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Rulebook draft

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Desprez
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Alright, here's a rulebook draft and layout.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByQRnlgl6uApV1FkMHUxYXBONW8
Let me know if the link isn't working.
EDIT 2: New link, fixed file size.

My immediate concerns are:
1) That it gets a bit dense with text in some areas, and might be overly wordy with explanation - but I'm not sure how else to do it.

2) The battle resolution examples take up over a third of the pages. I feel they are necessary, but perhaps I went overboard.

3) Despite all the explanation, I'm not sure someone would walk away with a clear picture of how it works. In practice, the game moves smoothly and isn't terribly hard to pick up, but perhaps I just suck at explaining things.

4) Capitalization. Certain things like the Gold Card Deck and Melee Attack Die feel like they should be capitalized, but these terms are used so often that all the caps are starting to feel distracting. Advice? (As such, I'm aware I've done it inconsistently until I figure out the fix.)

A few notes:
• I'm not sure why the file size is so large. I think it's the background images. I've downsampled them as much as I can, so I don't know what else to do.

• I'm not concerned with orphans and widows at this point, as I'll fix them once the text is finalized. Other layout suggestions are welcome, however.

• Keep in mind that both left and right pages would be visible at the same time, and I've tried to organize accordingly. But this doesn't come across in pdf format very well. (EDIT: Oh, Preview has an option to show two pages side-by-side, so perhaps other readers do as well.)

• Some info is duplicated on quick reference cards (turn sequences, die faces) but it probably makes sense to put in the rules as well despite adding more pages.

All comments welcome.

Desprez
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Different Format

Fixed PDF file size. It's reasonable now.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByQRnlgl6uApV1FkMHUxYXBONW8

Desprez
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I've made a number of

I've made a number of revisions and did some clean-up.

Here's a new link, and the older posts have been edited.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByQRnlgl6uApYXpJdERpQVF5ZXc

Desprez
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New and improved. Less dense

New and improved.
Less dense layout; lots of pictures added.

Esoteric Fulcrum
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Hi there, I am still getting

Hi there,

I am still getting a prompt about downloading a 161 MB file. Is this correct?

Cheers
Shane

Desprez
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Ugh. No.

Ugh.

No. That appears to be an old file that doesn't exist anymore. So not sure why Google Drive is offering that...

And now bgdf will only let me edit SOME of my replys?? What is going on today.

It should be 274 MB

Try this:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByQRnlgl6uApV1FkMHUxYXBONW8

Esoteric Fulcrum
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Okay. Downloading it now, and

Okay. Downloading it now, and will have a look tomorrow.

Cheers
Shane

Esoteric Fulcrum
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Stream of consciousness

Stream of consciousness coming.

Nice cover page. In fact the layout of the whole book is very good. Nice font, BG and colours. Very easy to read. And the change of BG colour for different sections is a good idea.

Welcome
Love those 2 paragraphs. Great introduction.

Component list should be before Game Set-Up. That way I have "seen" the faction cards and I know there is 4 groups of 15 before I have to get them and find the lore card.

Game Set Up
How do players choose a faction? Random? First in best dressed?

"Place that card in your play area."
You need to define a term like "play area" before you give me an instruction to do something with it.

The other cards, should they be kept face up or down? Shuffled or sorted?

Prepare the lost continent
That actually reads pretty well. Replace "Remove" with "Set aside" and change the first "deal" to "count" or "count out". It's a little bit double handling with replacing one of those cards with the Lost City Ruins, but it's short and to the point.

Guardian Deck
What happens to the Elder Dragon? What does Set Aside mean?

Factions
Is it not important to make the piles equal? Could dealing them out into 3 piles work?

Winning the Game
I think giving the goal (number of prestige points), then explaining how you get prestige points is backwards. If you explain the games action first, and that it results in earning prestige points THEN give the goal, you avoid someone asking themselves, "What's a Prestige Point?"

So, I think the first paragraph should come after the second one, and you need to start with another one which sums up game play.

