Multiple computers

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I have multiple computers, both of which I use for some part of DND. I use my desktop to plan adventures and research ideas, and then my laptop to run a session because we often do not game at my house.

If I were to buy the digital PHB would it be locked onto one of my computers forcing me to buy 2 copies? Or would there be some other form of security preventing people from just handing out PDFS of the books?

If anyone knows that would be great, I don't really relish the idea of buying the same book once physically, and twice digitally.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I haven't seen any word on this of yet.

I'm betting the do SOME form of DRM, but what that form will be is anyone's guess for now.

I'm hoping that we'll hear more at DDXP. . . if not sooner.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

yeah, they have not even hinted at the level of DRM.. they should have a basic solution by now.. just wish they would announce anything.
I have multiple computers, both of which I use for some part of DND. I use my desktop to plan adventures and research ideas, and then my laptop to run a session because we often do not game at my house.

If I were to buy the digital PHB would it be locked onto one of my computers forcing me to buy 2 copies? Or would there be some other form of security preventing people from just handing out PDFS of the books?

If anyone knows that would be great, I don't really relish the idea of buying the same book once physically, and twice digitally.

On a similar note, I keep all my D&D info on an external hard drive. What if I need to plug it into a different computer? What if it's just time for me to go and buy a new computer? I really don't even want to buy an e-book if I already bought the print version, but I really don't want to have to buy that e-book again and again and again.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
On a similar note, I keep all my D&D info on an external hard drive. What if I need to plug it into a different computer? What if it's just time for me to go and buy a new computer? I really don't even want to buy an e-book if I already bought the print version, but I really don't want to have to buy that e-book again and again and again.

... I did just buy a nice WD passport, 160 gig. I guess it might have some room for DND info. Thats something I sort of can't believe I didn't think of. Hopefully it osn't register the products to my IP, and will only register it to a specific harddrive.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

the pdf DRM i have used with school books is linked to the computer. not hardware. haven't looked into transferability of it yet.
the pdf DRM i have used with school books is linked to the computer. not hardware. haven't looked into transferability of it yet.

Linked to th computer how? is it locked to a single harddrive, single IP address, some other method?

If it is a single harddrive that is as simple as taking out and moving the harddrive to a diffrent computer.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

in Acrobat reader, you have to enable certian security settings, and follow a wizard. It sets up a digital id via some net authentication for the machine name and user name, and I am sure a bunch of registry keys.

then your downloaded document is registered to that ID. the document itself is still a PDF, but with the DRM enabled, it then checks for the digital signature setup in acrobat before it allows it to be opened.

you can copy the file all over the place. but nothing else can open it except the id it is registered to.
An the ID would be registered to a specific computer, not a harddrive? Thats what is confusing me. -Not a huge knower of how DRM works, I don't buy music with it-

I am trying to figure out how it signs to a spcific computer, the computer is an asembly of parts. Thats like saying -to me- you store memories in your body. They are stored in the brain, but the brain is in the body.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

An the ID would be registered to a specific computer, not a harddrive? Thats what is confusing me. -Not a huge knower of how DRM works, I don't buy music with it-

I am trying to figure out how it signs to a spcific computer, the computer is an asembly of parts. Thats like saying -to me- you store memories in your body. They are stored in the brain, but the brain is in the body.

Basically, there's a variety of methods one can use to "fingerprint" or otherwise ID a computer.

Windows gets its settings for almost all of its programs (and for Windows itself) from the Registry. This means most registries are fairly unique (due to what you may have installed, what your Windows registration key is, when you installed Windows, etc).

You also have hardware that's probably fairly unique.

Software programs *can* take a "snapshot" of your unique hardware, software, and registry configuration and create a code from that. This code is then placed "inside" the PDF.

When you open the PDF it takes a new snapshot, and if it isn't the same (or because you can make small changes like adding/removing memory - REASONABLY the same) the PDF will refuse to open.

It's one option at least.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Thats interesting/a pain.

Hopefully wizards will not do something that prevents me from using the same PDF on multiple computers. I would even be ok with th PDF requiring internet, and asking me for a username/password everytime i want to use it. But not with something that essentially forced me to buy mulyiple copies for multiple computers.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

Thats interesting/a pain.

Hopefully wizards will not do something that prevents me from using the same PDF on multiple computers. I would even be ok with th PDF requiring internet, and asking me for a username/password everytime i want to use it. But not with something that essentially forced me to buy mulyiple copies for multiple computers.

