Character sheet example

I figured I should post the character sheets I used yesterday, in case you’re SO excited to try the rules that you want to do an early playtest too (send me feedback if you do!).

But yeah, I’ve created it as a fancy pants Open Office (.odt format) spreadsheet. Making character sheets has always been great fun since you can see them evolve as the game grows and you play it more. I find I add more whitespace and bigger rows to make it easier for people to write, and a bunch of temporary fields for values my friends normally track anyways on the bottom or back of the sheet.

I imagine this will change in the future, even if just slightly, but for now it gives you a good idea of how the main character will look on paper.

So, grab the sheet as:

And if you want to just get a glimpse of how it looks, here’s a screenshot of the PDF:

Character Sheet v0.1

First playtest already

Holy kacholey, Dinosaur Cowboys v0.0000001 is fun. Basically I whipped up a character sheet yesterday at work and printed 4 off. Then I got home, set up a bit of terrain and a few mounted figures I had (druid riding a lizard vs. goblin riding a winged lion ftw!) and played 3 small “battles” using only my brainstorm rules. The first two battles were between a Duster and Neotechnoist (Duster won both because of some overpowered weapons), and then both of them against a generic enemy dinosaur (using a plastic toy thing I got from a museum).

But yeah, lots of fun. I honestly feel that the game is a return to my teenage roots of Horizon (a fantasy game I made instead of playing D&D). The combat is fast and simple with minimal rolling before you can apply damage. The character sheets are clean with few stats and plenty of opportunity for (relatively) fast playing larger battles.

I still need to start on the ACTUAL rules, instead of just going off a well defined brainstorm document, but yeah, I bet I could be done a first version of this mofo in a single night. Then I get the exciting job of working up background information and maps and cool stuff like that. Weapon lists and enemy lists will likely be the biggest stumbling block, but since I’m working with new material (dinosaurs!) I think I might be more motivated. Plus the idea of having a giant book of foes is enticing.

Heck I remember my Horizon enemy book, it was about an inch thick and stacked with pages and pages of enemies in a crude, simple format. I don’t even think it was organized alphabetically, and I made all the stats up off the cuff, but somehow everything was still balanced and workable. I got to know that book so well that I could just turn directly to common foes like Black Bears and Goblins and stuff. Man what a blast.

But anyways, here are the notes from my playtest, some of which is painfully obvious but you don’t realize it until you actually sit down and start rolling dice.

+ Notes from December 01 Playtest

- Damage Track is written in pencil, and marked off in pencil, so erasing is an issue
 - Use sliding counters instead?
- Write Current AR and Current Movement formula below field?
- Need a hint for Armor Name location by Armor Rating
- Need a space for Current Melee Attacks under Dinomount
 - Might want to keep all temporary fields in one place, or formatted the same
- Need rules for transferring extra damage from downed Dinomount to rider, before they dismount
 - All extra damage goes to rider? ie: 5 damage, 2 track boxes left, 3 goes to rider?
- Clarify reload rules...
 - Basically you spend your whole firing phase reloading a single gun
  - OR you can fire another gun, but the unreloaded weapon remains unreloaded
 - Recommend just marking an 'R' beside the weapon column on character sheet
- Need a second divider line on all Current boxes, to store the starting value
 - ie: HP: |__|______
- Call firing phase 'Action Phase' and include item use (such as healing kits)
- Switch Current HP back to left side so it's easier to write around damage track counter
- Consider having Henchmen / Followers on the same "mini sheet" as generic enemies
 - Makes sheet shuffling less of a hassle
 - Could even fit 3 Followers (the maximum?) on a landscape spreadsheet full of mini sheets, maybe
- Added bolded letters for the 'M' in Movement, for example, to help understand Damage Track markings

A batch of notes

I did some more brainstorming and combined all my rambling notebook pages to come up with a rough document containing some of the core ideas of the game.

The best part is I TOTALLY just realized I can play an early, early, early version of Dinosaur Cowboys using this info, plus the left over information rattling around my head.

+ Combat

- # of Attacks in D12s
 - Modify -1 Attack at Long range, +1 Attack at Short range
- To-Hit based on Armor Rating of target
 - Give +1 AR in cover
- Roll all Attacks, count each one >= target AR
 - Any 12s (Criticals) count as two
- Add base damage of weapon to total count
- Apply result as HP damage to target

- Close combat handled the same way, roll Attacks of Melee type weapon, damage as normal, etc.
- Get a free attack on a foe moving out of combat, but no one is locked into hand to hand
- Some sort of Charge move, maybe 2xMovement? Results in +1 Attack on Charge

