Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Throwdown: PDF or Physical book?


While working on Throwdown (the working title of my ultra-fast playing solo miniatures rules) a couple of people have raised the question of PnP (Print n' play) vs a physical product.
My intention was to go with the PDF download route. This is primarily because it means I don't have to deal with storing or mailing things, which I have little time or space to do.

However, the more I think about it I understand there is a appeal to buying a product that you don't have to do any work to use and I've been investigating several ways I might get this done without storing hundreds of boxes in my garage (not that I have a garage at this point).

The thing is, Throwdown is an entirely card driven system. If I bolt on my solo roleplaying/narrative campaign system, then  there is also the possibility of having custom dice made for that also.. You would need 5-6 to play. Of course, you could just use normal d6 but having made some up, it's more fun IMO to use special dice if you have some.

As I researched various ways of getting cards and dice manufactured, I started thinking about when I was playing TRWNN in November. I eliminated cards from the game by using chits because they were easier to "shuffle", an idea I cribbed from Too Fat Lardies, who sometimes use poker chips instead of card decks for this reason.

What if instead of a deck of cards, you got a cloth bag of acrylic laser cut tokens that you drew out? The game would remain the same, but the tokens would be more durable than cards and you wouldn't need to shuffle them, just toss the tokens back in the bag and give it a shake.

I did a huge list of pros and cons.. But I just deleted it from this post, because this isn't about what I think, it's about what you readers think. What are your thoughts and preferences either way?

PDF print at home vs physical book, card deck vs bag of tokens... Please let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!



25 comments:

  1. PDF. Card/chips = not bothered.

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  2. Both optioms are nice but if you make a print book have it come with PDF

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  3. I'd prefer PDF and chits.

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  4. I favour PDF format. For that reason, cards would probably be the logical option for me, as they could also be in pdf format. But I do like the sound of a bag o' tokens!

    If you were looking at selling your rules, it may be worth looking into companies like lulu, who will do print on demand, as well as selling the pdf (possibly Oranjo do something similar for 15mm.co.uk)?

    I don't know much about these types of companies, so it may not suit your needs, but thought I'd throw that out there as an alternative to the garage warehouse quandry.

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    1. I would use rpgnow, as I already have an account and they do pdfs with the option to buy aprint on demand version.

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  5. I will always prefer buying a set of cards or tokens to having to print out my own cards and cut them. Then again I'm lazy.

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  6. PDf and print. I like the idea of acrylic tokens.

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  7. Tough choice, but I would go with PDF, too.

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  8. pdf for me. I can make my own tokens or dice if I stick with the game.

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  9. I would prefer pdf with printable tokens/dice

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  10. PDF! I must admit i would love the option to buy printed cards. The chits sound too cluttered.

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  11. Both? Maybe offer printable tokens and then sell deluxe laser cut tokens to lazy people like me. I'm really looking forward to these rules. Do you know when they might be available?

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    1. The rules are written in basic form, I need to figure out how much extra material I am going to include, do some art and example diagrams. Lots of work but I'm hoping to get it out in the next few months.

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  12. PDF for me so I can print out my own cards.

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  13. Book man and like the idea of tokens

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  14. I think PDF. Books can be a bit expensive. I definitely prefer crds over tokens. I like the aesthetics of cards and artwork but i dont like the draw from bag. Cards are neat bags arent!

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  15. Why not do both? An 'online' version as a pdf, including scans of all the required cards, and an 'offline' version, being the printed out book and the counters and dice in a dicebag.

    Best of both worlds.

    I like the ease of pdf's, but they are quite annoying to flick through on the computer, so I prefer a traditional book.

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  16. I do like the idea of a printed book with pdf option, but acrylic laser cut discs in a bag? Yep, that would do it for me over cards every time. I think cards would become grubby fairly quickly-you know the sort of thing-beer stains, peanut butter, bacon fingerprints, ketchup.......er, just me then?

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  17. REALLY interested in these rules, EXTRA interested in buying a printed version with the Chits. Yes please a printed ver.

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  18. Thank you for all the great repsonses, you guys have been very helpful!

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