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Category Archives: Playing Aids
Ready-To-Play First Level Character Folios
If you want a ready-to-play first level character for fifth edition dungeons and dragons, simply select the class you want, download the filled-in character sheet/folio and you will be ready to play.
Down your free first level character sheet/folio here:
Artificer (Gnome), Barbarian (Half-orc), Bard (Half-elf), Cleric (Dwarf), Druid (Elf)
Fighter (Dragonborn), Monk (Halfling), Paladin (Human), Ranger (Human), Rogue (Halfling), Sorcerer (Half-elf), Warlock (Tiefling), Wizard (Elf)
This is an update to the Quick Play Character Sheets I posted in 2020 (find them HERE).
I completely overhauled them, primarily by putting them onto the latest version of my form-fallible character sheet/folio (find that HERE). You may want to download the box by box instructions that are also on that post.
While I was at it I corrected mistakes and added more information.
I used the suggested quick build from the Player’s Handbook as a guide to fill in the information. I used my best judgement to create what I thought would be a “typical” race and build for each class.
You can easily modify these. Simply use the PDF file for the class you want to start with.
To change the race:
This folio clearly identifies where each feature, skill, proficiency or modifier comes from. Delete the ones that came from the race and replace these with the ones that come from the race you prefer to use.
To change the background:
Same as for the race, delete the ones that don’t apply and add the new ones.
To change the starting ability scores:
On the “Skills and Abilities” sheet (page 3), in the “Abilities” box, the line of ability scores at the top labelled “Base” are the original unmodified ability scores. You can re-arrange these or replace them if you choose to. All subsequent adjustments to the scores and the modifiers will be applied automatically.
To start at a higher level:
I suggest you add one level at a time, choosing the class for each level and adding the new features as you go.
Download your free 8 page “D&D 5E Character Folio” HERE.
Download complete box by box instructions on filling in the folio HERE.
If you need more room for trait, feat or feature descriptions, a separate “Traits – Feats – Features” page can be downloaded HERE.
Go to the “D&D 5E – Class Reference Sheets” page HERE to download your Class Reference Sheets. These were created to be companion sheets to the character folio.
This Folio provides you a way to track each entry on the first page “Character Sheet”. Everything on that page can be described and tracked on the following pages. This includes all the information required to come up with all the values and modifiers as well as information as to what character level you were when you received it and where it came form.
You can fill them out by hand.
Although you will be missing out on the automatic calculations, if you choose to print out blank sheets and fill it all out with a pencil you can. The instructions walk you through every box with instructions on how to fill them by hand as well as on a computer.
It works for any race or background.
You can use any home-brew race or background. It makes no assumptions based on race or background.
It works for any subclass.
You can use any official class (including Artificer) but it makes no assumption regarding subclass, so you can use subclasses from any source or home-brew.
This works just as well for single class as it does for multi class.
Most character sheets (including the previous ones I have made) that are made for multiclass are more complicated than necessary for a single class character. And those made for a single class don’t work at all for a multiple class character. I tried hard to make this one work for both and still remain simple for single class characters.
You can fold them or cut them in half.
These pages are sized to print on 8 1/2” x 11” paper. There is a horizontal line in the center of each page. You can fold the page along this line, or cut the page in half along this line turning these into 8 1/2” x 5 1/2” sheets.
You can turn off the lines.
On each page, wherever you can enter notes, there are lines you can use. These lines are on a separate layer for each page. If you are not filling these pages in by hand, you may want to turn off these layers. (How to turn layers off varies with the PDF viewer you are using – you can look up how to do that on-line.)
You also need a Class Reference Sheet.
In addition to this Character folio, I recommend that you also use a separate sheet for spells and other information in regard to your specific class and subclass. I have created “D&D 5E – Class Reference Sheets” as a companion to the Character Folio. You can find them on the “D&D 5E – Class Reference Sheets” page HERE.
I will soon be posting a set of ready to play first level Character Folios, one for each class.
D&D 5E – Class Reference Sheets
These “D&D 5E – Class Reference Sheets” were created to supplement my new “D&D 5E – Character Sheet and Folio” (You can find it on the “D&D 5E – Character Sheet and Folio” page HERE.) but you may find them useful regardless of the Character Sheet you are using.
