“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

Posted in Beautiful Games, gaming, geeking out, Tales from the Con, videos | By Pat25 Responses

The News: The Slow Regard of Silent Things

So here’s the news:

I have a book coming out around November-ish.

Slow Regard - Front

It’s not book three. It’s not a mammoth tome that you can use to threaten people and hold open doors.

It’s a short, sweet story about one of my favorite characters.

It’s a book about Auri.

That’s the news. The short version. If you’d like the long version, I’ll give that below….

*     *     *

I didn’t set out to write a book about Auri. I really didn’t.

What happened was this: a while back, I was invited to contribute something to George Martin’s Rogues anthology. I mentioned it a while back on the blog…

Wow. I just went looking for the blog post where I mentioned the Rogues anthology, only to discover that I kinda never wrote it.

Well. Okay. I guess y’all get a little side order of news with your news today:

rouges cover 2

I’m in this book too. It’s coming out in June.

What happened was this: a couple years back, George Martin and Gardner Dozois invited me to be in an anthology called Rogues. I said yes, because back in 2009, when I was working on The Wise Man’s Fear, they’d invited me to participate in a different anthology: Star Crossed Lovers.

But in 2009 I was behind deadline and freaked out about it. So I said “No” and went back to struggling with WMF. It broke my heart a little. Because it’s one of those anthologies you dream about being invited to. It was the anthology equivalent of getting invited to the cool-kid party back in high-school.

Anyway, when they asked me to contribute a story to Rogues back in 2012, I said yes for two reasons.

1. Because how fucking cool is it to be in this anthology? Look at my name up there, right next to Neil Gaiman’s. Seriously. Look at that. My name is almost touching Neil Gaiman’s name….

I know I should be cooler about this. I should pretend that I’m a professional and a grown-up and everything. But I’m really not. I’m still the same person who read Neverwhere back in the late 90′s and went, “What? Seriously? You can do that?”

And now I’m anthology-buddies with him. In fact, Gaiman’s story is “How the Marquis Got his Coat Back.” It’s about the Marquis De Carabas from Neverwhere.

The other reason I said yes was…

2. I’d had a story idea about Auri tickling around my head for a while. What’s more, I thought she would make a nice counterpoint to some of the other  classic rogue-type characters in the anthology. Sort of a trickster rogue, as opposed to a thief, swashbuckler, or a con man.

“Besides,” I thought to myself. “It’s just a short story. Three or four thousand words. Maybe 6 or 7 thousand if I run long. That’s about two week’s writing, tops.”

So I started writing about Auri. But as it unfolded, it went in directions I hadn’t expected. The story was… strange. I hit 3000 words and I was barely started. Writing about the Underthing was more complicated than I’d anticipated.

So the story got longer. I hit 7ooo words without even realizing it. I kept going, unearthing more secrets about Auri and the Underthing.

Eventually I hit about 15,000 words and forced myself to stop. It wasn’t going to work for the anthology, it was too long, and it wasn’t a trickster tale of the sort I initially expected it to be. Honestly didn’t know what the hell kind of story it was, but it wasn’t going to work for the anthology.

I e-mailed George and Gardner and begged for an extension on my deadline. They were very kind and understanding. I tried a few different things that failed miserably, then I realized who *really* belonged in an anthology about Rogues: Bast. Once I figured that out, I wrote “The Lightning Tree” for the anthology, and it worked out really well.

But I was stuck with half a story. Half a strange story. Half a strange, too-long story that wasn’t doing the things a story is supposed to do.

Reluctantly, I walked away from it and went back to working on book three. I love Auri, and the story had an odd sweetness to it. But I had work to do.

But the Auri story kept tickling at me. And let me tell you this, having a half-finished story stuck in your head is ten times worse than having a song stuck in there.

And there’s only one way to get it out. So when I came to a good stopping point in my revisions, I went back to the Auri story. It just wouldn’t leave me alone.

