Friday, August 28, 2015

Ken Whitman, We're Here to Help!

This Monday, August 31 is the date Ken Whitman said he'd have all the Knights of the Dinner Table Live Action Series DVDs burned and packaged for kickstarter backers. Is this another in a series of several hundred lies Ken Whitman has repeatedly told backers? I mean, why break a such a solid streak of consistent weaselness, amIright?

But just in case Ken does miraculously come through sometime before the heat death of the universe — or even if he doesn't but just needs to look like he did — we're here to help. Here you go, Ken. Here's your pre-made ever-defiant profile shot that you can post in a kickstarter update and all over the Internet, to your little three-sizes-too-small heart's content...


Monday, August 24, 2015

Up Your Nose With a... Wait, That's Doesn't Rhyme

Everyone's favorite criminal mastermind finally popped his pointy head up today with an update to the backers of his late, lamented Pencil Dice kickstarter. Though the update was carefully restricted to backers only, you don't need to be one to see it because we've got all the goods right here. Starting with The Artist as a Dumb Man...


Okay, we memed that, but the runner-up in the Kingpin cosplay contest did actually shoot and post that picture as part of his kickstarter update. Seriously. In said update, the picture was followed by this exciting high-production video recorded on the best iPhone 6 plus your backer dollars could buy...

video

Finally, here's the whole thing including the meaningless Ken Whitman Lie boilerplate...

(click to enlarge, like Ken's belt size)
So what does this update mean in the grand scheme of things? Do seeing the same 7-8 sample pencil dice shown in both the picture and video mean backers can expect their months late shipment of thousands of pencil dice soon? Nope. For all anyone knows these are the same sample pencils Ken showed 6 months ago. Does it mean that Chessex signed the deal with Ken to bail Ken out and manufacture the Pencil Dice? Nope, though clearly Ken's use of the pronoun "we" is meant to imply as much. Does this update mean anything other than Ken decided to cloud the waters enough to take some of the pressure off his heinous hiney? Likely.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me for 46 updates, you must be Ken Whitman to even try that kind of crap.


Guess What's Not Coming to Dinner on Aug 31st?


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Dear Chessex, Ken Whitman Is a Liar and a Thief

You know that, right? No? Then read on, Dear Chessex, before you agree to take over one of Ken Whitman's dying kickstarter projects.


Ken Whitman has a long history of stealing other people's IP and claiming the ideas for himself. Sometimes he even gets caught, as was the case with his Dice O'Matic kickstarter done under Ken Whitman Games. Ken contacted the Chinese manufacturer who produced these for board games like Trouble and Sorry!, and arranged for them to make him some on the cheap.

There was just one problem. Trouble and Sorry! (originally owned by Parker Bothers and Milton Bradley) are now owned by Hasbro, the same company that owns Wizards of the Coast. And as anyone with three neurons that fire in sequence knows, you don't fuck with Hasbro's IP. Do so, and you're gonna get the horns. One C&D from Hasbro's d100 of lawyers is all it takes, and BOOM. We'll never know what actually happened, but whoever contacted kickstarter, they promptly suspended Ken Whitman's Dice O'Matic campaign on July 15, 2014.

Never one to learn from experience, Ken went right back to stealing other people's IP by creating the now-infamous Pencil Dice and RPG Pencil Dice kickstarter campaigns under his company d20 Entertainment. There was just one problem. HE STOLE THAT IDEA TOO. Of course, that's not how Ken Whitman told the tale.

(click to enlarge)

That's, right. Ken told everyone he "had a dream last night that woke me up at 4am. In the dream, I was playing with Pencil Dice." The truth is that all Ken probably dreamed was a remembrance of reading this website for British industrial designer Sebastian Bergne.

(click to enlarge)
It's obvious Ken Whitman stole his "dream" idea from Sebastian. Want proof? Ken Whitman is such an idiot he directly lifted Sebastian's website copy (shown above) and tweeted it.

(click to enlarge)

While many of us figured this out at the time, most Pencil Dice backers and Sebastian Bergne did not. At least not until now...

(click to enlarge)

So Dear Chessex, if you really want to plant your legal feet in the middle of another all-too-typical Ken Whitman scam artist clusterfuck, you of course are free to do so. But are you sure you want to do that? (DM rattles dice behind the screen)


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ken Whitman: Another Kickstarter Project Poisoned, Now Featuring Fred Fields' Cthulhu Dice Tower

Ken Whitman often advertises the fact that he makes money as a Kickstarter consultant, offering his "expert services in organizing, marketing, and managing kickstarter projects," often in exchange for a fee in the thousands of dollars. I'll give you a moment here to stop laughing.

