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Messages - Benoist

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The RPGPundit's Own Forum / The Hobby Shop Dungeon Disaster
« on: March 14, 2018, 09:27:00 PM »
Are you a backer, Silas1066? I just checked our records and you are not showing up.

If you are not a backer, why do you keep hammering at rumors handed to you by people you should be talking to and questioning now?

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / The Hobby Shop Dungeon Disaster
« on: March 07, 2018, 11:43:46 AM »
Quote from: Motorskills;1028320

I would suggest that Benoist owes his KS backers that don't frequent this forum an update, the last was in October 2017. I would also recommend he consider using something like the Work-o-Meter from the OOTS Reprint campaign. Horribly late as well, but at least there was (is) transparency about what is left to be done.

I update backers on the comments section of the Kickstarter regularly. (Last response today, and four days prior to that). That said yes, I started putting together an official update which I will finish and post when I'm done on the main module. This will include what is completed, what remains to be done, etc.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / The Hobby Shop Dungeon Disaster
« on: March 07, 2018, 10:03:58 AM »
Quote from: Spinachcat;1028274
Benoist, thank you for posting!

For everyone else, check out Benoist's Twin Tankard maps!


These maps took me a long time to bring together, but it was worth it. Heck, that's something I can say of most of the maps on the project. Each of them was a challenge in some particular way or form. The curves and small scale of the original Prismatic Maze, the layering of the combs of Ur-Shamath, going so far as to build the alcoves on graph paper and draw them over from scratch, ensuring that the map of the Shoko-Jumi area reflects the events and geographical elements of the Sammi-Zowa story, recreating the Outdoors Survival map but making sure it is original and specific for use with the Hobby Shop Dungeon, ... I mean I could go on. Each of the parts of the project have been a challenge in their own way, and I'm very very proud of the work accomplished so far.

Some of the latest previews I shared online:

Heraldry of the Duinnsmere Part 1
Heraldry of the Duinnsmere Part 2
Where I explain a little more about Demi-Human Heraldry
Updated Political Map of the Lower Midlands
Human and Demi-Human Population Density in the Lower Midlands

Ernie originally brought up the idea to renovate and reshape the Hobby Shop Dungeon and proposed the partnership to me, not the other way around.

As we worked together on the dungeon and the world around it on a nearly daily basis over Skype, pretty much living in each other's lives, we developed something truly special which then was introduced via Gygax Magazine as the firt level of the Marmoreal Tomb. From there, the events I recounted earlier led to that frontloading of all the maps, then doing all the writing in a single chunk now, which wasn't the original plan, but man what a journey it's been so far.

So two things from there.

First, the idea that the Marmoreal Tomb is some kind of cash grab should be ludicrous to anyone who's been paying attention to the love and care and hours upon hours of work that already went into this product. If we had wanted to do a cash grab, there would have been an infinity of ways to make it much simpler with immediate benefits for us: We could have had shadow writers doing design by committee; we could have just slapped the name on whatever and just not cared about it; I could have eschewed hours of study of the inner workings of the traditional game, the Great Kingdom, the original expedition play style and whatnot.

The idea that this here isn't a labor of love in which both Ernie and I have poured hours and hours of our time over years of revision and expansion is just blatantly ignoring the facts which I think are available to all at this point.

If the idea becomes that we're guilty of calling our line Ernest G. Gygax Jr.'s Hobby Shop Dungeon, even though Ernie is the originator of the dungeon and this is the central part of the whole work, then guilty as charged. Sure. We're guilty of naming things accurately and engaging in marketing, okay.

Second, we have worked on the whole project for more than five years now. Personally, it's become my creative life. The idea that I'd pour five years of my life on a near dayly basis with my friend and partner on something I would not see through to the finish line is bonkers, to me. I would have to have been out of my mind to agree to such a thing.

So no, I don't intend to walk off and leave things unfinished. I intend with Ernie to finish what we started and move on to the next chapter of this whole thing. It's going to take the time it's going to take, and we'll come through.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / The Hobby Shop Dungeon Disaster
« on: March 06, 2018, 08:58:36 PM »
Quote from: Headless;1028238
Thats a drag.

Life man.  

Good to see you are pushing through.

Thanks man. Those kinds of curve balls I could have done without, that's for sure.

Now all things considered, things are looking up in multiple ways. We keep chucking at it and there's no dearth of material to work from, we're not lost or confused, we have a clear path towards the end game, so that's good. On the extra plus side, Ernie completely turned his life around and is in a new relationship now and he's never been more alive than right now, which is totally awesome.

