RJK's Bottle City updates
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:44 pm 
 

islestrike wrote:
Hmmm??? I think the guys at Necromancer, Kenzer, and Troll Lords would disagree and say it is the exact opposite.   He didn't have to run a business in those cases.  All he had to do was write and deliver the manuscripts and he couldn't do it.

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Well, I guess I put it wrong.  We KNOW Rob knows how to write, and CAN write. Writing something on a schedule and delivering it on time..that's a different story.  One of my suggestions was to have someone with authority over Rob that would allow a project to be finished by someone else if Rob can't meet a deadline.   Otherwise it's just the same old song second verse.  I often wonder if Rob himself realize just how close he is to absolute disaster at this point of his career.

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:46 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:
In conjuction with no less than 4 different proclamations of, "The items are on the way!!11!!one!!1!!eleven!1!":

http://p085.ezboard.com/Note-on-Outstan ... =169.topic

http://p085.ezboard.com/Bottle-City-Fia ... =167.topic

http://p085.ezboard.com/fpiedpiperpubli ... 41&stop=58

http://p085.ezboard.com/fpiedpiperpubli ... 1&stop=100

http://p085.ezboard.com/fpiedpiperpubli ... 41&stop=48

Yet, guess what? A substanitally large protion of those orders still haven't been shipped yet including those who spent the most on it.   To make matters even worse, Noble Knight Games got a shit load of copies and sold and delivered them to their customers in some cases weeks before folks who bought directly from the source have recieved thiers.   You know outside of just disappearing completely off the map never to be seen or heard from again, I am not sure how it could have been much worse than it has been done.   :?   And again, this is coming from me who preached patience several months ago.


True nothing that Rob says can be trusted anymore. Which is why a spokesman for the "new" PPP is a must, and it has to be someone whose track record and rep are spotless. Otherwise nothing has changed.

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:44 am 
 

Badmike wrote:Since you asked on the open forum instead of Pming you I'll lay it out for everyone to see:


Thanks, Mike:  I don't see how doing this in anything other than an out-in-the-open manner can work:  there's too many folks who are disappointed, angry, or extraordinarily pissed off for anything but an open "what can be done now" discussion to work.  

I'll collect the feedback from here and the other boards, and I'll talk about it with Rob next weekend at the latest (I'm assuming that I'll hear from him this week, before my trip to WI, but Sunday's it one way or the other), and it'll be up to Rob to report back with the action plan.  

Keep the suggestions coming, please:  you've collectively already hit on a few that I thought of, and several I hadn't.


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:09 am 
 

If a multinational like ebay treated their customers like this.................Oh wait they do already :D  :roll: (j/k)


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:24 am 
 

To start putting out the flames, Rob has to get all orders shipped immediately.  It's as simple as that.  It's beyond absurd and insulting that NKG received a bunch of copies to sell before the folks who preordered.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:48 am 
 

i'm not really upset.  i'm a little disappointed that i won't get a chance to see the product for some time (away from home for a long period due to work).  i just want to make sure that i WILL recieve the LE copy i paid for such a long, long time ago ;)


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:15 am 
 

you won't get anyone change their minds, until everyone who has ordered BC, actually has it. i think you will find that no matter what, there will be some who won't ever have anything to do with it all again. depends on the individual.

i have a lot of time and respect for someone, who will come to you, face to face if you will, stare you down and tell you that they have f*cked up. simple as that. takes a lot of balls to do it, but i have time for that.

bur even then, you have to patch up what you have ruined.

i agree with mike. something for those who have suffered is a great idea and would go a way to repair some of what is lost. the rest may be repaired in time, depending on whether the "word" has been kept.

if the problem is repeated, you will end up back at square #1 - or even further back.

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:48 am 
 

Just had a chance to sit down and look through it.  I'm really pleased with it!  Aside from being just the kind of adventure I prefer, the look and feel of the booklet itself are really nice.  The reproduction of the original hand-drawn maps was a great touch.  It gives the whole adventure a truly classic feel.  

