Author Archives: Pat

A Quest for Work-Life Balance, A Place for Questions, and Final Events…

As I sit down to write this, it’s just after midnight, and I’ve done a thing that I don’t normally do during the fundraiser.

I’ve taken an evening off.

Well, let me be clear. I did have a little meeting around 4:30. And I did make a couple calls to people to see if they might be interested in helping to read the early chapter of Doors of Stone with me if we hit our stretch goal. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about with that, you’ll have to check out Yesterday’s blog.)

But it was only, like, 3 calls. And it was worth it, because I got Homestar Runner on the project. And it was only a 40 minute meeting, which was worth it because I got to tell someone designing a graphic, “Pick a font that looks like Goku said it, then add an extra exclamation point.

But other than that, I just spent time with my boys. We had dinner and ate some cake. We played a bit of a game, talked about our feelings, and then watched some youtube videos. We hugged and cuddled and made nonsense jokes. I tried to relax and was mostly successful.

It’s something I’m working on. This whole work-life balance thing. Where I take time away despite the fact that we’re *right* and the end of the fundraiser and there’s about a hundred things I *could* be doing to tweak or nudge things along. And I’m the only one who can do them. And if they don’t happen right now things will will go off the rails…

It’s made easier by the fact that when I refreshed things on my phone, I saw we’d broken a million dollars. And we’d done so without me actively having my shoulder to the wheel the whole time, which is a really helpful thing for me to realize.

I’d like to thank y’all for that. Partly because I know you folks who care enough to tune into the blog are a lion’s share of the people who have been donating, and also helping to spread the word about the fundraiser and the prizes and stretch goals.

So thanks. Thanks for being good, and wanting to make the world a better place. Thanks for helping me roll this rock. We’re killing it this year…

I’m also *very* pleased that folks seem to be liking the new stretch goals I up on my team page. Including the *very* good graphics we keep updating and improving. The fact that y’all have been steadily donating there means I’m going to be hopping back on the stream early tomorrow to to try and make some progress against the Ender Dragon before I have to cough up TWO favor rings.

But it will have to be early, because after that, it’s a big day. Because in case you missed it before….

Pat's Streaming Schedule for 12/14

These are three pretty big things. And y’all don’t even know what that second one is, because I’ve been keeping it secret. But I’m excited to share.

Oh, speaking of, if you have questions for the Q&A, you can submit them here.

There’s going to be a *lot* of people on the livestream tomorrow, so it will be harder than normal for me to pull them straight out of the chat. Plus, I know not all of you can tune-in live….

Also, here’s a specific graphic just in case you didn’t notice the third thing on the schedule tomorrow.

Disco Does D&D

Yeah. Really. That’s going to be happening on my twitch channel tomorrow to help raise awareness of the Worldbuilders fundraiser.

What a wild world we live in. I can’t imagine what my mom would think if she was still around. She watched Star Trek when it originally aired. When I was a teenager she introduced me to it, and we stayed up late to watch it together on the weekends. When Next Generation came out, we tuned in for the premiere and groused about how weird and wrong the new ship looked… then tuned in every week to watch the new episodes faithfully, getting over our bullshit and quickly growing to love it….

What would she even think of what my life looks like now?

So… yeah. That’s what I’ve got tonight. I’m going to stop refreshing he fundraiser page and go get some sleep.

I’ll see y’all tomorrow. It’s going to be fun.

pat

Posted in Ask the Author, boding, Book Three, My Mom Would Like This Blog, side projects | By Pat24 Responses

Losing Wagers, Doubling Donations, and Playing a Beautiful Game…

So for today’s blog to make sense, you might want to go back and read the one I wrote a couple days ago.

It’s was my favorite blog I’ve written in a while, with some quite nice faerie-tale flavor in parts. So even if you don’t care much about the charity stuff I’m doing, there’s something for you to enjoy there.

For those of you who can’t be bothered, here’s the gist: A couple days ago, I wagered the community that they couldn’t raise $333,333 on my team page before I beat the Ender Dragon in Minecraft.

And… well… y’all did it. Handily.

