Character Sheet Tips and Tricks

Character Sheets allow you to use a digital sheet that's similar to a traditional paper character sheet while playing your game in Roll20. The creator of a game can choose a character sheet template when setting up the game, and all characters in the game will use that sheet template.

Choosing a Character Sheet

Starting a New Game

When starting a new game, you have the option to choose the Character Sheet you want to use from the handy drop-down available on the New Game creation screen. The Character sheet template can be changed after game creation as well. If you're making a game that's a copy based on an existing Game, the copy will keep all relevant character sheet information to match the original. Finally, you need to click the (I'm Ready, Create Game) button to save.

Are you a new D&D Player?

If you're a new D&D player playing on Roll20, this is the tutorial for you. We go over everything about our D&D 5e Character Sheet from rolling ability checks to casting spells and much more. 

For an Existing Game

To change or add a Character Sheet, the Creator of the game should visit the Game Settings page. This page is accessed from the Settings dropdown on the Game Details page. Links to the Game Details pages of games that you belong to can be found on the My Games page.

In the Character Sheet Template section, select a template from the dropdown. Pro subscribers can also choose Custom to enter their own HTML and CSS. Finally, you need to click the (Save Changes) button found at the bottom of the screen.

You may need to remove any Attributes that you already have on your existing Characters if they conflict with the names of the attributes on the sheet template's auto-calculating values. If you are seeing weird results with rolls from the sheet, remove your attributes.

Character Sheet Basics

Drag and drop sheet buttons to the macro quick bar.

If there is a character sheet template enabled for your game, there will be a new tab on when you open up a Character in your Journal labeled "Character Sheet". Clicking this tab will open the Character Sheet. The layout and look of your sheet, as well as what fields are available, will be determined by the template that the creator of the game has chosen.

The most basic way to interact with a sheet is simply by filling in values. You can type in text boxes, choose from drop-down menus, use checkboxes and radio buttons, etc. As you fill out the sheet, all of your changes are automatically saved.

Some fields may have default values already included. You can modify these values as needed for your particular Character. Some fields are also auto-calculating. As you fill out other parts of the sheet, those fields will auto-update to reflect their new values. You cannot modify those fields directly.

Quick Access

You can quickly navigate to a tokens character sheet or their bio and info tab by using hotkeys! If you hold Shift or Alt while double clicking a token it will open the character window to a specific tab.

  • Holding Alt while double clicking will open the "Character Sheet" tab immediately
  • Holding Shift while double clicking will open the "Bio & Info tab" immediately

Repeating Sections

In addition to fields, your sheet may feature repeating sections. These are sections (for example, the "Skills" section in the example sheet shown to the right) where you can put more than one item in a list. Just click the "Add" button beneath the section to add a new entry. You can click the "Modify" button to delete existing entries.

Sheet Rolls

Your sheet may also feature roll buttons. These are pre-defined rolls included with the sheet which allow you to quickly make attacks, roll checks, etc. These rolls will use the values that you have filled in on the sheet to function, so they're always up-to-date.

To acquire the contents of a sheet roll button:

  1. Click on the sheet roll button.
  2. Focus the Text Chat's input box (by clicking into to it, or using the Advanced Shortcut). When it's focused, a blue outline appears around it.
  3. Press the up arrow key on your keyboard.
  4. The contents of the sheet roll button will then populate the text chat input box.

To acquire the Ability call corresponding to that sheet roll button, drag the sheet button down to the Macro Quick Bar, click on what you just dragged down, and then complete steps 2 to 4.

Drag and Drop Buttons

You can drag and drop sheet buttons to the macro quick bar. Buttons may be dragged directly off of the character sheet and placed onto the Macro Quick Bar at the bottom of the screen, simply by clicking and dragging the button into place. The buttons can be removed by dragging the button out of the quick bar into open space, the button will turn red and then vanish when the mouse is released. Please note, if you have the pop-out option enabled for the character sheets you must first disable it under your user settings (cog icon) before the drag and drop function will work. You can then turn it back on after you arrange your macro buttons.

To delete a button that was added to the macro bar simply drag the button off the bar.

