How to Use a D&D Character Sheet: Make Your Adventure Better

Welcome, brave adventurers, to the world of Dungeons and Dragons! As you embark on epic quests, battle fearsome monsters, and uncover ancient treasures, a well-maintained character sheet is your trusty companion. If this is your first time using a fillable character sheet form for the 5th edition, we'll walk you through the essential steps on effectively using a form fillable character sheet. At the end, we will also discuss a new way of doing Character sheets called the Adventurer's Atlas, designed to improve your character experience.

Understanding the Character Sheet

A standard D&D character sheet is a document that records all the essential details about your character. Think of it like your character's resume in the fantasy world. This covers many things that make up your character, but the standard format can be overwhelming due to its overly compact design. With this in mind, we will break down the layout and discuss all the main sections with the most impact. 

Character Information: This area includes your character's name, race, class, alignment, and background. It provides a snapshot of who your character is. The main thing when making your character is always to have fun, but if you want to make a powerful character, you must take heed to their race, and the class you choose. For instance, races like Elves are extremely good with Dexterity, making them optimal for classes such as Rogues and Rangers. (We also have an excellent article for Rogue builds Here

Ability Scores:

This section lists your character's six core attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. There are two ways to fill these numbers: rolling for them or using the standard array, which we will focus on. When going with a standard array, you will have six numbers (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8). These scores influence various aspects of your character's abilities and skills. Depending on what kind of character you are making (class, race, etc.), you will want to put the highest number in the section that will give you the most positive influence. For instance, if you are going to be a Paladin or a Fighter, you should put the 15 in your strengths section, as this will be your primary use case in most battles. 

Skills and Proficiencies:

Here, you'll find a list of skills your character is proficient in, along with their associated modifiers. Proficiency in a skill means you're exceptionally skilled in it, often giving you either a modifier or advantages in your rolls. This means that you should have a higher chance to score a higher number, giving you more of a likelihood of succeeding in your actions. 

Hit Points and Hit Dice:

This area keeps track of your character's health (hit points) and the dice you roll to recover hit points during short rests.

Armor Class and Initiative:

Armor Class (AC) represents how difficult it is to land a successful attack on your character. Though this can technically go us as you level up, it is more likely to

 change as you buy or replace your armor. Initiative determines who goes first in combat, and this number will steadily go up as you level up.

Attacks and Spellcasting:

Here, you'll list the weapons, spells, and their respective attack bonuses and damage. It's where you detail how your character deals damage in combat.


This section keeps track of the items your character carries, from weapons and armor to potions and gold coins.

Features and Traits:

Similar to Character Information, it will further explore your character's unique abilities, racial traits, or class features that will be set aside for them due to their race or class.

Backstory and Personality:

While not crucial for mechanics, jotting down your character's backstory and personality traits enhances your role-playing experience.

Filling Out Your Character Sheet

Choose a Race and Class:

Before filling in your character sheet, decide on your character's race (e.g., Elf, Dwarf) and class (e.g., Fighter, Wizard). These choices affect your character's abilities and attributes.

Roll Ability Scores or Use Point Buy:

Determine your character's ability scores using a method agreed upon by your group. You can roll dice or use a point-buy system.

Calculate Modifiers:

For each ability score, calculate the modifier. This is done by subtracting ten from the score, dividing by 2 (rounding down), and then adding or removing any additional modifiers from race or items.

Choose Skills and Proficiencies:

Select the skills and weapons they excel in based on your character's class and background. Note these down on your character sheet.

Add Equipment:

Select starting equipment based on your class and background. Note down weapons, armor, and other items your character starts with.

Calculate Hit Points:

For first-level characters, your hit points are the maximum of your hit dice (e.g., 1d8 for a Fighter) plus your Constitution modifier.

Record Spells and Abilities:

If your character is a spellcaster, list the spells they know or have prepared. Record any class abilities or racial traits that may affect gameplay.

Keep It Updated:

As your character levels up or acquires new equipment and abilities, update your character sheet accordingly. Now, this part can be rather. It isn't easy, but many great online resources can help you answer your questions. The most annoying thing is that as you update your information, the pages will slowly give out over time. 

Final Thoughts

A well-maintained character sheet is the key to a smooth and enjoyable D&D experience. Regularly referencing it during gameplay ensures you're maximizing your character's abilities. With that being said, I created a new way to do less complicated character sheets. After reading this, you may understand more about how standard fillable character sheets have been a thorn in the side of adventurers for far too long. This is why I created a new type of fillable character sheet called the Adventurer's Atlas. It is truly a game-changer. With a meticulously crafted binder format, this journal offers you an expanse of space, inviting you to pen down your tales, strategies, and musings to your heart's content. This isn't just about freedom – it's about empowering you to craft your notes in the way that resonates best with your unique journey.

But here's where the true enchantment lies – the pages are reusable. Through a remarkable feat of paper engineering, we've developed specialty pages that mirror the tactile delight of standard paper. Yet, these pages possess the magical ability to relinquish the marks of ink, offering you the freedom to rewrite your narrative repeatedly. The Adventurer's Atlas isn't just a journal; it's an invitation to make your mark on endless stories.

Dive into a realm where innovation meets elegance. Embrace the future of note-taking and rediscover the joy of chronicling your adventures.

The Adventurer's Atlas: Your Quest, Your Way, Your Legacy." Find out more Here

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.