How do you all keep track of all your PDFs?

Trippy

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By genre, alphabetically or if I have a lot of supplements, just by the core title. I use a Mac, so I can store them on iBooks which has the covers as thumbnails so they are easy to recognize.
 

Bunch

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Related to this question is how many PDFs do you think you have?
 

Endless Flight

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I’m very particular about what I buy now. I don’t want a collection just to have a collection. I think I learned my lesson after collecting comics for years. You read most of them once, bag and board em, put them in a long box and...nothing. They sit there for decades collecting dust and not usually becoming more valuable. I view RPGs much the same. If I were to collect RPGs, I would only buy licensed property games. Those seem to do the best in the aftermarket if you ever needed to get rid of your collection.
 

TheophilusCarter

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I’m very particular about what I buy now. I don’t want a collection just to have a collection. I think I learned my lesson after collecting comics for years. You read most of them once, bag and board em, put them in a long box and...nothing. They sit there for decades collecting dust and not usually becoming more valuable. I view RPGs much the same. If I were to collect RPGs, I would only buy licensed property games. Those seem to do the best in the aftermarket if you ever needed to get rid of your collection.
Yah, I've all but stopped buying physical books, and greatly reduced the number of PDFs. I feel like I've finally zoned in on the games and systems that I'm most interested in, and not feeling the urge to buy PDFs just to check out this or that new thing ...
 

Endless Flight

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There’s always that urge to find the perfect system, but it’s a pipe dream. I’m never going to find it out there and even if I created my own game, it wouldn’t be the perfect system. Imagine that! With that in mind, it keeps me in check.
 

Toadmaster

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Related to this question is how many PDFs do you think you have?

Conservative estimate, at least 400. I have 42 main folders and each contains at least 1 and many have 10 to 20. I know HERO is one of my biggest folders and it contains 60 pdfs.

Yeah, I know I'm kind of a lightweight, I still cling to my dead trees.
 

The Convenient Skill

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Very, very badly. I try (I really do) to keep them by system and/or genre, but neither seems to work well enough. It's got so bad now I just search my Downloads folder.

What I really need is a tags system - game system, genre, rating etc. which would be fine until something derails it by being a combination of genres.

What's worse is knowing I've read something somewhere, but not being able to find it other than a vague recollection.

Anything I really want to play I get in physical format, or sometimes I even print them out! (If they are really small)
 

Toadmaster

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Clicking on folder properties gives me this: 1,695 Files, 84 Folders
Are these all actual game pdfs? I keep my game related meanderings mixed in with the appropriate game folders, so if I based my numbers on the files contained in the folder it would be off by a large margin. For example my HERO folder shows 221 files, but 151 of these are word or excel docs I created. Only 70 are actual "official" HERO pdfs.

My RPG folder says I have 237 folders with 1509 files, but I know the better portion of that are files I created.
 

TheophilusCarter

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Are these all actual game pdfs? I keep my game related meanderings mixed in with the appropriate game folders, so if I based my numbers on the files contained in the folder it would be off by a large margin. For example my HERO folder shows 221 files, but 151 of these are word or excel docs I created. Only 70 are actual "official" HERO pdfs.

My RPG folder says I have 237 folders with 1509 files, but I know the better portion of that are files I created.
Yah, lots of mine are stuff I've written up, character sheets, free downloads of random maps and such. Still, I don't want to think about how much money went into that folder on my hard drive ...
 

Toadmaster

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Yah, lots of mine are stuff I've written up, character sheets, free downloads of random maps and such. Still, I don't want to think about how much money went into that folder on my hard drive ...
A good majority of mine came through Bundles of Holding, DTRPG sales, and free pdfs that came with a hard copy (that last being the most expensive but smallest number). It adds up but honestly I've probably spent more at Starbucks over my lifetime than I have gaming pdfs.

Now if we start adding up what has been spent on hard copy games and related gaming accoutrements over the past 40 odd years. :shock: Actually still pretty cheap compared to some people hobbies.
 

TheophilusCarter

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Actually still pretty cheap compared to some people hobbies.
Indeed. My other major hobby is music. Don't get me adding up how much I've spent on instruments and equipment, and I'm nowhere near as bad as some folks.
 