Managing Character Sheets, Handouts, and Folders

In this tutorial, we go over the different ways to set up character sheets, how to make and share handouts with all of your players (or just one), and how to create and organize folders.

Creating Character Sheets Fast with the Charactermancer

This tutorial is all about the Roll20 Charactermancer. We provide a Charactermancer walkthrough using D&D 5e and show you how to level up, create an NPC sheet, and edit a character sheet directly. 

Connecting Tokens to Character Sheets

Connecting tokens to character sheets and vice versa is easy with this Roll20 Tutorial. We also share troubleshooting tips and tell you how to use multiple tokens for the same creature.

Advanced Character Sheet Usage

Interaction with Attributes

Sheets in Roll20 are a presentation layer for the Attributes system. This means that every field on the sheet is "backed" by a corresponding Attribute on the Character. For example, if there is a field called "Strength" on the sheet, there will also be an attribute called "Strength" in the Attributes & Abilities listing tab. As you update the sheet, the attribute is updated, and vice versa. This also allows you to link the sheet to a token the same way you would link an Attribute to a token, via the "Represents" box on the Token Settings dialog.

Interaction with Macros and Abilities

You can reference sheet values in your Macros and Abilities by referencing the corresponding Attribute. For example, @{Character Name|Strength} would use the "Strength" attribute, which is also the "Strength" field on the sheet (which would have name='attr_Strength' in the sheet builder). If the Sheet has a "Strength" field which hasn't been edited yet by the player, then the result of the variable will be either the default value for the field specified on the sheet by the sheet designer, or it will be "" (an empty string).

Note that at present you cannot reference auto-calculated values or sheet rolls from the character sheet using the auto-complete function (discussed in Macros) in custom macros on the abilities page or in the text chat. You can, however, reference all of them by typing them out manually (for example, /roll 1d20+@{Character Name|STR-mod} for a strength check using the Pathfinder character sheet). You can also create an ability that contains the macro or sheet roll(s) you wish to use, and then you can reference that ability with the auto-complete function. To find the specific name of a given auto-calculated field, read the specific notes about the character sheet you are using. Some sheets have tooltips telling you the name of the attribute, but this is at the discretion of the sheet author.

Interaction with the API

Since all sheet fields are attributes, you can simply use the existing API methods for Attributes to read or update sheet values as needed. Note that if a sheet field has not been edited yet for a Character, that Character will not have an attribute for that field. So be sure to check for "undefined" Attributes when fetching values. Once a sheet has been edited for a Character, the Attribute is available to the API for reading. You can always write to the Attribute even if the sheet hasn't been edited yet by creating that Attribute yourself -- the sheet in-game will update accordingly.

You can get the value of attributes via the following function call. If the attribute has not been edited, it returns the default value, if it is an auto-calc value, it returns the auto-cal formula, not the calculated value. Note that value_type appears to be optional.

getAttrByName(character_id, attribute_name, value_type);

Roll Templates

Roll Templates are a special facet of the Character Sheets system which can be added by the sheet author to provide additional layout and styling options for the display of roll results. See the How to Make Roll Templates article to learn more.

Modifying a Community Sheet

If you run a slightly modified version of a common game system (such as Pathfinder with your own homebrew rules), you may want to modify the existing sheet. To do so, you must be a Pro Subscriber and you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Game Details => Game Settings page of your game (outside of the game). Make sure that the "Custom" option is selected under the Character Sheet Template section. You will see an editor with 3 tabs.
  2. Go to the Github repository for the community sheets:
  3. Find the folder for the sheet you are using (e.g. "Pathfinder").
  4. There should be an HTML file and a CSS file in the folder. You can ignore any other files. Copy the contents of the HTML file and paste them into the HTML/Layout tab of the sheet editor for your game. Do the same for the CSS file and the CSS/Style tab.
  5. Make your modifications. Those modifications will only apply to this game, and they don't have to be approved by anyone else. You can find more information about how to create new fields and other sheet tools on the Building Character Sheets page.
  6. NOTE: If you decide to use a custom version of a community sheet, you will not receive future updates for the community sheet.
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