Temp Charsheet Notes

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This is a repository for notes pertaining to the layout of the printable character sheet output from the Libre Office "Calc" spreadsheet. It's not about the spreadsheet itslf, only about layout and content, focusing initially on the "front page", the one supposed to give as many of the basics about the character as possible. Therefore this material is not intended to be eventually moved out into other articles properly written, formatted and explained.

Contents

Paper formats

A4 vs Letter

A4 is 210mm x 297mm, while the "Letter" format used in the USA and a very few other countries, is 215.9mm x 279.4 mm.

To make an output area that'll work for both, the sheet will start with a default assumption of A4 in landscape (wider-than-tall) format, and 10mm margins at top and bottom and 20mm margins at left and right sides.

Then users who have a Letter printer must manually change the paper size to Letter, and change the margins (in Calc, this is done in Format->Page or something) of left and right from 20mm to 10mm. The top/bottom margins are left unchanged (maybe add 2mm to top and 3mm to bottom).

This gives a "field to work with" of 257mm in width (297mm widest measurement, from which we subtract 20mm twice), and 190mm in height (210mm height measurement, from which we subtract 10mm twice).

Or maybe it's easier simply to invent a custom paper format that is 257mm x 190mm, and then let the end user and/or the end user's computer and software figure out how to deal with it. One might foresee less hassle and confusion with Letter format users that way, since they won't have to actually change anything.

(On second thought, going for a width of 256mm, 1mm less, gives a huge benefit, as described further down.)

140% zoomability

All pages should be splittable down the middle, along the long axis (i.e. by a vertical line) so that they can be printed each onto two sheets of physical paper, creating a x1.4 zoom, so that the font size is effectively TNR 14 instead of TNR 10. This is for the benefit of users who are slightly vision-impaired. Users with more severe vision impairment cannot be serviced, but most find their own solutions (and ideally share then with others).

This means that the front page of the character sheet must be symmetrical with a split straight down the middle, whereas the previous versions have tended to be lopsided with "wider" boxes on the left size and the most narrow boxes on the right side.

The 2nd page, probably for a list of Advantages and Perks, should likewise be split down the middle.

Same goes for the Skill output pages, both the shorter ones for in-play use (which may well contain 4 columns of Skills per sheet) and the detailed ones that deal with character advancement (the SP cost for each of the next 6, or 7 or 8 - still undecided - Skill Levels) and contain additional information such as APT.

The need to be able to split the Skills pages down the middle is also why the Landscape format is retained. Otherwise the plan would have been to use Portrait format (taller-than-wide)

Font use

Oh yes, Times New roman (TNR) will be used, because it's the "safe" font that almost everybody has. It is regrettable that a nicer font like Goudy Old Style (the Chief Designer's all time favourite font) cannot be used, but using a font that not everyone has will almost certainly cause problems, with output pages not fitting onto the paper, for some users, and barriers-to-adoption should be minimized when possible.

First page

The first page is the "this is what the character is"-intro, and should define the very basics of the character. Almost from the get-go, the idea has been to have a lot of white boxes on a grey background (20% grey because lighter shades of grey doesn't always show as visible on all printers, e.g. laser printers with partially spent toner cartridges), with one box for each Primary Attribute (and one for Strength) but each such box also defining all sub-Attributes, and also pertinent Derived Stats. For instance, the Creativity or Creative Derived Stat goes in the Intelligence box.

Until now, these boxes have all been laid out in columns, with the sheet typically being divided into 6 columns not of equal width, often with a very wide column on the left side, then some middle-width columns and a somewhat more narrow column on the right side, the idea being that the boxes on the right side would tend to contain fairly long text strings such as Character Name followed by the full name of the character, whereas the boxes on the right side would tend to be very terse in their content, containing a short stat name followed by a simple one-digit numerical value.

Also present are additional boxes for things like Flaws, appearance description (hair colour, beard, hairstyle, voice, et cetera) to emphasize that a Sagatafl character is an individual and not a stick figure, a box for Reflexes (if that's not combined into one of the existing boxes), a Sagatafl FFRE logo, and a box defining Sagatafl's scale, i.e. "3 is average et cetera".

The logo will remain present. The scale will be contracted so that only odd numbers are given. This almost halves the number of cells the scale box "costs", because values like 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 can be left out.

As for the boxes themselves, they'll no longer be organized into fixed width columns, but instead each be as wide as required.

