I spoke about my experiences with the crowdfunding for “Perilous Roleplaying Game” by Jordan Palmer previously, both back in January, and again earlier this month. Neither of these articles painted a very positive view of the project, or of its creator Jordan, but both were accurate and specific to the problems that have plagued “Perilous” for years.
Well, I am happy to state that the situation has changed. The other day, after over nine months of silence, Jordan dropped an update on the Kickstarter page for the game, stating that the majority of the books have now shipped! He did state that there are approximately 80 copies that are “short” (missing), and he is working with the printer and distributer to figure out what happened, and how to resolve the issue. This apparently should take a month or two to resolve, and may take doing a second print run. Regardless, Jordan is apparently on the case, and looking to get every order delivered.
I have to say that this is good news, it really is. Jordan is getting packages to their backers/pre-order recipients, and says they are looking into fixing the shortfall issue. Great, this is nothing short of a win for the folks who backed “Perilous”.
That all said, let’s take a look at where this all went wrong, and why Jordan’s most recent statement doesn’t come anywhere near close enough to explaining their failings.
The primary problem all along has been with a lack of communication, both on Kickstarter and Gamefound. Even before the nine months without an update on KS, Jordan would go months without posting updates, and had to begged, cajoled, and basically driven into reporting something… anything… about the project. Remember that he had posted back in July of 2022 that books should be shipping to backers at any time, as he had his copies delivered… Then there was nothing from him, on any platform, until just this week.
Let me remind you that Kickstarter expects their creators to post updates at least on a monthly basis to backers. From the KS Help Center:
What should I post an update about and how often?
Anything and everything that relates to your project! People who have backed your project have done so because they want to support you and your creative idea – keeping them in the loop will go a long way to show them that you appreciate their support.
Some creators may post an update every day, some may post more sporadically, however it is our expectation that creators will post at least one new update a month once funding is finished. Posting regular updates is the best way to keep backers informed of a project’s progress (and from our experience, a better informed backer is a happier backer).
Now then, let’s focus on a particular line of this section: “Some creators may post an update every day, some may post more sporadically, however it is our expectation that creators will post at least one new update a month once funding is finished.”
This is extremely clear and concise, and yet so many creators just seems to slip when it comes to fulfilling this part of their project. I see KS creators post every 45 days, or maybe at the start of one month, then at the very end of the next, and so forth. For the most part, Jordan just seemed like another one of these lazy creators, who are lax in posting updates… until he stopped posting at all for three-quarters of a year! Couple in the way he has treater backers on social media, and one can understand why many people like myself believed this project to be a scam.
So, what changed? Why did we suddenly get an update out of the blue, and books started arriving to backers?
Well, it may be a coincidence, but this just happened to occur right after Gamefound locked down his page on their site, preventing further sales of “Perilous Roleplaying Game”, as well as the GM-less cards and other add-on bits. Jordan’s recent update states that this has been in the works for a month, but that begs the question:
WHY DIDN’T HE DROP AN UPDATE ABOUT IT AT THAT TIME?!
There is literally no reason why Jordan could not have posted updates about this project over the last nine months, both on Kickstarter and on Gamefound (where I will remind you again that he has never updated at all). None, zero, zilch, nada. Maybe he could have continued his month or two lapses in posts along the way, as he had done here or there before July 2022, but he could have dropped updates.
Honestly, this is what bothers me the most about crowdfunding creators that fail to drop updates on time. There are literally thousands of examples out there, who do it right, without costing them much in the way of time or work. If you have nothing concrete to post about where the project is at regarding delivery, post a piece or artwork from within the book, and talk a bit about the artist, giving a link as to where to find more of the work. Hell, one month I saw a creator for a Viking-themed TTRPG book post about how he’d gone to an Amon Amarth concert! They play Viking Metal (and are awesome, by the way), so while it was a bit of a fluff-post, it was thematically correct for the project.
There are creators on Kickstarter who post at least weekly until the book is shipped, then maybe monthly afterwards, to talk about finishing up delivery, and about what they have coming up in the future. Shawn Tompkin should write a Masterclass on how to communicate with crowdfunding backers, and people like Jordan Palmer should be required to take that class!
Anyway, I think it goes without saying that I will not be backing any project to which Jordan is connected in the future. That bridge wasn’t just burned by him, no, he blew the damn thing up entirely! But I will say that I got the copy of the book and cards that I pre-ordered on Gamefound, and they are in good condition, as far as I can tell, so kudos for that. But this still doesn’t make me have any faith that he won’t pull the same stuff in the future. Also, as I said before, it is awfully suspicious that the books just happen to start delivering once pre-orders for “Perilous” got shut down by Gamefound. Suddenly we started getting our books in a hurry.
Still smells like a scam to me.