People who say you can’t judge a book by its cover don’t read enough books. You totally can judge books by a lot of things. Sure, the actual story and writing inside are what’s important, but you have to get there, first. So while my first impression doesn’t mean much, it does decide on the order of what new books I look at.
On that note, I just got Dungeon World in the mail.
First, as i drew it out of the packaging, I was confused as it looked like I had gotten some thick manga volume in the mail, instead of one of the three RPG books I had on the way. But no, it was Dungeon world. Its a small, fat book. 408 pages. Which makes it the longest RPG book I have. It is smaller though, which reminds me of my Savage Worlds book, which is not a point in its favor. At least, that’s what I think until I flip it open.
See, the Savage Worlds deluxe book I have feels like they took a regular RPG and shrunk it down. The pages feel cramped and the text feels small. Popping it open, I’d say they’re the same point font, but DW has a whole heck of a lot more white space. SW feels like they wanted to have the small book, so they crammed everything in, cutting as much white space as they could. It gives me a headache.
The snark says: “Most RPGs that involve actual reading give Matt a headache…“
Dungeon World, on the other hand, has plenty of space. With nice wide margins. I like wide margins. I like scribbling notes in the margins. Sometimes they clarify, sometimes, they compliment the writer. Other times, they deride a rule or description. Writing in the book is a useful thing. It makes it mine, as well as extends its usefulness.
And you know what invites more writing in the book? The right type of paper. I don’t know as much about paper as I probably should, but I divide RPG paper into 2 types: Glossy and Matte. They might not even be the right words, but whatever. Glossy paper is what they use for colored pages. Its shiny, its slick, and you can’t write on it in pencil and some pens. Your best effort is to leave a mark as best you can and hope you can remember what it means, because there’s no way you’re able to write something legible there.
Matte paper, on the other hand, lets you use a pencil. Which means you can make erasable notes. Dungeon World, in probably a paper-related choice, is just white paper with no extra bits. That means I can use colored pencils as well. Which is awesome!
Another part about wide margins and this paper? I can glue new notes ans sections in if I want. Not sure if I need to, but I could.
Another thing about the large margins: they’re like that on the inside too. That means the book won’t need to lie flat and that’ll preserve the spine. Which is nice. 7th Sea has issues with the spines of its books.
I see also in flipping through there is art. Not sure if I like the style. It does seem familiar, so I’ll have to track it down, I guess. Only the cover is in color. Make of that as you will.
I’m not sure when I’ll get around to checking it out, as I have a vacation to prep for. I might take it on the trip. we’ll see. But from a purely visual standpoint, without examining any content, this book is probably my favorite I’ve seen, with maybe Tiny Dungeon with some similar design.
(Grind: Day 2)