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Character Sheets
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Spalls Hurgenson
2017-07-17 14:08:31 UTC
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I miss the good old game store. There's a handful of them around here
still - including one that's survived since the 70s - but none of them
are that close; gone are the days when I could go to the next town (or
even the local bookstore or comic-book shoppe, both also gone) and
thumb through the lastest releases. More importantly, the game-store
was also a great place to meet other gamers.

All this is just an aside though, and I only mention it because I
recently did go to a game-shoppe and I did meet another gamer where we
briefly discussed - of all things - character sheets. Not specifically
the sheets themselves, but who holds them.

See, his argument was that the DM should keep the character sheets at
all time; it's a far more important reference tool for the DM than for
the players. The players might be allowed a copy or abridged "cheat
sheet" with some of the more important details - basic stats,
inventory - to help them make in-game decisions but the originals -
the official records, as it were - must remain in the hands of the DM.
And God forbid you allow the players to take the character sheets back
home with them after the session was over.

While this DM's attitude was more extreme than most, it's not the
first time I have encountered it. And as a DM, I can somewhat
understand it; often I need to refer to the character sheets even more
than the players. I often make secret attribute or skill rolls for the
players to see if they notice some small fact or resist some secret
attack, and this would be all the more difficult if I had to
constantly ask the players for the relevant scores. Not knowing the
exact status of your player character - exactly how many hitpoints are
remaining, or just how much that Shadow drained from your STR
attribute - can greatly enhance role-playing too. It's also easier for
me, as DM, to better tailor encounters if I know exactly the stats of
the player characters. Some DMs also worry inordinately about players
"cheating" too.

Myself, I've never been that concerned. As DM, I'm the one who has the
"cheat-sheet" of basic player stats to help me guide them through the
adventure, but I let the players keep their original character
records. Honestly I don't want all the extra paperwork cluttering up
my work-area or have to worry about keeping all the sheets up to date.
It helps that our games tend to be a bit looser when it comes to
numbers and stats anyway so having the exact numbers aren't as big a
concern (I figure it all evens out in the end). I'm also lucky enough
to have players mature enough that they no longer feel the need to
cheat their way to victory.

Plus, there's something very satisfying as a player to have your own
character record sheet. The few times I've played with DMs who
insisted on holding the sheet between sessions, I felt almost
violated; the sheet was the physical incarnation of my character and
surrendering him to the DM felt wrong.

(On a related note, I know a number of gamers use electronic versions
of character sheets but I love the physicallity of the forms.
Electronic character sheets are too cold and digital; having a worn,
torn and often stained character sheet that is as beaten as the
character represents just makes that character seem all the more alive
to me).

So as DM I allow my players to keep the sheets in their possession
during gameplay, and to take them home if they so desire.

Where do you guys fall on this subject?
JimP.
2017-07-17 14:36:35 UTC
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On Mon, 17 Jul 2017 10:08:31 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
I miss the good old game store. There's a handful of them around here
still - including one that's survived since the 70s - but none of them
are that close; gone are the days when I could go to the next town (or
even the local bookstore or comic-book shoppe, both also gone) and
thumb through the lastest releases. More importantly, the game-store
was also a great place to meet other gamers.
Most of the game stores I have been to since 1990 have become 40K or
card games at their tables. 'Character sheets ? What are you talking
about ?' was the response I got. Or they have closed. Some the store
owner died or moved away.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
All this is just an aside though, and I only mention it because I
recently did go to a game-shoppe and I did meet another gamer where we
briefly discussed - of all things - character sheets. Not specifically
the sheets themselves, but who holds them.
[snip]
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
So as DM I allow my players to keep the sheets in their possession
during gameplay, and to take them home if they so desire.
Where do you guys fall on this subject?
I started keeping copies, with the actual plusses and number of
charges, when several players told me they had lost their copies. They
keep their copy and I keep my copy. I do compare them to make sure we
are 'on the same page' so to speak. But other than that, what they do
with them is up to them. So I have two 3-ring binders full of PC and
NPC character sheets. And my siblings have told me recently they have
no idea where their characters' sheets are, they were happy I had
copies.
--
Jim
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-07-17 16:46:08 UTC
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I think the guy you talked to either has immature control issues, or
has dealt with players who cheat a lot (in ways that bother him). And
likely runs a game I wouldn't last through character generation in.

