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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kickstarter - Dragonwars of Trayth - Tabletop RPG (Pathfinder / OSRIC) - Revised with new Pics and Awesome Legal Threat!


It is hard to review a Kickstarter based on initial impressions, but we all do it. Kickstarters succeed or fail based upon their hook, and Dragonwars of Trayth - Tabletop RPG is no exception.

The latest hook is available here, at http://www.dragonwarsoftrayth.com/gauntlet%20osric.pdf

It's a single encounter of a larger adventure. There is some kind of
contest where, if you run the encounter with your gaming group and submit a video recording, you would be entered to win the first six adventures in the series in print. That is, assuming the Kickstarter even succeeds, which is far from a given at this point. You have until the 17th of October to submit your entry.

If this encounter is the best example they have to show, it's a very sad thing. Sure, its a death trap, but not a very exciting one. The way it is set up pretty much requires the use of a battle map. Now, not that I have ever played Lazer Tag, but it was pointed out to me that the map is very reminiscent of a Lazer Tag Arena.

The maps, by the way, are reminiscent of old MS-DOS RPG games and the maps and graphics you would encounter. This isnt a good thing. I can't sample how bad the world maps look, as they are only shown in the video, but you can see a sample of a dungeon map below (yes, this is a matter of taste - some may love the retroDOS look of the maps - I see it as an eyesore, especially when compared to the amount and relative quality of the art.)


Oh, before I forget - needless add ons. T-shirts, lanyards, water bottles, mugs - even messenger bags.
These have fucked up far more Kickstarter projects than they have ever helped. Not a good sign that they are so prominent.

I should also point out that, at least as far as I can tell, Dragonwars of Trayth - Tabletop RPG is NOT an actual RPG, but a setting and series of adventures. It is not a self contained ruleset and you'll need either Pathfinder or OSRIC (or some other OSR / D&D clone ruleset) to use it.



edit: I've been blogging for over 5 years and NO ONE even threatened me with a lawsuit (although a few might have offered to meet me in a dark alley.)

here it is folks - the first, the only, threatening to sue you for things I can't but fuck it, let me send it as a private message on G+ anyway:

well, I've saved this little ditty too :)

43 comments:

  1. I'm reading the pitch they make and they get to the end where they note that, between all of their employees, they have over 30 years of roleplaying experience!

    Uh, I have over 30 years of roleplaying experience. Between me and my immediate group of friends, we have over a century.

    No, that's not fair. We're older, and maybe more set in our ways. Let's try it another way. If they have just three employees, then they must have been playing for a decade plus each. That would mean that they started gaming in 2004 or so. A collective 30 years of experience is not a whole lot, so it just doesn't seem like a selling point to me. I'm supposing, or rather hoping, that they aren't counting Ernie Gygax as an employee.

    In any case, it seems to me that they've bitten off quite a bit more than they can chew, or than they need. 25+ adventures with four extra core books? I didn't like that with Dragonlance, why would I want it in the 21st century? "Longer" doesn't mean "more epic".

    Finally, their timing seems off. It's the brand new era of 5E, so why work out a separate 3.5 version? Just say "Pathfinder and OSRIC". Or wait to see how WotC plans to license things for 5E and try it then.

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    2. Based on this comment, you could do with a good copy editor and a professional PR person, because the comment is an example of both failing.

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    4. Keep digging, this is awesome.

      In addition to hiring a copy editor and PR team, you guys really need to hire a lawyer, too. Then maybe you wouldn't go around falsely accusing people because they gave you a bad review.

      How's that "gone viral" thing working out for you? I see you're up to a whole 19 backers.

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    5. Bozak draconians aren't part of the OGL.

      Did you folks get a special license direct from WotC?

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    6. Awesome to know that you can shut down negative reviews by suing for slander (or more accurately, libel). I wonder why they don't do that in Hollywood?

      Oh wait, it's because reviews are OPINIONS, and opinions can't be libelous (or slanderous). For example, I can freely offer my OPINION that the Dragonwars guy must be as dumb as a bag of rusty hammers.

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    7. "well I am glad it went viral"

      Oh, is that what you think happened? You're adorable.

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    8. @Dragonwars of Trayth: Yes, reading comprehension is important. That is why it would have been a good idea for you to comprehend that I was referring to the odd circumstance of your KS mentioning 3.5, and asking why you didn't just stop with PF and OSRIC. But I guess that I wasn't clear on that, despite that being what I said?

      Also, I don't like long adventures because they are invariably strongly railroaded, since that is the only way to keep the players in line for the predetermined endgame required.

      Of course, you've since deleted your comments, so I will just quote what I am responding to:

      "Ummm we did say pathfinder and osric. I guess reading isn't a priority over you self opinionated garbage. Wait for 5e? Hmmm publishers did that for 4e and look where it got them. You not liking a long adventure Cleary shows you rather have a mindless hack and slash no game talent required adventure. Good there are plenty of plug and play video games for you to play. Stay out of rpg games they are just not for you. Actual role players it what we seek. Not art critics. Look at the 1e cartoon aet? I played when those came out and as basic and inarticulate as some of those were Nobody cared. They like the game not the aet or the pencil style maps. Get over yourself and see how gamers look at a rpg."

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  2. @faoladh -- I agree with you -- claiming any number of years of roleplaying experience is not the way to win points with the old school gamers like us. I also can claim over 30 years personally.

    I think the most telling point of this KS is that they have had one single comment posted from a day ago, yet they have posted 6 updates talking them selves up. That says a lot right there about what kind of faith they have been able to generate in their product.

