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RPG Superstar 2015

Response to LMPjr007 re: PDF-aversion


Compatible Products from Other Publishers

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Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber
LMPjr007 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

It's not strictly on-topic, but since you're reading...

I won't buy a PDF only product. I was really keen to see the evil themed AP but, despite being a niche not filled anywhere else, the fact it was only available in digital format eventually ruled it out for me. I appreciate it's not an insignificant thing (and may well be impossible) - perhaps kickstarter/preorders/subscriptions/print-on-demand or some other clever model might work but, for me at least, if it's not in book form I'm not going to look, no matter how cool the idea is.

I only mention it as information for you, not because I expect it to be fulfilled (and I have no idea how common this PDF-aversion is).

Sorry to bother, but I am hoping I can get a better more detailed response to your comment. I don't understand why the print version is "better" (my emphasis) than a PDF version? Most likely due to the nature of print, the product will cost at least double and sometime more then it's PDF version. Since the information that is being delivered is the same and just the method of delivery is different, do you think paying double or more the cost of the product delivery is a OK?

Don't want to put you on the spot with your answer, just trying to understand better as a 3PP of Pathfinder material ans what customers want.

Thanks for the follow up - it's no bother.

I'm somewhat idiosyncratic, I guess, but the cost is pretty much irrelevant to me. I'm of the opinion that RPG supplements are too cheap as it is, given the niche market and size of print runs. I personally wish the accepted price was higher so it was easier for publishers to stay in business and splash out on print costs. I'm fortunate enough to have a decent income and am very happy to direct a significant part of that towards my favorite hobby. Obviously, there is a significant portion of the market who are price sensitive, so I dont think my view is something a 3PP should act on. I've been very glad to see kickstarter take off, actually, since that seems an ideal, relatively low risk way to offer cheap PDFs and expensive print products - I'm not sure if it would be possible to limit the tiers on offer based on patronage (I'm thinking something like offering $20 support for the PDF, $40 for a b/w print copy and $75 for a color print copy - each tier only being offered provided 100 backers signed up or something) - a scheme like that might be a way of testing the different sizes of the various markets.

To be clear about the strength of my preference though, I take Paizo's free player guides to a professional printer and get two copies printed and bound in an identical manner to the player guides - the only distinguishing feature is the watermark at the bottom. The cost for that is more than an individual AP each (it varies somewhat, but is around $50 for a pair). If I could find a way to easily concatenate PFS scenarios, I'd pay a couple of hundred dollars to get a single season bound and printed to a similar standard.

The main thing for me isnt cost at all - the fact is, I dont use free PDFs, let alone cheap ones. I dont like reading on a screen and dont use computers at the table. A PDF is almost no value to me (I have printed out the odd picture or player handout, but not so I'd notice).


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Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber

I'd also affirm the comment made by theneofish in the other thread. I'm a collector as well as a player - I have no need for any further RPG material for the rest of many lives. At 3-4 hours per week (if I'm lucky) I'm still plugging away through my first AP. I have another nine Paizo APs and maybe thirty unplayed modules from them - then I have a whole bunch of other adventures, supplements and sourcebooks waiting to be used if the mood takes me.

I dont buy RPGs because I'm buying information. I enjoy reading them to relax and like browsing my bookshelves for a bedtime book - clicking through a menu just isnt the same thing, in my case.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've never understood this position, but I'm keen to see where it goes before really commenting on it with more than just a boilerplate declaration.


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber

It's difficult to tell, of course, but I think the pro-PDF view is a more prevalent one than the anti-. One would have to think WoTC had a reason to shift from predominantly print to predominantly PDF. There also seem to be a large number of posters on the paizo forums who use them regularly, if not exclusively.

From past experience the "RPG products should cost more" viewpoint is a minority position too, so I'm not advocating any real shift - merely confirming that my preference for print products includes a willingness to pay substantially more.


I like print better if I am focused on book more of the time. If I am actually reading a module before I run it or if I am running the game.

When I am making characters and doing anything else that requires me to constantly switch books I prefer PDF's. Pressing "alt"+"tab" and using the find feature is a lot easier than putting a book down, and picking the other book up, then finding the page I need.

