For some time now I’ve been noodling over what to do with this patreon account. I dearly love this revenue model but I’ve been struggling to find something I do with any regularity that properly fits how patreon works. I think I’ve figured out how I’d like to go forward but I want to keep all of you (all eleven of you) in the loop.
I am head over heels in love with Cortex Roleplaying, which has had a relatively tortuous history but now seems poised to be an incredible game with profound publishing support. With the inimitable Cam Banks at the helm, this extensible game system is built out of a simple die mechanic and a treasure trove of mods. It emulates television show pacing and delivers on action and drama. More importantly, Cam and the rest of the team at Fandom have been relentlessly queer-friendly, disability-mindful, and all around just decent people.
So I’m going to turn this into a Cortex patreon. Over the past year, writing Cortex is the thing that I’ve been doing regularly enough for patreon, so I figure that’s what I should make this patreon about.
There is a little wrinkle in that Cortex is going to deploy its own “Creator Studio,” basically a walled garden marketplace for third-party creators to make stuff for Cortex. (Presumably there will be some integration with the digital tools that are also due to debut in the near future, but we shall see.) Finished products will need to be released there, not here, and integration with Patreon is unlikely to occur anytime soon.
So my plan—which will almost certainly change as we get a better idea of the Cortex publishing model—is to turn this into a monthly patreon where I post working drafts, solicit feedback, and all around talk about and develop Cortex stuff. There’s also a bunch of worldbuilding stuff that can be presented without rules implementation, and I’ll be posting finalized and pretty versions of those here.
In specific, I’m looking at the following kinds of posts:
I’ve been brewing up a big worldbuilding project, the Gazette of the Speaking Lands, that gets written and presented in lovely little chunks. It’s like an encyclopedia of a fictional world, and I’ve been having tremendous fun writing it and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.
One of my flagship Cortex projects is Keystone, which aims to teach a table how to play the game by playing the game in a familiar context: in other words, dungeon-delving. I’m most of the way through the second of five planned introductory adventures, and I’m eager to show you how these get put together. Keystone actually has its very own website for the playtest: http://keystone.joshroby.com!
I have a couple smaller Cortex games that I am prepping for when the Creator Studio goes live. Diary of a Ceres Rider is a solo-play game, and designing this has been an eye-opening experience. Portal Witch is a Cortex-for-Kids game, which has its own design challenges. Look for posts about these interesting corners of design work.
My favorite period of this patreon was when I was turning out ports of call for Renegade Jennys and Boilerplate Jacks, and if you’re one of those diehard fans, good news: I’m converting Renny Jennys to Cortex. It’s a bit farther off than the other bits, but I’m planning on making more ports of call, which are already 90% prose and only 10% rules. Super simple to post them here.
I am at the moment unsure what I will do with the half-completed projects that I’ve been posting here. I may update them with the coding mood strikes, but that’s been happening less and less. If I do make updates, I will post here and on my twitter, because what good is a silly browser game with nobody to play it? I am working very hard on not thinking about somehow converting those games to Cortex. (Too late: Tanner and Klaus are already from my Cortex spotlight setting.)
I’ll be converting this patreon over to monthly next month, so if you are not interested in all this nonsense, please feel free to unsubscribe. Thank you so much for your long history of patronage.
I will continue to post everything publicly or early-access. I feel very strongly about making games and game resources accessible to the public as broadly as possible. If you do continue to support this patreon, know that you are helping in that endeavor, as well.
Thank you all so much for sticking around thus far. Thank you not only for your subscription, but also your feedback, your comments, your encouragement, and just your attention. If you’re coming along for the next ride, I’m super excited to share all this great stuff with you!
And once again, thanks,