More than that, once I posted the blog and shared it, y’all stormed so hard I didn’t even have time to hit send on a tweet I’d typed up using this graphic:

The Details of The Wager

(Made by the fabulous E’lir Lisa.)

Truth is, this is exactly what I was hoping for. That people would hear the news, get excited, then come in and make it a race. Then we’d play together, have some fun, raise scads of money to feed hungry kids, and make the world a better place.

But… it kinda worked *better* than we’d anticipated. Y’all came in and just trampled things to the extent that we burned through *all* our stretch goals within hours, leaving us without more cool stuff we could immediately offer. Let alone graphics to show them off.

Pat's Streaming Schedule for 12/14

(Graphics like this.)

And so while it was cool, it was also a bit of a shame. We were left with nothing else to offer up despite the fact that the fundraiser is still going on and all donations are still being matched.

First off, let’s be clear. Y’all won the wager. So:

  1. I’ll be reading the prologue of Doors of Stone and doing a Q&A on my Twitch Channel.
  2. I’ll be showing off some of the finished pages of the The Boy That Loved The Moon.
  3. I’ll be releasing a chapter of Doors of Stone into the wild. (When? I’ talk about that below.)

But it seems a shame to stop there. For one thing, I still haven’t beaten the Ender Dragon.

And also, we still needed more stretch goal prizes for the team page.

And also also, I really liked those graphics that E’lir Lisa came up with, and we barely got to use them…

So here’s what we’re doing:

(Warning, this graphic on the blog won’t be updated as frequently as over on Twitch Team Page.)

You see the stretch goals on the left? Those are going into the prize draw as soon as folks hit the donation amount.

That said, if y’all manage to hit those goals *before* I beat the Ender Dragon, I’ll donate TWO of each prize.

“But wait!” I hear you cry. “What’s that thing way down at the bottom there?

Here’s the thing, I’ve met a lot of cool folks over the years. Voice actors, comedians, musicians, audio narrators, performers, actors, puppeteers….

I think that sounds like a fun way of releasing the early peek of the book. I’m hoping some of my friends will like the idea too.

So I’m going to cast my net among my friends and see who might like to come help me read the chapter of Doors of Stone for y’all. Then, if we hit $666,666, I’ll  assemble the Geek Glitterati equivalent of the Avengers and we’ll record it for you. It might take a bit to assemble, as cool people tend to be busy, and there’s no way I’m going to ask them to do it during the fundraiser. But I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to get it done early next year. February at the latest.

Okay. We ready? Here we go.

My team page is already over $420,000.

All donations are currently being matched.

The Fundraiser runs until midnight on the 14th.

Race you to the end…

pat

Edit: 1:31 pm – In the last 12 hours, through the dark hours of night when I was mostly asleep, the team page has raised another $60,000 unlocking double sets HeroQuest and the cool, Wooden-box version of Risk from Avalon Hill. AS WELL AS two copies of the limited edition cover of of Vault of Magic from Kobold Press that I wrote a part of, personalized by me, with some of the rare D&D cards.

Y’all are amazing…

Posted in Achievement Unlocked!, Acts of Whimsy, Beautiful Games, Book Three, calling on the legions, contests, cool things, Worldbuilders 2021 | By Pat46 Responses

Concerning Minecraft, Faerie Bargains, and an Early Peek into The Doors of Stone.

Okay. There’s a story I’ve been wanting to share here for a couple days, but with all the chaos of the fundraiser, I haven’t been able to manage it.

Sorry it’s taken so long, as it’s related to Book Three, and I know that’s something everyone here is interested in to some degree or other.

So here we go:

Once years and miles away, there was a man who loved books, and games , and stories. He did not consider himself wise, but was still wise enough to know he was happiest when he was being a bit of a fool. He was an odd sort, beset by melancholy, and often felt as if he didn’t fit into the world. He was uncommonly lucky, and uncomfortably honest, and he always kept his word.

All of this taken together led some folk to wonder if his mother had been visited by the sort of odd folk who always seem to be showing up in the dark hours just as children are being born. The sort of people that leave no footprints, and speak oddly, so it’s hard to tell if they’re good oracles, bad poets, or merely self-important busybodies who lack proper jobs and have too much time on their hands.

