Core Earthdawn Book Layout?

Discussion on the Earthdawn game line, errata, and feedback not related to playing or GMing.
Post Reply
Cosmic55
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:38 pm

Core Earthdawn Book Layout?

Post by Cosmic55 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:06 pm

I can't think of a polite way to approach this, so I apologize if it sounds rude.

I ordered 1879 from my FLGS, never having seen it. When it arrived, I was disappointed in the layout. The phrase "data dump" keeps coming out mind. I appreciate there is a lot of info, and the book is already almost 600 pages, but I had been hoping for something like my 1st edition Earthdawn book. The biggest example is character options: in 1st edition ED it was Discipline on the left page, example character on the right...players could flip through and get a good idea of their options. In 1879, I can't even tell you how many character options there are because they run together....there isn't even an index in the front listing them. I would literally need to go through and write them down/add them up. The truth is, it's on my shelf. For a game I know nothing about, it's just too big a commitment to tackle - again, not knowing the game before hand.

So now I am thinking about looking at the newest edition of Earthdawn. I am just going to ask: if I order this, should I expect a similar small book and stream of words like 1879? Or is it more like the layout I see in most RPGs?

(Side note: I'm sure 1879 is a fantastic game, it's just with no prior knowledge and nobody else around here knowing about it...I can't see myself committing to 600 pages - with no monsters - to see if I like it, or to figure out if my players will. But again, I'm sure it's a fantastic game.)

User avatar
Mataxes
Posts: 687
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:39 pm
Location: The Great Library
Contact:

Re: Core Earthdawn Book Layout?

Post by Mataxes » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:26 pm

ED4 uses the same digest format.

It is a little different in how it presents the Disciplines. Each is a two-page spread:
Swordmaster.jpg
Swordmaster.jpg (207.43 KiB) Viewed 2995 times
So going through to see your "options" is more straightforward. The table of contents also lists them. (The ED4 TOC is two pages, double-column, so it's a lot more comprehensive.) Beyond that, the layout is pretty clean. It's intended mainly as a reference book, and not so much a book you sit down and read cover-to-cover.

Taking a quick look at my 1879 book, I can definitely see where you're coming from. I wasn't involved in its production at all (outside the CoreStep rues framework). I know some of the layout issues are the result of running up against the physical realities of offset printing (page count total, for example, needs to be a multiple of 32) and the physical capabilities of the binder (I seem to recall the 1879 Player's Guide is pretty much at the limit for what our printer/binder can do).

Honestly, I go back and forth on the digest layout. Sometimes I really like it (especially when referring to it on my tablet or phone). Other times it bugs me.
Josh Harrison - josh@fasagames.com
Earthdawn Line Developer, Forum Admin

Personal Website: www.loremerchant.com

Telarus
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:16 am

Re: Core Earthdawn Book Layout?

Post by Telarus » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:00 pm

As a note, the "Example Adept" portion of the layout was collected for the GM Screen for each Discipline, with example stats for each odd-numbered Circle. Very handy to have it broken out like this, it cuts a huge amount of time from NPC creation. I have notes to make a table of attribute modifiers and approximate LP totals to go with it.

Cosmic55
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:38 pm

Re: Core Earthdawn Book Layout?

Post by Cosmic55 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:38 pm

Mataxes wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:26 pm
It's intended mainly as a reference book, and not so much a book you sit down and read cover-to-cover.
I feel like if I was already familiar it wouldn't be such a hurdle for me.

Thank you for the resp Need!

Slimcreeper
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: Core Earthdawn Book Layout?

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:29 pm

I vastly prefer the old larger books.

Post Reply