Mid-Campaign Ulcers and Status

Of the book. Not the ulcers.

I won’t kid you guys – seeing the Lost Hall of Tyr pledge total move up and down as it has has not been good for my stomach lining. As I mentioned in the comments, all of the withdrawals to date have been legit life reasons, but it’s certainly painful to watch.

We’re still funded, though, and the book is progressing well. I just sent Todd a pretty thorough edit of the manuscript as a last look before we really start assembling the thing, corrected a bunch of typos, and made a few edits for clarity of writing.

I have received the promised art that I commissioned from the team in four of the five cases: the cover, Roland’s piece, and two of the other pieces. The last one is on schedule. All the maps are done. I’m in the process of commissioning the remaining art assets for the basic book. Things are on track.

Stretch Goal Adjustment

I took a hard look at what the goals of the campaign were, and I’ve made some adjustments.

No adjustments have been made to reward levels; if you’ve pledged something, you’ll get what was promised.

So what changed:

  • I have decided to fulfill all physical product through a high-quality POD company, PubGraphics. I was very impressed with their work on Dungeon Grappling, so the books that come out of this Kickstarter, and any future orders through my website, will come from them. The product will, of course be available through DriveThruRPG as well.
  • I have merged the “More Art” and “S&W Conversion” stretch goals, which will both happen at $6,000.
  • Additionally, I have spoken to Alex Macris of Autarch Publishing, and I will also commit to an Adventurer Conqueror King System conversion of Lost Hall. That one might take some reframing, but he has agreed to give me some advice there.
  • This allowed pulling in the “more art from Roland” levels to $8,000 and $11,000 respectively

Both of the conversions would be delivered when the print books have been promised: April of 2018 (or before).

What about Delivery? Later?

No.

My initial scheduling was done assuming we hit all the stretch goals and I was commissioning all the art that might be needed. So the changes above don’t impact anything.

The Swords and Wizardry conversion pull-in was the result of doing a hard look at what was required to do it, and it’s less work than I had planned.

Finally, ACKS is awesome, and I have wanted to do a Dungeon Grappling tuning of ACKS for a bit; it’s not that different than Swords and Wizardry at the core, and the proficiency-based capability system is similar to the various skill and feat systems in 5e. So it’s a fairly easy conversion. I will discuss with Alex the right way to execute this in terms of his product line, and get working fast.

So I have confidence I can execute this.

Stythja Tiers

A bit more about those tiers.

As part of the reward level, each backer at this level will work with me to create a character for the scenario. You will also receive a preview copy of the Dragon Heresy races and classes chapters, from which the Etera setting is drawn.

We’ll work up a character together, then I’ll make art notes, share them with the backer for review, make any tweaks required, and then fire off the art notes to the artist whose reward level you’ve chosen. Those characters will then appear in a separate PDF file that will be distributed along with the physical rewards and conversion material. Kind of “pre-gens” for the scenario.

Onward to the Finish

We’re headed into the last week of the campaign. Thus far, we’ve seen two reviews of the product:

Fantastical Beckelhimer and Follow Me and Die! both liked it. They also saw the ease of conversion to other material and appreciated the setting details as well as the value the Dungeon Grappling system brings to the table.

I’ve also been on four podcasts to talk about the work:

  • Table Top Babble where the topic was also Kickstarter advice
  • Geek Gab Game Night where we talked a lot about adventure design
  • Delve Podcast which focused pretty hard on the Lost Hall details
  • Shane Plays (forthcoming) about 10 minutes on the adventure

These are good places to point folks for more details about the game. There is, of course, also my blog, which has a category for Lost Hall.

So, with that . . . I hope that folks continue to get energized about Lost Hall of Tyr, and invite others to do so. To the finish line!

Thursday is GURPSDay and once again I’m doing this one from Korat, Thailand, thanks to the always-able assistance of my lovely wife. It’s a day late because work got busy then I had to bolt for the airport hotel, but now I’m in one place for a day of pre-flight layover. Pre-over? Statis? Whatever.

So: GURPSDay!

Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the pull for this week.

We’re currently drawing content from 90 blogs. We picked up a new one: RadBox Studio, and as always, new blogs are listed first. Only 10 more to go until we’re pulling from 100! But we’ll 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!

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 Oct 14 – Oct 20, 2017”

The post below is duplicated from Roland Warzecha’s Patreon page, which everyone should visit and support. If you are a fan of historical swordsmanship, you definitely owe yourself a visit his way.

