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Statement about Horrors of War Kickstarter

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The Horrors of War Kickstarter: A Covenant with Death is a Kickstarter launched by Scott Glancy of Pagan Publishing in August 2014. A collection of Call of Cthulhu scenarios set during the nightmare of the Great War, 1914-1918, it raised USD$26,823 from 525 backers.

The campaign had an estimated delivery date of February 2015, but is as yet unfulfilled. There has been understandable growing dissatisfaction among backers, that was compounded by a lack of communication by Scott. 

However, just before Gen Con 2017, Scott posted a new backer update. In it, he apologised for his recent poor responsiveness and gave a frank and candid recounting of various personal/family issues that have hampered his ability to complete the project. He offered a refund to any backer that wanted one, but expressed his desire to finish Horrors of War. Scott gave Gen Con 2018 as the new completion date. 

Chaosium met with Scott at Gen Con and discussed the Horrors of War license. We have confidence Scott can deliver on this project in the revised time frame he has put forward, and that he will give backers timely updates about progress until it is done.

For these reasons, we have been persuaded to keep the Horrors of War license active.

https://www.chaosium.com/blog/statement-about-horrors-of-war-kickstarter

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Edited by MOB
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Regardless of what one may think of the situation with this project, what Scott wrote took a whole hell of a lot of guts. Best of luck to him getting well and moving forward; depression is a SOB. 

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Updated statement about Horrors of War Kickstarter (May 21, 2018)

Adam Scott Glancy has recently been in touch with Chaosium about his Horrors of War Kickstarter. As we previously updated (Aug 31, 2017), when we met last year he gave Gen Con 2018 as the date for completion, but has now informed us he will miss that deadline. However, he says he will offer backers a subsidiary product at that time.

Chaosium has advised Mr Glancy his Call of Cthulhu license for Horrors of War will expire on December 31st, 2018. By that date it will have been more than four years since the Kickstarter funded (Sept 30, 2014). Permission to use our trademark, logos and all related intellectual property will be withdrawn if the Kickstarter is not fulfilled by that date. 

We have reiterated to Mr Glancy that he needs to keep backers informed through regular updates, even if no significant progress has been made.

 

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Adam Scott Glancy has again failed to keep his promise to the backers and to Chaosium. He has not sent an update since November when he promised to send refunds by the end of the month. It is now 1/8/2019 and I have not received any response to my request for a refund. I’m not the only one that has posted a refund request and not have received a refund or message. 

This isn’t about the money it’s about the backing someone that I have lost all respect for.  I will not purchase anything that he has written for any company.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Mindstar said:

Adam Scott Glancy has again failed to keep his promise to the backers and to Chaosium. He has not sent an update since November when he promised to send refunds by the end of the month. It is now 1/8/2019 and I have not received any response to my request for a refund. I’m not the only one that has posted a refund request and not have received a refund or message. 

This isn’t about the money it’s about the backing someone that I have lost all respect for.  I will not purchase anything that he has written for any company.

 

 

Please note, Chaosium extended Adam Scott Glacy's Horrors of War license for six months. He announced this in his last update on the Horrors of War Kickstarter page:

 
We have forwarded your above comment on to him, and suggested he get in touch directly with you (and with others who are awaiting a reply).

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6 hours ago, MOB said:

He announced this in his last update on the Horrors of War Kickstarter page:

Interesting: he's going to use all his own scenarios, and might be converting the project to 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu. This actually sounds like a positive develop to me. I understand frustration from backers over delays... but that ('Curse of Cthulhu') seems to happen with all the CoC related projects I've seen (and really most KS projects in general). Plus: Scott has always been a prolific writer, a stand-up guy, and an icon in the industry. I myself would still back his projects without hesitation. Same for Chaosium projects. I just wouldn't go in with timeline expectations.

Edited by mvincent

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I understand the delays with KS (i have backed 130 projects) but 4 years for scenarios that were described in the campaign summary “ are written and play tested.” Goes beyond any acceptable delays. The last update was November 5th. I also don’t consider this to fall into regular updates. 

