Aug 082016

We have a wide range of options to devour books these days. While we used to be at the mercy of the publisher’s decision, thanks to Kickstarter, we now often have the choice of getting our gaming books in hardcover, softcover or digitally – or all three! So what’s your preference?


For me, I can’t say that I have a clear preference, it’s more of a “depends” situation.

When it comes to adventures, I prefer digital copies. Typically I will rework any bought adventure, so I like to have the digital copy so that I can cut out sections, paste in new material, edit what is there to suit my own campaign or vision of the adventure, etc. In this case, hard copies are more useful as reference material, but certainly in such cases I would want it to be softcover, as it’s lighter and more easily referenced.

For rulebooks, generally I prefer softcover hard copies as well digital copies. Similar to adventures, I like to rework game systems, so having a digital copy lets me play with the rules. However, I also like to have a reference copy of the rules easily accessible, so again like a light, portable and easily referenced version of the book – namely a softcover version.

I should also note that if I’m only interested in mining a game/adventure/other for ideas, I’ll typically opt for digital only. It’s cheaper and easier to access for hacking it up.

So when do I like hardcover books? If I really like a game, I may go for the hardcover because of the durability and appearance of the hardcover, especially when it comes to high page counts.

How about you?

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Justin Schmid

Justin started tabletop gaming in 1983 with Basic D&D (red box) and never looked back. He runs and plays in a wide variety of games, including Savage Worlds, Dungeon World, Trail of Cthulhu and many, many more. He also writes professionally for role-playing games, including writing and creating Night's Edge an Alternate Reality Universe for Cyberpunk 2020. He went on to write eight more adventures and sourcebooks in the Night's Edge line, adding vampires and other supernatural perils to the already dangerous world of Cyberpunk. As a freelance writer, he wrote The Bermuda Triangle for Call of Cthulhu, Shadows of the Mind, and Psi Wars for Conspiracy X and contributed to Last Unicorn's Star Trek RPG, as well as to Cybergeneration sourcebooks, and many other games. When he's not creating imaginary worlds for his daughter, he's running games for his friends and writing new adventures or designing new game systems. He currently lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

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