“Sell me this pen”: Sales techniques in RPGs

I finally got around to watching The Wolf of Wall Street a couple of days ago, and as expected, I loved it. A big part of my job is selling, so I have a soft spot when sales techniques are portrayed in modern media.

Anyway, I was pondering the movie this morning and I got to thinking that “sales” might apply to a GM’s techniques in an RPG as well. After all, you’re trying to get your players to buy in to the idea of a fantastic world, right? The payoff is you all have a good time. If the pitch goes badly, you’re less likely to (if you like) close the sale – the players will get less interested in the game.

So once I started thinking about this a few other tips from Wolf of Wall Street, Mad Men, and other portrayals of sales in TV and film came to mind.

Sell me this (mithril) pen (of slaying)
So those of you who’ve seen the movie will likely remember this part. For those that don’t, there’s a scene early on where one of the characters hands a pen to another and asks him to “sell me this pen”. The second one asks the first a question: “hey, can you write something down for me?” To sell something, he suggests, you generate urgency.

Generating urgency – that’s something you need to do in RPGs, definitely. Granted, you’re talking about imaginary urgency: the (fictional) princess will be sacrificed to the (fictional) dragon, if the players do nothing. But the process still works. Highlight what the players don’t have right now, and what they need to do to get it. Supply and demand, my friend.

“It’s Toasted”.
In season one of Mad men, the protagonist (Don Draper) has to come up with an ad campaign for Lucky Strikes cigarettes, which have recently been proven to be bad for your health. This health crisis in the cigarette industry, Draper realises, provides a perfect sales opportunity. They can say anything they like – even something that applies to all cigarettes, like they’re toasted – and people will latch onto that in place of the health issues.

In an RPG, it’s all fictional. You can say the princess has been captured by a dragon, a nest of orcs, or the 13th duke of Wimbourne – functionally, it’s all words. But by presenting it in the right way – by focusing on the atmosphere and getting players invested in what’s missing in their lives that they need (see above) you can say anything you like and the players will believe you. That’s the game!

Coffee is for closers!
Sometimes, you’ll get players who don’t get invested no matter what. They keep checking their phone, or stopping out, or they’re just not focused on the table. It can’t be helped. It’s a pain, but it goes both ways – coffee is for closers, as stated by Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross (nsfw). In other words, if you want the reward (both the fictional treasure and the real-life entertainment) you have to invest in what’s happening at the table.

The first to talk loses.
This isn’t directly related to the points above, but worth mentioning anyway. At another point in Wolf of Wall Street, the main character says, after giving a sales pitch, “the first to talk loses”. As a GM, you need to give a sales pitch too – the opening spiel of where the characters are (and what trouble they’re in – create urgency, remember?)

If you do any prep, focus on this opening spiel – your pitch. Not just the content, but the way you present it. Be snappy; sometimes only a sentence or two is enough. Once you’ve given it, let the players talk first. If you talk first, you run the risk of giving them too much information, or giving away something you shouldn’t.

Go out there and sell!
Hopefully these points have got you thinking about your next sales pitch. Got any other ideas of inspiration from sales pitches or marketing? Let me know, or leave me a note on Google+.

Some Dungeon World Questions, answered

Last weekend I got an email from Pierre in Quebec. As a new player and GM, he had some excellent questions about gameplay. We had a good chat by email and, as I think I’ve seen similar questions pop up at the Dungeon World Tavern before, he very kindly agreed to my request to post the conversation online. So here we go!

Hello Joe! We had our first session this morning with the Planarch Vault! We had a lot of fun! I was playing with my wife and kids (7 and 9) who have no experience with RPGs, and I was GMing for the first time! So there was a big learning curve, but we still had fun!

If you don’t mind, I have a few questions concerning the DW rules.

Hi Pierre,
That’s truly awesome, I can’t tell you how excited I am you enjoyed playing this with your family!
Regarding your questions – first, these are just my thoughts. DW is a very flexible game, and other players may have different advice (or you may find, with more experience, a different way works better for you.) This is really a good thing! Broadly speaking, it sounds like you had the right idea though. Anyway, to your questions!

