Category Archives: Worldbuilders 2016

Our Best Launch Ever: The First Four Days….

It’s day four of the fundraiser. And as I write this, we’ve just crested up over the top of 70,000 dollars. With our matching money, that means we’ve already raised over $140,000 and hit our $100K stretch goal: Launching my new website (a little earlier than we’d planned.)

At some point this weekend we’ll be flipping the switch on that so y’all can look around at the new coolness, kick the tires a little, and…. to be honest… probably see some things that aren’t working the way we’d intended. Think of this as a very solid beta launch…

More importantly, this blog is a reminder that this year I’m not posting everything that goes up in the fundraiser on this blog. Instead, the Worldbuilders Team has taken over a lot of the information distribution over on their website. You can follow their blogs right here, and keep an eye on the lottery library to see what’s being added to the fundraiser every day.

For example, on Tuesday they posted a ton of cool geekery from Badali Jewelry and Valyrian Steel.


valyrian-steel-swag(Click on the photos and you can read all about them…)

Wednesday they featured a ton of signed books donated by authors….

author-donatedAnd today we’re putting in over 600 games into the lottery where every $10 dollars you donate gets you a chance to win. (And then gets doubled, too.)


So right now we’ve got nearly 900 prizes in the lottery worth over $33,000. And we’re only just barely four days into our festivities.

If you want to keep seeing everything as it comes it, keep an eye on the Worldbuilders website.

  • Twitch News:

As many of you already know, I’ll be on my Twitch chanel, streaming every night from 4pm-7pm CST to promote the charity.

So far, I’ve played the alpha version of Hero’s Song, only sucked a little in Overwatch, and performed a writing Q&A so intense it almost cost me my voice.

Future plans include inviting Sarah onto the stream for Date night (tonight), playing Witcher 3, and generally getting up to all sorts of hijinks. Hell, things might actually escalate to the point of full-blown shenanigans by early next week.

If you want to be part of that, you can sign up for notifications for when I start streaming.

Simply go to my twitch channel and click “Follow” then turn on notifications.

Um… Amanda? Can you tuck in a graphic to show them what I’m talking about?



(Here you go, Boss.)

Thanks much Amanda, that’s very… high tech of you. um… maybe not pick a screencap where I look quite so dumb next time?

We’re going to start letting people vote on what I do during each stream as soon as we have the technology to do that. Which is sure to lead to absolute madness. You don’t want to miss the madness, do you?

With that in mind, any ideas for fun things you’d like to see on the stream? Share them in the comments below…

Oh, and also, I’m just going to put a link to the donation page here.

And a link to all our current auctions here.

I’m sure you can figure out what to do with those…


Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat25 Responses

A Boat, A Board, A Table, and Books

Hey there everybody,

This year’s fundraiser is going to be bigger and better than ever, and today’s blog includes four of the reasons why.

Rather than save our coolest things for last as we’ve occasionally done in the past, we’re launching out with big items that are all going into the lottery, which means for every $10 you donate on our fundraiser page you have a chance to win them and a ton of other prizes.

This first one is something new to the fundraiser. We’ve never put anything like it in the lottery before…

  • A cabin for 2 on the 2017 JoCo Cruise


JoCo Cruise 2017 is a cruise ship full of music, comedy, and general nerdery. The 2017 cruise departs from San Diego, CA on Saturday, March 4th for a 7-night adventure along the Sea of Cortez and will return on Saturday, March 11.


I’ve gone on the JoCo Cruise for two years in a row now, and 2017 will be my third trip out. I didn’t know if I’d like going on a cruise, because honestly? I’m a bit of a cave dweller. But despite my initial reservations, I have to say, I absolutely love it. It’s a great atmosphere, and this year’s cruise will be the first time the geeks are taking over the entire cruise ship.

It’s the best time. I’ve had more genuine interactions with fans and other geeks on the boat than I can hope to have at a convention.

So I’m delighted to announce that JoCo Cruise has donated a balcony cabin on the boat to Worldbuilders, and we’re putting it in the lottery where anyone who donates at least $10 can win it.

You’ll still need to pay for your own flights to and from the cruise, but once you’re on the boat you’re pretty much golden. There’s free food and drinks (with some options you’d have to pay for), concerts, events, panels, and so, so much more.


(Like the 24 hour gaming room, for example)

The JoCo Cruise folks made a handy-dandy list for us of everything this does and doesn’t include, but the big thing is that every $10 you donate gets you another chance to win this awesome trip.

  • The Vanguard gaming table from Geek Chic


The lovely folks over at Geek Chic have offered up one of their elegant gaming tables for this year’s Fundraiser.

If this table looks a little familiar, it might be because you’ve drooled over one at a convention like GenCon or PAX. Or maybe us playing on one in an episode of TableTop (where I crushed all who opposed me.)

