Over the last few years, more and more role-playing gamers have strayed away from traditional book-style role-playing for e-book role-playing. E-book role-playing has certain advantages and disadvantages that will help it fit into, or not fit-into, anyone’s new campaign.
There are multiple sites that have popped up over the last few years where a role-playing gamer can download rulebooks and supplements for their favorite role-playing games. Many of the role-playing game publication companies have also jumped on the bandwagon and found that e-books go a long way in reducing their overhead. This has caused for the first advantage that role-playing game e-books have over traditional role playing game books.
Role-playing game e-books are traditionally at less expensive then their physical counterparts. This interests many role-playing gamers since many of us, like everyone, try to save money wherever we can. This cost-effectiveness does not always include the newest e-books to hit the market, but at least most of them
There are many parts of the country that have limited access to traditional role-playing game books. Every year, more and more role-playing game stores go out of business, more, or stop carrying certain publishers for one reason or another. On top of that, many of the larger bookstore chains only carry to top-selling role-playing books that are currently out on the market.
Websites that carry role-playing game e-books usually have titles in e-book form on the same day as they are released to the stores. Role-playing gamers can then save time from traveling around their state to try to locate a copy of a book that they have been interested in purchasing for months. This also saves them time and money from going onto Amazon, or publisher’s websites and paying shipping so that they can wait a week or two for the book they want.
Many of the larger role-playing e-book sites, such as DriveThruRpg.com carry older supplements that you would truly be very hard-pressed to find. Many role-playing gamers (such as myself), prefer the older editions of the gaming books that we grew up playing. These hard-to-find books are now in e-book form for less then you would find them on Amazon, or any of the online or brick-and-mortar role-playing gaming collector’s shops.
There are many role-playing gamers (myself included) that have been disappointed by the condition of a used copy purchase that we have made of a role-playing book. After purchasing a used role-playing book at a store, or ordering online, many of us have found that there were pages missing, blotched, marked, or in other ways compromised by a former owner, shipping, or handling. Since most of these purchase locations do not have return policies that will accommodate these finds, we are left bashing our heads into the wall.
When you purchase an e-book copy of a role-playing game supplement, you find that the copy that is used to make the PDF file is usually a pristine copy. All of the words are legible, the pictures are crisp, and the pages are all present. While it does not sound like much, it can go a long way fr making a purchaser happy that he or she made the purchase.
Anyone who has played role-playing games for any decent amount of time can relate a story about how he or she had to spend a long amount of time trying to find a certain rule in a shelf-full of role-playing books. These same people can also relate to times in which a game master had to put a game on hold for a long period of time as he or she looks up a table to prepare the group for a certain encounter.
With role-playing e-books, this time can be cut in half. Many of the role-playing e-books have certain crucial tables and rule sets hyperlinked so that they can be accessed in mere milliseconds. If they are not, it is not hard to set up a hyperlink macro for a PDF file. If a role-playing gamer does not know how, there are many free programs on the Internet that will do the work for you. This saves time, and reduces the lag time in the game.
Another issue that almost all role-playing gamers can relate to is space. Many of us have shelves full of role-playing books. When preparing to play a role-playing game, we have to decide which books we will take with us. We also have to decide how we are going to carry all of these books to wherever it is that we are going to meet up with our friends for our gaming session.
Once we arrive at the session, we have to figure out where we are going to put our books. We then have to make sure that all of our friends have room for the books that they brought with them. We also have to make sure that our books do not get confused with the ones that are were brought by the other people in our group. I can’t count the number of times that I accidentally left with someone else’s book, or someone left with one of mine.
With e-books, role-playing gamers only have to bring a laptop. There are even programs out there that will simulate dice roles for us, and there are word processors that can be used for any kind of note-taking. The only issue that ends up rearing it’s head is making sure that you will be gaming in a location that has enough electrical outlets for all of your group’s laptops.
There are many role-playing gamers, though, that still have a hard time grasping the idea of using a laptop while gaming. They still prefer the traditional way of using books, paper, pencils, and dice. They believe that it is almost a sacrilege to the original ideas and ideals of gaming to use e-books while gaming.
These critics easily forget that the fun of role-playing comes from the suspension of reality, and the taking on of another character’s persona. The fun is in the solving of complex problems whether it be in the form of a futuristic alien puzzle, an ancient evil, or in the slaying of a powerful dragon. The fun is in being with like-minded friends that want to have the peak amount of enjoyment that they can have in the evening.