PDFs vs originals and their impact on collecting...
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:53 pm 
 

There is a passage in the Acaeum pages that states "...a newsletter supporting the DragonLance campaign setting was released in the late 1990's, entitled Legends of the Lance.  All of the issues were at one point downloadable (as .PDF's) on the WotC web site.  Because of this, they are collectibly worthless, and are not included here." Also, isn't module B2 collectible worthless as well, but it's included for reference on the site.

I am wondering why this might be so, considering that most if not all of the products we collect were/are also available via PDF now. I for one don't care for PDFs and want the original printed version to read, collect and reference. I imagine by the looks of it most others here would agree. Does the existance of a PDF version really impact the collecting of the original?

Anyway, no biggie, just curious as to thoughts on the above statement.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:11 pm 
 

It's been discussed in at least two threads.  This one is the most recent I believe:  http://www.acaeum.com/forum/about1616.html

  


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:13 pm 
 

Ack, sorry everyone. I always search for topics before posting... except this one this time I guess...  :oops:

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:30 pm 
 

I think the real gist of your question was, "why are the newsletters worthless yet the module has value?"

    The newsletters very likely cannot be differentiated between the ones downloaded and printed and the ones mailed out.

    The module can be printed out but is quite obviously the original publication.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:45 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:I think the real gist of your question was, "why are the newsletters worthless yet the module has value?"

  The newsletters very likely cannot be differentiated between the ones downloaded and printed and the ones mailed out.

  The module can be printed out but is quite obviously the original publication.

MRS  8)

As everyone knows, B2 is ridiculously common and doesn't sell for very much money at all.  That does not equate to it being worthless as a collectible!  On the contrary, it's almost a requirement.  If you don't have at least one (preferably worn-in) copy of B2, you don't really have a D&D collection!  It's a nostalgia thing.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 10:27 pm 
 

I disagree with calling the old DL newsletters worthless just because they were available as PDFs.  They were printed on glossy paper, back and front with four panes, so it would not be easy to reproduce them exactly as they were mailed from one's typical home printer.  With the same logic, one could argue that OB3 is worthless since it is widely available as a free PDF.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:01 am 
 

Thanks for the continued discussion everyone. That was the basis of my question - specifically re: the newletters in particular. Good comments from everyone.

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:00 pm 
 

Actually, having PDFs can be a bonus, as you would not have to handle all your rares, or punch out any counters (chits, etc) or rip handouts from the module.

This would add to the collectability of those items that were rare.

It would also lend itself to the replayability (is that a word?) of the mod, as you would never have to look for lost sheets or missing chits.

It would also be a bonus, as you would never have to un-shrinkwrap your mods that are still in shrinkwrap (For those of us that are curious to see exactly what is in that shrinkwrapped item).


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:40 pm 
 

jkason wrote:Actually, having PDFs can be a bonus, as you would not have to handle all your rares, or punch out any counters (chits, etc) or rip handouts from the module.

This would add to the collectability of those items that were rare.

It would also lend itself to the replayability (is that a word?) of the mod, as you would never have to look for lost sheets or missing chits.

It would also be a bonus, as you would never have to un-shrinkwrap your mods that are still in shrinkwrap (For those of us that are curious to see exactly what is in that shrinkwrapped item).

I can see how it might be useful to preserve your modules.  However, if everyone did that, you wouldn't want or need to preserve your modules, because they wouldn't hold any of their value.

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:48 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:
jkason wrote:Actually, having PDFs can be a bonus, as you would not have to handle all your rares, or punch out any counters (chits, etc) or rip handouts from the module.

This would add to the collectability of those items that were rare.

It would also lend itself to the replayability (is that a word?) of the mod, as you would never have to look for lost sheets or missing chits.

It would also be a bonus, as you would never have to un-shrinkwrap your mods that are still in shrinkwrap (For those of us that are curious to see exactly what is in that shrinkwrapped item).

I can see how it might be useful to preserve your modules. However, if everyone did that, you wouldn't want or need to preserve your modules, because they wouldn't hold any of their value.


Death to all pdfs. :twisted:  :twisted:  :twisted:  :twisted:


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 11:06 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:
jkason wrote:Actually, having PDFs can be a bonus, as you would not have to handle all your rares, or punch out any counters (chits, etc) or rip handouts from the module.

This would add to the collectability of those items that were rare.

It would also lend itself to the replayability (is that a word?) of the mod, as you would never have to look for lost sheets or missing chits.

It would also be a bonus, as you would never have to un-shrinkwrap your mods that are still in shrinkwrap (For those of us that are curious to see exactly what is in that shrinkwrapped item).

I can see how it might be useful to preserve your modules. However, if everyone did that, you wouldn't want or need to preserve your modules, because they wouldn't hold any of their value.


