Fantastic Beasts, Books, My Shame, and Terrifying Favors

Hey there everybody,

Over the weekend, Worldbuilders hit 150,000 dollars.

That’s cool enough in its own right, but if you consider the fact that all donations are being matched dollar for dollar…

Dollar-panarama-704155(Like so.)

… it means we’ve actually raised over $300,000.

Needless to say, this is our best launch ever. And we’ve passed three stretch goals, including this amazing video the folks at Heifer International made to celebrate.

I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever enjoyed watching a video more….

The amount of money we’ve raised is going to do an amazing amount of good. It’s enough for 15,000 flocks of chickens that will help families increase their gardens’ productivity by eating bugs, to say nothing of eggs they can eat and sell for extra income. It’s enough to provide 1,000 communities with clean water.

And this is just our first week….

*     *     *

Back when I started all this, Worldbuilders was nothing more than me desperately offering up signed books and posters in an attempt to get people to donate to my favorite charity.

These days, we have so many authors helping out. Not to mention dozens of sponsors who donate thousands of games and books for us to give away. This year, in just our first week, we have more than 850 prizes worth more than than $33,000. And for every $10 bucks you kick into the fundraiser, you get another chance to win things like this:


I will never get tired of showing off this beautiful Tak set from Wyrmwood. I’m already jealous of the person who wins it. (P.S. That person can be you if you donate.)

But even though the fundraiser is a lot bigger than me these days, I still like to do my part and throw some of my own donations into the mix.

  • Auction: My own personal Flow Hive of Shame.


As I wrote about on the blog a while back, I bought a Flow Hive.

The marketing sold me on an easy-peasy way to harvest honey without any of the usual work involved. But then I did my research and found out that if lazy, irresponsible people like me get into beekeeping, the hives can go bad and potentially do a lot of harm not only to the bees in the hive, but the whole local bee ecosystem.

So I’ve decided to auction this hive off to someone who will love it, and hopefully use it responsibly, too.

The money from this auction (and all the other auctions) will be doubled with our magical matching money. Then we’ll send it off to Heifer, where they can use it to train, educate, and buy beehives for people who will use them for extra income, honey, and to improve pollination of their gardens and crops.

If you’re interested in beekeeping and want to help me offset this bad decision, you can bid on it right here.

  • A full set of my favorite fantasy books.


(click to embiggen – Rachel had to stand on a stool to get all of them)

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 my 40 favorite fantasy books and/or series are. Books that everyone should read if they wanted to consider themselves well-versed in fantasy.

The clever among you will note that this picture contains a lot more than 40 books. This is because I cheated and used entire series as an entry. Like the Dresden Files, which I’m absolutely gooey over. (Currently 15 books.) Or Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series. (38 books.)


I gave one of these away a couple of years ago, but we have another available this year. Some of these books are out of print, or at the very least VERY hard to track down. I want to bring them to as many people who haven’t had the luck to read them as possible.

So this is going into the lottery where anyone can win them so long as they donate at least $10 bucks.

  • Signed First Edition Name of the Wind. Lottery and Auction.


I still remember when I sold these online for 60 bucks and felt *really* guilty about it, like I was committing some sort of fraud.

Then came the time when we were selling them in the store for $700 each, but we had to stop because we ran out. Last year we auctioned one for $2,500. Every year people seem to be willing to pay more and more. And I can’t imagine what will happen to the price if a movie ever comes out.

Still, I have handful of them squirreled away. And for Worldbuilders, I’m willing to give up a pair. One is going into the lottery where anyone who donates can win it, other copy is going up on ebay.

  • Signed & Doodled College Survival Guide. Lottery and Auction.


These are even more of a rarity than first editions of NOTW. 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 impossible to find. I’ve put two of my remaining copies into the fundraiser, one in the lottery and the other up for auction right here.

  • Signed, doodled, First Edition copies of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed. One in the lottery and one in an auction.


The Princess books are probably my favorite pet project. I worked on them with my friend Nate Taylor, who also illustrated The Slow Regard of Silent Things. We’ve been the ones printing them fora couple of years now, and they’re on their 6th or 7th printing.

These, however, are first printing copies, signed by me, and signed and doodled by Nate.

These aren’t all that easy to come by, so I’ve put one in the lottery, and the other is up for auction here.

  • One Favor from Pat Rothfuss. One in the lottery and one in an auction.

