Retraining due to failure to own books


Pathfinder Society

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Liberty's Edge 1/5

Lormyr wrote:
Zahariel wrote:
My one concern with using digital files (watermarked PDFs) is security. Whether I have them in a flash drive or a laptop or whatever, if I'm just that unlucky and someone steals it at a Con or FLGS, where people actually know how valuable these things are, I'm pretty much hosed.

That is a valid concern with anything at a con, unfortunately. They attract folks with sticky fingers.

You have two options to help with that though. The first is to back up any files you take with you. The second is once you purchase a digital PDF from Paizo, you can simply download it again.

I was, and am, more concerned with the fact that if your legally-purchased-and-watermarked pdfs are stolen and uploaded to ze internet, you can lose your downloads. In any other place, I wouldn't worry that much, chances are that the thief wouldn't care about the files in it, but at a Con or FLGS, that's a different scenario.

So I carry my books with me. My computer's not that good, and it's just easier for me to put sticky-notes to reference pages on the dead-tree version than trying to move back and forth on a pdf file.

The Exchange 5/5 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

NOG, you probably don't understand the distinction between the illustrious Venture Officers and us simple 5-star GMs. We have run a lot of games, of a certain variety, and have been reasonably good at it. That's all the qualifications, we aren't representatives of Paizo on these boards, with or without scare-quotes. We're just players and GMs, with a certain amount of experience under our belts.

I don't understand your solution. PDFs and water-marked print-outs of PDFs have always been good. So you're going to cut off most of your stream of free PDFs, in order to turn around and buy the selected ones you want. Hey, it's a free country; do what makes you happy.

See you at the gaming table.

The Exchange

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Chris Mortika wrote:


I don't understand your solution. PDFs and water-marked print-outs of PDFs have always been good. So you're going to cut off most of your stream of free PDFs, in order to turn around and buy the selected ones you want. Hey, it's a free country; do what makes you happy.

See you at the gaming table.

Seems pretty simple to me, I don't get the books that I don't really care to get, and instead of paying 13 bucks for a book I instead pay 9. I used to photocopy the page I needed from the book and didn't really bother with pdf's as I don't have a laptop or tablet, now I save 30% and get to cherry pick which ones I need and simply print from them. I viewed my subscription as a REWARD to Paizo for putting out a good product (they still do) and for creating an environment and community that I enjoyed playing in (slipping).

And yes I do know the difference between a VO and a GM, I am buddies with our own VC. I don't debate the time people have put in, I just find some peoples' attitudes unbecoming, and if we are to look to them as bastions of experience, knowledge, and as a community resource (as recognized by Paizo with the fact that you can not just numbers your way in) I expect to see a bit more. Maybe it is just me as someone who has worked in customer service for 20 years, but I would rein some folks in if they were speaking on my behalf.

5/5

How is photocopying from a book any easier than printing from a pdf... *mind bottled*

Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8

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There's a lot of strong opinions on either side of the fence here. We've got lots of people that are passionate about PFS, and that's a really good thing. But people like us that are passionate one way or another on this issue tend to to do a few things when we get into discussions. We want our voice to be heard so we get loud. We get loud and people on the other side of the conversation stop listening, because they want to be loud too.

I don't think anyone here wants people to leave the community as a result of this. And Paizo surely doesn't want to loose customers. Ultimately, we all want to play this game and have fun.

Part of that fun is that there are rules. Rules that keep everything in check and make everything run smoothly. This is one of those rules. It makes being a GM a lot easier, because it requires players to provide resources that have been legally obtained. It's been around for a while and makes being a GM a less painful experience for the un-initiated. And we can all agree that's a good thing.

That said, it also punishes players that purchased only physical resources and lack the means of transporting them all to various game days. I know that roller-cases, suitcases, and backpacks have been mentioned as possible solutions -- but let's all be honest, that's a pretty lame solution. No one wants to lug something like that around a convention. And the people that do it now would probably rather have a better solution.

There's good things being said on either side of this. If I had a workable solution, I'd be posting it right now. But I don't. And I want to hear what other people have to say (well, most of them!). So lets not forget we're all fighting the same fight.

We all want the best for PFS.

