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What would you pay for a book?

There is another category @Morrus that I think you left off - Virtual Tabletop ready book.

I've bought several 5e books. More than I bought for 4e and getting pretty close to more than I bought for 3e. I'm not a huge buyer, by any stretch, but, I am buying semi-steadily. Only trick is, I haven't actually bought an RPG book since the Core 3 were released. Everything I've bought has been integrated with Fantasy Grounds.

Now, for that sort of thing, I have zero issue paying at least cover price. Presuming that the material has been properly inputted into Fantasy Grounds (and, by and large, it is), I'm very willing to pay for that. So, new release hardcover is what, about 50 bucks (give or take?)? Yeah, I have zero problem with that. For the time saving and the huge amount of time I'm going to use something like, say, Candlekeep Mysteries? Cheap by the dozen really.

Frankly, I can't find a cheaper hobby. Five people, playing 3 hours per week, probably about 45 weeks/year and it costs me maybe 50 bucks? It's a freaking steal and I wouldn't be terribly bothered if they upped the price.
Yeah i just paid USD25 for the roll20 tales from the loop module. I already own the hardcover and pdf, but it has preloaded all the handouts, art, maps and the like for the approx 5 sessions in the core book mini campaign.

That's 5USD a session for what's saved me hours of snipping, uploading, organising etc.

You could count the original cost of the book, but I've already many hours of enjoyment reading it on it's own merit so I consider it paid for.

Even buying hardcover novels to read is a more expensive hobby, as after you finish those you don't have a game you can play.
 

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TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
What are you paying for the books in Canada?
It depends.

The Ravenloft 5E book is currently 29 USD which with the conversion rate should equal about 35-36 CAD. I payed around 45 for it at launch.

For a bigger book, like the Zweihander book, it's currently 30 USD (seems to be in special) and which converts to 37 CAD. It's currently 55 CAD on Amazon Canada. I bought it for 80$ CAD over a year ago.

Another example, the Camarilla sourcebook for the 5th edition of Vampire the Masquerade is 41$ USD on the american Amazon, and is 67$ on the canadian amazon. The conversion should lead to a price around 50-51$ CAD.

In my experience, all prices in game stores (as opposed to Amazon) are few canadian dollars pricier. The Vampire 5th edition core rulebook was close to 80$ CAD when I bought it a few weeks ago.
 

Following up on some of the later posts about RPG prices in the SKR salary thread.

What is the most you would you honestly pay for:

a) a softcover adventure (say 100 pages?)
b) a hardcover rulebook the size of the D&D core books (about 300 pages)
c) a hardcover rulebook the size of the Pathfinder core book (about 650 pages)
d) PDFs of each of the above
I'm going to assume this is a purchase for something for which I want the content, not something for which I want it as a collectible -- so not for leather-bound, signed otherwise "special" items. Also only for content I am not certain I want.

A) $30
B) $120
C) $120
D) $60

I'll only buy a softcover book if no other option is available. I like pdfs to read on my iPad -- convenient, smaller size factor and copyable; I like hardbacks for casual raiding and bookshelf.

IfI know I want it, such as for example the upcoming Chaosium Pendragon book, it would be significantly higher and if they only released a softbound version for $150 ... I'd probably buy it. But I wouldn't be happy.
 

Ulfgeir

Hero
Following up on some of the later posts about RPG prices in the SKR salary thread.

What is the most you would you honestly pay for:

a) a softcover adventure (say 100 pages?)
b) a hardcover rulebook the size of the D&D core books (about 300 pages)
c) a hardcover rulebook the size of the Pathfinder core book (about 650 pages)
d) PDFs of each of the above

Note this isn’t what would you prefer the price was (free obvs!) but what would you honestly pay, assuming you wanted the product?

(If you’re not interested in that type of product assume you are for the purposes of the question)

Current Exchange-rate is 1 USD is about 9.1 SEK, but count it as 10 SEK/USD for simplicity.

