Retraining due to failure to own books


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Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

Phillip Willis wrote:
I agree that the thread and the post lends a lot of strength to the viewpoint though. I'll seek further clarification. So far, I have not been able to locate the posts where "Physical copies, and copies of those copies are 100% legal. M&M have stated so numerous times." I think I would be happy if I could just find those.

Well, if he doesn't say anything in this thread, since I will be at GenCon, I will see if I can get an official answer.

I have always worked under the premise that the reason that the players need to have that source material is to allow the GM read it if they are unfamiliar with the feat/spell/class ability/etc..

Now, if I see what I believe may be illegal copies, then I will run it up the chain of command and let them decide what to do.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

Phillip Willis wrote:

Well...He didn't say it...He was backing up the general thought. At first blush, I agree with ya. But, first, there's a contradiction...first the quote...

Point A wrote:
Physical copies, and copies of those copies are 100% legal. M&M have stated so numerous times. You should have them with you. You can even share (1) book between all of your friends as long as all of your friends are at the same table.

Then Mike says...

Quote:

Thanks for summing it up well, Dan. Folks, it is a game and (most) players are adults. Use common sense.

If you see someone using anything you think is suspicious (such as a unwatermarked PDF), email us and let us know and let us take care of it from there.

I'm left scratching my head. How would I, as a GM, be able to tell the difference between a photocopied page and a printout from an unwatermarked PDF? :P

I don't see a contradiction. If a player tells me that he's using rules from some books and owns them, but only has photocopies of the relevant pages as he didn't want to drag them all round a convention for several days, I don't think I'd regards that as suspicious.

Also, I think I'd be able to tell the difference between a photocopy and a PDF print-out.

Grand Lodge

Quote:
I have always worked under the premise that the reason that the players need to have that source material is to allow the GM read it if they are unfamiliar with the feat/spell/class ability/etc..

Agreed, Mist. Our role isn't really IP police. With that being said, if someone is clearly using bootleg stuff, I do not accept it. I'd rather Paizo provide that definition, as they do in telling us things like "Herolab printouts are not legal". I'd just like to find an official "Photocopies are legal" statement. Still, like I said, I'm inclined in reviewing this and the FAQ to lean in the direction that they are OK.

Quote:
Also, I think I'd be able to tell the difference between a photocopy and a PDF print-out.

Yeah, I guess in some cases it may be pretty obvious. In other cases...not so much :)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Phillip Willis wrote:
Quote:
Also, I think I'd be able to tell the difference between a photocopy and a PDF print-out.
Yeah, I guess in some cases it may be pretty obvious. In other cases...not so much :)

+1 this, remember, many people like me make photo copies on the same printer we print our pdfs on, and if it were me, I would probably scan it, trim the edges, and then reprint it so it is nice and readable, and also so that if I lose it, I can reprint it rather than having to copy it again.

The Exchange

Also I think we are working with two forms of "legal" here... copies from a legal source (Paizo published, not altered) to show a GM the rules in their entirety so they can make a call is very different from copies from a proven legally possessed (owned, not stolen or borrowed - assuming we are now saying you can't loan a book) source. I have been reading up on this for a while and haven't seen which definition of legal Mike is generally working from... an important distinction when doing rules enforcement.

Of course this all folds into my other post a while ago about me buying used copies of books and scanning them myself as that is frequently cheaper than buying the pdfs (or for paizo purchased books that were not part of a sub, and thus didn't provide the free pdf)... I own the book, and it is a legal rule book (unaltered, printed by paizo, listed in the additional resources) but is considered illegal by GM's in digital format because they assume it is stolen if not watermarked and that is what they think they are being told to enforce. This is a whole other topic though.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

FLite wrote:
remember, many people like me make photo copies on the same printer we print our pdfs on

Ah, by 'photocopy' I've got an image in my head of something coming out of a Xerox machine that just makes monochrome paper copies of whatever's on the glass at the top at the time, rather than some MFD used as a scanner.

Quote:
if it were me, I would probably scan it, trim the edges, and then reprint it so it is nice and readable, and also so that if I lose it, I can reprint it rather than having to copy it again.

Leaving the imperfect edges, showing the dog-ears, staples etc. would probably be the easiest way to show it was a copy of your actual book. ;-)

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

Phillip Willis wrote:
That's why we try hard to be consistent in our communication and follow up on requirements so we no longer have these types of reactions. But, sometimes one slips through, right? Or they had a GM for months who never communicated/followed up/checked/etc.

