D&D Next Character Sheet Contest

I've entered the contest. You can look at my sheet here:

i149.photobucket.com/albums/s80/Shazane_...
i149.photobucket.com/albums/s80/Shazane_...
i149.photobucket.com/albums/s80/Shazane_...
i149.photobucket.com/albums/s80/Shazane_...

I decided to fit all of the character information (abilities, skills, feats, class features, racial features, combat numbers, miscellaneous features) all on the first page, then have a full page for inventory and a full page for magic (which non-casters can simply forego instead of having an unused section on their sheet), and then a page for the DM to keep track of the party.

I'm no expert graphics designer, but maybe it can inspire some ideas for the final sheet at least.




That's pretty good, at least it addresses most abilities, making them easier to find with highlights, well done  

I am trying to enter the contest now, because I was under the impression that I had until 11:59 PM PST on April 28. It is before that time, I was just putting the finishing touches on my sheet, but now the contest entry is closed apparently? Does anyone know what is going on?

This is really incredibly disappointing if the contest has actually been closed earlier than the stated time, because I have spent quite a lot of time over the past three weeks designing and fixing up this sheet. If anyone from Wizards actually reads this thread, could you let me know if there is any way I can submit my entry?
Just submitted mine last night, take a look:

i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm126/tylera...

What do you guys think? 

I also tried to enter at 11:30 and it didn't work... this sucks!



Here is my entry 



www.dropbox.com/s/7xi99g5ar78i5y9/Contes...

The contest was closed at least 20 minutes early...
At least you folks can see my character sheet.

Dreamstryder, I like yours alot. It is just the bare essentials of information but presents it beautifully. Some stuff is missing but you can just write that down in the "Class" box which has plenty of space. If I had good artistic ability and could draw my own character, I would definetly use yours!

I like Wetsail's entry as well, the decorations and stuff like the spell tracker are very well done. It is pretty functional with just the first page and I like the little details such as gold measured in different denominations. I guess I am a little concerned that it isn't super flexible and in some cases you may run out of room to write stuff down (if you have lots of different attacks, or lots of class + racial features, including languages).


Lord Kyrion's is very richly detailed and extensive... which is really cool to look at. If I was playing a hardcore campaign where we kept track of things like healing kit uses, where we needed horses to travel from place to place, etc, It would be nice to have a place to keep track of everything. I do think it is a little cluttered and even after you get used to it, there may be trouble remembering where certain piece of information are. It is really nice to have the spellbook on its own sheet of paper, and the DM guide is really good.

I hope that Wizards extends the contest or something for the people who tried to enter last minute, but it looks like the submissions they did get are all pretty good. Now there is no excuse for them to release something crappy!


And finally, I am pretty proud of mine. It doesn't look that great but it is very functional and flexible, and it is really easy to find info. 

I believe I was finally able to get mine in via email, and it's linked below:

Character Sheet Entry

For this sheet, my primary goal was natural ease of use for beginners and experienced players. Everything is grouped according to when you need it and how you use it, and I've tried to make it as much a teaching tool as a repository of information. Abilities are center and top, and emphasize the bonus over the raw number, because the bonus is what's actually used in gameplay. This is due to playing many games with new players where the following conversation takes place: "Roll a d20 and add your Strength bonus." "Where's Strength?" "At the top, under abilities." "Oh, ok. My total is... 32." "What?" "My Strength is 17." "No, you add 3. See the +3 under bonus?" "Why is it 3?" "Because that's how DnD works, it's a function derived from the score, so the base stats are at 10." "Then why does the 17 matter?" "... Just focus on the 3."

Moving on.

On the left and right sides, you have combat information, divided between things used on your turn (speed, attacks, damage, and feats) and things used not on others' turns (AC, Hp, Reactions, Saves, and Resistances). Hp is given a large enough area that you don't have to constantly erase and rewrite in a tiny box (the bane of many 4E sheets, erased to the point of obliteration), and is on the right hand side for easy access for most people without smudging other areas (sorry left-handers, but statistics are what they are). Attacks and damage graphically display the dice needed (again, to act as a reminder for new players, but hopefully unobtrusive once accustomed to). Defensive reactions are right next to AC so that your eyes naturally pass over them while looking for AC ("My AC's a 17, but I see my parry ability here, so let me use that! Man, if I had forgotten that it would have been a pain to stop the battle and go back and fix the math, huh?"), and resistances and saves are positioned similarly for Hp edits. Finally, max Hp has its own area, because sheets that have space for "HP" only in my experience often end up with people erasing their max Hp.

