Character sheets are how we as players record everything that encompass our characters; these sheets are the tool we use to help keep track of all the numbers, features, and items that makes this wonderful game we all share work for our characters. In this article, we’ll take you through how to fill out a character sheet and where you can get free character sheet PDFs, including pre-generated characters for those of you just starting out or stumped for ideas!
How to Fill in a Character Sheet
Should you want, you may grab a standard character sheet here to follow along, you can even edit it straight in your browser! We will be starting off at the top, and then moving onto the left hand side:
- Starting off simple, at the top of the sheet you’ll record your player character (PC) name and other basic details about your character. These are your Class (and level), Background, Race (also known as Lineage), Alignment (e.g. Lawful Good) and your number of experience points (if your DM is using them).
- Now to the body and mind of your PC, your stats! Once you have determined your stats (either by point buy or rolling) go ahead and write them in whatever skill you want to assign them to. The large number (also known as your score) goes in the small oval, your modifier goes in the big box.
- Moving to the right a little, there is a space to mark if you currently have inspiration (a DM given reward), your proficiency bonus (determined by your level, you can check this in your class table), and the sections for your saving throws and skills. Write the modifier for each save and skill next to its name and check the little circle to show if you are proficient in that save/skill or not. For your passive Perception, just use 10+ the Perception modifier you wrote in the skills section.
- Splitting the sheet down the middle we have the fields to record the PC’s AC, Initiative bonus and speed(s). Below that, is where you can track your hit points (current and maximum), temporary hit points, your hit dice and, should you be unfortunate to need them, your death saving throw results!
- Squarely in the middle of your sheet is where you’ll record some notes about your attacks and spells. Here you’ll write a summary which includes the attack/spell name, the attack bonus you’ll add to your roll, and the damage (complete with what damage type it inflicts).
- At the bottom of your sheet you can record your various equipment (armor, rations, arrows etc.), with separate boxes to track each denomination of coin (copper, silver, electrum, gold, and platinum in ascending order).
- The ‘Features & Traits’ box is where you can record your race, background, and class abilities as well as the details of any feats and magic items you may pick up along your adventure.
- The rest of page one! You can throw tool, vehicle, instrument, and gaming set proficiencies in the box on the bottom left (along with the Languages you know). The different aspects of your PC’s personality are divided amongst the boxes in the top right.
Ding, Ding, Ding, Page 2!
This page is pretty straight forward and mostly comprises the backstory and visual appearance of your character, with additional space to record any treasure you plunder and friends (or enemies!) you make along the way. In my experience, this is a great place to make some notes if you don’t have a dedicated DnD notebook (yet).
Page 3, Final Round!
If you’re playing a class that has access to spellcasting, then this page is where you will record the names of the spells you know and track the amount of spell slots you have (and have left as you progress through the adventuring day). There’s space at the top of this sheet to note your spellcasting ability, spell save DC, and spell attack bonus (great for when you’re learning a new character).
Premade Class Specific Character Sheet Examples
If you’re new to the game, are stuck for ideas, or just need a character on short notice, then you might find pregenerated character sheets helpful. Wizards of the Coast provided these filled-in character sheets to go along with the Lost Mines of Phandelver, but can be handy to have for any game (you can even use them as NPCs too!).
You can grab the sheets here and they include the classic stereotypes of DnD: a human Fighter, dwarf Cleric, halfling Rogue, and elf Wizard complete with guidance on how to level the characters up beyond 1st level.
If you’re looking for something a little different, then Wizard’s also provides a variety of prebuilt character archetypes to draw on:
- Human Fighter
- Human Barbarian
- High Elf Fighter
- Halfling Monk
- Drow Rogue
- Wood Elf Ranger
- Halfling Rogue
- Half Elf Bard
- Dragonborn Sorcerer
- High Elf Wizard
- Human Druid
- Tiefling Warlock
- Dwarf Cleric
- Half Orc Paladin
- Human Cleric
- Human Paladin
Pre-printed Character Sheets and Folder
Prefer more of an old school pencil and paper experience, but don’t have access to a printer? Then why not pick up some pre-printed sheets! Even if you have your own printer, you might want to pick this up just for the cool character sheet folder it comes with (a sturdy way to protect your sheets, it even has player tips on the inside!).
DnD Adventurers League Character Sheet
Are you a fan of organised play, or looking to dive in at a game shop near you? Then this sheet is the one for you. It has additional fields for your Adventurer’s League ID number, the faction you aligned with and keeping track of how many permanent magic items you have.
Now you know where to grab yourself a character sheet, and, more importantly, how to fill it out; you’re ready to begin your personal adventure. If you’d like more help learning how to play the game, have a look at our how to play section. If you’d like some tips on how to make the best of your class, then head on over to our character section.