This is accomplished by dividing the width of the sheet into 71 columns each 3.6mm wide (totalling to just under 256mm). The 2 outmost columns are used for border, leaving 69 columns to be alocated to boxes all as wide as they need to be, achieved via cell-merging.

Internally in each box, the old style will be maintained. At the top of each Attribute box is the name of the Attribute in a right-justified cell, in boldface. To the right of that in non-boldface is the numerical value of the Attribute, in a left-justified cell.

Below is another row, where the name of the stat is in boldface unless it is a sub-Attribute (then it's non-boldface) again followed by the numerical value of the stat.

When needed, these two sub-cells are merged to form one very wide cell, e.g. for the character's name.

The Boxes

With 69 cells to use, 5 used on "spacers" between cells, that gives 64 cells to divide between 6 theoretical columns, letting each column be 10 or 11 cells wide, of course divided up into two sub-cells, the right-justified and the left-justified.

Name

2 rows, one boldface Character Name, the other nonboldface containing the actual name

Needs a fair amount of space, but can perhaps be done as a very wide box, instead of a double-height box. As very wide, Name might take up 2 or 3 cells and the actual name maybe 6 to 10 cells. Not sure yet.

A standard cell-pair can then be defined as 5 cells on the left side and 5 cells on the right side, but with provision for having 6 cells on the right side if necessary (i.e. if there is a lot of content after the "invisible colon").

Note also that all boxes must be split the same way, down the middle, e.g. the entire box for Intelligence can be split so that there are 7 boxes on the left side and 4 on the right side, but it's not good to split a specific cell-pair (such as Conc. time) differently (e.g. splitting it 6/5 instead of 7/4).

NEW smaller cells: "Name" label fits into 5 cells. Tight fit, so maybe use 6 cells to be sure.

Name content, example "Sl√°ine of Ulster XYZ MMM", to use a really long name, barely fits into 22 cells, or easily into 17 cells if the MMM part is omitted.

Basic data

  1. Species
  2. Race
  3. Sex
  4. Gender (combine into 1 line with sex if possible or necessary)
  5. Age
  6. Apparent age (comb. with Age if necessary)
  7. Birth, year
  8. Birth, month
  9. Birth, date (or combine the 3 in some way)
  10. Place of birth
  11. Nationality
  12. Religion
  13. Tech Level (TeL)

13 rows, combinable into 9 if necessary, although ideally Birth year/month/date should be split off into its own separate box.

Left side expected to be fairly wide but not excessively so, while right side expected to be somewhat narrow (a little below "par"). Left side 6 cells, right side 5 cells.

Tech Level should perhaps have its own box, since it can then accomdoate more information such as "TeL 11 (Early Medieval)" or "11 (E Medieval)". The later barely fits into 7 cells wide, and "Tech Level" barely into 5 cells wide.

New smaller cells

Birthplace fits into 9 cells, so probably 10 cells for Nationality. 10 on label side. One of the longest contents may be Pagan (K.) or Christian (O.). The former fits into 9 cells, the later into 11 cells.

So 21 cells wide.

Hard appearance (Size/morphology)

  1. Size (always 3 for Humans)
  2. Frame (this used to be called Size - varies from Human to Human, but average is 3, at least for a baseline mediterrannean - a "Viking" might be Frame 4 and a "Modern Nordic" be average Frame 5. Or Frame may vary in 0.5 increments, in which case a "Viking" is Frame 3.5 and a "Modern Nordic Man" is Frame 4.)
  3. Leg Length
  4. Height stat
  5. Fat Class
  6. FFD
  7. Morphology

7 items, 6 of which take up extremely little space, especially on the right (content) side. Morphology requires more space, since the usual "content" is "Human / Bipedal". Shortening it to "hum/bip" is possible but fails severely at being didactic. Splitting morphology out into two cell-pairs, such as "Shape: Human" and "Locom.: Bipedal", could work well, but seems a bit redundant, whereas "Morphology: Human / Bipedal" is gleefully pedantic (let's not forget the importance of this!) and is also structured to be able to accomodate a great variety of variations, i.e. characters who are not Human or who are not Bipedal, or both.

The first six can probably do with 5 on the left side, 4 on the right side.

Appearance/Charisma
FIM box

Soft appearance

  1. Height in cm
  2. Weight in kg
  3. .
  4. .
  5. .
  6. .
  7. .
  8. .
  9. .
Distinctive Features

This can make do with listing the most prominent ones, but ideally should have room for 7 distinct entries, each on their own line, each being many cells wide.

