True to the Original

2008 Feb 7

Last Water Margin post today, promise.

I think I solved my problem. My design goals for this project have always including being as true to the original text as possible. This is somewhat amusing to me, since the “original” text is merely the cleaned up, edited, and censored version of messy folks stories that had been passed along for hundreds of years. There are actually multiple competing editions of the “original,” as is often the case (as with Shakespeare or the Gospel of Mark).

In any case, being true to the text in this case means numbering the chapter headings as they are numbered in the actual text, where each chapter title is composed of two headings. This means, with 70 numbers instead of 140, and with only ten numbers on a page, you can roll a d10 and easily see which number you are supposed to use (3 becomes 63 or whatever)… except there are two headings for each number. So the rule will probably be something like “pick one of the two” or “start with the first one” and then, later on, when people roll the same number on the same page, they do the other one. If both are taken, then you start going down the list or reroll.

Here’s a sample page in the new style:


4 Responses to “True to the Original”

  1. Jmstar Says:

    What motivated you to make fidelity to a text a design goal? I don’t care about the source text’s formatting. This introduces a layer of complexity and takes away the wonderfully evocative title from the previous version, which is itself more faithful to In A Wicked Age.

  2. Ah. This is actually a different oracle page. The first couple examples were for chapters 1-10 I just haven’t come up with an evocative collective title for this page yet, so “Chapters 21-30” is just a placeholder. I plan to read through all the chapters again before assigning them a collective heading.

    As for textual fidelity, you’ve inspired me to write a few paragraphs about that, which I’m gonna post now. Thanks!

  3. Jmstar Says:

    OK, I just … didn’t read your reply. All is clear! Thanks, Internet, we’re talking over each other.

    (Throws goat)

  4. Ha. Well, I’ll read your other posts in that light.

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