The Scanning Project FAQ

  1. Book Status List
  2. What is the Scanning Project?
  3. What about books nobody owns?
  4. How are books scanned? Are they destroyed in the process?
  5. What happens once you obtain the images?
  6. Without community aid many PDFs will never be properly processed
  7. So are you finished working on this project then?
  8. Is there anything I can do to help?
  9. So where do I sign up?

Without the help of the community, these scanned items will never have OCR or be printer friendly. This page exists for two reasons. First, to organize a community effort to “clean up” all of the volunteer scanned PDFs. Secondly, to give a clear picture of the project’s progress, for the purposes of keeping the community informed and to aide volunteers in easily identify areas we need help with.

If you think you might be able to lend us a hand, please look over this FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions. If you’re ready to get started or would like to try your hand at cleaning up some images before contacting us, click here.

Book Status List

What is the Scanning Project?
The scanning project is essentially a group of volunteers. Some own at least one book we are missing and are willing to donate or allow it to be scanned. Others have a scanner at their disposal and the time and expertise to accomplish the task properly. Communication with volunteers is handled rather delicately. Scanners who have volunteered are contacted once every two to three weeks for a progress update. Real life is just as prominent for them as it is for every one of us, so the books that are being scanned can take up to few months to materialize.

What about books nobody owns?
There is a small list of books that are particularly hard to come by. We figure the only way we will ever get one of these is if somebody purchases one specifically to be scanned for this project. If you can help in this way, please view the donation page for more information.

How are books scanned? Are they destroyed in the process?
Book scanning can be done with the binding still intact. However, when you scan you are smashing the book down hard on the scanner bed, in order to avoid text warping as it wraps towards the seam/binding. This puts a great deal of stress on the binding that can result in physical damage, aesthetic degradation, or loose pages. Scanning in this way usually involves repeated scans of each page until a desirable result is achieved. It is both difficult and time consuming. Because of this, finding a scanner for this type of scanning is more difficult. Regardless, we’ll be happy to try and find a scanner who will work with the binding intact, if you would like your book returned.

What happens once you obtain the images?
The real problems start up once we receive the scanned images. Due to a variety of problems associated with scanning, the images require a great deal of clean-up. Especially if you want them to be printer and OCR friendly. Most scans appear with a muddy white paper color. Anybody printing this book is going to be unnecessarily using a lot of extra ink/toner, plus the printed page will look rather dirty. OCR is the process by which text is analyzed by a program. The cleaner the image the better the OCR result. With a clean image software can recognize 90 odd percent of page content successfully. The remaining x% is considered an acceptable loss, as manual correction of the entire Talislanta library would easily take a year or more a single individual to correct. The recognized text is stored in a database, within the PDF, so you may perform searches of a PDF’s contents.

Without community aid many PDFs will never be properly processed!
What all this amounts to for me, based on my real life responsibilities, is that I am currently in over my head. I want to contribute to this project so much but the time required versus the time I actually have free are very different values. I am sad to say that I am going to have to pass the clean-up & image processing steps on to other volunteers. If nobody volunteers then beautiful “clean” versions of the PDFs, including OCR implementation, will never see the light of day. Take a look at this before and after example to better understand what aesthetic processing is capable of.

So are you finished working on this project then?
Not at all. I will still be responsible for managing this project and all the work outside of cleaning up images. I will still;

  • find the scanner volunteers
  • collect their scans
  • create non-aesthetically-processed PDFs from said scans so the book is available on the website, regardless of how pretty it is
  • prepare scans for easy distribution to any future volunteers (just like the books below have been)
  • apply OCR to the books
  • create bookmarks
  • make PDF available in three size formats (original huge scan size, original pdf, and optimized pdf)

Is there anything I can do to help?
Many folks have expressed they feel this part of the Scanning Project is very important. I’m hoping some of them will be in a place to actually help make this possible as this step of the process is completely beyond my time constraints. Anybody interested in being a volunteer should probably be rather comfortable in a capable image editor like GIMP, PhotoShop, Paint Shop Pro, etc… and be able to use tools like the background eraser, cloning tool, rotate image, image layers, and basic filters like blur and sharpen. At the bottom of this article is a listing of the books that I currently have available to me and are ready for a volunteer to start cleaning up. If you are unsure if you will be able to produce a quality “cleaned-up” image then please download the sample pages first and see if you have any luck cleaning them up. Currently I am looking for volunteers who can dedicate themselves to an entire book, not just a fraction of the pages. It is extremely important that the entire PDF was cleaned by a single person which will ensure a standardized cleaning procedure for each book. Note that there is no required “turn-around” time that is expected. As long as you are able to make a little progress here and there then all is well. I just don’t want to assign a book to one individual only to ask the community for help again five months later when that individual finally contacts me and lets me know they  had forgotten about it.

