PFS: Books are HEAVY change to GM expectations


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Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

He can use a printed watermarked copy of the PDF page(s). It is even easier if he is at the same table as you, as I do not believe that he would even need the printed watermarked page(s) - even though it may be a good idea for him, so that he can review it at his leisure even when you are using the tablet/laptop/etc.

Mike has said that households can share resources (just not an electronic version of the watermarked PDF).

Edit: Ninja'd twice

Sovereign Court

Mistwalker wrote:
Edit: Ninja'd twice

Those stars hurt, don't they? Hard to reach in the back too.

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

Todd Lower wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:
Edit: Ninja'd twice
Those stars hurt, don't they? Hard to reach in the back too.

It's why I usually sit in corners. And wear a backpack with the core assumption in it - but that does end up costing a lot in replacement CRBs as it doesn't take long for the pages to become unreadable with all of the cuts in them - good thing that I can trade in some of those stars for cash....hey, am I reselling the stars to those who threw them at me? *Shocked look*

Shadow Lodge

neferphras wrote:

ok so back to the core book topic, some other people seem to agree that a core assumption would be good.

if your source material is out of.
Ultimate magic, combat, equipment, core book, or PG... your good you dont need to bring that , the GM should know it and life moves on

If your material is out of anything else you best have it on hand.

That what i brought up originally. You would still support your local stores... this sit would still make money. So what is the issue with that thought... give me a reason why not.

Actually, I hate to play Devil's Advocate here, and I'm not saying I do this, but I agree with you on this one for the simple fact that all of those sources are available for free on Paizo's website. I think you should be able to use printouts of pages from the PRD on Paizo's website instead of pdfs. The only things available there are the core RPG line, not any of the player companions or campaign settings or anyhting else, just the RPG line. A printout of the proffessionally made pages of rules should work just as well as a printout of the watermarked pdf.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Except that you don't have to purchase anything to gain access to the PRD. A lot of people would stop buying PDFs. One of the primary purposes of PFS is as a marketing tool for Paizo.

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

Daedalaman wrote:
I think you should be able to use printouts of pages from the PRD on Paizo's website instead of pdfs. The only things available there are the core RPG line, not any of the player companions or campaign settings or anyhting else, just the RPG line. A printout of the proffessionally made pages of rules should work just as well as a printout of the watermarked pdf.

Then what is the incentive for any of the players to ever buy the RPG books?

Paizo is already making it easy for folks to play in home campaigns without ever having to buy any of the RPG line books. You can also play in PFS without buying any of the books if you only use the CRB for your character choices.

From what I can tell, there are two reasons that players have to have the books with them:
1) So that they can show the pertinent text to the GM, so that the GM can make a ruling/understand the spell/feat/class ability/etc.
2) To sell books.

If Paizo doesn't have an income stream, they will no longer be able to stay in business. Requiring people playing in their PFS living campaign to own books (physical or PDF) adds a bit to their income stream. I am not sure how much it cost's Paizo to run PFS (hotel room costs for GMs and staff at Cons, production of the scenarios, banners and advertising, prize support, etc.), but PFS should help at least a bit with the income stream.


Daedalaman wrote:
neferphras wrote:

ok so back to the core book topic, some other people seem to agree that a core assumption would be good.

if your source material is out of.
Ultimate magic, combat, equipment, core book, or PG... your good you dont need to bring that , the GM should know it and life moves on

If your material is out of anything else you best have it on hand.

That what i brought up originally. You would still support your local stores... this sit would still make money. So what is the issue with that thought... give me a reason why not.

Actually, I hate to play Devil's Advocate here, and I'm not saying I do this, but I agree with you on this one for the simple fact that all of those sources are available for free on Paizo's website. I think you should be able to use printouts of pages from the PRD on Paizo's website instead of pdfs. The only things available there are the core RPG line, not any of the player companions or campaign settings or anyhting else, just the RPG line. A printout of the proffessionally made pages of rules should work just as well as a printout of the watermarked pdf.

And then PFS would not make financial sense and Paizo would kill it off. The reason we have dedicated people for PFS and get a number of new scenarios written each month is that it is a marketing machine.

