Pathfinder, PDFs and Retailers

So, Paizo has announced that they’re going to sell the PDF of the 500+ page, $50 hardcover Pathfinder RPG rulebook for ten bucks.

Very, very smart.

Of course in various threads across the internet, people are saying that this means that “Paizo doesn’t care about local game stores” and other nonsense.

Yes, kids — we’re back to the whole “PDFs are new-fangled jibbajabba, of De Debbil, and designed to put Game Stores out of business” bullshit.

Cue Marcus King editorial in 5… 4… 3…

Nah, screw it — just read his editorial from back in April, replace “Green Ronin” with “Paizo”, and that’ll save him the trouble of writing a new one.

I posted the following on a thread at ENWorld, and I figured it was worth repeating here:

I’m sure this will irritate some game stores, and I’m sure we’ll hear about it, on the internet.

I’m also sure that I, for one, couldn’t care less.

Let me tell you a little story:

This past April, at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, immediately following the whole WOTC pulls PDFs/Marcus King/Green Ronin spat, I ran a free seminar, entitled “Games Publishing and Retail for the New Media.”

The stated purpose of the seminar was to present methods by which *everyone*, publisher and retailer alike, could make money via the changing new media paradigm in this industry.

It was scheduled in the space in between two WOTC seminars, detailing their release plans for MTG and D&D. Scheduled in the same room, in fact — so the only effort that retailers would need to undertake was: Stay in their seats.

We had ONE (count ’em: 1) retailer attend.

The retailers attending GTS are supposed to be some of the best in the country, and even they couldn’t be arsed to learn about how to make money from PDF sales and other forms of electronic delivery.

If they represent the best, what do you think the majority of the (let’s be honest — pitifully few) remaining retailers are like?

It’s like the old saying — except in this case, not only will the horses not drink, but they can’t even be led to water.

So, really — at this point, who cares what they think about PDFs? Most are going to stick to running their “Android’s Dungeon” clubhouses until they inevitably go under, still complaining about how they were left behind by changes in the marketplace… Changes in which they’ve had every opportunity to take part, but ignored.

Friday Music

Here we go:

I heard this song on LOGO last week, quickly fell in love with it, and did a bit of research. Turns out that the group is fronted by the son of Shriekback founder Barry Andrews. I find that amusing, given what I consider to be the very 80s-alternative sound of the group. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, etc.: The Veils – “The Letter.” I need to hear more from this band.

A bunch of us were watching the BBC series Being Human (about a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost, trying to live normal lives and sharing a house together), when a song appeared, playing on a radio during a scene. My fellow viewers turned to the resident song-monkey and demanded to know what it was… and I had no idea! So, to recapture my honor, I did some digging. Turns out that the song is from 1988, and is one of those tracks that never really made it from the UK to hit big in the US (hence our unfamiliarity): Roachford – “Cuddly Toy.”

Speaking of the 80s, this should make a lot of readers feel particularly old: This month, SPIN magazine is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Purple Rain. Yeah, let that sink in. As part of the month’s coverage, there’s a free download on their website of a covers album, where various artists do tracks from the original. I wasn’t incredibly impressed, except for this one, which takes a staple of Prince’s early-80s sound and gives it a Soul makeover: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – “Take Me With U.”

Now, a genuine 80s track — one of my favorites in a long list of favorites by this band: New Order – “Age of Consent.”

Here’s a song that the BBC has banned, because of it “making light of rape, religion, and abortion” — Amanda Palmer chose to do it from the point of view of a vapid teenage girl, more obsessed with her favorite band than the events going on in the song. As she said, if she had done some emo, weepy, serious tone to the song, it most likely wouldn’t have been a problem for the broadcaster. I love it — though you should be warned that it’s a serious earworm. You play it through once, and you’ll be humming it all day: Amanda Palmer – “Oasis.”

You ever have a band that you *hate* to like, because the lead singer is a complete waste of skin? Hole is like that for me. I really loved what they were doing musically, but Courtney Love just pisses me off. Here is my favorite track by the band I hate to like — their absolutely stunning cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic: Hole – “Gold Dust Woman.”

Lastly, Michael Jackson. Andrew Sullivan sums up everything I would say about him, so go read that. There is no denying the impact that the man had on music and pop culture, and so to mark his passing, I’m posting two of my favorites:

From Off The Wall, his pre-Thriller album, my all-time favorite MJ song: Michael Jackson – “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough.”

…and from Thriller itself, my favorite song from the album: Michael Jackson – “Wanna Be Starting Something.”

…and there you have it. Enjoy.