Monday, December 18, 2017

Patreon Backs Off Fee Changes

On December 7th, I wrote a post about how Patreon planned to change their fee structure. I was not happy. Many patrons were not happy. The basic premise, Patreon was shifting the cost of the fees to the patrons instead of the creators. That was bad enough, but then they tried to make it seem like a good thing. Glossing it over with a couple graph bars to demonstrate how much more creators were going to make. Smarter folks than me figured out this was far from the case especially in the lower pledge amounts.

The result of this announcement, unsurprisingly, had effect on my Patreon. I had 82 patrons at the end of November. I lost 11 patrons, 9 of them specifically mentioned they did not like the fee change. There is always an ebb and flow in patronage, but this was my largest exodus in a week's time. 

I also to back off some of my pledges to creators. On average I pledge between $32 to $40 a month spread out between 12 creators. I cut my pledges in half when they announced the fee change. I've always been one to believe, you can protest all you want, shout it to the hills, but it isn't until they get hit in the wallet will they listen. This was my small gesture to do that. While my reduction was insignificant in the larger scale, so many patrons left that it had a seismic reaction in the Patreon offices.

On December 13th, Patreon sends an email that states that they made a bad decision and will not roll out the new fee changes. Great. Now what?

I was glad to see Patreon backed off the fees and admitted to making a mistake. How often does that happen? I am going to take Patreon at their word. I can't imagine they benefited from this decision. Some folks are painting Patreon as an evil, money grubbing entity. I'm not drinking the hatorade. They screwed up, admitted they made a mistake. And yeah, they are a money making machine, they are a business that revolutionized a modern take of patron of the arts. 

However, it has opened my eyes, that their are options to Patreon. Kickstarter has Drip, which is not open to the public at this time, but plans to open to the public early next year. The one that I found interesting was MakerSupport. I'm sure there are others, but those two stood out.

Now I am going to end this by looping around and talk about my patrons, the people who voluntarily pledge a few bucks so I can make my micro-adventures. As I stated above, I lost 11 patrons this month with no new pladges. Hell of a hit. But, the amazing revenue increased. Why? Because a bunch of patrons who were at a lower level upped their pledges. They wanted to show their support and if someone pledges at a higher level it off set the cost of the new fee structure. That kind of generosity catches me by surprise, and it shouldn't. As a whole, the gaming community is made up of an altruistic crew. Think of all the charity auctions earn thousands of dollars. People posting personal GoFundMe pages and earning more than the set goal. It's good to see. 

Now go make something. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Manor #9 Get a New Printer

With the release of Manor #9 last week, my printer decided to stop working. I knew it was going to happen soon, but I was hoping it might last another month or so. Nope. So, I went out yesterday and got a great deal on a new printer. Basically the really big brother I had before. I made a short video about it and a quick shot the Manor #9 progress.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Manor #9 Available on RPGNow

Issue #9 of The Manor is available of I've been doing this for a while now and no matter how many times I put a product on RPGNow I get nervous, like I'm screwing it up. Which I do, but I go back and fix it. Weird.

Back to my point. If you prefer PDFs over print, click Manor #9 and grab a copy!

If you prefer a print copy, just push the Paypal button below and I'll fire one off to you. I'll also send you the PDF free, by a providing a coupon to RPGNow.

Manor #9: Where Shall I Send It?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Manor #9 Available in Print

Manor #9: Where Shall I Send It?

This afternoon I put the final touches on the 9th issue of The Manor. It's been a long time coming. I went through a handful of starts and stops, but as I worked on my Komor Forest sandbox campaign, developed extra content and ran games to test out the material, I had more than enough to fill a zine.

Issue #9 is the first issue of The Manor dedicated to a ruleset, Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. I've had the chance to hand out a few copies of the ruleset at the latest con I attended and ran a game. It was a blast. I had the players make up a character, took all of ten minutes. Then we got into the adventure.

Some of what you'll find in Issue #9 is a collection of four cleric variations. In my campaigns I like to have clerics reflect the principles of the god they serve. I enjoy players who get into the nuisances of their god or gods they serve. This is reflected in these variations I've included.

Random encounter table I use for those traipsing through the dark wood. I much prefer the bell curve style of encounter table. It provides a place for common, rare and unique encounters. This is an example of my random tables.

