As reviews happen regarding my products, I have tried to keep up, and post links Thus far, Dungeon Grappling has been very well received critically. This might be because those that bother to review it are already part of its target audience – confirmation bias. The other side, that everyone knows grappling sucks, grappling rules suck harder, so why bother, is confirmation bias of a different sort.

I will still maintain my contention that grappling needs to be part of any game that features combat, though much like I mention in my Violent Resolution column To the Last, I Grapple with Thee, those rules need not be custom. Night’s Black Agents has its combat rules at such a level of granularity that it would be odd to treat grappling any differently than melee, and that logic is stated right in the book, explicitly. In fact, the less the grappling rules deviate from the regular combat rules, the better they are as an option that can be integrated easily with the normal flow at the table.

Shane was gracious enough to invite me on his program – my first “big” podcast on Dungeon Grappling, undertaken when the Kickstarter was still going, and when I wasn’t used to podcasts, and also before I got comfortable just getting out there with my message: grappling is awesome in real life, deserves to be awesome in games, and adopting a rules set that makes it that way will increase the potential energy of fun available for games.

In addition to having me on Shane Plays, he also independently reviewed the play of the game. And by that, I mean he actually played out some combats using the grappling rules and reported on how it worked for the game. This is great, not just because of the investment, but also because theorycraft is great, but some rules that you’d think are cumbersome by reading them just aren’t, and some that seem great on paper just suck. You can’t always tell until the dice hit the table. (Of course, sometimes you can.)

So to the end first: I think is review is both favorable and accurate. But I also think it presents a take on things that invite comment, so I’m going to indulge in a bit of quote-response.

First, head on over to Shane Plays and read the full review. I’ll wait, but I’m also going to quote selectively, so there may be missing context, and there will be definitely be missing text. His words are in quote-boxes, and mine follow.

Continue reading “Shane Plays Review of Dungeon Grappling – Comments”

The GM’s Day Sale at DriveThruRPG is going on today! Dungeon Grappling is part of it. Get 30% off darn near everything on their site, including my book.

Just to throw in, you can also get 30% off anything you buy on my own webstore through the weekend of March 12, except for The Art of Dungeon Grappling, which is variably priced and goes mostly to charity anyway. Use the code gmday.

Well, another month has come and gone, and what’s happened? More and less than one would think. I’ve been so head-down in doing the projects that my blogging and general evangelism has fallen off a bit.

Dungeon Grappling

Well, the book came out, well ahead of schedule, and in addition to those sales I made during the Kickstarter campaign (about 300), I moved about 24 more. Mostly PDF through DTRPG (15 sales there), and nine more – a healthy mix of print and PDF – personally and through my web store. I sold two copies of The Art of Dungeon Grappling, which is disappointing but perhaps unsurprising, despite the benefit to both charity and the artists.

The reviews have been very positive to date, so I can’t complain about that. Word will hopefully get out, especially as I broaden the applicability of the system and offer more products. Most folks probably just have been so burned with bad grappling in the past that they might not be interested. That was to be expected, I think – it’s a niche product. It’s a good product, but niche.

I will be running a few Dungeon Grappling Smackdown events at GenCon via the Independent Game Designer’s Network. More on that in coming months.

I also released Dungeon Grappling through CreateSpace. That was a bit of a chore, as I actually had to lay out the book again to meet Amazon’s margin requirements. But it’s available as both a softcover and a Kindle book (I’ve sold one Kindle version, and no CreateSpace print copies).

Dragon Heresy

Looking over my blog, I see I’ve not said much about Dragon Heresy. Well, things are moving. Continue reading “Gaming Ballistic, LLC – February Update”

A hug is just a grapple that hasn’t achieved a submission yet. 

To help you celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, put the grip of love on friends and monsters alike. All variants of Dungeon Grappling are 14% off for today only!

Use the coupon code HUGS at checkout to claim your discount.

Head over to the Gaming Ballistic Store and put a product in a choke hold today!

Dungeon Grappling is now available on Amazon through CreateSpace.

The paperback (softcover color print) is a matte rather than a gloss cover, and had to get some layout tweaks for margins and borders. The colors are a tetch darker but the contrast is higher, so some subtle details come out differently than the DriveThruRPG product. It’s still a nice book.

The Kindle version (MOBI file) is also now available. This is the same file that was distributed to backers.

Dungeon Grappling Winds Down

I’ve received enough feedback from folks that I know that at least EU and USA hardcopies should have been more than trickling in. If you don’t have yours by the end of this week, please contact me at gamingballistic@gmail.com, and I’ll pester DriveThruRPG on your behalf.

Feedback for those that read, review, and use the book continues to be sparse but positive. I’m hoping as folks get their book, use it in games, and write about it online that word of mouth (word of electrons?) will spread and sales will pick up beyond the Kickstarter.

