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Robotech® RPG Tactics™ is a fast paced strategy battle game that expands on the popular Palladium role playing game.
Robotech® RPG Tactics™ is a fast paced strategy battle game that expands on the popular Palladium role playing game.
5,342 backers pledged $1,442,312 to help bring this project to life.

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Going Forward

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The past days, and everything that has unfolded, have really taken me and many others aback, and I have taken some serious time to consider what my next post should entail. Unlike some of my previous posts that I have shared with everyone regarding everything that has transpired, I will keep this one more brief and to the point for clarity’s sake.

First and foremost, Palladium Books thanks everyone (family, friends, freelancers, backers, retailers, game developers, etc.) who has extended their sincere words of support to Carmen and his family. Palladium is passing such positive encouragement on to him and his family, and they appreciate all the support. Carmen is recovering, and we are continuing to keep him and his family in our prayers. I will post updates regarding Carmen's health and recovery within the Palladium Books Weekly Update for those who are sincerely concerned about his well-being.

We also understand that there are some backers who are extremely frustrated and/or disappointed with Palladium Books regarding the delays of RRT, but let’s please put certain things into proper perspective, as we are talking about a life in comparison to a game. Some backers have emailed us and shared some very personal things that have touched our hearts and that we were happy to pass on to Carmen. However, there are “some” people (NOT all) who, no matter the reason or issue, feel the necessity to “express” themselves in such a manner that is really uncalled for in the full spectrum of everything else. Please consider the life or lives that you talk about and how well you do or do NOT know them, before you judge them. Everyone is different, and everyone does not think nor react the same way you might. We don't always know what someone else is going through or contending with.

Second, I want to be clear to everyone that I'm not accusing nor lumping EVERY backer in with the vitriol and disrespectful communications that have transpired on these comment pages or other forums. Please understand that was never my intention. There are a huge majority of backers who have conducted themselves in a very civil and respectful manner. Even with the frustrating, disappointing delays and setbacks with Wave Two rewards, we are thankful for the respect, sincere, constructive inquiries, and understanding and communication you have shared with us. We thank you for such conduct and appreciate your support. Palladium has not given up on RRT, despite what some people might speculate. We are seeking quotes from manufacturers for the array of Wave Two rewards, as we continue to develop and then fulfill the Kickstarter that everyone has pledged to see come to fruition.

We also understand that this has not been a walk in the park for anyone. Not you, not us. Far from it, and there is frustration and disappointment on both sides of the fence, but we do want to see RRT fulfilled, and that continues to be our goal until it is completed and shipped to you. As mentioned before, but I feel compelled to reiterate it here – we are trying to make improvements and headway on Wave Two rewards, via reduced part counts for easier assembly, reduced seams and better sprue layouts. This is happening right now, as we compare quotes utilizing new manufacturing approaches and technologies in the production processes to help attain what we are seeking, while preserving the high detail and quality.

With Wave Two rewards having so many unique unit designs to be broken down and quoted, and with Essen Spiel (one of the largest gaming/miniatures conventions in Europe that is visited by many miniature manufacturers - just transpired in October) and the Chinese New Year over, we are hoping the congested pipeline for quotes will move much faster now.

Once we have the quotes, we can then decide which manufacturer(s) to move forward with. Unfortunately, this process does not yield visual results that can be publicly displayed.

However, once the tooling, mold making and sprue process begins, we will be glad to post pictures and more. In the meantime, we do have some major plans in development for the relaunch of RRT and for those who looking to be a serious part of it, we gladly welcome your support. Please look for future posts for those seeking to help with the RRT relaunch.

Thank you,

Kevin Siembieda

President, Palladium Books

 

 

A terrible day

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In recent weeks, game designer Carmen Bellaire began talking online about the Rifts® board game he has been developing under license. His planned upcoming Kickstarter will launch it and his own company.

On Friday morning he came here, to the RRT Kickstarter comments pages, and made what he had intended to be a post to drum up support from backers of our Robotech® RPG Tactics™ Kickstarter project. It didn’t go well, to say the least.

