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Bringing the first published fantasy RPG city setting back to the presses for JG Universal and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game System.
Bringing the first published fantasy RPG city setting back to the presses for JG Universal and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game System.
965 backers pledged $85,130 to help bring this project to life.

Slow but Sure Progress - Change of the Guard

Posted by Judges Guild (Creator)

To Our Backers -

There has been a major change made in management of this project.
Until today, it was in the hands of Bob III (my son) and now I finally can take the helm and ultimate responsibility of this important task. In fact, this is my first time logging into the account, and seeing the backers list - all who pledged and what amounts are due. Anyone wishing to reach me can use or facebook.

I cannot ask for time, you all have given that, and your support.

I can only offer candor and truth. The books ARE still in progress. I have already begun sending out the miniatures to those who paid for them. I go into this with none of the capital you pledged, as it was mismanaged. I have had no access to the pledged funds ... and have sunk over 6k of my own funds into the layout and maps (I am not a rich man, or this would have been fixed long ago) ... things WILL get done as I can afford to do them. All JG profits from the Goodman Games/ Judges Guild kickstarter went to this kickstarter layout and map costs.

I ask that you back (publicly if not financially) any other projects JG may do by way of other publishers, as those funds will come here to help resolve this floundering venture as well. I do understand your anger and disgust with all this. I agree with that sentiment; you have all waited far too long, and so have I.

My goal when this kickstarter was first proposed was simply to revamp and produce our original campaign maps... all else was added as an afterthought by the project manager. My short-term goal is to fulfill this kickstarter as soon as possible. My long-term goal is to see as many of JG's classic titles as possible available to the public.

I did not make the decisions that got us to this point, but I failed you all in appointing the wrong manager. I have always strove to make JG look good, and you cannot imagine how sorry I feel at this point. I know that our biggest backers were our dearest fans; those who have bought our products for decades and literally put food on my family's table. My work is ahead of me here, and I will try to get past this to everyone's satisfaction.

Sincerely -
Bob Bledsaw II - Judges Guild

Ian McG, Keith S., and 52 more people like this update.


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    1. Mark R. Shipley on

      Keep working on this. Please communicate directly about cost issues because we are the people who buy Judges Guild products. If we can continue to support JG, and help this project get finished, we are likely to do what is needed.

    2. Missing avatar

      Christopher Schroeder on

      Appreciate your candor, we look forward to more updates.

    3. Michel Godbout on

      Hell some fan on the project even offered to do the editing for....... wait for it.......

      The answer from creator : chirp-chirp

    4. Bevan Anderson on

      Thanks Bob II. I'll hold on to some hope. :)

    5. Machpants on

      Wow Andy that's awesome! JG fans are the best :)

    6. Andy Action

      I am heartened by this update.
      That said, I remain skeptical yet optimistic.

      I was blocked on FB by Bob II (called me a "libtard") but I am still a life-long Judges Guild fan, supporter, gamer and collector. Political differences will not deter me from enjoying these products that were such a huge part of my gaming history and remain vital in my numerous campaigns currently.

      I've spent part of the afternoon gathering the various PDFs & buying the print discounts from the KS campaign offered so far - both maps (CSOI, WoHF) and Wilderlands of High Fantasy, Revised Guidebook from RPGNow. That's right, I'm happily still contributing financially to this project.

      Not only will I continue to support the cause, I'll double down here:

      I run a small indie-RPG Fulfillment company with numerous clients (including Burning Wheel, Dungeon World, Mouse Guard RPG, Torchbearer RPG, Gygax Magazine, Misspent Youth, Tenra Bansho Zero RPG, Stormlord Publishing, etc.).

      I am willing to lend my warehouse/fulfillment services to this Kickstarter FOR FREE in any way that Bob Bledsaw II deems fit.

      If it should help the cause, I will happily not charge for storage of product nor labor for the fulfillment of this Kickstarter.

      Bob Bledsaw II, reach out directly if you're interested in discussing this further with me.
      -Andy Action
      andyactionmanagement at gmail dot com

    7. Clovis Kell on

      It is like fuel to the fire. I understand there are backers who ordered minis and want them. I would too. But the KS was for books not minis. So once again, making the same mistake a second time, and putting the minis first. Ship them with what little cash is on hand and then wait for more cash to ship more minis. Can we get the book done and ship the minis with the book? That sure would be much cheaper on shipping.

    8. Michel Godbout on

      This KS was for a book. Not for figs, not for maps. Little effort was put in the former and a lot on the latter.

      So it's not Bob 2's fault. I accept is explanation, his appology, but I am still pissed to no end.

