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coronatiger 09-27-2018 11:33 AM

Excel Character Sheet
Whenever I play an RPG, I prefer to have an electronic character sheet. That way, it's easy to change things without risking rubbing holes in the sheet.

When I started playing GURPS a couple of years ago, I decided that I could use a spreadsheet to calculate all the different formulas (Basic Speed, Basic Lift and so on) automatically. It started off as a pretty simple spreadsheet with four pages (front page, attributes, traits and skills), but over the months and years I've added new content, and it's become quite large. (Of course, a player doesn't have to use all the pages of it, just the ones that are relevant to them.)

At the beginning, I only used it for my own character, but the rest of my play group picked it up as well, seeing the benefit of skipping all the calculations that they otherwise would have to do manually. Most formulas in the GURPS books are pretty simple, but having to redo half of them just because you purchased another level of DX can be tedious.

I know that there exists a character assistant software application, but I like to tinker with things and customize them to suit my own needs, so I decided to make my own. It's developed in Excel (desktop version) and doesn't use macros, but some of the people I play with still have minor difficulties (like being unable to add new rows to tables) when using Excel online or non-Excel spreadsheet applications.

I lately convinced myself that it would be a good idea to upload the character sheet to the big Internet so that other people could reap the fruits of my labor too. Over the past few days, I've made some "final" tweaks to the character sheet, as well as writing a user manual.

In addition to the user manual and the character sheet itself, there is a text document where I log step by step how to upgrade from one version of the character sheet to the next. The log exists primarily for the players in my group who wish to have the newest version, but don't want to copy all their data from an older sheet to the newest one, when they could upgrade by themselves in less time. One of my players suggested that there are some people out there who like to read such things, so I decided to publish the change log as well. Be aware that my language settings in Excel use comma ( , ) as decimal separator and semicolon ( ; ) as parameter separator, so you may not be able to just copy-and-paste them.

I've put the documents in a public Google Drive folder: Character Sheet folder

If you see any bugs/errors, or if you have suggestions for changes or additions to the character sheet, please let me know. New versions of the character sheet will be published at irregular intervals.

coronatiger 09-29-2018 05:02 AM

Features of the Excel Character Sheet
Current Version
17.3 (released 2020-09-17)

General features
  • Open source; you can see and modify all formulas
  • Practically no need for manual calculations (and because the character sheet is a spreadsheet, you can easily add your own formulas)
  • Protected and color coded sheets to prevent unintended overwriting of formulas; no password is needed to unprotect

Front Page sheet
  • Information about the Character Sheet
  • General information about the character (name, gender, age etc)
  • Physical description
  • Psychological description (aka role playing cues)
  • Picture (no custom feature, just a possibility with Excel)

Attributes sheet
  • Purchase primary and secondary attributes
  • List of points gained initially and during play
  • Calculation of point value and unspent points; point value may be set to a percentage of another character's point total
  • Points spent on attributes, advantages, languages, skills, techniques and spells are subtracted from unspent points
  • Calculation of points received for lowered attributes and disadvantages (to make sure you don't exceed the campaign disadvantage limit)
  • Extract of reaction modifiers (from Traits sheet)
  • Extract of fright check modifiers (from Traits sheet)

Attr Mods sheet
  • Enter your list of enhancements and limitations applied to attributes (attribute costs are automatically modified)
  • Customize striking strength (you can have different scores with different attacks)

Traits sheet
  • Enter your list of advantages, disadvantages, perks, quirks and 0-point features
  • Calculation of costs based on base cost, level, frequency of appearance and self-control roll
  • You can specify bonuses to reaction rolls, fright checks, skills (including from dabbler traits), techniques, spells, defenses and DR

Trait Mods sheet
  • Enter your list of enhancements and limitations applied to advantages and disadvantages (their costs are automatically modified)

Languages sheet
  • Enter your list of languages with both spoken and written comprehension levels

Skills sheet
  • List of all the skills in Basic Set and Martial Arts; you may add more
  • Calculation of skill value based on points spent, defaults and bonuses/penalties from traits
  • Automatic recalculation of skill value if you choose another attribute on which to base a skill

