The Right Balance

Barbarian-DavokarIf you check out the comments for the Two Characters More post, you will see Isak and me having a discussion about the relative balance of the two characters. As the pre-gens come with the standard array of Attributes, I’m inclined to leave them most of the time – and have the challenge in making them work. Sometimes, as with Ansel, it made more sense to shift the numbers around a bit.

Isak puts forward an argument that Lestra/o might work better as an alternate Theurg build, while I’m reading the witch-hunter has an expert advisor who stands well back and offers pointed advice. Honestly, he could be either – or something else altogether (although with an Accurate like that he’s always going struggle a bit in the thick of things).

Breaking Down

What did occur to me, while considering this discussion and wondering what to do about the Barbarian Ranger, was would breaking the character sheet into modular bits help resolve this issue?

When I make a new call on Abilities for a pre-gen and put together a new sheet, I have to power up PhotoShop and tweak the text. I can’t do that ad hoc – and neither can you, in that when you print the character out you have what you have. If you don’t agree, you will probably have to cross something out and write around (or over) it.

Instead, what if you take a Zeroes card – like those I posted earlier in the week – and combined that with Ability Reference Cards, scratch paper and a picture of the character – and you wouldn’t need to worry. If you don’t like the Abilities, change them. Shuffle through the cards – Abilities or Power Reference Cards – and find the one that works for you. Some GMs might allow a player to tweak their character for the second session if the first session showed off an oversight or poorly chosen Ability.

In The Cards

I guess I could post a “double-sided” sheet intended to allow you to print out the nine characters with the Attributes / Name / Goal on one side and their portrait on the other. Something like the Gamemastery Face cards that Paizo have released in the past with a face on one side and an area for scribbling notes on the other.

Or just use a printed copy of the character sheet – from the core book or downloaded from Modiphius or Järnringen – but only note title and level of expertise for the Abilities. Use the Reference Cards for the finer detail. I’m only thinking Zero card because I like to travel light and I purposely designed them for the quick update potential and easy maintenance. You can also reuse them if the character dies rather than having to print off a fresh character sheet.

As I mention in the comments, I absolutely don’t advocate min-maxing abilities to turn out tanks or spell-engines. I’m in it for the flavorful play experience with a concept and background mirrored in the Abilities and stats.

Playing the Links

I’m mindful, especially after feedback from the Google+ Symbatoum Community, that I won’t please all the people all of the time. I’m obviously not a member of the Järnringen design team, so everything I create is without sanction or oversight. I almost definitely will get things wrong and sometimes I will change my mind. I want your feedback – constructive stuff preferred – on possible changes.

As I will certainly return to them again I’ve added a section to the footer of this site with links to the PDF files containing the current versions of the pre-generated characters. When I make changes, I’ll add fresh links here with notes about the characters included and the versions. Hope that helps!

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