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word count?

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Post originally by Peter C. Spahn at 2005-10-13 17:47:51
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80,000 words and 180,000 words seem awfully high for RPG supplements. A 300 page novel accounts for about 80-100,000 words. That's straight text, with about 30-40 plain chapter headings. No art, no fancy chapter headings, no stat blocks, no tables or charts. By that count, an 80,000 word adventure would rival most core rulebooks, and I couldn't even begin to fathom how many pages a 180,000 word supplement would require. My average for a 20 page adventure, fully statted, is about 30,000 _characters_, which, if you go by 5 characters = 1 word, is about 6,000 words, give or take. So, maybe I can begin to fathom it. A 180,000 page supplement would be about 600 pages long, minus art and layout. I realize you were only giving examples, but you're quoting figures that seem way out of range. Am I missing something here?

Pete
 
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Post originally by LloydBrown at 2005-10-15 01:23:44
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I think it's a difference of formatting that we're familiar with. The World's Largest Dungeon has just shy of 1M words and 840 pages (that's just under 1200 words per page, BUT they pull all of their maps out into a separate book, yielding an artificially high average).

The KoK Campaign Setting yields 650-700 or per page.

Using this formula, I've been able to recreate to within 5% or so the word count for a handful of sample RPG books by doing the math and then verifying my estimated word count with a writer or publisher.

Novels are totally different: open one up and count. I just did and got about 290 words per page with the latest Harry Potter book. I do agree entirely about your novel word-count, btw. First-time writers are advised to stay between 90k and 125k words, but they can expect more freedom (especially on the upper end) once they get published.

In any case, that's why I advise you to find out what estimate your publisher uses. Although I didn't mention it, you should especially ask about any format changes, such as a new RPG or the first in a series. If you count on a 900 word/page formula, but their new favorite typeface only allows 750, you got a surprise comin'. They might prefer chopping chapters to going with the greater risk inherent in printing a larger book.
 
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