This has come up a few times. Cross-Kickstarter promotions – where two publishers are actively promoting and incentivizing  each other’s products at the same time – are somewhere between “rare” and “unheard of” from what I’ve seen (love to see other examples, though!).

So when Steve Jackson Games and Gaming Ballistic each hosted a stretch goal for the other company’s campaign, some confusion was naturally generated.

Here’s the deal.

What’s Different about FDG vs HoJ’s Version

Fantastic Dungeon Grappling is now 8 pages instead of four. It incorporates learning from over a year of play in terms of penalties and how folks actually grapple in the game. Experience showed that while the control points given and received were fair, they were not always fun, and I don’t care how  detailed or realistic a system is, if it’s not fun you won’t use it, and it’s missed its mark.

We also looked at things that monsters need to do (swallow PCs whole), flying creatures need to do (pick you up and fly away with you so they can eat you later or feed you to their hungry offspring), and some dedicated “abracadabra you’re grappled” spells. I think we amplified on a few other options as well.

How Do I Get the Book?

There are two ways to get it.

The first – and best – is to contribute to the Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 Kickstarter at the boxed set level, AND see to it that the $45,000 stretch goal is reached for that product. If that happens, SJG will be including a copy of Fantastic Dungeon Grappling in each box printed, if I understand it correctly.

The other way is to add $4 for the PDF, $7 for print, or $9 for Print + PDF to the Citadel at Nordvorn pledge, and when you get to backerkit, you’ll be able to place that in your cart with the credit you’ll receive from your pledge.

That’s it, really. I do need to add the Fantastic Dungeon Grappling banner and text (probably the text above, actually) to my Citadel campaign. Yesterday and today have been fantastic and nutso and exciting on both a personal and professional level, so I’m a step behind on that front.

Gaming Ballistic started as a blog in late 2012, and then became a company in its own right in October 2016, as the company formally launched its first product, Dungeon Grappling.

This year, 2018, marks the second full year of the company’s operation. It still has but one person doing all of the administrative work: me. During 2018, Gaming Ballistic existed as a vehicle to deliver Douglas’ game ideas, but that will change in 2019.

Gaming Ballistic is a producer of games and entertainment.

2017 Recap and Goals for 2018

In 2017, Gaming Ballistic posted a nearly $20,000 loss. This was mostly expected, since I made big investments in 2017 in Dragon Heresy, and my product focus was on small releases.

My stated goals for 2018 were

  • Release Dragon Heresy
  • Increase revenue and marketing reach
  • Write “The Hunted Lands,” a mini-setting for the DH Intro Set
  • Attend at least two conventions, in Iceland and Wisconsin
  • Make and Sell more shields
  • Five unannounced secret projects
  • Increase blogging of new content
  • Move Venture Beyond ahead

That was a tall order. How did I do?

2018 Executive Summary

To hit the highlights:

  • Gaming Ballistic increased revenue by over 450% in 2018 over 2017!
  • I still lost about $6,000 overall; I know where the losses were, and they’re understandable and OK for a company starting out
  • 2019 has over 15 products queued up, including one in Kickstarter right now, and could be amazing
  • Dragon Heresy, Hall of Judgment, and Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) are all gorgeous
  • I have launched and delivered five Kickstarters either early or on time

The High Points

Gaming Ballistic, oddly enough, makes games. Roleplaying games, to be precise. Ultimately, making and selling such things are why GB exists.

Fortunately, this year I managed to get three products into the launch tube.

Dragon Heresy

The big goal after 2017 was to hack down my monumental manuscript for the Dragon Heresy RPG into a single book. I got this done, Kickstarted it, and the project went very well. I did not blow the doors off the house and attract 1,000 backers and $100,000 . . . but I did, at literally the last few minutes of the campaign, smash through the $16,000 stretch goal that got me an offset print run! As a result, I managed to print 1,500 copies of what is one of the best-looking games I’ve handled. Most people who see it comment very favorably on its production values. That was a well-run campaign, and I spared no expense in getting the book done.

Dungeon Fantasy RPG License!

The really big news for 2018 was that Gaming Ballistic was granted a license to convert Lost Hall of Tyr, a 64-page adventure for 5e, into Hall of Judgment, a mildly de-Norsed adventure for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG. The project went incredibly well, crushing my prior record for number of backers, and making very nearly as much money (short by $1000) as the far more expensive Dragon Heresy. This one was, and remains, profitable, and it has been very well reviewed.

