RJK's Bottle City updates
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:49 pm 
 

ExTSR wrote:What say? A little sanity? Cooler heads prevail, all that?

You new around here, or something?  :lol:

Honestly, if more people would just leave their attitudes at the door, things would be happier around here.

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:04 pm 
 

Hi. Long time reader... first time poster... though I've been regged to post for quite some time now.

I see a couple of people here who know me, so hopefully I have some amount of street cred here.  8)

For the length and breadth of this fiasco, I've read most of the threads across the net and wanted to reply... yet what could I add to the mix other than my own personal experiences with Mr. RJK... so let me throw that in and sum things up for perspective.

In 2004, I entered into an agreement with RJK to co-author a 100,000 word game book concerning thaumaturgy and thaumaturgical creations.  I was to create 200 unique monsters... which I did... and fill out 60,000 words in the process... which I did.  To my knowledge, RJK might have wrote the introduction to the work... that's assuming I take him at his word on that.

He claimed to have shopped it around to no avail.  After a lengthy period of time... when it became painfully obvious that he a)was doing nothing on this project, and b) was doing nothing to promote it with publishers, I respectfully asked to be released from my NDA so that I could take the work I had already done and develop it on my own.

Never got a reply... never heard from him since.  In fact, when someone on his board asked him the status of the project, he completely lied.  I stepped in and corrected the misinformation only to see that thread later disappear.

My dealings with RJK are nothing in comparison to what others have experienced.  He cost me nothing moneywise... publishers have actually lost money contracting with him... including, but not limited to: Necromancer Games, Kenzer Games, and most recently Troll Lord Games which led to the final parting of personal ways between him and EGG some months ago.

Now I hear that he's resorted to cheating the customers... and yes, that's what it is: cheating and stealing, IMO.  His defenders aside... there's no way any reasonable person can look at RJK's track record with other companies (which is why he's self-publishing), look at the succession of promises, lies, and brush-offs he's put forth regarding Bottle City and come to any other logical conclusion other than the customers have been stuck for their cash... IMO.

In fact, it's pretty freaking creepy to hear grown men make excuses for him, cover for him and denigrate those who choose to actually complain about RJK's behavior on this point.  Only a good background in social psychology keeps me from being completely amazed at such defensive behavior.

In any case, the very fact that copies have been available for some time from NKG is a glaring point of evidence that not only is RJK capable of getting the modules out of his house and into distribution but that he has zero intention of honoring his commitments to those who took a financial chance on him.

Lastly, I think there's a word for this sort of behavior from him, and it starts with an F.  Were I taken for such sums of money... after a period of time, I would be filing a complaint with the Wisconsin Attorney General.  Fortunately, I learned my lesson with Mr. Kuntz three years ago and would never invest a solitary dime in his dreary little operation.

That's my two coppers... take it for whatever you think it might be worth.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:30 pm 
 

Just to clarify something here, if it isn't already obvious --

At Frank/Deadlord's request, I deleted the parts of his posting (and the subsequent quoted posts) that were, shall we say, a bit inflammatory.  It was obviously written in the heat of the moment.

While I don't normally do such things, I felt it was necessary in order to keep this thread from completely going off the rails.  Everyone should be aware that in general, the effectiveness of your argument hinges upon your ability to keep things professional.  Nobody pays much attention to the guy in the supermarket screaming profanities, other than perhaps to look around for the police.

/moderation off

Foul

  

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:46 pm 
 

This thread should be locked, if at all possible. It's clearly gone beyond anything constructive.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:21 am 
 

FoulFoot wrote:= Nobody pays much attention to the guy in the supermarket screaming profanities, other than perhaps to look around for the police.


And when it's Deadlord doing the screaming, they usually just send in a couple of police dogs and one of those bomb robots into the supermarket until the alcohol makes him pass out..... :D

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:26 am 
 

John Stark wrote:Posted by Rhuvien over at the Pied Piper site about this thread here at the Acaeum:



From this thread: Link

Figured you all would like to know what this guy thinks of you.

