On PDF pricing


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Silver Crusade

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Hunters Moon wrote:
Rysky wrote:

You know almost all the written information goes up for free on the Archives of Nethys and the Pathfinderwiki right?

I’m not being gouged, art is one of the main reasons I buy Paizo’s product. A piece of art can convey just as much information as a written description can.

If all the info is going up on those sites for free, why would I pay so much in the first place? You are now just giving me reasons NOT to purchase Paizo content, and just use the sites beyond having a Core Book.
To support the writers and artists that make these products possible. A process you as a professional writer should be intimate with.
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And the world building information does NOT go up on the sites. Just the rules that are posted. Again, sort of the reason you BUY a World Guide, it helps fill in the world you're playing in.
The Pathfinderwiki says hello.
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A piece of art cannot convey the specific information that the extensive written content gives at length about the world.

We disagree.

In the same page space art can be just as a descriptive as the words that would otherwise taken up that space.


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Hunters Moon wrote:
It's amazing that I have to "understand" the reasons behind the pricing.

Do you object to the number of yachts that Lisa and Vic have accumulated?

Do you object to the number of private jets James and Erik enjoy?
Do you object to the majority share in Amazon that the rest of the Paizo staff possess?

Nobody at Paizo is getting stupid rich.

Pricing - as is - pays for their staff to live their lives with full-time jobs. It's not abusively profitable. Now, I admit that I don't actually know how much money the owners have, but give the educated guesses the community has over the years determined regarding print runs and margins, it's not ludicrous.

Next, add the element of stupidity. Paizo aren't stupid. They've tried a few things over the couple decades they've existed, and it's safe to assume that they have a decent grasp on where the safest, most ideal price-point is for their products.

You - and I - are on the outside. It's easy to complain about pricing because you'd love to pay less. But there's no reason to think that we're equipped to do so rationally.

You don't have to understand anything. But if you don't, the only alternative is ignorance.


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Anguish wrote:
You don't have to understand anything. But if you don't, the only alternative is ignorance.

Good line.

Dark Archive

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Rysky wrote:

You know almost all the written information goes up for free on the Archives of Nethys and the Pathfinderwiki right?

I’m not being gouged, art is one of the main reasons I buy Paizo’s product. A piece of art can convey just as much information as a written description can.

Does that apply to the setting books though since far as I recall in 1e at least only the core stuff was put up on the wiki (Exception being the tech guide)

Dark Archive

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Also while it's true Paizo's pricing policy hasent changed the way there releasing the product has (going by one every other month companion and every other month setting book to hardback books with both combined)


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Hunters Moon wrote:
Rysky wrote:

You know almost all the written information goes up for free on the Archives of Nethys and the Pathfinderwiki right?

I’m not being gouged, art is one of the main reasons I buy Paizo’s product. A piece of art can convey just as much information as a written description can.

If all the info is going up on those sites for free, why would I pay so much in the first place? You are now just giving me reasons NOT to purchase Paizo content, and just use the sites beyond having a Core Book.

No, Paizo is giving you reasons not to purchase their content. Paizo gives their rules away for free online. They did in 1e, too.

Hunters Moon wrote:
And the world building information does NOT go up on the sites. Just the rules that are posted. Again, sort of the reason you BUY a World Guide, it helps fill in the world you're playing in. A piece of art cannot convey the specific information that the extensive written content gives at length about the world.

It does at Pathfinder Wiki, also sanctioned by Paizo and their Community Use Policy.

Grand Lodge

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Hunters Moon wrote:
I guess I should have stated this, I am a professional writer. The art REMOVES written content.

If you have to state it, you ain’t it. You are hostile to everyone, forceful with your disagreements, and you appear to completely disrespect artists and their work, which will not endear you to a number of people here in the community. (Many who are artists and produce the content you call filler in Paizo’s product.) Art IS a part of the content and cost, no matter how little you personally value it.


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Hunters Moon wrote:

It isn't like they were in a rush, and it's obvious that this trilogy already was planned. As well, Books 2 & 3 are being released by January 2020.

As for asking them, I rather be blunt and forward with what it exactly looks like. Ripping customers off for less content, or just not putting it out all together in one book. So that they can make more money off smaller bits of it.

The World Guide, Character Guide, and Gods & Magic are not "three parts" of a single book. The Lost Omens line of rulebooks is a planned series of much more than three; it's the combined Campaign Setting and Player Companion line of 1e. Those two lines gave you, iirc, 18 softcovers a year, at $15 to $20 each; the combined line gives you 3-4 hardcovers a year at $35 each. If you want *all the content*, this way is actually cheaper, though admittedly not so for the PFS players Arnim Thayer brings up who used to be able to pick up one $15 book (or $10.50 PDF) for a themed handful of player options.

The Lost Omens World Guide is the updated Inner Sea World Guide. Lost Omens: Gods & Magic is the updated Inner Sea Gods. The Inner Sea Character Guide doesn't seem to have a direct analogue but contains the kind of character options that used to be housed in the Player Companion line.


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I've never found Paizo's prices to be unreasonable.


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Kevin Mack wrote:
Rysky wrote:

You know almost all the written information goes up for free on the Archives of Nethys and the Pathfinderwiki right?

