Does Troll Lord Games actually pay their editors?
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 5:03 am 
 

Ok, I just feel like ranting.. bury this post if you want. I was just looking through my collection of Troll Lord Game Modules and am baffled at the consistently poor editing and typos.. Whats the deal? I may have made typos in this post but at least Im not getting payed for it. And no I dont have a degree in English, but I would expect somebody who is hired by a company to produce game modules to be somewhere close to that level and not allow such a jumble mess to get printed.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 6:04 am 
 

Afrika Corps wrote:Ok, I just feel like ranting.. bury this post if you want. I was just looking through my collection of Troll Lord Game Modules and am baffled at the consistently poor editing and typos.. Whats the deal? I may have made typos in this post but at least Im not getting payed for it. And no I dont have a degree in English, but I would expect somebody who is hired by a company to produce game modules to be somewhere close to that level and not allow such a jumble mess to get printed.


Early stuff, yes..they have gotten better with the C&C stuff.

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:05 pm 
 

A couple of us lamented this very subject not too long ago; the question is whether I can still find the thread ...

... searching ...

Okay, got it: First couple of pages of this thread

I've been voting with my wallet lately against both Troll Lord and KenzerCo. I dropped my Knights of the Dinner Table subscription and have refused to buy anything with the Kenzer logo for the past few months. As a "regular" reader, I find their lack of editing/proofreading to be disturbing; as a professional editor, I find it appalling.

It's interesting to note that a late '70s D&D product out of Lake Geneva — produced either without word processing or with a word processor lacking a spell-check feature — will have far fewer errors than anything produced in 2006 by either TLG or KenzerCo.

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:21 am 
 

The editing complaint against Troll Lord Games is justified, in that the company did hamper adoption of Castles & Crusades by the copious amounts of errata for the Player's Handbook (five pages of errata).  As the guy who put together the errata, half of it was spelling errors, and I do agree that spelling errors are not good things in a product that can be created in a word processor.

However, Troll Lord Games has tightened up the ship in that regard.  The Player's Handbook is still not perfect (half a page of errata), but it's far easier to read and use than the 1st printing of the same book.  My only other thought here is that these smaller companies generally function from book to book, and do not have a proverbial war chest to draw upon like Hasbro can with its crappy game.  Troll Lord Games understands that proofreading is required, and have a proofreader in house to try to avoid the mistake they admitted making when it came to the 1st print Player's Handbook for Castles & Crusades.

I don't know about Kenzer Co., Mongoose, or the other second tier publishers (Hasbro and White Wolf being first tier IMO), but I suspect they have even tighter margins, which ends up leading to more errata.  Your point about older games not having such copious errata is a sound one, however it really falls flat in the face of Gamma World 3E, a role playing game written without a computer* and so badly written as to be almost totally unplayable without an errata booklet that was sixteen pages long.

I would say that by the standard presented here, TSR itself would have failed to meet the test.  Would you have voted with your wallet against TSR for its obvious spelling and grammatical errors that popped up in its books on a repeated basis, including OD&D?

*Computers in 1986 cost about $3,000 apiece for a 386 at 16MHz, running DOS 3.x/Windows 2.x.  Ventura Publisher was available, but it didn't run under Windows, being GEM-based.



  

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:21 am 
 

Good editing will not make a bad game product good.

Likewise, poor editing (by itself) usually cannot really make a good game product bad.

I am willing to put up with a certain level of amateurish presentation for a quality game product.

But...slick and finished does not make some woeful game products good.

Mark


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:54 am 
 

Traveller wrote:The editing complaint against Troll Lord Games is justified, in that the company did hamper adoption of Castles & Crusades by the copious amounts of errata for the Player's Handbook (five pages of errata).  As the guy who put together the errata, half of it was spelling errors, and I do agree that spelling errors are not good things in a product that can be created in a word processor.

I would say that by the standard presented here, TSR itself would have failed to meet the test.  Would you have voted with your wallet against TSR for its obvious spelling and grammatical errors that popped up in its books on a repeated basis, including OD&D?


    As for 1st edition products, the only one that pops to the top of my mind is L1 Secret of Bone Hill, with many spelling and editing errors.  Otherwise I can't recall any really jaw dropping errors in any standard, "letter" module.  But again this was 25 years ago....
  In contrast, with 25 years of computer innovations behind them, Troll Lord continues to mispell common words and ignore the need of a proofreader.  It's very obvious that many of the products were never proofread, any other excuse is impossible to fathom. The question should be if TSR failed to meet the test TODAY, would I vote with my wallet against them, the answer is yes.  Any company that doesn't respect it's material enough to proofread it yet wishes you to pay inflated prices for it, deserves to have their bottom line suffer. Which isn't the entire reason I don't purchase Troll Lord items, but it's a factor.  

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:32 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:The question should be if TSR failed to meet the test TODAY, would I vote with my wallet against them, the answer is yes.

Yes, that's the point entirely — thank you, Mike ...

Badmike wrote:mispell

... although I think you're just testing us here. :)

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Post Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:14 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Any company that doesn't respect it's material enough to proofread it yet wishes you to pay inflated prices for it, deserves to have their bottom line suffer.


Couldn't agree more. I mean seriously, if a company can't take the time to run a spellcheck program, what're the odds that they've actually tested or really even THOUGHT about the crap they're trying to sell you?

If you want to see really, really horrible editing/proofing, browse anything by Fast Forward Games. Their stuff is just outright laughable.

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Post Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:06 pm 
 

GraysonAC wrote:
Couldn't agree more. I mean seriously, if a company can't take the time to run a spellcheck program, what're the odds that they've actually tested or really even THOUGHT about the crap they're trying to sell you?

If you want to see really, really horrible editing/proofing, browse anything by Fast Forward Games. Their stuff is just outright laughable.


This is funny you mentioned it, was just flipping through a Fast Forward item the other day, tons of spelling mistakes.  You are right about outright laughable....
  I think right after the 3E announcement, a lot of this stuff for about a year or so was rushed out to cash in on the boom.  Not a lot of quality control.

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Post Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:24 pm 
 

How bad did it get for FFG? Remember when they were publicly flogged by Wizards for abusing the d20 OGL?

FFG's big boo-boo

I mean, you almost have to try to screw up an open license like that. And, back to the point at hand, someone at FFG with the word "editor" in their title should have caught it before it went out the door. There is a lot more to editing than just spelling and syntax (or at least there is at serious companies).

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:44 pm 
 

Wow, they actually had to destroy product, LOL. That's awesome. Shame that Dungeon World was one of the books - that's actually not completely horrible, there's at least some neat dungeon ideas in it.

Oh well. FFE is just one amongst many really bad companies that, like Mike said, looked like they tried to cash in on the boom. There's very few "good" 3rd party companies, imo. AEG, Fiery Dragon, Necromancer Games, and Malhavoc books are the only ones I'd consider really good. Penumbra, Otherworld, and Green Ronin are ok. GR's 'game balance' is pretty hit or miss though. Otherworld has great production value - check out their Shadowland modules (comes with a CD), but hasn't put much out.

The rest.. bleh. FFE, Goodman Games, Mongoose, and the dozens of others..

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