Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Although it will never happen

... since I like compiled books, and don't like pdfs at all, it would be cool if somehow all the various blogs out there were compiled and organized into a single, huge book. You'd have a massive, rambling tome of advice, musings, and resources. It wouldn't be all that usable unless someone were to organize it, which would really and truly be the problem. A bunch of people could conceivably create such a thing by contacting lots of bloggers, but it would be that organizational component that I think would bust the likelihood of such a project. Somebody would have to edit it, or it wouldn't be anything more than a collection of topics thrown willy-nilly into a giant pile of text. The other problem is that everyone has an off day now and then, and it would be a bit touchy for that editor to be put into the position of telling someone that there are posts that really don't meet the standards of the rest of the book. And without that, there would be weak points -- I don't think any blogger out there would really claim that all his posts are of the highest possible quality. Certainly mine aren't.

Nevertheless, all the writing that has been done over the years makes for a formidable body of work -- probably, indeed, the availability of the internet has created more polished material than was available in the seventies and eighties, where people simply knew that no one other than a few friends would ever read it. When that's the case, why bother to turn scribbled notes into anything more readable? Now, if you're looking at some scribbled notes, it's not a big leap to decide to finish it out a bit and post it where quite a few people will read it and benefit from it.

It's just a thought experiment, since really I don't think it would be possible to organize a project like that -- I certainly wouldn't want to go to all that grief. But it would be really cool if it somehow materialized. While I'm at it, though, I'd like a million dollars and my youth back, too.


  1. Perhaps the OSR Links to Wisdom wiki is a model that could be used to initially compile such a book. Bloggers could "nominate" posts (by themselves or others) by posting them to a "Blogoshpere Compendium" wiki. Just an idea, because I would love to see a print compilation of some of the blogosphere highlights as well.

    Still requires an editor or editorial team, though.

  2. Wow that would be quite an endeavour.

    Someone did exactly as you say, several years ago, and published a "best of" bloggers tome.

    That sort of project would definitely benefit from a capable and merciless editor.

  3. The real problem with having a merciless editor -- and I agree that's what would be needed -- is that the editor will absolutely and inevitably piss off several contributors during the course of the editing. It would end up, for that person, being a pyrrhic victory at best, at least on a personal level.

  4. I have thought about doing this exact thing. Especially in regards to monsters and variant rules. The only problem, as you noted - the GIGANTIC task it involves. But I shall keep thinking.

  5. Hey Myth it is called a Wiki Group and it takes a tone of dedication. Essentially it is an online Tome of Tomes lol.

    Forgotten realms is on there and Grey Hawk. Complete with authors comments and less than facts. Only those are kept separate from the content.

    Hell with all the blogging you do and the board, if you set up a wiki group you could probably do great and wonderful things. The problem I see with it is that there are far too many egos to appease in the OSR. Obviously look at the Drama right now absolutely ridiculous.

    The odds are it would fail and implode itself before it ever got the chance, because of all of these personalities. Just remember never say never.

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  7. The Open Game Table also has a second volume. Jonathan Jacobs, the managing editor, rolled the project under the Nevermet Press umbrella:

    Nevermet Press & Open Game Table

  8. open game table is what i was thinking of

    there was a copy at my FLGS if you can believe it

  9. It would probably be have to done by subject matter. For instance, I have a huge amount of people's posts saved on my hard drive just on the subject of hex-mapping and wilderness adventures. There's some great stuff there, truly inspirational. I've often thought it would be great to stick them all together in one document so I don't have to hunt through article titles looking for the right ones. There's just such a huge volume of good writing out there.