Geekery for Gamers

This is a Worldbuilders Blog.

Today’s blog centers around one of my favorite types of geekery: Gaming.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a gamer from way back. I played PC games back when they were only text. I played D&D in the days of the red box and dice you had to color in yourself with crayon.

And, of course, my prowess in Catan is legendary. I have never been beaten at Catan.

*Note: Some people claim to have beaten me at Catan, but let me assure you that these are nothing more than fever dreams or elaborate fantasies constructed by sad individuals.

Here’s the tricky bit. Everyone has a particular flavor of game that they’re partial to.

For example, some people would love to win, a set of handmade copper dice. (Details below.) While other folks don’t really need to roll damage for a heavy flail very often and would much prefer to win the Collector’s edition of Mists of Pandera, signed by 40 members of the Blizzard development team.

So, rather than leave things to random chance, we’re auctioning off today’s items. That way everyone can have what they like best. (You can see a full listing of all current Worldbuilders auctions here.)

And, as time is tight, I’d take it as a great kindness if you helped spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested in the following.

Now, on to the show.

  • Play some Four Corners Tabletop with Pat Rothfuss at GenCon.

Last year, as an experiment, I ran a game at a small con and auctioned off the seats for Worldbuilders.

It went over surprisingly well. We had a good, geeky time and raised some money for charity.

But I also realized something. I’m not great at running a one-shot game. I’m more of a long-rambly-journey-of-self-discovery sort of GM.

Luckily, I happen to know someone who’s a much better GM than I am.

So this year I’ve roped my long time friend and gaming buddy Todd. He’s going to run a game at Gencon. It will be set in the University, and I’m going to play Kvothe.

You can and play too, if you like.

To our infinite delight, GenCon is giving Worldbuilders their official support. They’ve given us a room at the con, and will be giving away 4-day badges for the folks that win seats at the gaming table.

The game will be Friday August 16th. It will start at 1pm and run for 4 hours. This auction does NOT include travel or hotel arrangements for the event.

Game system will be determined before Gen Con and pre-made characters will be provided so we can get to playing more quickly. (Rest assured, Todd and I will be in contact before the convention to find out what sort of character you’d like to play before generating the characters.)

For more information, or to bid on the chance to game in the Four Corners, auction 1 is here, auction 2 is here, auction 3 is here.

Last year when I was at GenCon, King of the Internet and all around hoopy frood Wil Wheaton introduced me to True Dungeon.

It was magical. I’ve been meaning to blog about it ever since, but I never got around to it. Suffice to say that it was among the coolest, most enjoyable gaming experiences of my entire life.

We went through with a team of other geeks, including John Scalzi, Brandon Sanderson, and Robert Gifford.

Okay. I don’t look like I’m loving it there.  That may be a bad example.  But we were running through the puzzle track, and honestly that room with the anvil puzzle fucking baffled me.

I can’t believe the other folks figured it out. Some of that shit was *hard.*

There.  That’s better.  You can see the awesome here. We’d just whooped ass all over a dragon.

After playing, I got in touch with the folks that run True Dungeon, mostly so I could gush about how much I loved it. And at the end of things, they offered to donate a dungeon run to Worldbuilders.

I’m filling up half the party with geeks I know and love, and we’re auctioning off the rest of the places in the party to you.

Right now, our celebrity geeks include authors Mary Robinette Kowal, (Who has been my guest on Storyboard.) and Jim Hines (Who wrote Libriomancer.) They’ve also both won Hugo Awards, now that I’m thinking of it, which makes me feel rather small.

Other geek guests will be added as I hear back from people about their schedules.

The game will be Saturday, August 17th 2013 at 2:00pm and last for 2 hours.  This auction does NOT include travel or hotel arrangements for the event. Unlike the last auction, this one does NOT come with badges to GenCon – you need to get those yourself!

You know you want this. Auction 1 is here, auction 2 is here, auction 3 is here, and auction 4 is here.

A while ago, we were contacted by a lovely lady named Jessica.  Here’s what she sent us:

“This  year PAX registration for 3 day passes sold out in a day. Luckily, I was alert and managed to register for 2 passes before this happened. Not so luckily I found out soon after that I would not be attending the convention. As I was about to login and cancel my registration it occurred to me that hey, maybe I can put these passes to good use!”

Jessica could have gone online and tried to sell them to the teaming masses trying to get into this fabulous sold-out event. But she didn’t. She donated them to Worldbuilders. Because she’s awesome.

Again, please note that this auction does not come with travel or hotel arrangements.

To bid, head over here.

