The PDF formatted version of the sourcebook, includes a color illustrated cover (front and back) and interior layout matching the style of officially published TSR products of similar vintage. Layout and cover were not included in the free RTF version released by TSR, the cover was adapted from another product and added by William Allman, a fan, after the release of the free RTF version by TSR
from the now-defunct website of William Allman
Ivid The Undying
A few years ago TSR released a plain text version of Ivid the Undying. Having a mild interest in Greyhawk but being a big fan of Carl Sargent, I decided to grab a copy and wade through it. I've always been impressed by his emphasis on politics and personalities, and Ivid was no different. It transformed the Great Kingdom from a series of dots and lines on a map into a dynamic organism full of conflict and potential. But it sure looked like crap.
And that bothered me. A lot. Ivid the Undying was a wonderful piece of work, but it was just plain difficult to read. So I decided to change that. Using Iuz the Evil as a template, I started measuring margins and spacing, searching for fonts, and comparing colors. And then I started creating a style sheet in Ami Pro 3.0 that would mimic Iuz as precisely as I could. I recreated pages from Iuz to see if lines wrapped were they should and hyphenated words broke in the same place. I fiddled with the fonts, point sizes, kerning, spacing, tightness; and slowly it took shape.
I seem to recall it took about three weeks to finish, but when I was done I could print a copy of Ivid the Undying as it might have appeared had it actually been published, maps and all. Some things remained imperfect: The font TSR uses for the headers is a mystery to me. Maryland is a passable imitation, but (as I discovered much later) it's only distributed with Brother printers so most people don't have it.
Ivid has gone through two revisions since I began this project. First were a few tweaks mostly to the table of contents and the covers. Most recently (and more importantly), I finally sprung for a copy of Adobe Acrobat and set about converting my sam files into pdfs. This was not as easy as Adobe would have you believe. First, Ami Pro simply would not print to the Distiller pseudo-printer, and Distiller wouldn't process the ps file Ami Pro output on my printer (a Minolta PageWorks 6e). But eventually I got the not-so-brilliant idea to install a real PostScript printer driver and try that. It worked. Printing to a file from Ami Pro onto my imaginary Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 6P created a ps file Distiller could handle.
I've done some more fiddling with the layout. I won't go into all the minor changes, just the major ones. (And ones to come!)
First, I've added a real cover based on the real artwork that was going to be used. (No fancy back cover yet, and none planned.) And second, I've adjusted the margins to accommodate the frilly margin art I've lifted from Iuz. Here's a sample of the changes.
Unfortunately, adding the margin art is taking forever. Because Acrobat doesn't allow you to specify odd or even pages when adding a background—only a page range—I have to update each page individually. That is going slowly to say the least, but the occassional e-mail from an appreciative reader gives me the motivation to continue. Thanks!
Has it really been almost two years since my last update? Wow. Talk about slacking.
The good news is that I'm done. Did it really take me two years to add the border art to each page individually? No! It took me two years to get an email from Thanael of Canonfire who pointed out that the latest version of Adobe Acrobat allowed you to specify odd or even pages for a background. Better yet, the trial version was fully functional. I already had an account with Adobe so a lengthy download later I had the tool I needed to wrap things up.
So I give you my final version of Ivid the Undying. I hope you enjoy it.