$14,000!

As I woke up this morning, I saw that we are creeping up on 90% funding ($14,400) and have passed $14,000 in total funding. Excellent. Of course, I knew immediately why we saw that uptick . . . having been working with Phil and Steve for the last week or so to plan it. Here’s the announcement – taken right from the Decks of Destiny Update – of new collaborative goals for 4PJ.

Four Perilous Journeys Stretch Goals

Speaking of stretch goals to reveal, here are three new stretch goals that expand the Decks of Destiny project as the Four Perilous Journeys campaign attracts support.

  • Four Perilous Journeys – $16,000 – Rumors & Treasures – Four rumor cards added to the Rumors & Treasures subassembly, each based on one of the Four Perilous Journeys adventures.
  • Four Perilous Journeys – $20,000 – Adversaries – Four character cards added to the Adversaries subassembly, each based on one of the Four Perilous Journeys adventures.
  • Four Perilous Journeys – $25,000 – Rumors & Treasures – Four more rumor cards added to the Rumors & Treasures subassembly, each based on one of the Four Perilous Journeys adventures.

To unlock these stretch goals, visit and support the Four Perilous Journeys campaign today! These new cards, if unlocked, will provide you with hooks to the four adventures that may either be used to guide the player characters into one of the adventures or, if you wish, as the springboard to an adventure of your own design.

The Cards: Rumors, Monsters, and More

Each of the rumors, treasures, and creatures is tied to one of the four new adventures in some way. I’m taking care to ensure that each thing ties in with the adventures, while not requiring them. You might encounter an NPC or key player from Ironskull Castle, who’s off doing her own thing. Or catch a glimpse (or be brought face-to-face) with a monster from another . . . and learn important information that will help motivate a side-trip to the Citadel of Ice. And what are the undead Pirates doing here?

From $25,000 to $32,000

There’s plenty of room between the DoD stretch goal and the point where scale and demand drive an upgrade to a full offset print run (which would see extra copies on retail shelves, in distribution!). I’ve been looking into 1″ square tokens on 1.6 or 2.5mm stock, as well as custom card decks for easy tracking of all the critters in the adventures at the table.

If we pass $25,000 . . . these will get real, and fast.

20 Days to Go!

There’s still plenty of time left, and at current pace – unless you guys surprise me – we’re on track to fund next week. There are still 368 people following but not yet pledged to the campaign, a potential pool of $15,000 that sees us through all of the combined DoD stretch goals and likely into the zone where cards and tokens become a real possibility.

Thanks for coming with us this far . . . and I hope we knock down the new goals fast!

Check out Four Perilous Journeys and pledge today!

It’s well past time for a GURPSDay! The move was still disruptive, but we’re coming out the back end of it, I think. Now to sell the old house. That’ll be a load off.

But here you go. I went back three weeks this time, to catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some.

In news for Gaming Ballistic, Citadel at Nordvorn, Hall of Judgment, and Fantastic Dungeon Grappling files were all sent to the printer. I just spent time reviewing and correcting one pesky error in Nordvorn’s image rendering (fixed), and I have a lingering doubt on image quality on Fantastic Dungeon Grappling that might be nothing, but I want to make sure.

My new venture, Four Perilous Journeys, for The Fantasy Trip is over 80% funded, but it’s in the doldrums so things are slow; plus Decks of Destiny is doing so well it’s got lots of spotlight, so there’s that.

GURPSDay is in its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “Thursday is GURPSDay! Apr 26 to May 17, 2019”

Things are starting to wind down on Citadel. Shipping costs are not yet quantified, but everything else has more or less settled. When I posted my Hall of Judgment analysis, I cautioned that that profitability (and it was profitable, if not hugely) was a result of the book being a revision and expansion, not a “from nothing” creation. I’d need a lot more money to be profitable on an equivalent book.

Well, I got my chance! Citadel wound up doing very well, and things are – at the moment – looking good.

Revenue

For a “just the books” Kickstarter, this one smashed all my previous records. 600 backers, and over $26,000 gross. So a really good showing.

  • Kickstarter Net Revenue: $23,790
  • Backerkit and Pre-Order: $6,250
  • No post-KS sales yet; it’s not for sale during fulfillment. That might change soon.

So total revenue has been just about exactly $30,000. This includes money reserved for shipping.

