Category Archives: Arts and Crafts

The Literary Tarot: Being Foolish Together

So here’s the thing, I got a little rambly while writing this post. Even for me.

The crux of the issue, is that I was invited to help design a tarot card for the Literary Tarot project that’s running right now.

Not only that, but I got to do the Fool, which is a particularly meaningful card to me. Even better, I got to pair the fool with Don Quixote, a *character* that is very close to my heart.

(Click to Embiggen.)

Did I mention that the kickstarter is raising money for a charity? Which is absolutely my jam. Except when it’s a charity that’s focused on improving global literacy, which is *double* my jam.

And if that weren’t enough, the person who is running the charity (and the kickstarter) has agreed to add a tier so that people can back at that level and support both Brink (their charity) and Worldbuilders (my charity).

Here’s the catch: as I type this, there’s only about 36 hours left in the kickstarter.

That’s why the new tier is named “Foolish Together” because doing something like this at the last minute at the end of a successful kickstarter is pure madness. (Right now they’ve got almost 10,000 backers, and are poised to tear past 700,000 dollars.)

That’s why I’m doing this little summary here, so if you’re interested, you can just hop over there go over there and take a quick look. Even if you’re not interested in backing it, you should really go look at the art and the different authors invovled. It’s really cool.

But if you want the whole story, maunder and all, here it is….

*     *     *

For years now, a big part of my job is saying no to cool new projects.

And believe it or not, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. It might not seem like it to the casual observer, or to any observer at all, really. The problem with non-action, of course, is that it is non-visible. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to write a blog or tweet,  “I said no to being in a writer’s room!” Or “I passed on the opportunity to be a keynote speaker today!”

But the truth is, I nope out of the vast majority of things I’m invited to do. Maybe, like… 97% of them.

Sometimes it’s easy. But some of the missed opportunities I still think about years later. I’ve passed up several chances to do narrative design for video games. And twice I’ve said no actually holding the reins and helping assemble and lead teams for parts of video game design: once for Worldbuilding, once for narrative. Those really stung to walk away from.

I’ve given a regretful no to writing an opinion piece for the New York Times, to being involved in writer’s rooms for *very* cool properties, and writing stories comic book characters that I’ve loved since I was a kid…

And those are just the ones that spring to mind. Not to mention the hundreds of conventions, dozens of licensing deals, and many anthology invitations I’ve politely declined.

Almost all of these things I would have loved to do to some degree, but I know I need to focus more. Working on too many projects at once is foolish…

But several weeks ago, some friends introduced me to Dani Hedlund, who was putting together a Literary Tarot Deck for a charity fundraiser. Authors were pairing up cards with literary characters. A bunch of authors. Cool authors.

These are just the ones that were announced TODAY. Seriously.

And yes, that’s Steven Fry.

Anyway, I got the invite. It sounded fun and easy, and I like charity, and I’ve been dabbling with Tarot for about 30 years now. Plus, just picking a card and pairing it with a literary figure should probably take what? Ten minutes? Fifteen?

Fast forward two weeks to where I’m on a call with the CEO of the other charity doing art direction, talking about Sancho Panza, and excitedly bubbling over about the fact that what’s on his head is not, in fact, a helmet. It’s a shaving basin.

Also, there might have been singing.

Then this:

Fast forward another two weeks, where I’m talking with Dani again, asking if there’s anything I or Worldbuilders can do to help.

She mentions what I already know, that the biggest challenge is always getting the word out.

I tell her what *she* already knows, that my charity is currently doing its own fundraiser right now. Worse yet, both our fundraisers end almost exactly at the same time. We both know it would be deeply foolish for me to change directions and to promote hers at the same time.

I mention that if Brink and Worldbuilders could somehow work together in some way, we could hit it from that angle. Use the Worldbuilders mailing list. Do a livestream. Pitch it as a superhero team-up. But we both know that it would be deeply foolish for her to make a sudden addition or change to what is already a *super* successful project right at the end.

