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Character Sheets

I hope Amontillado's idea pans out, i really do. Because of all the suggestions i have read so far, his/her seems to be the least complicated, least impacting and easiest implemented. You could almost make it work now with no changes if players could be on or have access to more than one GM sheet/page at a time. I know splitting groups has already been suggested. Guess we will wait and see...
For the roll20 session I ran yesterday I just scanned character sheets and uploaded them as handouts which worked but wasn't ideal. I'd love to see something like Amontillado's idea implemented.
I think that this issue is a lot like the issue we have with the virtual dice. We're pushing to computerize things for the sake of computerising them, despite the fact that doing so actually detracts from, does not enhance, the experience of playing an RPG. Not at all. It's an issue of tracking and keeping tabs of things. To give an idea, here's how this works in Fantasy Grounds 2. I run a new session, I may create 5-6 premades and put them in the character pool. A player logs in, he can then either upload his character sheet or select one of my premades. That's now a resource controlled and managed by him or her. The player can write on the sheet, add notes, and so on. FG2 also allows players to just create notes that are viewable by other players. When a player leaves the game their character sheet stays around. When they join again later on the control goes back to them. It's seemless and handled within the program very elegantly and it absolutely enhances the experience. This could be pretty easily handled in roll20 simply by allows players to create and manage their own handouts. It may be a PDF of their character, maybe a text note of the group's "ship's inventory" or maybe he's the person keeping track of the party loot. A GM should be able to inspect his handouts and assign his own handouts to players.
This is the first thing I looked for when I was creating my game. It's hard for me to JUST go with the basic information the game I uses has. Not that I can't but it would be a valuable asset to have here on Roll20.
This feature seems to be missing on most virtual table tops. It's a damn shame too because it's one of the first things i look for when trying a VTT. Now Roll20 is making other VTTs looks like trash(it's true i'm afraid) with their awesome features and very smooth experience(I've tried many...). I hope you go the extra mile on the character sheets too. I want that feature enough to donate for it. I can't find anywhere a donate button though... My 2 cents.
Is there anything whatsoever in the stead of character sheets at the moment? I just started fooling around, and checking out the mechanics of Roll20 and I like it a lot, but having character sheets that can be altered by players and the DM seem like an important feature to have.
If you can design your character sheet as a purely text or .rtf document, you can paste it into the character's thingummy in the character thingummy thing. And then give control of the thing to the player, which I think allows the player to edit the text. (POSTSCRIPT: got a player to check, it works.) At the top of the chat sidebar is a row of icons, of which the third (in GM view) looks like an ID card or personal dossier with photo or something. Click on that. Next to the heading "Characters" is a button labelled "+ add". Click that. A pop-up window opens with a randomly generated name, and and "edit" button in the top right. Click the edit button. Change the name, and paste your text character sheet into "biography and info". Under "In Players' Journals" select the players who ought to be able to look at the character sheet. Under "Controlled By" select the players who ought to be able to alter the character sheet. Click "save changes". I think that works, but in fact I use a campaign wiki.
That is also my biggest issue is that in maptools we store all our character details in custom properties on the icons. We need that in roll20 if I am able to convert to that software.
However, I will try what Agemegos suggests to see if that is good enough...
I use the Characters section of the Journal tab. I created once Character for each of my PCs and gave them control over it. They just update the stats I care about in those sheets so that I can have an easy reference if needed.
Sheet Author
I would love to see an additional field aside from the Bio /Info field currently available. I use gdocs for all my character sheets so even if it's just a link that can be plugged in would be nice. Adding to that, a notes section for the player to use would be nice much like the GM notes. If the journal entry has been set to a player for their character I think they should have full control over what is placed on there. Also I'm a believer that players don't need to see each other's sheets unless it's necessary so the option to restrict the link/text to the player the character is assigned to and the GM would be fantastic.
Something that might work well if even possible: Spreadsheet support with access management. I really have no clue if it's possible to implement that stuff though. I just thought i'd suggest it. Most character sheets can be found in that format.
