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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wayward Kickstarter - Dragonwars of Trayth - Tabletop RPG (Pathfinder / OSRIC) - Indtroducing The PR Fail

Sometimes folks are their own worst enemies. Take, for example, the person(s) behind Dragonwars of Trayth. There is a saying that all publicity, even bad publicity, is good publicity. In this case, yesterday's post highlighting some of the Dragonwars of Trayth's Kickstarter put some actual eyes on it. At least two dozens sets of eyes.

Does it really matter? No, it's going to be a failed Kickstarter like it's elder doppleganger. Their first attempt to fund Dragonwars of Trayth was canceled when it was obvious it wouldn't fund. So, they responded quickly with a second attempt and a more modest goal. The result?

19 backers. Over what, 3 weeks. Not even a backer a day. So yes, I understand their frustration. They have a vision that's better than chocolate and peanut butter and instead they are to be left holding nothing for a second time.

Why is that?

The art from the project looks fine. The maps, especially the outdoor maps, I compared to MS-DOS are from those old RPGs in the early 90's, but I fear I insulted those classic RPGs.

So, since I dissed their mapping, what response do I get?

Yeah, Dragonwars of Trayth excels in the Public Relations department.

Oh, and of course, nonsense on the blogside too:

Here is my informed suggestion to the fine folks at Dragonwars of Trayth - Wait an extra 24 hours, at least, before responding to criticism. I am obviously NOT the only one that found issues with your project, as 19 supporters over the course of 3 weeks can easily attest to.

Nearly all the money I've raised on this blog has gone back to the blog, either via contests or giveaways. It is not a money maker.

As for evaluating, highlighting and criticizing Kickstarters, it's one of the things I do here at The Tavern.

You'll need to grow a thicker skin for your third attempt, because next time around, you'll have more eyes on you than just mine (and the handful of folks that pointed out your Kickstarter for me.)


  1. Wow. I skimmed the initial post because I'm not backing any new Kickstarter right now. This post made me go back and read the last one and I am really amazed. I think it's safe to say that project will never fund now. The OSR is already a pretty small niche of the greater RPG niche so when you go alienating the readers of one of the larger "backwater blogs" you shrink your market even further. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  2. These are the guys who thought they would raise $1.5 million to build a Gary Gygax shrine/museum because they had Ernie Gygax's endorsement. I'm sure they were both surprised and bitterly disappointed when their first kickstarter didn't even fund, let alone hit the $1,500,000 stretch goal.

  3. I just found out about all this.

    It wasn't Ernest's kickstarter, let's be clear about that. I can tell you he was disappointed when it became clear that the museum wouldn't happen, which was the real reason for him to support this project in the first place.

    I am shocked and appalled by the behavior of the people behind Dragonwars of Trayth have displayed here on your blog, Erik. I think you were perfectly entitled to your review and criticism of the project, and I think the threats and insults hurled back at you were totally uncalled for.

    1. That's weird, because someone told me that the reason Ernie Gygax Jr. supported this kickstarter was because they "are gamers who care about the things he himself cares about. Carrying on the torch of old school gaming into the 21st century is one of those things" -- and also that he "had talks with the people involved, and deemed them worthy of his trust".

      But now it turns out that the ONLY reason he threw his support behind the project was because of the Gygax museum and nothing else?

      I guess whoever told me that it was about how much investigation Ernie did was misinformed. Who was that anyway?

      Oh RIGHT, it was someone named "Benoist Poiré." Isn't that an odd coincidence?

    2. We all make mistakes. Lending support to Dragonwars of Trayth in the hopes of bringing about the museum, and thereby helping to carry the torch of OSG in the 21st century, certainly was a mistake.

    3. It may not have been Ernest's KS, but he lent his good name to the project. This incident may not reflect directly on him, but there is a tarnish there. We now know that his judgement is not particularly discriminating when it comes to the people he is willing to vouch for. I mean, I for one will still watch what he personally does with interest, but I am certainly going to be less thrilled when he tells me that someone else can be trusted with my money.

    4. Sounds fair to me, faoladh. I think we at GP learned out of this fiasco as well, and will be that much more cautious when authorizing the use of our material by others in the future.

  4. So much drama from both sides... Children will be children.... Let me know when all grow up so we can concentrate on gaming.