Character Sheets: What is your preference?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Absyinthe, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. When creating character(s) for a role-play, do you use character sheets? How detailed do you want your character sheet to be? Have you ever come across a template that you favored? Let's discuss all about character sheets here!
  2. I like to start with the basics! O__O Name, appearance, personality and history! The more I love and play a charrie, the more I'll add extra bio stuffs.
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  3. Im not great at them myself (boo coding), but I love looking at filled out CSes that have cool embellishments like header fonts, comments from the character, or extra pictures.
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  4. For character sheets, I tend not to be very picky. For the most part, I use character hosting websites like Litphoria,, and Charahub (ew). I fill in what's needed, and if more comes along that doesn't fit the sheet, I add it in notes.

    That way, I can just send my partner a link to bookmark instead of a huge long thing they have to scroll back to find and read, and it's in a nice, tidy layout, because those are my jam.
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  5. As a GM, a character sheet is more about the player than the character. I can take a better guess at what their goal as a roleplayer is, whether they're more passive or active, etcetera. What's also really, really important for RP's with a little more background is that I can check people their ability to read.

    As a player, it's mostly about organising information and to double check things when I'm a bit out of it. I prefer quick overviews, bullet lists, etcetera. for that reason, because it's orderly and easy to quickly reflect upon. I've also taken a liking to sheets on the more detailed side because of this. Both as a player and GM, because whoever fills it in is forced to put in more information I can Chekhov's Gun the fuck out of.
  6. Ha, good way of thinking! I may start making my own sheets, with that in mind.
  7. If you do, I can recommend including seemingly mundane things, like likes and dislikes, talents, interests and hobbies, just ask for three each. You can also get a little more ambitious and ask for... Ambitions, which is something I recommend in general so people think about their character's goals and in turn makes them more active. These things tend to go over a lot better with roleplayers who prefer longer more detailed posts, because roleplayers who are looking for faster and shorter feeds will generally not think about these things much whether you ask them to or not.
  8. Oh yeah, motives and ambitions are hugely important. Definitely to be added.
  9. Until recently, I favored huge, expansive character sheets that gave a ton of information and personality traits and everything, but now I'm thinking that that's the quickest way to kill meaningful PC interaction. If everyone knows everything about everyone's characters, what's the point of bonding IC? Even if no one is metagaming, it still ruins the mystery of trying to figure out why a character is the way they are. The best relationship PCs can have is one where they appreciate and want to know more about each other's characters.

    I think an ideal setup would be to write two character sheets; one for the main thread, and one to PM to the GM for approval. The first one only gives superficial information--appearance, outward personality, social standing, mannerisms, name, apparent age, ethnicity/race, reputation, whatever someone could discern within three minutes of meeting the character. The PMed CS is the full one, with full backstory, inner personality, motivations, true abilities, etc. Imagine how amazing it'd be if, in addition to the main plot, the PCs were trying to figure out which PC is the subject of the prophecy, or the child of some famous hero, or the vampire.

    Obviously this method could be a little bit of a tightrope walk. If a main CS gives away too little information, everyone could unknowingly create very similar characters and cause a game to be unbalanced, and some players don't like the idea of toiling away on a pagelong backstory just to send it to one or two people through the course of the game. But this could also lead to stronger, more organic IC relationships, and more intense drama; if a PC has been dating another character who turns out to be a former terrorist, the PC will react much more realistically, as the shock of the player might bleed into their character's response.

    One great CS format I've seen is keeping a character's abilities hidden, but giving a hint through character quotes. For instance, a character who can mind control people might have the quote "I've got everyone wrapped around my finger." Not only does this hint at their powers, but it also establishes their personality, principles, reputation, or how they might solve problems.
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  10. That's actually a pretty great way to go about it for groups. Since I am a mere 1x1er, it doesn't quite work for me. As long as the secret my partner is holding onto isn't setting-breaking powers, I usually let them keep secrets, though.

    I was talking giant CSs would be more of a help for people who are in need of the Getting into the Character thread.

    I'll be making a huge one, soon. Huge. Probably hosted on google docs so people can copy off it freely.
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  11. As a GM, I love me some detailed character sheets. It helps me gauge a player's writing standard and it really helps to know what their character is and how well they understand the setting and lore.

    I have to echo Robeatic's sentiment, and I am totally guilty of asking people to spell out their characters' histories and what not, but recently, I've gotten to the point where I ask people to PM me information on their characters they prefer to keep hidden and revealed in character, and while I do ask for detailed sheets, I don't expect walls of text.

    It's tricky striking the balance of appropriate length and information presented, but there's no denying how useful character sheets are. I reference other characters' sheets all the time when I am writing.
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  12. Having a Google Docs page listing all the superficial character sheets, in which each player adds to their CS's detail/reveals the true CS as the RP goes on, could help. Just so PCs could reference what has been revealed in a CS so far without having to sift through IC posts or ask OOC.
  13. I tend to include Name, Age, species and powers if needed, brief personality overview, ultra brief bio or at least character concept, and a picture or physical description. I don't like having to pull off fully detailed character sheets with likes, dislikes, quirks and stuff like that. Those kind of things I don't think of, they pop up in the roleplay the more I get to roleplay my character and see how the character turns out.
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  14. Besides the character's name and physical description I prefer everything else to be revealed in the roleplay.
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  15. Thanks for your opinions, guys! :D
  16. Personally, I like to do a fairly basic Name, Age, Gender, Apperence, Personality, History, and an "Other" box for need to know information. I'll be descriptive, but like the flexibility of not getting TOO tied into a history. It's a balance, I like my histories and personality information to be "detailed enough". I want the GM to see my writing style and understand the feel I'm going for with a character, but I feel getting too detailed can be counterproductive.

    Likes and dislikes are good unless I'm asked to do more than 2-3 of each at which point it starts to get annoying. I don't care for irrelevant details like "favorite color" or "parents names". If I need them I'll add them in the bio, but if I don't then I'd rather not have to flesh it out.
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  17. Essentially this :)

    I used to prefer not using Character Sheets at all; I would cite things like "we should be able to write well enough to create a mental image through the posts rather than listing off Eyes: blue, Height: 5'2", etc."

    Lately, I realize I had the idea wrong

    Many people do use character sheets in place of a post that introduces the character, but many more use them as Reference sheets.

    I don't want to have to scroll through pages of posts when characters are about to have a first kiss to remember what colour eyes my charrie is looking into! It's much simpler just to be able to glance at a character sheet when I need to be able to reference information about any character.

    Keeping the information handy as it's established can be helpful for plot-building, too, which is why I tend to add things to my CS as I come up with them, as opposed to as they come up in the story.

    For example, if I go in and add a "family" section to my character sheet, where I reveal that my character has two living parents who they are on good terms with, and a little sister who has a competitive relationship with them, then maybe my partner sees it and goes "Hmm, I've been toying with the idea of adding in some danger-drama; can I go ahead and kidnap the sister?"

    Collaboration, yo.
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  18. I like to make a character sheet simple, just the basics. Most important information I like to let play out over the thread, also, I don't put the major details in a character sheet just in case something changes down the line it won't conflict with anything.
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  19. That sounds like a really good way to do character sheets! Thanks for sharing!
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  20. I don't like them, but it depends on the person I roleplay with if the demand character sheets then I'll do a simple one, but if they want more details i'll just say it's my preference.
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