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Made in us
Nimble Skeleton Charioteer





I originally posted this in another thread, but Warboss suggested I post it here.

What is the backstory with Palladium and their drama? I used to play Rifts and Beyond the Supernatural back in the late 80's - early 90's but haven't even thought of them in ages. I didn't even know they still existed.
   
Made in us
Knight of the Inner Circle






They exist only as a shadow of their previous self. The last drama I knew of is the Robotech Tactics Kickstarter fiasco. Basically they took the money and overproduced
the starter sets trying to turn the money in cash they could use it for other things. Many items that were planned was never made and people asking for the money back
for items not received were ignored.

Read more about it here.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palladium_Books

 
   
Made in us
Exalted Beastlord




They exist only as a shadow of their previous self.

Well... Palladium was never a very reputable company to begin with.

Siembedia had a habit of screwing over writers (that their submissions had to be heavily edited, so they wouldn't get their full pay. And generally they didn't need to be heavily edited, he just rewrote them to add his own stamp on submissions, and called it 'editing')

Plus he cut a lot of corners. He was still doing cut and paste page mockups and using 80s layout and printing techniques into the 90s and early 2000s.

That Robotech Tactics went badly was not at all a surprise.

Palladium is entirely controlled and owned by Kevin Siembieda. Some writers who have been published by Palladium have stated that Siembieda's method of management was too centralized and not adapted to the size the company had reached (no delegation of responsibilities, lack of open dialogue with employees, bad interpersonal relationships), which they cited as a reason they were no longer working for the company.[5][6][7] One of the writers later apologized for the manner in which he made his statements, but did not retract his claims.[8]

This particular bit on the Wikipedia page is heavily sanitized and understated, for example.
There are some RPG specific sites that delve into various writers' grievances. The one I know of I won't link, because the site a profanity-ridden hellscape and very much NSFW (or sanity).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/19 17:49:51


Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Glorious Nation of U.S.S.A!

Palladium has always had a complicated (to put it mildly) history and internal dynamic but, in the old days of the 80s and 90s, it was relatively easy to ignore and hard to emphasize. Nowadays, the opposite is true. Palladium literally got me into tabletop gaming as a hobby back in 1991 when I saw a classmate in the first week of programming class reading the core Robotech rpg book during his free time; I then played Rifts with him for over a decade. Problems were already present at that time with years (later decade) long delays for books advertised in not just catalogs but referred to in actual printed books as well as Palladium's draconian policies on fan content up to and including legally threatening early fan websites in the 90s. The rules were always poorly written, easily abused, and cobbled together but that was frankly the norm during the 80s to early 90s.

I was able/willing to ignore all of the above for a while because I loved the universe then I started going to gencon and realized that it wasn't unavoidable. You could have a compelling universe AND coherent/cohesive rules! I started to gravitate towards those games slowly with my interests (and purchases) although I was still exclusively playing Rifts for rpgs. Talking to the actual people including Kevin Siembieda every summer at gencon and having them try to blow smoke up my butt every year when I'd excitedly ask about anticipated products didn't help and the mask was slipping. That changed for me with the release of dnd 3e for me as I finally joined a non-Palladium rpg and it was a night and day difference. It wasn't perfect by any means but it was a huge improvement and I progressively played Rifts less and less (the departure of my fav Rifts artist, Kevin Long, contributed to that as well). The "new" ultimate edition of Rifts being 90% the same mechanically and 100% IMO just as poorly organized and thought out was the final straw to me and I stopped playing.

I didn't harbor any resentment though (quite the opposite as I was still very nostalgic for my first game and intro to the hobby!). Palladium just became something that I alternately was nostalgic for and make sarcastic jokes about. When they finally came out after many years with worldbooks for regions of the world I loved, I'd buy them out of curiosity even though I wasn't playing. When the Robotech Rpg was relaunched, I bought it despite knowing it was likely just another poorly done rinse/lather/repeat of the old rules (it was btw). I became an early backer of the Robotech Tactics RPG minis game and started the thread here to promote it as well as to my real life friends and local acquaintances/gamers.