This went very well. Very well. It went so well that as Sean noted in his foreword to the upcoming Citadel at Norðvorn, it changed the course of SJG’s intent for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, and landed me three additional projects to boot.

GameHole Con

I also hit my first convention since GenCon in 2017. I ran Hall of Judgment twice, played games with Matt Finch, and Steve Jackson, when I asked how Gaming Ballistic could work more with SJG, said “Write for The Fantasy Trip.”

More on that later. I missed out on a booth there for 2019, but I’ll be going back.

Shields and Weapons

The viking shields were a case study in research and improvement. I sold six to eight shields in 2018, including during my Kickstarters. Mostly, in fact, during the Dragon Heresy Kickstarter. But I also made a lot of investment in time and experimentation, eventually producing a pretty darn awesome hide faced-and-backed shield that even my picky Viking Martial Arts instructor approved for use in class. The pure satisfaction of making these right is a joy to me.

I also dabbled in making wooden wasters – practice swords – for class. These were not for sale (yet), but they were a big hit. As soon as I get a breather I’ll be making a bunch more of these for my Asfolk classmates.

Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition)

This is cheating a bit, but I launched and funded a third Kickstarter in December 2018. While financially, it did not meet the goals I set for it mentally, even if I couldn’t fund an offset print run, the book that came from the campaign is beautiful. Glynn did a remarkable job with the maps. All 1st Edition backers got the upgraded PDF for free, as promised.

It was also my first chance to test out the dual-print-run strategy I’d concocted to beat international shipping. Thus far, it’s going well. I’ll tell you more in a month.

Kickstarter Delivery

Not to put too fine a point on it, but as of the end of 2018, all of GB’s Kickstarters were delivered on time or early. People are saying nice things about me in that regard.

Off Target: Challenges and Missteps

Each year brings opportunities for improvement, and some missed steps.

Goals Not Met

The big stuff that I feel I didn’t do well is increase my blogging of new content, really extend my marketing reach, and move Venture Beyond along.

Companies live and die by the number of folks they can draw into their products. I’ve got some great stuff on offer, but my mailing list and ability to attract new customers was not what it needed to be by the end of the year.

Lost Hall of Tyr Goes Thud

I took a hard look at my prior Kickstarters for Dragon Heresy, Dungeon Grappling, and the original Lost Hall. I identified over 200 people that had backed Dragon Heresy but not the original Lost Hall. Then there were a bunch more that had backed Lost Hall in PDF only, and still more that had only gone for Dungeon Grappling. I figured I could hit the $6,000 softcover, lay-flat binding easy. The only real question was if we could scare up the 300 backers at $25 each (ish) to hit the hardcover printing.

Well, apparently the real question was something else. Roughly 131 folks, which is about 1/3 of the number that backed Dragon Heresy, came on board. We got a great digital print run (and I discovered a great domestic short-run printer to deliver it domestically).

But LHoT2e was a great example of coming back down to earth. I missed the market on this really, really badly.

Burnout

I launched Hall of Judgment the day after the PDF for Dragon Heresy went to the printers. I delivered both on time or early. Then I launched Lost Hall of Tyr 2e, thinking I’d step up my volume game, and it fell pretty flat. Sales of Dragon Heresy seemed lukewarm at best.

I really considered just hanging it up at that point. But then I got word from SJG that they were giving me a pretty awesome license to write TFT projects, and of course I had Nordvorn and two more projects in the hopper . . . So I committed to going full throttle in 2019.

2018 Financial Summary

Gaming Ballistic overall was not profitable in 2018, losing about $6,250 over the year.

Let me tell you why this is a tremendously good thing.

Revenue: Over 450% Improvement

First up: GB took in over $41,000 in sales and other income in 2018, more than 5.5x the prior year.

Actually, that’s pretty much it. I had tremendous revenue growth this year. New goal to beat! The good news/bad news is that I’ve got something like 1,200 copies of Dragon Heresy left to sell. Every single sale goes right to profit; they’re sunk costs at this point. One good review in the right place, and those can move quickly. Good potential here, but my watchword was revenue for 2018, and I hit that mark.