Unfortunately, we as a whole aren't really consistent in what we say.

The last time this came up, I thought Mike Brock made his position pretty clear here.

He also made about the same statement in post #4 in this thread; you need to own a legal copy of any book in order to use abilities from that book.

But then we also get posts (such as the one Mark Moreland made as #17 in this thread) that say the reason people should buy books is so as to be able to explain rules, etc., to the GM. Posts like that have been interpreted as saying it's OK to not buy the book, especially now the PRD is a legal rules source for GMs.

So now we have posts from two different members of the campaign leadership that can be read as supporting two rather different positions.

If I'm GMing at a table I'm going to have electronic copies of all the rulebooks with me (and a fair number of the Campaign Settings, Player Companions, etc.) But I don't believe that means I have to be prepared to lend them to players. I may decide to do so, but I think it's my choice to make (much as I may choose to donate my shirt re-roll to the table, or lend a new player a Player Character Folio).

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

@NOG - I'm probably not going to ask you about your souces. But if I do:

I'm not going to ask you to prove to me that your photocopied pages are 'legally' yours; if you tell me you photocopied them from your own book, I'm going to take your word for it.

Similarly, if you turn up with a page printed from a watermarked PDF, but the name doesn't match the name you signed in with, I'll believe you if you tell me that's your SO/partner/whatever; couples are allowed to share books.

If you turn up with d20pfsrd or Herolab printouts, I'll explain that those aren't legal reference sources. For that table/game day/convention, though, I'll let you reference my electronic library if you're at my table.


I think Paizo needs to be a little clearer about what they want the purpose to be, and focus the rules to serve that purpose.

If the intent is ONLY that GMs have reference material to verify rules issues, then the whole restrictions about watermarks, photocopies vs printouts, evidence of purchase, etc. are irrelevant the purpose of having the material.

If the intent is also that people need to show they paid money for the material to be allowed to use content from that material, then you need some form of proof of purchase along with the reference text. Exactly what kind shouldn't matter too much. A receipt+ID would do as well as as watermark. And then as long as the GM has the reference material from whatever source (PRD, printouts, whatever) the first purpose is met as well.

Grand Lodge

Quote:
I'm not going to ask you to prove to me that your photocopied pages are 'legally' yours; if you tell me you photocopied them from your own book, I'm going to take your word for it.

And it's always been my understanding that, outside of a case of spouses/friends using copies because they're playing separate tables at the same con or something along those lines, all physical copies of copies had to be watermarked, which essentially excludes photocopies. It came up here when I first starting GM'ing PFS in the area, and that was the way it was explained to me from someone higher up.

I'm sure Mike is busy prepping for GenCon, but we'll see if we can tie him down and get a firm answer officially on question, "Is a photocopy of a physical, non watermarked source legal as an additional resource even in those cases where my friends/family/whatever have those physical books closeby?" If my memory serves properly, the answer is 'no', but we'll have to wait and see :)

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

Phillip Willis wrote:
Quote:
I'm not going to ask you to prove to me that your photocopied pages are 'legally' yours; if you tell me you photocopied them from your own book, I'm going to take your word for it.
And it's always been my understanding that, outside of a case of spouses/friends using copies because they're playing separate tables at the same con or something along those lines, all physical copies of copies had to be watermarked, which essentially excludes photocopies. It came up here when I first starting GM'ing PFS in the area, and that was the way it was explained to me from someone higher up.

When I go to a convention, I try to have a folder of resources used for each of my characters. I'll print out the relevant pages from my PDFs, if I have them. But I'm not going to carry all of my rulebooks with me, so for books where I don't have the PDF as well (mostly older campaign settings and the like) I'll photocopy/scan-and-print just the pages I need. I know I've done that for both The Adventurer's Armory and Seekers of Secrets; there are probably one or two more as well.

This is a convenience for me; I know it doesn't constitute a legal proof of ownership. But if I tell the GM at the table I've copied this, myself, from my own legally-owned books, I'd hope he believes me.

Philip Willis wrote:
I'm sure Mike is busy prepping for GenCon, but we'll see if we can tie him down and get a firm answer officially on question, "Is a photocopy of a physical, non watermarked source legal as an additional resource even in those cases where my friends/family/whatever have those physical books closeby?" If my memory serves properly, the answer is 'no', but we'll have to wait and see :)

My understanding is that his answer is 'Yes', based on this post, where he addresses precisely that question.

