#5e #DnD Calculating Character Sheet #RPG

I’ve done a bit of tinkering with the 5th Edition D&D character sheet, adding some basic calculations. The trick with Adobe files is that it’s not a database, and so there’s no (reasonable) way to include everything a full-fledged character builder would have, and it’s tough to produce a truly idiot-proof version that prevents all user mistakes. That’s quite a disadvantage considering that’s the entire point of adding calculations to it. Even where it’s possible to make a change, I might not be able because it would be unnecessarily restrictive (q.v.). On the other hand, it’s free🙂 (unless you want to contribute voluntarily to my work by making a payment to rob@syndcon.net via PayPal). So, here are my design notes. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for changes.

  1. Your ability score modifiers are calculated automatically. That was an easy one, though you may not like how I use the textboxes. I prefer that the ability score bonus be the bigger of the two numbers.
  2. Inspiration is now a checkbox (i.e., either on or off). Also easy.
  3. Unfortunately, you may select only two classes. In hindsight, I can fit a third in there, so I will on my next edit.
  4. I fixed the “tab order” for pages one and two. Maybe one day I’ll take the time to fix page three (which is a mess), but I doubt it. Tab order is a pain in the neck in Adobe, and any fixes I make are often undone by the program. I’m not inclined to spend all that time fixing the tab order on page three only to have it screwed up again through no fault of my own.
  5. Classes, backgrounds, races, and alignments are now “drop-down textboxes.” You can select an item that I’ve provided for you, but if an option you need is missing, you can instead type whatever you want.
  6. Skill bonuses are now calculated for you based on your level and relevant ability score. When I referred to things as “unnecessarily restrictive” above, this is a great example. There are a ton of exceptions to the general rules that could impact your score, and I can’t consider them all. Accordingly, I’ve added a drop-down textbox where you can select whether you’re not proficient, you add only 1/2 your proficiency (e.g., bards), you’re fully proficient, or you add twice your proficiency bonus (e.g., rogues). That sure beats a checkbox, but it doesn’t quite cover everything. Next to the proficiency drop-down textbox, I added a field where you can simply enter a number that gets added to your skill bonus. In most cases, this number is 0, so the character sheet is still saving you some brainpower. However, even where you have to enter a number, it serves as a reminder that you’ve got something going on there, perhaps reducing the possibility that you’ll forget a bonus you earned with a feat or class feature.
  7. I may not have fixed the tab order on page three, but at least now the spell save DC and spell attack bonus are calculated. I’m worried these might also be unnecessarily restrictive (e.g., there’s some feat that gives you a +2 to your spell attack bonus), so if I need to add something in order to account for exceptions to the general rules, please let me know. I know of no instance where a spell uses Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution to determine your DC or attack bonus, but you can do that in case either I’m wrong or the rules are changed one day.

Now, there’s some good news about page three. I think it sucks, so eventually I’ll replace it. It doesn’t allow for multiple spellcasting abilities, which, unless I’m wrong, is necessary for multiclass spellcasters. That is, I believe that a Wizard 3/Bard 2 would use Intelligence for Wizard spells but Charisma for Bard spells. (My PHB is in my car, and I’m too lazy to go get it right now.) At the very least, you need to provide spellcasting DCs and attack expressions for all relevant spellcasting. I also would like for you to be able to select durations, targets, etc. from drop-down textboxes. In other words, I’d really like to change page three, but don’t hold your breath waiting for me to do so, and when I do, don’t expect it to be artistic. I’ll probably look like a raw spreadsheet when I’m done.

In case you missed the link above, here it is again: Form-Fillable Character Sheet with Calculations.


10/23/2016: Calculating Character Sheet v1.1 (added builds to classes drop-down textboxes; deleted blank page 4)

As always, please provide any suggestions you have, and happy gaming!

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Follow up on the Magic: The Gathering Suit #gaming #mtg @wizards_mtg

Based on the opinion of at least one a labor law attorney, WotC will be deemed an employer. I don’t believe this is good for the community, but the law is the law.

