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The Parchment Paladin

Alternate 5e Character Sheet

It's been awhile since I've searched for 5E D&D pregenerated characters, so I was surprised when I stumbled across WoTC's pregen zipfiles. They've got 16 or so archetypal builds, each with a sheet for levels 1-10. That's a pretty handy assortment of sheets, but what surprised me was the layout:

WoTC Pregen Character Sheet

Statblocks?! #

The first thing the eye is drawn to is the colored "monster statblock" in the top-right quadrant. Gone is the iconic "tax form" sheet with the 6 ability scores down the left-hand side. If you've literally ever used a character sheet, you know instantly the layout I'm referring to. I'd go so far as to say that the D&D character sheet has probably influenced the design of most, if not many other TTRPG systems that came along after.

But "monster stat blocks" are for DMs, they're not player facing! If a player needs a pregen character sheet, odds are better than even they're also fairly new to the game, and possibly the hobby. Why would you hand them a sheet it takes a DM to read? What is this sacrilege?!

I absolutely love this format! It keeps all of the combat stats formatted in a, well, block. There has certainly been stat block bloat over the editions of the game, but the format has literally been battle-tested: even bloated it's still information-dense, and doesn't require the eye to bounce back and forth over the page to find the relevant stats and modifiers. With all the room they saved, they were able to flow sections for Background, Class Features, and Equipment around the statblock, and keep everything to one page for a level 10 character.

I was inspired to experiment with this layout a bit, and see how it handled complexity. I chose a fairly involved build, a character I happen to be playing at the moment. Hat tip to Sage at D&D Daily, whose Battle Mage build inspired this character, a paladin/wizard. I realized instantly that I wasn't going to get multiclass features and spells on one page, but I tried to keep things minimal-but-usably-complete. This character has a familiar, an awakened spellbook, spells from Magic Initiate, Paladin, and Wizard, so the best I could come up with was a one-pager for stats and class features, and a double-sided page for spells. I figure having to flip a single page is still an improvement for most spellcasters at the table:

Alt 5E Sheet Alt 5E Spell Sheet Alt 5E Spell Sheet 2

In all, I think using "monster statblocks" for character sheets is a breath of fresh air. I love the mix of information density and evocative flavor text and character art, all on the same page.