Geeks Doing Good.

Worldbuilders Blog


New Digs

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We've been talking a while about moving, since our current office is crowded enough that Rachel doesn't have space for a chair at the fulfillment table...

You can see a lot of the crowding in some of our videos--the most accurate (if roundabout) being the one where Amanda meets the Draccus plushie for the first time and has to run around the office showing everyone.

 
 


Well, not only do we have a new building, things are underway for a move late this summer! That's right, we're gonna have MOAR SPACE!

It's not much right now, but every time Maria heads over there to direct the repairs and cleanup, she comes back and her eyes are aglow with possibilities. Where right now Jenny, Maria, Brett, and Rachel share a tiny, tiny office, Maria and Rachel will get a slightly bigger office together, while Jenny and Brett get to share a weird, triangular one with a single window (which Jenny dibs-ed already).

We'll have a "reception" area that will be used for large packing and fulfillment...

The Book Wall will be expanded once those back walls are covered in the shelves from our current office...

We'll have real bathrooms once these are finished and the water is turned on...

The Tinker's Packs will now be half of the upper level with direct access to a real loading dock...

...and the lower level will be climate-controlled warehouse space!

We've already started using the warehouse space for the big stuff from the 2016 Annual Fundraiser:

So right now, we're a little split between locations. Our aim is to get ourselves moved and set up in the new location in time for the 2017 Annual Fundraiser. Ideally, we'll be able to do fulfillment for our mid-season Geeks Doing Good fundraiser from the new building, but that depends on how well things go. Right now, the place needs a little work.

We're super-stoked. We'll make fun of Maria for being all optimistic and excited about moving into the new space, but honestly, we're pretty excited too! It's just so much fun to poke fun at Maria.

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Dragoon and the Bard Barian

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Have you ever wanted to be a dragon, hoarding treasure, subjugating towns, and fighting other dragons? If you had backed Lay Waste Games's Dragoon last year, you could have been doing all these things like Rachel, who brought this addictive game into our office and made all of us her slaves--she who controls the Dragoon game controls the office!

Fear not, you still have the chance to command your own friends and co-workers: Dragoon is getting a reprint! And better yet, it's getting expanded (adding two playable humans for a six-player experience with new rules and moves), and you can choose between the Standard game with plastic pieces or the Gold Edition game with real metal playing pieces. Rachel's game has metal pieces, and they make an already fantastic game a hefty joy to play.

We were all pretty stoked when Lay Waste reached out to Pat to see if they could include him in the game as an add-on. We've been working with them to develop the Bard Barian, a special piece that takes place of the Barbarian expansion piece and features three unique rules to switch up your game play. The plan is that, similar to Tak: A Beautiful Game, we'll be able to carry Dragoon in The Tinker's Packs once Kickstarter fulfillment is over, thus bringing the game to more folks who need rampant dragonery in their lives.

This is a drop-dead gorgeous game, and best of all, it's quick to learn, with a simple mechanic and enough variety so it never gets old. You're a dragon. Humans are moving into your area, where you and the other dragons have been just hanging out for, like, ever. As human towns build up and spread across the landscape, you and the other dragons decide it's time to start collecting tributes, beefing up your treasure hoards, and keeping those humans in check. But now that the gloves are off, it's not just you against the uppity humans--you're also duking it out with the other dragons (and a thief!) to see who can conquer the most towns, control the most land, and accumulate the most treasure to win the game.

Jenny won, by the way.

The Kickstarter runs through April 11th, so make sure you get on board. If you need to play it NOW, definitely track down Lay Waste Games at one of the small handful of conventions they'll be at this year.

Rampage on!

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Lottery Update

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Lottery prizes are steadily making their way out the door! Mike, Anne, and a rotating roster of the Worldbuilders team are spending their days packing and shipping all sorts of stuff.

This shelf is actually less full than it used to be.

In the mean time, almost every flat surface in the office is covered in stacks of books with address labels sticking out of them, boxes of packing material, and boxes of shipping boxes (it's like a shipping Inception).

We're even using the AV cart that we never use.


Jenny is keeping up, literally single-handed.

Mike and Anne are doing double time between the store and lottery fulfillment.

If you won something, it might not be in the mail just yet--but that's okay, because we tend not to tell folks if they won or not, we just ship stuff out. We had to confirm a few mailing addresses, thus tipping our hand, but most of our winners are in for a pleasant surprise.

...but first, Rachel has to separate today's box full of labels.

Don't worry. We'll be super-proud of ourselves, so we'll post about it right here as soon as we finish shipping all the prizes. Then we'll probably take a nap.

If you really like cool stuff arriving in the mail and you can't wait for lottery items, today Amazon Smile is donating 5% of eligible purchases to your charity of choice! That's ten times more than usual! If you head to Amazon using smile.amazon.com, you'll be prompted to choose a charity to support (if you haven't already). Worldbuilders is an eligible charity! ...but if you have another charity, we won't be mad. So if you've been putting off an Amazon purchase, today would be a great day to pounce!