It also helps if a player is asking me a rules question or ask about class X before the game starts. This is normally done through online chat. I just open the PDF's I need and everything is done.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For me it depends what it is. If it is a book I will reference a lot during games I want a print copy, or a adventure. I always want adventures in print and core rules. But for a lot of the smaller niche stuff I am happy to have it in PDF. I can then copy and paste the parts I want to use, print them off and just take that with me to games.


The big shift for me was watching my gaming group change from folks who always brought a ton of books to a group that brough only their laptops/ tablets + character sheet

Not a single person in my group brings a physcial book to the game anymore, that's 6 players.

They reference it faster than any print book because they just use search on their PDFs or the d20PFRD.com


There are still just a lot of people out there who prefer books to PDF's. Its not necessarily from any rational rationale or justification- just a preference they have. Some folks prefer an actual book in hand to some PDF or other.

I fall into the "I prefer a book to read, but a PDF to find something in quickly" crowd. I grew up with books and I really find it easier to read a book as a book than to fumble around with it on a computer screen.

I have the CRB, the APG, Bestiary and B2 as books. I have Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat as PDF only as well as a 3PP witch hex thingie.

I've yet to fully read UM and UC, (much less the 4-5 page 3pp product) but I've read the print versions repeatedly.

Can't really give a good, solid, justifyable reason that I could stand up and hold my side of the argument on. Its just my preference.

Oddly enough- I have no issue at all reading the news sites, the forums, or all that on a computer. also no issue using e-books. The book->PDF thing just doesn't work well for me.
maybe its the column layout? I dunno.

-S


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

@Selgard:

I'm the opposite. I have read all of my rulebooks, 3rd party & Paizo, completely through. In PDF form, that is. I have yet to do more than just flip through my dead-tree versions. I have most of them so that they look pretty on the shelf. My Pathfinder Core is still in pristine condition, 1st printing. I prefer to read PDFs. All of my players look at the d20PFSRD.com site. I use PDFs & the Combat Manager for most of my needs.


Dark_Mistress wrote:


For me it depends what it is. If it is a book I will reference a lot during games I want a print copy, or a adventure. I always want adventures in print and core rules. But for a lot of the smaller niche stuff I am happy to have it in PDF. I can then copy and paste the parts I want to use, print them off and just take that with me to games.

Score a point for the Succubus. Both formats have their uses / points. Books for thorough reading and reference, PDFs for printing out bits and for small products.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2015

I prefer hard bound books to PDF or even paperback books. It's a visceral thing for me, I love the feel of a book in my hand.


I like that pdfs offer affordable books with great content for a low price. And since I print ALL of them out (which is btw. surprisingly cheap with a good color laser printer), I never really got the pdf-aversion. You can have just about everything printed, bound and even stitched today. That being said, IF there's a regular print-version, I of course go for that one. Just my 2 cents!


xorial wrote:

@Selgard:

I'm the opposite. I have read all of my rulebooks, 3rd party & Paizo, completely through. In PDF form, that is. I have yet to do more than just flip through my dead-tree versions. I have most of them so that they look pretty on the shelf. My Pathfinder Core is still in pristine condition, 1st printing. I prefer to read PDFs. All of my players look at the d20PFSRD.com site. I use PDFs & the Combat Manager for most of my needs.

I use the PRD site alot during the game (usually not d20pfsrd), but when I just want to read stuff or look through it, I use the book. Now this could change when and if I can get my hands on a decent tablet- but at the moment its either (very small) laptop, a normal size one, or my full on computer.. and none of those are terribly hand for just reading these kinds of books on.

At least not for me:)

-S

Shadow Lodge

I mostly collect PDFs. For books I consider it worthwhile, I get a hard copy. Mostly this is composed of the core books for a game system that I really like (Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, WH20K RPG, a bunch of retroclones, a few others). And any hardcover that Frog God Games puts out. Anything beyond this has to really impress me in order for me to make a hardcopy purchase (like Carcosa recently did).

Hell, if the Adventure Path subscription didn't pay for itself (discounted price is almost the same as PDFs, plus the discount on other stuff I buy/subscribe to), I wouldn't bother with those in hardcopy either.

