Raspberry Pi of Death Blog
By N. Leveck
On miniature books – Pocketmod as RPG Tool
The pocketmod0 has been around for over a decade. They are excedingly useful, however the site that started it all has aged badly. Even with the kickstarter funded rewrite (coming soon), do I really want to be tied to an outside source for creating pocketmods? Towards this end, I have figured out a solution that works for me.
I use a vector app called Graphic1 to create pocketmods. The first step was importing a single page PDF file of an existing pocketmod. Then I covered the content of that pocketmod up with white rectangles. After that I placed numbers indicating page order on top of where each page would be as a guide to help me with the subsequent steps. These show through upper layers is you pinch and zoom. Then I added a clear layer atop this in which the content will live. Next I placed images on each page, sized properly to allow the folding lines to remain visible, bottom images rotated 180 degrees. This I saved as my template.
Creating a pocketmod with this template is drop dead simple. I export a PDF to PNG files using another app. I then replace the images in my template one at a time with the proper page, setting it to stretch to fit (this setting will be replaced when you switch images, so it does not matter if you save your template with this setting already selected for the image placeholders). Then I return to the document list, choosing to Save A Copy instead of saving over my template. The same type of operation can be accomplished using Powerpoint on Windows or similar programs on other platforms (indeed a post on an RPG forum by a commercial producer of pocketmod formatted games uses Powerpoint, and this inspired my method).
Important note: trim the margin added to the printed page off if your printer does not print edge-to-edge. This is the only way to ensure a perfectly folded result! Also, if possible, print at high resolution to prevent blurry text!
Larger books can be produced by creating multiple pocketmods, stacking them, and using packing tape to secure them together. A cover of plastic or card stock can easily be made by cutting three ring dividers to size and using a couple more pieces of packing tape. I have a pocket sized copy of Mythic GME I made in this manner (made with the PDF file I bought on DriveThruRPG). There is an official release of the Fate RPG Accelerated rulebook that is 6 pocketmods and is available on their site2. This I also bound with a plastic cover. As an extra step, I choose to apply a glue stick to the reverse of each pocketmod before I fold it. This leads to a higher degree of difficulty as it will stick to itself and you need a be fast -YMMV. The result of this is a very nice, durable miniature book.
I have had perfect vision my entire life, yet even I do have an issue with reading super small script. To overcome this, I have a pair of 2.5 strength reading glasses in my RPG mobile kit. You may find a similar sollution to this, and reading glasses are available in even higher strengths! The conveinience of the small book outweighs the hassle of the reading glasses (plus my wife says they make me look studious, so there is that).
I have RPG modules, tables, rulebooks, etc. all bound in this manner. Give it a shot, see if you find it usefull. Photos of my Fate Accelerated pocketmod book3.