A beautiful board for a beautiful game

I am constantly blown away by the amazing things you kind folks make, and even more impressed that you donate those works of art to Worldbuilders.

If you join me on Twitch you may have seen me share a lovely Tak board donated by Aaron Schmersal.

If you haven’t seen it you can get a good look here:

I’ll be giving this away as a prize for folks who donate to my page through the course of the fundraiser. Thanks to our super fun Afterparty you still have chances to donate and be entered into the drawing for all of the fun stretch goals!

Take a look at this lovely thing. It truly is a work of art.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | By Pat114 Responses

Ain’t no party like a Worldbuilders Party cause a Worldbuilders party don’t…

As I start typing this, It’s around 10:30 on Dec 17th. It’s the final day of the 11th annual Worldbuilders fundraiser.

We are rapidly closing in on three-quarters of a million dollars.

And that’s excellent. I’m over the moon. I want to talk about that. So much.

But here’s the thing: I have news…

And rather than work up to it slowly like I normally do, I’m going to switch it up an little and jump straight to it. Imma gonna spring the news, then go back and tell you the why and the wherefore.

You ready?

(Bam!)

Or, for those of you who prefer more info in your info-graphic:

Simply said, tomorrow, December 18th, I’m going to be streaming for 14 hours straight to celebrate the success of this year’s fundraiser. We’ll have guests stopping for discussions, I’m going to play Minecraft with Oot, we’re going to show off videos for the stretch goals we’ve achieved, tell some old, beloved stories…

…and talk about the amazing things Heifer does, like give away goats…

Here’s the schedule:

(All the times [except the multifarious midnights] are CST.)

And, since we’re doing all that, it only seems to make sense to leave the doors open for people to donate throughout the day.

The reasons we’re doing this are manifold, but here are the main two:

1. Tradition.

Those of you who have been following Worldbuilders for a while know that our end-of-year fundraiser used to look a lot different than it does now. For one thing, it used to be exclusively run off of my blog, and it used to run for an entire month.

Except it didn’t. For years and years, we ended up extending the fundraiser out past our initial ending date. Sometimes it was because we had a last minute sponsor we wanted to showcase. Sometimes it was because some chaos or catastrophe threw us off schedule. Once it was because we got offered some matching money and we couldn’t bring ourselves to say no to that. Once things got so out of hand we extended *past* Christmas and the whole fundraiser spanned over seven weeks…

And some times we did it just for fun, or because we’d gotten into the habit.

This year, we’re deciding to continue the tradition in a different way. We’re taking one final day just to appreciate how lovely this community is. To put a bow on it. To show off some of the lovely things people have done. To relax and have fun and enjoy our success.

And, of course…

2. To give the latecomers one last chance.

What usually happens the day after the fundraiser is that I go into a deep, healing Odinsleep. When I emerge, I peek on social media and I invariably see dozens of people saying, “Oh no! Worldbuilders is over?!? Did I miss it? Can I still donate?”

And I get that. This is a busy time of year. Finals. Holiday planning. Family travel. Or maybe you’re just like me and tend to put things off to the last minute and then kinda forget about them.

But still, it breaks my heart to see those messages.

So. One extra day. If you were meaning to donate. Now’s your chance. If you were going to tell your friend about us, you’ve got a few more hours. If you were going to spread the word on social media, now you can use this amazing gif to do just that.

(Ooontz Ooontz Ooontz Ooontz Ooontz.)

*      *     *

So yeah. C’mon over and take one last chance to win fabulous prizes while making the world a better place…

Every $10 you donate still gets you a chance to win all manner of coolness. And if you donate on my team page, you’ll be eligible to win even more.

Look forward to seeing many of you over on the stream tomorrow.

But for now? I sleep…

pat

 

Later Edit: I meant to ask this last night, but forgot because I was tired.

If any of you have stories about worldbuilders, I’d love it if you shared them in the comments below. Here’s an example from a previous year:

“I started a new job as a barista for an Independent cafe in Philadelphia this year. I saved up all the change that people tipped to me. I was so surprised at how much i had when I counted it up! Thanks for all that you do!”