Costs: 85% Increase

My costs went up too, but much of that was in buying books. It took nearly $19,000 to bring Dragon Heresy home (and nearly 2/3 of that was printing the thing and getting it to the USA, and shipping it to backers).

I also spent nearly $2,000 in 2018 on Lost Hall 2e, and the maybe $5,000 to $6,000 in revenue that came from Kickstarter and Backerkit hasn’t come in yet. So 2019 is already looking nice.

Places to improve: I dropped a lot of money on raw materials for shields, backing other folks’ Kickstarters, and I spent quite a bit setting myself up with a computer worthy of graphic design and layout.

Adobe is still bloody expensive ($660 per year!) and I am strongly considering a move to Affinity Publisher and Photo. One-time fees for the win.

Net: Still Lost Money

A company’s business is to make money doing cool stuff. I lost money doing cool stuff, but I lost a LOT less, maybe 3x, than the prior year.

In My Sights: 2019 Goals

Well, if 2018 was the year of revenue, 2019 needs to be the year of profit and growth.

I’m going to be brief here.

  • I’ve got three Dungeon Fantasy RPG products in queue. The Citadel at Nordvorn is in Kickstarter right now, and 92% funded with two weeks to go.
  • The Dragons of Rosgarth, by Kyle Norton, and Forest’s End, by Merlin Avery will come out later this year. Both are more traditional adventures, and both will Kickstart
  • Fantastic Dungeon Grappling, a short independent take on the 4-page rules from Hall of Judgment, is nearly done. That one won’t go to Kickstarter, mostly because of bandwidth!
  • I have a licence to produce a minimum of 10 short adventures for The Fantasy Trip. David Pulver and Christopher R. Rice are hard at work, having completed one each and closing in on the second. That will Kickstart in April, and hopefully begin a series of once-a-month releases. We’ll see how the first KS goes, though
  • James Spahn is writing a viking-flavored OSR adventure for me. I can’t wait to see it.
  • I still need to do more original content publishing on my blog
  • I need to be profitable in 2019

That’s it. 2018 was much improved from 2017 . . . and 2019 could be amazing.

I’m working through The Citadel at Nordvorn looking at art spaces, layout, and flow. I’ve settled on a reasonable style for some things, like text boxes and I’ve got some art placeholders there. The campaign is at 89% funding, and could use a few more pledges to move it from “over 300 folks are watching and may come in at the end” to “definitely funded; how many stretch goals can we smash?” Also got a WIP update on the cover!

You’ll recognize some of these as pulls from Dean Spencer’s art catalog. While these are low-resolution pulls from his catalog right now, I love his work and will be making use of more of it.

However, it’s not all stock art, and doing layout at this stage gives me a chance to work bespoke art spaces into the book.

This one will probably be describing Klifrið, the summer festival where folks try to climb the steep and magically smooth walls of the gorge:

  •  Klifrið (July). When the weather is as warm as it gets in Norðlond, the citizens of Norðvörn celebrate Klifrið: The Climb. Each climber attempts to scale, without ropes or tools, as far up the gorge as they can manage. Whomever climbs the highest wins a substantial prize, taken from the $50 entry fee for each climber. Spectators place side-bets, factions sponsor climbers, make boasts and taunts, and generally work out a lot of frustration brought on by the heat. Rowing and boating contests and other water sports, including an upstream-swimming competition (the laxsund), take place in the river gorge as well. Spectators row themselves out on barges or rafts to watch the competitors.

Finally, this is the piece of art that inspired an entire section of this setting, the misbehaving Jarl Gunnulf Bjornöxl of Áinferill. Wow. Public displays of private behavior, while his daughter looks on disapprovingly. He’s done the unforgivable . . . no, not that. He’s left his weapons behind. That just won’t do, and is that a jealous paramour pulling a knife?

This is, for me, the fun part. Putting it all together as it starts to look less like a jumble of pieces and more like what’s going to be a real book.

Status

We’re doing really quite well. We have two full weeks left in the campaign, and the Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2/Box Set Reprint Kickstarter ends just before mine does.

We’re already the second most successful Kickstarter I’ve run to date, and there’s enough “latent” interest –  people following the campaign who have not yet backed – to make it likely it will be the best one yet, from a total number of backers perspective.

