RJK's Bottle City updates
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:00 pm 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote::roll:


I have an idea, why don't you PM me your addy and I can mail you a towel to cry into.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:13 pm 
 

Deleted.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:16 pm 
 

If you guys are going to take it to a personal level, you should consider the Personal Message function.

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:16 pm 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:Deleted.


:cry:


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:21 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:1)  It seem like the people who are doing the most bitching about this are the ones who are on the hook for the least amount of money, that's if they are on the hook for any money at all in this. :?

That doesn't mean we're not allowed to have an opinion.

Wouldn't our concern fall under the "for the good of the collecting community" category or the "just watching out for my Acaeum buddies" philosophy that is continually spouted around here? Or is all of that just bullshit? Is it really just about the money?

(Not to mention that it appears that members here who have not ordered any PPP products have been very careful to mention that fact in their posts, as I did when I broke my silence ... I'd consider most of the posts in this thread to be very up-front and honest. In fact, this thread has more value, overall, than at least 90 percent of the other threads here).

Moving on to some other thoughts, in sort of a scatter-shot fashion (and hoping I match up all the quotes with the correct authors  :)):

Deogolf wrote:Personally, I don't think Rob needs to say a damn thing about his health problems!! That's none of our business.

Not true at all. If someone takes a boatload of money from other people in return for a product, continually misses the deadlines for producing said product, refuses to communicate at all about said product or said deadlines, then offers up — through third parties, it should be noted — only "my health" as an excuse ... well, too bad-so sad, but that person's health becomes everyone's business.

Here's an easy way for that to end, though: ship the fucking product.

Badmike wrote:Thank you Allan.

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

Yes, no doubt. Your updates have been appreciated, Grodog (along with other updates from Deogulf, Jaybird, and others who have more knowledge of the situation that us mere mortals), and we all realize that you have been put into an awkward situation because of this whole mess. This can't be easy for you; we all respect that.

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.

Exactly the impression I get, too. And part of the fallout from that leads into my next quote ...

grodog wrote:Whether Rob will be forced to abandon the pre-order model is another, very valid, question.

I honestly don't see how he could think anyone would ever advance him an interest-free, year-long loan again. To paraphrase a thought from earlier, PPP is attempting to fill a niche (vanity publications) within a niche (1e collecting) within a niche (D&D) within a niche (gaming in general). That's a pretty specialized audience ... and many people in that audience aren't super-pleased with PPP's lack of BASIC communication and lack of physical product.

Badmike wrote:Being a famous celebrity or game designer doesn't give you a free pass.

Except that, around here, it often does.

I mean, seriously ... speaking of hypocrisy! If this was an eBay seller who had taken everyone's money a year ago, the guy would have his own thread here and there would be 20 posts per day flaming the guy and discussing ways to get him kicked off of eBay. Same thing if it was an Acaeum member who was selling via the classifieds or somehow convincing other members to send him money. First the guy would have been torn about seven new assholes; second, he would have been banned. Tell me I'm wrong about anything in this paragraph.

But because RJK's name appears on the credits page of some old TSR products, he gets what amounts to a lifetime free pass. No product necessary! No communication necessary! Thanks for the interest-free loan!

I'll just never understand that level of creator worship. Not in a million years.

bclarkie wrote:I have a tendancy to agree with the notion that money has as much to do with this if not more to do with this the proclaimed illness.  It would certainly explain the refusal to accept help.

I saw this one right before I was going to post, but it's worth more discussion.

This is the part of this entire sorry episode that just doesn't add up. If you're that sick ... and the product is that close to shipping ... then why, exactly, would you not accept help?

Sorry, RJK and friends of RJK, but this part is dangerously close to not passing the Skepticism Test.

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:29 pm 
 

Thanks, Xaxaxe, that's basically exactly all I was trying to say until Butters jumped in as usual.

I wish I could be as succinct. And I also hope Rob gets his stuff together, if not for himself, but for the sake of all the people from whom he has taken money.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:33 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:That doesn't mean we're not allowed to have an opinion.

Wouldn't our concern fall under the "for the good of the collecting community" category or the "just watching out for my Acaeum buddies" philosophy that is continually spouted around here? Or is all of that just bullshit? Is it really just about the money?

(Not to mention that it appears that members here who have not ordered any PPP products have been very careful to mention that fact in their posts, as I did when I broke my silence ... I'd consider most of the posts in this thread to be very up-front and honest. In fact, this thread has more value, overall, than at least 90 percent of the other threads here).
 


And I never said that you weren't.  I simply made the observation.  As far as the community goes, that seems to have been flushed dwon the toliet awhile ago now.  It seems to be dictated where you are loacated and not much else.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:33 pm 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:Thanks, Xaxaxe, that's basically exactly all I was trying to say until Butters jumped in as usual.


Baa...Baaa...Baaa

F**king sheep.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:37 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote: It seems to be dictated where you are loacated and not much else.