Techniques sheet
  • List of all the techniques in Basic Set and Martial Arts; you may add more
  • Calculation of skill values based on points spent, base skill and bonuses/penalties from traits

Spells sheet
  • List of all the spells in Magic and Thaumatology; you may add more
  • Calculations of skill value based on points spent and bonuses/penalties from traits
  • You can specify temporary bonuses/penalties to spells
  • One college Magery included
  • Spells can be learned/trained like skills (standard magic) or like techniques (ritual magic)

Current Status sheet
  • Extract of weapon stats and calculation of damage and range, with attack and defense skill values modified by posture, shield/cloak defense bonus, speed/range/size of target, aim/evaluate bonus
  • Table of temporary effects which can be toggled on or off
  • You can choose different skills or techniques for attack and defense scores
  • Extract of armor stats
  • Calculation of status based on lost HP and expended FP
  • List of energy reserves
  • List of power items
  • Table of Per-based skills, with scores adjusted for acute senses

Calculations sheet
  • Table lookups
  • Calculation of probability of crit/success/fail/fumble based on effective skill
  • Calculation of digging speed
  • Calculation of how long you can hold your breath
  • Calculation of jumping and throwing distances
  • Calculation of slam, shield rush and falling damage
  • Calculations related to missed sleep
  • Calculation of daily travel distance
  • Relative gravity included in calculations
  • Extra effort included in calculations
  • Conversion between units of length, area, volume, weight and temperature

Weapons sheet
  • Enter your list of weapons
  • Calculation of damage based on weapon base damage, choice of striking strength and added damage per die (actual calculation is done in Current Status sheet)
  • Calculation of range based on weapon base range and choice of striking strength (actual calculation is done in Current Status sheet)

Armor sheet
  • Enter your list of your armor pieces, which body parts they cover, and how well
  • List of body parts with to-hit-penalties and calculated armor
  • DR values for both regular and crushing
  • Optional auto-calculation of cost and weight based on which body parts the armor covers

Equipment sheet
  • Enter your list of equipment
  • Calculation of total weight carried and encumbrance level
  • Calculation of total value of items owned and carried
  • Calculation of money owned and carried

Containers sheet
  • Enter your list of containers (places where you put your gear)
  • You may put containers inside other containers
  • Calculation of content weight of containers, including weight of contained containers and their contents
  • Calculation of whether you brought a weapon, armor or equipment with you, based on which container it's in (this is displayed in the appropriate sheet)
  • Reduction of effective weight of items carried in a cart/wagon etc
  • "Bag of holding" style containers
  • You count as a container for items you carry that aren't in other containers
  • Enter your horse and other characters as containers - encumbrance is calculated
  • "Container chain" retrieved by weapons, armor and equipment to display the layering of containers around the item

Diary sheet
  • Make notes here :)

Time Use sheet
  • Keep track of what you spend your time on between adventures
  • Keep track of study time towards various skills, techniques and traits

House Rules sheet
  • Toggle house rules on or off. All relevant formulas are recalculated.
  • "Don't round off Basic Move"
  • "Loss of ST due to having FP less than 1/3 max FP affects ALL ST-based quantities except HP"
  • "If a spell belongs to several colleges, bonuses of all instances of college Magery stack"
  • "Being reeling from both HP loss and FP loss doesn't divide Move and Dodge by 4"
  • "Magery doesn't add to spell levels"
  • "Convert extra damage to dice"
  • "Allow ST in excess of weapon ST requirement x3 to improve damage with weapons"
  • "Use metric units in Calculations sheet"

Captain Joy 02-20-2019 08:13 AM

Re: Excel Character Sheet
Amazing. And, well done!

I've cobbled together a shadow of what you've done for Mac Pages. You've inspired me to continue working on it. If/when I do, I may steel much from your design/algorithms; with your blessing, of course.

coronatiger 02-20-2019 10:02 AM

Re: Excel Character Sheet

Originally Posted by Captain Joy (Post 2244289)
Amazing. And, well done!

I've cobbled together a shadow of what you've done for Mac Pages. You've inspired me to continue working on it. If/when I do, I may steel much from your design/algorithms; with your blessing, of course.

