Still working the kickstarter, of course! Things are going well, and the KS is trending to roughly hit the “full color” stretch goal. Of course, in my Update #11 I promised to deliver full-color anyway, but having all of that art fully covered would be nice, and if we overfunded my team could get bonuses. I’d like that, and so would they.

I was on Shane Plays radio last weekend, and we had a great talk about gaming in general. You can find it on podcast here. That was my first time doing live radio, so new experience for me.

also recorded a session with James Introcaso on his Round Table, and we spoke for quite a while. That podcast should go live Monday, and we spent a great deal of time getting into grappling and game design, and why Dungeon Grappling scratches that particular itch better than other rules may have. It was a great conversation, and I hope you can make time for it. Continue reading “Gaming Ballistic LLC – Update for 11/18”


The alpha and the omega of GBLLC this week was the Kickstarter – the video prep, the launch, and hitting F5 like a ferret on crack all week.

In other news, I’ll be on the Shane Plays radio show from basically 1-2pm tomorrow. Not sure what Shane’s going to ask me about, but I’m sure we’ll cover GURPS, Dragon Heresy, and of course Dungeon Grappling.

Dragon Heresy

No progress this week, really.

Dungeon Grappling

Well, lots of news here, of course.

Started the Kickstarter on time, and hit 70% funding on Day one (about $900). Since rumor and rule of thumb predicts that you’ll get about 3x your first day’s total, that’s funding, but not all the stretch goals. However, the DFRPG hit 6-7x with a nice, steady ascent, which for me would be $5,0000-$6,000. Continue reading “Gaming Ballistic, LLC – Update for 11/11”

A fantastic first day on my Kickstarter for Dungeon Grappling. Nearly 70% of the way to funding on Day 1, with 27 days to go. Thank you to all those that have shown such generosity thus far.

But it’s not over until it’s over, and once we hit the “funded” level, that’s only about 1/3 of the way to getting the best book possible, with full-color art, 25% MORE art, and higher pay rates to the artists.

So if you’ve pledged already – thank you! Please continue, though, to reshare and spread the word. And if you haven’t pledged, please consider it, or help inform fellow gamers that the project is out there.

Live to Grapple. Grapple to Live. Dungeon Grappling.



I brought an artist on board to do some 3D renders for the upcoming Kickstarter. More on that below.

If all goes well, I will finish up the video tonight or tomorrow, which puts me in a position to launch on Monday, which would be “all goes to plan.”

Daniel also was a whiz this last week and we installed and activated WooCommerce, so when I have products to offer, I can take PayPal and credit cards. I’m also capable of accepting Stripe, but I’m pausing on that one for now.

So, I’m about to try and launch a product, I can collect revenue, and I think the site looks good.

I obtained 10 ISBNs and 6 bar-codes, so I can list and sell my first few products in various formats in many places.

Dungeon Grappling and Dragon Heresy

One quick note on this. If you’ve been following me for a bit, you’ll know that most of my efforts for a long time were bent on trying to bring my full RPG Dragon Heresy to reality. This is still happening. But along the way, I got a good piece of advice, mixed in with some pretty negative advice. Which was that Dragon Heresy, being two full-size, hardcover books with full-color art that will probably take $25K just to block and tackle, another $25K for the 350-400 pieces of art I’d need, and then yet another $20K to print physical books . . . well, having my first Kickstarter for my first product being on the order of $80,000 is a bridge too far.

I looked at Dragon Heresy, and decided that if I were to get some experience, build some credibility as to being able to produce and deliver a product of quality, I’d need to start smaller.

My choices seemed to be two-fold. I could try and blow out my version of Alexander Macris’ domain rules that I’d modified for SRD5.1 and Dragon Heresy, or I could take the grappling system that started in Manor #8, was revised and expanded and playtested over the course of months, and bring that to market with both OSR (I use Swords and Wizardry as an example), the PFRPG, and Fifth edition all as examples within the text.

I love Alex’s work, but despite it being OGL and therefore technically allowable for me to build it, well, it seemed that would be the sort of thing Alex and Autarch would want to do himself, or at least in collaboration. The grappling system is my own from start to finish, and has proved itself to be a winner in several systems (including GURPS).

The system that will appear in print is simpler than the GURPS one, of course, but it still manages to be dramatic, fast, and fills a gap in how characters and monsters fight that has existed pretty much forever. Most creatures that are trying to kill you because they are hungry are grapplers, not strikers, and yet my experience with the games is that the worst an animal does is Claw/Claw/Bite – and that really should be claw-and-knock-prone, claw-to-grapple, bite-to-strangle.

Well, now you’ll be able to do it.

The ask is a LOT less – over 15x lower than for Dragon Heresy. I’ve already learned a ton about making video (start early)putting together the Kickstarter pitch with the extremely limited graphical and editing tools that the Kickstarter backend gives you, and that my biggest worry right now is that my marketing channels are underdeveloped.

That’s all stuff you want to find out on a $5,000 “this is my upper-end stretch goal” project, not a “I need $80K to get it done” project.

And that is why, after roughly nine months of nothing but “Dragon Heresy” and “Heretical DnD,” you’re suddenly hearing a lot about grappling. That book went from “a collection of all my rules and blog posts” to 17,500 words of relatively polished prose very quickly. About five weeks from my first note to a well-known Kickstarter expert to launching the new product. And that is because all the ideas were there, and just needed to be put through the purifier to get to the basics.