Feats, skills, features, and backgrounds are fairly simple. The effects of these can vary so widely that the main focus was on giving players enough space to make their own notes. Finally, the "Spells" scroll in the corner gives a simple and flavorful way to mark spells per day and check off spells and recoveries used. Possibly it should have been a little less fancy, but I'm a sucker for magic-users and I like it, so there. It's also on the right for frequent smudge-free editing.

Page 2 is mostly inventory. Gear, consumables, and treasure each get their own sections, with areas for the most relevant info for each category. The treasure column is perfect for tracking valuable art objects and the like which you may want to try to sell to specific buyers rather than just jotting its value with the gold.

Here there is also a small area for companion stats (obviously much abbreviated, but hopefully sufficient for quick reference), as well as space for a character portrait. Part of me really wanted the portrait on page 1, but in my experience players either really like a portrait or really don't, and that relies on a) confidence in one's drawing ability and b) whether there is a digital character sheet tool which allows you to upload images. If the sheet gets put into a character creator as with 4E, I'd love for the portrait to be front and center, but for now, it gets the back seat. :/

Finally we have a space for more detailed spell notes. The spells can get a bit complex, so hopefully there's enough space, and extra copies of the second page can be printed if you need even more inventory space or your spellbook gets too crowded.

Hope people like this, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. 
Hope people like this, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. 




THINGS I LIKE: The emphasis on ease of use, use of dice in the design, ample space for all character sheet elements, the spellbook is an actual book.

THINGS I DON'T LIKE: The over-use of black (especially with white text), the general busy-ness of the sheet, AC and HP being religated to the right margin.
I feel I should offer critique, too.

thwhitney:
+ : Spiffy balance of black, gray, and white in your sheet. I love your illustrative elements ("spells known" being a book, "max hp" being a heart, AC a shield, the inclusion of a portrait box, etc).

- : I'd have made the spell-casting and class attack bonuses prominent and not used individual attack stats because I tend to attack with anything and need the general info more often.

NicolBolas: Thanks for the feedback!
+:  Very clear and straightforward, so I'd use it if I hadn't made my own.

-: It could use some pictoral element, maybe shaping the top box row like a triangle-tipped banner and using a serpentine dragon or ivy flourish as the midsheet dividing line, for example.

wetsail:
+: Feels open, not boxed in. The dividing lines and headers are well done.You use a shield for AC too! Solidarity! :D

-: I'd consolidate "spellbook" and "slots" in the ""expanded spellbook" and "notes" area, dropping what's there now, using more space for "class traits and racial features", and moving "feats" up to where "spell slots" is now.
I like them all, especially the last 5 character sheets. Good job.

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Voting has started! There are some really great sheets in the finals, so I know we're going to get something much better than the current sheet.
I entered, but guess I didn't make the final voting pool, good luck to those who did!
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Voting has started! There are some really great sheets in the finals, so I know we're going to get something much better than the current sheet.



I'm pretty disappointed how all the sheet options look fairly similar, and how many of them are hard to read. I personally like the option with the sphere in the middle the best, but everything else seems much more lackluster than I thought they would be.

Disappointed my sheet wasn't a finalist, as well, but I'm thinking it was too far removed from the aesthetic they were going for. 
Mine didn't make the final cut, either. I went for more "functional" than "art". I did like one of them a great deal, though, and I may incorporate some of those ideas into the one I have (and will continue with because it suits our gaming group).

Good luck to the finalists!

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

While I'm not fond of most of the entries, there are a few interesting ones, and certainly some great ideas sprinkled throughout.

Brian Morgen created the one most worthy of discussion. On the whole, I wouldn't use it. The use of Icons goes a bit too far, in my mind, but some areas are quite genius. Particularly any place where you track ability uses.
I voted for Brian's because he literally managed to design out of the box.

Good job Brian.