Better now? Good. When you run the above statement backwards through the Ken Whitman Universal Lie Translator, what Ken is really saying is, "After I broke the kickstarter rules by running 6 sequential kickstarters before fulfilling any of them, and Kickstarter finally shut me down, and both Larry Elmore and Jolly Blackburn swore to never work with me again, I just changed gears and starting scamming new and different game industry vets by getting them to let me run their projects behind the scenes."

Case in point, Fred Fields' Cthulhu Dice Tower project. Check out the comments section while your there. Here's what backers were supposed to get (albeit unpainted and unassembled at the lower pledge levels):



Pretty swanky, am I right? Backers thought so too. They pledged over $6,000 to help make it happen, unknowingly giving Ken Whitman a chunk of that change as a kickstarter consultant.

Watch this unpacking video to see what backer Venger Santanis actually received in a cheap USPS Priority Mail box filled with wadded up newspaper for packing material:

video

In fact, you can read Venger's whole blog post about it right here:

http://vengersatanis.blogspot.com/2015/08/wtf-kickstarter-cthulhu-dice-tower-by.html

If it's not apparent from the poorly cast resin pieces and cheaply-boxed shipping packaging that Ken Whitman's new living room resin casting business is responsible for this mess, then you obviously didn't pledge Ken's Spinward Traveller (TV Pilot) kickstarter or pay any attention to Ken's personal Facebook page.

(click to enlarge)

One of the problems in spreading the word around about Ken Whitman is that you occasionally run into old TSR folks that knew Ken from his brief stint at TSR in the early 90s. Those folks invariably scoff at any suggestion that Ken intentionally rips people off and produces (on those rare occasion when he actually deigns to produce something) generally half-ass and broken products. I've always suspected that these "friends of Ken" were just folks he hadn't gotten around to ripping off yet. I'm also guessing that after this escapade, you'll no longer find ex-TSR artist Fred Fields on the Ken defender list.

Ken Whitman Doesn't Just Operate Like a Bible-Selling Con Man

... he actually was one.

Bible-selling con men were such a common event in Depression-era America, the Coen brothers featured one in their classic "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (2000), played with gusto by John Goodman. If you haven't seen the movie, here's a sample:


You know who probably did see the movie? You guessed it - Ken Whitman. Never one not to steal a good plan when he sees it, Ken actually marketed, sold, printed, (and one presumes partially shipped inferior copies of) The Holy Bible. The website is naturally long gone, unless you know how to use the Internet Archive's WaybackMachine.

Check out https://web.archive.org/web/20070104062803/http://www.familyportraitbible.com/?

(click to enlarge)

How do you know this is a Ken Whitman joint? Easy. First, note that the copyright is Rapid POD Printing, Inc. Want more proof that Ken created this website? Check this out - apparently the world's worst speller and typist can't even get the name of his Lord and Savior correct in the site's meta tags...

(click to enlarge)

And finally here's the main man himself in his Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes, moving with the Depression-era times and the latest in grifting techniques like he was born to it...


Saturday, August 15, 2015

History Repeats Itself, and Ken Whitman is History Now...

(click to enlarge)

Hey! Ken Whitman has opened up another printing company that specializes in game books and art books. You should definitely PM him right away to get in line for his services. If you're lucky, he'll only deliver your books late, not-at-all, or falling apart like he did these folks:

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?218333-RapidPOD

Or if you're not-so-lucky, Ken may steal your whole game, like he did this week with his own ex-girlfriend, or this gentleman from Postmortem Studios:

http://users.livejournal.com/_grimtales_/174514.html


Friday, August 14, 2015

When Even Ken Whitman's Staunchest Allies Turn On Him...

... maybe it's time for Ken Whitman to get out of the game industry once and for all. This morning's Facebook gem shows that Ken is willing to steal from anyone, even if it's a game authored by his one-time girlfriend. Even Ken's most resolute online defender, Marcus King, appears to be changing his mind about his "good friend" Ken Whitman.