So really, it sucks that I had to frontload the maps, then work on the whole of the text at once right now, but since that gave room to Ernie to get out of the hospital and turn his life around with the results we're seeing now, I'd do it all over again if I had to choose. It frustrates backers and it frustrates me, but it was the right thing to do at the time.

Now to get the project done and finish this.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / The Hobby Shop Dungeon Disaster
« on: March 06, 2018, 04:44:30 PM »
Quote from: Silas1066;1028192
Thanks for responding Benoist.

No worries Silas. Glad I can clear some things up.

Quote from: Silas1066;1028192
Let me be clear--this was not about criticizing you in any way. It is more about Ernie. The "rumors" on the street regarding this whole thing are that Ernie basically took a bunch of money, didn't write shit, and left you holding the bag. The idea is that Benoist is trying to salvage the kickstarter while his partner drinks and parties at conventions.

That is fundamentally misunderstanding my partnership and relationship with Ernest, and underestimates me as a person. I'm not the kind of person who will hold the bag for someone who doesn't do anything. Ernest and I have both done years of work on this, and will go on with it after the Tomb is done.

This is not the first time I see this kind of thought, in all fairness. It's as if, if you form a partnership with someone with a big name, there's this thing that kicks in into people's minds, where the guy with no name is either the slave writer or ghost writer in the relationship, OR he's the mastermind just "using the name" for his own benefit.

Both of these extremes do not speak of my relationship with Ernie at all. We are friends and partners. We both have each other's backs and that's how we roll.

Quote from: Silas1066;1028192
I've seen your work and it is excellent

It's always motivating to know that people appreciate what we do. I appreciate the compliment.

Quote from: Silas1066;1028192
I haven't been to conventions like Garycon, nor have I met Ernie, but I have heard things and have seen things on social media. The guy has had multiple gofundme campaigns to give him cash to replace items lost in a fire back in early 2013, to pay medical bills, etc. There have even been adventure modules and products put out by other people with the proceeds going to him. There was a charity auction at Garycon that went on for years, and while the attendees thought the money was going to charity, it was actually going to Ernie. It was a running joke that the auctions were part of Ernie's salary.

All in all, including the Marmoreal KS, gamers have given Ernie like $160,000+ since 2012. He has not delivered product, and hasn't even said thank you to 99.9% of those gamers.

A lot of context is missing here, and that kind of mixes up a lot of things separated in time. Let me see if I can decompose that and clarify. First, the fire happened, and Ernie lost a lot of his possessions. Then, he ended up in the hospital after a heart attack and was told in no uncertain terms he would die if he didn't get his house in order. Funds were raised to address each of these issues separately as they unfolded.

Then we have Steve, Ernie's cousin, dying in October 2014, and the house he lived in Lake Geneva was then purchased using funds raised selling collectors and other stuff in its aftermath, up to the auction at Gary Con. You can check FB, the posts are still there. That's months before the kickstarter and no funds raised during the kickstarter of July-August 2015 were used towards the house.

I really wish you could go to Gary Con this week end and meet Ernie there. I think you'd come out of it with a different appraisal of the man. He isn't a weakling, or an ungrateful person. Quite the opposite really. He is one of the most supportive, fiercely loyal, thankful person I know. I think that if you pay attention you can see that from the way he always tries to uplift people and support them, give them shoutouts etc in his social media interactions.

Quote from: Silas1066;1028192
Where does a person's self-respect have to be to continuously beg for money on the Internet? There are a lot of people in this world that really do need help, he isn't one of them, especially if he can dip into savings, sell a few things, and then buy a house! Dude begs for cash saying he can't pay his medical bills, is going to starve, etc., and then months later goes and buys expensive real estate. Seriously?

And yes, everything in Wisconsin is expensive. It isn't Alabama. A modest house will set you back a minimum 250k

No funds from the kickstarter were involved in purchasing the house. I hope this is clear now.

As for one's self-respect, I think your mental picture of who Ernie is or what he's like is not accurate. Up until recently Ernie had it tough, in no small part because of his father and his ex-wife (with whom he still had a privileged relationship) dying one after the other. These weren't the only events, along with the fire and everything else, and it all came to a head when he was hospitalized a second time and was told in no uncertain terms by the doctors: "if you keep up your current lifestyle, you'll be dead in six months."

This is when Ernie changed his life around.

On the KS side of things, when he ended up in the hospital and turned his life around, I frontloaded all the work I could do on my own which should originally have been spaced out and incremental. I did all the extra maps based on our concepts immediately and it took me months to get there. Then I got hit by a pneumonia that lasted three months. Then I got better, finished the maps, got back with Ernest to have him with me on the extra maps I had figured out in the meantime and have his input on every single area and key of the maps, which made some extensive changes along the way. I recorded this message and a section of our revision sessions here on YouTube.

