With the release of the final Gamma World expansion, Legion of Gold, I have produced a series Character Origin cards in the same style as the Famine in Far-Go cards and Core Rulebook origin cards I released previously. These cards are a tool to speed up character creation and aid play. Have your players roll their origins and then hand out the appropriate cards to them. These double-sided cards reprint almost all of the information found in the origin section of the rulebook, including the origin’s name, description, full trait information, critical hit ability, and power names. They contain all the information a player needs while creating their characters and serve as a handy reference during play. Since power descriptions are too lengthy and really deserve their own cards, I have only included their names.
Let’s face it, the character sheet that comes with Gamma World is… lacking. I’m all for simplicity, but the one in the box just doesn’t cut it. Yes, it is colorful. Yes, it will fit in the box. Yes, it says Gamma World on it. But I want something more robust. So as a GM with more time on his hands than common sense, I set out to create my own. I present to you, the One Inch Square Gamma World Character Sheet:The front side features just about every bit of information you’ll need in front of you during play. The most important items are highlighted with a bold border to help them stick out. Sections that are used in creating the character but aren’t directly referenced in game (e.g. the columns of various bonuses for skills) are slightly greyed to set them off. Wherever possible, hints are given in cells to show where a particular bonus or bit of information should come from to speed up character generation and add clarity. Here’s an example of the front side filled for a first level character. The back side has a place for the player to record which powers, etc., they’ve taken at each level as well as a large area for notes. There are also places to record which Alpha and Omega cards the player has in order to keep track between sessions.
The character sheet does not have space for power descriptions (though one could use the “notes” section) as it is assumed that players are using some sort of cards or printouts with that information on it. And of course I recommend the Character Origin Cards found on this blog as an aid in character creation and play.
Download: One Inch Square Gamma World Character Sheet [PDF]
With the recent release of Gamma World: Famine In Far-Go, I have produced a series Character Origin cards in the same style as the core rulebook origin cards I released previously. These cards are a tool to speed up character creation and aid play. Have your players roll their origins and then hand out the appropriate cards to them. These double-sided cards reprint almost all of the information found in the origin section of the rulebook, including the origin’s name, description, full trait information, critical hit ability, and power names. They contain all the information a player needs while creating their characters and serve as a handy reference during play. Since power descriptions are too lengthy and really deserve their own cards, I have only included their names.
I have also updated the original set of cards to fix typos, adjust the order in which the information is presented in some cases, and remove some extraneous wording from the front of most cards.
In addition, I have created a handful of extra cards to serve as quick references. They are as follows:
Critical Hit Benefit / Uber Feature Card: At 2nd level, players can place the Critical Hit Benefit side of this card under the origin card of the origin from which they chose their critical hit benefit to serve as a reminder. At 10th level, the Uber Feature side of the card can be used to remember which uber feature has been chosen by placing it under an expert power card, omega tech cards, or an alpha mutation.
Omega Tech / Salvaged Gear Card: The Omega Tech side of this card gives the run down on Omega Tech card rules, particularly the Omega Charge roll. The Salvaged Gear side details how salvaging works, and can be placed near or under salvaged Omega Tech cards to distinguish them from non-salvaged tech.
End of Encounter / Difficulty Class By Level Card: This is intended as a GM quick reference card. The End of Encounter side gives a run down of the common things that happen post encounter (e.g. Omega Charge check, changing Alpha Mutations, handing out rewards, etc.) The Difficulty Class By Level side reprints the chart of the same name from the rulebook as well as the list of skills found in Gamma World.
Core Rule Origins / Famine In Far-Go Origins Card: This is intended as a GM reference card. The Core Rule Origins side lists all the origins from the Gamma World Rulebook, the Famine in Far-Go Origins side lists all the origins from the first expansion.
Gamma World, by design, has a much simpler character creation process than the 4th Edition D&D rules from which it mutated. It simplifies the gameplay experience while at the same time greatly reducing the time between rolling up a character and actual playing him or her (or it!)
However, the concept that characters should be able to be rolled up and ready to play in 15 minutes suffers from a fatal flaw, and it’s a flaw not in rule design but rather a matter of resource limits: There’s only one rulebook. And since you can’t buy rulebooks separately, the beginning of your Gamma World session is likely to involve a fair amount of book passing.
To address this issue, and in keeping with the card theme of Gamma World, I have produced a series of Gamma World Character Origins Cards intended to be printed and handed out to players when they’ve rolled for their origins.