5/5

Ximen Bao wrote:

I think Paizo needs to be a little clearer about what they want the purpose to be, and focus the rules to serve that purpose.

I beg to differ quite a bit with this.

Paizo's been VERY clear as to what the expectation is from the get go. As written, you need to have a physical copy of the resource, a watermarked PDF of the resource, or the pages printed from the PDF with watermark.

It's everyone trying to find just how far can they go before they actually start getting turned away from tables, and seeing if someone is willing to call them on not following the rules. If people would just play by the rules, as this Society is assuming they do, then it wouldn't be an issue.

If you don't have a copy of the resource, don't use the resource. It's very simple.

The Exchange

Ximen Bao wrote:

I think Paizo needs to be a little clearer about what they want the purpose to be, and focus the rules to serve that purpose.

If the intent is ONLY that GMs have reference material to verify rules issues, then the whole restrictions about watermarks, photocopies vs printouts, evidence of purchase, etc. are irrelevant the purpose of having the material.

If the intent is also that people need to show they paid money for the material to be allowed to use content from that material, then you need some form of proof of purchase along with the reference text. Exactly what kind shouldn't matter too much. A receipt+ID would do as well as as watermark. And then as long as the GM has the reference material from whatever source (PRD, printouts, whatever) the first purpose is met as well.

I think this is exactly what I was trying to work out but couldn't truncate coherently.

Unfortunately I am fairly certain that a clarification will never happen. The coordinators have very likely been told, or determined on their own, that it is in Paizo's best interest to answer this question all sorts of ways without making an official FAQ clarification or other change to the rules. As it now stands, the ambiguity allows for a cadre of people with yellow capes and matching underpants to run around enforcing rules for them. They have no real reason to stop an independent group of volunteers from acting as their copyright police. Additionally, the second they clearly state that one does NOT need one of their books in front of them they are opening the door to a mountain of arguments over piracy.

As uncomfortable of an environment as it makes for players and GM's alike, I am pretty sure they are going to leave what they consider well enough alone.

@Snig: No, they haven't been VERY clear, follow some of the links in this and other threads on the same topic and you will see both coordinators all over the map trying to dance around explanations for this. If it was as cut and dry as you claim it was there wouldn't be page after page of this very debate. You have a VERY clear interpretation of the rules, that does not mean everyone else feels definitive rules have been presented.

5/5

NOG the Demoralizer wrote:


@Snig: No, they haven't been VERY clear, follow some of the links in this and other threads on the same topic and you will see both coordinators all over the map trying to dance around explanations for this. If it was as cut and dry as you...

It's the Internet. People will argue that the sky is down and the Earth is up. It doesn't mean it's right, just that folks will be contrary.

I've read the threads as they've happened in just about every case. I generally choose not to reply. And those threads and replies are NOT what I'm talking about. Read the Guide. It's laid out quite clearly what your responsibility is. Again, all this hemming and hawing and arguing is just trying to find out how far you can go till people start to object...like doing 57 in a 55 and passing a cop...is he going to care or not?

By the way, the relevant text I'm talking about is:

The Guide pg. 5 wrote:

In order to utilize content from an Additional Resource, a player

must have a physical copy of the Additional Resource
in question, a name-watermarked Paizo PDF of it, or a
printout of the relevant pages from it, as well as a copy
of the current version of the Additional Resources list.

You must inform the Game Master that you plan to use
Additional Resource material before play begins, so he
has a chance to familiarize himself with the new material.

EDIT: If that bolded statement is ambiguous to you, I do not know what language is going to suffice really. It lists 3 specific ways to present the resource you are using. Anything beyond those 3 ways is just toying with the line and seeing how far a player can push till someone calls them out on having the materials.


Sniggevert wrote:
Ximen Bao wrote:

I think Paizo needs to be a little clearer about what they want the purpose to be, and focus the rules to serve that purpose.

I beg to differ quite a bit with this.

Paizo's been VERY clear as to what the expectation is from the get go. As written, you need to have a physical copy of the resource, a watermarked PDF of the resource, or the pages printed from the PDF with watermark.

It's everyone trying to find just how far can they go before they actually start getting turned away from tables, and seeing if someone is willing to call them on not following the rules. If people would just play by the rules, as this Society is assuming they do, then it wouldn't be an issue.

