Saturday, 5 March 2011

DriveThru Print Program - Stars Without Numbers bw/softcover

A few posts back I mentioned DriveThruRPG's (and OneBookshelf's) launch of their print-on-demand service.  I'm no expert on the quality of print on demand products and my only point of reference are games I've bought from  What really interests me is how people use the PDFs they buy, especially for larger rulesets.  Do gaming tables all have laptops now?  I can see the logic when it comes to looking up a rule super-fast, just click "search".  However sometimes buying the book can make a lot more sense once you've tried double-sided printing and discovered that you're not exactly an expert when it comes to book binding.  Man, I hate printing large documents.

A couple of days ago I received in the post my soft-cover copy of Sine Nomine Publishing's Stars Without Number - a sort of d20-Traveller open setting "sandbox" system (see my brief review), and I love it!  Of course since the PDF is actual free, this is one of the cheaper rulesets you can buy in print on DriveThru. The soft-cover black and white copy is $14.99 plus postage at the moment.  I paid $19.99 + $5.06 postage, which came to £15.40 GBP which is still pretty good going... it'll be even cheaper now.

The book itself is actually printed by Lightning Source - who already have a fairly good reputation (in my case it was despatched by Lightning Source UK, which is located in Milton Keynes, apparently).  The order was made on the 23rd February, the text claims to have been printed on the 24th - or perhaps thats just when the text is submitted to the printers.  It arrived firmly packed in cardboard on Friday (March 4th).  Nine days from click to delivery aint bad, I reckon.

As it's a soft cover the thin pages have a tendency to become a little wavy in a cold room, but this is to be expected.  The binding feels firm and print quality is excellent.  Text with grey backgrounds in tables are still readable and many of the illustrations come out very well, with the exception of a few which have a more photographic washed out contrast, but they are certainly still of reasonable quality.  It's really nice to be able to sit and browse through these rules in a book format.  It's US Letter in size appx.

Here's some pictures:
(Click for biggies)

Stars Without Number soft cover front

Stars Without Number soft cover back

Stars Without Number soft cover spine

Stars Without Number soft cover -pages- open

Stars Without Number soft cover -example of art and print quality

Apparently it's World Book Night tonight -which is surely a conspiracy to cut down more trees?!  

It's an omen I tell you! - Buy an actual printed book, before we run out of trees for good. ;)

Books in print at DriveThruRPG


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