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 win this favor in the auction, and for any reason I cannot fulfill his obligation to you, I will personally refund your winning bid in exchange for the ring.

In the past these have gone for more than $15,000. But I’m putting on into general the lottery where anyone who donates at least $10 can win it.

Or, if your dark heart is full of a desperate need for something only I can provide, you can go over here and bid.

And may god have mercy on my soul.

  • 3 Silver Court Rings – Same Place, Same Time rings. 


This is something new I’m trying out this year. Rather than continuously giving away gold rings that lay out there in the world, filled with a terrible potential to ruin my life. I commissioned some silver rings from Badali. These won’t give you any sort of favor. But if we’re in the same city, at the same convention, or somewhere convenient like that, I’ll carve out some time to grab a coffee with you, or maybe play a quick game.

Also. How fucking cool do these look? I love them. I think they turned out great.

I’ve put all three of these into the lottery, where every ten dollars you kick in gives you a chance to win.

*     *     *

  • Update on Neil Gaiman’s Stretch Goal.

Our $1 million goal is to have Neil Gaiman read to us again. And you get to vote on what he reads:



But of course, this only happens if we hit 1,000,000 dollars. So keep donating….

  • Streaming on Twitch:

As many of you already know, to help promote Worldbuilders, I’m livestreaming on my Twitch channel every day of the fundraiser.

  • Mondays: 1:00-4:00 pm CST
  • Tuesdays: 4:00-7:00 pm CST
  • Wednesdays: 4:00-7:00 pm CST
  • Thursdays: 4:00-7:00 pm CST
  • Fridays: 2:00-5:00 pm CST
  • Saturdays: 2:00-5:00 pm CST
  • Sundays: 2:00-5:00 pm CST

And when I say, “every day” what I really mean is “almost every day.” I will happily sacrifice my health and mental well-being to the fundraiser, but Sarah and the kids have requested that they have their dad back for Thanksgiving. So I’m not having scheduled streams on the 23th-25th. Though I will probably log on later in the evening those days (After 10:00 CST, when my kids are in bed.)

Also, starting today, we’re taking votes on what I should do when I’m streaming.


This is going to be a little different than last year, where winner took all.

Instead of just doing whichever option raises the most money, it’ll be based on percentages. Let’s say that Witcher raised 75% of the money for the day, Goat Simulator got 20%, and Q&A got 5%. I’ll spend 75% of the stream playing Witcher, 20% playing Goat Simulator, and 5% doing Q&A. This way, every vote counts, and everyone gets what they want, at least a little bit.

While I’m planning on continuing to play Witcher, I’m also open to suggestions of other games. I’m probably going to do a parenting Q&A stream with some other geek dads. And a Mental Health Q&A with some authors.

If you have any other ideas, leave them in the comments below.

Thanks for coming along on this ride with me, everyone. And thanks for helping make the world a better place.


This entry was posted in Worldbuilders 2016. By Pat40 Responses


  1. Jonathan
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:43 AM | Permalink

    I always get excited when Worldbuilders time comes around! Especially getting to see which cool books get placed in the lottery. Haven’t won anything since I got a book in the first year, but I do tend to add a lot of books to my to-read list.

    On that note, wanted to mention that “click to enbiggen” on the full set of fantasy books is broken.
    (Also, if you are playing Goat Simulator, I really hope you’ll do the fantasy-themed MMO simulator within the game).

  2. jthorson
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

    My husband and I have watched every single one of your streams and we think you would really enjoy playing Rimworld. It has an extremely entertaining AI storyteller that we would love to hear your opinion on. Aside from that, the game just has great fun ripping you to shreds over and over again (there are a plethora of difficulty settings). It’s still in alpha but you would never know it. The game is incredibly well polished and worth playing.

    Thanks so much for everything you do.

  3. arachnid
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

    A suggestion for a slight variation for the voting: Instead of apportioning your time proportional to the votes, which could lead to some awkward short periods for less popular options, do the following:

    – Each day, do the thing that has the most accumulated votes
    – Reset that activity’s vote total to 0, but leave the rest as-is

    Thus, if ‘goat simulator’ is twice as popular as ‘witcher’, you’ll spend on average 1/3 of your streams playing witcher and the other 2/3 playing goat simulator.

  4. mannblack
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:14 AM | Permalink

    No 3 rules like the genie for the Patrick favor?