I’m not being gouged, art is one of the main reasons I buy Paizo’s product. A piece of art can convey just as much information as a written description can.

Does that apply to the setting books though since far as I recall in 1e at least only the core stuff was put up on the wiki (Exception being the tech guide)

Paizo only put up the "core" hardcovers on the old PRD, but I believe Archives of Nethys has always included the rules content from the old softcovers, which are now the Lost Omens line.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Hunters Moon wrote:
I guess I should have stated this, I am a professional writer. The art REMOVES written content.
If you have to state it, you ain’t it. You are hostile to everyone, forceful with your disagreements, and you appear to completely disrespect artists and their work, which will not endear you to a number of people here in the community. (Many who are artists and produce the content you call filler in Paizo’s product.) Art IS a part of the content and cost, no matter how little you personally value it.

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say. I imagine maps are worth even more. Art adds to the value of the book regardless if it is in print or electronic.


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Vic Wertz on the importance of art to Paizo:

Vic Wertz wrote:
We spend a lot of time and money on art and printing to make our products look as good as or better than anything else in the industry

Vic Wertz on setting prices for hardcovers:

Vic Wertz wrote:

In theory, anything could be priced at any amount, but there's a much smaller number of potential price points that actually make sense for consumer products due to perceived distinction. That is, most purchasers don't see a lot of difference between, say, $40.00 and $44.99, but, to many people, $45 "feels" noticeably more expensive. (In lower price tiers, increments smaller than $5 have perceived distinction, and in higher price tiers, the increment can be much larger.)

Realistically, then, the price points that make sense in that range are $34.99, $39.99, and $44.99.

$34.99 is too cheap given our cost of goods even for the 256-pagers, and $44.99 is too expensive given our cost of goods even for the 320-pager (because higher prices can mean lower sales). $39.99 gives us an acceptable margin on both (though obviously a slightly lower margin on the larger book).

{Note that this post was eight years ago, and costs have gone up.}


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Now, the question remains, why are PDFs priced at 70% of the print price?

Why they picked that particular percentage, I don't know. Vic cited it as "a fairly standard practice" in 2008.

What would happen if PDFs were priced lower, say, at 50% or 30% of the print price? Probably some of the same thing as Vic is concerned about in the perennial question of offering PDF-only subscriptions: people who now buy a print copy (or subscribe and get a free PDF with their print copy) would only buy the cheaper PDF,which would cause them to sell fewer print copies, which would reduce the size of their print runs, which would cause the price to go up, which would cause them to sell fewer print copies, etc.

Vic Wertz wrote:

However, every time this topic comes up, we hear from people who say that if we offered a PDF-only subscription, they would drop their print subscription.

Now, print costs are tied strongly to volume—the more copies you print, the less each copy costs. So, the heart of the question for Paizo is this: Would offering a PDF-only subscription cause enough lost print sales that it would noticeably affect print run sizes, which in turn would increase costs (including, possibly, the cover price)?

There are only two potential answers to this question: yes, it would noticeably affect print run sizes; or no, it would not noticeably affect print run sizes.

If the answer is no, there's no problem here; in fact, we might even attract enough PDF subscribers to increase our revenues. (I doubt those increases would be significant, though, since people who are likely to subscribe are already probably buying most of the PDFs individually now.)

However, if the answer is yes, then offering PDF-only subscriptions could cause irreparable harm to our business.

So we have to look at risk vs. reward. The reward for our customers is the ability to get a copy of the PDF about a week earlier than they can right now, and the reward for us is probably not going to be dramatically high. The risk, however, is damaging, or even potentially *crippling* our main business. That's not a risk worth taking.

Why can 3pp afford to sell PDFs at a lower percentage of the cost? Because their print runs aren't as large in the first place. Because they don't have as many employees to pay and an office and a warehouse to maintain.


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Now, all that being said, I think that Arnim Thayer has a really important point. I don't play PFS, so I hadn't considered the combination of the Companion and Setting lines into one hardcover Lost Omens line from that perspective; I just personally prefer to have fewer, bigger hardcovers over a stack of skinny, sliding softcovers.

But Arnim Thayer is absolutely right that the merging of the lines, combined with the decision not to designate the World Guide as "core" so it gets the cheap PDF, has significantly raised the price of participation in PFS. I believe that's something that the Organized Play staff should seriously look at and see if there is a solution for.

Grand Lodge

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Agreed. If I am to be expected to enforce ownership of the product as a requirement for play, it needs to be a fair cost.


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In PF1, the best strategy for PFS players was to look up options in the Archives of Nethys and Additional Resources and purchase the PDFs for any products that they wanted to use options from.

For PF2, that approach is far less cost-effective -- PFS players would be better off subscribing to the Lost Omens line because there are fewer books in that line that won't be useful to a wide variety of players, at least for the first several entries in that line.

Paizo Employee

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Hunters Moon wrote:
I guess I should have stated this, I am a professional writer. The art REMOVES written content.
If you have to state it, you ain’t it. You are hostile to everyone, forceful with your disagreements, and you appear to completely disrespect artists and their work, which will not endear you to a number of people here in the community. (Many who are artists and produce the content you call filler in Paizo’s product.) Art IS a part of the content and cost, no matter how little you personally value it.