Carmen’s awkward words might have seemed out of context and harsh. They were fueled by comments and accusations people had been directing at him here and elsewhere for a while now. Somehow, he thought he was helping by coming here to speak to people directly.

I don’t know why Carmen Bellaire said what he said, in the way that he did. I know he has been pushing himself much too hard, and was emotionally drained and physically exhausted when he made those posts. That might explain some of it. He can also be the proverbial bull in the china shop, and has a bad habit of not choosing his words carefully. A lot of his comments and observations about Robotech® RPG Tactics and Palladium Books were from an outsider’s perspective, and often incorrect or not clearly presented. Carmen’s viewpoint, like many of yours, is that of a concerned outsider looking in.

He had not been around Palladium Books much the past 3-4 years, because he was busy creating games for his own fledgling company, Rogue Heroes LLC, which he has hopes to launch in spectacular fashion with the Rifts® Board Game as his first release. This would be done via a Kickstarter campaign in April, 2017. In addition to this endeavor, Carmen works a full-time, 9-5 job, as well as doing freelance game design for Upper Deck. A lot of work for Upper Deck. It is my understanding that the many games he has designed for that company have yet to see release, but they have been keeping him busy and several are in the pipeline for release. Doing board games right takes time. I’ve learned that the hard way. Carmen is also doing work for at least two other game companies under a veil of secrecy. He cannot speak about them or identify the companies due to NDAs and the wishes of those companies. I’m not even sure if I’m supposed to mention Upper Deck. I have been doing so rather shamelessly, because I’m very proud of my friend Carmen, and I figured the folks at Upper Deck will be okay with it coming from me.

Carmen is a passionate person who feels things deeply. He has a heart of gold and a truly brilliant mind for games. The launch of Rogue Heroes LLC and the Rifts® Board Game is the culmination of his lifelong dream and a five or six year journey to make that dream a reality. He has made a lot of sacrifices, invested a lot of money, and worked his tail off to get here. He was excited beyond measure as he prepared to launch his Kickstarter for the game. And if it panned out, he had big plans for the future.

Carmen and I have not talked about him “fixing” Wave Two, as he put it. We at Palladium, and many others, believe the RRT rules are solid. That while they could use some clarification, expansion and tweaking, they are really quite excellent and damn fun to play. What Carmen and I have talked about is Carmen’s hope and dream that if the Rifts® Board Game Kickstarter is a big success, he can quit his 9-5 job and dedicate himself exclusively to creating games. It is a lifelong dream I have heard about since the first day I met Carmen 12, 15 years ago. A dream he saw finally becoming a reality. A dream he has put his heart and soul into making come true. So no, Rogue Heroes, LLC is not a front or shell company for Palladium Books, as some have suggested; it is 100% Carmen Bellaire.

His terrible opening post and further discussion about Robotech® RPG Tactics™ and Wave Two on the RRT Kickstarter board was fueled by his passion and hopes. If the Rifts® board game was a big success, and he really could quit his 9-5 job, he planned to help Palladium get RRT back on track, doing whatever he could to help. Carmen has all kinds of ideas for advanced RRT rules, new factions and new waves of product that we would love to see happen. But for the moment, he was still buried with other work commitments and needed to stay focused on the Rifts® board game and its Kickstarter. 

What Carmen was trying to say and why

Carmen didn’t intend to challenge, threaten or blackmail anyone for support of his impending Rifts® board game Kickstarter. He was, in his own lame and awkward way, trying to say that his success with it would be good for the future of RRT, because he could be more involved and hopefully help make things happen faster in the future. He was trying to say, please don’t undermine his Rifts® Board Game Kickstarter, because his success would actually help RRT in the long run.

I know this is what he meant, because he called me Friday, early afternoon, very upset by the reaction of some people on the RRT boards. He apologized to me over and over again for upsetting people and fueling the vitriol when all he was trying to do was help. Help me. Help his upcoming Kickstarter. Help the fans. Help his family. Help everyone. And doing it by creating a fun Rifts® board game to be followed by many other games from his company, not just based on Palladium’s I.P., but many of his own brilliant ideas.

