Twenty-six months after publishing the below article and there has been little to progress made on the part of Brave Halfling to get this Kickstarter wrapped up. HIs updates continue to be sporadic and some backers are indeed reporting that they have received some of the books from the first shipment, but there is still so much to be produced and/or shipped to backers. In addition to the modules, there are game boxes for storing modules, a kids RPG called Dagger, and I am sure I am missing something.
I should mention that almost a year ago, I asked for a pro-rated refund and I was satisfied with the refund I received from John. That still does not excuse his actions and his inability to get stuff shipped in a semi-efficient manner. If you’re a backer that is tired of being jerked around, demand a refund! If you don’t get one, file a complaint with your states AG.
Best of luck backers!
Appendix N was my first Kickstarter project that I backed as I was just getting into playing and running Dungeon Crawl Classics. This campaign funded on 2 July 2012 and has yet to complete delivery of the promised rewards. As of the last update on 2 Nov, John Adams had yet to complete the first wave of shipments to backers. The second wave is still due to us poor suckers that backed this project.
John is unresponsive at best and some would argue fraudulent in his business practices. I think he’s somewhere between incompetent and a fraud. Though I will admit he’s making some effort, not sure how much, to get the product out the door and into our hands. I had to blog about this situation three times to get my first shipment delivered, pretty sad if you ask me! You can read backer comments to get a sense of the wider frustration experienced by the overwhelming majority of the backers, here!06
Here’s what I wrote over the past two years about this pathetic Kickstarter, listed in order of publication.
Appendix N Adventure Toolkits – Kickstarter Frustration!!!
Appendix N Kickstarter Still Missing!
Sweet Jesus Miracles do Happen – Appendix N Kickstarter Finally Shipped!
Appendix N Kickstarter – Almost as Bad as Mike Nystul’s Campaigns!
Several backers have commented that they were taking up the situation with their state’s Attorney General for consideration of consumer fraud. I am not sure if any of that will pan out, but it is something that merits looking into as we are approaching the 3.5-year mark.
Eric Tenkar reported on 23 Oct 2015 that Brave Halfling was being investigated by the State’s Attorney General office; I can only surmise he was referring to the New York AG. It seems my Google-Fu is not strong enough to locate any other information pertaining to any other state AG office investigating the company.
If you were involved in this over promised and under delivered Kickstarter, have you received your first shipment? Have you or are you taking this situation to your state’s Attorney General? I am considering it and I would encourage others to consider it as well. I would like to know more about which states might be investigating the fraudulent practices of Brave Halfling Publishing. It’s time to speak up, it’s the only thing John responds to! Respond to this article (here on the blog) to have your voice heard.
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4 Comments Add yours
It’s sad that this is happening more and more and that it sours the experience for backers. It also make it very difficult for smaller publishers like me to get the backing needed for our work. I ran one successful crowdfunding project and it was important to me to get the product out on time and the rewards to the backers.
But after being burned so many time, when will people decide to stay away from backing anything?
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You do raise a very valid concern that publishers have to contend with. Even with this possibility looming, there are many things that can be learnt from campaigns such as Appendix N or any of the other debacles, like any of those from Ken Whitman. Learn from these failures and how to combat consumer concerns surrounding these issues and publishers should still do ok.
Kickstarter publisher, yesterday I think, a study about kickstarter completions. The study was conducted by an independent and external entity and their finding was that 91% of all kickstarters all fulfilled. You can read the study here: https://www.kickstarter.com/fulfillment?ref=hero
I would also like to know what it is you have successfully brought to market through crowdfunding. If you’d like me review it here on the blog please email me at email@example.com
Hey Modoc. I appreciate your frustration. This project has taken far too long. I have easily over-promised and under-delivered. I made very poor decisions running the project from the beginning. And my family did go through some terrible experiences that were personally very difficult for me to go through as well.
In the last year, I have tried to get things turned around on the project and nearly everyone has their first print rewards shipment. In fact, nearly 170 modules have shipped out in the last three weeks and another 200 are being labeled and shipped out this week and next. Many of those are 2-3 print copies going out to single supporters. The first shipment is almost done.
Because of my incompetence at the record-keeping at the start, (which is why my estimates on finishing the first shipment have continued to be off) has been difficult to finish this first shipment, but I using both the excel spreadsheets and hand-written documentation to make sure they are all getting out and that next shipment will be far quicker and smoother.
You do rightly note that I do not always respond to comments. I felt that folks have every right to express their frustrations just as much as those who are happy to have recieved their first shipment. And, you also need to be aware that a number of regular commentors on the project have both recieved their first shipment AND a refund. In addition, I know that some are desperate for me to post comments and updates so that they can go through them with a critical eye looking for inconsistencies and contradictions (which I know with 90+ updates they are there and easy to find). Frankly, I just have my head down and am focusing on finishing the first shipment as soon as possible, then taking care of any that were missed, and then staring the next shipment and plan to have it completed in four month or less.
One last thing. I am also aware that many folks will no longer leave comments on this project (positive or negative) because they know that it might make them a target too. As often as my failings on this project have become blogger material, I think few folks would want to be included in angry blog posts as well.
Again, I understand your anger and frustration and you have every right to express them too. I am just trying to finish the project as soon as possible, providing as little added frustration by not replying to every comment and not posting over-promising updates.
Modoc, if you have posted a comment or pm that I have not responded too, I apologize.
– John Adams
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Thank you for taking the time to reply here on the blog and also over at Kickstarter. As I have stated on your Kickstarter page, I was an early vocal supporter when things were not going well for the project and you personally. Over time, I have lost faith and interest in this project and your ability to fulfill the promises outlined in the campaign.
I know you have stated (today) that it’s likely the finally deliver will be by the end of spring, but to be honest, i am not holding breath here. I hope whatever new system you have put in place works and you can get the final products out the door and into our hands.
For the record, I am still considering contacting my state’s AG because of the length of this campaign and sheer mismanagement of the entire thing. Of which, you admit to your incompetencies and poor management.