If you don't have a copy of the resource, don't use the resource. It's very simple.

I talked about the rules being misaligned with fuzzy stated purposes.

You quoted the rules.

It was not relevant to my comments.

The Exchange

Sniggevert wrote:


The Guide pg. 5 wrote:

In order to utilize content from an Additional Resource, a player

must have a physical copy of the Additional Resource
in question, a name-watermarked Paizo PDF of it, or a
printout of the relevant pages from it, as well as a copy
of the current version of the Additional Resources list.

You must inform the Game Master that you plan to use
Additional Resource material before play begins, so he
has a chance to familiarize himself with the new material.
EDIT: If that bolded statement is ambiguous to you, I do not know what language is going to suffice really. It lists 3 specific ways to present the resource you are using. Anything beyond those 3 ways is just toying with the line and seeing how far a player can push till someone calls them out on having the materials.

The second this was printed and a coordinator subsequently commented on it the rule you typed out became ambiguous.

People seeking clarification of a rule that has been bandied about in future publications is not an indication that they are trying to steal materials or pull a fast one. Some of us are seeking a more convenient way to enjoy our hobby.

This is going too far off the point of this thread I suppose, maybe we can hop back in to this the next time this comes up as the real conversation.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

You know, I ask my players if they have anything odd or wonky that I should know about. I have never, once, had a player list all the non-Core aspects of her character for me.


Quote:
This is a convenience for me; I know it doesn't constitute a legal proof of ownership. But if I tell the GM at the table I've copied this, myself, from my own legally-owned books, I'd hope he believes me.

Please understand...this isn't about believing or not believing. At least, not from my point of view. It's about me, as a VO and GM of a form of organized play, accepting what the campaign leaders have described as a legal additional resource, and rejecting those that they say are not. (I tell my players, if I followed a deity in Golarion, I would be a follower of Abadar...LN all the way baby.) I think this is REALLY important.

At PaizoCon, I had people get upset because I checked sheets. They stated that their GMs in their home towns trusted them. I explained it wasn't about trust...it was my role to review the sheets. As it was, I found numerous errors, including a 30 point build. I believe they were legitimate mistakes...but, again, this wasn't about trust. We all make mistakes. It's about maintaining gameplay balance by insuring everyone is building their characters by the rules.

Quote:


You know, I ask my players if they have anything odd or wonky that I should know about. I have never, once, had a player list all the non-Core aspects of her character for me.

Right? I just ask them for their sheets and spot check math, feats, etc. I usually pick stuff I do not already know (so I can learn more about the character and rules) which usually means I pick non-core stuff since I know most of the core stuff by now. You'd be surprised! :)

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Chris Mortika wrote:
You know, I ask my players if they have anything odd or wonky that I should know about. I have never, once, had a player list all the non-Core aspects of her character for me.

It's possible I'm remembering this wrong, but the very first time I played with you I believe you asked for a list of everything non-core. Fortunately I was playing a fairly simple elven wizard who was all core except for a couple spells from the APG.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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Ok, let's see if I can clarify this entire topic for everyone and hit on all the relevant points.

A player must have a physical copy of the Additional Resource in question, a name-watermarked Paizo PDF of the book, or a printout of the relevant pages from a name-watermarked PDF, as well as provide access electronically or a physical copy of the current version of the Additional Resources list, as advised in the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

A print out is not a photocopy. It is exactly what it advises. It is a print out from a watermarked PDF that, when printed, shows the name of the person (and their email) on the top or bottom of the page. A photocopy of a physical book that does not show a watermark does not fulfill the requirement. This includes a photocopy of a book you borrowed from a friend, checked out of a library, or any other copy you obtained and photocopied or scanned pages from.

If a family member, significant other, or other members of the same household living together (such as college room mates) are playing at the same table, they may share the same resources instead of having duplicates of the same resource at the same table. If it is a group of friends that always plays together at the same table, as long as there is at least one sourcebook that covers each rule for every character at the table, it fulfills the requirement. For example, if they all play Chelaxian characters and utilize rules from the Cheliax book, and they are all playing at the same table, then they only need one Cheliax book at the table, and that book can be either physical or an electronic, watermarked copy. However, if they are playing at different tables, each person at a different table will need a physical copy, a PDF copy, or a printed watermarked copy of the relevant pages with them, that covers anything they choose to utilize in the build of their charactert. And if it needs to be clarified, watermarked PDFs may not be distributed electronically by anyone. If two members of the same household wish to share a PDF, and find themselves playing at separate tables, one can utilize an electronic version on an iPad or similar item, while the other utilizes a printed watermarked copy.

