BWG Online Character Sheet "The Scribe" v1.0

NOTE: Version 1.1 has now been released, which includes a couple of bug fixes and some minor formatting cleanup.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, brought to you by somewhat popular demand, I am pleased to introduce to you the newest member of our character sheet family: The Scribe (v1.0).

This is an online character sheet for Burning Wheel Gold, in the form of a Google Docs spreadsheet template. It’s still a little rough around the edges, but it works serviceably. I’m by no means a spreadsheet expert, all self-taught in that regard, so go easy on me!

[ul][li]Up to 98 skills! (Upgradable to an infinite skill list, but really, 98 is overboard already…)
[/li][li]Automatic calculation of tests needed for advancement
[/li][li]Automatic statblock generation[/ul]
To access this template:
[ol][li]Log in to your google account, and open Google Documents.
[/li][li]Click on CREATE --> From template…
[/li][li]Do one of the following:
[/li][li]Copy/paste the following url into the address bar: [noparse][/noparse]
[/li][li]Alternatively, copy/paste the following template name into the search field: Burning Wheel Gold Online Character Sheet (“The Scribe” v1.1)
[/li][li]Click Use this template[/ol]
I apologize for the pain in the ass of having to follow these steps, but I currently have no way to link to the template itself.

More information is provided on sheet 1 of the template (which you can delete after reading). Any feedback you can give me would be greatly appreciated! I will update this spreadsheet with more functions at a later date, once I finish designing my regular-old pencil and paper character sheet (which is something I’m a bit better at doing).

Edit: It may not be readily apparent what the automatic statblock generation is all about, as the statblock sheet is empty when you first open the template. Here’s what it looks like once you’ve filled in the other three pages:

Still a bit of work to be done to clean it up nice, but you get the idea. Enjoy! ^^

I’ve tried it multiple times and any time I try to use the template it tells me that the spreadsheet can’t be copied.

Edit: It works if you create a new document using the “from template” option, but not if you click the “use this template” button on the page linked above.

Ack! Thanks for letting me know! I have no way of determining that myself; since I was the one who created the template, I can create a document with it directly via the link. I updated the first post with instructions on how to access this template. Do they work for you?

For the record, I’m not really the hugest fan of Google Docs. The site’s a bit buggy and slow at times, and doesn’t play well with my Mac. However, it does serve a very useful purpose, so I use it when I need to.

I created this template primarily because I will soon be starting an online solo campaign with a friend of mine. He lives nearby, so we might be able to meet for the odd session, yet we’ll be doing most of our gaming via the internet, and will both be using a range of ways to connect (desktops [home and work], laptops, smartphones, iPad). Google Docs is perfect for our needs, and with the option to print a character sheet from the statblock, can be used for tabletop as well. I hope there are other Burning Wheel players that will find this template useful for similar purposes.

I’ve updated the first post with an image of what the fully generated statblock looks like. I couple of errors I noticed:

  1. The three Instincts are supposed to be separated by line breaks, but instead show up all on one line. It’s an issue with the CHAR(10) and CHAR(13) functions. I’ll get it sorted out and fixed up for v1.1

  2. The first cell of the statblock notes is formatted as right-aligned, boldface, and 8-point font. You can fix this yourself by reformatting as left-aligned, regular typeface, 10-point font to match the rest of the document. Will be fixed for v1.1

Since we’re noticing errors: I’ve got one character with a statblock that reports a Reflexes of B4.666666666667 despite me entering B4.

Other than that, it’s pretty useful so far!

Yikes! Another one to add to the list… I know what the problem is though. I had started to code in some automatic calculation for stuff like Reflexes, but then quit because my BWG book hasn’t arrived yet, and I’d rather wait to get it right.

I’ll upload v1.1 early next week, with fixes for all the issues detected thus far. If you absolutely need the statblock before then, you can try and fix it yourself by accessing the hidden formulas sheet. The formulas sheet is pretty well organized, shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. Just find the Reflexes box, and replace the code there with the following:


With “shade” and “exponent” being assigned to the corresponding cells on the stat sheet. (Note: when writing a formula, you can navigate to the other sheet and select the cell you want to reference. This will put the correct sheet/cell reference into the formula.)