It ended up over 30,000 words long. An odd length for me. Much too long for a short story. Much shorter than my usual novels. (For a frame of reference, 30,000 words is about the same length as Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.)

What’s more, the story had unfurled into something full of secrets and mysteries. Something sweet and strange. Not a normal sort of story at all. I suppose it was silly of me to assume a story about Auri would be usual in any way.

The problem was, I had no idea what to do with it. I liked the story, but I like strange things. And I’m fond of Auri. And most importantly, I’m the author. Asking me if I like my story is like asking a mom if she likes her baby….

I showed it to a few people, and they seemed to like it pretty well. But they were friends, you can only trust them to be so honest with you.

I revised it a couple times, then showed it to a few authors. They liked it, but they agreed, it was an odd story.

Then I took a big risk and showed it to Vi Hart. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog where she put some of my lyrics to music, we are now Best Friends.

So I knew her, and respected her opinion, but since we haven’t known each other very long, I trusted her to tell me the truth.

She read it, and we talked about the story. She pointed out some things she thought were problematic. I agreed. She pointed out some things she liked, and I was flattered.

We were in a bar in San Fransisco at this point. The Casanova. We’d spent a lovely evening together, and I was drinking a little bit, which is unusual for me. And it might be because of that that I started to lament the fact that the story was kind of a hot mess. Good stories are supposed to contain certain elements, I explained, and my story didn’t have those things.

Vi said she liked it.

I told her I liked it too, but that didn’t change the fact that people expect certain things from a story. If people read this story looking for those things, they wouldn’t get them, they’d be dissatisfied. Disappointed.

And Vi said something I hope she’ll forgive me for paraphrasing here without asking her first. She said, “Fuck those people. Those people get all the other stories in the world. Everyone writes stories for them. This story is for people like me. We deserve stories too.”

That shut me up. Because she’s right. It might not be for everyone. But not every story has to be for everyone. Maybe this was just a story for people like me and Vi. People who are curious about Auri and the life she leads. People who are, perhaps, not entirely normal.

Vi said a few other things that gave me enough confidence to send the story to my agent. He liked it, and said we should show it to Betsy, my editor at DAW. Betsy liked it. Really liked it. The people in her office liked it.

That made me think that maybe it *was* a story for everyone. Or maybe there are more people like me and Vi in the world than either of us expected.

Anyway, the end result is this:

Slow Regard - Front

I’ll have more details about it later. Exact dates. If and when I’m touring. Those things are still up in the air a bit right now.

But today’s the day we’re officially announcing the cover, showing it off to people at C2E2 and letting it out onto the internet. I’ve been holding off on this post so y’all could be some of the very first people to see it.

I think a lot of you are going to like it.

Fondly,

pat

Posted in book covers, cool news, geeking out, Neil Gaiman, Stories about stories., the business of writing | By Pat145 Responses

The Tinker’s Packs: Signed Books, a New Poster, and a Game With Bast

Okay. For those of you waiting for news. I have news about that news. Meta-news, if you will.

The news-about-news is that I’ll be able to post up what I want to show you at the end of the week. Friday or Saturday. That will be my next blog.

And just so nobody’s hopes and dreams are crushed. It’s not going to be an announcement about the release of The Doors of Stone. But it will be an announcement about a book.

Is that vague enough for you?

Since I’ve got to hold off on that news, here’s something completely different for today…

*     *     *

As many of you already know, we run an online store called The Tinker’s Packs where you can buy…. well… kind of a whole bunch of stuff: Foreign editions of a lot of different fantasy books, t-shirts, jewelry, and hard-to-find copies of my books.

(Just so you know, all the money we make in the store goes to Worldbuilders.)

Last year, we tried a little experiment. In October, we put some signed books from other authors up in the store. New books that had just hit the shelves. It was a new thing for us, and we weren’t sure people would be interested.

They sold out in about a couple of hours.

Then in November, we tried it again. More new books signed by the authors.

Those sold out in just a couple hours too.

