I’ll send one of these out weekly on Monday. This will keep people informed but not become spam. So welcome to the first Monday Progress Update. Eventually this will include progress on other products as well.
Location Surveys for Shipping
We’ve got just shy of half the folks who have answered the location survey, which isn’t bad at all. The purpose of this three-question survey is to figure out the best way to get your books to you.
International shipping is a hot mess, and always has been. In all probability I’m going to be printing in the UK, Latvia, Korea, or China . . . all of which offer low/lower-cost shipping to “rest of world.”
My intent is to use the surveys to ask these vendors to hold back a box or two of books from the print run. Then either ship them themselves direct to you guys or to send them to a third party who will individually mail them out for me. That should save quite a bit of money on that.
So: please fill out the survey! There are only three questions; it should take you less than five minutes.
Editing and Writing
The next task at hand is editing. Vince and I are through Chapter 1-4 already, which included the Introduction, Core Concepts, Characters, and Equipment.
“Done” is a relative term. The next step here is to start laying out the book again with the new content included. Much of the new stuff – like the Runic Barbarian and the Skald – doesn’t plunk down at the end of the book. It’s right there in the middle. So it breaks the existing layout (that was expected) and I’ll have to do it again.
That’s fine. I learned a lot from the first go-around that should make the next one easier.
What’s left to do?
- Check the spells. New classes have new spells, new domains have new spells. I need to make sure that the spells on the lists are covered in the book.
- I want to give the equipment list a once-over. I’ve noted some WTF? moments that I’ll be addressing in the armor list, as well as some things like the fact that a proper one-handed sword isn’t on the list. We need a Type II or Type VII viking sword – a one-handed-only 1d8 slashing weapon. The longsword (versatile) is made in Brionnu and Arnulf, and will still be present.
- I need to re-analyze the Fighting Styles present in the book to ensure that they are uniformly good. Eric Diaz and I have been working in the background on a bit of a “universal fighting style” concept. It’s a list of things to pick from when choosing styles. I want to apply that here. Mostly, the styles won’t change much, but there will be adjustments where “oh, you get +2 to hit with bows” isn’t enough, or is too much.
- I need to hack down the combat rules, as promised, for the Berserker levels.
- I need to take the selected alternate rules – shields, others. Also a nifty alternate encumbrance/DEX bonus scheme that Eric and I are working on. These need to get plunked into a layout
- Work with Michael to improve the 5e-based character sheet into a proper Dragon Heresy one
- I have quite a few “Identify Fiend or Foe” entries to write for monsters.
- Need to write simple rules for flyting; the social standing concept is already in
- I need to start working on the front matter and other things. Table of Contents. Title Page. Backer Page (I can do that now!). space for the Index, space for the glossary and pronunciation guide.
I’ll be keeping an eye on total page count. The offset print run more or less means we MUST hit 256 or 272 pages. If we wind up at 264 or something, I’ll pull extra content into the book.
Printing and PDF Finalization
I’m sending out final quote requests this week. I’ve got one more bid I want to request, and the rest is just finally asking for exactly what I want. This isn’t urgent, as I won’t be sending out the final PDF for a bit.
Speaking of final PDF, just to reiterate how this is going to time out
Somewhere between May 11 and May 16, funds from KS will hit my account. That day, I will send out the Berserker PDFs and the PDF for the full game. It may not be *entirely* complete, but it will be everything that Vince, Michael, Christopher, and I have been able to do by then. It is already a playable game; I just want to send you the most advanced copy I can.
These two copies will go out in Backerkit.
Please read them, play them, comment on them. That comment period will go for 2-4 weeks. The more review we get from folks for things like typos, and definitely for things like layout errors, the fewer errors that will be in the print copies. There are almost always some, but zero is the right goal. Also questions on clarity.
By this point (June 1-15 or so), the layout will be mostly finalized, so “hey, add this!” or “hey, change that!” Can only be accommodated if it doesn’t reflow the document.
Once we finalize the PDF with your errata and comments and final art insertion, we’ll hyperlink, layer, and spool the document, and send it to the printer. I have budgeted for new art and the commissioning of such is not critical path.
That should be in June sometime. It means between mid-to-late June and the end of July (the commit date), you’ll get your final PDF.
Most printers run on about a 12-week cycle, and then shipping can take 1-4 weeks from there (more to the far-flung, like Australia and New Zealand). But that means that copies of the book should be hitting my driveway in September, and then out to you backers in October.
This is the most ambitious project I’ve done, and hiccups could still happen. But right now, there’s enough margin in the schedule that “on time” is entirely plausible. I’ve been early by 1-3 months for my prior two Kickstarters . . . I can still hope for that for the PDFs, but the offset print runs just take time.
Add-ons: an option
Just a quick thought here. If you’re going to add Dungeon Grappling, Lost Hall of Tyr, or (yay!) a Viking Shield, consider simply ordering them in the Gaming Ballistic store if you’re in the USA.
You’ll get your products much faster, and the final tally and goals is not impacted now that the KS is done.
This is especially true for the Viking shields – a few have indicated you might get these. It will be FAR easier for me to interact with you through email and my website for that, and the sooner I can get your specs, the better. Each shield is individually crafted . . . but there are many steps where it’s easier to do several at once.