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Friday 15 November 2019

Patrons wanted for the Jewelspider expedition

My last outing on Patreon didn't work out so well. That was for Mirabilis: Year of Wonders, the project dearest to my heart. In retrospect it was perhaps overly optimistic to think I could fund hundreds of pages of full-colour comic book art through the kindness of strangers, especially since the only publisher of Mirabilis (to date) managed to lose all the copies of Book 2 in a lay-by somewhere between Bosnia and Britain.

Oh well, that's spilt milk. The latest challenge is more achievable (maybe), namely how to fund some top-notch artwork for the Jewelspider rulebook I'm working on. I'd like to get pictures by Jon Hodgson and Tancred Dyke-Wells, among others. And not just covers and a few interiors, either. I'm going to need maps and filler art (to make the layout work) and a tidier character sheet than this one.

If push comes to shove I can do the maps and some sketches myself, but that'll look worse than first edition Dungeons & Dragons so fingers crossed. If you happen to be flush with cash and want to throw some of it at the Jewelspider project, the Patreon page is here. If not, share the link with rich friends and relatives and I'll thank you forever, even if they won't. (According to Amanda Palmer, the secret of raising money is simply to learn the knack of asking people to give it to you, but I suspect I'd also have to marry Neil Gaiman to make that one work.)

What do you get as a patron? Other than the warm glow of satisfaction, you'll have access to sneak peeks at the rules. Like this sorcery phylum, for instance:
Illumination – there are various ways to summon a magical light, each with its own advantages and drawbacks: 
  • Faerie motes accompany you and may even dart ahead to point out hidden things, but are capricious and will shun holy people and places. 
  • Corpse light (Necromancy) or St Elmo’s Fire (Fire mastery) covers you and may affright superstitious companions. 
  • Moonbeams can be captured in a globe and can be directed in a soft beam or dimmed at will, but you need to keep a hand free to hold the globe. 
  • Flames (Fire mastery again) are very bright, which is useful at close quarters but can prevent you noticing things outside the circle of light. 
  • A mirror or piece of glass can be induced to release daylight that fell on it at earlier times. 
  • A glow can be awakened in the heart of a precious gem
  • A hand of glory sheds a light that only the caster can see and has other powers besides: opening locked doors and preventing those asleep from waking. It requires special ingredients: the hand of a murderer cut from the gallows, the hair of a suicide (as a wick) and fat from an unbaptised child. Needless to say, constructing such a thing is considered diabolism by the Church and punishable by death. 
Perhaps the simplest option is to Enhance an ordinary lamp so that even a strong wind won’t blow it out, although note that lamps don’t give off a great deal more light than a few candles would.
At least the pressure of seeing a few dollars trickling in each month will spur me to get on and finish the rules, even if it never tots up to enough to pay for a full-page illustration. However, having included at least one link to Wikipedia above, let me add that they too are looking for donations and their need is greater, and their cause far worthier, than mine. So if you only do one act of patronage this month, make it Wiki not me. Though I won't grumble if you want to make it both.


  1. Hi Dave. Well this is certainly cause for celebration! I’m not very familiar with Patreon. Is it possible to make a one off donation rather than the monthly contributions? That might help fast track some of the work... Also, will you be expanding the background/history/adventures for and in Legend?

    1. Hi Nigel. The book will have quite a bit more Legend background (mostly concerning Ellesland) and several new adventures. If you want to do a one-off payment, you can sign up as a patron, wait till the first of the month when the pledge is debited, then cancel the pledge. That way you only get billed once. And thanks in advance -- all contributions are very gratefully received!

  2. I think I can spot you more than a fiver! I was thinking more like some option to give a year’s subscription up front to help fast track the work. But if the fundraising model/site doesn’t support that no worries. Will just jump on board.

  3. Hi Dave, i don't quite get how Patreon works. If i sign up when do the monthly payments start and when do they stop (assuming I don't cancel due to unresolvable differences in opinion about rules on removing armour to go to the toilet in the middle of a climactic final battle).

  4. Hi Nick, the payments start on the first of the next month and stop when you decide to cancel. But I'm not sure what stops people from signing up on the 2nd, reading all the old posts, cancelling on the 29th and then rejoining a few days later... Maybe I'm thinking like a gamer there.

  5. Thanks Dave. Isn't there some point when the payments stop? Like when the project is finished?

    1. Yes, when the project is finished I'll have no need of the Patreon page, so then I'd close it down.