Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Print or PDF?

There was as question on one of the G+ communities I follow on what others prefer: print or pdf for their gaming books? For me, it's been pretty lopsided towards pdf for a while. I still pick up core rules in print, but I tend to buy all of my supplement/splat books in pdf anymore. It doesn't stop there, ever since I bought a Kindle, I buy nearly all of my books in electronic format nowadays. I've even replaced many of my print books with the electronic editions and sold/traded off the print copies. With laptops and tablets, I can carry around all the books I'll ever need for a game without breaking my backpack...or back for that matter. Now, I will say that unless the tablet is of a sufficient size, trying to read a rulebook on one is an eye-straining affair. Another big reason for my switch to ebooks: price. Most of the time, though not always, the e-edition of a book are much cheaper, which stretches my meager gaming budget that much farther. Not to mention that even if a harddrive crashes, I can re-download my collection from Lulu, RPGnow, and the other e-sellers I purchase from.

The downside of electronic medium is that brick and mortar shops don't see as much of my business as they did before. That's why I try to make it a point to buy any physical medium, be it rulebooks, dice, battlemats, minis, boardgames, etc. from my FLGS. It doesn't really match what I spend on e-books, but I still want to give them my business as much as I can because local shops are still the lifeblood of the hobby. Sure, you can find everything you want cheaper online, and can even find groups and play online, but in my experience some of the best groups I've encountered were through the old bulletin board at the LGS. Where else but a game store can I walk in on a week night with some assorted games and have pretty damn good luck in finding a pick up game, be it rpg or a board game?

Not much else to say beyond that tonight. Just a few thoughts as I work on my setting...which appears to be switching gears to Savage Worlds...at least until the damned gamer ADD sets in again!


Tom said...

If it's a book I want to read, but not necessarily play, then the cost and convenience of pdf usually wins out. If I'm going to play the game, I prefer a print copy.

If you offer me a free or inexpensive .pdf copy bundled with a print version? I'm there.

Giles Kiser said...

I agree. If I get a copy of the pdf with the purchase of the print product, I'm more apt to buy that book over another where I don't get a pdf. Plus, I'd love it if by buying the pdf, I get a discount, even a small one, towards the purchase of the print product. That would really be excellent in the case of the core rulebook for new games.

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