Do you buy your RPG books?


  • Admin

    For starters, I will delete any post on this thread which actually provides links to or instructions of how to obtain copyrighted material.

    So, MUSH-dom uses a great deal of proprietary systems, adopting them or even using them verbatim from books written for table-top RPGs.

    Do you usually buy them or obtain them from Somewhere Else? Do you do find you're doing that right away or once you have play-tested them for a while to ensure you like them or that you're sticking around in the game(s) that use them?

    What's your annual budget like for gaming material that you use for MUSHing (which doesn't need to be exclusive of course, if you're also using the same books for table-top as well)?

    Are we a freeloading community?


  • Politics

    @arkandel

    I buy my World of Darkness stuff from DriveThruRPG. I stopped using sharing systems a while back. I don't mind sharing my .PDFs, though.


  • Pitcrew

    Same as Gany.



  • Pretty much the same as Gany...

    ...except for books that are out of print or very very hard to find hardcopies of. From con networking I can get almost anything that anyone would want that falls under those categories. In PDF of course.


  • Politics

    @jaded said in Do you buy your RPG books?:

    ...except for books that are out of print or very very hard to find hardcopies of. From con networking I can get almost anything that anyone would want that falls under those categories. In PDF of course.

    I have a lot of old World of Darkness and new World of Darkness books lying around that I'll never get any mileage out of. Anyone who is willing to make a .PDF of them for me may have the hard copies.


  • Coder

    I only buy PDFs. Which pretty much limits me to drivethrurpg. I'm the kind of guy that likes to search things. I dislike obtaining them from other sources because they're usually scans and that means I have to spend 30 minutes - a couple hours OCRing them into searchable text. Even then, it's not the greatest result.

    On the other hand, my reliance on PDF books means that some of the older companies (Cough Warhammer Cough) are slow to push their books out to PDF. And that when they do, they aren't chaptered or OCRed or have shitty indexes or TOCs. Etc. All kinds of issues. Because the PDF was an afterthought.

    I mean, look, I want a PDF because I want to find shit in the book faster. I don't want to spend 25 minutes thumbing through pages, scanning them for a thing. IF I did, I would buy the hardcover/paperback.



  • I try to get hard copy when I can, (GURPS is finally reprinting stuff--no more $300 supplements on Amazon!!).

    I try to get my hard copies from the local game store, but if it isn't there, I'll get it from the publisher's site or amazon.

    PDFs are okay in a pinch, but I do get screen fatigue looking at them, and flipping > scrolling, no matter what ctrl-f has to say about things. I'm sad that most printing services in my area are more expensive than buying a hardbound copy off the bat, and drive through rpgs print on demand shipping to canada is fucking insane.



  • Whenever possible, yes. This tends to mean buying PDFs more than books, though.

    If I'm really not sure on a system and whether it's worth examining, and I can't find a decent review of it, I will occasionally pirate a game so that I can check out the rules. If I like it, I try to track it down--even if it's just in a (hopefully discounted) PDF version. If I don't like it, I delete it--no reason to keep something around that I'll never look at or use.


  • Coder

    I buy the books I code from.

    I have a short list of books to buy when I have a job that leaves me with disposable income again. Victorianna, I’m looking at you.



  • When I can, yup.


  • Pitcrew

    I prefer hard copy books myself but practicality and economics mean I often wind up getting books from DTRPG like many here. It’s easier to keep my collection on my hard drive than on my much-smaller-than-it-used-to-be bookshelf.



  • When I can afford to buy, I buy through DTRPG or Paizo.com. That said, more of the books in my collection than not came from Nebulous Elsewhere. Books are just too damn expensive these days and frankly, after having about 3K worth of oWoD books stolen from me back in the day, I tend to stick to pdf's now.


  • Pitcrew

    I by them from my locally owned gaming store, whenever possible I get a print version over pdf.
    If it is something that was not put in print but PDF only I get it from Drive Thru.


  • Coder

    I will read a book, and if it's good, then I will buy it. I will definitely support the people who are putting out content I use and/or enjoy.

    I have no qualms with not buying stuff I dislike and/or will not use however.

    I am not a fan of pirating per se, but I do enjoy being able to get digital copies of books I physically own (cuz I own to damn many to manage easily).



  • I buy the books for games I play regularly enough to want to know the rules for without Ctrl-F. Most of the time that means Mage, but I also have some of the other WoD books.

    If it's not something I plan on using regularly enough to care, but need for some obscure staffing task or to run an NPC? I'll ask someone for a PDF, or just pirate one. Example: The Werewolf player's guide book. What is it, Rage? Something. Inferno is another. Don't ever plan to play, but damn have I needed those rules for some dumb quibble more times than I care to count.

    If I find I use it enough to care after that, I throw money at the machine and usually get a print copy.

    Especially if it has a fuckton of tables I have to reference all the damn time.

    I'm looking at you, Rifts.



  • I used to buy RPG books all the time from my local gaming store but when they finally closed, I started buying PDFs from DriveThruRPG. I also frequently purchase things from Bundle of Holding. I have so damned many PDFs now that I doubt I'll ever had the time to read them all.

    I've gotten rid of nearly all of my actual books. After my last move, I swore I was never again going to be stuck hauling 500 lbs of books so I gave away or sold pretty much everything that wasn't special (ie my autographed copies of Vampire 1st and Battle Lords of the 23rd Century). Nowadays I carry around my entire RPG collection on my phone. Ain't technology wonderful?



  • I borrowed from a friend when I was trying to learn WoD. I like to buy hard copy for most rpg books because they are usually pretty and we pass them around at game nights. Also it's handy to have something to read in the bathroom.


  • Pitcrew

    My last paycheck was $560. No, I don't buy my RPG books. Food and rent are far more important.



  • I buy PDFs as I'm a closet gamer and can't have physical evidence laying around for people in RL to find. Purchases is how I roll as I like to support the games I like.



  • I buy stuff if I need it to play or run something somewhere, even though I am typically broke as fuck.

    I used to make digitally distributed content for a living, so I can't choke down the idea of pirating somebody's stuff after having dealt with that job for as long as I did, even if it means I end up paying for what turns out to be a useless stinker that doesn't seem worth the pixels its 'printed' on.