See, its exactly this kind of self-righteous nonsense that is going to fan the flames worse than they already are.

Did you folks here at the Acaeum catch what he's saying? Your character is called into question because you've vented some anger about not getting what you paid for.

No thought at all about the fact that RJK made this mess himself by stating he'd shipped all outstanding orders weeks ago, and then not following through.

No thought at all that folks work hard for their money, and expect to get what they've paid for in a timely fashion, from a business that was supposed to be earning the trust of their customers.

If this doesn't meet the definition of vapid fanboyism, I don't know what does.


I'm sure your lame attempt at trying to twist my comments to convince others to agree with your lying and pathetic post will go unheeded.

It's pretty clear that I'm a friend and fan of this site and the many posters and friends that I have here.

I've only expressed my concern about the vicious and horrific posting that is occurring by a small group of posters. If you wish to declare yourself one of those, don't mince words. Step right up and say that you are with the nasties and have no regard for common decency and general respect for your fellow posters and members of this forum.

You've certainly shown your lack of manners  and of forum etiquette at other places.

You are to be pitied.  :?


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:31 am 
 

I have, on these boards, stated that I believe that RJK has lied. I stand by this, but will not hesitate to apologise if someone gives me proof that this is not the case.

In the meantime please feel free to pity, or indeed, shun me :roll:


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:16 am 
 

Rhu:

look man....is this civil enough....

People have paid a LOT of cash. they havent had their product. it has been promised on more than a few occasions now. folk still havent got their product. folk have been able to obtain the product from a third party, because their pre-order still hasnt been dealt with.

many spokespersons speak and make excuses, yet the originator never speaks.

we are not talking a short amount of time or money here either.

this matter is doubtfully going to clear up until the folk receive their product.

solution? SHIP THE PRODUCT IMMEDIATELY.

is that ok?

'nuff said.

Al



  


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:03 am 
 

Hi Everyone,

I've held off posting on this thread for my own reasons up to now.

Do I have any stake in the argument? Yes, nearly 500 hundred of them.

Those that have posted on both sides have expressed their opinions,
and as has been stated before, nothing new is likely to be said within
the next few days, unless Rob himself jumps on or people start to get the goods.

I am posting now to request, and this is just a suggestion mind, that
we put aside this particular discussion until after EGG's laid to rest.

A couple of days won't hurt and I wouldn't normally suggest something
like this as I respect a heck of a lot of guys on here, and their
right to express their opinions on this.

For no other reason than as a sign of respect to EGG.


"Don't tempt me, I can resist anything but temptation"

  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:07 am 
 

AdderMcOne wrote:Hi Everyone,

I've held off posting on this thread for my own reasons up to now.

Do I have any stake in the argument? Yes, nearly 500 hundred of them.

Those that have posted on both sides have expressed their opinions,
and as has been stated before, nothing new is likely to be said within
the next few days, unless Rob himself jumps on or people start to get the goods.

I am posting now to request, and this is just a suggestion mind, that
we put aside this particular discussion until after EGG's laid to rest.

A couple of days won't hurt and I wouldn't normally suggest something
like this as I respect a heck of a lot of guys on here, and their
right to express their opinions on this.

For no other reason than as a sign of respect to EGG.


I second this.

Nothing new is being added to the conversation.  Lets wait for new developments/lack of same so we can comment on them.

In the meantime let's try to remember the GOOD things that have come out of gaming, not this episode, just a suggestion.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:12 am 
 

hear hear...

well said Bren.

Al



  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:41 am 
 

Pied Piper Publishing's Philosophy and Mission Statement


Preface: A Short History of D&Dâ„¢-Compatible Products


Dungeons & Dragonsâ„¢ has come a long way and in many formats from the time when its first doughty fans and creators were assembling the wood grain box sets in EGG's basement.  We all thought then that it was such a great concept and fun to no end and wanted to get it as fast as possible into the hands of eager fans. That small but dynamic beginning has lead to a multi-million dollar industry, has spawned imitators of the games, and has driven the creation of volumes of fan-based material, as well as spurred the publication of semi-professional, licensed and compatible material for it.


