Team Dragon: The Book

Note: This is an old post in a blog with a lot of posts. The world has changed, technologies have changed, and I've changed. It's likely this is out of date and not representative. Let me know if you think this is something that needs updating.

Between the end of 2003 and mid-2007, I played in a D&D campaign that was really fantastic. The campaign ran its course and our stalwart crew of awesomeness saved the world and then we went our separate ways.

During that period of time, I kept copious notes in a MoinMoin wiki of our adventures. It was always a hope that I'd take these notes and do something with them.

I played in another campaign in 2007 and used InkScape to do a comic of the first session or two of that campaign in the style of Order of the Stick. It was a lot of fun, but took forever to do each panel. I decided it'd take me a long time to do 4 years worth of sessions in comic form.

So I started a book version. I wrote a Python script (which I've since lost) that converted MoinMoin format into restructured text. Then I threw the whole thing together with Sphinx. This allowed me to edit in restructured text, compile a LaTeX document, and then generate a PDF from that. Plus I got to spend some quality time with Sphinx to see how well it generates manuals.

That worked really well except for some minor issues.

First, I needed to set the paper size in the resulting PDF. To do that, I set the latex_preamble in the file to:

latex_preamble = '\\usepackage[papersize={6in,9in}]{geometry}\n' \

That creates the PDF in the size I needed: 6in x 9in.

Second, I needed to fix some images so they were in a table with text. I ended up writing the LaTeX for that by hand.

Third, I didn't think the chapter headings really fit with what I wanted to build, so I changed the fncychap style to Lenny.

While I was editing the LaTeX directly, I ended up changing some of the front matter and removed the index (didn't need an index to a novel).

It took me a year to put the book together. It's around 240 pages or so. Today I finished it up, created a Lulu project for the book and had a bunch of copies printed for the others in the group. Feels good to have that done. I'm looking forward to getting a copy in the mail.

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