Paizo PDF Pricing Changes

Monday, October 17, 2022

For many years, Paizo has largely set PDF pricing as a percent of the full print MSRP. While this process worked well early on, the rise of digital goods and expressions has matured, and the exceptions made for certain categories to be priced higher or lower has somewhat scrambled the logic used to build those systems.

Pathfinder Adventure: Crown of the Kobold King. A red kobold approaches the viewer, wearing a skull crown, gold vambraces, carrying a bloody axe


Effective October 26 for new releases and November 1 for all other PDFs (including jpegs for some maps and card products), Paizo will be changing prices in the following categories. You’ll probably find exceptions for some products as well, but this guide covers most cases.


Product Category Current New
Pathfinder rulebooks $14.99 $19.99
Adventure Paths $17.99 $19.99
Standalone Adventures $15.99–$17.99 $19.99
Bounties $2.99 $4.99
Quests $2.99 $4.99
Lost Omens sourcebooks $24.49+ $29.99
Lost Omens Absalom $38.49 $29.99
Lost Omens Regional $34.99 $29.99
Flip-Mats (all) $8.99–$10.49 $9.99
Map Folios (all) $13.99+ $9.99
Flip-Tiles $13.99–$24.99 $9.99
Flip-Maps $10.49+ $9.99
Pawns $13.99–$17.99 $9.99
Player Companions $7.99–$10.49 $9.99
Cards $15.99 $9.99
Bestiary Battle Cards $41.99 $19.99
Spell Cards $17.49–$38.49 $14.99
Starfinder Battle Cards $41.99 $19.99
Starfinder Spell Cards $20.99–$24.99 $14.99
Starfinder rulebooks $9.99 $19.99

Starfinder Dead Suns Adventure Path: Three beings stand in the foreground with a planet exploding in the background. On the left if a humanoid with skull-like features, glowing green eyes, and a dark blue and gold armor, in the middle is a pale humanoid with spiked armor and bright pink hair, to the right is a humanoid in red armor with blue skin and mandibles protruding from their jaw


Digital sales are an important component of Paizo’s revenue, and your PDF purchases allow Paizo to continue producing all the great Pathfinder and Starfinder releases. These price changes will also affect the pricing discounts you see through Paizo Connect (My Partner Authorizations in your account settings) for those purchases. Not all Paizo licensees use Paizo Connect to offer discounts, and those that do use it offer various levels of discounts, so adjustments may result depending on the type of service they provide.

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17 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Ah ha, once again the conservative hardback-heavy subscription portfolio pays off for the hungry investor!


10 people marked this as a favorite.

Okay that's not bad at all, really. I don't mind a couple bucks increase (and several decreases), especially for the quality of the books.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

How are 1E/3.5 Modules and Campaign Setting books expected to be modified, if at all? And are 1E/3.5 Rulebooks and Adventure Paths also included? (the "current" price for those seems to just reflect the 2E price and doesn't include the range of PDF prices they had in 1E). I see that Player Companions are specifically noted as affected, but other 1E books don't seem to be listed in the table here.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Keep up the quality and we won't mind the price hikes. Just don't do it to much ;)

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
AFigureOfBlue wrote:
How are 1E/3.5 Modules and Campaign Setting books expected to be modified, if at all? And are 1E/3.5 Rulebooks and Adventure Paths also included? (the "current" price for those seems to just reflect the 2E price and doesn't include the range of PDF prices they had in 1E). I see that Player Companions are specifically noted as affected, but other 1E books don't seem to be listed in the table here.

Pathfinder First Edition and 3.5 Modules are the same as standalone Adventures. We neglected to list the Pathfinder first edition Campaign Setting line and I am getting clarity.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Odd. Paizo was already (from my perspective) at the top-end of PDF pricing for books, especially when buying a hard copy doesn't include the PDF gratis like basically everywhere else. This was the single biggest thing that kept me from adopting PF1 until the last couple years of its life.

I understand raising prices. But Paizo really needs to stop being the outlier on "buying the book doesn't get you the PDF". Even if just through your own store and not universally like through Bits and Mortar.

The price drops for the digital maps/pawns is necessary, considering they're not very useful. The pawns are too low-res to print (not that I would -- that's not a very maintainable activity, especially in comparison to the preprinted ones that I already dearly miss getting new ones of!), and don't include the images separated for useful online use. Ditto the maps, which also only come as a PDF rather than zip of image files.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I believe it's been explained that the places where the PDF is provided gratis are boutique outfits. They certainly don't have near the level of output that Paizo does.

