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Monday, November 20, 2017

About The Tavern's Wayward Kickstarter Posts - Why "Something Fishy" Doesn't Cut it and Other Stuff


I get numerous requests to cover various Kickstarters that are late. A Kickstarter being late doesn't necessarily bring it to the level of a "Wayward Kickstarter" as The Tavern looks at it. If it did, I'd be posting such daily as the vast majority of gaming Kickstarters fulfill late. No, I dont have a percentage.

Now, while some of the requests include details such as "X is selling their release at GenCon and backers haven't received theirs yet" and "Y just got sick for the sixth time and the dog ate the only copy of the manuscript" some just want me to look at something because its late. Occasionally, I get the "there's something fishy" or "I dont trust Z" without telling my what is fishy or why they don't trust the project creator. That doesn't give me anything to go on,

I very much do need something to go on.

If you follow my Wayward Kickstarter posts, you'll notice I use a fair number of screen shots. I like to back up my findings with evidence and while opinion and likely but unproven conclusions often appear, they too are backed by a trail of evidence, even if it is only circumstantial.

Why is that? Its how I was trained. Shortly before I became a Sgt in the NYPD I was trained as a Compstat officer - statistics, crime patterns, mapping of crimes - all became my new routine. After promotion to Sgt and doing my time on patrol I was made the Precinct Compstat Sgt - preparing weekly Crime Stat books for the precinct. A year and a half later, Internal Affairs was expanding a Corruption Stat unit that looked for patterns of corruption and I was added to the team.

There is a misconception that Internal Affairs looks for dirty cops. They do, but that is not their mission. The mission is to keep good, honest cops from going dirty. To do that, you need to be proactive in addressing corruption within the department. Dirty cops need to be made an example of, not hidden away.

Do I bring some of that to The Tavern and the spotlight it shines on Wayward Kickstarters? Certainly. RPG Gaming is my community. Its where I hang my hat. I want to see the best of the best thrive. I want show the worst of the worst, oftentimes in ways that embarrass them, in the hopes that others will avoid following them. With few exceptions - #ConManKen - I don't think project creators plan to succeed in funding but fail to produce. I don't think they plan to misuse the funds and have nothing left to fulfill. Sometimes the path is a slippery one. But by keeping, as best I can, the largest failures in the spotlight I hope to prevent other larger failures.

The end result is a combination of investigative reporting backed by police investigative skills and experience and it is done because the service is needed.

I remember a few years back, some angry commenter on G plus asked me "Who made you the RPG Police?" I don't think I had an answer for that, or at least I lacked a good enough answer that I can remember it now, but I do know the answer for today - YOU made me the RPG Police. The Kickstarter Police. The GMF Police. You, The Tavern reader, that expects more from their hobby.

I have no authority aside from that given by The Tavern's readership but I have a responsibility to the community. The readership has a responsibility too, to keep me honest. It is very much a two way street. Without your feedback I'll never know how to improve and what I'm doing right - and wrong.

Thanks for taking the time to read all of this.

My chills have broken so maybe I wont be as cranky this week ;)

Tenkar

Sunday, November 19, 2017

State of The Tavern Keeper - I've got Chills, They're Multiplying...

This afternoon I got hit with a nice chill. Now, I'm the type of guy that wears short sleeves 12 months a year and wears shorts in the house year round. My usual normal temp is 98.2 not 98.6.

I'm running 97.0 today.

Fuck me. If I was running a Kickstarter I'd demand a 5 year reprieve. I haven't been myself for the last 2 weeks.

Ah well, my miserable fuckery will continue I guess...


Kickstarter - Marauder Task Force Roleplaying Game (Break out the Action Figures)



Sometimes a Kickstarter "clicks" and sometimes it doesn't. Despite highly successful prior Kickstarters for action figures and accessories, the Marauder Task Force Roleplaying Game Kickstarter isn't clicking. Its been funding for a week and a half and hasnt even hit 25% of funding. Quite simply, its going to fail to fund or will be put out of its misery prior to that.



Why the lack of interest?

I think the folks that backed the prior Kickstarters for action figures did so because they were action figures - the desire to play with them with actual rules wasn't part of the equation. Someone, somewhere doesn't know their audience. Damn shame.







Saturday, November 18, 2017

Basic Demographics - The Tavern, ENWorld and RPG.net

I was looking at The Tavern's demographics and started to wonder how similar (or different) they were to the "Big Two" RPG sites.

Not a huge surprise that The Tavern is an older, mostly male crowd. The initial D&D / RPG community was nearly all male and nostalgia for Old School Gaming is still strong.


How about The Tavern's Facebook Community?


Lets look at ENWorld:



ENWorld is a much younger community. The percentage of women is twice that of The Tavern yet still doesn't hit 8%.

How about RPG.net?


RPG.net hits 9% for its female audience. Much like ENWorld, it skews younger.

I couldn't find basic demographics for Roll20, which I think would have been the most insightful.

