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Character Sheets

It is muuuch less simple than opening directly or linking to outside documents (which can be as complicated or artistically decorated as you need). Background layer, permanent layer, working layer, locking, unlocking, boxes, labels... that's not my definition of the "simplest solution".
Is it possible to provide the means to make or plug in a character sheet, without actually having to provide the sheets themselves? Honestly, all I can see being necessary for character sheets is the ability to upload an image, the ability to overlay text boxes over the image, the ability to share this image w/ text boxes with your players, and the ability to do all that in-app. That way, a DM could import a scan of the character sheet for their game of choice, stick in some text boxes, then distribute that modified scan to the players, who could then fill it in with their info. The last thing we'd need is a place to store these character sheets. Attaching them to the character's journal entry would be good for that. Also, (IIRC) roll-20 already has the ability to upload images, and the ability to add text boxes to the tabletop. So now just put that existing functionality into a new "window," give us the ability to share it, and we're set.
Linking to external resources on the net of whatever type is certainly a welcome and useful tool to have. Doing so is a good workaround while we lack a sufficient character record feature. I don't think it should be the DESIGNED solution for character records though. To my mind character records are an integral component of the great majority of roleplaying games. As ubiquitous as dice rolling. Having that feature punted off seems.. lacking. For me as GM or player, having to set up some third party online storage, with accounts and security, and sharing, that's simply not ideal. It's great to be ABLE to, but I expect my VTT program to cover this need itself. In case it sounds like I'm not appreciative of Roll20, that's far from the case. I'm very happy with the product. This is just the one area I find most lacking.
I totally agree with Amontillado. There are games out there that rely heavyly on editing character sheets in-game. A prime example (though not a pure RPG one) are Mechfights in MechWarrior. You need to track damage to 10 different locations in addition to heat, ammunition and pilot damage. Other games, like DSA (a German RPG) have 30+ skill-values and spells to look up. (not to mention different attack and defense values for each weapon type). This is far too much to be easily put into the info box. I think Amontillado's idea with the different layers would be perfect, if you could save the template to re-use it in other campaigns.
Yes, but every game I know have already character sheets. If it was possible to access a pdf from inside Roll20, you would be able to use all those existing character sheets. Without having to re-make them in what seems a quite complicated way. And you would also be able to enter/change values on the pdf, track damage (or anything else) by checking/unchecking boxes... And the big advantage, IMHO, is that all the character sheets needed don't have to be made, they already exist, for every game, and generally in several versions.
I agree with you, that for many people it would be sufficient to enable access to pdf's. But there are people (such as me) who would like to have a little more functionality than a simple pdf can provide. And mind you, not every game has working writable pdf's.
I understand that the solution proposed above is more elegant and I would certainly use it if it was available. So that's probably a good solution in the long term (even if it seems a complicated way to add character's sheets). I see access to pdf more as a quick win. It would mean easy access to lots and lots of existing Character Sheets by adding just one functionality to roll20 (read pdf). I don't really see what functionnalities wouldn't be available with a pdf? You can easily turn any pdf into a writable one, it is a quick and easy job.
Well I think we both have different views on that matter. First of all I totally agree with you that the implementation of "simply" adding pdf's to the characters sounds easier tham Amontillado's proposal and therefore should be adressed first. It seems, that you are fine with preparing all the stuff outside Roll20 with different tools for different jobs. That is fine with me. (Although I would much prefer Excel-files since we mostly use those) I on the other hand (and it would seem others too) would prefer a tool inside Roll20 for the most important parts of Pen-and-Paper-RPG's. For me this includes: - Dice-rolling -> done - Tactical battles -> done - Voice-, video- and textchat -> done - Managing adventures -> done - Managing campaigns -> mostly done - Managing characters and recurring NPC's -> only rudimentary done I do not say that all of this has to be added in the next update, but I think it would be great to know that this issue will be adressed sometime in the future. It would make Roll20 feel so much more complete.