I think requiring the internet for the .pdf is a bad idea. Personally, I love the hyper-text SRD, but I am rarely online when I'm playing D&D. However, I do usually have my laptop. The whole reason I would want the pdfs is so I can carry my computer to the gametable instead of an entire shelf of books.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
I think requiring the internet for the .pdf is a bad idea. Personally, I love the hyper-text SRD, but I am rarely online when I'm playing D&D. However, I do usually have my laptop. The whole reason I would want the pdfs is so I can carry my computer to the gametable instead of an entire shelf of books.

Most people I know are decently involved wih computers. I'm pretty much the only one who is not majoring or minoring in them. So they all have some form of wireless I can jump onto easily enough.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I imagine it will be tied to you account login and only one computer will be able to access it at a time.
I think requiring the internet for the .pdf is a bad idea. Personally, I love the hyper-text SRD, but I am rarely online when I'm playing D&D. However, I do usually have my laptop. The whole reason I would want the pdfs is so I can carry my computer to the gametable instead of an entire shelf of books.

I'm not sure about the legal status of doing so (somebody care to tell me?), but there are ways to download the SRD to an offline folder. I'll refrain from going further until someone else can comment on how legal/right/wrong it is. Better safe than sorry nowadays. :whatsthis
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I imagine it will be tied to you account login and only one computer will be able to access it at a time.

That I know will not be true. The e-books have nothing to do with a DDI, aside from DDI being the method of "purchase." The e-books can be purchased without subscribing to DDI, this has been posted by WotC more than once. They have also repeatedly stated that the e-books will be downloaded. That means local.

There are secure ways of handling a PDF file if that is the method WotC goes with the e-books. Adobe authenticates the book to the machine at the time of purchase/download. After that the book is completely off-line.
We just discussed this in the Mac thread.

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=14925116#post14925116

As far as I'm concerned, machine ID-based DRM is a deal breaker. That usually means you need to reauthorise every file you use every time you:
- upgrade your operating system
- change a video card
- change a hard disk
- upgrade your whole computer

...and that assumes you only use one computer, which I don't. Life is too short. Actual encryption also means that multi-file searching is impossible, and I can't tell you how often I do that these days with a huge library of books.

As I said in the other thread, I'd be happy to buy the PDFs for more than just the nominal price (and in fact will use the PDFs in preference to the books), but only if the protection is watermarking. If any fileshared copy can be traced to the purchasing credit card, that should be good enough. And as far as circumvention is concerned, don't forget that fileshared PDFs exist even if they have to be scanned.

I also go further to suggest that a well chosen low price for a PDF only copy might generate a whole new market segment of completists, and make quite a lot of money. People buy differently at different price points, and there's a reason booster packs cost the amount they do...
I'm not sure about the legal status of doing so (somebody care to tell me?), but there are ways to download the SRD to an offline folder. I'll refrain from going further until someone else can comment on how legal/right/wrong it is. Better safe than sorry nowadays. :whatsthis

Basic rule of law is, if you own it you can make copies of it for your own use.
Copyright protection law is about giving copies to people that do not own the book, thus reducing sales of the owner of the copyright.

As for the 3.X SRD that is under open gaming license and having an offline copy clearly appears to be legal.That is freely distributable. The PHB however is not, you are only permitted personal copies if you own such book.
Plans are always subject to change.
You seem to be over looking that each post from WoTC i have seen has clearly stated that this is an ONLINE system. And being as that is the case im guessing the you will have to log in to the system to gain acsess to whatever you have paid for. Im guessing there will be a small portion of the available data stored on your machine but the mojority of the info will be stored on WoTC server and you will authenticate by loging in. The login will confirm you have a paid subscription. It will work in a similar way to an MMO you cant play your charactor unless you are logged in and if you are not paid up you will have limited functionality @ best.weather or not WoTC decides to let you log in to your account from any pc or IP address remains to be seen.
As for the E-books i think they will just be an PDF copy of the books with normal PDF interactivity.

Ohh And Kentinal you should take a close look at the DMCA, Big company's have trampled fair use.
I am 'puter stupid, so please bear with. What is the big problem with issuing normal, low-security PDFs? If the hacks want to pirate D&D material then all they gotta do is 1-pool their money for one set of books 2-go crazy with a scanner 3-share the files. Right? Or am I being unusually puterstupid?
I am 'puter stupid, so please bear with. What is the big problem with issuing normal, low-security PDFs? If the hacks want to pirate D&D material then all they gotta do is 1-pool their money for one set of books 2-go crazy with a scanner 3-share the files. Right? Or am I being unusually puterstupid?