So we’ve decided to make this a regular thing. We’ll put up 3-4 new signed books in the store every month. You get to find out about new books, people get to add some cool signed copies of the books to their libraries, and Worldbuilders makes some money.

Everybody wins.

The only weak link in this plan is the name. I’ve been struggling to find a cool one, if we’re going to make this a regular thing. The best we’ve been able to come up with so far is “Library Builders.”

If y’all could come up with a better name, I’d welcome it. We’ll take suggestions down in the comments. If someone knocks it out of the park, they will be lavishly rewarded and promoted to minion first class, with all the privileges that entails.

Okay. Here’s what we’re adding to the store today. And remember, the books tend to sell fast, so if you want them, jump on them fast.

BreachZone - Bookplate

Here we’ve got the third book in the Shadow Ops series, and has been awesomely received so far. All the copies we have come with signed bookplates from Myke. Even cooler, one of the copies will come with one of the Challenge Coins Myke had printed as a special promo for his book. It was packaged in at random, so it’ll  be a surprise for everyone involved who gets it.

If you want one, get it before it’s gone.

Shibboleth

This is the sequel to The Twelve Fingered Boy. (My review on Goodreads, if you’re interested.) These are lovely first-edition hardcover copies, all signed by the author.

You can grab them over here.

SandersonBlogImage

This massive tome is the second in the Stormlight Archive series. Aside from putting Wise Man’s Fear to shame in word count, it hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.

If you don’t have your copy yet, why not buy it from us, and put some money toward a good cause at the same time?

  • New Boss Monster Promo Cards

Some of you might remember the folks over at Boss Monster from last year when they created a special promo card for Kvothe. They printed 200 of them, and we sold practically all of them at Gencon. The few we brought back and put in the store got snapped up really quickly.

This year, they’ve done two more promo cards exclusively for us. Both of them are versions of Bast.

Bastas_-_Epic_Thief

(Click to Embiggen.)

It’s a fun game that the crew here has really enjoyed.

If you’ve never played, you can pick up both the game *and* the two promo cards.

BossMonsterSet

Or, if you already have the game, and you’re just looking to fill out your sets, you have the option of buying  just the cards, whether you want just one or both together.

There aren’t many copies of the Epic Hero Bastas, so if you want one, you should probably grab it soon…

  • “Calling” Poster

calling-compressed

I’m pretty open about the fact that I have a profile on Deviantart where I skulk about, looking at fanart.

A while back, I found this lovely depiction of Kvothe and asked the artist (Beth, who has a great portfolio) if we could use it for Worldbuilders. Much to my surprise, she graciously donated the rights for us to make some posters. We’ve got 200 of them in the store signed and numbered.

That’s all for now. I’ll be seeing some of you in Chicago soon.

Fondly,

pat

Posted in The Tinker's Packs | By Pat106 Responses

Chicago Events, Continued Teasing, and Trouper Lego

Hey there everyone.

I know y’all are waiting for news. I’m mostly over my cold, the internet is working in my house again, and almost halfway caught up on my e-mail (which is pretty good for me.)

Here’s the problem, right now I’m not officially authorized (heh) to share everything I want to share with you.

As a result, I’m holding off on my news post until I can give you a big ton of sparkly details and lurid details all at once.

For the nonce, we have some other news, and a completely different shiny thing that’s showed up on my radar.

Other News:

I’m going to be down in Chicago for C2E2 next week.

Friday, April 25 to Sunday, April 27
South Building at McCormic Place
2233 South Martin L. King Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
Facebook Event

My schedule is relatively light, but it looks pretty awesome:

Friday, April 25:
3-4pm: Spotlight on Patrick Rothfuss, S403
4:15-6:15: After-panel Signing, Table 1

Saturday, April 26:
1:30-2:30pm: GEEK GEEK REVOLUTION game show, S403, with Mark Frost, Kevin Hearne, Seth Fishman and Lydia Kang, and moderated by John Scalzi.

I’ll be doing a signing at a local bookstore too, for those of you who aren’t big convention goers. The lovely folks at the Seminary Co-Op Bookstores set it up for me, and it’ll be hosted at the University of Chicago.