I've included The Crooked Man Tavern, located in a dungeon near you. My setting is not for just meatheads with the biggest weapon. There is a lot of meat on the bone for players who enjoy intrigue, skulduggery, and exploiting the that knowledge acquired through nefarious means.

The fantastic cover is by +Denis McCarthy, his art is also featured inside the zine. Thanks to +Erik Tenkar for creating such a cool system.

For those who prefer PDFs I'm hoping to post it on RPGNow tomorrow. Those who want the print copy please push that little Paypal button above and I'll ship them out early next week.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ranting About Patreon Fees

I may say some bad words.

I'm not sure why Patreon decided to change their pledge payment structure. I have to believe they thought this would be a good thing, but it isn't. It qualifies as stupid. If Patreon cared so much about their creators they should have presented this proposal to us so we could have stopped it before they rolled it out.

I am talking about Patreon charging patrons instead of creators, the fees. Michael Prescott sent out an email that drove it home for me. So if one of my patrons pledges $1 they will get charged $1.35. 

I hate that. No wait, I fucking hate that.

Patreon's basic philosophy is to have creators do their thing and then have people tip them for what they are doing. "Hey dude, I like what you're doing, here's a few dollars, keep doing what you do."

Now it's like, "...keep doing what you do." Patreon man steps in and says "Wait Patron, now you have to pay the tax for being generous and supportive. You must put more money into the tip jar so I can get my cut."


As a creator, having to pay the fees was fine. A necessary evil of business. Everyone needs their cut so I didn't mind. It was a place to share my work, get feedback and make some money on the side. But to put it back on the patrons is just bad. There is nothing more aggravating when someone is being generous, and then that person who is on the receiving end of that generosity, demands more. 

I've already lost a group of excellent patrons. I don't blame them one bit. All of them have said they were not happy because of the new payment system. And I think they have the right idea.

So patrons, if you want to leave, go with my blessing. I don't like what Patreon has done. I am writing an email to them after I finish this post. 

If you have the time, please drop Patreon a line to tell them you aren't happy with what they have done. 

It's time to stir the shit pot and let them know that this new payment fee arrangement is clumsy, arrogant and wrong. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Adventuring in Different Planes of Existence: Undolee Cave

The Komor Forest is filled with strange and dangerous locations. The Cave of Undolee is one of those places. It is located close to Hounds Head, the locals know of it, interact with it, but when the cave 'gets to acting up' they run like hell.

The Cave of Undolee is a powerfully charged location through natural magics. Heavily borrowing from Celtic mythology where gates between worlds open during certain times of the year, phases of the moon, or whatever schedule the GM needs to drive an adventure forward. The map itself was created when I was mapping for game night. I screwed up the map so bad, I just kept it and thought I'd create my own version of it.

The image from the 1st edition Player's Handbook (pg. 121) sticks in my mind.

For me, the Planes of Existence are layered upon one another. Sometimes sharing the same space as other planes. Places where planes overlap and conditions are right, natural gates occur. The Cave of Undolee is a gateway to the Plane of Water.

These gateways provide opportunities for gameplay beyond the normal realm of existence. With preparation, probably a few trial runs, a party could adventure in the Plane of Water. This provides complications the party has rarely come across.
In this adventure, The Cave of Undolee is a glimpse of that possibility. And if the GM chooses, could be a focal point for an 'outsider' enemy group. The sahuaghin are a fantastic enemy race that provides a new threat beyond the traditional orcs and goblins. Plus, they have that otherworldly feel, especially if a GM plays up the sahuaghin's potential for mutations. And with the threat of possible invasion, it is not like the party can track the enemy to a cavern stronghold. No. The party would need to travel to a place where the environment itself could kill them at any moment.

I have a map drawn already for an adventure in the Plane of Water. I hope to have it out next month. It'll be the first adventure that will include sharks. So I'm excited about that. It'll take place as soon as the party moves through the gate.
As always, my thanks to my patrons. Their continued support is incredible. I love creating these adventures, printing them and having them in hand. Here's to a productive December.

Anyone interested in grabbing a PDF copy of The Cave of Undolee only need to follow the link to my Patreon. If you would like a physical copy, please consider pledging and get used to getting cool stuff in the mail.