Sunday, November 20, 2022

Fans Demand Tonisborg PDF


Last week, I wrote about how the Tonisborg Kickstarter from The Fellowship of the Thing group had been successful. But while successful, could this project have enjoyed even more success? Several people told me that they would have supported the Kickstarter if it had offered PDF options as well. 

Over on the Kickstarter page, Fellowship of the Thing, gave the following reason why they are not doing PDFs at this point: 

"I appreciate you reaching out in regard to the PDF option. A lot of people do want to know what we will be doing in this regard. Chris and I have talked a lot about doing PDFs. We're testing the water in that regard with the 5e conversion PDF. As a small company our margins are really small if you consider that sales of physical units are in the small print run range anyway. We talk to other small houses about how their sales are and some have had horrible encounters with PDF piracy. One said his sales dropped 50% over a month and when he went on the web to see what was going on he discovered that his PDFs were being shared freely on dark sites. It has effectively killed his business. It leaves us in a quandary because we want people to use our book to run adventures and have all the tools to do so, yet, if we release digital content it could put us out of business in the next few months. The option of having a PDF is still on the table, but we really need to take a closer look and be cautious about how we do it. I hope that helps clarify why are not making PDFs right now."


Hopefully, "right now" is the key word here, meaning we can hope for PDFs at some point in the future?



  1. If they put out a PDF, I'll gladly check it out. I wasn't enthused by print-only.

  2. PDF theft was one of the reasons Adventure Games Publishing went out of business back in 2010. I was never able to break more than about 50 sales of PDF products, which was weird cause the much larger fan base was always clamoring for more.

    I did not understand why until a fellow in the industry pointed me to these pirate sites where hundreds of each PDF had been pirated and given away.

    Though piracy certainly hurts companies like Wizard's, it can mean the difference between publish or die for small press. The only reason I publish PDFs with James Mishler Games is that JMG is my hobby, and the money I make from it basically goes to buy games for myself.

    At the kinds of scales my products actually sell at, I'd not waste time on publishing with PDFs if my livelihood depended on it. I'd to pure print only Kickstarters, which is what these guys are doing.

    Anyone who steals a pirate PDF copy is not a fan. They are merely parasites.

  3. I might have backed it if they offered a pdf because I already had the print version from the secrets of blackmoor kickstarter. And this just seemed like a reprint for those who missed out.


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