Today I spent a significant part of the afternoon whipping up a little character sheet for AD&D (2nd ed.). The question I've been asking myself is: 'Why?' It doesn't look like there's much chance of a D&D game looming on the horizon. My focus is on Va'ita right now. And, as much as I love D&D, its clichéd nature tends to mean it's usually left in second place in favour of more original ideas when choosing new games to play. But I've been feeling another bout of D&D nostalgia of late, perhaps largely due to the little game we played a week ago.
Strange as it sounds, I enjoy designing character sheets. My creations aren't stunningly artistic, but I hope they're at least functional. Of course there is usually a need for a better sheet behind these acts of creation. Perfect character sheets seem to be a rare species, and I'm always finding flaws in the sheets provided by game publishers.
Although this time there was no acute need for a new sheet, as I'm not exactly planning any new D&D games, the fact remained that I didn't have sheet for AD&D that I was quite happy with. My goal was to create something a little more minimalistic than most AD&D sheets out there. I don't like my games to have too many detailed rules to remember. I don't think I'd find much use for the proficiency rules, for instance, if I ever ran a new AD&D game. And I've always been too lazy to keep track of encumbrance, so these two elements were the first to go.
I'm pretty happy with the end result, although I haven't had a chance to print a test copy yet, much less actually test it in play. I might still add modified versions for different classes in the future. But this can wait. I'm tired after a day of mostly staring at this wretched screen.
Edit: I printed out one test copy, and I think it looks pretty neat. But I'm partial, of course. Also added some class specific versions. Oh, and I forgot to mention I took some stylistic influence from a D&D ('classic' version) sheet I saw somewhere, possibly the Rules Cyclopedia, but I don't remember for sure now.
Oh, and I've also added a couple of simple character sheets for Fudge, based on a design I created for my latest game, Tales from the Teya'o Iva.
Just for the record, most of my sheets are made with Scribus.