Why do we have to rebuy digital books we already own?

So, I was looking over how this platform is supposed to work, and I noticed it says if we purchased digital PDFs directly from Paizo, we could link accounts and then we’d be given a discount to rebuy them on Pathfinder Nexus.

But Pathfinder Nexus appears to be Pathfinder’s, and Paizo’s by extension, official online character and campaign toolset. Why do we have to buy them again if this is the Paizo’s official or officially endorsed toolset? We already own the digital licenses and rights to the PDFs from Paizo. Why wouldn’t those digital licenses and right just carry over directly?

And why are we being told that if we pay full price here, it provides free digital rights over to our Paizo accounts? Why is the digital purchase and license only fully honored in one direction and upcharged “at discount” in the other?

This is really confusing and seems needlessly convoluted. It’s not as if we are trying to convert physically owned copies of the books to PDF or vice-versa. We have the digital license for the Pathfinder PDFs we bought already directly from Paizo. Why is there another purchase required?

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Hey @redfoxington,
First I’m gonna link you to Discounts dont seem good enough where this topic has already seen some discussion.
I’m also sharing this reply Paid character options - #15 by joshuamsimons from the devs answering a similar question.
Lastly, here is a quick rundown trying to answer your questions:

  1. Demiplane is not a part of Paizo, there is an agreement between them that allows Demiplane to create tools for Pathfinder.
  2. You own the license to use the PDF, which is not what Demiplane uses. There is no unifying “digital license” and, as such, the license covering the use of content in Demiplane is different from the license to use the static PDF.
  3. This is because of the agreement between Demiplane and Paizo. I would guess that it is because part of what you pay in Demiplane goes to Paizo as the copyright holder of Pathfinder. If you buy the PDF at Paizo, that does not support Demiplane. (I do NOT know the agreement between them, this is just conjecture on my behalf)
  4. There is another purchase required since you are paying for the digital and dynamic functionality that Demiplane is offering. This includes reformatting to make reading it easier to read on screens, linked information when hovering on rules or creatures and more.

Thank you for all of this. I think I’ll be avoiding Pathfinder as a result of it. I have a few Paizo books and I was looking at purchasing the current HumbleBundle set and some extras. But “We outsourced our online service to a third party and cost of that falls to the customer” doesn’t fly for me.

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That is fair. If you would still be inclined to try pathfinder with just the PDFs, Archives of Nethys is a good compendium tool to look rules and creatures up and Pathbuilder2e is a good character sheet creator. Both of which are free to use.

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Thank you for those recommends. I do appreciate it. But if I were to start into Pathfinder, I’d like a unified source without extra, exterior tools and I’d like to be able to use deals like the current humblebundle offer without extra upcharges later to use the official platform.

From a consumer standpoint, this agreement with Demiplane is poorly structured.

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It’s the nature of licenses. It’s the same reason buying a pdf from Paizo doesn’t automatically give you the VTT file until you also pay for it. Same with Hero Lab… you have to pay for the work done at the other company to translate it into their system. Creators deserve to be paid for their work… and if they didn’t charge… these companies would operate at a complete loss. Their agreement means you can get discounts for already owning the pdf… and if you don’t own it… in the case of Nexus… it kind of backfills to Paizo. That’s something Hero Lab doesn’t even do.


Sorry but under your viewpoint we would not even have cool toys.
Paizo are developers of TTRPG content, not software. Just have a look at their website lol.

The agreement Paizo have with the third party software tools is the best I have seen so far in the market. Go have a look at DnD5e where you pay the license cost for your content every single time you buy the content somewhere. WOTC are pocketing that same profit every single time.

Paizo on the other hand… they let us buy a pdf and that’s it. Your digital license cost to them is done. Now do you have to pay to get that same content in other tools? Sure absolutely yes. But that’s because the tool is developed by humans who need to feed themselves and their children. It’s because the data that you are using, is entered into the tools by humans. It’s not a case of new book is released by Paizo and it just magically works in the tool of your choosing. Someone is doing that effort.

And honestly… people deserve to be paid for the work they do.


As I just posted on another discussion:


To all the new comments, D&D figured this issue out at the start with D&D Beyond. All the digital books are on the platform and they work there and there’s no extra purchasing issues or additional rights transfers and whatever. They figured out at the beginning that they needed ONE place for everyone to buy their digital content once and have it. They partnered with Fandom and put all the digital purchases there. And when they wanted to own the whole thing, they bought it from Fandom and made it their own.

So no to all the arguments trying to justify this double charging from Paizo and Demiplane. This could have been contracted in a way that handled the digital rights reasonably for the customers. It’s been done before without all problem through contracting with the third party that doesn’t result in double charging customers. This isn’t like whatever pocket edition vs hardcover edition strawman arguments you want to stitch together.

If Paizo wants Pathfinder Nexus via Demiplane to be their official platform going forward, the contracting should have included a way for customers who already paid for the digital books via Paizo to use them on their official outsource at no additional cost, and then all future digital sales going forward would be handled exclusively via the “buy on demiplane, claim free to Paizo account” method after.

