Saturday, August 20, 2016

Character Sheets For My RPG

In addition to writing music I have a bit of a slow burner project that I keep myself entertained with. As it stands, it's a table top RPG that I've been working on for about 22 years. It's always been called Mage Wars but I'll need a new name as there's a board game already using it. Now, the earlier versions of the game were pretty haphazard and most of the time we just made it up as we went along anyway. In 2001 or so I got more focused and wrote a whole lot of spells, but none of them were balanced. In 2008-2012 I made a version that was balanced but had no flavor. In 2014 I had some solid ideas for a background setting that meshed with the mechanics ideas I had, and earlier this year (actually while working on Elveteka and playing Divinity: Original Sin all the time) I started updating the older spells in view of how I was thinking of the in-game magic system.

I've been playing here and there with my play group and everyone's been having fun, but one of the stumbling blocks was a clear character sheet. A messy character sheet imposes too much drag on a game, so I created a character sheet that was a little cleaner. Please excuse to fuzziness; bad conversion from PDF to MS Paint to JPEG.

Not bad.jpeg. It certainly has all the information where you need it. I'm far enough along to know that this character sheet has all the information on it I need, and wanted to spiff it up to delight my play group. I figured the information was there but it needed little gray background boxes to group everything together and help the eyes flow from section to section.

I reached out to my friend Lindsey who very affordably knocked my socks off with what she produced from my design. All I asked her to do was draw some gray boxes around the various stat blocks. Instead, she redrew the entire sheet based on my design. Here's the final version after a couple minor revision requests. 

See, now it looks like a game. I can't wait to bring this to my players. They'll love it, which in turn will reduce drag, and help the playtesting along.

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