Alright, this is off topic but I want to make this comment as a gamer and game purchaser.
When people ask me what I want for gifts I will frequently say gift credit on DriveThruRPG. So, I do consistently spend money on DriveThruRPG. I also like physical copies of RPG books on my bookshelf. Since I started RPG gaming again, about 10 years ago, there are only two books I have purchased that are not DriveThuRPG softcover books. My Blades in the Dark book is softcover from DTRPG.
I recently made purchases that have led me to a conclusion. I ONLY want to purchase Print on Demand or softcover books from DTRPG. I purchased a pdf only copy of Sagas of the Icelanders and a softcover book of MASHed. I can’t wait for my book of MASHed to arrive and there is a very high probability I will read it cover to cover. Conversely, I had this sinking feeling that I may never read Sagas of the Icelanders as I buried it in its own folder on my hard drive. Of course, I WANT to read Sagas (that is why I got it) and I very well may. However, reality is that there is only so much time I want to look at screens and I just probably won’t get around to it for who knows how long.
I mean, I am GMing two Roll20 games right now so, yeah, more screens! I am spending so much time on my computer screens and phone screen that I want to get away from it and relax with a soft cover RPG.
Anyway, that is my soapbox speech and I understand I may be the only one feeling this way but I made a vow that I will only buy softcover stuff off DriveThruRPG from here on out (and, yeah, that just cut a lot of titles off my potential purchase list).
I also understand there may be real reasons that designers/publishers don’t do the PoD DTRPG thing. Certainly, no negative feelings from me on that point. I just really wish more titles had the softcover option on DTRPG.
Cheers everyone! I hope 2021 is a great gaming year for you!
whats wrong with hardcover?
@Deefling what’s wrong with hardcover? Well, that is an interesting way to phrase a question considering I never mentioned the words ‘hardcover’ or ‘wrong’ in my post. So I am not sure if you are directly asking me or the community in general.
Answering for myself I would say there is nothing wrong with hardcovers. They tend to be nicer looking for sure.
The reasons I rarely buy hardcover (except Agon!) is because of economics. Not everyone’s disposable income is the same. I can spread the same amount of money around to support more creators/publishers buying softcover than I can buying hardcover. So for me I get two games (softcover) for the price of one (hardcover). As I said, now two creators/publishers get money instead of one.
I might also be odd in the sense I like the ‘pulpy’ feel of a softcover book in my hand versus the ‘textbook’ feel of some hardcovers. It’s more comfortable for me to pull a softcover out at a coffee shop or pub than a hardcover (if the hardcover is large). I once oversaw a stranger in a pub just about sh*t himself when his friend spilled beer on the table next to his precious hardcovers. Shrug.
For me, it’s the opposite: personally I see no financial sense in buying a physical book, but choose a low-quality one.
In most cases I just want to save money, so i’ll just buy the PDF.
When I want a physical book, that’s because I love the game, I want to support the creators, I play often and find a physical book convenient, etc. In all that cases, I’ll want to have a nice-looking and durable book. If I wanted a cheap, fragile softcover, I’d have it printed out myself, for a negligible amount of money (cheap inkjet refills ^^)
Sorry if the question came off as rude haha, i just noticed you said softcover a few times instead of generally printed books and wondered if there was a big difference in RPG communities. I’ve always been a big hardcover fan for books in general, but thanks for sharing your thought about the softcovers, that makes a lot of sense.
My original post was definitely self centered in the sense I specifically want Print on Demand (physical product) and softcover (price).
I do believe some RPGs lend themselves to hardcovers. Particularly the ones that have quite a bit of art (TROIKA, Electric Bastionland, Mork Borg., etc?) Almost like a coffee table art book? That’s cool.
The quality of the soft cover binding from DriveThruRPG seams OK so far. I assume the books can last for decades if they aren’t abused too much. I did pull some out today and look at the binding. I think if the cover was yanked real hard it might pull away from the spine? I don’t know. It has never happened.
Here is my Dungeon World book. It has been opened hundreds of times, every year, for 8 years. It’s still in good shape:
Here is the Blades in the Dark book. Oops, looks like I spilled some tea on it while prepping for a session! Because it is a paper back I never worried about it and even forgot until I looked at it just now. If that was a $50 hardcover I probably would have been disappointed. The binding, however, is still in great shape and this book has been used a ton. Blades was the longest running RPG we have had. Every week for 9 months!
The Agon hardcover binding is definitely higher quality:
Anyway, that’s a lot of words over my self centered purchasing preferences. haha. Paperbacks (sometimes, not always) just suit me better.