1st off I know everybody is pretty much full of Ken Whitman talk and while I get it, letting the issue die down for the simple sake of preserving one’s sanity is a tradeoff of silence that enables Ken to possibly swindle someone else. Odds are if you’re reading this you have a passing familiarity with the situation and this is at best a popcorn moment. If so, good for you…..
I’m posting this, through Erik, as part of my “not another dime” campaign, as in I want to make sure Ken Whitman doesn’t ever make another dime in this industry. I’m far from alone in this matter, but Ken still has his supporters. I have no clue why outside maybe Ken has a high CHA score.
The Mrs. and I went to GenCon for a day with only one event in mind….the Knights of the Dinner Table: Live Action Series (KoDT:LAS) “premiere”. We had backed at $450 and the big bump in backer level was for front-row seating and an after-party. The weekend before the big event Ken got pissy and decided to cancel the after party.
Right off……I have to call some major BS here. There were to be three after-parties originally, back-to-back in two hour increments. Hell, for some stupid reason you can STILL buy tickets to these events! (http://d20entertainment.com/d20-entertainment-gen-con-after-party/) Major hint here Ken…..just removing the links to a webpage from your other pages doesn’t make that webpage go away! The BS part about Ken’s narrative of getting mad at Jolly Blackburn and then canceling the party out of spite is that there were to be two other parties, both of which were unrelated to the KoDT:LAS. Either way you cannot cancel an event that is mythical. Ken Whitman never reserved the party location. I met with the sales manager at the hotel and confirmed that Ken had filled out reservation paperwork, but he put down a credit card that was declined. Since he never returned the hotel’s calls or emails to get updated payment, the room was never reserved.
So the parties didn’t have a venue and they didn’t have the promised attendees either. Ken never bothered to invite or make arrangements for the actors to attend GenCon and the after-party despite that being the whole selling point of that Kickstarter backer level…..and his contract with KenzerCo.
Some fans and the guys over at Zombie Orpheus Entertainment (ZOE) worked with Jolly Blackburn and GenCon to secure a room for an after party and bent over backwards scrambling to bring as many of the KoDT:LAS actors to GenCon that they could. Everyone but Christopher Folan (Dave) was able to get there, at no small expense and effort. Ken didn’t have ANYTHING to do with this after-party or the actors, but he still put out a ham-fisted effort to take credit anyway.
Barely 26 hours before the KoDT:LAS premiere Ken sends an email out to a few select folks (I counted six people) informing them of the “new” after-party at small restaurant starting at 11 PM, and hour after the “unofficial” after-party. It really seemed that maybe Ken thought he could hobble something together and consider that part of the Kickstarter fulfilled. Never mind the fact he didn’t have anything promised and paid for by backers. The actors would be at the other party and who the hell wants to start a party at 11pm? Nope, doesn’t meet the fulfillment in any real (and legal) sense.
A group of the backers arrived early to the event and saw there was a considerable line already. We formed our own group and when the GenCon staff asked us if we were there for the event some of us…..ok me, was less than nice to them in making it clear that we were backers, had no tickets, and sure as hell weren’t getting into the main line. I did apologize……and they lined us upon the opposite side of the doors. Since most of us knew each other we pretty much policed ourselves and lined up according to our backer levels. From my prime vantage spot I could listen in on the staff a bit and see that Ken Whitman was holed up in the room instead of coming out as promised in his video earlier in the week. If you haven’t seen that video, don’t watch the original…this copy is much better (http://dontfundkenwhitman.blogspot.com/2015/07/ken-whitman-faces-lie-detector-in-his.html). While Ken never left the room, he did send his girlfriend out. Easy enough to recognize her from the vacation photos. I think she is the one that ferried a list of the backers to the staff for admittance. I saw the list and it wasn’t organized by backer level (remember two folks paid a HUGE premium for their seats) and was incomplete. Instead of giving us tickets as promised (and stated as having been sent out at least once) this list was the only information GenCon had….and I wasn’t on it, not even as a “+1”. The staff where pretty cool though and they knew that the list was messed up so for the most part they just took out word for it. Jolly and Barb Blackburn showed up and offered to help the staff, but they pretty much just decided it was a mess and assume folks were being honest.
The only issue at that point was that they didn’t have enough chairs in the room because their seating never accounted for the backers! I believe that the ZOE guys came through again and gave the staff a head’s up because they were moving in chairs BEFORE they got the partial backer list.
