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Wicked Words! on Patreon

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John Wick is entering the patreon arena with the Wicked Words! Magazine: Adventures, GM Advice, Little Games, Stories, The Works!

Yay!1

Update (2014-01-25 18:00): Now with Happy Ending

Yay!

This is really good news for roleplaying and online publishing, because it shows by example how roleplaying games and shortstories enter a new stage on the web: Fan-Funded periodicals. I expected this to become mainstream much earlier, just like webcomics have become big a few years ago, but the hassle of paying small amounts online has been a major impediment, I think, and different from webcomics, it is pretty hard to fund good writing with advertising without scaring away your readers: Text needs prolonged attention.

With Patreon this is now easy - you can ensure a creator that they will get money for every work they create, as long as they keep creating works which you enjoy.

Nay…

Ouch

There are sadly two problems with the approach by John Wick:

(1) “You'll need to enter your credit card information before you can start pledging to support your favorite creators. We use Stripe to handle our incoming payments. PayPal support is coming soon.”

Update: This information on the Patreon sites is outdated. They do support PayPal nowadays. As by my pledge, I now joined as patron.

No, I do not want to get (or use) a credit card for that.

They should just get a european partner who handles bank transfers - should be easy, now that there’s SEPA. Flattr should already have all infrastructure for that in place - and actually provides an orthogonal service, so it would not endanger its own business model by collaborating with Patreon.

(2) The Wicked Words! magazine is otherwise only available for payment, so Patreon just acts as a subscription service.

Generally Patreon is similar to Flattr - but where Flattr caters to the patrons (you have a giving flatrate which is spread over the things you see), Patreon caters to the creators (they get ensured income). And releasing only to Patrons massively undersells the chances of Patreon: After all, I want to be patron, because I like something and not because that’s the cheapest way to get it.

Utopia

Dream

Ideally a creator should use both Patreon and Flattr: Give patrons something extra (for example a mention - just something which creates warm fuzzy feelings), but also release everything for free on the web - with a Flattr button, so people who come across it can contribute.

To support the sharing, they should use free culture licenses for the works, with which the patrons could also incorporate them into their own lifes without giving up parts of their freedom.

This way it would be easy for me to share a PDF with my players and know that my players can give extra money if they like it.

It works!

Real World

For example Smooth Mc Groove does that: Patrons get the same videos as all others, but they have the good feeling that they ensure that he can keep creating, and you can voluntarily support him via flattr if you liked what you watched - which I regularly do.

(Sadly he does not use free culture licenses, but since he mainly makes money from his patrons, that should be possible - if he can clear the licensing with the copyright holders of the tunes he uses)

This two-tiered approach to self-financing allows fans to support their idols while also making it easy to discover and support new stuff, because Patreon makes it easy to promise regular payment and as soon as you use Flattr, there is virtually no barrier anymore to support someone new. And if you happen to flattr the creator often, you can think about becoming a patron.

And this is where I hope Wicked Words! will move, too: Freedom for Patrons to share, freedom for casual readers to give when they want and a secure income for the creators.

I’m in!

“Wait, what? Such a positive start and now such criticism? What about Wicked Words?”

I’m not one to say “this is perfect”, when it isn’t. But I do not require perfect to support you.2 So I hereby pledge: As soon as Patreon has PayPal-support, I’ll join in as patron.

The current strategy might not be perfect, but it is a big step towards RPG Publishing Utopia: Thanks to Patreon, John Wick becomes independent of post-creation-sales, so there is no requirement anymore to lock out the public from accessing the his works. All the double-edged monopoly-rights of copyright law become unnecessary, so if Patreon works out, he can move towards free licensing and additional voluntary payment without fear about making a living for himself and the contributors.

And I have high hopes for the content!

But I do not plan to sulk until Patreon has PayPal support (or any other way of paying which I can use). Instead I rather get active myself:

John Wick: Please check the Flattr Item of your Twitter Announcement. You have a subscription.

YAY! and YAY!

Update: Patreon now has PayPal support, and I became a Patron of Wicked Words and Smooth McGroove!

Step towards RPG Publishing Utopia


  1. The images in this post are from Mike Perry and were created for the webcomic No Dice. To our greatest joy, Perry allowed us to use them under the GPL! And I kinda enjoy the idea of using images from a comic named “No Dice” for a dice-based pen-and-paper roleplaying game ☺. It is also a really nice comic: Good enough to make it into the list of the webcomics I check daily. So if you like fun stories which do not shun away from controversial topics without ever losing their funny, then by all means have a look at No Dice! —Drak 

  2. But even though I do not require you to be perfect to get my support, I’m often quite bad at communicating this. When I criticize something, it is by its difference from an Utopia. But when I decide whether to support something, it is from its effect in the real world - which can be very different. For example PiHalbe publishes under noncommercial licenses, which I consider toxic to free culture and Ludus Leonis uses creative commons licenses which I consider as dangerously unsafe (german text). But the works of them both are great, and noncommercial licensing and even more cc sharealike is still worlds apart from the horrible “all-rights-reserved” copyright, which actually makes labels sue the fans of their artists for advertising their works. So they might not use the GPL, which I consider as the only sane choice for any free work which has defined sources, but I still support them, because they are a step into the right direction. 

AnhangGröße
2011-08-22-No-Dice-3-238-Pirate-Captain-Mine-panel-no-one-gets-left-behind.jpg58.89 KB
Dieser Text ist mir was wert: Flattr this ?

Well I'm using Patron with

Well I'm using Patron with Paypal, so no credit card needed.

But I agree on the second one, it would be great to have things with a free licence, I don't this would hurt financially, especially Wick should find enough people who want to throw money at him ;-)

Bild von Drak

So the FAQ is outdated? Does

So the FAQ is outdated? Does Patreon already have PayPal support?

Bild von Drak

Patreon works with PayPal nowadays

I just checked it - the information on the site itself is simply outdated. Thank you for alerting me!

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