18 April 2008

RPG form factor

There’s something very appealing to me about saddle-stitched role-playing games. (And other kinds of games too, I suppose.)

Saddle-stitched” is a fancy way to say “bound by staples”.

Stapling through the center fold, also called saddle-stitching, joins a set of nested folios into a single magazine issue; most American comic books are well-known examples of this type.

I really enjoy my c. 1981 D&D Basic and Expert booklets. My Starter Traveller booklets. Even more, I enjoy digest-sized, saddle-stitched booklets. Like the classic Traveller booklets or the original D&D booklets.

When I flip through a new RPG in a big hardback book or a big “perfect bound”, it seems so unwieldy.

Maybe it has something to do with the simplicity. I bought a saddle stapler, so I can make my own.

One factor may be that a saddle-stitched book can’t be more than about 60–90 pages. (Well, 64–88, since you need a page count evenly divisible by four.)

They tend to be easy to use at the gaming table. They tend to lay flat well, and you never have too far to search when looking for something.

While typing this, I typed “appealling”. The choices my computer offered for correcting it were “appealing” and “appalling”. It seems there’s a short distance between the two. (^_^)

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