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BGilkison

PDFs from DriveThruRPG

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I've searched the forums for "PDF" and "Acrobat" and can't find anything relevant so here goes...

Has anyone else had issues with their PDFs from DriveThruRPG.com? I was recently notified of an update to the core rulebook, and saw that it went from ~110MB to over 400! Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos and Rites of Battle both have one big long list of bookmarks instead of a hierarchical/tree view (like the core rulebook). And Blood of Martyrs has simply 9 bookmarks: "FC BOM", "00 BOM" through "06 BOM", and "BC BOM"

Anyone else have the same?

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My copy of BoM is the same and, I can't help but notice, disappointingly low resolution. I've also been having problems with Daemon Hunter freezing seemingly at random, though that might be an issue on Adobe's end for all I know.

I've not seen anything about an update to the rulebook. Mine is still 107mb.

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I bought "Mark of the Xenos" and "Daemon Hunter" from DriveThruRPG.

The only thing that I have to complain about is a "shoddy" job on the tables in DH. No freezing or anything else. My actual version of ADOBE Reader is 9.3.0

Yes, the documents feature hyperlinks instead of  "tree" AND in "DH" one of them is simply missing. Anyway, I guess this is to be blamed on the company who procuded the PDF, not the vendor distributing it.

All in all, I personally still think that the products are worth it... but on the other hand, I earn my money in EURO so any product orginally priced in USD is a fine treat to me at the moment.

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I guess the question then is, is Fantasy Flight directly responsible for producing the PDFs? I contacted DriveThruRPG about the issues, and they pointed out that they simply distribute/sell what is given to them, and that they don't have anything to do with how the documents are structured/bookmarked/etc.  I don't know as much about PDF as I should (other than it being PostScript-based), but I would imagine that DriveThruRPG's watermarking process doesn't blow the file size up by 4x...

<sigh> Any ideas/suggestions on how to get the issue noticed by FFG?

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Opening the Dark Heresy Corebook PDF on my iPad results in all the tables in the book being blank (they look whited out).  Text and images outside tables are fine, but anything in the table is just gone.  Really frustrating because I am trying to reduce the amounts of books I have to carry around.

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Gunslinger_Gaius said:

Opening the Dark Heresy Corebook PDF on my iPad results in all the tables in the book being blank (they look whited out).  Text and images outside tables are fine, but anything in the table is just gone.  Really frustrating because I am trying to reduce the amounts of books I have to carry around.

Since Apple has a grudge with Adobe the iPad is a little wonky with how it reads PDF files.

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I was thinking about picking this game up from Drive-Thru. I'd noticed that the other titles that go along with DH have the file size listed but not DH. So I look here and I find this post. Here's the problem. Deathwatch: 121.53MB/400 pages, Rogue Trader: 207.39MB/400 pages, and according to the first post Dark Heresy: over 400MB/400 pages. I haven't seen any of these files, and I won't buy them based on their size, so I'm only addressing the size issue. Not quality.

 

The size issue? Unacceptable.

 

That is FFG's fault. Watermarks have nothing to do with it. There is no reason for such large file sizes. On a Tablet or Reader capable of opening PDF any file over 100MB is simply to large. It'll crash every time, a few pages in or a dozen depending on how robust the device is. Even on a desktop such large files can crash Adobe X if you scroll through quickly. (My desktop a fairly new Intel i3 2.93GHz w/ 6GB RAM and I encountered this with a copy of PFRPG's Inner Sea World Guide.)

 

It can be done smaller. Case in point. Posthuman Studios' Eclipse Phase Core book 3rd printing: 28.27MB/400 pages (the 39.59MB listed on Drive-Thru is the 2nd printing size). They just released Panopticon: 17.07MB/176 pages. I know what you are thinking. They must look like garbage. Wrong, they look great, and they're bookmarked, and TOC/index hyperlinked. A 400MB PDF file is for the printer, not a web download for customer pc/tablet/reader use. There is no excuse for not hitting a 10 page per 1MB ratio for these files, and still have them look great.

 

All this being said, I don't blame FFG. This is still a new thing to most RPG companies, and there's a bit of a learning curve. Hopefully they'll see this and try to do better. I think it'll be some time before PDFs replace paper books (I've found it hard to make characters with a PDF cause it's easier to flip back and forth in a real book) but FFG should make an effort to make these files much more manageable.

 

My 2 cents, anyway.

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S45qu4tch said:

The size issue? Unacceptable.

Agreed. However, it seems to be hit mor miss on whether a particular Dark Heresy/Deathwatch/Rogue Trader is a "good" size or not.

 

My latest dowload of the core Deathwatch book (402 pages) included two files, one sized 98,312KB and the other at 64,695KB.  Both look awesome on my desktop; if I'm viewing on my iPad, the former shows graphics but has other rendering issues (tables with the aforementioned "whiteout" issue, graphics clipping text that should flow around the graphic, etc.; while the latter is a "flatter"(?) file -- no background graphic on the pages, a lot of the graphics stripped out, but on the plus side pretty snappy to flip through.