AID MOVE:

Can an aid move always be performed? Can someone aid another player each time that player tries to do something? It kind of slows down the game.

Provided the PCs are in a position to do so, they can aid whenever they like. So, if the cleric has been tackled to the ground by half a dozen shapeshifters and the fighter is about to be ambushed on the other side of the room, the cleric can’t do a thing! What I normally do is prompt anyone (who could do so) if they want to try aiding if one of the other players has just rolled a 6 or a 9 and could really use that +1 bonus.

Also, while you should always stick to the fiction, you want your players rolling as often as possible. The more they roll, the more you get to do! (On a 7-9 result, the aiding player puts themselves in danger. Have fun with that!

SPOUT LORE:

When the players first met Oliver, they were already conscious of the shapeshifters and of the possibility that Oliver maybe wasn’t really Oliver.

So when they were trying to find a way to confirm his identity, one of the players said that when they accepted the mission to investigate the Planarch Vault, they probably got some information on the Wardens. In my mind, that initiated the Spout Lore move. So I had them roll and the player rolled a 4. Having failed the roll, I came back by saying that this was their first mission, and evidently they came ill-prepared… they had no information on the wardens.

Did I play that out ok?

Yes, that sounds very similar to how I would use Spout Lore. It’s all about the PC taking a second to think “hmm, I remember something about that!” If you as GM aren’t convinced it’s a fact the character would know, don’t forget you always get to ask the player “how do you know this?”

In the case of a failure on Spout Lore, a good GM trick is to turn the move around. For example, maybe the failure means a shapeshifter has been spying on the character from the vents all along, and has noticed his armour is weaker on his back…

Incidentally, my playtest group didn’t stop to consider if Regulus was the shapeshifter… then the templar let him borrow his gun!

DISCERN REALITIES

Do you consider that just having a first look around a room initiates the discern realities move?

No. As the good book says: “To discern realities you must closely observe your target. That usually means interacting with it or watching someone else do the same. You can’t just stick your head in the doorway and discern realities about a room. You’re not merely scanning for clues—you have to look under and around things, tap the walls, and check for weird dust patterns on the bookshelves. That sort of thing.”

To me, that plays out something like this…

“GM: OK guys, you step off the lift onto the prison level. You see a mass of writing shapeshifters in the middle, looks like they’re beating someone up. Is he.. laughing? That’s weird. It looks like all but one of the cells is open. The wardens’ office is in a shambles, papers and stuff everywhere. What do you do?

PLAYER: I discern realities?

GM: OK, how are you doing that?

P: Um… looking around?

GM: Well obviously, but you’re trying to see the bigger picture here. How are you investigating the area, trying to discover handy clues, that sort of thing?

P: Oh! OK, well obviously I’m being super-sneaky and just hanging around the outskirts of this fight, trying to work out who the guy in the middle is.

GM: Sounds good! Roll+WIS. [Since he’s discerning realities about the fight, the GM won’t say anything about the altar in the warden’s office unless the player changes how they’re investigating.]

SPAM HEALING

At the end of one of the fights, the cleric was trying to heal one of the other players. But she was really rolling badly. So she cast the spell 3 times. Is that permitted? And when she was choosing to put herself in danger, I had no idea what to do considering that they were not in any real danger at the time. Do you have any examples of what you would have done?

As a rule, I try to limit ‘spamming’ of a move. Letting others aid is a good way of turning a near-miss into a success (see above). If someone’s cast the same spell 3 times in a row and failed, then in addition to whatever consequences of failure the move dictates, they have also spent a lot of time ignoring any other dangers around them. That’s possibly a good opportunity for you to make a ‘hard move’ – something nasty the player didn’t see coming, because their attention was elsewhere.

Obviously this is more true for some moves than others – a single hack-and-slash roll is unlikely in combat, for example.