I understand why people are upset about RRT. What I cannot understand is the absolute hate and bloodlust of some, to destroy us, when we are trying to deliver the game they backed. Even more puzzling is attacking and destroying anyone who is affiliated with Palladium even in the slightest way, and shouting down and condemning others who don’t agree with their point of view.

What you need to know

Carmen Bellaire has put his heart and soul, and every dime he has, into the creation of HIS company, Rogue Heroes LLC, and HIS Rifts® board game. I say “his” Rifts® game because while it is Palladium’s I.P., it is ALL Carmen’s genius, money and blood, sweat and tears.

Vicious words of hate shocked and overwhelmed him. 

Twisting the truth and twisting his, admittedly poorly chosen words, cut him to pieces. Carmen was never an employee of Palladium. He was a freelancer who worked off site, like all of our freelancers. He submitted the occasional book or contribution to a product like RRT. Carmen has never deliberately held back from making RRT great. Carmen was not trying to blackmail you to support his game. All he wanted to do was help, and he saw the Rift® board game as his way to start doing that. He wanted you to understand this. That your support for his Kickstarter – or at least not trying to undermine it – would enable him to help you and RRT, because he would finally have the time to devote to it, if he could quit his day job. He even shared his dream of being able to do a lot more work on RRT, Wave Two and future RRT releases, among other things. Carmen had a lot of big dreams and good intentions. 

Crushed and shell-shocked by your heated words and promises to do everything in your power to ruin his Kickstarter, Carmen’s dreams were shattered. And why? Because he was friends with Kevin Siembieda and had done freelance work for Palladium Books off and on over the years.

He took your words to heart. Carmen believed you hated him. Believed you would work to destroy everything he had spent years building for himself, his family and for you. 

In a telephone call on Friday, he had told me he had never experienced this kind of hate and venom. He was clearly reeling from it. He said it was beyond anything he could imagine. He apologized, saying that all he wanted to do was help. Instead he had ruined everything.

A short time later, at 2:07 PM, Friday afternoon, Carmen emailed me to say how much I have meant to him. That he was sorry he ruined everything by posting on the RRT board and stirring up unfathomable hate. He felt there was no way to undo the damage he had done. That he had ruined any chance for a successful Rifts board game Kickstarter and the launch of his company. That he had let his family down and every single person who was working so hard to make the Rifts board game and his company a reality. “I can’t take it, man ... I am so so so sorry. Good bye.”

Carmen tried to kill himself moments later.

It is only by the grace of God that his wife, a nurse, entered the room in time, that Carmen is alive. He is in the hospital, but in a bad way. He is a mess. The fate of the board game, his company, his dreams ... and most importantly, his life, are unknown. His family and all of us who know and love him are still in shock and praying to God that he will be okay.

Words can kill

On Friday, words on this board – cruel, vicious, condemning words – successfully crushed a man’s hopes and dreams and sent him spiraling into despair. Those words pushed him to the point of trying to take his own life. I would hate to think anyone may take pride in that. 

I’m posting this, with the permission of Carmen’s family, because you need to know that words of hate, spite, cruelty and intolerance, pushed a good man – a husband – a father – a friend – to attempt suicide on Friday. A simple gaming geek like every one of us, Carmen worked hard to support his family, found joy in gaming, and dared to pour his heart into making his dream come true for the betterment of everyone.

Please realize that your words and tone may hurt another person as much as a bullet to the heart. Please, try to stop and think about what you say. Remember that human beings are fragile creatures. Try to find compassion and support for others, not tear them down. Try not to assume the worst or cast your assumptions and accusations against someone who does not deserve them. Not everyone is a bad guy. Not everyone is an enemy to be hated, attacked and ridiculed. Words matter. Lives matter. Kindness and tolerance matter. Perhaps more than ever before.

A friend asked me if Carmen will be okay. We don’t know. Carmen will be in the hospital for a while. We don’t know for how long. We don’t know if he will ever be the same. We don’t know whether he’ll return to game design and try to launch his company or the Rifts® board game in which he has invested everything. If not, that’s a tragedy of another sort, because Carmen has so much to offer. Before his suicide attempt, Carmen regarded game design as pure joy and tackled it with a childlike sense of wonder. All he wanted to do was to make games. After this, I don’t know. 