Other people suspected it had nothing to do with events surrounding his birth. Instead they thought perhaps he had a demon riding in his shadow, or a single drop of faerie blood, or that one of his long-forgotten ancestors had lay down among the Gorse…

His name was Patrick Rothfuss. Those who knew him, knew he enjoyed a good wager. But those who knew him better knew the truth, and that was that he *loved* a wager, especially if it was reckless and unwise….

*     *     *

About a week ago, we fired up our yearly Worldbuilders fundraiser.

It’s going pretty well so far, by the way. As I write this, we’re just on the cusp on unlocking a new chunk of Matching Money….

As you can see from this year’s swank thermometer, it’s not just direct donations that will help us hit that goal. We’re also factoring in bids on our vast array of auction items and all the holiday shopping y’all are doing over in the Worldbuilders Market.

And as many of you know, I’ve been doing a lot of streaming over the last week. Talking about the charity. Playing games and doing various promotional events.

None of that is particularly new, of course. I’ve streamed a lot to promote the charity over the last 5 years.

What *is* different is that this year, I decided to kick off the fundraiser with a Marathon Minecraft Stream (TM) where I vowed to keep playing until I beat the Ender Dragon or my actual human real-world body failed me.

(Fig 1. promotional graphic.)

It was just some goofy fun. I enjoy Minecraft, but I’m not great at it. I’ve never beaten the Ender Dragon, or even made it to the end. I’ve never even found to the Stronghold or made an eye of Ender, now that I’m thinking of it.

And I knew it beating the game would take longer than normal because I’d be pausing to give away prizes and talk about charity. And I hadn’t played Minecraft much in the last six months, so I was pretty rusty….

Even so, I was pretty sure I could do it. I mean, I’ve seen people beat the whole game on youtube in under twenty minutes.

I know I’m no speedrunner, it might take me 8-9 hours. But that’s nothing. I’ve streamed 14 hours straight in previous fundraisers. Plus, I knew that me struggling and sometimes failing would be just as fun for people to watch as me succeeding, if not more so….

Fast forward. Charity is going well. Money coming in. People watching the stream. My Minecraft run was…  unimpressive. I was playing the long game, and making methodical progress. Hadn’t died. But I had no diamonds. No enchanted gear. No real lucky breaks. My base was a haphazard hole in the ground. The opposite of a hobbit hole. My farms were like something Dante would have written about if he wanted to scare cows into being better Christians.

Fast forward. More money. More stream. My boys came in to cheer me on. They brought me water and cuteness and comic relief. Perfect pit crew.

Fast Forward: I read the boys their bedtime story live on the stream (a chapter from Something Wicked This Way Comes). Then I went to tuck them into bed and came back to do charity and search for diamonds. I was fully prepared to play straight through the night until I had to drive them to school in the morning, then come back and keep soldiering on until I finally won or collapsed.

Then came the first wager. In a fit of hubris, I bet the chat that I could beat the Ender Dragon before they raised $100,000 on my team page. I dared them. I taunted and cajoled….

…I told them if they won, I’d read them the prologue of Book Three.

And thus the deal was made.

(Would you buy a used car from this man?)

But life is what happens while you were making other plans. My boys had been vaccinated that day, and over the next 4-5 hours, when I went in to check on them, they were increasingly sweaty and restless. So after 12 hours I bowed out of the stream with the blessing of the chat so I could go be a good dad. Because when you wake up sweaty and sick in the middle of the night, it’s nice to have your dad right there ready to take care of you…

And then, packing lunches, and school, and organizing and promoting the fundraiser, and scheduling events and being a dad…

… and I honestly I forgot about the wager.

But forgetting doesn’t make a wager go away. And, to make a long story short, after picking up my playthrough on my stream two days later, I lost.

So I brought to bear the fullness of my power. I summoned up the fullness of my will and wit, my terrible persuasion. All this and more I focused on the folk who were tuned in to the stream. And thus I spoke:

Yes they’d won wager. I would read them the prologue. Absolutely. They had it. Fairly fought and fairly won.