I'm also a collector, but I'm a collector without a lot of spare shelf space, and that moves every few years.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'll just copy and paste what I wrote in the other thread in reply:

theneofish wrote:


I've said exactly the same here, and in other threads. Yes. I would pay double for a print edition. I'm funding the Rappan Athuk reprint on Kickstarter, and pre-ordered the Slumbering Tsar hardback over a year ago, and would have done neither had they been pdf only. I would not be an Adventure Path subscriber if it was a pdf only option. I'm only interested in small pdfs (up to 20 pages for a pdf), because I end up having to print them all off anyway, and there's no way I'm going to print off something like a 96 page book. I don't want to have to scroll up and down to read an adventure, or click links to go back and forwards, I don't like reading a screen at the game table. I like to be able to hold two pages open at once, at different parts of the book, if I need to. I don't like reading on screen text for an adventure, or for looking at art. All sorts of reasons that I realise are valid only for myself. Perhaps most of all - I'm a collector, and want something that can sit proudly on my shelves alongside my Paizo books, my D&D box sets, all my Greyhawk material and newer stuff from 3PPs like Necromancer and Goodman Games. I've got to the stage in my life where I have a disposable income to dispose of as I see fit, and I want to spend it on books, not software.

YMMV, and it's great and all that folks buy so many pdf products, but these are the reasons why, out of the two companies that have evolved from Necromancer games, I've spent hundreds of dollars on Frog God, and none on Legendary Games. And it has nothing to do with the relative quality of their products, but - to me - it doesn't matter how great Legendary Games output is, 'pdf only' devalues it.

I'd also like to clarify my position on pdfs, which I do buy a lot of. The ones I buy tend to be the $5 or less ones - usually one encounter, or a group of npcs, or some ideas for one aspect of the game. These I can print off and read at my leisure. But, as has been said above, things that I use during the game, which will see heavy use, such as an adventure itself, then I wouldn't be buying a pdf. And, like Steve says at the top, cost is pretty irrelevant. I'm prepared to pay good money for a good product.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rite Publishing wrote:

The big shift for me was watching my gaming group change from folks who always brought a ton of books to a group that brough only their laptops/ tablets + character sheet

Not a single person in my group brings a physcial book to the game anymore, that's 6 players.

They reference it faster than any print book because they just use search on their PDFs or the d20PFRD.com

And there's nothing wrong with that, just as there's nothing wrong with books. My gaming table consists of between four and six people, and, so far, no-one has brought a laptop or tablet. In fact, no-one brings books either, just a character sheet. We play at my home, and my library is to hand for any referencing that needs to be done.

Thing is, this is going to come down to a preferences thing. It's going to be like trying to persuade people that red is better and more convenient than green, or that chicken tastes better than turkey. Isn't it always going to be 'maybe it does, but I prefer [the other thing]'. It's not something that should need to be justified. Sure, it probably is faster, more compact, cheaper to bring a tablet to the game loaded with all the pdfs you're ever going to need. That's the logical choice. Unfortunately I, and a significant minority of others, choose to be illogical.


I want to tank everyone who has been nice enough to comment in this thread. Being a publisher I know that PDFs are the most cost effective way to run a successful business. But I find it interesting also how many people who say they only want "dead tree" version of products. Something to always think about.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rite Publishing wrote:

The big shift for me was watching my gaming group change from folks who always brought a ton of books to a group that brought only their laptops/ tablets + character sheet.

Not a single person in my group brings a physcial book to the game anymore, that's 6 players.

They reference it faster than any print book because they just use search on their PDFs or the d20PFRD.com.

This is my situation as well. I, and everyone I play with, have decent laptops and/or excellent tablets.

In the entire span of time we've been playing Pathfinder none of them has brought a book to the table. Well, I take that back, once or twice a couple people have brought their copies of the APG or Ultimate Combat/Magic to flip through (before we had it up on d20pfsrd.com) and one of the guys is a GM who was running a Kingmaker campaign. He prefers print when GMing so he always has the ap books in front of him behind the GM screen.


