Thursday, February 12, 2015

Patreon - Boon or Bane to the RPG Hobby?

For every +Dyson Logos and their amazing Patreon Project, we get someone like Elizabeth Sampas, who is putting her hand out for money while still not fulfilling her previous obligations from her Kickstarter project. All of which got me thinking about Patreon and Kickstarter.

At it's core, Patreon has more accountability than Kickstarter.

As a supporter, you get charged monthly. If you don't like what you are getting in return for your support, you can lower your pledge or cancel it totally. If you really like the results, keep your pledge or boost it.

You are supporting per something (map, post, song, etc) or per month.

Oh, and of course, your basic support is there to keep things moving in a positive direction for the creators.

I prefer it to Kickstarter for supporting content creators whose work I enjoy. In general, it seems less like a possible cash grab that Kickstarter, as poor work habits get, one would expect, poor backing.

Patreon is more about genrosity, from those that support projects and the project creators, and with the right projects everyone wins, even those that aren't supporters.

Maybe Elizabeth will surprise me and other and make her Kickstarter backers whole. Of course, there is that whole thing about flying pigs and such, but one never knows.

Overall, I think Patreon has more potential to boost the homegrown RPG hobby than any other funding source. I'd like to se it thrive and see out hobby thrive, even if there are a few rotten apples to sort through.

I've got lots to think of, as there is much I'd like to do with The Tavern that currently isn't fundable (more giveways for example) but I'd like to sit back and observe a bit more before I put my hand out to support the excessive posting I already do for free ;)


  1. It's a bane to every hobby without any doubt. Kickstarter, Patreon, and pre-orders all sound great on the surface (Imagine devs without stress from budgets. They can make their dream come true!), but most of the time the product ends up being crap or merely mediocre because they spend the money on hookers and blow.

    1. ah, but Patreon is a monthly tip if you will, so the risk is low for the backers, and the desire to see a monthly income in return by the creators is fairly high.

      Kickstarter and the like are more of a gamble...

    2. That's right, Nano. My maps are crap because of all the hookers and blow.

    3. Nah, your maps are crap because there's too many and not enough time to use them all. Since I can't use a map, it must be crap, otherwise I'd be using it. Makes sense to me.

      Seriously though, please don't stop making maps, even if you have to spend all the money on hookers and blow.

  2. I see the future of crowdfunding for niche games Systems like Patreon. I mean you can compare some projects there with Goodman Games and Pathfinder modules which had success with their Subskription system of continued series.

  3. I've got some plans for future RPG products I'd really like to produce but I'd also like to be able to incorporate higher production values. The only reason I'd even consider Kickstarter is for the audience, but I'd rather try Patreon because I'd see a tangible connection between what I've made and some of my audience. Just putting something up for free/cheap on DriveThruRPG gets me some numbers of downloads, but I figure it takes 400 downloads per review or rating.

    The only money I want to make is enough to get better resources.

  4. I think this is ridiculous hyperbole:

    "For every +Dyson Logos and their amazing Patreon Project, we get someone like Elizabeth Sampas, who is putting her hand out for money while still not fulfilling her previous obligations from her Kickstarter project."

    There are a lot of really cool people in the RPG community with Patreon campaigns, and not very many campaigns like the one you are pointing at (I can only think of one other off the top of my head being run by someone who has failed to deliver on their past kickstarter). Claiming we have them in equal measure is like saying there's as many climate scientists who support the climate change model as there are who deny it.

  5. What about scale of the project?
    It feels weird to create a new RPG based on a subscription
    wheras i see total sense in creatting supplemental content or small pieces

  6. I'm going to follow the comments on this post, because I'm thinking about doing Patreon myself... But I'm undecided on the options, and now it wondering what the community feeling is. Are there really as many failures in Patreon as there are in Kickstarter? Is there a lot of ill will?

    How many people are running a Patreon campaign on a per project vs per month basis? Is there more or less support for that?

    And can any creators in the US describe their experiences with Patreon and taxes or business licenses? I figure it's counted as self-employment income on taxes, but not sure if you have to get a business license.

  7. The siren song of Patreon calls out to us all...but in the end, for me at least, I do this for love of the game. You said it. You have some one like +Dyson Logos who does Patreon right and I would support.

    I don't fault others for doing it, but it's not for me.

    For me though I am more of the frame of mind that if you like my work then buy my books.

  8. Patreon is allowing me to work on Monsters of Porphyra II while partially offsetting the initial art costs. Currently patreon has covered 18% of those costs for me as I've worked to update or create 62 monsters for the project so far. In that way its been a boon for me because I've had the opportunity to pick away at a costly bigger project.

  9. "I'm paying attention, but zoning out". I don't know enough about any of these revenue instruments to speak to their viability.

    Seems like they can be talked-in or talked-out depending on the message and voice. As can any position or platform: all diets work. Not all people work for all diets.

    For a dumb guy like me it seems as if Kickstarter has reached a saturation point of abuse and suspicion (is this good or bad? I don't know. I still don't know where to find a kickstarter) while Patron Patreon whatever allows individuals to sponsor the ongoing creative efforts of single authors.

    Supplying a little financing to the guys/gals who are returning imagination to the sponsor seems like a fairly direct ROI process. Easier to understand without long-term promises.

    Buying the slice rather than the (promise of the) whole pie. And choosing who makes the pizza.

    Am I missing something?

  10. I've created a Patreon account but have yet to put any work or projects on there. I'd like a Renaissance patron like the Medicci family to just pay me an income to sit and draw! Lol.

    But seriously, I would only support someone with a track record who I personally want to support. If I like their work and just want to learn more about their process, I'd be happy to dedicate a small tip each month.

    I don't see this patronage as the same as Kickstarter as you are not necessarily striving towards an elusive final project rather helping out a struggling artist.


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