Here’s a change of pace from my nightstand. Infinity is a sci-fi skirmish tabletop game and the 4th edition (branded N4) came out late last summer. I still haven’t been able to play the game with my tabletop friends thanks to COVID. Boo!
Also on the nightstand are magnetic bookmarks that I brought back from Taiwan that have famous lines from Chinese literature on them. And my 15 year-old kinetic Seiko that I’ve been wearing more recently again because I just had it refurbished.
The business model of many games like this is to have the rules available as a free PDF for download and have a nice bound copy available for purchase. The main money maker for the companies are selling you new models to assemble and paint and play with in your squad/team/army.
I don’t play RPGs so I can’t compare them to RPG settings, but I like the universe and it’s been a good way to unwind by reading a few pages before bed.
As far as these go as books, they are a bit on the dry side as they are usually framed as a historical text or background dossier on the characters. It’s all presented in an extremely straightforward manner as the assumption is that you probably won’t read all of the Core book, and will only read your given faction and maybe a few others. I’m newer to the game so I’ve been going slowly through them. I have missed the sense of mystery about what is going to happen next though since even the characters are designed to be a bit open to projecting yourself onto them.
Quality wise, the typesetting itself is extremely small and set in Neo-Sans. If you’re a typeface nerd, it’s kinda hard to read if you’re in your 40s at that size. So there sure are a lot of words and pictures for the money. The copy-editing is uneven though. Quite a few typos and early in the book there is about half a page of text that is repeated and it gave me some legit deja vu.