The game I'm running right now, I have electronic copies of the
characters, but mostly because they're in a program I wrote (C&S is
*very* complicated on character design). The players get a fresh copy
every game, that is identical to my own, which they make keep, throw
away, return or use as toilet paper, as they see fit.

I don't game with childish twit cheaters, though. (And if I did, I'd
stop before I went to such extremes.)
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Anonymous Jack
2017-07-17 20:59:08 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
And as a DM, I can somewhat
understand it; often I need to refer to the character sheets even more
than the players. I often make secret attribute or skill rolls for the
players to see if they notice some small fact or resist some secret
attack, and this would be all the more difficult if I had to
constantly ask the players for the relevant scores.
like you, I keep a basic 'cheat sheet' with stats and important gear listed. I also kept (in 3.5E) an electronic copy that listed out feats and skills - enough to recreate the character if the original sheet gets lost.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Not knowing the
exact status of your player character - exactly how many hitpoints are
remaining, or just how much that Shadow drained from your STR
attribute - can greatly enhance role-playing too.
I think it's important for the player to know _exactly_ how many HP the player has remaining, otherwise the player is dependent entirely on the DM trying to explain, without referencing HP, how 'healthy' the PC feels.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Plus, there's something very satisfying as a player to have your own
character record sheet. The few times I've played with DMs who
insisted on holding the sheet between sessions, I felt almost
violated; the sheet was the physical incarnation of my character and
surrendering him to the DM felt wrong.
Agreed. It's _my_ character, not the DM's.
For all I know, the DM is fiddling with something on it :)
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-07-18 06:00:55 UTC
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Post by Anonymous Jack
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
And as a DM, I can somewhat
understand it; often I need to refer to the character sheets
even more than the players. I often make secret attribute or
skill rolls for the players to see if they notice some small
fact or resist some secret attack, and this would be all the
more difficult if I had to constantly ask the players for the
relevant scores.
like you, I keep a basic 'cheat sheet' with stats and important
gear listed. I also kept (in 3.5E) an electronic copy that
listed out feats and skills - enough to recreate the character
if the original sheet gets lost.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Not knowing the
exact status of your player character - exactly how many
hitpoints are remaining, or just how much that Shadow drained
from your STR attribute - can greatly enhance role-playing too.
I think it's important for the player to know _exactly_ how many
HP the player has remaining, otherwise the player is dependent
entirely on the DM trying to explain, without referencing HP,
how 'healthy' the PC feels.
And therein likes the problem. Either the GM has some system of
describing it, and the players can figure out *exactly* what that
means, making the whole thing pointless, or not, and the GM is just
being a control freak prat, and the odds of such a GM not also
playing favorites is pretty close to zero.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
2017-07-17 22:17:03 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
I miss the good old game store. There's a handful of them around here
still - including one that's survived since the 70s - but none of them
are that close; gone are the days when I could go to the next town (or
even the local bookstore or comic-book shoppe, both also gone) and
thumb through the lastest releases. More importantly, the game-store
was also a great place to meet other gamers.
All this is just an aside though, and I only mention it because I
recently did go to a game-shoppe and I did meet another gamer where we
briefly discussed - of all things - character sheets. Not specifically
the sheets themselves, but who holds them.
[...]
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
So as DM I allow my players to keep the sheets in their possession
during gameplay, and to take them home if they so desire.
Where do you guys fall on this subject?
My position? There's no "allow" about it. The characters belong to
their players. In a few rare circumstances, I may PERMIT a player to
hand their sheet to me, but in general, no. That's THEIR ONE JOB in the
game, to play their character, and that includes knowing the character's
capabilities and tracking their powers, resources, and so on.

