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Does the Pathfinder core rulebook contain any information that is not included already on www.d20pfsrd.com that would make it worth it to buy the PDF version of the manual? Or does it only have extra descriptive text?

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It's not worth posting this as an answer, but it's $10! –  okeefe Oct 12 '11 at 17:34
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7 Answers

up vote 37 down vote accepted

Yes

Because of the nature of the rulebook, it includes things that are not part of the SRD. The website, while it contains a lot of the core rules, does not include all of the information that is laid out in the Core rulebook (Like the specific rules on how to make a character step-by-step, for example).

The d20pfsrd.com contains a vast wealth of information from the core books and is updated regularly, but I would not consider it a replacement for the core rules. It'd be like trying to play a FATE based game by just using the Spirit of The Century SRD.

Additionally, while d20pfsrd.com is very well maintained by a group of extremely dedicated volunteers, it occasionally has errors (which are typically corrected very quickly, but occur none-the-less).

Slightly off topic, but still relevant: By purchasing the Rulebook, you support Paizo, and thus make more core Pathfinder material possible.

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While the pdf might be cheaper, I'd suggest shelling out the extra dough for the hard copy. It is a lot easier to look and flip through when needed. Take it from personal experience, trying to flip through a pdf in the middle of a game is way too slow and sometimes the SRD will fail you! –  GPierce Jun 29 '11 at 3:47
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The incredible artwork is also of note. –  oldrobotsneverrust Jun 29 '11 at 13:09
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+1, if customers support a company, they tend to support their customers. –  Pulsehead Jun 29 '11 at 13:38
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I use both my hard copy and d20pfsrd.com. I find the website most useful as GM because I can find information very quickly. However as a player in an actual game, I use the book more regularly.

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+1 I too use both; the book form makes for easy reading (horah for kindles) if I want to learn about a particular aspect of the game, the web copy is excellent for searching. Although I prefer reading the hardback. –  Rob Jul 12 '12 at 15:04
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When playing with a group, it's very helpful to have more than one copy of the books, and not everybody will have or want to use a digital device. Having at least one physical copy of the book is good, even if you do have various laptops and tablets around.

Also, Paizo have done really good work and are impressively open with the license, so it's good to reward them.

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I first purchased the Core Rule Book as a PDF just to get a feel for what I was getting myself into. It was worth every penny in my opinion. I however later purchased a dead tree copy for a few reasons.

  • I like having the physical book on hand.
  • Reading on a screen for long hours gets tiring and scrolling the PDF is slow.
  • The artwork is amazing
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With multiple books, the srd search option can help immensely with tasks like finding and selecting spells. However, general comprehension of a class, specific monsters, and most importantly, combat rules, are all better tackled with the sourcebooks.

Knowing you are supporting paizo is also a huge plus.

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Yes, the Core Rule Book is a solid buy. If for no other reason than to support Paizo for allowing websites like d20pfsrd.com to host the rules. It also makes a great object to hit the rules lawyer over the head with.

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Hi NeoFax, and welcome to the site! I think you misunderstood the question, as it's about the pdf of the core rulebook. Also, could you answer the core question about the content of the book as opposed to the SRD? –  C. Ross May 3 '12 at 12:50
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In what reference are you asking for a comparison between PDF and website? Are you looking for an electronic alternative to the hardback core rulebook you already have? If that's the case, I'd say the website is a great resource (although I prefer the official Pathfinder PRD as opposed to d20pfsrd for quick rule refereces).

If you're looking for which to use for the backbone of the rules in your campaign, I highly agree with everyone that the Official PDF is a better choice only because it supports the company, and suggest as others have that the hardbound book is an even better purchase.

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