In fact, it’s getting close enough where it’s starting to make significant financial sense to pull in that offset print run stretch goal. Somewhere around 550-600 print copies ordered, and the offset run is not just the best quality (sewn lay-flat binding! 100# matte paper!), but it’s the most affordable too.

And that would mean Citadel gets to sit on store shelves. Which you gotta admit would be spiffy.

Cover WIP

One last image. Rick Troula, who did the image of the jarl above, is hard at work on the cover. I’ve pestered him into revealing a work-in-progress image. It’s going to be pretty.

Rick wants to remind folks that he’s barely touched the characters and trolls: They are just base painted. And there’re a lot of atmospheric stuff to happen and better light and shadow all around. So other than the fact that this is a very low resolution image, it’s not done, and the like . . . this is where we’re headed.

“I can edit myself” is probably one of the biggest myths in writing. Fortunately, it’s not something I have deluded myself into thinking. I know I need an editor, and I’d like to introduce you to mine for the Citadel at Nordvorn: Emily Blain.

She came recommended to me through Smunchy Games. We chatted, and I asked her my most important question: “Where do you stand on the Oxford comma?”

She fired right back: “How many spaces do you put after a period?”

Asked and answered, and we knew we’d get along.

She did a quick test-edit of a few thousand words of the manuscript, and named her price. I told her that was unacceptable and doubled it. Good work is worth paying for.

In any case: Meet Emily!

Revised by Emily

Emily Blain is a detail-oriented perfectionist who gets way more annoyed than she should about errors in supposedly professional publications. She graduated from Luther College in 2012 with a liberal arts education, a music major, and an education minor. Since then, she has worked as an administrative assistant and Communications Director in addition to teaching private music lessons.

After moving and leaving her part-time job in spring 2018, Emily decided to combine two things she enjoys (proofreading and gaming) into one grand new business venture. While she originally planned for Revised by Emily to be a general proofreading business specializing in board games, she quickly realized that there were far more games being designed than there were editors/proofreaders available to analyze the rulebooks. She started “cold calling” designers, mostly via Facebook message at first, offering to look over and edit their games. Her first project was the Greek board game Theosis which successfully funded in July of 2018. This has blossomed into the first of multiple ongoing partnerships with various game companies.

Prior Work

Emily also works closely with Sky Relics Games. Sky Relics completed their first Kickstarter in January of 2018 and is inches from the finish line of getting the game out to backers. They are also working on their second game, Relic Hunters, a co-op dungeon crawl, and Emily is excited to be in on this one from the ground level. She took a prototype to Protospiel MN in January 2019 and got a little bit of experience on the design side of things! Despite feeling like her brain was full to bursting every night, Emily had an incredible time and loved getting to meet more designers and hear their perspectives on game making.

Emily’s newest long-term partnership is with Smunchy Games. Her first project was the novella, Paths: A War Drum of Death. When Sean, the author, told her it would be available at Barnes and Noble, she was more than a bit nervous and surprised, but it was a great experience and a project she’s very proud of. That collaboration expanded into the Paths RPG materials which will be coming to Kickstarter in April 2019.

In her free time (yes, despite multiple ongoing projects, she makes time for fun!), Emily enjoys playing both board and PC games with her husband and friends. Their current favorite tabletop games are Spirit Island and Aeon’s End: Legacy. She always relishes smashing all the things to bits with her Warhammer as Gurdis, her D&D 5e Dwarf Fighter. She’s also looking forward to the day when she can play more games than just “Go Away Monster” with her adorable two-year-old daughter!

https://www.revisedbyemily.com/
https://www.revisedbyemily.com/
I’ve updated the Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) PDF to correct some errors I noticed while looking at the proof. This should be the final file, though doubtlessly in the future someone will point out something I missed. This is the change log.

You should be receiving a Backerkit distribution of the file. I’m currently spooling out a new interior file for the printer(s), and that will be uploaded slightly later today. They actually prefer changes in the form of single page, but since both of the printers (UK and USA) also support POD, a new, full file is sensible.

