Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Digest Sized Player Handbook

Making your own digest sized booklet is like a Jedi making their own lightsaber right?

I took all my streamlined handouts and mashed them together to make a booklet. Unfortunately it is not wirebound like I planned, maybe the next draft.

It was a pain in the rear to do because I probably did it the hardest way possible. I started with Open Office, flipped the page to landscape, made two columns and started editing my one page handouts to make them fit nicely in the two column layout. But to make a booklet work, the pages have to be in a different order, so I had to, then, cut each page and place them into a new document in their respective place.

I was trying to have just what a player new to Swords & Wizardry would need to make a character. So, those new players are the intended audience. It doesn't contain too much explanatory text, though, because I assumed I would be there verbally walking them through it.

The picture above is pretty bad, so here is a link to the pdf I printed from if you're interested. (the pages are in the wacky booklet order, though). Very house ruled. I edited cleric spells and magic-user spells a little. I threw my rogue class in the back in case someone just couldn't be satisfied with a fighter that steals.

It was fun. I love the homebrew aspect of the OSR. I want to run this through another draft. Having made it I want to make something a little more sophisticated. Watch out OSR publishers! :)


  1. I love the artwork, how did you arrive at the artwork shown?

  2. Scouring the web for public Domain art. The Back cover came from a recent find, this book here: http://www.archive.org/details/dictionnairerai03violuoft

  3. No need to re-order the pages so that your booklet comes out correctly, Telecanter. Just re-edit/re-combine the documents into digest size and export the PDF. From here you have 2 options.

    1) The newest Adobe Reader 9 can print to a booklet format as an option. Easy peasy.

    2) Upload your PDF to www.bookletcreator.com. It will give you back a new PDF with the pages properly organized, and laid out on the paper size of your choice (frex, 2 digest on 8.5x11, or 2 letter on 11x17) then you can just print it out double-sided.

  4. Thanks MercerMachine!

    @ Koren n'Rhys: Thanks, I knew about that site and tried it out, but what it did for me was just shrink a normal page to digest size. So everything gets tiny.

    I suppose I could make it work by making normal pages with the fonts/pictures scaled up by about 50%?

  5. Very nice - and inspiring. The idea of a house rules digest to go along with my other LBBs (or LWB's now that I have BHP's box set) makes me want to gather together my own custom and borrowed stuff and put it together. I'm sure it would force me to mentally organize it further too. Then again, it's tempting just to use the .doc version of the S&W rules and paste in/edit my own stuff so it's all in one place. Or do so and split it up into various books like OD&D.

  6. @bulette: Thanks, your Perfect Purple Box was inspiring to me.

    The boundaries of squishing stuff into a booklet will definitely force you to organize/rethink certain things.

  7. Wow, great work! I need to make something like this. 2/3 of the people I DM for love gaming but don't own any D&D books. This would be a perfect reference for them...

  8. Thanks. And because they are small and pretty cheap, you can just hand them out for players to keep. That's what I did.