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Frequently Asked Questions

I'm sure you have a

slew of questions

. Hopefully this will help...

Telethon of the Avatar

Telethon of the Avatar - Answers

Why are you doing this?

There are a few reasons. Primarily, I love all things Ultima and really want Shroud of the Avatar to succeed. It's one thing to be a fan of a decades old video game series but it's another thing entirely to be part of a living, breathing community that actually has a new title to look forward to. I haven't been this excited for a game since 1998.

I personally pledged during the Kickstarter at the Developer level. I later raised it to the Edelmann level and I had considered raising my pledge even further, but then I had a better idea...

I decided that instead of shooting for the next pledge tier, which would benefit mostly me only, I would spend that money on the creation/aquisition of Hearth of Britannia promotional materials and Ultima collectibles to use as prizes to encourage other people to donate. This way, many people can get something nice and I get to have a lot of fun designing the materials and running the event.

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Are you affiliated with/is this event endorsed by Portalarium?

No. I dreamt up this plan entirely without input or affiliation from Portalarium or any other company. The only ties Hearth of Britannia has to Portalarium is that Hearth of Britannia is run by a Kickstarter backer of Shroud of the Avatar and some of the developers have been special guests during the Dragonsmeets.

As of the first posting of this content, Saturday, August 10th at 7:00 p.m. EDT, this is the first chance Portalarium will have had to know about the goal of this event.

Update! Portalarium now knows about the event, is excited, and is helping out by attending the event and helping to spread the word. However, the above disclaimers all remain true.

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How do I pledge? Does Hearth of Britannia get a cut?

No, you are not pledging money to Hearth of Britannia and the Hearth does not get a cut. To pledge for this event, go to the Shroud of the Avatar site and donate through their site.

Alternatively, if you're a huge fan of The Hearth of Britannia but have zero interest in Shroud of the Avatar, you may make a donation directly to The Hearth to help offset printing/shipping costs. To donate directly to The Hearth, pleaes use the button below:

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I won a prize during the guessing game, do I need to donate to get that prize?

Absolutely not. If you won via the guessing game, then you get a prize. There was some unintended ambiguity with the language at first which led to this confusion. If you won a prize for the guessing game, participating in the events, or for anything else where it's been explicitly stated that you "win a prize," then you get that prize without further obligation. To get your prize in a timely manner, please ensure that I have your proper mailing address and any desired options related to the prize if applicable.

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If you're not affiliated with Portlarium, how do I claim my Hearth of Britannia pledge reward?

Easy! During the event, simply forward your confirmation email to redacted. Be sure to include your mailing address and any options/choices if applicable. (Some reward tiers/promotions require you to say something like "I want that particular prize!" or "My favorite Virtue is Honesty."

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If you're not affiliated with Portalarium, how will you know we're not just emailing you for free stuff?

Firstly, we're relying on all participants to be virtuous and to be Honest. Howeer, when you make a pledge at the Shroud of the Avatar website, the amount you pledge will be immediately added to the total on their site. This, plus checking the headers of the forwarded email will provide a reasonable enough level of faith.

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What if I've already donated to Shroud of the Avatar? Am I still eligible if I upgrade?

Yes, any money pledged to Shroud of the Avatar between August 10th, 2013 and noon (EDT) Sunday August 25th, 2013 will count towards the Hearth of Britannia rewards tiers. However, only pledges made and redeemed during the 24 hours of the Telethon will count for the prize raffles. (Raffle drawings are NOT the same thing as rewards tier prizes)

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I already donated to SotA, can I have corresponding Hearth of Britannia rewards?

Unfortunately, only donations made between August 10th, 2013 and noon (EDT) Sunday August 25th, 2013 will count toward Hearth of Britannia rewards. Additionally, only pledges made and redeemed during the 24 hours of the Telethon will count for the prize raffles.

I have to insist on this because 1) The goal is to raise *more* money for Shroud of the Avatar and 2) I'm paying for all of the Hearth of Britannia rewards out of pocket. I simply cannot afford to give everyone who donated to Shroud of the Avatar in the first place a reward. The shipping costs alone would bankrupt me.

However, you can still get your hands on the rewards in the form of prizes. Have a look at the event schedule, drop in, and participate. Everyone who drops in the hangout will be eligible for a prize. Outstanding participation will also be rewarded. Check out the activities list to see how you can win nifty stuff without spending a single penny.

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WTF mate? I didn't sign up to go to a fundraiser!

Relax! This event isn't entirely about raising money for Shroud of the Avatar. It should also be quite fun for any Ultima/SotA fan. There are 24 hours worth of activities and segments planned including instructional segments, special guest interviews, games, facilitated discussions, and more. Participation in any of these events will get you a prize just for showing up and also a shot at a bigger prizes. You can come and have a great time without spending a single dollar and that's perfectly fine. :)

Who knows? You may even walk away with something great just for participating!

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When will I get my rewards/prizes?