  • Pathfinder Books: Core Rulebook & Inner Sea World Guide (both signed by Paizo staff), Ultimate Combat, Ultimate Magic, Nightglass, City of the Fallen Sky, and Death’s Heretic signed by James L. Sutter.

I’ve only recently started to dabble with Pathfinder, but I have to say that what I’ve seen has impressed me. A lot. Some of the advice in their books has changed the way I’ve thought about running a game, and even influenced my storytelling somewhat.

This pack has everything you need to get started and then some. PLUS, two of the books are signed by the folks at Paizo.

To see more pictures, or bid on the this auction click here.

  • Eclectic gamer pack: Millennium Falcon Haynes manual, signed Mistrunner Core Rulebook, Champions Complete rulebook, and a copy of the Dwarven Cookbook.

Here’s why you want this: 1. Millennium Falcon. 2. Mistrunner is post-apocalyptic steampunk fantasy. 3. Champions is HERO system, which also happens to be my favorite gaming system, which means it’s the best system. 4. This cookbook looks awesome.  Seriously.

We’ve got two of these sampler packs. You can bid on the first one here. Or the second one over here.

  • Auctions: Copper Dice: A set of three & a set of two.

Tait and Lorren, who made my copper knife I blogged about, sent us some cool stuff this year.  They sent the copper rings that sold out in the store, and they also sent us awesome gaming dice.

We’re auctioning off two different sets of these dice. We’ve got a  two-die set you can bid on if you’re a D&D type, and you need to roll damage for, say, flaming sphere.

Or, if you play in Hero system like me, then you can bid on the set of three.

  • Auction: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Collector’s edition.  Signed by Blizzard staff. Also comes with Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden.

In addition to being hand-signed by over 40 members of the Blizzard Staff, this Collector’s Edition of Mists of Pandaria includes the full  version of the game on DVD-ROM and contains the following exclusive  bonus items:

  • Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-Ray.
  • Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD.
  • 208-page hardcover tome featuring never-before-seen art from the  expansion.

Also included is a copy of Rise of the Horde signed by the author.

To bid, head over to the auction here.

  • Auction: Diablo III collector’s edition and Moon of the Spider by Richard A. Knaak.

Pat’s note: I once played Diablo II for a month straight rather than prep for my GRE.

The auction is here.  Bid to your heart’s content.

  • Auction: Starcraft Battle Chest and the Wings of Liberty expansion pack.

Back in the day, I was able to beat the original Starcraft while playing against three computer AIs turned up to their highest difficulty setting. True story.

If you can’t say the same, you might want to Bid over here.

  • 5 copies of A Dwarven Cookbook.  Signed by Stephanie Drummonds and Daniel Meyers.

And, because I can’t let an entire blog go by without putting *something* into the lottery. We’re going to throw in five copies of the Dwarven Cookbook.

You have to read this book description:

The Dwarven Cookbook: Recipes from the Kingdom of Kathaldum provides a look into the often ignored world of Dwarven cuisine. Carefully translated from the original manuscript, this book contains recipes interpreted for the modern kitchen. The editors have striven to remain true to the original intent, but some dishes have been updated to make them more accessible to the modern palate. While reflecting the traditions of Dwarven culture, the text also displays a rich diversity in flavors and spicing.”

*     *     *

Fair warning time: Worldbuilders ends January 18th, so if you want in on the lottery make sure to make your donation on the Worldbuilders Team Page. For every $10 you pitch in, you get another chance to win thousands of books and DVD’s.

There were tons of auctions in this blog, and we have even more running. You can view all of our current auctions over here.

If you want to see the other items that have been donated to Worldbuilders, or learn more about the fundraiser itself, you can head over to our main page.

If you have enjoyed the experience of this blog, why not share it with your friends?

Share and Enjoy,


This entry was posted in a billion links, Worldbuilders 2012By Pat40 Responses


  1. CondorSultan
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

    Pat, please, I beg of you, for pity’s sake, if you have any mercy on us, please when you get a chance blog about True Dungeon!?!? The whole coterie of you geeklords wrote blogs saying “that was the most fun of my life, I really have to tell you about it sometime.” And none. of. you. ever. has.

    Odds are unlikely I will ever kill a dragon with you and Scalzi and Wil Wheaton, so I would at least like to hear what it was like!

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

      seconded, thirded and umpteenth’d. :)

    • craigb
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

      Get Geek & Sundry to do a Tabletop out of it!

    • stuough
      Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

      I too would love to read your retelling of the adventure. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of accompanying you all last year. It was actually my second time interacting with Wil during his TD runs. The first was a couple years ago as the final DM when he single-handedly smote the dragon with an unbelievable combat slide. I’ve a fond memory of you and Wil standing next to one another during a lull in the action, comparing beards and practicing your evil laughs.

