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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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not worth posting this as an answer, but it's $10! \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 17:34

6 Answers 6



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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    \$\begingroup\$ 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! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 3:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ The incredible artwork is also of note. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 13:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1, if customers support a company, they tend to support their customers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pulsehead
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ For anyone coming across this answer now, the information for creating a character can be found paizo.com/prd/gettingStarted.html I do not know if it was there when GPierce first added his comment, but it is now. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 23:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ A good point, worth mentioning that the deities and other PI have been removed from the d20PFSRD as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 19:26

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.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +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. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rob
    Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 15:04

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

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.


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.


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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    \$\begingroup\$ 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? \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 12:50

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