There's a thread about the first B/X Essentials book at Dragonsfoot. A couple of people in the thread (or maybe it was just one, I forget) were grumbling about the page count of my books being higher than the original B/X books.
Can this be?
The dumb answer to the question is: yes, the total page count will be higher.
But it's a deceptive question and the wrong one to be asking. Simply comparing page count isn't a useful metric, as the books are different sizes -- B/X Essentials is printed at 6" x 9", whereas B/X has much larger US Letter pages (8.5" x 11"). It's clearly possible to fit much more on a Letter sized page than it is on a 6" x 9" page.
I was mulling this over earlier and decided to do some calculations, in order to get some real data, rather than just guesswork. So:
- B/X comes to 128 pages at 8.5" x 11". That makes for a total page surface area of 11,968 square inches.
- A single 6" x 9" page is 54 square inches.
- That means 221.6 pages of that size would have the same surface area as the 128 Letter pages of B/X.
- The books that I've laid out so far have the following page counts: 34 (Core Rules), 44 (Classes and Equipment), 34 (Cleric and Magic-User Spells), for a current total of 112 pages.
- That leaves me 109 pages for the last two books (4: Monsters; 5: Adventures and Treasures).
- As the print format I'm going for (staple-bound) has a maximum of 48 pages, the complete B/X Essentials line will, by definition, come in at most at 208 pages (112 + 48 + 48), for a total of 11,232 square inches of page surface area.
- Thus, in the name of mathematics: take that, page count naysayers! :D