Beautiful layouts are nice but that’s not most important thing.
What I want from an rpg book’s layout is clarity. For example, I don’t want art behind text, making it difficult to read. Sometimes I may have to check a rule during a session and I definitely don’t want the book itself slowing me down. One other thing I like is having some important notes highlighted.
But since many RPGs are released in PDF format as well, and sometimes only as PDF, I’d like to note an element of this format that I highly value. When you decide to release a book as a PDF you should definitely try to take advantage of this format as much as possible. Adding links in the PDF is very helpful. And I’m not only talking about links in the index. If you make a reference to another page, adding a link to it increases the usefulness of the PDF.
D&D 5th edition has a layout that I like, and so does Pathfinder and Star Wars RPG. In fact, all of the RPG books I own have a very good layout. However, I can’t say the same for PDFs. I’d really like to see better PDFs and, hopefully, there is one that will probably satisfy me. I have high expectations of the Open Legend RPG PDF version of the core rules. I had backed the Kickstarter project and so I already have an alpha version of the PDF. It’s very promising, considering it’s just an alpha version.
And that’s my answer to today’s question. I’d really like to know which elements elements make for you a book’s layout jaw-dropping.
Tomorrow’s question is “Share a Pay-What-You-Want publisher who should be charging more.”.
So until then, have fun!