These double-sided cards reprint almost all of the information found in the origin section of the rulebook, including the origin’s name, description, full trait information, critical hit ability, and power names. They contain all the information a player needs while creating their characters and serve as a handy reference during play. Since power descriptions are too lengthy and really deserve their own cards, I have only included their names (For power cards, I recommend these fantastic cards by AH_Anarchy).
The cards are standard size (2.5in x 3.5in), come 9 per sheet, and are intended to be printed with the descriptive information on one side and the trait information on the other. You’ll probably want to print a few copies of each to have enough to pass out when players roll duplicate origins.
- Gamma World Core Rules Origin Cards [Zip]
- Gamma World: Famine In Far-Go Origin Cards [Zip]
- Gamma World: Legion of Gold Origin Cards [Zip]
- Gamma World Reference Cards [Zip]
(Credit: The card backgrounds were based on designs by Wizards forum user Nasty_Nick and based in part on the AH_Anarchy designs).
Update: This post applies to the downloadable Character Builder which is no longer officially supported.
The 4th Edition D&D Character Builder is great software tool for creating and printing your character sheet. One of the best features is the ability to print your power and inventory cards for use at the table. Although the Character Builder has an option to print a page of blank power cards, it lacks the ability to print blank magic item cards, and sometimes as a DM (or a player) it’s handy to have some blank cards around just in case.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to get around this limitation. Fire up the Character Builder and load a character. Click on the Shop tab. At the far right where it says “Equipment and Magic Items” you’ll notice a little house icon with an H inside it. Click this and choose Create Custom Element. Since you can’t create an item with no name, simple click on the Name field in the popup window and enter a single space. Near the bottom, be sure to check the Item Card option. Click the Save button and voila, you’ll have a blank magic item card when you view the character sheet.
If you want to print a whole bunch of them, just find the blank card on the character sheet, right click, and choose Duplicate until you have a many as you like.
Creating a blank non-magical item card is a little trickier, but can still be done. In the Character Builder, click on the Shop tab. You’ll have to find a nonmagical item to add to the character’s inventory. Choose Adventuring Gear from the “Item Categories” and then find the Candle in the “Item” list. Click the Add button to add this to the inventory. Find the Candle in the “Your Equipment” list, right click it, and choose Customize Item. In the window that pops up, erase the name candle in the “Name” field and enter a single space. Make sure “Item Card” is checkmarked and click the Save button. You’ll now have a blank non-magic item card in your list of power cards on the character sheet (you make need to go to Options->Show Normal Item Cards in the character sheet to be able to see it).
Again, if you want to print multiple cards, just find the blank card on the character sheet, right click, and choose Duplicate until you have a many as you like.
Caveats: These two methods aren’t perfect. The blank magic item card will have a quantity of “1” and weight of “0” printed on the card. The blank non-magic item card will have a quantity of “1” and weight of “0”, as well as “PH” written in the “Book” field.
Gale Force Nine’s Dungeon Master’s Token Set is an officially licensed accessory for Dungeons & Dragons for visibly tracking status and conditions during combat. From their website:
The 22 dragonscale-shaped tokens indicate specific effects that adventures and dungeon denizens may fall victim to. The scale-shaped tokens are all emblazoned with D&D artwork from Wizards of the Coast. The 18 scroll tokens act as handy reminders for status and ongoing damage effects. These scroll tokens are designed so the DM may mark them with a wet erase marker (available from any office supply or stationary store). The set also includes 5 drop-shaped Bloodied tokens and 5 corpse markers.
The tokens are contained in a handsome wooden box. Inside, the box is divided into compartments to sort and store your tokens and any other items the Dungeon Master will be using; dice, pencils, miniatures or whatever! The lid of the box is lined with felt, turning it into the perfect dice tray to keep wild rolls under control.
The back of the packaging gives you a clear picture of everything you’re getting in this accessory (minus the dice and dice bag, as noted).
The set is contained within an 8in x 10in x 2in wooden box emblazoned with the Dungeons and Dragons logo. The inside of the lid is felt-covered to provide a rolling surface for dice. The bottom of the box is divided into six small compartments for the tokens and one large compartment for dice, pens, etc.