Art moves product. This is fact. It literally doesn't matter how good your mechanics and setting lore are, if you don't have good art, your product won't move nearly as well as if it did. Art is the thing that entices people to look at your mechanics and see if they're any good in the first place.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Agreed. If I am to be expected to enforce ownership of the product as a requirement for play, it needs to be a fair cost.

"Fair cost" is tricky. The Lost Omens books are essentially campaign setting and player companion in one, so there's a lot of really great content in each of those that is applicable to more players and GMs, in quantities that are greater than what was typically available per product in PF1.

The org play team is aware that the price points are changing and that this affects the buy-in for Society players. We're looking at some ways to mitigate this, but we don't choose how product prices are set (and I'm not sure I'd agree that the prices are unfair either; there's a lot of content in these books, and the price differential is pretty equivalent to most price steps between physical books and digital books across publishing platforms.)

Part of the way we're tackling that is that we're literally giving free original content that you can't find in any of our print products on Chronicle sheets; original items like new types of wayfinders can already be found in the scenarios we've released so far and upcoming scenarios even include things like brand new feats and access to those feats for some or all of your characters as part of the Chronicle.

I don't really want to say something trite like "playing in Pathfinder Society is its own reward", but I'm going to because it's true. There are and will continue to be player mechanics that a player gets entirely for free by playing Pathfinder Society, and all of those options have been reviewed and approved directly by the design team, so it's not like these are somehow "lesser" in quality or execution. If you want to use something from the Lost Omens Character Guide, you're probably going to continue to need to purchase that book or PDF, and I can't say anything about those prices other than that they seem fair from my personal perspective. Comparing them to the CRB PDF price (which is sold drastically under real value so that people have an easy point of entry to the system) or 3pp PDFs, which frankly operate under an entirely different model and are, again, not particularly great points of comparison (something I say as someone who spent all week with a 3pp PDF in the #1 spot for hottest downloads on DriveThruRPG and currently has their name on the books in the #2 and #3 slots, and whose career has been built on 3pp PDF products) isn't going to give you a realistic grasp of the costs and values involved.

Scarab Sages

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Simple story to relate today, which proves my point.
Was out at the biggest gaming store in a city close by to mine. Every sort of gaming possible, including RPGs. (No surprise, the city houses one of the largest universities in our country. And a massive gaming community outside of mine.)
Saw the Lost Omens World Guide there, asked one of the managers, who's also the head of the RPG section to hand it over. Cracked it open to hear that it was fresh from the printer.
As I flipped through it, I just looked at him as his eyes sort of went wonky.
He started "That looks a little sparse in there."
"Yup, how much are you asking for this?"
"$44..."
I gave him that look. "You're asking that much for this book?"
We both had a chuckle.
His response "Looks like there's a lot of art in there, but not much content or writing. More like big font filling in pages."
Now you can believe me, or not and think this is just fluffing my point. That's up to you.

There is a reality to what occurred today. Yes Paizo's rules are all available online. Yes Paizo took a hit on their core books in the past, to help bring in new players.
But here are the facts, that's their mistake, not ours.
A usual core book PDF for any system is honestly expected around $19.99. No one would be surprised to pay that. If they decided to take the hit, and are now gouging for very little content, that's going to be their loss.
If Paizo thinks stuffing their books with a bucket load of art, and not having the content within equal pricing, especially versus other games, then they are in for a rude awakening. They already are behind in sales versus 5E, which is a juggernaut currently for a variety of reasons. And Paizo is trying to play catch up badly.
One of the things players want, is world building. Characters, countries, races, political movers and shakers, etc. The meat and bones of Golarion.
If the art is removing large portions of content, it isn't going to help in that. Yes it inspires, but it doesn't give the detail that a player wants to immerse in. Art helps move product, but content PLUS art is what makes it sell well. That includes maps, as much as they are fun and useful.
Writing matters, content matters, these aren't art books, they are RPGs.
If Paizo continues with this sort of alteration, they're going to take a huge hit in sales. And their material will increase in getting pirated. No one will dish out that level of cash, for that little material. They could have easily just merged the books together, instead of this plan. To me, and many others I have talked to, this is gouging, in an attempt to make up for the money they lost in their decisions prior. All I have to say is, good luck, they're going to need it.

Grand Lodge

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And to counterpoint, having received my PDF from volunteering as an organized play venture captain, I went out to our local stores to pick up the hardcover. Not finding it at the first, I grabbed the GM screen then moved on to our other store. I was able to pick up the LOWG and support our local stores instead of going on Amazon.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Also, if your local store is marking up the book about 20% over suggested retail price, I'd sure be going elsewhere. My LGS gives a 10% discount as standard, so the LOWG would run about $33, which I consider more than reasonable for the content.

Grand Lodge

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Good catch, I paid list price. Ended up paying $60 with the urban tile expansion as well.

Silver Crusade

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First edition Campaign Setting Book pdfs were 64 pages for $15.99. This is 136 pages for $25.99. Now, I'm not a math major, but my handy dandy calculator tells me that 15.99/64 is almost 25 cents a page and that 25.99/136 is slightly more than 19 cents a page. Seems like the second edition book is actually a better deal, but maybe facts don't actually matter...


