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Subject: Far West Release Date Pool - Entries Closed - Part Two rss

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Rhiannon D
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Gamethyme wrote:


Frankly, I'm probably going to accept, depending on the strings attached.



Have you had any strings specified?
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Jay Peters
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Gamethyme wrote:
I've had communication with FFG forwarded to me by several people. Both "I'm just Customer Service, but I'll forward it up the ladder," and "I'm the RPG Department Manager, and I'll take your words under advisement." They were vague enough words that it's possible FFG is done hiring GMS, but it's also possible that GMS will have more on his plate by the end of the week.


The only response I received was "I'm just customer service...", and it's very non-committal. I haven't heard from anyone higher up and don't really expect to, but I lodged my complaints. I fully expect him to remain employed by them with the work he has put in on Star Wars and L5R. I haven't read the Star Wars books he worked on and I'm not sure what exactly he did with the new L5R, but it's a very good book. If he had any hand in the design then I can't see them cutting him loose just because one person won't buy their games.

I feel really stupid for not keeping a closer eye on things. L5R felt like the straw that broke the camel's back as far as my purchases go. After talking with customer service this most recent time I'll be shipping all my Asmodee/FFG stuff to their office. I'll be doing the same with Modiphius but it's much more expensive shipping to London, so that'll be a bit.

I've mentioned mental health and a suicide attempt before but I've been in a really bad place the last couple months, to the point where I nearly decided to check out (again). It'll get worse the closer it gets to the holidays. August to February is the hardest stretch for me because that's when I have constant reminders of my brother (suicide), mother (suicide-by-proxy) and grandfather (suicide). Combined with everything else I deal with, it's hard to see the sun sometimes.

To be clear, this situation with FFG/Modiphius/GMS has nothing to do with the most recent near miss (I'm not THAT fragile), it's just the housecleaning that comes with it. Anything that has a negative emotion attached to it is being removed, and there are a lot of negative emotions toward GMS so I'm starting there.
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Jamie Hardy
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vestige wrote:
SteamCraft wrote:
If you were really a good person, then not only would you not buy from them, you would continue to let other companies know. That, of course, would be placing a burden on yourself, which might be too much to ask from someone.

Hang on. You're saying that to be a "good" person I have to publicize my antipathy toward GMS and companies that lie about supporting him.

And yet...you are very critical of creators who waste their time and energy on politics and other external factors (like Wendig v. Kavanaugh).... If being a "good" person means one has to sacrifice one's time and energy to educate others about the world's ethical shortcomings, doesn't that mean GMS and other creators are perfectly justified wasting spending their time railing against a system they are unlikely to change, because it is the "right" thing to do (from their perspective...not to get this thread buried in RPS or anything)?



1. I initially said "really" good person. The concept I was appealing to is known as a Moral Saint. A moral saint is someone that goes above and beyond the dictates of morality. At no point did I mention that this was a requirement for being a good person. It was actually pointing out that doing so is asking too much of him or anyone. Why? Because it is expecting him or someone to sacrifice their time. Hence, your point is moot because I never made the claim you are attributing to me.

2. People have an obligation to keep this commitments or if they cannot, take steps to make amends. GMS posting on twitter instead of working is not fulfilling his commitments. The point is that he is not sacrificing time and energy. He is sacrificing other people's time. He has no right to do that. If he had met his commitments, then he is free to do so. Since he has not, then he is acting wrongly.

3. GMS posting on twitter to like mind people in an echo chamber cannot count as educating anyone. Sending an email to a company providing then with information is educating them.

Thus, there are no parallels here. If someone wants to let people know about GMS failings, they are doing something good, but it is not a requirement for being a good person. GMS and others posting on twitter about anything that want is in and of itself not wrong, provided that they have met their obligations to others.
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Jamie Hardy
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I was actually thinking that this contest was about to be over, like 2019. I just checked the first page. We have until Aug 2021 for us to know who the winner is . . .
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Bruce McGeorge
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Hang in Jay. Take care of yourself.
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Eric Franklin
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regency_rhi wrote:
Gamethyme wrote:


Frankly, I'm probably going to accept, depending on the strings attached.



