In the world of arcane magic, mortals can make pacts with otherworldly beings to obtain eldritch powers. These pact seekers are known as warlocks. The beings they deal with are their patrons.
This is the story of patrons who just haven't "sealed the deal."
This is their support group.
Pactless Patrons: A Support Group is a comedy webseries about supernatural beings who have been unable to attract the loyalty of mortals to do their bidding. The webseries centers around a core cast of monsters, fae, and other creatures as they work together to confront their insecurities and relationship hangups.
The story we are telling is weird and macabre, silly and heartwarming, inclusive and affirming, as we explore eldritch relationships and the humanity and humor that can be found in the search for "The One"...soul to consume.
We want to give you more. We have up to 36 episodes already planned out that we could make. All it needs is more funding. These stretch goals will help us realize our dream of creating a full-time studio that will create more content like this for you.
🎉UNLOCKED $8,000 - Hire a Dedicated Video Editor
At this stretch goal, we'll be able hire a dedicated video editor to make our process more streamlined and professional. Many of us have experience with video editing, but a dedicated and trained video editor would greatly enhance the quality of our webseries, and the speed at which we can produce episodes.
🔓 $14,000 - Season 2: Pact Con
A new arc featuring six more episodes! Follow the support group as they attend Pact Con, a an event between a job fair and speed dating, where warlocks and patrons shop around for a good match.
🔓 $26,000 - D&D Patrons: Volume 1
Jeff Ellis (DM's Guild, Uncaged Anthology) will guest-write 5e supplements for Blinta, Dennis, Silvestre, & Ulgroth as Warlock Patrons that you can use in your own D&D games! The warlocks in your game can now make deals with the characters from our show. No longer will these poor, pactless patrons be patronized and perpetually be ignored. Bring one home to your gaming group today!
🔓 $37,000 - Season 3: Day Off
Have you ever wondered what an otherworldly being does on their day off? Us too. Learn more about the everyday lives of the Patrons in six more episodes! What sort of maintenance does Molonk's many mouths require? What's the situation with Dennis' family? Will Estar finally find herself, and who will help her do so?
🔓 $55,000 - D&D Patrons: Volume 2
Even more content for your tabletop games! Jeff Ellis (DM's Guild, Uncaged Anthology) will guest-write 5e supplements for Estar, Khorne, & Molonk as Warlock Patrons that you can use in your own D&D games. But we're not done yet! Even more exciting will be the 8-page 5e adventure inspired by Pactless Patrons!
🔓 $75,000 - Season 4: Origins
What is the Shattered Court, and what was it like before being shattered? How the heck did Khorne become both a vampire and a werewolf, and what happened to the Children of the Khorne? Where did Estar come from? Is the Moderator actually who she says she is? If deep lore matters to you, then this arc will provide some answers. Discover the backstories of our Patrons in another season of six episodes!
🔓 $100,000 - Season 5: Modless
Yet another another six episode season! By Season 5, we figure some cameos of from your favorite content creators and personalities might be in order. When the Moderator has to take sick leave, the support group takes on their biggest foe yet...substitutes. What wild shenanigans will the group get up to when the facilitator of their group therapy is out with dragon pox?
🔓 $125,000: The Complete Series!
The entire story as we envisioned will be created! We will be able to produce Season 6: Alumni, the concluding story arc to the Pactless Patrons series. We fast forward to a reunion of the support group set sometime in the distant future. This will be the neat little bow to the end of our show.
🔓 $150,000: Pactless Studios!
Well, first, we will faint. But then - after we regain consciousness - we will be able to establish Pactless Studios. This YouTube webseries is not the only project we have envisioned. This is just the first of many ideas to take flight. And at this level, this becomes a full-time job for all of us. Beyond even just a merchandise storefront and expanding the scope of Pactless Patrons, we will be able to begin work on producing these other projects for you.
Note: Secret stretch goals may be unlocked during the Kickstarter!