One land, three options: Diversity of settings in Dungeon World

Something that’s been bugging me recently is how many times can I rewrite the same old fantasy tropes?

I do dabble in writing standalone games (see No Sleep Bad, for example) but basically since I discovered Dungeon World I’ve focused my energy on making stuff within a tried-and-tested system. The problem with that, I’m feeling right now, is how many times can you set up a game in a market, or tomb, or cave, or keep or whatever until you’re just rehashing old content?

I hope never of course! But while it’s on my mind, I thought I’d try a little thought experiment. Here’s the idea: 3 adventure starters, all around the same setting (a marketplace, chosen randomly.) All based around a game of Dungeon World with say 2-5 players.

I’ve not included damage and HP values, but if you want to develop these ideas for your own games start with the following and tweak to suit your tastes and group:

  • Solitary: d10 damage, 12 HP 2 armour

  • Group: d8 damage, 6 HP 1 armour

  • Horde: d6 damage, 3 HP 1 armour

Let’s go!

Option 1: UMBERTO BY NIGHT

“You’ve reached the market just before the city gates close for the night, wrapping you, the market and your hundred or so fellow shoppers in twilight. Garrulous salesmen pester you from every corner while you cautiously watch your back for pickpockets. Suddenly, you’re almost bowled over by a beautiful woman in clean silks; chasing her is a particularly filthy merchant wielding a jewelled scimitar. Flecks of goose-fat still spit from his lips as he unleashes a stream of curses at you for letting her get away. What do you do?”

Impressions

  • A great wall extending around everything

  • Furtive looks to the moons and beyond the wall

  • Constantly getting knocked by passers-by (and hoping it isn’t a pickpocket)

  • The smells of fresh dates, fine desert silks, and camel dung

  • A commotion that draws all the guards to the gates for a few minutes; they come back bloody, if at all.

Questions

  • You only saw her for a moment, but she looks familiar. Who do you think she is?

  • What has some no-good street urchin stolen from you? Where is the urchin headed?

  • Why are the market gates shut and barred at night? What do they keep out? Where does everyone sleep?

Monsters

The Fat Merchant (Solitary, Intelligent, Organised, Hoarder)

Instinct: To hoard material wealth

  • Summon the djinni within his scimitar

  • Issue orders to the guards

  • Flaunt his wealth and higher social status

The Urchin’s Cousins (Group, Organised, Stealthy, Cautious)

Instinct: To defend their own

  • Answer a call for help from family

  • Steal from the rich (and keep for themselves)

  • Escape to above or below the market

The Other Shoppers (Horde)

Instinct: To get a great deal; (if trouble looms) to flee

  • Beat you to a great deal

  • Trample others underfoot

  • Point out someone trying to get away

Option 2: THE NIGHT BEFORE THE WAR

The camp is filled with nervous energy. Grizzled veterans play dice solemnly, while anxious young soldiers write letters to their loved ones. Everywhere is the sense that tomorrow may be your last. As you patrol the camp, a haggard veteran approaches, clearly in his cups. He declares you a cutpurse, mercenary and no better than a thief. You could probably take him, but you don’t know about his colleagues. The general is nowhere to be seen. What do you do?”

Impressions

  • A distant campfire on the facing hill – the enemy

  • Quartermasters looking out for number one

  • The blacksmiths’ tent, still churning out steel

  • A quick scent of medicinal herbs

  • A tent of walking wounded, reeking of blood

  • The general’s tent, lavish and well-guarded

  • The horses, closely watched against deserters

Questions

  • What did the opposing camp offer you to join their side? Why did you turn them down?

  • Why doesn’t the general trust you?

  • You had a friend in this army, but he didn’t make it. What happened to him?

  • Why is morale so poor here?

  • [Thieves or those of shady character] What did you steal from the drunkard earlier?

  • [Clerics or those of divine character] What have your gods said of this place?