That campaign and the five years of delays and increasingly infrequent and misleading updates finally broke me completely. It took them on the eve of losing the Robotech license to admit that for years they didn't communicate honestly with their most loyal customers. Instead of using the money raised to develop and produce the kickstarter rewards and fund additional production with their own money (whether from savings or a business loan), they gambled all of the funds we gave them that should have been reserved for wave 2 on massively over producing wave one. Because they can't organize their way out of a plastic bag, they were over a year late on even that first wave and, despite knowing they were cutting it close, overspent on a big splashy intro for the game at gencon. They had promised that backers would be the first to get the game but that was no longer convenient so they unilaterally altered the agreement saying that Gencon attendees would get it first. But, don't worry because the one employee that is left in the office traditionally during the con to answer the phones and open the mail would be shipping out stuff to thousands of backers simultaneously, lol. When the international slow boat freight shipping was delayed a week or two, they literally had an empty booth fo that big premiere at gencon. They couldn't even be bothered to have their early production samples painted up well except for a few token pieces for the display case and their demo game models looked like they were done the weekend before a 40k tournament that introduced a 3 color minimum painting requirement last minute. They never ever even posted up a painted gallery for their big game on their website/storefront of the few figs they did have painted decently.

They treated the single biggest product likely they ever had with all the care and attention that a C- to D+ stoner high school sophomore would treat a mid semester term paper. We never got anything plastic from wave two. They not only ignored backers but actively started banning them from their forums and social media when asked for updates or respectfully posting legitimate/factual concerns. Official updates started coming less frequently with 6-8 months of silence inbetween and no actual useful information when they did post (only useless platitudes about faith and trust like they were a cult instead of a company). Palladium employees and representatives like forum admins would actively antagonize already unhappy backers on official and unofficial channels. After almost five years of this, Palladium finally admitted that they never were able to make good on their obligations after their initial blunders and our remaining rewards from the base pledge were converted to credit at less than iirc 12 cents on the dollar value owed once you included unlocked rewards (full credit on separately billed add ons though) redeemable ONLY for store credit on existing wave one Robotech product that they'd be forced to destroy if not sold (instead of a refund or even other Palladium stock).

Palladium was in all likelihood this crappy forever as the warning signs were always there. Google the Bill Coffin posts about what it was like to work as management at Palladium in the early 2000s. It's just that once they took thousands of people's money and those customers could communicate outside of their control that their lack of common sense and integrity was blatantly obvious to all but a few of the remaining diehards and casuals who largely remain blissfully ignorant due to being away from the hobby for years/decades. The former will never be convinced but the latter will eventually in turn be eventually screwed over somehow by Palladium and don't seem to be replaced with new customers (only occasionally with returning old school fans). I wanted to back the Savage World's Rifts campaigns but promised myself that I'd not give Palladium any more money (even indirectly through licensing) so passed. I might someday get the core book but I'll only trade for it or buy it used so they don't make a penny. Unfortunately, PEG is collateral to that as I have zero ill will towards them for making it and in fact would have bought one of everything had they come out with it before Robotech Tactics.

Ymmv. Add salt to taste.


edit: Lots of edits to the post as I pecked this wall of text out on my tablet while sipping some morning coffee and had to fix multiple mistakes and "autocorrect" changes.

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2020/09/20 19:09:12


 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




Palladium stole hundreds of thousands from Robotech fans. They can all go to hell.
   
Made in us
Battlefield Tourist




MN

After getting two core boxes and a few Mecha boxes at retail, I never put any of them together because they were a bloody mess to figure out!

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
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Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps






 Easy E wrote:
After getting two core boxes and a few Mecha boxes at retail, I never put any of them together because they were a bloody mess to figure out!


They really are a bloody mess. Just like Palladium.
   
Made in us
Hangin' with Gork & Mork






They are kind of ridiculous. I'm getting ready to put together the two destroids that came in box and even though they are the size of a Space Marine they seem to be about 400 or so pieces each.

Amidst the mists and coldest frosts he thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.
 
   
Made in us
Nimble Skeleton Charioteer





Warboss, thanks for the thorough response.

I never got deep into Robotech, though I was aware of it. Really had no idea they were that scummy.

Because of this thread, I actually pulled my copy of TMNT and other strangeness, a beloved game form my childhood out and re read the rules for the first time in over 30 years. All I can say is yikes, lol. Times sure have changed. Need to get my hands on a copy of beyond the supernatural, really want to reread that one.
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Longtime Dakkanaut





I'm similar to Warboss but not as negative outside of the Robotech KSer as I actually still enjoy the game system quite a lot and don't mind to cost cutting as Palladium books are cheap with generally good art and fun fluff. Honestly who cares that 15 years ago they didn't make their books digitally. That's still something people bring up from the Coffin rant in the early 2000s.

The Bill Coffin thing is really frustrating as Coffin himself has apologized for it saying he was wrong for the way he acted. All the RPG.net people backing him up seam to have never heard what a contractor in the publishing industry was. But they hated palladium (this pre all the drama we talk about now, just hated the rules and thus hated everyone that worked there) but RPG.net was a really horrible place back then. Back to Coffin--if you write a bunch of stuff and the person who contracted you doesn't like it they don't have to pay you. That's not uncommon at all. And Bill, not being able to really push this point as he new his contract was just that, spend a lot of effort trashing people personally (and not just Kevin). TBH his posts ruined his carrier which is sad as he was a good writer. Probably the best Palladium had ever had outside of Eric (Kevin can be good but in long winded, his earlier stuff is actually very enjoyable to read).