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh, sidenotes related to previous comment. I subscribe to the RPG, Campaign Setting, and Companion lines so I really love getting the print products every month (or so).

I really like seeing my shelf of Pathfinder books continue to grow and I really enjoy being able to spend a few minutes in a certain small room of the house where I can see the art Paizo spends so much time and money on, as well as actually read the contents of the books instead of worrying about how it looks on the site.

In-game I'm all about tech and convenience (pdfs).

Out of game I really appreciate old-school (actual books).

Dark Archive Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love that Paizo updates their core books with errata and also gives out, to subscribers, a new pdf with the updates included.

Maybe when a 6th printing of something is available I'll spring for a new physical copy.

Dedicated Voter 2013

From the publisher's point of view creating both a PDF product and a print product is expensive. Usually, the page layout that works for PDF is different than the requirements for layout for print. Whenever a project I'm working on gets released to PDF, the given layout works fine for product release. When I send the same project layout to Lightening Source (at DrivethruRPG), I end up doing the layout 2 or 3 times to meets some tight idiosyncratic needs of the printer. What my layout looks like for print is almost completely different than my layout for PDF.

It takes twice the effort (and twice the cost) in layout to create the differing versions.

While POD is a great way to release printed books one at a time, it isn't very cost effective, compared to standard large volume printing. POD printing costs more per individual print - which makes the cover price higher. While large volume printing is more cost effective, it is only so if you can successfully sell your product in volume. And anyone in the RPG industry knows that large volume sales for anything RPG is not a realistic approach. What is successful for RPG sales is often dismal compared to anything else in print.

While I personally prefer a printed product, especially for use in game, getting such a product into my hands is more difficult and expensive than what someone might normally think.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

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As a PDF publisher, but also as a gamer, I actually prefer printed. I don't have a tablet, I don't want to carry a laptop, and I don't want to print out PDFs to be used at the table. I also find that when I'm working on new projects, that I like having multiple books spread out on the table to cross-reference.

For example, when working on Psionics Expanded, my design sessions were often having: Pathfinder Core Rulebook, the Expanded Psionics Handbook from 3.5, Psionics Unleashed, and several Dreamscarred printed books all open to different pages. With PDFs, sure, I can alt-tab, but it's not as easy to side-by-side compare.

I like small PDFs, but if it's something I'm going to use with any regularity, I want it in print. Which is why I like Print + PDF combos. :)

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

gamer-printer wrote:
From the publisher's point of view creating both a PDF product and a print product is expensive. Usually, the page layout that works for PDF is different than the requirements for layout for print. Whenever a project I'm working on gets released to PDF, the given layout works fine for product release. When I send the same project layout to Lightening Source (at DrivethruRPG), I end up doing the layout 2 or 3 times to meets some tight idiosyncratic needs of the printer. What my layout looks like for print is almost completely different than my layout for PDF.

I have never had this issue. But I do PDF layout with print in mind and export with High Quality Print settings. Same file for both (PDF just gets optimized for space reasons).

Dedicated Voter 2013

The program I use to create Page Layouts can export any resolution, so the same quality I put into print layouts is the same as PDF layouts, it's just that the required amount of space between the page edge and the text and graphics may differ. Printers sometimes require a greater margin, than what I design for PDF. I often look to my inhouse printing devices and use their requirements for margins, etc. which don't seem as tight as the requirements for print. I can print with an 1/8 inch margin, whereas print usually requires a 1/2 inch or more. How a printer handles full bleeds (edge to edge printing) seem to differ from printing house to printing house. If it were all one standard, it would be easy to do layout. But every shop seems to have their own parameters.

Note I do work in the print industry, though I am in digital, not web press industry (though I have worked for that industry in the past).

Sovereign Court Contributor , Star Voter 2013

Personally, when running a game I generally have the books out, including the scenario or AP. When playing, I have the PF srd on my laptop. I have the locations of most rules stuff in Core memorized, but I find it clutters the tabletop too much if as a player I have everything out. Plus I can keep the page for my class open to crossref class abilities.

I always end up printing out a copy of pdfs for running a pdf only product, because I can write directly on the paper.