🔓 1,000 Backers - Bonus Season: Pactless Preschool
Ah yes, the ill-advised children’s show reboot. If 1,000 backers join us, we will produce a six-episode spin-off series, ala Muppet Babies, featuring all new voice actors as toddler versions of the Patrons! See what whacky fun our young and pactless patrons get into when their teacher tries to help them get started on the road of immortality.
It began as a joke on Twitter.
Once upon a time in the online Dungeons & Dragons community, there was a meme to complete the phrase "My warlock patron is..." by tagging someone in your @ list on Twitter. It was fun, it was silly, but some of us felt a little left out not being tagged as anyone's patron. From that feeling of being left out was born an idea. From that idea was born a thread. And from that thread, we come to this.
Initially conceived as a webcomic, Pactless Patrons: A Support Group gained attention and support from folks who wanted more. The project as it now stands is a fully voice-acted animatic YouTube webseries! We've assembled a passionate group of people who are dedicated to providing funny, insightful, campy stories about both the supernatural and the utterly human.
This project was inspired by other nerdy-ass crowdfunded animated series coming down the pipeline, and by the amazing ingenuity and creativity of fan-made animatic clips across the internet, capturing favorite moments from tabletop role-playing shows and podcasts like Critical Role, Acquisitions Inc, and The Adventure Zone. We think that people want to laugh and fall in love with flawed and funny fantasy characters.
No matter at what level you decide to support Pactless Patrons, we want to thank you! With your enthusiasm and kind contributions, we'll be able to elevate and promote diverse talent, and most importantly, get them paid for their incredible work.
On behalf of our crew of otherworldly beings, thank you so much!
Our original teaser video: edited, narrated, and musically enhanced by Zak Price:
Our script for this "Season One" is already complete, adapted from the original Twitter thread which inspired this project.
📽 The Final Product 📽
We are creating a series of six fully voiced animatic episodes of 5-7 minutes each. Each episode of this initial arc will focus on the patrons of the Pactless support group, learning from one another, sharing laughs and feelings, and being kept in line by their moderator.
Our stretch goals will allow us to hire more technical and creative members to our team such as a dedicated video editor. Along with improving the quality and quantity of the final animation, we will also be able to produce additional seasons of the webseries on YouTube. It is our hope that - should this receive enough support - we will be able to form a production company that make more webseries and YouTube shows like this in the future.
What is an Animatic? An animatic is "a preliminary version of a movie, produced by shooting successive sections of a storyboard and adding a soundtrack." (see google) Our series will be produced with bold illustrated frames that capture the key movements, emotion, and humor of each character during a scene. It won't be the smooth, twenty four frames per second animation of Disney or Saturday morning cartoons, but we promise it WILL be entertaining! This constraint is because...well... do you know how hard/time consuming animation is? We're just a handful of nerdy schmucks here!
⏰ Our Schedule ⏰
These dates are our ideal time-frame for producing this six-episode series.
- Early September 2019: After the Kickstarter finishes, we will begin our pre-production meetings and start finalizing the direction the budget can take us.
- September to October 2019: Pre-production starts, with story-boarding, writing, and initial voice work commencing simultaneously.
- October to December 2019: We begin production. This will be when the brunt of our voice actors and animation team will be at work, recording lines and getting to work animating each scene.
- January 2020: After we have all the voice work and initial animation done, this will be when post-production occurs. Sound editing, video editing, effects and the final touches will all be applied at this point.
- Late January to February 2020: After finalizing the episodes and scheduling the debut date, we will release the first six episodes of Pactless Patrons: A Support Group.
💰 Our Budget 💰
- 33% | Animation | Our amazing animators are going to be spending the lion's share of their time bringing our words and voices to the screen. A team of two animators will be illustrating 30 minutes of animation to create the entire series, in addition to all pre-production character design. We want to pay them a decent wage per hour. Art is a craft, and they deserve it.
