Russell Zimmerman is creating Fiction, RPG Content, and General Geekery
36

patrons

$168
per month
WHO I AM:

The freelancer RPG business isn't exactly built around instant gratification and copious fan feedback.

It's a lot of "hurry up and wait," and -- more importantly -- even in this era of internet connectivity, I often feel pretty far away from the work I'm doing and the readers I'm doing it for.  None of this is anybody's fault, the editors do their job, the proofers, the layout guy, the printers, everybody.  It's a complicated process (that's part of why I did Strays, to better understand and appreciate all that).  But sometimes it's still frustrating.

WHAT THE CAMPAIGN IS:

That's where you come in!

More writing!  Every month!   Without me going broke!

Some of that will be "franchise fiction," basically fanfic, just whatever little ideas pop into my head in an established setting.  If you like Shadowrun and Star Wars and just whatever other random stories might bebop into my skull based on a game or some movies or what-not?  I'll post it here.  It'll be non-canon, it'll be rough around the edges, it'll be fast and sharp and just for you.

Some of that will be random essays.  I'm a historian by education, not a fiction writer.  Sometimes I'll "cross the streams," by going back into Professor Zimmerman mode.  I'll write or talk about a certain aspect of a game world, I'll review something, or I'll just generally overthink stuff related to some popular game world or aspect of the hobby.

Last but certainly not least, some of that will be early access to my other work.  I can't share any official Shadowrun work, for instance, because part of contracted writing is a non-disclosure agreement.  But anything I'm working on that's not under NDA?  I'll post bits of it here. 

WHAT I'VE DONE BEFORE:

If you'd like to know more about what I've written before you make up your mind, I don't blame you!  For starters, there are thousands of words of preview fiction in updates over at my Inkshares campaign for Over The Stars.  In professional contract work, I've contributing to popular anthologies, added chapters and fiction interludes to sourcebooks (see "Shadowrun," below) as collaborative efforts, and also solo written whole e-sourcebooks and campaigns, novellas, and novels

I've done work in the past for Privateer Press (Warmachine), Comfy Chair Games (Spinespur), 5 Lives Studios (Satellite Reign, the PC game, and I also wrote the tie-in novella), End Transmission Games (Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution), and most of all, Catalyst Game Labs (Shadowrun). And there's more coming, I just don't want to name-drop until the contracts are signed and the pieces are published.  :)

If you're already a fan of my work, if you've already got all this stuff and you've already left glowing reviews and I know you're already someone who gives me the benefit of the doubt, please don't worry.  I'm not going anywhere.  Much like my Kickstarted game, Strays, this is all supplementary. This is a side gig to keep my output steady, to keep my creative juices flowing, and to keep some steady income coming in, it's not me moving away from freelancing.
Tiers
Recruit
$1 or more per month 7 patrons
You rock face!  Literally every dollar helps, so you giving me a literal dollar is much appreciated. 

As a thank you, I'll toss you my old Warmachine story, Blisters and Bayonets (all first-draft 115 pages/60,000 words of it, also as a way to try and convince you to up this pledge and get even more of my stuff).  :)
Private O'NewGuy
$3 or more per month 15 patrons
This gets you full enlistment benefits!  You'll get access to the compiled documents of all my existing non-NDA'ed fiction (starting with that 115 page/60,000 word Warmachine story, and the Shadowrun stuff alone is almost another 60,000 words!), and you'll get access to all the new stuff I post every month!
Corporal Reader
$5 or more per month 11 patrons
Corporal Chatty Cathy:  You're working your way up the ranks!  You get both piles of existing fiction (Warmachine and Shadowrun), you get access to every new monthly project (essays/rambles/lectures/new fiction), and you'll be invited to Google Hangouts whenever they happen, to chat about current projects, brainstorm new short fiction, and just generally hang out. 
Looter
$10 or more per month 4 patrons
This level gets you the data-drop of all the existing reading material, access to monthly fiction/essays, AND the basic entry into physical goodies.  You'll get a sticker or something else cool for every two months of support (with rewards shipping quarterly, to cut down on costs).
Sergeant Looty McLootyFace
$20 or more per month 2 patrons
As a non-commissioned officer, you get dibs on all your platoon's confiscated enemy property.  This level gets you DOUBLE the physical loot.  When others get one sticker, for instance, you will get two.  

This doesn't change the regularity of physical goodies (still awarded every other month), but you'll get multiple copies of each when they're sent out.
Officer BossyPants
$30 or more per month 0 patrons
As a ranking member of my nascent fandom, you'll be one of the elite commissioned ranks, calling the shots and directing the action.  You'll get triple the physical rewards (THREE of whatever-it-is, in every shipment).  

You'll also help out with the decision making process, guiding storylines and making character suggestions.
Lord High Marshall Grand Poobah Fitz-Awesomesauce
$60 or more per month 0 patrons
You'll get all the prior stuff, triple copies of any physical goods (stickers, etc) that get sent out, and I'll also toss in a signed copy of Over The Stars when that novel is ready, I'll do the same for any follow-up novels in the series that get published while you're a patron, and you and I will have a long talk about adding a character based on you into that continuity with a recurring role!  Last but not least (really kind of least), if you're in Indy for it, I'll also sit down with you over lunch or dinner (my treat) sometime during GenCon, to hang out, talk shop, and answer any geeky questions you might have.
Goals
$168 of $200 per month
Cybereyes and Cyberears:  If I hit this tier, I'll upgrade my camera and mic and stuff, which will not only help when I'm a special guest on podcasts and that sort of thing, but it will help me branch out and dabble with going multi-media -- interacting with fans via Skype chat, and maybe even vlogging -- instead of sticking just with text for everything, all the time. 