I'm for just allowing players to upload attachments (of nearly any type) or links to characters, journals, Maps, etc. This keeps Roll20 out of the tech-problem of how or what to implement. I use a spreadsheet for my char sheet on my iPad. I could see using GoogleDocs for the same, and linking it into Roll20 to associate with my character as an "attachment". Don't saddle Roll20 with trying to make some dynamic form generator or PDF handler.
Maybe allowing embedding of existing character sheets as mentioned earlier? iPlay4e has a nifty web based character sheet that handles a lot of things and allows embedding in many ways. Sample character - <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> Sample embed code (replaced with []) - [iframe src="<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>" style="width:970px;border:none; height:645px; padding:0;" frameborder="no"][/iframe]
KS Backer
Sheet Author
Maybe allowing embedding of existing character sheets as mentioned earlier? iPlay4e has a nifty web based character sheet that handles a lot of things and allows embedding in many ways. Well, you can half-way do that right now. Riley made it so you can paste links in the character bio area of the current sheets. He also made it post a "You're leaving this site." warning for it, and set it to open a new window. It's not exactly an embed... but for purposes of screen realestate, etc, it may do exactly what is needed for something like iplay4e, plus allows for those like me who use traditional sheets stored on gDocs.
Another option is using using a wiki, like creating a wikia for your group/campaign and have the players create a page for their characters there. That way it's easily accessible from anywhere and you can see any change the players do.
<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> is an option for online character sheets. They have characters sheets for almost all of the main tabletop RPG's.
Embedded Google Documents? You can do any sorts of excel shenanigans from there. <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>
Honestly, I think the ability to link an external URL as a handout would be more than enough. Then you can stick a PDF on Dropbox and link to it, provide a Google Spreadsheet template for your character sheets, link to a Google Docs file, link to an Evernote page, or whatever. As background, my group has used shared Evernote notebooks to keep the master reference copies of character sheets in place, as well as functioning as a sort of wiki of information the GM adds or players make notes of. (This is true of our in-person games as well as online ones.) So external URLs as handouts would sync nicely with our existing process. :) That really down to it is all that is need. I pull my player's characters from having a shared Google Docs sheet per character and that works well. When trying that with a test of d20 in Google Hangouts, it was anything but as efficient as I wanted. I just ran a quick test, I ran my campaign in Google Hangouts, then added the Google Docs App and it forces me to go back in forth between the two rather than layering one with another. If we could pull an external link into d20Roll then it will let the DM's / Player's choose a format that they are comfortable with, either it be a PDF, Google Spreadsheet, ect... Keep it going, guys, still some great thoughts being bounced around here. I'm just off to check out including URLs in characters and possibly handouts. Just to reiterate: I do NOT: a) Require the material to be stored in the Roll20 database b) Require to be able to edit the material within Roll20 I DO a) Require to be able to access the material with a single click on something (icon, hyperlink, button, whatever) that IS within Roll20. I think your requirement is perfect!
I agree 100%. This app is not roll20 DD 4.0, or Roll20 Pathfinder, or Roll20 (insert my favorite game system here). This app is a virtual table top to accommodate a variety of players and their game systems. A link that can let you see whatever that info you need is great as it is not specific to any game system. Just pit your docs, jpegs, img, or whatever file you need to have and let roll20 be able to link to them. Even the idea someone mentioned before where Roll20 can have a free form text area to drop notes into would work well. On another note a GM notepad would be very nice. Just an area where the GM can keep notes that can open up like the chat menu so the GM can keep quick notes instead of jotting them down on a piece of paper (as I do sometimes). The jotting on paper has worked very well for me, until I loose the paper :-( Having this as part of the roll20 interface would ensure that they don´t get lost. Not sure if you can create a GM character and use the journal for that, but it is an idea.
Hector, being able to pull a URL for GM could work the exact same as it does the character sheet. A pop up to an iframe of the URL/item linked. This way the Gm can leave notes in docs or whatever.
I think character sheets would be best implemented by a simple table system. 1) Gimme a table I can edit. 2) Lemme edit the table. 3) ??? 4) Profit. Bonus points if I can connect it to a token, or share it as a handout. Everything else is completely optional. While I'd love it if the first column was a "variable name" I could use in macros, it's not necessary. Anything heavier than this can be taken care of off-site and shared with links. If done in this way, a simple (expandable) table, usable as a token or handout, could be used not only as a character sheet, but as a scorecard in board games, an army list in tactical miniature games, etc. No need to complicate it with math when it can fit every system with simplicity.