One of the very first licenses approved for AD&Dâ„¢ was for Judges Guild. During that time I was put in charge for a short period to oversee and edit the line, making sure that Judges Guild was representing the license as agreed upon and that the material was consistent with the rules as already published and forthcoming. Judges Guild exceeded their intent of presenting the compatible material in the best possible light; and that only continued to promote the game in a good way because of that, building awareness of AD&Dâ„¢ and creating a strong secondary arm to further invigorate TSR's already strong sales of the brand. They did such a good job of this in fact that Bob Bledsaw of JG is specifically thanked in the credits and acknowledgments of the Dungeon Masters Guide.


Mayfair Games came upon the scene later with their compatible products, in turn creating a contention between them and TSR  which extended in and out of court for many years afterwards until the Mayfair line of AD&D compatible products was eventually bought out by TSR.  During their run of many years Mayfair produced a copious amount of professional looking product which varied in content from average to excellent. Many of these products are still sought after by collectors today, noting that they were in widespread cases appreciated by a good portion of consumers in the AD&Dâ„¢ community who were clamoring for more and more material, whether it was compatible, licensed official, or official.


In 1986 I launched my own fantasy role-playing game company, Creations Unlimited, and basing the main game terms upon the Mayfair model, brought to market with these CU STATS five products (the four modules of the Maze of Zayeneâ„¢ series and Garden of the Plantmaster) and had in the works a sixth, The City of Brass. The company folded due to many industry problems, which included TSR doubling their own product offerings while reducing prices, which in turn drove distributors to buy their lines rather than more pricey and often unknown and untested small publisher offerings. That coupled with the DRAGON Magazine's cut in subscribers around that time and TSR not allowing Creations Unlimited to advertise in the pages of the DRAGON due to the use of AD&D game terms in our products, sealed the fate of the company.


In noting the two latter examples, I will emphasize that in neither case was TSR successful in stopping the publication of compatible materials, only in curtailing their dissemination. The main reasons for this are best found in the various matter involving the different court rulings for or against Mayfair and TSR, but by the time Creations Unlimited appeared on the scene TSR and Mayfair had had enough of the courts and were both properly informed on where they stood and how they should operate in lieu of the prior judgments.


Soon after Wizards of the Coast bought out the financially-crippled TSR, one of its executives, Ryan Dancey, proposed releasing D&D's core terminology set to the public, thus the birth of the SRD (System Reference Document) and OGL (Open Gaming License). Any content (called, interestingly enough, "open-game content" or OGC) released under the OGL (including the D&D SRD) can be used by gamers and publishers in accordance with its terms of use set forth in the license. This allows for the creation of compatible published content, such as what Pied Piper Publishing offers, to be made available to consumers, as well as allowing fans to create such material at their pleasure. This has opened up many professional, fan-oriented, or other self-publishing avenues not only for games past, but for a new realm of compatible games of the future, all based around a simple and well-known terminology set.


The OGL empowers the many existing companies today, such as ours, that publish compatible content for a game we love so much that we don't want to let go. There is no magic wand involved here, no trickery, nor remake of the past rules as otherwise set in stone.  Simply put, the OGL is the bridge for those who wish to use what was and for those who would like to tinker with what might be.  It's a sublime ending or starting point for game designers, just as it was intended to be.  But more importantly, it is the only thing one needs to fuel compatible product design and publication of same. We all have Ryan Dancey to thank for this simple yet formidable idea as realized through the SRD/OGL. By extension, those at Wizards of the Coast then who approved of his plan should be thanked as well.


