The physical books

I wonder what format the physical books will take for 5e.  Will they be little essentials-style books, or the classic big hardcover books?

I like the big hardcover books.  They're nice and big, they have a lot of info on a page, there's room for nice big pictures, they look good on a bookshelf, and at that size they fit nicely in an old box from a 12-pack of beer.

My problem with the essentials-style softcover books is that you couldn't open them up and lie them flat on the table.  This was a bit of a pain in the neck when you're trying to fill out a character sheet with one hand and hold the book open with the other.  I'm not sure what binding method would be best for this - I know it seems like cheaping out, but maybe they should be coil-bound?  This way you can actually lie them flat on the table.  But would that be durable enough for us gamers?

I also think all the books should have provision for errata.  We all know things will get errata'd.  I think they should all have a sleeve for errata in the back of the book, and Wizards should have free downloadable .pdfs of all the up to date errata for all the books.  Just print off the latest errata, stick it in the sleeve, and write "see errata 4.2" in your book next to that power on page 103 that is being errata'd.  This way people who play dead-tree rather than electronic can at least keep up to date on the latest errata.

Thoughts?
DM advice: 1. Do a Session Zero. 2. Start With Action. 3. Always say "Yes" to player ideas. 4. Don't build railroads. 5. Make success, failure, and middling rolls interesting. Player advice: 1. Don't be a dick. 2. Build off each other, don't block each other. 3. You're supposed to be a badass. Act like it. Take risks. My poorly updated blog: http://engineeredfun.wordpress.com/
I wonder what format the physical books will take for 5e.  Will they be little essentials-style books, or the classic big hardcover books?

I like the big hardcover books.  They're nice and big, they have a lot of info on a page, there's room for nice big pictures, they look good on a bookshelf, and at that size they fit nicely in an old box from a 12-pack of beer.

My problem with the essentials-style softcover books is that you couldn't open them up and lie them flat on the table.  This was a bit of a pain in the neck when you're trying to fill out a character sheet with one hand and hold the book open with the other.  I'm not sure what binding method would be best for this - I know it seems like cheaping out, but maybe they should be coil-bound?  This way you can actually lie them flat on the table.  But would that be durable enough for us gamers?

I also think all the books should have provision for errata.  We all know things will get errata'd.  I think they should all have a sleeve for errata in the back of the book, and Wizards should have free downloadable .pdfs of all the up to date errata for all the books.  Just print off the latest errata, stick it in the sleeve, and write "see errata 4.2" in your book next to that power on page 103 that is being errata'd.  This way people who play dead-tree rather than electronic can at least keep up to date on the latest errata.

Thoughts?

I'd lost hope of seeing one, just endless threads arguing about how if something is old it must be good because it is 'iconic', or arguing that any feature from a previous edition must be bad because it wasn't in the latest edition. Bah! At last - a thread speculating about products in the product speculation forum! Bravo to you!

Now onto the topic:

I like the essentials style books, nice and portable - great layout, easily searchable.
I like the hardcovers because they look better on my shelf.
I've never had trouble with either type of book due to it's design.

I'd prefer the 1st few books to be hardcovers.

I like your idea of an errata sheet sleave - saves printing out and pasting stuff in.
I like hardcover books simply because they tend to lay flatter.  Softcover is fine so long as I can lay them out easily.

If the book has a lot of tables and is mainly meant to be referenced, like the DMG, hardcover all the way.

If the book has a lot of fluff and is mainly meant to be read, like the 3.5 Draconomicon, then softcover and portable.

But most importantly, they should come out well after the HTML version which has the search tools and the hotlinking and the month or so of hardcore char-op attempts to break it.
Also, I would add - you know how when you look at the edge of a phone book, you can see those little black squares which tell you where each letter starts and ends?  They kind of did it for the big hardcover books, but they were too light to be easily visible from the edge.  Then they dropped it completely for the little softcover books.  That should be brought back, but done right this time - just make it darker.