The third paragraph has a similar problem at the moment. What is my need for income, and how do I earn it? What is the maximum allowed size of my field army, and how do I grow it?

Discovering Lost City Ruins
This seems to be assuming an understanding of the game mechanics that haven't been explained yet. I don't know how to explore or battle and I don't know what "in my control" means. This should either be a briefer summary, or it needs to come after the explanations.

Example set up
Okay, so now I get what you're going for with the Lost Continent cards. The word "deal" is confusing, because it is a short hand to distribute cards to players, especially when you mention earlier in the paragraph, deal 4 cards per player. So, how are the cards meant to be set out. Are they supposed to be square? Should they be in 4 columns, and the number of rows matches the number of players? Does their position matter? Do players move between the cards on their actions, or do they just pick any face down card at random to work with?

I am assuming these questions will be answered as I read the rules, but ideally these specific type of questions shouldn't occur to me as you will have already answered them in the Game Set Up section.

Example Play Area
I think this picture needs to be in the Rules, after you have explained the cards and how they work. Developed areas, standing army, unit reserves ... this just raises a whole new bunch of questions that I'm sure you are about to answer.

Unit Cards
You have used a brand new term here, not mentioned in the Components or the Game Set-up. If these are part of the Faction, then the Faction should probably be spelled out in more detail. If this is synonymous to Faction Cards, then you need to pick one to use exclusively.

You also seem to be explaining how battles work, or armies are built to attack other players, but before you have explained how you could be in a position to be battling other players. This needs to be explained in the order that I, as a first time player, care about.

You explain Area cards next (another new term), and it really seems that they should be before combat, as I think all battles have to occur on an Area Card (Lost Continent card) in the middle of the table.

But before this, I think a quick overview of the action needs to take place. I want to know what I do with my Faction cards to set up; are they all troop cards for battling, or are there other types of cards; do I keep them all face up or am I drawing from a personal deck? And then, what's the action of the game? I turn over a new Lost Continent card or attack another player on an already exposed one? I want to know how to play before you explain specifically what I need to do to play.

Think I might leave this here for the moment. Hope it's been useful.

Shane

Desprez
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Thanks for the input. I think

Thanks for the input.

I think I agree that I should put a summary of the gameplay upfront. That's what some of the early paragraphs were intended to do, but I can see now that I probably should expand on that a bit more. And this will help with the introduction of some of the game terms.

My initial instinct was to have the game set-up in an easy to find place at the start of the book. But it's probably just better to give the overview first.

Some of the ordering might make more sense when viewed in a two page format. When things start to look like a menu - as many rule books do - the first place people usually look is the top right page, and then they go back to the top left and read in more detail. As a general rule, I've tried to organize in a way that keeps topics on page pairs.

Additionally, the turn sequence is deliberately placed to fall at the center page pair of the book - the place the book naturally opens to.

I'm a little concerned that adding four more pages is making the rules a bit long, but I don't see any other way to add an overview. (Pages have to be added in multiples of four.) The overview would at two up front, and I things I can add to the reference pages in back. And this also keeps the turn sequences in the middle.

As far as answers to some of the specific questions you've raised:

In most cases where I didn't explicitly say something, the answer is, "It doesn't matter." Though, I suppose I could be more specific since a player is likely to wonder.

How do players choose a faction? Random? First in best dressed?

Doesn't really matter. I guess I could make this more obvious that players should decide on a way to choose.
As a sidebar, I've seen some strong objections raised by people who would rather instructions explicitly state a way to determine who goes first, etc. But I've honestly never really understood the problem here. If you're in a group that can't figure out how to decide on a first player, they probably aren't well suited to be playing a game together. Heh.

The other cards, should they be kept face up or down? Shuffled or sorted?

Doesn't matter. Most of those cards don't have a face up or down in any meaningful way that hides information. EXCEPT for the conquered areas that eventually are placed with those cards, so I guess I can be more explicit that the players aren't keeping this information secret.

What happens to the Elder Dragon? What does Set Aside mean?

Exactly that. It's set aside until needed. While the areas will get a random guardian, one of the guardians for The main objective card is this specific card. So it's set aside until that main objective is found.

