Dated: 25 Jun, 2022
For some time now, we have been trying to get our various publications on Print on Demand. It’s been more of a struggle than we anticipated BUT we have FINALLY done it!
Printed copies of the core books SM00 through SM05 are available in hard-copy; some in softback but all in hardback and they are DREAMY! The POD function that DriveThruRPG offer is excellent quality; the hard covers are smooth, beautifully printed and robust. The contents clear and bound well, making the text easy to follow and the pictures quite delightful.
And we’ve thought carefully about what’s in it for YOU, our customer…
We decided that we needed to offer something to make people interested in actually upgrading to the new printed copies rather than the old PDFs but at the same time didn’t want to make the existing PDFs that are in circulation obsolete. What we have arrived at is a pretty good deal for everyone.
The Second Edition versions of the books all include new content, particularly in the case of the Players and GM’s Guides to Dunromin and the World Guide to Barnaynia. There’s new monsters and magic items, new cultures and civilisations, a new character class (the Navigator) and a whole new section on Poisons and their effects. We’ve also re-worked the Witch so it’s a proper character class rather than a sort of hobby.
All this content is now available in the PDF download and the printed copies of the books – all the printed copies include a FREE copy of the PDF as well by the way because, well, why not?
If you have already purchased the PDF copy of the first editions and feel a bit short-changed due to not getting the new Second Edition goodies FEAR NOT! Existing customers can download the PDF of the Second Edition versions of the books they have already bought FREE OF CHARGE! Although we hope you’ll look at getting yourself one of the hard copies too – somehow there’s nothing like flicking through a physical rule-book, possibly with your own personalised notes in the margins. Plus those matching spines look cool on the old bookshelf.
Sorry it’s taken us so long to get here!
People have been asking for hard copies for a long time and it’s something we always wanted to add to the original offering but setting everything up has proved a LOT more difficult and time-consuming than expected. As you probably realise, we are all hobbyists ourselves with “proper” jobs as well and family and real lives that get in the way of everything Dunromin-related. This means that everything always takes a while anyway!
First, we had to get the books into a PDF form that was of sufficient quality for Print on Demand. Easy eh? After all, a pdf is a pdf, right?
Wrong. We were whipped and beaten by the software for our naivete and quickly realised we would have to skill up on Desktop Publishing in haste. I must say, DriveThruRPG themselves have been FANTASTIC as regards supporting us through the process and have been very patient and enthusiastic throughout.
We had a bit of a false start with Scribus as the desk-top publishing app we would use. It’s a brilliant package for a freebie but we found it difficult to learn and the output wasn’t getting to the quality we needed so, after about a year of faffing about with it, we abandoned the idea.
On the recommendation of a friend we switched to Affinity Publisher, which involved spending money (yipes!) although we lucked out and happened upon a special offer and got it for about thirty quid. Nice. Then we had to learn how to use it. Being pretty IT savvy and most of us working or having worked in the IT industry we are pretty good at learning new packages. Plus, there are loads of “how-to” vids on YouTube too. We started work on SM00 first as it was the smallest publication and a sensible one to start with. We hit some problems pretty quickly as some of the maps looked bad in the new format so we re-drew all the temples, which was kind of fun but took more time. We used GIMP for this and are really pleased with the outcome. All our maps are done on GIMP these days.
After a few attempts and some great help from DriveThruRPG we got SM00 done and ready. This was about 2 years ago, in the pits of Covid. As we started work on the other books it quickly became apparent that there was still a lot of work to do. Plus, we began to realise that just moving the existing work onto POD didn’t really do our customers much benefit. We decided to add content to all the books and call the new versions the second edition (as described above).
This meant there was a whole new flurry of work (and delays) on writing, proof-reading and illustrating the new stuff, but it was fun to do. The new content is great and, we think, useful and relevant. We hope you like it!
Now the page count was getting pretty high, which puts up costs, which is something we always try to avoid – we are about value as well as quality. So, we decided to decrease the font size to 11 points and narrow the margins to get more print on the page. This works well and got the page count for SM01, SM02 and SM05 down below 300 pages again. Phew!
It’s been a hell of a ride, very frustrating at times, and it has DEFINITELY taken longer than we had hoped, BUT it’s here!
As you read this the printed versions of the first five books should be on DriveThru’s website and available for purchase. The other books will follow suit soon as well, Mirt’s Folly is first, hopefully with some extra content too – along with a bit of re-writing to address some issues that have come to light since the original publication. ENJOY!
And let us know what you think by commenting here, reaching out to us or leaving a review on DriveThruRPG