I'm not sure how easily you can turn a pdf into a writable, interactive form that all of your players can modify and share in real time. Perhaps I just don't know how to do it correctly. I'd like to learn! I also think the "complexity" of my previously suggested solution may be due to my inability to explain it well, rather than complexity of it's use. I can't speak to how difficult it would be to implement from a programming standpoint, but I don't imagine it's any more complex than the system in place for the maps.
To turn a pdf into a writable editable one, you just have to: -turn your pdf page into an image (open it in photoshop or GIMP and save as png or jpg...) -make a new document in open office, import the image made previously as background -place the fields that can be edited on the page -export as pdf form On a simple sheet, you can do it in less than ten minutes. You can now fill the sheets and use them during play. You can exchange them by using any online storage site. As I said, I think your solution is probably better than mine in the long run, because it enables to store and use character sheets within Roll20. And, being a character sheets fan, I would probably like to make some sheets, adaptated to online use, the way you describe it. I can even imagine this kind of character sheets made available through the marketplace. Your solution would make it possible to produce some beautiful sheets if some work is put into it. It just seems a little complicated to me. So, maybe not a solution that could be quickly implemented (but the devs can prove me wrong). But, I see the capacity to read and save pdf directly in Roll20 as a quicker multifunction feature. At one stroke, it would enable the use of character sheets, exchange of documents and handouts, or even consultation of rulebooks. And you would also have the possibility to use all the already made pdf character sheets floating around the net.
not only char sheets, but all text/sheet based data. it would be neat - if people could also have access to sheet/text database. as monster/npc/chars/settings/flavour-text database. cause you never know when a party screws your campaign over - and fight the dragon instead of fleeing away from it - so you could import a monster - with its stats and sheet and token - onto the map. AKA - ADD a library - like an img library already existing - but with sheets/texts - sorted by tags. and with nameable cells for the sheets - so macros could be attached for quick rolls [alt+tabbing to rulebooks/char sheets/monster stats etc. - ain't fun] it would be also nice to be able to macro a roll based from a sheet as /roll cs::mycharname::init or /gr monster::monstername::ac etc. or macro options to your chat as #stealth::coord[x,y] would roll a stealth, move you to coordinates on the map and display a flavour text of your char in stealth. where stealth macro looks like: /movechar x,y /roll cs::mycharname::stealth /say "$mycharname is stealthy moving" or #attack::coord[x,y] /attack x,y and if there's an token there - it would deal damage if gm just presses - hit/dmg/miss buttons - according to roll.
Problems solved... Integrate with RPG Web Profiler! <a href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/rpgwebprofiler/" rel="nofollow">http://sourceforge.net/projects/rpgwebprofiler/</a>
The homepage is down, which makes it difficult to evaluate and it is the successor of a D&D charsheet. If it is limited to D&D, it won't do the trick.
What me and my group did was use fill able character sheets and emailed them to the gm
A thought occurred to me, one can, in theory, make character sheets using Google Documents/GDrive (I'm working on an example). Maybe make it possible for people to import/export templates they've made in connection to the G-stuff? I'd be more than willing to make templates both for GURPS and WoD, if such a feature was available. (I will probably use GDrive for my own games in any case)
I have hard marginal luck with a GDrive character sheet. The issue comes with a lot of systems having more complications then you might first expect. I have about 5-10 custom functions to get GURPs to work right at the moment.
Yes! We need Character Sheets! :-)
A spreadsheet allows you to have whatever number of custom functions you would like though, so where would the problem with GDrive be?
