Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Traveling Wizard Goes Dark - No More Social Media for Nystul

So, it looks like Mike Nystul has taken down his blog, his personal Facebook page and the Axes & Anvils Facebook page.

Is there anyone left who truly expects to receive any new version of the rules, let alone ANY physical products?

Mike couldn't pass this project off to others like the other two because the physical rewards owed to backers is simply too high in cost. Anyone picking up the reigns of this project from Mike would be taking on a money pit.

Nuking his social media is yet another sign that Mike is running away from what little responsibilities he had left to his backers.

This is making last year's Dwimmermount fiasco seem absolutely normal in comparison.

His transfer of the other two IPs was simple as neither has the amount of physical product add on like this one did. Here's a list of stuff you could have added on that has little to nothing to do with the core RPG:

Card Set (Add $10)

Runestones (Add $12)

Tankard (Add $16)

Dice (add $6 a pair)

Clan Patches (add $5)

Set of Clan Patches (add $20)

Dwarven Fiction Anthology (add $15)

Signed Anthology (add $30)

TShirt (add $16)

Calendar (add $12)

Giclee Art Print (add $30)

Campaign Integration (add $160) - (including the description of this, as it will NEVER happen)

I have received a lot of questions about, and interest in - the Living Campaign. I have also been asked to provide a way for folks who aren't playing a faction leader to get involved. Here you go -

The Living Campaign will be shaped by the decisions made by the leaders of the various factions involved. This will generate events that can be used by Gamemasters to give color and relevance to their games. At this level, it is a one way system (unless you are playing one of the faction leaders). We generate stuff, you use it or you don't.

With this add on your Campaign becomes part of the Living World. When you set up your Clan I will commission an emblem for you which will be created to your specifications (within reason). I will also work with you to locate you within a Campaign map that will be available to everyone online, along with an online guide to all of the Clans that are involved.

IMPORTANT - you only need one "subscription" per Campaign and it will last at least one full year.

The activities of the Integrated Campaigns will be integrated into the material that will go out to everyone. Your Gamemaster will be asked to submit a monthly questionnaire and may be asked a few followup questions. Will there be the potential for conflict, for alliances, for competition? Yes! Do I know exactly how? Not yet! But I will... : )

It is important to note that because of the amount of work maintaining the Living Campaign will take, I will have to ask everyone to stick to answering the questions I send in the manner I ask. If you feel like offering more there will be Forums where you can share material with other participants. I expect this to be a very lively community!

The Living Campaign begins the 1st of the year. 2013 will be the Year of the Dwarf!


  1. Awww, you scared the poor little bugger away.

    Now what the hell are you gonna post about?

  2. Good lord, the add-ons were clearly impossible even if he hadn't pissed away all the money on whatever. No way he could have produced *any* of those items for the costs listed, except maybe the dice if the dice were just d6s with a logo on one face.

    1. Almost like he never intended to actually produce any of these things...

  3. Good to see that the train is still wrecking. I feel bad for his backers, though.

  4. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The man might of wanted to be the dwarf king but once a man child (one who is bad with money and can't plan a kick starter project let alone his own life) gets free money intentions mean nothing. If it was not for his dishonesty, theft and lies him being homeless might be tragic. I feel his current situation is we'll deserved.

  5. Seems to me the modern Kickstarter should probably begin with a 90% finished product that is looking for polishing and artwork money. That way the totals are low, the wait time is low, and the backers can get a rough draft PDF right away for their efforts.

    In Music you have the occasional artist (Prince & Michael Jackson come to mind) who gets a massive amount of money to produce so many albums and with the money up front the creativity dies for some reason. I believe we are seeing something similar here. A hungry artist is motivated, a fat one plays xbox.

    1. The difference is that those artists have a catalog of past work that is generating income for them and their labels. The contract is mostly just a guarantee that the label gets first option on new work and that the keep the rights to old work.

  6. He's still defending himself on the Kickstarter page. It's sad.

  7. Castle Nystul is still there... er, here.. er, you know what I mean: www.castlenystul.com

    From http://www.castlenystul.com/nystul-who, section titled "Infrequently Asked Questions"
    Did you change your name?
    Yup. I changed my name from Mike Nystul to Alex Gray in 1996. I answer to both names. I tend to use Mike in the Game industry and Alex everywhere else. If it helps (and you give a shit) think of Alex as a nickname.

    Why did you change your name?
    Apparently there were people who really thought I was in some kind of witness relocation thing or that I was avoiding prosecution for something. It was nothing so glamorous. I was working as a freelance writer and artist at the time and no one could spell my name right. I was also never all that fond of "Mike" and had been going by "Alex" for some time
    Well, I guess that is one mystery solved... so when the annoying people with the court papers show up asking for one name, it can be said that no, that person is not here. There is also a mention of the Tavern on the Kickstarter page Comments section:

    "SavageRobby:" And here's the answer to my questions: http://www.tenkarstavern.com/2013/10/the-traveling-wizard-goes-dark-no-more.html

    "Mike Nystul:" I haven't read that and won't... (it continues, if anyone is interested, at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2063410154/axes-and-anvils/comments)

  8. "A hungry artist is motivated, a fat one plays xbox." ~ rjschwarz

    That's gold right there.

  9. As one of the chief writers on Infinite Dungeon and someone who's working with the SoulJAR crew to get Cairn to backers, I'd like to apologize for what's gone down. I personally sank a lot of time and effort into promoting all three projects, along with the writing gig, so I think I share some of the blame for enabling what happened.

    1. how did you guys get stuckmdoing mikes job?

    2. (Psssst... it's Alex... A - L - E - X.... not mike. mike is baaad.. )


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