The Norse-inspired Norðlond setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG keeps growing. Here’s what’s going on, and what’s coming, for Gaming Ballistic in this series of third-party products for SJG’s Powered-by-GURPS boxed set.

Nordlond Sagas: Now on Kickstarter

On Sept 10, Gaming Ballistic launched its 8th Kickstarter campaign, and much like the quite-successful “Four Perilous Journeys” campaign for The Fantasy Trip, Nordlond Sagas is also funding multiple books.

The Dragons of Rosgarth

48 or 64 pages
This setting expansion and adventure scenario details the towns of Midgard and Jarngarðr, and provides a looming threat worthy of a party of seasoned delvers. Targeted at four to six delvers of 300 points or more. Written by Kyle Norton.

Forest’s End

64 or 80 pages
A bold thegn built a fortified settlement beyond Audreyn’s Wall, near where the forest meets the sea: Skógarenda . . . Forest’s End. Forest’s End features several threats and three actual dungeons to delve for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG! Written by Merlin Avery.

Norðlondr Fólk

16 pages
Sixteen playable racial templates to supplement those from Dungeon Fantasy Adventurers, including Norðlond-specific versions of elves and dwarves. Also dragon-blooded, children of humans and demons, and other hybrids, such as raven-folk and those who are brothers and sisters to bear and boar. Written by Kevin Smyth.

Previous Books

Of course, if you missed out on the Hall of Judgment and Citadel at Nordvorn campaigns, those are available, along with the Fantastic Dungeon Grappling booklet, as both comprehensive “all the books” pledge levels in both PDF-only and Print/PDF bundles, as well as add-ons should you wish to pick and choose.

Announcing: Nordlond Bestiary and Enemies Book

Gaming Ballistic is thrilled to announce that we’ve been given the green light to develop a comprehensive bestiary for the Norðlond setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.

It’s going to be very meaty, to the tune of 200 to 250 creatures, mundane and magical. Making it Nordlond-specific and based on the Dungeon Fantasy RPG means that the project and its collaborators get to write to a common target. The specificity of it means each creature and entry can be tailored well enough that it’s not just a list of generic creatures. The issue that plagues such projects is that it’s impossible to guess what campaign flavor it’s going to be in. By making this support Nordlond, it removes that constraint and allows me to be specific while not precluding other efforts or adaptations.

This is going to be, well, a beast of an endeavor. The good news is that tens, maybe even hundreds, of thousands of words already were written as part of a different project for this purpose. Some art even exists. And I even have a draft (work-in-progress, subject to change, etc.) cover:

A project this large will take a lot of funding to pull off. That’s why I haven’t rolled it in to the Norðlond Sagas kickstarter directly.

But I will say this: if by some miracle the current Kickstarter takes off and hits like $75,000 or $80,000 (which is a record-for-me-breaking campaign of 1200 to 1500 backers!), I’d not need to fund it separately to get to the printable PDF stage. I could develop it and only at the end use a short campaign to size the print run.

Wouldn’t THAT be fun?

Norðlond Sagas is coming to Kickstarter

You guys have so far funded three Dungeon Fantasy RPG books from Gaming Ballistic.

Hall of Judgment was my first license from SJG, and you guys showed up strong. Then came the more recent Citadel at Nordvorn, and not only did you throw down for that, it also brought a second edition of Hall of Judgment with a much, much better printing, and a stand-alone booklet: Fantastic Dungeon Grappling.

We’re not going to string the products out for you this time. Gaming Ballistic is thrilled to announce that next week marks the launch of the Nordlond Sagas crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.

It will bring you three unique books, all written by new authors, and all set in the ever-expanding Nordlond setting.

The Dragons of Rosgarth

48 pages (64 if we hit a stretch goal)

This setting expansion and adventure scenario details the towns of Midgard and Jarngarðr, and provides a looming threat worthy of a party of seasoned delvers. Targeted at four to six characters of 300 points or more. Written by Kyle Norton (Dungeons on Automatic).