The showing went off well enough and everyone was pretty damned civil. I agree that Jolly did a bang-up job with the script and the actors rocked, but the two rough-cut episodes were…well, rough. I highly doubt Ken will be in any position to finish them up, much less send out DVDs to backers. I wasn’t pleased, but I’ll freely admit I went into this viewing anticipating more of Ken’s BS, but we did keep it civil, as requested. I think most of us that would have started a riot knew that Barbara Blackburn was in a bit of an anxious state because of all the drama. It was bad enough that earlier in the day some of us decided every time she said the name “Ken” she got a hug…because she needed it. At the end of the showing we had a brief Q&A, but only because Jolly and the ZOE guys pretty much took control and brought up the actors. Even though two of the ZOE troop were in the KoDT:LAS, it seemed obvious to me they were putting focus on the two newer actors (Jenny Simmons and Josh Logsdon playing Sara and Brian). The session was cut short to prep the room for the next event and everyone had about an hour to kill before the after-party.
The after-party was “meh”, but still worth attending. Geekpreacher bought me and the Mrs. each a “soda” for a total of $10. Our drinks consisted of one can of diet coke split between two glasses, with some left over. That was all hotel there. We did get some more Mike Mason and our very own Cahira doing a belly dance (full costume and everything). It was a good time to mill about and chat with folks, just wasn’t what I consider a “party”, but quite surprising when you consider the unusual constraints involved. There was some free swag donated by several game companies that knew about the fiasco and wanted to pitch in, even if just a little bit. Even though he wasn’t there, I think Ken helped cast a pall over what should have been a much brighter moment of revelry.
Now I knew of some of Ken’s breaches of contract with KenzerCo, hard not to with all the talk going on at the KenzerCo booth earlier in the day. Of course Dave Kenzer is about as cool and collected as can be. Not so much “I’m a lawyer and we have his ass over a barrel” cool, but a “Don’t give the guy any power over you” type of cool. I have always admired folks who can take in the big picture and be cool about shit, but that isn’t me. We knew that Ken Whitman was to have a meeting with Jolly and Dave regarding the contract and at the viewing Ken straight-up said he’d be giving KenzerCo the film, but instead he skipped out of the meeting and also did a no-show at the Friday 10 AM viewing. Later Ken posted on Facebook that there had been a threat on his life and that GenCon cancelled “everything except the premieres”.
Again, I have to call BS. Ken cut and pasted an email form GenCon showing that event FLM1569413 had been cancelled, but the Friday viewing was event FLM1569412. As of yesterday it was still listed as an event on the GenCon website. If they had cancelled that event then it would at least have the right number. No, I think that Ken cancelled a later showing for Thursday night quite some time ago and simply recycled the email as an excuse. This would explain why GenCon doesn’t have anything to say about the alleged cancellation for Friday’s viewing and didn’t notify ticket holders of the cancellation.
Since GenCon Ken has been emailing multiple folks in the industry trying to sell the fulfillment of the Pencil Dice Kickstarter for $10. In the email he admits to squandering the money and he had already admitted in an interview that he spent Pencil Dice money on KoDT:LAS, but what he have recently learned is that was actually Ken paying back an independent investor to the KoDT:LAS that he needed because he squandered that money.
So it appears that Ken is broke and trying to get out from his obligations…period. Ken has admitted, or had exposed, that he has spent Kickstarter money basically on anything but the projects he collected the money for in the first place. At this point people need to get the FCC and their Attorney Generals involved in this. When they do they need to make sure they are complaining about Ken Whitman himself and not d20 entertainment. Why?
Because d20 entertainment DOES NOT EXIST. It is a figment of Ken Whitman’s imagination and d20 Entertainment does not exist as a legal entity in any of the 50 states. I know because I’ve checked with the Secretary of State of all 50 states. If you go ahead and check Kentucky, the state that Ken lives in and presumably the one d20 entertainment should reside in, you will find an entry. By all means, check it out for yourself. I won’t tell you what is special about that entry, but you can figure it out for yourself.
So in the last week I’ve uncovered evidence about Ken lying about his webstore, his after-parties, his GenCon cancellation, and even his company. That is four pretty big things…..but still some people believe his BS - Christopher
Alright, have you seen this letter?
Ken was asked in the Kickstarter comments section if it was real (the phone number is) - he didn't answer that. As an aside, you can't reassign responsibilities in Kickstarter - see Dwimmermount
BTW, that car Ken was driving around to the filming set and elsewhere? According to Ken, that was a 2 week test drive that cost him nothing. Yeah... right.