As for the Robotech KSer. Kevin has always been horrible with releases and managing projects. That's been well know since forever as it was other people that got things actually out. As a Palladium Fantasy RPG fan I waited for like 10 years for a book that was 98% done to actually get finished and printed even though every monthly update said it was coming in a few months. (and yes, I do have 1st edition Palladium Fantasy which is very interesting as it's not compatible with the rest of their line. More like old basic D&D)

Kevin is a sales guy and idea guy and it's amazing they didn't go the way of Decipher (similar RPG studio, all great creatives, no business sense at all) much earlier. And it was only people with more of a business sense that could reign him in that managed to keep the company going. But I think the embezzling some friends of Kevin did from Kevin in the early 2000's turned him off to having other people actually help run the company. And it's been a shell of it's former self for at least 15 years now.

When the Robotech KSer I don't have anything much to add outside that combining Sodapop Miniatures with Kevin was like a super combo of bad management. I only backed for two LE named units and only ever got one as I knew it's good to never pre-order from palladium but thought sodapop, which at the time hadn't revealed themselves to be incompetent yet, might be able to get this all out if Kevin was just the sales guy and approvals guy and not be involved in anything else. I'm not sure who's plan it was to base so much of their funding on wave one retail sales but clearly there's lots of fingers to be pointed at Kevin as he can never not be in Sales Guy mode (sadly I know too many people like him) and actually work to fix problems. You can kind of trace the people that just got fed up with kevin himself over the past 25 years with most being post embezzling fiasco. He seams to be someone that as he's gotten older has just hunkered down into his worst traits. I hope at some point he sales as theirs a lot of great stuff in their line. Their rules don't even need to be adjusted much to fit with a more modern design philosophy -- mostly in the skills/non-combat side of things.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Albertorius wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
After getting two core boxes and a few Mecha boxes at retail, I never put any of them together because they were a bloody mess to figure out!


They really are a bloody mess. Just like Palladium.


This is actually all Sodapop. Kevin was going to go with boardgame PVC, preassembled stuff, and was convinced to go multipart by them. They did all the cutting too. I remember the email about quite vividly. Wasn't a KSer update, something from the palladium mailing list where he useally has a few sentences on the progress of the KSer early on when it was "fresh and exciting" so fun for Kevin to talk about.

This message was edited 9 times. Last update was at 2020/09/27 19:38:37


 
   
Made in us
Member of a Lodge? I Can't Say





Philadelphia PA

Wow, I really didn't expect to ever see a Palladium white knight in the wild.

Kevin's a conman, pure and simple. Promised a bunch of stuff, never delivered, diverted the KS funds into trying for a big retail launch and to top it off completely ignored the promise that backers would be first to get the miniatures.

Because he couldn't resist the dollar signs of potential convention sales. So he had a fake poll of the backers, where anyone who didn't respond was counted as a 'yes sell at the con and screw us over please!' and then proceeded to to do just that.

He's literally someone who'll do anything to make a buck, no matter how unscrupulous.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/27 20:41:20


 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Glorious Nation of U.S.S.A!

 ScarletRose wrote:
Wow, I really didn't expect to ever see a Palladium white knight in the wild.


I don't think that's a fair characterization of Monkeysloth's post. Do I agree with him? No, absolutely not; my thoughts on Palladium are pretty clear from the wall of text post above. A white knight though completely ignores the bad in his chosen maiden while furiously clicking the report post button and that's not what Monkey did. I may think that he's overestimating the good and strongly undervaluing the bad but he does acknowledge the latter at least which no actual Palladium White KnightTM would do. Additionally, and more importantly, he's discussing the actions in question instead of attacking the people voicing frustration at those actions (a standard that frankly you're not holding yourself to). He's obviously a fan of the product and to a lesser extent the company but a white knight? Nah.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 ScarletRose wrote:
Kevin's a conman, pure and simple. Promised a bunch of stuff, never delivered, diverted the KS funds into trying for a big retail launch and to top it off completely ignored the promise that backers would be first to get the miniatures.

Because he couldn't resist the dollar signs of potential convention sales. So he had a fake poll of the backers, where anyone who didn't respond was counted as a 'yes sell at the con and screw us over please!' and then proceeded to to do just that.