So where do I sign up?
Download the sample images for the book first, clean up the images so the background is white and the text is nice and dark, and then email me to let me know you want to work on book X and be sure to attach the cleaned up sample images. Once I approve your work I will assign this book to you and nobody else will be approved to work on it. There aren’t many rules regarding how you go about cleaning an image up but if any of the following are broken, I may not be able to use your work. The safest approach would be to send me your work every 10 to 20 pages although choosing to do so is completely up to you. The rules are;

  1. Images are in Jpeg format with MAXIMUM no compression (max/100% quality). Do not change the image format or ever save an image with any compression. An image that is heavy with compression artifacts simply cannot be used.
  2. Do not alter the DPI of or resize images. These images are usually in the 3000px to 6000px range with a DPI of 300 to 1200. This is desirable as 8.5″x11″ in pixels is within this range.
  3. Do not bother to compile your images into a PDF. The OCR software I am using will simply remove all the images from the PDF before it will allow for OCR. Image quality can be impacted during importing or exporting in any PDF reader/editor and if my OCR software needs to extract pages from a PDF this is another step that could result in image quality loss.

Always keep in mind that the entire point of this process is to maximize aesthetic beauty. If you have any questions please contact me directly at mulsiphix at gmail dot com. I have also had great success at cleaning up images in PhotoShop, so if you need any advice in this area I would be happy to help.


Book Missing, Volunteer Is Currently Scanning

Die Chroniken von Talislanta
Currently Being Scanned By: Marques
The German version of Talislanta is based off the 2e Talislanta rules, and three books were published for the German line. Spielerhandbuch und Leitfaden für den Spielleiter (Second Edition) is the first book and corresponds directly to English version of the 2e rules, the Talislanta Handbook and Campaign Guide (Second Edition). It was published in 1991 by a German company called Fantasywelt Verlag.
Spielerhandbuch und Leitfaden für den Spielleiter
Currently Being Scanned By: Marques
The German version of Talislanta is based off the 2e Talislanta rules, and three books were published for the German line. Spielerhandbuch und Leitfaden für den Spielleiter (Second Edition) is the first book and corresponds directly to English version of the 2e rules, the Talislanta Handbook and Campaign Guide (Second Edition). It was published in 1991 by a German company called Fantasywelt Verlag.
Tales of Talislanta
Currently Being Scanned By: Michael
An original anthology of nine short stories all taking place in and around Talislanta, with a preface and introduction by SMS. Authors include SMS, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Ru Emerson, Deborah Millitello, Mark C. Sumner, and Simon Shapiro. The first story is about the origins of Tamerlin, the wizard–narrator of the Chronicles of Talislanta. To read a sentence summation of each story, check out this Amazon customer review.

Books Missing, No Volunteer Scanners Yet

Talislanta Die Flora und Fauna
Currently Being Scanned By: Nobody
Talislanta Die Flora und Fauna is the second book published in the German Talislanta game line. It was also published in 1991 by Fantasywelt Verlag. This book directly corresponds to the English book A Naturalist’s Guide to Talislanta.
Talislanta Guida del Viaggiatore
Currently Being Scanned By: Marques
There was only one book published for the Italian version, the Talislanta Guida del Viaggiatore by a company called 3d6. It was based off the 3e Talislanta rules by Wizards of the Coast. Marques recently posted a link for the archived Talislanta in Italiano website and using that, and eBay Italy, as a reference, I was able to deduce it was based off the 3e Talislanta rules. The Italian website has links to several of the old Talislanta websites that were based off the 3e rules. Also, the Italian website was last updated in 1998, which predates the release of 4e Talislanta by Shooting Iron Design.


Book Scanned, No Image Clean-up Volunteers Yet

Sorcerer’s Guide
Volunteer Scanned Images (165 MB)
Sample “Clean-Up” Images (4.61 MB)
Currently Assigned To: Nobody
The Sorcerer’s Guide is an invaluable aid to the aspiring Magician. Within the pages of this book are contained the secrets of Talislantan magic, including: The Lyceum Arcanum, a listing of rare spells and incantations, and over a hundred different types of enchanged items, weapons, artifacts, charms, and fetishes. A listing of magical tomes and reference works, Tamerlin’s Guide to Extra-Dimensional Entities, Lists of Magical Correspondences, a dozen new character types, The Ariane Maze – City of Altan, and Cabal Magicus; a fabulous floating settlement, home to the Phantasians.
Talislanta Worldbook
Volunteer Scanned Images (91.2 MB)
Sample “Clean-Up” Images (1.24 MB)
Currently Assigned To: Nobody
This is the atlas and gazeteer of Archaeus, the strange and exotic world which serves at the setting for the Talislanta game. The Worldbook features a comprehensive overview of the Talislantan continent, incorporating revised information from the Chronicles of Talislanta and the first Cyclopedia Talislanta, plus new continental, regional, and city maps. Also contained is all-new material on the Unknown Lands including: the Midnight Realm, the Flying Island of Alcedon, the sweltering Junglelands of Draknar, the Lost Continent of Simbar, the plant kingdom of Celadon, the battle-ravaged continent Altarus, and much more.
The Cyclopedia Talislanta
Volunteer Scanned Images (225 MB)
Sample “Clean-Up” Images (7.22 MB)
Currently Assigned To: Nobody
Within this tome you will find: detailed maps of the continent and surrounding environs, including many previously uncharted entries – A complete listing of all cities, settlements, and topographical features of note – expanded listings of flora and fauna, insects, animals, and some of the more unusual and dangerous creatures of the world. New character types, including the barbaric Mondre Khan, Gnorl Rhabdomancers, Yassan Technomancers, Orgovian Traders, and more – detailed diagrams of new Talislantan conveyances, including the Sunra dragon barque, Kharakhan war wagon, Arduan barge fort, Quan pleasure barge, and others. Plus new rules variants.


