Norðlond Sagas Update: Layout, Art, Maps, and more

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Funding Progress

Welcome to Monday! As we close in on the first two weeks of the Nordlond Sagas campaign, we’re sitting at a bit more than $19K: just shy of 130% funding! If we happen to double this by the end of the journey . . . I’ll be well pleased. Heck, the “record” Dungeon Fantasy RPG project for me is $26,000 . . . and the BackerTracker seems to suggest that we will surpass $30K, and between those following the campaign and those actually pledged, we have enough to hit $40K, though that is “irrational exuberance” at work: it assumes that all 350 folks following the campaign but not yet pledged jump in at the end. Even so we’re poised to conquer the previous best campaign in funds, and on track with number of backers as well!

I’m super glad that the addition of Hand of Asgard  was popular enough that hundreds of backers upped your pledge for the book. That is one of the things that has brought the project trajectory to such a good place.

Layout and Production Progress

I had a very productive weekend. I received a full manuscript for Norðlondr Fólk late last week, and put it into layout during a long day Saturday. By the time I had company arrive just after 5:30pm, it was basically complete.

Here’s a shot of the title page, and the brief introduction followed by one of the templates. With only a 16-page book, I can’t give too many previews without spoiling the whole thing, but here’s at least the title page, and one preview spread.

Things not yet done? I want to find a compelling border for the white space in the book surrounding the parchment background. I think I want to fade that parchment a bit to make it less dark, for readability. I need to do a proofing pass – there’s always something that’s missed, and there are some spacing issues with some of the boxes. Kevin put every single word he could in there (go him!), and we got it to fit (go me!), but the plan of one quarter-page image, neatly put in front of each entry, did not survive contact with reality. I do have 14 art spaces, and only Half-Orcs and Half-Ogres get short shrift: they’re not properly of Norðlond anyway, so no big loss.

I’ve forwarded the full PDF to the artist chosen: Ksenia Kozhevnikova. I really liked some of her prior work on Norðvörn and my TFT project, so I chose her to illustrate the entire book. She’s already sent me some thoughts on novel ways to capture things that I really look forward to seeing.

I still need to provide art direction to her more formally . . . but since Kevin did a nice job about describing the look of each entry, Ksenia could potentially just go with that. That’s not me doing my job, though, so . . . art direction it is!

Map Progress

One of the add-ons is a larger-scale version that shows the lay of the land from as far west as Isfjall to Akkerisborg by the sea. Glynn Seal is working that as we speak, and he sent me a work-in-progress image. It’s still early, clearly, but you can see the scope of land we’re talking about.

I’m still working on an intermediate delivery option. The heavy cardstock large map won’t fold; more properly, you don’t want me to fold it, as it’s as heavy as a good business card and it’ll crease. A poster-sized large map that WILL fold, on something like 100# paper, might be a good intermediate. I just need to secure a US and “not the US” printing option and then we’ll see. But I like where this is going!

Next Steps

So, after this, I will turn my hand to the other three books. I need to provide and write some setting details for Kyle and Merlin for their books, which are closing in on wordcount nicely, and then turn my hand to editing and layout. Meanwhile, Hand of Asgard will get Kevin’s attention. You’ve seen the preview page for that already:

So in essence, the “lather, rinse, repeat” part of the layout is already done. At this point, it’s really just about minor tweaks, and getting each thing to fit.

I also spent a bit of time this weekend working on those long-delayed shields and swords from a prior project. The shield are completely done; I have to do a final sanding pass on the swords and put cross-pieces on them. I already know what I’m doing with those, so it’s really a matter of a few days before they are ready to go into the mail.

I haven’t added these as items to be commissioned as part of the project . . . but I could, if there’s interest. Since it’s not the dead of winter and I’m not in the middle of a house move . . . things would go much faster.

That’s where things stand!

If you want to help the campaign, please re-share the link, talk about the project, or comment on one of the RPG forums. Folks talking about other people’s work is usually encouraged by such channels, whereas project creators advertising their own things is frowned upon (for good reason, in many cases).

Thanks! I’m really pleased with where the campaign is going, and I can’t wait to get the new books to you guys!

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