Regarding the first part, I agree and there are literally many more scummy things he did along the way that I forgot to mention in my megapostTM above. The second part? Partly. It wasn't a fake poll... it was a deeply flawed poll designed to get him the desired result. But fake? No. The results were iirc there in the comments for all to see. Am I happy that a bunch of casual/oblivious fans voted to support him out of nostalgia and definitely undeserved good will left over from the 1980s and 90s? No.




Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Monkeysloth wrote:
The Bill Coffin thing is really frustrating as Coffin himself has apologized for it saying he was wrong for the way he acted.


I know you're not actually claiming this but I think it's important to point out that (at least to my knowledge) that he never actually retracted it either. I can regret getting angry at my old high school friend calling him a stupid donkey-cave when he broke my fence literally seconds after I told him to be careful and not do exactly what he did seconds later. That regret doesn't mean that he was neither stupid for ignoring me nor an donkey-cave for not apologizing... but I regret that it was the final straw that broke our friendship.

This is actually all Sodapop. Kevin was going to go with boardgame PVC, preassembled stuff, and was convinced to go multipart by them. They did all the cutting too. I remember the email about quite vividly. Wasn't a KSer update, something from the palladium mailing list where he useally has a few sentences on the progress of the KSer early on when it was "fresh and exciting" so fun for Kevin to talk about.


And ultimately Kevin and his 30 years of experience in tabletop gaming was the final arbiter/decision maker. It was also 100% his choice to mislead backers in the subsequent 5 years and to instruct his associates/subordinates to punish/ban those who respectfully tried to bring up issues. His and his company's incompetence and moral failings are systematic given the now decades of reported issues including the Coffin post. At some point, it's not just a unique situation nor just a disgruntled ex-employee. Ninja Division/Soda Pop deserves their share of the blame especially given how badly they've screwed up subsequent crowdfunded projects like the Starfinder campaign but the blame never will be even close to "all Sodapop". Too much crap happened after they abandoned ship... and of course it was 98% all to the detriment of backers.

I don't even remember why I'm using that 98% number sarcastically.. it was some sort of scummy thing Kevin said at some point in the kickstarter but there were so many over so many years that I don't recall the exact circumstance.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2020/09/27 21:22:55


 
   
Made in us
Member of a Lodge? I Can't Say





Philadelphia PA

 warboss wrote:
 ScarletRose wrote:
Wow, I really didn't expect to ever see a Palladium white knight in the wild.


I don't think that's a fair characterization of Monkeysloth's post. Do I agree with him? No, absolutely not; my thoughts on Palladium are pretty clear from the wall of text post above. A white knight though completely ignores the bad in his chosen maiden while furiously clicking the report post button and that's not what Monkey did. I may think that he's overestimating the good and strongly undervaluing the bad but he does acknowledge the latter at least which no actual Palladium White KnightTM would do. Additionally, and more importantly, he's discussing the actions in question instead of attacking the people voicing frustration at those actions (a standard that frankly you're not holding yourself to). He's obviously a fan of the product and to a lesser extent the company but a white knight? Nah.


"it was all just a misunderstanding"
"all the accusers are lying"
"Kevin didn't do anything wrong"

I mean I don't know why you're sticking up for him, but this is whitewashing pure and simple. And yes he also attacked people who voiced their frustrations by deliberately mischaracterizing (as you yourself point out) the whole Bill Coffin episode. I mean quite literally impugning the opposing side of the story to defend the Kevster.


 warboss wrote:
 ScarletRose wrote:
Kevin's a conman, pure and simple. Promised a bunch of stuff, never delivered, diverted the KS funds into trying for a big retail launch and to top it off completely ignored the promise that backers would be first to get the miniatures.

Because he couldn't resist the dollar signs of potential convention sales. So he had a fake poll of the backers, where anyone who didn't respond was counted as a 'yes sell at the con and screw us over please!' and then proceeded to to do just that.


Regarding the first part, I agree and there are literally many more scummy things he did along the way that I forgot to mention in my megapostTM above. The second part? Partly. It wasn't a fake poll... it was a deeply flawed poll designed to get him the desired result. But fake? No. The results were iirc there in the comments for all to see. Am I happy that a bunch of casual/oblivious fans voted to support him out of nostalgia and definitely undeserved good will left over from the 1980s and 90s? No.


The poll was as fake as the elections in any tin pot dictatorship - it was designed so that the outcome was predetermined regardless of the actual votes.

Which isn't even mentioning how the 'no response = yes' thing has some pretty vile implications in other aspects of life.


   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Glorious Nation of U.S.S.A!

