My favorite character sheets are easily the AD&D Player Character Record Sheets, also known as the “goldenrod” character sheets because they were printed on heavy, goldenrod paper.
This is purely a nostalgic pick; some of my first “real” characters for Dungeons & Dragons were written up using these sheets, which came pre-printed in sheets within a folio folder. Each one was a precious resource – you couldn’t simply print more, nor could you go out and find a PDF … because PDFs didn’t exist yet. Nor did the internet. So choosing to use one of these sheets was a commitment, and signified that the character so transposed was special.
Special enough for a goldenrod sheet.
The sheets themselves have all kinds of fun flourishes, like stylized borders, an elf-like boot to capture your movement, and a compact – but functional – layout that easily captures all of your character’s attributes. Since then, I’ve used clones of the goldenrod character sheet for Castles and Crusades, going so far as to print them on golden paper to capture the visual effect. They were fun but the weight of the paper was off. I’m sure there are a ton of internet conversations about these sheets which would tell me exactly what kind of paper to get … but it’s not that high of a priority.
As for the sheets themselves, you’ve got a couple of options for getting them.
- PDF copies of the AD&D Player Character Record Sheets are available through DrivethruRPG.
- The Mad Irishman has 1E clones of the character sheets as free PDFs.
- The Mad Irishman also has a goldenrod-style Castle & Crusades PDF available as a free download.
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A recreation of the goldenrod character sheet. Credit: The Mad Irshman.