Fast forward to this:

Yup. She added an entire new tier to her kickstarter out of the goodness of her heart. Just so our charities could work together. It’s got a special postcard based off the card that we designed together that’s full of delightful little flourishes like this:

And I took a chunck of time on Sunday and we had an *amazingly* fun talk about Tarot cards, books we love, the madness of running a charity. I explain why I picked Don Quixote, and we talk about the art direction we did. It’s honestly one of my favorite streams I’ve done in ages.

Also, I was in fine form. I’m not saying I was so witty at one point that I made Dani snort. But I’m not *not* saying that either.

You should check out the video just for the joy of getting to meet Dani, honestly. She’s charming AF. Straight-up one of the most delightful people I’ve ever met. (And I’m saying this as a person who once hugged Felicia Day and Neil Gaiman on the same day.)

So… yeah. You’ve got about 36 hours to jump on that kickstarter if you’re interested.

Here’s the link.

You know what to do.

pat

Also posted in calling on the legions, cool news, cool things, geeking out, hubris, Me Interviewing Other Folks, meeting famous people, My Iconoclastic Tendencies | By Pat14 Responses

One Good Thing #4: Henry

Allow me to introduce you to the newest member of our household.

His name is Henry.

(Say hello, Henry!)

The boys and I have become very fond of him over the last couple weeks, to the extent where I think it’s fair to say that he’s a member of the family….

We recently celebrated a family holiday, and after eating cake and watching shows and cuddling, I asked the boys what they would like more of in their lives. Because if I knew that, we could work together on getting it.

It was late when I asked, the boys were already in bed and falling asleep with the unstoppable surety of someone falling off a cliff. (I remember falling asleep like that, and I hope to again someday, but I worry it might be the purview of the young.)

But I’m a night-owl, and I need less sleep than they do. So I have an irritating habit of asking them questions just as I’ve tucked them in all snug and warm…

It was only then, standing over them in the dim light from the hallway, that I remembered that I wanted to ask them. (You have to leave the hall light on. Of course you do. I remember what it’s like to be a child.) And even though they were fading fast, I asked them: What would you like more of in your life?

Cutie’s eyes were closed, but without hesitation, yawningly, he said he wanted secret tunnels, showing he is the true child of my heart.

Oot was quiet for a bit, and I thought he’d passed out. When he finally spoke, his voice was blurry. As if he was only dimly able to focus on what I’d said from where he was at bottom of a deep well of sleep.  “Beautiful rich colours,” he said, soft and slow like he was speaking under hypnosis. Then added: “Cosy Flowers,” showing that he too, is the child of my heart.

Since then, we’ve been working on cosy, beautiful, richly coloured flowers. It’s with muted confusion that I realize how oddly domestic I have become. I feel like this should fill me with a yawning terror, like I’m forgetting my true self. The self I’ve been forever. The me who never bothered putting up so much as a poster in so many of the places I lived, let alone go through all the work of planting flowers….

Instead, I find these things to be an untrammeled delight. (Well… *slightly* trammeled. Sometimes. Depending on how careful the boys are about when they place their feet.)

And it’s how Henry has come into our lives…

(Click to Embiggen)

(Also note Oot’s side hussle: promoting True Dungeon like a champ.)

Speaking of which, if you’re interested in seeing more True Dungeon stuff, as well as dozens of other cool geeky products (including some stuff from me) Worldbuilders is having its Geeks-Doing-Good fundraiser next week. (Here’s a link you can use to follow the Indigogo. If you plug in your e-mail there, you can get a notification when everything goes live on the 21st.)

I’ll be doing a bunch of streaming to celebrate and promote it the fundraiser. Games and Q&A and discussions with special guests.

Though *that* reminds me. I don’t think I mentioned it on the blog yet, but if you didn’t already know, I’ve been streaming regularly over on twitch for the last several months. Every Friday from 1:00 – 3:00 CST, as well as other random times.