The Exchange

This thread has caused me to start researching Tablets and their prices. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

Shadow Lodge

For me anyway, its much easier and more enjoyable to find the information I need in the books then it is in the PRD, however there are a lot of us gamers who can't afford to buy each and every book but who want ot play something a little more exciting than the core classes and races. If they have access to the PRD as a source it will encourage them to keep playing and also, when they see someone with somthing thats really cool, ut not in one of the core RPG line books they can research where its from and then purchase the much cheaper and easily moved campaign setting books. Saying that "here are all these free sources that we take the time to provide for you on our website" and then saying "but you can't use them unless you purchase the books" is counter productive in my opinion.


Daedalaman wrote:
For me anyway, its much easier and more enjoyable to find the information I need in the books then it is in the PRD, however there are a lot of us gamers who can't afford to buy each and every book but who want ot play something a little more exciting than the core classes and races. If they have access to the PRD as a source it will encourage them to keep playing and also, when they see someone with somthing thats really cool, ut not in one of the core RPG line books they can research where its from and then purchase the much cheaper and easily moved campaign setting books. Saying that "here are all these free sources that we take the time to provide for you on our website" and then saying "but you can't use them unless you purchase the books" is counter productive in my opinion.

I don't follow.

If they can use the PRD as a source, why won't they just find the cool thing on the PRD and use that.

Currently it works like you suggest: They can browse the PRD, find the cool thing, research where it came from, buy the appropriate book or pdf and use it in PFS.

Shadow Lodge

There are cool things that are not in the RPG line, thus not on the PRD.


Daedalaman wrote:
There are cool things that are not in the RPG line, thus not on the PRD.

True. Which is why I usually look at pfsrd20, which has almost? everything. Then I can go buy it.

Scarab Sages

thejeff wrote:
Daedalaman wrote:
There are cool things that are not in the RPG line, thus not on the PRD.
True. Which is why I usually look at pfsrd20, which has almost? everything. Then I can go buy it.

Remember that it does not have all of it. Moreover, they do edit the text to avoid copyright claims. A lot of stuff for my characters does not even show up on their site. Sort of another reason I tend to have a lot of companion booklets, I can physically see what is inside and can decide if it is a good purchace or not.


Cao Phen wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Daedalaman wrote:
There are cool things that are not in the RPG line, thus not on the PRD.
True. Which is why I usually look at pfsrd20, which has almost? everything. Then I can go buy it.
Remember that it does not have all of it. Moreover, they do edit the text to avoid copyright claims. A lot of stuff for my characters does not even show up on their site. Sort of another reason I tend to have a lot of companion booklets, I can physically see what is inside and can decide if it is a good purchace or not.

Example?

I do know they have to change some text to avoid setting specific content, but the mechanics usually stay the same. You might not have to worship a specific god or be from a specific area, for example, but otherwise it's the same ability.

What's something that doesn't show up at all?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

The main problems with d20pfsrd are:

1) If you only know the name of an ability from that site, it may not be the same name as what's in the Pathfinder books. If a GM asks you what "X" ability does, and you can only show him what the d20pfsrd says, because you don't remember the name or book it is from otherwise, then fully expect to not be able to use that aspect of your character.

2) It is a 3rd party product. As such, it can have errors in it that aren't vetted by Pathfinder developers.

For both reasons, I don't allow the use of the d20pfsrd at my table.


Andrew Christian wrote:

The main problems with d20pfsrd are:

1) If you only know the name of an ability from that site, it may not be the same name as what's in the Pathfinder books. If a GM asks you what "X" ability does, and you can only show him what the d20pfsrd says, because you don't remember the name or book it is from otherwise, then fully expect to not be able to use that aspect of your character.

2) It is a 3rd party product. As such, it can have errors in it that aren't vetted by Pathfinder developers.

For both reasons, I don't allow the use of the d20pfsrd at my table.

Well, it certainly isn't PFS approved, nor would I suggest it. That said, it's far more complete and more usefully organized than the PRD. (Things organized by category instead of by source book.)

Generally I'll use it for browsing, then track down specific things in the official PRD or the actual source books as needed.

Silver Crusade 3/5

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All this does is make things more difficult for people to go to conventions. I should be at a convention as we speak. I had to pull out of said convention this weekend because I couldn't physically carry the books I needed for my 12 PFS characters.

This ruling (or rather the enforcing of this ruling) prevented me from playing PFS not because I don't own the materials, but rather because transporting these materials that I have paid for is impossible.

This policy does not encourage people to play and doesn't help to spread PFS. Please reconsider it.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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FallofCamelot wrote:

All this does is make things more difficult for people to go to conventions. I should be at a convention as we speak. I had to pull out of said convention this weekend because I couldn't physically carry the books I needed for my 12 PFS characters.

