. There was D&D and AD&D. The differences between Advanced and the B/X books are very noticeable. There are whole websites dedicated to the differences between these products and it is a massive rabbit-hole universe. I won't be covering that here. 

I would like to talk about a product I made and put up on DriveThruRPG. 

My friends and I had a mishmash world, where D&D and AD&D were treated as the same thing. Plus we had Unearthed Arcana in our set of shared books. Yes, we all shared books among our group of players which could number as many as 14 people on a given night. 

It wasn't easy to combine all these dissimilar products but one of the aids we had was our own computerized character sheet that we could print at will. It was created on my Mac 512 in Mac Draw. 

It was excellent (click to order).

From the title panel, you can probably guess that we had a ton of multi-classed characters and a lot of wacky rules to combine everything from D&D, AD&D, and UA. We actually learned a lot from this process of creation. 

First, no one liked Cavilliers or Theif-Acrobats. We like to use a homebrew method of character attribute generation, 4d6 with the lowest die discarded and order as you see fit. Humans received a plus one to a single stat as desired. Half-elves received either human or elf attribute bonuses. 

We tried to implement weapon adjustments, but it was very cumbersome. We did like weapon proficiencies. 

As an oddity of all of our shared worlds, no one invoked raise dead or reincarnation spells, the only thing that was used was wish or alter reality spells. And infrequently at that. 

It was often enough to cause problems in unexpected places. Encumbrance was a problem as characters willed a bunch of stuff from one to another. So our rule was all items had to fit on the character sheet, despite the actual size. A full 1/3 of our character sheet was dedicated to just equipment. 

I cannot tell you how many times one of our DMs would have to deal with "my character reaches in his pocket and pull out a ring of X", only for that player to discover that the thief now knows exactly what he stole 3 sessions ago. 


Anyway, a few years ago I found a copy of this sheet. I scanned and uploaded it to DriveThruRPG to share with others. It is one of my more popular items, probably because you can download it for free. If you really like it, you can actually pay for it. It is PWYW, but I suggest 99¢. 

In uploading this document, I realized there were flaws, such as missing all of the Theif-Acrobat skills. The layout could be improved and so on. I created a newer sheet that had some of the old-school style captured in the first. However, it is sharper and cleaner as it is a wholly digital product rather than a scan. It too comes with the original character sheet. 

Good things come in threes, so I created a third variation of a character sheet. One that no one asked for: The 20-page character sheet! It's actually a single sheet of paper folded into a flip book. I used them for a B2 campaign. My kids and their friends enjoyed them so much that they kept them. 

So if you like old school goodness, please give my 3 character sheets a try. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

In Praise of the 20 Page AD&D Character Sheet

So this is how I amuse myself. I made a 20 page character sheet from one sheet of paper. 

Let me tell you what a pain in the ass that was. Everything needed to be orientated correctly and having gotten it wrong twice, I realized I had it right the second time, but folded it wrong. 


As soon as I get folding instructions done, I'll add it to my character sheet download at DriveThruRPG. It will strictly be a print and write on affair. I have no patience for PDF forms where some of the data is upside down. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Seeking Zeros (Product Plug)

I'm looking for a few zeros and not in the way you'd expect.

Today I did a review of my products on DriveThruRPG and realized I am pretty close to some thresholds I'd like to hit. Here is a list of my total downloads for all 5 of my products.

AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 91
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting - 135
Kobold Folly Minisetting - 122
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 244
Swashbucklers Character Class - 87

What I would like to see is at least 100 for my Character Sheet and Swashbuckler Character Class. I wish I was at 250 for Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners.

Let me recap what each product is:

The Character Sheet is just a character sheet with the 7 stats from AD&D and Unearthed Arcana, 1st edition.

The Swashbuckler Character Class is a gimmick character class, someplace between thief and fighter. The Swashbuckler does little to no damage per round, attempting to set themselves for killing strike on a roll of 20 or better. They are fast and adventurous, but perhaps not the greatest warriors. Very Errol Flynn.

Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners is a framework for creating NPC characters with specific non-combat abilities which balanced for D&D and AD&D 1st Edition. The booklet can also be used to create secondary or professional skills for PCs, which don't push the limits or make them OP.

The Compass Rose Inn Minisetting and Kobold's Folly are two maps sets for a generic campaign setting and are rules agnostic. They come with maps that can be printed as 1 inch=5 feet battlemat. Character backgrounds are provided to make these locations come to life with gossip and intrigue. 

I would like to invite all of you to download these products. Each is Pay What You Want. In this time of crisis, the "Pay" and "Want" should go away. Download them at $0.00. It's cool, that's how this works. Help me reach these goals, even though they are probably silly.

I appreciate every download.

Monday, January 20, 2020

It's Been a While Since a Plug...

The logo and covers for my products on DriveThruRPG are reminiscent of Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man. Sometimes, we are not as flexible, adaptable or available as we feel we should be. We can't possibly have all of the resources we need, when we need them.

It will be ok. We just do our best.

Today's plug is for DriveThruRPG's charity bundles. 100% of your purchase goes to the following organizations:

Disaster Relief and Recovery - Australia Red Cross
Bushfire Emergency - World Wildlife Fund of Australia

Fantasy Core & Settings $19.95
Starships & Posthumanity $29.95
Modern & Urban Horror $19.95
Fantasy Supplements $29.95
Capes, Grit, and Gunsmoke $19.95

EDIT January 22nd, 2020: The folks at DrivethruRPG have added 3 more at $9.99 price point for an even better value. Here is a link to the whole category. I'd also like to thank Jeremy over at Thought Eater Blog, host of The Frothcast podcast and all of the others who reshared this post. What a great community we have.