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On 1/9/2019 at 1:02 PM, mvincent said:

Interesting: he's going to use all his own scenarios, and might be converting the project to 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu. This actually sounds like a positive develop to me. I understand frustration from backers over delays... but that ('Curse of Cthulhu') seems to happen with all the CoC related projects I've seen (and really most KS projects in general). Plus: Scott has always been a prolific writer, a stand-up guy, and an icon in the industry. I myself would still back his projects without hesitation. Same for Chaosium projects. I just wouldn't go in with timeline expectations.

I couldn't disagree more with this statement. I have backed many projects and seen the delays that you are talking about. Most projects get delayed by just a few months. This is understandable and there are frequently detailed descriptions for the delays. This is different, and it absolutely amazes me the extent to which people will make concessions for Creators that show nothing but contempt for fans. Years is unacceptable. Communication matters. Action matters. I don't care how prolific, stand-up, or iconic someone is in ANY profession. Reputations take years to build and moments to ruin. And the only reason that people engage in behavior like this is because people enable them. This goes for Sentinel Hill Press and the disaster that is The Dare Kickstarter as well.

You don't make promises you can't keep in a reasonable time frame.  End of story.

Edited by klecser
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2 hours ago, klecser said:

I couldn't disagree more with this statement. I have backed many projects and seen the delays that you are talking about. Most projects get delayed by just a few months.

You are a lucky person: of the 80+ Kickstarters I've backed, a year delay seemed about average ('just a few months' wouldn't even register as a delay to me when it comes to Kickstarters). And when it comes to Cthulhu stuff: I expect even more drama. Chaosium's 7e delays didn't bother me, and I envied those that backed the HotOE Kickstarter (once I learned it was going to be 7e), as I ultimately paid over twice as much as they did. I certainly acknowledge your feelings as valid though, too.

 

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On 1/10/2019 at 1:24 PM, klecser said:

I couldn't disagree more with this statement. I have backed many projects and seen the delays that you are talking about. Most projects get delayed by just a few months. This is understandable and there are frequently detailed descriptions for the delays. This is different, and it absolutely amazes me the extent to which people will make concessions for Creators that show nothing but contempt for fans. Years is unacceptable. Communication matters. Action matters. I don't care how prolific, stand-up, or iconic someone is in ANY profession. Reputations take years to build and moments to ruin. And the only reason that people engage in behavior like this is because people enable them. This goes for Sentinel Hill Press and the disaster that is The Dare Kickstarter as well.

You don't make promises you can't keep in a reasonable time frame.  End of story.

I'm not a backer, and I haven't read the update(s) provided, but one thing caught my attention:

On 8/31/2017 at 7:43 AM, DMarcel said:

... what Scott wrote took a whole hell of a lot of guts. Best of luck to him getting well and moving forward; depression is a SOB. 

Yeah, this.

Depression can be as disabling as a heart attack or a stroke; there is no "contempt" involved (more likely is anguish & despair).  I have seen over half my family -- and several close friends -- struggle with depression.  It's a horrible, horrible thing.  I'm glad he seems to be making progress on fulfilling obligations to his backers on KS (and, I presume, other obligations in his life).  That's a real win-win:  the backers get their stuff & he gets to climb out of that black hole of depression.

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I have been going through depression for the last several years due to a divorce and back surgery that did not relieve the pain(before anyone considers having back surgery read the book Crooked by Cathryn Jakobson Ramin) but I still go to work and do my job. Glancy took on other jobs despite being paid upfront to produce Horrors of War. If he feels that he is not capable of completing the job then refund the money to the backers who requested a refund. On November 11th he stated that he would refund our money by the end of the month. No refund has been received by myself or many of the backers who posted comments on the KS page.  That was his last update.

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20 hours ago, g33k said:

I'm not a backer, and I haven't read the update(s) provided, but one thing caught my attention:

Yeah, this.

Depression can be as disabling as a heart attack or a stroke; there is no "contempt" involved (more likely is anguish & despair).  I have seen over half my family -- and several close friends -- struggle with depression.  It's a horrible, horrible thing.  I'm glad he seems to be making progress on fulfilling obligations to his backers on KS (and, I presume, other obligations in his life).  That's a real win-win:  the backers get their stuff & he gets to climb out of that black hole of depression.

My wife has depression. Given her struggles, she never would have promised someone something that she wasn't sure she could deliver on.  This is not about being successful or not.  It is about making promises you can't keep.