This ruling (or rather the enforcing of this ruling) prevented me from playing PFS not because I don't own the materials, but rather because transporting these materials that I have paid for is impossible.

This policy does not encourage people to play and doesn't help to spread PFS. Please reconsider it.

I'm going to call BS on this.

Gamers are gonna game. And I find it ridiculous that you couldn't find a way to get to a convention just because you have too many books to carry.


I suggest all campaign organizers have a core only character, just to show that it can be done. Well more importantly that CRB is fun to play.

Perhaps I should suggest this to con goers as well. Personally I keep every character to CRB+1 splat. Depending on which character I play I only need to bring two books. Even if I brought one PFS character for each possible tier I am looking at 4 books.

12 characters in one weekend seems a bit of hyperbole to me. A three day con is going to probably have only 9 possible sessions. Choose 2 or 3 of your characters and save yourself the extra bag, & play the other 10 when you get home.

EDIT: if your local spot lists what tiers are being offered this week you can use this same strategy for your local games too. Since I try to walk this actually makes a lot of sense. :)

4/5

FallofCamelot wrote:

All this does is make things more difficult for people to go to conventions. I should be at a convention as we speak. I had to pull out of said convention this weekend because I couldn't physically carry the books I needed for my 12 PFS characters.

This ruling (or rather the enforcing of this ruling) prevented me from playing PFS not because I don't own the materials, but rather because transporting these materials that I have paid for is impossible.

This policy does not encourage people to play and doesn't help to spread PFS. Please reconsider it.

You only need the books for all 12 characters if you intend to play all 12 characters. If space/weight becomes a factor, you can always limit the characters you bring or the items/abilities/spells that they use.

Silver Crusade 3/5

It was Shadowcon in London. Getting to London is very difficult by car and I was staying with my brother in Kingston upon Thames. Which already meant I was having to do a lot of travelling by train from Leicester to St Pancras Station in North London, go across London by tube (which is a lot of walking if you have ever been to London) and then get another train from Waterloo to Kingston upon Thames.

Then I would have to get back and forth from Kingston upon Thames, into central London and back. On each day.

I was prepared to do that if I was merely carrying my ipad and some dice. With the extra weight of every book I needed for 22 characters this would have been exhausting. Why do I know this? Because I carted fewer books than I currently require a smaller distance at UK Games Expo a few years back.

Call BS all you like Andrew, that's why I didn't go.

Silver Crusade 3/5

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redward wrote:
FallofCamelot wrote:

All this does is make things more difficult for people to go to conventions. I should be at a convention as we speak. I had to pull out of said convention this weekend because I couldn't physically carry the books I needed for my 12 PFS characters.

This ruling (or rather the enforcing of this ruling) prevented me from playing PFS not because I don't own the materials, but rather because transporting these materials that I have paid for is impossible.

This policy does not encourage people to play and doesn't help to spread PFS. Please reconsider it.

You only need the books for all 12 characters if you intend to play all 12 characters. If space/weight becomes a factor, you can always limit the characters you bring or the items/abilities/spells that they use.

I prefer to choose my character at the table based on the makeup of the group. I shouldn't have to restrict my choices because the damn books are too heavy to cart around.

That said I'm aware you are trying to be constructive and I thank you for that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Jeff Mahood wrote:

Mike Brock has said that members of the same household that are sitting at the same table may use a "family set" of books. He has said that if you're sitting at different tables, each person should have their own copy, but I don't know what that means for kids using their parents' legally purchased PDFs. At the very least, he'd need access to them, so printed pages or his own tablet.

Your phrasing, "Next year he'll be old enough to play at Gen Con..." suggests to me that he would probably be at your table anyway, but it might be worth asking the question for later on. I'll poke around and see if I can find if/where this particular situation was addressed already.

A related question: my e-mail address don't show my name (I didn't wanted to add 387 at the end of it or some such), so how I prove that the watermarked PDF are mine?

I have both the books and the PDFs, but bringing a hardbound when I need a single page seem a bit excessive.

Scarab Sages 4/5

There's another good reason GMs aren't required to bring all of the books to the table. When too many players show up for a game, it's fairly common to split off a second table with one of the players volunteerig to GM. If they were required to have all of the books with them, it would create situations where a second table couldn't form, because no one was expecting to GM that day, so they only brought the books they need for their character. And that would result in people going home without the chance to play. Having the player be responsible for providing the information necessary to play their character is not unreasonable.