What Does this Mean for the Future of Compatible Material? (The Pied Piper Transition)


We cannot speak for other companies who are now making the transition to the OGL to publish their compatible products.  From PPP's view we were the first to recently do so, although we hedged our bets on using the OGL in the first product release, Cairn of the Skeleton King, by using the compatible aforementioned CU STATS rather than the familiar terminology of the SRD. Every product since then uses the SRD terminology with which all players and GMs are familiar, and expect all products in the future to stay 100% to this course.



The use of our ‘First Edition' Brand logo on future products  also continues to guarantee the following from Pied Piper:


That all products are compatible as designed by using the OGL.
This demarks a quality we are proud to continue with as the roots of the company actually spring from the very start of the game as we know it.
This also marks our products in a primary light as being First Editions, as the majority of them are signed and numbered.
This indicates to online or direct retailers that this is a trusted and tested line of products, assuming a high and meticulous level of production, editing, and creative content which we have been known for, a quality which has in the past gained for our various authors, artists and graphic experts  recognition through awards, commendations and praise from our community and other industry professionals.
This also indicates the pride we take by such attachment. We in no way assume to be the only company publishing such compatible product, but we intend to do the association justice in all respects and then some.
In association with our trade phrase, "Pathways to Enchantment," this branding will continue to identify PPP as raising the bar on product content to levels which many of us hoped would have been achieved in the past had it not been for politics and other unfortunate occurences which otherwise muddied the "road that goes ever onward." We are already progressing along that path with a solid base of encouraged customers and industry professionals who realize that the vision that once was can be had again.
Our branded First Edition products will be synonymous with "no creative limit," as our intent is to push the idea of Fantasy, which has no boundaries, to its very limit and once there take a deep breath and continue happily onward.
Such branding will indicate that ALL product has passed my rigorous inspection and expectations of high quality or else it would not have made it to print.

Pied Piper Publishing has many great products forthcoming as well as many already published.   We are listening to the reviewers, to the informed critics, to our fans and professionals.  In fact I read every such communication and respond to each personally, which guarantees that no voice goes unheard or unanswered.

We appreciate your past patronage if you are a former customer giving our statement of intent a look; and if you are a new person here who is considering trying our products please peruse the site at your leisure and take full note of what we are doing, or attend our forums where I can be found at different times on a daily basis. I will answer any pointed question directed my way just as I did during my days at TSR.  Pied Piper Publishing will always maintain a high level of involvement with its fans and encourages their input.

Sincerely,


Robert J. Kuntz
President, Pied Piper Publishing


Right................


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Last edited by Gnat the Beggar on Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:54 am, edited 4 times in total.
  


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:43 am 
 

The problem is, IMO, that there are a few posters who apparently like to and are allowed to spew vicious nasty attacks peppered with swear words and they go unmoderated. That behavior is not tolerated on all the other major gaming RPG forums, so it does a real disservice to the Acaeum and is disrespectful to its members.


People that make those type of posts speak volume about their character and personality and should be shunned by all.


Well I don't know anything about the people involved in this or the amounts of money that are in play so I'll refrain from comment on those particular issues. HOWEVER.

We have enough authoritarianism in all walks of life to contend with these days and anyone who's crying for more should have a very careful think about the end consequences of shutting people up - which is what you're proposing if I read you correctly. It may be true that other venues on the Internet don't allow this or don't allow that - fine, each and every one of them is private property and can be run as the owner sees fit. I certainly won't speak for the owner and administrator here at the Acaeum but what I will say is I enjoy the open nature of the debate here, from the thoughtful and highly useful examination of the industry and hobby that we're all connected to right through to the screaming tear-ups that are part and parcel of human nature - for better or worse. A nanny peering over my shoulder to filter what HE or SHE finds offensive or otherwise unsuitable on MY behalf is entirely contrary to my idea of free speech. With free speech comes responsibility and potential consequences and it falls on the individuals concerned to judge for themselves what levels of responsibility are applicable and accept any consequences arising. In the case of an Internet forum, any person feeling they have been harmed by the words of others has recourse in the law. Why is this not sufficient? Why should there ever be a need to restrict ALL contribution down to the lowest standard of prudes or Puritans? Swearing? Fuck me! How much of that do you hear in the street each day? Do you demand each offender be removed from the street? Or be allowed to venture out only when they are prepared to accept your standards? The Acaeum isn't responsible for the individual conduct of its members and why should it be? There's no disservice occurring here, unless you can better define what you mean by that? I'm not offended (except when people such as yourself speak for me) and even if I was I could simply close the browser window and not return. Doesn't everyone have that option? You might feel it's intolerable that people are allowed to express their opinions as they see fit, I find your notion of limitation on free speech equally intolerable. That's two opinions - mine and yours. The only difference is, if you had your way my opinion would be wiped away. It's better to hear both, don't you think, or should we be done with the hard things and busy ourselves discussing the weather?