Monsters

The General (Solitary, Intelligent, Organised, Cautious)

Instinct: To win the war

  • Break up a petty conflict personally

  • Pass judgement on dissenters and deserters

  • Consult his war council

The Drunkards (Group, Organised)

Instinct: To try to forget about tomorrow’s battle

  • Start idle threats

  • Remember their training

  • Break down from stress

Quartermasters (Horde, Devious)

Instinct: Find profit in war

  • Sell vital supplies

  • Arrange for something to go missing

  • Provide favours, at a cost

Option 3: A CONFLUENCE OF PLANES

Your mind perceives place this as an astral corridor full of mirrors, but you know it to be far greater than that. Silibant whispers echo from each mirror, each tempting a greater power than the last. At last, you come to a mirror so shadowy to be almost opaque. Your reflection twists within and seems to be holding a wooden box in one hand and a key in the other. What do you do?”

Impressions

  • The chill of other customers, from other times and spaces

  • A vaunted ceiling of stars

  • No obvious exit or entrance

  • Your patron, all smiles and crackling with energy, seemingly talking to himself

  • Mundane items alongside objects that defy the laws of physics

Questions

  • Who is your patron?

  • Who is he/she/it talking to?

  • What are you here to buy?

  • How will you pay for it?

  • Can you escape to other planes via these portals, or are they one-way only?

  • How do you get out of this place when you’re done?

Monsters

Your Patron (Solitary, Hoarder)

Instinct: To help you commit to a purchase

  • Offer help and advise on your purchase

  • Serve an infinite number of customers at the same time

  • Tell a lie, but just a little one

What lies beyond the smoky mirror (Group, Terrifying)

Instinct: To break the confines of this plane

  • Create an avatar on another earth

  • Offer a deal with terrible consequences

  • Give a taste of addictive power

The Planarch Mirrors (Horde, Large, Hoarder)

Instinct: To tempt

  • Provide an item or service, with cost

  • Extend into the infinite

  • Defend their own if attacked

Final thoughts

What do you think? This was pretty fun and quick to write, so I may do some more. (Good practice for my Patreon stuff, obviously!)

Dungeon World Review!

OK, I know what you’re thinking. This blog is crazy for Dungeon World, surely this post is a foregone conclusion!

Well… yes. But I’m writing this review for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I want in to the Adventurers’ Guild. Secondly, on this, the 40th birthday of Dungeons and Dragons, it’s a good opportunity to write about my experiences with both systems and why Dungeon World comes out on top. And finally, it occurred to me that although I’m writing all these lovely adventures, it doesn’t hurt to write down why this particular system is so appealing.

First a history lesson – the dim and distant past of 2010. That summer, Penny Arcade did their first D&D game at Pax – and I loved it. A few months later I’d bought the 4th edition Red Box and the main rulebooks (they looked too pretty and it was my birthday.. I couldn’t resist!) But when I got a few mates together to try out our first adventure, things didnt’ run so smooth. Why was this 1st-level goblin ambush taking so long to complete? OK, sure it’s the basic adventure but what if the players want to talk their way past? What the hell is an ‘attack of opportunity’? My group and I were left pretty confused by the whole endeavour.

Luckily, we didn’t stop playing there and then – since then we’ve had shows like Tabletop bring board games back into the public eye, and we carried on experimenting with new RPGs. I’d caught the GMing bug. I spent some time working on a system of my own which worked OK, but didn’t quite do it for me – then I started reading more about Dungeon World.

Any time, any place

You can play Dungeon World, pretty much anywhere. Given how separate our group is, we might only meet once every 6 months in person – if that. There’s no opportunity to be teaching a diverse range of rules, or laying out minis and encounters. Our group started small, with the excellent spinoff game World of Dungeons serving as an introduction to the rules. Once we’d played with that, we graduated to full-blown Dungeon World and haven’t looked back.

Let’s play a conversation

Dungeon World places the fiction first, not rules and gameplay. If you go up against a dragon, it doesn’t matter that it only has 16 HP – it is a giant f***ing dragon and will tear you to pieces unless you find a way to breach it’s armour. Time and again, this makes for memorable games – something the system outright rewards you for (if the group looted a valuable treasure or defeated a notable enemy, XP for everyone!)

