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Marcus Amakar
2016-03-28, 05:33 AM
I'm home-brewing a D&D 3.5 E6 rule-set/campaign setting, and the standard character sheet no longer covers all the stats that characters have, and has spaces for some they do not.

I'd like to create new character sheets which are better suited, and so I'm wondering what programs would allow me to edit the pdf's? Being free is a necessity, and being easy to use desirable (as I'm both poor at design and technophobic :smalltongue: ) but I'm willing to learn.

Thanks in advance,
Marcus Amakar

Jormengand
2016-03-28, 07:51 AM
Excel/Google spreadsheet/OpenOffice spreadsheet? I dunno, if you wanna tell me what needs to go on the sheet there's about nine chances out of ten that I'm bored enough to make it.

Knaight
2016-03-28, 08:27 AM
MS Word's table function is honestly pretty solid, I've made character sheets in it before and they've often turned out quite well. If you're up for something a bit more powerful and a bit less intuitive, there's always LateX. Neither will let you edit .pdf files, but both can be used to make something from scratch that is just as good as the existing sheets.

Mastikator
2016-03-28, 09:11 AM
Paint.

Draw rectangles and write words.

RedWarlock
2016-03-28, 09:49 AM
Office/Office-clones (LibreOffice/OpenOffice) are what I've used before. Usually the spreadsheet function, but I've heard good things about using the presentation/PowerPoint equivalent. There might be an export-to-PDF or print-to-PDF mode, though I think the print one is only if you have Acrobat Pro. (There may be freeware print-to-PDF drivers out there, too.)

Maybe also look at if there are freeware counterparts to Adobe Illustrator. (I'm a graphic designer with the full Adobe suite in my dayjob, so that's what I've been using, but a counterpart might do the trick.)

WrittenInBlood
2016-03-28, 09:59 AM
Edit? There's no much. It's not hard to make one for 3.5 in Excel or OpenOffice clone, or there's also Inkscape (vector graphics, lots of options for aligning shapes together) if you want make it fancier. Then anything can be turned to PDF online.

Marcus Amakar
2016-03-29, 09:07 AM
Thank you for all the replies.

The consensus seems to be that, given my restrictions, an office (or office clone) program will be best, and that editing a pdf requires programs which donít fit my parameters. I donít need the end product to be a pdf, but put this forward in the hope that there might be a program suitable for me which would edit them.

Iíll have a look into LateX and Inkscape, as I was hoping for something a bit more aesthetically pleasing than what I could achieve in office, but the knowledge that it can be done in office is a great reassurance.


Excel/Google spreadsheet/OpenOffice spreadsheet? I dunno, if you wanna tell me what needs to go on the sheet there's about nine chances out of ten that I'm bored enough to make it.

Thank you for the offer, but as the project isn't 100% complete yet, I don't know myself exactly what will need to go on it! :smalltongue:

Jormengand
2016-03-29, 09:33 AM
Thank you for the offer, but as the project isn't 100% complete yet, I don't know myself exactly what will need to go on it! :smalltongue:

Well, the offer remains open when you are done. :smalltongue:

BayardSPSR
2016-03-29, 08:16 PM
I'm home-brewing a D&D 3.5 E6 rule-set/campaign setting, and the standard character sheet no longer covers all the stats that characters have, and has spaces for some they do not.

I'd like to create new character sheets which are better suited, and so I'm wondering what programs would allow me to edit the pdf's?

Interesting problem; I've run into similar issues. I might be able to find something; I'll get back to you if I do.

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-04-01, 01:35 AM
Paint.

Draw rectangles and write words.

The GIMP. Kind of a photoshop light. It's free and it handles layers, the lack of which is the main handicap of Paint. Layers mean you can try out new parts of the design without immediately erasing the old bits.

It might take just a little getting used to, but it's what I'd recommend for any image editing.

Excession
2016-04-01, 05:13 AM
Thank you for all the replies.