The Exchange

Kyle Baird wrote:
How is photocopying from a book any easier than printing from a pdf... *mind bottled*

For one, not needing to download pdf's onto a work computer, but go ahead and leave that mind in a bottle (or share it with me, its been a long day, and its only Monday!).

4/5 Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Frankfort

Michael Brock wrote:
pianopraze wrote:


Does Paizo make money off any of the licensees I buy on Herolab?
I have no idea. That doesn't fall under my job. If you want the answer to that question, ask in a different message board besides PFS.

Thank you for the polite reply.

I must assume Paizo does make money, or they would sue HeroLabs. Correct me if I'm wrong.

So If I buy a legal Paizo license to each of the books in HeroLab and use them to create my character, you are saying my legal license is not valid for playing in Pathfinder Society?

Grand Lodge 4/5 *

pianopraze wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
pianopraze wrote:


Does Paizo make money off any of the licensees I buy on Herolab?
I have no idea. That doesn't fall under my job. If you want the answer to that question, ask in a different message board besides PFS.

Thank you for the polite reply.

I must assume Paizo does make money, or they would sue HeroLabs. Correct me if I'm wrong.

So If I buy a legal Paizo license to each of the books in HeroLab and use them to create my character, you are saying my legal license is not valid for playing in Pathfinder Society?

Are they licensed in the traditional sense or OGL (remember PF is an OGL product)? Or a bit of A and a bit of B? I don't see a paizo license mark anywhere on hero lab...so I don't think you can make the assumption you just made.

Grand Lodge 4/5 *

Walter Sheppard wrote:

There's a lot of strong opinions on either side of the fence here. We've got lots of people that are passionate about PFS, and that's a really good thing. But people like us that are passionate one way or another on this issue tend to to do a few things when we get into discussions. We want our voice to be heard so we get loud. We get loud and people on the other side of the conversation stop listening, because they want to be loud too.

I don't think anyone here wants people to leave the community as a result of this. And Paizo surely doesn't want to loose customers. Ultimately, we all want to play this game and have fun.

Part of that fun is that there are rules. Rules that keep everything in check and make everything run smoothly. This is one of those rules. It makes being a GM a lot easier, because it requires players to provide resources that have been legally obtained. It's been around for a while and makes being a GM a less painful experience for the un-initiated. And we can all agree that's a good thing.

That said, it also punishes players that purchased only physical resources and lack the means of transporting them all to various game days. I know that roller-cases, suitcases, and backpacks have been mentioned as possible solutions -- but let's all be honest, that's a pretty lame solution. No one wants to lug something like that around a convention. And the people that do it now would probably rather have a better solution.

There's good things being said on either side of this. If I had a workable solution, I'd be posting it right now. But I don't. And I want to hear what other people have to say (well, most of them!). So lets not forget we're all fighting the same fight.

We all want the best for PFS.

Thank you for saying what I wanted to say without being a jackass (because lets face it, I'm a jackass most of the time). The whole attitude of well you don't have to use the books you paid money to get honestly should have been off the table from the get go. That is NOT an acceptable solution...EVER. Then there was the whole well, I carried all this weight so other have to BS. Well at one con, I lugged around 350 lbs of stuff for it. I admit that 200 of it was a suit of armor and some weapons I needed for a demo...but seriously, I would NEVER suggest that just because I can do something that silly, that EVERYONE else can too. That is absurd.

5/5

NOG the Demoralizer wrote:

A Revelation and a solution.

I am shocked at the almost macroed responses by a handful the 5 stars and VO's in this thread who have nothing to offer other than brushoffs to every customer of Paizo who has come in here and asked for conversation on finding a solution that will allow for continued enjoyment of PFS. While you may not have issues with how this is going to work, it is obvious many people do, and it would be foolish for Paizo to continue to allow its "representatives" to maintain this sort of callous and pompous attitude.

I think that the biggest reason you see the same responses from a number of people is that when you talk about "how this is going to work" the answer is that it will work the same way it has worked all along. Since the rules aren't changing many players won't even realize this has been clarified. This only affects those who were not in compliance with the rules already. I understand that it may have been due to a misunderstanding and not intentional, but that does not change what the rules are and have been.

I too had previously understood the rules to be that photocopies were ok, but that had been clarified over a year ago if I am remembering right. It sucked to realize just before a big con that all the stuff I had copied weren't campaign legal resources (and I would have to carry many more books), but I can also see how a publishing company wouldn't want to set forth rules that encourage making additional copies of their works.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa

@NOG: Did you miss that Mike may be revisiting the photocopy issue for a possible solution that has been raised in this thread?