I’m afraid this is not my most eloquent post. I am still shaken. I’m scared for him. Terrified. And saddened beyond words.

Please pray for Carmen’s swift recovery, emotionally and physically, and that Carmen is able to find the strength to once again follow his dreams and dare to try to make them come true. I want that not just for Carmen, but because he has a treasure trove of wonderful games locked in his imagination waiting to come out. Games that will bring joy and laughter to all of us.

I hope and pray there is a happy ending coming. Our love to Carmen and his family. 

Kevin Siembieda

President, Palladium Books

Robotech® RPG Tactics™ – 2017 release

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I know it has taken a very long time to fulfill this Kickstarter, and for that I am very sorry. More sorry than some of you may be able to imagine. But we are dedicated to getting Wave 2 done and in your hands by the end of 2017. Not only that, but we want to make it amazing. Our Kickstarter backers and fans have waited so long for RRT Wave 2, that if we can make improvements we want to do so. We have been frustrated by many aspects of production that clash with what we know would make a superior product. Moreover, we want to offer organized play support, scenario books, and the next several Waves of RRT products. We have never given up on our dream to make Robotech® RPG Tactics™ amazing.

We are working on something exciting right now that, if it pans out, could change everything and help us bring you RRT Wave Two by the end of 2017. We want to bring Robotech® to life on the table top like never before, and we are working hard to make this happen.

We have not released details these many months because everything has been in motion, and still is. There have been times when we thought we had firm plans for moving forward, only to have something occur to change them – good or bad. Case in point, we had pretty much resigned ourselves to being unable to significantly lower the part count in the RRT game pieces. However, we are suddenly readdressing that as we explore new possibilities that have surfaced. In fact, I have spent most of the week on this very matter. We are working on all of this with the desire to bring you something great, not just crap it out to be done with it. We have big dreams for Robotech® on several fronts, and are trying to make them all happen. To that end we have had many positive and exciting conversations with Harmony Gold and other interested parties. I know it is a lot to ask, but please hang in there with us. We think we have something truly fun brewing.

On a smaller scale, Harmony Gold has approved our proposal and art concepts for the first RRT Scenario Book and our plans for the Ghost Fleet Saga™ series.

The RRT Macross® Saga Scenario Book One will present mission scenarios based on the first half of the Robotech® Macross® Saga era of the television show. That means many missions and battles that are part of the iconic events, characters and story of the Robotech® Macross® Saga. RRT Macross® Saga Scenario Book Two is already in development and will provide all the remaining chapters of the Robotech® Macross® Saga.

The Ghost Fleet Saga™ is expected to be a series of RPG adventure sourcebooks that will create new Robotech® RPG and RRT factions and settings to game in. The time period is the decade between the UEEF’s departure from Earth and their return in New Generation. This means the setting incorporates the mecha of several Robotech® eras (Macross® Saga, The Masters Saga, New Generation and the beginnings of Shadow technology). The UEEF uses the new (and dangerous) Shadow technology in covert operations against the Regent and his Invid and Inorganics, as well as space pirates and renegade Zentraedi. This series will offer a wide range of stories, new mecha and adventures in space and on alien worlds.

If you need to change/update your address in BackerKit, please send us a message through Kickstarter, or an email to kickstarter@palladiumbooks.com, and we’ll take care of it. A lot of people have been submitting address changes. Excellent! Please, keep those address changes coming in. Thank you.

– Kevin Siembieda

Wave Two Cards on DriveThruRPG

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Hey, guys. It’s Wayne. Sorry for the long silence. Here’s what’s been going on:

1. Wave Two cards on DriveThruRPG.com. For the last two weeks, and for the next several weeks, I’m posting all cards for Robotech® RPG Tactics™ as free PDFs on DriveThruRPG.com. They’re going up at a rate of two per day, starting with cards from Wave Two. Once those are done, I’ll put all the Wave One cards up there as well. This is to help you guys plan your armies and test changes you’re thinking about, as well as test strategies with game pieces you’re considering adding to your collection.

