Which do you buy your DCCs in, PDF or print & why?

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Which do you buy your DCCs in, PDF or print & why?

Post by stripes »

I have bought in both, but only run ones I've bought in PDF. My pros and cons:


+ I can cut & paste the room descriptions into something where I can edit super easy, and still read the results. I do this to a lot of the rooms so the descriptions use similar phrasing and language to what I'll say while ad libbing, and to edit out things that I think are "too much conclusion" (like "this room was used by pirates as a dining table 300 years ago!")

+ who doesn't like to save a little money?

+ I don't like defacing a book, so I'm reluctant to take a highlighter to a printed DCC, but I'm happy to make a copy of the PDF on my drive and put circles and stickies and all sort s on it.

+ I use a projector to put a map on the table for the players to move minis on. It is a lot easier to start with the map in the PDF then to scan one in (or freehand draw)

+ I take my laptop to work all the time, on game day sometimes I'll swipe a little time to review. Much harder to do with the printed version (I may forget it, and outside of lunch hour it wouldn't be good to have it on my desk anyway)

+ simpler to search in a PDF, not that I have to search in an adventure that often (if I had the PHB and DMG and Spell Compendium in PDF that would rock though)

Go Print:

+ printed books look nice

+ books are printed at 300+DPI, my laptop is maybe 80DPI (and even antialiased it doesn't really match the quality of a 300DPI print)

+ books are easier to read in bed (not that that is a fantastic idea since my wife is one of the PCs, so "don't look at that, I have to kill you with it tomorrow! You'll spoil the surprise!" might not work)

For me PDF seems like the best choice. (If I didn't own a laptop, or liked writing on printed books, or didn't have a projector I might pick otherwise -- please don't take any of this to mean "people who buy print copies are losers").

Anyone else have another angle on it? Something that makes PDFs or print better then I had thought?

(for the record I have The Adventure Begins book in all its printed hardback glory from a local game shop, and DCC2 and the Dragon Cult Saga in PDF, will have the other two Dragon Cult Saga DCCs in PDF before the party gets too much farther too)
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Post by Argamae »

Well, since I seldom use a computer during my games I prefer the printed DCCs. I do use a computer to keep track of adventures and plots, but only AFTER the game session. For tracking the PC's stats and stuff I use Goodman Games' DM CAMPAIGN TRACKER which works really well for me.
The main reason for avoiding a computer is that it spoils the atmosphere for me. Staring at a monitor while describing a darkly lit dungeon corridor simply doesn't do for me. But that's just my personal preference.
And out of gaming I prefer to sit back and read a printed book. So, while I am not averse to PDFs I would only use them in an emergency.
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Post by Jengenritz »

I agree with Argame...I like reading a solid book, so I tend to buy the books.

However, pdfs are pretty handy for module prep, so when I plan on running a module I usually buy the .pdf.

I also load up the .pdfs when I travel so I can read them without having to carry all the books...no room for them in the laptop case.
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Re: Which do you buy your DCCs in, PDF or print & why?

Post by Ogrepuppy »

stripes wrote:I have bought in both, but only run ones I've bought in PDF.
Umm, I have a small amount of "disposable income"....so I buy both. :wink:

For EXACTLY the same reasons you described.
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Post by JediOre »

Books for me please.

Why? Because I like them. A bound book is a special thing to me. I like the feel of the printed page. I like the "new book" smell. I like the ability to enjoy reading when the power has gone out.
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Post by timemrick »

I own DCC#20, and my wife owns #14 and #51.5, all in print, none in PDF. (#51.5 was free, which is the main reason we own that one.)

My wife only rarely reads PDF gaming material--and usually only after someone else points her at a given document. (She has only recently tried her hand at DMing.) And she vastly prefers reading hard copy whenever possible, regardless of what the text is.

I also prefer reading hard copy, and I don't have the money to get both print and PDF versions of anything. (In the only case I can think of offhand where I own both, they were comp copies for proofreading.) The relatively few PDFs I've ever spent money on were products that I couldn't get in print, or I would have.

