Dungeons and Devops
The character sheet is how you keep track of all your character’s statistics, equipment, and spells. It can be a little daunting at first sight, however, so here’s a quick overview of what things on it mean and where to look when the GM asks you to roll something.
(1) Basic Details
This top area is a quick reference for the most basic things about your character – their race, class, level, alignment, etc.
The traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws boxes, just below and to the right of this, allow you to flesh out your character’s personality and backstory a little.
(2) Ability Scores
There are six Ability Scores – Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. The bigger numbers are the scores, while the numbers in the circles at the bottom of each box are the modifiers. You’ll use the modifier on most dice rolls involving that ability.
(3) Skills and Saving Throws
Skills are what you roll when you want to do something with a potential for failure. The success is decided based on the results of a skill check. For example, you might want to try and climb up a cliffside, open a locked door, stay awake all night, decipher ancient runes, calm down a bucking horse, or haggle with a merchant.
Saving Throws are what you roll when you want to avoid, resist, or stop something from happening to you. For example, you might want to break free from ropes tied around you, dive out of the way of an incoming spell, shake off the effects of poison, see through an illusion, resist attacks on your mind and soul, or defend yourself against mind-control.
In both cases, you add the number next to each skill or saving throw to your 1d20 roll when making a check. The GM will tell you which skill or save is appropriate given the circumstances.
Your Armor Class is your defense. Enemies have to roll at least this number to hit you.
Your Initiative is your quickness of action. You add this number to a d20 roll when determining the order you take actions in Combat.
Your Speed is how far you can move in one turn in combat. A square on a battlemap is usually 5 feet.
Your Hit Points measures how much of a beating you can take. When your hit points go below 0, you begin to die and need to make death saves. Temporary hit points are usually granted by magic and only last as long as the spell or effect does.
In this box are details of any attacks you can make.
For example, the example character Eliaera can attack with a rapier. To attack, she will roll 1d20+5 (her attack bonus). She will deal 1d8 damage on a hit.
(6) Proficiencies, Features, Traits, Equipment
These boxes keep track of the various things your character can do or has possession of. Mostly they are self descriptive – you can use this type of armour, you have that much gold, you can speak this language, etc.
These things are typically granted by your Race, Class, or Background.
The most important and powerful abilities usually come from your class. It’s a good idea to be aware of them and what they do. For example, Eliaera can give her allies Bardic Inspiration, which allows them to add 1d6 to a dice roll they make while it’s in effect.