Category Archives: gaming

The Traditional Pat Rothfuss Donation Blog

Back when I started doing Worldbuilders, the only items in our lottery came from me.

That changed pretty fast, of course. Authors started to jump in with offers of help almost immediately. That’s what made me think I could turn it into something more than just me goofing off on my blog.

Now, six years later, Worldbuilders has grown to be bigger than just me, but I still like to do my part.

Most of the items I’m donating are going into the lottery, where anyone can win them if they donate at least ten bucks. A few of the rarer things are going up as auctions, too.

And some items are available in The Tinker’s Packs, so you can go grab them right away if they make your palms all sweaty, or if you’re looking to do some early Christmas shopping. Then, tonight you can sleep easier knowing that you’ve made the world a better place, because 100% of the proceeds go to Worldbuilders.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • First Edition copies of The Name of the Wind. Signed by me. 

NOTW01

Back in the day, I remember selling one of these to a guy online for 60 bucks. I felt *really* guilty about it, like I was committing some sort of fraud.

Two years ago, we were selling them in the store for $700 each, but we had to stop because we ran out.

These days I have handful of them squirreled away. I hope they might help put my kids through school. But the truth is, it’s looking like they’ll all be gone before Oot and Cutie get to college. Sorry boys.

Still, for Worldbuilders, I’m willing to give up a pair of them. One is going into the lottery where anyone who donates can win it, other copy is going up on ebay. I’ll sign it however the winner desires….

  • Auction: An ARC of The Wise Man’s Fear. Signed by me.

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This, my friends, is a true rarity.

When we were getting ready to publish The Wise Man’s Fear, we didn’t want it leaking out into the internet before publication. But we still wanted to be able to show it to a select group of people. Reviewers and such.

So we printed a very, very few Advance Reader Copies. 227 of them, in fact. They were numbered before we gave them out, so if one showed up on e-bay before the book went on sale, we knew who we should sue into the ground.

My editor has copy #1. I have copy #2.

Just the number

This, as you can see, is copy #4.

A couple years ago someone sent me a link to an e-bay auction of one of these. It sold for more than 2500 dollars and it wasn’t even signed. I just went looking around online to see if I could find any for sale to see what they were going for, and I couldn’t find a single one. That means this is the only copy of this book currently for sale anywhere.

So… Yeah. This is a rarity. But I’m putting it into the fundraiser with the hope that it will bring in some serious money and make a bunch of people’s lives better.

If you win the auction, I will sign it however you like. Head over here to bid.

  • Your College Survival Guide. Signed by me, and signed and doodled by Brett.

CSG01

Ah the terrible secrets of my misspent youth.

This is a collection of humor columns I wrote for the college paper back when I was a student. This edition is annotated, and illustrated by my longtime friend Brett Hiorns, who now works with us at Worldbuilders.

This book was put together by a small press in 2005. Back before anyone cared who Patrick Rothfuss was. There were only 500 printed, so they’re fairly hard to find these days. I’ve put two of my remaining copies into the fundraiser.

One you can win by donating to Heifer on the Worldbuilders team page.

The other will go to the highest bidder on ebay.

  • The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle Volumes 1 and 2. Both signed. Also includes the Princess and Mr. Whiffle Coloring Book.

PrincessSet02

After all these years, I’m still surprised when my fans haven’t heard of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle. I’m terribly proud of them.

The Princess and Mr. Whiffle Coloring Book is only a couple months old. It went over great during our IndieGoGo Fundraiser this summer, so we’re including it in all its geeky glory in this bundle in the lottery.

If you want to see more pictures from it, you can check it out on The Tinker’s Packs, where it’s available with both of the Princess books.

  • 5 Sets of The Name of the WindThe Wise Man’s Fear, and The Slow Regard of Silent Things. All signed by me.

NovelPack01

A complete set of the books, all hardcovers, all signed. If you already own copies… well…. the pages are really absorbent, great for cleaning up spills. They’re also really thick, so they’re perfect for propping up your computer monitor to it’s proper ergonomic height.

All three of these are also available, signed, in The Tinker’s Packs.

  • Copies of Unfettered. Signed by me.

Unfettered01

This contains “How Old Holly Came to Be,” my first published short story, set in Temerant. This book was published to help raise money for Shawn Speakman’s cancer treatment, and there were only 5000 printed.

I’m putting five of these into the lottery, but we also have some available in the store.

  • Copies of Rogues. Including signed and numbered BAST OFF! card.