A: Maybe 300 SEK
B: 500 SEK
C: 800 SEK (I am thinking about buying the Malleus Monstrorum for CoC 7e and that is 899 SEK in my localfriendly gaming store. Only reason I haven't bought it already is that I do not know if it would ever be used.)
D: 100 SEK / 300 SEK / 400 SEK. (I would prefer if the PDF were included in the price for the physical books, but I at least expect them to be heavily discounted if I buy them separately, and they should be bookmarked and searchable.)
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
I have paid $50 for the 5e PHB and about $30 for a (slightly-used) copy of Tiamat when I took over as group DM.
I expected the adventure to last for a year of live play.
The PHB is a "forever" purchase.

Softcover adventures $20 - $30 based on how long it is supposed to take to play through to completion and/or reputation of publisher / game.

I've never bought a PDF version of anything, but for my DM'ing style also consider printing costs of some of the physical pages. (Office Max: 12¢ per copy page of text, maps in color 30¢ per page)

The XL hardcover rulebook - talk my Public Library into buying that, borrow it later, and copy out the really good parts. (Yeah, this is why "starving artists" are a real thing.)
 

Following up on some of the later posts about RPG prices in the SKR salary thread.

What is the most you would you honestly pay for:

a) a softcover adventure (say 100 pages?)
b) a hardcover rulebook the size of the D&D core books (about 300 pages)
c) a hardcover rulebook the size of the Pathfinder core book (about 650 pages)
d) PDFs of each of the above

Note this isn’t what would you prefer the price was (free obvs!) but what would you honestly pay, assuming you wanted the product?

(If you’re not interested in that type of product assume you are for the purposes of the question)

a) Won't buy paper.
b) Won't buy paper
c) Won't buy paper
d) I don't buy adventures, as there are too many free ones available on the Net. But I just bought the 5e Monster Manual for Roll20 for $29, so in theory that is the most I would pay for a RPG book. But I seriously doubt I will spend more than $100 on RPG products this year (not counting my Roll20 Pro subscription. Odds are very good I'll spend less.
 

S'mon

Legend
I'd probably go up to about £55 at the top* end, then scale down proportionally.

*c, but something I actually wanted. And really wanted. Something of the quality of Odyssey of the Dragonlords (which IMO is a bargain at £40 RRP), or maybe the umpteenth Kobold Press monster book. :D
Keeping the (c) price to £40-£45 is much more likely to make a sale though. And I don't think I'd pay any more for 650 pages than for ca 380 pages. That's about where page count ceases to matter.

I once paid £20 for a Paizo AP issue (#6 of Return of the Runelords) but I can't imagine doing that again. But I might pay £10 for a 32pp adventure or £20 for a 64 page compendium of adventures if it looks good. But £8 for the former and £15 for the latter is far more likely to make a sale.

I don't generally go over £5 for a pdf no matter the size. I have far more Humble Bumble pdfs than I'll ever read - I generally don't even know what I have. :/ I'll drop £2-£3 on a pdf adventure easily though. I'll buy when it's more like buying a music single download than buying an album.

TL;DR: Sweet spot is either a 380 page luxury hardback at £45, or a cheap & cheerful £3 pdf.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
a) Won't buy paper.
b) Won't buy paper
c) Won't buy paper
d) I don't buy adventures, as there are too many free ones available on the Net. But I just bought the 5e Monster Manual for Roll20 for $29, so in theory that is the most I would pay for a RPG book. But I seriously doubt I will spend more than $100 on RPG products this year (not counting my Roll20 Pro subscription. Odds are very good I'll spend less.
Good chat.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
a) a softcover adventure (say 100 pages?)
b) a hardcover rulebook the size of the D&D core books (about 300 pages)
c) a hardcover rulebook the size of the Pathfinder core book (about 650 pages)
d) PDFs of each of the above

a) $10-15, tops.
b) $30-35, tops.
c) $35-40, tops.
d) $10, tops.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Following up on some of the later posts about RPG prices in the SKR salary thread.

What is the most you would you honestly pay for:

a) a softcover adventure (say 100 pages?)