The tokens themselves are high quality, each featuring artwork from Wizards of the Coast and a thin felt backing. The dragons scale shaped tokens mark the basic conditions in the game: grabbed (x2), slowed (x2), immobilized (x3), restrained (x2), weakened (x2), concealment (x2), stunned (x3), and dazed (x3). There are also three tokens for the marked condition, each highlighted in a different color (green, purple, and red) and featuring a “1”, “2”, or “3” identifier on them, so that different character’s marks can be distinguished.
For status and ongoing damage, there are 18 scroll tokens. The status tokens come in blue, purple, and brown, and the ongoing damage tokens are green, red, and yellow. There are three each of every colored scroll token. These can be customized by marking them with a wet-erase pen.
There are also 5 bloodied tokens, shaped like a small blood drop, and 5 square dead body tokens. The dead body tokens are, amusingly, ever so-slightly varied: some feature the body face down, others feature it face up.
Unlike other token sets that are designed to stack underneath the miniatures, Gale Force Nine’s Dungeon Master’s Token Set is intended to sit at the base of the miniature. The small bloodied token can rest atop the miniature’s base, while the condition, status, and ongoing damage tokens are curved to nestle right up against them. This makes it easier to see what conditions are in play, but may clutter up the battlemap or prove less useful in cramped environments (i.e. 3D miniature terrain) or encounters with numerous minis involved.
The Dungeon Master’s Token Set is available now at your local gaming store or favorite online retailer, and is priced between $20 and $30.
If you’re a DM who uses a battlemat, you’ve no doubt heard one or both of these names. For the uninitiated, vinyl battlemats such as those sold by Chessex provide a DM with a gridded surface on which they can draw whatever they need for their encounter or game. Wet-erase pens (of which Staedtler and Expo are two manufacturers), are used to draw on the mats and, as their name suggests, can be erased simply by wiping the surface clean with a little water and a paper towel.
I’ve been using the Staedtler pens for many years now, and I wasn’t even aware that there was another manufacturer of wet-erase pens until I saw a Wizards.com forum member post that he preferred Expo’s Vis-à-Vis. I decided to give them a try.
I did a side by side comparison of all the colors of each pen (except purple, for which I only had one pen). Staedtler Lumocolor is on the left (spelling mistake noted) and Expo Vis-à-Vis is on the right:
It should be noted that this was on a Chessex Battlemat and as such results may be different on other surfaces (such as GameMastery’s Flip-mats). This photo was taken with a flash to help highlight the differences in color and, more importantly, ink coverage. (For a more naturally lit comparison, see here and here).
The most noticeable difference is the coverage of the ink (or the depth of the color, if you prefer). The Staedtler pens deliver a nice, even ink, whereas the Vis-à-Vis pens come up a little on the thin side. This is particularly noticeable in the black, brown, and blue, and also visible a bit in the red and orange. The Staedtler pens all have fairly true colors, though the red and yellow are a bit on the orange side.
The verdict: Stick with Staedtler wet-erase pens, as they deliver a deep color with good coverage. Expo Vis-à-Vis pens, on the other hand, lack the fullness of the Staedtler pens, appearing thin and “watered down” on the mat, so to speak.
A battlemap covered in identical miniatures can pose a difficult challenge to DMs and players alike when it comes to tracking hitpoints and statuses or indicating targets. Some of this can be mitigated through the use of aids like tokens, chits, or flags for marking conditions, but DMs often still need a way of distinguishing between monsters in their notes, and players shouldn’t have to resort to latitude, longitude, and GPS coordinates just to say which minion they are attacking.
Fortunately, if you’re using D&D miniatures, it generally isn’t too difficult to find a way of marking the bases in order to identify them. Avery makes round, colored, 1/4 inch, removable labels that work great for the task, and you can pick up a pack of 760 of them for less than five bucks at Staples.
The labels come in four colors: green, yellow, blue, and red. The red and yellow ones are perhaps the most useful as the provide the greatest contrast for black ink. You’ll probably find that something like an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie is your best bet for writing dark, crisp numbers.
Having multiple colored labels can prove useful for distinguishing between different but similar miniatures that are likely to appear together in an encounter. A perfect example are the Kruthik minis, which are all basically the same except for size and slight variations in color. Using a different colored label for each type of Kruthik makes them stand apart a bit more, ensuring that you won’t accidentally confuse your young with your hatchlings.
You could, of course, simply buy a metallic Sharpie to mark your miniatures, but that’s permanent and why mar a figure when a removable sticker works just as well, if not better. Besides, you might want to sell your collection on eBay some day so you can, I dunno, spend the money on a Gargantuan Orcus.