A pdf of a box set is worthless except as a reference.  Nothing like unfolding the large color maps, nothing can take the place of that.  For that matter, nothing takes the place of holding a real module. I like the pdfs on my computer to read, but I could never run an adventure off a pdf if the module itself was handy. The nostalgia factor.

Mike B.

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:06 am 
 

I bought a couple of pdf files from DrivethruRPG.  There is no pride of ownership and almost no nostalgia value.  It is like meeting the ghost of a loved one or looking at a beautiful woman's picture...interesting, but just not the real thing.

   All pdf's did for me was give me the fire to find the real thing.

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:59 am 
 

I can definitely see how having the PDFs can undermine value in certain items, and or give them no value at all.
Exception for those people that need to hold the original (like me). Generally I'm not fussed by PDFs and don't really like the idea  :?  but hey I'm a purest  :D

.. the one and only saving grace about PDFs for me is that I don't need to (and won't ever) take the shrink of my OB3. 8)

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:02 am 
 

Badmike wrote:
deimos3428 wrote:
jkason wrote:Actually, having PDFs can be a bonus, as you would not have to handle all your rares, or punch out any counters (chits, etc) or rip handouts from the module.

This would add to the collectability of those items that were rare.

It would also lend itself to the replayability (is that a word?) of the mod, as you would never have to look for lost sheets or missing chits.

It would also be a bonus, as you would never have to un-shrinkwrap your mods that are still in shrinkwrap (For those of us that are curious to see exactly what is in that shrinkwrapped item).

I can see how it might be useful to preserve your modules. However, if everyone did that, you wouldn't want or need to preserve your modules, because they wouldn't hold any of their value.


A pdf of a box set is worthless except as a reference. Nothing like unfolding the large color maps, nothing can take the place of that. For that matter, nothing takes the place of holding a real module. I like the pdfs on my computer to read, but I could never run an adventure off a pdf if the module itself was handy. The nostalgia factor.

Mike B.


I agree with most of the above statements, pdf is great for reference but will never replace the feeling of actually holding an item you've needed/wanted in your hands and physically having it in your collection.



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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:39 am 
 

I don't believe that PDFs affect the value of items at all. There may be a few exceptions to that, but on the whole, the price of OB3 remains beyond me, although the PDF is available free from WoTC. R1-4 still fetch upwards of $200 a piece, although you can buy them online for $5 a piece as a PDF. The same goes for the RPGA series.

PDFs are great source material, but you can't really play with them, or read them. They are there for dipping into when you want to check something out, or you want ideas for something you're creating. You need the real thing if you want to run it as a module.

Compare the prospect of running ToEE from a beat up second copy, to running it from a ring binder of crispy printer paper. I'll take the beat up second copy an day.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:26 am 
 

In my opinion, PDFs are extremely important for a collector. They are the equivalent of the backup copy for CDs. Of course, to be honest, a person would be entitled to have a PDF version of a module only if he owns the original copy. That way, he can read, peruse, print pages of the book without damaging or wearing his original copy. This holds especially for shrinkwrapped items: a person would be capable to use a book even without opening his shrinkwrapped copy.

Of course, we are not fully honest, and some people own PDF copies of manuals they don't actually own. I am the first to place myself in this group. However, in my case, I'd say it is only a matter of time: since I can't possibly succeed in owning every single manual I am interested in right now, for the moment I have a lot of PDF copies of manuals I don't have, but more and more are quickly becoming true backup copies of items I do have (and hopefully, every single one of them will). This way I am not damaging the collectable value of items, because sooner or later I am going to purchase them. And I believe this is true for any hardcore collector.

Plus, owning these PDF copies doesn't damage the publisher, wince they don't actually receive any more income from out of print items. Of course, speculating over these things is another matter. There is no reason why WotC (or any other house) should not gain anymore on these products, while I do by selling DVDs of downloaded manuals. So one thing is to have PDF copies and use them for reference and backup, a totally different thing (which I personally hate) is using such illegal copies to make money.

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:41 pm 
 

guerret wrote:In my opinion, PDFs are extremely important for a collector. They are the equivalent of the backup copy for CDs. Of course, to be honest, a person would be entitled to have a PDF version of a module only if he owns the original copy. That way, he can read, peruse, print pages of the book without damaging or wearing his original copy. This holds especially for shrinkwrapped items: a person would be capable to use a book even without opening his shrinkwrapped copy.

Of course, we are not fully honest, and some people own PDF copies of manuals they don't actually own. I am the first to place myself in this group. However, in my case, I'd say it is only a matter of time: since I can't possibly succeed in owning every single manual I am interested in right now, for the moment I have a lot of PDF copies of manuals I don't have, but more and more are quickly becoming true backup copies of items I do have (and hopefully, every single one of them will). This way I am not damaging the collectable value of items, because sooner or later I am going to purchase them. And I believe this is true for any hardcore collector.