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It looks like the updates have dried up again, only the one update this year so far, not overly happy but just checking my Kickstarter pledges I've got about two/three other R.P.G Kickstarters still in limbo which should have been completed in 2017, though the Eclipse Phase one still seems to still have fairly happy backers, probably because of the regular updates etc. fancy that.😋

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23 minutes ago, Bud's RPG review said:

Any good will that Scott Glancy had must surely have evaporated by now.  I would be amazed if anybody backed anything he ever did again.

He's certainly running on fumes at this point and whilst it sounds like he has had a lot of unfortunate problems during the last few years both family and work-related he would have made such a difference if he just posted regular updates, say once a month even if it was just to say "Still working on it" 

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On 1/10/2019 at 12:03 AM, MOB said:

Please note, Chaosium extended Adam Scott Glacy's Horrors of War license for six months. He announced this in his last update on the Horrors of War Kickstarter page:

 

That extension expired yesterday (June 30th).

On the Horrors of War Kickstarter, Adam Scott Glancy's most recent update (April 1st) said this:

Quote

I'm doubling down this month. Hopefully I'll have enough material to show Chaosium that they'll give me some more time to get the layout completed. Especially since I'll have "Death from Above" completed and ready to give them by them. If Chaosium pulls the plug on using 6th Edition rules, I've already made an arrangement to use the rules from the Delta Green stand-alone RPG, but I'd really prefer not to.

Alright, back to work.

Unfortunately, we have heard nothing from him. In fact, we have had no contact from Scott at all since we granted the most recent extension, back in November last year. 

This project is now 4 1/2 years past its original estimated delivery date (February 2015). At Scott's request, from August 2017 Chaosium has graciously extended his license three times (to August 2018, then to 31 Dec 2018, and then to 30 June 2019), on undertakings from Scott that completion was in hand, which we took in good faith.

We understand and appreciate that Scott has had various family and work-related challenges getting this project done. But in this time we've also been contacted by unhappy backers about the lack of progress, the lack of communication and updates, frustration at seeing Scott on social media talking about newer projects he's involved with, and asking us about refunds - all matters out of our control, although our company and the Call of Cthulhu name are linked to the project. In the absence of anything from Scott, it is time for us to definitively review our options. 

Edited by MOB

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3 hours ago, MOB said:

That extension expired yesterday (June 30th).

On the Horrors of War Kickstarter, Adam Scott Glancy's most recent update (April 1st) said this:

Unfortunately, we have heard nothing from him. In fact, we have had no contact from Scott at all since we granted the most recent extension, back in November last year. 

This project is now 4 1/2 years past its original estimated delivery date (February 2015). At Scott's request, from August 2017 Chaosium has graciously extended his license three times (to August 2018, then to 31 Dec 2018, and then to 30 June 2019), on undertakings from Scott that completion was in hand, which we took in good faith.

We understand and appreciate that Scott has had various family and work-related challenges getting this project done. But in this time we've also been contacted by unhappy backers about the lack of progress, the lack of communication and updates, frustration at seeing Scott on social media talking about newer projects he's involved with, and asking us about refunds - all matters out of our control, although our company and the Call of Cthulhu name are linked to the project. In the absence of anything from Scott, it is time for us to definitively review our options. 

This seems to be a consistent issue in the industry. I'm of the opinion that, although some delays are to be expected, it is incumbent upon people to finish what they start. And if they are wishy-washy in execution, I don't fault Chaosium to defend the brand by making licensing decisions with the expectation of quality and expediency in mind. I would rather get fewer, high-quality products during a time frame, than a flurry of products that eke out an existence and betray the trust and finances that Backers contributed.

Despite the whole book destruction thing, Sons of the Singularity ran a model Kickstarter for The Sassoon Files. It was clear, from beginning to end, they were prepared to take wise action to deliver.

There are currently other CoC Kickstarters that are struggling, though.

I appreciated Stygian Fox increasing communication about the progress of their various Kickstarters. They listened. And while I am still not happy about the state of affairs, they took action to listen to their fans.

I think that Sentinel Hill Press is taking unfair advantage of their prior reputation in the community with The Dare Kickstarter. Requests for communication and timetables were met with snide dismissals and requests to "ask for refunds" throughout the majority of the KS. The most recent updates have been: "I still don't have art" which makes me wonder what parameters (if any) were given the the artists to finish in a timely manner. I understand that SHP is a long-time licensee. I don't believe that fact grants him carte blanche to continue to disappoint. We're not talking about a book here. We're talking about a one-shot in which the text has been finished for a while.

