Archive for the ‘Project Support’ Category

Thoughts About Commerce (Buy Rodger a Coffee)

June 8, 2019

This is tangential (but not unrelated) to the discussion I’ve seen bits of on various platforms over the question of selling products versus just giving them away for free. I don’t believe it’s a simple black-or-white issue, and I certainly don’t have the answer to the question.

{And after writing this, but before it posted, I was listening to the Thought Eater podcast (Ep. #65) where, in the last segment, Jeremy discusses the same question with some good points and a perspective I think is worth pointing you at. And the post that got Jeremy going was from Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque.  I think they’re both worth your time.}

I’ve put stuff online – that other people might consider a finished product – that I’ve given away for free, in that perspective. Every blog post is time and effort spent without payment.

I’ve put things on DriveThruRPG to sell them.  As far as I know, I’m the only publisher for DragonQuest-related products.  It’s  a specialty niche, and I’m not getting rich (or even breaking even) from it.  But for the time and effort that goes in to those products, I think it’s reasonable to ask people to pay for those.  We’re old-school enough that we’re still somewhat print-focused, even though we also sell a lot of things just as PDFs.  And print materials are always going to have a cost associated with them, so we sort of stumbled into the market that way.

I never really rolled out a Patreon page, and given what happened with that platform, I’m pretty glad now that I didn’t. I’m not interested in being a part of that system that doesn’t really want to work with me.

And the whole idea of asking for money for the work that I do is still more than a little off-putting.  This whole article started more than a year ago, and sat in the drafts folder because I wasn’t ready to address the topic.  We’re acculturated to be uncomfortable about money, and I think that’s in the subtext of what’s in the social media discussion I referenced above.  {Again, from Thought Eater: the idea that everything needs to be evaluated through the lens of commerce is just wrong. There’s nothing wrong with making things available for free.  And sales is a metric of how good you are at selling, not of how good your thing is.}

There are a host of different tip jar/buy a coffee/send a contribution systems available to support creative work that people are making available. I’ve seen a couple people using different versions of these, and now, I have decided to give one of these a try and added a link to Buy Me A Coffee for tips and contributions (near the top of the column at the right).  So, if you find the things I’ve been producing to be worth a little support, you could do that here:

There are two main categories of things I’m working on: RPG maps, and adventures and materials for DragonQuest.  If we’re able to raise another $150 or so from sales and contributions, my plan is to get some additional software to use for further project production.

Since it’s a new thing, I’m not sure yet how much I can do with rewards and benefits for those who have contributed.  If you would be interested in being a supporter, let me know what kinds of things between those two categories you would be most interested in seeing as a premium for your contributions.  I should be able to do small maps on a somewhat more regular basis, so if you’d like to make some suggestions for one of those, that’s one option.

UnFurnished Dungeon #1 – The Merrimack Mine

July 25, 2015

MerrimackMine coverIt seems it has taken much longer than it should have to get the first UnFurnished Dungeon completed.  There has been (and still is) a lot of format experimentation going on.  But, among the others, there is now a version making its way through the OBS approval system (though it probably won’t be greenlighted in time for their Christmas In July sale).

[UPDATE: It’s now available here: ]

Part of what we’re experimenting with is different printing formats. For the OBS version, it is formatted as a 7.5″ x 9.25″ page.  That qualifies it as a small item, rather than a large one, and makes it less expensive to print.  It’s also going to be just black & white interior.  The PDF is the same size, so most people who get that and print it out are going to have wide margins all the way around.

There have been other sizes explored, as well, including 5.5″ x 8.5″ (classic white box/digest size), full 8.5″ x 11″ (standard letter), and a fold-out 3.5″ x 8.5″ that could be mailed in a standard business envelope (that we would distribute directly, and that might be even cheaper to produce and to mail, at least domestically).

