Friday, January 6, 2017

Why I Focus on the Kickstarter Con Men - Hatred or Diligence?

There is currently a discussion going on in a Google Plus Community that has come down to this - is shining a continual spotlight on certain reprehensible individuals (my words, not theirs) that have abused the Kickstarter process to harm our gaming community an act of hatred or diligence?

Let me get this out there. I hate neither Gareth nor Con Man Ken. I do, however, loathe them for what they have done to the gaming community and to the Kickstarter process.

You see, no project creator on Kickstarter is in a bubble of their own (well, maybe Monte). When someone abuses the process, there are repercussions throughout this hobby of ours. I can't tell you the number of communications I've had with folks that tell me its because of Gareth, #ConManKen, Brave Halfling, Nystul, Myth & Magic or some other "took their money and failed to deliver" Kickstarter creator that they are now gun shy when it comes to supporting further Kickstarters.

Can you blame them?

Kickstarter funding requires trust and that is something that can not be bought, only earned. It is easy to lose and difficult to regain. And its a fucking shame that shitty people have taken the money of others and given back nothing that was promised, even years later.

Some do try to make right. Others, like Nystul, fall on the sword and admit to their failures. I can respect that. I might not be happy with the results, but it takes a certain amount of introspection to admit you are a failure. It also requires honesty.

Neither ConMan Ken nor Gareth are honest. They have yet to show they have the potential to be so. I will continue to shine my light on the pair of them until they either provide their backers with the products that were promised them OR fall on the sword, admit to their lies and failures and cease trying to fleece honest people of their money. They are a blight on this hobby of ours. Maybe by keeping this pair in focus I have discouraged others. Maybe...

So no, its not hatred. It isn't just diligence. Its a responsibility that I take seriously, even if I do make some of the posts lighthearted at times.

There you have it.


  1. Thank you for doing so, my dear fellow. I know that I speak for ALL of us when I say that you're doing the right thing. I've never been burned by a kickstarter before, but I empathize with those who've been burned. There's still something to be said for integrity in this world, and I salute those who still honor it.

  2. I'm very critical about Tom Ryan and Myth and Magic. My group (The Wednesday knights) pooled our hard earned cash and got our group picture in the book and I wrote a spell for the game(Thats us the first full page illustration and the spell is Gull's Stone storm).While we all did get our books I'm still upset as I talked this project up to lots of people some who are still waiting. This year it's 5 years since the both funded and still some people have no phb let alone the Dmg.It's a disgrace.

  3. Never stop shining a light into the darkness to make the rights crawl away and hide.

  4. You also focus on upcoming indie products. So there is a lot that is positive here as well. The more folks are aware of the undeliverables, the more wary they will be of the undeliverers and the less likely they will be to invest money in their vapourware.

  5. Keep fighting the good fight, please. If there is no light then the roaches just come back out to play.

  6. I was once one of #ConManKen. In fact, I have supported him throughout his entire "career." The problem is that I never realized how his actions (and mine in supporting him) had hurt others and the gaming lifestyle itself. I am glad you are here. You provide incalculable help to all of us. Hats off to you.

    1. I was right there with you. I knew Ken has a history. But I bought into that "he's well intentioned and doesn't mean for things to go bad" routine and his charisma. He's very good at painting himself as a victim. All his problems are because of the victims he burned if you read his many comments/attacks.

  7. Please keep putting the bad apples in the limelight. Research past kickstarter projects is hard, so a blog like this that points out the bad ones is of great help.

  8. I make no apologies to ridding Ken's and reminding him that he hurt a lot of my friends and family. And I'm not talking about the money. It would be one thing if he had made a best effort to do his project and failed. The facti s it failed (and the five that came after it) because the money went toward a lot of things that nothing to do with the project. Each KS was launched to raise money to back shovel and pay off mounting debts. If I'm a backer putting my money on Pencil Dice and I'm backing THAT project. Not giving you money to pay off past debt. And that's exactly what happened. For that reason I don't' think he should be able to just walk away. It was very deliberate. He thought the Kickstarter gravy train would continue forever and he could shovel that cash over his shoulder.

  9. Tenkar, sir, you are one of the prime reasons I will never do a Kickstarter... I can't fail if I never do it. Never mind kicking, I believe in bootstrapping!

  10. yeah i can only do one kick starter at a time and i still feel burned when goes from "everything ready to print" to "release a year away" - please keep up your work

    are these guys even able to start new KS?

  11. Unlike some of the above-mentioned KS creators, #ConManKen was never clear or honest about how he was using the funds (i.e. new cars, luxury cruises and additional schemes to further cheat creatives out of their already precious little money). For many of us, this is money for food and rent. For our love of the game, we invested in him only to be used. I think it is rare for an individual to purposefully bilk decent people out of their livelihood.

  12. Well I personally appreciate your diligence Mr Tenkar...Keep up the frank discussions,I for one enjoy them and have benefitted by this forum...Game on

  13. Absolutely nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade. Seems that KS should ban repeat offenders that don't deliver, though, and establish their own 'shinola list'. I also think that when kickstarters surpass expectations (delivering quality product early, etc.), it should be celebrated!


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