Here is the completed illustration which I did for a role-play adventure written by Dougas Cole, that is currently campaigning on kickstarter, to attract as many backers as possible. (One of the stretch goals will be more art work such as this!)

The adventure is apparently set in a fantasy world, partially drawing on Norse mythology and culture. In the background, you can see a page from the Icelandic Codex Regius (the King’s Book) which is the oldest written source for the Poetic Edda. The typographic elements are verses from the Hávamál which is included in the Codex Regius. Naturally, I thought it appropriate to depict Viking arms and armour with the image’s leading character. Doug had suggested a female warrior, and so I created this heroine, which I named Sólveig Ravnsdóttir. Her first name can be interpreted in a number of ways, e.g. as path of the sun, mistress of the hall, power of the house. Her last name means Raven’s daughter.

Sólveig wears lamellar armour of oriental origin. Remains of this kind of protection have been found in the Swedish Viking settlement of Birka. It consist of small plates, so-called lamellae which are laced to form individual belts. These belts are laced more loosely to each other in such a fashion that they overlap and can move much like a telescope, assisting hinging motions of the wearer’s torso.

Her head is protected by a helmet with ”spectacles“ based on a Norwegian find from Gjermundbu, the only original Viking helmet ever to be discovered.

The account of an Arab chronicler who had met Eastern Vikings described them as being tattooed. Accordingly, I decided to show Sólveig being tatted in ornaments of the so-called Urnes style which became popular in the late Viking Age. Her sword with bronze fittings is of the typical late spate type that was widespread in Scandinavia and Russia. Its scabbard is mounted with an eastern bronze scabbard chape in the shape of a raven. Her arms are adorned with various bracelets.

The bottom hem of her wide tunic is tucked up above her thighs to allow for freedom of movement, as seen with a sword-fighter in the 9th century Utrecht Psalter, and some men wading through water on the late 11th century Bayeux Tapestry.

She has just deflected a spear thrust with her flat round shield, then turned the shield pushing forward its edge to keep the sear at bay and pin her opponent, at the same time striking a death blow.

Her adversaries are Hobgoblins which carry both bucklers as well as large Celtic style shields. They are armed with swords modeled on both Viking Age ones as well as late medieval ranges messer. One also brandishes a bearded axe. The helmets are so-called kettle hats based on late 14th and 15th century models. All Goblin arms are made from bronze, because they cannot stand steel, as Douglas explained to me.

Obviously, they have a weak spot for the same beard styles that I like myself, and it appears to be a custom with this tribe to put on war paint made from some local berries.

I have also picked kind of a motto for Sólveig which is based on a line from the collection of Hávamál verses that Douglas had provided me with: “Never slain shall she bow before sword.”See it somewhat concealed in the image above.

If you like this art work, keep an eye on the stretch goals suggested by Douglas for his kickstarter project.

A 300 dpi version of this image is available as a download for $7+ patrons.

What’s next? The up-coming weapon documentation and photo set will feature a late 14th/early 15th century type XIV sword from Switzerland which will be made available for $25+ patrons, with the full scale drawing to follow for my $35+ patrons.

New Reward Level – Dimicator Stythja

As you can see, the detail work in Roland’s piece is amazing. If you want to have your character illustrated by him, in this style . . . now you can!

I have introduced another reward level: the top-tier Dimicator Stythja. At this level, for $750 you will get a quarter-page illustration in the same style as the image featured above . . . or for a kingly sum of $2,000, a full page.

As with all of the Stythja (Patron) levels, the first task is to create a level 3-6 character that will either come from the SRD, or the Dragon Heresy preview chapter that I will send to the patron backer. Once the character is created, the patron backer will provide reference images, and I will provide art direction to Roland based on the character, the images, and our conversations.

I’m sure the result will be quite inspiring!

These rules are a literal blast from my past being well over a decade old, from the days when I ran many many games of D6 Star Wars and my own D6 Star Wars / D6 Fantasy / Kitchen Sink inspired D6 Space Fantasy.   Cinema offering like Star Wars, and games like Dark Forces, X-Com (especially Apocalypse), and MechWarrior feature generous amounts of brightly colored rapid fire death and destruction, which I felt the D6 system needed a better approach to bringing to life.   I also wanted to give players even more play options at the table for ‘I shoot the guy’, without making automatic weapons fire into a complex minigame.   I also did not    

These rules have all been extensively playtested and to my mind work very swimmingly, with the caveat I like and encourage grand fireworks shows of automatic weaponry.   They also make automatic weapons in the hands of skilled marksmen a very awesome thing, and make blazing away a very good idea as the only drawback is the occasional burnt action reloading and needing extra ammo.  If you want a squad of stormtroopers dropped in a hail of blaster bolts in a single action by the mighty hero these are your rules!   If you want rules firmly grounded in reality . .  . these are probably not your rules.