The Ruins of Rosgarth are occupied again, this much is certain. But mining caravans and logging expeditions are being threatened by growing hordes of undead, as well as surging ranks of dragonkin. Wizards and clerics alike are muttering uneasily as they feel the disturbance in the land, and the Aesir whisper in the dreams of heroes. Journey into the wilds north of Audreyn’s Wall to Rosgarth Ruins. Investigate the source of the danger . . . and defeat it if you can.

Sample Layout with content from Nordvorn. Will definitely change!

Forest’s End

64 pages (80 if we hit a stretch goal)

The King proclaimed over a year ago that for the first time in centuries, the ranks of the nobility would be expanding, with lands available for those bold enough to hold them. The catch? The lands lay beyond Audreyn’s Wall, where dragonkin roam, giants dwell, and all manner of creatures make their lairs.

And yet, the Dragonground, as they are called, are home to countless ruins and dungeons, plus abandoned broken ley line junctions . . . and the boundless and magical wealth of the fallen empire of the Dragon Queens. One thegn, more than bold enough to take up the King’s challenge, built a fortified settlement near where the forest meets the sea: Skógaenda. . . Forest’s End.

A year has past, and the settlement has thrived. The thegn is ready to claim his rightful status as lord and jarl. A great feast is planned. What could go wrong?

Forest’s End features several threats and three actual dungeons to delve for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG! Written by Merlin Avery.

Norðlondr Fólk

16 pages

This short supplement brings at least 16 different playable racial templates to supplement those from Dungeon Fantasy Adventurers. Including Nordlond-specific versions of elves and dwarves, it also provides ties to other cosmology for the setting: dragon-blooded, children of humans and demons, and other hybrids, such as raven-folk and those who are brothers and sisters to bear and boar. With new traits available for every Dungeon Fantasy race, this book allows you to tie all of the “usual suspects” in with the Nordlond setting and bring some entirely new abilities to your games. Easily portable to other settings. Written by Kevin Smyth, who was deeply involved with writing and proofing the pre-generated characters from Hall of Judgment.

Goals, Duration, and Pledge Levels

Depending on approval, the campaign will launch either Sept 10 or Sept 12 (next Tuesday or Thursday) and run through October 12.

It has an initial funding goal of $15,000, and two important stretch goals

  • The first stretch goal is at 300 physical copies. At that point, we upgrade to a higher-quality printing, at the same printer that did Citadel at Nordvorn and Hall of Judgment 2nd Edition.
  • The second stretch goal is at $29,000. At that point, there’s enough funding to ensure that Rosgarth and Forest’s End can both be expanded by 16 pages.

The pledge levels are offered as a bundle including all three books. This is necessary for printing cost efficiency as well as to get the loyal DFRPG customers more stuff in 2019.

If you missed Hall of Judgment and Citadel at Nordvorn, there’s also both digital and physical tiers to get all the books, all at once. Plus two retail levels for those who would like to cover the line.

Get Notified! Follow Norðlond Sagas on Kickstarter

Today and tomorrow

This is all the time that you have to back the Dungeon Fantasy RPG Magic Items 2 “Quickstarter.”

Help push the KS past the $15K Stretch Goal!

As of Thursday morning, with 34 hours to go, the project stands at 447 backers, for $10,181. That means there are another 212 backers needed to push it past the $15,000 stretch goal that pushes the book from 48 pages to 64 pages.

It’s funded – the goal was $4,000 – so the 48 pager is going to happen. But $64 would be better. Don’t wait on this one! And tell your friends.

A Note on Pricing

Not sure if you noticed, but Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 is $15 as a PDF and $25 for a softcover print book for 52 pages. The current product – Magic Items 2 – is being offered for only $10 for PDF, and $18 for both print and PDF.

This represents a significant discount for the period of the Kickstarter. I’d hazard that if you have any interest in this, you want it now. The PDF of DFRPG Monsters 2 was also $10, the Print + PDF bundle $20, in the last campaign.

Go back it. What are you waiting for?

Coming Soon from Gaming Ballistic

And as I noted in a prior comment, September is a good month for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.

