For me, the height of roleplaying game presentation remains Traveller Classic. The “Little Black Books” (LBBs) were as minimalist as it gets. Digest-sized, with concise text that got directly to the point, and almost no art. They gave you the necessary tools and got out of your way. They were still attractive, but the emphasis was on being practical. Contrary to popular belief, not everything has to be a coffee table art book.
I also liked that each book covered one topic. If I wanted to create a character, I could pull out the character book. To write up a starship, I grabbed the starship book. There was no need to wrestle with a bulky core book, bookmark things with a hundred post-in-notes, or continually flip through a massive index to find what I needed. It was super-easy to throw the books into a bag and take them wherever my group was playing.
The Height of Roleplaying Game Presentation
My design mantra for DXP has been “that but in hardcover.” The only flaw in the LBBs was that they were folded and stapled. I couldn’t put them on a bookshelf, read the spines, and grab the volume I needed. Riding around in my backpack left them tattered. That’s why the DXP print-on-demand option is going to be A5 (bullet journal-sized) hardcovers.
Each game line will be color-coded to stand out. System-Neutral books will be blue. DoubleZero, yellow. Hippogryph, green. They’ll sit nicely together on your shelf. Because they’re durable hardcovers, they’ll handle heavy use and travel. I am very much designing the books that I want to use.
Word cannot express how excited I am about this. I promise there will be tons of pictures once I get the proofs and the final products. Together with the complete remastering of all core books, this is going to be awesome!