Allowing the PRD be considered as a legal source for players is a valid request. Paizo chose to publish it to make those rules available to people who don't own the books. It then becomes a marketing choice at Paizo whether to allow the PRD as a source or to require purchase of those books. Right now, and since the start of Pathfinder (or at least the release of the first additional hardback), as far as I know, that choice has been to require purchase of those books. It's up to Paizo to decide which they think will generate more interest and more revenue, and they made that choice a long time ago based, I'm sure, on information we don't have. It may not seem fair, but it's the reality of Paizo being a business. Sometimes they'll make decisions that are better for them financially.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

Let's see what I need for each of my characters...

Alain (Sorcerer): APG, UM, People of the North, Dragon Empires Gazetteer, Adventurer's Armory
Edwin (Cleric): APG, UM, Taldor, ISWG, Adventurer's Armory
Isaac (Gunslinger): APG, UC, Taldor, Adventurer's Armory
Arsulran (Magus): APG, UC, UM, ISWG, Adventurer's Armory
Carlyle (Paladin): APG, UC, UM, Adventurer's Armory
Tekmeh (Cleric): APG, UM, Adventurer's Armory
Teldarn (Oracle): APG, UM, Adventurer's Armory

Altogether, I have a ton of options for my characters, without having to lug around a ton of different books. In a pinch, I could probably forego Taldor, ISWG and UC or UM, depending on which characters I was bringing to a convention. All of that stuff could easily fit into a backpack, and is significantly easier than carrying around my convention load as a GM - it usually includes a tablet, multiple sets of dice, GM screen, binder full of scenarios and notes, combat pad, box of minis and multiple tubes of maps.

My point is a simple one - printouts of PDFs are cheap and effective. The books aren't THAT heavy, so long as you don't go crazy during character building.

Paizo is a business. Like any business, they need income in order to continue to operate. They are gracious enough to not require every player to purchase a Core Rulebook, and to allow players a grace period of a few weeks before requiring every resource to be present at the table. If the PRD were a legal resource for all PFS play, there would be little to no incentive to continue updating the PRD, which would be a huge loss - I desperately need to be able to look certain things up on there as a GM.

I am a very pro-player GM, but I can't police everybody's resources, nor should I be expected to have to buy a bunch of resources so that you can play.

Also, in regards to non-PRD sources, d20PFSRD has a lot of errors and shouldn't be used except to preview the contents of a book.

Scarab Sages

thejeff wrote:

Example?

I do know they have to change some text to avoid setting specific content, but the mechanics usually stay the same. You might not have to worship a specific god or be from a specific area, for example, but otherwise it's the same ability.

What's something that doesn't show up at all?

- Prestiege Awards from the Pathfinder Society Field Guide Companion Booklet

- Covering Shield Feat from Dragonslayer's Handbook Companion Booklet
- List of Emperyal Lords for Celestial Obedience Feat and the Mystery Cultist Prestiege Class from the Chronicles of the Righteous Campaign Booklet
- Swarm Dodger Feat from the Osirion, Land of Pharaohs Companion booklet
- Pitfall Weapon Enchantment from the Taldor, Echoes of Glory Companion Booklet
- Guarding Weapon Enchantment from the Advanced Race Guide
- Virtuous Creed Feat from Champions of Purity Companion Booklet
- River Sniper Trait from Pirates of the Inner Sea Companion Booklet
- Spirit Animal Trait from People of the North Companion Booklet

Should I go on?

Regional Traits, as well as Race Traits would have a difficult time setting up, due to the fact that they exclude locations and names. Wayang Spellhunter is from Dragon Empires Primer, but the name is renamed Metamagic Master. If you have someone whos background is from Absalom, borned and raised in Absalom, never been anywhere eles than Absalom, if they grabbed that trait, how did they get to Minata in Tian Xia?

Someone chooses the Tribal Scars Feat, they say that they are from the North and chooses a trait from the Land of Linnorm Kings. They now are told that they have an invalid character. They ask why. The DM states that the Tribal Scars feat specifically states that you have to be from a Realm of the Mammoth Lords tribe to obtain. Two countries separated by Irrisen.

You want to make a Gnome with the Pyromaniac Racial Trait. You saw that Burning Arc is awesome and you really want it. How would you know that Burning Arc is a Keleshite-based Spell? Or Summon Totem is a Shoanti-based spell? Both Keleshite and Shoanti are Human Racial Ethnicities.


