errors, errors, and some more...

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errors, errors, and some more...

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 01, 2003 11:10 am

Hi there,

I had hoped that after there had been some posts about all the little errors in the Base Book that you might hire some more proofreaders - heck, some fans would have possibly done it for free.

Now I've "read" (as far as this can be called reading, due to stumbling over mistakes every so often) till page 60 and stopped counting errors when the number reached 100... (some time ago)

Some are grammar errors, others are typos, others again seem to come frome people who've never read a single script of B5 and/or never viewed the lists of the names of the characters.

It's Gen. Hague, not Haig. Lennier, not Lenneir, it should be Kha'ri instead of Ka'Rhi and so on..... This doesn't happen once, as a typo, but all along the way.

As far as I know (paragraph on page 59) Dor'Sol is a title (General?, Warleader?... not sure) not a name.... so using it as a name makes no sense at all.

And what does a sentence like this mean:
"Mollari's demonstration of his political power and by default the ability of Refa's political connections had been assured, and now those who would speak against him were silenced." (p48)

I don't want to be insulting anybody, but is English even your native language? It sure doesn't look like that at all. There are more sentences as misconstructed as the one I quoted, all around the book. Excuse me for saying, but a first- or second- grader would know better...

Well, the point is that I'll stop buying Mongoose books. After seeing the mistakes in the Core book, I wanted to give your company another chance to improve on its mistakes, but this is even worse. I'll also make sure to tell all my roleplaying friends that they should only buy your books when they want to have a good laugh about someone's ideas of English...
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Re: errors, errors, and some more...

Postby Eryx » Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:20 pm

Anonymous wrote:And what does a sentence like this mean:
"Mollari's demonstration of his political power and by default the ability of Refa's political connections had been assured, and now those who would speak against him were silenced." (p48)
It means that Londo had proven himself a player in the political forum and his connection to Refa had assured him that level of power. His former rivals are not going to risk upsetting Londo or moving against him.

Makes sense to me.
Well, the point is that I'll stop buying Mongoose books. After seeing the mistakes in the Core book, I wanted to give your company another chance to improve on its mistakes, but this is even worse. I'll also make sure to tell all my roleplaying friends that they should only buy your books when they want to have a good laugh about someone's ideas of English...
This is the sort of attitude that really gets my goat everytime I read it. Yes, mistakes happen but they are nothing to get riled up about. Ever. Why can't you just live with it. You know what its meant to be so why get on your high horse?
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Postby KDLadage » Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:39 pm

Eryx wrote:This is the sort of attitude that really gets my goat everytime I read it. Yes, mistakes happen but they are nothing to get riled up about. Ever. Why can't you just live with it. You know what its meant to be so why get on your high horse?
Perhaps because he is paying good money for these mistakes?

Look, I am not quite to the I am not going to buy from Mongoose any longer point, but they irk me as well. This is not an amature publication released as a free PDF file, this is a professional publication attached to a valued and beloved licensed material that, to be honest, appears to be treated as nothing special, when one looks over the editing that has taken place with nearly every single group that has had the license thus far.
  • Chameleon Eclectic was horrible and missed the feel of the show completely.
  • Agents of Gaming was a well meaning and hard working bunch that was over worked. Plus, one member of the primary team was nearly illiterate if you ask me, but I will not go there.
  • And now Mongoose... with lots of errors; and (in my opinion) other troubles as well. I have been harping on my troubles with the core book and the way they chose to go about it long enough, however, and so I will not continue on that here and now.
My personal feelings: It does not bode well.

I have the core book, and a couple of issues of Signs and Portents. I hope to pick up some other books as well... but we have no FLGS around here any longer and, to be honest, I want to see the books before I buy them at this point. I simply refuse to give Mongoose my money for books unseen.