I have MORE than enough to do without having to do all their work for them.
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Website: http://www.grandcentralarena.com Blog:
http://seawasp.dreamwidth.org
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-07-18 06:02:55 UTC
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Post by Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
I miss the good old game store. There's a handful of them
around here still - including one that's survived since the 70s
- but none of them are that close; gone are the days when I
could go to the next town (or even the local bookstore or
comic-book shoppe, both also gone) and thumb through the
lastest releases. More importantly, the game-store was also a
great place to meet other gamers.
All this is just an aside though, and I only mention it because
I recently did go to a game-shoppe and I did meet another gamer
where we briefly discussed - of all things - character sheets.
Not specifically the sheets themselves, but who holds them.
[...]
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
So as DM I allow my players to keep the sheets in their
possession during gameplay, and to take them home if they so
desire.
Where do you guys fall on this subject?
My position? There's no "allow" about it. The characters
belong to
their players. In a few rare circumstances, I may PERMIT a
player to hand their sheet to me, but in general, no. That's
THEIR ONE JOB in the game, to play their character, and that
includes knowing the character's capabilities and tracking their
powers, resources, and so on.
I have MORE than enough to do without having to do all
their work for them.
Best GM I ever gamed with didn't really care if people cheated (he
said so, in fact), so long as a) they were having fun, and b)
everyone was having fun, too. If the cheating interfered with
someone (or everyone) else having fun, it wasn't the cheating part
that would get them tossed, it was the being a dick to the other
players part.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Anonymous Jack
2017-07-18 20:35:56 UTC
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My position? There's no "allow" about it. The characters belong to their players.
Yeah, forgot to mention something. We don't generally do this, but I know some players take their characters from campaign to campaign.
That's THEIR ONE JOB in the
game, to play their character,
Heh, never thought of it that way. "You had ONE JOB to do . . . "
Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
2017-07-18 22:22:37 UTC
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Post by Anonymous Jack
My position? There's no "allow" about it. The characters belong to their players.
Yeah, forgot to mention something. We don't generally do this, but I know some players take their characters from campaign to campaign.
I've played Druyar Moronovich in 15-20 universes.
Post by Anonymous Jack
That's THEIR ONE JOB in the
game, to play their character,
Heh, never thought of it that way. "You had ONE JOB to do . . . "
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Website: http://www.grandcentralarena.com Blog:
http://seawasp.dreamwidth.org
none) (Jim Hicks
2017-07-18 18:34:55 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
I miss the good old game store. There's a handful of them around here
still - including one that's survived since the 70s - but none of them
are that close; ...
About three years ago, a new games shop opened very close to where I live.
It's really a board games shop, but it does have a role-playing section
(I went in and had a look round).
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
... Not knowing the
exact status of your player character - exactly how many hitpoints are
remaining, or just how much that Shadow drained from your STR
attribute - can greatly enhance role-playing too. ...
You could use the much simpler hit points system from Paranoia, but I don't
suppose it would fit well into Dungeons & Dragons.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
... (On a related note, I know a number of gamers use electronic versions
of character sheets ...
Paper or electronic, make sure that you have good backup copies.
--
Jim Hicks
***@gmail.com
Anonymous Jack
2017-07-19 12:19:23 UTC
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Post by none) (Jim Hicks
Paper or electronic, make sure that you have good backup copies.
30 years ago, I could see not having a backup copy.

In this day of $30 multifunction printer/scanners and cellphones with cameras, there's no excuse.
Ubiquitous
2017-07-31 02:39:49 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Where do you guys fall on this subject?
In the olde days, I always kept copies of the PCs' char sheets for records and
in case the player couldn't make it and someone had to run him. During game
play, I used the DM Log towith PC summaries to keep track of things.