Andrew Christian wrote:

The main problems with d20pfsrd are:

1) If you only know the name of an ability from that site, it may not be the same name as what's in the Pathfinder books. If a GM asks you what "X" ability does, and you can only show him what the d20pfsrd says, because you don't remember the name or book it is from otherwise, then fully expect to not be able to use that aspect of your character.

2) It is a 3rd party product. As such, it can have errors in it that aren't vetted by Pathfinder developers.

For both reasons, I don't allow the use of the d20pfsrd at my table.

Are you sure about 1, because I use d20pfsrd extensively, and the only thing I noticed that is different is some prestige classes have a different or shortened name.

Also, hero lab is a 3rd party product and can have errors, do you not allow that?

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Thames Valley aka chris manning

FallofCamelot wrote:
It was Shadowcon in London.

shadowcon is a non residential con, and is 2 slots each day.

the organiser Terry T set up all the games and tables on warhorn, so there was no need to bring 12 characters.

Silver Crusade

CWheezy wrote:


Also, hero lab is a 3rd party product and can have errors, do you not allow that?

If people want to use HeroLab for the character building that's not a problem, however I do not allow it to substitute for the legal source. That's simply following the campaign rules.

Scarab Sages

CWheezy wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

The main problems with d20pfsrd are:

1) If you only know the name of an ability from that site, it may not be the same name as what's in the Pathfinder books. If a GM asks you what "X" ability does, and you can only show him what the d20pfsrd says, because you don't remember the name or book it is from otherwise, then fully expect to not be able to use that aspect of your character.

2) It is a 3rd party product. As such, it can have errors in it that aren't vetted by Pathfinder developers.

For both reasons, I don't allow the use of the d20pfsrd at my table.

Are you sure about 1, because I use d20pfsrd extensively, and the only thing I noticed that is different is some prestige classes have a different or shortened name.

Also, hero lab is a 3rd party product and can have errors, do you not allow that?

Try to find an item/spell/etc that has a specific deity's name in it. Or something with a name from a specific region in Golarion. If you bring a character to a table and say that it is a Dervish of Dawn (actual name is Dawnflower Dervish), it might pull some red flags out that this is not an actual character with books to back it up.

Herolab is a 3PP. Having the printout of your build is ok, but you still need to have the book/pdfs to back what you have as part of your character. Buying stuff from HeroLab lets you use THEIR compiled data in THEIR programming product, but it does not supply an actual PAIZO product for a legal character.


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Thread....too....heavy..../unsubscribe.


Lab_Rat wrote:
Thread....too....heavy..../unsubscribe.

Hey my crazy amount of books in my backpack actually gave me bruises on my shoulders after gencon.

12 splat books. core, APG, ADV race, ult magic, ult combat, INSW, best 1,2,3.

I still lugged them to everygame.


Mistwalker wrote:
Daedalaman wrote:
I think you should be able to use printouts of pages from the PRD on Paizo's website instead of pdfs. The only things available there are the core RPG line, not any of the player companions or campaign settings or anyhting else, just the RPG line. A printout of the proffessionally made pages of rules should work just as well as a printout of the watermarked pdf.

Then what is the incentive for any of the players to ever buy the RPG books?

Because Pathfinder is a good system? Because the players like playing? Because they want to help support paizo?

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

DSXMachina wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:
Daedalaman wrote:
I think you should be able to use printouts of pages from the PRD on Paizo's website instead of pdfs. The only things available there are the core RPG line, not any of the player companions or campaign settings or anyhting else, just the RPG line. A printout of the proffessionally made pages of rules should work just as well as a printout of the watermarked pdf.

Then what is the incentive for any of the players to ever buy the RPG books?

Because Pathfinder is a good system? Because the players like playing? Because they want to help support paizo?

If they don't need to buy the books, even if it is a good system, or that players like playing - why would they buy the books if they can get and use the rules from the PRD for PFS?

Wanting to help support Paizo is one of the goals of the rule. So if you want to support Paizo, then you should have no problem or objection with the rule (with the exception of the weight issue for some).

Edit for clarity

Scarab Sages

Finlanderboy wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:
Thread....too....heavy..../unsubscribe.

Hey my crazy amount of books in my backpack actually gave me bruises on my shoulders after gencon.