  5. Izzpenka
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:17 AM | Permalink

    I give this post 9.9 out of 10. That 0.1 deduction is for passing up on “beecosystem”.

  6. Foxens_light
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    The set of your favourite fantasy books looks absolutely incredible! And of course there is an unsettlingly small number of things I wouldn’t do to get one of the gold rings.

    Is there any way that all the livestreams could be saved somewhere where Twitch wont delete them after a couple of months? I live in Australia so my work schedule conflicts with almost all the live streams. Is there any way we could get them all posted as a playlist on the youtube channel?

  7. Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:22 AM | Permalink

    So, I noticed Snowcrash in the collection of favorite books. I recently re-read the book again during flights last weekend and I can’t believe I hadn’t picked it up in almost a decade.

    That book is such a good example of how to do worldbuilding right. I think I was all of half a page into the book before I was in full suspension-of-disbelief and humming along gobbling up every detail.

  8. Viola
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat!

    I love the idea of the silver rings. Would it be possible to buy those outright? I don’t need to get the “coffee or game” perk, it would just be a perfect perfect match for my Denna ring. I have to take it off for work and my finger always feels weird without it, but a plain engraved band would be allowed. Badali does amazing work and I usually buy something from them every time the fundraiser rolls around anyway…

    I did contribute to Wrimos for Worldbuilders, but I would love the opportunity to secure one for myself certainly.

    Hugs to you-

    • Amanda
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

      Badali actually offers custom Vintish Court Rings on their website, with any name you’d like on them, and in the size you want. Even better, they have a discount code going right now (WBLD15) where you’ll get $10 off, and 10% of your purchase goes to Worldbuilders :)

      • Viola
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

        You saved the day. Just ordered one.

      • Viola
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

        Actually, I didn’t. Just a heads up, that code is getting the error message: “Order subtotal does not meet the minimum of $1.00 for this coupon code”. I’m emailing Badali, but I figure you have a more direct way to contact them. I’ll order when it’s fixed :)

        • Amanda
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

          Good to know, I’ll pass that along!

  9. Kthaeh
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    I wish I could afford to bid on the favor ring auction. I will donate to the lottery and hope fortune favors me this year. I think it would be entertaining to hear from other fans what sorts of favors they would call in if they were to obtain one of these rings. I’ll go first:

    Pat would have to come to my house for a sleepover. He would be treated to a good dinner (I’m an excellent cook if I say so myself) with a select group of my friends. After dinner, he would read a little to us from some of his oeuvre. Then the boardgames would come out and we would game into the wee hours. At least two games of Secret Hitler would happen. In the morning I’d feed him a nice breakfast and send him on his way.

    -That, or I’d get to be a beta-reader. It’s really a toss-up.

  10. Kaeriani
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Does a person have to have selected “jewelry” as a preferred item to win, in order to be entered for the special Rothfuss rings?

    • Amanda
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

      Good question! No, those just count as normal lottery items, so don’t worry about that :)

    • Kthaeh
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

      I would appreciate an explanation of this as well. How does it work? If my name came up for a book prize, but I didn’t want any books, would my name go back into the pool and still be eligible to win something else?

      • Amanda
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

        Pretty much. What we do, in essence, is pull a list of winners’ “ticket numbers”, then randomly assign prizes to said tickets based on the categories of prizes they selected. Then we match those tickets and prizes up with the appropriate name and address and send them out.

        • Kthaeh
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM | Permalink


  11. SporkTastic
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 10:05 AM | Permalink


    I should make cards to give out. Seriously, you can’t tell me that wouldn’t get people interested in the charity, even if only to look. (…and, yes, “beeees” is now spelled with more “e’s,” kind of like “bananana” now has an extra syllable…but no one asks me, so you’re probably okay spelling it as is.)

  12. cynrtst
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    I have donated every year and have never won anything from the lottery. Not that this is the reason I donate. But I was wondering, what is the percentage of people who actually get a prize? 25%? 50%? 75%?
    Just a thought.

    • arachnid
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

      Last year they did a calculator for this. It’s down now, but here;s the description:

      Right now if you donate $20, enough for a flock of chickens, you have a 6% (ish) chance of winning something. (Better odds that rolling a 1 on your saving throw, and we all know how often *that* happens.)

      If you donate $120, enough for a goat, you have a 34% chance of winning.

      Donate enough to bring clean water to a village ($250) you have a 55% chance.

