Following a lot of requests I’m making this simple guide to creating roleplay tokens. This is my guide. There are other guides like it, but this one is mine. Quick note, you can always do this by buying a set of tokens, it’s easier. But sometimes you have to make your own, for example if one of the players create character portraits for all of the characters in the party and you want to use those.
So, how do we do this?
First find a picture you really like. Surprisingly, this is usually the hardest part. You can use a simple Google image search – Note that if you’re doing this just for home use it’s probably OK to download or print screen any picture you want. If you’re thinking about using the images for anything other than private use at home, reconsider. If you take a picture from artists’ site (such as the old favorite deviantart.com) email the artist, complement their art and ask for permission, it’s the nice thing to do.
For our example I’ll take this image of my character Bester Everskill created by Ori Ayalon (thanks!)
Crop the picture to a rough square (Open it using Microsoft paint, select a square, and click the crop option on the top left).
Now open a blank PowerPoint presentation (I’m using Powerpoint, you can any equivalent software such as Google Slides) and insert a simple rectangle into your presentation. Right click the rectangle, select properties and then size. Mark the height and the width as 1 inch (2.54 cm). If the creature is a large creature use 2 inch by 2 inch (5.08 cm by 5.08 cm), huge is 3 by 3 (7.62 by 7.62) etc.
Select your rectangle and choose the “fill” option using a file. Selected the file you’ve cropped and see that the picture fill the square.
Now you should set the border of the square. I recommend a good stout line so it will give you wiggle room if you cut it a bit crooked later on. I use 2.5 points as the width of the rectangle. Now choose the color of the border. It’s nice if it matches the main colors of the character, but it’s more effective if every character in the party have a different frame color, to make it easier to locate every player character in a busy fight scene.
You’re almost done!
Print your presentation.
Now take a pair of scissors, cut out the rectangle and glue it on a piece of corrugated fiberboard (they are sometimes also called chipboard or graphic cardboard). You’re done!
Greater production value – You can laminate your tokens, which is awesome, and lamination machines aren’t as expensive as you think or simply use photo paper when you print.
Different sizes – If your character changes sizes often (our Sorcerer often use Enlarge Person on our Paladin, for example) you can make a larger size token for your character . If you can’t be bothered (or this is a one time use) simply take a bigger token, place it upside down and use it as a base for your character token.
Dice as counters – We use dice when we need to track important numbers relating to a character. Examples: If a character if flying we place a die on it to indicate its height or to indicate the number of images a magician have remaining after casting a Mirror Image spell. How not to get these two mixed up? We tend to use the same die type to indicate the same thing: height is indicated by a d12, a mirror image by d8 etc.
Special thanks to my honorable DM Yotam Defiler Avni who taught me everything I know about making tokens (all tokens in the pictures are his doing).