My apologies in advance to anyone who feels they will have to carry 50 pounds of books. If you need to carry 50 pounds of books, look into a roller type cart that will allow for ease of transporting all of the books. If you can't or don't want to carry 50 pounds of books to a game day, then simplify your character(s) to one or two books, or obtain e relevant watermarked PDFs so you can either carry a printout of the PDF, or a copy of the relevant pages.

A screenshot of your downloads page, coupled with links to the appropriate PRD pages would cover both purposes if you choose to utilize such a method.

Campaign leadership is currently myself and John Compton.

The reasons for the above ruling is two fold.

1) It allows for a player to be able to show the GM a copy of any rules pertaining to their character if the need arises.

2) It helps in the sales of books that allows PFS, and Paizo, to continue to thrive and grow.

If you have a character that utilizes any rule content, that you do not have physical copy or watermarked electronic copy, then you have two options.

1) You can obtain a physical copy or a watermarked PDF.

2) Utilize the retraining rules that are included in Guide 5.0, that releases on Monday afternoon/evening PST and goes into effect on Aug, 14.

If you can not accomplish 1 or 2, you can not use the character until you can meet one of those two conditions. If you are a GM or coordinator, you should be mindful in the manner and tone in which you address this. A player generally should receive 1-3 games to take corrective action to obtain the necessary sourcebooks. There are also cases that are going to have to be dealt with utilizing common sense (I know, I know, I know what they say about common sense). For example, a 12 year old playing in your store is probably not going to be able to afford to purchase $70 in supplemental rule books. In that case, the parents should be made aware that the juvenile player will need a physical or PDF copy to utilize certain rules. While explaining that information, care should be taken in explaining why the juvenile player needs to have those books to participate. It is similar to the requirements a child needs to participate in sports, scouting, etc... (A uniform, cleats, etc... may have to be purchased to be able to participate).

Hero Lab, or any other form of electronic character builder, is not a legal source to fulfill any of the above requirements. Electronic character builders are tools to assist participants in a more streamlined and efficient way to build a character.

Any previous rulings by anyone, including me, in this specific matter are null and void. The above is what all participants of the campaign are required to follow.

Did I leave anything out?

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

Thanks Mike.

For me, that clears it up.

No more photocopies (unless they are using them for their own reference and have either the PDF or physical book with them).

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Mistwalker wrote:

Thanks Mike.

For me, that clears it up.

No more photocopies (unless they are using them for their own reference and have either the PDF or physical book with them).

Or print out of the watermarked PDF.

Dark Archive 3/5

Chris Mortika wrote:
You know, I ask my players if they have anything odd or wonky that I should know about. I have never, once, had a player list all the non-Core aspects of her character for me.

Would you like them to?

Serious question. As a GM, I think I'd appreciate it.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Theshoveler, that's what the Additional Resources document requires. As NOG was so kind to observe above: "You must inform the Game Master that you plan to use Additional Resource material before play begins, so he has a chance to familiarize himself with the new material."

Pirate Rob, I very well might have been using that phrasing at some point. But there are many PCs running around now with a class, an archetype, feats, traits, spells, items, and every other thing from five different sourcebooks.

Mike, I know that you don't want to impose more burdens on players than necessary, but please consider making "Ultimate Equipment" part of the core assumption.

Silver Crusade

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Chris Mortika wrote:


Mike, I know that you don't want to impose more burdens on players than necessary, but please consider making "Ultimate Equipment" part of the core assumption.

I'll have to disagree with this. If it's part of the core assumption, then nobody will be required to bring it to the table for their PC. That means the burden of having a copy at the table to look things up will fall on the GM. Why should the GM be the one who has to carry the extra book?

Lantern Lodge

I'm disappointed that photocopies are no longer valid. While I can understand the reasons for no longer allowing them, it does add a considerable level of hassle for those of us who enjoy broad and complex character building.


