Narcissism continues. We’re still on schedule for Aug 22 “printing complete” for Hall of Judgment, and I got my advance copies of Dragon Heresy from the printer. Wow, they’re amazing.

But . . . to GURPS! GURPSDay is currently pulling from 103 blogs on the roster.

Welcome to GURPSDay 2018, and its fifth year – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic.

The Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPSWe still need your help. And 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 “GURPSDay Summary Aug 10, 2018 – Aug 16, 2018”

It was the moment I’ve been waiting for, and it arrived today. The first six copies of the fully-printed, smyth-sewn, entirely freakin’ awesome Dragon Heresy Introductory Set arrived today by FedEx.

I am utterly blown away. This is a book I think anyone would be proud to put on their shelf. Even better, to take out and play. The production values are ridiculously good. Yeah, I know, it’s my book, but wow.

I’ll put two pictures above the fold, then a bunch more below.

As I said to a backer on my Discord channel: I pulled out all the stops for this book. Every time I had a choice to make between “awesome” and “merely satisfactory” I went with awesome.

I don’t regret it one bit. Neither will you.

(If this looks like something you want on your game store shelf – and you know you do – please contact me directly and we’ll make that happen.)

Continue reading “Dragon Heresy Advance Copies Arrive!”

Just for giggles, after a quick conversation with an interested party on Facebook, I decided to see how much it would take – cost and price wise – if Gaming Ballistic were to produce a boxed set similar to the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.

I used an online quote generator to look at the cost of standard boxes. One thing about this: there’s usually a good correlation between availability of an online quote generator and not being the best pricing you can find. Even so, upper bound.

I looked at custom-sized boxes. No. Don’t go there. Wow. So we look at 10.5 x 10.5 x 2″ box, and find that in quantities worthy of making a boxed set (1,000-1,999) we’re dealing with about $4 each for the box itself.

Hrm. OK. Looking at prior quotes of mine, and assuming either a 96-page book or a 128-page book, with good production values in 8×10 size. Hrm. The actual production cost is about $2 per book (slightly less at 96 pages, and slightly more at $128), but the place where you get bit is shipping the books to the publisher, which itself is about a dollar per copy pretty much regardless of size.

Let’s say we need four books, averaging about 112 pages each (so right in the middle). A characters book, an action book, a technology book (let’s say we’re doing a modern action game), and a foes book (a hypothetical Bug Hunt-ish game similar to my Alien Menace campaign would need information on worlds and aliens; alien tech would have to be squeezed in somewhere too). Four books at $3 production cost each. That’s $12 for books, $4 for the box. $16 total cost. Scope creep might push that higher if the books get thicker. An extra dollar per book would say $20 total cost.

So to survive a distribution model, that means a price tag of $80-100 for a “complete setting and rules set in a box” that would be a slimmer, books-only thing comparable to the DFRPG. No dice, nothing that can’t itself be sold as a book with an ISBN on it for Reasons (taxes, inventory, etc; “books” or “collections of books” are exempt from VAT in many places, but throw not-books in there and you make things more challenging).

Interesting. If the fan base would groove on it ($80-100 is still less than the three comparable books at full retail for DnD5e, and about what you can get the three books for at Amazon – $88 all told) it seems like a viable option.

The costs to produce it would be high. To get component prices in the right ballpark, you’re dropping about $16-20 x 1500 sets: $24,000-30,000 right there. You’re also notionally making about 400-500 pages of material, and PDF development costs as I’ve noted are $100-150 per page. So $40,000 to as high as $75,000 to make the thing. Total spread of production costs: $65,000-105,000.

Even at $100 per box, that’s 650-1050 backers required to get there.

That’s still a big lift. Not insane, but not yet proven: my best-ever crowdfunding has drawn about 550 paying customers. I’d need to double that, which means a very large interested mailing list. Probably double or triple what I have now.

Still . . . not out of possibility. But not right now.

PDF Distribution

The (digital) moment has arrived: check your email boxes for a note from Backerkit, because the PDF file for Hall of Judgment has been given approval for distribution.