All the places I can think of off the top of my head (Modiphius, Free League) all maybe produce 1-2 books in a product line in a year.

That being said, you do get the PDF gratis, if you pre-order from them.

Envoy's Alliance

21 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If these adjustments are the way that Paizo will be paying their amazing team of content creators and employees living wages then I'm all for it! The Paizo staff really do deserve it for the work that they put in; the value we get is really good if you look at the content and the quality.

Dark Archive

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Hopefully the changes will both mean Paizo doesn't have to worry about keeping the lights on at all (not saying that they were of course) and that they can more easily offer their staff improved wages that properly represent their value as the people who create all of the awesome things they're able to offer. If so then this is excellent news and I'm certainly happy to see it (though I imagine that out of all that the bounties moving to $5 might be a bit hard for some to swallow in all honesty).


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm surprised Starfinder rulebooks aren't called out. Are they staying at $9.99 or was their omission an oversight?


Aaron Shanks wrote:
AFigureOfBlue wrote:
How are 1E/3.5 Modules and Campaign Setting books expected to be modified, if at all? And are 1E/3.5 Rulebooks and Adventure Paths also included? (the "current" price for those seems to just reflect the 2E price and doesn't include the range of PDF prices they had in 1E). I see that Player Companions are specifically noted as affected, but other 1E books don't seem to be listed in the table here.

Pathfinder First Edition and 3.5 Modules are the same as standalone Adventures. We neglected to list the Pathfinder first edition Campaign Setting line and I am getting clarity.

Thank you for the information!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
emky wrote:
Paizo really needs to stop being the outlier on "buying the book doesn't get you the PDF". Even if just through your own store and not universally like through Bits and Mortar.

They offer this as part of their subscription benefits, and they have for...13 years or so? I got my launch PF1 core rulebook with a free PDF and kept that subscription active through all but 2 rulebooks, I think.

My Kingmaker 1e books came with PDFs with the subscription, too.

Dark Archive

11 people marked this as a favorite.
emky wrote:

Odd. Paizo was already (from my perspective) at the top-end of PDF pricing for books, especially when buying a hard copy doesn't include the PDF gratis like basically everywhere else. This was the single biggest thing that kept me from adopting PF1 until the last couple years of its life.

As opposed to who? PDF Rulebooks for D&D on Beyond are $30-50, Critical Roles Tal'Dorei setting is $25, Call of Cthulhu is $23-$28, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is $30, Blades in the Dark is $20-30, etc.

Paizos pdfs are consistently some of the cheapest in the ttrpg industry.

Horizon Hunters

2 people marked this as a favorite.
emky wrote:
The pawns are too low-res to print (not that I would -- that's not a very maintainable activity, especially in comparison to the preprinted ones that I already dearly miss getting new ones of!…

I couldn’t disagree with you more. Not only is the resolution just fine for printing, it’s also more economical for me to print them when I need more copies of a monster than come included with the physical price.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well when I can afford the hobby again, that will help me complete my companions PDF.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

6 people marked this as a favorite.

We regret the some details were left out of the blog. I will work with the web team to make corrections:

Starfinder Rulebooks will go from $9.99 to $19.99, matching Pathfinder.

Pathfinder First Edition Campaign Setting line was also left out because the PDF price of $15.99 is not changing.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Overall i think this is a fair move and i hope it leads to help put paizo in a better position to pay employees and freelancers fair wages.

That said, i do agree that moving bounties to $5 is somewhat hard to swallow since they are relatively short and to my knowledge largely used by society GMs to market the systems.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This seems like a completely reasonable and fair price-adjustment, with two small points.

I agree that moving the price of Bounties from $3 to $5 seems steep.
I also hope that the Beginner Box PDF remains at $15.

Both of those are key entry points for newcomers, and I'd like to see them remain at a break-even price point, or even at a loss-leader point.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Richard Lowe wrote:
Hopefully the changes will both mean Paizo doesn't have to worry about keeping the lights on at all (not saying that they were of course) and that they can more easily offer their staff improved wages that properly represent their value as the people who create all of the awesome things they're able to offer. If so then this is excellent news and I'm certainly happy to see it (though I imagine that out of all that the bounties moving to $5 might be a bit hard for some to swallow in all honesty).