BC, that's twice you've mentioned this ... and I'm not getting it. I'm sometimes slow, though ...

Are you referring to actual geography? If so ... well, I still don't get it.  :) Where are the "cool" places? And when did this split take place?

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:40 pm 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:I wish I could be as succinct.

Well, "succinct" is probably too kind for such a long post, but thanks ...  :)

I was actually horrified that it ended up being so long.

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:36 pm 
 

He means New England. We have the Pats, so we are the best. If you guys want to relocate in spirit to sunny NE, just let me know. We're accepting applications now.
Cougar says he will deliver by the 3rd week of January. We'll see how that goes.
Oops, I mean Rob. So many similarities............


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:48 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:
My ignorance?  You're right, I don't know what the hell is going on, but then again neither do you.. or Mike... or Frank.. or Stephen, etc.  What I do know is that a guy on the inside that I do know and trust(and have nary heard anyone even utter something that could be confused as a negative remark about) seems to think everything is going to be okay in the end here.  Until I hear differently from him, I am withholding final judgement.


Until the end of January comes and goes I think we all should.  Rob has given a new deadline, I for one (who inadvertedly started this mess, but for what I thought were valid reasons) am going to wait at least until then.  I will say I'm skeptical and have some suspicions...with good cause I believe...but I'm willing to wait a few more weeks and sees what transpires.

I would have NEVER started this entire line if inquiry if I didn't have some sort of inside information on what has transpired.  Suffice to say there is a kind of pattern here that has followed Rob around the last couple of years...reading between the lines Rob seems to have issues with bill paying. I don't believe Rob is absconding with the small amount of money he took for the items (since the items have been printed, that wouldn't make sense anyway, had he wanted to rip people off he would have never got them printed to begin with).  I do however think there are some financial considerations based on the fact the items have never shipped, and Rob has refused several offers of assistance.

I think everyone needs to chill until this latest deadline has come.  I never meant this line of inquiry to become a flame war, guys.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:59 pm 
 

I've formally written off the money that's owed me for BC and a few previous bits and pieces. Allan's attempted to recover it for me (of his own volition and much to his credit), but I don't have expectations of ever receiving anything and have informed Rob of such. As I see it, I've bought myself out of service to PPP.

I'm one of those people who cut him a LOT of slack. Partly because he treated me extremely well when I first signed on with PPP (even paying me MORE than the initially contracted price on some work), partly because I believed in what he was doing and wanted to help him achieve his dream, and partly because I'd met him a few times and he seemed like a genuine (if eccentric) Joe. Plus, we're both from Milwaukee ;)

My frustration with the current situation is two-fold. Take what I say with as much or as little salt as you'd like, because there are three sides to every story, and this one is just mine. None of this is speculation, though it is admittedly through somewhat jilted eyes.

1) Early in 2007, when things were gearing up for BC and a few other projects, I found myself fighting a pretty good bout of depression. It happens now and then: We artists aren't historically the most stable of individuals. I'd been through it before and knew everything would be fine, I just needed a little breathing room. I sent up a red flag to Rob, explaining that I didn't want to over-extend myself until I got my head straight. I told him that I'd finish up what was on my plate, but then needed to take a break so he may want to start lining up some other artists for jobs that were due down the line. His response was genuine sympathy for my ennui, but with a brash disclaimer that if I left him holding the bag on Bottle City, I'd be "f***ed". His words. That struck me as a bit harsh, as I had specifically stated that I'd intended to finish everything that was already on my plate. In his defense though, Tower of Blood had been a bit delayed, and there were minor rumblings amongst the fans/sponsors, so he was concerned that following that up with another delay would be big trouble for PPP. Understandable, yet ironic, huh?

2) Flash forward several weeks: I'd completed the interior illustrations for Bottle City (to his extreme and public satisfaction) and was looking forward to seeing the PPP folks at TLG's Lake Geneva Gaming Convention. Per our long-standing agreement (no contract, because I trusted him), payment is due 1/2 upon delivery of the original artwork and 1/2 a reasonable time after publication. A week or so before the con, I emailed him, reminding him of our arrangement and asking for any money he might be able to throw my way, since I'd be bringing the artwork with me. I had the trip to pay for, as well as a root canal scheduled upon my return to Texas, so any extra money would definitely help me out. My email went unanswered. Not even a simple "Hey man, I'm really sorry but I just don't have it" - which still would have stunk, but I would definitely have understood. When I saw him at he con, he was under the weather and busy running various games, but seemed to be dodging me the few times I managed to get him alone. I came home empty-handed. My emails upon my return again went unanswered. Again, I just wish he'd been up-front. That's what pissed me off the most.