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Emerald City Comic Con 2017

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Greg, Maris, Liz, and their team of volunteers put on a great Worldbuilders Party on Friday that raised over $20,000 for Worldbuilders!

The Worldbuilders Party!

Wait, let's back up a little.

Anne, walking the long walk.

Thursday morning, Anne and Brett set up the Worldbuilders booth in Artist Alley, right between Tyler Walpole and Brendan Cahill, who were awesome booth friends! We touched base with Nate Taylor, because every so often you just need a Nate dose. We also got to meet a lot of you guys as folks were drawn into the booth by the siren songs of our Tak display, our very last Owlbear Plushie, and the last of the original Rat Queens merchandise!

Anne hugged the Owlbear goodbye--he went to a loving home.

Oh, yeah, did we mention The Tinker's Packs is taking over Rat Queens merchandise sales? They are. We had the chance to talk to Kurtis Wiebe, Owen Gieni, and Shannon Woodhouse while we were in Seattle, and all of them are awesome folks. If you get the chance to track 'em down at a convention, please do. Unlike the Rat Queens, they tend not to kill people.

Kevin Hearne, Janelle Badali, and awesome supporter Brett (no relation) playing office favorite Dixit.

On Friday, much Tak-splaining and bonding happened while we chatted with everyone we could. Artist Alley was hopping! Anne rushed away early to help Greg and Liz set up for the Worldbuilders Party, and when the hall closed, Brett ran to join them. The party was at the same time busy and laid back, brash and low-key, posh and delightfully crass (mostly due to Robin Hobb's group on one side of the room and Myke Cole's Cards Against Humanity game on the other). There were so many creators and supporters there, it was a whirlwind of games, laughter, and tasty dinner. Silent auctions were won. Lottery prizes were...um...lotteried. And when the totals were in, we raised over $20,000--that's $6,000 more than last year, $20 of which was threaded expertly into Brett's waistband by Kelly Sue DeConnick.

They actually had to kick us out of the room because everyone was having such a fun time chatting, so we moved to the lounge at the nearby Sheraton hotel for drinks with Myke, Sam Sykes, Kevin Hearne, Janelle & Hillary from Badali Jewelry, Richard Kadrey, Todd Lockwood and his awesome wife Rita, and so many more. Anne told a horrible knock knock joke to Sam, Myke explained that book research is horribly difficult when all the sources are written in ancient Greek, and Kevin explained how different a conversation with Sam Sykes is compared to one with Mary Robinette Kowal, who we love but just missed when she was there. The major difference between the two conversations was, of course, the number of poop jokes involved.

Richard Kadrey, Myke Cole, Anne, and our friend Minka.

Then we walked Myke back to his hotel. For his protection, of course, not ours.

Saturday featured more Tak, more brilliant cosplay, and so many more Kingkiller and Rat Queens fans who were only too happy to engage us in Mary Robinette Kowal-level intelligent conversations. If these two fandoms ever unite to take over the world, there will be nothing standing in our way. Ahem, "their"--we meant to say "their way." We're certainly too professional to be rabid fans of Kvothe, Bast, Elodin, Betty, Dee, Violet and Hannah. But not Gary.

We also got to wave at Cards Against Humanity's Trin and Tom in passing. The CAH booth changed look and purpose each day of the con, changing from a "pay what you feel" booth, to an art installation on Saturday featuring actual vendors in "Cards Against Humanity Presents: Booth," to a political activism center on Sunday. So they were crazy busy organizing everything. Guys--we hope you got some good sleep when it was all over!

Cards Against Humanity Presents: Booth

Anyway, Sunday we had to say goodbye to the Emerald City Comic Con, all our new friends, and all the cool people we met. But you know what? It's only until next year! Special thanks to Greg, Maris, and Liz for organizing and hosting the Worldbuilders Party, and to all the creators and supporters who spent their Friday evening with us supporting a good cause. Big hugs and thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth, listened to Brett explain Tak, posed for cosplay photos with Anne, and all-around brightened our day. It was a great convention, and we love you all!

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Blanket Fort

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Amanda was gone for an extended weekend, and we couldn't help ourselves--it's just been too long since we pranked someone. We didn't want it to be mean (since we scared her last time), and Jeff said it should be something fun, like a blanket fort. Rachel and Brett said YAAAASSSSS with really wide eyes, and it was pretty much decided then that the blanket fort was going to happen.

So Monday after work, Jeff brought in some sheets (real blankets would be too heavy), and using magnets and a few binder clips, the three of them set up a fort around Amanda's desk.

Here's the front...

And the inside. Cozy!


Amanda enjoyed it in her typical profanity-laced way...

 
 
 

...and it stayed up all day, because if you can have a blanket fort around your desk at work, why would you not?



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Lottery fulfillment has begun!