Simple rules

There’s one simple rule – to do anything, roll 2d6 and add a stat. Depending on your result, you’ll either get what you want, get what you want with caveats, or the GM will describe something (and you probably won’t like it.) Obviously that’s not the only rule, but it’s definitely the one that matters the most. (And the popularity of the games that use it, like DW’s grandfather Apocalypse World, show how popular this approach can be.)

Such modding, so development

Like I said, at first I wanted to make my own game. At some point I still do, but in many respects Dungeon World scratches that itch because it’s a great system to develop fresh content for. Even though you’re not supposed to – you should “play to find out what happens” – as a GM it’s easy, fast and fun to come up with half a dozen potential scenarios to throw in the players’ direction when things go wrong!

So it’s perfect then?

Well, nothing’s perfect of course. The fiction-first gameplay can cause confusion, especially with some of the more open-ended classes like the shapeshifting Druid. With few exceptions, you only get XP for failing a roll, so there’s also a divide that the GM and the player have to work together to avoid – if a player only uses their best abilities, it can become a very boring experience because they’re less likely to fail. Because the rules are pretty light, the GM is denied the security of absolute rules for any given situation – there has to be a degree of trust between the GM and the players that the GM isn’t just going to screw them over. But with time and practice – and the game is definitely worth investing time in – this mode of play becomes second nature, and allows much more fluid, story-based gameplay to develop.

Final analysis

If you’re on this website, and you’ve read this far, you should have bought Dungeon World already. If you need some final convincing, you can find the rules online for free (licensed under Creative Commons) and ask away in the lovely and friendly DW Tavern on Google+. My opinion? I’ve never played a more entertaining RPG, and I suspect I might not for many years to come.

Wealth (2) – Shopping in town

Continuing from my last post on player money in Dungeon World…

Shopping

I touched on this last time but based on feedback and further thought, here’s my revised moves regarding shopping:

When you spend a few hours getting mundane supplies (rations, adventuring gear, ammo) you get d6+CHA of them. You can split the result between different supplies as you see fit.

You could roll for this whenever players start a session in a settlement, if you like, or let the players prompt you when they want to make the move. There’s a tiny chance, if player’s charisma is really bad, they LOSE something instead – it gets pickpocketed, they end up owing someone money, or similar. If characters are hoarding equipment, that’s fine – use up their supplies, or show them the downsides of hoarding equipment (it makes you a target for muggers, for example.)

When you spend a few hours shopping for something specific, roll+CHA. On a 10+, you get it. On a 7-9, you get something like it, or just miss getting it, or a similar caveat described by the GM.

This is the catch-all shopping move. Note you have to spend a few hours doing it – all morning or all afternoon – a five-minute trip to the shops doesn’t net you anything. Note the best result is you get it without caveats, not you get an uber-cool version of what you were looking for. Depending on the player’s wealth, you get to describe the condition of the thing they buy – a sword bought at 4 wealth is a simple, worn, second-hand blade; a sword bought at 12 wealth might be jewel-encrusted, finely balanced, inlaid silver pommel – but still the same essential, non-magical item.

When you attempt to buy a lot of something mundane, something rare to the area, or something expensive, tell the GM what you’re trying to get. The item is always available, but possibly not for sale – the GM will give you up to 4 of the following conditions:

  • It’s not available in this area, you’ll have to travel far to get it
  • It’ll reduce your parties’ wealth score by ___ to acquire it
  • Only a less powerful option is available (or a small amount of something mundane)
  • You’ll draw the wrong kind of attention by acquiring it
  • It’ll take days/weeks/months to acquire
  • You’ll need a favour from ____ to get it

As GM and depending on the nature of your setting, you may want to tell your players outright this isn’t how you get magical items – they must be forged by your ancestors, uncovered from ancient tombs, stolen from rich kings, bargained away from demons etc. This is also meant to discourage players who want to buy 600 collapsible ten-foot poles (and a bag of holding to keep them in) on a single +CHA roll just because they can.

