Publishing Advice - Albion update

Posted by: Tim Gray On: Jun 14th 2010

So, I'm actually getting close to having a playtest draft of Albion, so that I can start getting feedback. I'm hoping to have this in print for Continuum.

Anyone got any nuggets of input about things to remember to put in, running the process, etc? (Basically, I kinda know what I'm doing but someone might say something really helpful.)

Extra info: it's 256-page, Letter size. The final version will be hardback if possible; but Lulu softbacks are helpful for development!

Posted by: Gregor Hutton On: Jun 14th 2010


I know this might sound stupid, and you'll have taken care of this. But I really like, when a book is that big (and beyond), for there to be a page (or two) at the very start giving me an overview and telling me what's in it, in what order it's presented and where I should go if I want specific things (Beginner > go here, Looking for This or That > go there).

There are probably going to be a few different users of the book and you want to say hello to them all and point them to the bits most useful for them.

What sections do you have in it at the moment (as a rough overview)?

Posted by: Tim Gray On: Jun 14th 2010

The chapters cover these things (with more evocative titling):

Character creation
General rules
Magic and mysticism
Otherworlds, and their beasties
GM's resources

Now actually nothing quite does what you're talking about, Gregor. The intro section is an overview of the setting and rules basics in a smallish number of pages, suitable for giving out as a preview or orientation for new players. Will put your suggestion in the basket.

Posted by: Gregor Hutton On: Jun 15th 2010


It goes without saying (I hope) that I'm keen to see this Albion book out there. :-)

Posted by: Tim Gray On: Jun 17th 2010

Thanks Gregor!

Anyone else?

I guess one good question to ask is: would anyone here be interested in being involved in the playtest/review process?

Posted by: Matt On: Jun 21st 2010 edited

Hi Tim,

not sure I could do a playtest, but am happy to be a second pair of eyes on a draft if you need it.

Will it have an index? Useful for a book that long with lots of setting stuff that people might not be very familiar with.

Posted by: Tim Gray On: Jun 21st 2010

Hi Matt. Will be glad to get bits of feedback from as many sources as possible. I'm thinking I might make a pdf available to skimmers and a Lulu version for people who are able to get more actively involved.

Index - someone else has suggested that too and I'm somewhat persuaded - if not keen on actually doing it! If so, that'll get done in the later stages.

Posted by: Gregor Hutton On: Jun 22nd 2010

If you're not keen on doing it then it says to me that it's gonna be some work. So, in that case then you should definitely do it, to save the readers having to do all the work!

My index creation philosophy is very simple.

Open a blank document.
Go to page 1 of your book. Type into your blank document any entries, terms or ideas that are on page 1, in alphabetical order, that you want to have Indexed.
Repeat for every page, growing your document into a practical and usefool resource.

That way terms like "combat" get cross-referenced with pages that don't feature the word combat, but are all about it and are useful for the reader to look at.

I put the most significant entry for a term in bold. I do that by going through the index looking at each entry and figuring out which reference is most useful.

At that stage I can also weed out/simplify any unnecesssary entries that I've added by being too rigourous/sensitive at the initial phase.

Best Friends was 48 pp and didn't have an Index. When I re-jigged that book I added one and it made it so much easier for even me (the writer!) to use. So, I've always added them to every book since then.

Posted by: Tim Gray On: Jul 2nd 2010

Got the new print. Looking good! Though something about the process has made the backgrounds of most pictures grey so I'll need to sort that. Plan is to make a few tweaks having looked at this copy and then launch a process as soon as I can after Continuum.

Posted by: Tim Gray On: Jul 6th 2010

I've now launched the playtest phase by running a session at Continuum and putting up a request for peoples on my blog, the Silver Branch yahoo group and the Tavern.

Posted by: Andrew Kenrick On: Jul 6th 2010

How did the game go at the weekend Tim? Are you going to post some AP? I'm curious as to how a game looks in play.

Posted by: Tim Gray On: Jul 7th 2010 edited

Hi Andy. I'm not going to post any AP. It was only a 3-hour slot, and to be honest I did a lot of introduction up front and we didn't get through everything. So it was useful to me as a learning experience and when I apologised the players said it was OK.

Remember it's very traditional rules-wise. If I'm aiming for a innovation, it's that the mechanics work well and support the feel I'm aiming for.

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