Mitchell, a table would work well. If there was a way that you could share or send someone your table, that would help. This way DM's could set up a general template and their players could use it.
I absolutely agree with Mitchell. A simple table is pretty much ideal for everything. I would like 2 types of table rows: 1 type is just a name/value pair that can be used in macros, good for stats, and another that can have any number of columns and is good for listing items, spells, and anything with multiple pieces of info to keep track of. Then allow configurable sections/sub-headings, and it is perfect. It could be attached to a token or given as a handout, and you can save a table as a template that everyone else can see and use as the starting point of a new table.
If I understand well, you would still need to re-fill the table for every use. If it is a table you use for character sheets, you would need to fill in the variables each time. I think that being able to link a pdf (and it is really easy to make fillable pdfs) to tokens, characters or wathever would be more flexible. You could then use images (for a map, for exemple), text, tables,.... If combined with the "floating counters" idea <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> , it would becomes really usable to record anything I can imagine using in a game.
Being able to link an uploaded excel or PDF would be very helpful. I would prefer excel because most of the best digital sheets are made in excel.
I think that pdf is more universal. And anything else can be turned into a pdf (excel included). Do you have any exemple of the sheets you are speaking about. I don't know many excel character sheets and not very good looking (but as I said I have not seen many of them, so there can be some much better than those I know).
Can we add a button to auto-send an order to each players' local pizza joint? That'll complete the experience.
With the ability to tie into Google+ integration, no idea why they couldn't tie into Google Docs as well. (BTW, you can add PDF's to Google Docs.) I just don't know why it has to be so hard defined. Just needs to be an iframe to an attached document. That way each person can tie it to whatever you want.
To be honest, when I GM I really don't want to see the character sheets. Sure, it would be handy to know they're available. Instead, I'd rather have a small feature box that I can have players fill in. Let the GM control the labeling of the boxes. For example, let the players fill in their health, armor class, defenses, saves and skills. That way I can do hidden checks without having to ask for the values from the players hinting that something might be happening behind the scenes or have to fumble through 2 to 6 character sheets.
For example, let the players fill in their health, armor class, defenses, saves and skills. Looks like a character sheet to me.
For example, let the players fill in their health, armor class, defenses, saves and skills. Looks like a character sheet to me. Not quite. Usually, there's a lot more detail on a character sheet. I'm thinking more along the lines of a cheat sheet. Even if Roll20 or some other method gave me the ability to look at a character sheet I'd still desire a cheat sheet. It's exactly what I do when at the table with the players when they have their character sheets in hand. I still create a cheat sheet.
I don't really understand. If you can access a character sheet, what would prevent you to make a smaller character sheet (cheat sheet?) and access it the same way? I am probably missing something, but I don't see the difference. There are games with character sheets with two entries and some with three pages. But if you can make a character sheet with a handful of entries, how is it different from what you call a cheat sheet?
Don't worry, Patrick. I probably wasn't being clear enough. The reason I wouldn't want a full character sheet for each player is because it, for D&D at least, has too much information needed for quick reference. Don't need all the modifiers, gear and weapon information. All is needed is about 10 stats for checks that I want to do in the background during the session. When we all play together it fits onto one 3x5 index card for all players. Sure, having access to all the character sheets can be useful at times though if I need to knock out a perception check for all players without them knowing then I'd rather not have to alt tab through character sheets for each player. Nor do I want to stop and ask for each value from the players. Kind of tips them off. Next thing you know they're swinging hammers at walls in the corridor looking for secret doors...for no apparent reason other than me asking for a skill value.
Ok. I understand better. The misunderstanding comes probably from the fact that I play games with smaller character sheets that are probably no more extensive than your cheat sheet. But, for your game, character sheets and cheat sheets are really two completely different sizes, and probably different use. Got it.