But I really like paying 10-15 dollars less for stuff I'm not using over and over, and it means that my library is always available even if my books are misplaced.

Dark Archive

The collector in me *loves* to see books on the shelf, even if only because I'm not going to boot up my laptop everytime I run to the bathroom. So I understand anyone who insists on physical copies.

But on a serious note, for the past six years, I've lived in an apartment with my wife that was simply too small to run a game comfortably, even if I rudely kick my wife out of the house during game.

So I've ended up having to run game at someone elses house. I'm a materials heavy GM, so I'd have to bring a duffle bag, a backpack, a carry case of maps and another for minis... it adds up. After yet another session where I've forgotten something, I stopped bringing books that I knew someone else would have at the table. I bought hero lab, and went digital for my character sheet. Then I stopped bringing any book that had a searchable pdf or could be found on d20pdfsrd.com or the PRD. A book is nice to flip through, but after cutting myself off, I discovered it simply wasn't necessary anymore.

After going through moving and nearly killing several friends of mine with the sheer weight of an overabundant RPG collection, I've pretty much sworn off the printed page. Sure, it's pretty to look at, but I refuse to kill another half-forest just because of my obsessive need to hold a book in my hands.

On the bright side, my new place not only has enough room to game, my wife was kind of enough to let me turn one of the bedrooms into a dedicated game room! I have everything my 15 year old nerdself wanted!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

I'd just like to weigh in. For me the two product types complement one another. To run a module I want a printed book in front of me. I also want a Core, APG, and the other key rules books at the table.

On the other hand, I like to have them all in PDF so I can copy & paste material into either my monster statblocks or my character sheets. Note: all my groups use standard statblocks for character sheets... no pretty grid sheets.

Finally, there are products that I simply wouldn't pay for (or use) if they were printed only. Or even if they were a more expensive set of both. Things like the SuperGenius Games materials... those are niche products that belong in a nice folder on my hard drive, to be referenced when and if I need them. I DON'T need those taking up shelf space or wallet capacity.

So some products are best PDF-only, in my mind and all others should be both.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Lately, the only time I have to read is during break at work so print copies are nice as I don't own any special phones/tablets. However, last night I was complaining to my players about the amount of books I needed to run the game. I use a little table on wheels just to fit my books- usually the corebook, plus the 3 bestaries, Tome of Horrors, and maybe a few binders with some of my PDFs. I've seriously thought of converting to a tablet or something to run the games (currently using the laptop to Skype in one of the players), however there is something about actually seeing the sheer size of the physical book of Tome of Horrors that can't be underestimated. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, who preferred it when Dungeon and Dragon mags went digital only?

Shadow Lodge

Sorry for the brief derailment, but this comment caught my eye. The evil themed AP "Way of the Wicked" from Fire Mountain Games IS available in printed form via Drive Thru RPG. It's absolutely worth it regardless of the format you prefer.

Steve Geddes wrote:
LMPjr007 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

It's not strictly on-topic, but since you're reading...

I won't buy a PDF only product. I was really keen to see the evil themed AP but, despite being a niche not filled anywhere else, the fact it was only available in digital format eventually ruled it out for me...

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
theneofish wrote:
So, who preferred it when Dungeon and Dragon mags went digital only?

That's not really a fair question since they stopped coming out as a single unit and came out piece meal and was about 4e.

Now with that said I subscribe to Kobold Quarterly and only get the PDF version. I have no real desire to have print issues.

Dark Archive

theneofish wrote:
So, who preferred it when Dungeon and Dragon mags went digital only?

I have an objection to "subscription viewing only". If I paid for it, I want unlimited future access to it. If I could have downloaded it AND it had stayed 3.5, then current me wouldn't have objected. Me of the past had a different opinion of pdf and was very grumply.

Case in point: my Kobold Quarterly subscription is pdf only and I'm comfortable with that, even though I *could* get a hard copy.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think those are fair points, so thanks for the honest responses. Ironically, I think they're one of the few products I would have bought pdf, since they'd have been suited to printing off individual articles, or adventures. Having said that, Dungeon would be a more likely print buy for me, since I'd have to print those off for the game table, and colour printing is either exorbitantly expensive, or sucks royally.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

At the game table, my group uses a reference library with one copy of each relevant book, each of which we pass back and forth as needed. This type of sharing would be illegal if our reference library included PDF products.