I’ll be posting the streaming schedule for the charity up here on the blog in the next couple days. As well as descriptions of of some of the kingkiller related prizes. But if you’re prefer to get live updates you can just follow my twitch channel and make sure your notifications to ON. That way, you get a heads-up about *all* the streams I do, even if they’re scheduled last minute, completely spontaneous.

That’s all for now. I’ll see y’all more here in the blog over the next couple weeks.

Until then, I hope your lives are full of rich, warm, beautiful colours.

Later space cowboys,

pat

Also posted in Because I Love, cool things, Cutie Snoo, day in the life, One Good Thing, Oot, The Terror of Domesticity | By Pat38 Responses

Crapping Presents: In Which Oot is Cute

Heya everybody,

It’s been a while since I told a story about my kids here on the blog. And over the last couple days, my kids have been *particularly* fucking cute. So I figured this was as good a time as any to break my dry spell…

My little boys are, despite my best efforts, getting older. Oot is ten, and just a little while back, Cutie (also known as Cutie Snoo) turned an almost incomprehensible six years old.

(Here they are at Gamehole Con, dressed up as squids.)

Now some of you might think that the costumes they’re wearing look suspiciously like those costumes people buy for their dogs at Target. And some of you would be right. But my kids don’t know that. And I don’t plan on telling them. And also they were super cheap. Also shut up. Also, I’m an awesome dad.

Also also, just because it’s been a while since I’ve talked about the boys here on the blog, I should make it clear that Oot and Cutie Snoo aren’t their real names. I keep their real names private because I talk about them and share pictures of them on the internet. Using public names gives them a bit of privacy and safety. If they really want to be internet famous, they can make that decision for themselves when they grow up. I don’t want to make it for them.

Anyway, as I was saying, I’ve been wanting to tell a cute kid story for a while now, and for a similar amount of while, I thought that that story was going to involve the time that I heard them playing in their room together.

“What are you guys doing?” I asked.

“We were playing M&M!” Cutie chirrups.

“What’s that?” says me, the very good dad who would never dress his kids in dog costumes unless, of course, they were super cheap and his kids looked amazingly adorable in them.

“It’s kinda like D&D,” says Oot. “Except without the dice.”

Which is to say that what they were *really* doing was telling stories together.

I hope I don’t need to stress to you how ebullient that makes me feel. I’ve been telling them stories for years now. Little adventure tales where they are characters and they solve problems or make choices that shape the narrative. It’s like role playing without the roll, if you catch my meaning.

And now, apparently, they’re doing it with each other….

I’ll be honest with y’all. I wish I had that story on tape. Partly so *I* would get to listen to it all, but also so I could share it with you. All I really caught from listening in the hallway was that someone had stolen someone else’s socks. Further inquiry informed me that Cutie was originally going to be a Frost Gecko who would eventually transform into an Ice Dragon. But then he became a Flame Raven. But now he was a human because he needed to have a backpack because… honestly. I don’t remember why. Probably just Because Backpacks, I’m guessing.

(Also, I think he had a shock toad as a pet? And it ate battery flies? I don’t have any more context than that for you, sorry.)

But that story, sadly, will have to wait for another time. Maybe I can get lucky and get them to continue it on tape at some point.

For now, as I was saying, my boys = cute and awesome. Also, my littler, Codename Cutie, just recently had a birthday.

So. Cue the music. Cute story time.

*     *     *

The other day, I had a remarkably large amount of fun going shopping for Cutie’s birthday presents with Oot. This didn’t used to be the case, as little kids, by and large, are more interested in getting presents than giving them. And taking a kid to a toy store and telling them over and over, “Yes, I know YOU like that Frozen 2 Drum Set (TM) and the Farting Kermit the Frog plushy with RealStinq technology, but we’re shopping for your brother, remember…?”

But this year, shopping was such a delight. Oot had ideas of his own. Things *he* wanted to shop for. Even picked out his own card, which is one of the best I’ve ever seen:

But wait, it gets better.

One of the things I struggle with a lot as a parent is *not* doing things for my boys. Especially when we’re in a hurry. Especially when I can see my boys are struggling.

