Friday, June 18, 2010

Revised Player Handouts

My brain is all afroth with ideas to post about and I'm trying to limit it to two posts a day, but I've been working on some revisions on my houseruled player handouts and wanted to post them in order to share.

I use Open Office and save to pdf, but I'm happy to post .docs, or .odfs if anyone is interested, the idea is to share something useful.

First, I mentioned going back over my fastpack-- the starting equipment I just give players in order to get play rolling. Because it added up to a lot of weight I trimmed amounts back and actually listed the weights. It should be much less likely for a normal strength human to start play partially encumbered after utilizing this list.

Get the pdf here. And, you'll need the weapon list for players to choose from . I've got all the blunts arranged together for easy cleric weapon choice and weapons listed in order of damage. Its pdf is here.

The other thing I finally accepted is that my hireling traits spur was difficult for people new to using it to read. I was seduced by symmetry. I loved having the progression from the smallest die to the largest in a nice triangle.

But you have to read the d4 with the d20 which are opposite ends of the chart, and without knowing that the chart can quickly confuse. So I've revised it. I moved dice that work together beside each other, I labeled what the rolls were for, and touched up a few other things.

I hope that will be clearer even if it looks a little more cluttered. Get it here.

I think the "remarkable" entry for physical features should probably be something else-- its too similar to "odd" and most of the other adjectives are remarkable anyway.

If you have any ideas for replacing that or how to make any of these handouts more legible or useful please feel free to share. Thanks.


  1. Aha! Starting equipment pack is a really good idea. I'll be adapting it for one-shots myself.

  2. Great that it might be helpful. The idea of the fast pack isn't mine (showed up in some TSR modules) or even this version, I think it is Lord Kilgore's.

    You can read the thinking behind mine here:

  3. I love pre-made packs for the players. It helps everyone to grab the gear they want and begin playing quickly.

    And I also love charts where you roll all the dice and check the results as a whole.

    2 for 2 here. Great post.

  4. The Starting Equipment pdf link is now broken.:(

  5. Instead of 'remarkable', maybe go with something unambiguously positive? "Good-looking" might work, but "well-favoured" has a certain Gygaxian archaism to it. Either one would certainly set it apart from "odd" while still keeping something of the original intent about it.

  6. Thanks - these will work nicely for when my wife finally rolls up some characters tonight. I like what you did with the hirelings chart too and think it works better now. But check your first PDF link at Squid above (I also have an account there - small net huh?) - It's returning an error.

  7. Acch, sorry, was gone playing 4e. The link is fixed now.

  8. Oh, drnuncheon, "beautiful" could work, I was also toying with the idea of "diseased."

  9. I decided to take the starter pack idea and add lots a bit of flavor for my one-shots. In essence it's a way to cut down on shopping and getting right into it: Character Generation Shortcuts.

  10. Thanks, for sharing Alex, that's cool. One of my players has taken to rolling on my hireling traits chart to give his own character some flesh, so there is definitely a craving for that.

    I think what interests me most is the recent events; they seem a perfect balance of answering how did I get here, without getting too free with telling players who their character is.

  11. I think 'remarkable' and 'odd' are good as-is. They just denote different levels of strangeness (which could be positive or negative). I'm interpreting 'Odd' as the more minor of the two, for anything that makes you stop and notice it with a "Well, would look at that." reaction; while 'Remarkable' is for things that make you run to find your friends and drag them back while shouting "You have to see this!"