Character Builder Complete: Celtic is a collection of character record sheets intended to serve as a multi-page character sheet for your D&D (or d20) PC. The word Celtic in the title refers to the graphical style of each page, all of which feature Celtic knot-work borders and other graphics.
There are a fair number of sheets here, ranging from a character description sheet, to spell sheets, to sheets for tracking multiple attack options. Every sheet is nice to look at. The designers chose a font that is stylized without being difficult to read, and the aforementioned borders give the sheets a nice, professional look. Some of the pages contain added graphics, such as the wizard spell sheet, which features an illustration of a spellbook and twin magical staves. These illustrations are well placed, filling what would normally be dead space, and they really add to the sheet?s appearance. Other graphics, such as those found on the cleric spell sheet, are less subtle and tend to distract from the actual information.
The best use of art was found on the equipment page, where different sections featured small graphical representations of what they might contain. One region has a small potion and scroll, which I imagine is where I?d list my character?s potions and scrolls. This is the sort of design that can really increase the ease and speed with which I find things on my character sheet, and thus can really make a product like this stand out from the crowd. I also appreciated the return of the shield-shaped box for listing Armor Class. Maybe it?s all those years of second edition, but I miss that shield! It seems to make finding my character?s AC noticeably faster.
Looking in more detail at the sheets themselves, I found things that I liked and some things that didn?t really work for me. The format for listing classes is one of the better designs I?ve seen in a D&D character sheet. With open multiclassing and prestige classes, it?s not uncommon for characters to have two or three classes. This format is easy to read and easy to work with. Other sections of the description sheet are less useful. The areas for general appearance, personality, mannerisms, etc. were too short to allow any kind of detailed information. Other things, such as date created and bloodline seemed like filler.
Some pages amounted to nothing more than blank lines with titles. Why not include things like racial traits already, with a different sheet for each standard race plus a blank sheet for customized or house-ruled races? Rather than a bunch of blank lines for listing feats, why not a more structured listing for the feat?s name, page number, and perhaps a quick summary? I know I could write all that in the space provided, but I could do the same with a blank sheet of paper. The paper wouldn?t look as good, granted, but it seems like the designers could have given us a little more.
I rather liked the page called ?Tracker.? This is a sheet designed to track the various adjustments a character experiences over level advancement. Things like hit points gained at each level, saving throw progressions, and feat selects all have their place here. I can see this sheet as a tool for planning the long-term development of a character. It would also be nice for the rare instances when it?s important to know exactly what you rolled for hit points at level X. Maybe not the most common thing at the gaming table, but interesting nonetheless.
The spell sheets for the various magic-using classes were some of my favorites. While the information is pretty standard (spells per day, spells known, etc.), the format and graphical additions make for a very nice-looking sheet. I also liked the Spells/Powers sheets, which provide a simple means of recording the basic info of frequently cast spells.
Character sheets, I think, are like art: they?re very subjective. I probably want different things out of a character sheet than you do. Character Builder Complete does a pretty good job of trying to cater to everyone?s tastes with a wide variety of useful sheets. I liked something about pretty much every sheet here, and at least a few will probably get printed out and used as-is in my D20 campaigns.<br><br>
<b>LIKED</b>: The strongest part of this product is the visual design. The sheets are very professional-looking, and the small amount of art generally adds to both the ascetics and the usability. The character building sheets presented here are worlds above the standard ?official? sheet, and would definitely work as a means to track and organize a D&D character in most campaigns.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: With the PDF format as its base, I can?t help but wonder why the designers didn?t better utilize acrobat?s capabilities. There are no bookmarks to help you quickly find the sheet you?re looking for. Worse, why not include editable forms that the user can type to and print out? With such professional-looking sheets, it seems almost a shame to mess them with hand-written character stats.
Finally, while I rather like a lot of these sheets, I can?t help but compare them to a host of very similar downloads available for free all over the web. If Character Builder Complete offered a few more features or a wider variety of sheets (perhaps customized to d20 classes) then they would have likely earned a higher score.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Disappointed<br>