This may not make sense to a lot of y’all, but I think one of my main jobs as a dad is to let my children struggle. They need to try things, fail, be frustrated, fail again, get irritated, try again, then eventually get something done and be generally disappointed in the fact that it hasn’t turned out as well as they’d hoped.

But it’s HARD. I’m a fixer. I’m a helper. I want to make their lives easy. I want to offer assistance, give advice, and help them *avoid* disappointment.

Still, I strive to leave them be and force them to do things themselves even when they’re bad at it. Because doing things yourself is the only way you get better.

I’ve done this for years with Oot, one of my earliest memories of this was him around 2 years old. We’re in the kitchen, and I’m watching him try to cut a potato with a butter knife for AGES while my fingers twitch with the almost overwhelming desire to step forward and say, “Here, let me help….”

Fast forward to now. He’s 10. He’s picked out his own presents. He knew exactly the wrapping paper he wanted. Picked out the bow he wanted, too.

We were a little late for the party. Time was tight. He didn’t want to be late. I asked him if he wanted me to help him cut the wrapping paper… and he said no, thanks anyway, he’d rather wrap it himself…

Then he wrapped this:

I am going to be completely honest here. This is more fastidiously wrapped than anything I’ve done in my whole life. This will probably shock none of you, but when I wrap things… pretty isn’t the word that leaps to mind.

Here, for example, is a prize package that I wrapped for the Worldbuilders lottery years and years ago…

(Click to embiggen.)

Needless to say, they don’t let me help with that anymore.

But here’s my boy, age 10, doing this:

Then this:

Whatever gene governs this ability must be recessive, because it certainly didn’t manifest in me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love how beautiful my boy’s presents turned out. I love that he cared about making something beautiful for his brother. And I love seeing him be better at something with me.

But that wasn’t the really excellent part.

This was:

Then:

And finally:

The final result: a present that looks like it was wrapped by an angry badger. It looks like Oot  either didn’t care at all, or that he really couldn’t use tape to save his life. We spent so much time strategizing about how to make it look crappy, laughing and laughing. It was 15 minutes of pure joy. Joy the likes of which I rarely experience these days. Quite literally the most raw and perfect happiness I’ve had in a week.

As we were getting ready to take him to the party, I looked at the package and started to laugh.

“It’s such crappy wrapping!” I said.

“Crapping,” Oot corrected me, making a portmanteau of the words. (I should teach him that term, now that I think of it.)

“You did a good job crapping that present,” I said.

“We crapped it together,” he said, grinning like a maniac.

And we continued like that, back and forth, all the way to the party.

*     *     *

It’s been too long since I shared something like this with y’all. It feels nice.

As an interesting side-note for those of you who are interested in my writing process, I wrote this blog live on my Twitch Stream as part of the daily livestreaming that I do to promote our yearly fundraiser.

If you’re interested in seeing things like that, you could wander over and give my Twitch page a follow.

Alternately, you can visit Oot’s Team page for the fundraiser over here. He’s really excited about raising money for Worldbuilders.

In other news, the Worldbuilders Auctions are in their final day. If you haven’t wandered over there to take a look at what’s being offered, you’re really missing out. There’s some truly unique items there, and all the proceeds go to charity.

And lastly but not leastly, tomorrow (Sunday the 15th) I’m doing a special livestream where I talk about the upcoming liveplay podcast I’m doing set in my world with the One Shot Podcast Network.

(That will be over on my twitch stream too)

That’s all for now, but stay tuned. The fundraiser is over in just a couple days, and we’re going to have cool things happening every day until the end…

See you later space cowboys…

pat

Also posted in Beautiful Games, Cutie Snoo, Oot, small adventures | By Pat31 Responses

A bit of blog, a bear, and a blush.

Hey there everybody,

I’m still reeling a bit from the response to the last blog. I’m surprised so many of you still show up here after all the long stretches of silence. I’m even more surprised at the storm of kind comments as well. Though I’ll be honest here: I’m not too surprised, as over the years y’all have proved that you are delightfully compassionate and empathetic human beings. Still, the degree to which you are supportive does still amaze me from time to time.