But a prologue. What is that, really? Just a taste. A tease. A paltry page. It’s barely a bite. A meager morsel for those whose hearts are hungry for a story.

Wouldn’t they like a chance to win… more? To wager what they’d won in hope of greater gain? Wouldn’t they like the chance for More? More secrets? More story?

Thus I offered them a second wager.

Their stakes: the prologue they had fairly won.

My stakes: Three things. Three secrets from Temerant:

  • I’ll read the prologue of The Doors of Stone live on stream.
  • I’ll provide a full, self-contained, spoiler-free chapter of Doors of Stone.
  • I’ll share some early, finished pages of my the comic I’ve been working on for years with Nate: the illustrated version of the Boy That Loved the Moon.

This is what I offered the chat of the livestream. A chance not just to win, but to win so much more….

But only if they raised more money for charity. Only if they got the donations on my team page all the way from $100,000 to $333,0000.

BEFORE I beat the Ender Dragon.

And then we took a vote:

I’ll embiggen the relevant portion myself so you can see…

(As you can see, the folks who follow my stream enjoy a wager too)

And so the deal was struck.

And now, even if you weren’t there, you know the story.

And t’know what? As a gesture of good faith, I’ll give you the first page of the comic right here and now, out of the goodness of my heart…

(Never let it be said I do not bargain in good faith.)

So. If my team page hits $333,333 before I beat the Ender Dragon. You win three things.

If I beat the Ender Dragon first, you lose.

That’s the Wager.

I’ve taken a break off from my playthough to manage the fundraiser and run other events. Also, I promised I wouldn’t continue my run until I’d made the announcement here on my blog to let y’all know the whole story. To let you know what was happening. What the stakes were. And as you all know, I keep my promises.

But I’ve done it now. Shared the news. Told told story.

As soon as I post this, I’m jumping back onto my livestream, and will be heading for the Ender dragon with marked determination. Because I *do* love a wager. But I also always play to win.

So. The clock is ticking.

Here’s the link to my Team Page.

Come at me.

pat

Posted in Beautiful Games, Book Three, calling on the legions, cool news, graphic novels, hubris, My brilliant ideas, my dumbness, My Iconoclastic Tendencies, Nathan Taylor, side projects, Stories about stories., upcoming publications, video games, Warning: Mild Literary Faffery, Worldbuilders 2021 | By Pat36 Responses

Today’s festivities….

Whelp. It’s the 5th day of the fundraiser, and I tell you, since Tuesday a *lot* of things have happened.

First and Foremost, the fundraiser currently stands at over $350,000. Which is a pretty amazing launch.

Secondly, I made a Wager with My Community while livestreaming. It relates to book 3. But I’ll have to write that story up on the blog later tonight….

Because we’ve got *several* events happening today that I’ve got to announce.

First, for those of you who are into D&D… this is happening:

I’m sure a lot of you remember the previous two games B. Dave ran last year. This is the third one in that series.

It will be broadcast live over on my Twitch page starting at 2:00 central today.

I’m super excited about it. Chuffed even.

But *before* that happens. In bare minutes….

…we’re finally launching something for Worldbuilders that’s been a year in the making.

Specifically? The Worldbuilders Minecraft server for people who donated on Oot’s Cow Jar last year.

I tell you, it’s been a JOURNEY. A saga filled with drama and tragedy. We have struggled and sweated and cursed the name of many gods in our despair…

But that is also a story for another day. Suffice to say that it’s been a long road, and that this morning we’re finally making good on our promise to make a server for all the cool kids of charity to come, hang out, and build a better world together.

If you donated last year, you should have gotten an e-mail with a google form to get your username so we can give you access. If you haven’t seen that yet, maybe check your spam filter?

If you didn’t donate last year but would like to get access to the server as well, you just have to donate over on THIS year’s cow jar page.

You won’t get in right away. We’re going to give last year’s donors a couple days to themselves in there, as they’ve been waiting a while. But we’ll get you access in just a couple days.

I’m going to be streaming the launch in just a brief handful of minutes over on twitch.