Just one question about the pdfs: are you only supposed to print out the relevant portion of your character (i.e. I would print out the pages concerning the class, the spells, and whatever feats are non-core) or do I have to print out the entire PDF?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

FanaticRat wrote:
Just one question about the pdfs: are you only supposed to print out the relevant portion of your character (i.e. I would print out the pages concerning the class, the spells, and whatever feats are non-core) or do I have to print out the entire PDF?

You can print out only the relevant portion if you like since every PDF page is watermarked and will appear and whatever you print to bring with your character.


Awesome, my printer and I thank you.

The Exchange

Great Mike, thanks for the clarification. It isn't exactly what I was hoping for, but it does remove any grey area that existed before.

So, uh, PDF subscriptions soon please? :)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

NOG the Demoralizer wrote:


So, uh, PDF subscriptions soon please? :)

That's above my pay grade. If it is something you would like to see, I suggest heading up to the Paizo Publishing General Discussion and suggesting it.

Grand Lodge

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Thanks for taking time out of your very busy GenCon prep to answer this Mike, and setting the record straight.

FanaticRat wrote:
Just one question about the pdfs: are you only supposed to print out the relevant portion of your character (i.e. I would print out the pages concerning the class, the spells, and whatever feats are non-core) or do I have to print out the entire PDF?

Many of the players here do just that...they print out just the pages from the PDF that pertain to their character, chosen feats, spells, etc. The have the chronicle sheets in order behind that, with their character sheet in the front. It's a great way to go, as you can very quickly answer any questions a GM may have about your character.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

I've added my long reply to the compilation sticky post for ease of finding it in the future.


I think it could be edited to say that they need to provide access to the Additional Resources page, not necessarily a physical copy.

The Exchange

Kyle Baird wrote:
I think it could be edited to say that they need to provide access to the Additional Resources page, not necessarily a physical copy.

Actually this is worth noting, does a smartphone count?

I have honestly never printed that page out, but I didn't think it was required last year at gencon, and locally I always have a tablet/laptop on me.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Kyle Baird wrote:
I think it could be edited to say that they need to provide access to the Additional Resources page, not necessarily a physical copy.

Done


Well said, Mike. Thanks.

The Exchange

So, I'm going to register a complaint regarding this entire thread.

I have been playing PFS for over 4 months, and for almost that entire time, my local merchant has been waiting for Paizo to refill his stock of resource books. I have been waiting several weeks now for his back orders to be filled. There are probably close to 10 other players in my area that I know of that are also waiting to buy books that Paizo never seems to have in stock.

Maybe I should just tell him to cancel my long overdue back orders from Paizo and go find another game to play. If you tell me I can't play because I don't have the books, and you won't sell me the books, then I guess I just won't play, ever.

Maybe I should convince the rest of the group that is patiently waiting for Paizo to crank up the presses, or whatever it takes, to dump a game that the game company is obviously not supporting by providing physical product.

And don't tell me to buy the damn pdf. I want a physical book, and I want my local merchant to get his cut of the transaction for being awesomely generous in proving space for us to play.

Can't buy resource books if Paizo won't ship them.

As far as buying resource books at Cons go. I don't really care. I'm don't want to support a CON merchant. I want to support my LOCAL merchant. I also don't want to spend an extra couple of hundred dollars in travel expenses and Con fees, just to buy a book that Paizo will ship to a Con, but won't ship to my friendly neighborhood game store.

FLAME ON!

Silver Crusade

Try Amazon?

5/5

Jimbo Juggins wrote:

So, I'm going to register a complaint regarding this entire thread.

I have been playing PFS for over 4 months, and for almost that entire time, my local merchant has been waiting for Paizo to refill his stock of resource books. I have been waiting several weeks now for his back orders to be filled. There are probably close to 10 other players in my area that I know of that are also waiting to buy books that Paizo never seems to have in stock.

Maybe I should just tell him to cancel my long overdue back orders from Paizo and go find another game to play. If you tell me I can't play because I don't have the books, and you won't sell me the books, then I guess I just won't play, ever.

Maybe I should convince the rest of the group that is patiently waiting for Paizo to crank up the presses, or whatever it takes, to dump a game that the game company is obviously not supporting by providing physical product.

And don't tell me to buy the damn pdf. I want a physical book, and I want my local merchant to get his cut of the transaction for being awesomely generous in proving space for us to play.

Can't buy resource books if Paizo won't ship them.