12 splat books. core, APG, ADV race, ult magic, ult combat, INSW, best 1,2,3.

I still lugged them to everygame.

This is what I got:

25 Booklets
Core, APG, ARG, U Mag, U Com, ISWG, U Equip, U Campaign
Custom Trait Binder (67 pgs of Traits)
Dice Container
3 Tale Books

Problem is that I dont have a backpack to fit it all, and the luggage that I have it contained can only carry the Core books, the Booklets are in a seperate briefcase.

With me being roughly 125 lbs, I am carrying 40% of my weight around during the convention armside.


Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
DSXMachina wrote:
Dhjika wrote:
neferphras wrote:
redward wrote:
Are we still talking about GM expectations?

well yes i think

so if i bring just the printed out pages, and gms are supposed to have access to the core 5 books mentioned, am i good to go?

GMs are not required to have anything at the table book wise except Core - they can use the PRD for the things they need in their games. As many have been saying - you do not have to use those spells. And if you are a non-spontaneous caster, you can pick different spells and lower your load.
Yes, so thus there is less of an onus on GM's than players. Which is doubly interesting because GM's usually purchase more 'books' than players and it creates a strong divide between the 2 groups. This divide seems to be getting wider, at least on the forums - which is not representative of the real world, when it should be getting smaller as that would help Pathfinder community understand each other better.

I'm sorry, as your Gm would you like me to wipe your nose at the table as well? How is the GM supposed to know which books you need for your character?

When does the onus for being responsible for your own character finally fall on the player of that character?

The GM is already responsible for the scenario, minis, maps, core assumption and whatever else they are bringing. Let's not make the responsible for the player's character as well. There is enough on GMs as it is for providing a game that people don't immediately come tot he boards and complain about.

I'd love to see the fallout if we had a thread started about bad players... guarantee that ones of the boards that are only players and not GMs would start complaining about how they are treated on the boards, but yet as GMs we are just supposed to shut up and take it.

Well with the GM having access to the prd, it means that they automatically have access to all the books the player needs for their character. Of course, it's not viable for a GM to actually do this as it would eat up too much of the table time with character auditing.

Are there threads about naming & shaming 'bad' GM's on the boards :O
Wow, that's horribly divisive. It would be good if the 'society' could try to blur the lines between players and GM's. I suppose allowing GM's to use the prd could encourage this. If a player turns up without the books for his complex character - just get him to run a game.

Shadow Lodge

Mistwalker wrote:
DSXMachina wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:
Daedalaman wrote:
I think you should be able to use printouts of pages from the PRD on Paizo's website instead of pdfs. The only things available there are the core RPG line, not any of the player companions or campaign settings or anyhting else, just the RPG line. A printout of the proffessionally made pages of rules should work just as well as a printout of the watermarked pdf.

Then what is the incentive for any of the players to ever buy the RPG books?

Because Pathfinder is a good system? Because the players like playing? Because they want to help support paizo?

If they don't need to buy the books, even if it is a good system, or that players like playing - why would they buy the books if they can get and use the rules from the PRD for PFS?

Wanting to help support Paizo is one of the goals of the rule. So if you want to support Paizo, then you should have no problem or objection with the rule (with the exception of the weight issue for some).

Edit for clarity

The books are pretty? That seems like a good enough reason for me. Gamers prefer to collect the pretty books then to look up the rules online, even if they have the free version available to them.

Dark Archive

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Lab_Rat wrote:
Thread....too....heavy..../unsubscribe.

Yup. Organized play becoming more organized and less play. I have already cut back on it.

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

DSXMachina wrote:


Well with the GM having access to the prd, it means that they automatically have access to all the books the player needs for their character.

Not so. The PRD does not contain items from the Inner Sea World Guide (e.g. the feat "Dervish Dance"), or from the Campaign Setting or Player Companion lines (e.g. the "Agile" weapon property, or a spring-loaded wrist sheath, both from the Adventurer's Armory).


Ferious Thune wrote:
...Allowing the PRD be considered as a legal source for players is a valid request. Paizo chose to publish it to make those rules available to people who don't own the books. It then becomes a marketing choice at Paizo whether to allow the PRD as a source or to require purchase of those books. Right now, and since the start of Pathfinder (or at least the release of the first additional hardback), as far as I know, that choice has been to require purchase of those books. It's up to Paizo to decide which they think will generate more interest and more revenue, and they made that choice a long time ago based, I'm sure, on information we don't have. It may not seem fair, but it's the reality of Paizo being a business. Sometimes they'll make decisions that are better for them financially.