Go to the KotDT: LAS comments section - but first, grab a beer and some popcorn. More drama, more laughs, more lies - simply more of everything!
I looked up the Kentucky filing. Well played, Christopher.ReplyDelete
What gets me is that I've uncovered several things that really took little-to-no effort, but apparently I'm the only one who bothered even that much.Delete
Ok, checking with all 50 Secretary of States was a bit of effort, but only done to be thorough. Not many states let you file as a foreign corporation, much less so cheaply as Kentucky does. If he didn't file in his home state he'd probably lose money on the deal...if he could register even. I also checked for Ken's name with every state that let me.
When I met with the hotel regarding the party room reservation I spent more time with them than Ken ever did. The staff was great and I requested a copy of the contract, which I didn't expect to get. I also requested a blank copy of the hotel's contract and/or policies & procedures because I didn't expect anything better. Corporate wouldn't let them release anything, and honestly I wouldn't have either.
I was told that the "deposit" was actually supposed to be payment in full, but I didn't ask what they meant by "supposed", but I assume it was a deposit only so much as the only way to get any funds back was to cancel the event more than 30 days out, which is fairly typical.
1st off, I don't know any dealer that lets you "test drive" a car for two weeks.ReplyDelete
2nd, Ken's KS comment posts are lies......those 25 Hardcover books he sent the Blackburns wasn't a "gift", it was part of the payment to Barb for her work on the book.
Wow...more lies upon lies.....
GDI, I was wondering where my pencil dice were. Now I know, here I thought I escaped a Whitmanning.ReplyDelete
Jesus, this guy just leaves me speechless. Just, completely speechless.ReplyDelete
Thanks for covering this and for letting the guest poster add this to the discussion. This guy shouldn't ever receive another dollar from anyone in our hobby.
Charles - The Tavern is only as good with the covering of Wayward Kickstarters as it's sources are. And I love guest posters, as it adds to the depth of The Tavern's community.Delete
Win win, even if Ken's Kickstarters are all losers...
80k is no joke.... Tell that to the people who paid for them!ReplyDelete
I remember that back in the 90s Ken did some things that pissed off a lot of people, but I don't know what he did. Anyone know?ReplyDelete
Fucked up T4 as I recall. Ran Imperium Games.Delete
After that in the mid 00's he pissed everyone off with his RapidPOD company shenanigans, and now this.
Kickstarter or backstabber. Fraud is not cool, this puts a shadow of doubt over all kickstarter projects and hurts the honest ones.ReplyDelete
I cannot access the KS comments, but I've asked my wife to post the following:ReplyDelete
@Ken, you "cancelled" a party that never existed in the first place. You didn't have a room reserved and you didn't have the actors as promised. Not only do you owe a bunch of folks $20, you owe two backers $450 for your planned inability to provide the premiere and party you promised as part of their backer level.
Your Terms of Service Agreement with Kickstarter specifies: "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." You were unable, or unwilling, to appropriately fulfill the GEN CON 2015 THEATRICAL PREMERE & AFTER PARTY PACKAGE.
You could argue that you still have time to fulfill about $150 of rewards from those $450 levels, but you cannot in any legal sense claim fulfillment as promised for the premiere or the after-party. We already know you won't be fulfilling the promise of the movie print and any other reward fulfillment is highly suspect.
If you will not refund the $450 as required by your TOS with Kickstarter and we are forced to take legal action then we will be forced to peruse recompense for the additional expenses accrued due to your intentional misconduct and breech of contract (fraud).
I realize you are probably broke and one cannot get blood from a stone, but if this is the case I'm OK with just getting one of your stones.
/slow golf clap re: the very last line.Delete
It might be a bit much, but I do have the rare moment.Delete
Thanks Chris for the Friday entertainment and of course for outing one of the bad guys in this industry. Delicious.ReplyDelete
This better than any Lifetime movie.ReplyDelete
As I suspected, Ken Whitman is now officially claiming that the party he slapped together less than 24 hours before the alleged party he cancelled counts as backer fulfillment. There were no KoDT:LAS actors or D-Team members at his combined "everything" party.ReplyDelete
Where can I find these presumably-exciting Kentucky business filings?ReplyDelete
Check the pdf
Guys....the filing is just me reserving the d20 entertainment as a LLC name, mostly to prove that Ken's company is fictional in a very real and legal sense. Kentucky is a cheap state to form a business in and they allow for "foreign corporations" so I figured it was a good $10 spent to reserve the name until October.ReplyDelete
I just realized your address is in there, I'll delete the link if you want.Delete
It is a matter of public record and you'd have to be a complete idiot to not be able to find my addy with less than 60 seconds of online work.Delete
Wow, Ken just doubled-down on his jackassery. His newest complaint is that Jolly's afterparty took backers away from his "official" one.ReplyDelete
Creator d20 Entertainment 14 minutes ago
I appreciate that you knew I was having a d20E after party and that you invited the backers to yours.