I haven't counted how many products or how much money you'd save, but just the Fantasy Core & Setting bundle took a heck of a lot of time to download. All five of them could take hours, depending on your internet speed. And playing them could last years.

If you still have extra money and time, you could also "buy" one of my products. They are priced at pay what you want. Don't be afraid to download them for free to get an idea if they will fit with your campaign.

Clicking the links above will take you to DriveThruRPG for purchasing.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

OSR Character Sheet

The people over at Cirsova have a new OSR character sheet for commercial use. That pretty cool. 

I thought of creating an OSR sheet, but 99% of my rational of uploading my AD&D character sheet was nostalgia. I've been using this particular sheet for decades and though other people would be amused by is simplistic design values. My second version was done on the oldest software I could find to continue the sight gag. 

This sheet is pretty cool because it has those nostalgia values AND it's free for commercial use. That super generous. If I do a OSR one shot, I'll totally use this sheet.

You can download my file at DriveThruRPG using the links on the upper right. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Character Sheet for AD&D and Unearthed Arcana Update

It's done, it's done! I have updated my Character Sheet for AD&D and Unearthed Arcana. This second character sheet is an all new, digital creation using Claris on a 1999 G4 Sawtooth Mac.

This file is in addition to the scan of my AD&D sheet from the 80's. Being an all digital file instead of a scan, the sheet is much sharper when printed. If I keep creating new versions, I may have to rename this offering to something more descriptive.

It is available on DriveThruRPG as a PWYW title. If you have already downloaded, you should have an email with a link to your library. If you are not subscribed to email via DriveThru, merely log in and click the Library tab to get the new file.

These free updates will probably be part of a series, so you can expect more from your initial purchase. If you already tried it, let me know what you think either with a comment or a review. I'd love to hear from you. 

If you are new to the this product, click the link above to order it. Remember, it's PWYW, so give it a try in your campaign before dropping some GP in the tip jar.

Don't forget to try out my other products:

Swashbuckler Character Class.
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners.
The Compass Rose Inn Minisetting.
Kobold's Folly.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Still Working...

I still have some minor problems to fix with my updated Character Sheets. I'm finding how they print as opposed to how they look in the Mac is a problem. I should have something worked out soon.

Anyway, once they are done, I will post them up to my product on DriveThruRPG. If all goes well, I might rename this to "Character Sheet Pack" as I would like to do a series. If you have already downloaded, thank you. You're going to get this one as an update to the one you already have.

If you have any suggestions, please put them in the comments below.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Mac Is Not A Xerox Machine...

Back in June 2019, I released a scan of a Character Sheet I created back in the 80's.

I thought it was the best sheet I'd ever made or used. Still pretty true. You can pick up this one for yourself on DriveThruRPG. This file is pay what you want and it is strongly suggest that you use it before putting any cash down. If you like it come back and drop some change in the tip jar.

Tonight I was looking at it and wished that I still had the disc it came from so that I could have the deep black lines the originals had. Well, I don't have that no matter how much wish I did.

But I still have a Mac.

It turns out that either I have gotten much better at Mac Draw or the processing power of G4 is so much better than a 512K or Claris software has improved before its demise, that I can recreate this document. I started working on it tonight, I hope to have a new version done by Monday. Ah, Veteran's Day.

The new versions will be tacked on the old version of the file on DriveThruRPG, as a thank you to all the people who downloaded it. Many of you paid for it, and I really, really appreciate the support.

What you can expect is a faithful rendition of the old version, a new version with the classic 6 instead of 7 and a few bells and whistles add on, such as Acrobat Abilities added to the thieves table, a better encumbrance chart, AC chart, a space for mounts and pets, and a few other things.

Obviously, this will be more than one file. I might even make a faded version to match my scan of the original.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Rediscovering the Past - Part 1 - The Mac is not a Paperweight

Back in the day, my friends and I had dozens of character sheets but no copier. What a headache. I had a computer and thought to myself, "Gee, what if I could make this machine spit out sheets on demand?"

It could. This was the standard character sheet for my campaign. It was designed on a Mac plus e using Mac Draw. This evening, I found a copy of one jammed in the back of my Unearthed Arcana book. My friends and I were so proud of it, we put our names on every copy we printed.

Judging by the context of the sheet, I suspect this was done in 1987. I received my Mac in 1986 and probably purchased Unearthed Arcana in '87. I can assure you that I cribbed off of many different versions of the official sheets to create this document, but I have to say, this is the very best sheet I have ever used.

Isn't it amazing how much technology has changed?

But wait, my Mac plus e isn't a paperweight. It has not been lost nor replaced. It's still with me.

I still use it. But not in the expected fashion. For school, I had to do a series of podcasts and videos and I wrote all of the scripts on the good ol' mac. Why? Because I could hide the mouse off to one side and use it like a teleprompter.

This file is now available at DriveThruRPG as an unwatermarked PDF.

This product is a scan of a character sheet from 1987, created on a Mac Plus E. It has been uploaded for nostalgia. It is specifically meant for Unearthed Arcana and includes the six basic abilities, plus comeliness. I have used this sheet for decades. While not entirely error free, nor perfect for every campaign, it is a great design.

This item is offered as PWYW. It is strongly suggested that you download the sheet for $0.00 and if it works for your group, come on back and reorder it at the price point you feel it is worth. Remember, this is a scan of 32 year old sheet from 1987. The value is in the history of the game, not the production quality, so your mileage may vary.

This product is unwatermarked so as not to disrupt the old school feel. Please print as many copies as you need, but do not digitally redistribute.

For more great romps in nostalgia, visit me at These Old Games. I would love to hear how this sheet fared in your AD&D 1e setting.