It warms my heart to hear those stories, and I might share some of them on the stream.

Posted in Achievement Unlocked!, Ask the Author, baby ducks, Because I Love, being awesome, Worldbuilders 2019 | By Pat17 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

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Beautiful Games, Cutie Snoo, Oot, small adventures | By Pat30 Responses

For Authors, From Authors, or: Critiques and Tuckerizations

Every year, authors and editors donate critiques and tuckerizations to help us raise money for Heifer International. These authors and editors are offering their time and expertise and that spirit of generosity is deeply moving to me.  It’s also a service that’s tough to come by if you’re just starting out. What exactly are they offering? Let’s take a look, shall we?

Critiques

With a critique, the author or editor will read your finished manuscript and give feedback. They do this for a living, so they have a good feel for what works, what might need work, and what you excel at. And everybody donates a service they’re comfortable with–some authors will read and critique the first few chapters of your book to make sure it grabs the reader from page one and keeps escalating. Some authors will read the whole manuscript (which is rare!). Some offer to critique the first couple chapters as well as your query letter, which is the letter you send to an agency or publisher to get them hooked and draw them into your manuscript. We even have a couple auctions for brainstorming and worldbuilding sessions. So you can choose the pro and the service you need!

April White
Anna Smith Spark
Brooke Johnson (she offered a query letter and short story critique)
Randy Henderson
Bishop O’Connell
Bradley P. Beaulieu
Carol Berg
Cassie Alexander
Django Wexler
Editor John Adamus
Joe Ducie
Agent Seth Fishman
Michael J. Martinez
Pamela Freeman
Prof. Eric Dahl (build your SF world with an actual rocket scientist!)
Sebastien de Castell
RJ Barker
Sherwood Smith

There are so many moving pieces in the industry, and if you don’t stand out from the crowd, you run the risk of being overlooked. That’s why having a professional read your submission and give constructive feedback is awesome! Critiques are a great gift for a writer!

We know how valuable critiques are as a service, and how expensive they can be, so to open up the opportunity to some folks who can’t bid on auctions, we have some Critiques in the lottery–just go to the Critiques team page and bid through there to have the chance to win one!

Tuckerizations

The tuckerization is a tradition that got its name from science-fiction author Wilson Tucker, who would consistently use his friends’ names for minor characters in his work. Authors will name-drop their family and friends, sometimes altering the names a little so while the person in question recognizes themselves, the name still fits the genre. It’s a fun, original way to get a callout, and if you know someone who is a fan of an author, it makes a great gift idea!

Alma Alexander (she donated two!)
Kevin Hearne
Nicholas Eames
Bradley P. Beaulieu
Tim Pratt
Carol Berg
RJ Barker

We don’t have tuckerizations in the lottery, since it’s a more personal thing, but you can find all of them on auction. This is something usually reserved for the author’s friends and family, so we’re thrilled to be able to give everyone the chance at a little bit of literary immortality!

Thanks as always for joining us for our annual fundraiser. May all your criticism be constructive, and may your tuckerizations be…um…tucked?
Well, that fell apart. But thank you!

Posted in Uncategorized | By Pat6 Responses

The Prize Vault!

As I write this Worldbuilders is just about to finish up the first full week of it’s two-week-long fundraiser. We’ve also raised over $385,000, which isn’t too shabby.

Now that I’m back from unplugged, I’ll be livestreaming over on twitch every day through the end of the fundraiser. If you haven’t joined us there yet, you should stop on by!

Here’s the streaming schedule we have for the rest of the fundraiser:

If you want to give the channel a follow, you’ll get notifications of other things that happen outside those official streaming times. Like, for example, the D&D game we’re playing tonight on Tuesday Dec 10th at 9:00 CST. (I’ll be hosting that on my channel.)

Check out this awesome trailer:

By now, I hope you know that for every $10 dollars you donate to Worldbuilders, you get a chance to win fabulous prizes…

But what some of you might not know that in *addition* to those prizes, over the years I’ve gotten into the habit of giving away stuff for people who donate on my twitch team homepage.  In the past, I’ve picked prizes fairly randomly. But for the rest of this year’s fundraiser, we’re going to experiment with something I’ve wanted to try for a long time.