Holy hell. He actually played the "You stole my thunder" card against the folks who were trying to salvage this trainwreck of an event.
The KS comments page is a picture inside a troubled mind. If he was a politician, it would be the moment to hold a press conference, put your shell shocked wife behind you, and tearfully admit to certain "indisccretions" and check into rehab. It is that far off the rails for Ken.Delete
The sooner we realize that it's Ken's World and we just live in it, the better off we will all be... Right? Am I right? Hello? Hello? ((crickets chirping))ReplyDelete
I'm thanking my lucky stars I was "only" in for Spinward Traveller and Blackwood Ridge. What a sucker. I'm not proud, I was also in on Appendix N. As far as KS goes for me from now on, unless it has +Kevin Crawford's name on it, then forget it.ReplyDelete
There are plenty of good folks around the RPG and OSR community who use Kickstarter for good instead of evil beyond Kevin Crawford. (though he surely belongs in that esteemed category) Please, don't let this fool spoil it for everyone.Delete
Indeed, plenty of reliable Kickstarter creators out there... but do your homework!Delete
If you need to review my websearch for d20 Entertainment, and when possible, companies where Ken Whitman is publicly listed as an officer, here is the assembled PDF of my various searches. Since every state has their own database, the result will vary wildly. In some cases you can see what I searched for and others.....well what I got is what I got.ReplyDelete
This is a 4.5 MB download......https://www.dropbox.com/s/u9dbrso0ueu08s7/D20%20and%20KW%20Sec%20State%20Search.pdf?dl=0
I have no sympathy for anyone who backed ken's kickstarters. Do your due diligence!!!!ReplyDelete
I get what you are saying, but when you back a Kickstarter project like KoDT:LAS you aren't just backing Ken, you are backing Jolly Blackburn and the rest of the KenzerCo D-Team. If Ken had simply adhered to their contract we'd be left with an a-hole Kickstarter Founder who treated the backers like shit, but we'd have gotten the movie and the party.Delete
I knew that Ken had some issues in the past, but if KoDT:LAS could come out anything like Brothers Barabarian, AND he had the support of the D-Team, due diligence isn't really a factor here.
A lot of Ken's issues have been politely buried by the industry and aside from some stupid forum back-and-forths there wasn't nearly that much out there to go on. Definitely not something plastered on the front page (or frist couple pages) of a Google search.
Of course that is changing now....
I can't tell you how close I was to putting some serious coin into getting stuff printed through RapidPOD back in the day. I was all lined up, getting my layouts in order, purchasing rights to artwork, etc...then one day things just seemed "off". I started seeing drama surrounding RapidPOD on rpg.net, and I decided to hold back just to see what was going on. I never did get around to publishing anything...as it made me afraid to work with any print on-demand service.ReplyDelete
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: BULLET DODGED
If you still want to publish something, go with OBS/DTRPG. They partner with Lightning Source and are a near perfect company. Their customer service is exemplary. And as a customer, I wasn't disappointed even once.Delete
Thanks, Matt! I'll check them out!Delete
"[...]and who the hell wants to start a party at 11pm?" ... You might be showing your age here. :p (32, and 23:00/00:00 are still pretty normal "party starting times" for going out dancing and even eating on weekends.)ReplyDelete
Otherwise... Yeah. Whitman's bullshit is widely known. Has been so for over 10 years now. Has been OPENLY known and searchable for over 10 years.