Change Log u20190215

  • You’ll never notice this, because you’ll only get this version, but I’m upgrading the cover to 12pt/300gsm instead of 10pt/250gsm. The heavy paper on the interior needs an appropriately stout exterior.
  • p.iii – changed the ampersand in Swords & Wizardry to a different font, because it looked stupid in PR Viking
  • p. vi – adjusted the image and text to bring an orphan line where it belonged. It’s a hard-knock life.
  • p. 11 – Removed some underlines that were a legacy of the paragraph style used in the Pack Animals table
  • p. 18 – the borders went MIA in the Lowland Encounters table. They’re back.
  • p. 30 – a colon was used instead of a period in a run-in title. Colonectomy performed, period.
  • p. 41 – Way too many titles in the map-as-art. Now just reads “Dire Straits,” which gives more room for Dire Wolves to eat the PCs. Talk about clean plate club.
  • p. 42 – changed “When Norðalfar Attack” to “When Goblins Attack” in the art, and fixed a find/replace artifact (Goblinoids–>Goblins) in the text. A goblin is something different in the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, so my faerie goblins got renamed to norðalfs, plural/generic norðalfar.
  • p. 45 – removed an underline in the table that didn’t need to be there.
  • p. 49 – changed “ore” to “more” because typo, dammit.
  • p. 50 – expanded the map to very nearly fill the entire page. It’s slightly offset to the left in the PDF, because in print there will be paper lost to gutter.
  • p. 52 – Added details of “Trap D,” which managed to go MIA for several versions of the book. Yay, poison gas!
  • p. 54 – also expanded the map. This page was the bad print error page, so it would have been fixed regardless
  • p. 56 – Italicized Muspelheim.
  • p. 60 – changed paragraph style on “Varieties——>” to make it match other section heads
  • p. 92 – Changed map title to just read Dire Straits
  • p. 93 – Changed “Norðalfar” to “Goblins”
  • p. 102 – fixed a few layout errors and emphasis mistakes in the One Page Grappling section
  • p. 103 – fixed the ampersand in Swords & Wizardry so it doesn’t look silly
  • Back Cover – there are no ready-to-play characters in Lost Hall 2.0, because Dragon Heresy, 5e, and S&W Characters are very quick and simple to make at Level 1-5. That needed to be removed.

That’s the list!

Return to Norðlond with a mini-setting by Gaming Ballistic.

Response to the first journey to Norðlond, to find the Hall of Judgment, was outstanding, and introduced players of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG to Isfjall, a city in the depths of the barbarian north. Now, journey from Isfjall to Norðvorn, the magnificent castle and town that anchors both Audreyn’s Wall and The Palisade.

The Citadel at Norðvorn is coming to Kickstarter on February 19

From the northeast, the dragonkin threaten; from the northwest, the Hunted Lands are simmering, and about to boil over with hostile faerie. And of course the peoples of Norðlond are troubled by scheming, demons, and schemin’ demons.

Citadel will contain three large settlements: Norðvorn itself, home to 7,500 residents including the Castellan and the Wardens. Longbru, opposite one of the sallyports in Audreyn’s Wall, a town from which many adventurerers depart into the Dragongrounds . . . but not all return. And Ainferill, a town in turmoil after the tragic “accidental” death of the Jarl’s wife and adult son. It also spends some time to talk about what is between the big settlements: details on some sample villages, many important NPCs and what they care about, and a tangled web of danger and deceit that the PCs can engage with, or not, as they choose.

Citadel is a mini-setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, again licensed by Steve Jackson Games to Gaming Ballistic. It will contain the locations above, plus important and not-so-important people and factions, each with their own goals. The entire region is about to burst into chaos . . . can the PCs find out why, and help contain the coming dark?

Citadel is planned for 80 pages, but I probably have enough content for 128 page or even 144 if things go very well. Stretch goals will add content in 16 page increments, improve the quantity and quality of art. As before, the book will be softcover and in 8×10″ format. If you liked Hall of Judgment, this book’s production values will be at least as good.

I hope you will join me, as before, in spreading the word and helping this come to life.

I managed to get my “year in review” out on January 1, which is really quick for a year in review. Now, even more importantly, it’s time to look forward. While “do more with the games I have” is in the cards, publishing and growing my business is about new content. So without further ado, here’s my tentative publishing and crowdfunding schedule for 2019.

On the Docket

There are certain things that are either contracted or have already an agreement in place but signatures pending. What are those? Some you know, some you don’t.