Speaking of sales: two dozen. That’s about how many non-Kickstarter books and PDFs have moved. It went on sale about two weeks ago, so the run rate is on the order of one per day.

Dragon Heresy Ramps Up

As one project ends, another . . . continues. I’d set down my Big Project in order to get Kickstarter experience with Dungeon Grappling. But that’s done now, and I’m digging in hard on Dragon Heresy.

  • I’ve got the manuscript done (425,000 words! Likely 750-800 pages)
  • I’ve send the manuscript to Ken Hite for editing
  • I’ve mostly decided to release it in three books (mostly characters, mostly action/setting, monsters)
  • I’m finishing up some preparatory art commissions to help sell the game. You’ll recognize the names (Juan, Gennifer).
  • I also have maps, procured a while ago.
  • I’ve brought on Michael Clarke for layout, cover design, and cover paintings, after he did a great job with that on Dungeon Grappling. It was a difficult decision, as I attracted some very talented folks for that job.
  • I am currently gathering artists . . . and since I’m anticipating 375-425 pieces of color art for the book, I need 20-30 of them if the time from “Kickstarter ends” to “PDF ships” is to be kept reasonable, and by “reasonable” I mean about 18-20 weeks to final delivery.

Continue reading “Dungeon Grappling winds down; Dragon Heresy spins up”

I am looking for artists. Probably two dozen or so of them. The Dragon Heresy RPG is going to be laid out in roughly the same style as Dungeon Grappling, and I wound up with about one piece of art, on the average, every two pages. That puts DH clocking in at 390 pieces of art. If I say “one piece of art per monster,” That’s 164 monsters and would push the art budget to 425 pieces.

So I’m recruiting.

I want images like these, in terms of style.

If this fits what you do, please email me at gamingballisticllc@gmail.com

Here’s my pitch: Continue reading “Recruiting for Dragon Heresy art team”

It’s like a moth to flame with me. First there was GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling. That one  was my first full-length book for anyone: 35,000 words of fairly detailed subsystem that was my first attempt at taking grappling rules and put them on the same scale and mechanical basis as striking with fists or weapons. It’s where I created and put to paper the concept that one should treat wrestling with the same level of abstraction and the same mechanics as other methods of fighting.

Then I got involved a bit in a Swords and Wizardry game. This deliberate throwback to the original Dungeons and Dragons rules took me back to the red box and AD&D days, and had the same brutal and elegant simplicity that I recalled, but also was found more rarely in later games. An entire party of folks could sit down, roll up characters, and begin play in less than an hour. Maybe less than 15 minutes. West End Games’ Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game has that same feel. Few others since have managed it (Fate Core and Accelerated do a very nice job as well. They should: Leonard Balsera quoted WEG’s Star Wars as one of his primary influences when designing the game).

So when my S&W group and I got a few games under our belts, Peter Dell’Orto encouraged me to take Technical Grappling and strip it way, way down and apply it to S&W, and by extension to all of the games based on the old-school D&D rules. We took that on together, and the results appeared in Tim Shorts’ zine, part of Manor #8. Peter and I took everything that wasn’t strictly required and threw it in the dustbin. Doubly so because the old games’ monster writeups mostly did not include much in the way of statistics. You would get Hit Dice, Armor Class, and Hit Points. That was about it. Size? Strength? Yeah. Make it up. Continue reading “Dungeon Grappling – Designer’s Notes”

This has been, bar none, the biggest month in Gaming Ballistic’s short existence.  A lot happened!

These updates are going to come monthly now, so that they’re more interesting.

Admin

Daniel and I turned on the Gaming Ballistic web store. Right now, there are only two items on there: the Dungeon Grappling PDF and the Art of Dungeon Grappling PDF. Those were the easy ones, where I knew if I got an order, I could fulfill it by simple download.

I now have some physical inventory in my office for orders of a physical copy of Dungeon Grappling. So if someone were to buy one, I could ship it to them. I will likely “turn on” orders for physical copies this weekend. I will need to work on shipping; orders may well be “US-only” for a bit, with “not in the US” referred to DTRPG, since they have the best fulfillment to the rest of world, as far as I can tell. Amazon/CreateSpace mostly serves the US, Canada, and Mexico, I think.

Other than that, and a very interesting “maybe one day” conversation with another game company owner, the company administrative end of things has been quiet. Continue reading “Gaming Ballistic, LLC – January Update”

The manuscript is done

Final tally is just shy of 425,000 words, which will wind up being about 780 pages laid out. Likely split into two or three books.

Now final ‘scripts are off to Ken Hite for editing, and I’ll be looking at my current and extended contacts for a layout pro to make this every bit as pretty a book as Dungeon Grappling is.

Now . . . sleep, perchance to get eaten by kittens.