Now, I have all the material we worked out with Ernest up to this point and I am finishing the writing on the main module. I've always been the secretary and the one who shaped the final texts in our partnership, and that is no different from what we did for Gygax Magazine prior. Once I'm done with this, we will review the final text together one last time, and we will move on to last areas of the expansions we need to take a look at together (I'm thinking the Mellifluous Shrine and Hiveworld of Ur-Shamath here specifically), and then I'm going to finalize the text on those too.

This phase of writing here is just one part of the whole where I happen to do the heavy lifting. I would have done it even if there had been no stay in the hospital and whatnot. It's just that if those events had not happened, the work would have been spread out, we would have done a map, worked on it together, I would have finalized the writing, we would have checked the result together, and then moved on to another map. That didn't happen that way and I'm now doing it by whole chunks instead. I think this is why this leads to some sort of confusion leading some to believe "I'm left hanging" or something. This isn't accurate at all.

Once we're done with this we'll move on together with the last steps, production, fulfillment, and we'll go on from there. Ernie's got my back, and I have his.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / The Hobby Shop Dungeon Disaster
« on: March 06, 2018, 11:52:43 AM »
Quote from: Opaopajr;1028143
Hi Benoist! :) Good to hear from you again!

Hey man, long time no see.

About stretch goals: I'd say that even when you think you know what kind of monumental task is a ahead of you working on a project like this, you really don't. Meaning, anyone who's not gone through doing this once doesn't know how exponentially complicated it gets. I can see how that can freak out some people who launch themselves into doing a KS like this, and once that's done they don't know what to do and freak out.

Talking for our project, for me and Ernie it means it just takes more time and attention to complete it. This means progressing methodically, one step at a time, to the finish line. We're doing just that.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / The Hobby Shop Dungeon Disaster
« on: March 05, 2018, 09:31:58 PM »
I get that some people are waiting and are nervous and have been burnt by kickstarters before. If I can answer some questions and alleviate some of those worries that's fine. I too am frustrated by the lateness of our project and it's my responsibility to keep the communication going and let people know that yes, the money is still there, and yes, we are working on it and have not gone anywhere.

I don't know how the more negative rumors get started. I imagine some of them just come up because people try to think of various possibilities and our minds are naturally attracted to the worse-case scenarios.

In any case. To be clear again: (1) The house was not purchased with money from the KS at all, and (2) The money from the KS is still there ready to be used for the next phases, up to production.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / The Hobby Shop Dungeon Disaster
« on: March 05, 2018, 09:23:00 PM »
I get that some people are waiting and nervous and have been burnt by Kickstarters before and whatnot. If I can answer some questions and alleviate some of the worries out there that's fine. I too am frustrated by how late we are in the process but it's also my responsibility to keep the communication going and let people know that yes, the money's there, we are working on it and have gone anywhere.

I don't know how the more negative rumors get started. I imagine some of them just come up because people try to think of various possibilities and our minds are naturally attracted to the worse case scenarios. Others could be the result of willful lies.

In any case. To be clear: (1) The house of Steve Davis was purchased with money raised before the Kickstarter and has nothing to do with our project, and (2) The money is still there and waiting in an account, ready to be used for the next phases beyond.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / The Hobby Shop Dungeon Disaster
« on: March 05, 2018, 05:24:09 PM »
Quote from: Ulairi;1028053

I don't think the hobby shop dungeon is ever coming out.

I'm sorry you've been burned with multiple KS's Ulairi, and I apologize for our lateness.

You have my promise we will deliver on the Tomb. And the HSD after that.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / The Hobby Shop Dungeon Disaster
« on: March 05, 2018, 05:21:03 PM »
Quote from: Silas1066;1028016
Going to put this here as it is "sensitive"

Over four years ago, Ernie Gygax and Benoist Poire launched a kickstarter for the "Hobby Shop Dungeon: Marmoreal Tomb" D&D module. Delivery of content would start September 2015, with the main product being completed in March 2016.

An incredible $129,109 was raised for this thing.

It is now over two years late, and I recently heard some disturbing rumors about it

1. Ernie Gygax purchased a nice home in Wisconsin early last year. He has no steady income or job, and multiple gofundme campaigns have been done for him just to keep him afloat. One wonders where the money came to purchase this property? A couple people told me he used the funds from the Kickstarter for it by claiming business income for 2016 (which then qualified him for a mortgage to cover the rest).