Spellslinging Sellsword

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Are these all actual game pdfs? I keep my game related meanderings mixed in with the appropriate game folders, so if I based my numbers on the files contained in the folder it would be off by a large margin. For example my HERO folder shows 221 files, but 151 of these are word or excel docs I created. Only 70 are actual "official" HERO pdfs.

My RPG folder says I have 237 folders with 1509 files, but I know the better portion of that are files I created.
The folder is only purchased products from drivethrurpg.com, Bundle of Holding, Kickstarter, etc. I keep my personal game files in a different folder. However, a file could be maps or other items that came with the purchase, or a separate file for the cover (e.g. the Fantasy HERO Bundle of Holding did that). So it's not a pure count of "books".
 

ffilz

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I have 1159 folders, with 5538 PDFs... Almost all of those are games or supplements (a few are documents I've printed to PDF such as my Wine Dark Rift setting map). On the other hand, there are also games that are in some other format and not in PDF format. There are also several duplicates due to making copies to put them where I can find them easier while leaving the original in it's proper hierarchical location.
 

CRKrueger

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DTRPG - 2,916 entries
Bundle of Holding - 33 Bundles
Humble Bundle - 3 bundles
Itch.io - that big bundle plus a couple more items
External Hard Drive (part of the Internet RPG Archive Society :devil: ) - about 500 GB
 

Bunch

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DTRPG has 2,400+ files. Humble Bundle folder another ~500. Paizo another ~100. A lot of others as well in other folders.
 

Stevethulhu

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Indeed. My other major hobby is music. Don't get me adding up how much I've spent on instruments and equipment, and I'm nowhere near as bad as some folks.
I know that feeling. Though my amp is the biggest single purchase item I have right now, multiple guitars and pedals racks up fast.

And now I've seen a bass I want. A Harlwy Benton Rickenbacker clone. I want the fuzzy, clanky thing more than some pristine bass sound. Comes.of.two of my favourite bass players being Lemmy and Gene $immon$
 

dbm

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I thought I had a problem with my 2300-ish PDFs but I now realise I need to up my game...

As a person into the Apple ecosystem I keep them in iCloud and have them structured in top level alpha groups (A-D, E-H etc.). Then, normally by system name or very occasionally by publisher. Within the folder for a system it depends on what is useful, perhaps. by edition, genre, etc. This means I pretty much have access to them anywhere, anytime on my phone, iPad and Mac.

And my other hobbies are far more expensive, so I’m cool with the number. :grin:
 

TheophilusCarter

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I know that feeling. Though my amp is the biggest single purchase item I have right now, multiple guitars and pedals racks up fast. And now I've seen a bass I want. A Harlwy Benton Rickenbacker clone. I want the fuzzy, clanky thing more than some pristine bass sound. Comes.of.two of my favourite bass players being Lemmy and Gene $immon$
Good stuff! Music talk below in spoilers, so everyone can ignore it if they want ...
I've owned nine basses since I started back in '87, still have four now:
Thompson Upright, my most used bass (I play in a jazz combo). It's nothing special, a student model but playable enough. Uprights get expensive real quick ...
Carvin Fretless, second most used, esp. when I'm too lazy to haul my upright anywhere ...
Kiesel Fretted, don't play it much, just noodle on it, but I like having a fretted bass around
Univox short-scale fretted, strung up as a "tenor bass," ADGC. Really just an experiment, no practical purpose at the moment, but it's the oldest bass I have (both year made, 1970ish, and when I bought it, 1990), so it has sentimental value.
Current amp is a small Carvin combo, 10" speaker, good for upright.
Several years ago, I started learning piano. Now THAT'S an expensive hobby. I haven't had the courage to buy an acoustic piano, but I've been buying increasingly more decent digital pianos, currently up to a Roland DP-603, which has as good an action as any digital I've played yet, certainly not as good as an acoustic grand, but giving some of the acoustic upright pianos I've played a run for their money. It'll be a while before I'm ready to spend acoustic piano ranges of money, though ...
I used to noodle on guitar here and there, nothing fancy, and not in a while. I also played saxophone as my school instrument as a kid, and have a couple of old ones still lying around, but I don't do anything with them other than take them out once a year and blow two or three notes ...
Fun stuff!
 