Feel free to do so! If you have any ideas to stuff I can put into the Character Sheet, post them here.

Mavelic 02-21-2019 12:20 PM

Re: Excel Character Sheet
Excel'lent job ! ;)
Very useful, a interesting alternative to GCA.

Anaraxes 02-21-2019 06:39 PM

Re: Excel Character Sheet
In addition to GCA (the official character design program), there's also GURPS Character Sheet (GCS). It's in Java, and open source, if that's your thing.

Data entry for all the traits seems to me to be one of the biggest hurdles, at least measured by tedium per unit progress. One of my wish-list items for a 5e, should they ever do one, would be an official set of data files with a documented format that people could use for their own play aids.

coronatiger 02-22-2019 06:10 AM

Re: Excel Character Sheet
I entered skills, techniques and spells manually (and users may enter more), but not ads, disads, perks and quirks. One of the reasons was that players may want to look up scores of skills they haven't trained, to see their default scores, which are calculated automatically based on attributes and other skills. When I GM, I keep a blank Character Sheet open on my laptop, as well.

Players in my game can use a regular character sheet (on paper), if they wish, and optionally use the Excel file at home between sessions, but they've found that the benefits of having it during play far outweigh the bother of bringing a laptop or tablet.

Admittedly, it's a bit of a hassle if one wants to have the newest version at all times. You either have to copy all the data from the old document to the new one (takes about 5 minutes) or replicate the steps described in the change log (can take 10 seconds for the simplest upgrades, or several hours if you insist on upgrading through many versions manually). When I GM, I offer to do the upgrades for my players. It's a win-win: The players get the newest version without having to do anything themselves, and I get to take a look at the character sheet, which I may not have done otherwise. I find it useful to know as much as possible about the PCs.

Minor upgrades can come as often as once per week. These are usually addition or error correction of a single formula, the need for which I discovered during the latest session. Major upgrades rarely come more than once every other month, and usually include new features. Users can interpret the difference between minor and major upgrades as whether it will be faster to upgrade by copying the data or replicating the change log.

If people outside of my game groups start using the Character Sheet, I'm open to suggestions, both regarding what's in the document, and concerning upgrade schemes. Things work differently over the internet than face-to-face.

kenjames113 02-26-2019 12:14 PM

Re: Excel Character Sheet
Have you thought about converting it to a google sheet?

coronatiger 02-26-2019 03:19 PM

Re: Excel Character Sheet

Originally Posted by kenjames113 (Post 2245412)
Have you thought about converting it to a google sheet?

Not really. There hasn't been a need for it in my gaming groups. But if it could be done easily, that would make it accessible to more people.

You made me curious, so I tried just now to open it as a Google Sheet from Google Drive, but it didn't work out, unfortunately. Without analyzing it in detail, the main problem (or at least the one that pops out at me) seems to be that many custom defined names got lost in translation, and that broke a lot of formulas and data validations.

If it had worked, that would have been great, but even if everything had looked all right, that wouldn't have meant that some bugs hadn't emerged. Thorough testing would be required.

Doing the project as a Google Sheet from the start might have worked better, but I'm far more experienced with Excel programming, so I didn't consider Google Sheet as a serious alternative.

The project is open source*, so if anyone wants to try a manual conversion or rebuilding it from scratch as a Google Sheet, they are welcome to do so**. Whenever I release a new version of the Character Sheet, the attached change log could be useful if the Google Sheet version is to be kept up to date.

* You need to unhide sheets, columns and rows, as well as opening the name manager, to find all the code.
** I'd appreciate it if my name and this thread are mentioned in the credits. Also, please remember to read SJGames' policy for player created content.

By the way, version 11.0 was released yesterday :)

kenjames113 02-26-2019 07:03 PM

Re: Excel Character Sheet
I play a lot of games using the google sheets. I was able to copy the excel into google sheets, but you are correct about the formulas breaking because of the name ranges, however, I have not seen any further issues, albeit that I have not looked very closely since I just found it today, but I will see what I can do to help. I am not as familiar with the google sheets formulas, but I will be interested in attempting.

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