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A few of you who follow us on the various social media already know we've started sending out lottery prizes, as we've been getting some lovely posts and tweets from winners...

We still have a TON of stuff to send out, and Anne, Mike, Rachel, and Jenny are busting out as many packages as they can every day. We'll have shipments going out three times a week until we run out of prizes...and there are many, many prizes.

This is just the start.

This is the time of year when we feel sorry for our UPS driver. We don't have a loading dock, so he agreed to make an extra stop during his route just to load up our lottery packages until we're done with fulfillment. He's not one to enjoy the spotlight, but we must state publicly how much we appreciate him. UPS driver, we less-than-three you! <3

So with his help, everything on this wall:

Everything in these boxes:

And a bunch of stuff we've just started bringing in from our Unofficial Warehouse:

 

...will head out the door and into the loving arms of our awesome supporters. Y'all are UPS-Driver-Level awesome, and we less-than-three you as well! <3

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Get ready for the Humble Bundle!

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Remember when the stars aligned and two of our favorite organizations teamed up to raise money and make books happen right into your lap? Well guess what!

Subterranean Press is offering a Fantastic Fiction Humble Bundle!

A lot of you know this already, but we had to explain why we were so excited to Jenny, so here's the skinny. Subterranean Press has been a Worldbuilders supporter since the dawn of time, and they always donate a ton of their beautiful books to our annual fundraiser. They're very picky about what they publish, and their curated catalogue tends to feature extraordinarily literary fiction from the most talented storytellers out there. Sub Press's books are designed to fit into a classic library, like the one in the Beast's castle in that Disney movie. Those were all Subterranean Press books. No lie.

Anyway, the ebook versions of Sub Press books are just as beautiful, and a bit more portable, with all the lovely typesetting and original illustrations (where applicable) of their print counterparts. And for as little as $1 and as much as you'd like to spend, you can get a bunch of them during the Humble Book Bundle from February 15th through March 1st at 11am PST. Think of it as a way to get a bunch of awesome fiction and dress up your ereader all at the same time.

We had to explain the Humble Bundle to Jenny as well, so in a nutshell: Go to humblebundle.com and click on the Book Bundle menu at the top of their page. One of the options is Subterranean Press. They have the books page broken down by what you'll get when you donate. At least $1 will get you a handful of lovely ebooks. Bumping up your donation to $8 doubles the number of books, and $15 or more gets you even more.

Oh, and we buried the lead--since Humble Bundle raises money for charity, you'll see Worldbuilders as the charity they're supporting! If you don't like us, you can find the option to choose a charity you do like, just above the mailing list signup (and while you're there, sign up for their mailing list so you don't miss out on future Humble Bundles, like books, games, comics, apps, and puzzles!).

And it's a little-known fact that you can just buy stuff from Humble Bundle. If you're not into these books, but you like games, follow this special link to the Humble Bundle Store and see what they have there. If you find something you like, you can still throw us a bone by making sure "Charity" is highlighted. If you have a Humble Bundle account, you can edit your preferred charity by clicking on the charity name where it says "5% of your purchase will support..." and choose from a wide variety of charities vetted by Humble Bundle (we volunteer as tribute!).

Everyone in the Worldbuilders office will be grabbing the Sub Press bundle, because we love us some fiction, we love Subterranean Press, and we're thrilled to be part of the Humble Bundle community!

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Toilet Humor

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Worldbuilders is a weird place to work. We've told you about some of our office pranks, like scaring Amanda with Cinder, wrapping Maria's desk, and Amanda and Jeff dumping a million copies of a Hank Green song on Brett's MP3 player.

He had to start another Post-It note to tally how many times it's played.

But there are a few other flavors around here that aren't so pranky. One of them just kind of happened because the ancient toilet in the upstairs bathroom runs constantly unless you jiggle the handle to make it stop. Nicole left a Post-It note to that effect:

Of course, none of us could just leave it alone. We'll be quiet now, and just show you guys the progression of Post-Its that has been slowly building for about a year. Behold: a Slideshow of literal toilet humor!




 That's it....so far! You guys know we love you now, since we're comfortable sharing photos of our toilet with you. And we figure maybe photos of our toilet aren't quite as scandalous as how we apparently spend our free time.

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Pat's Q&A, and Emerald City Gaming Party

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Before we tell you the big news, we have to tell you the other big news: Pat will be holding his Book Three Q&A tomorrow, Friday February 3rd, on his Twitch channel! If you have questions to ask, submit them on this handy Google form, then tune in tomorrow from 3pm to 5pm CST. He has a few guidelines and suggestions on his blog, so head over there for the full story.

As for the other big news, how would you like to play games with some of our favorite authors, gamers, and geek celebrities? Well, if you're in Seattle on Friday, March 3, have we got an opportunity for you!