In any case, those are the numbers.

edit - this is the best I could find for Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds:




Also, this for Roll20:


and this for FG2


Friday, November 17, 2017

Gygax Memorial Fund - Nearly 2 Years After The Tavern Started Digging - Still Little to Show


I really started picking over the carcass of the Gygax Memorial Fund nearly two years ago - November 25th, 2015 to be exact. What, too damning a description? Perhaps. But if it ain't dead yet, its certainly dying.

Halfway through November of 2017 and we STILL don't have the 2016 tax returns posted. Nor do we have the promised audit (the promise has since been deleted but I've shared the screenshot on previous posts)

Now, why would that be? If I were a betting man, I'd surmise that the promised audit revealed some issues that had to be corrected and / or brought up other interesting questions that have been posed at The Tavern already - such as why the funds - over $200k last we checked, haven't earned a penny of interest in the last seven years of tax returns. That much money sitting in ANY account would earn some sort of minimal return - monies that could offset office costs or fund that scholarship mentioned on the Fund's site. Not earning any sort of interest seems fiscally irresponsible when every penny counts.

Did I mention that the Fund's assets are heading in a negative direction?

2013  $222,165

2014  $220,449

2015  $217,042

2016  ? Note - 2016 is expected to have some significant expenses. or was that 2017?

What about the cash cow of selling "bricks?" What ever happened to that?

Now, Alex Gygax was added to the GMF Board in August of this year:
Or maybe he wasn't. Four months later and the listing of the board members hasn't changed.



As for Coordinator of Educational Programs and Special Projects - Dianne Curtis - what has she done in this regard? Wonderful title but I can't find ANYTHING educational done by the Fund.

I guess Busness Manager (gotta love the typo that I never caught until now) is in charge of shipping shirts and pencils. Anyone buy them? Can you speak on the quality?


And what ever happened with this?


Sadly, the Fund and other related projects don't ever seem to move forward. Its almost like an extremely late unfulfilled Kickstarter - actual completion makes everything come due so best to just punt the ball time and time again and never actually get to the end.

Wow. Yeah, being sick is making me one heck of an ass ;)

Announcement - Frog God Games sponsored Extra-Life Team broadcast is Live - For the Children

My apologies, as I lost track of when this when happening only to realize it started an hour ago. Still 23 hours left ;)

Here's the Frog God Games Press Release / Reminder. I'll be popping in later tonight to enjoy the festivities:
Hate Children? Think their hospitals for them a waste of space? 
Then you are a bad person, like this fellow...



If you, on the other hand, support Children's Hospitals, please tune-in for the Frog God Games sponsored Extra-Life Team broadcast beginning at 6 PM EST.

https://www.twitch.tv/froggodgames

It is guided by Edwin Nagy, conversion specialist and all around good guy.

Please donate and spread the word. For Children! If you cannot watch you can still donate by going here...

https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=33395

Seriously, its a good cause and a fun time. I'll see you all after yoga. No, not my yoga - I pisk up Rach from HER yoga. Damn these sinus headaches!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wayward Kickstarter - City State of the Invincible Overlord - Full of Excuses and Not So Invincible


Hard to believe its been nearly a year since I last shed light on the fiasco known as the City State of the Invincible Overlord Kickstarter. No, really. Here's my last post on this train wreck.

Now, let me forewarn you. I'm high on decongestants and fighting a sinus headache. I'm in no mood to be nice.

CSIO is nearly 3 years late. While not quite at the level of Far West in that category, the excuses are an embarrassment. We know all of the maps are done and have been done for ages. All we need now is to finish layout. Well, and money to print and ship.

Say what?

Just like Far West is financially bankrupt (and likely refuses to complete the PDF as there will be a demand for physical product that there is no money to either print or ship) I suspect most if not all of the $85k raised by CSIO has been long lost. Again, finishing the PDF will put demands on physical product and associated shipping costs - shipping costs that have had three years to increase. Yeah, the picture isnt pretty.

So, how about some of the excuses:



Yep, weekly updates six weeks apart. Weekly updates since the end of March have been monthly at best.

Oh, and nearly two months since the last update. I guess monthly isn't working out either.

Progress? Please! Layout isn't going at a page a day or a page a week. Maybe 2 to 3 pages a month?

But wait! Look at that! A hint of a better future!

Its an illusion though. If there were a better future we wouldn't be without an update nearly two months later. What is this in reference to? There've been rumors that Kickstarter fulfillment had been shopped to two or three of the more sizable old school publishers in the hobby. Aside from the goodwill of the backers there is little upside to such a deal for any publisher - the cost to fulfill would be on them and profits (as well as costs associated will making the Kickstarter backers whole) would rely on a retail market that is geared to 5e these days and not so much Pathfinder.

Where does that leave us? I do mean "us", as I'm in for $145 myself. I fear we are left with little hope without a "white knight" publisher coming to the rescue and I fear that the costs associated with such a rescue are cost prohibitive for most.

Not the legacy Judges Guild wished to leave us with but a legacy none the less.

Yep, I'm a fuck when I'm sick.