Plus if I do more videos, you'll probably get to see my dogs in the background, and they're adorable.  I should charge extra for that.
2 of 4
WHO I AM:

The freelancer RPG business isn't exactly built around instant gratification and copious fan feedback.

It's a lot of "hurry up and wait," and -- more importantly -- even in this era of internet connectivity, I often feel pretty far away from the work I'm doing and the readers I'm doing it for.  None of this is anybody's fault, the editors do their job, the proofers, the layout guy, the printers, everybody.  It's a complicated process (that's part of why I did Strays, to better understand and appreciate all that).  But sometimes it's still frustrating.

WHAT THE CAMPAIGN IS:

That's where you come in!

More writing!  Every month!   Without me going broke!

Some of that will be "franchise fiction," basically fanfic, just whatever little ideas pop into my head in an established setting.  If you like Shadowrun and Star Wars and just whatever other random stories might bebop into my skull based on a game or some movies or what-not?  I'll post it here.  It'll be non-canon, it'll be rough around the edges, it'll be fast and sharp and just for you.

Some of that will be random essays.  I'm a historian by education, not a fiction writer.  Sometimes I'll "cross the streams," by going back into Professor Zimmerman mode.  I'll write or talk about a certain aspect of a game world, I'll review something, or I'll just generally overthink stuff related to some popular game world or aspect of the hobby.

Last but certainly not least, some of that will be early access to my other work.  I can't share any official Shadowrun work, for instance, because part of contracted writing is a non-disclosure agreement.  But anything I'm working on that's not under NDA?  I'll post bits of it here. 

WHAT I'VE DONE BEFORE:

If you'd like to know more about what I've written before you make up your mind, I don't blame you!  For starters, there are thousands of words of preview fiction in updates over at my Inkshares campaign for Over The Stars.  In professional contract work, I've contributing to popular anthologies, added chapters and fiction interludes to sourcebooks (see "Shadowrun," below) as collaborative efforts, and also solo written whole e-sourcebooks and campaigns, novellas, and novels

I've done work in the past for Privateer Press (Warmachine), Comfy Chair Games (Spinespur), 5 Lives Studios (Satellite Reign, the PC game, and I also wrote the tie-in novella), End Transmission Games (Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution), and most of all, Catalyst Game Labs (Shadowrun). And there's more coming, I just don't want to name-drop until the contracts are signed and the pieces are published.  :)

If you're already a fan of my work, if you've already got all this stuff and you've already left glowing reviews and I know you're already someone who gives me the benefit of the doubt, please don't worry.  I'm not going anywhere.  Much like my Kickstarted game, Strays, this is all supplementary. This is a side gig to keep my output steady, to keep my creative juices flowing, and to keep some steady income coming in, it's not me moving away from freelancing.

Recent posts by Russell Zimmerman

Tiers
Recruit
$1 or more per month 7 patrons
You rock face!  Literally every dollar helps, so you giving me a literal dollar is much appreciated. 

As a thank you, I'll toss you my old Warmachine story, Blisters and Bayonets (all first-draft 115 pages/60,000 words of it, also as a way to try and convince you to up this pledge and get even more of my stuff).  :)
Private O'NewGuy
$3 or more per month 15 patrons
This gets you full enlistment benefits!  You'll get access to the compiled documents of all my existing non-NDA'ed fiction (starting with that 115 page/60,000 word Warmachine story, and the Shadowrun stuff alone is almost another 60,000 words!), and you'll get access to all the new stuff I post every month!
Corporal Reader
$5 or more per month 11 patrons
Corporal Chatty Cathy:  You're working your way up the ranks!  You get both piles of existing fiction (Warmachine and Shadowrun), you get access to every new monthly project (essays/rambles/lectures/new fiction), and you'll be invited to Google Hangouts whenever they happen, to chat about current projects, brainstorm new short fiction, and just generally hang out. 
Looter
$10 or more per month 4 patrons
This level gets you the data-drop of all the existing reading material, access to monthly fiction/essays, AND the basic entry into physical goodies.  You'll get a sticker or something else cool for every two months of support (with rewards shipping quarterly, to cut down on costs).
Sergeant Looty McLootyFace
$20 or more per month 2 patrons
As a non-commissioned officer, you get dibs on all your platoon's confiscated enemy property.  This level gets you DOUBLE the physical loot.  When others get one sticker, for instance, you will get two.  

This doesn't change the regularity of physical goodies (still awarded every other month), but you'll get multiple copies of each when they're sent out.
Officer BossyPants
$30 or more per month 0 patrons
As a ranking member of my nascent fandom, you'll be one of the elite commissioned ranks, calling the shots and directing the action.  You'll get triple the physical rewards (THREE of whatever-it-is, in every shipment).  

You'll also help out with the decision making process, guiding storylines and making character suggestions.
Lord High Marshall Grand Poobah Fitz-Awesomesauce
$60 or more per month 0 patrons
You'll get all the prior stuff, triple copies of any physical goods (stickers, etc) that get sent out, and I'll also toss in a signed copy of Over The Stars when that novel is ready, I'll do the same for any follow-up novels in the series that get published while you're a patron, and you and I will have a long talk about adding a character based on you into that continuity with a recurring role!  Last but not least (really kind of least), if you're in Indy for it, I'll also sit down with you over lunch or dinner (my treat) sometime during GenCon, to hang out, talk shop, and answer any geeky questions you might have.