The consensus seems to be that, given my restrictions, an office (or office clone) program will be best, and that editing a pdf requires programs which donít fit my parameters. I donít need the end product to be a pdf, but put this forward in the hope that there might be a program suitable for me which would edit them.

Iíll have a look into LateX and Inkscape, as I was hoping for something a bit more aesthetically pleasing than what I could achieve in office, but the knowledge that it can be done in office is a great reassurance.

Inkscape is a good option IMO if you're aiming for a pretty, fairly graphical character sheet. Also, Inkscape can open PDFs, but the result may not be ideal. For example, what was drawn originally as a dashed line, or a hatch fill, might have been saved to the PDF as a whole bunch of separate lines. Inkscape won't be able to put that back into an easily editable form easily. If you just want to cut and paste a few decorations and boxes though, it might just work.

LaTeX is much harder to use, and I find it does best at making a rather different kind of character sheet. While it can do graphics and decorative stuff, it's hard to do right. In general LaTeX has a very steep learning curve, but the results for laying out text are superb. For example, here is my current character sheet (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwAa__0tV1sldG5OVFNZRjFyVDA) (4e D&D), which is created using LaTeX. It even does some of the calculations for me, but this was not easy to get working. I use a separate program to track HP, powers used, etc. during combat.

If I wanted a character sheet template I could print, then fill in by hand, I would use Inkscape.

Anonymouswizard
2016-04-01, 06:40 AM
Going by Office programs, I find Excel is useful for knocking up a quick sheet, while Word takes longer but produces something nicer for handwritten characters. I've only used word for one sheet so far (a Legends of the Wulin one with space for Loresheets and three external styles), but once I got it right it looked better than anything I've done in Excel.

Now if you want a more professional-looking sheet you might want a different program, but for home use an hour or two in word gives you a decent sheet for handwritten characters, while excel can get a handwritten sheet. I plan to, at some point, create an Anima: Beyond Fantasy sheet in excel that looks good and does all the Development Point calculations, but that's going to be a large undertaking.

LuisDantas
2016-04-02, 04:16 AM
Hmm... am I the only one who favors HTML with CSS, then?

About making PDFs: pretty much anything can be made into a PDF with free software, albeit not always conveniently or with particularly good aesthetics.

"Export to PDF" comes standards in LibreOffice. You don't even need PDF reDirect,although it is such an useful program that you will want it anyway.

Madeiner
2016-04-02, 06:48 AM
Well there' NBOS character sheet designer; very simple but also with limited functionality

Mastikator
2016-04-02, 07:32 AM
The GIMP. Kind of a photoshop light. It's free and it handles layers, the lack of which is the main handicap of Paint. Layers mean you can try out new parts of the design without immediately erasing the old bits.

It might take just a little getting used to, but it's what I'd recommend for any image editing.

GIMP doesn't have an inbuilt "draw black rectangle on white background" feature though. Rectangles and words is all you need for a character sheet.

The benefit of using paint over something like excel is that you can have multiple rows next to each other that are differently sized.

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-04-03, 04:00 PM
GIMP doesn't have an inbuilt "draw black rectangle on white background" feature though. Rectangles and words is all you need for a character sheet.

Rectangular selection, fill with black, shrink selection x steps, sharpen selection, fill with white.

But point taken.

goto124
2016-04-03, 11:39 PM
How does an image editor not have an option to draw rectangles...

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-04-04, 12:53 AM
How does an image editor not have an option to draw rectangles...

It does. It just doesn't have a one click option to draw a rectangular textbox. I like working through the select tool, it means you can fine tune the shape before inking over anything. It even allows you to set a fixed size or fixed aspect ratio, so that handful of clicks you need to do result in a very tidy and reproducible textbox.

