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Old August 30th, 2011, 05:56 PM
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Okay, so I've been tinkering with an adventure I've been writing, and am about to decide on a layout.

So, fellow Travellers, do you all prefer the classic LBB format, the landscape PDF format offered by rpg realms, something akin to the classic D&D format (8.5 x 11"), or some other format?

Or would a plain old PDF file with a bunch of text suit you?
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Old August 30th, 2011, 06:55 PM
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Barring the ability to easily make pdf's, I generally use plain .txt files because everybody can read them.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 08:32 PM
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Portrait orientated PDF in "US Letter" (aka "Quarto) size ... or failing that "A4" size would normally be best. (LBB size PDFs don't work that well.)

Equally important, if not more so, are general typography skills. A clean layout with consistant use of font and font size, plenty of white space where required, etc.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 08:52 PM
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Although I suspect that this may be getting a little off track, something that Hemdian wrote about white space brought up a thought to me.

Basically, not too long ago it seemed that there was a tendency in some RPG books to put a standard border around each page. I guess the thought was to make it look like you were viewing some sort of viewscreen printout rather than reading a book.

A big drawback of this though was that it became very hard to differentiate the pages easily, since they kind of now all looked very similar. To me it was kind of a pain in the neck.

Another similar issue is/was when writers try and put an image/watermark behind the text, which can also make each page look too similar and it can also make it hard to clearly read everything.

Sorry for the rant.


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Old August 31st, 2011, 01:06 AM
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Thanks for the input. The Landscape PDFs that I bought and DL'd from here seemed a little unwieldy for face to face paper-n-pencil play. The printout didn't seem to warrant the style.

I'm thinking of sticking with the LBB basic format, but using my own cover art, fonts and what not.

Having said that, I did a test print, and the basic format looks pretty good.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 04:05 AM
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My Preference is for half-letter (5.5x8.5) portrait PDF.

I find they work great. On a landscape monitor, display 2-pages fit to screen. On an ebook reader, display fit page.

Printed, using Acrobat reader, use booklet printing and get full size LBB's out.

Letter portrait displays, but often is hard to read on ebook readers, and needs two column for best readability printed, which sometimes results in erratic display in ebook devices (especially with 3rd party PDF distillers).

(In other words, I think Hemidan's dead wrong. Mostly due to the format issue for 5.5x8.5 being one that is easily overcome with the standard viewing software, Acrobat Reader, without 3rd party add ons.)
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Old August 31st, 2011, 01:51 PM
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You should do it in a modern ebook format that lets the users control the formatting. Have any diagrams perhaps as addenda.

With all of the displays, formats, and devices today, any strict format that doesn't allow the text to flow is more a frustration than a benefit. It's not like you're making a graphic novel or a coffee table book where layout is that important.

Today, being able to read the document from either a printed format to a 4" phone, a 6" Kindle, to a desktop with 2 30" displays is more important, I think. Being able to change the font sizes for easy readability is important. And there's not a lot more fun than seeing sideways text on a phone that happily rotates it away when you turn it sideways, make it even more illegible.

There is a lot of legacy stuff that can't change, that's just simple fact. But the modern reader market is a lot different and I think new stuff should be much more accommodating.

Focus on organization (chapters, footnotes, etc.) and typography, and let the devices, readers, and users worry about layout.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 01:53 PM
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So, maybe two formats. One for computers, the other for printout?
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