I don't understand why and how KenzerCo allowed him to touch their IP in the first place. And I'm very sorry for everybody who lost money to yet another Ken Whitman Special. :( He needs to get "run out" of the industry. He needs to get sued. He needs to finally face consequences for his actions. ANY of his actions. :(
I'm OK with an 11 PM party, but not for an event over at 8 PM. The three hour wait is too much,Delete
... Okay, that is context I didn't get. - Yeah, waiting three hours for an "Afterparty" is more than just stupid. ... But then... It's Whitman. So it fits. :-/Delete
Jolly knows that better than most - Ken got him for big bucks back in the Shadis days. In Jolly and Barb's defense, Ken pitched this to them almost like a 12-step amends. He admitted his past wrong doings, begged for forgiveness and the chance to show that he'd really changed. If Jolly and Barb have a fault, it's that they are too kind-hearted and swallowed that line of malarkey. Jolly is done this time. He's made it very public he'll never work with dickless again.ReplyDelete
"He admitted his past wrong doings, begged for forgiveness and the chance to show that he'd really changed."Delete
Ah man, that's how abusers (financial or otherwise) are able to keep coming back for more. "THIS TIME will be different." Sad.
Oh - and Whitless got me too for about $2K back in the RapidPOD days. It actually was my failure to do due diligence that has now cost me another $150 lesson. : )ReplyDelete
The fact Ken pulled together Brothers Barbarian season 1 and 2 largely on his own (writing the scriipt, assembling the talent, finding the camera, crews etc) was damn impressive. True he ultimately never delivered BB2 but I was there when it was being shot in KY and to my eye it looked like a professionally run operation. They knocked that a thing out over a four day period and the logistics of doing that was made an impression. That coupled with Ken's apologies and talk of being on new meds for his ADHD and having turned over a new leaf... Hell, I believe in second chances. So when he came to us with a KODTLAS proof of concept teaser in his hand (all paid for, cast and shot by him from what I understood) it seemed ike a no brainer. Especially when he presented a short list of names of people who were going to be working with him. AND including a 'money guy' who was to monitor all the money. Long story short most of those 'names' ended up packing up and high tailing it when they saw things weren't going as Ken had promised. If only *I* had had the same option - but by that time we were glued to the hip. Anyway it's easy to arm chair quarter back I suppose and I don't mind the "should'a seen it coming" comments. Truth is some truly good stuff was put on film and I do believe had Ken only managed the money better he could have easily funded the next 10 planned episodes. It's doubtful (to me) Ken will ever manage to do all his fulfillments on all his kickstarters but at least we got three episodes of KODTLAS out of this mess. And as proof of concept pieces there's been interest from other parties in picking up where Ken gets off. But that will have to wait until the smoke clears.ReplyDelete
I am just going to leave this here:ReplyDelete
Holy crapola! He is running a panel called, "GET THE DOUGH: CROWD SOURCE FINANCING VS. TRADITIONAL (BIZ)"?!Delete
This is the description of the event:
"Watch two very different financiers go head-to-head discussing the differences in raising funds the traditional way versus the Kickstarter way. If you want to learn the tricks to making money, this is the panel for you."
I've sent the staff a short head's-up email, but someone with some more klout might want to do so as well......email@example.com
heh - this deserves it's own highlighting ;)Delete
I'd SO want to hear that some of the KODT:LAS KS backers went to this and sat in on that seminar. I'll bet the Q&A would be a hoot!Delete
I wonder if Larry could get some of those people in? >:-)
Ken is no longer associated with the talk OR the event! I am going to chalk it up to your email to the staff. Well done!Delete
Tenkar and Christopher...When I backed the Pencil Dice and RPG Pencil Dice on KS, they were two of my first KS projects. A disappointment but, as others have commented, a lesson in doing your homework before expecting outcomes. The KODT comments section was quite a read and I appreciate how much work you've all continued to put in for those of us new to Ken's series of gambling schemes. In my opinion, as a mental health professional, this man is in need of an evaluation and, hopefully, treatment. His years of deception are catching up with him, as well as the immediate nature of screenshots, time codes in emails, and forums where he continues to tell half-truths and present himself as the victim. Again, thank you for your work in helping the silent majority.ReplyDelete
After seeing/hearing about some things I cannot comment on directly I would suspect that Ken Whitman is an addict and my guess would be sex & cocaine (they do seem to go together often).Delete
I am not an expert by any means, but I do have some experience in the addiction industry and this just feels like it fits to me......I could of course, be 110% wrong and it wouldn't be the first time.
Wow, I backed pencil dice and RPG pencil dice. I did do my homework, and didn't find anything off at the time. Unfortunately I was way wrong. This joker actually sent me fake emails that he claimed to be from Larry Elmore. As he was trying to cash in on a table top I had presented him with because of his clout with Larry in the first place.ReplyDelete
I wish I had the money to fulfill his agreement for that specific project (pencil dice) and make it a reality for the backers who were also used and lead to because this truly was a good idea. Unfortunately that's all it ever was