D&D RC P.O.D.

P.O.D. reprint on left, original printing on the right.
My Print-on-Demand copy of the D&D Rules Cyclopedia of 1991 has finally arrived from DriveThruRPG, after the first one they shipped disappeared into the postal aether.

It's my favourite iteration of the pre-d20 System D&D, and I'm pretty happy with it overall.

The paper they've used is thicker, whiter, and more matte than the stock used in the original printing, which is more like the thin, flimsy, shiny stuff they used for AD&D2e, and I very much prefer the new paper.

Feel the thickness!
 As a result, the book is about a third again thicker than the original, though the page count is identical.

The covers overhang the page area more too. Whether this is beneficial, or neutral, or problematic, I suppose only time will tell.

The binding is just a perfect glue-binding stuck into hard covers, so it's unlikely to be as long-lasting as the saddle-stitched signature-bound original. On the other hand, it was only about twenty-five yankeebucks, so you can only expect so much.

Incidentally, the sticker price on the back cover of the original was $24.95 U.S., so this reprint is about the same price as the original was back in '91.


Inside, the matte paper is a bit easier on the eyes, I find. The green accent colour used throughout is a lot paler than in the original, but it's still adequate for delineating table rows, which is its main job. The images have been replicated well; they're pretty much all black-&-white line art, so there's nothing particularly tricky there — though they do seem a bit crisper and cleaner than the examples in the companion Creature Catalog volume, which I also bought in P.O.D. (softcover) a couple of years ago. The text is all clean and readable.

In the back of the book there are some full-colour maps; these are all a bit softer and fuzzier than the originals, but not so much that they're not perfectly usable.

All in all, I'd call it good value for money.

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