      I don't see myself paying 3rd parties for JG reprints so that money can be diverted into this project however..... Will have to think about it. I know FGG wants to reboot Tegel. This will be a big task because they will need to really WOW me to entice me to pledge on that....

    9. Jeff Vandine

      Honestly, I have to wonder if I'll ever see the actual CSIO books and maps now, but who knows, maybe Bob II will come through for us. I'll suspend judgement for now.

      In the meantime, I really want to thank Rob Conley for going the extra mile (heck, extra 100 miles!) to start pumping out the Wilderlands maps and data blocks/books. I've already ordered my first set and can hardly wait to see the next one. Thank you Rob!!!

    10. Kevin Walsh on

      in response to Bill Owen: I will do this in memory of Bob Sr and Dave Sering, I only met Bob a couple of times, but gamed wih Dave a lot right up to a couple of days before he passed away

    11. Missing avatar


      Honestly, there are enough people who seem to be pitching in, I could care less about accountability at this stage and more about how do we get this finished. I am too far away to be of any real use in achieving that goal, but would like to ask the community at large to take a moment when they do start getting things in the mail and post about it for the rest of us. I was sucked into this by the promise of miniatures, something I was accumulating more of at the time, but the extras I have received with that thus far have been great and I would love to see more of it. It seems an assessment is underway, but once you have completed it, it would be nice to hear when some folks will be getting those things in the mail, even if they are one or two at a time as available funds and project completion permits. Once the stuff begins to flow, then the rest of us will know our turn is that much closer...

    12. Smeg on

      Without transparency and honesty, I am unable to support future JG products like Tegal Manor via FGG.

      How much of the layout was actually done?
      Where were the funds spent?
      I posted an analysis of the financial breakdown referenced by Bob 3 in January - in the main comments for this project.
      I can not have blind faith in JG right now, when I know their representative was lying to us just four short months ago.

    13. Clovis Kell on

      Yeah, too much lying and getting banned on this JG Facebook page by Bob 2. My trust of anything JG is zero. Let's see a draft. Where did the money really go? Want trust? You lost it. Earn it back and let's see something. How much are you expecting to make on FGGs Tegel Manor?

    14. Missing avatar

      Robert Conley Collaborator on

      As part of my conversation with Bob Bledsaw II on the CSIO map and Wilderlands map, I was aware of the upcoming changes. Which is why in addition the other things I talked earlier about, I made sure my files and data are available to Bob II to help with the kickstarter.

      I wish I can give more specifics but all I can say for now that this is another step to breaking the logjam that surrounds this kickstarter.

    15. Bill Owen on

      In my dealings (which have been limited really), Bob Jr. went beyond any reasonable expectation to find and fix an item that I had long forgotten about with regard to his dad's & my original partnership end (1978!) And this after his dad had died fairly recently (so 30 years later). I think this could obviously get caught up much faster.

      I have not a clue how Kickstarter works; my credit card for my pledge to this project was never charged. I realize that we all just wanted to see it *done* most of all.

      At this stage, we can spend a lot of time on recriminations and lessons learned. But if there were contractors who fell short, it's probably wise to not bring them up. Because Bob is no big shot magnate lighting cigars with $100 bills, instead I suggest working on solutions.

      This project was far beyond Bob Sr.'s vision and perhaps therein lies the difficulty—too big and too varied. Once when Bob Sr and I met for a game, he told me Guildmembers really wanted the "bumpy maps" and my having pestered the printers to look behind file cabinets for plates or negatives several times, I realized that wasn't going to bear fruit. I proposed he and I working "non-stop" for 72 hours redrawing the maps, although that would have included some sleeping shifts since I only had one Mac at the travel agency. But our relationship was still a bit "charmed" that I would have done it for him, but he wouldn't let me help him... I think he felt it all seemed too big.

      I recommend giving Bob a chance to focus on fixing rather than itemizing the guilty parties (even if done "anonymously") which I don't think is his nature. Because even stated anonymously, people would figure out Who did What with the Lead Pipe and we don't need defamation of character lawsuits to derail this. My advice now: let's not make this "too big".

      I trust him completely and the disappointment over being let down (and letting down others) has already been excruciating. Yet he was never a maniacal gamer like his Dad and I so give him a chance to take it one step at a time.

      PS Kevin's offer is fantastic... to help. Really that was the core of Judges Guild, the Guildmembers' submissions. While I'd offer too, I also realize that my knowledge in fantasy is way out of date.

    16. Kevin Walsh on

      I have also offered to help with getting things out, my specialty tends more towards packaging/shipping/receiving, but I will lend a hand as needed, and am only an hour away

    17. Orin Mayer on

      I agree with Churchill on all regards, particularly the truth of the situation. I also think a realistic idea on what will be possible to accomplish to final production and what will not be possible. That would give many backers peace of mind and what to expect at the end.