As far as buying resource books at Cons go. I don't really care. I'm don't want to support a CON merchant. I want to support my LOCAL merchant. I also don't want to spend an extra couple of hundred dollars in travel expenses and Con fees, just to buy a book that Paizo will ship to a Con, but won't ship to my friendly neighborhood game store.

FLAME ON!

Where are you and your local store located? Overseas retailers can run into issues with getting product restocked quickly, but domestically the turnaround is pretty quick if the book is still "in print".

I'm pretty sure retailers need to restock through a distributor, and not Paizo directly. There are store owners, who frequent these forums, or Paizo staff that can correct me if I'm wrong.

This may not be accurate as well, but I recall seeing something that said when a book that gets to a certain inventory level at Paizo, and appears on a blog similar to This, they stop offering them to distributors. To ensure they can fulfill all of the orders they receive.


Jimbo Juggins wrote:
FLAME ON!

Your merchant doesn't buy from Paizo directly. They buy from a distributor. It's the distributor that's causing you issues.

Buy from paizo.com or amazon.com if you can't get them through your FLGS.

You could also buy the pdf instantly and print out any pages you need.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Kyle Baird wrote:
You could also buy the pdf instantly and print out any pages you need.

Wack! Wack! Bad Kyle!

Jimbo Juggins already went and wrote:
And don't tell me to buy the damn pdf.

See? And there you go, urging him, very sensibly, to buy a PDF or so. Have you no shame, man?!

Jimbo! There are a lot of super-great fun characters you can build from just the Core Rulebook and the Guide to PFS. No extra books or PDFs needed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jimbo Juggins wrote:

So, I'm going to register a complaint regarding this entire thread.

I have been playing PFS for over 4 months, and for almost that entire time, my local merchant has been waiting for Paizo to refill his stock of resource books. I have been waiting several weeks now for his back orders to be filled. There are probably close to 10 other players in my area that I know of that are also waiting to buy books that Paizo never seems to have in stock.

Maybe I should just tell him to cancel my long overdue back orders from Paizo and go find another game to play. If you tell me I can't play because I don't have the books, and you won't sell me the books, then I guess I just won't play, ever.

Maybe I should convince the rest of the group that is patiently waiting for Paizo to crank up the presses, or whatever it takes, to dump a game that the game company is obviously not supporting by providing physical product.

And don't tell me to buy the damn pdf. I want a physical book, and I want my local merchant to get his cut of the transaction for being awesomely generous in proving space for us to play.

Can't buy resource books if Paizo won't ship them.

As far as buying resource books at Cons go. I don't really care. I'm don't want to support a CON merchant. I want to support my LOCAL merchant. I also don't want to spend an extra couple of hundred dollars in travel expenses and Con fees, just to buy a book that Paizo will ship to a Con, but won't ship to my friendly neighborhood game store.

FLAME ON!

Paizo will happily sell you the books, right here on this website. They will also sell you a PDF. The restrictions discussed in this thread in no way prevent you from legally participating in PFS. The choice to limit yourself to what you can get from your local store (which as others have pointed out, gets the books from a distributor, not from Paizo) is just that, a choice. I respect that choice; I like physical books and I encourage supporting local retailers. But complaining that Paizo "won't sell you the books" doesn't hold a lot of water. And complaining in this thread specifically doesn't make much sense either. Your complaint isn't that Paizo requires you to own the books, it's that your store can't get the books you want in stock.

That said, Paizo might actually be able to help you here. Let them know which books you're looking for, and someone might be able to check why the distributor doesn't have any.

Sovereign Court

Jimbo Juggins wrote:

So, I'm going to register a complaint regarding this entire thread.

Can't buy resource books if Paizo won't ship them.

FLAME ON!

Some of the smaller (non-hardback books) are only ever printed as a single run, when they're gone, they're gone except as PDF's. Your store, and their suppliers, may be trying to find left over copies that are floating around. Every once in a while when wandering through a store that I've not been to before I find books that have been out of print for a long time.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Also, it seams like paizo initially published some books, then, when they ran out of stock, instead of reprinting they rolled the content into an upcoming book. (I think I read something about that in the inner sea guide? And adventurer armory and animal archive both seem to have been rolled into Ultimate equipment, though I think they are still available via the site.) Is it possible that the problem is that you are trying to order a book that has been supplanted by a newer book?