This is a Paizo employee, who happens to be in charge of PFS, who stated that he may revisit the issue, after GenCon is over. I believe that he will revisit it due to the legitimate concerns that some have raised.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm just grateful that the pdf is so much cheaper than a hard copy if I was going to have to go in for $150+ just to be decent I may have had to stick with home games only for a good year. If you find yourself in this situation you should always let your players know that pdf is the way to go for those on a budget

Grand Lodge 5/5

Here's my 2 cp on the matter.

Until very very recently, I have depended entirely on PDFs for my resources. I didn't even carry a physical Core Rulebook until rather recently. I got good enough at looking up things on my phone that it wasn't really that necessary. I also don't generally play characters that I need a lot of resources for. I could probably cover all 13 of my characters with the CRB, APG, first three Ultimates, the ARG, and the Field Guide/Seekers of Secrets. I could carry physical sources for that much (well, can't get Physical SoS :) ) but, really, why?

Now I admit this solution depends entirely on my access to technology to make it work. Won't work for everyone. Most people are going to need to both own and carry the physical source. While the idea of photocopied pages could work, I do agree with the general statement that it presents a lot of questions in the IP realm. I should note that's a problem for copying in general, it's not unique to PFS. Another thing that concerns me about photocopies is that sometimes for a specific ability in a book, you might need more than the page it's on in order for the GM to know what he needs to know. On the flipside, I do recognize that books are heavy and that some folks may need more than others and more than I do. So what's the answer.

The solution that's been proposed I think is one avenue. It's one we already take for the Pathfinder Tales stuff and I've not heard any problems with that. Still doesn't answer the IP issue entirely, but that's something for Paizo and it's legal folks to decide.

Another thought I had was born out of a discussion I had with our illustrious VC of the internet. Maybe Paizo could investigate some sort of book registration system. Yes, I know, this would require a fair bit of effort on their part and might not even be technically feasible. It would, however, address the IP concerns better and I think a marketing case could be made for it. I'll let the marketing gurus handle that one, I'm but a humble VC :).

The Exchange 5/5 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

pianopraze wrote:


So If I buy a legal Paizo license to each of the books in HeroLab and use them to create my character, you are saying my legal license is not valid for playing in Pathfinder Society?

Absolutely correct. The material in HeroLab is truncated and every so often incorrect -- the nice people at LoneWolf correct errors when they find them, but I don't know that you have a corrected version.

If you come to my table with a tiefling magus, and all you've got for documentation is HeroLab, I will point you to the table over there with the cool pre-gens. (I was at a convention this past January. Everybody at the table except for one person had HeroLab as their documentation. That one person got to play his PC.)


If a student-player is desperately poor, they can still make a 'core' character without even owning the Core Rulebook, correct? I mean, if we're talking absolutely destitute....

I would hope that at least the ownership requirement would skip over the fundamental core book itself.

The Exchange 5/5 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Yes, by my reckoning. While the PFS campaign expects players to obtain the Core Assumptions, we do not require the players to bring those resources to the gaming table, because the GM is required to have them on hand.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

Kyle Baird wrote:
How is photocopying from a book any easier than printing from a pdf... *mind bottled*

I have to agree that I can't see how that would be easier. But when one does own a book but does not own a PDF, then clearly you have no option from print from a PDF.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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pianopraze wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
pianopraze wrote:


Does Paizo make money off any of the licensees I buy on Herolab?
I have no idea. That doesn't fall under my job. If you want the answer to that question, ask in a different message board besides PFS.

Thank you for the polite reply.

I must assume Paizo does make money, or they would sue HeroLabs. Correct me if I'm wrong.

So If I buy a legal Paizo license to each of the books in HeroLab and use them to create my character, you are saying my legal license is not valid for playing in Pathfinder Society?

Short answer - no, your legal license of Herolab is not valid for playing in Pathfinder Society. You still need the book, or a watermarked PDF to play.

This is the LINK to the same exact question you asked over on Wolflair's message board and here is what it advises:

Yes. The license we have with Paizo is a royalty-based license. That means every sale of a Pathfinder core package or add-on results in a portion of the sales revenue going to Paizo.