Thats pretty much how it is now. It will probably be similar in the future too. So i really don't understand why they would consider limiting it to 1 per comp.

It takes about 3 seconds to find pirated DND material using google, and i dont expect that to change with the new edition. Limiting my usage of their legit material just pushes me more toward pirating it so that I can use it as i feel like.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I am 'puter stupid, so please bear with. What is the big problem with issuing normal, low-security PDFs? If the hacks want to pirate D&D material then all they gotta do is 1-pool their money for one set of books 2-go crazy with a scanner 3-share the files. Right? Or am I being unusually puterstupid?

You're quite right and it's incredibly simple, and adding annoying as hell security features only makes those who actually paid for your product resent you for it. People are going to steal stuff, plain and simple, and when that thing is a .pdf copying it is so sickeningly simple to even attempt to add things that will irritate and limit a legitimate customer has got to be 2 steps away from total ignorance of facts.

So yes, WotC, just give the people who bought your book their .pdf that they can use wherever they want, because if you don't it only causes more negative issues in the end. As anything I can view on my computer will never be secure from piracy, and inhibiting my legitimate use of something I own will only inspire me to go elsewhere, and many other people as well.
Not to mention the fact that PDF is an ISO standard, which makes it very easy to write a PDF reader that won't respect any sort of copy-protection mechanism.
Thats pretty much how it is now. It will probably be similar in the future too. So i really don't understand why they would consider limiting it to 1 per comp.

It takes about 3 seconds to find pirated DND material using google, and i dont expect that to change with the new edition. Limiting my usage of their legit material just pushes me more toward pirating it so that I can use it as i feel like.

Indeed. It will be a sad day if people have to go to pirated material not because they don't want to pay the $1 (or whatever) activation fee to get the pdf, but because WotC puts so many restrictions to prevent pirating that it frustrates the hell out of legitimate users.

Personally, I see pirated material online all the time, but that doesn't seem to have stopped people from buying WotC's products.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
I just want to throw my penny in the ring.

I don't know how they are going to handle the issue of distribution, but it seems logical to me that they will have a central "material" cluster of servers with the book data that can be pulled when it's needed to be viewed.

There will not be offline pdfs, unless they allow them to be specificaly purchased that way. I can see them using it for people who have online only accounts. No books. So that would be a flaw in the anti-piracy fight. But then, they could drop the cost per book, and have no offline content. That would appeal to some people, I think. But I digress.

The data, such as feats, etc, from specific books can be drawn upon by the accounts that have access to them via an unlocking method. They can then be applied to the characters created by that account, and that account only. This is where I have a problem.

Lets face it, people use other people's books. I do, you do, most people do. They (WoTC) know this. The fact is, if you are in a group, you use their materials. Not saying that we don't all buy books, but my group has people that have different tastes. I love undead stuff, for example. Thus, I buy Libris Mortis, and Heroes of Horrors. No one else did, but they use the books when needed.

With the system that we are all looking forward to/ dreading, depending on how you look at it, we are going to see them make the most of their products. They may give you options, such as I said earlier. Maybe allowing a lower cost, online-only, version of the mateiral for you to use. This remains to be seen.

I have no idea how they are going to do it, but I am looking forward to seeing what the end result will be like. I will make a decision at that time.
There are two different digital distributions that WotC have mentioned thus far.

I'll sum it up based on my current understanding of what they've explained:

I go buy a PHB. In the PHB is a digital code that can be unlocked for a nominal fee ($1 - $2).

Unlocking this code does two things:
1) I get a digital copy of the book that is "probably PDF" (their own words). If it's a PDF I can download it, there's no way I'm aware of to "stream" or otherwise prevent downloading a PDF.

This PDF copy will be updated with Errata and the like as such are released.

2) If I'm a DDI subscriber, the unlock will update my digital offerings (like the Character Creator) so that now instead of just choosing "Feat X" on my character sheet, I get the relevant text explaining that blurb "Feat X is a once-per day power that causes Y to happen, PHB pg 111"

Again, this is all based on what's been said thus far, but it does indicate that I'd have my own copy of the PDF on my device/devices to do with as I please.

Next week is DDXP and they've said they intend to talk quite a bit about the digital initative at the show. Hopeefully that will include fancy things like PDF books and etc.