Dedicated Voter 2013

Of the PDFs that I use at table, I have all the PDFs printed then comb bound like a book. I periodically add a PDF to the end of it, and then create a table of contents that includes everything from all PDFs. If I get too many PDFs, I may put tabs on the edges to more easily find the correct PDF.

Of course I run a daytime graphic design/digital print studio, so I can print 2 sided full color if I wanted, but B/W is fine and cheaper for me. So do I need printed books PDF supplements, no, but if I need it, I print it - what's the big deal?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Epic Meepo wrote:
At the game table, my group uses a reference library with one copy of each relevant book, each of which we pass back and forth as needed. This type of sharing would be illegal if our reference library included PDF products.

It's not illegal if they're viewing it on your computer. :)

Shadow Lodge

For the people who say cost isn't a problem, then why don't you take it to a colour copy centre to print off and bind it yourself (even hole-punch->ring binder)?


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Serum wrote:
For the people who say cost isn't a problem, then why don't you take it to a colour copy centre to print off and bind it yourself (even hole-punch->ring binder)?

I do do that for Paizo PDFs (ie the player's guides for the APs). I get them professionally printed and bound so that they are identical to the other Pathfinder Player's Companions.

The reason I dont for 3PP products is a function of the extra effort involved. The fact is, I dont need any more RPG supplements - it's all discretionary spending. As such, I get the Paizo products printed for completeness (I havent yet found an easy way to get the PFS scenarios bound, but I'm saving them up with that eventual goal) but I won't take the plunge with a 3PP, since there isnt that added completionist incentive.


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber
cmlamontagne wrote:

Sorry for the brief derailment, but this comment caught my eye. The evil themed AP "Way of the Wicked" from Fire Mountain Games IS available in printed form via Drive Thru RPG. It's absolutely worth it regardless of the format you prefer.

Steve Geddes wrote:
LMPjr007 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

It's not strictly on-topic, but since you're reading...

I won't buy a PDF only product. I was really keen to see the evil themed AP but, despite being a niche not filled anywhere else, the fact it was only available in digital format eventually ruled it out for me...

Yeah, thanks. That was pointed out to me in the original thread too - I wasnt aware (or more accurately, had forgotten).

Star Voter 2013

Although late to the party, I'll pitch in my thoughts.

I like my books. I have a GM notebook with all sorts of little printouts from various pdfs. I usually print the pdfs for adventures so I can thumb through them, make notes, etc. There are a few pdfs (monsters, Mother of All Encounter Tables/Treasure tables, and such) that I don't print off, because I use them exclusively for game prep.

My biggest gripe about pdfs is that many publishers don't have a good way of getting the preview information out for me to decide if I want to part with my money or not. I've come to trust certain reviewers (like Endzeitgeist), but have encountered reviewers who seem more intent on keeping their "Pro Reviewer" status than actually providing meaningful information. One publisher even seems to have sock-puppets reviewing his work, because the quality that the reviewers noted simply wasn't present when I looked at the product. This happened on a OneBookShelf site, not Paizo.

The great thing about dead-tree versions is (usually) the ability to look through the product at the store prior to purchase. Obviously, electronic files pose particular problems for letting me thumb through them (although Kindle has a "lend" option, and I think that might provide a basis for an hour or so's browsing of a file that will auto-delete . . . you know, if Paizo wanted to set up a "product cloud" or something).

So, I let others take the risk first. There are a couple companies that I trust (like Paizo and Raging Swan Press), but it takes quite a bit of incentive to me to start buying from a new company.

FYI, I own a Continuous Ink Supply System for my printer, and print on 24-lb paper.


I almost only buy print/pdf combos.

Shadow Lodge

theneofish wrote:
YMMV, and it's great and all that folks buy so many pdf products, but these are the reasons why, out of the two companies that have evolved from Necromancer games, I've spent hundreds of dollars on Frog God, and none on Legendary Games. And it has nothing to do with the relative quality of their products, but - to me - it doesn't matter how great Legendary Games output is, 'pdf only' devalues it.