The goal is to have everything in Backers' hands by the end of September. I'm purposefully waiting until I know how many of each item I need to have them printed/made in order to to save as much money as possible. This will add roughly two weeks' lead time before the packages/envelopes are stuffed and sent out.

Additionally, since I'm paying for the items and the shipping out of pocket, the shipping will always be via the cheapest method possible so please be understanding with regards to shipping speeds. Obviously, the more money we raise for Shroud of the Avatar, the more money I spent in printing/shipping. It's entirely possible that the printing/shipping costs outweigh my immediately available funds. If this happens, GREAT! More money for SotA! However, it will mean delays in shipping as I will have to print and ship in batches as my paychecks come in. Patience and understanding is appreciated.

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Why don't your reward tiers line up exactly with SotA's?

There are two reasons for that. First, I really wanted to have a $25 pledge level because this seems like a very reasonable and realistic pledge level even though Shroud of the Avatar doesn't have a tier for this amount. Secondly, I don't have the variety of items to be able to match up to Shroud of the Avatar's tiers in a 1:1 fashion.

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What if I choose the layaway plan on the SotA site?

Shroud of the Avatar's installment plan is awesome, but I can only afford to create and ship rewards for what people actually donate between August 10th, 2013 and noon (EDT) Sunday, August 25th, 2013. However, if you are willing to pay the shipping, once you ultimately complete your pledge, you may forward me the confirmation email(s) and we can get you the appropriate Hearth of Britannia reward at that time.

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I live outiside the continental United States, is that a problem?

Certainly not! It doesn't matter where you live. If you pledge to Shroud of the Avatar or win a prize through participation, you're going to get it. Period.

That being said, The Hearth of Britannia does accept donations to the cause if you feel so inclined:

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Why aren't you offering the Hearth of Britannia cookbook as a prize?

I would love to! Unfortunately, the time line on the cookbook project is measured in years, not months. It will be a while before the cookbook is ready for distribution. However, once it is, you can bet that there will be another fun event to get it in as many people's hands as possible.

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What is "SotA?"

"Sota" stands for Shroud of the Avatar, a project that signifies Richard Garriott's triumphant return to the world of gaming. If you want to find out why you should support this game, come to the event and let us tell you all about it. :)

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Are you paying for all of this yourself? How much is this going to cost? Can I help?

Indeed I am. I'm handling all of the printing, creation, hosting, packaging, and shipping costs out of pocket as my indirect donation to Shroud of the Avatar. As for how much it will cost, that's very much up in the air. It depends entirely on how many people donate and how much. If people insist on knowing, I may release the final figures after all of the costs have settled.

While I would rather all the money go directly to Shroud of the Avatar, if you absolutely want to help offset the costs, The Hearth of Britannia does accept donations:

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How exactly does this event work? How do I participate?

The event will be streamed live for the entire twenty-four hours using Google+ Hangouts On-Air. You will be able to stream the broadcast from The Hearth of Britannia home page or from Rustic Dragon's YouTube Channel. (Subscribe to be automatically notified when the video posts) Because Google+ Hangouts On-Air are limited to four hours, the event will be split up into six four-hour videos. Once each video ends, new links will be posted on the home page ASAP. When in doubt, refresh the page.

Additionally, a link to join the Google+ Hangout will be on the homepage. Joining will allow you to participate in games, segments, and activities. To use a Google+ Hangout, you (unfortunately) must have a Google+ account and have it set up. If you are trying to connect through a mobile device but have not yet fully set up your account, it sometimes causes an error.

Please pay attention to the following points of etiquette:

  • Links to watch and join will be posted ONLY at this website in order to allow the host to best focus on the event.
  • If you join the hangout, *please wear headphones* The echo can become horrific.
  • We will be rotating people in and out as much as possible, especially when special guests are in. If you are in the hangout and only listening when a special guest is present, please consider dropping out. You can always come back.
  • In the event that then hangout is full and a special guest cannot get in, I will ask for volunteers to drop out. Please be virtuous. If the virtuous have all been forsaken, I'll roll a die and pick someone at random to boot. It's nothing personal, I promise.
  • Please check the schedule to see if the segment is Open, Semi-Open, or Closed. This will determine how much participation is invited.

Open Hangout: Questions and discussion is open to the entire hangout at most or all times
Semi-Open Hangout: For performances, demos, and lectures. Questions will be taken from the hangout on a limited basis. Please remain muted until indicated.
Closed Hangout: People can join the hangout, but questions will not be taken. Please remain muted at all times.

Your attention to detail will help the Telethon run smoothly. Thank you so much and remember, if you can't get in or don't want to be on camera, you can always participate by emailing

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What's that scary asterisk next to "highest referrer?"

The top prize is *really* valuable. We reserve the right to set a minimum number of referrers or minimum referral value to prevent the case where a person only refers as single friend at $45 and walks away with a prize that we could have easily turned into a Tier VI prize and "sold" for a substantial donation to SotA. Tentatively, we'd like the top referrer to have *at least* $500 worth of referrals.

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Curious about what's cookin' at the

Hearth of Britannia

? Follow us to find out. ;)


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