Paizo chose to publish the PRD because a third party publisher (3PP) needs to know what rules are Open Game Content (OGL) and which are protected. In the early days of of the OGL, a 3PP would pay a licensing fee and get a copy of the standard license. It was not intended for everyone, only to those who paid for the license. One enterprising 3PP did that taking advantage of the technology to use hypertext. Today we have the PRD and an enterprising 3PP (d20pfsrd). One is the legal document for a Paizo (and generates tons of traffic to their website) the other (I'm guessing) sells advertising.

It's probably more complicated than that (I'm no lawyer or even a business guru), but that you don't have to buy a license to use the PRD is already a give away.


John Francis wrote:
DSXMachina wrote:


Well with the GM having access to the prd, it means that they automatically have access to all the books the player needs for their character.
Not so. The PRD does not contain items from the Inner Sea World Guide (e.g. the feat "Dervish Dance"), or from the Campaign Setting or Player Companion lines (e.g. the "Agile" weapon property, or a spring-loaded wrist sheath, both from the Adventurer's Armory).

Oh, of course. Though does that mean the GM has to bring those books for any scenario she/he's running that includes those items?

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

DSXMachina wrote:
John Francis wrote:
DSXMachina wrote:


Well with the GM having access to the prd, it means that they automatically have access to all the books the player needs for their character.
Not so. The PRD does not contain items from the Inner Sea World Guide (e.g. the feat "Dervish Dance"), or from the Campaign Setting or Player Companion lines (e.g. the "Agile" weapon property, or a spring-loaded wrist sheath, both from the Adventurer's Armory).
Oh, of course. Though does that mean the GM has to bring those books for any scenario she/he's running that includes those items?

No. In exchange for the donation of the GM's time and resources (Maps, minis, chronicle sheets, dice, money spent purchasing the scenario, etc.), Paizo does not require the GM to purchase every book referenced in a scenario. Frankly, it seems a bit ungrateful to question this.

Edit: Sorry, I misread. Any rule that is not from the PRD which is used in a scenario is reproduced in that scenario.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Curaigh wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
...Allowing the PRD be considered as a legal source for players is a valid request. Paizo chose to publish it to make those rules available to people who don't own the books. It then becomes a marketing choice at Paizo whether to allow the PRD as a source or to require purchase of those books. Right now, and since the start of Pathfinder (or at least the release of the first additional hardback), as far as I know, that choice has been to require purchase of those books. It's up to Paizo to decide which they think will generate more interest and more revenue, and they made that choice a long time ago based, I'm sure, on information we don't have. It may not seem fair, but it's the reality of Paizo being a business. Sometimes they'll make decisions that are better for them financially.

Paizo chose to publish the PRD because a third party publisher (3PP) needs to know what rules are Open Game Content (OGL) and which are protected. In the early days of of the OGL, a 3PP would pay a licensing fee and get a copy of the standard license. It was not intended for everyone, only to those who paid for the license. One enterprising 3PP did that taking advantage of the technology to use hypertext. Today we have the PRD and an enterprising 3PP (d20pfsrd). One is the legal document for a Paizo (and generates tons of traffic to their website) the other (I'm guessing) sells advertising.

It's probably more complicated than that (I'm no lawyer or even a business guru), but that you don't have to buy a license to use the PRD is already a give away.

That was kind of my point. Somewhere along the line, Paizo decided to make some of its content OGL (beyond what they utilized from the WotC OGL for 3.5), presumably because they saw a benefit to doing so (greater exposure, allowing 3pp to create content, etc.). One side-effect of that, though, is going to be a section of players who question why they need to purchase books to be able to use rules that are published on a free site run by Paizo. In that sense, they have a legitimate question. The answer where PFS is concerned is that, while Paizo publishes the PRD, they have chosen not to make it a legal source for PFS. Presumably THAT is because they have decided that requiring players to purchase those books that appear in the PRD if they want to use that content in PFS is a better strategy for Paizo. (Disclaimer: There may very well be something in the original OGL license that required Paizo to release anything built on the original OGL content as OGL. I'm not familiar enough with the license, nor am I a lawyer).

