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Price point on HC RPG Books

Tom B

Registered User
Validated User
I stopped buying physical rpg books a few years back in favor of digital pdf copies. For what I like, they are superior to hardcopy: portability, storage space, and ease of use (search feature, anyone?).
This is me as well for the most part. The biggest problem is the durability isn't what it used to be. In the '80s, we could use the hell out of a book but we never worried about the spine cracking or pages coming loose. The last few hardback RPGs I've bought, I've been paranoid because the spine seems to break so easily. I've had several newer books start falling apart with normal use. It's just more practical to buy a PDF and use a tablet.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
This is me as well for the most part. The biggest problem is the durability isn't what it used to be. In the '80s, we could use the hell out of a book but we never worried about the spine cracking or pages coming loose. The last few hardback RPGs I've bought, I've been paranoid because the spine seems to break so easily. I've had several newer books start falling apart with normal use. It's just more practical to buy a PDF and use a tablet.
I've kind of got a leg in both camps here; most of my game purchases are PDFs, but I'll usually buy a corebook (and only a corebook) for a game I'm going to run, because I find I can still flip through a book and find what I'm looking for faster that way once I get familiar with the layout. But buy an add-on in hardcopy? Nope. Both cost and space prohibit it.

30 years ago would have been a different story in many cases.
 

Greyhawk Knight

Retired User
I'm beginning to wonder if the opposing ends of that scale are becoming entirely different audiences. I just spent a few hours catching up on what's new in the DIY RPG, Artpunk and Sworddream communities, and found a lot of chatter about zines, pamphlets and articles I rarely see mentioned on these forums. Conversly, on the blogs where those ideas are thriving, nobody seems to care about glossy hardcovers.
This is the first time I heard of "Artpunk" and "Sworddream".

Where are those communities found?

What are the "hot" rpgs in those communities that are rarely discussed around here?



Maybe I am overinterpreting or projecting but suddenly I hope for a hidden grassroots (or even cargo cult) scene full of games with weird mechanisms and DIY aesthetics ...
 

mosswood17

Registered User
Validated User
I would like RPG companies to charge what they need to keep their people employed and make more games. I am speaking from a point in my life where I have discretionary income. I don't fix cars, I don't paint models, I don't garden. I do RPGs and I have a LOT of them. I love having hard copies of things. I usually have an electronic version of most of the things on my shelf, too. I'm assuming that the price points that most companies stick with are an indication of what the market will bear. Books are cheaper online but I would stress to folks how much community springs up around a FLGS (emphasis on the "F" part). Supporting them is a really good thing and, in my opinion, is worth an extra 5-10 bucks on the price of a book.

It breaks my heart that the people who write and produce our hobby are paid so very little.
 

mac40k

Registered User
Validated User
I've kind of got a leg in both camps here; most of my game purchases are PDFs, but I'll usually buy a corebook (and only a corebook) for a game I'm going to run, because I find I can still flip through a book and find what I'm looking for faster that way once I get familiar with the layout. But buy an add-on in hardcopy? Nope. Both cost and space prohibit it.

30 years ago would have been a different story in many cases.
I switched to pdf only (with the exception of going whole hog for the new SWADE Kickstarter, but that was more a show of support for PEG and the collectible aspect of the deluxe edition of the new core book than a desire to own physical books) years ago. I still see this rationale as a reason (if not the primary reason) people prefer physical books, but I don't get it. Between the search function, the ability to add my own personal bookmarks for frequently referenced sections (something I always did with Post-It flags for physical books), and the ability to insert links for page references so I don't have to rely on "go to page" when the publisher didn't bother to include the link themselves, I don't generally need to "flip" through the book. Granted, initially setting up the bookmarks and links is a bit of effort, but once done, I really believe I can beat anyone in a race who is resorting to flipping through a physical book. I did it most recently last Sat when two others were flipping through copies of the core book and I just tapped the bookmark for the info they were looking for and gave them the page reference before either of them found it.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
I just don't fine even that is faster than flipping through a physical book once I'm familiar with it. I find it much easier to use a digital book if I'm looking for something I don't know where to find, but when I do know where its located, I can literally find it in a physical book faster than I can do the process to properly use a digital bookmark (at least if I have any singificant number of them).
 

nicklas

Illustrationist
Validated User
I stopped buying physical rpg books a few years back in favor of digital pdf copies. For what I like, they are superior to hardcopy: portability, storage space, and ease of use (search feature, anyone?).
Sort of yes but storage space and search function and ability to make text bigger are all excellent things.

They are worse at tactile memory, in a book I can look something up that I need but I only have the vague sense of what it's called. And multi-column PDFs are really annoying to read and scroll, so much in fact that I can't read a book that way. ePub is excellent but there's sadly not much of a market for it and the images don't display as good there either. So for me a physical book wins despite the flaws.
 

Saint Michael

Registered User
Validated User
Books don't crash, need electricity to use or run out of power at inopportune moments. My money goes further in the secondary market. I prefer physical books to pdf.
 
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