Monday, May 8, 2017

Kickstarter - Rifts® Board Game (100 buck buy in, but the drama is free)

Wow. Simply wow. The Kickstarter is live for less than 12 hours and already there are over 350 comments. Its also 46% to its $100k funding goal.

What am I talking about? Quite simply the Rifts® Board Game (don't forget to use the ®)

Now, you might be saying "didn't this happen already?" and the answer is "no". What DID happen is a whole lot of drama, a suicide attempt and lots mudslinging by Kevin and those frustrated with the the Robotech Tactics KS. You can read THAT post here. Too much to repost but very useful for those looking to do some "due diligence" on the Rifts® Board Game Kickstarter.

Let's cover the basics (its your cheat sheet):

  • Palladium does not have a good record with its prior Kickstarter.
  • Technically, this Kickstarter is not being run by Palladium.
  • There are those questioning who really is calling the shots on the Rifts® Board Game Kickstarter.
  • Carmen, the one who is producing this Kickstarter, attempted suicide less than 3 months ago.
  • We know this because Kevin told us so.
  • The suicide attempt was blamed on angry backers of the Robotech Tactics KS. We know this because Kevin told us so. Backers who refused to back the board game because they are stil waiting for full fulfillment of Robotech Tactics.
  • The Rifts® Board Game has train wreck capacity right from launch.
Personally, I would be wary of backing a project being run by someone that attempted suicide because of this very Kickstarter less then 3 months prior to launching this Kickstarter with this much drama and baggage attached to it. I am sympathetic of all that the creator has gone through, but that doesn't mean I'd back this.

That being said, I'm backing for a buck to get the backers only updates, as I expect this will be an interesting ride. Its just not a ride I'm willing to gamble 100 bucks on. It has a two year stretch before fulfillment and there is just too much potential for something to go wrong.


  1. I recall reading that a number of people were saying that they planned on backing this and cancelling their pledges at the last minute so as to tank the effort. :(

    1. I'm hoping enough people can cover that. If you look at the rage machine it's a few people

  2. It is actually pretty disturbing. Posts like, "Hey remember me?", the stalking and harassment of a guy who simply licensed a property is just...I don't even have words.

    1. While I am not defending harassment and never will, let us not pretend Carmen is an innocent in all this. His 'I could fix your Robotech KS if you all will support mine, but if you don't then fuck you - I hope Robotech burns' stunt was arrogant and petty to the point of incendiary.

  3. $100 for a board game is bullshit.

    No thanks.

    1. Pretty common these days (Zombicide, Cthulhu Wars, etc)...but I feel ya. I just cannot bring myself to shell out $100+ on a board game that I'll likely play 4-5 times before putting it up in the closet.

  4. Nothing to do with the whole suicide thing. I just cant trust projects with potential smoke and mirrors involved. Fufill the outstanding KS and step out of the Whit Whittman social club, then I'll risk a cool hundo!

  5. Technically, the Robotech Kickstarter wasn't being run by Palladium, either. Until it was. Somewhat suddenly and entirely without warning, Ninja Division wasn't at the helm anymore and the thing fell apart when Palladium seized control. All concerns about the mental health of the guy supposedly in charge aside, the main reason I won't back this is because I'm not convinced that Palladium won't wrestle control of the Kickstarter away from him and fly it in to the sun.

    1. Not only is that true, but given what we know about internal projects at Palladium, that's been Kevin's M.O. for 30-ish years. If something isn't going how he likes it, he steps and takes control of everything, for better or worse. And given the background of this particular KS, I can't imagine you're wrong to think it's not just likely to happen, but almost certain to.

    2. The extent to which Palladium can or can't step in on this will largely depend on the terms of the licence Rogue Heroes have with Palladium, if they have one. (If they don't have one, then Palladium/Kevin as the IP owner can just step in and shut everything down whenever they like.)

      The odds of Kevin signing anything relating to Rifts(TM)(R)(C) that doesn't give him extensive powers of approval, oversight, and the capacity to take over if he's not happy with the direction are miniscule.

  6. If you look through the recent Palladium blog posts since Carmen's suicide attempt, the whole "this is totally separate from Palladium" thing wears really, really thin.

    Let's set aside the fact that it's Rifts®, and Kevin is legendarily protective of his baby; the fact is that Palladium went so far as to do promotion for the boardgame at conventions at their stands. Whilst I can't fault them for doing a solid for Carmen whilst he was recovering, it does make a mockery of the idea that this is Nothing To Do With Palladium if the thing has been actively promoted by Palladium itself, using convention floor space which they could totally have opted to use for their own products but decided to use in this.

    Palladium have invested time and floorspace into the project at the very least, and it's based on Palladium IP. Any attempt to act like Palladium don't have their hands all over this from the get-go is a farce - as is almost always the case with licensed products, the rights-holder is the one with the power in the relationship, and I can't ever see Kevin cutting a deal with someone which broke from that precedent.

    What happened with Carmen is sad, but how Palladium have been handling this by promoting the boardgame and the Kickstarter... well, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. There is a fuzzy line here between being emotionally supportive of Carmen, who has been in a bad way and needs the support, and being an enabler, pushing Carmen out there to try and achieve this dream of his which is only going to expose him to further anger and criticism and bile.

    A part of me thinks it's nice that Carmen has bounced back to this extent. Another part thinks it is positively cruel to encourage him to dive into this beartrap.

    1. Due to some harsh words from KS backers and some high-pressure emotional missteps with regards to the Robotech fiasco, Carmen apparently tried to kill himself. And that situation is NOTHING compared to the pressure cooker he's just voluntarily lept into. I hope he's prepared for 2 years of bile and venom, as the wronged backers from the 'Tech project are going to dog him every step of the way for the next 800 days. And God Help Him if there is the slightest hint of a delay or malfeasance, as the old backers will crow to the skies while the "newly-duped" Rifts backers will turn on him as well.

      This is gonna get waaaaay uglier, mark my words.

    2. The RRT backers have been radicalised about this, unfortunately. Some of them are raising reasonable-seeming issues and conducting themselves with apparently respect, but some of them are really pushing it.

      They are responsible for their own behaviour, of course, but I blame Kevin for riling them up with the way he went on the attack after Carmen's suicide attempt. The way I see it, the harsh words Carmen got before his attempt were mostly justified, and with his "let it burn" comment you can't really say he wasn't throwing down some aggro in his own right. I don't think anyone in the discussion, at that stage, could have seriously expected that Carmen would attempt suicide based on what was said.

      But then Kevin blundered in and started thrashing about with the blame stick, and it seems to me like that's the point when things went stomach-churningly toxic. Ever since Kevin tried to lay the guilt on the RRT backers it seems like there's been a subfaction of them who've become determined to be just as obnoxious as he made them out to be.

  7. My sympathy for RTT backers that continue to act like jackasses is no existent. The two year lead time is realistic. I backed the 4th printing of the DCC RPG and that took almost 18 months. A lot of the outrage shows a real lack of knowledge of how licensing works and how businesses function. The latest conspiracy is that they registered as a LLC in MI as further proof of collision.

  8. I backed it because I missed out on all the drama with the last one and I'm not going to miss this one!



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