More recently, I have my players key their chars into DM Genie and keep copies
on my desktop computer for campaign tracking and in case someone lost their
sheet or didn't make it to the game.
--
Dems & the media want Trump to be more like Obama, but then he'd
have to audit liberals & wire tap reporters' phones.
l***@gmail.com
2017-10-10 23:15:27 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
I miss the good old game store. There's a handful of them around here
still - including one that's survived since the 70s - but none of them
are that close; gone are the days when I could go to the next town (or
even the local bookstore or comic-book shoppe, both also gone) and
thumb through the lastest releases. More importantly, the game-store
was also a great place to meet other gamers.
All this is just an aside though, and I only mention it because I
recently did go to a game-shoppe and I did meet another gamer where we
briefly discussed - of all things - character sheets. Not specifically
the sheets themselves, but who holds them.
See, his argument was that the DM should keep the character sheets at
all time; it's a far more important reference tool for the DM than for
the players. The players might be allowed a copy or abridged "cheat
sheet" with some of the more important details - basic stats,
inventory - to help them make in-game decisions but the originals -
the official records, as it were - must remain in the hands of the DM.
And God forbid you allow the players to take the character sheets back
home with them after the session was over.
While this DM's attitude was more extreme than most, it's not the
first time I have encountered it. And as a DM, I can somewhat
understand it; often I need to refer to the character sheets even more
than the players. I often make secret attribute or skill rolls for the
players to see if they notice some small fact or resist some secret
attack, and this would be all the more difficult if I had to
constantly ask the players for the relevant scores. Not knowing the
exact status of your player character - exactly how many hitpoints are
remaining, or just how much that Shadow drained from your STR
attribute - can greatly enhance role-playing too. It's also easier for
me, as DM, to better tailor encounters if I know exactly the stats of
the player characters. Some DMs also worry inordinately about players
"cheating" too.
Myself, I've never been that concerned. As DM, I'm the one who has the
"cheat-sheet" of basic player stats to help me guide them through the
adventure, but I let the players keep their original character
records. Honestly I don't want all the extra paperwork cluttering up
my work-area or have to worry about keeping all the sheets up to date.
It helps that our games tend to be a bit looser when it comes to
numbers and stats anyway so having the exact numbers aren't as big a
concern (I figure it all evens out in the end). I'm also lucky enough
to have players mature enough that they no longer feel the need to
cheat their way to victory.
Plus, there's something very satisfying as a player to have your own
character record sheet. The few times I've played with DMs who
insisted on holding the sheet between sessions, I felt almost
violated; the sheet was the physical incarnation of my character and
surrendering him to the DM felt wrong.
(On a related note, I know a number of gamers use electronic versions
of character sheets but I love the physicallity of the forms.
Electronic character sheets are too cold and digital; having a worn,
torn and often stained character sheet that is as beaten as the
character represents just makes that character seem all the more alive
to me).
So as DM I allow my players to keep the sheets in their possession
during gameplay, and to take them home if they so desire.
Where do you guys fall on this subject?
As a GM, my players should be able to keep track of their own character sheets. And I'm considering adding a rule that if you can't, your character went missing, too, for however long it takes to find them! :p

It's one sheet. It shouldn't be that hard to keep track of!

As a player, if a GM demanded to keep my character sheet between games, that tells me, as someone else posted, they either have control issues or cheating players, and it's time to leave.

That being said, the GM keeping a *copy* is perfectly fine, if only for the inevitable player who shows up without theirs.

Plus, being able to roll to see if the PCs notice the ambush, without having to awkwardly ask "Say, this isn't important at all, but could everyone roll Spot and Listen checks?" Regardless of whether your players keep OOC knowledge OOC, it's still gonna be awkward and immersion-breaking
JimP.
2017-10-11 18:53:20 UTC
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Post by l***@gmail.com
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
I miss the good old game store. There's a handful of them around here
still - including one that's survived since the 70s - but none of them
are that close; gone are the days when I could go to the next town (or
even the local bookstore or comic-book shoppe, both also gone) and
thumb through the lastest releases. More importantly, the game-store
was also a great place to meet other gamers.
All this is just an aside though, and I only mention it because I
recently did go to a game-shoppe and I did meet another gamer where we
briefly discussed - of all things - character sheets. Not specifically
the sheets themselves, but who holds them.
See, his argument was that the DM should keep the character sheets at
all time; it's a far more important reference tool for the DM than for
the players. The players might be allowed a copy or abridged "cheat
sheet" with some of the more important details - basic stats,
inventory - to help them make in-game decisions but the originals -
the official records, as it were - must remain in the hands of the DM.
And God forbid you allow the players to take the character sheets back
home with them after the session was over.
While this DM's attitude was more extreme than most, it's not the
first time I have encountered it. And as a DM, I can somewhat
understand it; often I need to refer to the character sheets even more
than the players. I often make secret attribute or skill rolls for the
players to see if they notice some small fact or resist some secret
attack, and this would be all the more difficult if I had to
constantly ask the players for the relevant scores. Not knowing the
exact status of your player character - exactly how many hitpoints are
remaining, or just how much that Shadow drained from your STR
attribute - can greatly enhance role-playing too. It's also easier for
me, as DM, to better tailor encounters if I know exactly the stats of
the player characters. Some DMs also worry inordinately about players
"cheating" too.
Myself, I've never been that concerned. As DM, I'm the one who has the
"cheat-sheet" of basic player stats to help me guide them through the
adventure, but I let the players keep their original character
records. Honestly I don't want all the extra paperwork cluttering up
my work-area or have to worry about keeping all the sheets up to date.
It helps that our games tend to be a bit looser when it comes to
numbers and stats anyway so having the exact numbers aren't as big a
concern (I figure it all evens out in the end). I'm also lucky enough
to have players mature enough that they no longer feel the need to
cheat their way to victory.
Plus, there's something very satisfying as a player to have your own
character record sheet. The few times I've played with DMs who
insisted on holding the sheet between sessions, I felt almost
violated; the sheet was the physical incarnation of my character and
surrendering him to the DM felt wrong.
(On a related note, I know a number of gamers use electronic versions
of character sheets but I love the physicallity of the forms.
Electronic character sheets are too cold and digital; having a worn,
torn and often stained character sheet that is as beaten as the
character represents just makes that character seem all the more alive
to me).
So as DM I allow my players to keep the sheets in their possession
during gameplay, and to take them home if they so desire.
Where do you guys fall on this subject?
As a GM, my players should be able to keep track of their own character sheets. And I'm considering adding a rule that if you can't, your character went missing, too, for however long it takes to find them! :p
It's one sheet. It shouldn't be that hard to keep track of!
As a player, if a GM demanded to keep my character sheet between games, that tells me, as someone else posted, they either have control issues or cheating players, and it's time to leave.
That being said, the GM keeping a *copy* is perfectly fine, if only for the inevitable player who shows up without theirs.
Plus, being able to roll to see if the PCs notice the ambush, without having to awkwardly ask "Say, this isn't important at all, but could everyone roll Spot and Listen checks?" Regardless of whether your players keep OOC knowledge OOC, it's still gonna be awkward and immersion-breaking
I would never cheat a player, but some have tried to cheat. Like
changing their stats between game sessions. Or deciding a magic weapon
had additional pluses. That, and some of them constantly losing their
character sheets, is whyI kept a copy.