Last year, some truly wonderful people hosted a fundraiser for Worldbuilders during Emerald City Comic Con (that's ECCC for you cool kids). This was a party full of food, drinks, games, and more celebrity guests than you could shake a stick at (please don't shake sticks at them, it's weird). The soiree was a roaring success, so when they asked us if they could do it again, we freaked out a little and stammered out an excited "YES."

Check out their website for a list of guests and a quick rundown of what all is happening. You can also buy tickets and see who's playing what games on their Eventbrite page. It's going to be a relatively small, low-key bash, so you'll have plenty of time to talk, game, and snack.

Profits from the party go to Worldbuilders, but really: everybody's a winner!

Sorry, we went there.

But really, if you ever wanted to play games with folks like Cat Rambo, Terry Brooks, Jeremy Crawford, Nika Harper, Django Wexler, Sam Sykes, Kevin Hearne, Todd Lockwood, Robin Hobb, Kate Welch, Monte Cook, Scott Sigler, and SO MANY MORE AWESOME FOLKS, this is your chance. And it's for a good cause, so bonus!

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True SEO Heroes Unite!

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So here's a cool thing...

There's a company called Wix who issued a challenge: beat them to the top of Google's search list for the term "seo hero" by April, and they'll give you $50,000. "SEO" stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is a fancy way of saying your content is Google friendly and people will find it toward the top of any search results list for your chosen keywords. You guys know where to find us, so why are we interested it a contest aimed at the SEO community? Well, that's where it gets interesting.


A Worldbuilders supporter named Brian Wood launched a website to join the contest, with the twist that if he wins, he will donate the $50k to Worldbuilders. It's a long shot, but we kind of like those, and it's a cool contest--not so much an information war as an information race. And you guys can all help!

If you have a website or blog or other such web presence, write a post about the contest and link to Brian's Site (you can cut and paste this if you want: http://www.trueseohero.com/). The more his site is linked to, the more traffic Google will register. He explains it way better than we could, so head over to his site for some light reading. He also has cool looking True SEO Hero badges you can embed in your post, which also helps quite a bit. If you don't have a site or blog you can use, post about the contest on Facebook and Twitter. It takes a team of folks to tweak search results, so literally everybody can help just by getting people's attention.


He has a hashtag on Twitter (#trueseohero) so you can follow and tweet about the contest. Everything is up in April, and we'll see how we rank! Can we win? Sure we can. Will we? Um, YES! Also, when was the last time you got to participate in a virtual race/scavenger hunt with $50k up for grabs? It'll be fun, it's a little different, and we've got nothing to lose. And it's a fascinating way to learn how Google comes up with the results it displays when you search for stuff.

Thanks everybody! Have fun optimizing the engines of search, and remember, you're in good company!



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True Dungeon needs you in Temerant!

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From time to time, we auction off or give away tickets to play True Dungeon at Gen Con with Pat and a bunch of other folks. It's a fun thing to do because True Dungeon is SO COOL. But what if, instead of playing the game, you could be PART OF TRUE DUNGEON? And better yet, part of True Dungeon that takes place IN PAT'S WORLD?

Salivating yet? Wipe your face and read on!

This year, True Dungeon's 15th anniversary theme is Temerant, the world in Pat's Kingkiller Chronicles. Players will be able to spend two hours playing live-action Dungeons & Dragons with the situations, mythology, and monsters featured in The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. And better yet, True Dungeon will be donating $16,000 to Worldbuilders from their ticket sales!

Okay, so: What is True Dungeon?

 True Dungeon is a live action role playing experience where players are immersed in an adventure complete with costumed NPCs, detailed sets, interactive props, and challenging puzzles. It's crazy fun. Even folks who aren't into D&D (we know, right?) find it thoroughly enjoyable. Memorize symbols to cast spells. Fight monsters using their cool battle system. Equip your character with armor, weapons, and magic items in the form of full-color collectible tokens (that you keep as treasure when you're done). Solve difficult puzzles with the help of your teammates. It's a whole awesome thing.

This year, there are two True Dungeon quests, one in the Fae realm, and one centering on a certain music-free bar in Newarre. Rub elbows (and cross swords) with characters and monsters in Pat's book, some of which haven't yet made it into print!

Now: What was all that about being "PART OF TRUE DUNGEON?"

True Dungeon needs volunteers to play characters, act as Dungeon Masters, operate props, and help build the event on site at Gen Con, which runs from August 17-20, 2017 (and probably before then, because rehearsals are a thing). You don't need to be a fan of Pat's or even a fan of D&D in general, you just need a passion for bringing fantastic worlds to life and helping folks have amazing fun. True Dungeon will cover your lodging and provide you with a food stipend and convention badge. So if you wanted to do something awesome at Gen Con this year, join True Dungeon and help them celebrate Gen Con's 50th anniversary by bringing Temerant to life! ....and then killing stuff in it.

To join True Dungeon's family of over 250 volunteers at this year's Gen Con, go to truedungeon.com/volunteer and see what's up. Awesomeness guaranteed!