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Hunters Moon appears to live in Canada. I'm sure that has a notable impact on the price they encounter in local stores - I can't speak to the rest, but I wanted to point that out.

Silver Crusade

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Hunters Moon wrote:
Now you can believe me, or not and think this is just fluffing my point. That's up to you.
It’s called confirmation bias.
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There is a reality to what occurred today. Yes Paizo's rules are all available online. Yes Paizo took a hit on their core books in the past, to help bring in new players.
They still do.
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A usual core book PDF for any system is honestly expected around $19.99.
Paizo charges $14.99 for their Core Rulebook and Bestiary 1, 5 dollars under your suggestion. Bestiary 2, Game Mastery Guide, and the Advanced Player’s Guide will also follow suite. And also be up for free on AoN.
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If Paizo thinks stuffing their books with a bucket load of art, and not having the content within equal pricing, especially versus other games, then they are in for a rude awakening.
... when? They’ve always gone all out with their art.
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They already are behind in sales versus 5E, which is a juggernaut currently for a variety of reasons. And Paizo is trying to play catch up badly.
You're mistaken. Paizo is not trying to play catch up nor compete with 5E.
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One of the things players want, is world building. Characters, countries, races, political movers and shakers, etc. The meat and bones of Golarion.
And you believe art doesn’t facilitate that?
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If the art is removing large portions of content,
That’s an assumption you are having.
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Art helps move product, but content PLUS art is what makes it sell well.
Luckily, Paizo products have both.
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Writing matters, content matters, these aren't art books, they are RPGs.
Yes, RPGs, not textbooks. I’m not paying for textbooks. Didn’t in college either.
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If Paizo continues with this sort of alteration, they're going to take a huge hit in sales. And their material will increase in getting pirated. No one will dish out that level of cash, for that little material.

”little” material. As Corie Marie points out, we’re getting more for less. Also I’m amused at your claim that no one will do so, when the exact opposite has been occurring.

And probably not on the pirating angle, almost all the artists post their art to Art Station or Deviant Art, and the rules themselves will agains be free on AoN, so not much reason to pirate.

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They could have easily just merged the books together, instead of this plan.
A 600 page setting book would not have been the same price, nor cheaper.
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To me, and many others I have talked to, this is gouging, in an attempt to make up for the money they lost in their decisions prior.

Not undercharging is not overcharging.

Sovereign Court

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This reminds me of when there was a big push from some folks, a few years back, to judge the worth of video games based only on the hours of play they offered. The quality of the game, its art design, its play style and controls, its story, its attention to detail, its potential to inspire emotion or creative potential... irrelevant. The only thing these people wanted was a raw equation of hours of gaming per dollar spent.

Sometimes quality and presentation make a difference. And if that's a "ripoff", well... I really, honestly, do not know what to tell you. Your mindset is so different from my own that I'm not honestly sure how to communicate with you. :/

Scarab Sages

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Cori Marie wrote:
First edition Campaign Setting Book pdfs were 64 pages for $15.99. This is 136 pages for $25.99. Now, I'm not a math major, but my handy dandy calculator tells me that 15.99/64 is almost 25 cents a page and that 25.99/136 is slightly more than 19 cents a page. Seems like the second edition book is actually a better deal, but maybe facts don't actually matter...

Facts totally matter, where did I mention at all that the 1E Campaign Books weren't total rip offs also? I was only dealing with 2E material, since 1E is long done with.

Scarab Sages

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LOL It's called he actually opened up one of the books, and simply looked at the product, rather simple actually.
Go ahead and take the hit, again as I said, that's their problem, not ours in undercutting themselves. I know exactly what they charge, you missed the point completely. No one would have knocked them for charging $19.99 for larger core books. Because that's an accepted price for that type of book from any other company.
I am referring to the Lost Omens Guide, and the amount of art found within, compared to written content. Since art seems to be a huge contention point in this.
Really, that's funny, want to check out the sales for the last little while, and where PF has slid to? You're more than welcome to look it up, and where they were at. If you think they aren't trying to compete, I have no clue what business sense you have.
Sigh...Art DOES facilitate it, but art ALONE isn't enough. And I'm sorry, I'm assuming that if there wasn't art, it wouldn't be filled with written content? Er ok what would it be filled with, white empty space?
Yes they do have both, however in the case of the Lost Omens Guide, there is WAY more art within, versus content for the price point and page count. We are talking about balance in totality here.
No we are paying for RPGs, exactly, that have a good amount of everything within. Not sparse written content, large amounts of art, and being overpriced for it.
Lots of reason to pirate, again you seem to missing things that I write for some reason. People don't buy the books for the RULES alone, they buy it for the information on the WORLD. Meat and bones, as stated.
The three books wouldn't come up to 600 pages either, do the addition please. 136x3 = 408 The attack point of this is Paizo simply splitting the book up, and jacking the price, instead of having it in a "core" book, and then only pricing it at $15. Simple numbers, why bother only putting out ONE $15 book, when you can gouge the customers for $25x3?
136 pages for that price point, doesn't compare to ANY other company's product. And you can go find any other product that has a bucket load of art as well if you want to get specific as was stated before.