Thank you all so much for coming along with me this far!

The file as distributed is exactly what the print copy will look like. Hopefully we’ve caught most/all of the major errata, but there always seems to be a few that slip through.

Such errors can be corrected in PDF, obviously, but not print.

Haven’t ordered it yet, but want to? Hit Hosted Pre-Orders on Backerkit and get in on the first print run.

Print Schedule

The print file sailed through pre-production, and printing and binding is expected to be complete by August 22.

That’s a Wednesday, which means Thursday will see the books nipped over to my fulfillment partner in the UK, and international books should be in the mail that Friday. Backers in the UK could thus see their print copies the following week, still within August, which makes me happy.

The US copies and surplus inventory will head over to Minnesota by airmail, which means that I could be packing and mailing them the following week, assuming no delays at customs (and airmail makes that easier, ironically: less, and less-expensive, paperwork, apparently). So either later that same week, or within the two weeks thereafter (mid-September), all physical copies should be in hand.

Map Files

I will also be pushing out some VTT-scale map files. These were made available for the Lost Hall of Tyr distribution, and will also be made available with 1-yd hex overlays (for programs with built-in maps, I’ll provide a pixels-per-yard conversion).

The maps from ENnie Gold Medalist Cartographer Glynn Seal (he loves saying that, so I figured I’d repeat it) will also be made available. The large-area maps in PDF with a GM-layer for extra info, and the Logiheimli map in 72dpi with a pixels-per-yard conversion as well (though the scale is wide enough that “yards per pixel” is possible but unlikely.

Next Steps

After a deep breath to recover my balance after a long sprint to finish both this and Dragon Heresy, the Eye of Sauron will turn to what’s next. I’ve got ideas for more DFRPG stuff, and more, depending on what SJG wants to consider. More on that later.

I also will compile, after shipping of the physical product, the “where did the money go?” report, likely for both Dragon Heresy and Hall of Judgment, since they’ll finish at roughly the same time. I feel that’s an important part of Kickstarter fulfillment for projects that wouldn’t exist without your backing. Kickstarter can’t use the “I” word, but no matter what you want to call it, you guys are important Stakeholders in Gaming Ballistic thanks to your participation in this and other projects, and you deserve to know what happened on this project so that you can understand both the past and the future.

For now . . . thank you. For later: there’s more coming.

Just a brief bit of narcissism: I find myself for the first time with two projects simultaneously at the printer. Hall of Judgment zipped through preproduction and prepress so fast it was dizzying. That print run of 500 will be ready on or about Aug 22. If you’re an “international backer,” meaning you’re outside the easy, domestic reach of USPS Media Mail, you will want to go to the Pre-Order Page for Hall of Judgment and get a print copy reserved, so that you can benefit from shipping rates from the UK. The other thing is that today I should be receiving the final, updated signature proof (16 pages, full color, unbound) for Dragon Heresy. I expect that will be fine, since the other 17 signatures were fine, and printing will begin. Sometime soon I will receive 6 advance copies of the book by courier, and I will post pictures of the reason I started Gaming Ballistic as a company in the first place.

But . . . to GURPS! GURPSDay is currently pulling from 103 blogs on the roster.

Welcome to GURPSDay 2018, and its fifth year – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic.

The Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPSWe still need your help. And 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 “GURPSDay Summary Aug 3, 2018 – Aug 9, 2018”

I sent Hall of Judgment preliminary files to the printer

They were accepted first try, as “ready to print.”

I expect that I’ll hear back from the printing liaison today, since it’s mid-afternoon in the UK, and we can make plans to get things moving forward. But I think that means the clock on printing has started.

Still waiting on final ship approval as folks get settled and Return from Gencon (with associated Con Crud expected, if you’ve been to one of those). But things are nipping along well.

Just a reminder: if you’re interested in a physical copy of the book, and you don’t live in the USA, the very best time to order it is right now, as shipping will only be this cheap if there’s enough back-order for me to get a reprint from not-the-USA. Sure, one day I’ll have POD copies available, but odds are they won’t be as good, as most POD tops out at 105gsm/70# paper for one (the book as ordered uses 140gsm/93# silk-coated paper), and are much, much more expensive to print, for another.