- 33% | Voice Acting | Our story will come alive thanks to our incredible cast of voice actors. We have a large ensemble cast, and we want to pay ALL our voice performers a decent wage per word. Voice acting is a craft, and they deserve it.
- 21% | Administration, Merchandise, & Pre-Production | All the other costs associated with getting this project off the ground. Paying the producers and the audio/video engineering team, eventually building a website for the webseries, financing our reward merch, and other administrative costs.
- 8% | Kickstarter Coaching by Brandon Dixon | We enlisted the guidance of Brandon Dixon (Swordsfall Studios) to prepare our project for crowdfunding. He believed in us and our passion project, and his guidance, consulting, and support was invaluable. He has run two successful Kickstarters to date, with incredible production values and returns. His consulting made this campaign possible.
- 5% | Kickstarter Fees | Gotta pay the piper for this kickass project. We've taken into consideration the fees for use of this platform during our crowdfunding campaign.
Follow our progress on Kicktraq:
Voice Cast | We are so proud to announce our marvelous core support group members and their moderator. Talented, creative, and enthusiastic from the get go, we found these amazing voice actors in an casting call that resulted in nearly 350 auditions! There are more characters where these came from, so stay tuned for updated casting announcements!
Blinta, Sliver of A Thousand Sorrows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shamon Williams
Formerly an ancient sentient great axe, the years have not been kind to Blinta. Now a fraction of their former self (literally) she's contending with her... diminished presence.
Dennis the Undying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eric Peterson
Eager to offer a critique of anyone but himself, Dennis is infamous for his high standards in warlocks. He once disintegrated a follower of his for "not burping right." His words, not ours.
Estar of the Brightlands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Callie Wills
A beautiful, radiant unicorn who is sick of everyone thinking she's pretty and sweet. Interests include: heavy metal music, graveyards, and the works of Friedrich Nietzsche.
Khorne Bloodhome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Timothy Callaway
Just your friendly neighborhood half-vampire half-werewolf murderous blood lumberjack. Keeps the blood of his victims that he collects in a house. Hence the name.
The Moderator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amber May
A normal, average mortal and the facilitator of the support group. Really, that's all there is to her. You don't need to think anymore about it. We promise.
Banished from his realm over a millenia ago during the purges of the Inquisition, this fleshy glob of chattering mouths is learning to enjoy the simpler things in life, like bubblegum.
Silvestre, Queen of the Shattered Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nola Klop
Fae queen of a forgotten empire and shapeshifter untethered by the bounds of gender, Silvestre's unearthly beauty spells certain doom for any mortal that dares to objectify her.
Ulgroth the Unfettered . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael Schwalbe
The newest member of the support group, this polymorphous void is also the youngest. He's just getting started in his eternal life, and isn't sure of the first thing about luring a warlock into a pact.
Kespir, the Friendly Ghost in the Machine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emma Elizabeth
Friendly poltergeist who loves possessing machinery, always glad to lend a helping hand.
Orcus, Demonic Douchebag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paul Hikari
Will either noogie you literally to death or crush your soul into a protein shake. Hella swole.
💸 Pledge $1: A Soulful Thanks
You will receive a "thank you" in the credits of each episode, as well as production updates via Kickstarter!
- Your name in the credits of every episode!
💸 Pledge $10: Estar's Digital Dump
You will receive character wallpapers for both phone & computer but also a character ringtone pack of all 8 main characters.
Now every time that one special friend calls, your phone can loudly proclaim "VORELOCK!" as you answer!
- All Previous Rewards
- Character Ringtones
- Character Wallpapers
💸 Pledge $20: The Moderator's DMG5
You will receive a PDF copy of the Pactless Patrons script.
It seems the Moderator left a copy of her Diagnostic Monstrous Mental Health Guide, Version 5 out on the table. She probably won't mind if you look at it.
- All Previous Rewards
- Script PDF
💸 Pledge $30: A Peak at the Void Beyond
You will get early access and be able to watch every episode of Pactless Patrons before everyone else, as well as receive all digital stretch goals!
