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The FAQ: Answering your Questions

The FAQ: Answering your Questions

The most common questions I get (and their answers) are:

* How does this work?
Open Design uses an old business model called patronage, in which people directly commission an artist (in this case, a game designer, mapper, and illustrators) to produce an adventure of interest to them.

* I donated, now what?
The first step is easy, but the second step is obscure. Once you donate to support a project, our artisans hand-craft an email that is sent to invite you into the private posts for that Open Design project. Ok, not so much with the handcrafting. But because there’s a small volume of patrons (relative to, say, customers of the latest MegaCorp adventure), it’s pretty much done manually. You’ll get the invitation email within 48 hours unless something is seriously wrong.

* Can I get a copy of a project that is already over and done?
Sort of. These are all limited editions, and once the project is sent to those who commissioned it, that project is over and done. Well, ok, we do a set of errata, but really, selling it is not the point. There’s no way to buy it at your FLGS, and no downloads are available from KQ.com.

HOWEVER. You can get a limited set of the previous projects if you are a patron of the current project.

* What do I get for my patronage?
You gain access to the Open Design site for the project. You can participate in the discussions regarding material. You can vote in polls. You’ll get to read design essays, the number of which are decided before the project is commissioned– though the topics are sometimes solicited from the senior patrons. If you’re a senior patron, you’ll probably be able to suggest an NPC or a monster and/or template. Senior patrons also often get to see the unfinished manuscript in progress and preview maps and artwork.

Regardless of the level of patronage, you’ll get a pdf of the final product and a pointer to the Lulu site with the option to purchase a hard copy of the project. This is an additional cost to project patronage.

* How do polls work?
Polls can be tricky. Livejournal leaves polls open forever, but often results are determined after a predetermined time or when the number of patrons that have voted (and remain to vote) leaves a poll clearly decided. Voting after a poll is closed is possible, but won’t change a decision.

* How do I make suggestions?
Some input is limited by your level of patronage, but chances are if you can see a post, then it is something you can discuss. Leave a comment on a post, or in some instances, send Wolfgang an email. Just remember that everyone here is collaborating on the same team and to keep the conversation friendly! At some future point, discussion on Open Design projects might move to the forums at koboldquarterly.com.

* What if I change my mind about supporting a project or wish to change my vote?
Just email Wolfgang to indicate your choice.

* Can I upgrade my patronage at a later date?
Yes, at any time you can send Wolfgang the difference between your current level of patronage and the higher level you wish to support. An email conversation is best so that he is aware and can adjust your friends setting in Live Journal once the donation is in.

* Can I vote for more than one project at a time?
Yes. But you do it with your dollars, so you’ll need to make patronage donations to each project you wish to sponsor.

* What happens if my project doesn’t make the cut?

Donations for projects that are not selected are returned, but funds can be reapplied to the winning project if you would still like to participate.

* What if I change my mind about supporting a project or wish to change my vote?
If the project hasn’t launched, no problem! Contact Wolfgang and let him know your concern. After a certain window, paypal charges a percentage fee for refunding a transaction– if you are beyond this window, expect to see slightly less than you pledged. If you just want to change your vote, this can (and is often) done in the comments left for debating a project, but an email to Wolfgang is just as effective.

* No, I meant ‘how do I change my vote on a poll?’
That’s something you can do yourself. Login to livejournal, and go to the page with the poll. Near the title you will see a numerical link. Select it. This will take you to a page that shows the results and has a few more links. Look in the upper left corner– where your avatar might be. Now look down. You’ll see a link labeled “Fill out Poll”. Select it and you can now modify your vote. If the voting has closed however, this won’t matter. But you might still feel warm and fuzzy about exercising your free will.

* Can I upgrade my patronage at a later date?
Yes. People have done this in the past. You will gain retroactive access to posts that have been available to senior patrons for the current project. Some opportunities associated with your new level of patronage– offering npc or encounter ideas– might have passed, though. If there’s something you’d really like to see or do, ask Wolfgang if there’s still time to contribute. If you don’t ask, then there’s certainly no chance it will happen.

* I understand how it works in concept, but how does it work in practice?
Updates, information, and dicussion happens through Open Design’s LiveJournal Site. LiveJournal allows Wolfgang to assign permissions to those that are on Open Design’s “friends” list, which is how standard and senior patrons are differentiated.

Standard patrons will see those posts that their membership entitles them to see, and senior patrons will see those posts as well as additional posts rated only for their level of membership.

Through the comments section of each post, discussion is had between all the patrons and with Wolfgang. As mentioned elsewhere, Senior Patrons have a lot of pull, but those considering standard patronage should know that a particularly inspired idea can often be snapped up from the lower tier. A great idea is, after all, a great idea.

Patrons are required to obtain a LiveJournal account. These are absolutely free. Patrons do not need to start or maintain a Journal themselves if they don’t want. The LJ accounts are simply a way to assign permissions to who can see what, and to allow patrons to comment.

Sometimes discussion about future projects can happen at the Kobold Quarterly forums. That is done so that the general public can read freely and comment on upcoming projects. The day to day business of Creator and Patron happens at the LiveJournal. Sometime in the future, all discussion may move to the Kobold Quarterly forums.

* Playtesting? We can playtest?
Yes! Patrons can be playtesters, either running or participating in the playtest. Playtesters are required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) before materials are released. You will receive electronic copies of the material for testing once Wolfgang has received your NDA. Specifics of the playtest may vary from project to project.

* I’ve been a Patron for many Projects. Wolfgang knows me, we go way back. Do I still need to send him my LJ user name?

Yes you do, just be safe..

If you’ve been a prior active patron, it is correct that Wolfgang probably will recognize your LJ user name and have a sense of who you are.

But, when the Paypal payment comes through he only sees the e-mail address associated with the payment. He can’t really tell most regular Patrons just from their e-mail address alone. Plus, it’s possible that someone else could be making the payment on someone else’s behalf. A gift patronage for example.

It’s really safest and easiest to always reply to the introductory e-mail and remind him what LJ name is associated with this payment.

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