I love B5. It remains my 2nd favorite show of all time (1). I do not see anyting that could unseat it anytime in the near term; I have no faith in the TV industry to produce anything likely to do so in the long term. But it looks like, if I am to have a campaign, it will not remain in the system that Mongoose has given me. I will have to write up a variation of d20 Modern and do it myself I suppose... or use something akin to GURPS, Simply Roleplaying! or FUDGE... lots of choices out there.
Last edited by KDLadage on Wed Oct 01, 2003 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby hassanisabbah » Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:41 pm

I agree, heres some advice, correct your book in pen, underlinging each mistake (including grammer) just like all those f**ks do at my local library, before returning it. That way you can be smug and ruin the next persons experience. Problems with Mechanics and System, fair call, grammer, spelling and Typos - Get a Life. I don't care if it doesn't interfere with the game. Interestingly you may be happy to discover that you'll find a similar ratio of errors per page in a library book.

I know because people like you underline them.

The main point here is you obviously understood the main text, and are just picking some points. Does it work, yes, then remember its a manual for a game, and not a submission for an English Language exam.

Grammer - This book is probably going to be avalible world wide, encountering at least two different English Gramatical systems, probably 3, so its hardly the most relevent point (English, American English, OS English)
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Postby frobisher » Wed Oct 01, 2003 2:50 pm

I'd hazard a guess that August Hahn is a native german speaker (I don't know any better, and please correct me if I'm wrong) which might explain some of the "mistakes".

For the pronounication of "Lennier" the spelling "Lenneir" would in fact be correct in German and may well have been the version adopted for the German language version of the show.

Ditto "Dark Star" replacing "Black Star" - it may just scan better in German and so was used. Now if August was using his German copies as reference...

But, as Matt has recently stated, they are doing something about the proof reading and editing situation, but seeing as this one was being printed before that announcement was made...
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Postby hassanisabbah » Wed Oct 01, 2003 3:14 pm

Professional Editors and good proof readers are expensive, very expensive (and probably completely unaware of the needs of editing an RPG book).

Proof Readers will rarely solve all the problems - Especially if they haven't seen the series. The game works fine, why bother wacking the price up. If the German story is true, then good on the fellah. I speak one language, and can just about get by reading french, let alone publish in a second language.

Prehaps he should write in German, and Mongoose get a Translator in. It'll only add $5-10 to each copy. Most of the errors are negligable - so why bother.

KDLange is already well documented in his opinion here and elsewhere. If you don't like it fair enough - You made your point and defended it, and I respect you for it. But what he was buying was a game, not a novel or text book - So he got a game, not an edited work of high literature.

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Hey Guest

Postby KIKA » Wed Oct 01, 2003 3:52 pm

Hey Guest!

as you can read, i am not a english speaking person but if you made offenses, please with your name and not with a guest, this is what we will say in germany FEIGE.

KIKA :?
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Postby psyclonejack » Wed Oct 01, 2003 7:25 pm

Until I see someone post and use a name, which means that they personaly took the time to log in and set up an account. I simply feel guest posts like this are trying get our Ire up. They are Trolling for a hit and trying to get a flame going. Lets not sink.

Working for a commerical printer here in Iowa, yes mistakes happen. Things get printed with the wrong year, typos occur, line breaks and word wrap change due to slight variations in fonts used. Color definition and quality of images change based on press profiles and color matching software used. Not to mention the various RIP stations that convert the digital files into PS. I have seen wierd and strange things happen to files that the manufacturer of the equipment can't understand.

We proofread the customer's proofs in an attempt to catch them, but some ALWAYS slip through. With names, you can't proof them. I mean let me pull out my copy of B5 and run that episode so I can check the spelling in the credits. That takes time, and if the name is listed elsewhere you use that. It amazes me how people that pick up a magazine, or a book, begin to switch into there impress me mode.

Whats an impress me mode? Its where someone goes and buys a book. Then wants the book to make them happy, to impress them, to get them excited. Then they take the scrooge mentality and nothing will impress them. I have seen it, some peoples lives are so bad that they walk around with a storm cloud overhead, feel nothing is good enough, and try to bring everyone else down. When they should be excited and happy when buying the book, and should simply enjoy it. Life is too short to be a pessimist.

