OSRToday (osrtoday.com) has been in operation since the summer of 2014, operating as a hub for community news and information, primarily curating and aggregating content with a human (or dare it be said a badger's) touch. At its core, what drives the operation of the site is the creed "of the community, by the community, for the community". Community driven means funded by, directed by, and created by the community at large.
During the time it has been in operation, OSRToday has provided some original content developed by in-house staff and third party submitters using a shared revenue compensation model. To truly allow the site to offer much more original content for the community and meet its original grand vision of being a full service site, the compensation model needs to change. Income from the site helps support and run it at the moment, and it can support paying for some additional articles under a more traditional publishing model, but the original grand vision of the site included providing 5-8 new articles each week of different types, including:
- new monsters or creatures to use in games
- essays on gamemastering, worldbuilding, game theory etc.
- one page dungeons
- setting material
- short fiction
- and many more types of content!
The focus of articles created for the site is that content should support OSR games and play. Articles are sometimes for games released under open licenses, or in some cases closed ones, or content is sometimes system neutral.
Submitters who write for the site currently retain their copyright and we license their work, maintaining a short window of exclusivity for content to be shown there for us to reap some benefits of first publishing it.
This new publishing approach retains that, but changes the payment model to a more traditional one, but funding the creation of content directly by support from the community. This is a truly synergistic model which benefits both the community and creators.
A patronage model that pays authors like this allows the community to:
- choose what types of articles get selected to be created and written
- choose what game systems articles are written for
- help develop and generate a sustainable program for rewarding those who write that content
- grow OSRToday into a true community resource that provides added value for the entire community
Additionally any further publishing of material created can be released in digital or print compilations or other derivative works to the general public, also providing additional compensation to creators/submitters.
HOW IT WORKS
Here's the skinny on how this all operates:
- OSRToday will publish new content in 26x 2-week periods, called Pledge Periods, that end on a Sunday. The money raised in Period 1 is used to publish content appearing in one or more of the following Periods (depending on turnaround).
- In each 2-week Pledge Period, every $25 in pledges from patrons raised pays for around an average of 1000 words of content (which is based on the average amount paid to a submitter to write - it can vary between 500-1500 words).
- At the end of the Pledge Period, depending upon how much has been raised, a number of articles are worked out for future publishing (see the table below for sample articles). The total sum raised is divvied up into articles of different sizes, and a rough budget for each is created.
- Freelance submitters are identified and contacted to write the articles, and deadlines are established. Some articles may remain in-house if freelancers can't be found to write them, or if there's a time constraint. In-house resources may also be needed to to publish certain articles as well.
- The articles are written by the freelancers by the deadline date.
- Each article goes through the editorial process before being published, to make sure that it is as polished as it can be, and then it is made live for everyone in the old school community to enjoy. Each Patreon-funded article is badged to indicate that it has been published through financial support from the community.
- At the same time, a fully laid out and formatted version of the article is made available on this site for patrons to download, complete with any additional maps or extra artifacts needed etc. Patrons have complete access to the entire library of articles, which adds increasing value as the library of written articles grows.
- Any additional monies left over are held in a "coffer" that is passed through to allow for shortfalls on other different Pledge Periods or to pay for special articles.
- A complete accounting and tracking process shows what articles are inbound and due on the OSRToday site.
The following grid shows some examples of different types of articles that can be created based on word counts unlocked during Pledge Periods. Remember that a mix of this content is always used to use up all of the available words unlocked in a Pledge Period.
Here's an example of that working:
- In Pledge Period 1, $50 is raised. This is about 2000 words. That gets a combination of various monsters, essays, scenarios, tables, or other content. Perhaps even a very short adventure. Probably it would end up being a table, perhaps two monsters, and a how-to.
- In Pledge Period 2, $75 is raised. This is about 3000 words. This gets perhaps a map, a table, some setting material, a short essay, and a monster. There's a little cash left over so it gets put forward into the "coffer" to be used in the following Pledge Period.
- In Pledge Period 3, $75 is raised again, but the extra cash from Pledge Period 2 is applied. There's about 3500 words that can be written.That gets a short adventure, a one-page dungeon, a monster, and another table.
- ... and so on ...
Here's a table that shows some more specific dates:
As you can see, the first Pledge Period on the calendar is a little longer, just to allow this campaign to get off the ground.
The community itself will be able to nominate freelance creators that they would like to see write articles for publication that we may approach, as well as offer up their own services. Remember: "of the community, by the community, for the community".
As a pledger, you can cancel at any time. You'll always be able to see the content that's been funded and published on OSRToday, and you'll be able to keep the content you've downloaded. You can even come back as a future pledger if you wish and pick back up where you left off!
WHAT YOU GET
Your pledged contribution, no matter what pledge level you take, gets you access to every single Patron PDF downloadable from this site. While all of the articles created will be posted online for all to read for free at OSRToday, only those who pledge here will get the fully laid out Patreon versions of the documents that you can download. The hope is to have about 50-100 articles available by the end of a year.
The higher pledge levels allow you to be actively involved in directing each of the articles each Pledge Period, helping choose the types of articles and/or the games that will be supported. Your voice carries weight.
As a patron:
- you also get the satisfaction of knowing that you're helping to support the OSR community itself by helping fund and develop new content that may not otherwise see publication.
- at higher pledge levels you get to help direct the type of content that is published
- you help pay creators in the community for creating content that you'll use
As a creator who submits to us:
- you get paid to write content that you know the community wants to see
- you get creative freedom to write within the boundaries of the assignment
- you get to keep your copyright
- you get increased exposure for yourself and your other works
Here are some sample articles that we've made to showcase what we're creating:
WHAT MAKES THIS DIFFERENT FROM THE OLD SCHOOL QUARTERLY PATREON?
THIS Patreon campaign is designed to create community-focused and funded content that is shared back into the community - it's crowdsourcing and crowdfunding all wrapped together - while the OSQ Patreon is designed to produce an actual quarterly magazine in digital and print formats using a curated approach with editorial direction. There may be some crossover in the type of content and some content may end up being selected for one publication rather than the other, but they're both very different approaches to publishing it. They're designed to support each other rather than compete with each other.
WRITING SUBMISSIONS FOR US
Although OSRToday pays submitters to create the work based on what they community wants, ultimately they get to keep the copyright on what they create. Some additional development may need to be created by OSRToday to support works created (such as maps or diagrams etc). Submitters will be paid based on experience, using a sliding scale that starts at $0.01 US per word published, and they will be paid on acceptance of the final article. There is a 6-month exclusivity window for OSRToday to publish works on the website, and all work published requires signing an agreement with OSRToday's publisher, InfiniBadger Press.
More information on how to apply for this is coming shortly.