D6 Autofire Rules

For all choices, the make by X over numbers can be decreased by whatever nifty widgets reduce recoil in the setting of choice.  Note, while the rules below mention hexes, hex maps are not required, simply use the abstract unit spacing representations of choice, yards, squares, hexes, inches etc.

Standard Autofire Attack – A normal attack to increase damage by attempting to land more than one round, it uses 1 action.

Declare how much ammo you will use before rolling.  

  • If you make the attack by 0-4, nothing special occurs, normal damage.
  • If make  the attack by 5 over, and fired at least 3 rounds, +1d damage.
  • By 10 over, and at least 6, +2d damage,
  • By 15 over, and at least 9, +3d and so on.  

This assumes an automatic weapon.

For semi-automatic and double-action and whatnot, see above but replace 5, 10, 15 and so on by 10, 20, 30 and so on.

Spray Attack

A normal attack with intent to better your chances of landing a hit through multiple rounds.

Declare how much ammo you will use before rolling, then get +1d to attack for every 3 rounds expended.

This uses 1 action and requires an automatic weapon.

Sweep Attack

An attack to sweep across a group of enemies in sequence to engage multiple targets.

Declare how many enemies attacking, all enemies must be in a row more

or less, though vacant hexes are acceptable. Declare the order the enemies are to be engaged, from left to right or right to left.  Ammo cost is 3 rounds per enemy and vacant hex between enemies.

Only one attack rolled is made, and compared against all targets.   The damage is base damage.

First target needs 5 over to hit, 2nd target needs 10 over, 3rd target needs 15 over and so on.  This uses 1 action and requires an automatic weapon.

Area Saturation Attack

This is an attack to engage multiple targets by filling the area they occupy with shear weight of rounds.rather than attacking them directly.

The hexes attacked must be contiguous and there is a minimum of 5 hexes.   Hexes may or may not be occupied, but the cost in rounds must be paid for each hex.

A single attack roll is made, and compared against all targets.

Three levels are possible.

  • Light – requires 3 rounds per hex.  The attack must be made by 10, and damage is reduced by 1d as attacks into the general area are less likely to hit individual targets and the damages may not be square hits or may be flying debris.
  • Moderate – requires 6 rounds per hex.   The attack must be made by 5, and damage is base damage.
  • Heavy – requires 9 rounds per hex,  The attack must be made by 0,, and damage is base damage.  Also, if the attack roll is 10 over, damage is base +1d.

Creating Automatic Weapons (Optional)

In D6 Star Wars and other D6 products, often a weapons nature as an automatic weapon is subsumed into its stats.    For instance, a Star Wars Light Repeating Blaster may do 6d damage have ammo capacity of 25, since 25 ammo is rather low for a squad support weapon in a setting where normal rifles have 100 round capacity, it is very likely that 6D comes from multiple shots at once.  You could say reduce the weapons damage to 5D and increase ammo to 100 and allow the weapon to use these rules.   

Comments

I haven’t used these rules in years . . . but, I could still remember them even before I found my old writeup!   I had a lot of fun with these back then, as these rules were used for years with many a hail of fire from a blaster rifle.   Since I am now a pretty dedicated GURPS player, I notice my old D6 rules split ‘make it easier to hit’ and ‘give chances for more damage’ into two separate options,  while in GURPS firing away with automatic fire does both at the same time!   Some of the inspiration for this comes from D20 Arsenal by Perpetrated Press, an excellent book for magical gatling guns and other fun toys for your D20 needs, a book sadly out of print.

Lost Hall has Funded!

Lost Hall of Tyr has funded! We passed the basic goal about 8 days in, so the project will definitely happen.

This is excellent news for Gaming Ballistic, of course – who doesn’t want their projects to succeed? – but it’s only a first step. Continue reading “Kickstarter Update Summary – Lost Hall of Tyr”

Thursday is GURPSDay and I’m doing this one from Korat, Thailand, thanks to the always-able assistance of my lovely wife.