Please be mindful that the royalty does not come close to the purchase price of the original book or PDF from which the material in the Hero Lab data files derives. Some consumers in the past have mistakenly believed that purchasing the Hero Lab data files should exempt them from purchasing the books themselves, especially since Paizo is being paid a royalty.

An analogy here is the difference between a basic phone and a smart phone. The smart phone makes life significantly easier. It simplifies things and makes it possible to do various tasks much more efficiently. It achieves this so well that many people can't envision living without a smart phone. However, it's not truly a necessity and the extra cost of the smart phone is more than some people choose to spend. Hero Lab similarly makes life significantly easier for Pathfinder players and GMs, but it also incurs an extra cost and quite a few players still enjoy the game without it. Hero Lab augments what the rulebooks provide, but it is not, in our opinion, a viable replacement for the actual rulebooks themselves.

So there you have it. I have advised Herolab is not a replacement for rule books or watermarked PDFs. Wolfslair also agrees with that statement. You need to own each of the rule books or watermarked PDFs if you want to use whatever feat/trait/spell/ whatever for your characters. There is no grey area or ambiguity here.

Grand Lodge 5/5

NOG the Demoralizer wrote:
I am shocked at the almost macroed responses by a handful the 5 stars and VO's in this thread who have nothing to offer other than brushoffs to every customer of Paizo who has come in here and asked for conversation on finding a solution that will allow for continued enjoyment of PFS. While you may not have issues with how this is going to work, it is obvious many people do, and it would be foolish for Paizo to continue to allow its "representatives" to maintain this sort of callous and pompous attitude.

You are correct, but the same could be said of the other side of the fence on this issue. This is a topic that apparently drives people to post passionately about their viewpoint on it, giving very little room to the other side. Im not trying to say we (anyone on the VO side of this) are right in doing so, but those on the other side are posting just as passionately.

Also, you will notice that while there have been several (not even counting your own) threats from players of "I'll just spend my money on something else.", there have been nothing from the Paizo side along the lines of "Follow the rule or gtfo."

Dark Archive 4/5

I beg to differ. I'm not worked up about having to carry around books (only at the prospect that the policy widely encourages PDF purchases which makes supporting stores more difficult), but I can say that there have been at least as many "follow the rules or don't bother showing up" posts as there have been "fix this or I withdraw my support" posts. Several of the most vocal have been venture officers and five star GMs. I realize the latter don't represent Paizo, but you'd think more thank anyone they'd realize PFS is about having fun. And veterans being crotchety and discouraging makes the whole program seem less fun.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

Andrew Christian wrote:
Benn Roe wrote:
Believe me, I feel pretty O_O myself. I actually have one player who has four or five characters, some of which aren't even core classes (and thus the fundamentals of the character are illegal without his owning some books) who has said he just isn't going to buy any books. He's a student and he doesn't have any expendable income and it's apparently just not an option for him. So, effectively his options are "stop playing your current characters and build a brand new core only character" or "stop playing entirely?"

On one hand, you don't want a player to have to stop playing, and I definitely can feel for someone being a poor student. I've been there where I've had $5 to eat for a week (a jar of peanut butter, loaf of bread, and block of cheese slices for some tasty peanut butter and cheese sandwiches twice a day). I get it.

But on the other hand, the guide is very explicit on the requirement to own additional resources. The guy should have never made characters using those sources if he wasn't planning on ever buying them. And so the predicament he's in, is really his own fault.

Bed, lay down.

Maybe the lodge this guy plays at could help pitch in for PDFS or something (they are cheaper than physical copies) for this player?

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

NOG the Demoralizer wrote:

A Revelation and a solution.

I am shocked at the almost macroed responses by a handful the 5 stars and VO's in this thread who have nothing to offer other than brushoffs to every customer of Paizo who has come in here and asked for conversation on finding a solution that will allow for continued enjoyment of PFS.

Actually, several Paizo people have come on here and said "We'd like to work on this, we think this or that sugguestion may have merit, and we will look at it when we get back from gencon which is eating our lives."

