Dire Giraffe releases a second title!

On a whim the other day, I asked another RPG industry designer to take a look at my Dire Giraffe sheets and maybe link to them in a status update on Facebook, if he felt he could recommend my sheets. He accepted the complimentary copy and responded positively in email, saying:

Hey Anne, very cool! I like the half page approach and it looks like a good reorganization of the sheet.

Then he went one further for me:

Just a heads up, there are 3,500 emails going out right now for my new tile set that have a link to your publisher page on RPGNow :)

I got so excited about his support, I put both titles on sale 25% off! If you know someone who wanted to grab these titles, now's a good time to do it. I'm about to go in and make a bundle of the two, for a small discount.

Dire Giraffe Publishing

I finally did it.

I finally managed to get all my ducks in a row and I've published the first of my character sheet designs.

I'm pleased to announce the publication of SAWS+ Character Sheets by Dire Giraffe Publishing. The webpage isn't much -- the logo is still in design right now for one -- but it should link people to where they can buy my sheets. If you have seen these sheets and you like them, please consider clicking on the "like" button for Facebook. This will help me spread the word!


The ENnie Awards ballot closes today. If you haven't voted yet, Vote Now!

I'm a little excited about discovering Epic Words and Obsidian Portal as some of our games are getting very multi-media in nature. Plus, I've become the de facto chronicler of our games (someone buy me an EeeePC!), so I've got journal entries and roleplay votes, loot records... that's a lot of data to be sharing by Wave or email.

Randy's already checking out some of the cool products I've discovered just by voting!

For an actual product, I really liked Battlegraph Dry Erase Boards. I like the grooves in the boards, facilitating straight lines. I like the modular nature of the boards. I dislike the price -- $24 (plus shipping) for 4 boards is a little steep... I'll be watching to see if the market price comes down a little. Maybe when it drops down to $20 / 4 boards, we'll check them out.

Lady Blackbird looks kinda fun. I've only ever played in "high fantasy" settings -- well, Rowan and Randy's new co-DM'd game started as Sci-fi and is bleeding towards high fantasy, but we've only used the fantasy mechanics. So, I'd love to check out Lady Blackbird from a mechanics perspective.

Since we're moving to Pathfinder Rules, I really like d20 Pathfinder SRD (PFSRD). Should be a good resource.

I've also signed up on Pen and Paper Games, despite my desire to bring more tech into how I save my game information. There's still a very strong pencil-and-paper element to the games for me. Especially with my efforts to publish my own set of character sheets for 3.5e and Pathfinder. (One day, I'll finally name them and get that whole ball rolling!)

Totally unrelated to the ENnies, but still gaming related, if anyone out there wants to gift me with something truly impressive, I'll take one of these Sultan Gaming table please. *grin* Doesn't that look cool? Randy disagrees, since it's not everything he wants it to be, for that price. I think he's got more geek-based ideas involving a screen projector underneath with an integrated PC to serve maps and the like. *shakes head* He hasn't managed to complete several other less elaborate geek-based plans, so I'd be glad to "settle" for the Sultan.

If you're a gamer, please feel free to point me to other cool products I may have missed -- just 'cause they didn't make this year's ENnies doesn't mean they aren't cool. I mean, I <3 Skeleton Key Games tile PDFs... and they aren't in this year's nominations.

A couple RPG related "updates"

A long while back, I posted excitedly and extensively about the new character sheets I'd been studiously working on. Believe it or not (I'm always amazed when this happens), someone came across my blog and is interested in how these sheets are working for me. *grin*

We haven't played as much as I would have liked, but I've got to say I love the sheets. It is a challenge finding the data you need since you can order your pages any way you like. I'm trying to create a standard "basic order", which puts the more detailed information to the back and the handier "in combat" information up front. Still, there's a lot of information.

The sheets are layed out in portrait mode on US letter paper (8.5 x 11). Each one is only about half the height of the page, so I have two layed out on one page---no wasted paper! I have the binding at the top of the character. But the Rollabind rings aren't working as well as I'd hoped. They pop off too easily and suddenly, I have a mass of loose sheets which need to be re-collected---and there's no name space on most of the pages!

I'm wondering if there's another method----a small 3-ring binder?---which would work better. I originally wanted to be able to put all the characters who campaign together in the same binding. I could still remove them, but one "book" would bring them all together. The reason I haven't is that I want to be able to flip the cover of such a binder all the way behind out of the way.

My favorite sheet right now is what I call a "Time-Stop sheet". When we call time-stop for the session, I grab this sheet, tally coin treasure and items collected thus far, list the characters in the party, whether they are now available for other campaigns, who's DM/GM for the campaign...and most importantly, Campaign notes which remind me what the hell we were doing the last time we played (which, unfortunately, can sometimes be far and few between!).

For Billie, who recently commented, and a few others, if you'd like to email me at the address on the top right, I'd be willing to send you a PDF with all the sheets (it may actually be a series of PDFs, I'll have to look) and let you play test it.... with the requested expectation of detailed comments on (all?) the pages.

What does "detailed comments" mean to me? Is there enough room in each place for writing what you're expected to? Does the order/layout make sense? Does the page try to do too much? Not enough? Would you move elements around---if so, where and why? Is there a page not here which you think should be? Which page was most useful for each character you tested with? Did you try other bindings? What and how did it work for you? What did you print on --- white? a color? Did you use "generic copy paper" or a heavier paper? Add every little detail you'd like and then some. Try to bore me to tears. As I've said before about this system, I'd like to offer them for sale (just before version 4 comes out, of course!) and I want to know if there's a demand/desire for such sheets.

One neat trick which I've found useful is to take those 3M (or whoever) transparent colored flags, trim the sticky end to an arrow point and set them to the left of the active weapons. For my Ranger who is skilled in two-handed fighting, he's got two flags, each a different color. When I select dice for my hits, I use colors similar to his two flags to represent his left and his right hand hits (since each has different bonuses).

It's interesting this whole topic comes up now as I'm preparing to start Ptolus (finally!) this Memorial Day weekend. My game crew consists of Randy and Nicky, who are also the principle members of my Game Sheet Fan Club. *grin* So, I'm really eager for anyone who wants to play test to let me know.

Hmmm... now that I think about it, I'm not sure where the large Ptolus map ended up post-move. Maybe I should hunt that down this week.

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