In terms of DF code, something like DF7XY fits comfortably into 4 cells' width, so the question is, how much space should be allocated to the non-code part of each Distinctive Feature. "Tonsure (K.)" fits into 6 cells. "Muscles on top of muscles" barely fits into 11 cells. 8-9 cells might be reasonable.

So going with a height of 8 cells and a width of 13 cells. Since in most cases most of the lines will be empty, it will probably look nicer if this box is in a corner.

Typical Clothes
  1. .
  2. .
  3. .
  4. .
  5. .
  6. .
  7. .
  8. .
  9. .

Flaws

Sexual Orientation, Comfort-Seeker and room for 6 others, plus Flaws as header, making for a total height if 9.

Roll strengths are 2d, 3d and so forth or 2+1 and 3-1, and fit easily into 2 cells' width, or and is still doable something like 3d+.

Flaw names may be long, "Comf.-seeker" fits into 6 cells. Allocating 7 cells seems reasonable, so 9x9 cells.

Instead of Sexual Orientation should probably be mentioned the orientation, e.g. Heterosexual, Homosexual, Bisexual. Or even Asexual 0d.

Intelligence

  1. Intelligence
  2. Casual Int.
  3. Interpersonal
  4. Linguistic
  5. Logical
  6. Mnemonic
  7. Musical
  8. Mystical
  9. Spatial
  10. Thinking Sp.
  11. Creativity
  12. Concentrate
  13. Conc. Time

Intelligence itself barely fits into 5 cells. Interpersonal alone fits into 6 cells easily. Thinking Sp. fits comfortably into 6 cells, and Thinking Speed easily into 7 cells.

Using aggressive acronymization Concentration Times like 1Hour or 6Min barely fits into 3 cells. More reasonable content like 1 Hour or 6 Min. fits easily into 4 cells, so 5 cells it is, for a total of 6+4 cells in width.

10 cells wide, and 13 cells tall.

Perception

  1. Perception
  2. Casual
  3. Vision
  4. Hearing
  5. Taste
  6. Smell
  7. Touch
  8. Colour Vision
  9. Night Vision
  10. Visual Spectrum (---V--)
  11. Aural Spectrum (-H--)
  12. Tactrile Spectrum (PrTePa)
  13. Observe Stat
  14. Observe Time

14 items, of which the Spectrum section can gainfully be separated out into their own box, since it requires a lot of space on the content (right) side.

For the remaining 11 items, Colour Vision is one of the longest sentences on the name or left side, and on the content or right side, it's something like 5 (-1) for Casual Perception or 6+1 for Hearing, or 1 Min. or 1 Hour. This will be tested in Calc, and this section should be updated shortly, with the results of the testing.

Colour Vis. fits comfortably in 6 36mm cells for a total width of 2.16 cm. Colour Vision spelled out in full fits comfortably in 7 such cells. 1 Hour fits comfortably in a width of 4 cells.

Tactile Spectrum takes 8 cells. Tactile Spectr. takes 7 cells. Tactile Sp. can be done in 5 cells.

Using the font Courier New, and size 9 (not TNR size 10), the Visual Spectrum standard line of ---V--, fits into 4 cells and very comfortably into 5 cells. The standard line for Tactile Spectrum, PrTePa, also fits into 4 cells. Sounds like 12 cells total width for the Sensory Spectra, but! If the topmost cells of 4 rows can be merged into something like Sensory Spectra, then the Names of the left-side cells can be changed to Visual, Tactile, and Aural or Audial (not sure which of Aural and Audial is best)...

... Sensory Spectra takes up 8 cells total.

Aural 3, Audial 4 (3 is a slightly too tight squeeze), Visual 4, Tactile 4. So they get their own box 9 wide and 4 tall, rather than 12 wide and 3 tall.

Perception box, minus Spectra: 10 cells wide, 11 cells tall.

Quasi-Psionics

Room for 3 should be plenty, since there can be no permanent talent, the content/right side can consist very comfortably of 2 cells in width. Or possibly 1 cell. It seems as if a single 3.6mm cell can comfortably accomodate any one-digit figure.

The word Quasi-Psionics itself fits into 7 cells.

Empathy barely fits into 4 cells. Would be nice to have 5. Danger Sense barely fits into 6 cells. Might be nice to have 7 cells just to be sure.

So 8 cells wide and 4 cells tall.

Sensory Spectrum

See above for notes. The conclusion: box 9 cells wide, 4 cells tall.