Scarab Sages

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Kalindlara wrote:

This reminds me of when there was a big push from some folks, a few years back, to judge the worth of video games based only on the hours of play they offered. The quality of the game, its art design, its play style and controls, its story, its attention to detail, its potential to inspire emotion or creative potential... irrelevant. The only thing these people wanted was a raw equation of hours of gaming per dollar spent.

Sometimes quality and presentation make a difference. And if that's a "ripoff", well... I really, honestly, do not know what to tell you. Your mindset is so different from my own that I'm not honestly sure how to communicate with you. :/

Oh wow, you brought this up? And have you seen what has happened SINCE that occurred? Exactly what was stated: games that were so highly priced, with little content, FAILED and DID NOT SELL. That is still here to this day, again, you HAVE to make an equation to content versus price point. (Trust me talk to people that worked on Fallout 76.)

A 15 hour game, that is priced at $60, will be called out and destroyed by everyone in reviews. Why? Because the OTHER $60 games, that have 80 hours involved, will just have people looking at it more.
Now yes we have to include quality of games into that for sure, but many gamers do not waste their money, and wait until sales for said $15 game instead of blowing their wallet out. Which means in the end, that $60 price point doesn't follow through.
As I stated before, your example doesn't equate, if a $100/10 page PDF was released, and it was considered "worthwhile" to you, would you purchase it? Probably not, the SAME LOGIC applies. It's worth of content versus price point. This is the basics of how most companies stick around the same price point to price their games. (As I said in another post, no one is surprised at large core books costing $19.99, it's expected and accepted.)

Silver Crusade

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Hunters Moon wrote:
Go ahead and take the hit, again as I said, that's their problem, not ours in undercutting themselves.
If they have to cut staff or close up then yeah, that is our problem.
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I know exactly what they charge, you missed the point completely. No one would have knocked them for charging $19.99 for larger core books. Because that's an accepted price for that type of book from any other company.
By what metric? By who’s?
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Really, that's funny, want to check out the sales for the last little while, and where PF has slid to? You're more than welcome to look it up, and where they were at.
You mean after P2 was announced? Yeah, P1 sales would take a hit then.
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If you think they aren't trying to compete, I have no clue what business sense you have.
Mildly decent one I guess. 5e and P2 are both fantasy games but they’re completely different fantasy games that attract different things players. And Starfinder and 5e don’t interact at all.
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Sigh...Art DOES facilitate it, but art ALONE isn't enough.
No one is making that claim. The books are filled with art, narrative, and mechanics.
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And I'm sorry, I'm assuming that if there wasn't art, it wouldn't be filled with written content? Er ok what would it be filled with, white empty space?
You specifically claimed the words were “removed” for the art, refusing to think that the art and words might have been ordered at the same time to compliment each other, or that words were ordered after. They didn’t fill the page count up with words and then go butcher chunks to add art after.
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Yes they do have both, however in the case of the Lost Omens Guide, there is WAY more art within, versus content for the price point and page count.
Art is content.
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No we are paying for RPGs, exactly, that have a good amount of everything within. Not sparse written content, large amounts of art, and being overpriced for it.
You may prefer words to art, but that mean art is cheaper than the words. And “sparse” written content and being overpriced are pure assumptions on your part.
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Lots of reason to pirate, again you seem to missing things that I write for some reason.
I’m not missing nor have forgotten it. It’s just completely irrelevant to the topic.
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People don't buy the books for the RULES alone, they buy it for the information on the WORLD. Meat and bones, as stated.
Which will be up for free on the Pathfinderwiki.
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The three books wouldn't come up to 600 pages either, do the addition please. 136x3 = 408 The attack point of this is Paizo simply splitting the book up, and jacking the price, instead of having it in a "core" book, and then only pricing it at $15. Simple numbers, why bother only putting out ONE $15 book, when you can gouge the customers for $25x3?
Or as this customer demands sell them for $5 a piece. Which is what you just stated. That would be obscenely undercutting themselves.
Quote:
136 pages for that price point, doesn't compare to ANY other company's product. And you can go find any other product that has a bucket load of art as well if you want to get specific as was stated before.

What does WoTC charge for their DnD stuff?

Silver Crusade

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Hunters Moon wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

This reminds me of when there was a big push from some folks, a few years back, to judge the worth of video games based only on the hours of play they offered. The quality of the game, its art design, its play style and controls, its story, its attention to detail, its potential to inspire emotion or creative potential... irrelevant. The only thing these people wanted was a raw equation of hours of gaming per dollar spent.

Sometimes quality and presentation make a difference. And if that's a "ripoff", well... I really, honestly, do not know what to tell you. Your mindset is so different from my own that I'm not honestly sure how to communicate with you. :/

Oh wow, you brought this up? And have you seen what has happened SINCE that occurred? Exactly what was stated: games that were so highly priced, with little content, FAILED and DID NOT SELL.

Like?


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Hunters Moon wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
First edition Campaign Setting Book pdfs were 64 pages for $15.99. This is 136 pages for $25.99. Now, I'm not a math major, but my handy dandy calculator tells me that 15.99/64 is almost 25 cents a page and that 25.99/136 is slightly more than 19 cents a page. Seems like the second edition book is actually a better deal, but maybe facts don't actually matter...
Facts totally matter, where did I mention at all that the 1E Campaign Books weren't total rip offs also? I was only dealing with 2E material, since 1E is long done with.

