RJK's Bottle City updates
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:05 pm 
 

Obviously Rob is quite ill, maybe even beyond ill at this point.  I'm not concerned at all about whether I receive my copies or not.  If it's within Rob's abilities at this point to make sure they get shipped, then they will.  If not, then who cares about a damned limited edition module when a guy's life is on the line?  

Good luck, Rob.  And thanks for the updates, Allan and Deogolf.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:11 pm 
 

bombadil wrote:Obviously Rob is quite ill, maybe even beyond ill at this point.  I'm not concerned at all about whether I receive my copies or not.  If it's within Rob's abilities at this point to make sure they get shipped, then they will.  If not, then who cares about a damned limited edition module when a guy's life is on the line?  

Good luck, Rob.  And thanks for the updates, Allan and Deogolf.


IF Rob is deathly ill, then I wish him a fast recovery.  And I would still like to receive my fully paid for copies of Bottle City in the future.....these two things are not mutually exclusive no matter what the circumstances.

Why is Rob still turning away assistance at this point?

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:43 am 
 

This post of Gary's might shed a bit of light on the situation.
http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewt ... &start=434


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:18 pm 
 

NetRodent wrote:This post of Gary's might shed a bit of light on the situation.
http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewt ... &start=434


Thanks for the link, Net.  Another unfortunate piece of the puzzle, it seems.

It might be too soon to start mentioning the words no one wants to hear...but the clock is ticking.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:18 pm 
 

That's old news :D  The TLG blog speaks to this in some detail @ http://trolldens.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:29 pm 
 

grodog wrote:That's old news :D  The TLG blog speaks to this in some detail @ http://trolldens.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html


The item from Gary was as follows:

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:38 am    Post subject:   

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Time to answer a real question!

As a matter of fact, Rob Kuntz and I have parted company since he reneged on his agreement to co-develop the Castle Zagyg campaign project material, doing so in a most ungentlemanly manner. I was taken aback at that since he originally approached me to do the work and then agreed to terms set forth in a written agreement, accepted an advance payment.

All I can assume is that he is going through some rough personal times.

Of course I could convince neither of my two older sons to assist me in the project, but nontheless it is now going forward full bore.

Happy New Year,
Gary


The announcement from TLG sounds very formal and vague, while Gary's explanation appears more personal and off the cuff. I'm sure the truth lies somewhere in between.  I don't want to point to this as proof Rob is a "bad" person because I know from insiders EGG is a hard man to work with sometimes.  But I still believe it shows a certain pattern of behavior that is germane to events here and now.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:47 pm 
 

Necromancer Games, Kenzer & Company, Troll Lords, now his fans: Take upfront money, not deliver on promises.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 6:01 pm 
 

I've seen a pattern in the past where people tend to cut famous gaming figures WAAAAAAAAAY too much slack. They can be greedy and underhanded, too. As a matter of fact, they are MORE likely to be greedy and underhanded because........................ people tend to cut them slack.
If this was an eBay account with this track record, this forum would have long ago tagged it as a cheater and blocked it.


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:06 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:I've seen a pattern in the past where people tend to cut famous gaming figures WAAAAAAAAAY too much slack.

I agree with this 1,000 percent. It's one of the reasons, in fact, that I never got too excited about the first release (the Cairn one, right?) ... it seemed like a vanity project more than anything else.

As to the current situation, I'm an interested observer. I do not have a dog in this fight. I hope it all works out — I sincerely hope that Rob's deal turns out to be just severe allergies and that all of his customers get the items they've paid for — but I can't help but wonder what the fallout will be if these orders go unfilled. I suspect it will help put an end to much of the automatic goodwill that industry "names" seem to get from many gamers ... especially if those "names" are holding their hands out for money. A cynical view, I know, but I suspect that such will be the case.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:40 pm 
 

I don't see that happening. Look at the facts:

1. This "illness" has been going on for many months.
2. Rob is well aware of the delay, and has had multiple offers for help.
3. He has a track record of taking the money and running.

Either he knows he's gonna croak, and doesn't care about anything, or he intends to walk off with the cash. Either way, I have to put a checkmark in the scumbag column. Hell, he doesn't even have the decency to post an update here.


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:44 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote: I do not have a dog in this fight. I hope it all works out — I sincerely hope that Rob's deal turns out to be just severe allergies and that all of his customers get the items they've paid for — but I can't help but wonder what the fallout will be if these orders go unfilled. I suspect it will help put an end to much of the automatic goodwill that industry "names" seem to get from many gamers ... especially if those "names" are holding their hands out for money. A cynical view, I know, but I suspect that such will be the case.


I think it's definitely the end of Pied Piper Games....and a lot of Aceaum members seem to agree with me (if I count the private PMs I've been getting).  Even if Rob's illness is 100% completely legit, the problems here have shown no one should be running a "pay and print" company like this without some sort of support system.  Being as the sales market for this type of product is already a niche of a niche, I can't see there being any sort of target audience anymore that matters when half of what is already a tiny number have been alienated.   Very unfortunately, because I do think there are a lot of dedicated gamers that would like to see the stuff being put out by these types of companies.  I misstep like this, however, is impossible to recover from.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:02 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
IF Rob is deathly ill, then I wish him a fast recovery.  And I would still like to receive my fully paid for copies of Bottle City in the future.....these two things are not mutually exclusive no matter what the circumstances.