    And then there is the fact that they tried to do this back at the end of August into September with the ambitious goal of $40K and only managed to get $2400 before cancelling the project on Sept 16th. Overall, I get the feeling that these are people that are dreaming much bigger than their direct personal experience warrants. Otherwise, they would be more focused on demonstrating the quality of their product and talking more about the adventure, and spending a lot less time showing off all their bling to purchase.

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    2. Really, is that all you have? I mean, besides the G+ comments to posts you never bothered to read?

      Ads for non-old school products?

      Let's see:

      Hawk & Moor - a history of D&D

      and-mag - a free AD&D magazine

      a link to Swords & Wizardry Complete - free download

      D20SWSRD - Swords & Wizardry online wiki

      Brainstorm Podcast - a podcast hosted by 3 old school gamers (including me - and I have about 34 years of gaming behind just me - between the three of us we knock on 100 years)

      OSR Today - shit has OSR in it's title

      OSR Search - again with the OSR

      Tenkar & The Badger WOSR - another podcast, and look, OSR in it's title

      Amazon RPG picks - 2 DCC RPG products, 1 Castles & Crusades and 5 Basic Fantasy RPG products

      Feedly and Netvibes so folks can follow the blog in a fashion friendly for them.

      As for 5e, a number of old school writers and bloggers were involved in the project. While it's not my system of choice, it's closer to the systems of yore than either 4e or 3x.

      As for driving down quality, I'll leave that in your ever able hands. If your products reflect your PR ability, you've already said all that is needed.

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    1. I know you are trying really hard to get your little digs in, but general english comprehension goes a long way:

      Works at The Dark Side

      Attended Queens College, City University of New York (past tense - latter shows I graduated in 93. Didn't think I needed to add "BA" to History, but I added for those that might not get it)

      Lives in NYC, NY

      I'm 47 - are you saying I'll be dead in in 20 years? That sucks.

      That being said, all of the main OSR games are free in PDF - they will never die, unlike me who will apparently be dead in 20 years - good thing I retire in 18 months

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  4. You are not doing yourself or your kickstarter any favors coming into this blog and hurling insults. No one attacked you or your team personally. You could have voiced concern over the use of your art as a lead to the post, you could have provided more information or clarity concerning the issues that were brought up. Instead you chose to go on the offensive. Tenkar is 100% correct in saying that you should always wait before responding to a review. Negative reviews come with the territory, and unfortunatley your reaction and response to this particular review were both uncalled for.

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    1. Dude.. STAHPPPPP!! You are digging the hole deeper every time you reply... TBH I don't think Erik was THAT harsh... You should take the criticism to improve your product and not throw a tantrum like a 4 year old..

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  6. Whoever is commenting on here from this KS is blowing it big time. Insulting Tenkar does nothing to further their cause. Take a bad reveiw on stride, not attack the reviewer. That's some Uwe Boll crap

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  7. The way you respond to a problem is even more important than the cause of the problem in the first place. The responses here say "stay way, do not touch with an 11 foot pole"

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  8. Hi there Dragonwars, just an old guy with 35 years of rpg experience.... First off Tenkar's Tavern is hardly a backwater blog - specialized certainly but hardly unknown in the OSR community. Secondly, Erik had some genuine criticisms of your sample scenario. Rather than answering those criticism you responded with personal attacks and an unwarranted take down notice.

    Based on these actions alone, I would not consider contributing to your Kickstarter, no matter the merits of the product itself. Rule #1 is don't be a dick and you failed it.

    Oh and there is a grammatical error in the first line of your sample encounter.

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  9. To the Dragonwars of Trayth poster - suck it up and act like a professional. An assessment from an engaged RPG enthusiast like Tenkar (who has a hell of a lot more visibility/readership than you do with your two followers on G+ BTW) amounts to having free editorial staff.

    Spend more time on your product and less time flaming your critics and you might actually turn out something worth purchasing.

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  10. They blew it big time.

    I was considering checking out their product, but after this little routine from them they can forget it!

    You hear that? You just lost a sale!

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  11. *munches popcorn*

    Oh, this is good. My thanks to our host for the entertainment!

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  12. Speaking of legal threats, aren't kapak and bozak drac(onian)s part of the WotC Dragonlance product identity/IP and not legitimately covered by the OGL?

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    1. That's quite a good point really. Kapak and Bozak are IP protected by WotC.

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    2. I was thinking precisely the same thing.

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    3. Damn shame if anyone brought it to WOTC's attention then.

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  13. .... but DRAGONLANCE fans?!?!? That is just inexcusable!

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  14. People with thin skins should not beg for money on the internet.

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  15. The responses from the publisher are tragic. I'm kind of feeling relief Erik didn't review my adventure now... Kidding Erik! Lol.

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    1. I'm only going to ask for $39,999 though when I do my Kickstarter. ;)

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  16. HAHAHAHA... they just deleted all their comments..

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    1. I would like to think those comments still endure somewhere. Because I'm very sure they do. Ahem.

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    2. I'm sure that deleting their comments will solve their problems for them.

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    3. Huh. Look at that. All of their comments still exist in my email inbox, thanks to the comment notifications.

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    1. Textbook KS trainwreck. Will be a good example to point to on how not to respond to critics. I honestly hope they learn from it, but I doubt it.

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  18. Using excerpts of texts (including artwork) in reviews and criticism falls under fair use guidelines:

    http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/

    http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/four-factors/

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  19. Ah, this made my evening :-)
    Lots of laughs, and a company I'm now sure never to support. What a PR-disaster...

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  20. Replies
    1. Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident!

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