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Silh wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Benn Roe wrote:
Believe me, I feel pretty O_O myself. I actually have one player who has four or five characters, some of which aren't even core classes (and thus the fundamentals of the character are illegal without his owning some books) who has said he just isn't going to buy any books. He's a student and he doesn't have any expendable income and it's apparently just not an option for him. So, effectively his options are "stop playing your current characters and build a brand new core only character" or "stop playing entirely?"

On one hand, you don't want a player to have to stop playing, and I definitely can feel for someone being a poor student. I've been there where I've had $5 to eat for a week (a jar of peanut butter, loaf of bread, and block of cheese slices for some tasty peanut butter and cheese sandwiches twice a day). I get it.

But on the other hand, the guide is very explicit on the requirement to own additional resources. The guy should have never made characters using those sources if he wasn't planning on ever buying them. And so the predicament he's in, is really his own fault.

Bed, lay down.

Maybe the lodge this guy plays at could help pitch in for PDFS or something (they are cheaper than physical copies) for this player?

I’ve considered this before. I’d love to have the wherewithal to fund all the books and PDFs for all my players. But if I had that kind of wherewithal, I wouldn’t have a 9-5 job that barely keeps me in the middle income tax bracket. It is true, that my wife and are a DINKs (Double Income No Kids) and that has been very helpful for both of us since we got married last October.

It would be nice to think that the community would be willing to help those less fortunate out with books and stuff.

But frankly, you can make a very good and optimized character without spending any money from the Core Rulebook alone. And it is not the responsibility of the community to make sure you are responsible and play within your means.

Each person has a responsibility to know what they can afford, and plan their play time and characters accordingly. Expecting anyone to supplement that responsibility is the very definition of entitlement.

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

pianopraze wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
pianopraze wrote:


Does Paizo make money off any of the licensees I buy on Herolab?
I have no idea. That doesn't fall under my job. If you want the answer to that question, ask in a different message board besides PFS.

Thank you for the polite reply.

I must assume Paizo does make money, or they would sue HeroLabs. Correct me if I'm wrong.

So If I buy a legal Paizo license to each of the books in HeroLab and use them to create my character, you are saying my legal license is not valid for playing in Pathfinder Society?

I thought someone from products division said they didn't.

Remember, most if not all of the stuff in herolab is covered under OGL, so Paizo can't sue herolab. If they *did* sue herolab, without a paizo based software to replace it, all they would do is piss off their audience.

but in any case, even if hl pays royalties to paizo, it would still not make it a paizo licence.

(I will note as a side note, that I was pissed as heck when I realized that purchasing hero lab just bought you the main core book, and then they wanted more money for everything else. I guess I got spoiled by GCA, $15 for every GURPS no vehicle rule SJgames published, a vastly more complex rule set than pathfinder.)

The Exchange 5/5 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

When I've pointed out to players that they need a legal source, either I or the player has come up with a legal source within minutes. (I think I've handed out two dozen Inner Sea Primers.)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Removed a post that is a rant. If you ask a question and we answer, and you don't like the answer, you can voice your displeasure. However, please don't rant about it.

Dark Archive 4/5

FLite wrote:
Actually, several Paizo people have come on here and said "We'd like to work on this, we think this or that sugguestion may have merit, and we will look at it when we get back from gencon which is eating our lives."

This is also true.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Removed another post. When we remove a post for being a rant, it is not ok to copy and paste it to an outside link, and then post the link. It is still a rant. Please refrain from such behavior.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

FLite wrote:
ally, several Paizo people have come on here and said "We'd like to work on this, we think this or that sugguestion may have merit, and we will look at it when we get back from gencon which is eating our lives."

While I can say that it my opinion a few posts from some of those individuals have ranged from uncaring/unsympathetic to rude, they have in turn received similar from a few posts from some of the populace. As Flite said, however, most folks are being civil and just exchanging ideas of why we like or do not like this issue, and what might be able to be done about it.

I would also like to state an observation or two. Before I do, I want to be clear that I do not know anyone in this thread personally. I do not know them as a person, know their morals, or know how they behave or react. This is a general statement, made at no one in particular, but possibly something worth considering. That observation is this:

Our VO's and GMs give a lot of their time and energy to our community. While they may represent Paizo in some capacity, they are still people. Sometimes when people feel passionately about something, patience can get a little thin. Let's all relax, recognize we are talking about something a lot of people feel passionate about, and give everyone a little bit of a break.

