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Mar 29, 2017

jlgunder

#1

Is there an "official" reason from anyone at WotC why they're not releasing PDFs of their products? It's one of the more annoying things about 5e, especially not having access to PDFs of the adventure modules. My Curse of Strahd and Princes of the Apocalypse books are falling apart (quality of the binding is another annoyance), it would be very convenient to be able to access a PDF of these documents. Anyone else agree?

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Mar 29, 2017

#2

filcat

Well, with a pdf version, they sell less books, due to unauthorised copy. It is understandable.

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I believe DDB is an answer to this problem.

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PbP: Sunless Citadel (Homebrew) - Quaf - Aarakocra Sorcerer (9) PbP: Out of the Abyss- Oorr - Aarakocra Ranger (4) PbP: Storm King's Thunder + Against the Giants - DM PbP: Tomb of Annihilation - DM

Mar 29, 2017

#3

TheEvilDM

They have the free Basic Rules free in PDF and stated if you want anything more you'll have to buy the books. Now we have DND Beyond BUT it appears Beyond is just the free SRD rules anyhow. I also think after 4e and the PDF situation that happened, they are guarding the books :D

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Mar 29, 2017

#4

filcat

Quote from TheEvilDM >>

Moderator

They have the free Basic Rules free in PDF and stated if you want anything more you'll have to buy the books. Now we have DND Beyond BUT it appears Beyond is just the free SRD rules anyhow. I also think after 4e and the PDF situation that happened, they are guarding the books :D

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When the beta will be finished, with DDB it will be possible to use all of your D&D stuff. We will see the price of that. PbP: Sunless Citadel (Homebrew) - Quaf - Aarakocra Sorcerer (9) PbP: Out of the Abyss- Oorr - Aarakocra Ranger (4) PbP: Storm King's Thunder + Against the Giants - DM PbP: Tomb of Annihilation - DM

Mar 29, 2017

#5

Failara

It's entirely a licencing thing. There are ways to tie ebooks to individual accounts, things like Adobe Digital Editions, but it's always a gamble having things like that when you're trying to sell published content too. Hopefully they will find a solution they're happy with one day, but for now I can understand why they're avoiding it.

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Mar 29, 2017

#6

TheEvilDM

Quote from filcat >> Quote from TheEvilDM >> They have the free Basic Rules free in PDF and stated if you want anything more you'll have to buy the books. Now we have DND Beyond BUT it appears Beyond is just the free SRD rules anyhow.

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I also think after 4e and the PDF situation that happened, they are guarding the books :D

3/20/2017

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When the beta will be finished, with DDB it will be possible to use all of your D&D stuff. We will see the price of that.

39

I look forward to it. Host of the Pocket Mimic Podcast, a D&D 5e Show! Join us and listen in as we build a new world step by step! (http://Pocketmimic.com) DMs vs PCs! All DMs are evil | ENnie Award Winner | OSR style in a 5e world |1000+ character souls taken | 25+ yrs exp Remember to hit the thanks button, if you feel my info was useful, it helps me know I've provided helpful information and know I'm on the right track.

Mar 29, 2017

#7

DnDPaladin

Everything announced here is already done by Roll20 (Since last year) and Fantaisy Ground (Since 2 years ago) This seems like Curse Gaming only wanting a part of the pie.

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3/21/2017

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as for the PDF thing, the market doesn't make money out of PDF thats the problem. most authors who sell EBooks literally only do 1$ per buyout. the time spent ont he book is literally not paying off. and thats selling the book at 3$. you also have to pay the plae that sells the books, the software that sells the books. the accounts database that binds the buyer. al of that means you literally have to sell the book as much as the physical copy just to get 1/10th of it back. thats why they keep with physical copy. because its easier to make money out of physical copies then it is in online copies. how do i know this, because a few authors have started talking on their youtube channels and the likes and they literally have to work 10 times more just to sell online. thats ridiculous ! At this point if they truly want to sell online they need to be using DLC like content. like make each classes and races separate and people needing to pay for each little thing they want. but even doing that (Roll20 and Fantaisy Ground both do it already) cost a ton of money pretty much as much as the books themselves. heck even free PDF like Player Companion is costing 2$ for something i can get free on WotC website. so all that should tell you something as to why they dont want PDF to be a thing. One Shot Adventure - House of Artwood (DM) (Completed)

Mar 29, 2017

#8

NightsLastHero

Quote from jlgunder >> Is there an "official" reason from anyone at WotC why they're not releasing PDFs of their products? It's one of the more annoying things about 5e, especially not having access to PDFs of the adventure modules. My Curse of Strahd and Princes of the Apocalypse books are falling apart (quality of the binding is another annoyance), it would be very convenient to be able to access a PDF of these documents. Anyone else agree?