Gaze into the future, the Void Beyond, but be careful! Ulgroth gets nervous around mortals.
- All Previous Rewards
- All Digital Stretch Goals
- Early Access to the episodes before they premiere
💸 Pledge $50: Dennis' Doodles
You will receive the Pactless Patrons Digital Art Book, filled with character designs, bios, and frames from the episodes. You'll also receive a sticker pack of all the main characters from the show.
When you're an immortal lich with no one to talk to, you have some time to doodle. Dennis likes sketching all the various members of the support group. He's quite a talent!
- All Previous Rewards
- Digital Art Book
💸 Pledge $90: Early Bird - Patron Portrait
Do you have a patron in your tabletop role-playing game you'd like to get art of? Or would you just like to see what you'd look like as an eldritch being? Back at this level & our talented art team will fashion a high definition portrait of whatever patron you'd like us to make.
This reward is limited quantity, and is NOT INCLUDED in later tiers. We reserve the right to deny discriminatory or hateful suggestions.
- All Previous Rewards
- Patron Portrait
💸 Pledge $110: Silvestre's Goblet
This limited edition 19.25 oz. glass goblet with the Pactless Patrons logo etched on it will only ever be available through Kickstarter, so get while the getting is good!
Silvestre keeps a memento of the Shattered Court: the glass goblet used in her coronation ceremony. The smell of ambrosia still lingers.
- All Previous Rewards
- Limited Edition Goblet
💸 Pledge $250: Join the Support Group
Congrats! Your patron needs group counseling. But that's alright, because we've got an extraplanar conference room for that.
At this exclusive tier, a patron of your design will appear on our webseries as a background character, and you will receive an in character thank you from one of the cast members at the end of each episode!
Note: As we unlock stretch goals for more episodes, we will unlock more available slots for this tier!
- All Previous Rewards
- In-Character Credits Shout Out
- Limited Edition Goblet
- Patron Background Character
💸 Pledge $1,000: Killer Cameo
At this level, you're in the show in a special way.
Your chosen likeness will lovingly be rendered by our talented animators. We will give you a line for you to record and send in. And then, your visage will be inserted into the Pactless Patrons show at some point to be killed off.
Maybe you'll be eaten by Molonk as a snack. Maybe Silvestre will step on you. Maybe you just won't be up to Dennis's standards and he'll launch you into the sun.
Somehow, some way, we will kill you on screen.
Disclaimer: If you die in the show, you will not die in real life.
- All Previous Rewards
- Get horribly killed in animated form in an episode
Riley Gryc | he/they| Creator & Showrunner | A long time lover of the arts and all things nerdy, Riley spent many years working in various industries trying to figure out where he fit. From expediting in a restaurant to being a front of house manager, he eventually decided to stop putting his creativity aside and fully embrace that dormant passion.
- Twitter: @RileyGryc
Angela McCain | she/her | Producer & Showrunner | Angela is a director and creator on the Nerdsmith Network, where shares her passion for characters, storytelling, and crafting worlds. She's spent the last several years running large-scale digital audio projects. She was a showrunner, producer, and performer in:
- "Fables Radio," a fan adaptation of the Fables graphic novels by Bill Willingham
- "Threads in the Vayl", an original fantasy mystery audiodrama.
- The Cantata Pansophical's "Vox Machina: An Exandrian Musical", a fan parody of the entire Hamilton musical soundtrack that told the story of the Chroma Conclave arc in Critical Role's first D&D campaign.
Zak Price | he/him | Producer & Audio Engineer | Born from the Goth/Industrial scene of the late eighties, Zak Price aka Evil Z took up spinning in 1989. From there, his passion shifted towards the burgeoning rave scene in the mid-90s, and Evil Z never looked back. Becoming one of the biggest underground names for the genre of "Hardstyle" is not an easy task. But that is exactly what Evil Z did. He is a true veteran and pioneer of Dance Music in America.