Alternatively for a textbox, just draw four straight lines. Pencil, click corner 1, Shift+Ctrl+click corner 2 etc. The Shift makes it a straight line, the Ctrl lines it out to the image, at any multiple of 15 degrees.

keepLooking
2018-09-24, 08:00 AM
If I got you clear, you need something like LibreOffice to do so. It's not the most convenient one yet free to use and works well with every OS. If you considering using paid tools for this and similar purposes, you might well try this https://online-form-builder.pdffiller.com/ It's not the cheapest one, but offers to make one file fillable for free, so you can create a fillable form from your character sheet - it can be filled from every free PDF software like Adobe Reader after all, and you will be able to change the chars as many times as it requires to

Pleh
2018-09-24, 09:10 AM
Rectangular selection, fill with black, shrink selection x steps, sharpen selection, fill with white.

But point taken.

This plus when you make one, you can copy paste that box ad infinitum. In fact, you can set the copied image to your pencil tool and draw with it freeform.

Slipperychicken
2018-09-24, 12:38 PM
If you're planning to just print it out and write on it, I bet you could make something pretty nice in MS Visio

Mark Hall
2018-09-24, 03:08 PM
This is a sample Pathfinder sheet I made in Google Docs. (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DKTkqgHGBhfgZ4pHZrYtAgvZ8_jXeOAL2l4j2A257GI/edit?usp=sharing)

Here it is filled out for a ranger/rogue. (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13GzJjfm-tHxv_wBynHfBbmNJsym0sKLzad5zvyrtafU/edit?usp=sharing)

Here it is for a Drow Rogue. (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10haX9kLzngIv1FMjAQiimedIB3IjQ4WvXKFBMwVI3AI/edit?usp=sharing&authkey=CLLgl_UM)

I like spreadsheets because they let me easily make the size boxes I want and organize my page... but my first character sheets were hand-made in PFS Write. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pfs:Write) So get off my lawn. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8lnsCzlBDU) :smallbiggrin:

Pleh
2018-09-24, 09:03 PM
Also (ran out of time earlier) if you use Google Sheets, you can share the documents so that your players' character sheets can be visible to the DM.

shawnhcorey
2018-09-25, 06:13 AM
LibreOffice or AbiWord for text. GIMP of manipulating raster images. Krita, Pinta, or MyPaint for creating raster images. Inkscape for creating vector images. Blender for 3D models. Scribus for layout, that is, combining them all together and producing a PDF.

Knaight
2018-09-25, 06:26 AM
LibreOffice or AbiWord for text. GIMP of manipulating raster images. Krita, Pinta, or MyPaint for creating raster images. Inkscape for creating vector images. Blender for 3D models. Scribus for layout, that is, combining them all together and producing a PDF.

Where are you using 3D models in a character sheet? Also, why Blender? It's got a learning curve that's basically vertical, and while it's great for people who want to do a lot of serious 3D modeling it's not ideal as a sometimes program.

shawnhcorey
2018-09-25, 07:47 AM
Where are you using 3D models in a character sheet? Also, why Blender? It's got a learning curve that's basically vertical, and while it's great for people who want to do a lot of serious 3D modeling it's not ideal as a sometimes program.

Where? For action poses of your character. Yes, it has a steep learning curve but other software is not free or it's CAD, designed for architecture and engineering.

Knaight
2018-09-25, 08:33 AM
Where? For action poses of your character. Yes, it has a steep learning curve but other software is not free or it's CAD, designed for architecture and engineering.

Unless you're using a different definition of character sheet than everyone else, these "action poses" don't generally show up on character sheets.

Pleh
2018-09-25, 08:42 AM
Unless you're using a different definition of character sheet than everyone else, these "action poses" don't generally show up on character sheets.

Yeah. If you really care about action poses, minifigs probably are less work.

KillianHawkeye
2018-09-25, 10:41 AM
DAZ Studio is free, and it's what I use for my own character portraits.