You Can’t Buy Happiness

An alternative economy for Dungeon World

The following are some notes that ended up on the ‘cutting room floor’ for my next PDF adventure, Terror in Nekesti. I still intend to bring them into play in the following games though. If you have any feedback or comments, feel free to leave a message on my G+ here.

In my DW playtest group, we have a problem with money. It’s not heroic enough! If Baccan the barbarian, warrior without fear, is bold enough to venture into the tomb of Ludus Lepsi without a second thought then he shouldn’t need to be checking his purse to see whether he can afford 4 rations or 5, unless that tomb-robbing went really badly. Be a fan of the characters, right?

If you feel the same way, these new rules might be for you.

No more counting coppers

First: the players don’t track money. It’s assumed they always have “just enough” – less than they’d like, but enough to get by. When the players need stuff, here’s the updated supply move:

When you go to buy something, if it’s mundane supplies available in any marketplace (arrows, rations or adventuring gear) you get d4+CHA of them. For anything else, roll+CHA. On a 10+, you find just what you’re looking for. On a 7–9, what you want isn’t exactly available – it’s just sold out, it won’t be in stock until certain conditions are fulfilled, or the merchant only has a less effective equivalent. The GM will provide more details. The GM has final say on what is mundane (or not) and what is available (or not).

For any other moves involving money, players should start by rolling+CHA. Get a 7+ on that roll first, and we’ll see.

Treasure tables

At the end of a session, roll the biggest damage die again. Follow the guidelines from the DW rulebook on rolling treasure (don’t forget modifiers and if the monster is a hoarder, roll twice and take the best result.)

1-3 10-100 coin

  • Your name goes unmentioned by the common folk.
  • At best, you sleep on a scratchy bed in a draughty room above a rowdy peasant inn.
  • You have little more than a few spare silvers to fritter away in the bordellos and gambling houses.
  • You can spare enough to restock your rations and adventuring gear, but little more. Take -1 ongoing to supply until your living situation improves.

4-6 100-400 coin

  • “Aren’t you the one who killed that guy, or got that thing, or something? I know your face from somewhere…”
  • A private room for the party in a decent enough bedsit.
  • One good night of drunken larks! Roll carouse+0.
  • Enough coin for a simple drink or meal whenever you feel like it, without having to count your coppers first.

7-8 150-600 coin

  • When folk talk of ‘adventurers’, you’re the ones that come to mind.
  • A rented room each, with fresh linen, in a decent part of town. You could even have a bath (if you want!)
  • Many rampant nights of spending, drinking and celebrating. Roll carouse+1.
  • You’re eating better than most townsfolk, that’s for sure.

9-10 400-1200 coin

  • Your name is well-known round these parts. People have started actively seeking you out to solve their problems.
  • You can afford a small wagon or caravan for one, dented but whole; or sleep separately in decent living conditions (a bedsit or nice inn.)

  • You’re building a professional relationship with the local innkeepers. Roll carouse+1.
  • Every meal a banquet!

11-12 600-1800 coin

  • Your tales are known in at least a few towns, and travellers are spreading word of your deeds further every day.
  • One or two well-kept wagons with a few retainers.
  • You’re a regular sight in the taverns. Roll carouse+1; also, your celebrity identity may be used as leverage for appropriate townsfolk.

13-15 2000-8000 coin

  • Word of your success has spread far and wide. There’s a good chance your name and face will be recognised on the other side of the continent by now.
  • A simple homestead or office, open for business!
  • When you have cause to celebrate, roll to carouse+2.

16-17 10,000-60,000 coin

  • The works and lands of the free races stand or fall on your actions.
  • Your homestead is lavishly decorated with trophies, and smells of rich mahogany.
  • Your entertainments draw the rich and famous. Roll carouse+3, but be warned: the stakes are higher than your humble days in the watering holes.