Check out their 2017 video for a great overview of True Dungeon behind-the-scenes:

 
 

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So many fulfillment!

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Happy new year everyone!

We're still pumped about the final fundraiser total, and we will be for a while. And we're going to keep saying thank you because we can't believe how crazy generous you all are.

There's a bunch of work still to be done, so we figured we'd share with you guys some of the stuff we'll be up to for a while.


The Big Announcement: We're helping with the Tak Kickstarter fulfillment! Planning is underway, and we're starting to get some of the rewards for the packages we'll be sending out (if you're curious, it was -6 degrees Fahrenheit (-21 C) when we were unloading). Now, a lot of you guys preordered Tak supplies through The Tinker's Packs, and we'll have enough to go around. But the folks who backed the Kickstarter were first in line, so we'll be starting fulfillment in the next week or two. After all the Kickstarter rewards are in the mail, we'll be sending out the preorders, and once those are done, Tak will go live in our store! Yay!



The Other Big Announcement: Once we've finished processing all the donations data (there's a lot of data!), we'll start the Lottery pull. So you still have some time to contact us with any address changes. If you donated via PayPal, please make sure the address they have on file for you is correct, because that's the address we received. If you'll be moving sometime in the next month or so, please let us know your new address and when you'll be there. We'll be finalizing our lottery draw list soon, and we'll keep you posted.

The Not So Big Announcement: Once we're all done sending out Tak rewards and preorders, and when the last of the Lottery prizes is out the door, we're moving! By the end of summer, we should be in our new physical location that has such features as more space, real offices, and a bona fide loading dock! Remember when we had to set up a ramp to get stuff into our current storage area? The ramp has been retired now that we have enough people to bucket-brigade all the boxes. But we always dreamed of a day when we wouldn't have to break down and reassemble every pallet of store product or donations we receive. That dream should be a reality before next year's fundraiser!

We're excited, but it's a not-so-big announcement because it only affects the ten of us for now. The extra space (and loading dock!) will streamline our operation quite a bit, though, which will allow us to accomplish more throughout the year. We can't wait!

More updates as they happen, and in the mean time, we hope everyone has the best 2017 ever!

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Thank you so much for a wonderful fundraiser!

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 It's taken us a little while to get our thoughts in order and our emotions under control after the end of the fundraiser--we’re all still a little weepy with joy and flabbergasted at how well this fundraiser went.

We raised over $2.5 million for Heifer International.

That deserves a caps lock. Guys. We raised TWO AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS for Heifer!

Do you have any idea how much good this can do for people all around the world? We’re about to tell you!

That’s 126,325 flocks of chicks, that can help a family pull themselves up out of poverty like Kid and Klang.

That’s 84,217 hives of honeybees, which help to improve an entire region by pollinating crops, as well as providing honey and beeswax--that’s a living for the beekeepers, and improved crops for the whole community.

It’s 42,108 tree seedlings, which purify the air, help prevent soil erosion, and produce fruits or nuts for a family to eat and sell.

That can provide goats to 21,054 families, which will grow exponentially when those goats have kids through Heifer’s Passing on the Gift - and did you know that goats usually have twins? That’s three families helped by a single goat.

It’s 9,187 girls getting the chance to go to school, to improve their lives, expand their horizons and have the chance to make a huge impact on the world.

That’s 8,422 villages that get access to clean water. Clean water. So many families are still forced to do without clean water, or have travel far away to fetch clean water.

That can launch 6,922 small businesses, giving families the means to take control of their own lives, and better their communities as well.

It’s 5,053 heifers, which provide milk for a family to drink and sell, manure to use as fertilizer, and calves to Pass on the Gift to another family.

That can provide biogas stoves to 2,527 whole villages, which provides a healthier and cleaner way of cooking food and providing light, and it's a whole lot better for the environment.

This is so much good that Heifer can do in the world, and it’s all thanks to you. This would not have been possible without your help in donating, in spreading the word, in bidding on auctions or buying the Cards Against Humanity Sci-Fi Pack.

Worldbuilders would not exist without our incredible community of authors and publishers and book lovers, gamers and game-makers, artists and jewelers, and geeks of all creeds. That’s you guys. All of you. Everyone who donated a bunch of books, games, collectibles, and art, everyone who spread the word, liked, shared, and retweeted our updates, everyone who told their friends, family, and coworkers about us, you were all part of this, and we can’t do it without you.

Every year, we set out to show that the geek community is full of wonderful people who will always do good if given the chance. We give that chance, and every year, you amaze us with how good you truly are.

We have so much love for our supporters and our sponsors, and for the wonderful folks at Heifer International who give us an outlet to make the world better.

Thank you to everyone who donated, and to everyone who sent us items for auctions or the lottery. Thank you to Cards Against Humanity for making another excellent card pack. Thank you to all the teams who participated in the Overwatch Tournament and had a blast with our silly debuffs. Thank you to everyone who started a team page--we had more teams than ever this year, and some of them absolutely blew it out of the water, like Team Acquisitions, Inc, the WriMos, all the Critters, and the ever-adorable Charlotte and Maggie.