A link to character sheets not trapped in the sidebar would be great - switching the sidebar means I miss out on chat hilarity - not cool!
Chalk me up for another vote in favor of "At least let us attach an external URL to each token, so that we can have a one-click way of viewing character sheets on Dropbox, MythWeavers, or Google Docs." And I'd like a link to this URL to pop up whenever an owner clicks on a token, just like the new bubbles that let you adjust three variables/bars.
A link to character sheets not trapped in the sidebar would be great - switching the sidebar means I miss out on chat hilarity - not cool! This is one thing my players have constantly asked for. The ability to see the Handouts pane and the Chat pane at the same time.
Since this thread hasn't been touched in over a month and new forumites are starting to post new threads on the same topic, I'm giving it a "bump."
Also coming from FGII it is a big paradigm shift moving away from a program that doesn't center around the character sheet, but for me, that is one of the strengths of Roll20. The focus is on the table and other players. Not to say I don't see the need nor value in character stat tacking, which I think the tools in Roll20 allow currently, its just done differently. Being system agnostic is a feature, and coded character sheets taking away from that. My 2 cents. I agree with this. FGII was a system I really liked because it had the sharing feature and ability to drag and drop pre-typed text into the chat feed, and "physical" dice that rolled across the screen and bounced around. But having the whole thing heavily tied into specific character sheets made it a bit difficult to play anything that the program did not accommodate. Thus, I prefer the generic bio and portrait version in roll20. (same for the imitative tracking features). I am not opposed to having a feature where you can port in an image of a character sheet, such as a pdf, jpeg, word, or xl doc, if it is that important for every one to see each other's sheet. I just don't want the actual program to be tied to specific game mechanics. The combination of ease of use with versatility in games that can be used will be roll20's strength, imo.
Really hoping this feature will see the light of day.
Roll20 Team
We haven't forgotten about this feature. We're just taking our time to figure out how best to implement it.
Just use Google Docs/Drive to host and share character sheets that each player fills in? Most systems have a Spreadsheet of their C-Sheets made. I know people have made a bunch for Pathfinder.
For my current game, I've asked all of my players to use a DropBox folder of mine for all of their stuff involving the game. This way I have a foder on my PC that is updated on every change, and shows me everything I may need to know about my PCs.
At the risk of repeating myself ... MythWeavers, Dropbox files, and Google Drive files are all accessible by clickable URLs, so you don't necessarily have to make users pick and choose between them. Although I can see the appeal of embedding them ON the Roll20 site, in which case Google Drive is probably the most promising direction of the three ...
That's indeed a solution. If it is the one that is chosen, I would prefer if there was a specific place to enter the character sheet URL instead of having to include it in the GM's notes. Maybe even a button somewhere that could be clicked to open the URL entered. Just a suggestion.
I for one thing there should be a way to link to something else or something like a exel sheet in the program that you can post your own sheet into. I know if I have a exel like sheet I can copy one of the many exel sheets others have mad into it.
Well, if you can link, you can link to anything. Format is not a problem then.
That's indeed a solution. If it is the one that is chosen, I would prefer if there was a specific place to enter the character sheet URL instead of having to include it in the GM's notes. Maybe even a button somewhere that could be clicked to open the URL entered. Just a suggestion. Absolutely. Would be lovely.
I disagree with the idea that an elegant character sheet feature has to be anything other than system agnostic. Here's MY dreamt up application of character sheets for Roll20 -------------------- The GM is able to add multiple SHEETS to the campaign's library, saving each one by name. A SHEET is a single page and has three layers: A background layer, a permanent layer, and a working layer. The GM can lock any or all of these layers from player edit and turn visibility on or off. On the background layer the user is able to place a graphic image with scaling options similar as to how the map layer works on the main board. On the Permanent Layer the user is able to put Text Labels and Textboxes. Labels and Textboxes can be assigned fonts, font style and size, as well as justification. Frames can be visible or invisible. Data can be entered into the Textboxes. The Permanent Layer can be copied to the Working Layer. The working layer only allows the text boxes to be accessed and data entered. I am only quoting this because I think it seems by far the simplest and most encompassing solution. sorry for coming late to the party, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as quick as I could"