Why is Rob still turning away assistance at this point?

Mike B.


"If"? Hmmm...

Rob is definitely ill - deathly, I haven't the foggiest. It's definitely not allergies.

I highly doubt its a matter of taking the money and running. It's not like he's making a million bucks on this and heading for Tahiti. I'm sure he has valid reasons for what's going on right now.

I know Rob is not the easiest guy to get along with, but, I think he has respect for his fanbase. Even I don't know what is going on. I can only assume that because he's been so quiet, that it can't be a good thing. Just speculation.


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:33 pm 
 

Deogolf wrote:
"If"? Hmmm...

Rob is definitely ill - deathly, I haven't the foggiest. It's definitely not allergies.

I highly doubt its a matter of taking the money and running. It's not like he's making a million bucks on this and heading for Tahiti. I'm sure he has valid reasons for what's going on right now.

I know Rob is not the easiest guy to get along with, but, I think he has respect for his fanbase. Even I don't know what is going on. I can only assume that because he's been so quiet, that it can't be a good thing. Just speculation.


There might be many valid reasons...but IMO only one springs readily to mind due to the circumstances of Rob's (and Pied Pipers) disappearing act.

And people don't have to have the incentive of a million bucks to take money...people have taken far less.  I'm not even saying it's for malicious reasons....maybe Rob has just gotten behind on his bills. Whatever the reason the continued delay and silence is troubling.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:05 pm 
 

I've reached the "concern" stage as well. It seems there have been several false start attempts at shipping. At this point if BC is anything less than great, I'll be disappointed.


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:11 pm 
 

How much were the presale copies?


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:55 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:How much were the presale copies?


Regular copies were $20 I believe....I don't know how much the limited edition copies were.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:14 pm 
 

Deogolf wrote:
Just speculation.


Just to note....everything here is just speculation...because nothing has been heard from the main figure in this for several months.  Not to mention it is coming up on a year from when pre-orders were made for Bottle City.

Unfortunately speculation is going to continue to run rampant until something more definite than "went to see Rob and he's sick" or "talked to Rob and he doesn't feel well but should ship someday" is put forth.  Sorry, it's the nature of the beast.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:26 pm 
 

http://p085.ezboard.com/fpiedpiperpubli ... =433.topic


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:39 pm 
 



Rob's health - update 29 December 2007 @ 11:00pm EST
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I just got off the phone from a long (2 hour) conversation with Rob.

Rob sounds much better than when I spoke to him earlier in December: his voice sounded stronger---comparable to when we were hanging out at GenCon and talking on the phone soon thereafter---and he was his usual irascible self too (cracking wry jokes, providing his keen insight and opinions, etc.).

In terms of a general update on PPP business, Rob had a few items he specifically wanted me to mention:


Rob is very disappointed that his health has delayed the shipment of Bottle City, and that he has further disappointed his fans through his radio silence to date; that said, Rob's priority has been to get healthy again, and as a result PPP business has taken a back seat over the past quarter
Rob's health is "steadily improving" though he's "still dealing with a few things" that arose during his pneumonia treatment; I don't know any further details about his health problems than that, and Rob has made it clear that he's not going to discuss his personal health problems in detail with me or with his fans, even though his health has impacted PPP's business
the PPP site is now back online, after an issue at the server was fixed today
the PPP server also caused about 20 recent orders to be flagged as spam; Rob has recovered these orders, and will begin processing them soon, and changes have been made that should prevent orders from being flagged as spam at the server-level in the future
Rob feels sufficiently recovered that he thinks he'll be able to ship the majority of the outstanding Bottle City and other PPP product orders by the third week of January 2008

I asked Rob about when he thinks he may be able to return online more regularly, and he didn't have a clear sense of that yet: he wants to get the products shipped first, then will worry about returning to the forums.

All-in-all, I heartened after chatting with Rob: he sounds better than before, though reading between the lines it sounds like he's not fully-recovered or even necessarily out of the woods yet with his health problems. At this point, though, I'm happy to relate any signs of improvement that I can find


Thank you Allan.

You went above and beyond....you are definitely the hardest working man in game-business.

I sincerely hope this isn't just more talk on Rob's part...the natives are EXTREMELY restless.

I still get the impression Rob doesn't really realize the extent of the damage done to his rep or his company at this point..but at least we have another deadline to look forward to.  At this point anything is a positive.

And it'll still be a cold day in Hell before I purchase from PPP ever again....

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:52 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Thank you Allan.  You went above and beyond....you are definitely the hardest working man in game-business.


I don't know about that, but thanks, Mike.

Badmike wrote:I sincerely hope this isn't just more talk on Rob's part...the natives are EXTREMELY restless.


I can understand that, and certainly sympathize.  I was hoping to be able to share BC with friends and family while home for the holidays....

Badmike wrote:I still get the impression Rob doesn't really realize the extent of the damage done to his rep or his company at this point..but at least we have another deadline to look forward to.  At this point anything is a positive.


I'm not at all sure of that, though we didn't talk about how future PPP books will be bought in the future.

Badmike wrote:And it'll still be a cold day in Hell before I purchase from PPP ever again....


Also understandable.  I would like to hope that Rob can re-earn your trust, Mike, at some point in the future.  What would that take?


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