Thursday, May 1, 2014

Let's Go Down he Rabbit Hole, Part II

So we established in our first installment that according to the Dark Phoenix Publishing product page on their Wikia, all of the things were playtested in 1999. We also established that, by his own admission, he didn't seriously start exploring rpgs until 2000 and that Vampire: Undeath was not given a mewling, virgin birth until 2005.

Don't worry, I haven't missed the other gold nuggets in here...that's for another time...
In essence, the claim is that his material predates NWoD and Vampire: Requiem, and that White Wolf stole ideas from him. Of course he also says that Onyx Path using crowdfunding is sad. If somewhere along the lines of $2 million give or take total raised across all projects is sad, I don't want to think about what $50 raised - the amount of his last Kickstarter - equates to.

Especially when your books are worth $15 million - straight from a Nigerian bank to yours!
Also, apparently the root of his issue is that the big city White Wolf was pushing around small town publishers, taking their lunch money and making fun of them on the bus.

Getting back to the links, it's apparent that mentioning those long-dead Geocities pages is meant to somehow back his claims up. It's just convenient that what, exactly, was on those pages is completely gone. I mean, it's not like there's an archive of old Geocities pages around somewhere...

So, I donned my data delving hat (which looks suspiciously like an invisible hat) and waded into the stratigraphy of the ancient Internet. There's no way to reliably search the Internet Archive or sites like Oocities, ReoCities, and Geocities.ws without links, so finding those links was first up. Figuring that the mental energy that went into the coming up with the nom de guerre "Mykal Lakim" meant he used it widely (I mean, he even used it on DMCA takedown notices), I searched for variations of that name with different separators between "Mykal" and "Lakim". This led me to two possible links:
  • http://www.geocities.com/mykal_lakim/
  • http://www.geocities.com/dragons_eye_entertainment
The latter turned up zip in the archives, but the source reveals his link-spamming, shotgun approach to promotion was part of his marketing strategy from the very beginning.

I think not even the soul-cleansing sound of Scott Stapp can save me now
But on the former link I get a hit.

I would cut somebody to see that profile

It's a page for a Vampire: the Masquerade LARP.


So, the first and only verifiable evidence we have of anything Mykal Lakim did vampirically gaming related was the very thing that he says wasn't influential in writing his own game that is suspiciously like the game that he said he didn't base it off of but was obviously the game he started out with.

I am so disappointed that the "What White Wolf has to say about this site" link wasn't live
The conclusion I come up with is, in the very bluntest terms, Mykal Lakim is full of shit. Of course, pretty much everyone already knew that. This just proves it. He's more than willing to try to retroactively shore up one mountain of shit with another mountain of shit. From anecdotes and comments I've found and have been privy to, the best explanation as to why he'd want to continue shoveling so much shit is local vampire LARP drama in Indiana prompted a vampyr-wannabe to codify a bunch of house rules and try to be exactly like those big-city White Wolf folks with their ponytails and their penthouse apartments with private elevators that play Nine Inch Nails and their conspiracy to control Wikipedia (seriously, someone needs to make that into a roleplaying game). Because cargo-cult game design.

At least nobody can say he doesn't dream big.