Citadel Foreword (by Sean Punch)

Citadel Foreword (by Sean Punch)

As with Hall of Judgment, I asked if Steve Jackson Games would like to contribute a Foreword to introduce the book. Within the hour, I had a remarkable piece by Sean, which I inserted into the layout.

Here it is in text form. I have the Citadel Foreword by Sean 2 as well.


By Sean Punch

For those who missed the Hall of Judgment foreword: Hi, I’m the designer of Steve Jackson Games’ Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying GameGaming Ballistic has invited me back to write a few words about The Citadel at Norðvorn, which I find exciting for several reasons.

The Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game Kickstarter campaign was funded in less than three weeks (September 1-17, 2016)—a success by most measures.

Still, the RPG market is flooded nowadays, with new products pushing old ones off shelves in mere weeks, too. Success is hard to sustain. In our case, post- Kickstarter sales weren’t strong enough to justify more in-house support for the game.

Fortunately for us, Douglas Cole—hajarl of Gaming Ballistic—wanted to take up the quarrel (jarls love quarrels). He proposed adapting Lost Hall of Tyr as Hall of Judgment for the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game, and that Kickstarter campaign was fully funded in 11.5 hours on June 19, 2018.

That’s a success even by exacting standards!  On the heels of that success, Doug came back to SJ Games and asked if we’d be interested in seeing him publish more support. He and I started an informal discussion on July 25, 2018. That heated up over the summer and eventually involved Alain Dawson, Director of Licensing; Phil Reed, CEO; and Steve Jackson, Hajarl (okay, “President and Editor-in-Chief”).

It took considerable number-crunching and soulsearching, but Doug’s figures and answers finally convinced us: On October 16, 2018, SJ Games issued Gaming Ballistic a license to publish three Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game supplements, The Citadel at Norðvorn being the first. We’ve since signed off on a smaller item in addition to these.

Now we watch and wait. If this supplement and the two that follow do well, we’re likely to extend Doug’s license further. I won’t claim the sky’s the limit, mostly because it isn’t my place to commit Doug’s time. That said, if the lean operation that is Gaming Ballistic can support a product from SJ Games—which is larger and more diversified, with the overhead that implies—we might just have a winning formula.

But there’s more to it than that.

For one thing, thanks to the success of Hall of JudgmentSJ Games has decided to reexamine supporting the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game in house. I’m writing this in February 2019, and in March, we’ll be launching a Kickstarter for a reprint of the game along with the release of a second collection of monsters, Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2. If you’re reading this in the future, you’ll know how that went… but all I can do right now is cast the runes. Still, if our Kickstarter and The Citadel at Norðvorn both fly, you can expect more releases across the board.

For another, Doug has done me an honor: He tells me that a mini-setting of mine—GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown—was an inspiration for how to present a town in RPG writing. In his words, it’s like a checklist for everything you have to include if you want the place to be not just interesting color but also useful in a game with real players who want to do really crazy stuff. It inspired not the locations in Hall of Judgment and The Citadel at Norðvorn, but how they were presented. Your support of those works is a big vote of confidence for me, personally.

But this is Doug’s party, not mine, so I’ll get back on message: Thank you Doug and thank you Doug’s customers! The continued backing of Gaming Ballistic’s projects is a fantastic vote of support for the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game.

Sean Punch, GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games February 14, 2019

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