Why no single chapter PDFs

Customer Service

Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

For the Signal of Screams and Dawn of Fire APs, I cannot download single chapter PDFs. They are unavailable.

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

They don't exist. As of November of last year, Paizo stopped providing the single chapter PDFs.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Hello sabelonada,

David knott 242 got it right. We are no longer offering the file per chapter options for new releases. If you'd like to share your reasoning for preferring the file per chapter PDFs, we are noting our customer's reasons for wanting the file per chapter versions.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

It was an easy method to provide the background, especially for the Aeon throne.

For rule books especially, I read the chapters on tablets so I don't have to load the entire gargantuan PDF into a small tablet. Losing that ability lessens the utility of the PDF provided by a subscription.

The take away from that is, if I don't use the PDFs, the subscription becomes less useful. If the subscription becomes less useful I am much less likely to purchase some of the products.

Simply put, if rulebooks don't come with by chapter PDFs, I may very well cancel my subscriptions.

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Taking a look at my AP downloads folder, I find the largest Return of the Runelords book was just under 17M. One of War for the Crown hit 21M and one of Runes of Azlant was 32M. Admittedly, most of Ironfang Invasion were in the 80M realm but going back in time, it seems around 20M is typical for an entire AP book.

Now, I see that you're talking about Starfinder APs, so those may vary, but I can't imagine by much.

These days a tablet device with gigabytes of memory cost about the same as two AP subscription shipments. I shudder at imagining what rendering time must be like on a device that has you considering anything under 100M as "gargantuan". I hear you that you've got the device you've got, but Paizo has to incur labour to produce both download versions and I'm sure they've got metrics that tell them the per-chapter downloads are underutilized.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

Hello sabelonada,

Thank you for your feedback. We have heard similar points since the file per chapter PDFs were no longer offered. We are keeping these cases in mind to compare with what it takes to provide the file per chapter.

Anguish touched on one such consideration that the size of many of the PDFs is not unmanageable for the improving devices used to read them, although I know that the rulebooks can be a lot to scroll through and a slower device will make this process frustrating. Only you know what your needs are though, so we are open to hearing the details of the customers who would still find them the more wieldy option. Thank you!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I used one file per chapter downloads as a way to read the backmatter without accidently spoiling some of the AP, especially for APs that I want to be a player in.

Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

It is inconvenient to scroll through these large PDFs on smaller devices. It isn’t the storage that is the issue but the render time. This makes the PDFs less appealing if the solution is “buy a faster tablet”.

Again, if the PDF is so large that using it on a smaller tablet is inconvenient, the worth of it drops dramatically. If the PDFs are of negligible value, then the value offered by being a subscriber likewise diminishes. I can support my local game store for hard copy purchases. I will end up buying fewer products because I don’t have a subscription. Those purchases won’t be at full retail value to Paizo but rather wholesale. That’s less cash flow for Paizo.

I was considering starting a subscription for the second edition of Pathfinder. However that decision is unlikely given that the rulebook may only be offered in a monolithic PDF. The original Pathfinder PDF at least offered a “lite” version.

This to me is a hobby and an unnecessary expense. I don’t need to make these purchases but Paizo needs customers to make purchases. If the upcoming Starfinder player rulebook doesn’t come with chapter PDFs, I will probably cancel my subscriptions once I finish the then current AP.

That’s my customer feedback.

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I agree that the render time is the biggest issue. Actually, I'd love it if there were a "limited or no backgrounds" version that eliminates the big blocks of background shading/images and maybe the "frames" around text, but left all the text and the actual artwork (maps, portraits).

I know this might raise an objection of "but they won't look as pretty" - I'm fine with that, but if it's a big barrier, would substituting a less memory-intensive background image be possible? I think that's what was done for some of the LITE versions that have been released, and it makes a BIG difference in usability of those products.

But I have no idea if retaining most of the layout and substituting or simply stripping out the backgrounds/frames would be a few minutes of work, or a huge endeavor. Not my field of expertise at all...

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