I did announce this in various channels, but Steve Jackson Games and Gaming Ballistic struck a deal similar to the one we made on the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, allowing me to produce 3rd-Party content under license for The Fantasy Trip. The TFT projects are up to 10 short adventures, which will be a color cover, black and white interior, and 16 pages long each. It would be insane to crowdfund one of these each month, and they can be produced reasonably quickly, so I’ll do them in batches of 4. If the first two campaigns do well, I’ll solicit for more authors for more projects. I’d love to effectively get far enough along on these, and have them be popular enough, to release one per month until SJG and the buying public get tired of them.

Additionally, I’m very excited about the new Dungeon Fantasy RPG projects. Nordvorn is the one I’m writing now, and I’ve now pretty much cleared my plate of everything but finishing the draft. When it’s close enough to done that I don’t feel like I’m in a panic, I’ll launch a Kickstarter, but I really want that to be in February, which means I’ve got about two weeks to polish up the draft. Given that I’ve already written 42,000 words and I don’t think the market will bear a book larger than about 80-112 pages, this means anywhere between zero and 17,000 words in about two weeks, which is completely doable.

The other two Dungeon Fantasy RPG projects and all of the TFT ones aren’t being written by me as author. I’ll manage the projects, get art, edit, and do other publisher-type things. I’ve got nice contracts in place for all of these, including a feature where the pay scale rises for the authors as the number of backers increases. I hope they max out!

In any case, I’ll release more tidbits as I can. The “Print Available” line assumes a no-time-lost turn on an offset print run. If the demand isn’t sufficient to print the titles offset, then print availability will be a month to six weeks sooner, as digital short-run printing is faster but more expensive. Any offset runs will see books go into stores beside the core books, though, so I’m very excited about that. I hope that folks join me in making that possible.

Let’s do a table.

Project Working Title Book Title/Working Title Crowdfund Date Backer PDFs Print Available
Lost Hall 2e Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) Jan-19 Jun-19
Citadel The Citadel at Nordvorn Feb-19 May-19 Aug-19
TFT Group 1 Untitled TFT 1 Apr-19 Jun-19 Sep-19
Untitled TFT 2 Apr-19 Jun-19 Oct-19
Untitled TFT 3 Apr-19 Jun-19 Nov-19
Untitled TFT 4 Apr-19 Jun-19 Dec-19
Dungeon Fantasy RPG 2 Ruins Project Jun-19 Aug-19 Nov-19
Dungeon Fantasy RPG 3 Forest’s End Aug-19 Oct-19 Jan-20
TFT Group 2 Untitled TFT 5 Oct-19 Dec-19 Mar-20
Untitled TFT 6 Oct-19 Dec-19 Apr-20
Untitled TFT 7 Oct-19 Dec-19 May-20
Untitled TFT 8 Oct-19 Dec-19 Jun-20

A Deep Breath

This represents a very aggressive schedule for a one-man shop plus contractors. If Citadel and the first TFT crowdfunding go as well as I hope they go (without being irrationally exuberant!), though, it means that there will be a stream of funds available from sales of those books that I can get a head start on the rest, and that turns an aggressive schedule from one of stress to merely one of project management and risk assessment.

I’m good at that. Five for five Kickstarters on time, or even early to promised schedule.

Also, the Print Available release schedule is geared towards “not the kickstarter.” I suspect backers will get their print stuff all on the first date, but if there’s a retail release, it’ll follow the stepwise schedule so folks can see something new from me each month on the store shelves.

Even so, if these projects take flight at all, and Nordvorn and its children do as well as Hall of Judgment, and if the TFT content is half as well received as the TFT Adventures project, it will give a great start on getting the next ones going, and if they achieve the same success that the TFT Adventures do, the line becomes self-sustaining.

We’ll see.

That represents my intent. Real life and the slings and arrows of the real world may conspire to move things around . . . but this is what I’m aiming for. Five crowd-funding projects this year, each effectively launching when the PDFs go out for the one before. Once that happens, the printing is somewhat on autopilot – barring disasters and lost shipping containers, that’s just time. My printing partners of choice are top-notch, so I’m not worried on that score.

Is that “all” for 2019? Maybe, maybe not. I suspect so.