I went through this and beyond for my own pbp forum, i began with rpgwebprofiler which i rewrote for my own needs, backend is now MongoDB rather than MySQL. After a long time writing sheet templates in PHP/JS/HTML (60 or so IIRC) i decided on integrating Excel style sheets. It was not easy but it has been done over a year ago. You now submit an excel file, it is translated into a fillable HTML form integrated with the rest of the forum. it looks like this once parsed: <a href="http://www.planeteroliste.com/files/deadlands-excel.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://www.planeteroliste.com/files/deadlands-excel.jpg</a> better yet formulas are supported through saving to the excel file itself and reloading the calculated fields. As always data is also saved to MongoDB for immediate use in the forum. Last month i tackled the PDFs as well, it was even more complex as there are several issues with both data and the way it's organised in the files themselves. PDF are generated on the fly when needed, they are auto- and manualy synching with server through embeded JS just in case... i.e. you can modify the PDF directly from your desktop and have the data updated on the server. PDF view (embeded but downloadable for desktop synch mode) <a href="http://planeteroliste.com/files/pdfsheet-pdf.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://planeteroliste.com/files/pdfsheet-pdf.jpg</a> Data view (you can also modify data here and update the PDF.) <a href="http://planeteroliste.com/files/pdfsheet-data.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://planeteroliste.com/files/pdfsheet-data.jpg</a> So yes it could be done, but it's dirty and far from being easy...
I maintain a rather intricate fillable PDF form, intended to be used as a Character Sheet for Pathfinder RPG, you can find it over at <a href="http://www.badassbandannastudios.org" rel="nofollow">http://www.badassbandannastudios.org</a> That said, a VERY basic character sheet can indeed be made by simply using a *.png to PDF form application. The trick lies, however, in what you want to do with that form once you have fields for it. If you only want fields, that process works. But if you want some calculations to process, you'll have to add code (JavaScript for Acrobat Forms) that process in the background. The added code will definitely increase your file size too. If you're looking to take a JavaScript-reliant PDF form and present it using the web as your medium, rather than a local application, you'll have to keep that JavaScript function in mind. Also, to keep in mind, is that Acrobat has quite a few of it's own methods and properties defined for the JavaScript syntax. If you want users to be able to make changes to values of fields for a PDF form which they're submitting, you may want to factor in any code which the PDF form itself utilizes. On this whole topic though, my suggestion would be to either: A) simply provide a GM reference sheet that scales for each character, or B) have a space designated for a URL. For option A, just have an interface for the GM that scales with the number of PCs and for the Player, only allow them to see the PCs they "own." For option B, it's easy enough these days to get a direct link to a file via dropbox or google drive or other various cloud services.
I would also love to see this feature implemented. Roll20, being a web app, should make it easier. I am thinking there should be two modes - one for the GM to create the character sheet (sheet designer) and one to allow everybody to fill in a sheet that was created with the designer. I don't care about automation, what is important is to be able to just drop some HTML elements on a form and arrange them. So there should be a toolbar with various elements: radio buttons, checkboxes, text fields, tables, etc. In the designer you would drag them from the toolbar and drop them on the form. You could move them around, same as you do with tokens, and they would keep their position. After you're done you save the sheet and make it available in your campaign. When the players open their sheet they don't get to move things around, but instead they can fill in the fields, check/uncheck the checkboxes, etc. There should be also a table element that can grow when you add new rows - useful for tracking equipment and the like. It would be super cool if the sheets were stored in some library and could be marked as either public or private, marking a sheet public would make it searchable and available for use in other people's games. We could get a big list of character sheets for various systems fast that way. :)
Before I throw my two cents out there, here's a disclaimer: I'm a developer, and I've seriously considered how to build a web app for generic character sheets many, many times. Generally, I consider it a lost cause without people working full-time on the problem. Each system has a different sheet (some have multiple!), and each treats them differently, with different math behind them. It's a rough problem. Moving on to what I think about Roll20 doing this: I agree with those that are saying roll20 is a virtual table top, not a particular systems repository. I would be against seeing it watered down with system-specific mechanics. Table top implies a place to put things and show things. Storing files (PDF/Excel, et al.) or having a link off to another site seems like a solid solution to me. Particularly if, down the road, they could be turned in to images and "placed on the table" somehow. :)
Before I throw my two cents out there, here's a disclaimer: I'm a developer, and I've seriously considered how to build a web app for generic character sheets many, many times. Generally, I consider it a lost cause without people working full-time on the problem. Each system has a different sheet (some have multiple!), and each treats them differently, with different math behind them. It's a rough problem. And that's why we need character sheets WITHOUT ANY AUTOMATION. Roll20 should be ignorant about what the sheet represents and not care about any calculations. Let the people handle it, it's only about presentation and keeping stuff in one place. I don't know what backend Roll20 runs, but document databases are great for random & sparse data like that. Might I suggest another (simple, I think) improvement? Please add Textile/Markdown support to text fields on the current character "sheets", at least then I can pretend to have a character sheet with tables and more formatting options.
