Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kickstarter - Myth & Magic - The Truth Be Told, At Last (update 63)

The Myth & Magic Player's Guide Kickstarter. What can I say about it now that I haven't said already? Not much. It was, truth be told, so full of blatant lies that it was almost humorous to follow. At least until Tom decided to post my name and tracking information in the comments section of the Kickstarter for all to see. Yeah, I contacted Kickstarter for that bit of "unprofessional conduct" and they removed it.

I expected my copy of the M&M Player's Guide to be either piss soaked or covered in anthrax after that little incident, but it arrived clean and unscathed- just so I could be shut up. See, I wasn't bitching so much about the lateness but the lies piled upon lies.

Apparently, Tom has decided the truth will set him free. Not that he admits to lying in so many words. He is still, by training, a lawyer:

Project Update #63: Things are still moving, but...
For backers only (I think folks deserve the truth, so here it is, with snarky comments provide by your favorite Tavern Keeper)
Posted by New Haven Games
Hi Everyone...

This is going out to the backers of both Kickstarters.

I wanted to drop a much-needed update to tell you that I'm still here and still working to complete the GMG and PG shipments. You have asked multiple times for the true reason for the Kickstarter fiasco. I tried, as politically as possible, to dodge the question and to keep you all positive (lets call bullshit what it is... bullshit. Tom lied. Now he tells us the justification for lying). Well, my attempting to keep you (and me) positive turned into untruthfulness (see, lawyer 100%) and I can't run away from the issues any longer.

The site is no longer active. In fact, NHG is no longer active. For the last few months, I have been trying to form a plan to complete the projects as quickly as possible. Part of that plan includes not funding anything outside the projects.

The first cause of all the problems is that I underestimated the cost of the Player's Guide KS, artwork for the GMG, and international PG shipments (I'll give him some play on this - he went high on the hog when it came to the art and international shipping costs rose tremendously as the project got delayed). Not having the proper business foresight (translation - "I had no idea WTF I was doing but the money coming in seemed nice"), I didn't control the early spending and went overboard with quality. So, I've been self-funding the final leg of the PG shipments and everything since the first draft of the GMG; and by extension, everything to be completed moving forward is to be funded with my money (because Tom can't budget for shit - not uncommon in the world of Kickstarters). The second cause has been a lack of time outside of my work and family. I wrote this game and began marketing it before I was working. I always naively thought that I would be able to manage it all. Well, I was wrong. (honesty - doesn't it sound nice for a change?)

The cold hard truthful reason why things have crawled to a temporary stop is that I don't have enough money stored up to quickly fuel the projects (did he piss it all away on hookers and blow? no - he suffered from some of that Nystulian syndrome - can't run a business for shit)

Now, having said all of that, I'm NOT GIVING UP. It's hard enough to think that NHG is no more, but even harder to think that I have let down the players that made the game possible. And for that reason, I vow to get this done. I have begun to look into various loan programs and for a few private reasons, I should be able to secure the necessary funds by the end of Summer. Mid-September to be exact. (I'm glad Tom is looking to make things right. Doesn't explain away all of the lies, nor does it earn forgiveness for said lies, but it's more than some other project creators have attempted. Assuming it's not more lies...)

A few things must happen. It doesn't cost any money to release the full art-free GMG, so I can realistically get that to the GMG backers on or before the first week of May (nicely done). I will also continue to send out small quantities of books with my private money until I get the loan. These shipments will also include the Players Guides ordered by GMG backers. As I said, any loan will most likely come through in mid-September. At that point, whatever orders are not received or needing to be re-shipped will be immediately shipped out. I would love to get all international orders shipped before the loan, but some of them are $80 to $100 a whack! I will still try though. My goal, in terms of the GMG, is to have it printed and shipped before the end of the year. (lofty goals)

Trust me, I understand your frustration. You have every right to be frustrated and even angry. We all had an amazing time collaborating and creating this game. The only thing I ask for is more patience and more time. Please. Nothing happened as a result of bad faith or any intentional scheme to defraud you (except for the lies. That built upon more lies. And when confronted with evidence of lying, more lies still). It was all a matter of my mismanaging the PG Kickstarter. It's a beautiful book, but dammit, it was my undoing!