Instead of me just picking things off nearby shelves all higgledy-piggledy. We’re going to let the winners choose what they’d like. Some are cool things available from our online store. But other prizes will be items I’ve had made over the years, or things that have sold out in the store, or just odd treasures that I’ve hoarded so that I could give them away some day…

Here’s our current list of things in the treasure vault:

  • Gold Talent Pipes

I had these special made by Badali Jewelry to give to people who make my life better. If you ever see someone wearing one, you know that they’ve done something that made me happy.

  • My signature Pat Rothfuss Bullshit Card

  • Personalized books

I’ll deface it with my signature and write a message in it too, if you like….

  • A D&D card of your choice 

You can see them all over here.

 

  • Signed copies of The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle.

  • An Eolian mug

  • Any t-shirt from Worldbuilders Market

(Two of my favorites….)

  • Vintish court rings

  • An Iron Drab

This is one of the prototypes we’ve made for the next set of Cealdish currency.

  • A Draccus King of Tokyo card

For when you absolutely need to eat a tree and destroy a city.

  • Art Decks

(Except you’ll get the cards in the boxes, too.)

  • Signed Rick and Morty Comics

Cause y’all know I wrote one, right?

  • One of the few remaining Owlbear Plushies

If you’d like to get a piece of this action, now’s the time to do it. I’m doing a bunch of catch-up draws on today’s stream (Tuesday Dec 10th) So for every $10 you donate on the page before then, you’ll be eligible for all the 10 extra draws we’re doing, as well as all the rest of the goodies we’ll be giving away through the rest of the fundraiser.

And no, you don’t have to be present on the stream to win.

Here’s a link to the page one last time, just in case you need it for anything….

See you on the stream…

pat

Posted in Uncategorized | By Pat11 Responses

Unplugged in The City of Brotherly Love

As I write this, the Worldbuilders Fundraiser has raised more than a quarter million dollars in its first three days. Specifically, we’re at $283,000 dollars. Which I have to say, is pretty awesome.

(If you don’t know what I’m talking about, wander over there and have a little look around. The upshot is if you donate to our fundraiser, you get to make the world a better place while having the chance to win a bunch of awesome prizes at the same time. More on that below…)

As I write this, I’m also out in Philadelphia so that I can do some charity rabble-rousing here at PAX Unplugged. And it have to tell you, It feels wild to me to be anywhere but glued to my desk, calling people, having meetings, orchestrating donations, doing livestreams to promote the charity, and refreshing the fundraiser home page like a rat pressing a feeder bar in a psych 101 textbook.

We always have wonderful partners that help us during the fundraiser, and you can visit some of them if you happen to be at Unplugged with me!

First and foremost, we have Brotherwise Games. We’ve worded together several times over the years. Perhaps you know about the Kingkiller Hero Pack they made for their game Boss Monster.

More recently, I got on board when they created Call to Adventure, a storytelling game I absolutely adore. And now that The Name of the Wind Expansion has been released I’m going to be playing it live on stage on Friday. And because they’re awesome people, they’ve started their own fundraiser page for the charity, which has some great stuff on it, including this Worldbuilders-exclusive card.

Another friend of the charity is the fabulous Wyrmwood, which makes the sexiest gaming tables I have ever seen. They’ve come through for us again, and every $10 bucks you donate to the fundraiser gets you a chance to win an amazing Black Walnut Prophecy gaming table.

If you haven’t seen one yet, and you’re here at PAX, you should stop by their booth and drool a little, just please don’t drool onto the table.

(this could be you)

Last but not least, have our awesome collaborations with the D&D community that we debuted at Unplugged last year, and we’re happy to be giving away more of those this year! In fact, donations made to these three teams will during Unplugged will go into special prize drawings that we’ll do on Monday for fabulous bonus prizes!  Of course, all of those donations also enter you into the overall lottery as well.