The key for me is that I don't believe that people should be given unlimited chances. That makes a mockery of the concept of a promise. People's game industry reputations are forged or ruined based on their actions (or lack of action).

Edited by klecser
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On 7/1/2019 at 12:14 PM, klecser said:

I think that Sentinel Hill Press is taking unfair advantage of their prior reputation in the community with The Dare Kickstarter. Requests for communication and timetables were met with snide dismissals and requests to "ask for refunds" throughout the majority of the KS. The most recent updates have been: "I still don't have art" which makes me wonder what parameters (if any) were given the the artists to finish in a timely manner. I understand that SHP is a long-time licensee. I don't believe that fact grants him carte blanche to continue to disappoint. We're not talking about a book here. We're talking about a one-shot in which the text has been finished for a while.

While I freely admit that the project has suffered unacceptable delays, I do object to being described as snide or you suggestion I'm simply living off the good will of previous projects.  Refunds were (and yet still are) available without complaint to any backers unhappy with the status of the project and I have paid those few requested without complaint.  I should note that, unlike other projects discussed, we have provided a draft text of the updated scenario (as well as the original 1996 text of the scenario) since soon after the conclusion of the Kickstarter campaign.  We have also released a limited art and maps but otherwise fully laid-out version of the scenario to our backers.  While this is not the finished product I very much want to deliver, I would hope that groups wanting to run Kevin Ross' excellent scenario will be able to do that. For example, the Into the Darkness actual play group recently concluded a two part episode run of The Dare -

I wish I had the final art and maps.  Short of arriving at their respective creator's doorsteps, I've taken what steps I can to get this aspect of the project completed.  While I have continue to work on other RPG projects, such as the Arkham Gazette, I have not launched and crowd-funding campaigns nor will I until The Dare has fulfilled the promises made to backers to my satisfaction. While I make to claims to having made no errors in this or our previous Kickstarter, I object strongly to any suggestion that I've not taken my obligation as a licensee seriously.

 

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6 hours ago, SentinelHillPress said:

Refunds were (and yet still are) available without complaint to any backers unhappy with the status of the project and I have paid those few requested without complaint. 

I will not choose the refund option for several reasons: 1) I would be surrendering my ability to give feedback on the Kickstarter platform and 2) It would remove all of my prior comments.

I understand why you WANT me to seek a refund. You can get criticism to just disappear from the record.  Nobody gets to see what happened. It scrubs the Kickstarter of anything that is disadvantageous to you.

Absolutely not. People need to see what happened with this project. They need to be able to make an informed decision about actions you did and did not take and how you responded to people who expressed concerns. You are responsible for what you say in the context of your projects.

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1 hour ago, umlauthuth said:

What is the purpose of giving feedback, at this point, if not to get a refund? 

Accountability. Even if I can't obtain accountability for The Dare KS. Future accountability for Backers is worth it. Its really the only recourse Backers have. Kickstarter makes it virtually impossible to get any accountability from current Creators. They can break their promises and there is nothing you can do about it, other than to warn potential future Backers of other projects. Its a pretty crappy system that enables people to avoid accountability in the short term. Creators seem to think they can just do (or do not) whatever they want with absolutely no recourse from Backers. Backers are annoyances to them. Criticism is unwelcome and ignored. And under those circumstances, communicating what happened is the only thing you can do. It's pretty simple actually. You take responsibility and admit the concerns and work to fix them? There is no problem. You drag your feet, blame other people, refuse to accept responsibility for fixing a situation? People take the only option they have. People shouldn't get to act all shocked when that is the outcome.

You'll notice that demands for accountability from CoC Creators are reaching a head very recently. KS cancelled Stygian Fox' new KS. People are fed up. I was not one of the people who pushed for specific accountability for Stygian Fox for starting projects without finishing others, but I support the people who did. You back your Backers into a corner? You reap what you sow.

Sons of the Singularity are what it should be. They didn't run a perfect KS, but did everything they could to fix the problems. This isn't about perfection. It's about serious people accepting responsibility.

Edited by klecser

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