Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Save Stonehell Fundraiser (UPDATED!)

Important Announcement!

In an unbelievable stroke of generosity, I've reached my goal (and then some) for the fundraiser in an unimaginable short time. The gift was so generous that this unnamed individual will have the choice of either both sets of my original notes for the adventures or one of his choosing. Should he wish just the one, I'll be giving the other set to the next highest donor in thanks for all the good will I've received in less than two hours.

So for the record, I'll be able to replace my aging computer and get back on with finishing the sequel. However, I promised to keep this fundraiser going for a full week to allow people access to the limited edition PDF. I intend to keep that promise. All additional funds raised from this point forward will be applied towards other expenses. This allows me to actually turn down additional freelance projects (not counting those I've already committed myself to) in the short term so that I can concentrate on getting the sequel completed before year's end. However, I know not everyone may not wish to contribute towards that goal, and I wanted to be honest with all you very fine and unbelievably generous people. So consider the PDF to be more of a "pay what you want" product than a true fundraiser from now until next Thursday.

I am deeply in awe of you all. I've said this before, but writing is an extremely lonesome profession and I'm seldom aware of how much people enjoy my work until I get out on the convention trail and meet fans face-to-face. Your contributions this afternoon have astounded me, and I remain gobsmacked at the generosity and humanity of you all. From the bottom of my heart, I extend my thanks. I will endeavor to continue producing work of my finest caliber for your enjoyment. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Very most sincerely,


My friends, Stonehell Dungeon is cursed.

I’m not speaking of the manifold magical enchantments that lurk within, but rather a real world phenomenon that has plagued the dungeon since its inception. Back in 2009, when I was assembling the first book, my computer decided it would be a good time to cook its motherboard right when I was at the tail end of putting together the book. Some work was lost, but I was able to get my hoary computer repaired and complete the book. Now, history has repeated itself.

You may have noticed that I’ve had little to report either here or on the various forums and social media dedicated to chronicling the sequel. This is because nothing has been accomplished for reasons outside of my control. A few weeks ago, my computer decided to become twitchy, and then undergo a series of catastrophic failures. I’m typing this on a loaned laptop, which is how I’ve been connecting to the ether the past three weeks.

As with many things in life, catastrophe seldom comes when it’s convenient, and my computer giving up the ghost for good is no exception. My machine died just when finances are at their worst and, after pursuing my budget, it’s apparent it may be several months before I can afford repairs or replace the ancient computer. At this point, it’s probably the same cost to do either. Frankly, that’s a delay I do not want to endure.

To this end, I’ve decided to appeal to the fans of the dungeon to help get things back on track and to finish the book before year’s end as anticipated. Beginning today and running for one week, I’m holding the Save Stonehell Fundraiser in hopes of helping cover or at least defray the cost of getting myself back into the modern age and finish the sequel. I’m not one to ask for charity often and hate to do so, but this is one case where I feel appealing to the fans of Stonehell Dungeon in particular, and my work in general, is justified since it helps me get the book out and into your hands all the sooner. Both of us benefit in the long run.

However, rather than ask for pure charity, the Save Stonehell Fundraiser rewards you for your assistance. For the next seven days, anyone who donates any amount to the fund will receive a special PDF of seldom-seen Stonehell material. This PDF, Stonehell Dungeon—Convention Specials: Revealed, contains two special adventures set in and around Stonehell Dungeon, adventures previously only experienced by a small handful of people who played through them at conventions. After next week, I’ll no longer be distributing this PDF and its mysterious contents will return to my private archive of work for good.

The 16-page supplement contains “The Hidden Vault of Evaders Noan”, an adventure designed for 3rd level PCs that was first run at the 3rd Annual Dave Arneson Memorial Game Day in 2011, and “The Great Stonehell Lazer Massacre,” run exclusively at this year’s NTRPG Con. In addition to the adventures, the PDF contains a number of “Behind the Scenes” sidebars that discuss dungeon design choices, humorous anecdotes, and actual events that occurred when running these adventures. Much like Stonehell Dungeon Supplement Two: Buried Secrets, there is almost no art in the supplement (but there is a cool piece of map clarification by Jim Wampler), meaning the pages are jam-packed with goodies. If you own that supplement, you know what to expect.

