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BESM 3 - Character Sheet Complaints
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Character Sheet Complaints
Ah, yes, the complaints about the character sheets have started again.

It's not a surprise. We (and most game companies) hear it about every book they publish. In fact, when Adam and I were discussing the character sheet design, it went something like this:

"So do we want 1 page or 2?"
"2 will make the index smaller, right?"
"Right."
"And no matter what we design, we're going to get complaints, right?"
"Of course."
"And scores of people will then design their own sheets and claim superiority?"
"Just like it happens every time."
"Naturally. So make it a single functional page."
"Which no one will use, but everyone will complain about."
"Right."
"I'll make it pretty colours then."
"And people will bitch about how it looks muddied when they print it in black-and-white."
"Or that it will use too much ink."
"Doesn't matter. Use pretty colours on 1 page."

So please design away! Our BESM 3 character sheet probably isn't what you're looking for anyway.

(BTW, we were going to have a 16-page character folio for the game that would hold all the information you could ever dream about your character ... but those plans naturally never came to fruition.)
Comments
From: strongblade Date: January 25th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that the included sheet in BESM 3rd is fine for anyone just getting into the game. Having the derived calculations is probably the most helpful aspect, since new players to games such as these can use it to figure out values without monopolising the book.

That said, defining a 'multi-genre' character sheet for a system with such a huge range of possibilities as BESM would be virtually impossible. You and Adam pretty much nailed it with the "They are all going to create their own anyway" thought.

I even find that with several players creating their character for a campaign all in the same 'game world' will end up with wildly different needs.

However I do enjoy the challenge of designing a character sheet for my campaigns. Perhaps it's the layout/design part of my brain that just feels an urge to do it.

I am curious. When you say it would have been a 16-page folio, do you mean 16 different variations on the character sheet and contents or a 16-page character sheet template that could cover just about anything that a PC could need? Or something even more intriguing perhaps?
guardiansorder From: guardiansorder Date: January 25th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
It would have been a 16-page sheet that covered all aspects of a character -- background, stats, items, contacts, magic, mecha, etc. Much like we've done for other games.
From: strongblade Date: January 26th, 2007 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)
That would be pretty awesome. And when dealing with some many different aspects, you really need lost of different sheets for different things...

Well, I really tried to use the default character sheet, but I couldn't fit my full Slime Template into it... *SIGH*

I really did try though.

Oh, and actually having a SLime Template makes this 3rd Edition just *THAT* much Cooler (IMHO) :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Haha! Finally a behind the scenes look at why character sheets never get any love. I knew it had to be a joke. Either way I'm afraid I wouldn't have liked a 16 page version either. Any time my character sheet gets any longer than 2 pages it's time to come up with a better way to organise the information. I'm glad to know you guys have a sense of humour about the whole thing though.

Best wishes.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
like they said good char sheet or not i was going to make my own .i still have the microsoft spreadsheet one i made for 2edRev which was 2 primary pages then 3 more optional overflow pages
mike_mccall From: mike_mccall Date: January 26th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually like the new character sheet...mostly.

I have only two complaints. And one of them doesn't count as a complaint, since it happens with virtually every character sheet published and I understand why. That problem is that there isn't enough space for each thing. Except it's almost impossible to leave enough space.

The second thing is a minor one, but I will complain about it: no lines to write on, just a box. It's been my experience that this means that people who write large will then write really large and bitch even more about how there isn't enough space. On the other hand, if you put lines in, most people will try and conform to the lines, thus maximizing the use of space.

But all in all, minor things. Not that it'll keep me from designing my own sheet. But I do that because I have fun designing character sheets.
sendoshin From: sendoshin Date: November 24th, 2009 08:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I realize this is a REALLY old thread on a REALLY old LJ that probably doesn't get used anymore, but I wanted to put in my comment really quick. I just finished a few-weeks-long project of making a fillable PDF version of the "Official" Character Sheet (part masochism, part OCD-esque desire to use the "official" sheet for everything I do). It works pretty well, except for Items and Companions, which can just as easily be put on their own sheets anyway. I even went to the trouble of setting it up to support all the various Skill Costs for each genre in the book (you select which genre your character is being designed for and it recalculates the Skills' CP usage), as well as a "Custom" genre where the user can fill in GM-specified values for each Skill. And even four blank spaces for extra Skills not in the book. Plus, for the TRULY lazy gamers, there's an interactive Damage Table that runs all the calculations for damage for you, though it's limited to one attack form at a time, so you'd want to use it only while actually on your computer.

Anyhow, self-service aside, I find the "official" sheet to be quite useful in most cases, and I am glad we ended up with the beautiful artistic theme used throughout the book reaching even to the character sheet in the back. So thank you, repeatedly and profusely.

- Sen
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