18+ 30,000-120,000 coin

  • For generations to come, grizzled veterans will tell tales of your party’s exploits to their children. The youth’s eyes will grow wide (with fear or excitement, your choice) when they hear of your accomplishments.
  • You own a fine keep, a settlement of your own, or a small castle displaying the sigils of your adventuring party.
  • When you hold a party, you bet you roll carouse+3.
  • Your keep is filled with the best food, wine and equipment money can buy.

Edit: Multi-session games

Marques Jordan raised a very good point about how this table comes into play for multi-session events. After a bit of thought (and subject to more thought, as always) I suggest that when the party ends a session, but not the adventure, roll for treasure as normal. Tell the party what they get (the fame and fortune if they left the dungeon right now) but also point out the greater treasure/glory/objective still waits further within. When the adventure is complete and the ‘final boss’ defeated, roll for treasure as normal but treat the best earlier result as a minimum.

Example

The party are tasked with clearing the temple of elemental evil [say, that’s a good name for a future adventure PDF!] by a nearby town. In total, it takes the players 3 sessions.

They defeat a black pudding in session 1 (d10 damage) – they roll a 9 on the treasure roll. In session 2 they continue, but only face giant rats (d6 damage) because they’ve already ‘banked’ a minimum of 9 treasure from session 1, they don’t bother rolling for treasure afterwards. In the last session they find and kill their actual objective, an earth elemental (d10+5 damage). They roll d10+5 to work out treasure, but the lowest result they can actually get is a 9 – because of their efforts in previous sessions.

Other notes

If the party goes from riches to begging, ask questions and use the answers. Why didn’t the vampires have more gold, did someone else take it? How do you adjust to your new lifestyle? How has sudden fame changed you? How will you pay for your castle now, will someone richer try and claim it? If so, what do you do?

Wait, clerics don’t carouse!

If your character is of a more religious inclination, it might not make sense for them to spend their hard-earned gold drinking the night away. That doesn’t mean they don’t carouse, just that their character’s version is a great big donation to the church along with an evening’s prayer/chanting/self-flagellation. Hopefully, this effort will result in the attention of a notable figure of their faith (if not their god him/her/itself!)

What about magic items?

In addition to their wealth, notable enemies always have notable treasure, namely a magical item of some kind. These should be awarded in addition to the treasure roll, and should be something appropriate to the defeated creature.

Thoughts on Patreon

Thoughts on Patreon

So, I have my first project for Patreon just about ready to launch, and you’ll see it here in the next day or so. In the meantime, a few thoughts on the system having had some time to mull it over worth considering for others planning their own campaigns:

  • Patreon payments are made and taken at the end of the month. If I’d realised this in advance, I probably wouldn’t have launched my campaign at the start of January, because now I’m faced with the slight downer of having to wait 30 days to see how my efforts play out (if I was that patient, I’d have launched a kickstarter, amirite? Heyoooo!)
  • You shouldn’t go in without supporting a few other people on Patreon in return. You’ll get cool stuff, it’s inspiring to see what others do, and it’s just nice. People like Dyson’s maps and Kaitlynn Peavler are making amazing works that I’ve already seen being used elsewhere. So I guess I’m saying if you do intend to use Patreon, be sure to share the love!
  • Patreon take about an 8% cut of what you make, but part of this is a flat fee. If you have 5 people pledging $1/project, this might make you less than 1 guy pledging $5. (Epidah Ravachol is a smart cookie when it comes to this sort of thing.) My understanding as of writing is any pledges you have come out of whatever you make, so there’s those too. All this and the dollar-to-pound exchange rate, the dollar figure at the top of my patreon page is probably about 45% of the pound figure that will actually go in my bank.

I’m not saying whether or not you should use Patreon or not for your project. All things being equal, there’s no reason not to, for reasons better explained here. But it is a new system, under development, and all I would say is make sure you manage your expectations in terms of money coming in and what’s expected of you, the creator, before taking the plunge.

Enough procrastinating. Back to work on my first release, Failspeake Gorge…