I’m going to be making an effort to blog more, even if they’re just little blogs. Too often I feel like I should only blog if I have something really big to say. But then invariably what happens is I start a big, emotionally engaging blog with a narrative arc and several scene breaks and pictures…. and I get pulled away by other more pressing concerns before I finish it. Then it just sits there….

I just checked. I have 300 partially drafted blogs here on wordpress. And while I’m guessing at least half of those are probably nothing more than a link to an interesting video or article I wanted to talk about. I know many of them are half-written musings on the nature of truth, book reviews, or the nearly-complete story of the time I got to ride the carousel with Neil Gaiman at House on the Rock.

I’ll probably try to finish up those blogs too, here and there. I’m trying to get better about finishing things lately, too.

For now, let me offer you something smaller. This is practice for me, writing a little blog of no particular import.

Here are a couple pictures from earlier this ear at Emerald City ComicCon.

The first was a truly astonishing Princess and Mr. Whiffle Cosplay. She gave me my very own Mr. Whiffle, too.

Now you might look at this picture and think to yourself, “Why is pat so angry despite the fact that he’s just had his mind blown open with delight by a reader showing his work this much love?”

The thing is, I’m not angry. I’m trying to imitate Mr. Wiffle’s expression.

(Added coolness? Mr. Whiffle’s eyes are actually adjustable so I can change his expression.)

Edit: People keep asking about the Princess and Mr. Whiffle. Here’s a link where you can buy it without paying ridiculous amounts on e-bay. (And the money goes to charity.)

Here we have a homebrew t-shirt from the same convention. It’s not *that* strange for me to see a fanmade shirt these days, but I will say, this is the first shirt I’ve seen along this particular theme. The art design was really impressive too, and deserves a better photograph than the one I have here. But honestly? I was a little blushy and flustered when I asked if I could take the picture… so this was the best I could do.

Thanks for being awesome guys, I’ll try to be more awesome in the future so you don’t get too far ahead of me.

Be good to each other,

pat

P.S. – Some of you were lamenting that you missed the Call to Adventure Kickstarter. So the folks at Brotherwise Games are doing a short pre-order period where you can grab the game and expansion at the kickstarter price AND still get the kickstarter exclusive cards, too.

You can pre-order over here, but only until Wednesday.

 

Also posted in blogging, cool things, cosplay, fan coolness | By Pat138 Responses

Wyrmwood Gaming: The Prophecy Gaming Table

I’m guessing if you read my blog, you’ve heard of Wyrmwood Gaming before.

They’re the ones who have produced the high-end Tak sets we’ve made. Both the ones in the initial kickstarter, the travel sets we have in the Tinker’s packs, and the one-of-a-kind set pictured above that’s currently up for grabs in the fundraiser’s prize lottery where every $10 bucks gets you a chance to win among thousands of games and books.

I love them with a fierce love, which is why we’ve done so much with them, including, for example, the wooden poker chip sets we did in our recent playing card Kickstarter.

But I’m not here to tell you about the cool stuff they’ve done in the past.

No. I’m here to tell you how cool they are right now…

*      *      *

About a week and a half ago, I went to PAX unplugged where I met up with some friends, played some D&D, and just generally mucked about and had a good time.

I stopped by the Wyrmwood booth too, because, as I mentioned, I love them. I looked around at some of the new stuff they had for sale, chatted with some of the folks there, checked out the Tak set they had on display…

And then, off to one side of their booth, I saw this:

And here’s the thing. This is the point at which words fail me. This table. It was so beautiful. Not just that, it was amazingly well designed and engineered.

This is going to sound a little crazy. But I couldn’t stop touching it. I was there, chatting to the folks running the booth, and I realized that for the last 10 minutes I’d been obsessively running my hands over the table. Almost… well… kinda petting it.

