Shaper and Maker

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Why don't publishers do user-friendly errata?

Another post inspired by a forum discussion: A Savage World Deluxe buyer complains his hand cramping after writing down all the errata in the book while another one asked why didn't he print out the errata & tape/glue it in place. This isn't so simple; many errata is written in format 'Replace clause X by clause Y' - it might not fit to page at all.

A great step towards greater usability design of rpg's and other games could easily be applied to errata: just a bunch of chapters that can be printed out and which fit perfectly in the places they are supposed to be in the book - including any background patterns, so the book looks almost like it did before errata. There would be page number in separate header of the errata clip and any instructions if necessary - but usually their place would be obvious.

Smallest errata perhaps shouldn't be this way; if a number in the rules should be 2 and it is 3, if there's any room around it might be easier to fix manually - but it's matter of tastes how a game owner wants to do it.

An example from such cut & glue errata item:

Example of user-friendly errata format



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What you describe is far more

What you describe is far more difficult in practice than it is in theory. Suppose the errata-ed item is longer than the original. How much of the following text do you re-flow? Suppose the errata-ed item crosses a page break, do you break it in two? What if the errata is less of a replacement of the original rule, and more of a clarification or a special case? That involves introducing at least a full extra sentence, and often a full paragraph.

Honestly, I find that the best way to do errata is to cut the errata doc into strips and put the strips between the pages, like bookmarks. Simple, easy to reference, easy to change if the errata changes, and it doesn't damage your book.

It might not work in every

Submitted by Shaper and Maker on

It might not work in every case. Sometimes reducing font size by one point might do it. I know, this needs some work for the producer to make it work well, but if there are 1000 that have bought the book and want to apply errata and one person does the errata, then wouldn't it be a lot of extra value for the book if one person does 5 more hours of work saving half an hour of work from those 1000?

Large additions might work best as separate pieces though. I don't like pieces of paper in the middle of the book, they tend to fly around when reading the book in random places or flipping through it in hurry. Clarifications and additions should perhaps be on separate appendix, and just be marked with an index number in the actual ruling?

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