      Donate enough for a Heifer ($500) and you have a 78% chance of winning.

      Keep in mind that the widget doesn’t tell you how likely you are to win multiple prizes. And some prizes contain multiple books.

  13. Pegosaurus
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m just genuinely curious. Do you know what percentage of your favourite fantasy books were written by straight, white men?

    • Jzone
      Posted November 22, 2016 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

      Looks like at least 5 women from the titles I could read (McCaffery, Weiss, McKillip, LeGuin and Angela Carter). I’m not sure if any of the remaining men are ethnic or homosexual but chances are at least a few are so lets say 80% or so are straight white men? Hope that helps.

  14. Jejeapollo
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    Hummm…I live in France, can I participate in the lottery?
    If by some miracle I win the gold, will you come to help me move my coach??

    • Amanda
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

      You most definitely can participate in the lottery if you live in France. As for the second question… it’d take some coordination…

  15. Liam
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    On the book list, did ever get around to reading A Song of Ice and Fire?

  16. Kurty
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    “I can’t imagine what will happen to the price if a movie ever comes out.”
    Are we just gonna pretend you didn’t just say this?

  17. MG Schroeder
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    I’m going to donate because I’ll feel like a raging selfish a-hole if I don’t after sending in money for all these years (plus, look at all the awesome)… but it’s going to be less than usual because I just sent a big pile of money (for me anyway) to the ACLU. Hope that’s understandable.

    Also, if people don’t pick the Raven I’m going to be sad.

  18. swankystank
    Posted November 22, 2016 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

    I want to donate, but I noticed that toward the end of last year matching went up to 4x or something to that effect. I want my donation to count as much as possible. Did the 4x count for everything that had been donated or should I wait to see if something similar happens this year?

  19. Authorguy
    Posted November 22, 2016 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    In 2013 one of the stretch goals that was reached was for College Survival Guide to be reprinted, is that ever going to happen?

  20. MrPensees
    Posted November 22, 2016 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    I’m as excited for those same place same time rings as I am for the cruise!

  21. anchiel
    Posted November 22, 2016 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    I know last year (or maybe a few years ago), Tinker’s Pack purchases also gave you entries into the lottery – is that still something you guys are doing? Just trying to decide where to put my money :)

    • Amanda
      Posted November 23, 2016 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

      Tinker’s Packs purchases haven’t ever qualified for the lottery, since you’ve always been getting something in return. If you’re eyeballing something in the lottery you should be making a donation on the donation page.

  22. Posted November 22, 2016 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    Is there any chance of getting iron Rothfuss rings? They wouldn’t have to get you anything. I just like the idea that I have the attention of my betters. Plus, I wouldn’t want to give it up, so I feel like I’d be super conflicted about the gold or silver rings.

  23. Jarogers326
    Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

    I love seeing Feist’s work in the mix.

  24. Posted November 23, 2016 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,
    I meant to reply to this post a few days ago. I hope you’ll still see this, even though I’m a bit late.
    I’ve already made a donation to Worldbuilders and I’ll probably make more before the current drive is through. Unfortunately, I had an issue with the questionnaire at the end of the donation which asks what category you’d like your prize to be in. I did not check the ‘GAMES’ category. I love games, and I have a lot of them. I don’t have much time to play the ones I have, so I don’t want any new ones. Let me be clear, these are just games themselves. The actual game. However, there are game-related items in the lottery – such as the gaming table and that beautiful Tak set – that I would love the opportunity to win. I fear by not checking ‘GAMES’ I’m excluding myself from the chance to win those. I added a note at the end of my donation explaining this, but I don’t know if that will be enough.
    I wonder if your team could add another category, ‘GAMING ACCESSORIES’ perhaps, that will exclude actual games but allow people to choose things like the gaming table and the Tak board and any other cool things you might throw in the lottery that are game related but not actual games (like copper dice?).
    Sorry this went on so long, and sorry for a suggestion that creates more work for your team. I’m sure they’re already super busy. But please believe that I really am trying to help. Thank you!

    • Amanda
      Posted November 23, 2016 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

      Hey there! You can email us at questions (at) and we’ll help you sort this out.

  25. Anne-Marie
    Posted November 24, 2016 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat.
    Have you heard of litographs? They are a company that print written word on various items. It is probably late in the day but I would love to purchase a Name of the Wind scarf or Tee. Perhaps they may be willing to donate to the cause.

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