Thank you. We’ll never be able to say it enough, but thank you.

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Two Million Dollars

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We’re rounding the corner on the end of this year’s fundraiser, and today’s update includes the very last things going into campaign. We have a ton of cool art, jewelry, and comics to show off, in addition to some fun crafts sent in by awesome supporters.

But first: We passed TWO MILLION DOLLARS you guys!
  







This is an amazing of three parts. First, that means that in raw support, you guys ponied up over a million dollars, which is more amazing than we have words for. Second, you used up all our matching funds, which brings us to the Third point: we have another $500,000 of matching funds! We were contacted by another anonymous donor--one person--who offered up another half a million. While we don’t expect to use up all this new matching money, this allows us to continue to double all donations through the end of the fundraiser.

We hoped we’d use up all the matching money, but we didn’t think we would. Then you guys blew our minds with days left on the clock. And now we can continue matching up to the end, which is...we don’t even have the words. You’ve all used up our matching money and every superlative we had. All we can say now is: thank you. Thank you all so much for being...well, superlative.

Okay, we’ll wipe away a tear of joy and let you know about the final wave of cool stuff!

There were lots of art prints sent in this year from folks like Karen Hallion, Penny Arcade, illustrator (not pianist) Grace Fong, and more.


The art is all up for auction so that people can get their favorite piece, so if any of these intrigue you, go bid before they’re gone Sunday night.

We also got a TON of jewelry this year, from a couple of different places. Medusa’s Mirror, the designer behind Mary Robinette Kowal’s lovely 2013 Hugo Awards necklace (she’s in the final photo) sent two beautiful beaded necklaces that Amanda immediately donned to show off.

And we received a huge donation from longtime supporter Serpent’s Dance Designs, who sent more awesome copper jewelry than ever! She sent beautiful cloak pins, copper necklaces based on the Kingkiller Chronicles, and two delicate rose petal necklaces, one in the standard copper, and one very special sterling silver. We love the silver rose petal so much, we wanted to make it available to anyone, so it’s in the lottery. Take a look at all the cool stuff she sent:



What better way to enjoy wearing jewelry than while reading comics? (Bear with us, we’re very tired right now.) A bunch of sponsors sent us some awesome comics and graphic novels! Dark Horse Comics and Improper Books sent some deluxe, limited, and even doodled graphic novels, and the creators behind Sex Criminals and Bitch Planet sent us a couple care packages to auction off. We have the care packages and the deluxe Dark Horse books on auction, along with a set of signed and doodled graphic novels from Improper books. The best part is that they all sent us enough stuff to throw even more books in the lottery! We want to spread the love, so if you need the entire set of Improper Books...uh, books, they’re in the auction. If you want to play the odds, you’ll have the chance to win individual doodled books in the lottery!

Speaking of Improper Books, Chris and Laura got married (congratulations guys!) and had some beautiful wooden table signs made for the reception, all based on pubs and inns from their favorite fantasy novels. That’s their Eolian sign down there on the right, next to some lovely Monsterful Creations, and all of them are on auction right now!

 

We have SO MANY comics and graphic novels, and you can see them all here. Also make sure to check out all of the beautiful jewelry over here.

All the auctions end Sunday evening, and the fundraiser will run through Monday night. Thanks to our new anonymous donor, we will be able to match ALL DONATIONS through the end of the fundraiser--we’re still crazy happy about that--and thanks to all of you guys, Heifer International will receive over two million dollars for their programs to help families and communities get on their feet and thrive. For a little perspective, that’s almost half of everything we’ve raised since Worldbuilders started...and y’all did it in six weeks.

You--yes, we’re looking right at you--are our favorite people. Thank you so much.

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Still More Author Donations!

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The finish line is rapidly approaching, but we're not there yet! Thanks to all you guys and your amazing generosity, we've raised a grand total of over $1,830,000.00 for Heifer International. Even without the matching funds, this is hands down the most we've ever raised during our annual fundraiser. And since we're not sure exactly what "hands down" means, we're going to talk about all the new additions to our Lottery Library (and some of the current auctions)!



























Most of the new stuff in the Lottery Library was donated by our author friends. We have cool signed stuff from Brad Beaulieu, Kevin Hearne, Anne Bishop, John Green, Ann Leckie, Kristen Britain, Peter V. Brett, Ernest Cline, Marie Brennan, and so many more--most of which made it into the lottery for anyone to win.

If you're interested in some of the stuff we have on auction, there's a typewritten manuscript from Kevin, a handwritten manuscript page from Kristen, a couple signed books from John, and a super-rare book from Peat. We also have one last manuscript critique from Holly Black, and a final Tuckerization from Bishop O'Connell.

There's honestly too much cool stuff to cover here, so head over to the Lottery Library and take a look!