My second observation is that I can see why it would be very difficult to take issue with this situation when you are handed all PDFs for free. In no way do I intend to insinuate that things would be different if the shoe was on the other foot, or declare hypocrisy of any kind. But I do believe that is a truth that is relevant to consider.

Shadow Lodge

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I would like to echo the suggestion that we let this thread go on hold, until after gencon. Can we please let Mike and John have had a chance to consider the issues here?

I also would like to ask for this thread to go on hold, because I feel that some of the current conversation is hurting some of the participant's feelings, which, in my opinion, hurts the community.

1/5

this thread is repeating questions that have been answered already, in some cases more than once

the rules are clear

the issues with the rules have certainly been brought up

those issues have been acknowledged and will hopefully be further addressed after Gen Con

okay now that I have said my piece I am going to go drink something caffeinated and return to being a terrible thread person

Silver Crusade 2/5

I feel that herolab is exacerbating this problem to some degree. I don't use herolab for this reason.

I am always certain I know where my tech is coming from. I think a good strategy is to print of the pdf pages relevant to your PC and keep them with the character sheet. That minimizes the fumbling to find the reference.

I'd say 95% of my tech comes from CRB, APG, UM, UC. Those four books allow for a huge amount of characters.

5/5

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Lormyr wrote:


My second observation is that I can see why it would be very difficult to take issue with this situation when you are handed all PDFs for free. In no way do I intend to insinuate that things would be different if the shoe was on the other foot, or declare hypocrisy of any kind. But I do believe that is a truth that is relevant to consider.

Lormyr, thank you for your even-handed comment about the passions of everyone here. I completely agree, and that's why we are on here in this community :-)

I did want to add that while your comment that we receive PDFs for free is completely valid, many (if not the vast majority) of us continue to purchase physical books, minis, maps, and all number of Paizo goodies. Additionally, I would guess that most of us spend more net money as Venture-Officers in hotel rooms, travel, con planning, resources, etc after we became VO's, in order to ensure a vibrant PFS community around us. In no way do I intend to say that there are not other people (who do not have a title) who spend every bit as much of time and energy and money.

We all have different amounts of resources that we are willing to put into the game. And that's okay. The lovely nature of PFS is that anything beyond core is optional. But at the end of the day, we are giving Paizo (or Hero Lab) money to pay for the amazing genius and hard work that they do. And if we give them that money, they can do more with it, and use it to fuel even better and brighter things for the future.


As far as the 'lugging all the books around' issue, I think the proof-of-purchase idea is interesting. It could be a spinoff of how the Pathfinder Adventures novels are handled; bring in the book ONCE, get a GM to officially note on a record sheet that you own the item, and from then on you can just bring the proof-of-purchase sheet to games.

If that's not sufficient (since GMs can't be expected to have every sourcebook memorized, after all), maybe bring the proof-of-purchase along with a printout or photocopy of the relevant page for the GM's reference. It's worth considering.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

Nani Pratt wrote:

Lormyr, thank you for your even-handed comment about the passions of everyone here. I completely agree, and that's why we are on here in this community :-)

I did want to add that while your comment that we receive PDFs for free is completely valid, many (if not the vast majority) of us continue to purchase physical books, minis, maps, and all number of Paizo goodies.

Don't mention it, ma'am. I'm a bullheaded man who might find himself firmly planted on one side of this issue, but it doesn't mean I don't see that many of us have that passion or don't recognize their contributions to the community. Making your opinion heard is one thing. Being a dick about it is another.

I have no doubt that yourself and a great many others with free PDF access still support Paizo heartily with additional purchases. I just wanted to point out for consideration purposes that it can be easy to side with the present function of resource legality when you have that boon on your side.

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

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David Bowles wrote:
I feel that herolab is exacerbating this problem to some degree. I don't use herolab for this reason.

I think it is herolab's sales model that is the problem. Hero Labs sells access to each book within their program at approximately the pdf price (give or take some bundling) The result is people are given the impression when they buy something from herolab that they have effectively bought the pdf from paizo.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

David Bowles wrote:

I feel that herolab is exacerbating this problem to some degree. I don't use herolab for this reason.

I am always certain I know where my tech is coming from. I think a good strategy is to print of the pdf pages relevant to your PC and keep them with the character sheet. That minimizes the fumbling to find the reference.