Others:

  • Inquisitors Handbook: 258 pages, 31,357KB
  • Radical's Handbook: 242 pages, 27,882KB
  • Disciples of the Dark Gods: 241 pages, 30,475KB
  • Ascension: 257 pages, 22,136KB
  • Blood of Martyrs: 146 pages, 17,114KB (a case of too *much* compression; graphics quality is poor in this title, IMHO)

I thought I'd try a fresh download of the core Dark Heresy book – I'm still waiting for it to download, though, and the download meter is showing a file size of 471MB <sigh> [edit: final file size -- 482,509KB]

Clearly, given the titles I listed above, a (relatively) small PDF size is possible, while still retaining quality; but how to get this done across the entire WH40K RPG line? ...

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FWIW, I thought I'd check some of my other PDFs; mostly what I have is Paizo's Pathfinder line, but I think it's a good example of what *can* be done...

The Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook: 578 pages, 77,384KB, internally hyperlinked, background graphics on every page -- in other words, *very* similar to the layout and design of the DH core rulebook.  To me, this has been my "gold standard" of late, in that if that much data and graphics can be packed into a PDF of that size, then I don't see why my other RPG books can't come in at similar page/fiel size ratios

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You are right. The PFRPG core rulebook is well done. It's size isn't bad for it's pagecount either. Doesn't quite meet my 10 page/1MB count ideal, but it's not bad.

If you want to see my"gold standard", the Eclipse Phase core rulebook, it is completely legal to download it from the web. Posthuman Studios decided to post the first printing edition of it to the web about two years ago for free to generate buzz. All their stuff is Creative Commons licensed, meaning you can share/edit/recreate it all you want as long as you don't make money off of it. Fans have already converted the core rulebook, and one expansion, to MOBI, EPUB, and HTML. All available through the EP website. AFAIK, just the core rulebook is legal on torrent though so don't go overboard.

Disclaimer: I don't work for them, or get anything for mentioning them. Just a fan of their stuff, and their desire to make it easy on us to use their PDFs.

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 Hi, 

figured I'd ask here instead of making a new thread. I'm really considering PDF's instead of books. I still prefer reading books! But looking up rules or showing tables it'll be alot easier. So, do you have any tablets to recommend for this? 

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I have an iPad 2 and using an app called Good Reader for all my PDF rulebooks.

I've found that so far, there are some shortcomings if the PDFs aren't properly optimized. They are SUPER SLOW to use, making me just want to crack open the book itself. Some of them are made at practically PRINT resolution, which is ridiculous big for online or PC viewing. I wonder a bit at the whole 400 MB version of the core rulebook. Someone didn't create that PDF very well.

IF the pdfs are well put together, they're super fast and easy to use. Most of the supplement books (Blood of Martyrs et all) work GREAT. 

Other than this issue with massive file size, Good Reader handles the books very well - the ability to SEARCH for terms is nice, as is flipping through bookmarks by a quick touch of the screen.

Right now, though, this app doesn't support forms, so Form fillable character sheets don't work correctly. A bit frustrating, and I haven't found another app that handles them yet either.

HOWEVER, you can still write, scribble and draw all over the place. Great for quick note taking on the fly, or highlighting text blocks.

SO in short, I'd recommend a tablet: either the iPad or the Samsung one (Galaxy?).

 

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 Don't even try to use the pdfs on a Kindle. I have a Kindle DX (the big one), love it for books published in the Kindle or MOBI formats, BUT, the pdf support is lame. 

Many links don't come over, it's slow, and the transfer from color originals to monochrome on the Kindle makes a lot of FFG's sidebars totally unreadable.

I'd rather have game books published in ebook formats, not PDF. PDF is for printing, and assumes a page size. Ebooks can have different size screens and the user can change the font size.

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Gunslinger_Gaius said:

Opening the Dark Heresy Corebook PDF on my iPad results in all the tables in the book being blank (they look whited out).  Text and images outside tables are fine, but anything in the table is just gone.  Really frustrating because I am trying to reduce the amounts of books I have to carry around.

 

I have exactly the same issue, I have the 400Mb file as mentioned above. This happens on both my iPad2, (viewing via the GoodReader app), and on my Mac Mini (Snow Leopard) via Preview.

It's doubly annoying as the text is still there, you can highlight and copy & paste it elsewhere, it's just whited out and invisible whilst in the tables.

No issues whatsoever with the tables in either of the Apostasy Gambit supplements.

 

Has anyone contacted FFG about this?

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Adobe reader 9x is the worst one yet for being bloated and slow, I've been using Foxit which is a much smaller and faster reader.

Bought a couple of RT PDF's from DTRPG, Battlefleet Koronus works fine and everything is where it should be, the copy of Into the Storm however, is complete ****. Missing links and shortcuts make it very frustrating to use.

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Good news everyone!

An updated version of the Core rulebook went up on Drive Thru RPG this week and it seems to have solved many, if not all, of the reported issues. The new file is a svelt 155Mb and all of the tables display correctly. The whole thing is now hyperlinked up the wazoo and better still, renders much quicker than before.

Well done to the FFG team. My dream of no longer carrying heavy books lives on!

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