The Accretion Gospel
How to Read a Character Entry
How to Read a Character Entry
Not that I intend to insult anyone’s intelligence, but just in case there is any confusion, here’s a breakdown of the character profiles and what they entail. The first block is fairly self explanatory, and while I think the rest are fairly intuitive, I always feel it is better to err on the side of caution and explain it anyway.
- Name: The character’s name.
- Race: The character’s race.
- Gender: The character’s gender.
- Age: The character’s age.
- Height: The character’s height in feet and inches.
- Weight: The character’s weight in pounds.
- Eyes: The character’s eye color.
- Hair: The character’s hair color.
- Background: The character’s occupation or heritage that determines starting feats and class skills.
- Allegiances: Who the character is committed to, if anyone at all.
- Player: The player responsible for this character.
Class Combination: The total list of class levels taken by the character over their career.
Base Stats (as unaffected by equipment): The character’s six ability scores, without bonuses provided by equipment.
Feats: All the feats the character has, including feats provided for free from background and ones awarded as class features.
Favored Skills: The skills into which the character has invested at least 1 skill point.
Spells/Powers/Maneuvers Known: Characters that learn special abilities with level, such as casters and initiates, will list their abilities here. Prepared casters need only list which class list from which they prepare.
Why no detailed character information?:
Personally, I don’t like to identify the characters by their statistical information. While these are necessary for the purpose of playing the game, they don’t do much for conveying the character’s personality and storyline. In my opinion, it is more important to showcase the character’s personality, attitudes, and history than it is to document their HP, AC, and BAB.
However, I do list a bit of the character’s mechanical identities. Feats, ability scores, class levels, and skills give a fairly clear definition of what the character can actually do in game terms without bogging down the page with a slew of uninteresting numbers that ultimately will never be used or read by anyone but myself. You see, I would like this to be something that can be read not only by the D20 initiated, but also by others who may not be as familiar with the more game specific terminology. While they may not know what a Technosavant, Synad, or Ray of Enfeeblement is, they can pretty easy tell that Tesla is a robotics and computer expert, that the Hora are a race of psionic people with three minds, and that Mauta can weaken his foes with a mystical blast of energy without ever having to crack a supplement open.
Meanwhile, those in the know can take a look at the feats and classes and get a good idea of what the character does based on a combination of that information and what they have been documented to have done in the adventure logs and profiles.
Furthermore, character sheets change all the time. By merely documenting the core of what a character can or cannot do, it makes it easier to keep them updated, and I feel like it just cuts my workload while making everything look cleaner and more focused.
But, isn’t the point of keeping character pages to keep a backup of character sheets?
I always have a backup of all character sheets for my campaigns on my laptop, so it isn’t necessary for us. Additionally, my players are not the types to become very involved in the maintenance of this wiki. I chronicle it to keep a record of everything that has happened in the story and to showcase the campaign to others. As such, I have very little need for additional backup character sheets, which is another reason why the more mechanical details are not included. At some day, I may add them, but most likely after the campaign is over, once the players are less inclined to keep their own records and so that I can clear the backup files off my own hard drive.