What do I consider an error? Something along the lines of the fire control feat when compared to the vehicle combat feat. What you didn't see it. Better go read it. :wink:

A bunch of my misspelled words,
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Postby KDLadage » Wed Oct 01, 2003 8:44 pm

Psyclone Jack:

For the most part, I agree with you. The spelling errors don;t bug me that much. I am a tough edit, as any of the editors that have had to comb through my freelance work can attest to.

What bugs me are the number of purely mechanical aspects of the B5RPG&FB that simply do not work; the number of mechanical aspects that are obviously derived from a completely different interpretation of the show than I (or anyone I have had close dealings with) has. My players give me a barrage of questions every time we talk about the game. Thus far, we have not gotten very far into my campaign because of the number of mechanical aspects that we are having to rewrite and/or replace (i.e.: starship combat).

Spelling errors? Sometimes they bug me, others times no. Gramatical errors? They can be annoying, but I can generally skim past them without much trouble. Rules that cannot possibl have been playtested(1) (i.e.: a Sharlin Warcruiser has only a slightly degraded ability to maneuver in space than a Narn fighter...)? That is annoying.

=====

(1) Or the rule has been playtested, but (again) obviously comes from a vastly different interpretation of the show, the physical laws of vectored movement in a zero-G environment, and game design theory. YMMV.
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Sigh...

Postby August » Wed Oct 01, 2003 9:05 pm

Okay, here goes.

No, I am not a native German speaker. Last time I checked, I was an American (some would say depressingly so). I am dyslexic, but I make no apologies for it. Now, to the concerns that have been raised:

EVERY name used in the book (with the exception of the Dark Star thing; that was entirely my screw up, so sorry, you know what I meant) was checked through several sites on the web and JMS's own useNet and Compuserve letters column. In instances when there were several versions (as happened several times, including JMS using both versions of the name), I went with what felt right.

Case in point; Haig. It was spelled that way in three different letters from JMS himself. I saw the one spelling in the show's credits and decided to go with, as I chose every time, to go with what the Great Maker wrote himself. If you don't agree with that approach, no problem, but that's what I did.

The book was also written immediately after I was hospitalized with a nearly terminal digestive virus. Not an excuse, mind you, but an explanation.

The Londo sentence graphs perfectly. It's a little tangled, but if a reader cannot go through it and figure out what I meant (as Eryx was able to do flawlessly), but it is not grammatically incorrect. I will not make apologies for big sentences- B5 is a complicated setting, and let's not even begin to talk about the convolutions in Londo's character- but I will try to suss them out a little better in the future.

As for KDLadage, well, what can I say. We've done everything short of shake his hand on his wonderful suggestions and he still feels the need to slam the system every chance he gets. I personally intend on taking his suggestions to heart during the rest of the 3rd Season book, but if we've already lost him, I am not going to lose a minute's sleep.

Oh, and as for Dor'Sol. It is an honorific and a title, but once it is given, it becomes practically a poart of a person's name, which is why it is used as a name in the text. The rarity of the Dor'Sol title allows it to be used a bit like the way a person in a room full of other soldiers can continuously be addressed as General without confusion.

Honestly, I am deeply insulted by the paragraph that began with "I don't want to be insulting anybody." It was nothing but a slam. The parting shot about "first- or second-grader" (which is by the way incorrect; there are no hyphens in educational grade names according to the American Eductation website's terminology page) proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Now, if you will all excuse me, I am going to get back to work.

-August (who wonders why he bothers to read these boards sometimes).
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Postby DKeith2011 » Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:14 pm

Gotta love phantom posters, not even the courage to give a name to their rant.

Oh well...