Rogues01

The Bast Off doodle cards were one of the most fun things I’ve done. Brett and I only drew 250 of them, and I’m throwing five into the lottery.

There’s a few available in the store too, but be careful, supplies are very limited.

Since we’re talking about things in the store, I should probably take a moment to mention…

A Few New Additions to The Tinker’s Packs

  • Kvothe’s Vintish Court Rings.

Three_Rings_grande

The folks over at Badali Jewelry crafted these for us, based on the court rings used in Maer’s court.

The gold and silver rings are plated, (so we could keep production costs down) But the iron ring is actually made of real iron. Do you know how hard it is to get iron Jewelry made? Nobody does it, but Badali found a way.

You can buy these over in The Tinker’s Packs, and 100% of the proceeds will go to Worldbuilders.

  • The UK edition of The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

SROSTUK01

I got a few author copies of the UK edition, and a lot of people seem to love this cover design (including most of the Worldbuilders Staff) so I’ve given up my precious author copies to The Tinker’s Packs. If you want one, I’d grab it fast, because we don’t have many.

  • The Worldbuilders 2015 Karen Hallion Calendar.

KHCalendarCover_

I would just like to take a moment to point out that *I* came up the the title for this year’s calendar.

I don’t doubt you’ve seen Karen Hallion’s artwork before. (If nothing else, we have some of her signed prints in our store.) But there’s one piece of art I’m guessing a lot of you haven’t seen. Or at least haven’t noticed….

KHCalendarSpread_1024x1024

If you click to embiggen, you’ll see a couple familiar characters in the center page.

We’re very proud of how this calendar turned out, and it makes a great holiday gift. You can grab one over here.

  • Boss Monster with Limited Edition Bast and Bastas promo cards.

Boss_Monster_Bast_and_Bastas_1024x1024

Boss Monster is the game where you get to play the Boss in an old 8-bit video game. You make your dungeon difficult to get through and harvest the souls of the unsuspecting heroes you lure in with your treasure.

Turns out the folks at Brotherwise are fans of my stuff. So we worked together to create special promo cards based off my characters. Specifically, we’ve got Bast and Bastas cards. You can buy them by themselves, or bundled together with the game in The Tinker’s Packs.

  • Auction: Boss Monster with Bast, Bastas, and rare Quothe Ladykiller Card.

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This was the first character likeness thing we did with one of my characters. Brotherwise printed special promo cards of “Quothe Ladykiller, The Polymath.” And Worldbuilders sold them at our booth at Gencon in 2013. If you’ve played the game, you can tell from his stats he’s a bit of an ass kicker, and apparently Amanda has been slaughtered by him more than once while playing the game.

Brotherwise printed a couple hundred cards, but we didn’t know how excited people would be about it, and they all sold out at the show. We never even got to put them in the store.

But one lovely shining fan donated his card back to the fundraiser, asking us to make good use of it in the fundraiser.

So we’re auctioning it off, along with a copy of the game and the Bast and Bastas cards too. If you’d like the full set, you can bid on it over here.

  • Auction: A STEALTH ROTHFUSS copy of The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Signed by me.

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As I’ve already mentioned on the blog, Over the last month, I’ve signed of a lot of copies of The Slow regard of Silent Things.

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(Here’s the shipment of books we used to fill orders for our IndieGoGo campaign.)

When I was signing 2000 books for the IndieGoGo, I stumbled onto a couple copies that had a weird printing error. They didn’t have the silver foil covering my name like the other books. SROSTStealth03

(Oooh… Spooky…)

I thought they looked pretty cool, so I grabbed them for myself. Because I’m a bad person. Then I felt guilty because I’d hoarded them all….

So I’m putting one up in the auction. If you’re into strange, rare misprints, here it is.

  • Auction: One (1) Favor from Patrick Rothfuss.

Golden Ticket Ring

I’ve auctioned off favors in the past, and it’s gone over extremely well. Here are the details:

This is a 10 karat gold ring redeemable for one (1) favor from Patrick Rothfuss.

Possible uses for the favor include:

Asking Pat to insert your name/likeness into a future book or story.
Asking Pat’s assistance in wooing the object of your affection, preferably from under a balcony at night.
Asking Pat to read and critique your unpublished manuscript (or your published one, if you really want.)
Asking Pat give a reading/workshop at your local library or University.
Asking Pat to give a reading/workshop at your house.
Asking Pat to give a reading/workshop in your bedroom.
Asking Pat to help you move a particularly heavy couch.
Asking Pat to follow you on twitter and post kitten pictures to you.