I would like to point out that even if they did have print products, I don't think you COULD spend "hundreds of dollars" on Legendary Games stuff...unless you wanted a LOT of copies of the 2 or 3 products they've released to date.


Here is a question, If a print book has a downloadable PDF sample does that effect your purchase?


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber
LMPjr007 wrote:
Here is a question, If a print book has a downloadable PDF sample does that effect your purchase?

Not mine. The neoexodus campaign setting was the first thing of yours I purchased, for example. I bought it solely based on product description.

Reading PDFs is very rare, for me. If there's a WoTC adventure or PFS scenario I want to read, I tend to print it out first.


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I'll throw in my $.02 here.

I am 100% with Steve.

I only buy print products.

Call me "old school" but I still fondly flip through my 2nd ed spelljammer books.

I love going to the bookshelf and leafing through something I had forgotten I had.

At least for me, it is easier to find print products then try to remember what folder I put the file in, then try to remember what the thing is called.

I always seem to think..... "I need a hippo person..... crap, i think its the red book with the flying squid on the cover"

Add to that the feeling of actual value I have with a print book.

Yes I know that the cost of art, writing, dev, all that stuff goes into a PDF. But when I spend money I want something "Real"

Again, just my oppinion, but I know in my local area I am far from alone in this feeling.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LMPjr007 wrote:
Here is a question, If a print book has a downloadable PDF sample does that effect your purchase?

Not usually. It depends if this is a company I've purchased from before, or if there are reliable reviews of the product. It's always nice to have though, and there are a couple of dungeon delve type products from newer companies where I've been impressed enough by a preview to pick up the full (print product). For an established company though - like your own - not so much.


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I only buy printed books. I dont like computers much to begin with(my time on this website is pretty much the only computer time i enjoy), and the printer i use sucks on ink. I dont like to read much at all from a computer screen, and overall just prefer to have an actual book in my hand. Even if I had a nice fancy printer, there is just something about holding a book and reading it.

On this note, I will also say that I was not happy when Paizo started putting the player's guides for the APs in PDF form only. I am perfectly willing to buy them, and the fact that they are free does not sway me at all. I want print copies, not PDF's. Please Paizo go back to printed form players guides!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thefurmonger wrote:
At least for me, it is easier to find print products then try to remember what folder I put the file in, then try to remember what the thing is called.

I'd just like to point out that I bought this awesome program called Bookcat that lets me keep track of the PDFs I've purchased and where I've stored them on my laptop. Whenever I want to open a PDF, I open Bookcat first. Then I can find the book info and click on the link to open the PDF.

You can also use it to keep track of which shelf you've stored the hard copy on. It can search by ISBN, so you don't have to enter all the data. Disadvantage is when a publisher doesn't purchase ISBNs -- and I know many of the PDF-only publishers don't -- I have to type in the book info manually, and I'm not very good about updating it...

I prefer PDF/print combos as well, though I'm trying to get better about purchasing PDF only. It's easier for me to read the printed book than a PDF, but I like converting adventures to OneNote files (another great program!) so copy and paste from PDF is best there.


I like having the PDF option available with any game purchase I make, not just for cost but it is more convenient for me to take a Pad or my Lap Top to what ever game I'm playing and have my entire gaming library at my finger tips. There have been times when a GM was not prepared that I was able to get on my laptop and run a quick one shot on a system we have not played in a while.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am a PDF lover. I have been reading them more often than the books, though they are pretty on my shelf. My few complaints aren't about the format. I am really disappointed when a PDF isn't bookmarked. I understand that smaller PDFs don't seem to need it, but it still makes it quicker to find that particular feat/spell/class ability in a hurry, like when running a game. The other is when a 3pp thinks they need to charge damn near print prices for the PDF. Thankfully this isn't a problem with any of the Pathfinder crowd. I think that Paizo shot that in the foot. Back in the 3e heyday, many of the publishers did that to offset their print costs & to also "encourage" the purchase of the print version. I refused to buy any of those products, print or otherwise.

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