Sunday, February 26, 2012

d30 DM Companion Update: Additional Editing Round

I know what many of you are thinking...
"Enough already! We're jonesin' man. We need our d30 fix! What's taking so freakin' long?"

Answer... 3 things. But as you'll see via the notes below, I think the updates were well worth it.

1) In looking at the test print from Lulu, Dave took at look at the layout and remarked how the numbers on one page were bolded where they weren't on most of the others. I'd only done it because the page had a strange layout (because of space requirements) and bolding the numbers allowed me to share numbered columns between results tables, thus conserving space. However, it wasn't until Dave said this that I realized doing this throughout the book would make every page easier to read and, more importantly, use. So I went back through all of the pages and made the numbers bold to aid in readability. (See first sample above.)

2) Based on the way I'd done the shorthand monster descriptions, I realized I'd never done a true and proper job of trying to make sure they had any real consistency for a specific rules version. Given that I want this resource to be useable by anyone running most games (Oe, BX, 1e, LL, SW, et al.), I wanted these stats to be as complete as possible so that if someone didn't have the stats for a specific monster because it's not "native" to their version. However, it also needed to be as stat-generic as possible, regardless of version. That meant I needed to balance out (or "average"?) things like hit dice (e.g., some monsters are stronger in 1e than they are in BX) and movements (oddly, many monsters that are stronger in 1e are actually faster in BX.) Plus there were some other things that, when stepping away and coming back, needed more clarification anyway. (See second example above.)

3) And finally, since there's now going to be a d30 Sandbox Companion, there were a couple of pages from the d30 DM Companion that felt better served in the other book (and I want to avoid too much duplication), as well as a couple of pages of "fluff" that I'd added to the DM Companion to adjust for page count (especially since Lulu doesn't print interior covers- ugh!) that really just felt like needed to be removed. Also, I wanted each spread (2 pages next to each other) to be as complete as possible, throughout the book. This meant a couple of hours of playing around with re-pagination. For example, in these first versions, the monster descriptions took the 2nd half of 1 spread, a full spread of another, and the 1st half of a 3rd spread. Now those 4 pages aren't spread across 3 spreads (6 pages) and appear in just 2 spreads. The whole book is like that now. What's left is a tight piece of pure meat (that's what she said.) I do not feel like there is a wasted page in the book. I do not believe in "spreading shit out" to make the buyer feel like they're getting a higher page count for their money. I believe in giving DMs a useful tool that requires as little page-flipping as possible.

And all that's left to do now is...

1) Finalize editing the descriptions for human/demi-human encounters (an extension of the monster descriptions from #2 above)

2) Move the page numbers back to where I had them originally (long story short, I moved them thinking it would make it easier to use, and it didn't so they have to move back.)

and 3) Rework the back cover illustration. Dave remarked that it felt like the guys and background were more interesting than the statue, and he was right. Hopefully, I can just redraw the statue portion and photoshop the other elements together.

Start polishing those rhombic triacontahedrons, I'm getting close.

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