My KS Report for The Perfect RPG
Luke Crane - your Vice President of Community - created this project with an assembled team of designers. He withheld from the team at large that Adam Koebel was going to be part of the project. This is an issue as the TTRPG community has a very negative view of him due due the event last year where he sprung a sexual assault scene upon a PC during a livestreamed actual play series (Far Verona, see https://www.polygon.com/2020/4/6/21207309/rollplay-far-verona-sexual-assault-lets-play-season-2-canceled). After a few attempts at apologies that were largely self-serving and deflecting, Adam announced he was leaving the RPG field altogether.
In this project, none of the lead-in material gave any indication he was involved. The cover mockup, with the designers listed in alphabetical order by first name on the back cover did not include him. The first mention of him was once the campaign launched, where the description included the list of contributors sorted by reverse alphabetical, so that Adam appeared last on the list.
Several designers, upon learning of this confirmed they were not made aware of Adam's involvement, and many indicated they were withdrawing from the project. Some examples:
Maguey Baker https://twitter.com/NightSkyGames/status/1365819626190491648?s=20
Mary Gerogescu (this entire thread is particularly telling on many fronts)
This is not a complete list, just an illustrative sample. As People withdrew, the list shown in the campaign description was amended, and then replaced with "Redacted to reduce future harassment". In the backer-only update announcing cancellation of the project, Luke referenced designers being harassed into dropping it, a claim which they are denouncing:
There were also several unusual things about the campaign itself: the very short duration 93 days), that the pledge levels that were all for the same item just with more money going to the designers having delivery dates ranging from may 2021 to December 2025, the lack of any substantive description of what the games were, that Adam's was called "It's Symbolic, Of Course", etc.
Further, unlike many projects, the comments section has been tightly moderated with many comments pointing out the issues with the campaign, Adam's involvement, and Luke's behavior being removed.
All in all, this leaves the project looking like, at best, Luke trying to backdoor Adam back into the RPG field, using the names of well-known and-well-regarded designers as cover without their knowledge, and cancelling the project rather than simply removing Adam from it. It is an incredible misrepresentation of the project to the designers he recruited, who spent time and effort creating material for it.
That's the best case. What I feel is more likely is that Luke never intended to complete this project and create The Perfect RPG zine. Rather this is a performative jab at everyone that wanted Adam held accountable for the Far Verona incident.
That this is being done by your own Vice-President of Community is extraordinarily worrisome, and Kickstarter's actions regarding this in the days to come will be very telling as to how your own company handles accountability and abuse of power.