Coming perhaps as soon as next week to Kickstarter, three new products:

The Dragons of Rosgarth

This setting and adventure details the towns of Jarngarðr (the Iron Garden) and Midgard, and describes a great deal of trouble caused by some unusually motivated dragons. I’ve got cover art for this one already! By Kyle Norton.

Forest’s End

The first of the Nordlond Sagas that features actual dungeons, and more than one, for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG. This one will come in at 64 or 80 pages, I suspect. Details the settlement and area around the town of Forest’s End, whose celebration of the Jarl’s plans to make his claim of domain to the king are about to be rudely and fatally interrupted. By Merlin Avery.

No cover yet on this one, but here’s a page of Nordvorn, but with a new border and banner that represents what the interior of Forest’s End will look like.

Races of Norðlond

Finally, this 16-page short supplement is planned around 16-18 lenses, from half-breeds to beast-men. Will include more data on some of the major cultures and races of Nordlond, such as the dwarves and true elves. By Kevin Smyth, who did yeoman’s work in helping me build and adjust the 16 pre-gen characters in Hall of Judgment.

I suspect that the “get all three” pledge level for print and PDF will be about $65. The “all the Nordlond!” level, which gets you all three new books plus Hall of Judgment 2nd Edition, The Citadel at Nordvorn, and Fantastic Dungeon Grappling is likely $130, in case you missed the last few projects. Other levels will be available, including Retail pricing for bulk orders.

Watch for it!

All PDF Rewards Delivered

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This morning, I received final ship approval for the NPC and Creature cards, and sent the PDF file to all backers who selected to receive it.

This means it’s time to procure all of the physical rewards. I will be ordering the color counter tiles and also the actual card decks today, and having them shipped to their destinations – Studio 2 for US orders, and Kixto in the UK for international ones.

The printer files of the adventures were downloaded a day or so ago, and I’m still waiting for notification that they’ve passed pre-press. That’s not behind schedule, so to speak, it’s part of the four week printing process.

So, here’s where I think we are:

  • September: Printing of books, counters and cards
  • October: International shipments commence and many will arrive during the month of October. The usual happenstance is a month on the water getting the books to the USA, so October will see all required goods arrive at Studio 2.
  • November: US Shipping. In many cases I cannot use media mail; this is expensive, but (good for you) faster.

If things go perfectly to plan (ha ha ha), deliveries of all products will be on time for international backers, and maybe two weeks behind the October schedule for the USA.

I hope you enjoy your card decks. I think they’re fun.

The crowdfunding campaign for “Four Perilous Journeys: New Adventures for The Fantasy Trip” closed on June 8. It hit 250% funding and smashed my previous records for both backers and funds raised.

If you missed the campaign, or wanted to join in but could not . . .it’s not too late.

The Pre-Order Store for Four Perilous Journeys is open

Everything that was available during the campaign can be had in the pre-order store, plus a lot more besides.

 

The first 3rd-party licensed product for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG is on sale until I run out (there are only 50 or so copies left) for the same price as the PDF: $12.50.

This doesn’t have some errata fixes, and the maps are the older style instead of the upgraded Glynn Seal maps.

Hall of Judgment (Softcover Print for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG)

This is it. The last day. The sprint and dash. The Final Countdown.

But the Kickstarter campaign for Four Perilous Journeys is not over yet, and the last day is often one of the best days.

Go. Go Tell Your Friends.

At this point, the very best thing that you, as backers, can do for the campaign that you already haven’t done by pledging is to post about the campaign, and share the link.

The 48-hour announcement is a good one to share. So is the Daily Illuminator, though that requires two clicks.

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We’re funded. We’ve hit stretch goals. And, as I realized yesterday, there’s a very significant discount on the ALL THE DIGITAL THINGS and BRING ME THE THINGS. ALL OF THEM levels.The ‘sold separately’ price of the digital “sweeper” pledge is over $65. The same calculation for the all the things physical pledge is about $200.

Can’t Wait for Physical

Just a bit of a side note, but related.

I received my advance copy/test proof for my 8-page booklet “Fantastic Dungeon Grappling” for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS. It’s my first chance to handle my own works printed by Livonia in Latvia.