Thank you! Positive feedback is the best kind. ^^

Version 1.1 has been released. The bugs involving Instincts and Reflexes have been fixed. The formatting for the first statblock notes cell has been fixed. I also formatted the weapons list on the statblock so that you only get the alternating grey lines if you actually have multiple weapons.

A minor revision, except for the Reflexes bug. That was a big one.



This is awesome. Really useful.

Works great on the iPad too which is a major plus.


The neurotic diseased proofreader in me would like Character traits to be (Ch), Die traits to be (Dt) and Call-On traits to be (C-O). Also weapon speed either in full or WS as abbreviated in the text.


Thanks! Great to hear it’s ipad compatible. Do you have to do a lot of scrolling around, or do the sheet borders fit on the ipad screen nicely? I set it up to fit a fairly low screen resolution for desktop PCs. Dunno about how it looks on other devices yet though, so let me know!

Oh, and I do plan on getting an ipad sometime soonish, and will likely do a new char sheet in Numbers eventually. Stay tuned! ^^

Thanks for the feedback; I’ll take it into account when revising for a future update. Also considering changing the trait designators to “Char”, “Die”, and “C-O”, to match the advanced character template on the wiki. Which would be clearest?

As for weapon speed, I’m unsure. It might remain the same. There isn’t enough room to write “Weapon Speed” in full, but labeling it as “Speed” is more informative than the acronym “WS”. Maybe I’ll see if “W. Speed” fits.

At the end of the day, I’m more concerned with making my sheets as informative and useful as possible than with conforming to established abbreviation usage or traditional BW sheet design. For example, take a look at the way stats and abilities are presented. The advanced character template on the BW wiki has stats and abilities taking up two lines, but resorts to abbreviations to fit all the information into such a small space. My statblock has stats and abilities taking up two lines, but with no abbreviations at all. Yes, I know what the abbreviations mean, but it’s easier to process information if it’s written out in full, so long as the presentation is clean and uncluttered. But that’s just my sheeting style. I lean towards the untraditional. The pen-and-paper sheet I’m working on right now actually requires the player to take a pair of scissors to his character sheet. Yes, scissors. You’ll see, it’s actually pretty cool.

Hmm, one question here: How would I go about adding this Google Docs character sheet to the list of character sheets on the wiki, if I can’t link directly to the sheet itself? Annoying to have to clutter up the wiki page with the step-by-step instructions to access the sheet…

It also seems to work fine on my android, although the text gets a bit small if I zoom out enough to fit the whole thing on screen. (phone, not a tablet)

Yeah, I haven’t even bothered checking it out on my iphone. Ha! I didn’t even think of it, actually. I do surf the web a lot on my phone, but the screen’s a bit small for online spreadsheet editing. Maybe a super narrow sheet later on?

Oh, and by the way, I’m totally serious about the high fives. :slight_smile:

Fits quite nicely.


Awesome. Thanks!

Here’s another question for you all: Do you like having the skills and stats on two separate sheets, or would you prefer them to be merged onto one sheet? I’m on the fence with this one. On the one hand, I hate having to scroll around a page to get the information I’m looking for. On the other hand, switching between sheets could be equally annoying.

Alternatively, would you prefer skills, stats, and everything else such as BITs and gear to be on one consolidated sheet? Would require lots of scrolling. However, if you refer to the statblock almost exclusively, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. What do you think?

For me I think it all depends on how it prints up. I prefer to work from print for gaming, and update digital copies later on for a purely back-up capacity.

I don’t think there’s any problem bouncing around the multiple workbooks.

I think in a perfect world for me it would have a worksheet for character burning, a worksheet for quick reference (similar to what you have now), and a worksheet for in play (to make it easy to log tests, etc.).


I designed the statblock specifically for print. Takes up a little over half the page, with lots of room for notes at the bottom.

I totally agree on this, and it is something I’d like to do in the future. Gotta learn how to handle forms first. V1 is bare-bones because I was in a rush to get it out – I have an online campaign starting this evening.

Also, I burned up an NPC last night, and found a few more places on the sheet where formatting was funky. I’ll try and upload a new version soonish.