#RPGaDAY 2017, Day 4: The Game Most Played Last Year

Today’s #RPGaDAY question: which RPG have I played the most this past year? Well, that’s Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. We’ve been playing through the Princes of the Apocalypse campaign setting most weeks, a few hours at a time for over a year now, but the cracks are starting to show in the product (and game system) and, well, I’m just hoping we’ll finish soon and move onto something else.

Before the new edition of D&D came out, I was done with the fantasy genre. I hated the complexity of third edition D&D (and 3.5 and Pathfinder) and fourth edition just wasn’t anything that I would have considered “fun”. The only option I was looking at for fantasy role-playing was the Dragon Age RPG, which seemed to take forever to publish set 3, the upper-level ruleset, but I know that was a significant delay due to licensing approvals. We would have been playing that if the licensor would have approved the game in a more speedy fashion. I am confident in thinking the delays in the approval process was what prompted Green Ronin to develop the IP-stripped Fantasy AGE game. However, 5th Edition came out before Dragon Age‘s last book was released and, unlike the previous iterations of the game, 5e played quickly and was actually good for what it tried to do!

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Spine Treatments

When obtaining art assets for books in the roleplaying industry, I have noticed there is a lot of input into getting the interior artwork and cover artwork. With selling pdfs (and other electronic editions) through places like DriveThruRPG, you’ll find that those files have the front cover, the back cover, and the interior. They are usually in that order so you can view the pdf as a two-up document with a separate page for the front cover, preserving the page spreads in the printed work. What seems to be forgotten — or at least not considered fully — is the treatment for the spine of the book. I find this odd, because at a store, your book is more likely to be shelved spine-out.

I hadn’t really noticed this until I developed the cover for Magpie Games’ Urban Shadows. For that book’s cover, we only had the front artwork which was to be placed on a black background. The back artwork was a composite of four of the character types, combined specifically for that space. We used an interesting typeface for the logo (and some chapter headings) with a white fill at about 85% opacity, re-purposing it for the spine. I wanted to make it big, bleeding over the edge of the printed spine. As a happy accident, this wound up looking amazing on bookshelves.

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