      We look forward to seeing you again this year!

  2. Mark G. Schroeder
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    Ok that’s two days in a row you’ve channeled moments from my geeky youth. Yesterday you reminded me of the days (maybe weeks) I spent trying (like Tolkien) to turn my initials into a cool, unified symbol (freaking hard to with two curvy letters and one that’s all straight lines and sharp points).

    Then today with your mention of “dice you had to color in yourself with crayon”. I don’t know why but I remember loving filling in those numbers. I remember flicking away the crayon wax that weren’t in the numbers with my fingernail. I’d forgotten all about that until you mentioned it…

  3. adam.7oews
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

    “Back in the day, I was able to beat the original Starcraft while playing against three computer AIs turned up to their highest difficulty setting. True story.”

    This is a poorly crafted lie, you can’t change AI difficulty settings in Brood War. Gotta say Pat, considering you are a professional liar, I expected better.
    (apparently difficulty can be changed in the level editor or something)

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

      He never mentioned “Brood War” :)

  4. Constance
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:03 AM | Permalink

    Oh True Dungeon. How I Love thee. I have a HUGE stack of the coins in my back room. I wonder if those are still good… Being genre savvy helped a LOT when I was playing the Bard. Also being a real singer was not required by made it a lot sillier.

    These are purple prizes. We’re talking EPIC loots. I mean, a chance to RP with you as Kvothe? Priceless. I wish my job gave me more hours so I could win that.

    BTW – unrelated but still awesome. Pat, you HAVE to get Red Dwarf Series X (10). It’s brilliant and they just released it stateside.

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

      Got it in the mail just yesterday. Though I originally caught it when I happened to be doing a little traveling in the UK years ago….

      • Rahl
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 3:57 AM | Permalink

        Pat, it only came out this summer on UK TV.
        A 6 part series that finally brings RD back to a state where you aren’t embarrassed to watch it (see series 6 – 9 and return to earth).

        Its very good if not quite as great as the 4 – 6 series..

        • Rahl
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 3:58 AM | Permalink

          arghhhh how do i edit a post?

          (see series 6 – 9….. should be 7 – 9)


        • Posted January 15, 2013 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

          Huh. I must be thinking of series 9. The three-part bladerunner one.

  5. chaelek
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:04 AM | Permalink

    What are the odds of the four corners role playing being recorded? ‘Cause watching you play D&D with that group was authors was pretty much too awesome for words. So I’ll create some. It filled me with spleek. And a forthtowardness that stays with me to this day.

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

      We might do a highlights reel or something like that. It will be up to the players….

      • chaelek
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

        Cool, thanks!

  6. TheManiacWoodpecker
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:41 AM | Permalink

    Sure you can change the AI Levels in Starcraft from easy, to normal to hard.
    But Wings of Liberty is not an expansion pack, it is Starcraft II actually.
    Is it possible to bid for two auctions and actually win them?
    e.g i bid for True Dragon and Four Corners Tabletop at GenCon and win them both, so i got to spend two events with Pat?(honestly i would stalk you all the Pat :-) )

    • TheManiacWoodpecker
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

      … all the time i wanted to say^^

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

      Sure. The events are at two different times. So if you win a seat at the table, *And* a place in the true dungeon party, I’ll see you at both of them…

      • TheManiacWoodpecker
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 4:22 AM | Permalink

        The … indicate that you do not believe i could pull that stunt off or that i might have upset you with the stalking comment. That was really stupid of me and i apologize for that. that is not something you should joke with, you never know what people might do. So accept my apology, Pat. I got carried away by the thought of meeting one of my favorite authors on two events and spend some time with you ;-)

        But if you think i can not pull it off, i accept your challenge, good sir!

        Keep up the good work and greetings from germany

  7. Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Funny you should mention Infocom. My mom and I just found a couple New Zork Time’s t-shirts mixed in with a box of my old kids clothing yesterday. (She worked on the packaging and also helped with some game design.) I should check with her and see if she has any Infocom memorabilia she’d be willing to donate for next year’s fundraiser. Must make a note for myself to remember to do that…

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

      Oh man. That would be lovely. I know a lot of people would love to see some of that stuff. Myself included….

      • Posted January 15, 2013 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

        I’ve made a note to check with her. One of the things I am supposed to help her with this year is to organize our storage area, so I will stealth plunder while I am at it… with her permission… so I suppose it’s not really stealth plundering.

  8. Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    I think I just OD’d on awesomeness. Again.

    Curse you! Curse you with many blessings.