As noted above, it doesn’t matter if you can spare $1.00 or $100.00. All contributors receive a copy of the PDF as a “thank you” for your generosity. I’ll endeavor to email your copy within 24 hours of being notified of your contribution. The PDF will be sent to the default email address associated with the contributor’s PayPal account unless otherwise specified by the donor. The PDF is 883 kb in size, so if you expect your email provider may have issues with a file of that size, let me know and I'll make other arrangements to get it to you.

But that’s not all. To further show my appreciation (and to possibly convince you to donate generously), the two contributors who donate the most to the Save Stonehell Fundraiser will receive a special thank you: my own personal copies of the adventures, including my hand-drawn maps, notes, and other annotations that accrued through actual play. I will personally mail each of those two contributors one of the adventures and provide extra customization (an autograph, a letter of provenance, a stick figure drawing of a Viking riding a whale, etc.) as desired. The contributor who donates the most will get first choice of the two adventures, with the second highest donor receiving the other. In the event of multiple donors contributing the same amount, I’ll determine the recipient randomly using a good old polyhedral.

At the end of each day, I’ll post in the comments below the highest contributions to date. This way, if you really want a shot of one of the adventures, you’ll know the goal to hit or exceed. Multiple donations by one person will be totaled when determining the two recipients of my personal notes, so if you give more than once, all your contributions will be applied when making the determination of the most generous donors.

How to Help Out

EDIT: Should be working now. Thank you!

On the upper right of this blog is a Paypal Donation button. If you wish to contribute to the fund, please use that button to give. I’m hoping to raise around $300.00 during the next seven days, which will either cover the cost to get my nine-year-old, second-hand PC restored to life or allow me to purchase a budget economy tower from the local electronics box store. If thirty fans of Stonehell contribute $10.00 each, my goal is reached and I can accelerate the return to working on both Stonehell and other projects, clearing my plate clean by 2014. Give what you can, however, if you’re so inclined.

Let me conclude by both thanking you in advance for your generosity and for you constant patience in waiting for the final Stonehell book. The dungeon is getting close to completion and, with your help now, will soon go from a long-standing promise unfulfilled to something you can read, use, and keep on your shelf for years to come.


David The Archmage said...

I keep getting an error code when I use the donate button.

Michael Curtis said...

Of course there'd be a problem. Let me see if I can correct it. In the meantime, try signing into Paypal first and then hit the button. And thank you!

David The Archmage said...

Nope. Still doesn't work. Can I just send it to your e-mail address?

Michael Curtis said...

You can, but I just swapped out the button. See if the new one works, please.

David The Archmage said...

Still no. Same error.

Sorry — your last action could not be completed

If you were making a purchase or sending money, we recommend that you check both your PayPal account and your email for a transaction confirmation after 30 minutes.

If you came to this page from another website, please return to that site (don't use your browser's Back button) and restart your activity.

If you came from PayPal's website, click the PayPal logo in the upper-left corner to return to our home page and restart your activity. You might have to log in again.

Michael Curtis said...

It may require a 30 minute cool-down since you tried with the old button and I've since swapped it out. If there's still a problem in an hour and you want to donate to the fund, my email address for PayPal is

David The Archmage said...

Ok, I'll wait a bit and see what happens.

Bill Clark said...

I had no problems donating through PayPal using the button on the page. Good luck.

Carlson said...

(mimicking the kid from Starship Troopers)
I'm doing my part!

Anonymous said...

Michael - you're covered plus some, you can stop now !

David The Archmage said...

It worked for me too!

Paul said...

New button seems to be working fine, got the receipt from paypal in seconds.

And you deserve better than the economy job down at the box store Michael. I'm sure we'll have you covered for something much better by the end of the week.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck!

ArtBraune said...

I put in for $10 - let's hope we can raise enough for Michael to get a new pc and perhaps an external drive to back his data up to...

Vanadorn said...

Donated and Done.

I wish you'd have let me know, I have a spare computer in the basement - would have just gladly given it to you.

Go buy something decent, Mike - and I'll chip in again for your 50th Bday present when this one dies. :)


Balrog62 said...

Done & Donated. Looking forward to reading the Lazer module since I missed that game at the con. Good luck, Michael!

PeelSeel2 said...

Donated! Thank you for your writings! Big fan!

bbarsh said...

Damn it. I just got wind of the fund raiser. Mike, any way I can still donate?