Hope to see some of you there.

pat

Posted in Acts of Whimsy, Because I Love, calling on the legions, Cutie Snoo | By Pat7 Responses

Worldbuilders Day 1: Everything Old is New Again

Well folks, here we are at the start of another shiny new Worldbuilders. I don’t know if you’re excited, but I’m excited.

At least, I *think* this is excitement. It could that I’m working on three hours of sleep and 8 shots of espresso right now.

But you know what, that’s tradition. Here we are, day of the fundraiser, we have so many exciting things tee’d up, and still I’m not as ready as I’d like to be. The sun is shining. It’s beautiful outside, and honestly, I’m scared.

I know that when I post this blog, the fundraiser will launch, and I’ll be swept up in it again. Streaming, telling stories, spreading the word and trying to change the world….

But right now, it’s a nervous time. I never really know how it’s going to go. I can only hope.

Let’s bring out the logo to see if that helps a bit.

Hello there, old friend….

And you know what? It does help a little. I can feel the old muscle memory kicking in. I just need to shake off the rust a little and let you know what we’re doing today. How this year’s fundraiser has some of our comforting old traditions, some new experiments, and surprises on the horizon.

Briefly, for those of you who are new here, Worldbuilders is a charity where we all get together to make the world a better place. Over the last decade, geeks of all creeds and nations have come together and raised more than $15,000,000 to make the world a better place. (Yup. That’s the right number of zeros. Geeks are awesome.)

Traditions we’re glad to continue.

1. Matching money!

This year, an anonymous donor is offering to match our first $100,000 of donations.

That means in you jump in right now to donate, So if you jump in early, the good you do in the world gets doubled.

2. We’ve got over $100,000 of prizes to give away!

Cool games, rare, signed books. Original art. Comics. All manner of delightful geeky hodgelany. (We’ll be showing these things off to you throughout the fundraiser, and adding new things, too. As if we tried to display it to you all at once, it could cook your brain like a toad thrown into the sun.

Something new: Worldbuilders Architects.

Here’s the elevator pitch. We’d asking for your help to build a better Worldbuilders, so that Worldbuilders can keep building a better world.

A longer explanation is over on the Worldbuilders Architects team page. And even more details will be released in a day or two.

Launch day- Ballyhoo!

As soon as this blog goes live, I’m doing this.

I’ve played Minecraft before, but mostly just with my boys for run. I enjoy it a lot, but honestly? I’m not very good at it. I’ve never made it to the end fortress, let alone the end. Let alone beaten the dragon.

But today I’m going to do it. I’m going to start a new game and play until I beat the game or until my actual human body dies. For charity.

Tune in on my twitch channel if you want to watch this beautiful trainwreck.

And, of course, you can come over to donate directly on my team page, too.

See y’all soon!

pat

Posted in Uncategorized | By Pat12 Responses

Magic Words….

It probably won’t surprise y’all to know that I think about magic kind of a lot.

There’s a lot of reasons for this, obviously. First, it’s kinda my job. Worldbuilding.

But it’s also kinda my hobby: I’m a geek for fantasy.

It’s also a pleasantly large part of being a dad. I read my boys books, and we play games, and we talk about those things and all their history and context. (See above: geek.) Quite aside from that, sometimes they straight up just ask me out of the blue about myth or superstition, or faeries.

Just the other day, I saw some of this bear fruit when a friend asked my boys, in a very casual way, what she should do about her dice. They’d been rolling badly, and she wanted to fix them.

(These aren’t specifically her dice. They’re just cool dice.)

They jumped in with both feet. Was she looking to dispel bad luck? Or give a blessing? They talked about holy salt and the Eye of Horace…

I was so proud.

Anyway. To the point. I was thinking about magic the other day. Like I do. For… reasons. Reasons I won’t go into lest this blog become super long.

But I was wondering about how you would describe magic effects in words that were as simple as possible. Like, for example, what if you were going to try to describe magic spells or effect in the same way Randal Monroe did in his book Thing Explainer.

So, for example, for Fireball an description might be: “Flame Explode” Or maybe “Hot Explode.”