I know you asked to pretend to be interested, but honestly... an adventure is a one-use item. I wouldn't buy a dead tree version of it, I'd buy a PDF version of it around 15-20 €, based on the amount of sessions I'd be able to play out of it but no more for a softcover version because I'd find it inferior to the PDF one. Handouts have no value for me since I'd have to translate them for my players anyway, so any work of art would be lost as an immersion tool.

b) a hardcover rulebook the size of the D&D core books (about 300 pages)

40 €.

c) a hardcover rulebook the size of the Pathfinder core book (about 650 pages)

This size of book I'd expect to have a complete contained enjoyment pack... Probably 60-80 € but I'd want the PDF freely included because it's the type of size where searching become necessary on top of a reasonably well-made index. 40 € for just the PDF seems right if it is a PDF-only release.

I feel my reaction to price is depending on multiple factors, not based on the page count.

1. generally, I'll pay based on expected time of enjoyment of the product (so a setting product that can be mined for several sessions will be worth more than an equal size book with a specific focus.
2. sometimes, there is impulse-based purchase that will throw all the number above out of the window.
3. sometimes, I'll also buy products I wouldn't have or more than what I'd have if I have had special enjoyment of the work of some author (the history of providing value helps, I am thinking of say Keith Baker... I would consider buying something I'd probably never run because I had extreme value out of Exploring Eberron, for example).
4. the relationship with PDF is problematic: my need for PDF or paper varies on the type of product, but I'd feel ripped off if the price of the PDF wasn't (price of paper version minus production cost of the paper version, potentially with a premium for the cost of producing the indexed PDF), even if I was in a situation where I'd have more use of PDF than a paper version of the product (the aforementionned adventure, for example).
 
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pogre

Legend
Following up on some of the later posts about RPG prices in the SKR salary thread.

What is the most you would you honestly pay for:

a) a softcover adventure (say 100 pages?)
b) a hardcover rulebook the size of the D&D core books (about 300 pages)
c) a hardcover rulebook the size of the Pathfinder core book (about 650 pages)
d) PDFs of each of the above

Note this isn’t what would you prefer the price was (free obvs!) but what would you honestly pay, assuming you wanted the product?

(If you’re not interested in that type of product assume you are for the purposes of the question)
Items I want, not just curious about:
a) $45
b)$75
c)$125
d)$20/$30/$45

If it was a product that I did not know I wanted a lower price often tempts me to buy something. For example, The Game Master's Book of Random Encounters by Jeff Ashworth is a 250-page hardback book with a MSRP of $22.99. Did not know if I would like it or use it, but for that price it was an easy buy for me. It was printed in Korea, but I still have no idea how they did it so cheaply. BTW - it's a solid book.
 


aco175

Legend
Well, I do want to be clear. I don't really consider the welfare of the producer at the time I'm making my purchase probably for the following reasons:
  1. I have no personal connection to the people producing what I'm purchasing.
  2. I base my purchases on what I think is best for me and I just assume whoever is selling me the product prices it according to what they think is best for them.
I find myself in the same position mostly. I tend to not buy that much in terms of books and PDFs since I do not use that much but want to support the industry when I can. I have cut back from my 3e bloat of supplements that did not get used or used once. I want to support the A5E kickstarter but not sure how much I will use the books and now, how much the 2024 core update will make things change. Looking at the kickstarter I see that I can get the PDFs of the main 3 books for $60.00 or paper for $160.00ish. I know most will not be used at my table if I do not have the paper books, but the price is too high for me.

Generally I do not care since I am buying from an unknown company. I find that on this site it may be a bit different. I am still not capital F friends with anyone here, but I consider a lot of the regulars some sort of acquaintance at least. I get something from looking at the posts and contributing, so part of me feels that should be worth something as well since I am a bit more invested.

I guess if I was a player more and not the DM almost always, I could justify buying more. I think I will likely buy the PDfs and print off sections like a new class to have at the table. I feel the monster book will get more use and the exploration rules depends on the players and how they want to play it.
 


The demographic being, "Having been a gamer long enough to have built up clutter"? :p

Terribly true. Back when Ebay got hot I dumped a massive amount of gaming material dating back to the 70s, and have since conducted regular purges and giveaways. In addition to buying only pdfs. But I still have too many gaming books.

Just last month I threw away any book I had never actually used. Someday soon I will chunk the 'will never use again' category, but that will be a lot harder.
 


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