Grapevine has many different character sheet windows, each of which can hold multiple pages of information. Rather than go over each field of each window, this is an overview of the common features you’ll find.
- Character Name. This appears at the top of every character sheet window. Click the “Name” button beside it to rename the character.
- Category Tabs. Below the character name are a number of tabs, under which items on the character sheet are grouped onto pages; click on a tab to switch to its page.
- Menu List. When you click on any field in Grapevine, this list on the left will fill with data you may choose to add to the character. Clicking on any item in the menu displays it in full beneath the list. Double-clicking on any item serves the same purpose as the “Add” button.
- Add. Click this button to add the selected item from the menu to the character sheet. If the selected item is a Trait of any type, the number of the corresponding Trait on the character sheet will increase by one. If the selected item is actually a submenu, the menu window will fill with new data and you’ll have to choose another item. If the selected item is “(top)”, you will be taken to the top level of the menu.
- Remove. This button removes the Trait you have currently selected on the character sheet, or clears the field you last clicked.
- Add Note to Entry. This button adds a note in parentheses to the item you selected on the character sheet. You can use this to annotate a character’s PerformanceAbility to Performance (Singing), for example, or add a line of detail to a Merit or Flaw. If you want to erase a note from the selected data, click Cancel.
- Custom Entry. This button displays a window that allows you to add data of your own creation. In the first field you type the data you want to add: perhaps a custom title like Eldest Homid or a custom Negative Social Trait like Harmless. If you’re adding a Trait, you can adjust the number you want to add in the next field. The last field allows you to provide a note. A box at right displays the data as it will appear when you add it. Click “OK” when you’re done.
The arrangement of information on the character sheets is different for every supernatural race, but here are the basic tools you’ll work with:
- Fields. A field is a single item of data with no associated number; Clan, Nature, Demeanor, and Player are examples of fields. Click on a field and the menu will fill with possible values.
- Custom Fields. Custom fields list nothing in the menu window; their values are user-defined. Type your own information into any custom field, such as Name, Character ID, or a mortal’s Title.
- Number Fields. Number fields have a single number you can change with arrows at its right. Generation and Spirit Notoriety are examples of number fields.
- Temper Fields. Temper fields are like number fields, only they display a number of dots as well. Tempers, which include such values as Willpower, Blood, Rage, and Glamour, have both permanent and temporary ratings. By default the arrows at right edit the permanent rating, but by clicking the field directly you toggle on and off a display of the temporary rating. While the temporary value is visible, the arrows edit the temporary rating. If either the permanent or temporary rating becomes greater than 10, the display of dots becomes abbreviated: each large dot that appears equals five small dots.
- Check Box. This simply signifies what a character is or is not — like an NPC.
- Trait List. This is what you’ll use for Physical Traits, Abilities, Backgrounds, etc. Items in a Trait List are displayed according to the format Name xN (Note), whereN is the number of Traits. When you click a Trait List, the menu window fills with potential values and two small buttons marked “+” and “–” appear above the list. Selecting a Trait and clicking those buttons increases or decreases the number of the Trait.
- Trait Maximums. Physical, Social and Mental Traits may have Trait Maximums associated with them: these maximums are displayed beneath the corresponding lists, and are editable with small buttons marked “+” and “–” that appear beside them. Changing one changes the others as well, unless you have selected the option “Edit Physical, Social and Mental Trait Maximums separately” in your Game Settings.
- Variable-Cost List. This is the kind of list used for Merits and Flaws. Items are displayed according to the format Name (N” if there is no note or Name (N, Note) if there is a note, where N is the cost of the item. Clicking a variable-cost list populates the menu window and displays the “+” and “–” buttons. Selecting an item and clicking those buttons increases or decreases the cost.
- Simple List. This list is used for Disciplines, Gifts, Edges and the like. No cost or number is associated with the items. Clicking this list populates the menu window but does not display the “+” and “–” buttons.
- Long Text Field. A long text field is where you can type multiple lines of information. Equipment and Notes fields are of this type.
The following fields are some you’ll find on every character sheet:
- Name. A field for the character’s name.
- Player. A field for the player’s name. The menu for this field comes from the player information you’ve entered.
- Character ID. A custom field for any kind of character ID you’d like to use.
- Status. By default, this is set to Active; it reflects the current status of the character in the game. Keeping this field accurate will help Grapevine automate many tasks for you. Other statuses include Absent (if the character will be missing for just a session or two), Inactive (if the character is out of the game, temporarily or indefinitely), and Dead (if the character was killed).
- Experience Unspent/Earned. Clicking this field takes you directly to the Experience tab of the character, where the character’s experience history may be edited.
- NPC. A check box signifying whether this character is or is not an NPC.
- Notes. Every game has different needs. If the character sheet has no other place to record some important information, record it here.
Another tool available on character sheets is the Trait List popup menu. Right-click on any Trait List to summon this miscellany of functions that advanced users may find useful. The choices that can appear on the menu include:
- Add random entries. Select this function and specify a number to add a random set of menu selections to the list.
- Randomize these entries. Upon selecting this function, you will be prompted for the number of Traits you would like the list to hold. No new Traits will be added to the list, but the number associated with each entry will be randomized so that the total adds up to the target you specify. If your number is less than the Traits in the list, some will be randomly removed.
- Change display. Traits in a list can be displayed in a number of ways — choose this function to experiment with a new display style for the list.
- Turn alphabetization on/off. This function toggles whether the list is kept in alphabetical order, or in an order you specify. New entries are added to non-alphabetized lists in the order suggested by the Grapevine Menus.
- Make entries divisible/indivisible. Most Traits are divisible: Stealth x5, for example, can be divided into Stealth x2 and Stealth x3 and the meaning doesn’t change. But some Traits are not divisible: Enemy (5) has a different meaning from the pair of Enemy (2) and Enemy (3). This function toggles the divisibility of the entries in a list.
- Remove all. Completely empty the Trait List.