 ScarletRose wrote:

"it was all just a misunderstanding"
"all the accusers are lying"
"Kevin didn't do anything wrong"

I mean I don't know why you're sticking up for him, but this is whitewashing pure and simple. And yes he also attacked people who voiced their frustrations by deliberately mischaracterizing (as you yourself point out) the whole Bill Coffin episode. I mean quite literally impugning the opposing side of the story to defend the Kevster.


I think a good starting point is to realize that MonkeySloth didn't actually say any of those things you quoted. Also, he didn't deliberately mischaracterize the Coffin episode as I too remember that Coffin did post (somewhere in a very length RPG.net thread) that he did indeed regret posting the rant. My takeaway though was that he did NOT retract it though meaning that he regretting airing out the dirty laundry in such a manner but not that anything he said (in his view) was untrue. Monkey is choosing to focus on the former whereas I disagree and think the latter is more important.


 warboss wrote:

Regarding the first part, I agree and there are literally many more scummy things he did along the way that I forgot to mention in my megapostTM above. The second part? Partly. It wasn't a fake poll... it was a deeply flawed poll designed to get him the desired result. But fake? No. The results were iirc there in the comments for all to see. Am I happy that a bunch of casual/oblivious fans voted to support him out of nostalgia and definitely undeserved good will left over from the 1980s and 90s? No.


The poll was as fake as the elections in any tin pot dictatorship - it was designed so that the outcome was predetermined regardless of the actual votes.

Which isn't even mentioning how the 'no response = yes' thing has some pretty vile implications in other aspects of life.


I literally said the same thing in case you missed it (re: that it was designed to give a particular outcome). As for the poll being fake, I recall some people actually counted up the entered comments (aka the real votes) and people allowing it did outnumber those like myself who said hell no. Obviously don't trust Palladium's accounting (or anything they say) but according to them 78% of the actual votes were yes.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rrpgt/robotech-rpg-tacticstm/posts/928773

That's not fake.. that's a decidedly postive result in their favor that we both strongly disagree with. It sad that they decided to rig the vote in the first place by counting non-votes in their favor but it's even sadder that they didn't need to do it regardless. :(

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/09/27 21:56:49


 
   
Made in us
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Longtime Dakkanaut





Thanks for the words Warboss. I just don't see much reason to get super angry about Palladium anymore. There's be a long cycle, similar to your experience, for a lot of us that are/were fans of the company (and I did say my experience was similar to yours except I can still enjoy the rules). So I guess my crime is not screaming and yelling in a thread? I dono. I didn't feel like I was defending Kevin on anything, outside of the multi-part minis, as I didn't back the KSer for more then $30 as I didn't trust them to deliver. I even stated that I think he should sell the company (but I guess that's defending him). Instead I kind of talked about something like "why did the company go down the tubes over the past 15 years?" Because clearly Kevin has always been Kevin and, as I stated, just doesn't care to reflect and change.

About 2 years before the Robotech KSer they had done mini KSer like pre-orders for some Rifts books (I didn't back, see the 10 year wait for a fantasy title comment) and by the time the KSer rolled around I don't think they'd delivered any of them. Maybe it's just because me and my friends had the long standing policy of "never pre-order from Palladium until it's done at the printers" that I figured most people had the same policy with the company. I never really took it as malicious until the psudo-ksers they did for a few books via the forums and took years to deliver as before they never actively went out of their way to get you to pre-order--just mention they were available. Seamed like the psudo-KSers were them trying to get money to make bill payments and disingenuous on their part. But I doubt Kevin didn't think that every week he wasn't going to get those books published as he seams the type that believes his own sales pitch.


 warboss wrote:

He's obviously a fan of the product and to a lesser extent the company but a white knight? Nah.


Absolutely. Despite what many people think, including Kevin, Pallidum is more then Kevin. While, most, of the criticisms people have are squarely in his lap a lot of what made the company fans were people like Erick Wujick, Kevin Lang, CJ, and yes Bill Coffin. There's more to the company the Kevin. Though as I stated his early work as actually pretty enjoyable (the shame of admitting that there's a reason people actually bought the books and not just saying they're trash and always have been).

Is he a conman? dono to be honest as I don't think he's sees anything wrong with his behavior. I think to be a conman you have to be self aware at some level. I don't use the term "salesman" as a positive though (could have explained that better) having had to deal with them causing trouble over selling software I've worked on for my whole career. I think he only sees people as transactions from my experience with him and people like him that I do know. As I said earlier I think he believes his own sales pitches/realities. I learned that if you could always deal with Wayne as he was the anti-Kevin.

Automatically Appended Next Post:


I know you're not actually claiming this but I think it's important to point out that (at least to my knowledge) that he never actually retracted it either. I can regret getting angry at my old high school friend calling him a stupid donkey-cave when he broke my fence literally seconds after I told him to be careful and not do exactly what he did seconds later. That regret doesn't mean that he was neither stupid for ignoring me nor an donkey-cave for not apologizing... but I regret that it was the final straw that broke our friendship.