Geek Chic makes gorgeous stuff. This table has an inset game field, so not only will your dice not roll onto the floor, but the replaceable top means you can cover up a partially finished game and still have a functional table you can use for eating dinner or doing work.

The table also has a grooved rail system that allows you to add on things like cup holders, trays, and dice containers onto the *side* of the table without cluttering up your game or risking spills.


This table is one of the newer designs from Geek Chic: the Standard Vanguard. There’s a lot more information about it over on their website. (Click that link.)

But wait, it gets better.

If you win this prize and want to customize your Vanguard, adding accessories or picking fancier woods, Geek Chic will give you the $2500 value of this table as credit toward your new configuration or anything else you’d like to buy from Geek Chic. Including a different table.

Even international donors have a chance of winning this, but we’ll coordinate with the winner after the fact, since international shipping can be tricky on something this large.

Remember, you get a chance to win it for every $10 you donate to the fundraiser and select games as something you’re interested in winning.

  • A Beautiful Tak Set from Wyrmwood

Some of you might recognize the Wyrmwood’s handiwork from the recent Tak kickstarter, where they made Devi’s Box and Devi’s Board.

Well this year for Worldbuilders, they made us something special….


Seriously. Look at it. It’s gorgeous.


It’s a handmade, one-of-a-kind Tak set, constructed with Kingwood, African Blackwood. (All ethically sourced.) The board has solid silver stringing and mother-of-pearl inlay. If they were selling them, the retail cost of this board would be around $5,000.


But they’re not selling them. Even I don’t have one. This item is just available for some lucky geek to win if they donate to Worldbuilders.

  • Books From Subterranean Press

For those of you who love books more than games, the rest of the blog contains gorgeous limited-edition books from Subterranean Press. Sub Press has been around since the beginning of Worldbuilders, and all but one of their donations is going into the lottery.

All told, there’s over 200 books going into the lottery today. Many of them signed, numbered, or otherwise rare.


Subterranean Press always goes the extra mile to make truly beautiful books, so we love being able to show them off. They work hard to make their books incredibly high quality, and they don’t miss the mark.


There’s more than just novels going in, too. Both of these books are collections of stories from some of the best authors in their genre. Confessions is completely sold out, and the only place left to get a copy is here in the lottery.


Each of these limited edition books was limited to 1,000 numbered copies, so you’re getting a real rarity in them.


John Scalzi’s collection of posts from his blog, Whatever, is a deep dark look into the things on his mind over the time between 2008 and 2012, which is both horrifying and hilarious.

Amityville Horrible is a wonderful horror story for more traditional reasons: it’s full of ghosts, necromancy, werewolves, and murder. It was limited to 1500 numbered copies which are all leather-bound and gorgeous.

  • Auction: One of every book published by Subterranean Press in 2016.


This is one of the coolest things Subterranean has been doing for a while now, which is a collection of every single book they’ve published in the last year. It includes some of the books already featured in the fundraiser, plus a bunch more, including some that haven’t come out yet.

There are 38 beautiful books in this bundle. To add some serious class to your bookshelf, you can bid on this auction right here.

* * *

Happy first day of the fundraiser, folks. Remember that I’ll only be posting a few times throughout the fundraiser, but Worldbuilders will be updating their website every day with new items in the lottery, auctions, and stretch goals.

Let’s show Heifer International what we can do with $1 million in matching money.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2016 | By Pat14 Responses

Worldbuilders 2016

Well folks, it’s that time of year again.

It’s with genuine excitement, that I announce the beginning of our annual Worldbuilders fundraiser.


Worldbuilders is the charity I founded when I realized that geeks were startlingly empathetic and caring people, and, when given the chance, they will charge out in force to make the world a better place.

Worldbuilders raises money for several different causes, but our end-of-the-year fundraiser focuses on raising money for Heifer International. Heifer helps people raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. For more than 60 years, they have worked to improve education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry all over the world.

Don’t take my word for it though. Watch this instead. Seriously. It’s only a minute and a half.

This is what Heifer is all about. They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so people can take care of themselves. They give families goats, chickens, and sheep so children have milk to drink, eggs to eat, and warm clothes to wear. They provide communities with clean water to drink, building materials to improve homes, and business training to help families become self-sufficient. Forever.

Now for the big news: This year, Worldbuilders has access to a million dollars of matching money.That means if you donate enough to buy a woman like Chasha a goat, your donation will be doubled and Heifer will be able to provide another goat for someone else in need. If we can hit our total, we’ll have raised two million dollars that will help permanently change the lives of thousands of families all over the world, from Nepal to Appalachia. We have all the way until the end of the fundraiser on December 19th at 11:59pm PST to use it all.