I know I'm not looking for any automation. Simply the ability to create, organize, and present fillable and editable forms.
So i have read through a lot of what has been talked about on this thread and i would like to through my two cents in. As a GM i honestly do not see an issue with character sheets. I see a CS as being static during a game from the GM perspective. When the game is over I would want to have the ability to check and make sure that characters have the right information documented on there sheets but during game as a GM i do not make changes to my players sheets. However, as a player I NEED my sheet so that i know exactly what dice i need to roll for any given skill, attack, defense, or characteristic statistic. With that in mind I see the macro function supplying all of the information that I would need. I have not used the system in game yet and have only slightly played around with it. I have however read through all of the help files. a few things that i did not see in the macro section where; a) No way to group macros: If you could group macros you could set up different bins of rolls such as skills, attacks, spells, and so forth. b) No way to save macros: I am assuming that when you set up a macro it is attached to your username and every time you go to play a game you have the same set of macros. However if there was an ability to save a set of macros to a token, then you could create a unique player character that could be housed on the Roll20 server thus being your character. I am still pondering this but I think this would at least give the players a way to not have to reference there character sheets as much. Also I like the idea of using the built in cards. I will be using them for my spells when can actually get some time to dig a bit deeper into the system.
@SloopJB: don't you need to modify the sheet when the character gets temporary modifiers to his stats, when his Hit Points (depending on what you're playing) drop or raise, when there are other effects on him? I don't see how you would update the sheet only after the game when there are variables that have an impact during the game.
Might I suggest another (simple, I think) improvement? Please add Textile/Markdown support to text fields on the current character "sheets", at least then I can pretend to have a character sheet with tables and more formatting options. I would say this is the best solution to every character sheet problem. I keep character sheets in git pages anyway.
I don't think you can help us with the pizza, Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. They could totally include a tab for a quicklink page to Pizza Hut or Dominoes or other local delivery compatible food chains. You can order online from most of them already anyway.
I don't think you can help us with the pizza, Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. They could totally include a tab for a quicklink page to Pizza Hut or Dominoes or other local delivery compatible food chains. You can order online from most of them already anyway. Did someone say sponsorship? :D
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. They could totally include a tab for a quicklink page to Pizza Hut or Dominoes or other local delivery compatible food chains. You can order online from most of them already anyway. Yeah, an additional tab for enabling gaming foods, snacks and drinks just at the right of the Jukebox would be awesome >:-D
its true that there is many game systems out there, but general stats box with a section to edit in a list of "skills" would be a wonderous addition. maybe just the option to create additional lists and put them side by side to build yer own character sheet. in the meanwhile, my group is hooked up on heroforge through excel.
Here are screenshots from a VTT that has made a customizable charsheet. Whilst the VTT itself seems quite features poor (and even the english version has some portuguese mixed in), the implementation of character sheets seem quite interesting. The first image show the resulting charsheet and the second one the customization page. The link to the VTT itself is <a href="http://www.taulukko.com.br/" rel="nofollow">http://www.taulukko.com.br/</a> I have not used it yet, and probably won't, but the idea seems good.
sorry if someone has already suggested this, we have not played a game yet just fooled around with the software but one of my players has started useing the cards deck to show a basic form of his character sheet. i believe he has it on the back of the cards. simple but seems to work You know, when build something and put it out there, you know people are going to use it in different ways than you'd expect. But even with that knowledge, this caught me by surprise. Talk about "stretching the system". :-) dude, I got to this and freaked when I realized I could copy my heroforge character sheets and make player cards for them to use for quick references. I mean, im really looking forward to interactive character sheets, but THIS is a GREAT alternative I recommend to anyone for now.