If you’re looking for me, here’s where I’ll be:

Friday, December 6th

  • 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm Acquisitions Inc Signing
  • 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Patrick Rothfuss and Friends play Call To Adventure at the Main Theater

Saturday, December 7th

  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Signing at Brotherwise, Booth 3037
  • 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm – Signing at Table Titans, Booth 3701
  • 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Signing at Brotherwise, Booth 3037
  • 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm – Acq Inc at the Main Theater

Sunday, December 8th

  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Signing at Table Titans, Booth 3701

Hope to see a bunch of you there.

pat

Posted in appearances, conventions, gaming, Uncategorized, Worldbuilders 2019 | By Pat27 Responses

Seven Words: Or Stay Home And Save the World(builders).

Hey there everybody,

I’m guessing a lot of you are like me, in that you spend Black Friday huddled inside your house, wrapped in a blanket with the lights off, vowing not to go outside for hear of dealing with the worst elements of humanity.

It’s pretty much the same way I’d behave if The Purge were a real thing, come to think of it.

Luckily, Worldbuilders Market online store is running its own sale that you can participate in from the safety of your own house, or even from under a blanket, if you so desire.

(Check out our fancy graphics)

Pretty much everything in the store is on sale:

The sale is running from today until December 2nd, but the quantities of some items are limited, so if you’re interested you might want to get in there sooner rather than later.

I’m going to start with the stuff I’m most worried about selling out, so those of you who read the blog regularly have the best chance of getting in there in time…

 

Those of you who have been around for a while know that our online store used to sell personalized books. But after years, I had to stop doing it because it was eating up a huge chuck of my time at a point in my life where I was already way too busy and behind schedule.

But this year, to help out with the Black Friday Sale, we’re offering these up in the store again. But just a limited number, and only for a limited time.

I’m going to be personaizling both the gorgeous 10th Anniversary Edition of The Name of the Wind, and The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Now here’s the thing, part of the reason I had to stop doing this is because back in the day people used to ask for really long, detailed personalizations. Not only is there not enough space to write several sentences on the title page of the book, but the longer and more detailed the quote, the more likely it is that I’ll goof part of it up and then we pretty much just have to throw that book into a fire.

To solve that problem, here’s the rule: Keep your personalization to seven words.

For example:

“Kevin, Hope you have a great birthday!”

“Merry Christmas, Jennifer!”

“For Susan, Congratulations on your parole!”

“Happy Bris, Geralt! Sorry about your dick!”

As an interesting note, while typing up this blog, I misspelled both “Congratulations” “Anniversary” and “Parole” on my first pass. And that’s *typing* where I actually have muscle memory working for me. (You can understand why it takes me a while to sign these. )

As part of the black Friday sale, we’ll also be throwing free change jar stickers in with your orders. And folks who pick up the 10th Anniversary editions will get a free bookmark, too.

(Like so.)

I also have added some random quotes a limited number of the standard blue hardcover of The Name of the Wind.

To be clear, these books aren’t personalized, but I’ve written a bunch of my favorite quotes from NOTW in them, like so…

(Click to Embiggen)

Those of you who love Julia Maddalina’s depiction of Auri will be delighted to see that we’ve made a cool new poster in two different sizes  and a greeting card based on her art.

I’m not saying this is my favorite depiction of Auri ever, because there have been some amazing ones over the years. But I did buy the original art…

The Fabulous Nate Taylor has also thrown his hat into the ring with a bunch of cool cards for the store this year, including these three new kingkiller-themed ones

As an interesting note, not only are all the cards discounted due to the Black Friday Sale, but the more you buy of *all* the cards available in the store, the more of a bulk discount you get. That includes all the cards in the store, including Julia’s new Auri card.

Lastly but not leastly, this year we’re also very excited to be offering products made by artisans in Heifer programs

It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for *ages* and I’m delighted we’ve finally pulled it off.

Stay safe today, folks. And while you’re binging on leftover stuffing, take a wander over to the store and check things out. There’s hundreds of other products from so many different creators, and for the next couple days, all of them are on sale…

pat

(I might be streaming later on to show off some of these products live. If you wander over to my channel and follow it, you’ll get a notification when I go live.)

Posted in fan coolness, Nathan Taylor Art, Worldbuilders | By Pat19 Responses
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