Thursday, 4 February 2010

OD&DITIES: The 'Standard Layout'

One of the things that was apparent in the early stages of my thoughts about reviving OD&DITIES was that I wanted to provide each issue with some sort of a 'binding theme', a focal point for the issue. Not only would this serve as a means for me to hang article ideas off, it would help later on when it came to article submissions. Also, I wanted to return to the old practice of ongoing columns; features such as 'Street of a Thousand Adventures' and 'Compendium of Characters' were popular before, and I wanted to try and capture some of that same magic this time.

Given that I wanted OD&DITIES to be a regular monthly publication, I decided also that I would keep the page length to around 24 pages. (Not counting the OGC Licence.) This had several advantages - it would be a managable piece to print out, could include a wide variety of content, and would lend itself well to being produced in a compendium format later on, of 72 pages. Any bigger, and I would struggle to fill the magazine on a regular basis.

With this in mind, I settled on a structure for the magazine, one that I intend to try and stick to. Two articles - one of four pages, one of two, directly related to the 'theme' of the magazine. Four more pages - either two two-page articles, or one four-page article, on an unrelated topic. Four columns - a four-page new class in each issue, the 'Surviving the DM's Wrath' piece, usually of two pages, providing tips and suggestions for players, a 'Magicial Miscellany' piece - either magical items or spells, generally in support of the main theme, and Mr. B's Last Word.

This means - with the other necessaries such as covers and contents pages...

Cover (1 Page)
Contents (1 Page)
Editorial (1 Page)
Theme Article One (4 Pages)
Theme Article Two (2 Pages)
'Touch of Class' (4 Pages)
Unrelated Articles (2+2 or 4 Pages)
'Magical Miscellany' (1 Page)
'Surviving the DM's Wrath (2 Pages)
Mr. B's Last Word (1 Page)
Back Cover (1 Page)

This adds up to 22 pages, with leaves me some room for flexibility. I can introduce new columns, and see if there is any additional interest, run reviews (the new 'Advanced Edition Companion' is an obvious 'must-review' for Issue 14), and cover if any articles run over.

The structure has held up fine for Issue 13, for which the contents list has now been finalised:

Cover (1 Page)
Contents (1 Page)
Editorial (1 Page)
Building the Keep on the Borderlands (4 Pages)
Designing the Keep on the Borderlands (2 Pages)
'Touch of Class': The Illusionist (4 Pages)
'Man's Best Friend' (4 Pages)
Surviving the DM's Wrath: Party Formation (4 Pages)
'Magical Miscellany' (1 Page)
Mr B's Last Word (1 Page)
Back Cover (1 Page).

That's all for today - tomorrow, FONTS!

1 comment:

  1. really looking forward to this. just found the original 12 issues of OD&DITIES online and at quick glance they look really good... time to read ;)