Tuesday, June 03, 2008

On Orphans and Vast, Empty Places

Chris Pramas has a brief comment on the release issues WotC is facing with the D&D core books. More interesting is the layout critique offered by Joseph Browning in the comments:

Yeah, I was really puzzled by all the orphans and the non-justified text. The large amounts of white space in the MM also left me wondering why they didn't put in more information on the monsters that had the white space. It's not like there's not a wealth of history on most creatures after 30 years and providing that information would be useful if they're going after newer players unfamiliar with the game. The lack of a monster by terrain list compounds the "newbie" DM problem as well.

But I think the orphans are unforgivable from a company such as WotC. There's never a reason to have a single word be the only thing on the last line of a paragraph of text - either rewrite or use your software tools to correct. I literally gasped when I saw how many of them there were. That is just bad design and I have no idea how, with so many eyes looking at the product, that not a single person spoke up about the problem. I hope they correct the orphan issues in the future. The orphans, along with the non-justified text IMO, makes the books look less than professional.

They are readable, though, I'll grant them that. But the near utter lack of background material on the monsters is surprising. 4e is the anti-2e when it comes to monsters.

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