September 24, 2018

Plaintext Character Sheet

I really thought I'd find something about this elsewhere. But only a few places even alluded to it.

What if, instead of complex pdfs or spreadsheets, we just used a plain, customized text file for our games?

It's not flashy. But it's easy to use, and literally in the most portable format. Gaming on your computer or phone? In any operating system? Easy. At a physical table? Just print it out and update it. All your info, history, stats, etc, can be kept, in the order you like.

But it requires something I haven't seen a lot of these days: players doing work. Many (myself included) want to show up to the table and reap the benefits of the countless hours the DM has slaved over their creation. Why is it that way?

We whine when a little bit of math is required to calculate food, or carrying capacity, etc. Don't whine! Do the work! Instead of endless masturbatory posts on r/DnD with yet another fox-tiefling genasi bard devil with a heart of gold or whatever the hell people are doing these days, put in a little effort to build a character that isn't a Mary Sue.

And I mean build. Don't sketch. Building is done in the game, and polishing between sessions. Double-check your math. Can I really carry 180 lb without slowing down? Where are all my pack animals? Did I leave my sword at the inn or not? Do we have enough rations and health to make it through the jungle?

So far, the plaintext system makes this really easy because I can compartmentalize my items, their weight, any relevant data about them. All my abilities, right there on the page. No more flipping.

It's not fancy, sure. But I don't want fancy - I want something that works. I'm going to experiment with this in a PbP game I'm playing in and see how it goes.

Ideally, you could hand draw it. That could be cool too. I want to say Alexis has a post about this but I can't remember what it is.

It really boggles my mind that there's nothing really about this - not even a "don't use them, they suck!" It's like we've not even considered it. Is it too simple?

Here's the sheet I have right now. Bit of a wall of text, but I can pull it up on my phone, laptop, anywhere.