Grand Lodge 2/5

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While I understand this is a complex issue, it seems an odd decision to tell people who have spent lots of $ on PF books that they need to buy a box with wheels to use those books. Locally (in Philadelphia) there are a number of people who take public transportation to the game store (the one that started this thread), and some take multiple forms of transport, including bikes, buses and trains, which I imagine makes bringing the needed books difficult for those who use an array of sources. Could PFS allow for local arrangements wherein a VO or store organizer could certify that someone owns the books on a one time basis (bring them in once, name written on inside cover, so not used my multiple people or a library book)? More headache and paperwork, I know.

Note this doesn't impact me - I buy all my stuff on pdf and support my local store by purchasing miniatures, maps, etc. But why should local game stores support PFS if there is an incentive to "go digital" with the material?

Shadow Lodge 3/5

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I agree with Bristor, I find it... perplexing that PFS is effectively penalizing people for buying the physical book. I know a lot of people who run Pathfinder home games buy the physical books because they are easier to pass around the table and flip through. You can also lend them out to a player to review or what not, all in all a very useful medium for that kind of thing. PFS though makes having the physical books a pain due to the numerous reasons already listed.

As Bristor said what's possibly the most mind-boggling thing about this ruling is it effectively makes PFS players not want to purchase physical books, thereby screwing over your local game store which I'm going to go out on a limb here and say isn't the best idea. I myself have a combination of both physical books and pdfs and now am in the unfortunate situation of having to decide what to do about this restriction. I certainly am not lugging half a dozen or more books around to PFS, and am also certainly not going to buy a cart to do so! lol

While this is by no means a game-breaker for me with regards to PFS, it certainly doesn't endear itself to the PFS community as a whole. :-/ One things for sure though, the odds of me buying a physical book again (now that I'm playing PFS) is extremely low.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Felix Gaunt wrote:

I agree with Bristor, I find it... perplexing that PFS is effectively penalizing people for buying the physical book. I know a lot of people who run Pathfinder home games buy the physical books because they are easier to pass around the table and flip through. You can also lend them out to a player to review or what not, all in all a very useful medium for that kind of thing. PFS though makes having the physical books a pain due to the many reasons listed.

As Bristor said what's possibly the most mind-boggling thing about this ruling is it effectively makes PFS players not want to purchase physical books, thereby screwing over your local game store which I'm going to go out on a limb here and say isn't the best idea. I myself have a combination of both physical books and pdfs and now am in the unfortunate situation of having to decide what to do about this restriction. I certainly am not lugging half a dozen or more books around to PFS, and am also certainly not going to buy a cart to do so! lol

While this is by no means a game-breaker for me with regards to PFS, it certainly doesn't endear itself to the PFS community as a whole. :-/ One things for sure though, the odds of me buying a physical book again (now that I'm playing PFS) is extremely low.

This is the start of the 6th year of Pathfinder Society Organized Play. You have ALWAYS needed a physical copy or a watermarked pdf/printout for any non-core assumption material.

Paizo has sold a lot of books "despite" this "mind-boggling" ruling. Surpringly, a lot of people prefer books, even if they have to bring them to the game they want to play. Don't want to carry the books? You have several simple options:

1) Buy the pdf and bring either a tablet, smartphone, or the printed pages your character requires.
2) Build characters only from books you want to carry. If that answer is no books, then build a CRB only character. They're still pretty cool, I promise.
3) Stop playing PFS at places where you have to travel. Play in your own home.
4) Stop playing PFS and find a different game that lets you play for hundreds of hours for virtually free.

Did I mention already that this has always, always, always been the requirement and is not something new? No? Let me do it again.

THIS ISN'T NEW PEOPLE

Grand Lodge

Pretty much agree with Kyle, here.

While I would love for everyone in my region to play PFS, it's not a game for everyone. As Kyle points out above, there are numerous options to have the legal versions of additional resources on hand *or* one can simply build all core character (And, I also agree they can be very awesome). With that being said, if none of the various options we have laid out sound super appealing, it is not like Paizo, or people like me are kickin' ya to the curb! PFS is only ONE way to experience and enjoy Pathfinder as a game. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy Pathfinder. And some, such as playing sanctioned adventure paths, allow you to earn credit for your PFS character, as well. I run several non-PFS Adventure Paths where additional resources and that such are NOT required at all.

I have fun with the game either way. You'll find that whether you join organized play, with its structure, or decide to run a single, mythic character through a homebrew campaign, the team at Paizo and the community here will celebrate with you either way :)

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