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Character Builder Complete: Celtic $4.95
Publisher: World Builders Guild
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/20/2006 00:00:00

Character Builder Complete: Celtic is a pdf product from new publishing company World Builders Guild. This is their first product, a character record sheet, and the 'complete' version of the product - two other versions, 'essential' and 'core', also being available which have a lesser number of sheets than the 'complete' version. The term 'Celtic' in the title is a reference to the character sheet style, in particular the borders on each of the 38 pages of this pdf. In the future one would assume to see the same sheet in a different style.

The presentation of this product is very professional. The sheets look very good to the eye, and the covers and overall look of the product is very appealing. It's a high quality presentation on the layout and editing fronts, and the use of original artwork by David Deen enhances to overall quality even further. The artwork is a nice addition to some of the pages, as it presents a visual depicting of the intent of each page or page section. For example, the notes page has a picture of ink and quill.

Of the 38 pages of the pdf, 32 contain the character record sheets, of which, going by the table of contents provided, there are 21 different sheet types. The spell sheets consist of more than one page, and some of the sheets such as the sheet for the details of any adventure contacts are duplicated as well. The intent of the product if for players to simple print out and use those sheets that are relevant to their character. The pages are ink-light and so should make for easy printing.

Judging by the number of sheets and looking through the details of each, there isn't a lot, if anything, that is left out of the product. All the bases are covered nicely, including support for psionic characters. It's a very complete character record sheet, and does a good job of providing all the information that one would expect would be needed to record.

Layout and overall usability of the sheets looks good. Information of a similar type is lumped together nicely and for a given situation you can find most of what you need on a given page. That said, there is not support for any of the features that pdf files could allow, and these sheets are only for printing and then hand-written filling in. It would've been handy to be able to enter in the details on a pdf form, for example, so that the professional looking sheet also looks good with typed text. Character sketches and familiar sketches for which there is room could then make use of custom computer images or other form of image available from a variety of art sources.

Each sheet contains ample room for as much detail as one could imagine to use, with plenty of white space to enter information into. While this is a good idea, it results in a character sheet that will probably be at least 10-15 pages in length, so if you're looking for a short character sheet on a few pages, this is not it. On that note, it would've been extremely helpful to provide an additional sheet that simply provides a summary of important details - kind of like a quick glance sheet to just check something without having to look through the 15 pages of sheet to find what you want, even if that is well organised.

There are a few very good sheets within this pdf, one of them being the tracker sheet which allows you to track progression from 1st to 20th level. This is very useful, although I would've also preferred a way of tracking skill ranks at each level as well. The spell knowledge sheets (for the details of frequently used spells), the multiattack sheet (for characters will multiple attacks) and the sheet for summoned monsters are all very useful and good additions to any character sheet.

Some of the sheets were probably not the best. The spell list for wizard characters, for example, contains six separate blocks of information on one page. These can either be used as single spell levels (in which case there are too few) or for all spells (in which case spells won't be organised by level). The cleric and sorcerer sheets roughly suffer from this problem as well.

Overall I think this is a well-presented, high quality looking character sheet, that players with an attention to detail will find excellent value. Those looking for a shorter character sheet might find the amount of space provided for details cumbersome, but there are some good sheets, and others that may not be so useful and could be considered 'bare' given the amount of white space. Certainly the product could've benefited from using more of the features inherent in pdf files, such as forms.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Very good and professional looking product, with complete character record sheets and some useful additional sheets such as the tracker sheet and summoned monsters sheets. Art was a good addition to the pdf sheets.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The product doesn't make any use of pdf forms so entries need to be printed and hand-written. Some of the sheets could probably have done a little differently to make the more useful, such as the spell list sheets. Players looking for shorter character sheets might not find much use for this product.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for your comments. We agree that Character Builder as a PDF should have editable form fields and bookmarks. So we have upgraded our product. Character Builder Complete now has bookmarks, a linked Table of Contents and editable form fields. We appreciate your feedback, keep it coming.
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Character Builder Complete: Celtic
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