D&D PDFs and Paizo


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Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Here's the rec.games.frpdnd FAQ entry about Deities & Demigods, based on information I got while working at TSR: link


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Gorbacz wrote:

If they arranged for PDFs to be sold (or at least re-downloaded) from Paizo, they would:

d) give DigitalMage, Scott Betts et al one more reason to praise WotC, not that they has too few of them.

Actually, I have it on excellent authority that the WotC publishing team makes its decisions almost entirely based on whether they think I would praise them!

Shadow Lodge

Gorbacz wrote:

If they arranged for PDFs to be sold (or at least re-downloaded) from Paizo, they would:

d) give DigitalMage, Scott Betts et al one more reason to praise WotC, not that they has too few of them.

I'm sure you and a few others would find some way to twist it into WotC killing puppies.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

If they arranged for PDFs to be sold (or at least re-downloaded) from Paizo, they would:

d) give DigitalMage, Scott Betts et al one more reason to praise WotC, not that they has too few of them.

I'm sure you and a few others would find some way to twist it into WotC killing puppies.

I'm a cat person, so actually that sounds like an OK deal...


Scott Betts wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

If they arranged for PDFs to be sold (or at least re-downloaded) from Paizo, they would:

d) give DigitalMage, Scott Betts et al one more reason to praise WotC, not that they has too few of them.

Actually, I have it on excellent authority that the WotC publishing team makes its decisions almost entirely based on whether they think I would praise them!

...Wait, are you the guy we blame for not getting any product support for Essentials, then? *reaches for pitchfork & torch*

Grand Lodge

Alzrius wrote:
That's not correct; it's a myth that's sprung up around that first printing.

The info in the link provided by Sean K Reynolds from the rec.games.frpdnd FAQ is pretty much the story behind their removal that I was told by Gary Gygax himself...

Liberty's Edge

Power Word Unzip wrote:
...Wait, are you the guy we blame for not getting any product support for Essentials, then? *reaches for pitchfork & torch*

You like Essentials???? Yuck! :)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Digitalelf wrote:
Alzrius wrote:
That's not correct; it's a myth that's sprung up around that first printing.
The info in the link provided by Sean K Reynolds from the rec.games.frpdnd FAQ is pretty much the story behind their removal that I was told by Gary Gygax himself...

Yeah, but that's not a story about them needing to remove it or they'll be sued.


Aaron Bitman wrote:
...I have no plans to buy WotC's stuff, just because my PFRPG-related wishlist is too long...

Well, I caved. I have reason to suspect that, some time in the future, I might want another introductory Basic D&D module in a hurry, so I bought and downloaded "King's Festival". It would have been nice to wait for Paizo to get the rights, but I have yet to hear any word that will ever happen. And you never know when WotC might withdraw the downloads again. (King's Festival is one of those titles that I would have gotten back in '09 had I known WotC was going to stop selling the PDFs.)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, a few weeks have passed, and there's an interesting observation here.

The top sellers of D&D PDFs

The list totally dominated by 1e/basic stuff.

The highest ranking 2e book is at no.34, 3e book - 44, 4e book - 66.

I still hold by my opinion that both this and 5e are aimed at grognards. They just got their beloved Gygaxian stuff back, and are craving for me.

Shadow Lodge

You can also make practically the same claim about "the holy savior of all tabletop gaming" the d20 system, as it's highest showing is #27, and even then only with a nostalgic romp in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil.


I hope they make the Basic Gazetteers available.

Those are very pricey online these days...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
You can also make practically the same claim about "the holy savior of all tabletop gaming" the d20 system, as it's highest showing is #27, and even then only with a nostalgic romp in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil.

I guess it only proves that everybody moved on to Pathfinder. Yes, you can start bowing down to your new overlords :)

Shadow Lodge

One thing I do find interesting is that, thus far, with the single exception of the Basic and Expert sets, they haven't provided any of the core rules. I can somewhat understand a delay in the release of the core rules for 1e, 3.5, and 4e; since they probably want the stocks of the recent physical reprints to go away before offering those up. But why not go ahead and offer the core rules for Original D&D, Holmes Basic D&D, Mentzer BECMI D&D, D&D Rules Cyclopedia, and AD&D 2E? Unless those tomes are still in the process of being rescanned.

Dark Archive

I think for 3.0/.5, it has something to do with the SRD. Does 4e has something similar to the free SRD?


3.0/3.5 is probably recent enough that most people have a copy. Whereas the other material is older and either predates people's interest in the game, or for those people who DID own a copy, their copies might be beaten up or lost in moves, etc.

Although I agree with Gorbacz, I suspect they are trying to win over 1E and 2E fans for DnD Next, since the 3.0/3.5 people have Pathfinder for their needs.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, there are a couple of popular retroclones that allow you to run 0e/1e stuff.