I like the idea of doing a "trial by fire" on the books in the char-op community to keep errata down, I just hope it's practical.  I bet it takes at least a month or two between when they ship the final version off to the printers and when it winds up on the shelves of bookstores and game stores across the continent, people might not want to wait too long for hard copies if the HTML has been kicking around for months.  Could hurt the FLGS's as well if the books have been out in electronic form for months before they get the hard copies.
DM advice: 1. Do a Session Zero. 2. Start With Action. 3. Always say "Yes" to player ideas. 4. Don't build railroads. 5. Make success, failure, and middling rolls interesting. Player advice: 1. Don't be a dick. 2. Build off each other, don't block each other. 3. You're supposed to be a badass. Act like it. Take risks. My poorly updated blog: http://engineeredfun.wordpress.com/
I'm always fan of hardcover over soft for the same reason. I like the idea of open sleeves for errata but won't happen physically. I am a firm believer of PDF for those that want it and how it can easily be updated like a patch for errata. I don't want to download an errata book. I want PATCHED FILES.
What I am worried about is some books like monster manual and world campaign books like Eberron and FR that people have to buy for 5th. If the core books bite butt don't look at people buying the rest.
It will be another notch of people sticking with 4th and 3rd etc. yes they will get some who like it but the pool will be wider spread if its not a grand system.
All the best for it to be GRAND.
I prefer hard cover, but I cannot deny I love the soft cover format of the Rules Compendium.

Since they are designing 5E to be modular, it would be interesting to see if they could come up with a solution using high quality, hard cover binders.

Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.

E-books with downloadable eratta please

Give me something I can put on an iPad and not have to lug a backpack full of treeware around.  Please, if you make no other change to the game, do this one thing.  

Yes, still print the books.  I'll even still buy books, but a searchable reference would be grand.

Imagine having all the classes in one place.  Imagine having all of that class's powers in one place.  Imagine having the latest rules update right in the place where they should be (perhaps with some marker to indicate an eratta?).

It brings a tear of joy to my eye just dreaming about it. 
Hardcovers for me, please, though I really hope they toss the books into a monkey pen this time around to test durability. If they can't survive two or three apes they can't survive the average clumsy, greasy-from-poor-hygiene gaming group (mine included).
I would prefer softcovers, primarily because I suspect they would be cheaper.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I think the core books should be hard cover books, since they tend to be more durable. So The PHB, DMG, and MM should all be hard cover books, since those are the ones that everyone will have at their disposal. After that, they should be soft cover books, since they tend to bring the cost down. Also, a way to get an electronic copy of the book when you get it would be ideal. Either by having a code that you must enter online, included with the book, or a copy of your reciept, or a rebate you get at your local retailer, or automatic if you order online. I love looking though a book, but if you want to quickly find something ebooks are great.
Also, a way to get an electronic copy of the book when you get it would be ideal. Either by having a code that you must enter online, included with the book, or a copy of your reciept, or a rebate you get at your local retailer, or automatic if you order online. I love looking though a book, but if you want to quickly find something ebooks are great.


This would be a much better way to go than "Let's keep it all in the online CB", especially since so many never even used the online stuff.
I think the core books should be hard cover books, since they tend to be more durable. So The PHB, DMG, and MM should all be hard cover books, since those are the ones that everyone will have at their disposal. After that, they should be soft cover books, since they tend to bring the cost down. Also, a way to get an electronic copy of the book when you get it would be ideal. Either by having a code that you must enter online, included with the book, or a copy of your reciept, or a rebate you get at your local retailer, or automatic if you order online. I love looking though a book, but if you want to quickly find something ebooks are great.



My wishes exactly!
Core books? Hardcover definately! I don't mind if supplements are softcover. I even prefer modules/adventures to be softcover.
E-book/iPad books are a must. I will boycott WotC if there aren't E-versions of the books.

That is a non-negotiable to me.
Come on!  I want e-books.  Don't make me not want them!! 

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That was a lighthearted jib.

Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.

I don't care as long as they are good. :P 
Are you interested in an online 4E game on Sunday? Contact me with a PM!
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
I want print on demand where I can select only the options and modules that appeal to me and my group.  Don't think it will happen, but I can dream.

Love the idea of an errata sleeve.  Especially if they made some nifty text pointer sticky tab post it type thingies for those who don't want to mark up their hard copies.
Hardcover all the way and love the idea of errata sleeves.
Feed them: IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/WNZv.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/Poc3.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/SlF8.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/EvFK.gif)
All books should be leatherbound with gilded edges.
Hardcover with solid stitched bindings. 

I have used copies of the 1e core books that are still intact after 35 years. My 2e books survived five years of living in my backpack along with assorted school books.  My softcover Essentials books already look like crap and I've tried to be careful. 
These are books meant to be used and abused, they need to have reliable ink and quality paper and solid bindings.  

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

Hardcover with solid stitched bindings. 

I have used copies of the 1e core books that are still intact after 35 years. My 2e books survived five years of living in my backpack along with assorted school books.  My softcover Essentials books already look like crap and I've tried to be careful. 
These are books meant to be used and abused, they need to have reliable ink and quality paper and solid bindings.  