Stevethulhu

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Good stuff! Music talk below in spoilers, so everyone can ignore it if they want ...
I've owned nine basses since I started back in '87, still have four now:
Thompson Upright, my most used bass (I play in a jazz combo). It's nothing special, a student model but playable enough. Uprights get expensive real quick ...
Carvin Fretless, second most used, esp. when I'm too lazy to haul my upright anywhere ...
Kiesel Fretted, don't play it much, just noodle on it, but I like having a fretted bass around
Univox short-scale fretted, strung up as a "tenor bass," ADGC. Really just an experiment, no practical purpose at the moment, but it's the oldest bass I have (both year made, 1970ish, and when I bought it, 1990), so it has sentimental value.
Current amp is a small Carvin combo, 10" speaker, good for upright.
Several years ago, I started learning piano. Now THAT'S an expensive hobby. I haven't had the courage to buy an acoustic piano, but I've been buying increasingly more decent digital pianos, currently up to a Roland DP-603, which has as good an action as any digital I've played yet, certainly not as good as an acoustic grand, but giving some of the acoustic upright pianos I've played a run for their money. It'll be a while before I'm ready to spend acoustic piano ranges of money, though ...
I used to noodle on guitar here and there, nothing fancy, and not in a while. I also played saxophone as my school instrument as a kid, and have a couple of old ones still lying around, but I don't do anything with them other than take them out once a year and blow two or three notes ...
Fun stuff!
I'm a guitar guy, rather than a bass player. That said, I've gigged on bass when I was needed to fill in. But what I want is somethin for home recording, making jam tracks and the like. So blowing £150 or so on a half decent take on something really expensive seems the way to go. And I don't really want a Jazz or Precision sound. So one of these seems fun.

 

TheophilusCarter

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I'm a guitar guy, rather than a bass player. That said, I've gigged on bass when I was needed to fill in. But what I want is somethin for home recording, making jam tracks and the like. So blowing £150 or so on a half decent take on something really expensive seems the way to go. And I don't really want a Jazz or Precision sound. So one of these seems fun.

That looks great. There's so many really decent affordable basses these days compared to the cheap crap in every store back in the 80s. I think the manufacturing in general, especially quality control, just really improved. I always liked the Ric sound, mostly thanks to Chris Squire, but my short time with one told me it wasn't really for me: I didn't care for the ergonomics, and the solid hard maple body and neck were way too heavy ...
 

TheophilusCarter

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The tricky question is whether a colour out of space is below infrared or above ultraviolet...
Pfft. You and your rational science ... THE UNIVERSE DOES NOT CONFORM TO YOUR PETTY UNDERSTANDING!!!
 

ORtrail

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Lots of PDFs and mostly placed in genre/publisher/RPG name. The downside to PDFs for me is the, "out of sight, out of mind" effect. With the pandemic there has been of flood of cheap or free PDFs and I don't even have time to read them all, let alone play them.

It's a good problem to have though.
 

ajevans

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Generally a folder for each system, then folders for Adventures or supplements within. The occasional deviation e.g. Glorantha gets it's own folder.

They're all in a Dropbox folder so I don't lose them all in a burglary or house fire or something.

The nerd in me feels I should create some kind of database of what I've got though - I too often forget.
 

spittingimage

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Apologies, the CooS is clearly orthogonal to both infrared and ultraviolet!
I remember watching a shitty English-language remake of a Japanese horror movie in which the world was being invaded by spectres from the aether. The Scientist Who Unwittingly Released The Evil described his work in hushed tones: "We found frequencies... that no-one had ever thought of searching for!"

Which is a bit like saying "We found numbers that no-one had ever thought of counting!" Dumb.
 

Stevethulhu

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I remember watching a shitty English-language remake of a Japanese horror movie in which the world was being invaded by spectres from the aether. The Scientist Who Unwittingly Released The Evil described his work in hushed tones: "We found frequencies... that no-one had ever thought of searching for!"

Which is a bit like saying "We found numbers that no-one had ever thought of counting!" Dumb.
Dumb, but also Lovecraft appropriate. This is the guy who gets freaked out by 2d shapes mapped to 3d surfaces, after all.
 
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