- Dino mounts give +Armor Rating, +Movement, +Attacks (in close combat)
- Dino mounts use damage tracks, foot targets use plain HP
 - eg damage track: [ |M| |B|A|AR| |HP| ]
 - X = Dinomount Dead, M = -1 Movement, B = Break Test, A = -1 Attack, AR = -1 Armor Rating, HP = -1 HP to rider
  - OR have -1 HP every hit on the dino, which means from an 8 damage attack the dino basically absorbs 7 damage
- Dinomounts don't die, they are just removed from play for that battle and must be revived later

- Combat example:
 Firing a Laser Revolver (A=3, D=2) at Short range (+1 Attack) at a target (AR=6) in cover.
 Roll 4D12 (3 base Attacks, plus 1 for range bonus), get 8, 6, 12, 3
 Need a 7 (6 AR +1 for cover), so 8 and 12 hit, so 2 hits. But 12 is a critical so count it for 2, so 3 hits
 Add base damage of the weapon (2) to the total hits (3) for 5 damage.
 Reduce by 5 the target HP or apply to Dinomount damage track

+ Weapons

- Reload when X number of 1s rolled (for example 2 1s if the Reload value is 2x1)
 - Have to spend the whole next firing turn reloading
- Firing into close combat is no problem, hits desired target as normal
- Some weapons have a blast radius (eg: 2" Explosion)
- Allow +X weapons, like "Plasma Rifle +1"
 - Must specify what is increased, for example Laser Sniper +1A would add 1 Attack
 - Can increase Range, Attacks, Damage
- Also allow prefixes that give Special? Like Explosive Bolt Gun would have a blast
- All weapons have a level requirement on them, one of the motivations for levelling up

- Weapon statline example:
 S/M/L = range / distance
 Sm/Md/Lg = size
 Laser/Plasma/Gunpowder/Melee = type
 Requirement is in levels
 Some weapons have minimum ranges
 Standardized Special attributes

 Name             S    M    L     Attacks     Damage    Reload    Size    Type    Requirement   Special    Cost
 Laser Revolver   1-3  4-8  8-12  3           2         1x1       Sm      Laser   1             N/A        $10
 Katana           Close Combat    2           4         N/A       Md      Melee   2             N/A        $12
 Bazooka          X    6-10 10-14 1           6         N/A       Lg      Gun     5             2" Blast   $30
 Plasma Gatling   1-7  8-14 14-20 6           1         3x1       Lg      Plasma  4             N/A        $20
+ Movement

- Double cost to move through any rough terrain
 - ie: Move 4" over 4" of flat terrain to edge of a forest 8" long, would cost another 16" to move through it
- Can't move through any other models (friend or foe)

+ Turns

- Roll for surprise (D12) to see who goes first
- Whoever gets higher goes first, rotate turns from there
- Turn consists of Movement and Combat

+ Skills

- Have a generic Skill bonus for each character
- To do a task, roll D12 and get >= Skill to succeed in the check
 - Examples: climbing, lifting something, lockpicking, swimming, etc.

+ Traits

- Bonus perks or feats chosen from a list every few levels
- All have a level requirement and tree structure to advancement
- eg: Fast Move (2xMovement one turn per battle), Double Shot (more Attacks at less Damage), etc.
- Only real customization done for a character

+ Break Test

- Roll D12, add Courage, if >= Dinomount Fear score then Break Test is passed
 - Otherwise Dinomount can flee, do nothing ("stunned with fear"), or go beserk
- Slots on damage track prompt Break Tests, maybe other situations like ally killed, urging mount to charge off a cliff, etc.

+ Characteristics

- Player example:
 Name: X
 Gender: Male/Female
 Movement: (1-8")
 Armor Rating: 0-12 (3 is default)
 Hitpoints: X
 Courage: +X
 Skill: 0-12
 Level: X
 Kills: X (every 10 = level up)

- Dinomount example:
 Name: X
 Size: Small, Medium, Large
 Movement: +X"
 Armor Rating: +X
 Melee Attacks: +X
 Fear: X

- Generic monstrous creatures have a similar statline, but don't use a damage track and have custom weapons
 - eg: Sabretooth Cats, Giant Lizards, etc.

+ Level Ups

- Based on # of kills
- Dinomounts never level
- Perhaps 10 kills per level?
- Gain +1 HP every level
- Gain +1 Skill every 2 levels
- Gain +1 Bravery OR +1 Movement every 3 levels
- Also a level requirement for weapons

+ Money

- Money is a Neodollar
- Printed and controlled by the Neotechnoists, but some slips out into the poorer Wastelands
- Still use '$' sign

+ Miscellaneous

- No food / water tracking
- Time is tracked by day, month, year, but just day / night for time of day (not hour by hour)
- Travel is X miles = X" Movement score (so a total of 18" Movement would be 18 miles per day)
- Use slightly modified USA maps
- No limit to weight or inventory maximums, but limit weapons by sizes, and only 1 suit of armor
 - ie: maximum of equivalent of 2 Large weapons (and 2 Medium = 1 Large, 2 Small = 1 Medium)