Honestly it was so many years ago I don't remember a lot about the apology outside it was like 100 pages into a thread about palladium and pretty long (his longest post on RPG.net I think), but there were things he took back outside of how he delivered the criticism and it's tone. Most of what I remember him taking back was what hurt his criticisms of the company that were actually valid. Like, for example, making fun of them not using computers to edit together a book in the early 2000's. That's not really an issue any one should care about but he spent so much freaking time on that one part but not, say, on the erratic-ness of the approvals there and that Kevin was like Steve Jobs except he didn't know what he wanted -- but didn't like what he saw (note to people not named Warboss: I don't care much for Steve Jobs please don't call me names for thinking I gave a complement). And maybe it's a bit of being apologetic but what caused Bill to get so upset was them refusing to pay him for work that they didn't use (as per the contract) and people focusing on that (which I'm pretty sure is still standard in the RPG industry as it is sill in the publishing industry as a whole) and silly things. If Bill had been more professional about it he would still have a career in the RPG industry (and as I've said I was a fan) and maybe it would have made some changes for the positive in the industry as Palladium wasn't the only company with those problems 20 years ago and there still are today (hi Catalyst). Instead of saying "listen, this is what it's like to work for a bad company. No one should put up with this. Here's questions to ask when getting a contract in the industry to prevent yourself from working for a place like this" it would have been actually helpful instead of turning into a carnival of name calling. Though that's also the thoughts of an older person with a lot of work experience (some akin to what Bill had to deal with).

It also did seam like he really regretted ruining his friendship with people there as well. Whether not not that included Kevin I'd have to go back and find it and read.



And ultimately Kevin and his 30 years of experience in tabletop gaming was the final arbiter/decision maker. It was also 100% his choice to mislead backers in the subsequent 5 years and to instruct his associates/subordinates to punish/ban those who respectfully tried to bring up issues. His and his company's incompetence and moral failings are systematic given the now decades of reported issues including the Coffin post. At some point, it's not just a unique situation nor just a disgruntled ex-employee. Ninja Division/Soda Pop deserves their share of the blame especially given how badly they've screwed up subsequent crowdfunded projects like the Starfinder campaign but the blame never will be even close to "all Sodapop". Too much crap happened after they abandoned ship... and of course it was 98% all to the detriment of backers.


I'm not trying to defend anything about Robotech tactics on Kevin's side. There's nothing to defend. Just stating this odd tidbit that I remember but a lot of people don't. I think the reason the email was so vivid to me, as I can remember what I was wearing that day, is Kevin basically said he didn't know much at all about miniatures (design and production) and that he was going to trust them on their judgment kind of floored me as that's not normal Kevin. Who knows. I seam to be the only person that remembers the email so it could be from some crazy lucid dream. Kind of a lame dream if that's what it is.

This message was edited 8 times. Last update was at 2020/09/28 01:15:18


 
   
Made in us
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Glorious Nation of U.S.S.A!

 Monkeysloth wrote:
Thanks for the words Warboss. I just don't see much reason to get super angry about Palladium anymore.


No worries. I mentioned multiple times in this thread that respectful disagreement was met with anger by real white knights followed by banning repeatedly by mods on palladium controlled venues and I don't want to see the reverse happen in part here as I do believe there is room in the middle for discussion/disagreement. I myself was temporarily banned several times for posting fact based concerns in a respectful manner and that's before including my last 90 day ban for SOMEONE ELSE'S POST. Seriously, that was the reason for my final ban. When I pointed out that the post given as the reason for my banning wasn't even mine (or ever even quoted by me), I was told the ban stands regardless and that if I kept complaining to the mod that it would be permanent instead. That's Palladium moderation for you, lol.

FWIW, I'm not actually super angry any more but I could see how reading my wall of text would indicate the opposite. If I had to use a word to describe my feelings about them it would instead be resolute. I promised myself that I'd post an accurate and detailed recounting of how badly they treated their most loyal customers once for each dollar of product that I didn't receive before giving them another dollar. I've still got alot of posts to go...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/28 01:17:56


 
   
Made in us
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Longtime Dakkanaut





 warboss wrote:
 Monkeysloth wrote:
Thanks for the words Warboss. I just don't see much reason to get super angry about Palladium anymore.