Monday, April 28, 6pm
International House at the University of Chicago
1414 E 59th St
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Facebook Event

Hope to see some of you down there. I don’t know when I’ll be back in that neck of the woods again.

Miscellaneous Coolness:

A while back, a fan named Glen tipped me off about something cool they submitted on the Lego website:

trouper's wagon(You should click to embiggen this one)

If this becomes a thing, Glen is going to get a cut of the action for having the great idea and design. Even cooler, Glen has offered to give half of that cut to Worldbuilders.

Why doesn’t it specifically say they’re Edema Ruh from the Kingkiller world? Because Glen is smart. First, he didn’t want to step on my intellectual property, which I appreciate. Second, because Lego has fairly stringent standards regarding overall family-friendliness of their sets. So not only would licensing be a Huge Legal Thing. But my books have some content that would probably red flag the whole deal.

I’m no Joe Abercrombie or anything, but I’m still fairly gritty.

pat lego kvothe lego

Guess who these handsome devils are? Yeah. You don’t have to guess too hard. I like how he made it so my Wizard’s Staff has a Knob on the End.

If you’d like this to be a thing, you can Vote Over Here.

And even if you don’t care much for voting, you should probably check out the website, anyway. Cool stuff.

Posted in appearances, fan coolness, Worldbuilders | By Pat37 Responses

Something Like a Star

Tonight, Oot brought me a penny he’d found on the floor.

“Look,” he said. “It’s burned.”

Say something to us we can learn By heart and when alone repeat. Say something! And it says, 'I burn.'

It wasn’t a bad guess, everything said. A good guess, but wrong. It’s corroded.

For half a moment I thought about correcting him on this, but I didn’t.

Looking back, I could come up with some excuse for *why* I didn’t correct him. I could claim that corrosion is sort of like a slow chemical burning. But that would be bullshittery. The truth was, at that moment, it didn’t feel right to correct my boy. So I didn’t. I went with my gut.

“Maybe it got too close to the sun,” Oot said.

This was another good guess. Though it was probably wrong as well.

What pleased me is that my decision to keep my mouth shut paid such an immediate dividend.

If I’d told my boy the truth right away, he would have nodded and said, “Oh of course!” Or “Oh, I see!” And he would have gained a tiny fact. Namely, that a coin that looks like this is corroded. (Something he could have parroted back to me. But that he wouldn’t have understood in any meaningful way.)

But that’s not what happened. Instead, left to himself. His curiosity was engaged. He asked a question of himself, “How could this have gotten burned?”

Then he came up with an answer: It might have gotten to close to the sun.

This isn’t a bad guess. He knows fire would have to be pretty hot to burn metal. A match isn’t going to do it. What’s hotter than that? The sun.

And here’s the thing. He’s wrong. But the process he’s going though is good. What he’s actually doing, asking questions and attempting to figure out the answers, it’s the roots of rationality. The process he’s undertaking is the core of all true philosophy and science.

He looked at the penny again. “Actually,” He says. “It looks like moss.”

It’s called “verdigris,” I thought. It’s like rust, but it happens on copper instead of iron. Also, interesting fact, it’s mildly poisonous.

I thought that, but I kept my mouth shut.

Why? Because I am occasionally wise.

Because this is not the internet.

(Comic loveliness from the brilliant XKCD, of course.)

Because when a child comes to you in the full flush of discovery, brimming with excitement, correcting them is not the proper thing to do.

Because the truth is, facts can be small, sad things.

But learning to ask questions and guess at answers? That is the beginning of true understanding. Those are the bones of the world.

*     *     *

I have news. I’ll be posting about it as soon as I have internet in my house again. Stay tuned.

Posted in Oot, The Art of Letting Go, Warning: Mild Literary Faffery | By Pat89 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

Posted in gaming, 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:

empty-god-finalv1

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

Posted in cool news, cool things, gaming | By Pat33 Responses
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