I bet I could design an electronic version of your character sheet.

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I applaud all who submitted a design for this contest.

With that said, I believe Brian Morgen's definitely was the first that really got a reaction out of me. It was a very aesthetically pleasing attempt at innovating the Character Sheet without going off the rails.

I, for one, will probably be giving this character sheet out to my players during our upcoming D&D Next playtest to see everyone's opinion of the design.

I really like the icons used on the character sheet as visual cues to where you need to look on the sheet for specific information. It seems as if he created most of the icons instead of copy/pasting them from an existing template.

Just really liked the direction it was going in, and that you can grab most of the pertinent information off the first sheet as well.

Steven Grindeland also had some great ideas, I liked the Resistance and Immunities section of the sheet. The improved traditional style of the character sheet also appealed to me.

Great job all! 
I applaud all who submitted a design for this contest.

With that said, I believe Brian Morgen's definitely was the first that really got a reaction out of me. It was a very aesthetically pleasing attempt at innovating the Character Sheet without going off the rails.

I, for one, will probably be giving this character sheet out to my players during our upcoming D&D Next playtest to see everyone's opinion of the design.

I really like the icons used on the character sheet as visual cues to where you need to look on the sheet for specific information. It seems as if he created most of the icons instead of copy/pasting them from an existing template.

Just really liked the direction it was going in, and that you can grab most of the pertinent information off the first sheet as well.

Steven Grindeland also had some great ideas, I liked the Resistance and Immunities section of the sheet. The improved traditional style of the character sheet also appealed to me.

Great job all! 

Thank you for the kind words.
PLease Please please for the love of the gods leave most of these column headings blank so we can title the columns for ourselves.


I appreciate various columns of different sizes but I would like to label them myself for my own use. Label a few if you can guarantee the size is well defined, but something like spells and items should not have a header.  These will vary to wildly from characters.



SO GET IT.!!!!   We need BLANK COLUMN HEADERS NOT DEFINED ONES!   
That's why I put several blank columns on the back of the character sheet I submitted. You never know what kind of custom info an individual character is going to need!
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Ben sherman's effort for me, everything is there, 3 pages granted, but due to actually giving enough room for spells to be properly written down, the others as usual leave SFA space for # of spells available/# of spells used/types of spells/spell effects/spells used. The others have the typical 1-2 lines for a whole Level of spells, not enough space for half decent writing height/width.

Secondly less empasis on "Notes/campaign notes" more emphasis on actual required fields.


That's what I want, no stone unturned, and an emphasis on actually the largest space taking abilities/skills/feats etc, not notes, which I never write down on my character sheet, you can write that down on foolscap.    
It looks like Steven Grindeland is the clear winner of the vote, leading by 1,000 votes with an hour remaining. His is the one I would have voted for if I wasn't a finalist. I'm glad the one with the circle got overtaken, I really didn't like that one. Grindeland's is good, it just needs a place for current hit points. And it definitely doesn't have enough room for spells. If the devs take anything at all from my entry, give us a full page for spells, because with just that little block you either have a Fighter who isn't using part of his sheet or a Wizard who doesn't have enough room after 3rd level.

As for me I've secured a solid fourth place, good enough to go on to the next race in Super Mariokart but not good enough for a trophee. Thanks everyone who voted for mine!
Wow, the one with the circle was up by like 600 votes last I checked and now it's down by a 1,000? 

Alot can happen in a short time, guess everyone decided to vote all at once here near the end. 
I voted for the one with the circle. I saw a similar design somewhere else, 4th Edition?, another RPG, can't remember.
Steven's sheet is certainly functional. I'll say that much.

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Does anyone have a link to the voting results? How about a link to all of the entries?
Thanks,
Mark
The cover of the 1st edition Player’s Handbook by artist D.A. Trampier. A motley crew of adventurers, the bloodied bodies of lizard men, the hint of arcane malevolence surrounding the idol, the daring thieves prying the jewels from the statue. This is arguably the most iconic piece of art in all of RPGdom.
Does anyone have a link to the voting results? How about a link to all of the entries?

Here's a link to the facebook page that had the link to the D&D Next character sheet contest. Unfortunatly, it now direct you to a Neverwinter contest though.

www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151596...
Does anyone have a link to the voting results? How about a link to all of the entries?