Looking forward to running it for my kids!   :D


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:47 am 
 

bombadil wrote:Just had a chance to sit down and look through it.  I'm really pleased with it!  Aside from being just the kind of adventure I prefer, the look and feel of the booklet itself are really nice.  The reproduction of the original hand-drawn maps was a great touch.  It gives the whole adventure a truly classic feel.  


So you rec'd a LE copy, Stephen?


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:36 am 
 

I'm still waiting on my SE copy. I'm starting to doubt that I'll ever receive it. And here I thought I was helping someone out by pre-ordering...

As for the business models... I hate to say it but given the information made available from several sources it won't work with RJK. He is displaying some severe personality disorders that are going to keep popping up again and again as they have in the past. In fact placing more deadlines and oversight will probably drive him to even more excuse making.

I agree with badmike, Allan write your own stuff and stop holding up RJK. I'm sure they're are other folks out there as well to write equal or better stuff anyway. You've got to get tired of making excuses for this guy too. Best to move on...FWIW


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:59 am 
 

grodog wrote:
So you rec'd a LE copy, Stephen?


I think so.  It's number 485/500, but I got it from NK.  Still waiting on my two copies from Rob.


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:51 pm 
 

grodog wrote:
I'll collect the feedback from here and the other boards, and I'll talk about it with Rob next weekend at the latest (I'm assuming that I'll hear from him this week, before my trip to WI, but Sunday's it one way or the other), and it'll be up to Rob to report back with the action plan.  



Your words here tend to show he's still the same ole Robillar playing his man on the mountain routine so nothing is really changing here.  Why do you need to be the one to collect the feedback and talk to him about it?  He's plenty capable of signing onto forums and talking like the big daddy each time he starts anew so why is he so incapable of reading the situation for himself and doing something about it now?  And don't say he doesn't have an internet connection or its dialup or something.  You can't have it both ways and say you are a small press publisher that sells online and takes payplay and yet not have two coins to rub together to connect online and see what it going on.

He doesn't have to make things right by me though.  I bought cotsk and tob through NK because I never trusted ordering anything from PPP even when the books were out.  I was going to buy bc too but when I heard people who worked on it didn't get paid I said forget it.  Plus if he wants to sell through NK and places he should have financed the bloody thing with his own money.  I'm thinking any day now NK is going to get a resupply of bc before people get their pre-orders.  That's how low PPP has sunk on the totem for me.  Right now James at AGP is a good place to start if people want to support some good old style RPG work.  His past work speaks for itself and he is backing up his current adventure journal with a cancellation and money back policy.  There's also Expeditious Retreat and their OSRIC adventures.  They've put out 3 so far with great artwork by Stefen Poag and Brad McDevitt and a 4th module has just been released.  Here's the link:

http://www.xrpshop.citymax.com/page/page/3906568.htm

Pod Caverns of the Sinister Shroom was a great concept and better IMO as an underground cavern romp than cotsk.  Even if you don't think so it still compares well considering it was written by a relative unknown while D&D's first son as he calls himself gave us something not much different.  Read them both for yourselves and decide which has the cooler ideas!

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:41 pm 
 

grodog wrote:Suggestions along those lines would be very appreciated:  what could Rob do to make things right (beyond the obvious of "apologize and the get the books in everyone's hands")?

Argh! Long response typed up, getting ready to post ... and the electrician who is here fixing some stuff turns off the main power!  8O  :?  :x  :evil:  8O

Allan, I guess I'll have to summarize ... I'm not typing all that stuff again:

1. RJK needs to ship those items today. Literally today. Not tomorrow. Right now.

2. Offer partial refunds. PayPal is wonderful for that sort of thing.

3. Abandon the pre-pay model now and forever. Admit publicly that it was one step removed from a pyramid scam that provided RJK with a steady source of "money for nothing."

4A. Stop enabling the man. He is about one-twentieth of the gaming legend he seems to think he is. The world will get along just fine without another vanity project from a minor name from the old-school days. RJK needs to be told, with no sugar-coating, that he is down to his absolute last chance ... and that with many people, he has already blown that chance.