If I could easily afford to buy both, I would in many cases. Copying and editing the text for my own game would be handy, as would printing out player handouts instead of having to photocopy them. But since I have to choose, I prefer print.
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Post by Whizbang Dustyboots »

I buy in hard copy for archival purposes. I can't rely on PDFs being there in 10 years. (Burnable CDs don't last, unless you take very good care of them, and often not even then.)

But I run pbp games, and often post turns from work. So any adventure I'm going to run, I also pick up the PDF. (Yes, I am one of the beloved-by-merchants double dippers.) I'm currently carrying around Legend of the Ripper and Transmuter's Last Touch on a thumb drive, and may end up springing for The Adventure Begins, depending on what my players do in the near term.
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Post by Steinkel »

I always use printed DCCs. Don't really like PDFs.
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Post by Treebore »

If I could afford it I would buy both. In fact, getting a free PDF copy of PAthfinder is why I subscribed to it. However, I can't afford to do so right now, and won't be able to for the foreseeable future.

So until then I'll buy print versions of whatever I can afford and want. Scanning isn't that hard or bad until I can afford to buy both.
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Post by SavageRobby »

I love having PDFs, but given the choice between a PDF or printed copy, I usually buy the printed copy. Something about having a book in my hands. So usually for products that I like where the PDFs are substantially cheaper, I end up getting both.
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Post by bento »

I buy both and use both.

PDFs: DCC 0, 2, 27, 29
Print: DCC 11, 35 & Dragon Cult Saga

I'm cheap, but I'm also sensitive to the overall package. Most adventures are just black and white pages, so printing out pdf copy is not a problem.

But on the other hand I really wanted the maps of DCC 35 so I bought it in print. The Dragon Cult Saga was also a great buy - $50 worth of modules for just $20!
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Post by guslandt »

Mark me down for 'both'. I buy every DCC in print form, and then buy the PDF version when I run it.
I prefer the print version for laying in bed reading. I like the PDF for printing out maps & player handouts, and for pages I want to mark up with a highlighter (I don't write in/mark my print version in any way).

I would say printing out maps is one of the biggest reasons I buy the PDF version.
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Post by mythfish »

If I had a decent printer and were willing to spend money on ink, I'd get the PDFs more often. But since my printer sucks, I buy the books. And the books look better on the shelves.
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Post by ragnar1965 »

Honestly, I see the theory behind pdf's, but unless the book is out of print or not available anymore I don't like them. Even though I don't dm/ck (aside from a brief stint to see if I'd liked it), I still purchase material on occasion. I enjoy reading it, I enjoy the pictures, and I may either decide to ck again someday or use it to try and get JediOre to take me through it if I feel compelled to. I feel the authors, artists, and the people taking the risk (Joseph Goodman in the case of DCC's) deserve the full support of the consumers using their products. I don't know the economics of pdf's, and I don't really care to. I don't know how companies, authors, artists, etc...are compensated for pdf sales. Maybe there is no economic difference, I don't know. I am pretty sure that none of the people engaging in these enterprises are going to get rich off of what they do here. They do it because they love it. I know that if I put in the hard work to produce a module, I would be disappointed if I found everyone ignoring the finished product in lieu of using the pdf. And finally, DCC's just aren't that expensive. They're one mediocre dinner out. I can sacrifice one dinner out to support the hobby that I enjoy.
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Post by Mark_Gedak »

With FLGSs being an hour or more away. I appreciate the immediacy of being able to grab an adventure in pdf for a game session.

I like that the PDFs are not locked so in acrobat I can add comments, highlights and bookmarks for easier use from the laptop.
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Post by stripes »

I'm talking thery here, not direct experiance. Maybe someone who knows for real can talk real numbers and such (or maybe real numbers are too much "secret sauce")

ragnar1965, I would expect authors and artists and such to make a similar amount off of PDF sales as from print sales (the exception being if the PDF is priced with a diffrent profit margin, the contributers might get a similar cut, but less or more per sale).