Here's a link to the facebook page that had the link to the D&D Next character sheet contest. Unfortunatly, it now direct you to a Neverwinter contest though.

www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151596...

The link on the page goes to a Neverwinter poll.
The cover of the 1st edition Player’s Handbook by artist D.A. Trampier. A motley crew of adventurers, the bloodied bodies of lizard men, the hint of arcane malevolence surrounding the idol, the daring thieves prying the jewels from the statue. This is arguably the most iconic piece of art in all of RPGdom.
I found this. It says the “Circle Sheet” by Brian Morgen, won.

wizards.com/dnd/promotions.aspx
I found this. It says the “Circle Sheet” by Brian Morgen, won.

wizards.com/dnd/promotions.aspx



Even though it was behind by a thousand votes in the end. The Devs must have really liked that one. I guess I won't be using the official sheet for this edition, because I really don't like it. The circle squishes everything up so it doesn't have enough room for anything, while giving too much room for other things. And I think the whole layout is inconvenient, with stuff you edit a lot on the left side and stuff you almost never edit on the right side (when most people are right handed). Plus the whole thing's really black ink heavy, and the little icons just take up space to look pretty. I'd hoped Steven Grindeland's would win since it dominated the vote at the end and was a very good sheet.

Congratulations to Brian Morgen, though. To each his own, and thanks to the contest there are a handful of other quality sheets floating around the internet that druids of a different circle can use.

It's a visually appealing desisgn though. I wish they would post all of the submissions, I would like to see them all. I don't even know how many, if any, my submission recieved.
The cover of the 1st edition Player’s Handbook by artist D.A. Trampier. A motley crew of adventurers, the bloodied bodies of lizard men, the hint of arcane malevolence surrounding the idol, the daring thieves prying the jewels from the statue. This is arguably the most iconic piece of art in all of RPGdom.
I'd like it if the submissions were made available in a hi-res format, rather than the thumbnail .jpg files that were posted for the vote.  Those are unsuitable for actually using as a character sheet.

Maybe Steven Grindeland can make his sheet available? 
Well, ask and you shall receive. He shall do this thing. I've uploaded both pages to the gallery of my profile. Here is the link to each one:

images.community.wizards.com/community.w...
images.community.wizards.com/community.w... 

These are relatively high quality JPEG's but if someone would be kind enough to suggest a good play for me to upload/store the PDF's I would be more than happy to do so.

Also, if anyone has critical feedback pertaining to either or both pages please let me know. I will be happy to incorporate productive feedback. I was also at one point considering making a form entry PDF version (For people that might use a tablet of some sort).

One thing a couple friends mentioned was:
- Even though Cantrips don't get prepared they would still like to see a 0-lvl area for prepared spells.

I really appreciate hearing that you guys liked my sheet. I have to admit that there were several things in Brian Morgen's that I really liked. Congratulations to him.
Well, ask and you shall receive. He shall do this thing. I've uploaded both pages to the gallery of my profile. Here is the link to each one:

images.community.wizards.com/community.w...
images.community.wizards.com/community.w... 

These are relatively high quality JPEG's but if someone would be kind enough to suggest a good play for me to upload/store the PDF's I would be more than happy to do so.

Also, if anyone has critical feedback pertaining to either or both pages please let me know. I will be happy to incorporate productive feedback. I was also at one point considering making a form entry PDF version (For people that might use a tablet of some sort).

One thing a couple friends mentioned was:
- Even though Cantrips don't get prepared they would still like to see a 0-lvl area for prepared spells.

I really appreciate hearing that you guys liked my sheet. I have to admit that there were several things in Brian Morgen's that I really liked. Congratulations to him.



The main problem I see with yours is that there is no differentiation between max and current hit points, I'd like to see a big space for current HP.
Grindeland's sheet is great, and so is the winner's sheet (Brian Morgen's). Yet I have to say I really dislike that skills/tasks are put under abilities. I mean, the whole idea of having skills separated from abilities gets thrown away by this sheets. I want to be able to check for a task with one ability or another, depending on the situation.
Well, ask and you shall receive. He shall do this thing. I've uploaded both pages to the gallery of my profile. Here is the link to each one:

images.community.wizards.com/community.w...
images.community.wizards.com/community.w... 

