PDFs vs originals and their impact on collecting...
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:42 am 
 

Some of you know I am a champion of PDFs, and it is no secret that I manufacture them. I also spend a fair amount of money on buying stuff on eBay. I am fairly qualified to talk on the subject.

1. I agree that PDF files have an impact on the RPG collectables market. They reduce the price of a collectable, and that price reduction is directly related to both the quality, and availability of the PDF. (a high quality PDF copy of Goodman Games' Haunted Lighthouse made freely available would descimate the value of the module).

2. There is a responsibility within the collectable community (all be it one we share to differing degreed) to maintain the things we collect, share knowledge, and safeguard the 'rares' and 'uncommons' from disappearing into history. That is why Acaeum maintains its database, why Scott is always seeking to expand the site, and why a lot of us research what we find (even if we do it in secret). PDFs protect documents from slipping into history (or even into secret vaulted collections), and keep the knowledge in available to more people. I archive to PDF and maintain a PDF database for this reason.

3. The responsibility lies with those who hold PDF files, to be careful about who, how and when you share them. The ST1.pdf has been available for some 5 years now, but it is next to impossible to get, because those who possess it, are careful about how and when they share it. If a high quality PDF file became freely downloadable, the value of the ST1 module could not avoid being damaged by it.

PDFs are here to stay. We have to hope that those who have them are considerate about their propegation.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:00 am 
 

OB3 could be a good example of a PDF hurting its value.  While other rares such as Tamoachan, Inverness and Tsojconth (which has been offered more frequently than OB3) continue to climb in value with each passing auction, OB3 is stuck at around $800.  
Dragon magazines are a good example of PDFs (the Dragon CD-ROM archive) decimating the vintage market.  Dragon #1 has decreased in value since I began collecting in earnest in the mid-90s, when it should be considered a second tier holy grail item IMO.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:22 am 
 

dathon wrote:OB3 could be a good example of a PDF hurting its value. While other rares such as Tamoachan, Inverness and Tsojconth (which has been offered more frequently than OB3) continue to climb in value with each passing auction, OB3 is stuck at around $800.
Dragon magazines are a good example of PDFs (the Dragon CD-ROM archive) decimating the vintage market. Dragon #1 has decreased in value since I began collecting in earnest in the mid-90s, when it should be considered a second tier holy grail item IMO.


    A lot of that is stupidity also though.  I saw what you saw, the worth of the Dragon magazine decline when the CD rom came out.  I bought as many early issues as I could (one memorable buy had me getting Dragons #1-#250 for $250).  The last two Dragon #1's I sold went for private sales in the $250 range.  Whether or not something is available on pdf, if it is a true item of significance in it's field (as Dragon #1 is) it should always retain it's wealth.  I used this to my advantage when buying Dragon magazine collections back in the day ("you know Dragon mags are all on cd rom now, so they are not worth as much").  
    I have always been suspicious of the supposed "surviving copies"  numbers of an Orange B3 in regards the other collectibles anyway, stories keep circulating of guys sitting on cases or at least multiple copies of these.  I would also gauge this rumor as affecting the worth of the OB3, collectors in the know have heard this rumors also and factor this in to their bidding.  There exists solid numbers of the other rares you mentioned whereas only speculation exists for copies of OB3.

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:45 am 
 

dathon wrote:OB3 could be a good example of a PDF hurting its value. While other rares such as Tamoachan, Inverness and Tsojconth (which has been offered more frequently than OB3) continue to climb in value with each passing auction, OB3 is stuck at around $800.
Dragon magazines are a good example of PDFs (the Dragon CD-ROM archive) decimating the vintage market. Dragon #1 has decreased in value since I began collecting in earnest in the mid-90s, when it should be considered a second tier holy grail item IMO.

The OB3 price ceiling is probably more due to the green B3 being available for $3. If there was an ST1 available with a blue cover and some different pictures, and we all had them, and you could buy them on eBay for $3, do you think a red ST1 would fetch $2000 on eBay?


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:44 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:The OB3 price ceiling is probably more due to the green B3 being available for $3. If there was an ST1 available with a blue cover and some different pictures, and we all had them, and you could buy them on eBay for $3, do you think a red ST1 would fetch $2000 on eBay?


Tsojconth, Fazzlewood, Tamoachan and Inverness are all available for less than $10 each in their later editions, yet they still fetch $1500+.  Fazzlewood, in particular, is verbatim the same as O1.  
lumberjacque's sitting on a supposed box of Tsojconths doesn't seem to be affecting the value of them at all except the price going through the roof, so rumored hoarding of OB3s shouldn't be the reason for their stagnant price either.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:56 pm 
 

dathon wrote:...so rumored hoarding of OB3s shouldn't be the reason for their stagnant price either.

Depends what you're measuring "stagnant" against.

Compared with the following quote from March 2005?
"An orange B3. Again, like above, the VG price on one of these might be $150 -- nobody wants one in that condition. The NM & shrinked copy will go for $600 - $800."


Looks like a near five-fold increase from that to http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 8738643051



(Yeah, but the latest NM/SW copy was still barely $850...).