This post tells me you have an agenda and it doesn't matter what Paizo says, so I guess you wasted all of our time.

You realize D&D makes you get three books just to start, without the benefits of a PDF.


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Hunters Moon wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
First edition Campaign Setting Book pdfs were 64 pages for $15.99. This is 136 pages for $25.99. Now, I'm not a math major, but my handy dandy calculator tells me that 15.99/64 is almost 25 cents a page and that 25.99/136 is slightly more than 19 cents a page. Seems like the second edition book is actually a better deal, but maybe facts don't actually matter...
Facts totally matter, where did I mention at all that the 1E Campaign Books weren't total rip offs also? I was only dealing with 2E material, since 1E is long done with.

You’ve forgotten what you said at the start of the thread (About how you and all your friends played PF1 since the beginning and how things have changed with PF2. For some reason, you never noticed the cost of PDFs in the ten years you were playing PF1.) To quote you from earlier:

You wrote:
Again, as I stated, we are talking about a dramatic shift from pricing

Your comment when it was pointed out that this pricing policy is the same as they’ve always been was:

You wrote:
They have never put out such low page counts, for such high pricing. If I'm wrong, please show me so.

When you were shown so (this book is basically two campaign guides worth of content for less per page than it used to be) you just moved on to a different complaint (about how world guides shouldn’t waste money on cartography, or something).

My suggestion is that you not buy the PDF. It doesn’t sound like it has what you want.

Silver Crusade

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captain yesterday wrote:
Hunters Moon wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
First edition Campaign Setting Book pdfs were 64 pages for $15.99. This is 136 pages for $25.99. Now, I'm not a math major, but my handy dandy calculator tells me that 15.99/64 is almost 25 cents a page and that 25.99/136 is slightly more than 19 cents a page. Seems like the second edition book is actually a better deal, but maybe facts don't actually matter...
Facts totally matter, where did I mention at all that the 1E Campaign Books weren't total rip offs also? I was only dealing with 2E material, since 1E is long done with.

This post tells me you have an agenda and it doesn't matter what Paizo says, so I guess you wasted all of our time.

You realize D&D makes you get three books just to start, without the benefits of a PDF.

The only digital options I see are buying the books for Virtual Table Tops or DND Beyond, and looking specifically at the "Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide" which seems like the most comparable product, its $39.95 in print or $29.99 on DND Beyond. So a 25% discount compared to Pathfinder's 30% discount, and forgive me if I'm wrong but DND Beyond only gives you the rules content and not any of the art, right?

Sovereign Court

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Hunters Moon wrote:
Oh wow, you brought this up?

I wish I could say I was expecting a different reaction.

Sovereign Court

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Anyway, I'd pay full price today for book and PDF if they released a book that contained an updated version of this spell. Very useful spell, and more often than you'd think.

Dark Archive

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Umm, 80 hours games being universally more well reviewed isn't just true because 1) reviewers don't actually often even have time to play those 2) endlessly long games tend to get eventually boring or have problem with retaining players that long. 3) its never been about length of game and more about the pacing of it. Like whether its feels right for the length and experience. 4) games that pad their length tends to be easily noticed 5) at some point people are going to catch on to the whole reason why game developers burn out on the industry so easily :p 6) there are lots of players who don't want to get invested in single game for 80 hours.

Also, umm, this argument also doesn't work because if someone started releasing 1000 word books for 1 dollar, that doesn't mean every other book is too expensive for amount of content, just that someone is crazy enough to have you sell 1 dollar for 1000 word book.

Anyway, I don't think its worth continuing this conversation because you are assuming malice, but as someone who was video game geek for much longer than P&P RPG geek, I feel like I have to take part in refuting this or what else my video game production studies were for? :P


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Welp. I don't even like 2E and I bought the book at full market value because of the art and the information inside.

If you feel the price is too much for either the print or the PDF, don't buy them and look at the information provided online. Railing that Paizo is somehow out to get the consumer isn't true nor is it something that is going to fly.

As far as your local gaming store's reaction .. well, without knowing more it appears that you and he were on the same page without much prompting. If you don't like the new system, say so and buy something else. If you are hot about the price then use online sources. If there is something else going on, come forward with that.

As a last note, being a "professional writer" doesn't always give you insight into the publishing world, book printing costs and so on. You seem very excited about the topic but come across as just railing against Paizo in particular for some reason which tends to put the whole argument in a bad light.

Good day and good gaming.


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I'd rather pay my $60 for an exciting 15-hour game than for a boring 80-hour game.

(I also have 200 hours in Borderlands 2 and >1200 hours in Crusader Kings II.)

Liberty's Edge

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I want to thank Michael Sayre for addressing things from the Paizo side of things. I also want to personally thank both TriOmegaZero and Joana for keeping focus on my main point. Much appreciated.

My main concern is primarily 1) how this impacts PFS, and 2) how this will effect overall sales, in that order. I don't think Mr. Sayre is being dismissive when saying "Playing Pathfinder Society is it's own reward." I do however think it is short-sighted and ignores how much impact Pathfinder Society Organized Play impacts those sales.