Constitution

  1. Constitution
  2. Res. Disease
  3. Res. Poison
  4. Heal Rate
  5. MW Heal
  6. Muscle Type
  7. C. Fat. P.
  8. Endurance
  9. Spec +1
  10. Res. Chill
  11. Hardiness
  12. Blood P.
  13. Fertility
  14. Aging Roll
  15. Oldness P

15 items. MW Heal is the base heal time for a Minor Wound, there to give some didactic indication of what Heal Rate means. Muscle Type should probably be numerical, with low number being fast-twitch (white) and high number being slow-twitch (red). 3 is normal. 4 is thus red and 5 is major red, 2 is white and 1 is major white. Spec +1 is for the character's Endurance speciælization, if one has been purchased, e.g. Run or Hike.

It looks as if Muscle Type is one of the longer labels, and it fits within 6 cells. One of the longer contents is +6 (10) or Sprint, and that fits within 4 cells. almost within 3 but not quite.

so 15 cells tall and 10 wide.

Special Resistances

Would be nice to have a header cell-pair, then 3 cells for content, for a total of 4 cells tall, and however wide fits in with everthing else. The content cells should probably all be merged into super-long rows.

Metabolism
  1. Metabolism
  2. Food/Day
  3. Water/Day
  4. Oxyg./Day
  5. Diet (e.g. Omniv.)
  6. Sleep/Day
  7. Heat Tol. (and temperature)
  8. Cold tol. (and temperature)

8 cells total. Sleep/Day seems like a good cell-width test... It fits comfortably inside 5 cells. Food/Day content is something like 5.0 EU and Diet content is something like Omniv., testing those... they fit comfortably inside 4 cells.

Heat/Cold Tolerance "content" also fits very nicely inside 4 cells, probably even if the degree sign is included.

So, 8 cells tall, 9 cells wide.

Note that Chill Resistance is under Constitution.

Agility and Movement

Dexterity

Reflexes

Will

  1. Res. Dom
  2. Res. Fear
  3. R. Manip.
  4. Res. Pain
  5. Sanity
  6. San. Recov.
  7. San. Thr.
  8. Willpower P.
  9. WP max.
  10. WP regain
  11. Meditate
  12. Med. Time

Sexual Orientation is left out, as it is defined what the character is oriented against under Flaws (note this is a new decision).

This gives a box height of 12. Willpower P. is one of the longest labels, and fits within 6 cells. or within 4 cells if abbreviated to Willp. P., which is not so good.

Long contents include 2/Year, 1/12 Mo. and 30 Min or 1 Hour. These fit easily within 4 cells.

Special Resistances

As for Constitution, being able to have 4 cells height, first row a content label, and then 3 rows for contents, would be nice.

Faith and Psyche

Campaign data

  1. Player
  2. GM
  3. World
  4. Campaign

5 cells on left side, only because Campaign is such a long word. Let's allow 6 cells on the right side, just to be sure.

4 cells tall, 11 cells wide.

Point data

  1. GP total
  2. DP total
  3. SP total (measured in k)
  4. PP total
  5. Special GP or 4th GP

5 cells tall. Built on or Special or 4th Cat. all fit within 4 cells' width. 180 GP and 1230k (for SP) all fit comfortably within 4 cells' width.

Thus 5 cells tall, 8 cells wide. Or less if "Built" and "4th C." is used. Then 7 cells wide is enough!

Strength

The Scale

  1. Stat / Meaning
  2. 9
  3. 7
  4. 5
  5. 3
  6. 1
  7. -1
  8. ...
  9. -4

Takes up a height of 9 cells (including (merged) header at the top). "Stat" fits into 2 cells' width. "Human max." fits into 6 cells' width.

Conclusion: height 9 cells, width 8 cells.

Logo

Needs to say Sagatafl in big letters, probably 4 cells tall, if not 5 or 6. Also depends a bit on width.

Under that: "the Free Fudge-light / Roleplaying gaming Engine" with a line break at the slash, and preferably a larger font, especially emphasis on the F and F and R and R (FFRE), being in red or a larger font still or both. Probably best to devote 3 cell-heights to these 2 lines, allowing for a font size of 13 or even 14.

Let's fewkin' test it!... It seems that for the FFRE section, no more than font size 12 is doable. For the Sagatafl logo itself, almost any size seems doable, 36 might be good, for a height of 5 cells. In TNR font size 12, the FFRE part of the logo requires 15 cell's width, which should be enough for a size 36 logo.

Merging 15 cells wide and 4 cells tall, it's easily doable to get the FFRE part of the logo up to TNR size 14, but that's not really a priority.

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