Folding Player Books

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Folding Player Books
« on: July 11, 2010, 08:35:59 PM »
Is there some super sekrit way to fold the little character booklets so that I don't have to do all this cutting and stapling and taping?

Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2010, 10:26:01 PM »
I didn't think the cutting and stapling was that bad, but then again my books are definitely far from pretty so I'd be curious if there's a better way to approach it as well.

Of course, in the end my friends didn't want to use the little character sheets inside: they used the sheets John Harper made, so I probably should have just had them go through the character creation instructions from the character sections in the main book rather than in the playbooks...  but I also still think the playbooks are really cool.

Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2010, 11:01:35 PM »
I bet the best way to do it would be to fold the paper into eighths, staple the spine, and trim off the folded edges, but I don't think the pages are set up to work that way actually. It would make the edges of homemade character books cleaner!

I'll mock up a book in that format if anyone wants.

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Carl

  • 26
Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2010, 11:33:56 AM »
If you're having to tape you may be doing it wrong.

Cut them in quarters, stack, fold once, and staple.  (It's too bad there aren't marks on where to staple so you could staple and THEN fold, which would be easier. If you have a stapler with a depth setting that would work nicely.) Be very precise cutting and stapling or some words will wind up unreadable.

The playbooks are cute but I don't like using them in play. They're a pain to assemble, the tiny type is hard to read in dim light or by middle-aged eyes, and the character sheets are inconveniently small to use.

John Harper's character sheets are much nicer, so I'd far rather use those and a 2-sided full-size page with everything from the 3-pages in the player ref book, if you removed the moves (already on the Jx character sheet) and the unnecessary small picture of the old character sheet.  Then a handout would consist of the 2-page chargen summary, a copy of the basic moves (from John's character sheet packages), both of which are reusable, and a 1-page usably-sized character sheet.

Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2010, 03:40:18 PM »
The argument for the playbooks is that they are a nice tactile prop when getting the game started: Dump the playbooks on the table and tell each of the players to pick one.  Everything they need to know to make characters and play is in the playbook, and the physicality of choosing one from the pile works to establish the conceit that they can't play 'redundant character types'  ("So Lem and I are gonna be Gunluggers, ok?"  "No, not ok." "Why not?" ...)

I expect most of my group will go to the John Harper sheets for keeping track of their characters once play starts though. 

As far as assembling them, #1 thing is to print on both sides of the paper. They're in a big o' PDF file of sequential pages and I couldn't auto collate the job on my printer, so this was a little tedious, but take the time to think about it and run a couple of draft copies to work out how to get everything to match up. 

I also scaled the pages to print at 90% so I'd have some gutters later.

Then cut 'em into 1/4 page cards and stack em up.  I used a paper guillotine, but you could use a straight edge and a knife or scissors, or whatever.  Sort/collate the cards, fold in the center so you have a booklet that's a rough 1/8 page size.  Staple the seam, then trim the edges for a neat booklet.  (If you scaled the page down, you'll end up trimming both the 'outside edge' opposite the binding, and the bottom edge.) 

If you hate doing crafty paper projects, yeah, you may not enjoy assembling the playbooks.  As far as the time the job takes, think of it as your prep for the first game and it'll seem more reasonable, particularly when you consider it's the only prep you need to do, and other people can help you do it.

If that's still too much, I've got some 'no cut' playbook layouts I can share. The original versions are much cleaner in the end though.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2010, 03:50:26 PM »
The current playbook files should be layed out for fold-then-staple-then-trim. Print them 2-sided, fold them in half then in half -- you should see the character sheet on one side, the inside, and the cover on the outside. Staple in the middle, trim the folded edges, fold along the staples, done.

I taped a piece of matchstick into the mouth of my stapler as a guide.

As we speak, I'm laying out no-cut sheets along the lines of John Harpers' (the which I most fully endorse). They'll be quirky in their way, but making a dozen little damn books per copy to sell is too nuts. I'm not doing THAT anymore.

-Vincent

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Carl

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Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2010, 03:13:53 AM »
I'm delighted to hear that, Vincent! Plus I was worried about how Endgame or other game stores were going to have to handle a separate baggie of playbooks with each hardcopy.

Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2010, 11:53:34 PM »
c'mon people, remember how you printed out, folded, and cut the XXXXtreme STREET luge books*? It's just like that. Lord knows I made my share of those things.

*okay, ;)

Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2010, 12:47:20 AM »
I made one XSl book and I apparently did it "wrong" since I didn't realize you could fold the books first, then staple, then cut the folded edges.  Some directions to go with the pdfs could help a lot.

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Piers

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Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2010, 04:09:34 PM »
Hold the sheet lengthwise, long left to right, with the front cover in the bottom right corner.  Fold the left half of the sheet behind the right half.  Now fold the top half back and behind the bottom.  Now fold the left half behind the right again, leaving you with a booklet with the front cover facing you.  All the pages should be in the correct order inside.  Staple in the middle.  Tear out the "bolts" with a blunt paper knife and you should be good to go.

This is the standard folding scheme for an octavo gathering of a book.  It only works if the pages have been set up properly, but the last time I constructed the booklets it did.  (I explained how to set this up to Ben.  I'm assuming that information made it's way to Vincent somehow.)


Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2010, 04:33:36 PM »
Thanks Piers! I will try that for an upcoming games with new players.

But there aren't updated ones still, is there? Last I checked the gunlugger still had the secret cache of arms.

Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2010, 09:14:47 PM »
Be careful: for me, this procedure only works in theory.  Maybe it's my particular printer, or my printer settings, but when I do two sided printing on my home printer, it results in margins that are different on different sides of the page, so if I go through this procedure, the pages don't end up folded in the right place.

Re: Folding Player Books
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 09:29:16 AM »
I've had some trouble with the paper as well, but then I have the additional circumstance of printing on a4, not us letter. Maybe it'll work out when I fiddle a bit more with it.

But, if someone would like to do a version that's made for a4, I bet a bunch of us Europeans would be happy!