That’s a fantastic total. For a 128 page book, I’d expect it to run me $20K to get to PDF, so there’s still room for a print run and other stuff. But what were the actual, not theoretical costs?

Costs

So, this one was from scratch. 128 pages total, lots of art, etc.

  • The expenses for the project:
  • Writing and Editing: $4500
  • Production Fees: $3,700
  • New Art: $6565
  • Backerkit Fees: $780
  • Printing: $4,150 (Nordvorn only)
  • Other Printing: $5350
  • Shipping and Fulfillment: $TBD (estimated $5,000)
  • License Fees: Classified

So total cost to make the thing itself was just shy of $19,700. I had to print Fantastic Dungeon Grappling AND Hall of Judgment AND the bookmarks, which added another $5,350 to the tally, and then I’m guessing shipping and other fees will come in at a maximum of $8,000 more. That’s $33,050 total.

Note this looks like a “loss,” but it’s a book-keeping loss, not a cash loss. $6,000 of this total is my projected costs for writing and production, which I did myself. Another $5,300 is “I want to print more books than fulfillment requires, including a second edition of Hall of Judgment.” So out of pocket costs are looking more like $22,000, and I should have lots of inventory left over – fully paid up – for future sales.

Ultimately, I invested about $3,350 extra of my writing and production fees in extra inventory. Maybe 800 spare copies of FDG (nearly all that cost was setup cost; doubling the print run from 500 to 1000 was an esy call), and perhaps 300-400 each of Hall of Judgment and Nordvorn. Plenty of inventory to last a bit, and I expect that as my authors write Rosgarth and Forest’s End this year, some of that will get taken up by new customers wanting to catch up on the Nordlond books.

Of Lengi las Ekki

Too long, didn’t read? So, ultimately, the project was profitable, and would have been even more so had I not decided to invest in future inventory. That will wind up being something like $5-7K in print-and-ship costs, but hopefully represents $10-15K in future revenue. I actually expect FDG to do quite well: it does everything Technical Grappling does, but better.

Hall and Nordvorn will be solidly in hand, staged for several future Kickstarters worth of product. I made the best-looking book to date, and it’s utterly gameable. If you play it, you should have fun.

Big books are expensive and they’re hard to make money on at the price points folks expect. Even so, the GURPS crowd stepped up huge for me on this project and it made money (which I promptly spent).

Also: it was on time. I promised delivery of the PDF in May, and the print book in July. The final PDF was delivered in the second week in May (success), and fulfillment of international physical copies will begin mid-June. Some time taken to get the books to Studio 2 in Tennessee where they’ll go through Media Mail for US distribution should put them in folks’ hands by the end of July, as promised.

Successful project. Still not “quit the day job” success, but this is the RPG business, after all.

It’s well past time for a GURPSDay! I got caught in major “get the Citadel draft finished” mode, and then I moved. That was much more disruptive than I thought it’d be, and I thought it was going to be very disruptive.

But here you go. I went back four weeks this time, both to catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some.

In news for Gaming Ballistic, Lost Hall of Tyr international copies were finally sent out. Citadel at Nordvorn is one page away from being done, and I made major progress on that page yesterday. Fantastic Dungeon Grappling and the 2nd edition of Hall of Judgment are both at the printer. I also launched a new project, Four Perilous Journeys, for The Fantasy Trip. These four 16-page adventures went into crowdfunding on Wednesday, and we’re already over 60% funded. Not bad.

GURPSDay is in its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.

Continue reading “Thursday is GURPSDay! Apr 12 to May 9, 2019”

Thanks to their patience, persistence, and an amazingly successful Kickstarter, Steve Jackson Games re-acquired the rights to The Fantasy Trip . . . and produced The Fantasy Trip: Legacy Edition. It arrived with a resounding thunk in a Cidri-scale box. Then came the TFT Adventures. Ready-to-play support for The Fantasy Trip with maps, counters, and megahexes. Now, in partnership with Steve Jackson GamesGaming Ballistic launched on Kickstarter Four Perilous Journeys: New Adventures for The Fantasy Trip.

What’s Being Created

The campaign will fund publication of four new 16-page adventures, each of which is already written. The funds pay for editing, layout, art, maps, and a high-quality print run if that stretch goal is unlocked.

Each softcover adventure will sport a unique color cover, and contain black and white interiors on high-quality paper. Sixteen pages means the binding will be saddle-stitched (stapled).