I'm with you friendo!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Man, that's a shame. Just picked up all the bestiary cards and the alien archive battle cards 1-2 at the old price...but I suppose it's good for everyone else. Looking forward to seeing what else is coming down the pipe.


Any changes to the pricing of Pathfinder Adventure scenario PDFs? I've been collecting the card game materials and was thinking about picking some of those up in the near future.

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Leon Aquilla wrote:

I believe it's been explained that the places where the PDF is provided gratis are boutique outfits. They certainly don't have near the level of output that Paizo does.

All the places I can think of off the top of my head (Modiphius, Free League) all maybe produce 1-2 books in a product line in a year.

That being said, you do get the PDF gratis, if you pre-order from them.

You seem to have confused "explanation" with "excuse". This only really works if you define "99% of every game company that isn't Paizo or WotC" as "boutique" (which, in terms of volume, they are), and even then, that's even LESS of an excuse since those shops do much less volume and can less afford to do what they do and Paizo doesn't.

There's really no excuse for not including a PDF with any hardcover purchased directly from the publisher. Not doing so is greed, pure and simple. If there's some hidden cost inherent in PDFs that is on top of the cost of producing the book (and is more than fractions of a cent when distributed across all copies of the PDF sold and/or gratis with a book purchase), I'm all ears. (Spoiler, there's not.)

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good. It’s about time!


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
jmspencer wrote:


There's really no excuse for not including a PDF with any hardcover purchased directly from the publisher. Not doing so is greed, pure and simple. If there's some hidden cost inherent in PDFs that is on top of the cost of producing the book (and is more than fractions of a cent when distributed across all copies of the PDF sold and/or gratis with a book purchase), I'm all ears. (Spoiler, there's not.)

Oh I'm sorry, you appear to be under the misapprehension that Paizo is a non-profit charity.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Seems like predatory pricing. Products people want are going up in price, products people don't want are going down in price, and in both cases there's no reason for it because it's not a limited resource where supply and demand could actually be possibly excused as an actual thing. There's literally infinite supply and limited demand.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My thoughts:
The rulebook pdfs were always way too cheap for the work put in (and honestly probably still are, but at some point you have to think, you want folks to be able to get the rules to get invested in the system...)
Bringing down LO Absolom and the LO regionals probably hurts, but probably necessary. That said, I have trouble seeing Monsters of Myth or Legends as equal value to Mwangi Expense, and would never recommend them at that price, I thought they were already overpriced.
Bringing down the Battle Cards and Pawns PDFs, is brilliant, I never even considered them before, but I'll get the entire lot at the new prices as they feel totally appropriate.
I don't see how Bounties are valued at $5, I don't see myself buying them at that price.
It doesn't mention One-Shots, I know they are discontinued but I actually thought $5 was too cheap, those felt like $10 to me.
The new AP and Standalone adventure prices look right though.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
ShadowDrakken wrote:
Seems like predatory pricing. Products people want are going up in price, products people don't want are going down in price, and in both cases there's no reason for it because it's not a limited resource where supply and demand could actually be possibly excused as an actual thing. There's literally infinite supply and limited demand.

Faeries just show up and place the AP's and books on Paizo's doorstep in little woven baskets, just like my momma told me babies were delivered. They should be paying us to download them, I say.

Living in the United States is getting more expensive. 8% inflation annually last year and we're on track to have the same again this year. Authors, artists, office managers and support staff all gotta eat and a square meal costs 16% more than it used to this time in 2020.

You would have to have been living under a rock the past 2 years if you didn't see this coming.

Dark Archive

8 people marked this as a favorite.
ShadowDrakken wrote:
Seems like predatory pricing. Products people want are going up in price, products people don't want are going down in price, and in both cases there's no reason for it because it's not a limited resource where supply and demand could actually be possibly excused as an actual thing. There's literally infinite supply and limited demand.

Because the costs to produce those items are... static? I guess inflation and increased costs of living aren't a thing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If these price adjustments mean they are able to retain the wonderful staff (and hopefully increase their compensation in these inflationary times), then take my money Paizo.

(I subscribe to many lines so you already are, but the sentiment stands just the same)

Silver Crusade

9 people marked this as a favorite.