This favor has no expiration date. It can be traded, transferred, sold, or lost. In essence, the ring *is* the favor. You give the ring back when you cash in your favor. So if you lose it, you’ve kinda fucked yourself.

The nature of this favor is fairly open-ended, though some negotiation may be necessary depending on the nature of the favor. Certain ethical or legal restrictions may apply (though not as many as you might expect.) Under no circumstances will Patrick dance for you. Carnal favors must be approved by Pat’s girlfriend in advance. If you won this favor in the auction, and for any reason Pat cannot fulfill his obligation to you, he will personally refund your winning bid in exchange for the ring.

If you want in on it, go over here and bid.

  • One Full Set of My Favorite Fantasy Books.

PatCarePackage03

(So many books, Rachel had to stand on a ladder to get a picture of them all.)

A few years ago, someone asked me what they should read while they were waiting for my next book. So I posted a blog listing what the 40 best fantasy books and/or series were, in my opinion. Books that everyone should read if they wanted to consider themselves well-versed in fantasy.

My list contained 40 entries. But the clever among you will note that this is a lot more than 40 books. This is because some of the entries were for entire series. Like the Dresden Files, which I’m absolutely gooey over. (Currently 14 books.) Or Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series. (38 books.)

PatCarePackage10

When we had the option, I tried to buy nice versions of the books. We’ve got a leather bound box set of The Lord of the Rings. A beautiful special edition of Dune. A massive Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy tome. They’re glorious.

All together there are over 130 books in this bundle.

We’re only putting one of these into the fundraiser, and it’s going into lottery. That means it’s there for anyone, and every $10 you donate gives you a chance to win it.

So there you are. Go make the world a better place. You know you want to.

Also posted in BJ Hiorns Art, Nathan Taylor Art, The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat40 Responses

Thirty years of D&D

This may come as an absolute lack of shock to most of you, but growing up, I was not very cool.

As proof, allow me to present exhibit A.

Cool-Pat-with-Shades-786164

That’s me on my birthday. And if the Aerobie, sunglasses, and sleeveless shirt weren’t enough of a clue for you, I’ll just mention that this was somewhere in the early 80′s.

So. Me: Not particularly cool. Really rather impressively not cool.

Now don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t miserable. I wasn’t one of the popular kids, but then again most people aren’t. I didn’t have a lot of friends, but I had a few. Besides, I lived out in the country, so it wasn’t like the neighborhood kids pelted me with stones or anything. There were no neighborhood kids for the most part. No neighbors. Just me and lots of books.

What’s more, I had the best pair of parents imaginable. Parents who, when I asked for a bullwhip for my birthday, actually bought me one.

And, as you can see if you embiggen the above picture, they also bought me a copy of the green D&D box set.

*     *     *

I first found out about D&D in the fifth grade. I saw some kids playing at school one day when it was crappy out and we were having recess inside.

I’d never heard of it before. It looked like a lot of fun. I asked the kids if I could play with them.

“No,” they said.

It wasn’t a hesitant no, either. It was a genuine, “No, we are certain we do not want you to play with us.” Whether or not they intended to, I was left with the distinct impression that I wasn’t cool enough to play D&D with.

Keep in mind that this was in the early 1980′s. Geek wasn’t chic back then. There was no internet. There weren’t huge comic conventions. There was no PAX.

These days everyone plays WOW and reads Harry Potter and Watches X-Men movies. Geek is mainstream now.

Back then? Not so much. Back then, you were picked on for reading fantasy novels. Or reading comics. Or rolling dice and pretending to be a wizard. Geeks were really far down the social pecking order.

Those people, those geeks, were the folks that didn’t particularly want to hang out with me.

So I arranged to get the D&D red box. And I read it all. And I made a character. And I played D&D with myself.

(It occurs to me just now that this might have been one of the first steps toward being a writer. Being an author is kinda like playing D&D with yourself.)

Later I got the other boxes. Usually as Christmas presents….

BECMI_DnD_boxes2

(I never knew about the Immortal Rules until just now….)

My parents didn’t really know what it was all about. Despite that, they were understanding. My mom was a hippie, so when I asked her to make me a cloak, she didn’t think much of it. She’d made cloaks for people before. The main difference was that the people she made cloaks for back in the 60′s had at least a distant possibility of having sex.

Then I found this at the Madison public library.

DMG

It wasn’t this actual book. It didn’t have this cover, either. Because of damage, or perhaps as a nod to Christian sensibilities, the library had re-covered the book.

