Welcome back to the series I have decided to call ‘Discovering the DM’s Guild;’ an informative collection of articles that dive into all things D&D on the community-created content site, DMs Guild.
Filled with all manner of materials to assist both seasoned veterans and rookie adventurers, the DM’s Guild proves itself to be as useful as an auspicious Mass Healing Word time and time again.
Today, I wanted to take a look at something to help the newcomers, a key resource that personally really helped me back when I first started playing D&D. Something that any unorganised mess of a player, such as myself, may want to consider using; Class-specific character sheets.
Now, these really do as they say on the tin. By taking the base 5e character sheet and making some minor additions and design changes, we have some fantastic looking and critically useful sheets that do, however, come with a slight drawback the more you actually play the game. Let’s take Rogue as our example; yes, it is my favourite class. No, there is no bias.
Firstly, key numbers such as your proficiency bonus, inspiration, passive perception, and passive insight are located directly below your character’s name. The stat blocks are organised in such a way that positions each of the skills directly next to the stat which affects them; for example, acrobatics, sleight of hand and stealth are all written next to the dexterity stat box. Below the stat blocks, there are a number of text boxes to organise your bonuses more easily such as ‘racial traits’ and ‘languages’ alongside a set of tick-boxes to show your weapon and armour proficiencies.
Everything so far is pretty positive however, from personal experience, I will say that these sheets are both a blessing and a curse. I would recommend them for those newer players who are still learning the abilities of a class or for those who have a strong idea of where they want their character to go, without multiclassing.
As we move over the second column of the Rogue character sheet, it is easy to see that the spellcasting section has been removed, allowing for just 4 weapon slots. That’s because typically Rogue is not a spellcasting class, however with the addition of the Arcane Trickster subclass or multiclassing into a spellcasting class, that changes, and you will have to find your own spell pages.
Not a huge problem in and of itself I suppose, but when you realise that the third column details the Rogue-specific talents that you’ll unlock at each level, it can get pretty confusing if you’re multi-classed into a druid.
One such text box is Uncanny Dodge, the talent that unlocks at level 5. Now, if you have multi-classed into Druid (because who doesn’t want to play a Panther with expertise in stealth?) then you encounter two problems.
There is nowhere to add your Druid class features, as every box is filled with Rogue skills.
You no longer unlock Uncanny Dodge at level 5, but Rogue level 5, which this sheet does not specify or allow you to customize.
Multiclassing is usually done by the more experienced players in a party, looking for some fun and interesting ways to play, so this may not be an issue for the newer players looking for an easy way to organise their sheet and manage their skills.
Finally, all flavour-text and background stuff is included on the second page. This keeps all of your essential information together on page one and the extra, less essential (but still important, damn it!) stuff on page two.
In conclusion, class-specific character sheets are a fantastic supplement for a newer player who is looking to store all of their information logically and easily, or if you are sure that you will only want to stick with one class. However, some trouble arises when you look to multiclass or take some of the more exotic subclasses such as eldritch knight for fighter or arcane trickster for rogue.
All of the class-specific character sheets, including those added after the PHB such as Artificer and Bloodhunter alongside some homebrew additions, are available on the DM’s Guild on a ‘pay what you want’ basis by searching ‘class character sheets’ directly or following this link.