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thackba

Is there an option to buy the rule books as a PDF

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Hi

 

I play Edge of the Empire and I like it. Our group uses at the moment only the core rule book but we want to buy more expansions. But we want to have electronic books. Is there a shop that sells the books as PDF?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

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Yeah. I think Lucasfilm prohibits the sale of PDF Star Wars RPG material.

 

-Nate

It's not so much prohibits as more the way that license agreements are setup (a holdover from before Disney purchased Lucasfilm), PDF sales fall under "electronic media" and are thus deemed a separate (and thus expensive) license than printed books.

 

Unless there's a major re-negotiation on the part of FFG, Disney, and EA (who currently hold the license for all Star Wars electronic media), we're not going to see PDFs of these books.

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And rightly they shouldn't be available.

This sort of thing is expensive to compile, let alone produce.  Selling pdfs would just give people easier ways of not paying for the product.  Not that many don't already do so anyways, but the point still stands.

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And rightly they shouldn't be available.

This sort of thing is expensive to compile, let alone produce.  Selling pdfs would just give people easier ways of not paying for the product.  Not that many don't already do so anyways, but the point still stands.

And yet they do sell other products as PDFs as do the other game makers. Shadowrun, Savage Worlds, Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40k (in all its incarnations), Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, etc... all do make PDFs of their books. One advantage of PDFs for the makers, they don't eat up warehouse space, which means a book can have a longer life than a print run. Especially as it ages, the the various Pathfinder Path adventure series where the physical books sellout. Also, the cost to make the PDF is part of the cost of printing the book in the first place as most printers can/do take in PDF as their starting point. So, you've already made the PDF just by doing book layout.

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The mouse in the house says "Nooooooooooo"

The mouse in the house had absolutely nothing to do with the current contract. The contract came from Lucas Arts starting back in the '80s. EA has the current license for "electronic gaming" and have held it for a long time. The RPG license is probably about the same one that West End Games had starting back in the mid-80s (other than maybe terms about price and requirement of produced material per year). So, to add PDFs to the RPG license would require EA's license to be changed as well to redefine electronic gaming rights as PDFs didn't even exist yet.

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And rightly they shouldn't be available.

This sort of thing is expensive to compile, let alone produce.  Selling pdfs would just give people easier ways of not paying for the product.  Not that many don't already do so anyways, but the point still stands.

 

The 'if you make it a pdf, people will pirate it' thing makes sense in theory, but we've seen that it doesn't actually stop anyone who would pirate stuff from doing so. Someone scans it, and boom, free copies everywhere.

 

WotC learned that the hard way during 4e D&D, when they pulled out of the PDF market. It didn't stop anybody from pirating anything, and didn't do them any other favors; if anything, it just made Paizo and Pathfinder's push more successful, since they did have PDFs for sale, making their products more accessible. Now WotC has wised up and they're not just selling 5e as PDFs, they're selling practically everything as PDFs, and they're raking in the money. People who are going to pirate will pirate. People who want to buy will do so if the product is available. Even some pirates who really like a product will go and buy it to support the creator, which they can't if there's not a legal way to do so.

 

So it's a shame that a license issue is keeping FFG from putting their Star Wars books out as PDFs. It'd only be good for them.

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Honestly for role playing games or text books having the physical copy is easier to have it in front of you.  The only thing I would use the pdf for is while in bed or on the coach with the lights off.  I do loving reading a book on the tablet and not waking up the wife. 

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And rightly they shouldn't be available.

This sort of thing is expensive to compile, let alone produce.  Selling pdfs would just give people easier ways of not paying for the product.  Not that many don't already do so anyways, but the point still stands.

 

The 'if you make it a pdf, people will pirate it' thing makes sense in theory, but we've seen that it doesn't actually stop anyone who would pirate stuff from doing so. Someone scans it, and boom, free copies everywhere.

 

WotC learned that the hard way during 4e D&D, when they pulled out of the PDF market. It didn't stop anybody from pirating anything, and didn't do them any other favors; if anything, it just made Paizo and Pathfinder's push more successful, since they did have PDFs for sale, making their products more accessible. Now WotC has wised up and they're not just selling 5e as PDFs, they're selling practically everything as PDFs, and they're raking in the money. People who are going to pirate will pirate. People who want to buy will do so if the product is available. Even some pirates who really like a product will go and buy it to support the creator, which they can't if there's not a legal way to do so.

 

So it's a shame that a license issue is keeping FFG from putting their Star Wars books out as PDFs. It'd only be good for them.

 

 

I know another Game Company was reticent about PDFs of their Book for very similar reasons.... But they went ahead and Did it and realized that the PDF actually ended up spreading the sales of their books in 2 ways.

 

#1 it made it more accessible for other players to be exposed to the game, and once you got people exposed to the game, Whether they bought the PDF or Found a pirated version, they were more likely to buy the physical book.

 

#2 offering a Discounted PDF version of the book actually brought in more revenue as Many people who couldn't afford the Physical book (or the shipping to other countries) were willing and able to Buy the cheaper PDF version. And on top of that, Many people Who did Buy the Physical book were also willing to/wanted to buy the PDF as well... so they got a Physical ale and PDF sale from the same source...

 

So they have now gotten past their "fear" of PDFs and come to the realization that PDFs are actually a good thing for them. It helps spread their game.

 

Those who are unwilling to Pay and More willing to steal by pirating will always Do so....and there is no real way to stop it.

 

But By providing the Option through your own company, the designers will benefit more by providing a High quality PDF product themselves.