2. The money from the Kickstarter is gone. Ernie is in poor health (heart failure), and Benoist is now on the hook to deliver a product. It doesn't take 3 years to write a dungeon module, even one with fancy maps. Not for otherwise unemployed people.

People on the Kickstarter message board are like WTF? Where is the product? Benoist gives periodic updates saying "we are still in the writing phase". He's been doing that for two years.

This would be a serious cluster if true. I hope it isn't.

Hi there Silas.

Yes we are two years late and the writing phase is taking us way more time than anticipated. I was not forseeing the complication that would come from all the extra content unlocked and how that would complicate things exponentially. We are making our way through it and yes, the Marmoreal Tomb will be completed and delivered.

Now regarding the specific rumors you heard, they are both categorically false.

(1) Ernie didn't use any funds from the KS to get the house. It belonged to his cousin Steve Davis who passed in October 2014 in the first place. I'm forgetting the exact details of the purchase (just checked, Ernie raised the funds from his savings and collector items sold via Collector’s Trove and Gary Con, all prior to the KS: the posts are still there on FB), but no, that had nothing to do with the moneys from the Kickstarter.

(2) We still have a large chunk of the funds raised and they are currently stored on an account earning a little interest over time. We actually got back some of the money we gave the IRS for taxes so no, the money isn't gone at all and ready to serve.

I am indeed giving periodic updates as to our progress and I'm here whenever people want to ask questions or talk about the project.

Last thing. I have not been saying "we are in the writing phase for two years", but since October. For the year and a half prior to that I was working out all the moving parts of the project up to this point. It is taking some time because this is not a run of the mill module. It has over 30 moving parts to begin with, connects with the Hobby Shop Dungeon and the world at large, presents a primer of said world along with all the components to run a sandbox for years. We're taking the time it takes to make it right, as we have said we would from the very beginning of the project.

Now there are a bunch of events and complications we could have never seen coming, like Ernie ending up at the hospital, me frontloading all the map work during that period as a result, those kinds of things, but the main element here is that the product ought to be the best it can be.

Once I'm done with the main module I'll make a general official update on the KS.

One last time I'll repeat, neither of the rumors you cite are true. I hope this puts these rumors to rest now.

Help Desk / Facebook Group
« on: March 15, 2017, 12:49:15 AM »
It was intended as such.

News and Adverts / Benoist's & EGG's Marmoreal Tomb up on KS
« on: September 03, 2015, 03:38:36 PM »
Trying to recuperate after a few nights with little to no sleep, a good celebration yesterday, and already thinking of our next kickstarter update, and the way forward for the project!

Thank you all for your support and pledges. MUCH appreciated!

News and Adverts / Benoist's & EGG's Marmoreal Tomb up on KS
« on: August 28, 2015, 03:50:02 PM »
Quote from: J.L. Duncan;851743

Thumbs up! Thank you!

FOUR days to go on the Kickstarter folks! We are entering the end game!

Link to the project:

News and Adverts / Benoist's & EGG's Marmoreal Tomb up on KS
« on: August 26, 2015, 12:14:16 PM »
Quote from: J.L. Duncan;849337

A lot of interest over at Kenzer, I shot you a PM. And if that didn't work cast a summons.

58K as of this writing. Congrats!

Thanks! $74K as of this writing. DCC RPG and now players' handouts have been unlocked. We are unlocking stretch goals steadily!

There are 6 days to go on this Kickstarter project. If you haven't pledged already, anyone of you RPG Site members, and want to get the module and campaign starter for the Hobby Shop Dungeon, consider doing it ASAP!

News and Adverts / Benoist's & EGG's Marmoreal Tomb up on KS
« on: August 11, 2015, 03:42:16 PM »
Just a word here to let you know guys and gals that the Kickstarter is cruising along, unlocking multiple stretch goals in the process.

1st edition compatible, 5th edition, Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades conversions, science-fiction and modern horror customization packs, fold-up maps pack, panels for a GM screen... the Marmoreal Tomb Campaign Starter just keeps getting better and better!

Check it out:

Right now for $60 on Ernie Gygax's Marmoreal Tomb kickstarter you get:
Print +PDF of the Marmoreal Tomb Main Module
Print +PDF of the Wilderness Expansion
Print +PDF of the Underworld Expansion
Your name in the credits
+ Map of the Crypts
+ Map of the Tunnels under Crom Caemloch
+ Full Bestiary Appendices

That's approximately EIGHT times the amount of material presented in Gygax Mag (the first level of the Marmoreal Tomb pictured below), with the Outdoor Wilderness map (my re-creation of that board that was advised for use with the little brown booklets) about to be unlocked as well! And it just gets better from there!

The link to the KS:

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