 
If winning stuff is too boring, take a look at some of the new stretch goals we've posted! Shawn Speakman does a unique reading of the prologue from The Name of the Wind, Pat pronounces some Kingkiller names, and while it's not a stretch goal, we posted a video of Pat and Sarah singing as part of Charlotte and Maggie's Concert for Worldbuilders! Did you hear about the concert? It's an online concert that's open to everybody! You don't have to drive anywhere, dress up, or buy overpriced beer, just head over to the YouTube playlist they've set up (or click the video below) and start listening. It's the BEST.

 
 

Speaking of the best, you guys are the coolest people a charity could hope for. You've all absolutely blown us away with your generosity, excitement, and all your help this year. Yes--your help running the actual fundraiser by working with us on shipping, moderating Pat's Twitch stream, offering to match donations, spreading the word via social media, and covering processing costs. You guys really are the best...hands down.

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Generous Supporters, and Delightful Miscellany

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Have we mentioned recently that we have the best supporters ever? Yeah, we're talking about you. You amaze us every year, and this year has been no different: yesterday afternoon, we passed $1.5 MILLION dollars!

Yeah. Our people are the best people.

Some of our supporters take their awesomeness another step further and send us stuff to use in the fundraiser - sometimes signed or rare books from their personal collections, and sometimes handmade items full of geekery and love. Most of these end up being really specialized items that we put up as auctions, like the geeky cross stitches from Alyshondra, or the steampunk-style (Nerf)guns from Dale, or the Mr. Tibbet backpack from Jessica.

But sometimes people like Monsterful Creations will send us multiples of their items, so we can put up one as an auction and one in the lottery. Or people like Keith will send us an enormous box full signed of books that we can put into the lottery for anyone to win.

Really, there's something for everyone. Our supporters are what helps make both our auctions and our lottery library so wonderful, and we can't thank you enough for contributing!

There's some other miscellany that we added today, like The Story Book put together by the folks over at r/Fantasy, a story written one sentence at a time by a pretty staggering list of authors. Or the Game Night with Harper Voyager staff and writers, which promises to be full of food, games, and a stack of books - a pretty epic night, if you ask us.

We also got a ton of stuff this year from our friends at ThinkGeek, and we put a few of the items up for auction, like a Game of Thrones Bundle and the Longclaw Umbrella that made Rachel laugh so hard her sides hurt...

...but they also sent a ton of stuff that we're so excited to put into the lottery! There's a beautiful leathercloth edition of A Song of Ice and Fire, and a veritable stack of BrickBoys, as well as a bunch of other great stuff you should just go take a look at.

We have 9 days left in the fundraiser, and we still have a lot more items to add to the lottery, including even more books donated by authors, some beautiful jewelry, and a HUGE stack of comics and graphic novels.

We still have just over $200,000 left in matching funds, and that means we're so close to hitting our $2,000,000 goal. The Worldbuilders office has been full of happy dances all week, and we know next week will be more of the same!

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More Books from More Authors!

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 Opening donations from our wonderful authors is one of our favorite parts of the fundraiser. They always send us such cool stuff!

Today, we added another round of author-donated books into the lottery. As long as you select "Books" when you check out, every $10 gets you a chance to win some of these great books. There's over 200 new books in the lottery, from authors like Robin Hobb, Holly Black, Myke Cole, Brent Weeks, and more. 

Seriously, just look at this:

Look at all those books! Make sure to check them out in all their glorious glory, since any one of them could be yours.

We also have a bunch of auctions, if you don't want to take your chances on some of the coolness.

And if you're bad at waiting, or see a book up there that particularly takes your fancy, maybe go out and buy it. Help support the authors who help support us, because they're some of the best people in the world.

 

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Hundreds of books from Prime, Tor, and Del Rey

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The title says it all, really!

Today is a pretty epic day for the Lottery Library, because we're adding just shy of 850 books. As always, every $10 donation gets you a chance to win any of these books, or any of the thousands of other books and games we've already added.

Prime Books was one of our earliest sponsors, and they never disappoint: 600 of today's books come from Prime, 100 each of six different titles. We always get asked how we deal with the sheer amount of books we get, since our warehouse is just the basement of Worldbuilders HQ, and the answer we have to that is that trying times breed ingenuity.

As always, Prime has sent us some seriously quality books, featuring stories from Holly Black, Gene Wolfe, Elizabeth Bear, Neil Gaiman, and some guy named Patrick Rothfuss. Make sure to check out all the books from Prime that you have a chance to win!

Del Rey has been with us for years and years, too, and they always send us a great selection of books - ranging everywhere from some of the team favorites like Peter V. Brett and Pierce Brown, to new titles like The Devourers and Lightless that we really can't wait to read.

We know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but come on...those look awesome.


We also have a few auctions from Del Rey you should be sure to check out...and if you keep checking back, you'll see the final round of auctions going up TONIGHT, which will give you a little preview of all the awesomeness coming next week...