I'd say 95% of my tech comes from CRB, APG, UM, UC. Those four books allow for a huge amount of characters.

While hero lab does make it a little easier to make mistakes (I've accidentally used things I didn't own on at least 2 occasions because Hero Labs bundling model meant I had access to books I didn't own) I think it pales into insignificance when compared to the SRD. The latter makes it trivial to see all the options and in the quest to build the perfect character it is very easy to miss the fact that not everything is actually owned.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5

FLite wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I feel that herolab is exacerbating this problem to some degree. I don't use herolab for this reason.
I think it is herolab's sales model that is the problem. Hero Labs sells access to each book within their program at approximately the pdf price (give or take some bundling) The result is people are given the impression when they buy something from herolab that they have effectively bought the pdf from paizo.

I'm pretty sure the last time I purchased an "expansion" for HeroLabs it was 4.99 and included 3 different source books. That is WAY less than what I'd pay for the PDFs. I think they run $5 and up for even the smallest series like companions.

Just checked, confirmed. The PFS Primer is $8.99 for the PDF in the Paizo store. The last expansion I purchased included the Primer and a few other books, and was $4.99.

I can't say that I see how paying 4.99 could be misunderstood to purchasing the PDFs, or that it was somehow a replacement for it. But that is just one man's opinion.

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

Chad Newman wrote:
FLite wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I feel that herolab is exacerbating this problem to some degree. I don't use herolab for this reason.
I think it is herolab's sales model that is the problem. Hero Labs sells access to each book within their program at approximately the pdf price (give or take some bundling) The result is people are given the impression when they buy something from herolab that they have effectively bought the pdf from paizo.

I'm pretty sure the last time I purchased an "expansion" for HeroLabs it was 4.99 and included 3 different source books. That is WAY less than what I'd pay for the PDFs. I think they run $5 and up for even the smallest series like companions.

Just checked, confirmed. The PFS Primer is $8.99 for the PDF in the Paizo store. The last expansion I purchased included the Primer and a few other books, and was $4.99.

I can't say that I see how paying 4.99 could be misunderstood to purchasing the PDFs, or that it was somehow a replacement for it. But that is just one man's opinion.

I don't see it that way, but there has been at least one post on here that boiled down to: "but I bought the supplement from hero lab, and you must get a cut of that money or you would have sued them for copyright infringement, so thats the same as if I bought the book through an FLGS and I should get to use the content"

So while I would normally agree with you, there are people out there arguing that hero lab expansions => buying watermarked pdf.

Grand Lodge 1/5

FLite wrote:
Chad Newman wrote:
FLite wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I feel that herolab is exacerbating this problem to some degree. I don't use herolab for this reason.
I think it is herolab's sales model that is the problem. Hero Labs sells access to each book within their program at approximately the pdf price (give or take some bundling) The result is people are given the impression when they buy something from herolab that they have effectively bought the pdf from paizo.

I'm pretty sure the last time I purchased an "expansion" for HeroLabs it was 4.99 and included 3 different source books. That is WAY less than what I'd pay for the PDFs. I think they run $5 and up for even the smallest series like companions.

Just checked, confirmed. The PFS Primer is $8.99 for the PDF in the Paizo store. The last expansion I purchased included the Primer and a few other books, and was $4.99.

I can't say that I see how paying 4.99 could be misunderstood to purchasing the PDFs, or that it was somehow a replacement for it. But that is just one man's opinion.

I don't see it that way, but there has been at least one post on here that boiled down to: "but I bought the supplement from hero lab, and you must get a cut of that money or you would have sued them for copyright infringement, so thats the same as if I bought the book through an FLGS and I should get to use the content"

So while I would normally agree with you, there are people out there arguing that hero lab expansions => buying watermarked pdf.

It's a valid statement. How long has HeroLab been up and doing this? And Paizo and Wizards haven't sued their asses into the ground for IP rights issues?

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quendishir wrote:

It's a valid statement. How long has HeroLab been up and doing this? And Paizo and Wizards haven't sued their asses into the ground for IP rights issues?

Paizo licenses them to do this, in exchange for a royalty. This was covered in an earlier part of the discussion. So there is no reason for them to sue anyone.