Have you had any strings specified?


He didn't specify any. He's contacting KS to see if I can be removed as a backer. I offered to stop commenting on the KS page and end my personal boycott of Modiphius and FFG.

Mind you: That doesn't mean I'll be buying their stuff. It just means I won't be loudly telling other people that I'm not buying their stuff. And I suspect that GMS cared less about that than he did about shutting me up on the project page.

BTW: Backers should stay on him. His treatment of backers is most evident in his personal feed(s) - http://bit.ly/Skarka has some choice quotes that display what he thinks of you.

He responded to a mild taunt about working on FW with "Go fuck yourself," and when the person pushed back, he said:

Skarka wrote:
It's really fucking sad that goddamn GAMES loom so large in your sense of self-worth that you act like this. I feel sorry for you.


You know what's really fucking sad? That someone whose income depends on games has this sort of opinion of gamers and hasn't been found unemployable by the rest of the industry, yet.

That thought, by the way, makes it less likely that I'll buy Modiphius product in any great quantity again.
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Eric Franklin
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Gamethyme wrote:
quozl wrote:
Gamethyme wrote:
And contact people who hire him to let them know you won't be giving them money until he either makes good on his obligations to you or they stop hiring him.


Just curious: will you still be doing this?


I don't know. I won't be knowingly putting money in Skarka's pocket again, and I am still rather irritated about Modiphius "forgetting" to put his name in the credits. Twice.


So ... here's a thing.

A FB friend of mine mentioned something to a buddy of his - and said buddy knew Skarka. That buddy then said something on FB, and dug up an interesting nugget: Skarka may be using a pen name, as he has thoroughly shat all over his own name.

I still have the old version of the STA PDF, so I dug it out and downloaded the most recent version so I could compare the credits pages.

Under "writing," one name disappeared when they added Skarka. It's in the same position in the list, it was just replaced with Skarka's name on the new version.

What if Modiphius didn't forget to credit him? They credited his pen name instead.

The replaced name in the core book is Michael Brophy.

Does anyone have an old version of the Beta Quadrant PDF so you can check for the same thing? Brophy isn't listed in the current version of the PDF which I have.
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Kevin
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The plot thickens!

If Modiphius is complicit in disguising his contributions, that is a pretty good reason to completely 86 them. That is deliberately deceiving customers to make a buck.
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Sann Dehrclahs
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Check the credits on the preview they have.
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Eric Franklin
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dysjunct wrote:
The plot thickens!

If Modiphius is complicit in disguising his contributions, that is a pretty good reason to completely 86 them. That is deliberately deceiving customers to make a buck.


It may be that he asked to be credited under a pseudonym, though. This may not have been Modiphius' decision.

And I'm not 100% certain that Brophy = Skarka, either. It seems likely, given what I have, but it's not guaranteed.
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Eric Franklin
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Steve Dubya wrote:
Check the credits on the preview they have.


That's the core book, and their Beta quadrant preview is the newer one that includes Skarka.
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Gamethyme wrote:
It may be that he asked to be credited under a pseudonym, though. This may not have been Modiphius' decision.

And I'm not 100% certain that Brophy = Skarka, either. It seems likely, given what I have, but it's not guaranteed.


Is it common for publishers to let people be credited under a pseudonym at their request? Could they deny the request?
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Jamie Hardy
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Gamethyme wrote:
Does anyone have an old version of the Beta Quadrant PDF so you can check for the same thing? Brophy isn't listed in the current version of the PDF which I have.


Do you know if there was a print version before the correction? I can always stop at a store and check it out if it was.
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True Blue Jon
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You could just ask Modiphus why Michael's name was dropped.
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Eric Franklin
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dysjunct wrote:
Is it common for publishers to let people be credited under a pseudonym at their request? Could they deny the request?