4B. Going along with 4A, and echoing Mike from earlier, a system needs to be put into place whereby if RJK's car won't start, or he breaks another bone, or he is trapped by a freak July snowstorm, or he is abducted by aliens, or whatever, that someone — possibly yourself, Allan — will step in and do whatever writing, editing, or graphics are needed to meet the deadlines.

It's sad that you'd have to do that with a grown man in his 50s, but, hey, RJK has only himself to blame for the fact that many people would not trust him to carry their trash to the curb.

+++++

Allan, as always, thanks for keeping us updated ... and sorry that you seem to catch heat for stuff that's not your fault. If you really are going to work again with RJK, I just can't emphasize this enough: it's last-chance time. If it's not too late already. If RJK doesn't see that this is true, then he really is operating on his own individual plane of reality.

As for me, I'm off to mutter some more about the hired help switching off my frickin' power ...

+++++

Edit: clarity


Last edited by Xaxaxe on Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:53 pm 
 

Xaxie is right, with one exception: I think that the name of Pied Piper Publishing is forever ruined. I didn't prepay for anything, and I will not buy anything from any company that has anything to do with that scammer. I am sure I'm not the only one.


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:54 pm 
 

Akkk!  8O I can't believe that people that invest in a computer don't pick up a UPSto avoid losing data with power "blips".

If you shop around they are not that expensive. Best Buy, Circuit City and Costco should have them. Hell, I think even Walmart carries them.


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:01 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Hell, I think even Walmart carries them.

Far simpler, I think, to simply kill the electrician in his sleep. With a ballista.

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:16 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:The DF thread picked up some heat today(at least do in part to both John Stark and myself):

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewt ... 8&start=30

I also wandered over to Rob's board today and surprisingly enough he hasn't posted anything there since February 25th.  :roll:   One thing I did find kind of disturbing was this little tidbit:

http://p085.ezboard.com/fpiedpiperpubli ... =100.topic


Well, might as well toss in this link as well, since things are getting heated a bit over at Pied Piper:

Still haven't got it

To see people over there still making excuses for Kuntz on this whole affair, and calling for "civility," is silly.  :roll:

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:12 pm 
 

islestrike wrote: Right now James at AGP is a good place to start if people want to support some good old style RPG work.  His past work speaks for itself and he is backing up his current adventure journal with a cancellation and money back policy.  


Hear, hear!  This whole Bottle City fiasco makes me appreciate AGP all the more.  Leaps and bounds better than PPP.


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:48 pm 
 

Hey, gain a customer for AGP... Tell me what it stands for, so I can look them up :).

  


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:01 pm 
 

As gamers we love to analyze things in the absence of information. Analysis is a large part of what gaming is all about! And as well, as the industry is now so small, we feel a strong stake in it. This would be especially true among the old guard here on The Acaeum. I feel the same way. It would be nice to see PPP having continued success, and because there is business involved and principles seem to be failing, it is frustrating.

Of course, some can afford to be more patient than others; while even others are more restrained in their appraisals simply due to having been around for so long that these things come as no surprise or shock.

I recall TSR being accused of screwing their printers month after month after month, totaling years, actually. But no one much remembers that now, because we have the positive and wonderful artifacts of its productive years, in spite of this negative. In fact, now that I think of it, if PPP goes out of business due to Rob's incapacity, his collectibles skyrocket soon after, don't they? Of course, this is a mere speculation. I'm not that familiar with the market here.

But I do see speculation going on in this thread, of another sort, and some of it hasn't been all that pretty, naturally. People fill in a blank with nuts and bolts. Cry the glass half empty, etc.

I'd just like to look at a positive business case concerning Rob's recent success: his continuing business with Eric Mona has always been supported by Eric's remarkable even-handedness, and a willingness to negotiate fluidly and fairly with Rob. There has never been an attempt by Eric to wrest creative control from Rob. Thus, it has been a very good and continuing business relationship, which Rob delights in having. He values Eric Mona's aid and contribution to his successes greatly.