PDFs tend to have much lower prices, but the publishers costs are lower too, so I susspect they make a similar amount per PDF sale as print sale. After all print hast to be, well, printed. To get a good print price you don't print on demand, but you print in large batches. These batches have to be stored somewhere until they sell. Printing too many means you have left overs that you payed for but got no money for, printing too few means your customers have to wait, and may spend their money elsewhere. Or at the very least means you printed two smaller batches most likely at higher cost. Even if you do sell out, if you sell out too slowly you had money tied up in product that you might have had better use for elsewhere. Plus shipping costs.

PDFs on the other hand have none of those costs. They do have trust issues (you know if you send a retailer 40 print copies of DCC2 that they didn't sell 800 copies, but for PDFs you have to trust). You also have to trust the purchaser that they don't just make 50 copies for their friends. Finally you have to accept that a few copies will make it to bittorrent, and trust that most people won't download it. Lots of trust. On the other hand, no costs after the initial authorship and editing.

So a $20 print copy and a $12 PDF may represent the same profit. Or the PDF could be more profitable. Or less. But I would expect the PDF to be priced to get roughly equilovent profit.

Then again I'm not in the busness, so I don't know more then the thery. There could be good reasons to mkae the PDF profit lower then print. Or the other way around.
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Post by WereSteve »

Normally purchase items in print form only unless a particular item will be available in electronic form only. So far that has pretty much been limited to Tome of Horrors:Revised since Necro didn't feel like putting out a 3.5e version in print.
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Post by Jezza »

I used to get everything in PDF as living in New Zealand it meant saving on the shipping costs. However now I've discovered a site with free int'l shipping I can get stuff (like Saga of the Dragon Cult) in hard copy.
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Post by Damien the Bloodfeaster »

I much prefer hardcopy when it comes to adventures, such as DCCs. However, I'd probably make an exception for Castle Whiterock. It would be very useful to have at least the Gazetteer, Map book and Player Handout book as PDFs, so I can print out individual sheets as needed. The Gazetteer in particular would be useful--it contains information (e.g., important adverary NPCs; secrets about Cillamar) that I don't want the players to have, but also a LOT of information they could and maybe should have.
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Post by kenwig »

Personally, I collect the hard copies and play with the PDF's.
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Post by Cardinal »

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Post by Pierce Randall »

Don't care -- whichever is cheapest, usually, plus I'll buy the books on a whim. Printing them out isn't a big deal, and I don't DM with a laptop, so I don't care about running a game out of a book, either. I'll photocopy what I want the party to see. Kinko's is, after all, open 24/7.
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Post by Eryx »

I only buy full print versions. I don't use the computer at the games table, and it costs more in the long run to print it myself. I'd rather have someone else do it and pay them for it. Plus a proper print copy looks better on the games shelf.

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Post by ChristinaStiles »

kenwig wrote:Personally, I collect the hard copies and play with the PDF's.
That's what I do. I like to read the hard copy, but toting everything around on game day is just so much easier when a lot of it is on the laptop.
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Post by None the Wiser »

I've been using both. In my first adventure, Into the Wilds, I only purchased the PDF and printed it out. I would try to stack each adventure level in a different sheaf, but inevitably I would set down a stack of papers in the middle of a game session and then have to spend in-game time trying to remember where I set them down. For my second adventure, I tried printing out the PDF and inserting the individual sheets into a loose-leaf binder, but found this cumbersome compared to owning an actual staple-bound copy.

So while running a game session, I like to flip through the print version. But since we use Wound/Vitality points AND Armor-as-DR rules, I have to make monster card conversions for all the bad guys, so I like to have the PDF version open side by side with my MS Word document in order to cut and paste the "possesion" lists and Special Attack/Quality info.

To me, it's well worth the expense, plus I've also finagled some freebies by posting 3D map renders in the Art section of this very board. :wink: So it's all good. 8) :lol:
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