I don't know.

SteamCraft wrote:
Do you know if there was a print version before the correction? I can always stop at a store and check it out if it was.


I think the print pre-dates the correction, but I'm not sure. I have a friend who printed out his (pre-correction) PDF, and I'm waiting to hear back from him.
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dysjunct wrote:
Gamethyme wrote:
It may be that he asked to be credited under a pseudonym, though. This may not have been Modiphius' decision.

And I'm not 100% certain that Brophy = Skarka, either. It seems likely, given what I have, but it's not guaranteed.


Is it common for publishers to let people be credited under a pseudonym at their request? Could they deny the request?


It all depends on the terms of the contract. A publisher could insist on using the authors actual name. In which case, the author I suppose could choose to not do the work/submit the files. In most cases on standard contracts that I have seen, it just says that the author will be given credit.
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Eric Franklin
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quozl wrote:
You could just ask Modiphus why Michael's name was dropped.


Done.

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Jay Peters
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Steve Dubya wrote:
Check the credits on the preview they have.


The only thing showing on DTRPG for Michael Brophy is STA Core - https://www.rpgnow.com/browse.php?x=0&y=0&author=MICHAEL%20B...

GMS is listed as working on the Beta Quadrant book but not on STA Core - https://www.rpgnow.com/product/243141/Star-Trek-Adventures-B...

https://www.rpgnow.com/browse.php?x=0&y=0&author=GARETH%20MI... Notice the misspelling? GARETH MICHAEL-SKARKA vs GARETH-MICHAEL SKARKA. Clicking GMS's credits on any of Adamant's products won't show you STA because it's not the same name: https://www.rpgnow.com/browse.php?x=0&y=0&author=Gareth-Mich...

As an aside, Michael Brophy is an artist (painter) out of Portland, OR and he's not claiming any writing credit on STA - http://www.russoleegallery.com/artists/michael-brophy

https://www.michaelbrophy.com/

Anyway, I believe Brophy is a surname in his family tree. I think it's his mom's maiden name, or someone along his mom's line. My memory is pretty shit but I think I remember that being mentioned RE: genealogy a long time ago. The name's Irish, and I think he was Skarka-bombing a conversation on RPGnet or RPGsite about ancestry. Take all that for what it's worth, but if my memory isn't failing me then the pen name seems plausible.
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Bruce McGeorge
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Blammo wrote:
Anyway, I believe Brophy is a surname in his family tree. I think it's his mom's maiden name, or someone along his mom's line.


I believe you are 100% correct.
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Rhiannon D
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Let us say, for a moment, that the pseudonym theory is correct.

Either GMS decided to work under a pseudonym (and from my understanding, publishers only push back against that when the draw of the name is part of the reason the book contract was made at all, so I can't see any reason they'd have refused) OR Modiphius, fearing backlash, asked him to. Or maybe a combination - Modiphius expressed doubts and were talking of dropping him, said "but your name asssociated with the product will etc" , and he suggested the pseudonym use as a way of not being dropped.

But why would you RIGHT AFTER publication lay public claim to it? I can see why you'd be happy to have your name linked with your pseudonym when the decision is a "I start writing in a different genre" one, as it is for many authors, because then you can bring over an existing fan base. (And while I pesonally think it is a bit strange and leads to some quite weird crediting decisions, looking at you, Nora Roberts, I can see how it can work in theory). But if you are actively trying to avoid angry people who don't want you to work on a product... Ego is quite a drug.
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Blammo wrote:
Anything that has a negative emotion attached to it is being removed, and there are a lot of negative emotions toward GMS so I'm starting there.


That's a very good idea. It took me ages to remove some items from my home that were making me feel icky whenever I thought about using them - they were wedding gifts from a friend where that friendship later exploded in a toxic storm, but I held on to them for ages because "they were a gift." Dumping them at a thrift shop was very freeing.
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regency_rhi wrote:
Let us say, for a moment, that the pseudonym theory is correct.

