Why don't RPG publishers eschew physical books altogether and rely purely on digital publishing...

Why don't RPG publishers eschew physical books altogether and rely purely on digital publishing? Laptops with PDFs and PDF searching are a lot more convenient than physical books anyway.

Having books be purely digital means that developers are less afraid to implement errata/patches to broken/unbalanced mechanics too. That's one thing video games have over tabletop: constant evolution of game fixes and balance patches. Only D&D 4e was really rigorous about errata, and even then not by that much.

1) part of the customer base are grognards who like to have their stuff as it used to be in "good old days"
2) part of the customer base are soccer moms, who think buying their crotchspawn a book is good because reading is good and more time at computer is the devil
3) arguably more difficult to pirate
4) printers lobby - those people don't want to go out of business any more than the other obsolete professions

I just like the feeling of holding an actual book. It's more comfortable for me to use.

Publishers could easily release changes to the books, it would just need to be a printable file that lists what they changed.

>I just like the feeling of holding an actual book. It's more comfortable for me to use.
I'm the same way. I find it almost impossible to read a book in PDF form, but if I have the same book physically in hand I'll lose myself in it for the entire afternoon.


PDFs for searching, dead trees for reading.

I have used PDFs for a couple of campaigns that I played online and I found them to be more of a pain to use compared to physical books. It takes longer for me to scroll or find the exact page number to type compared to just flipping through a physical book. The fact that the PDF reader kept crashing every five minutes didn't help.

These days I basically only buy RPG books if I think they'd be nice to have or to support a dev I like. PDF's are basically just better in my experience. Easier to use, faster to reference, and the ability to copy and paste OCR'd text is a godsend.

Why scroll or go to page numbers? Ctrl+f a search term or just open up the bookmarks tab.

Ctrl+F didn't work that well for me when I tried to use it. The Bookmarks tab was actually pretty useful! Wish my group told me about that. I do still prefer the feel of a physical book like the others mentioned above.

What pdf reader do you use?

When I publish my game, I'll be doing both. I, personally, prefer to only have physical books at my table when I can help it, as I find digital products/sources to be a huge distraction (let me just look up the rules for grappling... and 10 feats later, what are we doing?).

Both have their place, I think. I personally prefer physical copies though.

Not that user, but I use a tablet for a lot of my tabletop gaming PDFs and those are pretty damn cumbersome to navigate as well. Doesn't matter the app or the model of the tablet, it's a lot slower to bring up the search bar, punch in the keywords you need, then flip through the results to find what you want. Not to mention PDFs from somewhat-competent publishers are getting to be such high quality that it often takes several seconds to load certain pages, especially those with a lot of images or if you're thumbing through things quickly.

I don't think physical media is going away for a while, and I'm alright with that.

Out of curiosity, would it be appreciated when a publisher does a PDF to provide both a high and low quality (one essentially a scan and the other basically text only) to facilitate speed when using smaller devices such as phones and tablets? Would that make the product more desirable?

GURPS is mostly digital only releases these days.

When I finish my system that will likely make me no money, it's going to be in a d20pfsrd esque app format.

I appreciate the companies that do that. Typically the ones that perform well are the "print friendly" PDFs.

Ntgb I use Sumatra PDF

They're very obviously not designed for tablet use, unfortunately.

I used Acrobat. It worked well enough in the past but it was definitely struggling when reading rulebooks.

Acrobat sucks. Seriously.

There are a lot of alternatives and people argue over which is best. I'd advise looking up a list of acrobat alternatives and picking whichever takes your fancy.

I've never had any issues with Acrobat (specifically Acrobat DC). Full edit functionality, and the only real lag I get is caused by reading large things over my laptop's network connection.

The only company I've ever seen take full advantage of the PDF format is BTRC, who do all sorts of neat shit with JavaScript.

Someone has never known the joy of using a book. Of course, if you're used to the 3.PF "optional splat" book bloat of mandatory options... Then yes, PDFs are easier than referencing 25 books over 4 players because you found the one poorly interpreted feat combo that let's you weaponise your biological functions.

>Ctrl+F didn't work that well for me when I tried to use it.
It depends on how the PDF was made. A well-made PDF is made so you can ctrl+F every word. PDFs made with just scanned images won't get that.

Case in point: Exalted 3e
The book is nearly 700 pages long and is chock full of confusing things. The book comes out. One year later the developers who wrote most of the book no longer work for the company, and the developers who wrote a little bit of the book are now in charge. The forums have a stickied thread for asking clarifications from the developers. The thread right now up to 85 pages. But the developers have to stick to the schedule for new releases, and cannot go back to rewrite the core rulebook to put the answers to the questions in the book. Anyone familiar with Exalted 3e will know these problems are not edge cases or trivial matters, but ambiguities about common rules.

I like books. Easier to flip through, pass around a table, etc.
As a GURPS fan this depressed me, it's hard to find some of their books in paper. I'm not talking about obscure stuff either, GURPS Martial Arts is only available from scalpers at absurd prices right now.

This. I prefer physical bookmarks and page flipping over navigating a UI. It feels like I have more control.

Also it's feels really nice to have a shelf full of books.
For me I use PDFs to see if a game looks cool. I might run one or two sessions with it and if I like it I'll buy a physical book.

I like having both. Books to explore, and computerized rules for reference.

They reprinted some of them recently, didn't they? UTech and shit?

>Why don't RPG publishers eschew physical books altogether and rely purely on digital publishing?
The smell.

Ugh. Fuck GURPS martial arts. Powers is also retardedly expensive. And everything is priced worse here in canuckistan.

They're "printing from lulu" books.

Acrobat is better than most for editing, and for printing. But for general purpose viewing there are better options.

>Pathfinder players.
>Using PDFs to build their characters instead of d20pfsrd.
Why in the world would anyone do that?

>something something digital piracy

I also LOVE the smell of a new book, add in the crackling noise that a hardback does for the first few openings and it's like the best thing ever.