It’s gorgeous. The color is super-vivid, the paper luxurious. These are the same printers who will print the five adventures being produced here, so I can tell you you’re going to be very happy with them. In particular, I can’t wait to see how the Vampire Hunter Belladonna cover turns out. It is going to POP.

With that . . . I’ve got a 5-year-old girl whose birthday party is today, so I’ll catch you guys after she’s proerly sugar-soaked and satiated. We’ve got a unicorn pinata to destroy, and she needs to choose her weapons.

I’m voting longsword.

Funding Status

The Four Perilous Journeys Kickstarter campaign is about to enter its home stretch. The campaign ends this Saturday at 10pm Central time.

We’ve done quite well: we’re sitting at just shy (like a single All the Things pledge) of $30,000 with over 350 folks following but not pledged. We’re also nearly averaging $60 per pledge, so as we hopefully draw in the folks who are currently watching, we will push through. The question in my mind is if we pick up another 100 or so backers, so as to surpass The Citadel at Nordvorn as my most-backed Kickstarter ever; it’s already my most funded.

If you’re following but not yet pledged . . . jump on! It’s never too early.

Covers!

I sent out a bunch of updates because I was having a lot of fun putting the covers together. I got several done, some with placeholder images to capture the spirit of the adventure, and one without, because all of the placeholder images I wanted to use were, well, filled with Buffy or Anna Valerious.

But I knew that I wanted to feature megahexes – the signature TFT element, really – in the design. Early feedback suggests it went well enough. Here’s what I have so far:

I don’t quite have one for Crown of Eternity yet, but the primary terrain element is a giant desert, so desert terrain seems likely. Curse of the Pirate King may get a revamp too, either to make it jungle, or perhaps the decking boards of ships. Even if I do say so myself: the red silk and black megahexes from Vampire Hunter Belladonna turned out really well.

What’s Next

Well, we finish! The next 3.5 days from when I write this should hopefully see an acceleration of interest and funding, with an increase in backer count to help the authors get paid more! Right now, they’re being paid double the original base pay rate thanks to your backer count. I’d love to see them get paid triple (at 750 backers).

Today in between and around Day Job activities, and before the KS ends, I’ll be

  • Digging in hard on the editing of Crown of Eternity.
  • Getting the cartography commissions completed.
  • Doing a few mock-up cards to show what the NPC/Monster card will look like; the art will change because I’ll use some temp art . . . but you’ll see what you’ll get.
  • Continuing to shop around art direction. The 42 tokens per adventure – even if some are duplicates (five yetis, twelve salt wraiths, whatever) are a lot of work
  • I will make some edits based on playtest feedback and get the three finished adventures back out into the playtest group’s hands.

From here on out, it’s all about finalization. I may need to push some deadlines around in order to give the artists time to do their thing. I’d rather get the (now five) books done right than insist on shipping a less-good product on a particular day, but I haven’t been late yet, and I don’t wish to start now!

So . . . back to the salt mines. Which are, naturally, filled with wraiths. Onward!

Check out Four Five! Perilous Journeys on Kickstarter

I’ve revamped the campaign by adding a few new stretch goals and adding some “all the things” pledge levels, which include the new reward items.

NPC/Creature Deck

For quick reference and easy play at the table, nothing beats the utility of a printed NPC or monster card.

The basic add-on will be 42 cards in the “Creature and Wizard” size: 3.5 x 5″. These will be printed on quality UV-gloss coated stock for maximum compatibility with dry-erase markers.

There is not a unique card deck per adventure: there’s a single deck that draws from the selection of creatures that come with the adventures, including the solo adventure if we hit the $21,000 stretch goal.

The “deck” will also be available in PDF format.

  • PDF: $20
  • Physical Card Deck: $40

Token Sheets

Each adventure has creatures and NPCs to fight, negotiate with, or charm. While print-your-own tokens are on the last page in each adventure, this add-on gets you a COLOR version of that page. Each sheet contains 42 1″ square tokens depicting the creatures and characters from the adventure. There is a separate sheet for each adventure; if you want a physical sheet for each adventure, you’ll want to increase your pledge by $10 per sheet.

