Rafu is creating (unfinished) role-playing games
16

patrons

$51
per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons.
This video is a piece of my work, but not a very typical one (see below).

Explain it all in 40 words, will you?

I make non-digital "indie" role-playing games. Most aren't finished or for sale yet. All are released as free content (Creative Commons or similar) when finished. Meanwhile, back me to get playable alpha/beta versions as soon as they're done.

Hi! I'm Rafu

I am an author-designer of analog, indie/arthouse role-playing games, based in Florence, Italy. I’m probably best known for Enter the Avenger, a short-form swords n’ sorcery blood-opera piece first published in issue 1 of Worlds Without Master. Not all of my creations, however, have a swords n’ sorcery theme, are short-form, or soaked in such negative feelings. While some fit a tabletop gaming format, a few others can be considered larp – for example, Awkward.
To keep up to date with what I do – including what sort of games are on my mind and which I’m playing and/or testing at the moment – I recommend you check out my e-mail newsletter: tinyletter.com/rafu (this is, of course, free).
I make games because I have something to say – usually questions to ask of the world. I then self-publish them and distribute them under free licenses. As you have probably guessed already, that is done at a loss, as most of the work-hours I put into that remain uncompensated – but it isn’t like I can help it! As with most arts or crafts, once you catch the bug you just have to keep making things. You can most definitely help me carry on with this nonsense, though – by pitching in some money to buy me food & pay my bills while I design games for you all.

The finished games

Eventually I’m going to refine all of my games to this stage – or so I hope – but that’s going to take a while, as I’m a bit of a perfectionist. For a game to be called finished it means I’m satisfied it’s been playtested enough to demonstrate no rules need improving. It also means the text (if indeed the game is presented as a text document) has been competently edited and proofread and the booklet (if it’s a booklet) looks as pretty as I can afford to make it, in terms of layout and possibly illustrations. It means it’s something I’d feel proud selling for as high a price it can command – although I’ll also be giving it away for free. As a matter of principle, in fact, I’m committed to licensing all of my finished game as Free Cultural Works (using a license such as, for example, Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike): everybody can access them and gets to play them.
But before I even get to that stage…

Unfinished games

It’s not just that I’m slow at writing (although I definitely am), it’s also that a role-playing game goes through a lot of design and playtest iterations before I call it “finished”. At those stages, a game might exist just as a bunch of hand-scribbled notes, or there might be intricate player handouts, occasionally even a detailed internal playtest manuscript. Instead of sitting on those for years on end, I’ve decided to share them with you – my patrons.
This Patreon initiative is now focused on these unfinished games!

Joint projects

The feminine-presenting person posing with me in the picture above is Barbara, my partner in life and games. She's also been designing role-playing games, although Italian is definitely her language of choice - most notably, several small-scale larp scenarios earning high praise in the local convention scene for their well-written, deep character profiles and complex, mature themes. I'm credited as a co-author to some of those, including Something About Us (Qualcosa che ci riguarda), found in the anthology book Crescendo Giocoso.
While this Patreon account began as a one-person project, expect an increasing number of joint works in the near future, co-created by Barbara and me. I'm also considering translating her larp scenarios to English.
Joint projects with other game designers are also a very real possibility (a few already exist, they just haven't made it to Patreon yet). I love collaborating - we do!

What you get for your money

Patrons at the core tier ($4, or $3.30+VAT) and above get my semi-finished work. These are role-playing games that I have designed and “in-house” playtested, at least a bit. Games that I’m already satisfied with, but perhaps not yet to the point I feel confident sharing them with the world at large. Ideas that do work, but I can’t promise I’ve ironed out most of the kinks yet. “Beta versions” bound for further testing.
Typically, I’m going to lay them out as booklets, but the layout will probably be bare-bones and the text may be rough in places (what little editing and proofreading it will have undergone, I’ll have done it myself). While I may opt to free-license some of these works, that’s the exception, not the norm – most of them will be for your eyes only. Of course, do feel free to share them with the friends you might be playing with! Because – make no mistake – these will be fully playable games, however rough.
From now on, these unfinished games are the Patreon releases you patrons are going to be billed for.

Smaller contributions

Those of you who choose to pledge less than the $4 "core tier”, you’re still helping me earn a living designing games – which is a wonderful gift I’m immensely grateful for! While you don’t get access to Patreon-only “unfinished game” releases, I really hope you’re going to check out my finished games and other public releases and have a great time playing those.

That video above...

