Role-playing design notes

Random notes on the design of Gods & Monsters, and maybe even Men & Supermen if I can remember what I was drinking when I wrote it.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

New character sheets, maps, and reference sheets

Jerry Stratton, May 12, 2007

I’ve just replaced the old game aids document with a set of new documents. I’ve designed the new game aids using Scribus and Inkscape, and there are three of them: character sheets, rules summaries, and map grids.

The PDF file contains all of the PDFs in a single file; the archive contains each of the PDFs separately.

Character sheets

These character sheets are basically the same as the earlier character sheets I made in AppleWorks. They continue to use the Celtic Patterns, PR Astro, Stjernetegn, and Devils & Dragons fonts available elsewhere on the net. Because Scribus has a master layer, I put the borders in the master layer and added two blank pages to each character sheet for additional notes.

Rules summaries

The major advantage of moving to Scribus, besides the ability to use my iMac as a heating unit in the cold San Diego summer, is that it supports multiple foreground layers. I was thus able to customize the rules summary for each archetype, as well as a crammed-full summary for the adventure guide.

Scribus supports scripting via Python, so I’ve also included the Python script that automatically generates each archetype’s PDF file. It would otherwise be very tedious to show and hide each appropriate layer for each archetype whenever I (or you, since you have the source) make changes and need to regenerate the new versions. If you need to generate a full set of PDFs, use Scribus’s Script menu and execute the “Save All” script in the Summary folder.

The summaries are meant to be folded into a three-fold. Each sheet has two guides that will help you fold them. First, fold the inside right edge to the left, so that the right edge just barely covers the dotted vertical line that is currently next to Falling Damage. Second, fold the inside left edge to the right, so that the left edge just barely covers the dotted vertical line that is currently underneath the movement rules.

Map grids

I’ve also included some themed map sheets, using the map grids I wrote about earlier. The map sheets are created using Inkscape. The alchemical and Celtic borders are each their own layer that you can turn on or off, and there is a hex layer and a square layer for the grids. It uses the same method described in the AppleWorks character sheet article for creating borders, and the result is very cool.

Inkscape is very useful for mapmaking. You should be able to use this file as the basis for making maps in Inkscape, or simply print out the PDFs to draw maps by hand.

If you’ve subscribed to the Gods & Monsters RSS feed in your podcast reader, you should already have the combined game aids PDF in your reader.

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