By the time I’m typing this, fireworks is flying outside for the ringing of the new year. 2016 is gone, thank fucking God. 2016 was a mixed bag for me, and it’s not because of all the deaths, Donald Trump or—IMHO the reason 2016 is “The Worst Year Ever”—the Cubs winning the World Series. This was the year that one door got closed for me; web comics, and another door opening; Dungeon Mastering and Campaign Creation. Granted, both were going on since the beginning of 2016, but it’s the just-now-past year is when I believe the transition took place.
I’m saying this because I feel that I got my groove back when it comes to creating with Æthercoil. Probably the biggest criticism I may have gotten, or what some would say about me, is that I don’t have a work ethic; that I won’t work hard to achieve what I want. But I don’t consider myself “a lazy good for nothing SSI case” because I can work hard. The Proof is in my Dungeon Mastering. I find myself typing away at my computer planning sessions, doing research, and even worldbuilding with Æthercoil Magazine. Sometimes late into the night and into the next morning. I also find myself enjoying this work, which is something most people would never muster up for any job they’re stuck with. Come now, will anyone say without the influence of drugs or alcohol that they really enjoy having a career in fast food?
Granted, I used to feel this way about making art too, but not anymore. I think the reason why is the motivation to get me going, the carrot vs the stick. Up until I started posting stuff on DriveThruRPG, I got nothing but the stick. Sure, I requested some level of critique and proof reading of my work, but in almost every possible case, the feedback devolved into a long-winded denigration of me and the dismissal of my work. It got to the point where I didn’t want to post anything anymore because I know that I’d get chewed out over it. Not critiqued, just chewed out. That does not promote a good work ethic as some of you know. Would you want to continue working with a boss that rags on your ass from 9 to 5? Most people who favor their mental and physical health won’t.
Compare that with people actually shelling out money for my work, which is happening on DriveThruRPG. Granted, right now it’s not much; I only get enough to pay for stuff I get over at the Dungeon Master’s Guild. But it’s more than what I got from all of Ballad of Johnny Briz and possibly the previous several projects put together.
That’s the kind of encouragement I needed. Not someone going all R. Lee Ermey every time I turn on my screen. I’m exaggerating, of course, but this is what I mean by the carrot vs the stick.
This encouragement leads me to a rare instance for me: A New Year’s Resolution. I honestly believe that what I’m doing behind closed doors, the planning and the campaign making and up til recently the streaming, can become a job for me, and even though it might not get me out of SSI (At this time, that’s asking too much) it should be enough for me to supplement it. Getting that Job Going, and having it going strong throughout 2017 barring shit-hitting-the-fan catastrophes like those listed in Æthercoil’s timeline, will be my New Year’s Resolution.
The first part of this job will be to set up a Patreon. I tried to get it going for Ballad of Johnny Briz but it didn’t get anywhere. I think this second attempt with Æthercoil will be somewhat more successful. Not only do I have a regular release of Issues here, but I also have some items that I can put in as Patreon Awards.
One of which is an Æthercoil Starter Set that will work with both the D&D 5E Starter Set and Basic Rules. Instead of a campaign, I believe that a good way to introduce people to D&D is a good old-fashioned dungeon crawl, with a variety of puzzles and creatures to match wits with. 4th Edition had such a dungeon delve, while the 5th Edition Starter Set dropped the ball on this. This is something I’d like to rectify with the Æthercoil Starter Set.
This will lead into a series of short modules that link together like Adventurers’ League modules. While they work as independent episodes and can be run in any order, they will follow along with a common theme: Adventurers discover a modern world invention. Adventures find out what to do with said inventions. They then take it to their hometown and improve said hometown with this invention, and the results of their using this invention creates effects throughout the entire world. Once I find out what kind of invention is needed, not too hard, I hope to create monthly adventures that I’ll release on Patreon.
That is my plan for 2017, and I’ll keep you posted here as developments happen. But there’s something that you can help right now. You’ll notice that GoFundMe link in the left. https://www.gofundme.com/starting-a-dd-campaign-series
The reason why I stopped streaming on Twitch, something I’d like to get back to, is because of my computer. The AMD A8 computer I have right now can do D&D Sessions very well, but it can’t do that and stream at the same time. Even with the use of Infiniscene, the workload proves too much for my computer to effectively stream. I’m going to need a better machine, a gaming machine to play and stream at the same time, and even though I managed to save some money, and put in enough in a saving account for such items, I don’t think I can get a new computer during 2017 by myself. People on SSI don’t have much to save, even if the thing you’re saving for is going to be used for what will become a job.
Hence the GoFundMe. I’m looking for $1000 US to purchase a gaming computer that will be designed for streaming. Not just sessions but campaign design, artwork, map making and all the other things related to Dungeon Mastering. If not in a session, I hope to have a nightly stream where people can look over my shoulder to see what I’m typing or drawing on, at least for 2-3 hours, but if I’m going strong, definitely longer.
Besides, I’m not asking for much. We live in a world where people gave $55,000 for someone to make a $10 Potato Salad, and $10,000 to protect Betty White from dying in this past year. Don’t get me started with those who gained six figures for the inanest of causes. Yeah, I know I’m not the most popular person on the internet, but does that mean I can’t find a hundred people that will part with a single ten-spot so I can buy something I will use for a job? I doubt this is the case.
Whatever or not the GoFundMe gets anywhere, I’ll still be working on the Patreon, since I already have stuff to put in there. Watch this space for further developments.