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Old 09-07-2017, 12:15 PM   #1
Stormcrow
 
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Default Example GM Control Sheet

The exact use of the GM Control Sheet has always mystified me a little. Sure, I understand what a control sheet is for, and sure, you should just use it however you find most useful, but the specific design intent is unclear to me. I want to understand how THAT particular sheet, as printed, is meant to be used.

(I know there are improved and fillable forms of the sheet, and that GURPS Character Assistant will print such a sheet for you. I really only want to talk about the sheet in the Basic Set and which you can download from the SJG website.)

I was thinking we might detail what would go into a sheet consisting of the three player characters from How to Be a GURPS GM. Anyone want to play along and tell me what they'd put where?

As for the top section, most of it is self-explanatory, and we don't have to write that up. The only question I have is, what do people do with the "Reaction + or -" column and the DR column when they're using hit locations? These don't seem nearly large enough.

I'd particularly like to see someone give examples of how they'd fill in the Special Abilities and Required Rolls sections given those three characters. I get the impression that some people try to cram everything about a character into these sections, but I'm not sure how useful that would be, especially if they have lots of traits.
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:00 PM   #2
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: Example GM Control Sheet

I never used theirs for anything more than inspiration. All of my control sheets are digital (usually in Excel). And, really, I can just have the characters opened from my gaming wiki, so I can see everything I need to see, so, I don't really use the Excel sheets any more.

If I felt the need to have non-on-line control sheets, I'd put each character on a 3x5 index card so I could quick-reference whatever I needed.
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Example GM Control Sheet

I'll take the silence as meaning nobody uses the GM Control Sheet.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Example GM Control Sheet

I don't use that sheet, no. As per Mark, my sheets are digital, and excel is more convenient than a pdf.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Example GM Control Sheet

I've used one, but it was long ago. Currently my campaign notes fit on at least five pages, and the "extra options from other books" is pretty much "whatever Extra Option perk a player takes".
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Example GM Control Sheet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
I'll take the silence as meaning nobody uses the GM Control Sheet.
I usually print one from GCA, you said you didn't want to talk about that one.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:59 PM   #7
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Example GM Control Sheet

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I usually print one from GCA, you said you didn't want to talk about that one.
I don't. I'm interested in the original, intended use of the sheet: fitting all of the relevant notes in handwriting in the spaces provided. GCA and similar solutions cram far, far more information on a sheet than you can with an original sheet filled out by hand. I want to know what information people found useful to fit on the sheet, given its limited space.

The sheet has appeared in the Basic Set for decades with only minor changes. I figured someone had made copies and filled it out.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Example GM Control Sheet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
I don't. I'm interested in the original, intended use of the sheet: fitting all of the relevant notes in handwriting in the spaces provided. GCA and similar solutions cram far, far more information on a sheet than you can with an original sheet filled out by hand. I want to know what information people found useful to fit on the sheet, given its limited space.

The sheet has appeared in the Basic Set for decades with only minor changes. I figured someone had made copies and filled it out.
Behold, I am one of the elusive Fae who use it, when I can remember to make a copy. I am not the GM, actually, but our GM keeps asking for our perception and we have to remind them about our danger sense and serendipity and disadvantages, so it's very handy to have the relevant stats there. Any more info on one sheet that isn't my character sheet and I can't focus :P
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:42 PM   #9
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Example GM Control Sheet

Let's see what I can come up with. Each of the bottom areas has twenty lines, and in my handwriting I can squeeze in about 40 characters per line.

Special Abilities
The idea here must be that these are the things a character can do that the GM needs to know about without asking the player. Information-gathering skills will be a big deal here, as are advantages that trigger alerts. But it only makes sense to be on a sheet if the GM shouldn't be asking the player, "What's your Skill X level?" So while Stealth is an information-gathering skill, the player always chooses to do it on purpose, and can just tell the GM what the level is. The list might also support GM notes on durations of various abilities.

Given that criteria, of the three characters in How to Be a GURPS GM, Beldin doesn't appear to have any "special abilities" worth noting. Jax has Extraordinary Luck: while the GM doesn't have to keep anything secret here, the GM might want to track the next time the advantage can be used. Rory has a little more: the GM should definitely write Common Sense as a special ability. Reaction modifiers that don't apply all the time should go here instead of the little box at the top. But although Sensitive gives the character a free IQ roll to feel someone out, it's done at the behest of the player, so it doesn't need to be written. So in all we have:

Code:
Jax   Extraordinary Luck: [time]
      No Sense of Humor (-2)
Rory  Common Sense
      Voice (+2)
      Chummy (+2 react or
         -1 IQ skills)

Not a lot.

The Required Rolls are easier, since every disadvantage with a control should probably go here. In this case, Jax doesn't seem to have any entries.

Code:
Beldin   12   Bad Temper
         12   Honesty
         13   Sleeplessness
              per hour
         11+  Ignore noise
              during sleep
Rory     12   Gluttony
         12   Overconfidence
         12   Short Attention Span
A larger party would use more of the sheet. Not sure how useful putting Beldin's Light Sleeper stuff on there is.

Any thoughts?
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