Question on Preferences for Layout

Because L&E has been written over many years, the formatting hasn't yet been fully standardized on the entries.

Do you prefer having monster characteristics in the descriptions (as I've done in most entries), or do you prefer having monster characteristics at the end of the entry (as I've done with the dragons)?

Do you prefer magic items described as:

  • short sword +1 (Auran short sword with a hilt fastened in the shape of a winged sun)
  • An Auran short sword +1 with a hilt fastened in the shape of a winged sun
  • An Auran short sword with a hilt fastened in the shape of a winged sun (short sword +1)
  • Variable depending on context

For trade goods, do you find it more valuable to be given the per-item or total values? E.g.

  • 4 jars of bloodroot and madder dye (200gp and 20 stone total), OR
  • 4 jars of bloodroot and madder dye (50gp and 4 stone each)

Let me know what you think!





I'll have to give the book another pass before I'm sure.  On the one hand, if there are 5 variations of orcs and each room just has some combination of them, then i'd prefer to just have them all at the end.  But, if there are some monsters that only appear in a given room, I'd prefer to just see the stat block in the room.



I prefer the 3rd style, with descriptive text followed by parenthetical mechanics text.


Trade Goods:

I prefer the total, easier to add up the grand  total of the treasure cache that way.

I prefer the first format for magic items, and the second for tradegoods.

I like # 1 for magic items (easier to find game stats during play) and # 2 for the trade goods.

Monster stats work fine at the end for Lairs.

No opinion on monsters.

3rd for Magic items.

1st for Trade goods.

I like #3 for magic items (it lets me describe the item to the players with the best flow through the text). #1 would be my second choice, and #2 last.

For trade goods, I prefer #2. Either way, there will be math, but having it per item makes it easier when they decide to grab 3 out of the 4, because then it's "per item times items taken," rather than "total divided by number of items times items taken."

Oh! And by the way, in case this is something you're looking at as well...

I prefer:

Lair: 25% (Clear, Grass, Scrub, Inhabited)


Lair: Clear, Grass, Scrub, Inhabited, 25%

For magic items I prefer #1 or #3. (It’s not that important to me what order it’s in, but I do like to have the description separated from the mechanics.)

For trade goods I prefer weights and values per unit, instead of the total. This is a marginal preference, though, and I think ideally for me I’d rather see both anyway.
(4 jars of bloodroot and madder dye (50gp and 4 stone each, 200gp and 20 stone total) as example )

The information is redundant that way and it might not be feasible as it does add length/page count and take more editing effort, but I think I do prefer just being able to see both at a glance.

Monster stats at end of entry.

Description #3 for magic items.

Description #2 for trade goods.

Monster stats: I like these at the end of the lair entry

Magic items: I like options #1 or #3; as long as the mechanics are seperated from the description.

Trade goods: I like #2 for per-item values; often my players will only take a few loads and not the whole pile. If it's not too much extra work, having both per-item and the total would be very helpful.

+1 to this.

Magic items I prefer 1, biased by the fact I'm not running Auran Empire as a setting, so having the description paranthesized makes details like winged suns easier to drop and replace.  I can see the argument for 3, especially if you are running AE, since it puts the description up front where it's easier to paraphrase at the table.

Trade goods I prefer 2, for the same reason as Tire.

Monster stats at end in general, but sometimes it makes more sense to have them in the description.
Magic items #1
Trade goods #2

I'm glad you all prefer my personal favorite for magic items, #2! SIGH


I like #1 for magic items. I've actually changed my mind - looking at it again closely I think I prefer #3.

It really helps me to have the weights of items broken down individually, so put me in as a strong #2 vote for trade goods.

I'd say the Hag lair is my favorite monster stat breakdown - they're listed at the end but described individually in that listing as well. I like the stats at the end, but for leader types in large groups it's also great for me to be able to eyeball their description along with their stats and not have to go back searching through the text to remember who is who.

1. monster characteristics in the descriptions

2. An Auran short sword with a hilt fastened in the shape of a winged sun (short sword +1)

3. 4 jars of bloodroot and madder dye (200gp and 20 stone total)

4 stone for a jar? That's more like an amphora, isn't it?

It would be about three gallons - a 3 gallon stoneware crock from Ohio Stoneware is 16 pounds empty, and water (the main component of dye) is 8.43 pounds per gallon, so a full crock would be 41.29 pounds. A standard Roman wine amphora was around 10.25 gallons, or approximately 86.4 pounds of water (plus the weight of the amphora itself).

OK, a three-gallon stoneware crock makes a lot of sense. And they're very nice things to have in camp to keep your drinking water in, modulo the weight of hauling them.

If I can keep poking at details, though, modernly we seem to ship dyestuffs, and hydrate it to make the dye on site at time of use. What I've read of the logistics of the medieval/renaissance cloth industry is similar. So it'd make more sense to ship madder & bloodroot, ground or not - which would be a lot lighter and easier to contain and yet retain most of the value.

I'd go for monster stat's at either the end of the entry, or within the text but separated into its own paragraph.


Items: I tend to go for option 2 for both magic and trade goods.