    18. Missing avatar

      Doug Rector on

      Hey at least he is talking unlike some that just take the money and run. I gave up on this ages ago so if it comes to pass I will be happy.

    19. Kevin Walsh on

      I cant speak to this e-mail specifically, but I did talk to Bob 2 in person at Heroicon a week ago, we did not discuss the kickstarter. more trading stories about Dave Sering and an interesting tidbit about the paper the original maps were printed on

    20. Chris Perkins on

      Thank you for stepping in and working to correct this. Your doing so has already restored whatever faith I had lost in JG due to this project's prior mismanagement.

    21. Missing avatar

      Brad Hakala

      Thanks for the update. I'm looking forward to seeing this project finished up.

    22. Michael Anderson

      Bob II, I have a question? Since funds were mismanaged and I had added additional monies after the kickstarter ended for the full set of minis will i ever receive them? Was I ever even credited with buying them ? In the end IF this ever gets released I am not sure I can buy another judges guild product again due to the mismanagement of this. I have been a fan since I first discovered the wilderlands in 1979. I have most of the products published and its tough to have never completed my Lage map. Somehow make me a believer again. Oh a side note. it would be nice to see OD&D Stats/Swords and Wizardry or even 5E stats.

    23. Nick J. on

      Thank you for the Update Bob. I'll echo Churchill's comments below; some kind of estimate would be appreciated.

    24. Jeffrey Wienstock

      When will this project be done? When can we expect to see our rewards. We have heard more excuses and changes but there does not appear to be an end in sight. I would be happy to take a refund.

    25. Erik Luken on

      In reply to bstern, I talked to Bob II the weekend of May 5th. He told me some of this at that time, so I would say, yes, this is Bob II posting this.

      As to the update itself, JG and the City State in particular form part of the basis of my early gaming. I am looking forward to this regardless of how delayed it has been.

    26. Steel_Wind on

      This is welcomed, though long past overdue.

      My goodwill is low, my skepticism high. I am, however, still listening, At this point, that's progress.

    27. Missing avatar

      bstern on

      I also agree with Churchill. Show us a draft, watermarked however you see fit, and an explanation of the funds, no matter how mismanaged they were. We've been waiting years for this, so it will take an extraordinary effort to show us that you're serious.

      In fact, if someone who knows Bob 2 personally (Bill Owen, Jennell Jaquays, Rob Conley, Bill Webb) has a way to contact Bob 2 offline, can any of you confirm that it's really Bob 2 who posted this,and not Bob 3?

    28. Scott McClenaghan on

      Thank you for this candid update. The tone and substance of your update alone give me some faith in the work, so thank you.

    29. Wayne Tripp on

      I completely agree with Churchill's comments. That would go a long, long way towards making lemonade out of these lemons. Good luck! I hope to see JG restored to its former glory!

    30. Jennell Jaquays

      I'm glad to see you taking this over. I've long since received the miniatures premium that I backed the KS for (thank you for that). But I know it must be frustrating for your backers of printed material, and for you as well to see how this is impacting the reputation of your legacy.

    31. Thom Ryng on

      I echo the comments of Churchill, below. Give it to us straight.

    32. Peter Sotos on

      Thanks for the update Bob Sr!

    33. George Fields on

      Will Bat in the Attic Games still be publishing these items on DriveThru/RPGNow?

    34. Churchill

      A few things you can do to regain confidence in your backers and put the torches and pitchforks away:

      1. Give us a draft of the book. Call it draft, give us something. label it DRAFT. This at least gets us somewhere

      2. Where is the book in the process of being laid out? Give us a brutal status of the book. How much longer are we looking at. Give us some timelines here, make them pessimistic.

      3. A full accounting and standing of where the money went would be a cathartic experience for your backers, fans, and the public at large. Be brutal, be honest, be bold, it will at least show us what happened.

      4. Be the Judge's Guild you once were. That's all we want in the end. We miss those days and we are angry and bitter with the way we were treated. Make us believers again Bob.

      Thank you,

      LifeLong JGG Fan

    35. George Fields on

      Thanks for the update, Bob II. I look forward to things coming to fruition. :)

    36. Sean Fahey

      I won't spend another cent on a JG product, no matter who publishes it. BBII, you got involved far too late. All the goodwill and nostalgia I had for JG products from my youth is now toxic.

    37. Darren

      After four years it’s unfortunate that even a post from you doesn’t sway my pessimism. Is there any type of draft pdf that may help convince backers that the project might see completion