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. This book was different. It was weighty. It was serious. It was full of  charts and tables. Let’s say you were adventuring in a swamp. And you wanted to know how likely you were to catch a disease. Well, there were rules for that.

I am all-the-way serious:

DMGDiseaseTable

There’s something to be learned from this table. Honestly, part of the reason I live in Wisconsin is because of the -1% modifier for cool weather.

Toward at the end of one of the books was Appendix N – Inspirational and Educational Reading. That was where Gygax listed books that had shaped his views on fantasy. Books he thought other people would benefit from reading.

I found a nice scan of it online:

Appendix-N

(Click to embiggen, if you’re curious.)

You’ve got some great names on there. Tolkien. Zelazny. Saberhagen. Norton. Looking it over now, I realize I still haven’t read half of these, and I feel like I should.

Back then, it was really interesting to see this list of books. But I was just a kid. I didn’t seek out books so much as I just devoured anything that was available at the library or the Waldenbooks at the mall.

Eventually I found some people to play D&D with. I played it all through high-school with several different people, most consistently with my two best friends, Steve and Ryan.

When I graduated from high-school, rather than have a graduation party, I asked my parents if I could go up to our cabin in the north woods with Steve and Ryan. They agreed, and for a week, we did very little but play D&D.

By that time, 2nd edition was out. That’s the edition I played the most of. The one I know inside and out.

I played in college too. That’s how I made my first friends here in Stevens Point. Most notably Endo, who introduced me to other friends. That was how I met my first girlfriend and other people I still know and love to this day. Though I don’t get to see them nearly as much as I’d like.

This year, as some of you might know, 5th edition came out.

PH

I got to know this edition pretty well because I had to make a new version of Viari that I could play with Acquisitions Incorporated.

The book is beautiful. The new system is flexible but easy to use. Elegant and smooth in a way I couldn’t have appreciated ten years ago. Using it, I was able to make a thief that could hold his own in combat and survive jumping off an airship onto a dragon.

But I’m not here to sing the praises of 5th edition. I’m here because of what shows up in the back of this 5th edition player’s handbook.

Appendix E: Inspirational Reading….

PHReadingPage

There’s more books than before, you’ll notice. That’s only appropriate. The genre’s grown a lot since Gygax wrote his list back in 1979.

There’s still some of the familiar names on here, as there should be. Zelazny is still brilliant. So is Tolkien. And what’s that? Oh my stars and garters, there’s more than one woman on the list! Which is good, because these days a list that misses LeGuin and McKillip isn’t worth shit in my opinion.

We’ve got some new folks on there too. My friends and colleagues. Jemisin and Sanderson. Lynch, and Bear and Saladin.

And this.

PHReadingPage 2

I’m there. I’m in the book. In a small way, I’m *part* of D&D.

It’s hard to get my head around that fact. Words fail me, and I honestly don’t know what to say. Except that it’s wonderful, and flattering and so, so strange. My life has become so strange these last few years.

I think this must be what it feels like to be cool.

DnD_recommended2Be good to each other everyone,

pat

Also posted in Achievement Unlocked!, musings, My checkered past | By Pat81 Responses

PAX 2014

So what did I do at PAX this year?

Many things, but most notably this:

DD-Acquisitions-Inc.-V

And by that, I mean this.

Wait for it….

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P.S. Even if you don’t care about D&D, you should really watch the intro. That’s worth the price of admission all by itself….

Also posted in geeking out, videos | By Pat23 Responses

“What Ho!”- A Belated Conclusion to an Adventure.

So I was at C2E2 last weekend, walking around the main hall with a friend, nodding and occationally fist-bumping readers who recognised me. (Too much hand-shaking leads to contagion at a convention.)

Eventually my friend asked, “What’s this Acquisiations Incorporated video people keep talking about?”

“I did a D&D thing with the guys from Penny Arcade and PVP last year,” I said. “We played a game at PAX Prime on stage. They taped it and put it online.”

“Why didn’t you put it up on your blog?” she said.

“I did,” I said.

“I’m pretty sure you didn’t,” she said.

I started to insist that I had, because I *remembered* doing it. I had a blast playing with them, and I even got Nate to do up some art for that blog post:

whatHo

But then I closed my mouth because over the last two years I’ve come to realize that I *intend* to write about a lot of stuff on the blog. But in reality, I don’t actually get around to finishing about 80% of the blogs I mean to.

Right now, for example, I have over 200 blogs that are in their “Draft” form here on WordPress. I am the king of broken promises.

