Monday Update: Hall of Judgment Week 1

As always, I try and post an update summarizing current progress on the Hall of Judgment Kickstarter and what’s to come each Monday.

Campaign Progress

I can’t put it any other way but to say that the Hall of Judgment campaign has exceeded my expectations and is rapidly closing in on my hopes as well. My “don’t be irrationally exuberant” math was “the usual number of folks for a Gaming Ballistic KS pledge 50-50 for print/pdf,” which would have been 250 backers and $5,000.

Well. Well, well, well.

You guys are speaking very loudly. This is one of the kinds of support you want for the product. The louder y’all speak on this and other places, the better the odds of doing more.

And I’d love to do more.

As of this update, we’re nearly at 300 backers (THIS! IS! DUNGEONfantasyrpg!) and have passed $8700. This is behaving very much like my other three KS, and frankly, is looking a LOT like the DFRPG KS in terms of rates. That carries with it implications for total number of backers and total funding rate that are . . . impressive.

Writing and Progress

Over the weekend I did a lot of work on the town of Isfjall. It’s currently sitting at about 6,400 words and will get a bit longer as I flesh out a few more sections, and I’ll be looking to do that tonight. I suspect that the section on Isfjall will wind up being in the neighborhood of 16 pages on a town that you can transplant to anywhere in any campaign that supports a vaguely viking-esque culture.

Why this much? Town is important in the DFRPG, and can serve as an important part of a campaign in more expansive Dungeon Fantasy or just GURPS Fantasy campaigns. While “Town” is geared to the needs of the DFRPG, the outline and model I’m using is the most excellent Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown.

Rest assured, though: once this is done (again: hopefully tonight) the next section is the wilderness journey. I’ve got a map for that already, so writing this section is really a matter of random encounter tables.

Finally, I’ve started to provide more art direction to Glynn, and that’s the other thing that needs to happen in the next 2-3 days. I’ve sent him notes on the “zoom-in” map of the area around the Hall itself, and now I need to give some direction on the three new encounter maps – basically small dungeons. I know what these have to be, and that will let him do maps and me write the encounters and challenges that will be faced within them. Two are easy; the third will take more thought but things are gelling well.

We also had two full-on blindtests of the Fantastic (Dungeon) Grappling rules. One by a group that didn’t typically use the GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling rules in any form, and another long-standing, long-running DF campaign that has been using a stripped down, suitable-for-DF version of TG for years to good success. I learned great things from both groups.

Then there are two more tasks: get the existing adventure edited and tweaked to fit the new map and layout, and then do the hardcore numerical conversion work for the adventure proper. This is both harder and easier than it sounds.

Form Factor

I ran a quick Google Forms poll on form factor and geography. The results thus far with 126 backers (roughly 42% in that survey alone) are running about 60-40 in favor of “make it fit in my DFRPG box!”

I have received POD and now digital larger-volume printing quotes for both 8.5×11 and 8×10 form factors, and prices per book for the quotes thus received are so close to each other in some cases that it’s literally pennies per book. So there’s no pricing justification either way. I don’t need to make the “real” decision until the manuscript is done and ready for layout, but unless things change radically I will look strongly at an 8×10 format.

Also: a full 30% of those answering the survey are from “not the US,” which influences my “where do I wish to print?” decision a lot; international shipping is so horrible that if I can use Royal Mail or Korean Post to fulfill those orders I want to do so, and the quantities involved are significant enough that I can explore a dedicated “not the US” run from out of the UK and still beat the DriveThruRPG prices, all while delivering 140gsm silk/matte paper instead of the more typical 105gsm from DriveThru.

No promises, but shipping is a painful part of these Kickstarters, and I try and be as open as possible about what options I’m considering. The higher the backer count for physical books, the better those options get for all of us.

GameHole Con

In a few of the comments, I mentioned that I was working to secure a table at GameHole con to try and host a game or two. Thanks to the SJG MiBs currently working that convention’s setup, I will be able to do so.

At 10am CST tomorrow (Tuesday June 26) I will open up 6 spots at a table. The game will be held on Friday November 9 from 4pm to 8pm. The $250 reward level will contain:

  • Space at the table for the game
  • A copy of every printed book Gaming Ballistic sells, including Hall of Judgment (it should be available by then no matter what the shipping route), plus PDFs on a USB stick
  • Credit in the book at the GameHole Con level (or some other appropriately-named tier)
  • You may also submit a pre-gen character as per the “A Thegn of Your Own” level

There will also be two spots at the table left open on a “first come, first served” basis. The level does NOT contain badges, transport, hotel, food (though I’ll share anything I have), t-shirts, pets, hats, or badge pins.

The Coming Week

I’ll be on Nerdarchy with Dave Friant this coming Friday at 11am Central. The chat window is lively and you can pass on questions.

I’m not flooding the zone with podcasts like I did with Dragon Heresy; I think folks (including me) got a bit burned out. But if there are any podcasts that cater to Not That Other Game (5e and the OSR) that would like to have me, I’ll gladly be on them.

If you want to ask me more immediate questions, you can always hit me up on the Gaming Ballistic Discord channel.

For the rest, it’s write-write-write plus more art notes to Glynn.

That’s enough! Thanks for all the support thus far, and please take the time this week to drop a few notes in your social media channels plugging the Kickstarter. Every time I think I’ve surely saturated the airwaves, I find someone I know plays the DFRPG or GURPS who reacts “Kickstarter? What Kickstarter?” and I have to be sad.

But then I go write a really lethal encounter that will make my fellow GMs smile, and that makes me feel better.

Good gaming!

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