There is a separate file that you can download for every subclass in the Player’s Handbook (PHB). There is also a “Generic” sheet for each class for you to use if you haven’t yet decided on your subclass – or if you are using a subclass from some other source. There are also files for the Artificer Class published in Eberron: Rising From the Last War. I have tried to keep each of these to one page, but several are two pages.
Artificer: Alchemist, Artillerist, Battle Smith, Generic
Barbarian Path: Berserker, Totem Warrior, Generic
Bard College: Lore, Valor, Generic
Cleric Domain: Knowledge, Life, Light, Nature, Tempest, Trickery, War, Generic
Druid Circle: Land, Moon, Generic
Fighter: Champion, Battle Master, Eldritch Knight, Generic
Monk Way: Shadow, Four Elemens, Open Hand, Generic
Paladin Oath Devotion: Ancients, Vengeance, Generic
Ranger: Beast Master, Hunter, Generic
Rogue: Arcane Trickster, Assassin, Thief, Generic
Sorcerer: Draconic Bloodline, Wild Magic, Generic
Warlock Patron: Archfey, Fiend, Great Old One, Generic
Wizard School: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, Transmutation, Generic
These will calculate spells known, cantrips known, spell save DC, spell attack modifier and other things for each spell casting subclass. It also calculates things like rages, bardic inspiration, channel divinity, wild shape, Ki points, divine sense, sneak attack, sorcerey points, arcane recovery, and more.
For it to do the calculations, you must enter your character’s class level. Note that if your character has levels in multiple classes this will be the levels you have in this class and not your total character level. For some calculations you may also need to enter your proficiency bonus and an ability modifier.
There is room for you to list your spells. There should be enough room for more than just the spell name. What I do is enter a symbol to indicate if the spell is (C) concentration, (R) ritual, or sometimes (T) casting time. If the spell isn’t from the PHB there is room to indicate which book it is in. For the Cleric, and some others, when you get to higher levels there may not be enough room to list all available spells, but there should be room enough to list the ones you use the most.
After many requests, I finally got around to adding the Artificer to my MultiClass Character sheet.
Download your free 17 page MultiClass Player Character Sheet HERE.
This has 4 general pages plus an additional 13 pages – one for each class.
I posted the single class Artificer Character Sheet a couple of years ago. You can find it HERE.
This can all be printed blank and filled out with a pencil, or you can fill in the forms on your computer and most of the calculations will be done for you. You can download box-by-box instructions on filling this out HERE.
An unofficial suppliant to the 5th edition D&D book Astral Adventurer’s Guide with ship-to-ship combat rules and other enhancements. Download your free copy HERE.
Last month (August 2022) Wizards of the Coast brought Spelljammer into the fifth edition when they published Spelljammer: Adventures in Space. This, for the most part, is very good. However I was disappointed in the lack of information and rules needed for actually conducting a spelljamming campaign. Specifically I was expecting clear descriptions regarding how the spelljamming helm functions and better rules for conducting ship-to-ship combat. The “Ship-to-Ship Combat” section includes boxed text with 3 sentences on “Shipboard Weapons”. Other than that, the entire section on ship-to-ship combat consists of 4 sections; “Starting Distance” (1 paragraph and a table), “Initiative” (1 sentence), “Moving and Steering a Ship” (2 paragraphs), and “Boarding” (2 paragraphs).
This document has two purposes:
1. This is an attempt to make sense out of the Astral Adventurer’s Guide for D&D players that are new to Spelljamming. Some of the terminology and many of the descriptions have been reworded to make it easier for players new to the topic to understand. It also includes a few alternative rules you may want to use in your Spelljamming adventures.
2. To make Spelljamming combat more fun this supplement provides a complete set of spelljamming ship-to-ship combat rules along with new ship statblocks, ship outlines at 1″=20′ scale, and rules that make each of the players active participants in ship-to-ship combat.
Running Goodman Games “Original Adventures Reincarnated #2: The Isle of Dread”.