When I got home, I looked online and saw I *had* posted a blog announcing my attendance at PAX, then another blog with more details about Acquisitions Inc….

But no blog with a follow-up link to the video itself.

So, for those of you who are reluctant to go clicking around all higgledy piggledy, here’s the 8-part audio podcast that leads up to the on-stage event.

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 / Part 8

In my opinion, a lot of these are even better than what happens later in the video. The video is about 2 hours, but the podcasts all together are 4-5 hours of solid geeky fun. I’ve been role playing for more than 25 years at this point, and Mike, Jerry, and Scott are the best sort of folks to tabletop with. So funny and quick on their feet. And Chris Perkins as DM is absolutely brilliant….

For those of you who aren’t into the whole podcast thing, here’s a vastly abridged, somewhat bowdlerized animated version of the podcast.

And here’s the video of the PAX game itself.

[Warning: I sing.]

If you want to see *all* the delightful, shiny geekery, you can head over to the D&D website. Acquisitions Inc has been going strong for several seasons, and it’s all archived over there. So there’s plenty to keep you busy until May 15th when the next episode of Nightvale comes out….

pat

Also posted in Beautiful Games, geeking out, Tales from the Con, videos | By Pat25 Responses

House Rules and Candy Land

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, or following me on any type of social media you realize that I’m a game player.

So it’s probably not a surprise that I like playing games with my little boy.

You probably also realize that I’m something of a hyper-critical curmudgeonly fuck. Which means I find a lot of things irritating.

For example, Candy Land:

orenstein_candyland

(This is what my version looked like when I was a kid.)

I’m not going to go off on some screed about game design here….

Ah hell. That’s a lie. I’m so going to. I didn’t mean to. I was just going to come in here and tell a cute story about my kid and then get out under 600 words. But I’ve kinda have to get this out or I’ll probably burst a vessel or something. I really shouldn’t keep this shit bottled up. I promise it will be a smallish, well-reasoned screed. Okay?

Dear everyone: Kids games should be games.

I know, I know. The main things we get from kid’s games isn’t competition. It isn’t intellectual stimulation. We’re not playing Traveler, here. We’re not looking for the subtle intricacies of Go. I get that. There are two primary things a kid’s game provides:

1. It gives you an excuse to hang out with your kids.

2. It gives your kids the basics of how to play a game.

This second one is not to be underestimated. When I started playing with Oot a year or so ago, I was amazed at how much of it wasn’t natural. The concept of taking turns, following rules. They need to be learned.

So yeah. I know those are the two biggies that you’re getting when you play a kid’s game. But you can still have some *game* in there.

Think about it. The main purpose of food is to get calories and nutrients, right? But we don’t just sit down and eat two cups of lard and a multivitamin, do we?

No. We do not. Not twice at any rate.

*     *     *

I remember playing Candy Land with my mom. It was fun. But I was a kid back then, so the bar for fun was fairly low. Pretty much anything a kid does with their loving parent is going to be fun. When I was older, my mom confessed that she’d gotten really tired of Candy Land. She used to hide the low-level candy cards because they made the game last forever.

Tedium is not the mark of a good game.

I felt a connection with my mom when, after playing Candy Land a couple times with Oot, I began to do the same thing. Because it *is* a tedious game, and not just for adults. Oot himself would start to zone out partway through the game. Not because he has a poor attention span, Oot will sit and read books for hours. He’ll work a puzzle on his own.

No. He’s bored because the game is tedious. And it’s tedious because there is no skill involved. You draw a card, you look at a card, you match a color, you move your piece.

Games that involve no skill are not good games.

Yesterday, after months of not playing, we brought out the game again and took another crack at it. Because he wanted to, and he asked nicely. And I can deal with some tedium if it makes him happy.

But we changed the game a little bit. We added a house rule where you drew two cards and got to pick which one you wanted.

With this small change, Candy Land became an actual game.

Sure there was still a huge random element to it, but now there was some skill as well. You had to make decisions.

CandyLand5

So what will it be, my little man? Green or red?

Suddenly, this game became fun for both of us. Not only was the race to the castle *much* faster. But you didn’t have to fear getting a “backer.” (Which is what Oot calls it when you get a card that makes you go backwards.)

Most important of all, there was suddenly some choice involved. He had a reason to pay attention. Which card do you want? Which will move you farther?

What really impressed me was when he got to this point on the board.

CandyLand4

“Oh no,” he said. “I hope I don’t get a green!”