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While they may not be an official reason given, I am fairly certain that at this point it is common knowledge that the amount of pirating related to the PDFs is why WotC decided to no longer continue PDFs for their newer content (i.e. 5th edition)

Mar 29, 2017

#9

NightsLastHero

Quote from DnDPaladin >> Everything announced here is already done by Roll20 (Since last year) and Fantaisy Ground (Since 2 years ago) This seems like Curse Gaming only wanting a part of the pie. as for the PDF thing, the market doesn't make money out of PDF thats the problem. most authors who sell EBooks literally only do 1$ per buyout. the time spent ont he book is literally not paying off. and thats selling the book at 3$. you also have to pay the plae that sells the books, the software that sells the books. the accounts database that binds the buyer. al of that means you literally have to sell the book as much as the physical copy just to get 1/10th of it back. thats why they keep with physical copy. because its easier to make money out of physical copies then it is in online copies. how do i know this, because a few authors have started talking on their youtube channels and the likes and they literally have to work 10 times more just to sell online. thats ridiculous !

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WotC already has dmsguild which sells pdfs of most D&D products prior to 5th edition. Given the likelyhood that the products are already digital, it wouldn't take a lot of work for WotC to produce a pdf which selling would cost them nothing and so it would be pure profit. I would say that even at 50% off the book price WotC would still make more than if they had sold the physical book. Problem is that requires people to actually buy the pdf instead of sharing the pdf. True20 and Fantasy grounds are not Pdfs and also require purchasing additional software. This is where Curse and D&D beyond differ as you don't have to spend a lot of money on software prior to buying the D&D content. I still believe all three are inferior to having PDFs. Last edited by NightsLastHero: Mar 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017

#10

Onyx

On a slightly relevant topic, keep in mind you can request a replacement for books that are falling apart. http://www.sageadvice.eu/2016/04/21/my-phb-just-fell-out-can-it-be-replaced/

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Mar 29, 2017

#11

owensd

Quote from filcat >> Well, with a pdf version, they sell less books, due to unauthorised copy. It is understandable. I believe DDB is an answer to this problem.

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This is just simply not true. Every WoTC book can be found in a PDF form. It's extremely easy to scan a book and create really high quality scans with OCR to allow easy searching.

3/20/2017

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I find it extremely frustrating that I cannot purchase an official PDF of the books. For instance, I can read through Storm King's Thunder's first act in bed, but to read the next chapters... not officially. As for DDB being the solution... time will tell if it's really a suitable replacement.

Mar 29, 2017

#12

filcat

Quote from owensd >>

Moderator

Quote from filcat >> Well, with a pdf version, they sell less books, due to unauthorised copy. It is understandable. I believe DDB is an answer to this problem. Bravo Join Date:

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This is just simply not true. Every WoTC book can be found in a PDF form. It's extremely easy to scan a book and create really high quality scans with OCR to allow easy searching. I find it extremely frustrating that I cannot purchase an official PDF of the books. For instance, I can read through Storm King's Thunder's first act in bed, but to read the next chapters... not officially. As for DDB being the solution... time will tell if it's really a suitable replacement.

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Problem is, did you pay for those non-official chapter? PbP: Sunless Citadel (Homebrew) - Quaf - Aarakocra Sorcerer (9) PbP: Out of the Abyss- Oorr - Aarakocra Ranger (4) PbP: Storm King's Thunder + Against the Giants - DM PbP: Tomb of Annihilation - DM

Mar 29, 2017

#13

subsistcyber

As a note, this is getting very close to breaking one of our forum rules and guidelines:

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Posting Any of the Following Subjects on D&D Beyond The following topics are not to be discussed on DDB on penalty of ban.

