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I'm looking into buying all the books for this as the theme and everything seems right up my alley. 

I don't know if I should buy PDF's from rpgdrivethru or the physical.  on one side of the coin, it could save me a lot of money buying digital books, on the other side of the coin I do prefer physical books, even though hauling countless books can be heavy.

 

what's your preference?

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While your concern is legitimate, and somehow relevant to the L5R theme, this is the card game forum. 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/forum/561-legend-of-the-five-rings-the-roleplaying-game/

 

You should post this in the rpg forums for more meaningful feedback on the books weight or quality. 

Personally as a GM I prefer physical products than PDF. 

 

Edited by Nitenman

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The cost savings is significant for the PDFs.  The novellas are about 100 pages each.  Then they have 10 or so full color pages at the end that give you setting information relevant to the story (meant to be read after completing the story first).  The quality of the printing and the hard cover are top notch in my opinion (as are the color pages), but ultimately is that worth 3x the price to you compared to the digital version (which is admittedly pricey for a novella length book)?  The L5R books come with alt art cards as well, which may or may not be a selling point for you.  You obviously don't get that in the pdf.  I feel alot of people buy these and the Arkham Horror books physically for the promo cards.  In my opinion they look really good lined up on the shelf next to my Arkham Horror and Android hard covers.  I've got a small library of these things at this point.

In either the digital or physical version the stories in all these L5R books have been fantastic IMO.  If you are already excited about the setting then I don't think these will disappoint.  I recommend the Phoenix novella as your first if you are debating reading order.  The cast was just real strong in that one.  That said they've all been great.  L5R fans are spoiled right now with tons of quality fiction.

Edited by phillos

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23 minutes ago, phillos said:

The cost savings is significant for the PDFs.  The novellas are about 100 pages each.  Then they have 10 or so full color pages at the end that give you setting information relevant to the story (meant to be read after completing the story first).  The quality of the printing and the hard cover are top notch in my opinion (as are the color pages), but ultimately is that worth 3x the price to you compared to the digital version (which is admittedly pricey for a novella length book)?  The L5R books come with alt art cards as well, which may or may not be a selling point for you.  You obviously don't get that in the pdf.  I feel alot of people buy these and the Arkham Horror books physically for the promo cards.  In my opinion they look really good lined up on the shelf next to my Arkham Horror and Android hard covers.  I've got a small library of these things at this point.

In either the digital or physical version the stories in all these L5R books have been fantastic IMO.  If you are already excited about the setting then I don't think these will disappoint.  I recommend the Phoenix novella as your first if you are debating reading order.  The cast was just real strong in that one.  That said they've all been great.  L5R fans are spoiled right now with tons of quality fiction.

I didn't think the colour pages came with the PDF.  I could very easily be wrong on that as I've been buying physical copies for my promos in addition to the cool stories but seem to recall someone mentioning it when they bought the PDF of the Phoenix Novella that it didn't include the colour section.

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1 hour ago, phillos said:

Well then that's a consideration.  I only bought the physical books for L5R.  Maybe someone else can confirm whether the color pages are in the PDF version.

The DriveThruRPG entry seems to confirm it for the Phoenix book in the reviews.  That said they have it on sale for $4.00 at the moment so may still be worth it even without the bonus content.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/243492/Legend-of-the-Five-Rings-The-Sword-and-the-Spirits

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Are we talking about novellas or RPG books? 

 I think OP was asking about the RPG books, particularly because he used "hauling", so bringing around books with him. I wouldn't carry around several novellas, while I often carry a few kilos of books when I go GMing

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Maybe.  If that's the case then I'd say PDF all the way as long as you have a decent pad to view them on.  It's much nicer to have a search function for reference books like that. Also it's easier to print off stuff from a PDF to make gaming aids.

Edited by phillos

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Depends entirely on what you priorities are.  I tend to prefer physical copies so I am not reliant on a device or computer that could distract me.  Also useful for when you are a long distance away from an outlet where you can recharge.  But then, I an not like most people.  I tend to get more from holding a book than looking at a screen.

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Books are easier to manage, pass around etc around a table. And I only play trpg around a table.

PDF would be good for the GM prep time and printing though. To be fair, it is insane that you do not get the PDF for free when you buy the physical book. Well, not insane, just, cheap.

Edited by Avatar111

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If you can at least get it in PDF, then go that route, if you're blessed with incredibly good luck to find it in print, GET YOUR PAWS ON IT. trust me on this. I made the mistake of passing over getting L5R 4th edition IN PRINT at a used bookstore for 34 bucks, Never can find it that cheap even on AMAZON for the actual tangible book.

But thjankfully I got it for dirty cheap as a PDF. but even then there is something overly amazingly romantic about reading an actual book. So if you're able to go the rought of in print over PDF, then go for it. Maybne have a rolling cart from a l,.ocal hardware/walmart store or somethingh to cart them around ?

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Both! (If you can afford it :)) Physical books are fantastic, tangible, and high quality, but I also like the convenience of searching for key words on the fly, which happens often enough in this game. For sessions I only carry the books I'm likely to use, so weight is not much of an issue. I'd say both physical and pdf for the core rules but only physical for everything else imho.

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14 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

To be fair, it is insane that you do not get the PDF for free when you buy the physical book. Well, not insane, just, cheap.

Badger your retailer into signing up for Bits and Mortar?

I'm pretty much exclusively using .pdfs, but I will often print bits for players.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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4 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Badger your retailer into signing up for Bits and Mortar?

I'm pretty much exclusively using .pdfs, but I will often print bits for players.

 

Indeed.  The beauty of the free PDF version when you buy the hardcover version is that you can print out sections and scribble or write over them while keeping the original in a pristine condition.  Sometimes I keep the annotations of the printed out pages in the same spot in the book for quick reference.

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Being able to hand each player a printout of one of the nice artwork maps is useful too.

It still bugs me that FFG felt the need to add the label "Secret Room" on to the maps of Shiro Hiruma and Shiro Yogasha, but they are beautiful - and it's arguably even more useful to be able to do that with Emerald Empire; since the maps of the towns, waystations, etc, tend to be on page spreads directly opposite adventure seeds for using them.

Great for a GM reading the book - lousy for use in game because if you want the PCs to see the map - and you do because they're (a) useful and (b) pretty - you've got the plot of the adventure in nice big obvious bullet-points on the opposite page!

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6 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Being able to hand each player a printout of one of the nice artwork maps is useful too.

It still bugs me that FFG felt the need to add the label "Secret Room" on to the maps of Shiro Hiruma and Shiro Yogasha, but they are beautiful - and it's arguably even more useful to be able to do that with Emerald Empire; since the maps of the towns, waystations, etc, tend to be on page spreads directly opposite adventure seeds for using them.

Great for a GM reading the book - lousy for use in game because if you want the PCs to see the map - and you do because they're (a) useful and (b) pretty - you've got the plot of the adventure in nice big obvious bullet-points on the opposite page!

I download the map on the artist's website directly, they do not have the "tags".  I then photoshop whichever tag I want in and print for players.

Not a proper solution, but it works.

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