... now with 35% more arrogance!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


In a comment on the book thoughts thread, Lum asked a few questions about my passing reference to a book series. I've had a draft post about my plans for the Ever-Endless series sitting around for about a year, so I suppose now I should complete it.

To be clear, it's not a series of monster manuals. It's a series of dice maps, basically (what people are calling "drop dice charts" these days, ever since Vornheim.) It's meant to be a complete system of random generation tables. There's The Ever-Endless Labyrinth of Underworld Tunnels and Traps, for generating dungeon descriptions; The Ever-Endless Menagerie of Fantastic Beasts and Monstrosities, for monster descriptions; The Ever-Endless Emporium of Equipment and Necessities, for merchant's wares and recovered objects; and a couple others with uncertain names, but covering NPCs, wilderness encounters, and magic, at the very least.

The format is saddle-stitch digest-size booklets of 64 page or more, with the dice map in the middle, to make it easy to lie flat on a photocopier. There would be several 10-page chapters, arrange to start on page numbers that are multiples of 10, so that if your die lands in section 1 of the map, you could turn to page 21 of the monster description chapter (pages 20-29, for example,) and that page would give short rules for avian monsters.

I came up with this format idea (dice location gives you a page number) back when I was messing around with the solo roguelike RPG (Kanthe,) but I expanded the idea later and divorced it from that game, especially after reading this post on Zak's blog. These are, basically, what he calls "overfed DM screens", in booklet form. I called them "Ever-Endless" because (1) that particular phrase seems to be unique; and, (2) it suggests what the books are meant to do: provide an apparently endless supply of whatever you need. (That may be bad news for Lum; it's not a subscription service, where I make up a batch of monsters every week or whatever.)

Because of the specific format needs of this series, it's still quite a ways in the future, even after working on it for six years. I put off even *talking* about it for a year because it feels ridiculous to post about something that's practically vapor at the moment. So, the Minimal Menagerie is on the short-term plans list, getting Liber Zero and Liber Blanc under control is more mid-range, and Ever-Endless is much, much later.


  1. What sort of format difficulties are you projecting? I've done some smaller staple-bound booklets for my own use that have had various formatting challenges, including one with a rotated character sheet spanning the centrefold. You say "specific format needs" and I hear an engaging layout challenge! ;-D

    1. Not really difficulties, more like special constraints. Material has to be written in one-page chunks and organized according to specific rules; total material for a particular book can't be more than what is realistic for a 96 or 128-page saddle-stitch digest-sized booklet.

  2. I'm very interested in this idea. I hope you can make it work!