This was still early in the layout/editing process. It seemed apparent to me from the lack of communication that I was very likely going to get screwed. Had this been any other publisher or really any other sales model, I'd have burned the scant layout onto a CD-Rom and sent it off with a tidy little, "F-U, and good luck." However, I knew that PPP's sponsors and collectors (some of whom I like to call my friends) had dropped a lot of money in pre-sales. Regardless of any misunderstanding I may have been experiencing with RJK, the customers had paid for, and therefore deserved, the best-possible product for their money. Frankly put, my beef wasn't their problem.

Six weeks of layout and editing later, the product was approved. During that time, the only communication or direction I had with PPP was through Allan. I personally sent the production files to the dipsh*t of a printer, and washed my hands of the whole affair. Until 2 weeks later, in late August, when the printer claimed they never got my files. So, I sent them again and that was that.

Naturally, it burns me that for all that became of it, I could have just been a jerk, saved myself a BUNCH of time and walked in June.

I sincerely hope that Rob pulls through this, whether his ailments are physical, mental, financial, or a combo-platter of all three. I have my opinions about what's going on, but they're pure speculation so I'll keep them to myself. I even hope PPP survives the ordeal, with the right amount of re-tooling and a new business model. Most of all, though, I hope everyone eventually receives the product that Allan and I put so much sweat into creating for them.

Sorry for the long rant. That's pretty much all I have to contribute. Like everything else on teh intarweb, YMMV.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:05 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:
And I never said that you weren't.  I simply made the observation.  As far as the community goes, that seems to have been flushed dwon the toliet awhile ago now.  It seems to be dictated where you are loacated and not much else.


Unless this is a dig at the Texas Acaeum Mafia I don't even get it. I'm from Texas, Deadlord is from New England, X is in Vegas, CS is from Ohio.....and so far these have been the main naysayers on this board.  There are a lot of Acaeum members from Texas and we have gotten into the spirit of the collecting community by actually meeting each other face to face....which to me seems like a good thing, and if we cover each other's backs at times, again that is a good thing IMO.  But most of them have been absent so far from this thread unless you count Aneoth, who has two Limited Edition Bottle Cities he's waiting for, and Jaybird, who is INTIMATELY connected to the situation at hand.  I think both of those guys have a dog in this hunt.

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:09 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:X is in Vegas ...

Ack! RENO! Bad Badmike!

+++++

And I don't follow either, BC ... plus now I'm more confused. I thought you were referencing a geographical schism at The Acaeum in general, not just on this subject)

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:19 pm 
 

Re: Jaybird's post....

This is the part of the inside info I was talking about...and now that Jason has laid it all out....

First I'd like to thank Jason for his efforts.  Man, I'll buy you a beer anytime we run into each other in the future. As far as I'm concerned, your wallet doesn't exist if you make it to Gencon this year, and any other Acaeum members/BC buyers should also extend the hand whenever you run into Jason in the future.  You may never get paid for your hard work, but we can make sure you never buy a drink again in this town.... :wink:

And Jaybird isn't the only Acaeum member that Rob has had problems with in this regard...the other being a very well known and respected member that wishes to not air his dirty laundry in public.

But suffice to say, I would have NEVER started this line of direct inquiry had it not been for this kind of stuff going on behind the scenes...and my becoming aware of it.

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:21 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:Ack! RENO! Bad Badmike!

+++++

And I don't follow either, BC ... plus now I'm more confused. I thought you were referencing a geographical schism at The Acaeum in general, not just on this subject)


Reno, Vegas...is there gambling?  Are there hookers?  Can you wake up in a cheap hotel room next to a woman you don't know and with an empty wallet and a hangover that makes your teeth ache?  All subtle distinctions to non-Nevadians  (or Nevadans...or whatever....)

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:40 pm 
 

Unfortunately, what Jason said is true.

I've had close contact with both Jason and Jim Holloway on both the Cairn and Tower projects. I'm both disappointed and stumped by the lack of communication from Rob. I know he's gone through some really tough times this year, but a simple message would have gone a loooong way into easing everyone's minds - especially with this group!

Yes, the copies of BC do exist (as I've said before). Rob gave me my copies when I stopped by to see him a few weeks ago. Unless Rob uses them for firewood, I don't see why he would just hang onto them.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:49 pm 
 

Deogolf wrote:Rob gave me my copies when I stopped by to see him a few weeks ago.
Throw them on eBay! Seems to be a seller's market!  :lol: Wait! No! I need you to save one for me like you did with Tower of Blood. Kudos again, BTW.

Thanks for the kind words, badmike. I'm never one to turn down a free beer (I've even taken to liking Lone Star), but really no one owes me anything. Like the rest of you, I just want to see the damned thing distributed already, to make it all worthwhile! I guess February will tell.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:18 pm 
 

Vegas. Ahhhhh, the memories.
He might have meant Texas. Not much good comes from there  :lol:
Ah, who cares, it was an insane rant.
So, now that we've established a history, anyone else care to jump to the defense?


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