Mnophet Setep-en-Anubis, Horadrim Initiate

Awakened Gnome
Folk Hero
Fighter 4
Cleric 1

Kills   21

AC  12 (leather armor)
HP  48/48
HD  4+1 4d10/1d8


gp  1146
sp  33
cp  105

encumbered at 90 lb
heavily encumbered at 180 lb

Passive Perception 13

Prof    +3
Init    +2
Speed   25

STR 18  +4
DEX 15  +2
CON 15  +2
INT 12  +1
WIS 10  +0
CHA 9   -1

STR +7  *
DEX +2
CON +5  *
INT +1
WIS +0
CHA -1
Acrobatics      +2
Animal Handling +3  *
Arcana          +1
Athletics       +4
Deception       -1
History         +1
Insight         +3  *
Intimidation    -1
Investigation   +1
Medicine        +0
Nature          +1
Perception      +3  *
Performance     -1
Persuasion      -1
Religion        +1
Sleight of Hand +2
Stealth         +5  *
Survival        +3  *
Proficiency with brewer's supplies
--equipped-- 37.5 + 21.05 = 58.55 lb
Sandsword +1            2 lb        +7, 1d6+4 piercing, martial, finesse, light, cast sand for blindness (3 charges), DC 13 per charge or DC 15 for all 3, recharges on short rest in sand
Scimitar                3 lb        +7, 1d6+4 slashing, martial, finesse, light
Handaxe (2)             2 lb        +7, 1d6+4 slashing, simple, light, range, thrown (20/60)
Longbow                 2 lb        +5, 1d8+2 piercing, martial, arrow, heavy, range, two handed
Arrows (234)            0.05 lb
Arrows +1 (9)           0.05 lb
Leather armor           10 lb       AC 11, light
Pouch                   1 lb
Backpack                5 lb        l cu.ft or 30 lb
Fine travelers clothes  3 lb
--backpack-- 21.55 lb
Tinderbox               1 lb        action to light torch, 1 minute to light fire
Waterskin               5 lb        4 pts of liquid
Hempen rope             10 lb       2 HP, DC 17 STR to break
Poison vials (10)       0.05 lb
Healer's kit            3 lb        10 uses
Anubis statuette        0.5 lb totem of the Horadrim
Wand of Magic Detection 1 lb        cast Detect magic, 1d3 charges at dawn
Ink pen
Letter to Head Priest
Scorpion shell          0.05 lb
--camel-- 107 lb
Crowbar                 5 lb        adv on STR checks
Hammer                  3 lb
Pitons (10)             0.25 lb
Torches (10)            1 lb        1 hr, 20/40 ft, 1 fire dmg
Rations (10)            2 lb
Ceremonial dagger (18)  1 lb
Shovel                  5 lb
Iron pot                10 lb
Brewer's supplies       9 lb
Chain shirt             20 lb       AC 13, medium
Iron spikes (9)         0.5 lb
Two-Weapon Fighting: When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.
Stealthy (feat): If you are hidden, you can move up to 10 feet in the open without revealing yourself if you end the move in a position where you're not clearly visible
Second Wind: You have a limited well of stamina that you can draw on to protect yourself from harm. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d10 + your fighter level. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.
Second Wind             1/1
Action Surge: Starting at 2nd level, you can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take one additional action on top of your regular action and a possible bonus action. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again. Starting at 17th level, you can use it twice before a rest, but only once on the same turn.
Action Surge            1/1
Battle Master:  You have four superiority dice, which are d8s. A superiority die is expended when you use it. You regain all of your expended superiority dice when you finish a short or long rest. You gain another superiority die at 7th level and one more at 15th level. DC = 8 + prof + STR = 15.
Superiority Dice        4/4
Commanders Strike: When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks and use a bonus action to direct one of your companions to strike. When you do so, choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you and expend one superiority die. That creature can immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll
Riposte: When a creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and expend one superiority die to make a melee weapon attack against the creature. If you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack's damage roll.
Sweeping Attack: When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to damage another creature with the same attack. Choose another creature within 5 feet of the original target and within your reach. If the original attack roll would hit the second creature, it takes damage equal to the number you roll on your superiority die. The damage is of the same type dealt by the original attack.
WIS +3, DC 11
0: Spare the Dying, abjuration, 1 action, instant, VS. You touch a living creature that has 0 hit points. The  creature becomes stable. This spell has no effect on  undead or constructs.
0: Thaumaturgy, abjuration, 1 action, 1 minute, 30 ft, V. You manifest a minor wonder, a sign of supernatur,al power, within range. You create one of the following magical effects within range. Your voice booms up to three times as loud as normal for 1 minute. You cause flames to flicker, brighten, dim, or change color for 1 minute. You cause harmless tremors in the ground for 1 minute. You create an instantaneous sound that originates from a point of your choice within range, such as a rumble of thunder, the cry of a raven, or ominous whispers. You instantaneously cause an unlocked door or window to fly open or slam shut. You alter the appearance of your eyes for 1 minute. If you cast this spell multiple times, you can have up to three of its 1-minute effects active at a time, and you can dismiss such an effect as an action.
0: Sacred Flame, abjuration, 1 action, instant, 60 ft, VS. Flame-like radiance descends on a creature that you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d8 radiant damage. The target gains no benefit from cover for this saving throw. The spell's damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).
0: Chill Touch, abjuration, 1 action, 1 round, VS. You create a ghostly, skeletal hand in the space of a creature within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the creature to assail it with the chill of the grave. On a hit, the target takes 1d8 necrotic damage, and it can't regain hit points until the start of your next turn. Until then, the hand clings to the target. If you hit an undead target, it also has disadvantage on attack rolls against you until the end of your next turn. This spell's damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).
1: Ray of Sickness, necromancy, 1 action, 1 minute, 60 ft, VS, concentration. A ray of sickening greenish energy lashes out toward a creature within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 2d8 poison damage and must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it is also poisoned until the end of your next turn. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 1st.
1: False Life, necromancy, 1 action, 1 hour, self, VSM. Bolstering yourself with a necromantic facsimile of life, you gain 1d4+4 temporary hit points for the duration.

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