 

My Own experience has been that I see players, Once exposed to a Game and enjoying it, are More likely to want and Buy a Physical edition. Yes PDFs are very useful, But most seem to eventually want a physical copy. So Exposure, by any means, can equate to another sale.  

 

Company's that continue to Fear the PDF and refuse to follow the trend (and I am not saying it is FFG fault here as it may be Disney or Lucas) by Trying to control the uncontrollable, are only hurting their own bottom line. 

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There is a company that will make your hardcopy into a PDF for your own personal use, but the process destroys the book. I also seem to recall that it wasn't a particularly inexpensive process. Whether it's worth it or not depends on how much more convenient you'll find having a PDF.

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From what I have gathered, it's not out of fear but licensing. The license only covers published materials, and does not cover electronic game materials. The electronic bits are licensed via EA, and getting pdf rights is a legal matter that is off the table for right now. EA doesn't want to renegotiate, lucasarts and Disney don't care enough to push the issue and ffg is focused on product rather than protracted legal fights.

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There is a company that will make your hardcopy into a PDF for your own personal use, but the process destroys the book. I also seem to recall that it wasn't a particularly inexpensive process. Whether it's worth it or not depends on how much more convenient you'll find having a PDF.

It’s not that hard to slice the spine off a book and then feed the resulting pages into an auto-feeder for a high-resolution scanner.

The issue is that the PDFs you get out of that process will be relatively low-quality scans, and won’t be searchable. Those would be the two primary reasons why I would want a PDF version of a book, so that kind of defeats the purpose.

Okay, so you could take those raw PDFs from the scanner and put them through an OCR process, but the result would still be pretty bad, even if the text was all plain black on white background and little or no graphical images, all of which are clearly boxed off and separated from the text. No sidebars, or anything else complex.

Since when have you seen a book from FFG that would meet that description?

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There is a company that will make your hardcopy into a PDF for your own personal use, but the process destroys the book. I also seem to recall that it wasn't a particularly inexpensive process. Whether it's worth it or not depends on how much more convenient you'll find having a PDF.

It’s not that hard to slice the spine off a book and then feed the resulting pages into an auto-feeder for a high-resolution scanner.

The issue is that the PDFs you get out of that process will be relatively low-quality scans, and won’t be searchable. Those would be the two primary reasons why I would want a PDF version of a book, so that kind of defeats the purpose.

Okay, so you could take those raw PDFs from the scanner and put them through an OCR process, but the result would still be pretty bad, even if the text was all plain black on white background and little or no graphical images, all of which are clearly boxed off and separated from the text. No sidebars, or anything else complex.

Since when have you seen a book from FFG that would meet that description?

 

Scanners have gotten a lot better and a lot faster than they used to be. OCR has leapt forward quite a bit from back in the 90s when I started doing it. So, as long as the scanner holds the pages to a decent alignment, then it is very easy to make a searchable PDF. Especially if it is a black and white scan and the font isn't some weird format.

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It’s not that hard to slice the spine off a book and then feed the resulting pages into an auto-feeder for a high-resolution scanner.

The issue is that the PDFs you get out of that process will be relatively low-quality scans, and won’t be searchable. Those would be the two primary reasons why I would want a PDF version of a book, so that kind of defeats the purpose.

Okay, so you could take those raw PDFs from the scanner and put them through an OCR process, but the result would still be pretty bad, even if the text was all plain black on white background and little or no graphical images, all of which are clearly boxed off and separated from the text. No sidebars, or anything else complex.

Since when have you seen a book from FFG that would meet that description?

 

 

 

I used to scan my books up until AoR's core came out. Using a pretty mediocre Epson printer/scanner, quality was pretty great and except for certain header/section titles, nearly everything in the books I scanned were searchable (even with text coloring that didn't contrast well) after running it through Adobe Acrobat Pro's OCR.

 

Files would be a little beefy (around the 80mb range), but using the Reduce File Size option would cut bigger books down to the 20mb-40mb range. Picture quality went down slightly, but you'd only notice it if you zoomed in more than 125%.

 

It's time consuming if you're like me and don't want to destroy your book (so that you're manually scanning, page-by-page), or just plain pricey if you do decide to destroy your book to scan faster, but it's definitely a viable option if somebody HAS to have a PDF version.

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I have all of the books. I would love to give FFG money for PDFs as well. I can't. So one has to make their own PDFs or get them by other means. I am pretty sure FFG would love to be able to do PDFs especially for beta books. But they can't. In fact WEG couldn't do them. Neither could WotC. Just something we are stuck with till someone at Lucas decides to fix the contracts. 

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IF I were FFG, I would sit down with some one at EA and work out an agreeable deal to allow them to do the PDFs, it could only Benefit them in the long run for a Limited agreement with EA. IF that is really the only thing blocking it... It wouldn't take a court legal battle. 

Edited by SnowDragon

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IF I were FFG, I would sit down with some one at EA and work out an agreeable deal to allow them to do the PDFs, it could only Benefit them in the long run for a Limited agreement with EA. IF that is really the only thing blocking it... It wouldn't take a court legal battle. 

 

In all likelihood, they probably already tried to talk to EA about it. Star Wars is a big thing, FFG usually does PDFs, it would only make sense they'd try. Chances are EA either outright said no, or something that was too unfeasible from a business standpoint was the best kind of deal they could get out of EA.

 

 

I wonder though, would the dice roller fall under something EA would've had control over? If so, that'd be a clear sign that FFG was able to reach a deal with EA that was at least somewhat reasonable enough to put that out. Obviously not a good enough deal to apply to the PDFs of the game, but still an indication that they've already been in talks with EA at some point.

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