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Illegal PDF/ download of official content or the websites that create/ use them Keyloggers, hoaxes/phishing websites Activities considered illegal by Wizards of the Coast Religious opinions/debates Hateful language about race, religion, country (Example: US vs. EU threads), political beliefs, etc. Pornography Content that is considered illegal by law Referral links for contests, promotions, or anything else

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Mar 29, 2017

#14

AaronOfBarbaria

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It's not actually the avoidance of piracy that causes WotC to not release their current edition in PDF - it's agreements with brick-and-mortar stores, and the desire WotC has to keep the relationship they have with those stores, making them the earliest outlet for new D&D products and not releasing PDFs because those are seen as direct competition for sales among the "get it first" and "get it cheap" crowds.

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Mar 29, 2017

#15

owensd

Yes. I have the book and I have the roll20 module for it. I buy movies with physical discs and digital downloads all the time. Why? Because both formats are extremely convienent to have. @Aaron, not everyone lives in areas with good game stores. There is one in the area I live and it's ok. But it has the same problem as traditional book stores: supply is limited, prices are nearly double of online sales, and if they need to order it for you, it takes twice as long to get it from their suppliers.

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Last edited by owensd: Mar 29, 2017

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Mar 30, 2017

#16

NightsLastHero

I think Roll20, dnd beyond, and fantasy grounds are sufficient evidence the issue isn't with helping out local retail stores and is more along the lines of illegally produced copies. WotC takes pirating seriously and the more it occurs the less likely they are to pursue that avenue for game products.

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Mar 30, 2017

#17

AaronOfBarbaria

Quote from NightsLastHero >> I think Roll20, dnd beyond, and fantasy grounds are sufficient evidence the issue isn't with helping out local retail stores and is more along the lines of illegally produced copies. WotC takes pirating seriously and the more it occurs the less likely they are to pursue that avenue for game products.

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Roll20, dnd beyond, and fantasy grounds weren't as big of things as they are now back when WotC made the call to step away from PDFs, so they could reasonably be things which weren't mentioned by the agree WotC came to (unfortunately, I don't have any specific sources, but the claim of it being store relations rather than piracy that drive the no current-edition PDF policy is one that I saw made by people that should be in the know on the matter).

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As for piracy, it's not reasonable for WotC to believe that not offering PDF sales reduces the frequency of piracy. It might make it less convenient, or resulting in lower quality, but it definitely doesn't stop it from happening. And since WotC are, despite how many people think otherwise, reasonable, I believe them when they said they aren't skipping out on PDFs because of piracy - especially since they aren't actually skipping out on PDFs, they just aren't putting out PDFs of things that are currently in print.

Mar 30, 2017

#18

filcat

Whichever the case, really hope that this app goes very well.

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PbP: Sunless Citadel (Homebrew) - Quaf - Aarakocra Sorcerer (9) PbP: Out of the Abyss- Oorr - Aarakocra Ranger (4) PbP: Storm King's Thunder + Against the Giants - DM PbP: Tomb of Annihilation - DM

Mar 30, 2017

#19

NightsLastHero

I would buy the retail store argument more if online retailers like Amazon didn't exist. I've never heard of someone buying a pdf over the physical book from a brick in mortar store (fairly common I think for people to buy the pdf and the book). What I have heard is people buying from Amazon over the brick and mortar store. Though its entirely possible the official reason is because of brick and mortar store relations... I don't think that is an accurate reason as Amazon hurts sells way more than pdfs would.

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Also I think bringing up old editions as pdfs is an invalid argument as any company would rather make $1 than $0 so even if pirated it makes sense to release them as pdfs so you can make something rather than nothing. This doesn't necessarily translate to 5th because you are actively producing books and can earn money on them without Pdfs. Not making pdfs will detour people from getting them online as virus' potential legal issues, etc. May detour some individual. If you make official pdfs you end up with only one person in a gaming group buy them and share without the normal drawbacks. Hence I think that is more of a reason than retail stores despite what the official reason might be. Last edited by NightsLastHero: Mar 30, 2017

Mar 30, 2017

#20

AaronOfBarbaria

Quote from NightsLastHero >> I would buy the retail store argument more if online retailers like Amazon didn't exist.

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That's probably a big part of why retail stores are set up to be able to be selling the books before online retailers can ship them; as that makes retail stores the go-to for all customer priorities other than "It has to be digital or I'm not getting it" and "I don't care when I get, I just want it at the lowest price point available" Meridian, ID

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From my experience in retail, which I'll admit is limited, stores don't consider people that aren't willing to pay the price the store sets for something as "hurt sales" - they consider them not to be potential sales in the first place.

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