But no. That actually undersells what was going on. I was caressing the table. I’m sorry to put it in those terms. But I was. I was caressing this table in a sensual and loving manner. And I could not find it within myself to stop.

I honestly don’t want to make this weird. But I don’t know how else to explain to you how much I fell in love with this table. How it looked and how it felt.

And then they showed me how it worked. How the recessed playing area could be raised and lowered. How they used rare-earth magnets to secure the drink holders. How the leaves that covered the table were not only tongue-and-groove, and not only held together with magnets, but it also has a rubber gasket so if you spill something it won’t leak through and ruin your game underneath!

God. s I’m typing this, I’m actually angry and sad and frustrated that I can’t accurately describe to you how amazing it was.

Here’s a picture they took of me when I was there.

(Look at my hands.)

How ginchy is this table? Let me tell it you. If a Unicorn were a gaming table, this is the table it would be. If you went to god’s house to play D&D, this is what you’d see. This is the Tesla of gaming tables. It’s the one table to rule them all.

This is the Lin-Manuel Miranda of gaming tables.

Anyway. While I was talking to them, creepily caressing their table, I thanked them for the donations that they had already made to this year’s fundraiser. And then I mentioned, using my best used-car salesman tones, that if they wanted to donate a table to Worldbuilders, I’d do a really good job of showing it off to the world.

And here’s the thing. They said yes.

 

*     *     *

Yeah. So as of right now, there is a Black Walnut Prophecy table in the Worldbuilders prize lottery. That means for every ten bucks you donate, you get a chance to win. (Not only the table, but over $150,000 of other books, games, and geeky swag we’re giving away.)

By the way, here’s a video that shows off the table at some length. You should really check it out.

Let me say it again: This Black Walnut Prophecy table is being added into the lottery for *anyone* to win who donates $10 or more, and selects “GAMES” as one of the items they’d like to win.

The winner, in addition to the table, will also get up to $500 worth of rail accessories of the their choice (in matching Black Walnut, this would be roughly 4 cup holders and 4 component collectors). The total retail value of all of this is $10,500. And, again, anyone who selects games as one of the types of things they’d like to win is eligible to win this table. You could donate $10 and still possibly win this.

Now, there’s some things to take note of.

First of all, this table would be fulfilled at the end of May 2019. Wyrmwood has already sold a bunch of these tables, and they can’t promise it would be done any sooner than that. You’d know you won it early next year (when Worldbuilders does the prize draw) but you’d be waiting until May 2019 for it to arrive.

Additionally, a $500 shipping credit will be applied. Which is to say, you’d be responsible for paying any additional shipping costs for delivery. See, this table is huge, and hefty. Solid wood craftsmanship is like that. And since we’re not limiting this prize to only people in North America, there’s a chance the shipping could cost a LOT of money.

When the winner is selected, we’ll reach out to be sure they’re willing and able to cover any additional shipping costs. If the winner declines, we’ll draw another name and a new winner will be chosen.

Believe me when I say, you want this table. If you’ve been holding out on donating, now’s the time to jump in, and maybe you’ll win.

And also, if you get the chance, can you show the folks at Wyrmwood a little love when you get the chance? They’ve really gone above and beyond with this donation, and they deserve some kudos.

Also posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Beautiful Games, cool news, geeking out, Worldbuilders 2017 | By Pat9 Responses

Secrets, Arts, and News of Three Parts

Hey there everybody,

I’m typing this as I sit in a hotel room in Seattle. Tomorrow I fly home to see my babies. But for the last week, I’ve spent my days doing secrety things with cool people.

I can’t really share any details right now. But suffice to say that I had a good time, and you’ll see the fruits of this labor… soonish. Eventually. Before the heat death of the universe at any rate. Probably.

*     *    *

If you’re more interested in things that you can put your sweaty little hands on right now. Allow me to talk about the kickstarter a little bit.

If you missed the last blog, or have simply have been distracted by the many woes of the world, you might have missed the fact that we recently launched a kickstarter to make something like this:

(Oh Bast. If I were you, I wouldn’t ever wear a shirt either….)