+10! I am so sick of getting cheap quality books from all sorts of companies these days. I don't know what the deal is.


Also, I agree with the idea of putting codes in the books that unlock e-versions of the books. Then, people can purches a cheaper E version, or buy the physical book and get the E version as a bonus.

My prefrence would be a boxed set with paper back rule books representing the bare bones of the game, a true throw back to the old red box. But in some dice, minis, etc. and rules for making fighter, rouge, mage, cleric, dwarf, and elf. Make it cheap with black and white print only, it would be a nice way to get people into the game.

Then, have 3 nice hardback books with the core+tons of "options" or moduals or whatever (call them the core moduals?). The idea is, DONT make three 40 dollar hard back books that only have the bare bones, core mechanic, type stuff. They need to be pretty meaty with lots of options for character builds so right away players can make their 1st edition or 4th edition or anything in between type of characters.

For additonal moduals (sorry if I am getting away from original post), I think having boxed sets that include a book of rules for the modual, minis, and an adventure feating the new rules would rock. They would also have a code for electronic versions. So, for example, an underdark expansion could expand on the rules in the DMG for adventuring in the underdark, and expand player options for classes and races to underdark themes, and then has a decent underdark adventure to get a campaing going that uses those new rules. A pirate expansion could have rules for sea exploration, navy warfare, and new classes like swashbuckler and even pirate! Yes, a pirate class would be awsome! Again, it would include a sea adventure to use the new rules. These box sets could also include new monsters related to the theme. They could also include minis, such as drow minis or sailing ship minis to do battles on the sea!

The books in the box sets would all be soft covered, probably staple bound as I am guessing they will not be to large, but maybe either a hard back or soft back only version could be avalible for people who just want the rules only, or maybe rules only is only avalible as an electronic version if its not profitible to run both next to each other.

Then finally, include in those box sets 3-hole punched pages of just the relevent info, such as, a page with a new class or a page for random encounters at sea or in the underdark. Then, players and dms can put them in a 3 ring binder and "build" their own refrence books, using the rules they want for their character/adventure (ps, this was some one elses idea on here, but it seemed like a really cool idea).

Maybe for marketing reaons all these ideas wont work, but I hope it goes something like this.
My personal book preference is an all-in-one core rulebook with the basics of playing the game, simple classes, basic DM advice, and a smattering of monsters. Kinda like a hardcover starter set but with full rules. So instead of the lame (LAME!) $boarded sets with enough content to psty for a long weekend, this is one purchase that has the entire game. Or at least 2-3 levels before needing a Monster Manual. 
And since the whole book is simple and options like (kinda like Basic D&D) it can be a little thinner making for a nice cheap price point. Making it very gift-able.
And it solves the flaw of D&D where you need three books to play. It makes answering the question "What do I need to start playing?" super simple: "Buy this one book. And if you like playing get the MM." 

The standard "starter set" could instead be an accessory kit with pogs and maps and character sheets and such, as a little bonus to help new players. So new players could avoid the annoying "drop $25 but you still need to pay the full cost later, so you end up paying more" problem.

Then the Player's Handbook would be a the PC rules plus. No reprinting of the core rules, as those are already covered. This book would be tonnes and tonnes of PC options and character modules. This can and should be a nice giant tome.
This does mean experienced players would need to carry two book from the start. However, this is ussually the case anyway after the accessories start dropping, and the Core Rulebook quickly becomes less necessary for *everyone* to bring as the rules are learned.

Then we get to the DMG. Like the PHB this should be big, unlike the dissapointing DMG1. Because the very basics of running were covered in the Core Rulebook, this can focus on advanced DMing, optional rules, house rules, and the like. This should read like the best of DMG 1 and 2 combined with advice on game design and world building. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

I hope there'll be as few paper rulebooks as possible. So many benefits.

- Saves printing costs, which makes it easier for D&D to turn a profit and turn into a fabled $100 million brand like MtG. 
- Makes rules updates and errata far easier to handle, so no need to change every zone power individually instead of making a one line update in the Rules Compendium. 
- Less time between development and publishing, getting the crunch to the players faster. 
- Everyone will have access to the same content, instead of players scratching their heads when someone brings over the new splatbook with a race/class they've never heard of.  
All books should be leatherbound with gilded edges.


You have money to burn, don't you?

OT: Three (PHB, DMG, MM) hardback quality books that can stand up to the abuse of being tossed around, handled by different people and ink that won't run when players inevitably spill stuff on them. Also, the option (we are all about options with this) for digital only or physical w/digital codes.  
 