(He didn’t want to get stuck in the Licorice Pit, you see. If you land on that particular green square, you lose your next turn.)

I took my turn and moved, then he took his turn and drew a double green and a double orange.

“I pick the two greens because I like green,” he said. Then he picked up his piece and looked at the board. He set his piece down again. “No. Wait,” he said. “I want the oranges instead.”

I tell you, I practically burst with pride and joy.

With this one simple rule change, the game became engaging for both of us. He even taunted me.

Candyland3

Which, as far as I’m concerned, is as vital a part of game playing as learning to take turns and follow rules.

The crafty little bastard even tried to coffeeshop me when I drew the popsicle.

Candlyland2

He’s like, “You should take the double blue, dad.”

Again, I glow with pride. That’s my boy. If you can’t win by the cards, you win the game with your mouth.

I beat him the first game. I was tempted to throw it, because I could tell he wanted to win. But that’s not doing him any favors. That’s another thing games teach us: how to lose. How to deal with disappointment. How to deal with the fact that sometimes, you just get shitty cards and there’s nothing you can do to fix it. And that sucks. Rub some dirt on it. Happens to everyone.

Also, Oot already taught me what happens when you don’t play straight with kids:

So I played that first game straight and beat him. He took it well, and because the game was shorter with the two-draw house rule, he was willing to jump right back in for a re-match. And, because it hadn’t been a tedious random trawl through sugar mountain, I was happy to give it another go too.

The second game I got an early lead again, and *really* considered throwing it. But I didn’t, and he won anyway. So that’s a good lesson for me, too: Sometimes I should just leave well enough alone.

It was also cool to see him get better at choosing which cards to pick. He’d always pick the doubles over the singles. But originally he liked to pick blue and green because he liked those colors better.

I didn’t tell him he was wrong, I just took my own turns and talked to myself, saying. “Hmmm. If I go to the blue, I go this far. If I take the orange, I go *this* far. I think I’ll take the orange, because it’s farther.”

By the second game, he was doing the same thing. Because kids are smart. They’re built to learn.

Why am I sharing this?

Well, partly because I love talking about games, and I love talking about my boy.

But I’m also telling you this story because I’m guessing a lot of you have kids, or you *will* have kids in the future. Or you’ll at least play with some kids. And this was such a simple, elegant fix to a classic children’s game that I couldn’t help but share it.

If any of you have suggestions for good kid’s games you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Play nice everyone,

pat

Also posted in mom, Oot | By Pat89 Responses

The Final Kickstarter Post

As I type this, the Pairs Kickstarter stands at about $250K which means all 12 decks have been unlocked, and there’s been a lot of cool extras added.

Also, the kickstarter will be ending in about 33 hours. And after the kickstarter ends, there will be no adjusting your bid. (More details about this below, when I talk about the cool new stuff that’s been added.)

First, I want to show off some art. Like the Princess and Mr. Whiffle deck.

Princess Deck

These characters should be familiar to those of you who have read The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle. As you can see above, the cards range from the noble Sir Whiffle down to the contemptible Black Duke of Banebridge.

We’ve got the core deck for the Four Corners, too: NotW Deck

The order of these cards goes from high to low social ranking. The Amyr are pretty high up there. The troupers? They’re the 10, as we all know there are none lower than the filthy, thieving Ruh.

The Modegan deck has some of that social hierarchy too. But it’s not as simple as that, as Modeg is not a simple place:

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This card is called The Hollow Gods. You should probably click it to see an embiggened version of the image. For reasons.

We’ve got the Faen deck too. You’ve seen shirtless bast in a previous blog. Here’s an early sketch of the White Riders….

4-SitheYou may have heard of them:

“Rode they horses white as snow.
Silver blade and white horn bow.
Wore they fresh and supple boughs,
Red and green upon their brows.”

There non-Rothfuss decks too, each awesome in their own right. There are Professors and Pirates:

Professor and Pirate Decks

Barmaids and Baby Cthulhu.

LilCthulu and Barmaids Decks

 

Goblins and Fruit (Pairs = Pears. Get it?)

Goblin and Fruit Decks

And the deck I’ve rooting for ever since it was set at our 200K stretch goal: the muses from one of my favorite comics of all time: Girl Genius. (I’m a super geeky fan of Phil and Kaja Foglio’s work.)

musepreview

In addition to the decks themselves, we’ve unlocked a lot of stretch goals too.