In my area, 5E D&D is still king: it has brand recognition, bolstered by being nostalgically featured (albeit, in its original form) in Netflix's Stranger things. Pathfinder has stood its ground for the last 11 years mainly through the thrust of its sponsored organized play. In my time as a coordinator, I've seen certain lines (such as the Companion line) sell out in the first week it is released... with a second run likewise selling out when content is sanctioned from it. As the mass of source books reached critical, players increasingly turned to digital and found the prices to be comparable and affordable, especially for those backbreaking, hardcover books. Because they were so affordable, most STILL purchased "dead tree" versions of those books; they just didn't see the need to cart them to game stores.

Pathfinder Second Edition is an absolutely stunning system! AS a former silent detractor, that in itself is a huge compliment. I want it and Paizo to succeed and produce many more books for years to come. But the price point for these 130-160 page books gives even veteran players pause. And when the pdfs are equally daunting in price, they will start looking elsewhere. No amount of free tidbits on a Chronicle sheet will bring them back if they feel slighted or "gouged" by those prices.

Arguably, Paizo sets the price for their print books comparative to competitors. Whether those prices seem fair or equable is an argument with room for debate. However, Paizo makes 100% of the pdf sales--pure profit. There is no competitive market for these products; no one else can sell them. And yes, setting that price too low could impact the print sales negatively. Why would you by a hardcover in print if it is considerably cheaper in a preferable digital form? And therein lies the problem: for most of the modern Pathfinder PFS players, digital IS that preferred form. We are already conditioned to expect future rules blat and the need to convert to a convention-friendly format. We KNOW that it is required to own the product to us it in organized play.

Already, I am getting feedback from my players (and some of my VOs!) that they will be unable to continue playing PFS with Pathfinder Second Edition if the current pricing persists. They are finding the content-to-price value too high to high to consider. And with 11 years of previous PFS content for Pathfinder 1st Edition, they can afford to let their wallets speak their discontent by not buying anything until they feel an adjustment has been made. I am speaking only of my own region, but I can't be alone in this concern.

I ask of you Mr. Sayre to please address this with persons such as Erik Mona (who I know is a huge proponent for organized play) and see if a solution can be made. I don't want Pathfinder Second Edition to fail... but it could, simple because of a perceived disproportionate difference in its pricing model.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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A thing to keep in mind is that the price issue, as it were, is largely a matter of perception.

Take a PF1 player companion like Bastards of Golarion- 32 pages, 64 distinct mechanical entries, delicate softcover, $12.99 print, pdf $8.99. Price per page $0.40 print, $0.28 pdf.

Compare to Lost Omens World Guide- 136 pages, 153 distinct mechanical entries, hardcover, double-sided map, $36.99, pdf $25.99. Price per page $0.27 print, $0.19 pdf.

The price per page is actually notably better with the Lost Omens World Guide in either format, and you've got a more durable product on the physical side. And this is for the world guide, which is going to be heavier on lore than mechanics since it's introducing people to the game world and has a $2 mark-up since it includes the double-sided poster map. Your price per mechanic is going to be even better in books like the Lost Omens Character Guide.

So when I said that "playing Pathfinder Society is it's own reward" (and included caveat), I was pointing out that there's even more content for PFS players than ever before, even though I know the change to a slower release schedule with bigger books means the cost per book has increased. That cost is commensurate with more content and is actually a better deal than we were able to offer under the previous model. PFS players are getting an even better deal because we're also adding in original mechanics that players don't have to pay anything for (unless they're super cool and throw a couple bucks or a snack towards their event coordinator or GM to help cover the printing costs GMs or coordinators often pay out of pocket). PFS players are getting more content at a better price than ever before.

So while I'll certainly bring this up to Erik, I think it's important to note that what you're getting is cheaper content at a more measured pace. The price per book is higher, but the books are significantly larger and the total cost to purchase our material has actually gone down.

Dark Archive

There is also that player companions were originally monthly product compared to Lost Omen line not being monthly <_< So depending on how often books will release, person who buys all books might have spent more money overall on player companion books(and depending on overall amount of lost omen books per year, the companion books could still have lower page amount in total)


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Arnim Thayer wrote:

I want to thank Michael Sayre for addressing things from the Paizo side of things. I also want to personally thank both TriOmegaZero and Joana for keeping focus on my main point. Much appreciated.

My main concern is primarily 1) how this impacts PFS, and 2) how this will effect overall sales, in that order. I don't think Mr. Sayre is being dismissive when saying "Playing Pathfinder Society is it's own reward." I do however think it is short-sighted and ignores how much impact Pathfinder Society Organized Play impacts those sales.

In my area, 5E D&D is still king: it has brand recognition, bolstered by being nostalgically featured (albeit, in its original form) in Netflix's Stranger things. Pathfinder has stood its ground for the last 11 years mainly through the thrust of its sponsored organized play. In my time as a coordinator, I've seen certain lines (such as the Companion line) sell out in the first week it is released... with a second run likewise selling out when content is sanctioned from it. As the mass of source books reached critical, players increasingly turned to digital and found the prices to be comparable and affordable, especially for those backbreaking, hardcover books. Because they were so affordable, most STILL purchased "dead tree" versions of those books; they just didn't see the need to cart them to game stores.