I don't have a problem with that decision, and I happily own PDFs off all of the books in the PRD except a couple of the Bestiaries. I do think someone saying they'd like to see the PRD added as a legal source for PFS, because then they could print pages from it instead of carrying hardcopy books around is valid feedback to the campaign. It is ultimately up to the campaign and Paizo to decide if that's in their best interests, and as it stands right now, that decision is no.

5/5 ⦵⦵

I have to say, as a GM, there is nothing worse than half a dozen stacks of rulebooks that could double as bar stools taking up room in the gaming space. Please bring them but please leave them at the door until needed.

About the only thing that I want to see on or at the table is your character sheet and dice, the rest is just a distraction - once people have a book at hand their inner geek just can't help cracking covers and reading them, which totally downs the vibe. Man.

And tablets, a great idea, but the Candy Crush/Angry Bird addicts start jonesing real bad, you can see their fingers twitch as their eyes wander.


Shifty wrote:

And tablets, a great idea, but the Candy Crush/Angry Bird addicts start jonesing real bad, you can see their fingers twitch as their eyes wander.

I do not allow people to play video games at my table any more. I find it disrespectfull and distracting. I hate having to repeat myself ebcause someone chooses not to pay attention to me.

5/5 ⦵⦵

Totally agree, but the books also create the same distraction.

Having all this guff at the table simply provides a lot of vectors to bad behaviour, and this 'bring everything' caper means that players see a book they don't have, and the next thing you know they are reading it at the table and completely lost in the latest 'Rabbit-Slayers Companion' and not paying attention.

It's a PITA.


Shifty wrote:

Totally agree, but the books also create the same distraction.

Having all this guff at the table simply provides a lot of vectors to bad behaviour, and this 'bring everything' caper means that players see a book they don't have, and the next thing you know they are reading it at the table and completely lost in the latest 'Rabbit-Slayers Companion' and not paying attention.

It's a PITA.

Reading over pathfinder rules books I am cool with.

I often do this to make sure my things do what I want them to do and that I have the wording right. I also often use a lot of non-core stuff so I fetch the book on my lap to hand to the DM when I use it.

So if I see players prusing through the rule books I let that go.

I woudl also veto someone reading another book or such.

Liberty's Edge

DSXMachina wrote:
John Francis wrote:
DSXMachina wrote:


Well with the GM having access to the prd, it means that they automatically have access to all the books the player needs for their character.
Not so. The PRD does not contain items from the Inner Sea World Guide (e.g. the feat "Dervish Dance"), or from the Campaign Setting or Player Companion lines (e.g. the "Agile" weapon property, or a spring-loaded wrist sheath, both from the Adventurer's Armory).
Oh, of course. Though does that mean the GM has to bring those books for any scenario she/he's running that includes those items?

If the item is listed in the scenario then the GM is going to be aware of it already. The GM needs the book or access to certain rules because a) they need the stats for a specific NPC from the Bestiary 1,2,3, or NPC Codex, b) they need a clarification on a particular spell used by an NPC.

That said, if I wanted to use non-core rules as a player I would definitely expect to have to provide the books or pages needed. Just because I may know of something I wish to use from a particular book because I'm GMed for something that has used it doesn't mean that I can just go use it as a player without supporting text.

Grand Lodge

neferphras wrote:
redward wrote:
Are we still talking about GM expectations?

well yes i think

so if i bring just the printed out pages, and gms are supposed to have access to the core 5 books mentioned, am i good to go?

You can ALSO use the PRD as well... if you have access to it. If you have a tablet of some sort there is an app for it on there that you can use as a GM only at PFS... If you have a lap top you can still use the PRD on the laptop too. I do this all the time. You do not NEED to bring physical copies of the book with you ALL the time unless you want to do so.

This is stated IN the Guide to Organized Play :)

Liberty's Edge 5/5

CWheezy wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

The main problems with d20pfsrd are:

1) If you only know the name of an ability from that site, it may not be the same name as what's in the Pathfinder books. If a GM asks you what "X" ability does, and you can only show him what the d20pfsrd says, because you don't remember the name or book it is from otherwise, then fully expect to not be able to use that aspect of your character.

2) It is a 3rd party product. As such, it can have errors in it that aren't vetted by Pathfinder developers.

For both reasons, I don't allow the use of the d20pfsrd at my table.

Are you sure about 1, because I use d20pfsrd extensively, and the only thing I noticed that is different is some prestige classes have a different or shortened name.

Also, hero lab is a 3rd party product and can have errors, do you not allow that?

Not to show me what it does.

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