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Publisher Portfolio: Character Sheets

Publisher Portfolio: Character Sheets

This is basically a collection of very nicely-made clear forms - a character sheet, character background sheet, adventure log, colour-coded power and magical item cards and an 'initiative and effects tracker' - designed with the D&D 4e player in mind. All are of the 'print out and scribble on' variety, no advanced PDF tricks to enable you to type in and save details are provided.

Now, these are intended as a 'publisher resource' if you want to include such items in something you're putting together. Pity there isn't space or the capability to insert your logo, or as mentioned above any way to type anything in - if you want, for example, to give your main villain a full character sheet or provide magic item cards for the choice goodies in your dungeon, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Worse, there is the most muddled licence agreement I've seen in a long time. For a start, it requires you to accept it although there's no way to read it before purchase (something that at least in the UK has been declared unlawful for shrink-wrap software). It is not precise as to the product covered - at one point it talks about an 'adventure planner' and then for the rest of the time goes on about 'software'... There is also confusion as to precisely what use is covered by purchase, and what requires payment of an additional licence fee: the grey area being between being a mainstream publisher (who has to pay extra) and an individual self-publishing not-for-profit (who doesn't), it is well-nigh impossible to discover just where in between these two extremes a charge applies. Hire a lawyer next time, or just write in plain English what you are prepared to allow people to do... and in less than a full side of small print!

As blank forms, they are very nice and clear, particularly for personal use. For anything else, learn how to create forms for yourself.

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Reviewed: 19 April 2009