The campaign is off to a fantastic start: nearly 50% funding on the first day. If you want to know more . . . read on. If you have heard enough and just want to get to the campaign page already:

Four Perilous Journeys: New Adventures for The Fantasy Trip

Continue reading “Four Perilous Journeys: New Adventures for The Fantasy Trip LIVE on Kickstarter”

Hey, while I’m finishing up the relationship map and the index (I took care of the monsters last night), let me distract you with some art and artists, in alphabetical order. I also use stock art by Dean Spencer, and his Patreon portfolio (and DriveThruRPG work) are a great aid to any RPG publisher.

Thomas Denmark

Thomas and I actually have a longer association than I thought, though this the first time he’s accepted an art commission from me. He and David Pulver featured a short grappling system for OSR games (that would eventually become Dungeon Grappling for That Other Game) in Thomas’ Guardians Superhero RPG. Turns out we both share a love for Viking/Norse lore and culture.

https://www.thomasdenmark.com/portfolio-samples

Ben Jan

Ben specializes in landscapes and environments, and does a spiffy job with both. He was lightning fast on the commission work.

https://www.artstation.com/winterkeep

Ksenia Kozhevnikova

Ksenia has a wide repertoire of styles to choose from, and I loved the sensibilities she brought to the work.

http://kseniakoz.com/portfolio/illustration-portfolio/

Juan Ochoa

Juan and I have been working together since my first Kickstarter, Dungeon Grappling. In fact, we worked together before any kickstarters were launched, as I commissioned him to do pre-visualization on Dragon Heresy. He’s done two different covers for me, plus some neat other work.

http://www.juanochoa.co/

Glynn Seal

Known best for his Midderlands OSR setting and that he won a Gold Medal ENnie for Cartography last year, I’ve used him for both of my Dungeon Fantasy RPG projects for cartography. I love the style and detail he puts in to the maps.

https://monkeyblooddesign.co.uk/cartography/

Ricardo Troula

Rick did the cover work for Citadel, so you’ve been seeing his stuff from the get-go. But he’s also got some great work inside the book as well, such as this more pastoral scene.

http://ricktroula.com/

Kriz Villacis

Finally, Kriz – another who’s been working with me since the beginning.

https://www.artstation.com/krizevil

PDF Distribution

Anyway . . . all PDFs that were part of this Kickstarter have been sent out. In four cases, these are the “final” files: Fantastic Dungeon Grappling, Dragon Heresy, Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition), and Dungeon Grappling.

In two cases, Hall of Judgment and of course The Citadel at Nordvorn, I’m taking errata and comments until Apr 29 or so, when I send the final files in to the printer.

The Backerkit and pre-order phase of the project will be open until I send the order to the printer next week. After that, the PDF sales (and print-book pre-orders) will migrate to my website. Once both print and PDF products have been sent out, a quantity of all the books will be sent to Warehouse 23 and listed there, plus PDF sales. Of course it’s best for me if you buy them directly from my website . . . but as Guy Fleegman once said, “I’m just jazzed to be on the show, man!”

Say Things Please?

I’ve gotten a few nice comments as part of proofreading, for which feedback I thank you. That being said . . . if you have a review, initial impressions, or comments about the book, telling me is great. Telling Facebook, SJG Forums, RPG.net, Reddit, Twitter, theRPGPub, etc what you think is even better. If you feel strongly, you can always include a link to the hosted pre-order page:

https://the-citadel-at-norvorn.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

The author saying “buy my stuff, it’s fun!” is all well and good. If I didn’t think it, I shouldn’t write it. But the backers saying “was worth it,” or even better “I’m going to run this/I ran this and it was fun!” is even better.

No Rest for the Weary

If you’ve seen the Gaming Ballistic publishing schedule for 2019, you’ll know I’ve got a lot going on:

The next on the docket is “TFT Group 1.” That will be four adventures for SJGames’ The Fantasy Trip.

I’m pleased to say that I took a break from Nordvorn to do a draft layout of one of the four adventures – I’ve got them all in hand already – and I’m pleased with how it breaks down. The complete adventure text, with reflow, comes in at about 11 pages or so, with some room for art. The remaining five pages are going to be tokens and maps, more art, and of course a title page and table of contents.

