RPG Bard Alpha: Creating a Book

Happy New Year!

We hope you’ve had a great 2015 in life and at the game table. May the plundering of your dungeons in 2016 yield you much loot and level you up fast (or at least once every three months)!

Thanks to everyone who has followed our hurdles and progress on Pinterest (over 20,000), via our Newsletter (3000+), and on Facebook (350+). Your liking and words of encouragement have helped keep us going.

In 2016, we will keep pinning, posting, and working on the RPG Bard alpha until it is finally in your hands.

In this newsletter, we’ve got info on the last issue we’re dealing with for alpha release, a preloaded content update, and (much more exciting) a preview of the RPG book creation process as it currently stands.

The One Remaining Issue

We are down to one issue: font line heights. While this might not seem like a big issue, what it currently means is you cannot change a font family (such as Ariel to Helvetica) or change a font size (such as from 12pt to 16pt) without getting radically different spacing between the online version and the PDF export version.

We have spent nearly a month with various work arounds and trying to “crack the code” to figuring out an elegant solution to this problem. The current work around is: the user can’t change font families or sizes and, on our end, we have to set alternate line-height rules for each different font at each different size and each different line height. Obviously not a long-term solution for anyone.

That said, once we get this resolved (or at least set up a full template with all these work arounds), the Alpha will be released and all those signed up for our newsletter will be notified of its release. (If you’re not already signed up, you can do so at the bottom of www.rpgbard.com.)

Preloaded Content Update

We now have over 1000 monster stat-blocks from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document (PRD) and over 600 fonts already implemented. There’s also a limited set of page backgrounds that are implemented by selection of a book “theme” (such as “ice” to get the blue and white background) for the book interior, which you can also use for your book covers instead of your own background artwork.

Alpha Preview – Creating a Book

The following demonstrates the 5 minute process of creating an account, logging in, setting up a book, creating a cover, creating a page with content blocks, previewing the book online, exporting the PDF, and previewing the PDF in Adobe Reader. This leaves out the population of the content blocks, which would take some additional time, but most of that content would just be a copy/past from your text editing software or a quick typing job, such as changing the “Header 1” text of a heading to the actual heading text.

1. Create an Account

Create your account, then check your email for your password.

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2. Log In

Enter your username and password.

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3. Create Book

Click “Books” (see above) and then “New Book” to create your new book. Set your system and theme design defaults to get your basic book styling.

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4. Create Cover

Click “Create” under “Book Cover” (see above). Then set your basic cover layout, fill in the text fields, add any images you want, save, and continue scrolling down to see your cover preview.

(Special thanks to Yuriy Chemezov who let us use his artwork for the creation of demo RPG Bard materials. Be sure to check out his portfolio and DeviantArt page. Great stuff!)

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5. Create Page

Click “Add” under “Book Pages”. Use the bottom-left 3 icons to insert a elements (both page templates and smaller elements such as an “aside” or “read aloud” box), stat blocks, and images. Then paste in or update your text content as desired.

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6. Preview HTML

Click “Preview” to view your complete book online.

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7. Export PDF

Click “Export” to save your book out as a PDF file, which can then be opened in Adobe Reader or any other PDF viewer.

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Alpha Preview – Supporting Content Areas

In our next newsletter, we will provide screens of all the content areas that support the book creation processed through automation (such as layout and formatting), libraries of reusable content (fonts, images, stat blocks, and visual elements), legal and support information (including feedback and feature request forms), and user account management.

Once again, Happy New Year and good gaming!

Shyloh Wideman
Creative Director
Trusty Sword Entertainment / RUXED LLC