...isn't especially representative of my work! I'm told some of you love videos, so I dug it up, but it's unusual in that:
  • it's a video! Most of my work is presented as instruction texts, often print-and-play booklets.
  • it's a pervasive larp! Most of my work consists of tabletop role-playing games, with some small-scale larp scenarios mixed in.
  • it doesn't have a clear ending condition! Most games I design do.
  • I hadn't been playing it at all at the time of posting! I don't usually release games I haven't tried out, and I promise all future Patreon releases - though "unfinished" - will have undergone at least some play-testing.
  • it's a straight-up Game Chef entry! While I'm still going to take part in game-design contests from time to time, I won't be releasing those contest entries to Patreon. Follow-ups to contest entries, revised after some play-testing and possibly edited for clarity, are excellent candidates for Patreon releases.
That said, it's still a legit, complete and - I expect - playable game. I hope you'll enjoy it.
Tiers
Every bit helps! (get no releases)
$1 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 7 patrons
Please have my gratitude. In addition to that, please have my finished games – the ones I’m sharing with the whole world. I’m also going to thank all contributing patrons in the credits for each release, as long as that’s materially feasible. NOTICE: choosing this level you still get billed on a per-release basis, but you don’t get access to those releases yourself.
discontinued - upgrade recommended
$3 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 4 patrons
discontinued reward level
Core patron (gets releases), VAT-paying
$3.30 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 0 patrons
Core tier, as below, discounted for those living in VAT-imposing countries.

You get access to draft-quality, Patreon-only releases of my  yet-unfinished games (these are usually PDF booklets, as described  above). I’m also going to thank all contributing patrons in the credits  for each release, as long as that’s materially feasible.

Same as the $4 tier, below, but choose this rate if you live in a country such as most of the EU ones, which means you’ll be paying a Value Added Tax (+20% on average) on top of your pledge – effectively bumping it to about $4. It’s only fair that I pay taxes on my earnings – not you!

Core patron (gets releases)
$4 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 0 patrons
 

You get access to draft-quality, Patreon-only releases of my yet-unfinished games (these are usually PDF booklets, as described above). I’m also going to thank all contributing patrons in the credits for each release, as long as that’s materially feasible.

If required to pay VAT on top of your pledge due to your country of residence, you can instead choose the reduced pledge level above to ensure you only end up spending about four dollars per release.

discontinued: consider reducing your pledge
$5 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 2 of 11 patrons
discontinued reward level
discontinued: consider reducing your pledge
$7 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 2 of 19 patrons
discontinued reward level
discontinued: consider reducing your pledge
$11 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 1 of 7 patrons
discontinued reward level
This video is a piece of my work, but not a very typical one (see below).

Explain it all in 40 words, will you?

I make non-digital "indie" role-playing games. Most aren't finished or for sale yet. All are released as free content (Creative Commons or similar) when finished. Meanwhile, back me to get playable alpha/beta versions as soon as they're done.

Hi! I'm Rafu

I am an author-designer of analog, indie/arthouse role-playing games, based in Florence, Italy. I’m probably best known for Enter the Avenger, a short-form swords n’ sorcery blood-opera piece first published in issue 1 of Worlds Without Master. Not all of my creations, however, have a swords n’ sorcery theme, are short-form, or soaked in such negative feelings. While some fit a tabletop gaming format, a few others can be considered larp – for example, Awkward.
To keep up to date with what I do – including what sort of games are on my mind and which I’m playing and/or testing at the moment – I recommend you check out my e-mail newsletter: tinyletter.com/rafu (this is, of course, free).
I make games because I have something to say – usually questions to ask of the world. I then self-publish them and distribute them under free licenses. As you have probably guessed already, that is done at a loss, as most of the work-hours I put into that remain uncompensated – but it isn’t like I can help it! As with most arts or crafts, once you catch the bug you just have to keep making things. You can most definitely help me carry on with this nonsense, though – by pitching in some money to buy me food & pay my bills while I design games for you all.

The finished games

Eventually I’m going to refine all of my games to this stage – or so I hope – but that’s going to take a while, as I’m a bit of a perfectionist. For a game to be called finished it means I’m satisfied it’s been playtested enough to demonstrate no rules need improving. It also means the text (if indeed the game is presented as a text document) has been competently edited and proofread and the booklet (if it’s a booklet) looks as pretty as I can afford to make it, in terms of layout and possibly illustrations. It means it’s something I’d feel proud selling for as high a price it can command – although I’ll also be giving it away for free. As a matter of principle, in fact, I’m committed to licensing all of my finished game as Free Cultural Works (using a license such as, for example, Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike): everybody can access them and gets to play them.
But before I even get to that stage…

Unfinished games

It’s not just that I’m slow at writing (although I definitely am), it’s also that a role-playing game goes through a lot of design and playtest iterations before I call it “finished”. At those stages, a game might exist just as a bunch of hand-scribbled notes, or there might be intricate player handouts, occasionally even a detailed internal playtest manuscript. Instead of sitting on those for years on end, I’ve decided to share them with you – my patrons.
This Patreon initiative is now focused on these unfinished games!