Monday, August 10, 2015

Ken Actually Tells the Truth... Well, He Lip-Syncs It

If this is the guy you want to send your money to, or go into business with, then by all means, be my guest...

video

When In Doubt, Ken Whitman Goes Back To What Works



Kickstarter has shut Ken Whitman down from doing anymore kickstarters. Ken has tentatively sold off the fulfillment of his Pencil Dice kickstarter to Chessex. Troll Lords has taken back the failed Castles & Crusades TV Pilot kickstarter and is trying to turn that burning ship around. Jolly and Barb Blackburn are selling KoDT LAS props and collectibles on ebay trying to unfuck Ken's stone-cold refusal to actually deliver any of the stretch goals backers paid him for.

So what's a poor sociopath supposed to do? Living the Whitman lifestyle costs money, you know. It's not like he has an actual day job.

When you're Ken Whitman, you just cycle back around to scams and shady business practices that have worked before. Witness the classic Ken chicanery now being spam-bombed on every game industry Facebook group that hasn't caught on yet (click to enlarge):


That's right, folks. The man that ran RapidPOD into the ground and ripped off hundreds of game industry folks in the process, is going back into the Print on Demand business. Why do you care? Well, you could just google "Ken Whitman" and "RapidPOD" for more all-night reading and assorted Ken Whitman scamery... but here. Let me save you the trouble. Here are some of Ken's greatest Running a POD Business Hits!


Ken's former POD customers share their experiences:
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?218333-RapidPOD
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?218333-RapidPOD&p=4628655#post4628655
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?218333-RapidPOD&p=4631564#post4631564
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?218333-RapidPOD&p=4638052#post4638052
Links to many more: http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2015/07/on-principled-profit-con-man-and-fraud.html



Saturday, August 8, 2015

How Does Ken Keep Getting Away With It? Bail-Outs from Industry People is How...

With a 20-year history of ripping off gamers and game industry folks, how the hell does Ken Whitman keep resurfacing every 5-6 years to stick it to folks all over again?

It starts with page one out of the Whitman Grifters' Handbook: When caught red-handed, Ken just plays the lovable doofus who can't seem to do anything right, i.e. Poor, Poor Ken. After all, a man who completely squandered over $200K in kickstarter money and personal loans with little or nothing to show for it 14 months later couldn't possibly be a career scam artist, could he? Ken's not privileged... just ask him.


But inevitably, some new well-meaning rube comes along and pulls Ken's fat ass out of the fire. This time around, it looks like it's Don Reents and Chessex to the rescue. It appears they bit on Ken's $10 offer to sell off all fulfillment responsibilities for his two Pencil Dice kickstarters.


That's understandably great news for the hundreds of backers who were otherwise going to get shafted. But it's also highly problematic, because this is exactly how Ken skates from one successful scam to another in the future. Regular followers of Kengate know what's coming next: Ken crowing loudly and publicly online that he "successfully fulfilled all his commitments to his backers." Ken is currently blocked by kickstarter from creating any new projects because he hasn't fulfilled the last six. Chessex's seemingly heroic move here undoes a portion of that and puts Ken that much closer to doing it all over again.

Let's be clear. Ken Whitman collected $46,784 in money for the two Pencil Dice kickstarters, blew the money, delivered nothing, admitted in his letter that it would only cost only $10,000 to place the order with the Chinese manufacturer, and THEN actually talked Chessex into paying him $10 for the privilege of paying that $10,000. Don, what were you thinking?

It will be interesting to see how the Pencil Dice backers react to this development. Some will be so (rightly) glad to finally be receiving the product that they paid for that this will end the matter for them. More forward-thinking backers will realize that this deal is likely fraught with potential legal problems that will never see the light of a courtroom without a pressing legal action. Kickstarter can be expected to turn a blind eye to it all. After all - they raked in 10% of the $171k Ken raked in last year, and they could well do so profitably in the future.

Friday, August 7, 2015

...and the Ken Whitman Lies Just Keep On Rolling!

Told you today would be a good day for tracking the Lie Dispenser otherwise known as Ken Whitman. Sadly for Ken, he's losing his cool today in the comments section of the KoDT LAS kickstarter - where he cannot go back later and scrub out his ridiculous rants, like he does regularly on Facebook.

Ken Whitman's most recent lie asserts that Jolly Blackburn intentionally enticed backers to the after party that ZOE and Gen Con threw together at the last minute so that no one would show up to Ken's (click to enlarge).

Stop the presses though - Ken cancelled his own after party and only threw ANOTHER one together AFTER ZOE created their event out of charity. Ken even tried to coat tail ride his way into their event and failed.