These are relatively high quality JPEG's but if someone would be kind enough to suggest a good play for me to upload/store the PDF's I would be more than happy to do so.

Also, if anyone has critical feedback pertaining to either or both pages please let me know. I will be happy to incorporate productive feedback. I was also at one point considering making a form entry PDF version (For people that might use a tablet of some sort).

One thing a couple friends mentioned was:
- Even though Cantrips don't get prepared they would still like to see a 0-lvl area for prepared spells.

I really appreciate hearing that you guys liked my sheet. I have to admit that there were several things in Brian Morgen's that I really liked. Congratulations to him.



The main problem I see with yours is that there is no differentiation between max and current hit points, I'd like to see a big space for current HP.

I will modify it for that. Give me a couple days but I'll get it done. Again, if anyone knows a good place to upload PDF's I'm all ears.
The feedback and criticism on my sheet has been very helpful and welcome.  I appreciate the gratz, Steven... I have to hand out my own gratz to you too on a fun competition.  Just as you mentioned, there were definitely a few features in your sheet that I said "Ahhh, I should've included that!" heh
WotC has said they are going to 'tweak' a few things on my sheet, so it will be interesting to see what they do.  After I submitted my sheet, there were indeed a few aspects I would've changed and after hearing feedback a couple more on top of that.  They are "minor" things, but when it comes to something like a character sheet, all those "minor" things can add up!

Depending on what the turn around time will be for WotC to post the changes they will make, I will monitor threads and see if people want the current version of mine made available immediately or not.  I will go ahead and tweak a few things myself to see if I can incorporate any and all comments I've read regarding the sheet.

Anyways... thanks again to everyone for your support and advice.

Cheers!

B. Morgen
 
As the D&DNext rules continue to update, Id love to see you guys update your sheets.
The feedback and criticism on my sheet has been very helpful and welcome.  I appreciate the gratz, Steven... I have to hand out my own gratz to you too on a fun competition.  Just as you mentioned, there were definitely a few features in your sheet that I said "Ahhh, I should've included that!" heh
WotC has said they are going to 'tweak' a few things on my sheet, so it will be interesting to see what they do.  After I submitted my sheet, there were indeed a few aspects I would've changed and after hearing feedback a couple more on top of that.  They are "minor" things, but when it comes to something like a character sheet, all those "minor" things can add up!

Depending on what the turn around time will be for WotC to post the changes they will make, I will monitor threads and see if people want the current version of mine made available immediately or not.  I will go ahead and tweak a few things myself to see if I can incorporate any and all comments I've read regarding the sheet.

Anyways... thanks again to everyone for your support and advice.

Cheers!

B. Morgen
 

You're welcome, and thanks. Yeah, visually something that I really liked about your sheet was the front side (at a zoomed out view) almost looked like it had a magnigying glass right in the middle with the circle and heavy use of black with slightly larger fields. I saw that we both had a couple of similar visual cue ideas (incorporating a heart for hit points, and a fist for [Feats you, Feats and features me]). You took the visual cues further and pushed the envelope more - which was great. As I modify my sheet the main things that will probably change are that I'll add more visual cues and make tweaks to fields based on feedback, but my layout will most likely stay the more traditional style. I had a similar reaction to your sheet with some of the visual cues that made me say, "Man I should've pushed that a little further and been consistent with having visual cues in more headings. 
Why are people uploading these things as JPGs and GIFs and PDFs and other difficult-to-edit formats?
Does nobody think "hey, I could put this out as a WORD document, and people might actually be able to USE it?"
 
Why are people uploading these things as JPGs and GIFs and PDFs and other difficult-to-edit formats?
Does nobody think "hey, I could put this out as a WORD document, and people might actually be able to USE it?"
 



That's simple. Word is terrible at layout design. It's a word processor with some basic layout capabilities, but it is not intended for professional publishing. For that, there are basically three programs: Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign (or their equivelents). The only useful files they can put out are raster images or PDFs.

With the latter, it's technically possible to make a fillable character sheet. But that requires Acrobat and a whole secondary skillset.
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