Book Is Scanned, A Volunteer Is Cleaning Images

The Talislanta Guidebook
Volunteer Scanned Images (2.66 GB)
Sample “Clean-Up” Images (26.1 MB)
Being Cleaned By: thatoldfool
The third edition rulebook. Twenty years have passed and the face of Talislanta has changed. The Sub-Men have been united by the mysterious Tirshata and the treasures of the Lyceum Arcanum have been revealed. This is a time of great heroes among the wreckage of a magical post-holocaust. A number of the archetypes were tweaked. The magic system received a major overhaul. The book contains over 50% new material since second edition!


Book Is Complete Thanks To Selfless Volunteers

A Naturalist’s Guide to Talislanta
Scanning Completed By: Unknown
Image Clean-up Completed By: Marques
Everything “PDF” Completed By: Marques
A compendium of selected flora and fauna native to the magical realm of Talislanta. Compiled from the notes of Tamerlin-traveler, self-styled wizard and author of The Chronicles Of Talislanta – The Naturalist’s Guide features illustrations and descriptions for over a hundred different creatures and beings, including: Ahazu, Exomorphs, Gnomekin, Monoliths, Sardonicus, Snipes, Vorls, Mandragores, Shadow Wizards, Nightstalkers, Werebeasts, and many, many more… With a separate section for fantasy role-players featuring game statistics and additional information.
Sub-Men Rising
Scanning Completed By: Howard A. Jones
Image Clean-up Completed By: Carlson
Everything “PDF” Completed By: Marques
The coming of the Tirshata heralds the end of oppression for the savage Sub-Men and could mean the end of civilization for Talislanta, as well. This campaign covers four years of intrigue, adventure, and all-out war, as the legendary Sub-Men hero known as the Tirshata returns and unites the scattered Sub-Men tribes. This book features extensive and creative cultural notes on each Sub-Men tribe, plus a detailed timeline of the war, numerous scenario hooks, and a final climactic adventure: “The Heart of the Beast.” Sub-Men Rising is for the Talislanta gamemaster looking for a long term campaign of passion and fury.
Talislanta Geographica
Scanning Completed By:
Stacy & Ray Forsythe + Drohem

Image Clean-up Completed By: Carlson
Everything “PDF” Completed By: Marques
The Talislanta Geographica is comprised of a Game Master’s Screen, a poster-sized map of the continent of Talislanta, and a 16 page booklet. The booklet includes information on ocean & wind currents, linguistic and historical information, socio-political conflicts, and 4 adventure outlines to nurture as you see fit.
Talislanta Handbook and Campaign Guide
Scanning Completed By: Dan
Image Clean-up Completed By: Carlson
Everything “PDF” Completed By: Marques
This is the second edition rule book. It combines the original Talislantan Handbook with material from the Sorcerer’s Guide and the Cyclopedia Talislanta. It has revised rules for combat, magic, skills, attributes, and introduces mass combat rules (which were never reprinted in another book). Features expanded listings of skills, equipment, weapons, and conveyances. Includes an annotated map of the City of Cymril and a new introductory adventure. Updates information on character backgrounds, optional combat rules, languages, currencies, and Talislantan chronology.
The Chronicles of Talislanta
Scanning Completed By: Unknown
Image Clean-up Completed By: thatoldfool
Everything “PDF” Completed By: Marques
Follow the accounts of Tamerlin. Traveler, self-styled wizard, and obscure author of ancient times as he explores the magical land of Talislanta. Discover the myriad wonders and oddities of a forgotten age including; the Dream Merchants of Phantas who sail the skies in fabulous windships bearing the most costly and exotic wares. The Maze-City of Altan, carved over centuries of time from a single mound of violet stone. The Aberrant Forest, the Sindarans, the Crimson Citadel, the Xambrian Wizard Hunters, and the many strange peoples, places, and creatures native to the world of Talislanta.
The Talislantan Handbook
Scanning Completed By: Unknown
Image Clean-up Completed By: Carlson
Everything “PDF” Completed By: Marques
A fantasy role playing system and supplement designed for use with The Chronicles Of Talislanta, atlas and lexicon of the magical realm. Featuring: Over eighty different character types. A listing of over one hundred skills and special abilities in nine different fields of expertise. Listing of basic spells, minor enchantments, and magical/alchemical mixtures and substances. Lists of equipment, weapons and trade goods. Stats for creatures and beings native to the world of Talislanta. Information on determining character backgrounds, languages, currencies, chronology, cults, secret societies and magical orders. Ideas for campaign scenarios, plus a sample adventure.