I’m not going to go into all of them. You can go browse the Kickstarter itself for that. I’m just going to hit some of the big ones:

  • Three sevens – More Calamities, Mendicants, and Mortal Guests:

Early on in the kickstarter, people asked if the seven card in the main deck would be the Chandrian. It’s a sensible question. Chaen does mean seven after all….

That said, the answer is a resounding “no.” These are decks of cards *from* the four corners. A deck of cards like that simply wouldn’t exist. If it ever did exist, it would have been burnt down to the waterline long, long ago.

But this suggestion gave me an idea. So I had many secret talks with Shane and James. The end result is the Calamities.

Each of the sevens has a different picture revealing a different calamity. And James worked out a few simple (though optional) rules that makes drawing a seven worse that drawing a ten. (In Pairs, high-numbered cards are bad.)

Fast forward to about a week ago, when Hank Green and Veronica Belmont agreed to lend their likenesses to a couple cards in the Faen Deck:

Faen Deck

(Early sketches of Hank’s Alabaster Buttocks and Veronica’s wanton cavorting with faerie boys.)

And I started to think, wouldn’t it be cool to have more Mortal Guests?

Like maybe some character from the books? Like maybe Kvothe? and Elodin? And Auri?

So we’re doing that. Nate has agreed to do five more pieces of art. There will be a few surprise guests too….

Lastly, we’re adding something similar to the Modegan Deck as well. The seven in that deck is Mendicants, and now each card will show a different type of traveler coming into town. There will be Tinkers, trade caravans, wandering Amari, and, of course, the dreaded Edema Ruh.

  • Unseen rewards: 

As you can see right on the kickstarter page, if you order at the 42 dollar level (or higher) you get freebies in addition to any four decks of your choice. (The limited edition Pairs coin and sticker.)

But there are a few other cool free add-ons that aren’t listed so clearly on the front page, because they were unlocked later.

For example, since we’ve hit 250K, everyone who comes in at the $50 level or higher gets a rule book that…

…will be a collection of all the Pairs variants, like Calamities and Pieces of Eight, and alternate games, like Blackstone and Hawthorn. It will also contain some Pairs history (both real and fictional) and artwork from the game.

One of the other unseen goals is for the people who come in at the $80 level and above. It’s a limited-edition bookplate, drawn by Shane and signed by me.

bookplate-sketch2[3]

Plus you get the decks themselves, and since your pledge includes shipping, you’re actually getting them cheaper than they’re going to be selling for in the stores.

  • Finally, a warning.

If you’re like me, and moderately addicted to kickstarter, you’re probably used to being able to go in during the final confirmation process and add a few things to your pledge.

You won’t be able to do that with this kickstarter.

That’s because James isn’t doing add-ons. So we’re not using a third-party service like Backerkit or Pledge Manager.

The good thing about this is that it *really* streamlines the ordering and shipping process. That means we’ll be able to get you your order more quickly and cleanly than most kickstarters.

The downside is that if you’re used to waiting until after the kickstarter closes and adding a few extra items at the end, you’re going to end up being a sad panda.

*     *     *

That’s all I’ve got, folks. Thanks for being awesome and supporting this project. And by extension, supporting me and Worldbuilders. (I’m giving the charity a piece of my royalty money.)

And I’d like to say thanks on behalf of James and Shane and Nate, too. I love the games and art these guys create, and I love that y’all are helping them make a living doing it.

One last time: The Link to the Kickstarter.

pat

Also posted in cool news, cool things | By Pat33 Responses

A Pair of Kickstarters, and Kickstarting Pairs

Hey there everybody,

I’ve got some cool news today. Something that I’m really seriously geeked about.

But before I share that with you, I have to take care of some business. And that means sharing a little bit of bad news.

  • The (kinda) Bad News:

Luckily, this news shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s already involved. If you backed the NOTW Kickstarter last year, and you’ve been reading your e-mail, you already know the Kickstarter isn’t shipping on time.

I’m sorry as hell about that. But I’m afraid there’s not much I can do on my end. At this point, all the production, logistics, and shipping is being handled by Albino Dragon. There were over 11,000 orders, and it’s taken longer than all of us would like.

Rest assured that the parts of the kickstarter I do have direct control over are being taken care of as quickly as possible. Those of you who were lucky enough to get into the tiers that included a the prototype jot should have already received it, as I personally mailed all of those out before Christmas.

The only part that’s still up to me is signing the bookplates.

bookplate crop

So. Many. Bookplates.

You know what the best part of signing 4500 bookplates is? Nothing.

