Free: Whitebox Wizardry, and one day maybe probably how to make it into a real book.

Some people asked: how do you start binding books?

By taking a course or just, you know, get needle and thread and fool around with paper.

Since not all of you might live in a city with a university or an art school, I made this:

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This is going to be two things: first, PDF files to download and print. Get them here: normal PDF and imposition PDF. The first file is also handy to use on mobile. Don’t use the second on mobile: it’s to be printed duplex, folded in a specific way and bound.

Second, a small tutorial on how to make some small (literally, they are going to be in A7 format), utilitarian books to use at the table. I’ll try to stick to no-glue books, mostly because every time I used glue recently I more or less destroyed the whole book and got really upset (if you wonder why I’m not selling handbound stuff anymore, it’s because I’m cursed). I have no idea when the tutorial part is going to be out: the PDF took only some light finangling to do, but the tutorial will take a while to put together.

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Handbound: Harn Pottage

I’m not familiar with Harn. But all I’ve seen of it is of very high quality.

Anyway, a friend of mine is really into Harn. So I printed and bound Harn Pottage volumes 1, 2 and 3 in a single book, covered them in the Free RPG Day 2012 Harn map…

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Coptic stitch, sewn headbands…

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And an 8 threads braid wrapping around it instead of a latch, splitting in two for ease of closing.

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Possibly the flashiest edition of all Harn Pottages. It’s not perfect but I’m really happy with the result.

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The Solstice is Nigh! It’s that time of the year again!

Twelve beheaded dwarves,
Eleven poisoned halflings,
Ten giant frogs a-leaping,
Nine aligned swords,
Eight balors,
Seven keys for seven gates,
Six phoenixes e-xploding,
Five golden rings,
Four shriekers,
Three cockatrices,
Two death ray traps,
And a dragon on his hoard!

Plus a small status update on all things here at the lost blog:

  • The Pergamino, CORSICA and Chthonic Codex will be put out by a publisher. Yes, that would be me. The publisher has a name and a site. But the domain registration went wrong so I don’t feel comfortable revealing more details. 
  • This means that to pre-order the Pergamino you have to send me an email and/or send me 15£ via Paypal (+5£ for shipping outside of the UK). There are still copies available for preorder, but not a great number. After the site goes live the price will probably be bumped up a little bit.
  • The publisher will focus on the following business: small press games, limited edition handbound books and tabletop games and a POD+handbinder. This means that you can send me a PDF and I’ll send you back a book bound to order. Due to the problems above online orders are not available yet so send me an email if you want some
  • CORSICA (yes! it’s definitely going to be published! 100% not a joke!) went through a preliminary layout experiment to “feel how it feels”; it feels great. Richard and I concluded that since we don’t specially care about shipping it early, we would rather be incredibly ambitious and ship something awesome later. Later means not before Spring 2013. This means I’ll have to go to Amsterdam and looking at rigging and hulls drinking advocaat, well, it’s going to be tough but I’ll gladly take one for the team.
  • Chthonic Codex went through a not-great period due to what can be best described as authoral problems. At the moment the manuscript is between 15 and 25 pages of dense text, plus a trainload of illustrations. There is still twice that amount of text to be written plus an unrelated wagonload of drawings I can’t discuss about yet. It’s coming together how me and Chris wanted it to be, which is the most flattering thing I could ever hope to write, really.
  • Roger and Rea came to Glasgow and stayed over at mine. Happenstance, on my 33rd birthday. We had hopes of engaging in some gaming, but after a 6 courses dinner we decided to just sit and have a chat. Fruitful discussions about RPGs happened! And design! Amongst the gifts I received Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, shiny purple d30 (I need excuses to use it now) and some character art Roger made years ago. In the back of the character drawing we found the map of Roger’s second campaign ever.
  • Burgs and Bailiffs needs only layout. Yay and thanks to everybody that collaborated!

Pergamino Barocco: Not your usual spell RPG supplement

In the life of a small-small-small-small-press RPG publisher there are times when substance and content is the only thing that matters. Some other times, instead, it’s mostly about style. Then there are some lucky combinations where both need to be turned up to 11.

RPG supplements about spells and magic are usually awfully plain lists of descriptions of spells, all crammed up in as few pages as possible and seemingly written in the driest way possible.

Enters the Pergamino Barocco

And here is where Roger and I break the mold. Because you always wanted your spells to be in a book that looks like a spellbook, feels like a spellbook and illustrated with arcane imagery. Maybe handbound. Like in the picture below, showing Roger’s copy.

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The Pergamino Barocco contains a panoply of arcane knowledge ready to be used in your old school fantasy game. Each spell (designed and written by Roger) occupies at least a page and is illustrated with a period woodcut.

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And it’s not going to be a stitched book, but a folded scroll. So not only you can page through it as a normal book, but you can also display any number of pages you want at the same time,  potentially all of them at the same time, as shown below [*]. This also makes possible for multiple magic-users to peruse the book at the same time should they agree to share its secrets.

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I will bind all copies (click for some examples of my bound books), individually and carefully, by hand. The cost is not exactly defined but it will be around 15£ + s/h (free shipping to the UK).

You can choose your Pergamino to be bound in your choice of the following materials: maroon buckram (washable and resistant, same quality of Roger’s copy but maroon), purple bookcloth (nice feeling, more delicate book-grade cloth) or black japanese silk (three copies only, price around 25£ due to the sheer cost of book-grade silk). And will come with a gold-yellow ribbon, because all books need at least a bookmark. [**]

The print run is going to be extremely limited. First come, first serve basis. Custom orders are naturally possible. Preorder here.

[*]: my garden-variety gnome Gnaro is in the picture to provide some scale. I honestly can’t remember how it ended up in the picture in general, and there in particular.

[**]: Roger’s copy does not have one, in case you wonder.

More bookbinding pictures

Yesterday I went for more bookbinding lessons. This time around we put together an half-bound book with a rounded and jointed spine. Enjoy some pictures.

More pictures of my handmade books are here.

Bookbinding course

I spent the past two saturdays learning how to bind books.

Bookbinding is well cool. Handbound journals are fantastic gifts and, well, you know better than me that can you print all the PDFs you use all the times and bind them together. My first attempt was Pelinore + AFG + Book of War + Transcription of the Lost Pages vol. 1 and, to be honest, it’s been a success. Handy, compact and, well, it’s really hard to forget an handbook if you only need to pick up one handbook.

Anyway, as some people liked the looks of my handmade books, I thought I should post some pictures here, in sparse order. I decided to bind Jack W. Shear’s Tales of the Grotesque and the Dungeonesque because it’s full of good stuff useful for the Western League, my grim fantasy campaigns and I can see using it for a long time. And I put two ribbons in it because one ribbon for handbook is never enough.