  • PDF: $5 each
  • Print: $10 each
Prototype Token Sheets (they'll be different for the final release)
Prototype Token Sheets (they’ll be different for the final release)

All the Digital Things! ($50)

This pledge level includes a PDF of all the rewards offered in the campaign in digital format.

  • PDFs of all of the Perilous Journeys: Four at the moment, but if we cross $21,000, the fifth adventure – a 32-page solo by David Pulver – gets added as well.
  • Color PDFs of the token sheets that come with the adventure. This is to support those with print-it-yourself aspirations who have quality color inkjet or laser printers
  • Color PDFs of all the NPC/Monster cards, with a hyperlinked table of contents for quick reference

These are discounted as a bundle from their price as individual add-ons (see below for item pricing)

Bring Me The Things. All of Them. ($110)

This is the place for those that must loot and pillage.  This pledge level includes a PDF of all the rewards offered in the campaign in physical AND digital format.

  • Print and PDF copies of all of the Perilous Journeys: Four at the moment, but if we cross $21,000, the fifth adventure – a 32-page solo by David Pulver – gets added as well!
  • Printed die-cut token sheets, in color, of all the tokens that come with each adventure. These are printed on 1.6mm gloss-laminated stock . . . but see the stretch goals!
  • Color PDFs of the token sheets that come with the adventure. This is to support those with print-it-yourself aspirations who have quality color inkjet or laser printers and for folks who want more of a particular token.
  • UV-gloss laminated NPC and Monster cards. A minimum of 42 cards will be provided, but see the stretch goals: if we get enough orders, I’ll include more cards in the deck. Maybe a lot more.
  • Color PDFs of the NPC/Monster cards, with a hyperlinked table of contents for quick reference

These are discounted as a bundle from their price as individual add-ons (see below for item pricing)

If we pass $21,000 . . . the campaign turns into FIVE Perilous Journeys. After listening to feedback on what the backers want, I talked with David Pulver, and we came up with some thing for you. If we hit $21,000 the following 32-page solo adventure will be included in both the $20 PDF and $50 Print+PDF adventure groups. ANY pledge tier that includes the original four 16-page adventures will include this fifth perilous journey at no additional cost.

Vampire Hunter Belladonna

You are Belladonna, the young maid and cook at Castle Ironskull—moonlighting as a vampire slayer!

Years ago, the sinister Lord Adrik Blackbird turned your best friend into a vampire. For their own good, you had to stake them both! Somehow, you succeeded—but while those vampires perished, they had already infected others. The bloodsuckers will spread like a plague through the local countryside—unless you hunt them down!

Play as the lethal maid Belladonna (wielder of silver stakes and deadly poisons), or as your own vampire slaying hero or wizard. Travel through the villages and wilderness near Ironskull Castle, hunting vampires (and possibly other monsters). During your quest, you may uncover disturbing rumors of the rise of a new and terrifying master vampire, and the arcane relic they seek. Can you find it first?

Vampire Hunter Belladonna is a programmed adventure for The Fantasy Trip. You won’t need a Game Master—instead a system of branching paragraphs directs you from encounter to encounter as you make your own choice. You resolve combat or other encounters using the TFT rules.

In this double-sized 32-page adventure, you will find:

  • Over 200 paragraphs detailing wilderness and village encounters.
  • Multiple new monsters (not just vampires!) and magic items.
  • A “sandbox” wilderness setting that can reward multiple plays.
  • A choice of using the included pre-generated characters or your existing PC.

VAMPIRE HUNTER BELLADONNA is an independent adventure, but it has ties to IRONSKULL CASTLE, so you can use both together in a campaign if you wish. If you think of it as “Vampire Hunter B,” we won’t mind that either.

If this stretch goal is reached, a fifth token sheet will be made available and included in the “All the Things” level pledges for no additional cost.
Check out the full campaign page: Four Perilous Journeys. There are new stretch goals as well as more information on the rewards and pledge levels.

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.