A Brief Introduction to this Page's Purpose
Not Another Dime! is dedicated to documenting the assorted, and sometimes wild, details of Mr. Ken Whitman's business dealings within the Role Playing Game (RPG) industry. This place is NOT intended to be a medium of discussion about Mr. Whitman, pro or con, but instead be a "jumping off" point to enable the reader to make their own informed decision about Mr. Whitman's history and business character.
Whenever possible, links to the original source material will be provided, but in many cases that information may have been deleted or secured behind restricted-access (like a private Facebook page) accounts.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015
2013.04.21 Another Ken Whitman Kickstarter You Might Not Know About
Sources have told me that the eight Ken Whitman Kickstarters we've posted about so far are just some of Ken Whitman's money-grabs. Allegedly he already had some more Kickstarters "in the works" and it is slowly coming to light that he has had his hand in a few more Kickstarters than commonly publicized.
I wouldn't be surprised if some were innocuous, like when Ken Whitman was working for Larry Elmore, but I'm certain they all aren't....
Even though he's been banned/blocked from Kickstarter, it seems to have done little to affect his appetite for the crowdfunding platform, at least according to his ex. I didn't report too heavily on this Facebook post since the ground was largely covered by the Don't Fund Ken Whitman blog, but they missed this one gem.
"Whitman wanted to kickstart it. He said "I smell money."
He totally has the practice deck I made."
So we should probably be keeping an eye out for a fairy card game based Kickstarter now? Don't worry, I checked...well at least as of yesterday morning.
On the surface there doesn't seem to be a lot of involvement with Ken Whitman, but it doesn't take too much digging to see that Ken Whitman just kept his name off of the top-level organization of the project. He was definitely waist-deep in it.
Ken Whitman doesn't appear anywhere on the campaign page for the Sovereign Stone project, but his name does appear on a tracking page done up by Kictraq. Hmm......why would Ken Whitman be on a podcast about this project?
Well, I listened in to the majority of the Geekerati podcast from May 23, 2013 so you don't have to....right off the bat, well not "right off" but about 18' in Ken Whitman starts off stating "I was in on the ground floor" and a few minutes later clearly states (21' in) that Sovereign Stone was "our kickstarter." Now that was enough for me, but glutton for punishment that I am I kept listening in.....
Not 10 minutes later Ken Whitman is discussing plans for future Kickstarters for smaller products. Instead of a larger $30K-$40K Kickstarter with larger stretch goals he was envisioning multiple smaller Kickstarters for $1K-$2K.
Nice to see how long he followed his own advice.....
It was beyond obvious that Ken Whitman was behind the Sovereign Stone Kickstarter after listening to his own words. Even if you want to give Ken Whitman the benefit of the doubt and attribute his earliest podcast comments to his over-indulgent sense of importance....after all he did repeatedly state his connections with the "old guard" in the RPG industry, you should listen in to the 44' 30" mark when Ken Whitman starts discussing how the Sovereign Stone Kickstarter Project had/was/is planning on paying the artists involved.
Let me make this extremely clear from a business standpoint: You don't have the ability, or even the knowledge, to speak about how people are paid if you aren't in charge! Ken Whitman's statements about paying the artists proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sovereign Stone was his project, not Tony Lee's.
It is also quite clear that Ken Whitman pretty much dragged his feet and abandoned the project, dumping it all on Tony Lee, who had his name publicly attached to things. My sources tell me that Tony did his best to finish the project despite Ken Whitman's involvement, even though it took him working two jobs to pay for things.
project updates public so we can follow along.....
Almost 7 months to the day after the Kickstarter ended we have this update:
"Merry Christmas to all our backers! But I'll also throw in a "Sorry" to everyone who's supposed to get the first version of Core Rules PDF by now.
If it's any consolation, so am I. I was told it would be ready "tomorrow"--three weeks ago. Then two weeks ago. Then a week ago. Then as late as yesterday afternoon."
So we have at least four broken promises.....but this isn't directly attributed to Ken Whitman...maybe someone else is to blame?
couple months to this update:
"I'm writing this early in the morning because I couldn't sleep. When Ken Whitman, the graphic designer/project manager, and I talked last Thursday, he set a deadline of this Monday himself for the Core Rules. I even suggested picking a later date given his current situation, but I also made sure that he knew whichever day he picked, he has to commit to it. He chose to stick with Monday.
Thanks for letting me vent a little. Maybe I can grab some sleep now :)"
Now that sounds like the Ken Whitman we've come to know! More lies, excuses, and promises followed by nothing but crap.
"OK, slight improvement here... I got one chapter so far. Not enough when you consider I was promised every chapter as it's done.....
.....Well, he's publicly promised on the Sov Stone Facebook page to have it done Wednesday. So I just laid it out in a PM that I won't care how much he has by then, if I don't have EVERYTHING for the Core Rules, he's done."
So let me see if I have this right....three months after promising to have everything done and 1 0 months after the project ends Ken Whitman produces one page.....one page, followed by one chapter of a 342 page book. Now Ken Whitman isn't writing this, he is just laying it out.....basically cutting & pasting and tweaking. He isn't typesetting for an old linotype machine!
There was another update later in the day that I won't show a picture for, but it stated "Just spoke to Larry, and he told me that Ken has informed him that the Core Rules is completed" The next day the update states that "I just called Ken, and it seemed that instead of going to Larry's (whom I also called but was unavailable), he's having Internet connection installed in his apartment today"
Well, at least Ken Whitman got the core rules done by Wednesday as promised......or did he?
"I was given two options last night: (1) take the "90% done" file for the Core Rules now, or (2) wait for it to be "100% done" and I'll get it whenever that may be.
Took Option #1. I don't have it as I write this."
Wait...why would there be two options if the core rules were already done? Am I confused here or did Ken Whitman just lie....again?
The next update, eight (8!) days later finally states the core rules are not only done, but downloadable by the backers. That is just the "preview" version. It'll take another three days to get the promised PDF.
next pertinent update comes at the end of the month: "Core Rules... I still don't have anything from the old layout guy except the one unproofed version. I don't know why it's almost a month since I submitted the corrections but still nothing for me to make the final changes and take it from 1-yard line into the endzone, sort to speak... It has come to my attention that perhaps some of you don't feel comfortable with me ranting about this as I did before. I do apologize and this will be the last time I let loose some of my frustrations. I do believe that as backers, you have the right to know why it's incredibly late, so I'll try to put it in as neutral tone as I can. Anyway, I'm taking steps to resolve it as well, and we should have some sort of conclusion to this in a couple days, one way or another. I'll keep everyone updated."
Luckily for the backers we get this important update: "We welcome Ian Liddle, who has graciously taking over laying out the Core Rules! Ian is a champ when it comes to skills and professionalism. Together we'll be hard at work to bring you the PDF in May!"
Evidently Ian is a professional...... "Speaking of tireless work, Ian Liddle personifies it with his effort on the Core Rules... I'm simply speechless at what he has done, is doing, and how fast!"...and the core rules are done before May!
So what we have here is Ken Whitman being involved with a Kickstarter from the beginning, dragging his feet and producing more lies and excuses than product, and then having to be saved from his own project by someone else stepping in to do the real work.
Hmm.....I hope this doesn't show as a pattern......