Or, now that I’m thinking about it, “Hot Explode THERE.” (As opposed to a spell that just blew up in your face, which is somewhat less desirable….)

As another example, for the dice above it could be: “Make Good Luck.” Or “Add Fortune.”

But see, “Fortune” is a really specific term. A broader way of saying it might be “Change This. Add More Good”

Or alternately: Remove Bad Magic.

See where I’m aiming with this?

So I’m throwing this out to y’all. What classic spells or magical effects can you think of, and how would you describe them in the simplest, most basic?

Curious to see what y’all come up with…

pat

Edit: I’m enjoying the back and forth in comments with y’all, as bouncing these ideas back and forth is what I was hoping to do. Kinda of troubleshooting the entire concept.  That’s the easiest way to knock the rough corners off an idea, in my experience….

To further clarify for those of you who are looking to come in and participate, reading through some of the other comments first would probably be a good idea.

For example, after reading some of the suggestions below, I think “Make” is going to be out-of-bounds. “Create” is a good one though, as “Create” is a big concept, but it really only means one thing, which is “Bring into existence.”

What I’m really looking do to is develop a rough vocabulary of terms that could be assembled into different effects. Almost like computer code, but for magic. (Someone down in the comments made this analogy, and it’s too fitting not to share.)

How about this, moving foward, think of this as a note you’re handing to the universe. What’s more, it’s a universe that doesn’t give much of a shit about what you want or intend. It’s not going to read your mind or ask for clarification.

With that in mind, note that FIAT LUX  (Let there be light) is pretty clear.

But something like “Do thing” isn’t.

PUSH is pretty clear. But PUSH AWAY is clearer.

(Interesting note: “Push away” in Latin is “repelle” if memory serves.)

Anyway, yeah. Thanks for everyone who’s been coming in to try out this odd idea with me. This is fun so far…

pat

Posted in calling on the legions, gaming, naming, Terrible Science | By Pat118 Responses

The New Corinthian.

So if you read the blog, you’re aware that a lot of the stories I tell here feature my kids.

Sometimes they’re sweet stories. Sometimes funny stories. Or sometimes they’re stories about how I struggle to balance being a dad with… whatever else it is that I’m supposed to be.

(Huh. Went looking for the link for that blog and couldn’t find it. Did I never post that one online? It’s possible. I have roughly 300 half-written blogs that I don’t know if I’ll ever finish.)

Anyway. Not every parenting experience contains a lot of narrative. Sometimes your kid just does something and you want to share it….

For example, this Saturday, Cutie came into my room and told me that he wanted me to see his new “art installation.” So I go into the other room and this is what is on the computer screen….

(You can click to embiggen if you really want to, but….)

I want to say, “There’s a lot to unpack here.” But the truth is, I don’t think it will bear up under much unpacking. Instead can we just agree that this is… That there’s just a lot.

I wish I could share the entire experience with you of zooming in…. and in… and in…. Like an endless Mandelbrot nightmare. Like some cocaine-fueled Hollywood producer working on Sandman gave the note, “Listen, I love this Corinthian character. Super spooky. The best. But… and just come along with me here… what if we kept all that AND made him somehow cuter and also more purple and infinite?”

Y’know what? I’m gonna retract the cocaine jab there. That is an actual non-drugged, non-ironic thing someone would say in LA. I think Neil would back me up on that.

Also, I’d like to make it clear, there’s no cheap cut-and-paste going on here. It’s bespoke. Each of the faces-in-eyes-in-faces is its own small-batch artisanal horror.

It’s the night terrors of turtles all the way down….

And that’s it. No moral. No narrative arc. No sense.

Just nonsense.

That’s something my boys help me remember. I am too often with the world, getting and spending. My boys help draw me back to my other, better self from long ago, that knew the joy of the ridiculous.

So I’m sharing it with you.

Hope y’all are doing okay.

pat

Posted in Cutie Snoo, day in the life, graphic novels | By Pat32 Responses
  • Our Store

  • Previous Posts

  • Archives

  • My Twitter

  • Bookmark this Blog

    (IE and Firefox users only - Safari users, click Command-D)