I like doing a bit of layout first. It’s somewhat silly, but it’s far easier for me to see things, edit things, and get a good drink of a draft if it’s on paper. Also: I need to do it eventually, and being able to directly import a file into something that looks good makes for a better Kickstarter presentation.

And while “April 19” has but a week left in it, the first two weeks in May is very possible for a crowdfunding launch. In fact, May 8 through June 2 looks like good dates for the campaign.

I’ve played a bit of The Fantasy Trip at FNORDCon and GameHole Con, and it’s a great little tactical combat game, and in the “old-school” fashion, is easily expanded into a “roll and shout” RPG with In the Labyrinth. 

The adventures being funded are not (yet) Nordlond adventures. I don’t have an issue with doing some! And I may well throw down a few Viking-esque adventures later (I’ve got an idea there, in fact, that would be a great short scenario).

Realistically, that puts crowdfunding completion and backerkit surveys finished in the first week in July, with The Dragons of Rosgarth launching in July, and Forest’s End in September/October. So there should be  three completely new books for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, plus Fantastic Dungeon Grappling and Hall of Judgment (2nd Edition) in 2019 for the Powered by GURPS crowd.

We’ll finish up the year with yet another project for The Fantasy Trip, and the authors are hard at work there as well.

Final Touches

Even so . . . I’ve still got a week to go on Nordvorn, and I assure you I will not be idle. The proofing and commentary has already proven valuable and continues to be more so, and those edits will be reflected in the released draft. A reminder on what you can help me with:

  • Spelling, typos, and errors in layout/formatting. Y’all are rocking this already.
  • Mistakes in monster stats. Gotten a few of these, and they’re vital.
  • Glossary Entries. “How do you pronounce this?” and “Oh, more Nordlond phrases” are both good reasons to stick an entry in the glossary. I’ve gotten one or two of these, but suggestions are welcome.
  • Index and cross-reference suggestions. Some of these are obvious: “see [Section Topic here]” will always get a link. Some are NOT so obvious. With PDFs, you can always just do “Find X,” but you can’t do that in print, and that’s where a good index comes into play.

And that’s that!

As always, Thursday is GURPSDay! But I missed a day, so here you go. Today marks a slightly new phase in how GURPSDay is presented, to make sure every post gets caught. I’ll be going back THREE weeks each report, rather than one. So posts will get some repeat views and if you miss one script pull, you’ll get two more chances.

In big news for Gaming Ballistic, we’re entering the fulfillment phase of several projects. I can happily report that the international copies of Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) have finally arrived at the fulfillment center, after many trials and tribulations with the printer. Citadel at Nordvorn goes into PDF delivery mode over the next few days as well, with Fantastic Dungeon Grappling going out today, and Hall of Judgment (2nd Edition) following shortly thereafter. Pretty much all the “already done” PDFs should be headed out to backers by the end of the weekend . . . and I’m doing my level best to have a readable, as complete as possible PDF of Nordvorn Monday or Tuesday.

GURPSDay is starting its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.

If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “Thursday is GURPSDay! Mar 28 to Apr 19, 2019”

The process to finish up Citadel at Nordvorn enters the fulfillment phase today! While the main document isn’t yet ready, PDFs of Fantastic Dungeon Grappling and Hall of Judgment will be finalized, updated, and distributed in PDF form over the weekend. Read on for details!

And if you missed the campaign, it’s definitely not too late! Pre-orders are being taken on Backerkit right now, and will continue to be taken there until the print order is submitted the first week in May!

Check out the update history on Kickstarter, or see any other Nordvorn info here on Gaming Ballistic!

Locking Orders

So, today is the day! I have locked everyone’s responses who have actually responded. That leaves 29 surveys incomplete, and (most importantly) 11 people who have physical product but have not completed the survey, and updated an address.

I can’t send you your physical goods without a shipping address!

Charging Cards

Most – in fact, all but 10 – of the successfully-locked orders have also had your cards charged. That’s 566 people . . . woot! If you’re one of the 10, you’ll get an email from Backerkit to look into it.

First Distribution: Fantastic Dungeon Grappling!

I’m still working on Norðvorn . . . but anyone who ordered Fantastic Dungeon Grappling will be seeing a note from me later today with the PDF in their email box.

I will then try and quickly clean up Hall of Judgment, and get that ready to print. Again, that’ll be in the next day or two.