    I’m thinking of donating again (again! would be the third time this season, thank god I’m single and only have to justify it to myself) to offset my cheapiness of not bidding on auctions and it being difficult to organize my availability at an American con. Ah, being German…

  9. Neville Longbottom
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

    My god. I had forgotten about the crayon. How is that possible?

  10. Sokol
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    Last night, I finally got around to donating to World Builders under the close supervision of my 9 year old daughter. When it came time to actually choose the amount, my daughter said something like, “Come on, dad, step up to the Water Buffalo.” So thanks, Pat, now I know you even have my kid egging me on. Though, I have to admit, buying someone a Water Buffalo is pretty sweet.

    • Amanda
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

      Thanks for making everyone in the office laugh this morning :)

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

      That’s probably the best thing I’ll read all day….

  11. rmcphail
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    I cannot imagine being a DM for an author playing in a world he created. I feel Jim Butcher has the best grasp of what would happen “Yes it DOES work like that! I’ll put it in the next book if I have to!!!”

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

      That’s what makes Todd such a great GM. He’s known me forever, he has absolutely no fear of me.

      Which is appropriate, as he knows all sorts of incriminating secrets about me….

  12. Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    After reading this blog I don’t know if I love you or Hate you.

    Okay, I still love you.


    GenCon is east coast though right? I know last year you did the Four Corners RPG on the east coast and I was kinda bummed, since I probably could have won the seat, but I wouldn’t have been able to get there, since I’m in Cali and technically that would have been my entire tax return….
    Basically that’s the only time I ever have any real money to blow.


    Oh and….not that it matters, but I was reading a post from Wil Wheaton the other day about having troubles with Ebay…anyway, someone suggested that maybe he should just auction off a phone call next time.

    I actually thought that was a good idea. Maybe you should do that next year. I’ll bet lots of people would pay just to talk to you about nothing.
    Though, you might regret that. I think if I won that the entire phone call would be me screaming OMG! HOLY SHIT!

  13. nathanbp
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    Pat, you should probably mention that the PAX tickets are for PAX East as PAX without a qualifier tends to imply PAX Prime.

    • Amanda
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

      Noted, and changed; thanks!

  14. markovski
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    Pat and Worldbuilder’s staff,
    I first started reading your blog because of A Name of the Wind, big surprise. Its great to get to know the author’s of your favorite book. I remember seeing the world builders blogs last year and being disappointed that they weren’t blogs about you or your books. I read the first few and then disregarded the rest. This year I started to do the same thing, but found that I keep checking back looking for things I want. I look at the auctions, don’t see anything I wanted/afford, and then be disappointed. Here’s what I realized today, I wasn’t disappointed I didn’t get something I wanted, it was because I didn’t find an excuse to donate money. Its why I keep reading these posts, why I check the eBay auctions, and why seeing the deadline made me anxious. I made a donation today. I feel great about it. Thank you for giving me such an easy opportunity to help people. I know it must taking a lot of work.
    Thank you,

    • Posted January 15, 2013 at 7:23 PM | Permalink


      It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

      Welcome to the team, and thanks for helping out….

  15. sesenta y cuatro
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

    I was 12 when someone handed me my first-ever D&D priest called “Utiluke”. That priest had a mace which dealt 1d6 (he was not allowed swords or axes) and the priest was awesome because he could turn undead… sometimes.

    He never reached lvl2.

    However, today I have brought one sad news that really makes me enraged and makes me wanna do something about it.

    If gaming is a way of helping people in a world where food is wasted…

  16. sparrowhawk
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    “Some people claim to have beaten me at Catan, but let me assure you that these are nothing more than fever dreams or elaborate fantasies constructed by sad individuals.”

    This sounded like it came straight out of Kvothe’s mouth! I laughed so hard!

  17. audreynstuff
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    All I wanted to say was that your Epic DnD video inspired me to get out there and find some like minded people who wouldn’t mind showing me the ropes and letting me play with them (we play Pathfinder). It was a great decision and this level 4 sorceress has you to thank for it! Thanks Pat!

  18. Posted January 11, 2013 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    I actually just joined a DnD ‘meet up’ group here in Denver. I haven’t played in nearly 5 years, and my old DM would get drunk during the game, and that never helped the story move along, haha. Hoping the next game I get into runs a lot smoother!

    On a side note, (as it would also work as a great DnD soundtrack) I made a mix out of the songs I listened to while reading TNOTW and TWMF over at 8tracks, in case anyone wants a listen. :)

  19. babblefish
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Your very full of yourself for not losing at Catan. I’m wondering how strategic are your enemies. The game is up to chance, so eventually everyone gets a chance to lose. Unless your playing apes, that is.

  20. Thanoseid
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    I too remember D&D with the Red box (though I don’t remember having to color in my dice).

    As for Catan: :)

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