That is because DnD does not offer the ability to buy their books as a PDF so DnD Beyond is the only digital edition of the content. Paizo is offering you an extra alternative if you just want the PDF.


I dont think you understand the model then. And also this does not give understanding to the entire market.

D&DBeyond literally started in this exact same way except they were much worse. It didn’t matter if you already owned the exact same content on Roll20, Fantasy Grounds or in physical form. You paid the cost of the digital license again. You did this because DnDBeyond was owned and operated by the same team who are making this tool and they were required by their contractual obligation to pay for the use of that content to WOTC.

To be clear… WOTC charge you every single time for the rights to that content and this has not changed. The price now that they own DnDBeyond has not reduced. There is no additional overhead for them anymore. They are pocketing twice as much money as they were previously.

So lets stop to consider VTTs in the WOTC market. If you play online and own the content on DnDBeyond and want to play that content on Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds. Right now you need to pay that license cost again.

Now compare that to the VTTs in the Paizo market. If you want the content on a third party tool the cost is reduced when you own the pdfs. This is because Paizo have implemented an amazing solution that verifies your ownership of the content meaning you only need to pay the developer for the cost of using their tool.

It’s interesting that you feel this way to be honest. Because it goes to show how their marketing strategy is working. For those that understand how the industry works though its clear that WOTC are terrible pirates in this situation when compared to Paizo.


As the person that started DDB and forged the original partnership with WotC, I can confirm that D&D absolutely did not figure anything out from the start with DDB. Once DDB launched, several other digital platforms already had official content available, and I heard many (many) complaints about having to “rebuy” content for the first few years of its existence. The response then was similar to what some people are stating in this thread - it is a partnership between two separate companies, and it has to be a win / win situation for both with the realities of licensing. The complaints largely died down a bit later due to several reasons, but a key one of those was that DDB had established itself as an indispensable toolset for many fans and the cost was worth it to them.

Having said all that, I will veer into a different direction and say that in order to play and enjoy Pathfinder, you do not need to “rebuy” anything. If you already own the hardcover books, PDFs, VTT modules, or anything else, and that does the trick for you and your group, that’s great!

If you are looking for what we are going to provide once we fully launch here at Demiplane with Pathfinder NEXUS, then we have worked hard to make the cost as low as possible, and more importantly, we believe it will be worth that cost. You might not believe it is worth it right now pre-launch, and that makes sense - I invite you to check back in once we complete the development. I’ll also note that all game mechanics are FREE to access here on NEXUS in the Game Compendium, so you can also go that route.



I’d also note that if you buy from the Demiplane store rather than Paizo store, you already get the pdf show up for free in your Paizo downloads. So you can buy here once & have both.
As a migrant from DDB, this platform already gives more than that one as WotC/DDB didn’t do anything like that.


As another note, if you’re going to compare to DNDB, then I’d also say with the planned features for demiplane, buying the pdf is more like just buying the compendium feature, then you pay the extra to use the book in the character builder, which equates more to how the pricing will work here.


Yeah… at this point I only buy new books here… and only buy the VTT code from Paizo.

At least PF2e… I still have to go there for Starfinder…


I’m of the same mind as you. It’s a disappointing and limiting factor to any purchases. I’d drop the demiplane nexus subscription if this content was fully synced since that was what seemed to be described when I signed up.

The recurring revenue of a subscription seems to be better for a busines than the one off purchases. This stance is going to hold me back. If I purchase this stuff digital I’m going to need it to be available on both platforms and I don’t think that’s an unreasonable expectation towards the main company or a third party app with a premium subscription option that is apparently doing this in a partnership arrangement.

If you buy it on Demiplane first, you do get it on both platforms.


D&D didn’t figure out anything. Dndbeyond had the very same discussion about „I already bought the book, why don’t I get your product for free“ about three times a week.

Contrary to D&D, the entire rule set is legally available for free, the character tools used by the vast majority of players are free or a 5$ one-time purchase and even the lore is available mostly for free on several wiki pages. There’s no way Paizo could be any more generous towards their customers, they’re literally gifting you and anyone interested all of their stuff except for adventures.

If you want to act all entitled and high and mighty at least spend 5 minutes doing research before trolling public boards.


They have actually published 3 One-shot adventures for free rpg day. You can get both the PDF and access on Demiplane for free. I actually run Little Troubles in Big Absalom and it was really fun.


Yeah, I remember being new to D&D not long ago and Tasha’s Cauldron had just come out - I wrongfully assumed that if I bought a hardcover book at my local comic book shop, surely there’d be some kind of code or process I could use to unlock the book on my D&D Beyond account! After all, I had the physical book in my hands, all I was asking for was the ability to access the digital version that I knew they had on their site.

I was very bummed out to find that there was no such code or mechanic that would allow me to prove I had the book, and it basically killed off any enthusiasm I had for collecting the hardcover books, which I’d previously been very into since big beautiful books full of illustrations are like catnip to me - but like, what’s the point if I play pretty much entirely online? I’d be better served investing in digital tools because I can actually use them…

WotC is certainly not better in this regard in any way. Worse, in my eyes.

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