BUT

They're all small press and niche, so what WotC might be doing is trying to go 600lb gorilla on that corner, where they have little to no resistance, and their own products are so old that the "fighting against your own stuff" problem of TSR days is not a concern.

Good move. Everyone will be happy. Well, maybe except those 10 folks who think that 4E was the best thing ever...


Gorbacz wrote:

Well, there are a couple of popular retroclones that allow you to run 0e/1e stuff.

BUT

They're all small press and niche, so what WotC might be doing is trying to go 600lb gorilla on that corner, where they have little to no resistance, and their own products are so old that the "fighting against your own stuff" problem of TSR days is not a concern.

Good move. Everyone will be happy. Well, maybe except those 10 folks who think that 4E was the best thing ever...

As one of those 10 people, I like the way DDN is shaping up so far. I'll be especially happy if the tactical rules module is fun. And, frankly, tactical rules are something WotC has gotten really, really good at.

Liberty's Edge

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Well Im glad Wotc is releasing PDFs again. Anyone care to comment on which 2E modules are worth buying.

As for Pax and Gorbacz no matter what anyone says both are going to dislike Wotc. No matter what. Both could get a free lifetime PDF subscription and either or both would find something wrong with it. Like "what I got a free Pdf and Wotc expects me to buy my own ink." Since Wotc is not only supposed to give a person free Pdfs but also provide ink. Or something similar. It a unreasoning hatred. Dont waste any time trying to deal with someone with a unreasoning hatred.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would really like to see the 3.5 AP issues put up. It would make creating my own personal hardcover of them that much easier.


Can someone help me understand this?

"This is a listing of products that have sold the most on average over time. Meaning it is a listing of all time popular products but not necessarily a listing of just best sellers."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Selling a million copies over ten years is different than selling a million copies in one?

Digital Products Assistant

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Just a small reminder: edition warring isn't OK on paizo.com.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Selling a million copies over ten years is different than selling a million copies in one?

I think it might have something to do with secondhand sales.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Selling a million copies over ten years is different than selling a million copies in one?

That's true - I just don't understand how something can be in the first set and not the second. Anything which has "sold the most on average over time" is going to be a best seller, isn't it?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Depends on your definition of 'bestseller'.

Wiki wrote:
A bestseller is a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on lists of currently top selling or frequently borrowed titles that are based on publishing industry and book trade figures and library circulation statistics and then published by newspapers, magazines, or bookstore chains...In everyday use, the term bestseller is not usually associated with a specified level of sales, and may be used very loosely indeed in publisher's publicity.


Twin Dragons wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Selling a million copies over ten years is different than selling a million copies in one?
I think it might have something to do with secondhand sales.

I thought it was speaking about the list of PDFs. Although, i don't think they would have much accurate information about 2nd hand sales anyhow.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

Depends on your definition of 'bestseller'.

Wiki wrote:
A bestseller is a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on lists of currently top selling or frequently borrowed titles that are based on publishing industry and book trade figures and library circulation statistics and then published by newspapers, magazines, or bookstore chains...In everyday use, the term bestseller is not usually associated with a specified level of sales, and may be used very loosely indeed in publisher's publicity.

Ah okay, thanks. Stupid me thought a best seller meant having the best sales. :p

Liberty's Edge

Vic Wertz wrote:
There have been a number of PDF publishers who have withdrawn PDFs from sale over the years that Paizo has been doing business. When that happens, we always ask the publisher if it's ok for us to allow the people who have already purchased them to be able to access them after they no longer available for sale to new customers, and I *think* that, apart from Wizards, every publisher has agreed to allow that. Maybe there's one I'm not thinking of, but it's certainly not a common situation.

I will say that one of the things I appreciate about e23 is a guarantee that you won't be deprived of your PDF even if they stop selling the product. If no one but WotC really objected to that, it seems like they're giving me a huge assurance for little cost on their part.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Depends on your definition of 'bestseller'.

Wiki wrote:
A bestseller is a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on lists of currently top selling or frequently borrowed titles that are based on publishing industry and book trade figures and library circulation statistics and then published by newspapers, magazines, or bookstore chains...In everyday use, the term bestseller is not usually associated with a specified level of sales, and may be used very loosely indeed in publisher's publicity.
Ah okay, thanks. Stupid me thought a best seller meant having the best sales. :p

It does, but using a qualitative measure of best, rather than a quantitative measure of best=most.


I still struggle to make sense of the introductory statement. What sort of PDF do you think they've ranked highly that they wouldn't have if they were listing "just best sellers"?

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:
I guess it only proves that everybody moved on to Pathfinder. Yes, you can start bowing down to your new overlords :)

Personally I am eagerly awaiting more 3.5 and 4e books being released in PDF - I aim to buy all the Eberron books in PDF (3.5 and 4e), all the Complete, Races of and environment books for 3.5, and all the PHBs 2 & 3, DMG2, MMs 2 & 3, and Power books for 4e (as well as AV2 and MME).

