The Party Sheet

Two weeks ago, I read Arnold K’s blog post about party sheets and have been enamored with the idea ever since. I made a party sheet for my players to use in our next session shown in PDF format below:

Party Sheet

This a sheet for the players to share at the table to keep track of important information that should be accessible to all of them.

I put all of the character names at the top because it’s easy to forget other character’s names and easy to slip into the habit of calling each other by player names even when you don’t mean to.

Ship – Since this game is set in the Pirate Isles, the players will almost always have a ship of some kind. Letting them keep track of the ship’s vital statistics gives me fewer things to do and will make them feel more in control of their ship.

Hirelings – As with ship statistics, I think it’s helpful to be transparent about hireling statistics and let the players keep track of hireling health and equipment. I may consider adding a morale system in the future.

Shared Inventory – How often do you give your players potions, scrolls, and magical trinkets only to never see them again? This should help players keep track of useful things that aren’t tied to a specific character and otherwise would have gone unused.

Places Been – This is a section to help stir the group’s memories of past sessions and to make it easier to recall places they may want to revisit.

Graveyard – This is inspired by the tally that qpop keeps on his blog of our Lamentations of the Flame Princess game – a record of dead PCs. Ours is empty right now because my players have been remarkably careful and smart. And this is also an embedded reminder for them to continue playing careful and smart!

Blessings – This is my favorite idea stolen from Arnold K’s post – a divine reward to the party for certain deeds done that anyone in the party can use as an action. In my party’s example, they spent a lot of effort for no monetary reward freeing the spirits of a crew of sailors who had become ghosts. For this, I am giving them a blessing from One-Eyed Pete, the pirate god, which will let them spend an action to add the benefits of a healing potion to an alcoholic drink twice per day. This essentially gives them a shared pool of divine spellcasting that anyone in the party can draw from. I found this idea just in time to help out the party for the next session where our Priest player will not be present, and the same idea could be used to play a campaign without one person in a dedicated healer role.

Curses – The opposite of blessings! In this case, the party has not gained any supernatural curses, but it’s important to remember that a powerful pirate captain and her agents are actively looking to kill them.

It’s quite likely that you’re better at formatting documents than I am, but if you want to use the party sheet template I made, I’m including a blank one as a PDF and in Open Document text format below. Enjoy!

Party Sheet Template – PDF

Party Sheet Template – Open Document text format (like a free Microsoft Word, I dunno)

Hillbilly

Sometimes I read or watch something and think, “Damn, that would be a good as hell SotDL adventure,” and so far every issue I’ve read of Eric Powell’s Appalachian fantasy comic Hillbilly has made me feel that way.

Hillbilly Issue 1
Check out this Rob Zombie looking motherfucker. Also that bear is his pal!

Everything about this series screams Demon Lord to me. Like in the world of Demon Lord, the people of the Hillbilly world are mostly rural, isolated, superstitious, and forced to deal with actual fantasy horrors that lurk in the woods. The protagonist, Rondel the Hillbilly, acts much like a PC, wandering from village to village helping good people and killing bad ones, slaying powerful witches and bearing an infernal weapon, the Devil’s Cleaver. Every issue I’ve read so far is written like a good Demon Lord adventure, a mostly self-contained story, often with a twist revealing a previously hidden darkness.

Every issue is just a hex map and some game mechanics short of being a tabletop adventure.

Outside of the context of tabletop games this is also just a great freaking comic book. Both the art and writing are perfect, and both are done by Eric Powell, the Eisner-award winning creator of the very good comic The Goon. The setting, fantasy Appalachia with swords instead of guns, lends more cultural interest than your typical pseudo-Medieval European fantasy setting. The series also satisfies my love of weird indie comics that don’t require forty years of back reading to get into. Although new issues are coming out regularly, Hillbilly is currently only 8 issues deep, all of which are collected in two trade paperbacks, best bought at your friendly local comic shop, but also available at the Albatross Books’ website.

OK well that’s all for today, go read Hillbilly! And if there’s a piece of media you love that inspires your games which most people might not be familiar with, feel free to share it in the comments below!