The Problem with Pdfs
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 11:15 pm 

I just wondered what people thought about them. It kinda bothers me as I've been working on my collection for over 6 months and I wonder if Pdfs will turn my collection into something to light the fire with. Personally I will always enjoy the real thing..but will others?

To find out if Pdfs cut it or not I downloaded the appropriate software and spent a day with it running in a background window downloading.

After 1 days here are the modules I downloaded :-

WGA4 Vecna Lives, RPGA4 The Elixir of Life, RPGA3 The Forgotten King, N4 Treasure Hunt, WG7 Castle Greyhawk, T1-4 temple Elemtal Evil, X5 temple of Death, Fright at Tristor, A Gnomes Affair, Ivid the Undying, Dragothas Lair, RPGA1 To the Aid of Falx, Dark & Hidden Ways, UK7 Dark Clouds Gather, WG10 Childs Play, WGR1 Greyhawk Ruin, WGR3 Rary the Traitor, WGR4 The Marklands, H3 Bloodstone Wars.

Overall several hundred dollars worth if buying the originals from ebay.

So I've saved myself money. Saved myself time too because it only took me a day.

However reading pdfs just isn't the same as a real module. Not the same exitement, no tingle, no nothing.  PDfs don't cut it for me..not even when I printed one out. maybe if my printer was better?

What does everyone else think? Will second hand AD&D/D&D stuff be worth nothing in 10 years due to everyone just having a disk full of PDFs?


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 11:27 pm 

Its just not the same as holding in your hands, and besides, some things are just classic, and I think will always have value.  And besides, I look at it this way...   eventually, everything will be scanned, whether we like it or not, and if somebody wants something, they'll have everything in print on pdf (I actually just about already do, I know some places where you can get pdf's of WotC books 2 weeks after they are out in the store).  But, I figure the more people see things, after a while the prices will bounce back because all that will be left are the die-hards, and not the "I want to buy it just to see what its about" people.

Then again, I'm one of those people who downloads tons of mp3's, and buys damn near all the albums I end up downloading...


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 3:10 am 

I think we have to distinct between DMs/players and collectors. Any serious collector will of course ignore PDFs. An active DM might be very well tempted into downloading or even buying the illegal PDFs, particularly when they are searchable, like the ones you can download at the WOC website. You just take your laptop to the gaming session, not a part of your collection. If you want to look something up, you press CTRL-F instead of flipping through the pages. This should save you some valuable gaming time.

Concerning prices I think that PDFs have little measurable influence. The really rare items are bought by collectors (I don't believe someone spends 100 $ on the R3 just because he's curious). The expensive, but common items such as the Planescape boxes are bought by players or DMs who want the BOX not just some shitty PDF. The only items that might suffer a minor decrease are those already commonly and cheaply available.

As honorable collectors we should not worry too much about PDFs. For the next fifty years or so, there will always be some fellow collector willing to pay an appropriate price if you ever consider selling off your collection.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:22 am 

Just because you can get a poster of a famous Van Gogh painting doesn't lessen the price of the original.

In fact, in some areas the opposite effect can occur. For example, in book publishing, many authors who have given away their books for free download on the internet have actually *increased* their hardcopy sales!

But as is hinted at above, it's the rare things that will increase in price. If you want to collect anything as an investment and have $1000 to spend, it's wiser to buy 1 thing worth $1000 than 100 things worth $10.



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Post Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:52 am 

Myself, I find that the items I collect I don't even read, afraid to fray the edges, etc. I don't collect to read or play the items that I buy. I just want them because they are a piece of my history. However, on the other hand I do admit that most of my reading of old material is from downloading PDF's, because I can read to my hearts content, and not mess up the the goods.

  I am an advocate of creating PDF's for old material OOP, for the fact that there are no libarys to check these items out, and this will be the only way that most people will be able to experience this material.

Mike C.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 12:48 pm 

I find myself in the same position. I have most of my collection safely stored away, and if I just want to read something, I go to the PDF's. I also consider it a kind of "insurance". If something ever happens to my collection, and I can't find a replacement, at least I have the PDF's.

Having said that, reading a PDF is no substitute for the real thing, nor does it stop me from bidding on items that I already have PDF's of.

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