Saturday, July 29, 2017

Wayward Kickstarter - Appendix N Adventure Toolkits (DCC RPG Modules) - Five Years and Counting

Its July, 2017 and that means that Appendix N Adventure Toolkits is now at the FIVE years past due mark and still not fully fulfilled.

That's just part of the last update. Anyhow, YEARS ago I got my copies of the first two adventures. Someone told John it would be wise to get me mine, to keep me "on the good side." I guess it did, and John sure has gone through some genuine tragedies over the past five years (con crud not being one of them.) Still, lets take a look at where we are at:

- Five years later and folks are still waiting on the first two adventures. There are four more promised via stretch goals and a digest sized game box. All in print. All shipping NOT together. Anyone else see the problem here?

- Folks that got the first 2 adventures after the initial shipments got bonus material. Why? I have no idea but there are still folks that haven't gotten the items promised in the initial Kickstarter offering.

- Did I mention in the midst of all this there were complaints that the initial releases were showing up in stores with backers (years later) still out of luck?

- I was idealistically stupid. I backed for $101 at 5 of each offering (the more to give away) and that included shipping. Any idea how much shipping has increased over the last FIVE years?

- Read this about International Shipping

Yes, a fool and his Kickstarter are doomed for failure.

- I don't think that this can ever be completed in print. The money is long gone and even if it weren't, there isn't enough raised to print and ship HALF of what is promised. I think John should release the PDFs of ALL that was promised to backers in PDF and call it a day. Fall on the sword and close your career in gaming on a quasi positive note.

All that and he's still given us more than Gareth and #ConManKen combined.


  1. I have backed a couple of failed kickstarters, this one and Myth and Magic are the two that stand out for me. Myth and Magic hurts the most, such promise.

    For some reason the failure of this one doesn't bother me all that much. I think I received the first adventure a few years back but nothing since then. I'm not big on throwing money away generally (I have to admit I have more RPG books than I'll ever need) but maybe its that he's always been honest and had some really real rough times? I don't know.

    For this failed kickstarter I hold no ill will. Would I ever back another of Johns kickstarters? No. But I also don't think we'll ever see another one from him.

  2. On the one hand I have a lot of sympathy for all the stuff he went through on the other hand if you knew he wasn't going to be able to deliver he should have given back the money already.... it's a shame I liked John and I enjoyed both the white boxes he put out

  3. I've received a number of things over the years from John's Kickstarter. I think he was unfortunate to have launched his drive in the early days when folks went absolutely crazy with stretch goals, and didn't think a thing about shipping costs. I think creators (and backers!) have learned much from those early experiences, though I'm sure that's cold comfort for folks still waiting on their stuff.

  4. Cold comfort but regardless of Kickstarter broken promises, I actually order games from the Brave Halfling website to the tune of $75.00. John strung me along with broken promises for over two years before finally going dark. Sad to say but I really don't care about the bad things that happened in his life. He never returned my money and that makes him a thief.

  5. I've got the first two promised items as well, several times actually. I even added s&h because I thought it unfair that he should take all of that cost.
    I'm unsure that anything else will ever be delivered. But like Nystul, neither are conman Ken :)

  6. Nothing makes me more ashamed of my own tribe than posts (and some of the reactions to it) like this.

  7. John is a good man who got caught in an impossible situation due to an unfortunate chain of events. He was overextended on the KS and that alone, with time and effort, would have been resolvable. But events in his personal life hit his family and kept on hitting him, msking BHP's situation untenable. I feel for the guy, as I feel for the persons who backed his Kickstarter.

    It's my sincere wish John/BHP fights his way out of this corner, regaining the public's goodwill and returns to publishing games very soon.

  8. The next time someone tries to defend John by pointing out the unfortunate chain of events that happened to him, I'm going to remind them of this quote from the last update:

    "I have redesigned the Dagger Kids RPG. For me, it is even easier and quicker to play and all of the mechanics are based upon 1 or 2 d6. A great deal of the money raised in this project went towards the color art for this"

    So yeah, sorry you didn't get any of the modules you actually paid for. But that bonus goal that has nothing to do with Appendix N? I got some kick-ass color art for it. Thanks for the $$$.

    1. Noted.

      I'm sorry if I offended you David. I don't work for John, though I've worked with him a few times. I am sorry for what happened to you.

      I don't work for John or BHP, though I've done freelance for him. I'm hoping he'll eventually make good on his KS promises and take the hard-earned lessons therefrom to heart.

      Take care, fellow gamer.

    2. Sorry, Cameron. I shouldn't have made that post connect to you in any way. I posted mainly because I've attempted to defend John in the past but I find his fascination with Dagger, to the detriment of the main KS deliveries, to be infuriating.

    3. No offense taken, David. I just wanted to make certain you didn't feel I was trying to minimize what's been going on. I hope it all works out in the end.

  9. I remember being pretty outraged upon learning of mods hitting stores when we hadn't gotten our kickstarter mods. Turned out it was the original test run of full-sized mods, which he really wasn't happy with (although I'd love to have one of those now). I had to pressure him a great deal, but we eventually got our hard copies. We received the expanded version hard copies recently and he's kept up to date with the PDFs as they've been finished.

    John seems like a nice guy in way over his head who doesn't want to admit defeat. I'd buy more Brave Halfling products (the mods are pretty decent) I just wouldn't back a crowdfunding effort. At the end of the day, I hold no animosity towards him because we got something for our money, which is more than backers of a number of RPG kickstarters can say.

    I do understand David's frustration though. Overly successful Kickstarters have nearly sunk far more storied businesses than his (cough-cough-Chaosium) and the string of tragedies he has endured have been heartbreaking.

  10. Sad commentary on how the heady days of Kickstarter actually destroyed a few good gaming companies. For every Barrowmaze or Whisper & Venom, there is a BHP.

  11. Consider not only writing off the money, but also forgiving John. He has fought a valiant fight, for years, and this has to weigh on him every day.

    I got into the Appendix N Kickstarter to support John, his company, and the OSR community. I did not get into hit to see him crushed.

    Since your money is probably spent no matter what John does to make it good, consider contacting John and forgiving him the debt.


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