Since the return of D&D PDFs, I have only bought Rules Compendium & Expanded Psionics Handbook for 3.5 and Adventurer's Vault & Dungeon Delve for 4e (along with B1 which was free and B2). I already had a few 3.5 and 4e PDFs from the last time they were on sale so there really hasn't been much for me to buy yet.

Contributor

As for the question of "What's good?" from 2e, the green-covered Celts, Vikings, etc. historic setting books are particularly good for playing games set in those times or in fantasy lands flavored to resemble them. For example, anyone running a Land of the Linnorm Kings adventure would find a lot of useful stuff in the Vikings book since it's mostly culture and text as opposed to rules and statblocks.


I'm personally looking forward to when they make all of the Expert, Companion, Masters and Immortals adventures available. There are a few more I'll pick up there. I want the 1991 Rules Cyclopedia in PDF too.

I want the Dead Gods and Modron March Planescape adventures as well. Those have been hard to find at anything less than crazy prizes on ebay, etc.


I bought quite a bit of 2E stuff when it was on sale in PDF form. Some of the scans were of very shoddy quality (pages missing or repeated, pages flipped, pages crooked and/or cut off, multi-page stuff badly arranged, etc.)

I have mine all archived, and didn't lose them when WotC pulled the plug, so I'm not likely to buy much else. Would be interested, however, in knowing if the stuff on sale now are higher quality scans than what was available before.
M


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The actual texts seem to be higher quality for the releases of older editions, but things like poster maps out of the 2nd ed historic worldbooks or the cut out counters from module B10 are a lot more hit and miss. Then again, they were missing from the original PDF too in the case of B10. Bookmarking ranges from very good to chapter headings only, which still beats the no bookmarks whatsoever in the original versions.

IMO the new versions are worth downloading again if you bought them back in the old days, but you might want to hang onto the old versions too, in case of missing poster maps & similar in the new versions.


Bringing back PDFs addresses one of my bigger points of contention with WotC. Hopefully they'll start posting a better selection of rules -- I would be tempted by some of the essentials stuff in PDF.


Are you guys still in talks with WotC on reselling the PDFs or did they just say no?

Shadow Lodge

Paul Ryan wrote:
The actual texts seem to be higher quality for the releases of older editions, but things like poster maps out of the 2nd ed historic worldbooks or the cut out counters from module B10 are a lot more hit and miss. Then again, they were missing from the original PDF too in the case of B10.

Er, the cut out counters are there in the B10 I downloaded. And in pretty decent quality.


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I read the reviews for L1 The Secret of Bone Hill. They did a new scan but they used a copy with pencil writing on the pages and the pages are crooked. I would read the reviews before buying. It appears some are great new scans and some are of poor quality. Very disappointed.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Torg Smith wrote:
Are you guys still in talks with WotC on reselling the PDFs or did they just say no?

We don't have anything new to report, and I strongly suspect that status will remain current for a very long time.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Torg Smith wrote:
Are you guys still in talks with WotC on reselling the PDFs or did they just say no?

I don't have any updates to report, alas.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
Er, the cut out counters are there in the B10 I downloaded. And in pretty decent quality.

Heh. I'd flipped through the book and stopped at the back cover. Which was the second to last page of the PDF... And I took the product page's word that they weren't included. Joke's on me I guess. Thanks for the tip.

My point still holds about the Historic series poster maps though. :-(


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
As for the question of "What's good?" from 2e, the green-covered Celts, Vikings, etc. historic setting books are particularly good for playing games set in those times or in fantasy lands flavored to resemble them. For example, anyone running a Land of the Linnorm Kings adventure would find a lot of useful stuff in the Vikings book since it's mostly culture and text as opposed to rules and statblocks.

The green books were excellent.... I wish I hadn't given all mine away :-(


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Just a small reminder: edition warring isn't OK on paizo.com.

Really? Because there's still a pretty offensive post up there "4e is, was, and ever shall be an abomination that trampled the history and traditions of our game)." Is it only anti-Pathfinder edition warring that gets disciplined?


Matt Haddix wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Just a small reminder: edition warring isn't OK on paizo.com.
Really? Because there's still a pretty offensive post up there "4e is, was, and ever shall be an abomination that trampled the history and traditions of our game)." Is it only anti-Pathfinder edition warring that gets disciplined?

Probably just an oversight. The Paizo moderation team is pretty great about making sure 4e fans feel welcome here.

Digital Products Assistant

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Matt Haddix wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Just a small reminder: edition warring isn't OK on paizo.com.
Really? Because there's still a pretty offensive post up there "4e is, was, and ever shall be an abomination that trampled the history and traditions of our game)." Is it only anti-Pathfinder edition warring that gets disciplined?

We felt a note reminding everyone to be civil was sufficient.

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