Joint projects

The feminine-presenting person posing with me in the picture above is Barbara, my partner in life and games. She's also been designing role-playing games, although Italian is definitely her language of choice - most notably, several small-scale larp scenarios earning high praise in the local convention scene for their well-written, deep character profiles and complex, mature themes. I'm credited as a co-author to some of those, including Something About Us (Qualcosa che ci riguarda), found in the anthology book Crescendo Giocoso.
While this Patreon account began as a one-person project, expect an increasing number of joint works in the near future, co-created by Barbara and me. I'm also considering translating her larp scenarios to English.
Joint projects with other game designers are also a very real possibility (a few already exist, they just haven't made it to Patreon yet). I love collaborating - we do!

What you get for your money

Patrons at the core tier ($4, or $3.30+VAT) and above get my semi-finished work. These are role-playing games that I have designed and “in-house” playtested, at least a bit. Games that I’m already satisfied with, but perhaps not yet to the point I feel confident sharing them with the world at large. Ideas that do work, but I can’t promise I’ve ironed out most of the kinks yet. “Beta versions” bound for further testing.
Typically, I’m going to lay them out as booklets, but the layout will probably be bare-bones and the text may be rough in places (what little editing and proofreading it will have undergone, I’ll have done it myself). While I may opt to free-license some of these works, that’s the exception, not the norm – most of them will be for your eyes only. Of course, do feel free to share them with the friends you might be playing with! Because – make no mistake – these will be fully playable games, however rough.
From now on, these unfinished games are the Patreon releases you patrons are going to be billed for.

Smaller contributions

Those of you who choose to pledge less than the $4 "core tier”, you’re still helping me earn a living designing games – which is a wonderful gift I’m immensely grateful for! While you don’t get access to Patreon-only “unfinished game” releases, I really hope you’re going to check out my finished games and other public releases and have a great time playing those.

That video above...

...isn't especially representative of my work! I'm told some of you love videos, so I dug it up, but it's unusual in that:
  • it's a video! Most of my work is presented as instruction texts, often print-and-play booklets.
  • it's a pervasive larp! Most of my work consists of tabletop role-playing games, with some small-scale larp scenarios mixed in.
  • it doesn't have a clear ending condition! Most games I design do.
  • I hadn't been playing it at all at the time of posting! I don't usually release games I haven't tried out, and I promise all future Patreon releases - though "unfinished" - will have undergone at least some play-testing.
  • it's a straight-up Game Chef entry! While I'm still going to take part in game-design contests from time to time, I won't be releasing those contest entries to Patreon. Follow-ups to contest entries, revised after some play-testing and possibly edited for clarity, are excellent candidates for Patreon releases.
That said, it's still a legit, complete and - I expect - playable game. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Recent posts by Rafu

Tiers
Every bit helps! (get no releases)
$1 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 7 patrons
Please have my gratitude. In addition to that, please have my finished games – the ones I’m sharing with the whole world. I’m also going to thank all contributing patrons in the credits for each release, as long as that’s materially feasible. NOTICE: choosing this level you still get billed on a per-release basis, but you don’t get access to those releases yourself.
discontinued - upgrade recommended
$3 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 4 patrons
discontinued reward level
Core patron (gets releases), VAT-paying
$3.30 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 0 patrons
Core tier, as below, discounted for those living in VAT-imposing countries.

You get access to draft-quality, Patreon-only releases of my  yet-unfinished games (these are usually PDF booklets, as described  above). I’m also going to thank all contributing patrons in the credits  for each release, as long as that’s materially feasible.

Same as the $4 tier, below, but choose this rate if you live in a country such as most of the EU ones, which means you’ll be paying a Value Added Tax (+20% on average) on top of your pledge – effectively bumping it to about $4. It’s only fair that I pay taxes on my earnings – not you!

Core patron (gets releases)
$4 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 0 patrons
 

You get access to draft-quality, Patreon-only releases of my yet-unfinished games (these are usually PDF booklets, as described above). I’m also going to thank all contributing patrons in the credits for each release, as long as that’s materially feasible.

If required to pay VAT on top of your pledge due to your country of residence, you can instead choose the reduced pledge level above to ensure you only end up spending about four dollars per release.

discontinued: consider reducing your pledge
$5 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 2 of 11 patrons
discontinued reward level
discontinued: consider reducing your pledge
$7 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 2 of 19 patrons
discontinued reward level
discontinued: consider reducing your pledge
$11 or more per unfinished role-playing game released to patrons. 1 of 7 patrons
discontinued reward level