Fun with numbers: Will B/X Essentials have a higher page count than B/X?

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


  1. I think you're first mistake is giving a fuck about what anybody on dragonsfoot thinks. Granted they are a potential market, but if they're judging the work on how many pages it has rather than what is on those pages they are beyond retarded.

    1. Haha, oh I don't care what some random person on a forum says. I just thought it was an interesting point and it got me wondering about it. I would certainly be disappointed if my books ended up longer than the originals, so I was interested to make some kind of estimate as to how I'm doing.

  2. And your entire BX Essentials series would fit on the front and back of 4 beer coasters if you used the compressed and clunky layout of the original books. The new books, irrespective of page count, are internally consistent, clear, and easy to use as a reference.

    1. Right!? And it's technologically proven that if I used a font size of 0.001 points, the whole thing would fit on the head of a pin. True scientific realism.

  3. Okay, I exaggerate. 8 standard beer coasters.