I commend The Acaeum for being one of the few places left where I can express my opinion, warts and all, without fear of it being edited or stifled. Long may that last and congratulations to the owner for having the guts to live up to the principles we all claim to hold dear when we profess the virtues of our 'free' societies. At least in this place there is no hint of hypocrisy.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:46 am 
 

Sorry Adder, I caught your request after I'd posted.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:03 pm 
 

On a positive note then ...I believe SemajTheSilent is James C. Boney?  Is that correct?

I bought your OSRIC modules "Red Masoleum" and "Curse of the Witch Head".  When will see another one?  :)   Let us know!

You see guys there are worthy authors under our noses working dilligently on old school material and putting it out there.  Their names aren't the familiar Gygax, Bledsaw, Mentzer, Jaquays, Cook, Hickman et all.  They have unfamiliar names but holding their work seems familiar.  No runic copies, no LE versions with commentaries.  Just the straight goods like it actually was back in the day when you bought G1-G2-G3.  Consider that buying an OSRIC module from a publisher like Expeditious Retreat is a mere drop in the bucket for what we spend in a year on out of print stuff.  It's a mere drop in the bucket for what people spent pre-ordering bc!  Supporting these efforts is dirt cheap for a group like us but it sends the publisher a big message!  This is the same Boney you would have bought if El Raja Key's Thaumaturgy or whatever the heck came out, so give his other work at look at least and see what you think.   :D

As for the rest of this thread ...I agree nothing new is being said and at the same time a guy like Frank who has always been good to this place has a tough weekend ahead.  Let's take the easy out he has given us and zip it even if RJK's friends want to continue.

Cheers!

  


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:07 pm 
 

I like cake.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:18 pm 
 

islestrike wrote:You see guys there are worthy authors under our noses working dilligently on old school material and putting it out there.

That is true, "Pod Caverns of the Sinister Shroom" is also excellent.



  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:34 pm 
 

dcas wrote:That is true, "Pod Caverns of the Sinister Shroom" is also excellent.


yes i have that and the red mausoleum. most excellent modules and i like the flow of each adventure too.

on that note. forget which of the above, but one got to me and all the spine was damaged from being bent by the muppet of a postman. what happened? the guy stuck one in the post to me immediately at no cost to me.

now THAT is service i like to see. i didnt know there was another adventure, so when i get a little time to go nosing, i will see if i have the funds just now to go acquire it.

many thanks

Al



  


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:41 pm 
 

islestrike wrote:On a positive note then ...I believe SemajTheSilent is James C. Boney?  Is that correct?

I bought your OSRIC modules "Red Masoleum" and "Curse of the Witch Head".  When will see another one?  :)   Let us know!


Yes I am, and thank you for buying my stuff. :D

XRP is editing "Chasm of the Damned" right now.  I don't know the release date of it just yet.

Yes, Matt Finch's "Pod Caverns" is a great little module, isn't it?  He should write another one.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:07 pm 
 

semaj

so i am missing that curse of the witch head and this new one?

if you want to make a note, when the new one is done, PM me and i will purchase both.

Al



  
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