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”

Pre-Final File!

Today I finished what I like to call the “pre-final” PDF.

What does that mean?

  • It’s got a front and back cover
  • My proofreaders and testers comments, as well as my own “print it out and go over it with pen in hardcopy” edits, are in
  • It passes muster at 300dpi for printing
  • It’s the right page count
  • It should be fully playable (a word on maps in a moment)

What’s not done?

  • I will be updating the backer list in the PDF until y’all stop telling me to change your names. I will be downloading and comparing your KS names and Backerkit survey responses to help me with this
  • I will be compiling an index. If this fits on one page, we’re REALLY done and I don’t have to delete any monsters or change layout. If it needs two, I will consolidate ulfjarl and wolf to one page and give it two
  • If y’all catch anything truly wrong (and not just “I’d have done it differently”) I will be able to make changes for the next week
  • Hyperlinks for internal references
  • Final ToC update

Lockdown and Cards Charged

I’ve done the first round of “lockdown” and charged cards for those backers that finished their survey. That means that if you ordered PDFs of my other game products, they’re awaiting your download!

I am going to send out the preview file for HoJ tomorrow, for folks to read over the weekend and tell me where I done them wrong (say that like Scarlett Johansson from Ultron). Then I’ll fix that, get final blessings from SJG, and if that’s all good, the final file will be pushed to you guys on August 1.

Then also on August 1, I will send the file to the printer, beginning the cycle for physical product delivery. As I’ve noted before, I expect that to take 5-7 weeks.

Maps

The maps in the PDF and book are, frankly, too small to use.

No worries. I will be preparing PDFs and other digital files that will have GM-only and player-eyes-OK versions for import into VTTs (the digital maps come in 32×40″ files with grid files with 1-yd hexes OR 5-ft squares, your choice). Those will go out over the next few days as well. I understand how important maps are to play, and will do my best to make that as convenient as possible given my source material.

This is not the end . . . actually it IS the beginning of the end.

With mad props to Winston, this begins the process of giving you what I promised. It’s on time rather than ahead of schedule, and the upgrade in print quality does mean physical product will hit in September rather than August.

But the first third-party release for the DFRPG is about to be in your hands. I’m thrilled, and I hope you are too.

Now: play it. Write about it. And tell me what you want to do next.

I’m all ears.

Douglas Cole
Gaming Ballistic, LLC
July 26, 2018

There are some parts of the production of a book that are just no fun at all.

I’m in a few of those parts.

Hall of Judgment

Oh, sure . . . it’s getting done. Bit by bit. I should have another major revision to Hall of Judgment done either late tonight or tomorrow. Hopefully tonight (assuming my cat gets off my manuscript, but there are fairly sure-fire fixes for that).

But this is the part where you read . . . each . . . word . . . carefully to make sure things are just right, and you still manage to miss stuff.

But what’s going on and changed from last time?

  • Lots of revisions to the Backer Credits
  • Updated the front matter to hopefully include all my contributors
  • Updated all of Glynn’s maps to tweak out a few things, like labels
  • Lots of final editing and small corrections
  • Removed some DnD-isms from things
  • Rewriting some descriptives to ensure they jive with the evolving monster bits
  • Completely re-did the cover . . . and got word from the printer that it looks pretty good

There might be other things too. But I still feel like I’m on track to deliver the finished product to backers next week, on schedule.

Dragon Heresy

We’re in a bit of a dead zone here. The “F&G” (Fold and Gather) milestone “should be” coming up by Friday. If those are OK (and I’m not sure if I get samples or no), I give the “OK to bind” with the first advanced copies of the book arriving to me at the end of the first full week in August. If that’s what I think it is, it’ll be the first time I hold Dragon Heresy as it’s meant to be (well, as the Introductory Set is meant to be!) in my hands. That will be a good day.

Other Things

As with many others, I was saddened to hear that business conditions have led to the shuttering (at least temporarily, but plan for the worst, hope for the best applies) of Pyramid Magazine.

I got my start there, and in a very real way, a succession of Pyramid editors taught me how to write and organize text. I list my 13 Pyramid articles proudly on my resume, and in no small part, I know that my history with Pyramid plus my playtesting org skills got me the nod to be the first third-party publisher for the DFRPG.

It served as a garden where the seeds of future authors were sown and watered, and those of us that had been published there would frequently go out of our way to help others. For 25 years, it was a monthly dose of GURPS and Powered by GURPS.

Alas, and farewell.

Today I updated the cover for Hall of Judgment. It had to be resized for 8×10 format, I used a more readable font that echoes the choices inside the document for the title and author slug, and new no-background Dungeon Fantasy RPG logos. A bit of tweaking of the back-cover text as well.

I also got a major interior file milestone done today. All things that needed to be written have been written. I still might put in a few hundred words on one subject in the wilderness section, but by and large, we’re in the “proofing and tweaking and spelling and layout consistency” stage until I can send out a preliminary file.

I ran into a snag with Backerkit today, or else y’all would have your surveys already. I expect to fix that tomorrow afternoon, and then surveys will go out. I’ve asked more questions than usual in this one, but you can always just put “NA” and move on if you don’t want to answer.