Either GMS decided to work under a pseudonym (and from my understanding, publishers only push back against that when the draw of the name is part of the reason the book contract was made at all, so I can't see any reason they'd have refused) OR Modiphius, fearing backlash, asked him to. Or maybe a combination - Modiphius expressed doubts and were talking of dropping him, said "but your name asssociated with the product will etc" , and he suggested the pseudonym use as a way of not being dropped.

But why would you RIGHT AFTER publication lay public claim to it? I can see why you'd be happy to have your name linked with your pseudonym when the decision is a "I start writing in a different genre" one, as it is for many authors, because then you can bring over an existing fan base. (And while I pesonally think it is a bit strange and leads to some quite weird crediting decisions, looking at you, Nora Roberts, I can see how it can work in theory). But if you are actively trying to avoid angry people who don't want you to work on a product... Ego is quite a drug.


I think you are right about ego. I've had the unfortunate experience of working with some very ego driven individuals who GMS reminds me of, and this inability to shut one's mouth has caused so many plans to come undone.
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I had e-mail from the Kickstarter Trust & Safety Team this morning:
message wrote:
Hi Eric,

We’re reaching out with regard to your support of the Far West: Western/Wuxia Mashup adventure game project. We’re sorry that this hasn’t been a great experience for you, and appreciate that you’ve tried to open a discourse about the project’s progress.

As we looked over what happened, we’ve also noticed that this creator has decided to end your relationship by refunding your pledge. This means that both you and the creator can walk away with no obligations to one another. Since only backers to a project are allowed to leave comments, it also means you will no longer be able to comment or read backer-only updates to this project. All comments you had left prior to the refund, however, will remain visible and on the record, and comments made after the refund was issued have been deleted. We hope the creator will continue working to complete their project, and that the backer community will continue to have a dialogue with them about its progress.

Our apologies that this wasn’t a positive experience, and if there is anything that we can do to improve the situation, please let us know. We hope that you’ll continue to support future projects that you’re excited about, and are open to any feedback that you might have.

Thank you for your understanding,
Kickstarter Trust & Safety


I'd already turned notifications for the project off and promised not to comment further, so this makes zero difference to my life. But it means that KS can remove backers from projects even years later.
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Gamethyme wrote:
I had e-mail from the Kickstarter Trust & Safety Team this morning:
message wrote:
Hi Eric,

We’re reaching out with regard to your support of the Far West: Western/Wuxia Mashup adventure game project. We’re sorry that this hasn’t been a great experience for you, and appreciate that you’ve tried to open a discourse about the project’s progress.

As we looked over what happened, we’ve also noticed that this creator has decided to end your relationship by refunding your pledge. This means that both you and the creator can walk away with no obligations to one another. Since only backers to a project are allowed to leave comments, it also means you will no longer be able to comment or read backer-only updates to this project. All comments you had left prior to the refund, however, will remain visible and on the record, and comments made after the refund was issued have been deleted. We hope the creator will continue working to complete their project, and that the backer community will continue to have a dialogue with them about its progress.

Our apologies that this wasn’t a positive experience, and if there is anything that we can do to improve the situation, please let us know. We hope that you’ll continue to support future projects that you’re excited about, and are open to any feedback that you might have.

Thank you for your understanding,
Kickstarter Trust & Safety


I would like to note two things. First, KS realized you were trying to have a discourse about why a project years late is not completed. Notice is says to try to open a discourse. Hence, they know it is GMS who is not holding up his end.

Second, if you can think of anything to "improve the situation" with Far West, you can let them know. I wish I had a suggestion for this, but I can't think of anything.
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Jay Peters
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To avoid speculation (and I really don't trust my memory), I sent an email off to Chris @ Modiphius to see if he can confirm or deny the pen name.
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