Dungeons and DragonsForge EngineGame PublishingOnyx SkyPlaytestPODRPG

One ‘big’ book, or separate player’s and GM’s books?

My last RPG, Forge Engine, was 65k words. Using a 9pt font, this resulted in a 144 page PDF and a 288 page 6×9 inch digest size print book. In its physical form, the Forge Engine book is near the outer limit of ‘usable’. For reference the Forge Engine book is about the size of the D&D 4th Edition Essentials Heroes of the Fallen Lands book (360 pages), and about the size of the Dungeon World digest book (400 pages). The variation in thickness of these books comes from the paper stock.

So, when I started working on Onyx Sky, I wanted to do a quick and slim RPG.

I’ve kept the same PDF/digest book format (as I do with all my games), but I bumped the font to 10 pts to improve readability.

I’m currently on the home stretch of development, and I’m ALREADY at 57k words, and 141 PDF pages:

Onyx Sky – Playtest PDF – 2021-01-30

It looks like Onyx Sky will end up around 65k words (once I’ve done the Adversaries), and probably around 150/300 pages.

Which leads to the question; as a consumer, would you prefer a single larger book, or one split into two books/products.

If I split it into two books, the Onyx Sky Player Guide would be page 1 to page 78 of the current PDF, giving a 160 page print book. And the Onyx Sky Game Master’s Guide cover page 79 through to the end of the current PDF, with more pages of adversaries, giving a second 160-ish page print book.

Splitting the game into two books also raises a bunch of questions about the pricing for the PDF(s) and for the print book(s), if I decide to charge for the PDF.

What do you think? One chonky book, or two slim-ish books?

Or are the print books irrelevant, and you prefer a single PDF without any shenanigans?

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