So that begins the fulfillment phase. When all the initial PDFs are out, I’ll take corrections and errata for a week or so, get the finalization, and then print! I’ll also be getting the bookmarks ready. Those are a separate print job, but not to worry.

The good news is I got my UK VAT number, which means I can now import and distribute things for International folks per my original plan. That was a wrinkle, but one that’s been smoothed. It impacted my prior Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) final phase more than y’all. But those books ship – after many trials and tribulations – this coming Tuesday!

I will be moving to finalize an order with my printer ASAP, and get things moving. It takes two weeks to order the paper . . . and I’m using the same paper throughout. That means the paper should be in hand May 6, so if I can get final files to them May 3, that satisfies the “no hiccups, no delays” staging. I will be attempting to get finals to them a few days earlier, but that’s where we stand.

Intro: May the FNORD Be With Us

Over Apr 6-7, I went down to FNORDCon, Steve Jackson Games’ first gaming convention that they planned and ran themselves. Originally, there wasn’t going to be any GURPS/DFRPG content at all – maybe not even any roleplaying – but I and one of my authors, also a MiB, volunteered to fix that right up. He was going to run two sessions of his upcoming The Dragons of Rosgarth, while I’d do one session each of Hall of Judgment and one of the almost-ready Citadel at Nordvorn.

Both sessions of mine were really, really full. I have a bit of a policy that if you come to one of my games, you play in one of my games. Especially with so few opportunities for RPGing while there. So both games had 12-13 folks in them.

I’ll be reaching out to my other players tonight, and we’ll see if anyone else has thoughts.

If you like what you read below . . . preorders for Citadel at Nordvorn are open!

Session Report by Carl Patten

My background going in: Backed Dungeon Fantasy Monsters II and backed the Citadel of Nordvorn based on recommendation from there. I am very familiar, if rusty, with GURPS, and own Dungeon Fantasy but hadn’t played it in a group yet. My wife has played several D&D campaigns but has only played GURPS once.

First of all, congratulations on running a session with 12 people that actually got stuff done! It’s really easy to get bogged down in details in DF and GURPS, and my wife appreciated the “GURPS super light” approach you took. You also were able to consistently answer our basic rule questions off the top of your head, which kept the pacing fast. Similarly, starting with “you’re all together on a boat, which is being attacked by another boat” successfully got us into the action right away without needing to reach a consensus first. The discussion afterward about what to do with our brand-new boat was hilarious!

Next, the setting rocked! We were the two Minnesotan expats in the room, and even though we may not have actually encountered the Minnesota/Iron Range references during this session, knowing they were in there got us pumped! The time you spent storytelling, describing the setting and why people acted as they did, was just as entertaining as the time we spent as characters in-game. This also paid off in the story hooks; hearing the story of the lady whose father shamed her suitor in public legitimately pissed us off! I’m going to have to run this setting just to find out what the hell is happening there!

We very much enjoyed the pre-made characters, my wife the “mace to the face” cat folk and me the halfling scout. I was worried that as two odd-ball characters we might miss out on some of the Norseness, but no, we were fully included! The descriptions and design notes were fun to read and helped us both jump into these characters immediately.

Minor character highlight was the great big lady wrestler who showed off what the Fantastic Dungeon Grappling can do. Sold me on checking it out, that’s for sure.

The Warding Temple quest to defend the village against 12 hobbs and 3 trolls was a mixed success. It succeeded in reuniting the party after we went a few different ways in Nordvorn, and ending on a big fight was a satisfying wrap-up so I’m glad we went there, but I got confused on where our party started in relation to the fey (ironic since I was the scout!), and that made it tough to sort out what to do other than just “shoot” or “run up and hit/bodyslam them”. Maybe a simple “who’s charging in and who’s staying back” table on the giant notepad would have helped? Fortunately the spellcaster next to me concussed the snot out of half the bad guys (and a few of us too) which helped us win the fight and end on time.

One last highlight: we arrived at the dock of Nordvorn with that brand new ship and the official asked us where we got it. We were standing around hum-hawing because, although per custom we’d claimed it fair and square, we weren’t sure exactly how to explain it. Suddenly you as our NPC boat captain whom we’d saved jumped in with “LET ME TELL YOU THE STORY!” It was an awesome moment of GMing and got us through that awkward pause while making us feel like righteous Norse heroes.

In conclusion, this was a tremendously exciting setting and session. Thanks for running it!