(EDIT)

Oh, and I also have a vauge recollection of them saying that they're considering selling PDF-only versions of the books, but I can't recall if that was on ENWorld, or simply rumor, so take it with a grain of salt.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

well, you have more source information than I do, so i will accept your post at face value. I have been looking at some of the 4e stuff around, but haven't seen too much in the way of how they intend on delivering the content for the online accounts. I have no intention on getting too deeply into the "how", I just thought I would give my opinion.

I guess the idea of us contemplating the odds of things, or the what ifs, is human nature. We always do this. I am guilty of it, I know.

I just hope they don't get too crazy, and do allow groups a few freedoms, based on something like a "main group" idea. Maybe that's too much to ask. We'll see.
Here is the main problem for me. I've got 2 computers. If I were to be required to pay once (max 2$), have someone scan it for me and then give me a pdf that i can use as i wish. I would be totally ok with that.

If I were to buy a pdf, and somehow it were locked to my computer i purchased it with, I would never buy another. I would simply scan them myself and make my own pdf, with no protection and put it on both of my computers. Which is totally legal in every way so long as i don't host it out for other people to get, or give it away.

Basically from me they can either get an extra dollar or two for each book with no problems. Or they can not get the extra dollar. It is up to the ammount of "protection" they use.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I'm not sure about the legal status of doing so (somebody care to tell me?), but there are ways to download the SRD to an offline folder. I'll refrain from going further until someone else can comment on how legal/right/wrong it is. Better safe than sorry nowadays. :whatsthis

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/srd35

is the main way i know how. I would sure hope this is legal, its hosted on their site.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/srd35

is the main way i know how. I would sure hope this is legal, its hosted on their site.

Which works for 3.5, but 4E isn't going to have and SRD that's so plain and simple. Instead the 4E SRD is going to be a reference of what parts of what books are SRD.

So, instead of "Fighters get a bonus feat every other level" you'll get "The section on fighters as it regards their feats, level progression, and other widgets as it appears on pages 13-15 in the Player's Handbook"

Or something to that effect.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Which works for 3.5, but 4E isn't going to have and SRD that's so plain and simple. Instead the 4E SRD is going to be a reference of what parts of what books are SRD.

So, instead of "Fighters get a bonus feat every other level" you'll get "The section on fighters as it regards their feats, level progression, and other widgets as it appears on pages 13-15 in the Player's Handbook"

Or something to that effect.

right but if you read the post i responded to was about how he knew how to download the srd for offline use.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/srd35

is the main way i know how. I would sure hope this is legal, its hosted on their site.



Stumbled across this thread again, and realized I left an important bit out.

"...there are ways to download the Hypertext SRD to an offline folder..."

I wasn't sure about that rules and such with that, since I remember it having an option somewhere to subscribe to something on PPnP and get an offline version of it. Which makes sense, since the guy did make and host it. But he did host it on the internet, where it can be accessed for free. So...can you see where I figured the water might be a little muddy?

[EDIT]: I'm sure I'm just being my stupid self again. No proof on that though.
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Has there been any official word as to an answer to the original question posed?

I am still curious, as it could mean the diffrence between me buying digital copies, or making them myself. If I need to do it myself, I need to throw a few more ranks in craft (pdf) as I haven't done it in about 6-7 months.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

Has there been any official word as to an answer to the original question posed?

I am still curious, as it could mean the diffrence between me buying digital copies, or making them myself. If I need to do it myself, I need to throw a few more ranks in craft (pdf) as I haven't done it in about 6-7 months.

Officially, no, and I think that this was originally posted before DDXP, so here's what's changed.

Buying books with codes is out, instead of "unlocking" digital content, DDI subscribers will have access to a searchable online Rules Database that will give the text of any rule (non-subscribers will be able to search as well, but they'll just get the book and page number of the rule).

I believe they said they still intend to sell digital PDFs of the books as well, and that they want any DRM they use to be "as unobtrusive as possible".

So. . . no clear answers, but it would *appear* they don't intend to do a single-PC lock (I'd say that's pretty obtrusive in my book).
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

So long as I can buy digital copies of the book with unobtrusive DRM, then I should be fine.

Thanks for the updated changes.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"



Stumbled across this thread again, and realized I left an important bit out.

"...there are ways to download the Hypertext SRD to an offline folder..."

Subscribe... it's $15/year to help the guy pay for his interweb connection:
http://www.d20srd.org/subscribe.htm