Monday, May 8, 2017

Rifts Board Game Kickstarter - Buyer Beware

Well, consider this a kind of public service announcement.

Today, the Rifts Board Game Kickstarter began:

Like many teens in the 90's I played a variety of role-playing games, including cutting my teeth with Palladium Book's TMNT and Other Strangeness, and Robotech (my long-time favourite IP).

Siembeda and crew provided a clunky rule-set, but buried within were some neat and interesting worlds and IPs.  Rifts came out a bit later to much fan-fare and garnered quite a large following.  Palladium was never a very progressive company, leaving Robotech as an IP to flounder in the US market for decades (basically putting a stranglehold on it in the US - limiting it to a mediocre role-playing game).

Several years ago Palladium launched a Kickstarter for Robotech as a new type of miniatures game.  I risked buying in, and have regretted it ever since.  As a heads up for people looking at Rifts, please be aware of the following:

  • Robotech Kickstarter successfully funded with $1+ million.
  • First wave of miniatures shipped (albeit late).
  • Second wave (50-60% of the KS content) has never's been 3-4 years at this point.
  • Kevin Siembeda has been making hollow promises in vague emails, continuing to develop and create excuses with no progress made (at all) toward producing the final materials or delivering them.
  • An individual named Carmen (having previously worked with Palladium) sought some rights to produce a Rifts board game (the one in question)
  • This individual attempted to quasi-blackmail Robotech backers, attempting to stave off any future repercussions by this fanbase (based around the semi-fraudulent activity of Siembeda etc.)
  • Internet mayhem ensued and Carmen disappeared.
  • Palladium stated that Carmen had attempted suicide due to mental duress caused by the internet discussions/arguments based around his behavior/communication/antics etc.
  • The majority of this material was scrubbed from the KS comments section and users were banned, etc.
Then this Kickstarter showed up.  It is inextricably linked with Palladium/Siembeda and a questionable third party (Carmen, or not?).  People have already been banned on Kickstarter for bringing up this information on the current KS page for this game.

TL:DR Version: Avoid this Kickstarter like the plague if you don't want to get involved with a gigantic nonsensical amount of drama and nonsense - with a questionable company, questionable IP and even more questionable people involved.

Buyer beware.  If you invest in this, please be careful. You may lose your money.

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