GuzWaatensen
2018-09-25, 11:44 AM
Can't believe no one said InkScape yet. Inkscape is what you are looking for it's the free version of Illustrator. Gimp is the free version of Photoshop, don't use that.
Gimp is for Pixel art.
Inkscape is for vector drawings.

KillianHawkeye
2018-09-25, 12:26 PM
Can't believe no one said InkScape yet. Inkscape is what you are looking for it's the free version of Illustrator. Gimp is the free version of Photoshop, don't use that.
Gimp is for Pixel art.
Inkscape is for vector drawings.

Really, dude? Are you being ironic, or did you just not read the thread?


or there's also Inkscape (vector graphics, lots of options for aligning shapes together) if you want make it fancier.


Inkscape is a good option IMO if you're aiming for a pretty, fairly graphical character sheet. Also, Inkscape can open PDFs, but the result may not be ideal. For example, what was drawn originally as a dashed line, or a hatch fill, might have been saved to the PDF as a whole bunch of separate lines. Inkscape won't be able to put that back into an easily editable form easily. If you just want to cut and paste a few decorations and boxes though, it might just work.

If I wanted a character sheet template I could print, then fill in by hand, I would use Inkscape.


Inkscape for creating vector images.

Better luck next time! :smallsigh:

GuzWaatensen
2018-09-25, 01:02 PM
Really, dude? Are you being ironic, or did you just not read the thread?


Well you got me, I actually wrote that post in 2016, when there were just a couple of replies. I just saw that i never sent it and though that's the perfect opportunity. But I didn't read through the rest of the posts.

Still valid advice though: Use Inkscape!

Mark Hall
2018-09-25, 01:23 PM
Well you got me, I actually wrote that post in 2016, when there were just a couple of replies. I just saw that i never sent it and though that's the perfect opportunity. But I didn't read through the rest of the posts.

Still valid advice though: Use Inkscape!

The Mod Wonder: Son of a.... Well, I missed that this was necromancy. It's been noted, but we'll keep it going.

Pleh
2018-09-25, 01:39 PM
Gimp is the free version of Photoshop, don't use that.
Gimp is for Pixel art.

If you need vector drawings for a character sheet, you may be over thinking it.

Gimp is probably more than you need.

Knaight
2018-09-25, 01:58 PM
If you need vector drawings for a character sheet, you may be over thinking it.

Gimp is probably more than you need.

Having used both I'd take Inkscape over Gimp every time. The thing about vector art tools is that they tend to have some very solid line and rectangle tools that are easily moved around, which is helpful for character sheets.

I still favor just using MS Word, making a big table, then doing cell splitting, merging, and size adjustments as needed.

shawnhcorey
2018-09-25, 02:46 PM
If you need vector drawings for a character sheet, you may be over thinking it.

Gimp is probably more than you need.


Having used both I'd take Inkscape over Gimp every time. The thing about vector art tools is that they tend to have some very solid line and rectangle tools that are easily moved around, which is helpful for character sheets.

GIMP is for image manipulation. Krita, Pinta, and MyPaint are better for image creation. If you're an artist trained in traditional methods, try Krita. Whereas the others give you pens, pencils, and shapes to draw with, Krita gives you oils, watercolours, pastels, and charcoal.

KillianHawkeye
2018-09-25, 08:01 PM
Well you got me, I actually wrote that post in 2016, when there were just a couple of replies. I just saw that i never sent it and though that's the perfect opportunity. But I didn't read through the rest of the posts.

Still valid advice though: Use Inkscape!

Wait, what?

How is it even possible to have a post that you wrote two years ago but never submitted? Does a saved draft really just stick around forever?? :smallconfused:

This is not what I was expecting!

EDIT: Looking at your post history, you only have two posts and they're both from today and in this thread. And while you have been a member of the forums since 2016, your join date is from the month AFTER the last post before this thread was necro'd, so most of the posts I quoted would have been there already.

I call BS on your "I wrote this two years ago" story.