All that said: I hope you guys like it, and I hope you’ll support it. I’ve got some great add-ons for you too, especially if you’re an OSR fan. Continue reading “Gaming Ballistic, LLC – Update for 11/5”

grappling-ks-teaserJust for fun, I asked my usual printer of choice for a quote for a short book, in 6×9 format. Softcover, 12-point matte cover. 100# matte paper on the inside. 56 pages.

What does that mean? Well, if my current layout of Grappling Heresy runs to about 520 words per page, it will come in in letter format at approximately 34 pages, plus end sheets.

In a 6×9 format, density would fall to about 300 words per page, pushing it to 58 pages. Layout tricks can be employed to boost average words per page to 312, which will give pricing advantages for offset printing.

Anyway, I got quotes. And compared them to PrintNinja and DTRPG.

 Quantity   Thomson-Shore   Print Ninja   DTRPG
            250  $                   13.28  $           6.36  $       5.08
            500  $                     7.18  $           3.40  $       5.08
         1,000  $                     4.12  $           1.86  $       5.08
         1,500  $                     3.10  $           1.39  $       5.08


Some high-level observations.

Thomson-Shore will deliver the entire thing from their office in Detroit in 3-4 weeks. PrintNinja prints in China (thus the cost break), and I’ve heard tell that they will also print in 3-4 weeks, but you are a bit at the mercy of shipping times. 6-12 weeks not being crazy. So if you can wait – or more importantly, your customers/backers can wait – up to 4 months for a print copy, you can get books very, very inexpensively.

But check out DTRPG. For this size book, in quantities of 250-300 copies, it’s probably just better to go through DTRPG, or even consider an at-cost coupon for it. You get good pricing, local shipping, and no hassles.

For T-S, you’re paying for really good help and fast delivery. For PrintNinja, the prices are about 45% of Thomson-Shore, but there is no small amount of uncertainty over delivery time. It’s also easy to imagine that for a book like this, you could pay rather ridiculous shipping fees to the UK/EU or AUS/NZ to the tune of 10x or more the cost of the book.

Anyway, my plans do not include a print run for Grappling Heresy . . . though that could change if I get enough backers and enough interest. Those DTRPG prices are pretty attractive, and I’d have a hard time justifying fulfillment other than POD-coupon for this kind of book. I suppose there could be a stretch goal for the format. Would be $1,000-1500 higher than the current maximum funding level, I suspect. Another bunch of money for layout and the cover. The art could probably be re-scaled and re-used. Indexing would probably re-flow naturally, but pagination would be different. Would need a new ISBN and bar code.


ISBN and Barcode

A Sample ISBN Barcode and Pricing code
                                   A Sample ISBN Barcode and Pricing code

So, as I mentioned, I just purchased my first 10 ISBNs (international standard book number) on behalf of Gaming Ballistic. I also bought 6 bar-codes, which have to be purchased separately,

apparently. I was tempted to get a whole bunch of either, but right now, I can only see my way to three releases – Dungeon Grappling, The Book of Heroes (for Dragon Heresy), and The Book of Deeds (also for Dragon Heresy).

You need a different bar code and ISBN for each type of book, even if the content is the same, is what I’m gathering here. So for Dungeon Grappling, I’ll need a unique ISBN for both eBook and PDF versions, maybe. It seems if you select “Digital” for medium, you can select both ePUB and PDF. If you select eBook, you get one choice – “Electronic Book Text.”

So, while it appears I might be able to use a common ISBN for my PDF and my eBook, I suspect that’s a bad idea. Especially since they will be different – the eBook will be a one-column easy-read layout for small screens. PDF will be basically “you could print and read this if you wanted to.”

So there may well be some choice involved here, and for my first few products, I’m erring on the side of proliferation, to ensure I don’t bollux it up.

That means I dropped $250 on the 10 ISBNs, and another $138 for six (6) barcodes.

Required ISBN Information

There’s a LOT of information you can enter when assigning a title to an ISBN. There is some information you must enter. I’ve tried to list these below, in case others find themselves where I am.

The information you enter is in four sections at the Bowker website. Continue reading “ISBN Navigation – Musts and Wants”


From a company perspective, the coolest thing that happened is the finalization of the look of the website. There are still small tweaks to make, but I love the look. Now it’s time to pivot to enabling e-Commerce so I can sell product and get money, likely by PayPal and Credit Card only, both enabled through PayPal.

I also installed JetPack, so sharing posts to G+, Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter is now a two-click process or so.

Next will be redirecting traffic from the old blog to this one.

Dungeon Grappling

I finished the last edits on the manuscript, adding rules for hurting people without injuring them (making them want to tap out). I think the new rule is a nice balance between a viable effect and loss of player agency. Continue reading “Gaming Ballistic, LLC – Update for 10/28”

Importing from Blogger

Well, sometimes the right answer is just “chill the heck out.”

Blogger Importer Extended was updated very recently, and is now compatible with WordPress 4.6.1

So if you have the time, you can just click “go” and it’ll bring in what you need without having to resort to a roll-back.

I am currently importing, and while it (with good reason) bypassed the stuff I’d already done, it has made great progress on the images and links. I’ll probably let it run overnight, and hopefully it’ll complete.

So if you’re looking for a solution – now you have one.

One other thing

I have obviously been the recipient of some of Daniel’s efforts, as the site is now looking a heck of a lot more like what it’s supposed to. We’ll be playing a bit more with it, since we’ve got a nice list of categories that we’ll be using.

Continue reading “Importing from Blogger and GB Site Update”