That's a pretty cool use of a deck of cards, lol.
im all about it heroforge char sheet 1 tab is completely highlightable for copy/paste. Transfer it over to a paint program, trim the fat, toss yer token on a blank spot...done. Yew have to work with the vertical limit of the screen however (decks dont offer a scroll), but easy enough. I resized the characer sheet page to 35% of its orig before the cropping. heres the first attempt at version 2 im testing, they wont get to see it till they lvl up from game3 tomorrow night.
1354955478
Gauss
Forum Champion
Cycotix, an alternate method of resizing the limit of the screen is to zoom the browser out. It will show the full image. - Gauss
The ultimate solution is to have a Character Creator built into Roll20. This would be linked to that char and when you are playing it can autofill your stats and special moves/buffs into a clickable macro set. For instance, if I was a Barbarian and decided to rage, I'd click the rage macro, it would automatically adjust my attack roll "button" and damage roll "button" as well as HP, etc. It would throw up a counter, counting down the rounds I would be in rage. As I change levels and weapons it would adjust accordingly....Well, its a dream. This would require a crapload of programming but it is possible.
That level of automation won't be put into Roll20 @CDavis77
Roll20 was meant to be for every tabletop system ever released, that "dream" would only work if Roll20 was specific to yer game system.
That level of automation won't be put into Roll20 @CDavis77 I know that but its nice to dream. That is what DnD is all about, Imagination. :)
You could always ask for the source code to MapTool and continue to update that and fix the connection issues, lol. That would allow you to add in that level of automation.
That's well beyond my own programming skills, LOL. I would rather pay for it or at least donate money to the effort.
I am happy using character sheets made in Google Drive, either word processor or spreadsheet depending on the game. The files are very customizable, download to anyone's computer for their offline use, and easily edit for updates. It would be nice if Roll20.net could smoothly integrate Google Drive. Right now I setup a Roll20.net character sheet with a link to the Google Drive file. I know some people like to use 3rd party character generators to do the math for character generation. If these files can export work processor or spreadsheet files they can easily go through Google Drive or Roll20.net.
I'm still hoping for character sheets along the lines of what I proposed earlier in this thread. Knowing little about programing though I don't know how difficult they would be. Still I'm glad to see some work being done in this area. Cheers
Loved Maptools. It's too bad no one is keeping it updated. My players were very unhappy about leaving it, but we were having just too many problems keeping it working. If Roll20 ever makes it possible for GMs to create custom sheets it would really be awesome. In the meantime I've started using a customer character sheet designer from another company (not sure if I can mention the name here).
LOL CUSTOM, not customer. :P Really should proof read my posts. Oh, and yes I'm running a modified version of GURPS, that's why the skills are so low.
I think a good mid-point would be a templating button on the Characters are which adds the bare bones of most major systems (3.5, 4e, L5R, etc) that adds the appropriate spaces to fill out. Of course, and ability to make our own and save/share them would be good too. Save a lot of time moving a test character to another game/campaign.
In the meantime I've started using a customer character sheet designer from another company (not sure if I can mention the name here). Trigan, Another GURPS game master here. I'd like to hear more about these nifty character sheets (*). So far I've been using GCA (GURPS Character Assistant) for making the PDF sheets and it's very good, but the layout options I know are a bit too vanilla to me. At the same time, I use the current Roll20 character sheets not as full fledged character sheets but as character sheet helpers , harboring the character portraits, description and their more often used macros-skills, along with a dropbox link to the PDF sheet inside. (*) If you really don't want to be more explicit here about them, I'll send a PM to you.
@Axel Castilla, I was using GCA too, but the program is so slow and, in some areas, inflexible. You can see the characters for my new sci-fi campaign at <a href="http://characters.smallport.com/darkstar/" rel="nofollow">http://characters.smallport.com/darkstar/</a> I'm not sure how to PM here to send you details.
id really like to see some way to adjust Attributes and Abilities without having to delete and remake them...maybe a drag and drop function or like the tables for adding columns or rows...or the token/map layers, right click and move up/down. Id also like to see a 3rd section added for Skills...but I understand some games just dont need a 3rd list.