Hi everyone, Sam here. I am writing this post to explain the reasoning behind two new Patreon benefits that I’m rolling out. I want to be very transparent about why I’m doing this in case people have concerns.
First, the reason I setup a Patreon account is to collect donations from the community to help cover expenses that I personally incur from Meetup.com ($32.98 per month), website hosting ($7.50 per month), and Astral Pro ($5.83 per month). Patreon funds may also go towards advertising to help our community grow, purchasing D&D equipment or books, purchasing film equipment for creating content, upgrading our MailChimp account once it exceeds the free tier, covering printing costs for in-person events and conventions (this was relevant pre-COVID), upgrading our Discord server, and other miscellaneous expenses as they arise. Website hosting will also increase over time as better hardware is needed for hosting more content (like podcasts) and handling increased traffic demands.
That takes us to the reason why I’m creating new benefits for my Patrons: I want to provide value for the people that contribute. Currently, Patrons get access to behind-the-scenes updates and sneak-peeks at things that I’m working on. They also get an opportunity to contribute ideas and feedback. The addition of these two new benefits will help create a solid benefits package for every Patron.
The first benefit is called “Priority Access” and was rolled out in September. Priority Access posts notify Patrons of events 1-3 days prior to notifications being sent out to the broader community. For example, I will create a new event on Meetup.com but withhold announcing it for 1-3 days except on Patreon. This gives Patrons a chance to RSVP before waves of players get email notifications about the event. I don’t consider this benefit to be unfair or disruptive to the broader community for two main reasons: 1. Patrons make up a tiny minority of the community which means the impact from this benefit is minimal. 2. This primarily applies to one-shots and DM Training events which are only attended once anyway. It’s also important to note that this feature does NOT allow Patrons to go to the front of the line or alter the RSVPs of other players. Events are still first-come, first-serve. This just affects the timing of email notifications. The most valuable aspect of this benefit lies in seasonal events and brand new one-shots. For example, Patrons are able to attend the new “Lost at Sea” one-shot right away and secure their spots in seasonal games like the “Halloween Special”.
The second benefit is “Patron-only Campaigns” which will offer longer-term campaigns for Patrons. This benefit has not been established yet, but will take shape in October. The exact details are still being ironed out, but basically Patrons will have access to play in long-term campaigns hosted by myself. These campaigns may still have openings for the broader community, but priority will go towards Patrons first. I consider this to be a fair benefit because running longer-term campaigns is a time consuming commitment. I’d love to run campaigns for everyone, but it’s just not possible. One important note about this benefit: I cannot guarantee that all Patrons will be able to join a longer-term campaign at any time or remain in a campaign forever. If more people become Patrons we will need to take turns and treat it like the “Community Campaign” events where players go for 4-6 games in a row before another group gets a turn.
So that’s it. I hope that all makes sense and seems reasonable. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m always happy to talk with anyone in the community. I can be reached in our Discord server @Sam or by email at: [email protected]. Thank you so much for reading and being a part of our community!