Last but so far from least is a new sponsor this year: Tor! If you're a fan of sci-fi and fantasy, you've definitely read some books published by Tor; they're a big name in the business, and they publish some seriously quality books. We were thrilled when they decided to join our little fundraiser, and then even more thrilled when SEVENTEEN boxes showed up on our doorstep.

No, we didn't send these down the stair-ramp...hardcovers are too heavy for that.


That's 200 books right there, and if you ask us, that's a fantastic way to start off a sponsorship! You can check out what's in the boxes here.

We're coming up on the last week of the fundraiser. We already have thousands of prizes up for grabs, and we'll be adding so many more before the fundraiser wraps up. Tomorrow we have some delightful miscellany, and we also have even more books and a huge pile of comics/graphic novels to add. 

This last week will be one of the most important times in the fundraiser, and we want to end BIG. Help us spread the word using the below images to share on social media, or add as a cover photo.


 





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Games! So many games!

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Thanks to you guys and our crazy matching money, we've raised over a MILLION DOLLARS for Heifer International! Rachel noticed yesterday that the grand total was getting close, and obsessively refreshed her browser until it looked like this:

Then she giggled a lot.

Our next mile marker is doubling that to use all the matching funds! We're hoping we can entice more folks to increase our base donations to a million dollars so we can give Heifer a cool two million for their projects.  As part of that enticing enticement, we've added a bunch of games to our Lottery Library. How many games is "a bunch" you may ask? That's when we get all smug and say, "We're glad you asked that specific hypothetical question--we just added over $84,000 worth of games!"

Seriously. And not just any games. It's not like we got a bunch of sidewalk chalk for tic-tac-toe. We have many pallets of games from Mayfair Games, Fantasy Flight, Wizards of the Coast, and Settlers of Catan, just to name a few. That's on top of all the games we already have from Cheapass Games and Pathfinder! Check 'em out!

  

Mayfair has been supporting us for a while, starting with their initial donation of 18 pallets of games a few years ago. It was enough for Maria to actually rent a forklift during a blizzard. They've been in the biz long enough to know that serious gamers love serious games with quality components. If your games library is looking small, or you're in search of some solid new games to bring to the...tabletop...we listed a bundle of 22 Mayfair Games on auction here.

Fantasy Flight also figured out that quality games have staying power, and we're so happy they joined us this year! Amanda has a large (and growing) game shelf in her house, and there are a bunch of Fantasy Flight games on it that look well-loved. Thanks to their generosity, we have a bunch of solid Fantasy Flight titles in our Lottery this year, and if you don't want to leave it to chance, we have an auction going for a bundle of 23 games right here.


Wizards of the Coast is a name you might recognize, especially if you play their flagship game, Magic the Gathering. This year, they joined us by donating an unprecedented 2,000 copies of the Magic Origins Deck Builders Toolkit. Magic the Gathering has staying power for a reason: it's a game that's pretty simple to pick up after a quick tutorial, and decks can be customized to take full advantage of a player's individual style. Each Deck Builder's Toolkit contains enough cards to build a couple decks and get started, or to bulk up your existing deck! Also good for combating denner addiction.

Settlers of Catan is one of Pat's all-time favorites, and if he's got a free hour, all you have to do is say, "Catan?" and he's stuck. It's like making Mister Mxyzptlk say his name backwards. Catan has a version of the game called the Traveler edition, which is the same game we know and love, but in a smart, smaller size you can play anywhere. They donated a bunch of them to us, and they're all going in the Lottery.

We love games, and we know you guys love 'em too, so we're beyond thrilled to be able to offer more games than ever this year. Thank you all so much for joining us this year. After raising so much money for Heifer International, we're going to volunteer Amanda to host games night!

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Giving Tuesday: A Wonderful Success!

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HOLY COW, you guys!

Yesterday was Giving Tuesday (Pat wrote a great blog about it), and you all stomped out in a BIG way.

We started the day at about $677,000 - a total that still amazes us - and this is what we saw when we all went to bed last night:

And that wasn't even the end of the day! In all, we raised $115,400 yesterday, before the matching. WITH the matching, that's $230,800. That's almost a quarter of a million raised yesterday alone!

So thank you. We unlocked two stretch goals yesterday alone: Sherwood Smith hosting an online workshop, and Pat pronouncing Kingkiller names. We're well on our way to hitting our million-dollar goal, which means we've almost used half of our matching funds. We'd love to use all $1,000,000 in matching, so help us spread the word! Tell your friends and family. Share us on Twitter or Facebook. Buy someone a flock of ducks as a Christmas present. Contact us to start your own team page (teams@worldbuilders.org). Donate to the second round of our Overwatch tournament.

We'd love your help, in any way you can!

We haven't quite reached out $1,000,000 stretch goal yet, where Neil Gaiman will read a story for us. The voting is really close, but it looks like it will be either The Raven or Where the Wild Things Are. Donate to help decide!

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