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 4:45 am 
 

It is common knowledge that OB£ and B£ are nearly identical. I for one do not know of the differences between Tsojconth, Tamoachan, Inverness and their counterparts.

As for Fazzlewood, I can only imagine the lack of them being on eBay increases price. They would certainly be easy to forge in NM condition.

But OB3's crop up 2 or 3 times a year.


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:36 am 
 

Anyone else actually find it completely ironic that some is now post here in the classified for RPGnow. :roll:   I think he has picked the wrong site to to try and peddle his POS pdfs. :evil:


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:33 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:Anyone else actually find it completely ironic that some is now post here in the classified for RPGnow. :roll:  I think he has picked the wrong site to to try and peddle his POS pdfs. :evil:

IMO, the only thing worse than a illegally copied PDF is a non-free PDF.  It's a frickin' digital document, not a work of art.  Unless anyone wants to buy a Word 2003 version of this post.  :roll:

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:43 am 
 

I think the likes of RPGNow distribute PDFs under lisence. The problem I have with their PDFs of OOP products is that they are SO bad quality. They are shite.

The newer d20 stuff may well be good quality on account of them being generated by DTP software, but they use really crap companies to scan and produce their PDFs from hard copies. If they rely on OOP product for an income, they're gonna close 'cos very few people will buy more than a couple before they realise how bad they really are.

So, if you are reading this RPGNow. Why not put a quality assurance system in place, and screen out all the crap scans. And if you don't know the difference between a crap scan and a good scan, you're in the wrong business. Stick to modern DTP products.


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:00 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:I think the likes of RPGNow distribute PDFs under lisence. The problem I have with their PDFs of OOP products is that they are SO bad quality. They are shite.

The newer d20 stuff may well be good quality on account of them being generated by DTP software, but they use really crap companies to scan and produce their PDFs from hard copies. If they rely on OOP product for an income, they're gonna close 'cos very few people will buy more than a couple before they realise how bad they really are.

So, if you are reading this RPGNow. Why not put a quality assurance system in place, and screen out all the crap scans. And if you don't know the difference between a crap scan and a good scan, you're in the wrong business. Stick to modern DTP products.


I  got a couple of my pdfs from them, very disappointed.  The quality was awful.  The problem is there are a couple of items I would like that I haven't gotten pdfs of yet, but I'm not going to pay for crap. But I'm too lazy to do them myself and my scanning equipment sucks.  Now that I think about it, maybe they are using my scanner when I'm not looking and that is the reason some of their stuff is so blurry.

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:47 am 
 

*snicker* RPGNow is the 666th member of the Acaeum.

I tell ya, you can't make this stuff up.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:39 pm 
 

I bought a few PDFs from svgames.com before they stopped selling them. They were bad, as mentioned above. The WoG Folio I bought is missing one page, has a duplicate of another page, several pages are scanned at a different size (much smaller) and one or two are colored pink.  :!:

I imagine that the RPGnow pdfs are the same.

However, Paizo.com is now selling the same AD&D 1E/2E, OD&D, etc pdfs (under license):

http://paizo.com/store/downloads/wizardsOfTheCoast

And they seem to be at least somewhat involved in correcting scans. There is a thread some where on their site where you can post corrections that need to be made. Although I think they said they were most concerned about missing pages, maps, etc rather than scanning quality. Also, they said you could get a copy of the corrected pdf without purchasing again.

The pdfs are apparently watermarked with the purchaser's name to reduce aftersale distribution.

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 5:19 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:Anyone else actually find it completely ironic that some is now post here in the classified for RPGnow. :roll:  I think he has picked the wrong site to to try and peddle his POS pdfs. :evil:

deimos3428 wrote:IMO, the only thing worse than a illegally copied PDF is a non-free PDF

Achizar wrote:*snicker* RPGNow is the 666th member of the Acaeum. I tell ya, you can't make this stuff up.

I'm totally baffled by this hostility; I'm equally puzzled by much of the "logic" I see at this site whenever the letters P, D, and F are typed too close together ...

Let's see ... a big part of RPGnow's business is selling classic D&D items ... The Acaeum is a site dedicated to collecting classic D&D items ... is anyone else seeing the connection here? This is hardly the "wrong site" for RPGnow; in many ways, it's the perfect site. Frankly, the only mystery I see is why they haven't posted here before.

Honestly, I could use a clarification: just what IS the major complaint here?

A. That RPGnow sells 100-percent legal PDFs?
B. That said PDFs, despite no supporting evidence, are somehow lowering the value of our collections? (and by "our," I mean "your"; as discussed elsewhere, I don't believe it for a second);
C. That an "outsider" would have the audacity to submit a post on an open forum? (especially without prior clearance from our self-annoited Acaeum High Priests);
D. That a business would have the audacity to try to show a profit? Or to take advantage of what is essentially a free advertising opportunity?
E. That the general quality of RPGnow's scanning efforts is somewhat shaky? **
F. Or have I a totally lost the plot? Am I missing another factor?

Despite some of the sarcasm above, it's a serious question: those of you who are so bothered by RPGnow's appearance at The Acaeum ... WHY???

