Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Modules Stats inline or at the end?

My preferences for stats in modules has been to have a battle sheet at the end of the module that I would tear out or photocopy. But the vast majority of adventures have them in-line with the encounter description. Granted that with retro-clones the stat block are minimal but I am curious what all of you thought about the matter.

This is of interest to me because I would like to have my adventures stated up using the Majestic Wilderlands rules but also have a sheet using just the core rules so that the supplement is not required.

17 comments:

Fitz said...

I have no objection to having a compiled collection of stats at the end of a module as well, but I really do like to have them with the description of the relevant location. Having to swap between two different sheets for the relevant information to DM a location is a pain.

JoeGKushner said...

I see the benefit of both methods. As a Game Master, I like the ease of having the stats right there. As a buyer, I hate seeing the exact same stats repeated over and over again. I also find that most time, the stats aren't always put to the best use. A little bit of description about what this particular encounter looks like, as opposed to a nameless slog, goes a long way.

Jeff Rients said...

I like inline. If I'm on page 34 and three purple people eaters show up I don't want to have to flip to page 92 to find their freakin' armor class.

David Macauley said...

Yep, in-line for me too.

tregenza said...

I've struggled over this question in putting together our (6d6 Fireball's) modules.

I decided to place them at the back because from layout point-of-view, in-line is harder to consistently.
Obvious problems arise when an NPC can appear in multiple locations (e.g. in which location do you put the stats?).

All at the back is easier to manage for the writer / editor and gives more flexibility to the layout.

Koren n'Rhys said...

I prefer to have them right in-line for the base system you've written for. In your case, that would be your Majestic Wilderlands. Then, an appendix in the back for alternate rule sets.

Chgowiz said...

I'm shooting for both in my Tombs module :)

westguard said...

Inline, most definitely. With a more detailed statblock/description for "new monsters" if any, like the odules of old.

Timeshadows said...

I don't use modules, but my vote is still for inline, for the reasons others cite.

Miguel said...

I like them inline. Preferably with a little discussion of suggested tactics. The worst part is when you have to flip through several pages in different parts of the book to run one encounter. I realize that printing concerns affect the amount of content you get in a printed module whwn you repeat information, but it has no effect on PDF's.

David said...

Can I vote for both? I like abbreviated stats inline, and full stats at the end on a easily photocopiable page (or pages)

Dan said...

Inline. Though an extra appendix at the end can't hurt, it really doesn't help me.

1d30 said...

On one hand, if your module would save a ton of space by not repeating creature stats over and over, perhaps you need more diversity.

On the other, sometimes you encounter a creature somewhere other than its lair.

Especially with wandering encounters.

I'd suggest a photocopy sheet at the back (such that you photocopy two facing pages at once) that has the stats for every monster and named individual.

I wouldn't go with a special tear-out, as that ruins resale quality.

Maybe the center sheet of two facing pages can be removed and the staples bent back into place, both for ease of photocopying and if the DM wants to just run it straight out of the box with no prep.

Honestly if your creature stat blocks are compact enough you should be able to fit the monsters from a sizeable module onto one page.

Flynn said...

My vote would be for inline, with a full write-up of specific creatures of importance in an appendix in the back. I guess I'm a creature of habit and tradition, at least in these regards.

Hope This Helps,
Flynn

Chris Weller said...

I you do in-line, please have the stat block set aside and not inserted in the prose. I can't abide trying to read something (AC 3 [16], HD 7, Attacks 2 claws(1d4) 1 bite (2d8), etc. etc.) that has a string of gibberish in the middle of the description.

Alan said...

Inline, but with a free downloadable PDF for the battlesheet set. Hackmaster did this, I think...

JB said...

Inline for me too I'm afraid. Though for those of us running Keep on the Borderlands, "inline stats" just means the monster's hit points (seems to be that's the same with the old G-D series as well). I mean, we all know the stats of your average goblin by heart, right?
: )