How dare Paizo pay their employees instead of keeping them locked up in cage in the warehouse with merely a typewriter and coffee for company.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I was starting to feel a little bad about how cheap Starfinder PDFs. It's also nice to see the regional books and the rulebooks getting closer in price in both directions.

Thanks for all the hard work, folks!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think there are a lot of places where the PF1 books need to be clarified. Are you really doubling the price of PF1 rulebooks? Those are Pathfinder rulebooks, and are still $10 right now. Many other PF1 products also currently have a lower price than your 'current price' chart entry.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

These are very reasonable prices.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Out of curiosity, with all these updated PDF prices would it be possible to release PDF versions of some of the older out-of-print accessories?

I've been dying to get my hands on 1e's Plot Twist and Critical Fumble decks for ages now, but can't find them anywhere

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

Zirosto wrote:

Out of curiosity, with all these updated PDF prices would it be possible to release PDF versions of some of the older out-of-print accessories?

I've been dying to get my hands on 1e's Plot Twist and Critical Fumble decks for ages now, but can't find them anywhere

I don't believe these price changes will provide additional funds for more workflow or hiring capacity.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Leon Aquilla wrote:

I believe it's been explained that the places where the PDF is provided gratis are boutique outfits. They certainly don't have near the level of output that Paizo does.

All the places I can think of off the top of my head (Modiphius, Free League) all maybe produce 1-2 books in a product line in a year.

That being said, you do get the PDF gratis, if you pre-order from them.

Really? Boutique outlets? Some of the largest European publishers give free pdfs with all physical book purchases (from their web store - I don't think any do it everywhere). 1-2 books in a product line per year is irrelevant when they operate close to a dozen product lines.

Silver Crusade

Twilight2k wrote:
Leon Aquilla wrote:

I believe it's been explained that the places where the PDF is provided gratis are boutique outfits. They certainly don't have near the level of output that Paizo does.

All the places I can think of off the top of my head (Modiphius, Free League) all maybe produce 1-2 books in a product line in a year.

That being said, you do get the PDF gratis, if you pre-order from them.

Really? Boutique outlets? Some of the largest European publishers give free pdfs with all physical book purchases (from their web store - I don't think any do it everywhere). 1-2 books in a product line per year is irrelevant when they operate close to a dozen product lines.

Like?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Richard Lowe wrote:
emky wrote:

Odd. Paizo was already (from my perspective) at the top-end of PDF pricing for books, especially when buying a hard copy doesn't include the PDF gratis like basically everywhere else. This was the single biggest thing that kept me from adopting PF1 until the last couple years of its life.

As opposed to who? PDF Rulebooks for D&D on Beyond are $30-50, Critical Roles Tal'Dorei setting is $25, Call of Cthulhu is $23-$28, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is $30, Blades in the Dark is $20-30, etc.

Paizos pdfs are consistently some of the cheapest in the ttrpg industry.

Shadowrun is usually $20. Free League is $10 for adventures and $15-25 for rule/setting books. DSA is $17.50 per book. There are a ton of places that charge less for pdfs than Paizo.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Twilight2k wrote:
Leon Aquilla wrote:

I believe it's been explained that the places where the PDF is provided gratis are boutique outfits. They certainly don't have near the level of output that Paizo does.

All the places I can think of off the top of my head (Modiphius, Free League) all maybe produce 1-2 books in a product line in a year.

That being said, you do get the PDF gratis, if you pre-order from them.

Really? Boutique outlets? Some of the largest European publishers give free pdfs with all physical book purchases (from their web store - I don't think any do it everywhere). 1-2 books in a product line per year is irrelevant when they operate close to a dozen product lines.
Like?

Free League for one (1-2 books per year per line but 14 (soon to be 15) different game lines = a lot of books). Similarly Modiphius - I don't know if they are all active lines but they have 20 lines by my count.

Ulisses Spiele has made books+pdfs available but is not their norm on their website. I know there's another I've gotten it from before but can't remember right now.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I am not worried about the price increases and there will always be Humble Bundles for them who think it is to pricey. Paizo had done a lot for charities this year alone using the PDF's.


How about flip multi-pack, currently $26.99?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

YIKES, 3 price hikes "Lately", as I figured as they unionized, fair enough. BUT for me they need to do better and more Hi res maps and fix, Ala Kingmaker 2nd edition and Horizons of the Vast for starfinder hex maps, so they align right if we are paying more in all honesty here for me.