In the next month or so, I’ll also begin putting Print On Demand versions of the cards up there. I’ll start with the Stat and Character cards, because those are standard US Poker size, which is one of DriveThru’s POD card size options. As for the large (Core Force/Squadron) and small (Support/Special) cards, I’m going to have to redesign those to fit DriveThru’s available POD formats, so they’ll take longer.

2. Talking to manufacturers. We’re currently waiting on a quote from one manufacturer, and talking to another about the possibility of producing Wave Two. We’re determined to reduce the part count dramatically if at all possible, and that has been a focus of our search for the manufacturer who can create the highest quality product.

3. RRT scenario books. Some of you may have seen a mock-up of a Robotech® RPG Tactics™ scenario book at our booth at Gen Con. We have a few different supporting products like that in the works, in an effort to help round out and support the game before and after Wave Two finally comes out.

That’s all the news I have to share today. Remember, for more frequent, minor updates, watch our Weekly Update mailings, also posted on our website, www.palladiumbooks.com. Whenever there are major announcements or significant developments, I will of course post them here.

Regrouping, Wave 2 and Beyond

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We apologize for the 3 months of MIA, as we have been working on multiple productions under the Palladium Books umbrella, plus contending with the process of a recovery after an accident. Regarding Robotech® RPG Tactics™, we have been focused on three main areas.

1. Wave Two Rewards – This is and will remain our first and primary objective with RRT. It has been painstakingly slower than what we ever expected. As mentioned before, we are seeking to make improvements on Wave Two rewards based on your input and what we have learned with Wave One. This includes reduced part count, reduction of seams and better sprue layouts. However, there are many Wave Two figures that have to be reevaluated and quoted by various manufacturers. They have to review each figure, devise ideal part reductions and mold compositions. This process takes considerable time, and is even longer when there is already a pipeline of projects to be quoted ahead of ours.

There are also new manufacturing possibilities that we have reviewed and are looking into or awaiting responses from, that may, hopefully, enable us to provide you with the improvements mentioned above. Again, obtaining quotes and unit breakdowns is part of the waiting process. Unfortunately, none of the waiting yields visual results that we can share at this time, until we know for certain that all of our ducks are lined up and in a row to go into the next phase of production and fulfillment.

2. RRT Relaunch & Support – We have received excellent suggestions, help and support from numerous RRT backers, event planners, avid wargamers, and Megaversal Ambassadors for in-depth insight, suggestions and ideas on how we can best relaunch Robotech® RPG Tactics™ and provide the support you want. And we intend to tap into many more people for their help and feedback, so keep ‘em coming. There are some wonderful plans developing on how to implement some entertaining options for organized game play, RRT community development and much more. Thank you all tremendously for such input and support, as it helps guide our steps to the potential that we all know RRT can still achieve. In the coming months, we plan to upload and release the RRT paper minis for Wave Two units, cards, rules, and other things we’ve talked about. (In fact, the Wave 2 Zentraedi paper game pieces are now available for free on DriveThruRPG.com, and UEDF will be up in a day or two.) As things continue to progress on the relaunch, we will also post the developments and updates accordingly.

3. Future RRT Products & Support – This applies to all aspects of RRT, from Wave Two fulfillment and beyond. There have been noteworthy discussions as we review ancillary products, event support and organization, and what needs to follow. With four generations of Robotech®, there are several eras of mecha, characters and story we are excited about seeing produced. If everything goes well, we can see all these pieces of the puzzle fall into place. We are also looking for some new sculptors as we plan and move forward on future Robotech® projects. We've learned a lot from Wave One and want Wave Two and future Robotech® RPG Tactics™ products to go much smoother and faster.

In the immediate months after Gen Con we expect to be focusing a large amount of our efforts on moving Robotech RPG Tactics™ and Robotech® forward. Please understand, the fulfillment of Wave Two rewards is extremely important to us and we simply want to try our very best to provide the best game pieces and gaming experience that the RRT backers deserve. We appreciate all of your support, ideas and patience, and we sincerely apologize for these delays. You’ll start to see more happening soon.

Best Regards,
Palladium Books