Because this is still an experiment, I’m looking to get some feedback on this version, So, if you’re interested in this idea, and you’re willing to write a few lines about what you think are the good and the bad points in it, I’ll send you a copy of the PDF (either emailing it directly, or sending you a promotional copy from OBS).  I’m not going to do this forever; I was thinking I would cap it after a handful, though it may take a while before this gets to that point.  (Neither I nor Antherwyck House Games have all that much of a following, so it could be a while.  But I also don’t mind if you spread the word about this, either.)

The UnFurnished Dungeons were going to be a Patreon benefit, as well (and that’s still part of the plan).  I haven’t done much more to update the Patreon site recently, though I’ve seen that they are making some improvements to the systems there.  If you are interested in gtting this as a Patreon supporter, I’ll make sure you get a copy, too.

[Edited to replace image.]

SciFi cards – rough (really, really rough) sketches

May 7, 2015

Presenting a couple of real rough sketches for the idea for the scifi cards. (This is the kind of behind-the-scenes that should be in the Patreon for higher levels of support, but for now, it may be more useful to share this widely so that everyone can see the kinds of things that you might have access to.) For now, I’m looking for feedback on the general direction and gauging any potential interest in these if we do go to press with them.



Are they sufficiently science-fictioney skeuomorphs? After screwing around for a while, I think they are, but I’m looking for other opinions. Are there any parts that you like that ought to be repeated in one set or the other? Or things that should be left out because they aren’t really working?

I’m thinking of things like the teeth on the side in the BSG* set or the little pseudo bar code in the upper corner of the curved corners set.

Do you like or dislike the hex figure in the bottom left?

Any other things you like or dislike to tighten these up a bit?

The other thing to explore will be whether it’s better to have these done as poker-size (or possibly later this year as tarot-size) cards, or if having them printed locally and then doing distribution ourselves would be the better way to go.

*probably can’t call the final version BSG, but it’s got the clipped corners, so you know what I mean. Too bad, too, that we couldn’t get them made with corners clipped like that rather than the rounded corner die cut.

EDIT: followup hardline draft moved here

Samples from an Unfurnished Dungeon

April 21, 2015

Here is a sample of a couple pages from the first Unfurnished Dungeon.

MerrimackMine-excerpt (link to 3 pages PDF)

The general idea behind this is to have a booklet with a map along with physical descriptions of the spaces (room size, materials, and so forth), but leave the stocking and furnishing of those spaces to the dungeon master, allowing it to be fully customized for use with any campaign, regardless of the game system being used, party size, or level.


One DM could use this as a warren of gnomes to be rooted out for a beginning campaign while another might use it as a high-level wizard’s secret lair with several dangerous beasts guarding the approach.

Feedback about how well you think this would work for you would really be appreciated. This is intended to become a series that will be published by Antherwyck House Games. PDF versions will be available to Patreon supporters, and both PDF and printed copies will be available through DriveThru/RPGNow (and trying to keep them pretty inexpensive; probably around $5 for the print copies, and less for PDFs). Would you consider buying something like this? What kinds of things would you be looking for? Should there be further detail? Anything else that would make this more useful for you?

Also, is the name “Unfurnished Dungeon” the best name for the series? What about “Bluebook Dungeons” (or is that too obscure)?

Unfurnished Dungeons – Patreon pre-launch

April 10, 2015


This is a rough, preliminary sample page for an ‘unfurnished dungeon’ project. I’m going to start offering these as a premium for Patreon supporters, as well as making them available as part of the Antherwyck House Games offerings on RPGNow/DriveThru RPG. And yes, this is an initial announcement of this Patreon.

At this point, I’ve accumulated a few extra maps, so the ongoing map-making is going to continue, but I’d like to make a basic, usable accessory that we can offer through Antherwyck House Games.

The unfurnished dungeon provides a setting and descriptions, but leaves the ‘monsters and loot’ to the individual game master. That way, a starting campaign could use the map as a warren of low-level critters, while a higher level group could find it as the lair of a more powerful foe, and an ongoing campaign could plug in specific NPCs or references that work specifically for their setting.

These maps are small enough that they should be usable for one-shot adventures, as well. We’ll be interested in any feedback about the size and scope of these, or sugestions about how to make them more useful for you.