While I do agree with some of the points above, none of the typos/gramatical errors bother me in the least. The issues with text repeating from one book to the next are (possibly) annoying, depending on their impact on the book. The mechanics issues are another matter and do indicate a need for a bit more playtesting in the future, but most of the existing serious issues there have been dealt with by the downloads from the website.

Now that Mongoose has hired in another proofer, I expect some of those issues to trail off and continued feedback should address the mechanics issues as well.

All things considered, I have to chalk up most of the listed issues as the latest flash from the Babylon 5 printing curse. Those of you who have been with the show through various licenses know what I'm talking about.
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Postby Morden » Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:29 am

Guest is clearly a troll. Stop feeding it.

I've already posted my grievances with the 2nd season book, but I want to stress that I'm still 75% happy with it. The other 25% I can look past. Its still one of the best values for the dollar in the gaming industry at this time, being full color with 142 pages of content at only $25. I can forgive a lot at that price. The game, mechanics and all, is still the best interpretation of this show into an RPG to date and after this I probably won't be looking for another system if the license passes from Mongoose to someone else. I think KDLadge is being hyper critical, but its his right to do so. Personally I'm happy when my favorite genres are translated into D20. It saves me the trouble of having to teach a bunch of players a whole new system.

Spelling and gramatical errors are an unfortunate part of publishing and you'll never be able to make everyone happy all the time. Although I notice them too, I look past them because I know the difficulties in trying to root them all out. Also, with a TV series, continuity is not always the number one thing the makers of the show are worried about so alternate spellings of lesser character names isn't all that uncommon in the original source material.

Continuity freaks annoy me, especially considering the flawed continuity in almost every TV series. I could go on a full fledged diatribe about all the continuity issues in Star Trek, but I'm not going to. B5 remains one of the tightest constructed series of all times, and I feel that overall, Mongoose is doing it justice.
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ATTN: Mongoose August

Postby KDLadage » Thu Oct 02, 2003 3:35 am

Mongoose August wrote:As for KDLadage, well, what can I say. We've done everything short of shake his hand on his wonderful suggestions and he still feels the need to slam the system every chance he gets. I personally intend on taking his suggestions to heart during the rest of the 3rd Season book, but if we've already lost him, I am not going to lose a minute's sleep.
Yes, you guys have listened and have indicated that you like some of the ideas I have presented. Some, it seems, when I ask offline I have gotten answers that were unrelated to the topic at hand, or perhaps only related as a tangent to the topic. Either way, I have been appreciative (even if it has not always seemed that way).

As far as "feeling the need to slam the system" -- no. I am critical. But I am critical because I believe in the license, and I believe you are all capable of delivering product that is worthy of the license. What you have done, as I have pointed out on many occasions, is often times easily explained as simply having a different interpretation than I do about the source material. And this is very common. Anyone that has taken a course in literature knows that people can look at the simplest of stories ("Hills Like White Elephants," for example) and get vastly differing opinions of this.

If my pointing out, in the midst of a conversation that I and my players have taken exception to a lot of the material, and doing it (I might add) in a non-inflammatory way is "slamming the system" then I am guilty. But I disagree. I would direct your attention to the footnote in my last post -- much of this comes from different interpretations of the show, the physical laws of vector movement and game design theory. All of these are open for interpretation, thus I do not fault Mongoose or the authors in question. We see things differently, If I have to rule-zero or re-write for my own tastes, then I will do so. If it makes you feel any better, I have very rarely played any game I have not written a lot of house rules for. I have particular tastes, what can I say?

As far as "every chance I get" -- well, I have made a total of 46 posts on these boards (this one will make 47). In those, I have made my opinions known, and when it became obvious that my opinion was simply different, then I have backed off. When it became obvious that I was being misinterpreted, I have tried to explain. When it became obvious that you have all done something well, I have pointed it out. I have hardly been jumping down anyone's throat on this stuff.

I am happy that you intend to take my thoughts to heart in the Season-3 book. Let me know if you need clarification on anything I have said. I will be more than happy to explain in further detail what my thoughts on the situation were.