Pathfinder Second Edition is an absolutely stunning system! AS a former silent detractor, that in itself is a huge compliment. I want it and Paizo to succeed and produce many more books for years to come. But the price point for these 130-160 page books gives even veteran players pause. And when the pdfs are equally daunting in price, they will start looking elsewhere. No amount of free tidbits on a Chronicle sheet will bring them back if they feel slighted or "gouged" by those prices.

Arguably, Paizo sets the...

I don't play PFS so have no baseline, but what did the average* player tend to buy?

It seems to me that the new approach means things aren't as modular as they used to be, in that you can't break them into thirty two page chunks anymore, but those who used to buy a lot of companions will actually end up getting more content per dollar with each 128 page-ish hardcover.

Was it common to just own the CRB and one or two Player companions, maybe? I could see someone balking at that, if that was their past habit.

I do thing there'd be scope for a PF2 version of the Inner Sea Primer (albeit that's a long way outside "the new paradigm" of purely hardcover books). I've always liked that as a book to give players as a kind of "summary of the world".

Silver Crusade

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I see that nobody yet has pointed out to the fact that Trump's tariffs on all goods from China are about to roundhouse kick Paizo in the face because insofar they've been doing their entire printing in the good old PRC. So the price hike might be an attempt to preemptively offset that in case Paizo needs to shift their printing to some even less savory yet more expensive place, such as The Godless United Communist Ripubliks of Yurp.


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Gorbacz wrote:
I see that nobody yet has pointed out to the fact that Trump's tariffs on all goods from China are about to roundhouse kick Paizo in the face because insofar they've been doing their entire printing in the good old PRC. So the price hike might be an attempt to preemptively offset that in case Paizo needs to shift their printing to some even less savory yet more expensive place, such as The Godless United Communist Ripubliks of Yurp.

Wait, I though the Chinese were supposed to play these tariffs!


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This is not PFS, but I can say I game with about 20 players on a regular basis who are not themselves GMs. I'm certain that none of these players have bought any PF1 books except rulebooks, in print or PDF, many not even more than the Core Rulebook, some not even that.


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Zaister wrote:
This is not PFS, but I can say I game with about 20 players on a regular basis who are not themselves GMs. I'm certain that none of these players have bought any PF1 books except rulebooks, in print or PDF, many not even more than the Core Rulebook, some not even that.

Yeah, my group is similar. The only PF1 books we own are the ones I bought.

I wondered if PFS players were more invested though during PF1’s run.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

Yeah, my group is similar. The only PF1 books we own are the ones I bought.

I wondered if PFS players were more invested though during PF1’s run.

Same here, and from what I've read over the years, that's the way it is. DMs spend the money. That said, with my gaming groups I've got the most disposable cash, and I've got the physical room to store the material and host the games. So I just... buy what I want. There's no need for the players to do so, and when someone else DMs something (which is not rare), they use the vast library I've assembled, to run the game at my house, with my minis (again, way too many).

Full-time players buy dice and PC minis.

PFS players are a different breed because they've invested in the specific hobby of organized play, and they simply can't rely on the DM's collection in order to experience new rules content. So yeah, I'm sure there's far more purchasing going on there.

Liberty's Edge

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Steve Geddes wrote:

I don't play PFS so have no baseline, but what did the average* player tend to buy?

It seems to me that the new approach means things aren't as modular as they used to be, in that you can't break them into thirty two page chunks anymore, but those who used to buy a lot of companions will actually end up getting more content per dollar with each 128 page-ish hardcover.

Was it common to just own the CRB and one or two Player companions, maybe? I could see someone balking at that, if that was their past habit.

Yes. It was absolutely common for players to only purchase what was needed for their character build. For some, that might be the CRB and a few Companions. For others, it might mean the whole library of products. And without that “modular” feel to the line, it’s a much harder sell now.

I understand the math, about how the balance point of the page count works in the favor of the players now overall. But while you are looking at the total amount of mechanic content in LOWG, those same players are only looking at the page count and seeing it as a mere 22 pages of material they will use. Comparative to your normal Companion book, that comes across as a lose—and the rest of the page content of the 160 page hardcover are irrelevant. Of equal interest (and chagrin) is that the new Lost Omen Campaign line is quarterly—for now. But the Companion line and Campaign Setting line were once bi-monthly. Will Paizo commit to that quarterly schedule? The answer is “No” and good business says that is understandable. If the demand for more content is there, then they would be silly to not amp up their production... as they did in the past with the two lines this one is replacing.

I’m not trying to say that Paizo is cheating anyone—far from it! I’m just acting as the voice of my constituents and expressing their perspective. And to them, the new pdf price point seems too high.


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Arnim Thayer wrote:
I’m not trying to say that Paizo is cheating anyone—far from it! I’m just acting as the voice of my constituents and expressing their perspective. And to them, the new pdf price point seems too high.

Totall understood - for what it's worth, I think you're doing an excellent job of articulating a real problem for a not-insignificant segment of the playerbase. It's just not something I'm familiar with (since the only change from my group's perspective is that I get larger books less often).

It may well be that the sticker-shock fades with time (maybe there won't be the need for as many books to create a plethora of PFS characters as there used to be). Or it may be that this new paradigm just doesn't satisfy a significant cohort of customers.

Paizo will have to watch that as it develops. People like you advocating for the more casual player who probably doesn't post a lot are definitely doing the company a favor.

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