PDF pricing and PFS


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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
TwilightKnight wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
In the past only one of us has needed to buy a book for everyone to use cool new options, it's quite a change
The rules for sharing books has not changed in a number of years. You have always had to own the source material you use in OP. The only sharing that was allowed involved family members and those living in one household. If you have been allowing all the members of your community to share materials, you have been deviating from the rules, rather than the rules changing.

I think this entry from the PFS FAQ may be relevant to your group:

https://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fq#v5748eaic9qxi

PFS FAQ wrote:

Can I use photocopied pages from books, printed copies of PDFs, et cetera to satisfy having a source book that covers the rules used to create my character?

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

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

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

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

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

Liberty's Edge

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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
... a lot of relevant things articulately...

I feel your pain, my friend. This subject has been discussed in another thread HERE with varying levels of success and far more vitriol. Quite a few of the PFS player base in my region have decided to not purchase the Lost Omens World Guide based on what they perceive as a "poor price for value." Regardless of whether the merging of the two lines will save money in the long run (which is up for debate), they have expressed their opinions that this merging takes away some degree of agency in their purchases. Before, a person who was merely a player could choose the Companion line, and even avoid those issues they felt they would never use. Likewise, A GM could purchase only those Campaign Setting books pertinent to the game they were running. Now, we have an "all or nothing" option, one that comes quarterly for the foreseeable future (as Vic Wertz has confirmed) that encompasses both lines.

To be completely fair, most of my players were more distressed by the pdf price, which we now know is based off of a percentage of the cover price. They rely on digital product, since it is more convenient for portable play, such as conventions and game days. It is a product that only Paizo benefits from the sale of; no one else had authority or access to sell Pathfinder or Starfinder pdfs.

I've expressed multiple times the opinions of my constituents. Many people at Paizo have responded (notably Sara Marie, Michael Sayre, and Vic Wertz) with insight into the industry in general and the process of pricing in particular. While I have no idea how wide-spread the decisions Paizo has made will impact Pathfinder Society play worldwide, I can share how it has impacted the microcosm of my own region. Some are willing to give Paizo benefit of the doubt. But far more are expressing content with just continuing playing PFS with Pathfinder 1st Edition until they run out of material.


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

I’m pretty clueless about PFS, but is there any kind of financial incentive for long term players?

I’m thinking like a $10 voucher if you complete a dozen scenarios or something. Maybe then price sensitive PFS players could have the option of playing through one PC, earning a “half price” discount or something and then use their loyalty credit to subsidise a new book for their second PC.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:

I’m pretty clueless about PFS, but is there any kind of financial incentive for long term players?

I’m thinking like a $10 voucher if you complete a dozen scenarios or something. Maybe then price sensitive PFS players could have the option of playing through one PC, earning a “half price” discount or something and then use their loyalty credit to subsidise a new book for their second PC.

No.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It seems more like a complaint of the new format of 1 large book compared to 2 smaller books then a PDF pricing complaint.

The PDF pricing is comparable to what is always has been (except for the RPG books which went up $5) you are just getting more so paying more.

So what people want who can't afford the new prices is for it to be 2 separate books again with the player heavy book being the cheaper one again.

I on the other hand prefer the current 1 book format because over the long run over the year it is actually cheaper.

Liberty's Edge

Steve Geddes wrote:

I’m pretty clueless about PFS, but is there any kind of financial incentive for long term players?

I’m thinking like a $10 voucher if you complete a dozen scenarios or something. Maybe then price sensitive PFS players could have the option of playing through one PC, earning a “half price” discount or something and then use their loyalty credit to subsidise a new book for their second PC.

While not a bad suggestion, PFS doesn’t presently have anything like this. The best a player can hope for is a $10 voucher from attending a sponsored event at a convention. Even then, it’s a matter of odds.

Liberty's Edge

Dragnmoon wrote:

It seems more like a complaint of the new format of 1 large book compared to 2 smaller books then a PDF pricing complaint.

The PDF pricing is comparable to what is always has been (except for the RPG books which went up $5) you are just getting more so paying more.

So what people want who can't afford the new prices is for it to be 2 separate books again with the player heavy book being the cheaper one again.

I on the other hand prefer the current 1 book format because over the long run over the year it is actually cheaper.

On the surface, this is accurate. The new format pricing is comparable to the previous pricing standard for pdfs. And the newer format is a comparable discount... if a customer was purchasing every Companion and Campaign Setting book previously. That assumption is flawed. It assumes quite a bit on the purchasing habits outside of those direct subscribers to Paizo.

The truth is that most players and GMs chose what to purchase based on their needs. Yes, a PFS player might need two or three sources to create their character... but they always have the option of 1) choosing otherwise, or 2) buying those sources piecemeal as needed. That is no longer the case. The new line is the only option for legitimate source material for PFS players. They have one option and it is the quarterly hardcover Lost Omens line.

Again, I’m no longer arguing about the pricing anymore: Paizo representatives have explained why the pricing changed and why the digital product price changed as well. I am, however, questioning whether the merging of the two lines is a good idea.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I vastly prefer the merging of the two lines. I'd rarely pick up Companions because they weren't enough value for the money being so short. And while I've collected a huge portion of the Campaign Setting line, frankly, it's very unwieldy having dozens of short soft cover books cramming a bookshelf. I much prefer having less larger hardcovers, all else being equal.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

+1. Additionally, I prefer fewer books with good material to 24 books of hit or miss per year.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Arnim Thayer wrote:

On the surface, this is accurate. The new format pricing is comparable to the previous pricing standard for pdfs. And the newer format is a comparable discount... if a customer was purchasing every Companion and Campaign Setting book previously. That assumption is flawed. It assumes quite a bit on the purchasing habits outside of those direct subscribers to Paizo.

That's not exactly accurate. Because the merged books are more cost efficient, the price per page has gone down by almost 30%. So someone who was an avid purchaser is essentially getting free product now compared to before, and even a casual purchaser is seeing long-term gains.

It's also important to note that Lost Omens World Guide, a lore-heavy, comparatively mechanics-lite (though that's really a misnomer as it has significant mechanical options within) has been selling ridiculously, incredibly well. It has quite literally exceeded all our expectations and sold out both in our warehouse and across multiple distribution channels. This is where the new model is actually really helping our customers- we can do a second printing. We typically couldn't do that with player companions; they were too expensive to produce and didn't appeal to a wide enough audience to justify the expense of a second printing. That's not the case with these books, which appeal to both FLGS's and large retailers alike, which are more cost-effective for us and the consumer, and which have more staying power thanks to their depth than the old player companions.

So while we continue to keep a weather eye on the pricing, sales, and other metrics related to the products and programs we manage, it's important to keep in mind this system is working better than anything we've done previously. It makes retailers happy because they have fewer handling losses with physical products, it makes the fanbase happy because we can give these books the kind of attention and longevity that used to be reserved for core-line hardcovers (the quarterly Lost Omens model gives us this opportunity in a way the smaller monthly releases did not), and it makes avid collectors happy because they have a sturdier product that they can display on a bookshelf.

So when the concern is how this change is affecting the market, right now the answer is "it's a huge net positive". That doesn't mean we're not keeping an eye on things; we are, and I've had multiple conversations to make sure everyone from our publisher Erik Mona, to the org play program manager Tonya Woldridge, to my own team lead Linda Zayas-Palmer, all to make sure we have and keep our finger on the pulse of the community and can continue to monitor how these changes are impacting our programs and consumers.

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