As far as loosing me -- no you have not. I just want to see the books first. I keep hearing about the level of errors in the books, but cannot verify that myself. My game budget is rather limited (as it is with many people) so I have to be careful. I was not trying to make any sort of "I do not plan to buy them" statement. Re-reading my words above, I see that I was not very clear on that point. It sounded like a blanket statement of dis-quality and for that I apologize.

And as I am but one customer, I hope you would not lose any sleep over me. I know what a bastard I can be sometimes, and if I seem to be over critical, again, I am sorry about that. I am not one that expects perfection, but I do want a feel of professionalism. So far, you guys (for the stuff I have purchased for B5) has rated about "average" -- I just happen to feel that B5 deserves better than average.

Lastly: you conclude you comments with "August (who wonders why he bothers to read these boards sometimes)" -- and to that I would like to say this:

Do not take this stuff to heart. The original poster was a troll of the most vile type, and we all (at least the message board vets) should have known better than to take the bait. You have not lost this customer (and I am a tough customer to keep). What-ever portion of your ill feelings from these boards have derived from me -- please accept my apologies and understand that I will be purchasing more B5RPG books from Mongoose. In fact, I have my eye on a few others.

I will rescind my thoughts of waiting until I can get to view them first. If I like what I see (and no, I will not be looking at the typo/grammatical/nit-picky type stuff) I will continue to buy off the web, site unseen.

But please, do not ask me to shut up about my thoughts. I will do all that I can to ensure that they are as tactful, thoughtful and non-inflammatory as I can. But I just cannot sit idle when something is bugging me... and I hope you (and the rest) will take the comments as intended: as constructive criticism given because I love the material, not because I have a need to prove some ego-inflating superiority complex.

Update: I just ordered THE COMING OF SHADOWS and THE FIERY TRIAL from the ENWorld store. Once I have them, I will read them, and I will review them on ENWorld (where a large chunk of my other reviews are located).
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Editing and type-setting mistakes

Postby Sommers » Thu Oct 02, 2003 3:45 am

I just got The Coming of Shadows and I did like it a lot. I do reviews for a local comic book store and gave the main book good marks as well as this one. But I do have a problem with all of the typos just because it does seem so jarring as compared to other products from other companies. I've reviewed products from WOTC, Green Ronin, WizKids, Holistic and AEG, as well as reading a bunch of PDF downloads from smaller companies. The three products I've read from Mongoose, however, have had more typos and proofreading or typesetting errors in them than any other gaming product I've ever read. Unfortunately it tends to take away from the actual work, which I really like a lot.

Unfortunately its what makes the mistakes so glaring, because its is compared to the good content. I'm not talking about different spellings of names either. These are basic mistakes like words missing from sentences, words mispelled, spaces appearing in the middle of sentences, etc. I'm not sure if the original drafts are wrong or there is a problem with the type-setter, but either way it makes the work come across as less professional than it should. It didn't even bother me so much that the back copy on The Coming of Shadows was lifted wholesale from the basic book as they didn't even do it right. Is the word "fists" or "fi sts"? It may seem like a small point, but it happens enought that I find myslef having to do a lot of translation in my head sometimes for the mistakes.

I would like to see this cleaned up, because it's one of the few things I've found wrong with the products so far.
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Postby psyclonejack » Thu Oct 02, 2003 4:17 am

In Case anyone missed this post:
Matthew Sprange wrote:Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 6:57 am    Post subject: A New Addition To The Mongoose
--------------------------
Hi guys,
Just a quickie - we have just taken on a new editor, Ian Belcher, to work on our RPG lines, thus fulfilling our promise to cut down on some of the silly mistakes that have crept into a few of our titles of late. All going well, you should see a marked increase in the quality and accuracy of all our titles over the next couple of months!
So I suggest the quit crying over spilt brains, or was that milk. And just wait and see if more brains get spilt.

