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12/07/2018 2:18 pm  #1


Is there any way we can get a PDF index of the current 2e book.

I know the new Player's Manual that is currently in preparation will include an index, but for those of us who have the complete AS&SH print version, it would be very useful to have an index for that -- even if it's a separate document. 

Any plans on that ?

Thanks!

 

12/07/2018 7:10 pm  #2


Re: Is there any way we can get a PDF index of the current 2e book.

I think I could whip something up, but the hard part of an index what words to index?

How many pages would be too much? How many would be too little?

I would hate to think of the meetings between DMPrate and Ghul about the Players Manual Index. Now double that for the full text.


What? Me worry?
 

12/07/2018 9:31 pm  #3


Re: Is there any way we can get a PDF index of the current 2e book.

I think I could whip something up

I'd take a rudimentary index over nothing. 

Ideally it should be the creators that make the index. I don't know how much effort that would entail at this point, but it would be nice to have. Not everybody will buy the new player's handbook. 

I've noticed that it's becoming somewhat of a trend recently to not include an index (looking at you, Mongoose Traveller!), and for the life of me I don't understand why. Opinions may differ, but for me, indices are an absolute necessity, especially in RPGs. 

Last edited by trelayne_jefferson (12/07/2018 9:31 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

12/07/2018 10:17 pm  #4


Re: Is there any way we can get a PDF index of the current 2e book.

Welcome to the forums, trelayne_jefferson! Only Jeff can answer questions about future plans. As the editor of Second Edition, I can tell you we were up against a page limit for that massive tome, beyond which it could not physically be printed. (Random encounter tables also didn’t make the cut.) We felt we could sacrifice an index because A) the tables of contents are well detailed, and B) we used extensive cross-references throughout the book to point the reader to specific pages for related information. Now certainly you aren’t alone in your desire to have an index, so maybe we should have sacrificed something different, but that was our reasoning.

 

12/08/2018 3:25 am  #5


Re: Is there any way we can get a PDF index of the current 2e book.

Well, there's a reason why indices are a typographic convention, and I don't think the ToC or the cross-references make up for it (in fact, from experience I know they don't). Most readers take the index for granted (as they should!). Hence it's a real shock when it is absent. 

I do appreciate, however, the rationale behind the decision and the fact that it wasn't just a careless oversight . I strongly believe that something else should have been left out instead, but at least you had a good reason for leaving out the index (unlike many other RPG products). 

Nevertheless, I don't see any reason to not release the index as a separate PDF. Given the capabilities of modern software, it should be fairly easy to produce.  Hopefully that's something that we'll get in the near future. 

     Thread Starter
 

12/09/2018 6:34 pm  #6


Re: Is there any way we can get a PDF index of the current 2e book.

We are doing a comprehensive index for the forthcoming Players' Manual. I plan to also release this as a separate PDF for hardback users to print, if they wish. Welcome aboard, Trelayne!


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

12/09/2018 11:31 pm  #7


Re: Is there any way we can get a PDF index of the current 2e book.

Indices are a tremendous pain in the but to do properly (see Shadowrun 5e for an example of a rather large, but ultimately useless index).

It's amazing how well edited Hyperborea is. I mean, must look at the errata thread for the 1st edition of Hyperborea. It's really not that bad.

http://hyperborea.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=273


I haven't really scrutinized the current text but I would assume it's no worse and certainly much better as far as editing.


What? Me worry?
 

12/10/2018 12:12 am  #8


Re: Is there any way we can get a PDF index of the current 2e book.

Certainly. I don't mean to make the process sound trivial or easy. Making an index for a 600+ page book is NOT a trivial process. And I agree: AS&SH is a very well put-together book -- a work of art in itself! But, that does not mean that it does not need an index. It does. 

Indices are a tremendous pain in the but to do properly



Sure, but I'd say that it also depends on the software being used. For example, I've used LaTeX for a lot of my projects, and I can say that it makes the generation of indices really easy (in most cases, that is). Of course, there are still a lot of challenges involved with it, but good software can save you a decent amount of time.  

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12/10/2018 9:38 am  #9


Re: Is there any way we can get a PDF index of the current 2e book.

That's the generation of the index, it still really, really undersells the effort deciding what goes in the index.

Even with good software like LaTeX you still have to mark each instance of the word in the text (in LaTeX's case \index{word}). It isn't much different with something like MS Word. You still have to find and evaluate each instance of the word to see if makes sense to put it in the index and you have to do that every single time you edit the damn thing.

As mentioned at the link below you could automate the index creation (what I could do with some programs) is a concordance and not an index:

https://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/59317/auto-generate-an-index/59336#59336


What? Me worry?
 

12/10/2018 9:50 am  #10


Re: Is there any way we can get a PDF index of the current 2e book.

That's true, there's no software that will choose the words for you. You can automate certain parts of it, and ideally, you can spot the index words during the writing process -- but it's still a lot of work. 

     Thread Starter
 

12/13/2018 1:38 pm  #11


Re: Is there any way we can get a PDF index of the current 2e book.

We have just under 1,000 terms in the current index. Painstakingly assembled by Mr. David Prata.


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

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