No worries. I mentioned multiple times in this thread that respectful disagreement was met with anger by real white knights followed by banning repeatedly by mods on palladium controlled venues and I don't want to see the reverse happen in part here as I do believe there is room in the middle for discussion/disagreement. I myself was temporarily banned several times for posting fact based concerns in a respectful manner and that's before including my last 90 day ban for SOMEONE ELSE'S POST. Seriously, that was the reason for my final ban. When I pointed out that the post given as the reason for my banning wasn't even mine (or ever even quoted by me), I was told the ban stands regardless and that if I kept complaining to the mod that it would be permanent instead. That's Palladium moderation for you, lol.


Sadly that's a lot of company owned forums, not just tabletop games either. It's why I prefer sites not tied to companies like Dakka. Partly because you can talk about whatever you want (so any RPG in this instance) but criticisms can be made too. Also it always seam to be the fan or non-affiliated stuff is better moderated as well. Not really sure why that is outside of no company really pays their forum moderators much, if anything, and if they are employees it's always far down on the responsibility list.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/28 01:31:48


 
   
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 Monkeysloth wrote:

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Albertorius wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
After getting two core boxes and a few Mecha boxes at retail, I never put any of them together because they were a bloody mess to figure out!


They really are a bloody mess. Just like Palladium.


This is actually all Sodapop. Kevin was going to go with boardgame PVC, preassembled stuff, and was convinced to go multipart by them. They did all the cutting too. I remember the email about quite vividly. Wasn't a KSer update, something from the palladium mailing list where he useally has a few sentences on the progress of the KSer early on when it was "fresh and exciting" so fun for Kevin to talk about.

I mean, ok, but I wasn't really posting any blame there. Just two facts:

1) The minis were a bloody mess
2) Palladium, too, is a bloody mess

That said, the idea might not have been Kevin's, but he decidedly OKed it, and being the boss, final responsibility must perforce be his. And well, as said above, even if that weren't the case, he went on five years conniving to blatantly lie anyone and everyone.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Monkeysloth wrote:
And maybe it's a bit of being apologetic but what caused Bill to get so upset was them refusing to pay him for work that they didn't use (as per the contract) and people focusing on that (which I'm pretty sure is still standard in the RPG industry as it is sill in the publishing industry as a whole) and silly things. If Bill had been more professional about it he would still have a career in the RPG industry (and as I've said I was a fan) and maybe it would have made some changes for the positive in the industry as Palladium wasn't the only company with those problems 20 years ago and there still are today (hi Catalyst). Instead of saying "listen, this is what it's like to work for a bad company. No one should put up with this. Here's questions to ask when getting a contract in the industry to prevent yourself from working for a place like this" it would have been actually helpful instead of turning into a carnival of name calling. Though that's also the thoughts of an older person with a lot of work experience (some akin to what Bill had to deal with).

Not standard for any work contract I've ever signed. Everything I've done has been with a Freelance Work Order: X stuff for Y money.
Whether the company ends up using it or not is not (and should not be) any concern of mine, other than the fact that I'd like to see it printed.

Full disclosure: I've been freelancing 15 years on RPGs here in Spain.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/09/28 14:48:13


 
   
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MN

 Monkeysloth wrote:
Thanks for the words Warboss. I just don't see much reason to get super angry about Palladium anymore.


I agree with this whole heartedly. I just put my boxes to the side and moved onto other things.

I am glad I waited for retail instead of backing.

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Albertorius wrote:
 Monkeysloth wrote:

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Albertorius wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
After getting two core boxes and a few Mecha boxes at retail, I never put any of them together because they were a bloody mess to figure out!


They really are a bloody mess. Just like Palladium.


This is actually all Sodapop. Kevin was going to go with boardgame PVC, preassembled stuff, and was convinced to go multipart by them. They did all the cutting too. I remember the email about quite vividly. Wasn't a KSer update, something from the palladium mailing list where he useally has a few sentences on the progress of the KSer early on when it was "fresh and exciting" so fun for Kevin to talk about.

I mean, ok, but I wasn't really posting any blame there. Just two facts:

1) The minis were a bloody mess
2) Palladium, too, is a bloody mess

That said, the idea might not have been Kevin's, but he decidedly OKed it, and being the boss, final responsibility must perforce be his. And well, as said above, even if that weren't the case, he went on five years conniving to blatantly lie anyone and everyone.


Sure. Ultimately 99% of all the failures are on Kevin. It's one thing to agree to this production but once getting sample and seeing how hard they were to put togethor one would think there would have been a "maybe we shouldn't go this route" moment. I bring it up, as I said in a previous post, it's an interesting tidbit. But I don't think people focus enough on Sodapop. Not to absolve Kevin of anything, but because they've shown themselves to be inept many times and there are people still willing to give them money but yet get very little callout in the mess/failure of Robotech and one of their biggest contributions was increasing the cost and complexity of production for something no one wanted and, well, liked the result of. I don't think it would have all been rainbows and sunshine if they hadn't gone with HIPS but I think more people would have gotten stuff and what would have been received would have been more usable.