Send More COPS, Send More PARAMDEDICS,
PsyJack

Also regarding this:
Mongoose August wrote:As for KDLadage, well, what can I say. We've done everything short of shake his hand on his wonderful suggestions and he still feels the need to slam the system every chance he gets.
I'm glad I wasn't the only one reading posts with a bit of edge to them. But then again KDLadage and I have discussed this privately so we don't need to get into it again. :) Right KD?
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Postby KDLadage » Thu Oct 02, 2003 4:20 am

psyclonejack wrote:I'm glad I wasn't the only one reading posts with a bit of edge to them. But then again KDLadage and I have discussed this privately so we don't need to get into it again. :) Right KD?


Right, PJ. ;)
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Postby August » Thu Oct 02, 2003 8:36 am

Don't mind me, guys. I just let myself get baited by a coward troll without the guts to even sign his flame. I promise I won't let it happen again. :)

I'm better now, and thanks for the support and private messages, kids. As for the typos, I am taking that one to heart. Dyslexia often warps what I am trying to type, but I admit it's all me. I pormise to take a little more care to keep them from cropping up in my work.

Take care,
-August
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Postby hassanisabbah » Thu Oct 02, 2003 9:54 am

Good for you matey. I suffer from dyslexia and am pleased to find other people out there who have overcome the stigma and problems, to work in the field of writing. I have been struggling to break in for years and had pretty much given up. Now I think I'll try editing and then sending my scripts off again again and see what happens.

Those who have constantly drawn attention to picky little errors should now go and hang their heads in shame or simply shut the f**k up and be constructive (KDLange - you are exempt - but don't believe in the licence - I saw the series, and trust me it was very close to being rubbish only its metaplot saved it). Belief in something so trivial will do you no good in the long run. Its only money, its only TV, its Only a Game, its Only Life, Its Not A White Wolf Game (praise god, praise allah, praise buddha, praise all the saints and matyrs, praise khrisna, praise evolution, it not another sh*te wolf game)...

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Sigh...

Postby frobisher » Thu Oct 02, 2003 10:06 am

Mongoose August wrote:No, I am not a native German speaker. Last time I checked, I was an American (some would say depressingly so). I am dyslexic, but I make no apologies for it. Now, to the concerns that have been raised:
Bang goes that theory :) No worries then. The Lennier thing was a simple ie-ei thing, which we all do (and of course being a non-dictionary word, spellchecking doesn't help the first time out...).
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Postby ShadowScout » Thu Oct 02, 2003 12:05 pm

frobisher wrote:For the pronounication of "Lennier" the spelling "Lenneir" would in fact be correct in German and may well have been the version adopted for the German language version of the show.
Not so - It's "Lennier" in german too. "ie" is a completely different sound from "ei" in german - "ie" is spoken as a long "i" sound, like in "Lennier", while "ei" is more of a short, "e-i" sound, like in "Ireland".
Ditto "Dark Star" replacing "Black Star" - it may just scan better in German and so was used. Now if August was using his German copies as reference...
No it doesn't. "Dark Star" would be translated "Dunkler Stern", while "Black Star" would be "Schwarzer Stern". Both sound a bit awkward, though the former a lot more then the latter...

Just because his last name is "Hahn", which IS german, doesn't mean he speaks it - after all, remember where all those americans of today came from... :wink: :P :lol:
Mongoose August wrote:The Londo sentence graphs perfectly.
Hey, I am not a native english speaker, and I understood perfectly well what was meant. Sure I had to look twice, like with many a twisted sentance, but after I got over my split-second of confusion it was perfectly clear.

As for Guest... forget the Troll. I for one will buy every book Mongoose releases, no matter what spelling mistakes they make. I want the BG, not an nitpick-proof correct text...
ShadowScout
Roman A. Perner

"True understanding can be found only in the Shadow between light and dark..." - inscription on Z'ha'dum

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