What’s more, the kickstarter had a delightfully successful launch, and so many of you jumped in with such enthusiasm that we’re already over 1300% funded already.

This is really nice for us, as it’s the first kickstarter we’ve done completely on our own, and we weren’t sure how it would go. So far, it’s been a wild ride. We even got selected by Kickstarter as one of the Project We Love, which was hugely flattering.

We’ve torn through a bunch of our stretch goals. Unlocking many, many new cards. And we’re showing off new stuff as quickly as we can make it available.

For example, here’s some of the new pieces: Devi, Lorren, and Mola.

(Click to Embiggen)

To make things even cooler, we’ve been slowly releasing hand-painted pieces of original card art from Echo.

 

She does a lot of her work digitally, so it’s rare for her to have original oil paintings available. Some of these will be different from the final card, either because she started working on them before the card was finalized, or simply because they had to be digitally aligned to make them symmetrical, like a card needs to be.

We included some of these when the kickstarter first launched. But they were all sold out by the second day. Now we’re preparing to launch 7 more of them. But since there’s only one of each and they sell fast, we wanted to make sure that everyone who might be interested was notified in advance before we put them up. So, on Tuesday, August 29th at 12pm Central Time we’ll be posting up the following original art pieces:

  • Master Lorren, Alternate King of Spades
  • Denna, Queen of Spades
  • Devi, Alternate Queen of Hearts
  • Cinder, Chandrian Joker
  • Fae Bast, Alternate Jack of Clubs
  • Kilvin, King of Clubs
  • Ambrose, Jack of Clubs

They range in price from $1500 to $1800, which is a steal for hand-painted art from someone like Echo. Each of them will come with all four unique decks of cards, free US shipping, and a set of the special, gilt-edged Chandrian decks.

We’ll be releasing more of the original art in another week or so, but I can’t make all of those announcements here. So if you’re hoping to get your hands on one be sure to back the campaign (even if it’s just at the $5 tier) so you get updates in your email as soon as they go out. You’re always able to change your pledge to another tier until the campaign ends.

*     *     *

We’ve also hit our final print stretch goal: and as a result, Echo will be producing another piece of art showing Kvothe’s Troupe entertaining themselves after camping for the night.

This poster is going to be extra cool though, because we’re having some cameos in it. Three of our Edema Ruh troupers are going to be the McElroy Brothers.

(Awww, brothers….)

These good good boys are going to be appearing in the print. Which fills me with delight, as I’m a huge fan of their work. (In fact, just a couple hours ago I had a real solid cry listening to the final episode of The Adventure Zone.)

What’s more, you’ll get your chance to be included in that print as well, as we’ll be putting some cameos up for grabs in the near future. If that’s something that interests you, be sure to sign up for updates on the campaign, and keep an eye on the e-mails, as that’s where we’ll be announcing when those cameo spots go live, too.

So. If you haven’t already, go and check out the kickstarter and look at the cool art. And if you’re interested in getting some of Echo’s originals, set an alarm, and we’ll see you at 12pm central time on Tuesday.

Thanks again everyone,

pat

Also posted in calling on the legions, cool things, Echo Chernik, fan coolness, geeking out | By Pat10 Responses

The Name of the Wind Art Deck

So. Here’s the deal. Today we have a bit of an announcement. And by we, I mean me and my team here at Elodin Enterprises. (Yes. That’s really our name.)

But before I tell you what’s happening now, I hope you’ll understand if I mention some of the events that led up to this happening. I’m guessing this format isn’t going to be hugely surprising for any of you. Because that’s how I do.

    *     *     *

Once, years ago and miles away, I heard about an artist by the name of Echo Chernik. In little dribs and drabs, I kept hearing about her, and running into her art in various places.

And to put it plainly, I thought it was amazing.

Years went by, and kept brushing up against each other professionally. The first time she was part of the Pairs kickstarter I did with James Earnest back in 2014. A year or so later, I saw some of her art in a show at a convention and was wowed.

