Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wayward Kickstarter: DRAGONHEIM, A Classic Fantasy Roleplaying Game

he's a plumber, a preacher, a designer that changes gears midstream and can't handle criticism.  we have the makings of a true winner ;)

DRAGONHEIM, A Classic Fantasy Roleplaying Game 
Update #17 - For backers only Dec 30 2013
One Update to Rule them All
Hello everyone,

First let me say, even the best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go astray.

With that being said, the project is still very much alive and kicking. No one has received what they were promised yet, and certainly not on time, but everyone will receive what they were promised (Except that is will be Completely Different).

So what have I been doing for the past three months you ask? I have been creating a new game system unlike anything I've ever played.

Why haven't I kept the backers in the loop? Because I've come to realize two things. First, whatever I present to the group is subject to change, and second, whatever I present to the group is subject to criticism. Criticism destroys my creativity. I can't work with it. Sorry. Personal fault. That's why I'm self employed and work mostly alone I suppose. (Danger Will Robinson!)

So what happened to the character creation packet? Well, it was almost complete when I noticed something. All that I had created was just another version of d20 with some extra rules. And to be honest, Pathfinder had already done it way better. They're a large company, they have art departments, and teams of experienced writers.

Let me put it this way. I enjoy watching those "history of video games" shorts on YouTube. There is one thing I notice that some of my favorite games have in common. They had a very small team working on them with very small budgets, and lots of memory and technical limitations to deal with. All of these restrictions forced them to innovate and invent in ways that they otherwise wouldn't have. And in my opinion it made the project better, because they created something that was groundbreaking.

What I have created, if you will allow me, is something so new, and so different, that some of you are probably going to hate it (and hate me for creating it). With that being said, if you want your money back, say so now. I've already received a threatening letter from Kickstarter warning me that if I don't deliver on my promises, they may take action (Holy Shit! This is a first!). At the risk of sounding disinterested, this doesn't bother me. Anyone who wants their money back please respond to this thread saying so, or contact me privately. No hard feelings. For anyone who still has faith in the project, and is willing to accept that I am just one man, who probably promised you too much too soon in order to get you on board, things will get much better for the project starting today. (No refunds to date apparently - no game - neither the one Kickstarted not the one he decided to do instead)

Let me be perfectly transparent. I'm a plumber by trade, not a professional writer. I have a writing credit on one project ("Westward" available as a free download through DrivethruRPG). A few months ago, I also took up the pastorate at a small church. This means that I now write three sermons per week and have responsibility over a congregation. My time isn't what it used to be, but I still pour every free hour I have into Dragonheim. I still believe that I can create a really stellar and original role-playing game. If that ideas I put forward during funding hadn't led you to believe this, we wouldn't be talking now. You all know that I can create something exciting and new. I just need the time.

So that's where we stand, for better or worse. Once again, no hard feelings, and while i appreciate that you'd all have liked for things to have gone closer to plan, they simply haven't and if this frustrates you the best advice I can give you is to ask for a refund.




  1. In othe rnews, sun hot, water wet, darkness dark. :/ I can't say I'll never have a kickstarter, but the damned thing will be written and finished before I ask anyone for anything.

  2. A stellar example of his faith.

    1. That was the first thing that popped into my mind.. You can't deliver on a product you promised, you say you'll refund which you never do.. Yet you feel that you are qualified to teach the word of God to a church full of people?

    2. When has hypocrisy ever stopped a religious adherent? IF ONLY IT DID.

  3. Heh. That was a nice read, especially as I was sitting down to write an update tonight (2nd to last one for Whisper & Venom I believe :) ), I almost feel I should write an update like that to my backers as a satire to see if I could...

    "Sorry, I switched from a Pathfinder version to one I think is what you deserve after having the temerity to question me. Pathfinder is a good system and all but F.A.T.A.L. seems a better fit for you...because I feel evil...and don't like critics or something."

    But I won't because I have shame.



  4. I for one am happy for the risks that others take to fund these projects. (I'm very picky about what Kickstarter projects I fund. I think I've done like four, and all have delivered, except I'm waiting on some Jeff Dee artwork still.) This stuff is so entertaining to read. Sure, they all say pretty much the same thing—it's not my fault I took your money and sat on my ass!—but the little variations make it all the more fun.

  5. Did you see the creator's latest comment:

    " Creator Varon Cook about 22 hours ago

    Tell you what, I'm going to complete the project, tonight, and mail it to each and every one of you."

    Sure you are, Varon. Sure you are.

  6. I wake up in cold sweats at night that one day you will be talking about my Strange Brew kickstarter here next year.

    1. As mine is about 2 weeks away from total fulfillment and was about 10 days late for the initial rewards I can assure you that those cold sweats are what focuses the mind. Nothing like a hostile press to keep you busy :)

  7. If I ever do a kick starter, it'll be to fund a gold brick factory or something. Then I'll make the RPG in my own sweet time and on my own dime.

    I'm writing and RPG now btw and I don't think I'll ever sell it or give it away.

  8. I'm glad to say the only wayward kickstarter I've been involved in is John Kricfalusi's cartoon. He goes silent for annoyingly long periods of time and I don't really expect him to finish at this point, but at least he's never tried to tell us that he's not actually required to fulfill the rewards.

  9. You know, while I generally agree with the argument that Kickstarter is not an "agreement to purchase" and therefore doesn't include the usual obligations to provide a product if the kick starter fails (it's a venture capital transaction, not a retail sale), it never ceases to amaze me how completely and utterly self absorbed and without dignity or shame these people are. Just because you don't have the legal obligation to your backers should not free you from the moral obligation to see the product though to completion as much as possible. I get that sometimes you can't complete the project, or your proof of concept fails in production, but basic humility requires that you not simply tell your backers to pound sand. And incidentally, deciding the project you started no longer holds your interest is not the same as running into production problems.

    1. Except he DOES have a LEGAL responsibility. This is straight from Kickstarter's terms of use: "Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill." This product was "successfully funded" and he has to deliver the product or return the money - period.

    2. Also this from the Kickstarter FAQ under "Accountability":

      "Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?

      Yes. Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. This information can serve as a basis for legal recourse if a creator doesn't fulfill their promises. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill."

  10. If nothing else, I have this blog to thank for completely inoculating me against any conceivable temptation to support any Kickstarter project ever.

  11. Ahh, another name added to the "Don't pee on the moron even if he's on fire" list!

  12. Thank you for continuing to expose these clowns. It's truly a service.


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