Another factor of my undoing was not communicating enough (no - Tom's undoing was the lying. That, more than anything, has hurt whatever business he had.) I was embarrassed. Add in the hate mail and hate comments, and running away from the updates and comments was the only way I could avoid having a nervous breakdown. You may or may not know this, but I have two small children. I can't let them see me fall apart over this. (understandable. lying puts a horrible toll on folks, especially when they want to do right and are confront by their bullshit)

My next update will include the GMG pdf and an update on how many additional shipments I was able to send out. I will also set up a new dedicated email address to start fresh with everyone. The other email addresses are filled with vileness. I hope we can just start over, with a new email, and have some better dialogue. I probably will not read the comments here so that I can try to focus on what's ahead, but I will update you more frequently.

Well, that's it - the entire ugly truth. I'm still here and still dedicated. I have the right mindset now to get this done and I will get this done!!


It's not the entire ugly truth, but close enough. The angry comments (and blogposts) were due more to the outright lies, especially about having shipped out hundreds of shipments, than being late. If Tom truly (there's that fucking word again) attempts to do right now, much of his earlier deception will be forgiven, but probably not forgotten.

Damn shame as Myth & Magic had the makings of a fine game.


  1. I still think he could pull it through by offering a POD version of the Players Guide, and using the proceeds to pay for the shipping to the Kickstarter backers and then for the GM Guide. Not a perfect solution, but it would get the books into the hands of the people who backed them faster.

    1. If he means what he says, it seems he plans to atone for his sins by taking out loans to pay back the monies he mismanaged.

      I agree that a POD version would put money in his pocket AND get books out to his backers... I don't know if he wants to do that.

  2. A step in the right direction. Unfortunately, shipping has increased quite a bit since the project funded. It's going to be an uphill climb to send all those books. Had hopes for this one, too. It will likely end up an idea mine sitting for the shelf rather than something I'll actively support or play, bad taste and all.

  3. I think just reminds me i need pdfs of all product designed,edited and with either placeholder graphics or no graphics ready to go so when i KS print and shipping prices remain same - i did a newspaper 2012 and print cost rose 50% from quote to print ready stage and yes freight rose - probably need to overcharge for inevitable shipping costs but I am a amazed more dont get out PDFs - Or put out lots of PDFs through online rpg sales then compile into a hardcopy compilation book with art when customer base built - having worked in fantasy are studio customers come in all the time thinking we want to be partners and their writing worth more than our art - in most of these dream projects they have no experience then want to dictate how project marketed with no industry skills and ignore advice of decades of artist know how in fantasy industry. I used to think boss was mean but these lame ducks usually get worse not better - i even had a client pretend to be dead

  4. He released a quick start guide for this didn't he.. basically a parred down version of 2e?

  5. There but for the grace of God go I...He fell into the same trap I knew I was not going to avoid. The difficult choices between how you imagine your game and what you can afford after Amazon and KS wet their beaks are heartbreaking. I feel lucky that I backed 60 or so projects (at the time) 6 months before I launched. By that point I had done enough research to know that if I wanted the quality to match my dream I had better pony up for sunk costs early. For all I knew I would fail to get enough interest to fund making me the proud owner of the rights to 14 sculpts, 35 Gnome emblazoned t-shirts and 25 pieces of RPG art. Had I started those purchases once I had the funds from KS in the bank, as opposed to months ahead I think my project could easily have wound up the same way. I hated the thought of compromising and I bet he did as well. Kickstarter is a wonderful tool but, in my opinion, you can't start a KS without significant financial skin in the game and hope to succeed with an ambitious project. If he wasn't such a prick to Tenkar I might pity him. He was though so I don't...Z

  6. It really is too bad. Myth & Magic is not a bad game really and had some great production values.

  7. Well. I do not know the whole story, but his explanation is pitiable. And sounds like he was crappy to people. All that aside I would be interested in an overview of the game. May be difficult for anyone who kick started it to be unbiased, and I understand that. Still would be nice to know how it turned out for all the trouble.

  8. I'll be auctioning a copy of the elusive, "mythical", largely unseen, and totally controversial "Myth and Magic" at this year's NTRPG con Midnight Auctions!!! We only have to get, ohh, $100 or so a copy to recoup our investment, so BRING YOUR WALLETS!!!

    1. are the proceeds going to anything special?


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