Later, I found out she was doing a Tarot Deck for Shadowrun.

(Queen of Swords, if you hadn’t guessed.)

Later still, James invited her into the Tak Kickstarter, where she designed the board that many of you have seen….

Which might not seem like a bit deal, until you realize that she had to design the Selas Flower before she made that board:

(Before she did this, the flower only existed in my head….)

It was during the Tak kickstarter that we first got to talk and work together a bit. (See selas flower above.) And after the ice was broken, I felt brave enough to actually approach her at a convention, introduce myself, and ask if she wanted to hang out and chat a little bit. This might surprise some of you, but the truth is, I’m kinda bashful. Especially around creative people I admire.

While we were chatting over coffee, I learned something surprising. While Echo loves going to conventions, working with game companies, and making geeky art…. that’s not really what she does for a living. Her day job is doing corporate ad design working for people like Dos Equis, Celestial Seasonings, companies like that.

“Do you like that stuff better?” I asked.

“I love illustrating for advertising and packaging. But being a geek at heart, the opportunity to combine my passion for art and geekdom is a dream,” she explained. “Unfortunately, games don’t pay well enough for that dream to be full-time.”

Hearing this, I was honestly irritated. Echo is a world-class talent, and the fact that she was forced to do corporate ad design to make ends meet… well… it kinda pissed me off.

“Would you want to maybe do a project together sometime?” I asked, trying not to sound too eager. “Maybe a kickstarter or something? My people love beautiful art, and they’re enthusiastic. I’d love to see how you’d paint my characters. If it goes well, maybe we could make enough money so you could just draw what you love for a while, and not worry so much about making ends meet….”

She didn’t laugh at me, which is always a good sign. And then we talked more and more seriously about it until… well… now.

And here we are.

I hereby present to you: The Name of the Wind Art Deck. We’ve been working on getting this ready for the better part of a year, and I’m incredibly proud of how it’s turning out so far.

On the surface, we’re making a deck of playing cards that feature art and characters from The Name of the Wind.

But fairly early in the process, Echo and I realized we had a problem. A deck of cards only has 12 face cards, but we had more than twelve characters we wanted to feature. Wouldn’t it be nice to see *more* than just the main cast of characters?

We tossed around a couple ideas until we hit a solution that I’m really proud of. We’re doing multiple decks with different pieces of art. That means we can show you more characters, and even do a couple variants with our favorites. (A Fae bast, and a mortal bast, for example.)

But (and here’s the clever bit) the backs of the cards will be the same…

That means– Well. You know what. We took great pains to explain all this in our campaign video. Plus there’s a bunch of cool animations in there to help explain what I mean.

Does that make sense? How you’ll be able to make your own decks?

This is a bit of an experiment for us here at Elodin. We’ve never run our very own Kickstarter before. But we do have experience producing goods and shipping them out because of the Indiegogos we’ve been doing for the last three years with Worldbuilders.

Luckily, the team has been doing all the logistical work. My job has been easier. Since I suck at organization, the main thing I’ve been doing is been developing the art with Echo. And it’s been turning out so, so good..

Check out young Kvothe.

And Auri…

Also, did I mention that since package design is what Echo does for a living, she’s *Super* good at it?

Look at this gorgeousness:

The red decks are the Selas Decks, and the Black ones are the Chandrian Decks. They both have alternate cards and unique jokers and…

Y’know? You should really just go over and check out the kickstarter itself. You can see all the art and the stretch goals and details there.

Also, I feel I should mention that we have a couple tiers that are limited in quantity. Partly to encourage people to jump in early, and partly because we can only produce so many of certain items

If you’d head over and check it out, I’d appreciate it. Both my team and Echo’s family have invested a lot of time and effort into this, and the first couple days of a kickstarter are *really* important. (So both jumping in early and helping to spread the word are hugely appreciated.)

Here’s the Link. 

pat

Also posted in calling on the legions, cool things, Echo Chernik, geeking out | By Pat58 Responses
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