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Subject: Into the Darkness (new name): Character sheet rss

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Mike L.
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Please critique the design of the character sheet to my game.

The game is a hybrid between a board game dungeon crawl and an RPG. In the game, you travel through dungeons, kill things, avoid traps, have various encounters and upon completion of each dungeon you gain XP, gold and loot (note, dungeon doesn't only mean catacombs, etc). It takes about 2 hours per dungeon and you go through multiple dungeons, so the sheet is to record info between sessions. You spend XP either to improve your base stats or a deck of cards which determine which kind of special abilities and powers you have. You would put an X in stats and skills you have purchased and write the cards and items you have purchased/found in the denoted areas. Base stats must be bought left to right and skills top to bottom. You record your final stats and skills at the top right, hopefully for easy reading and build a deck based on the cards you have bought.



That should be enough to get you started on dissecting this thing. Thank you for any input you can give.

PS I just realized I forgot to underline "purchased cards", it has been updated in my copy, but not here.
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Mike L.
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I just remembered I posted this. So does everyone think it's perfect? I like that idea but I would like some verification
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Eli Silver
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I'm afraid I can't read it. Its to small. Could you post a larger version?
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Jessey
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I also purchased this and do not know what to do with it!
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I purchased this and do not know what to do with it!
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board_game_freak wrote:
I'm afraid I can't read it. Its to small. Could you post a larger version?


If you click on it you can enlarge it on the image page.

However, one can also do this:

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Sturv Tafvherd
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Sorry, Mike. I'm not that big on Character Sheet Design.

It looks functional.

A part of me asks: do I really need space here for notes? Or should that be a separate sheet.

Also: Is the space for "cards and items" supposed to list them so that they can be returned to a deck? Why not just have the cards explain themselves instead of using up space on the sheet? (I don't know how your game is played)

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Mike L.
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Yeah, I didn't know you could blow it up like that

Stormtower wrote:
Sorry, Mike. I'm not that big on Character Sheet Design.

It looks functional.

A part of me asks: do I really need space here for notes? Or should that be a separate sheet.

Also: Is the space for "cards and items" supposed to list them so that they can be returned to a deck? Why not just have the cards explain themselves instead of using up space on the sheet? (I don't know how your game is played)



Those are fair questions and concerns.

This game is similar to Myth, the one that just got hugely funded on kickstarter (grrr.... beat me to the punch). But, as far as characters go in this you get to build their deck and decide which abilities he/she is skilled in.

Now, the character sheet is meant to keep track of leveling up (done in between dungeons) and your characters stats in between game sessions. When in a dungeon (this is most of the game time) all of this info is conveyed on either a small piece of paper (or if things get fancy small white erase boards), a deck of cards and item cards and the sheet is put away.

Leveling up requires you to spend XP divided between buying cards for your deck, combat stats and skill stats. The sheet makes adding up what you have spent easier, thus the lines for XP.

The notes section is because I had extra room. I was thinking I might use it for writing down scenario specific items and info, so if i give players an option i might have it have consequences later on during the game. The story system is something I am still working on.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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nitro9090 wrote:
...as far as characters go in this you get to build their deck and decide which abilities he/she is skilled in.

Now, the character sheet is meant to keep track of leveling up (done in between dungeons) and your characters stats in between game sessions. When in a dungeon (this is most of the game time) all of this info is conveyed on either a small piece of paper (or if things get fancy small white erase boards), a deck of cards and item cards and the sheet is put away.



I guess my next question is how will this game be packaged, because I can imagine a case where the character sheet just functions as a way of doublechecking that all the stuff in your character deck is properly accounted for. And if you have a trusted group of players that always play this game exclusively with each other, then the character sheet may be superfluous. (At that point, I'd enjoy having a journal, and use that to keep track of who got what, and how xp was spent).


Maybe the game can be sold with one "Core Box" with enough stuff to support 4 characters with up to 50 xp and 100 gold.

