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Friday, June 19, 2009

RPG Books on the DX: How well does it handle PDFs? Part 3

This is going to be quick and fairly short. I was asked how WotC products look on the kindle DX. As WotC pulled their PDF products from the market place, and as they were priced fairly high compared to other PDF products, I never got to make a purchase.

Recently WotC posted the D&D Quick Start Rules and H1: Keep on the Shadowfell for free on their website. I've grabbed them and here's my impressions.

D&D 4e Quick Start Rules - Coming in at 27 pages and minimal artwork these pages refresh quickly. The formating and the font are very DX friendly, and are easily read without resorting to the horizonatal orientation. This rates a 5 for readabily and ease of use.

H1: Keep on Shadowfell - The formatting and the font are the same as the Quick Start Rules (as best I can tell). Text is clear and very readable. The problem comes with the maps: they appear mostly murky and suffer from the greyscale conversion (as does the cover, but who cares about covers?). Text alone would rate a 5, but with the maps suffering as they do I give it a 4 over all.

More when I can get to them. I think I need to stray from the DX for a post or two ;)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

RPG Books on the DX: How well does it handle PDFs? Part 2

K, time to see how some other titles look on the DX:

Spirit of the Century - I thought the landscape would look great on the DX in landscape mode. It looks good, but a page is just slightly too big for the screen, so you start getting part of page 6 heading up most of page 7 (as an example). Overall I give it a 3

Basic Fantasy - Another PDF that looks like it was designed for the DX. Sharp, clean and easily read pages without even resorting to landscape mode. 5

Knockspell Magazine - Uncluttered pages that are easy to read on the DX. Simply a 5

The Barbarians of Lemuria - Wow. I mean really, WOW. I've decided that a 5 would not be high enough. The font is just a tad larger then most, the pages are clean and well laid out. 5+

DDI - Dungeon Magazine 156 - Not very impressive. Can't be read in the vertical orientation as the print becomes way to small. Horizontally the print is servicable in size, but background colors are shades of gray and make reading less then pleasant. 2

Going away for a few days after work tomorrow, but I've tried to load the DX up with RPG PDFs to read and rate. Think I'll be reading The Barbarians of Lemuria for pure pleasure shortly.

Monday, June 15, 2009

RPG Books on the DX: How well does it handle PDFs?

I've dumped a bazzilion PDFs on my Kindle DX at this point. Ok, maybe closer to 2 dozen, but have a bazzilion on my hard drive that have yet to make the transition. So, how do they look so far? Here's my totally nonscientific opinions on a scale of 1 to 5.

Elric - Runequest/Mongoose Edition - While readable, the font is small (even horizontally)and and the background clutter isn't helpful. 2

OSRIC 2.0 - Clear, uncluttered pages. This is what a PDF should look like on the Kindle DX. I can read it without turning it horizontally. Could have been made for the DX. 5

HARP Lite - Clear pages with no distracting background behind the letters. Artwork in the margins converts well. This and its sibling Rolemaster are table intensive and they look perfect. 5

True20 Quick Start Rules - Clean and uncluttered. Font seems a bit smaller then others, but looks very nice when viewed horizontally. 4

Kobold Quarterly #8 - This PDF converts exceptionally well. I may no longer need to subscribe to both print and PDF anymore ;) 5

Points of Light Campaign Setting - Goodman Games - I'm not sure if its the light watermark art behind each page or if the font is smaller or both, but it isnt as easy to read as it could be. Held horizontal it looks much nicer. 3


I'll add to this list later. Remember, I'm just rating these PDFs on their suitability to be read on the Kindle DX. I'm not rating their value or worth as gaming products. That being said OSRIC is an amazing value and available for the unheard of price of FREE! Kobold Quarterly is what Dragon was back in the day with modern typsetting, making it a valauble addition to any gamers library.