Dragon Turtle Games publish the 5e cyberpunk RPG Carbon 2185, Dragon Drop Adventures and the Dangerous Descents adventure series.
Update 6th Dec 2021: Dragonmeet has made it clear that they were not made aware of the alleged confrontation until after the event. They’ve been working with Robert of Dragon Turtle since being made aware.
Today, in a Kickstarter update, founder Robert Marriner-Dodds has responded to reports that a trader received abuse from angry Kickstarter backers.
The trader isn’t part of Dragon Turtle Games but sells Carbon 2185 products. It is said, and witnessed have come forward, that several people unhappy with delays to the supplement Terminal Overdrive’s own Kickstarter and fulfilment verbally abused the trader.
Dragon Turtle intends to identify who the backers are and take action.
Geek Native was able to speak to Robert about this.
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform where people offer financial support to help projects they want to see happen. It’s not a retail site, it’s not a shop, and do you think Kickstarter makes that clear enough?
I think Kickstarter does a great job of making it clear throughout the backing process that it does not operate as a store. The overwhelming majority of backers understand that they are pledging to help smaller creators produce unique and imaginative content that they will enjoy.
Do you think people know of the risk with Kickstarter? That’s they’re not buying something ready to ship, that there might be production delays or even the risk of a failed project?
We’ve been running Kickstarter campaigns for over five years now and have fulfilled every single one of them. However, you cannot even mention the word Kickstarter without people talking about the projects they’ve backed or heard of that have failed or been delayed. It’s synonymous with the website and with games development in general. Even multi million dollar companies miss deadlines or rush products to meet deadlines. I don’t think there’s anyone out there that truly believes there’s no risk involved, especially after the events of the past two years.
I appreciate you cannot name the trader involved, but can you tell us what happened at Dragonmeet?
We supplied an independent trader at Dragonmeet with nine Carbon 2185 Core Rulebooks, and five GM Screens, both from the 2019 print run. We recently received this stock ourselves from a distributor who had gone dark on us just over a year ago.
It’s worth noting that nothing that was for sale on the stall at Dragonmeet was available as part of the Terminal Overdrive campaign.
Four different people approached this trader very angry at the appearance of Carbon 2185 books and accessories on one of the tables at their stall and began to berate the trader and their staff over the delays to Terminal Overdrive, and for even carrying our stock at all.
You say in your Kickstarter update you’ll be taking appropriate action, but what could that be?
I cannot speak for Dragonmeet, nor can I say specifically what we will do, but it will be appropriate and ensure that this behaviour is not mimicked and does not happen again.
If you return these abusers backers money, might you be sowing the seeds for an unpleasant way for people to back out of Kickstarters, getting their money back?
We allow people to ask for and receive refunds for their pledges to our campaigns. We’ve always done that, and we will continue to do that going forward. Returning these people their money and refusing future service is the very least that we will do.
One Kickstarter commentator said you should take some responsibility because you put the vendor “in front of growing frustration”. Do you think that’s true in any way?
I don’t believe that is true in the slightest, and it’s clear from the responses to that specific comment that our community does not agree either. It is never justifiable to berate, abuse, or harass anyone for project delays, especially if those people are nothing to do with the project. As mentioned in more than 10 of the 36 development updates on this project, if people are feeling that the project is taking too long, they are free to get in touch with us and ask for a refund. We have never refused a legitimate refund request.
What next for Terminal Overdrive and Carbon 2185?
Terminal Overdrive is very far along in development and is currently scheduled to head to print in Q1 2022. It’s a really great mission book and I really can’t wait to see people’s reactions. People’s reactions to the playtest material we’ve already released from the book has been 100% positive.
As for the future of Carbon 2185, we have a couple of Carbon 2185 projects that we’ve already finished development on that are ready to go to Kickstarter and be fulfilled immediately after the campaign. However, we have to wait until we’ve begun to fulfil all of the rewards in this campaign before we can run those due to Kickstarter’s rules. We will continue to support Carbon 2185 and release content for it for as long as people continue to play it, which we think is going to be a very long time.
What next for Dragon Turtle Games?
Aside from our continued support for Carbon 2185, we have a lot of really fun and exciting stuff in the pipeline. We’re currently working on D&D 5e adventures, our upcoming Solarpunk game written by Darren Pearce, and a new game written by myself.
Update 1: Dragonmeet has made it clear that they were not made aware of the confrontation until after the event. They’ve been working with Robert of Dragon Turtle since then.
Updated 2: On request, the title of this article has been changed to “Carbon 2185 publisher promises action after alleged vendor harassment” from Carbon 2185 publisher promises action after Dragonmeet abuse allegations.
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