Okay, that’s not really true. They actually turned out really nice, and I know they’re going to make y’all happy when you get them. But you honestly have no idea how numbing it is signing several thousand of them.

I got these toward the end of January, and I’ve been signing them ever since.

At first I had a vague fantasy of signing all of them in one long 18 hour marathon. Unfortunately, I discovered signing my name 300 times in a row without a break caused a blinding pain to shoot up my arm, making me want to die.

And here’s the thing, I use that arm for a lot of things. Important things.

So, rather than flirt with carpal tunnel and potentially destroy my ability to type, I’ve been doing them in small batches over the last couple weeks.

As of last week, I’d sent about 2300 of them back to Albino Dragon so they could start shipping packages as soon as the other items end up at the warehouse.

(Edit! Only 20 minutes or so after posting this blog, I had a few people on facebook tell me they *just* got shipping notifications from Albino Dragon. So it looks like packages are moving toward backers at this very moment. Huzzah!)

As bad news goes, it’s not that bad. Everything’s still moving forward. The cards are going to look great, the poker chips will be cool, and the bookplates are beautiful.

But it does make my good news today a little awkward….

  • The Awkward News:

Any of you who have spent some time on kickstarter know that a project shipping late isn’t that uncommon. Especially when the overall kickstarter ended up being about six times bigger than any of us expected.

Here’s the problem. Months and months ago, game designer James Ernest dropped me a line. He’d created a new card game, he explained, and asked if I’d have any interest in incorporating it into my world.

For those of you that don’t know, James is the owner and head game designer for Cheapass Games. I’ve been playing his games for over 15 years.

Though a monumental effort of will, I kept my cool. I told James I was flattered, but I needed to play the game first to make sure it was a good fit for my world.

He sent me the rules, and I played it with a few friends. It was brilliant. Easy to learn, but with some good strategy. You can bet on it. You can play for drinks (or Sounten.) In 30 minutes everyone was mocking each other, cursing our own bad luck, and talking shit.

It’s exactly the sort of game you’d see people playing in the Eolian.

I told James I thought it was a great fit. “My people will love it,” I said. “But I can’t feel good about launching this project until my other Kickstarter ships though.”

“How about February?” James asked.

“Perfect,” I said.

But things didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped. And by the time I knew the NOTW kickstarter was going to be shipping late, James had already brought other people onboard and scheduled his launch. There was no good way to move things around.

  • The Good News:

Despite my Midwestern guilt and the awkwardness of having these kickstarters overlap, I’m still really excited.

Not only is the game designed by James Ernest, but the art is going to be done by Shane Tyree. He did the NOTW deck with Albino dragon. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to working with him again:

Bandit

The previous kickstarter was a deck of cards *about* The Name of the Wind. But this is something different. This is a deck of cards *from* the Four Corners. It’s the deck of cards that Kvothe and Wil and Sim would sit down and play with at Ankers.

A few details:

  • This isn’t a standard deck of 52 cards. It’s a pyramid deck with 55.
  • It’s got ten tens, nine nines, eight eights, and so on.
  • The point of the game is to avoid pairs. To simplify this all the cards of each number have the same picture. (So there’s one Tinker, two Amyr, three nobles, etc etc, all the way down to 8 Bandits, 9 Beggars, and 10 Ruh.)

ruh

  • The one exception is the sevens. We hit one of our early stretch goals, so the sevens (Calamities) are each going to be unique. I’m sure the savvy among you can figure out why.
  • Folks were clamoring for an Adem mercenary in the deck, so we’re going to put that in. It’s probably going to replace the courtesan.

Honestly, there’s a lot more I could tell you about the decks, but I think I’ll save that for a later blog.

For now, I’ll just keep it to two things:

1. We’d like to do some other decks from my world, too. A Modegan deck. A University deck. A Faen deck….

James is hoping to bring in decks from other worlds, too. Like a Girl Genius deck done by Phil Foglio. I would love to see that.

But those need to happen as stretch goals. That way James can cover printing costs and afford to pay the artists.

That means the more people jump onto the kickstarter early, the more decks we’ll all have to choose from.

2. For those of you who like awesome things: Here’s the link.

Later Space Cowboys,

pat

P.S. Okay. One final thing. When I was talking with James last night, he mentioned that as a game designer, the thought of designing a game like Tak was really interesting to him.

What would you guys think about us making that a stretch goal in this kickstarter? Is that something you’d like to see?

Also posted in calling on the legions, cool news | By Pat70 Responses
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