Today, Zak focuses his audio production skills on book narration, voice acting, and voice over. Now with a family of 12 narrators and numerous Audible 5 star reviews, his recording label Imagine Audio is ready to serve all your audio book narration, voice over, and production needs.
Susana Pardo, aka Lionrae | she/her | Animator | Susana is a ttrpg-obsessed biology graduate who really wants to make drawings move. The Spanish Pactless Patrons branch that nobody really expected.
- Twitter: @LionraeArt
Alexandre Halah | he/him | Animator | Alexandre “Dettan-arts” is an artist, animation student, and aspiring writer. A huge fan of the fantasy genre, TTRPGs and cartoons! The Brazilian branch that nobody really expected.
- Twitter: @DettanArts
Omega Jones | he/him | Music Producer | Omega is an artist & performer who is just striving to be a light in a community of love & peace. He's been singing literally since he first began to walk. Music's been in his blood for generations. He studied vocal music education at Missouri State University, and is striving to be a full time stage actor with an emphasis in musical theatre.
He has starred Jesus Christ Superstar as Jesus, Dreamgirls as Jimmy Early, Violet the Musical as Flick, and Ragtime as Coalhouse Walker Jr. He is an award winning actor in St. Louis, receiving accolades for his performances in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Evita, The Drowsy Chaperone, and also receiving the St. Louis Theatre Circle award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Ragtime.
- Twitter: @CriticalBard
Kelli Butler | she/her | Music Producer | Coloratura soprano Kelli Butler is no stranger to the stage, whether it be in opera, recital, or musical theatre. As a child from a military family, Kelli was raised in a multitude of locales, including Germany & the Eastern US, where her love of opera blossomed at an early age.
Kelli also tweets and creates content under her #OperaGeek brand. She is an active member of the streaming community, appearing regularly on Twitch playing Dungeons & Dragons, Tabletop RPGs, & streaming videogame playthroughs.
Brandon Dixon | he/him | Team Coach, Our Mace Windu | Brandon (Swordsfall Studios) is not only the amazing creator, writer, and badass for the Swordsfall RPG, he's also our Kickstarter Coach! He has run two successful Kickstarters to date. His guidance, consulting, and support through this process was invaluable in bringing our project to life. Want someone to guide you on the path to a prepared and professional Kickstarter campaign? Consider reaching out to Brandon as a consultant for your next project!
Taylor Ruddle | he/him | Graphic Designer | Thank you to Taylor (Lead Graphic Designer, Swordsfall Studios) for designing our kickass Pactless Patrons logo and flame icon!
- Twitter: @TaylorRuddle
Michael Casey | he/him | Etcher | Thank you Michael for the amazing limited edition goblets with the Pactless logo, available at our $110 reward tier!
Jeff Ellis | he/him | Adventure Writer | Thank you to Jeff for so graciously writing D&D patrons and adventures as part of our digital stretch goals! Find more of Jeff's work on DM's Guild, and his work as editor for the Uncaged Anthology.
- Twitter: @ManyEyedMonster
Our Patrons | A special thank you to our very own patrons who have helped us with their support of our pre-production process.
Logan Bryce | Sponsor | Special thanks to Logan and the Nerdsmith family for their support and love! Nerdsmith is a community of nerdy creators making podcasts, livestreams, and art for the nerdy persuasion. Tabletop rpgs, storytelling, and fun!
Risks and challenges
The script for the first season is already completed, so production on the original show plan will start pretty much immediately after funding. This crowdfunding is primarily to get the funding to properly and equitably pay our talent and artists for their incredible work and time.
We are a small team of students and folks with day jobs, and animation is a complex production process. As such, any personal or technical hiccups along the way could slow down our projected time table for releasing the first season. We have kept our goals and project expectations mangeable based on our budget constraints. We never wanted to bite off more than we could chew with this project.
You can depend on us for honesty and transparency during our Kickstarter campaign, and during our production process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)