I had Identify give 'few', 'several' or 'many' as a result. Few was +1
or +2, Several was +3 or +4, Many was +5 or +6. +6 items are Unique.
Player character break +6 item, item gone forever.
--
Jim
Justisaur
2017-10-11 21:12:20 UTC
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Post by l***@gmail.com
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
So as DM I allow my players to keep the sheets in their possession
during gameplay, and to take them home if they so desire.
Where do you guys fall on this subject?
As a GM, my players should be able to keep track of their own character sheets. And I'm considering adding a rule that if you can't, your character went missing, too, for however long it takes to find them! :p
It's one sheet. It shouldn't be that hard to keep track of!
As a player, if a GM demanded to keep my character sheet between games, that tells me, as someone else posted, they either have control issues or cheating players, and it's time to leave.
That being said, the GM keeping a *copy* is perfectly fine, if only for the inevitable player who shows up without theirs.
Plus, being able to roll to see if the PCs notice the ambush, without having to awkwardly ask "Say, this isn't important at all, but could everyone roll Spot and Listen checks?" Regardless of whether your players keep OOC knowledge OOC, it's still gonna be awkward and immersion-breaking
I had players insist I keep their sheet back in the day, that worked out
better, even though I didn't want to, as the sheet was never lost, and I
could let someone NPC them if they missed a game.

- Justisaur
Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
2017-10-12 11:13:42 UTC
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Post by Justisaur
Post by l***@gmail.com
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
So as DM I allow my players to keep the sheets in their possession
during gameplay, and to take them home if they so desire.
Where do you guys fall on this subject?
As a GM, my players should be able to keep track of their own
character sheets. And I'm considering adding a rule that if you can't,
your character went missing, too, for however long it takes to find
them! :p
It's one sheet. It shouldn't be that hard to keep track of!
One sheet? Small characters indeed. Except at the very beginning while
at first level my characters would never fit on one sheet. Some were
small tomes.
Post by Justisaur
I had players insist I keep their sheet back in the day, that worked out
better, even though I didn't want to, as the sheet was never lost, and I
could let someone NPC them if they missed a game.
I think the GM should have a COPY of your sheet available if they want
one, but the character belongs to the player, and they keep the sheets
unless they would rather the GM do so (and the GM wants to be bothered
with it).
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Website: http://www.grandcentralarena.com Blog:
http://seawasp.dreamwidth.org
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