[Questions about how the Lost Continent cards are laid out.]

Arrangement doesn't matter. In fact, I could probably just make them a deck where when you "explore," you just draw the next card. It wouldn't really make any gameplay difference. But by laying them out, it feels a little more like a landmass being explored.

Once again, I really appreciate the points you've raised.

Tbone
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Really like the combat dice mechanic

Just skimmed the rules, but for some reason I really like the combat from what i've seen. I'll try to look this one over more closely. After playing Star Wars Destiny, I really like dice/card relationships. Looking forward to understanding this game.

Esoteric Fulcrum
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Hi there, Nice points about

Hi there,

Nice points about page pairs, and where the center of the rules falls. Not something I've thought about before. And you're welcome to my opinion. Though truth be told, I'm learning as much by reading the rule books of others. So ... thank you. :-)

I think the rule book is the sort of thing that is read through once by new players before they've played the game, and maybe skimmed the next time they play to refresh their memories. That's why so many games have a Quick Overview of the rules on the back page of the book. This might take up one of the back pages if the Game overview goes up front.

So I figured that where things weren't mentioned, it was not of significant importance. But never the less, these were the questions that occurred to me. And I think it is far better to say that these things are not important, because it shows that you have thought about them.

Who goes first? is an automatic question at the start of any game. Perhaps we've just been trained to look through the rules to find the answer to that, but it is somewhat expected, even if it is "Choose who goes first." Is there any advantage/disadvantage to choosing the first faction? Or the last?

So the Elder Dragon only, and always, guards the Lost City? So they are two cards that are always played together? Is there a way that the Elder Dragon information can be incorporated onto the Lost City card?

Cheers
Shane

Desprez
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@Esoteric Fulcrum"That's why

@Esoteric Fulcrum
"That's why so many games have a Quick Overview of the rules on the back page of the book."

Currently, the back page is keyword ability reference.
Additionally, I have a number of quick reference cards:
One with Turn Sequence on the front and Combat Sequence on the back.
One with a picture of all dice faces for all dice in the game (helps when trying to see various probabilities at once).
And six cards, one for each die describing the rules for every face. (Similar to the die faces reference pages.)

"So the Elder Dragon only, and always, guards the Lost City? So they are two cards that are always played together? Is there a way that the Elder Dragon information can be incorporated onto the Lost City card?"

It's actually the Elder Dragon plus one other random guardian, as explained elsewhere in the rules.

The combat units can't really be combined with another card, since they utilize both sides of the card. Also, there could conceivably be harder game modes that include more units, and expansions that may offer multiple 'boss' guardians to choose from.

@Tbone
Thanks, it's a concept I've been talking about for years on the forums, to very little fanfare. But I'll be happy to discuss the various pros/cons of such a system. If you want, I could try to dig up some of the older posts.

KiltedNinja
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Filesize..

Hi Desprez,
I had a very quick flick through the rulebook.
It looks very professional to me, cleanly laid out - I especially like the colour-overlays (changing background colour) towards the end - really helps to identify sections of the book.

But regarding the filesize, please see the dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/i5tsbbq173o042m/Rules%20%28resized%29.pdf?dl=0

How does 8mb sound? :D It's a little pixelated in places - and not 100% perfect - however I thought it might be useful for very quick layout/content feedback... just saves people downloading many hundreds of megs on their phones! (..like I do :P)

Edit: just realised - It ended up as A4 size.. what page size is your original?

I haven't actually read the content yet though - I'll do that when I have some more free time and leave a comment!

Desprez
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@KiltedNinja The original is

@KiltedNinja
The original is 5.25 x 8.25 per image.
It's eventually printed 2 per side on an 8.5 x 11 page to create a saddle stitched booklet.

It's left at a high resolution for print quality, but it would be easy enough to reduce the resolution of the placed images.

I was more concerned with the file size when it was over a gig.

Desprez
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I made some edits to the

I made some edits to the first page to increase clarity while I figure out if/how to add an overview section.

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