And there would be ...
- an expansion box to add stuff for 2 more characters to get up to 50 xp and 100 gold
- several expansion boxes, each to support a "prestige class"

Anyway, just getting more excited about your project. The concept of a character deck reminded me of Dragon Storm, which was a game dear to me because Melissa demo'd the game to me at a convention. (edit ... well... maybe it was Susan ... I wasn't paying too much attention to the name until I recognized it on a M:tG card)
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Eli Silver
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I agree with Stormtower. One more thing, does each stat get its own xp? That is what I looks like to me.
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Mike L.
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It's awesome to hear some excitement for the game

Storm - The base stats and skills listed are permanent character stats that need to be recorded and tracked, therefore unless you have some really cool ideas for tracking things long term without paper stat sheets, the sheet is required. What might be superfluous are the extra small sheets where you essentially rewrite those final stats, this is mainly so it takes up less room on a table. Some of my playtesters have been using the full sheet instead of the little ones.

The idea is to package it as a core set where you get everything you need to play the game up to 100 XP with 1-5 players, but your idea of limiting XP and breaking it up might make sense from a game cost perspective (it would be a fairly big game otherwise). One idea is for the game to be sort of risk-legacy style in which the game comes with a choose your own adventure style story book and a closed package of cards that you will pull out (aka unlock) by completing certain story book missions. These cards will consist of new character classes, magic items, level 3 attacks and abilities, maybe even new monsters to fight, etc. New story books and cards could then be sold as a set and could continue the storyline and could include things like prestige classes, etc. But that is looking pretty far into the future and I want to work out all of the kinks in the system first. For instance, getting the stat sheet right. It is also currently a completely co-op game, but there are already plans for a DM system to be added, most likely also requiring a mini-expansion, in case you didn't want to follow the story books.

Eli - Good question. Each stat doesn't get its own XP. You just get a sum of XP after each dungeon and spend it on your character any way you want. The XP lines on the left of stats are to tabulate the total XP you have spent so far on that stat, it makes adding things up easier. I couldn't think of a better way to represent that, any ideas?
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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I like what I'm seeing and hearing, Mike. If you haven't looked at DragonStorm yet, I'd suggest doing so. If I remember right, the entire idea behind DragonStorm was to build the character by using cards. And I think the scenarios and campaigns would also be represented by cards. When you gain treasure, it's a card you add to your collection. When you gain an ability, that's a card added to your collection.

Your Stat sheet looks good, and may very well be the solution to a "problem" that was in DragonStorm. That problem was that there were too many things that relied on having cards. And if a player couldn't get the card, well ... he couldn't get the character he wanted.


 
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Mike L.
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I tried a different design layout. Better? Worse?

 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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yup, looks better.

what are the icons in the top right for?

oh... and our own dear John Omega did a review of Dragon Storm
Dragon Storm Review - The Good the Bad and the Ugly.
 
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Mike L.
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Stormtower wrote:
yup, looks better.

what are the icons in the top right for?

oh... and our own dear John Omega did a review of Dragon Storm
Dragon Storm Review - The Good the Bad and the Ugly.



Cool!

The icons in the top right are where you write the final values for your stats. That's why they are heavily faded, they are supposed to give you a notion of what that stat is representing.

Huh, Dragon storm is interesting. If I understand the game, if you have a card or ability, it is face-up in front of you and if you use it, it becomes exhausted and turned over until you rest? And your stats are a combination of various cards in front of you? Is that right? My system is closer to Myth in that you draw cards from a deck and that determines your available actions (but you don't discard at the end of a turn in my game), but I can see without knowing that you would draw similarities. And the DM in Dragon storm chooses the adventure using a set of encounter, location, scene and cast cards? The combination of that and what the DM says tells the characters is what is going on? Hmmm... that is kinda how I picture a DM based game would go for my system. There seems to be a lack of pictures of cards, I will have to look some of them up. And honestly, why was Dragon storm setup like a CCG? It seems very weird.
 
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