But, Wolflair has never said, "buy our product and you don't need to buy anything from Paizo." You are paying them for their tool to help with character generation and tracking, that is all. When you buy their expansions you are helping to pay for the labor it took to enter all of the new data into the system. That is all you are paying for. Data which Paizo owns the IP rights to, and thus gets a percentage of.

5/5

Quendishir wrote:
FLite wrote:
Chad Newman wrote:
FLite wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I feel that herolab is exacerbating this problem to some degree. I don't use herolab for this reason.
I think it is herolab's sales model that is the problem. Hero Labs sells access to each book within their program at approximately the pdf price (give or take some bundling) The result is people are given the impression when they buy something from herolab that they have effectively bought the pdf from paizo.

I'm pretty sure the last time I purchased an "expansion" for HeroLabs it was 4.99 and included 3 different source books. That is WAY less than what I'd pay for the PDFs. I think they run $5 and up for even the smallest series like companions.

Just checked, confirmed. The PFS Primer is $8.99 for the PDF in the Paizo store. The last expansion I purchased included the Primer and a few other books, and was $4.99.

I can't say that I see how paying 4.99 could be misunderstood to purchasing the PDFs, or that it was somehow a replacement for it. But that is just one man's opinion.

I don't see it that way, but there has been at least one post on here that boiled down to: "but I bought the supplement from hero lab, and you must get a cut of that money or you would have sued them for copyright infringement, so thats the same as if I bought the book through an FLGS and I should get to use the content"

So while I would normally agree with you, there are people out there arguing that hero lab expansions => buying watermarked pdf.

It's a valid statement. How long has HeroLab been up and doing this? And Paizo and Wizards haven't sued their asses into the ground for IP rights issues?

HeroLab has a license with Paizo to use their IP. Hence the quote above about royalties. Note royalties are generally quite small in relation to the actual retail being charge. So if HeroLab is charging $5 for a 3 pack of companion material that would normally cost $27 in PDF form from Paizo, Paizo is getting no where near the revenue they would be if the PDF's were bought.

People assuming they're buying one thing on the internet and buying something else entirely is sadly not uncommon.

The Exchange 5/5 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

8 people marked this as a favorite.

"Buyin' a map to a restaurant don't mean you can eat for free."

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Maybe one day I'll put together "Jiggy's Big List of What's Legal in PFS" and distribute it freely over the internet. Then maybe I'll also make "Jiggy's Quick Reference Guide to Pathfinder Mechanics", giving summaries of things like what stacks with what, which archetypes can be combined, and so forth. I think I'll sell that one.

Then someone will make a character using nothing but my guides, and be baffled at the suggestion that their bookkeeping isn't in order. "You mean what some random other player told me isn't official?!"

That's essentially what's happening in every one of these "But HeroLab!" issues.

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

Quendishir wrote:


It's a valid statement. How long has HeroLab been up and doing this? And Paizo and Wizards haven't sued their asses into the ground for IP rights issues?

Well, technically, most of what they are doing is covered by OGL as long as they are careful. And they may have come to a non monetary settlement with paizo, where paizo grants them permission, but they don't have to pay. And companies don't *have* to sue, they may decide that the PR damage of the suit is worse than the erosion to their IP.

(Also, I am reminded of that pyramid scheme whose marketing said "this must be legal, or we would have gotten arrested by now." One month later they were arrested. If Paizo is turning a blind eye, lets not rub their noses in it, okay?)

5/5

Hero Lab expansions contain only the OGL material which is free to use by anyone. Hero Lab makes it convenient. d20frsrd makes it convenient. Paizo PRD makes it convenient, but only for their hard cover books.

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

Lormyr wrote:
I can see why it would be very difficult to take issue with this situation when you are handed all PDFs for free.

Just in case anyone reads this as saying all VOs get every PDF for free; that is not the case. The way I get 'free' PDFs for my rulebooks, Player Companions, etc. is just the way anybody else could; I subscribe to that product line. To get the PDF for a hardcopy product that I purchased before I became a subscriber to any particular product line I have to buy it, just like every other player.

In fact I'll be doing exactly that for a small number of books (Adventurer's Armory, Seeker of Secrets, ...). I am one of the people who had made the wrong interpretation of the official position on photocopies when sharing a rulebook between two members of the same household at a convention. While it is very rare for my wife and I to be playing at different tables at an event, it could happen.

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