Note: I don’t understand the analysis of that attorney. I still see a huge distinction between the cases, but as I don’t work in employment law, I don’t appreciate all the subtleties that may apply. It does leave me scratching my head that I feel this is a slam-dunk for WotC, yet this attorney believes it’s a slam-dunk for the judges.

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Breaking: Wizards Under Fire for Providing Enjoyment to Many #Gaming #MTG @wizards_magic

Wizards of the Coast was just sued by several Magic: the Gathering judges. The complaint can be found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/309867466/Shaw-Et-Al-v-Wizards-of-the-Coast-LLC. I’ve read the complaint, but I just found out about this, and I’ve spoken with no one about this. That being said….

This is crazy. Probably not enough to get sanctions against the plaintiffs, but crazy. They allege and employer-employer relationship, but I don’t see a logical basis for that claim, which would mean that the entire suit falls apart. (Note: They don’t need to prove that basis at this point. I’m simply stating that, in my mind, there’s no factual basis for that claim.) I don’t play Magic, but I’ve organized RP games for the DC area for over a decade, even running a convention for a couple of years. During the 3rd edition, Living Greyhawk days, I took two tests to earn some sort of certification as a judge. Nevertheless, we all know that this is volunteer work. We’re “working” for the community, not the company, and I know of no instance when WotC has ever claimed that judges were anything other than volunteers.
Most important to me is, if Shaw, et al. win, without exaggeration, I predict that it’s the end of organized play of any sort. If everyone who judges a game day for Magic, Dungeons & Dragons, or any other organized play event would need to be paid, reimbursed for expenses, etc., then these events have negative value to the companies that sanction them. There’s simply no reason even to allow them, let alone provide support for them.
In the long run, who does that help (other than the attorneys for the plaintiff)?
Please, if someone has a different view, let me know. If your argument is, “It’s really hard work,” then you’re missing my point. I’m one of the last people that needs to be lectured on how much work this sort of thing is. I’ve done it for a decade, suffering massive burnout from time to time, but it doesn’t justify me being paid.

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And….. DONE! #5e #DnD One-Stop Stat Blocks #rpg cc: @slyflourish @koboldpress @monkeyking

I’ve finally finished my one-stop stat blocks for 5e D&D. It was quite a chore, but those who’ve used it make it clear that it was worth the effort. Remember, if you want Kobold Press’s upcoming project, Tome of Beasts, to use this format, pummel them (@KoboldPress) and Wolfgang Baur (@monkeyking) with tweets. Maybe they’ll listen.🙂

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Yet Another Update to My #5e #DnD One-Stop Stat Blocks #rpg

I’ve made some more progress on my one-stop stat blocks for 5e D&D. I’ve gotten all the way to the slaadi, and perhaps my most tiring statblock is up next: the androsphinx. After that, I have the gynosphinx, the unicorn, all three yuan-ti, and all four yugoloths. Mike Shea, a.k.a. Sly Flourish, reminded me that my work still won’t be done after that. I still have a few NPCs in the back of the monster manual that could use some work: the archmage, the cult fanatic, the druid, the mage, and the priest.


By the way, I sent a tweet to Wolfgang Baur (@monkeyking) requesting that he use my format for his upcoming project, Tome of Beasts. If you like my work, you might want to inundate him with similar requests. Only spellcasters need my format, so it wouldn’t be much of a burden on them to add this format to those few creatures that needed it.

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Another Update to My #5e #DnD One-Stop Stat Blocks #rpg

Yep, another update, and that lich stat block is unbelievable. When you have those spells at your fingertips, the lich can be run in its full glory, and it’s a true solo creature. It was also draining to convert, so please help me out and check it (and the lizardfolk that follows) for errors.

Here’s the link: Bestiary for 5th Edition DnD A-L

However, I’ve included some notes over at the original post that might be of interest to you, so you should probably link from there if you haven’t read them.

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