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D&D: What’s In A Sheet? The Evolution Of Character Sheets From AD&D To Now – Prime

16 Minute Read
Apr 22 2020
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From AD&D's handful of wargame stats to the streamlined, elegant design of 2020, D&D's character sheets have a lot to say about how the game has changed.

Character sheets tell us a lot about how a game works. The core rules of a game might be hundreds of pages long, but a character sheet condenses the most relevant information into a single, easy to use document that tells players everything they need to know. A well designed sheet tells you what the game designers think is important, and help add emphasis to the game's rules. You can learn a lot about what folks were thinking by looking at what goes into a sheet.

Which is exactly what we're going to do today. Going back to the very first character sheets in D&D's history to the present day incarnations, we're going to take a look at how character sheets have evolved--and how they've shaped the game across the editions. So get out your graph paper, your slide rule, and let's step back in time to 1971, back before there was a first edition, before there was even a dungeon OR dragon. Because if we want to look at the protoplasm that would evolve into the first recognizable character sheet, you've got to understa...

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