Another day, another couple of days missed #RPGaDay and a catch up post.
Day 23 -- Which RPG has the Most Jaw Dropping Layout?
I know that this is going to be a really controversial opinion, especially with how beautiful the new Starfinder book looks and how amazing every book Monte Cook has been putting out lately looks, but in my opinion the D&D Essentials Player's Books had the most jaw dropping layout.
No, they weren't as artistically beautiful as the books I just mentioned or Symbaroum, DC Adventures, or Tales from the Loop. Those books are all stunningly beautiful works of art, but jaw dropping layout isn't about the illustrations (though they matter). For me, what matters most about layout is how it leads the user through the information. It's a matter of design and not art and when it comes to design, the D&D Essentials duo are stunning.
These two books break the rules down into consumable chunks that are clear and concise, must like the Moldvay/Cook B/X D&D rules, but their real beauty is in how they guide players through the character advancement process. If you open up to the Fighter: Slayer section, it is broken up by level and tells you what choices you need to make at every level. You don't have to flip between sections of the book, the options are clearly articulated there and presented in a manner that aids the learner through the process.
Day 24 -- Share a PWYW Publisher Who Should be Charging More.
There are a lot of great publishers offering Pay What You Want (PWYW) products on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG and I have more than taken advantage of the products available. Sometimes I pay more than the "recommended price," and other times I'll pay as low as $0. I usually feel very guilty when I don't pay any money because the truth is that what I want to pay is more than that. We all have limited funds and it's great that some publishers are able to offer some of their products as PWYW as loss leaders for their other products. A lot of other people have promoted pro-groups like Evil Hat Productions, and they are a big PWYW publisher with professional quality books, but I'm going to focus on a small segment of the hobby that can make all of our games better at very low cost. That segment is the printable miniatures segment and it features some great PWYW publishers.
One of the publishers I really like is Kev's Lounge which has a really nice balance of PWYW and pay a small fee for miniatures bundles. There are some very strong illustrations in the series and they print out very nicely. Marshall Short, who runs the excellent Patreon Printable Heroes, uses patronage to fund some fantastic miniatures. I'll add one last publisher, who's work isn't free but is wonderful, with Jess Jennings. Jess' line of Trash Mob Minis are perfect for gaming with grownups and kids. The cartoony style is fantastic and the characterizations are really fun.
Day 25 -- What is the Best Way to Thank Your DM?
Single malt scotch.
Okay, as great as single malt scotch is, there is one better way to thank your DM. It's actually pretty simple. Come to your sessions on a regular basis, come prepared to play and without looking at your phone every five minutes, and be respectful of your DM's time and energy. We put a lot of work into DM-ing and some of us really like to do it. We can only do it if you show up, and we want you to show up because we really like having you as players.