The same goes for Allan. I know firsthand that Rob feels tremendously indebted to Allan's cheer, excellent advise and immense help in crafting PPP product. If it were not for Allan, PPP probably wouldn't exist, but that doesn't mean Allan has any control by which he should be held responsible for PPP's recent problems.

Given Rob's health issues, which Allan is at a loss to fix, and which are certainly more than just a single issue with his lungs, each of us needs to fill in the picture a bit more on their own. I can't do that for you, but I can suggest a direction to go with it. For instance, add the dour spirit that this kind of thing would contribute to anyone's daily functioning.

Some of us in this thread have naturally expressed the expectancy that if we were terribly sick, then we would engender the help of others.

But, would you if you were Rob? Now, I don't mean to be mean here. I don't even mean to be the least bit irritable sounding. I'm just trying to help out with this a little bit, to make it sensible to each of us, much in the same way it's sensible to me after knowing Rob well after all these years. I find very little fault with his actions, knowing him as I do and knowing the circumstances.

Under lighter conditions an offer of help would be MORE likely accepted. In fact, as of this last year he had intended to have me come over every other weekend to help pack orders as he upped his writing production. However, to accept this under the current conditions, when I offered it in December, and again recently, it would have been like giving into the notion of a downhill ride. You simply cannot expect someone like Rob to accept such a thing. I felt at that time I shouldn't push him, since he seemed hopefull of an impending recovery. Are you going to say to Rob, "No! You must accept my help. What will they say about your refusing it?" Well, the reaction on your part might be, "Come on in!" But, on Rob's part,  you can see the inner dialog as he thanks you dearly and graciously, and then experience no surprise at all as the stoic that he is asserts his immanent recovery.

I know when it's time to get intrusive. That was not it. I was convinced he was close to giving it a heave-ho because I could see that HE was convinced. We're not talking about a willful abandonment of his duties here.

Add to this picture a *very* private life, and add to that an intensely strong set of religious beliefs.

Even when not sick, Rob's apartments would not be ready for a visit on any one day, since his work is strewn about in his acts of creativity. Things would be everywhere accumulated over months, like a Hobbit having out with it all, all at once. You would hardly be welcome in that space until after it was reassembled! But, the rub is, a sick Rob would be incapable of reassembly. Having been a past room mate, I offered to help with that, as well. But, again, that would be more likely if he were well, for the same reasons above. Would you insist such under conditions of accusing him of being close to his deathbed? Hardly. In fact, one hopes he does do it himself, since it would be a sign of a greater recovery.

I'm sure we've all had things we couldn't get to while sick. Absolutely. I'm sure we've all had business only we could be trusted to do and do right.

In fact, I will admit herein that I'm absolutely certain that I've denied myself help for YEARS, never recognizing that my crippling anxiety after the Navy wasn't being dealt with successfully, since it kept recurring. Only recently did I submit myself to the VA to discover the real problem and have it treated. I suffered for decades, because we all construct normalcy as best we can, and it often never occurs to us that our most stable actions are preventing us from having it easier in life.

Perhaps that's because we all want simple answers, black and white comings and goings, such as is so satisfying in our game worlds, or when we find moral clarity in the otherworld. In fact, we needn't be particularly stubborn since it is in all of our nature to insist that we KNOW the answers. It's true in sickness, and it's true in health, even while posting to the Acaeum. We are not always right when we think we know a thing. Not even about ourselves.

A last thing I'd like to point out, in the spirit of gaming.

Robilar was a solo adventurer.

You've all accepted that stalwartness in this mythical Greyhawk character.

I have only to add that what made it mythical wasn't something brought about by the mere retelling of stories. Those things that made it so are able to be found in Rob's character.

That is, until it became someone else's intellectual property and thus it also became their job of characterization, at which time they freely wrote him in for something he wasn't....

.....

...........

Ahem....


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