Want proof? Ken may be able to delete his own posts from the KoDT LAS Facebook page, but he can't delete a screen cap taken on that day (click to enlarge):



In other words, first Ken cancelled the official KoDT LAS after party in a pique of rage on the Sunday before Gen Con. Then when ZOE and Gen Con (and others) all pitched in to create a replacement after party for the backers, Ken tried to horn into it (presumably to claim fulfillment of his contractual responsibilities to kickstarter and Kenzer Co.). Finally, when that attempt failed, in another fit of rage he scheduled a second after party at a local Indianapolis eatery. To which he sent invites to 6 people and no actors, production folks, or backers. Nice.

It sucks to be a sociopathic lie dispenser when folks are keeping an eye on what you say and what you do, doesn't it Whitman?




Keeping Track of Ken's Lies in Real Time


Ken actually popped up on the KoDT LAS kickstarter comments section to defend his name with some piping hot lies, exaggerations, and mistruths. Because Ken cares, he even threw in a few fresh lies! Get 'em while their hot right here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/comments?cursor=10792214#comment-10792213

Normally I would present a copiously annotated rebuttal of each lie told, but this time KoDT creator and unfortunate IP licensor Jolly Blackburn is already on the case. See his blow-by-blow dissection of Ken's never-give-up sociopathy right here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d20e/kodt-live-action-series/comments?cursor=10793909#comment-10793908

BONUS: Stay tuned to the KoDT LAS kickstarter comments section. Ken is infamous for going berserk with rage on gaming forums and Facebook, then deleting the most heinous fits of anger later. Comments made on a kickstarter page however, cannot be deleted. This should be good...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ken Whitman Tries To Sell Off Broken Pencil Dice Kickstarter

Look what we have here - a copy of an email that Ken Whitman has sent to several game industry folks, trying to sell off his broke Pencil Dice kickstarter (see attached pic below) and get out from under his legal and ethical responsibilities of fulfilling it.

Ken's quite the salesman, as always. For the low, low price of just $10 you can assume $10,000 of debt, my destroyed reputation, and a pissed-off customer base! Act Today!


The Pencil Dice and RPG Pencil Dice kickstarter backers have of course been told many times that their products are in various stages of already ordered and already shipping over the last few months. A few of the more ambitious backers contacted the Chinese manufacturers directly and found out that they had not printed any pencils - nor would they - until they received the money to do so. Shortly after that, Ken asked the Chinese company to refer all requests back to him, cutting backers off from even that level of actual information.

The above email is a gift to them.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

When Dealing with Ken Whitman, How Do You Know He's Lying?

...because his lips are moving. #rimshot

Naturally, even a diagnosable sociopath like Ken Whitman has a few friends, allies, and girlfriends who are quick to rush to his defense. Urged on by Ken, they often confront the overwhelming evidence of Ken's career-long penchant for coat-tail riding gaming industry veterans and using their reputations and clout to enable his own scamming activities with more bold-face lies. The strategy is to reduce any discussion about Ken into a "he said-she said" argument, creating the lingering doubt that somehow, against all odds, Ken is the unfortunate victim of his own victims.

Why do they do this? That's easy.

Some are longtime associates of Ken that he just hasn't gotten around to ripping off yet. To them, he's the lovable doofus who briefly worked for TSR 25 years ago — the harmless perpetual screw-up. But the allies and the girlfriends have a vested interest in strongly defending Ken, often by repeating the same documented lies that Ken constantly uses himself. Why? Because these people have bought heavily into the Ken-sociopath dreamscape. If the hundreds of backers of Ken's 6 failed kickstarters are right, if Jolly Blackburn and Larry Elmore are right, if the other many, many victims of Ken's shady business practices going back nearly 20 years are right, then they are wrong. And they're not just wrong about this issue — they're wrong about the entire array of life choices that led them to become a ongoing part of Ken's world. Thus, an attack against Ken is an attack against their very self-image. Wars have been started for less.

Here's a prime example, from just one of Ken's on-again-off-again significant others:


Notice how at first she asserts that Knights of the Dinner Table fans are deranged and bloodthirsty (presumably because they have now been calling Ken to task for his multiple failures to deliver on the KoDT LAS kickstarter). That's an easy enough idea to dismiss out of hand, and at a stretch a forgivable lapse in judgement when emotionally defending a current/former SO. But then in the next comment Kristin piles right into repeating the demonstrably untrue and garden variety Ken Whitman lies that "everyone got paid" and the money just "ran out." Then we end with another characterization that people who just want what they paid for are hate mongers using Ken for a punching bag. This from someone who accompanied Ken on a cruise vacation immediately after the KoDT LAS kickstarter funded.