So, this should be an interesting week.

For one thing, I really don’t have much on my plate from a “writing games” perspective. This is the first time in about four months that this has happened, since Dragon Heresy was immediately (and I do mean right away) followed by Hall of Judgment.

Both are basically done, and out of my hands until it comes time for shipping. Even then, except for the day(s) printing postage and/or actually boxing up hundreds of books, I have those hours back. I’m about to go to sleep before midnight for the first time in a long time that didn’t involve sickness or simply collapsing from exhaustion.

Where do we stand?

Dragon Heresy PDF is long since shipped out. Not much response from it thus far; I hope that changes when the physical books arrive, and folks dig in and really read it. The changes to the base 5e SRD are somewhat simple, but provide a great deal of emergent behavior that everyone from GURPS players to OSR fans to 5e aficionados to Pathfinder folks should like.

This week should see the arrival by FedEx of the final signature, which I sent back for corrections. That was on my end, not theirs, so that delay is on me, but I saw a mistake (some formatting) and I fixed it. After that, I’ll give permission to print and bind, and then in a week or two I’ll start seeing advanced copies and basically be ready to give ship approval. About 30 copies will go out to backers of both the DH kickstarter and the HoJ one who live in “not the USA,” and the rest – about 1,470 of them – will come to my house, and about 250 (ish) will then depart for places here in the USA and Puerto Rico. Last week in September or first two weeks in October. So “on time,” if not “ahead of schedule.” Alas.

Also, within about 12-36 hours I should hear back from the Hall of Judgment printer in the UK about pre-press. I’ve paid my deposit (via PayPal! Yay! No wire transfers or certified checks) so I am as current with that vendor as I can be, and if they say “oh, yeah, these files work” I’ll give the go-ahead for printing, which means in about 3-4 weeks they’ll be done, and then another 2-3 weeks to get them sorted out and shipped and received. So really, all these books for both KS will arrive effectively simultaneously.

I’m very proud of both books. For one, they’re very, very pretty. For another, I think they’re legit good work.

But now I need more to do. Fortunately, I do not lack for options. If nothing else, I need to convert Hall of Judgment into Lost Hall of Tyr, 2nd Edition. Then it will be the adventure it needs to be.

More on that later.

GURPSDay is currently pulling from 103 blogs on the roster.

The Hall of Judgment Kickstarter ended, and even though it will be a few days before the final PDF is approved by SJG, all the art is in, and we’re down to just the last bits of error checking. Why the delay? Well, it takes time to get things right . . . plus darn near the entire SJG staff is at some corporate function. GenCon, I believe?

Welcome to GURPSDay 2018, and its fifth year – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic.

The Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPSWe still need your help. And 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 “GURPSDay Summary July 27, 2018 – Aug 2, 2018”

Fold and Gather samples for Dragon Heresy are here!

So, it’s one thing to look at individual pages. It’s one thing to look at a PDF on the screen.

It’s quite another to get the entire book very nearly as it will appear in my hands.

Without further blather on my part: pictures.

OK: one bit of blather. I cannot wait for the proofs and finals to be ready. This is going to be a book of which folks take notice. And y’all made it happen.

Lots more pictures below the break…

Continue reading “Dragon Heresy: Fold and Gather samples arrived. Wow.”

GURPSDay is currently pulling from 103 blogs on the roster.

The Hall of Judgment Kickstarter ended on July 14th, having hit 525 backers and very nearly $16,000 in funds. This is fully 1/3 of the backers of the original DFRPG, which means by any metric the project was a financial success. I am moving steadily ahead with finishing up the draft, as well as working on surveys, print-and-ship, and other important details to get the PDF (August) and physical copies (late Sept) to backers.

Welcome to GURPSDay 2018, and its fifth year – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic.

The Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPSWe still need your help. And 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 “GURPSDay Summary July 20, 2018 – July 26, 2018”