Wednesday, September 24, 2008

RPG Character Sheets

I don't know if you've paid a lot of attention, but there was quite the kerfuffle lately over Wizards of the Coast's D&D Character sheets packet, as it costs about $1 per sheet.

Now, you can also download the official sheets. If you like them.

I don't. For D&D sheets, I'll usually go to Mad Irishman Productions. In fact, I like most of the Mad Irishman's sheets.

To be honest, I very rarely like "official" sheets for any game. has a huge variety of official and unofficial character sheets for thousands of games. When I have an odd game idea or a game blend, I'll occasionally put together a sheet for it - I did a Stargate: SG-1 game using the Synergy system (the system used for Blue Planet V2). RPGSheets hosted it until a fairly recent server crash.

I really feel for the sheet designers - it's not easy fitting enough information for some games onto one or two pieces of paper. It's a tricky balance deciding how many skill spaces to put onto a sheet or how much room for equipment. It's one reason a well-designed sheet is such a thing of beauty.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dungeon Twister Reference File

Some of you know that I have a Dungeon Twister reference file I've been keeping with all of the characters, items, and terrain pieces from all of the sets released so far (in both French AND English).

With the help of two French DT fanatics (Fabrice Wells and 'Krazlafas), I have information on promo figures, as well.

I held off on uploading it to BoardGameGeek for a good long while. I decided recently to go ahead and upload it.

You can find the file here. Please let me know if you have any questions - there are details lacking in the file due to space concerns.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Box Inserts

So I got Tomb at GenCon. I opened it today to read the rules and chck out the components, and found a rookie mistake on AEG's part:

The box insert is designed to hold the components for shipping, and will not hold them nearly as well once the components have been punched.

There are slots for the cards, and a well. Which is nice. But there is a groove in the box insert to hold the cardstock sheets which contain the unpunched character standups. This groove is smaller than the boards are, so the boards won't fit into the groove.

This means that, once I've punched the counters out, I need to save the empty skeletons so that the cards don't fly everywhere when the box is moved from Point A to Point B. I'm not sure if the well provided will hold the character stand-ups when punched, either. The included cloth bag is nice, but won't hold the cards in place.

Why don't I just put the characters back into the skeletons and put it way that way? Because you put all of the characters into the cloth bag at the beginning of the game. And there are 84 different characters.

I said it's a rookie mistake, but more experienced companies have made very similar errors - Asmodee changed the insert for the English-language version of Mission: Red Planet to much the same effect: It doesn't hold the components once they are punched out and ready for play. I'm still not sure why the insert there was so radically different from the French version - it would have needed tweaking for the square board, it's true, but not a complete redesign.

I've now read through most of my GenCon haul, too. Partial reviews/overviews and discussion are coming.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Formula D

I've now had a chance to read the rules to Formula D (the new edition of Formula Dé).

I had a chance to glance through the pre-production prototype at GenCon, while I was showing it off to Mark Kinney of All Games Considered. He emerged excited, and so did I.

Now that I've read the rules, I'm even more excited. I like Formula Dé. I think it's a great game. I think I'll like Formula D even more. They managed to make a great game even better, without losing any of what I liked about it.

I can't talk about it, yet, but once it's out, watch for some chatter here.