But forget all that. Let's look at the idea that Ken is somehow being maligned by his own customers, clients, and backers. There are a lot of folks out there who feel harmed by Ken, and not a few who looking for some online justice. Without a documented pending court case against Ken, it's a fair point that the online situation is indeed a "he said-she said" situation, even if it's 5-6 "he saids" versus hundreds of "she saids." How does one weigh the two sides of that argument fairly? How do we know that somehow this isn't all a giant online witch hunt, with Ken playing the misunderstood monster surrounded in the burning windmill by pitchforks and angry villagers?

In a court of law, testimony is weighted by it's character, consistency, and verisimilitude. With just a little light reading, you can do that too. Linked below are some of the best collections of evidence and testimony against Ken you can find on the Internet. Read through these links, which include eye-witness testimony to actors not getting paid, Ken's ridiculous car purchase with a portion of the KoDT LAS kickstarter money, Ken's infinitely reversible positions depending on who he's try to grease out of what on any given day. Judge for yourself, and be forewarned.

If all that doesn't convince you, then by all means contact Ken Whitman immediately and offer him some money to help him "finish up" his many languishing projects. We all know he'll take it, and sometimes the only way to learn a lesson is the hard way.

Hack n' Slash Blog: On Principled Profit, the Con Man, and the Fraud
(A copious collection of links to Ken's scamming activities dating back over 10 years)


Tenkar's Tavern: Kickstarter: Ken Whitman Redefines Failure Yet Again, Part I
(Includes direct quotes from a KoDT LAS actor who never got paid and knows Ken bought a car with part of the kickstarter money)


Tenkar's Tavern: Kickstarter: Ken Whitman Redefines Failure Yet Again, Part II

Tenkar's Tavern: Kickstarter: Ken Whitman Redefines Failure Yet Again, Part III

Larry Elmore's comments about problems with Ken Whitman

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hi, I'm Ken Whitman


The Annotated Ken Whitman Lie Chart

(See annotations below)

Annotated Ken Whitman Lies (post Gen Con Edition)

1. Sociopaths are by definition incapable of feeling remorse (or even learning from past experience), as those that have been following Kengate from the beginning are no doubt aware.

2. (See annotation 1.) True sorrow might have inclined Ken to stick around and answer questions from the backers of his failed multiple kickstarters, like when they could expect refunds or recompense for their undelivered d20 Entertainment products. Also, a truly sorrowful Ken would've probably shown up to the business sit-down he had scheduled with the CEO of a certain IP he licensed to discuss his multiple contract violations. But no, he disappeared and blew it off.

3. According to Gen Con staff, they were concerned about a confrontation from a group of backers from the failed Pencil Dice kickstarter Ken/d20 Entertainment had failed to deliver on because (by Ken's own admission) he took part of their kickstarter funds and spent it elsewhere. Note: concern for the status of your backer goods IS NOT A DEATH THREAT.

4. "we had a great time" infers that Ken had anything to do with an after party that he cancelled, ZOE, Gen Con, Mikey Mason, and Kenzer organized afterwards, and that Ken then scheduled a last-minute competing party against. Ken's second after party never even happened, because he reserved space with a bad credit card and they cancelled the venue.

5. Yeah, we'll all be waiting with baited breath for that half-ass never-happen video production too (that you paid Mikey Mason zero dollars for the rights to). 

6. Again, completely feigned sociopathic nonsense. Any genuine thanks would and should be for the unearned patience all involved exhibited throughout the entirety of Ken's sordid grifting scheme to take backer dollars and use them to support his own personal living, travel, and vacation expenses. I mean come on... who looks at $69,000 of backer money and says, "I know! I'll go buy a Chrysler 300 so I can look like a movie producer"?

7. The oldest and most consistent Ken lie of them all - that he has any interest in this project beyond feigning enough progress to enable him to go scam more money to live on from more industry names and gullible gamers. 

8. Hugs and kisses? I wouldn't even let you blow my dead german shepherd you conscienceless fat fuck.

More on this as developments happen and Ken continues to try and spin his way out of the self-created career crater he's now living in.