Plus, owning these PDF copies doesn't damage the publisher, wince they don't actually receive any more income from out of print items. Of course, speculating over these things is another matter. There is no reason why WotC (or any other house) should not gain anymore on these products, while I do by selling DVDs of downloaded manuals. So one thing is to have PDF copies and use them for reference and backup, a totally different thing (which I personally hate) is using such illegal copies to make money.


I think your forgetting the other segment of the population that buy the pdf from outlets like RPGNow (or download legal copies like from the WoTC website).



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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:07 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:I don't believe that PDFs affect the value of items at all. There may be a few exceptions to that, but on the whole, the price of OB3 remains beyond me, although the PDF is available free from WoTC. R1-4 still fetch upwards of $200 a piece, although you can buy them online for $5 a piece as a PDF. The same goes for the RPGA series.

PDFs are great source material, but you can't really play with them, or read them. They are there for dipping into when you want to check something out, or you want ideas for something you're creating. You need the real thing if you want to run it as a module.

Compare the prospect of running ToEE from a beat up second copy, to running it from a ring binder of crispy printer paper. I'll take the beat up second copy an day.

Let me clarify my previous post, and blather on about a subject in which I've never even taken a course:*

Suppose everyone purchased a SW copy of a module, and also downloaded a PDF of that module for play.  The SW copy can sit on the shelf forever, and never attain significant value.  Too many copies would survive.

Moreso than other commodities, collectibles are valuable because they are rare.  When supply is unable to adequately meet demand, like any market, the value of the commodity rises.  Interestingly, in collectible markets, items are in demand simply because they are rare, which is a sort of economic double-whammy.  Oranges, unlike orange B3s, do not increase in demand simply because there are less of them.

That's why I don't like PDFs -- they allow originals to survive unscathed, which does affect the market.  If the OB3 PDFs existed when OB3 was printed, there would a noticable effect in the value of the OB3.

*I did date an economics major once, so I know what I'm talking about.  

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:44 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Moreso than other commodities, collectibles are valuable because they are rare. When supply is unable to adequately meet demand, like any market, the value of the commodity rises. Interestingly, in collectible markets, items are in demand simply because they are rare, which is a sort of economic double-whammy. Oranges, unlike orange B3s, do not increase in demand simply because there are less of them.

That's why I don't like PDFs -- they allow originals to survive unscathed, which does affect the market. If the OB3 PDFs existed when OB3 was printed, there would a noticable effect in the value of the OB3.

*I did date an economics major once, so I know what I'm talking about.


     But since PDFs didn't exist until a relatively short time ago, it should have no effect on the collectible market, since everyone who WANTED to open up and use an Orange B3 has probably already done so.   I have a hard time, ok make that an impossible time, believing that less people are using their Orange B3's now that it is available on PDF. I don't think anyone ever used them anyway.  As a matter of fact, with what Orange B3's are going for now, you could make the argument that the PDF has increased the price by making it more well known to the collecting public and creating even MORE of a demand than there already was.  
    Interestingly, there is also an arguement to be made that the LESS available something is the LESS valuable it is....vis a vis if it's so rare no one has ever heard of it or knows anyone that owns one, then there is no demand, ergo something with say a print run of 2000 could be worth more than something with a print run of 100 in certain circumstances.
   It's an interesting discussion.  My opinion is that PDFs have an absolute negligible effect on the collectibles market, if that even.  Case in point, I don't see prices going down for any of the Rares now available on PDF....

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:40 pm 
 

I like thick, tri-fold cardstock covers (or double nested covers); saddle stitched module booklets; and that fresh-from-the-bookstore smell.  You're not going to get any of that from a PDF.  So, these electronic facsimiles are certainly not for me.

That being said, since WoTC isn't rushing to make hard copy reprints of the classic 1e products, today's 9/10 year old youth players have *only* the PDFs available to them.  (Sure, they could hang around eBay to try and pick up an authentic S1 [for example] to try and incorporate a little old skewl flare into their campaigns, but can a 9/10yo even set up an eBay account?  And even so, they could bid in multiple auctions and end up losing them all / or have to wait potentially weeks for their order to arrive / or receive a defective copy / or end up paying more than $50.00 for something that cost us $6-8.00 when it was new!  It can all be quite a royal pain in the arse!)
   
Does the availability of PDFs have a negative impact on the value of the real thing?  Well, I just paid $14.50 for a shrinkwrapped EX2 (hey, stop laughing...especially if you bid against me!), when I could have gone and downloaded the PDF for free from the web.  That price was higher than I thought I was going to have to pay for the item.  So, as far as I'm concerned, no negative impact here!

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