One of my all time favorite published adventures was “The Isle of Dread” which was originally published in 1981 for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D). I ran it for my players back then, and I found a fan conversion of it that I ran a couple of times in D&D 3.5.
In 2019 Goodman Games published “Original Adventures Reincarnated #2: The Isle of Dread”, a 328-page hardback which contains reprints of the original 1981 “blue cover” edition and the 1983 “orange cover” printing, as well as an interview with “Zeb” Cook (one of the original authors), and a 5th edition conversion of the adventure.
I am just finishing up with running this adventure for my current group. I thought I would provide you with some of of my notes and comments. Perhaps it could help if you plan on running this for your group.
First of all, this is big. You could easily take a group from third level through seventh level. They could become level 8 when they finish if they explored the entire island. They will also end up with a lot of treasure, which was common in AD&D.
Second, there is a temple that contains the primary “dungeon” on the island. The original adventure contains several corridors that were left unfinished, for the DM to design additional adventures if they chose to. The folks at Goodman Games have flushed out these unfinished areas. I highly recommend that you use these. I always thought that the final room in the dungeon was a little anti-climatic. This has been fixed. The only problem is that they kept the original conversion together and put the parts that they added in additional chapters at the end. When playing, this requires a lot of flipping back and forth through the book. I found the easiest thing to do was to use the maps (which are all keyed correctly) and refer to a Map Key listing all of the numbered areas on the map with a page number for where that area can be found in the book. There is no such key in the book so I created my own. I put that key along with a few other tips you might find useful into a PDF you can download HERE.
I hope this helps. Let me know your opinion of this adventure.
Something I forgot to include in my PDF:
It has always bothered me that in the original maps (Temple Level 1: map T-1 and Temple Level 2: map T-2) there is no way to go from level 1 to level 2 or back short of going through one of two pit traps. Even with the expanded maps provided by Goodman Games it will require a long and convoluted path which takes you first down through a vast underground cavern and then back up to Level 2.
To correct this I recommend adding a secret door on the west wall of the corridor just west of pit trap 7 on Temple Level 1 that opens to a spiral staircase that does down to a secret door that opens on the west wall of area 1 on Temple level 2.
If you are a Dungeon Master, you may have business cards that you give to your players. Here is a way to improve them. Give people a reason to keep your cards, and even collect them, by printing dungeon maps on the back!
These aren’t new, but they are new to me. I just ran across these the other day. They are excellent business card sized dungeon maps. When printed on business cards, each card can be placed next to any other card to create a random dungeon. There are 20 different images. and you can print them on the back of your business cards. I printed mine on my printer and cut them apart, but you can use MOO Business Cards and they don’t charge extra to print a different image on the back of every card!
Get these images from “Dyson’s Dodencahedron” Blog. There are 5 maps in each set, and instructions on how they might be used.
I just discovered this great resource from the Digital Dungenmaster. He has made available Pre-made Character Sheets for levels 1-20, every class and every archetype.
You can find them HERE.
How to easily determine the distance between points in 3D space.
“My character is 50 feet away from the base of a 60 foot cliff and firing my shortbow (range 80/320). How far away is the target standing on top of the cliff? Do I have to roll at disadvantage or is it still short range?”
“I have a fly speed of 60 feet. My opponent is flying 45 feet away (as measured on the battlemat) and is also 25 feet higher than me. Can I fly to within 5 foot of him on my turn?”
I have been using a simple technique to quickly determine the distance at my table. First I determine the horizontal distance and the vertical distance. Take 1/2 the shorter of the two (rounded down) and add it to the longer. When all of these distances are in 5 foot increments and the distances are less than 50 feet it works fairly well, but it obviously has its limitations.
Another option is to use the Pythagorean theorem, but my math isn’t all that good.
You could have a calculator at the table. One with trig functions would be useful.
Some people keep a link to a Pythagorean Theorem Calculator website on their device. Here is a good one:
I decided that the easiest way for me would be to have a simple look-up table printed out and available at the table when we played, so I created this one.
Download your free copy HERE
I ran across this excellent spell slot calculator and felt like I had to share it. I don’t know who created it, if anyone knows, please let me know so I can thank them give them credit.
The link to the site is HERE