The Dragon Kings PDF is out to backers, so I am posting an addendum to the review I did last week to look specifically at the art and layout of the book.
The Dragon Kings PDF has a 2 column layout with side bars.
The text retains its ease of digestion in this final format. The side bars are nicely placed and don’t disrupt the flow of information. The font is much easier to read than the manuscript copy, and it all blends together nicely.
The text on each page is overlaid on a background image, however, it does not distract from the reading. The layout keeps these images in the background, and the effect serves as a subtle reminder the reader of the nature of Khitus. The images alternate each chapter between a desert landscape and a forested scene. In my mind, we are seeing two branching futures for Khitus as we turn the pages; what will happen if the world continues on the path others have chosen for it, and the future the PC’s may yet forge.
The cover of the book is by Brom. It deserves another look because it is amazing.
I like that Tim went with Brom for the cover, as it serves to harken Dragon Kings back to the days of Dark Sun. It is a great visual link for this spiritual successor.
The map for Khitus was done by Alyssa Faden. I was not familiar with her work before Dragon Kings, but she does a great job giving life to the lands of Khitus. We are given an overview map of the region covered in the World Book as well as eight expanded views of different regions.
The rest the book’s art is good. While all do the book justice in bringing the cultures, landscape, threats, and creatures of Khitus to life, stylistically there is about 10% – 15% of the art that did not do it for me. That being said, their presence was not jarring, nor did it pull me out of the flow of the book.
The Dragon Kings World book really came together well. The aesthetics of the presentation compliments the text. The map is gorgeous and I want a poster size version of it. The only thing I would love to see updated in the PDF is the inclusion of hyperlinks, which would not be difficult for an overly detail-orientated fan to add in.
I plan on picking up a hard copy of this book at Gen Con and cannot wait to start running games in Khitus. I look forward to the rules release and whatever Tim has planned next for the world of Dragon Kings.