+++++

** which it often is, I'll grant you that ... too often, in fact.

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 5:58 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:
bclarkie wrote:Anyone else actually find it completely ironic that some is now post here in the classified for RPGnow. :roll: I think he has picked the wrong site to to try and peddle his POS pdfs. :evil:

deimos3428 wrote:IMO, the only thing worse than a illegally copied PDF is a non-free PDF

Achizar wrote:*snicker* RPGNow is the 666th member of the Acaeum. I tell ya, you can't make this stuff up.

I'm totally baffled by this hostility; I'm equally puzzled by much of the "logic" I see at this site whenever the letters P, D, and F are typed too close together ...

Let's see ... a big part of RPGnow's business is selling classic D&D items ... The Acaeum is a site dedicated to collecting classic D&D items ... is anyone else seeing the connection here? This is hardly the "wrong site" for RPGnow; in many ways, it's the perfect site. Frankly, the only mystery I see is why they haven't posted here before.

Honestly, I could use a clarification: just what IS the major complaint here?

A. That RPGnow sells 100-percent legal PDFs?
B. That said PDFs, despite no supporting evidence, are somehow lowering the value of our collections? (and by "our," I mean "your"; as discussed elsewhere, I don't believe it for a second);
C. That an "outsider" would have the audacity to submit a post on an open forum? (especially without prior clearance from our self-annoited Acaeum High Priests);
D. That a business would have the audacity to try to show a profit? Or to take advantage of what is essentially a free advertising opportunity?
E. That the general quality of RPGnow's scanning efforts is somewhat shaky? **
F. Or have I a totally lost the plot? Am I missing another factor?

Despite some of the sarcasm above, it's a serious question: those of you who are so bothered by RPGnow's appearance at The Acaeum ... WHY???

+++++

** which it often is, I'll grant you that ... too often, in fact.


Um sorry for not liking something that in my OWN opinion is devaluing the originals, and I am still waiting for some evidence to prove the contrary. To me saying that the laws of Supply & Demand for some reason cease to exist when it comes to buying and selling D&D items to me is actually quite silly, but hey what the hell do I know.  I am also fully aware that what RPGnow sells is completely legal, but it doesnt mean that I have to agree with the concept of selling copies of original items as being a good idea. Additionally, just because WOTC decided to sell out does not mean that I have to agree with their decision to do so. At this point it is quite obvious that there is disagreement here, one that doesnt not seem to be heading anywhere but downhill, so maybe we should just agree to disgaree. :)


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:44 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:E. That the general quality of RPGnow's scanning efforts is somewhat shaky? **
.[/size]


    That's my only complaint.  As a matter of fact, I'm buying a couple of pdfs today from Paizo (I can't believe I've never got around to getting B1 when I use it so much).  I just don't want the purchased product to be blurry or be missing pages.
    Obviously there are those that believe pdfs are "bad", lowering the value of the original items and leading into collecting anarchy. There are those that don't want to pay high prices for the originals and get pdfs instead.  There are those like myself that have the originals but like the convenience of owning the hard copy and a pdf for use at my computer. There are those who like the idea that only a very select few, the elite, can own a certain item and they have spent good money to be one of those.  Whatever the opinion, it looks like those posting here are split pretty much down the middle. I find that intriguing and enjoy hearing the arguments on both sides, realizing the genie is out of the bottle and is never going to go back inside for any reason.  I think the rants against the dealer posting were mostly against the quality of the dealer's products.

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:14 pm 
 

bclarkie hit it squarely as the PDF effect issue comes down to supply and demand.  If the only way to buy the classic modules is to get the original printed items then the supply will be lower, and hence the price will be higher.  PDFs and photocopies increase supply and hence push the price downward.  

And one more thing I forgot to mention, I have met quite a few wealthy people who have bought well-done fakes of Rolexs, Gucci, diamond jewelry, etc. even though they could afford the real thing.  Their reasoning is simple, "Why waste all that money for the real thing when I can buy a fake and nobody can tell the difference anyway?"  It's smarter financially to buy the well-made fake, and prevents one from taking a big financial hit if one is the victim of a mugging, robbery, burglary, etc.  Interestingly many of those people are "old money" and not nouveau riche.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:30 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:
deimos3428 wrote:IMO, the only thing worse than a illegally copied PDF is a non-free PDF

Honestly, I could use a clarification: just what IS the major complaint here?

It's actually a collection of minor complaints, I think, since not all of the complainers agree.  :wink:

I can't speak for the others, but in my opinion, RPGnow is more than welcome to post/advertise/whatever.  But to address your question:
A. That RPGnow sells 100-percent legal PDFs?

Bingo.  My beef isn't with RPGnow, or any other licensed PDF distributor, however.  It's with WotC, who I feel should have either reprinted the modules and sold them, or provided free PDFs, as they in fact did with some products.  Instead, they decided to license them to others to make PDFs for sale.

I know I'm old fashioned, but I feel paying for a download is ridiculous.  I wouldn't buy software that way, or music, and I certainly won't pay good money for what is essentially a poor-quality photocopy.  If they both were free and legal, I might download them as reference copies until the real thing came along.

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