E-Char

Electronic Charactersheets are here, any system that wants to be taken seriously has to have some form of e-sheet.

In the beginning

Excel was, and still can be, a great way to store a charactersheet. provided you had a laptop, or your DM stored them for you. but I wanted more.

In order to test and develop my system, I wrote out thousands of characters, levelled them up, checked them against creatures of equal level and tried to determine any flaws. but not without the help of excel.

In order to create characters, I had to develop huge databases of character generation systems, to test many MANY ways to form a character.

So of course I allowed my players to use this system, to make characters for play. The time it took them to simply choose a race, make some rolls, make some choices, advance their career paths (remember, like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay) and spit out a character, was 10x faster than paper & pen, and notes and sheets and reference tables. but also, I could throw in a bunch of random junk, starting nick knacks, background story: family & friends & minor events, so the player had some cool little aspects to begin with.. grandmas favourite silver fork, given to the character on their journey-day. a memory of being severly stung by elder wasps, a fear of feral cats and the knowledge that the town mayor had an affair.

Now

On my tablet, I can almost roleplay by myself. The e-char makes sure I don't cheat, I simply click where I want to go, monster tables are available for encounters, time counts based on actions and DW traits & flaws system, I can buy equipment from shops that stock items, and be in a bar ready to find my quest.

In real life I go to my group, our GM informs us that at the Tavern of the Pig, on the 4th moon of Selestuc, we can begin a quest

I check.. My character has played up to the 3rd moon, so I can either 'skip' the gap and do the downtime later, or I can (if I have time) go do some simple mission here and now while the team arrives (I've never had a roleplay group all in attendance start on time)

The GM informs us of the missions location, so we all head to that tavern, and spot a GM tag, clicking on it invites us into that party. From here on. the GM influences our decision trees.

The plot is introduced, we discuss what we should do, and stay in the Inn that night (GM clicks on group->stay in Inn, we all get rested, healed/magic gains for the night, checks for bedbugs, lumpy mattress, etc, and players are informed on the 'sheets'. In the morning we decide to do some shopping, and gather information, the GM clicks a link +partytime, adds one day, so we all have 24 hours to 'go around town'

The advantage? not needing to determine each and every sale at each and every shop, is the main reason I even wrote this part of the system. I hate when a GM passes over a book, and expects me to 'understand' what should be available.. can I buy a +1 katana? no? why not? its here in the handbook you passed me. But the other end of the spectrum is nigh on impossible.. a full list of all items in each and every shop?

When roleplaying, I would wing this., point out one or two items that match that characters preferred weapon, and let them ask for the rest.. roleplay the possibilities, but even than I've forgotten, the town is having a shortage of steel, and prices are supposed to be 3x normal, or the local area has a tech level bronze age, no steel at all.. players catch me on it, and it breaks the level of imersion we've managed to achieve.

Now.. not a problem..

Disadvantage? Well, sure roleplaying shop keepers is often a good plot hook, maybe players should feel like any character anywhere might have a story to tell.. and the purple GM button does make things a little too obvious (I think it'll go on next release)

But best yet.. retro-activity. Players don't HAVE to spend this 24 hours yet... f the GM permits, they can use up 'some' of it.. and mid adventure, click back to this time slot and retroactively 'do' something (provided it doesn't break the time-line) 'Oh we need rope? Good thing I bought some at the Emporium before we left (click, click, click, purchase, done) which is more realistic.. if I'm going on adventure, I would spend days thinking up a list of things I'll need before I leave, but to make the game progress to the quest, we might only have 30 minutes. 
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