Friday, February 28, 2014

My Personal "Star Ace: Adventures In Space" Hardback Volume

I have been trying for a few years now to acquire a boxed set of Pacesetter's Star Ace RPG (for less than the crazy-nuts prices it's going for on eBay and Amazon). Not only to round out my Pacesetter RPG collection, but also because I owned it as a kid, and the "space opera grand adventures" setting really struck a chord with me.

So, a bit of inspiration hit. I purchased the Ronin Arts version (the current rights-holder) from Drive Through RPG and had the whole thing printed as a one-off, print-on-demand, hardback volume by Lulu. Boom -- my very own hardback copy of Star Ace.


  1. Nice, you really are tempting me to take a harder look at P-O-D options.

  2. Nice! I've been considering doing the same thing with some of my PDF-only game material. PDF is great for portability and archiving, but it's pretty awful for game table reference and casual reading.

  3. This looks like a great idea, and I would have tried something like it for Gamma World a long time ago, but was worried about the copyright laws. How do the copyright laws for printing up something like this work?

    Does paying for a pdf, or a book, allow you to hire Lulu or other printers to make a single copy, or as many copies as you wish?

    Can you take any book you have and just go down to a copy store and tell them to produce a few hundred hardbound copies for you? It sounds like you could go into an illegal business buying up college text books, or RPGs, getting them copied, then selling them on the sly, as long as you aren’t caught doing it.

    Seems like the authorities would have more limitations built in at the copying stage, to prevent printers from agreeing to complicity with something like this. Obviously, Lulu isn’t breaking the law here, so what am I ignorant of?

    1. Well, I'm not going to get into a "what if" debate on this issue as you've posed a lot of "suppose someone did this" situations in your post. All I can claim is that:
      1. I purchased the PDF legally through proper channels, so the rights-holder was appropriately compensated.
      2. Taking the materials I now own, I used the Lulu "personal use only" service to print off and bind one copy for my personal use. I see this as no different than printing off one copy at home and binding it myself.

      Could someone have more printed up and sell them on the sly? Sure, I guess someone could. They could also rob a bank, embezzle from a company, steal a car, illegally download music, and jaywalk. So your question of "What's keeping so-and-so from doing such-and-such?" is the answer it's always been. Personal morality and self-policing.

  4. Cool. Wasn't making any accusations, debating, or anything like that. Just wanted to know what the rationale is, and how to go about getting it done.

    If I pay for a pdf, it seems reasonable I can bind it at home, or have somebody bind it for me.