So: GURPSDay!

Welcome to the second year of GURPSDay, and here’s the pull for this week.

We’re currently drawing content from 89 blogs. Only 11 more to go until we’re pulling from 100! But we’ll 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!

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 Oct 6 – Oct 13, 2017”

Roland just shared a sample of the art he’s providing for the Dungeon Grappling quick-start chapter for Lost Hall of Tyr.

If the hobgoblin looks familiar to you, there’s a reason. The final version has more details of what “grappling with weapons” can mean – she’s stepping on the hob’s spear to pin it in place, as well as using her own shield to trap his left arm.

Because it’s Roland, all of the equipment and stances are historical and accurate, modeled off of real pieces. The detail is phenomenal.

I simply cannot wait to see the entire full-page piece.

If we hit the bit stretch goals at the top end, there will be more of this type of illustration in the book!

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t extra-point you to Roland’s Patreon, plus his awesome collection of informative YouTube videos on historical fighting and weapons.

I was on the Geek Gab Game Night podcast just a few moments ago. Nearly two hours on adventure design and other topics – we didn’t hold ourselves tightly to a particular theme. As always, it was a hoot interacting with my gracious hosts, and it definitely plays out as a conversation rather than a lecture!

Give a listen, and of course, support Lost Hall of Tyr!

Greetings from Thailand!

The big news is that, of course, Lost Hall of Tyr passed the  basic funding goal! Now it’s all about stretch goals.

Had a great night’s sleep last night, which if you’re familiar with the vagaries of international air travel, is from from a guarantee.

In addition to passing the basic funding goal (woo hoo!), I’ve got some updates on art progress

John B has reported he’s on schedule for delivery before the end of the Kickstarter for his piece, as has Roland W. That’s all of the pre-commissioned art thus far, but since the campaign has met it funding goal, I can look into starting up the remaining pieces. As things proceed, I will see how we are doing and look carefully at how much additional art the campaign can afford.

I also got to sit down over email with Todd, and I asked him to mock up the real cover, rather than what I did in five minutes with Photoshop’s Magic Wand tool. I suggested we incorporate “the sword” I use for the banners (I really like it) into the cover design, and he overachieved. I wasn’t sure how I’d have done it, but what he actually did really made me happy.

What? Stop talking and show? OK!

Front Cover
Front Cover

 

Back Cover and Teaser Text
Back Cover and Teaser Text

Feedback Wanted

One thing that backers of my prior Kickstarter – Dungeon Grappling – will tell you is that I’m pretty good about taking and acting on feedback from my contributors. You guys are sponsoring the work, after all, so it makes good sense to listen where possible.

So . . . if you think that the wording of the cover, or something about placement could be improved . . . make the suggestion! Worst case is a polite no, and best case for all is “that’s a fantastic idea!”

As always, please spread the word about the project where you can. I’m going on several podcasts – Geek Gab and the Delve Podcast – to talk about the project, and would love to do more.

Congratulations and Thanks!

We made funding at the basic level last night, sneaking over the wire while I was travelling between Minnesota and Thailand on business. I’m currently a bit bleary-eyed, but the trip was as smooth and fast as one could ask for. Four hours to Seattle, 12 hours to Korea, and five hours to Thailand. Then an overnight stay at the hotel at the airport, then three hours drive to Korat (Nakhon Rhatchasima) where our plant is located.

But a big thank you to the backers who have taken us this far.

Miles to go before I sleep

The next goal is important – enough backers and money to guarantee that we can get the thing done and printed not through the usual suspects. Right now, though, we’re really only talking about 50 copies of the print version, which might be a low enough number that I procure it through a third party anyway. We shall see!

The big stuff happens between $5000 to $8000, with more art and the Swords and Wizardry full conversion next on deck. Following that, we get into icing on the cake: inside cover art and other gritty/realistic illustrations by Roland Warzecha

The Days Ahead

I’m looking to go on a few podcasts in the near future to pitch the adventure and talk grappling monsters. I will also be doing a bit of a featurette on each of the artists that are working the project, highlighting their styles and showing the kind of thing that can happen for the custom commission tiers.

Once Again: Thanks!

But that’s all in the future. I’ll work on delivering you the best book I can. The more you guys talk it up, the better. Again: the invite for “if you will run or review it, I’ll get you a prelim copy” so long as you write up up before the campaign ends!