There are a few different ways you can contribute and help us earn that matching money, each with a couple of additional benefits…

  • Option 1: The Lottery

This is the simplest option.: quick, easy, and tax-deductible. You just head over to the fundraising page we’ve created and donate.

When you donate on that page, in addition to having your donation doubled, you’ll be entered into our prize lottery, which contains thousands of books, games, comics, and more.

For every $10 you donate on the fundraising page, your name will be entered into our random drawing. So if you donate $30 (enough for a flock of chickens) your name goes in three times. Donate enough for a goat ($120) and your name goes in 12 times. Enough to give clean water to a whole village ($500) you get 50 chances to win.

What’s in the lottery? A lot. So much that if I showed it to you all at once, the raw intensity of the aggregate awesome would cook your brain like a toad thrown into the sun.

So we’ve spread things out so that we can show them to you in all their glory without risking your precious brain. I’ll be posting up blogs a couple times a week here on my blog, but there will be content going up pretty much every weekday on the Worldbuilders website. (Which we just finished re-designing, so it’s even better than last year.)



If you head over there, you can see *all* the different games and books we’re giving away on our Lottery Library page that we’ll be updating throughout the fundraiser.

You can also go check out the blogs full of prizes here:

In order to make sure everyone gets prizes they love while also making sure all our prizes find good homes, we’ll have you answer a question or two when you make a donation.


Alternately, if you prefer not to leave things to random chance….

  • Option 2: Auctions

Sometimes we get donations that are cool…but only to a select group of people. Some people would squee with delight at winning a portal gun, but some people (sad, unhappy people) just wouldn’t be into it.

The same thing is true with action figures, musical instruments, manuscripts, collectibles. Signed signed art and rare books.

When things like that get donated, we put them up for auction.

Sometimes we also have people offering interesting services. Like writers and editors who are  willing to read and critique manuscripts. We’re auctioning off cameo appearances in comics and the chance to have your name in upcoming books.

All our current auctions are over on the Worldbuilders eBay page. Keep an eye on it. We’ll be adding stuff all the time.

The funds raised through the auctions will be going to Heifer International too. So whatever you bid in the auctions will be doubled as well. So and they count toward our matching money, so you’re still helping us have a huge impact on the lives of people who need it.

  • The Sure Thing

For those of you who want to have an absolute sure thing, we have an online store.

We have geekery from my books, games, t-shirts, and tons of other stuff for your perusal. The purchases there don’t go toward our fundraiser total, but the profits in the end will come to Worldbuilders and help make the world a better place.

  • Added Incentive: Stretch Goals

To help spread the word about the fundraiser (and encourage donations) we’ve brought members of the geek community together to do whimsical things as our donation total grows. There will be dirty limericks, grown adults clucking like chickens, happy dances, Neil Gaiman reading in that awesome voice of his, and so, so much more….

A special stretch goal this year is coming from Neil Gaiman: he’s offered to read to all of us again, and this year, you get to help decide what he reads. You can cast your vote when you make your donation:


Once we hit $1,000,000, we’ll tally all the donations and tell Neil what he’ll be reading for us. In 2013, Neil read Green Eggs and Ham; the next year he read The Jabberwocky. This year promises to be equally wonderful.

  • Streaming on Twitch

Last year as an experiment, I tried livestreaming on Twitch to raise awareness of charity, talk about our prizes and what Heifer does, and have some fun with y’all at the same time.

It worked pretty well, so this year we’re doing it again. Here’s my new Twitch schedule through the end of the fundraiser (December 19th):

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

I don’t have anything scheduled on Wednesday November 23, Thursday November 24, and Friday November 25 to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I might do a surprise, unofficial stream in the evenings, but it won’t be pre-planned, and it definitely won’t be at these scheduled times.

As for what I’m streaming… well… I’m thinking I’m going to figure that out as we go along. I’ll probably play some games. But I’ll probably also do some Q&A sessions. Maybe do a few writing discussions. Maybe I’ll read some more kids books, or just work on book three while y’all stare at my coffee mug and listen to the tantilizing clickity of my old IBM keyboard while I write.

You won’t know unless you tune in. So if you want to know, you should head over here, follow the stream, and then change your settings so you get a notification when I start a new stream.

Important Links and Contact Information

Our website has all of the information you’ll need, including a nifty bar that shows off how much money we’ve raised from all of our various avenues. Worldbuilders also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account for those of you who like to have the internet injected directly into your veins.

Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Check out our handy FAQ.

Want to donate something to Worldbuilders? Help us spread the word? Do a stretch goal? Write a story for your local paper? Drop us a line here: donations [at]

All right folks. Are you ready? I’m so ready.

Let’s do this thing.


P.S. Just in case you missed it, here’s one more link to our Fundraiser donation page.

Also posted in cool news | By Pat11 Responses
  • Our Store

  • Previous Posts

  • Archives

  • My Twitter

  • Bookmark this Blog

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