Thursday, March 25, 2010

PDF's and Downloads

About a year ago I purchased H2: Thunderspire Labyrinth (TL), the follow-up to H1: Keep on the Shadowfell (KotS). I finally opened TL up a few weeks ago and was doing some preliminary reading in anticipation of us starting it in likely ~2 months or so. I do not have a PDF version of TL, but I do have a PDF version of KotS because you can download it for free at the website (here). I like being able to just pop open the PDF when I am planning game play, and I also like to be able cut/paste artwork out of the PDF to enhance our game play (and my blog), and having a PDF makes this much easier.

I was curious to see if I could search the web and see if any of the artwork from TL had already been scanned and uploaded somewhere. I don't have a flatbed scanner to copy things out of the TL books, although I guess I could find a way to do it, but honestly, if someone has already done it I would rather just grab my own copy and be done with it.

So I plugged in the module name to, clicked search and away we went. Results included the usual, such as product information from, product reviews and commentary from various websites, a complete downloadable PDF at a site named ... wait, what? Sure enough, there is a full version of the module there that I was able to download, so I now do have my PDF copy of TL.

My curiosity got the better of me, so I continued to poke around. There are a lot of 4E PDF's there, including a lot of the adventure modules and the various books and supplements ... probably not all, but you get my drift. I even saw that Players Handbook 3 was available and it was just officially released last week. There is also game material from companies other than Wizards as well - I saw some PDF material that I had recently purchased in the last few weeks.

I was sort of fixated on game stuff at this time so I didn't really look into other areas. I also can't vouch for the quality of the products, and I certainly can't vouch for the legality of any of it, but there it is. I am actually more curious as to how the PDF material was gathered and produced - I am supposing these are not official PDF versions of the books, so does someone sit in front of a scanner and scan these in one page at a time and then reconstruct the individual pages? One person, or more likely some group of like minded semi-underground gamer association?

The other thing I did download was H3: Pyramid of Shadows, which I have not purchased yet, but I am expecting a discount offer from Borders this weekend and I still have several gift cards remaining, so I will resolve this soon. This does beg the question of whether I want to gather PDF backups for all the 4E rule books and supplements I have purchased though.

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