Not standard for any work contract I've ever signed. Everything I've done has been with a Freelance Work Order: X stuff for Y money.
Whether the company ends up using it or not is not (and should not be) any concern of mine, other than the fact that I'd like to see it printed.

Full disclosure: I've been freelancing 15 years on RPGs here in Spain.


That's good to know. I have several friends that write for various, non-gaming, publications and they're all paid on a per word/article basis. Whatever is not used (even if it's the whole thing) they don't get paid for.

I also was wrong about the Coffin thing as well as he wasn't a contractor at the time apparently (just had moved full time and I guess a lot of people didn't know that). Found a newer interview with him (2010) and he was actually full time at Palladium and blames that for the riff with Kevin as when he was a contractor he said it was really enjoyable and never had an issue with them. But once moving inside and seeing all the pipes he got too involved trying to change stuff and fighting over control over world design/fluff. The interview was mostly about working with WEG post Palladium and seams like Bill had similar issues with them so he's probably a bit hard to work with as well.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/09/28 20:45:28


 
   
Made in es
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps






 Monkeysloth wrote:
Sure. Ultimately 99% of all the failures are on Kevin. It's one thing to agree to this production but once getting sample and seeing how hard they were to put togethor one would think there would have been a "maybe we shouldn't go this route" moment. I bring it up, as I said in a previous post, it's an interesting tidbit. But I don't think people focus enough on Sodapop. Not to absolve Kevin of anything, but because they've shown themselves to be inept many times and there are people still willing to give them money but yet get very little callout in the mess/failure of Robotech and one of their biggest contributions was increasing the cost and complexity of production for something no one wanted and, well, liked the result of. I don't think it would have all been rainbows and sunshine if they hadn't gone with HIPS but I think more people would have gotten stuff and what would have been received would have been more usable.

Sodapop has certainly their own share of KS fracases, that's for sure. In this case, though, they were contractors, and the ultimate responsibility must go (and should go) to the people who contracted them.

That's good to know. I have several friends that write for various, non-gaming, publications and they're all paid on a per word/article basis. Whatever is not used (even if it's the whole thing) they don't get paid for.

I don't think I'd even start any paid freelancing work without agreeing beforehand on a fixed price, unless I had a very good relationship with the company. Even then it would be dicey.

That sounds more like what I envision freelancing for newspapers was done back in the day: you sell them the story and get paid for what they use. I... that's not a working relationship I'd care to have.
   
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A more reputable miniatures designer brought the idea to Harmony Gold, who referred him to Palladium.

Kevin took the idea and decided to find someone that would do it for cheaper.

He decided to ignore Sodapop’s suggested manufacturer to go for a cheaper one.

He decided to take $1.5 million to produce products for the people who paid for them and produce products for him to sell. Which he couldn’t. He had so much leftover Wave 1 after five years that he was able to sell loads of it on firesale and exchange, still had half a warehouse full of it that got confiscated by Harmony Gold to go to clearance outfits like Miniature Market, who are still trying to offload it at sale.

He decided to take the original set of rules and have his friend change them.

He claimed that wave 2 was being produced at the factory when that was flat out a lie.

He tried to get companies to “partner” with him by producing the products for free for him for some sort of promised future deal.

Harmony Gold, being the laziest pair of professionals, even had to take action to pull the license from him after giving him a renewal for free and trying to find him partners, in the hopes that he would stop damaging the brand even more.

He pressured his friend to prematurely launch his Rifts Kickstarter with the idea of redirecting the money from there to produce wave 2.

It’s not mistakes or inexperience or incompetence, it was an absolute scam he decided to run when he saw how successful the Kickstarter was and all that money that he figured would go to waste making the things people paid him for.

And, as is so typical, a greedy person sees short term gains and ignores that doing the right thing from the beginning would have opened an entirely new stream of revenue for his company to last for years to come. $1.5 million could have been just the beginning instead of the end.

Now he will never recover.
   
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Knight of the Inner Circle






I was also a backer on the Kickstarter; the only good thing that came out of it was when I was moving; the only friend that came to help saw it still in shrinkwrap and offered to take it instead of the cash I had originally offered for his help.

 
   
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Two friends actually got their starter sets through that KS.

They played through a few games, decided that the game would get better once Wave 2 hit, and shelved it. Neither of them game anymore and I don't have a clue what happened to the minis.

Now that I think about, the store those games were played in isn't around either. Nostalgia.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/02/24 00:19:42


 
   
 
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