Might be more choosy on some spending but otherwise not a huge thing for my buying habits, but I'll feel it none the less.

Tom

OOPs, and does this effect the Kingmaker prices at the end of the month as well?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Leon Aquilla wrote:
ShadowDrakken wrote:
Seems like predatory pricing. Products people want are going up in price, products people don't want are going down in price, and in both cases there's no reason for it because it's not a limited resource where supply and demand could actually be possibly excused as an actual thing. There's literally infinite supply and limited demand.

Faeries just show up and place the AP's and books on Paizo's doorstep in little woven baskets, just like my momma told me babies were delivered. They should be paying us to download them, I say.

Living in the United States is getting more expensive. 8% inflation annually last year and we're on track to have the same again this year. Authors, artists, office managers and support staff all gotta eat and a square meal costs 16% more than it used to this time in 2020.

You would have to have been living under a rock the past 2 years if you didn't see this coming.

Mostly true (US inflation was 6.8% in 2021). However, rulebooks are going up 33% (Starfinder by 100%), small adventures by 66%, (most) sourcebooks by 20%. A lot of the increases are significantly higher than inflation or production increases.

I don't have an issue with prices going up but I do think a lot of the increases seem way more than justified by increasing costs.


Kinda wish we would have got a longer lead time notice on this. But as this might be very unpopular for some I can see the short turn around time frame of a new price hike so less time to "rage post" and such.

Tom


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Twilight2k wrote:
Leon Aquilla wrote:
ShadowDrakken wrote:
Seems like predatory pricing. Products people want are going up in price, products people don't want are going down in price, and in both cases there's no reason for it because it's not a limited resource where supply and demand could actually be possibly excused as an actual thing. There's literally infinite supply and limited demand.

Faeries just show up and place the AP's and books on Paizo's doorstep in little woven baskets, just like my momma told me babies were delivered. They should be paying us to download them, I say.

Living in the United States is getting more expensive. 8% inflation annually last year and we're on track to have the same again this year. Authors, artists, office managers and support staff all gotta eat and a square meal costs 16% more than it used to this time in 2020.

You would have to have been living under a rock the past 2 years if you didn't see this coming.

Mostly true (US inflation was 6.8% in 2021). However, rulebooks are going up 33% (Starfinder by 100%), small adventures by 66%, (most) sourcebooks by 20%. A lot of the increases are significantly higher than inflation or production increases.

I don't have an issue with prices going up but I do think a lot of the increases seem way more than justified by increasing costs.

It's not just inflation. It's also the fact that American companies sell RPGs at silly low prices which leads to low salaries and freelancer rates (WotC being an exception thanks to riding on M:tg). It's been a massive problem for Paizo and one of reasons behind unionising.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

I fully agree with Paizo's policy of making price changes transparent and ensuring that they can pay everyone making the products a good wage for the excellent work they do.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Twilight2k wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Twilight2k wrote:
Leon Aquilla wrote:

I believe it's been explained that the places where the PDF is provided gratis are boutique outfits. They certainly don't have near the level of output that Paizo does.

All the places I can think of off the top of my head (Modiphius, Free League) all maybe produce 1-2 books in a product line in a year.

That being said, you do get the PDF gratis, if you pre-order from them.

Really? Boutique outlets? Some of the largest European publishers give free pdfs with all physical book purchases (from their web store - I don't think any do it everywhere). 1-2 books in a product line per year is irrelevant when they operate close to a dozen product lines.
Like?

Free League for one (1-2 books per year per line but 14 (soon to be 15) different game lines = a lot of books). Similarly Modiphius - I don't know if they are all active lines but they have 20 lines by my count.

Ulisses Spiele has made books+pdfs available but is not their norm on their website. I know there's another I've gotten it from before but can't remember right now.

Thanks for the info.

However I'm not really compelled that is/should be the norm of it's viable honestly, and without looking into the books specifically I can't see the content, how much art is there? That sort of thing?

Also, do they put all their rules online for free? Paizo does. You only buy the books if you want to support them or see the art, outside of buying the adventures.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You've listed Quests & Bounties, but no word on Organised Play adventures; will they be being covered in the OP blog?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Interesting that the Lost Omens line has functionally been standardized in price. Happy to support good stuff!

Sovereign Court

Is there any chance Paizo will do a site-wide update of 3PP PDF prices? Drive Thru did the same recently, and it would be great if we could get something similar here.

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