What I would like to see is not only the big, hardcover books that really give the feeling of an RPG book, but also to not have errata coming out every day that makes the hardcover books obsolete soon after their printing. That is one of the major influences in me not playing 4e for very long.
我的氣墊船充滿了鱔魚

I love the big hard cover books, I would love to see all of the 5e material continue to be produced in this format, and I would also like to see a code for a printable PDF included with each book. I want a PDF for each book, particularly the monster manuals so that I can print single page monster discriptions out and include them in my in house modules. I would be happy to pay a bit extra for a PDF I could print and edit (read add my own notes and or house rules too).

Hard cover for the Big Three guidebooks. They can survive being passed around the table a LOT longer, especially when full rule upgrades collides with player budgets. Not everyone in my static game can bring portable computers to the table, so although *I* don't mind seeing the rulebooks on Compendium, I don't want to force my players to be locked out of checking the PH any time they feel the need to during gameplay.
I think most people appear to be in agreement.  Beyond what's needed to play the core game, supplemental material purchased and distributed digitally would be most desirable.  
I think most people appear to be in agreement.  Beyond what's needed to play the core game, supplemental material purchased and distributed digitally would be most desirable.  


I didn't say anything earlier because... well, this thread isn't very relevant to me. But this comment absolutely is; I will not buy any physical RPG books. The core books must be digital for me to buy them. If they make the core books hard-copy only, or downloadable only when you buy the hard copy, I will not buy them. I don't know if my attitude on this is all that common, though. There is just no way I want to  buy more gaming books if I have to lug them around when I move to different continents and all.
Resident jark. Resident Minister of Education and Misinformation.
I think most people appear to be in agreement.  Beyond what's needed to play the core game, supplemental material purchased and distributed digitally would be most desirable.  


I didn't say anything earlier because... well, this thread isn't very relevant to me. But this comment absolutely is; I will not buy any physical RPG books. The core books must be digital for me to buy them. If they make the core books hard-copy only, or downloadable only when you buy the hard copy, I will not buy them. I don't know if my attitude on this is all that common, though. There is just no way I want to  buy more gaming books if I have to lug them around when I move to different continents and all.


I prefer hard copy myself, but this really does drive home the need for both hard copy and digital format.  This is the 21st century.  There is no reason we can't have both.

I didn't say anything earlier because... well, this thread isn't very relevant to me. But this comment absolutely is; I will not buy any physical RPG books. The core books must be digital for me to buy them. If they make the core books hard-copy only, or downloadable only when you buy the hard copy, I will not buy them. I don't know if my attitude on this is all that common, though. There is just no way I want to  buy more gaming books if I have to lug them around when I move to different continents and all.



Fair enough.  I think it's just as likely that Wizards will release all DnDNext books electronically as any of them.  Hopefully the devs are taking heed of our thread right now.

My friends are rich and motorized. We want hard cover books. 

It would be nice to have specialized books, so that I can buy the dwarf book and the wizard book for my dwarf wizard.
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
My friends are rich and motorized. We want hard cover books. 

It would be nice to have specialized books, so that I can buy the dwarf book and the wizard book for my dwarf wizard.


The one downside with the specialized books is that they can really stack up.  Not just cost, but in terms of space and weight.

As DM back in the 2e era of the Complete Books (Elf, Wizard, Fighter, Dwarf) etc as well as the kit books and other supplements I used a hand truck to move my 2e materials, for the stack was almost 4 feet high!  I used to think the DM had to have all the books with him, so I would lug them around, even to conventions.

Then I finally got smart after gaining 2 points of Strength and the backached condition.  I came up with the mandate of, "If you want to play it and use those books, YOU bring it."

I am not opposed to the specialty books, but I hope it doesn't proliferate as bad as 2e did in its height. *pun intended*
Then I finally got smart after gaining 2 points of Strength and the backached condition.  I came up with the mandate of, "If you want to play it and use those books, YOU bring it."

That is a nice idea, but I wonder how well it will work with the modular age of 5ed.

The 5ed DM is supposed to choose a subset of optional rules that fits in to his game, so I guess that he has to distribute a white-list of allowable classes that the players are allowed to bring to the table. That may require some paper work.
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
My #1 preference is Softcover - it's cheaper, lighter, and I find it just more plesant to sit on a couch and read.

Number 2 preference is Digital - even though it's cheaper, I doubt they would actually sell it cheaper.  But My iPad is pretty good for digital books.  The only reason I don't want it over softcover is that I don't trust my friends as much passing my iPad around

Finally is hardcover - but I honestly may just avoid it if hardcover is the only option. 
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