by Douglas H. Cole
One thing that my be interesting is to use the extra space to do a running bibliography: Link the monsters to the tales they originate from, with a very concise summary: basically a “what to look for if you’d like to know more”.
e.g. “In Tiara de Ibekungen, the god Kookie sends his Gobolds to stop Redhildem, but she kills them with fire.”
Craig: "Using the X in play" is a great idea. More illustrations is something I want to do, but have to be careful about budget. If we take off but don't reach the Big Dog deluxe set goal, you better *believe* I'll commission more illustrations, maps or otherwise.
This is less of a problem than it is an opportunity. A couple of suggestions for the blank spaces (which could also be incorporated as stretch goals in the campaign): First, monster illustrations are an obvious choice. Second, maps of typical monster lairs. Finally, sidebars containing Norse-themed adventure hooks for the monsters.
Frederick: In that case, no, because printers don't like "live text" that can get cut off in the edge of the page. I MIGHT be able to see about something farther into the "safe" zone. Interesting.
K: Yeah, more art is a nice way to spend "surplus" funds. I can actually put the giant in place right now, since I have an image of an Ettin kicking around.
The prelim monster layout is exactly that, though: preliminary. The space concerns are real, but they're also not remotely finished being worked yet. You make good points about not needing running section titles if we also have titles on each page, so that's a step.
I'll play with a few different layouts with Michael, and report back in a few days.
Could you add a useful market to that little tab, such as a single letter or a pair indicating the section? M for monsters, as an example?
Some extra art would be an obvious, but expensive, use of the white space (as you suggested, a giant _would_ fit in that space). And I have to ask why the Dragon Warrior is not at the top of a column and why your Evil Hound is spread over two columns, while the Hill Giant isn't?
I query the repetition of the creature name as both a title and then above the stat block in some cases... but for consistency's sake I understand it.
I don't think anyone would mind if things like the various types of rats continued straight into each other.
It may be heretical, but few would notice if you massaged the paragraph styles slightly where you're missing a tiny amount of space before text is thrown into the next column - a little less paragraph space here or there, condense the font by a few percent there or here.
If you put your stat blocks (from CR to blue boxes) inside a different-coloured box, you could put them “outside the flow of text”, so it wouldn’t matter whether the description and habitat fall before after or around them. Think G* boxes and pull quotes, which text just continues after.
Frederik: The little tab that extends into the page border is exactly that. It's in the same spot right now, but eventually will run off the page as a section indicator.
Or vertically, along the outside margin, if you don’t want to conflict with headings like Humanoids.
Actually, some sort of section indicator in the outside margin (such as GURPS changing colors) is useful both for flipping through paper copies *and* for skimming through pages in a PDF.
Cut the white space for monsters, starting them wherever, but add a banner at the top indicating all monsters on the page, so readers can skim just this boxed text when looking for a creature.