I think I’ll be quite busy enough!

 

We’re coming down to the end now. This Friday, on Jan 25, the Backerkit phase for Lost Hall of Tyr (updated and expanded!) will end. What does that mean?

1) I will lock all orders currently placed, and start the process of charging cards.

2) For those folks whose cards successfully go through, I will immediately send out the electronic copies of all existing files: Dragon Heresy, Dungeon Grappling, and Hall of Judgment PDFs

3) I will get to work finalizing the last stages of the 2nd Edition of Lost Hall of Tyr, which mostly involves calculating experience point totals for encounters, a bit more DC conversion, and writing conversion guidelines and some flowcharts to help with Dragon Heresy stuff.

Then I’ll send out the pre-final PDF, and give y’all some time to look at it and comment on any typos and whatnot. When those are fixed, I’ll update, send out the final PDF, upload that same new PDF to DriveThru for sale, and place the print order.

At this time – though we’re only about $500 shy of the $6,000 offset goal – it appears that the print copies will be done by short-run digital printing. It’ll be a nice run, so no worries.

There are only ten people who haven’t yet filled out their survey, and maybe eight or nine of those have physical product coming, so I must have your information to get you your books.

So if you’re going to do add-ons or get one of those sweet shields, now is the time. If you’re not getting anything else . . . now is still the time. If you want to place a pre-order, it’s not too late!

Thanks! I look forward to finishing up this project for you and getting on to what is shaping up to be an amazingly busy 2019.

Douglas

Survey Status

The Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) Kickstarter campaign is in the Backerkit phase. You guys have done great for the surveys . . . and have been generous with the add-ons, which I appreciate. We’re over 4/5 – 82% to be precise – complete. There are 24 people who have not filled out their surveys, but of those, 17 have hard-copy material for which I need an address, so if you have already ordered, or would like to order, physical goods . . . I need a shipping address. We are also only 20 new orders from achieving the offset print run stretch goal . . . so we’re very, very close.

Funding Status

Those of you that have backed my projects before know I’m transparent in terms of where the money’s going. You backed me, you get the straight dope on funding flow. In this case, after Kickstarter fees, we brought in $3,675 from that part of the campaign. Backerkit has brought in about $940 in not-shipping fees, for a total of $4615 to date that can be applied towards the dual goals of the project: the maps, and the print run.

The offset print run and maps together require $5,275, so we’re about $660 shy of the goal.

Even as-is, the digital short-run printing with CPI in the UK will produce up to 400 books if I choose. In distribution, these won’t be self-sustaining at the cost-to-produce as they would with the offset run: That’s OK (It’s not ideal, but it’s OK). No matter what, there’s Dragon Heresy support out there, and more on the way.

The key to victory here is simple: 20 pre-orders of PDF and Print.

Schedule

Glynn has already finished five of seven maps. I gave a preview of what they’ll look like a few days ago, but I like seeing it so here it is again:

He’s done something fun with the entrance to the Hall itself, which is to draw the outside and inside lower hall as a single map, split into two halves. This will allow a notional battle to rage between the two seamlessly, which was in the original adventure but not really reflected on the maps.

That means barring Real Life, the maps should be done and ready by week’s end. That will let me start finalizing the PDF. I’ve got a few conversion notes to put in, some stats and conversion notes for Swords & Wizardry to add, and an error check to do. Hopefully that will all be complete within the month of January; then we’ll get a preliminary PDF out so folks can look for errors and typos that always slip in.

Basically, I’m on schedule. The same schedule I posted originally in the Kickstarter campaign. This isn’t an accident: it’ll be the fifth Kickstarter that I’ve run that will be on time or ahead of schedule (that is, all of them). If we hit the offset run, expect your print copies in June (or before). If we don’t, you should get them 4-6 weeks earlier.

Don’t forget those surveys if you’re doing physical product! And as always, a little word of mouth (of Facebook? Of Twitter?) goes a long way. We’re about two dozen print pre-orders, or 10 “Starter Kit” with a copy of Dragon Heresy included, from the stretch goal that will both improve the book (thicker, heavier paper, lay-flat sewn binding) and get it out there in retail stores next to the core book.

If you have questions, you know Where to find Gaming Ballistic on the Internet!

There’s a lot going on here at Gaming Ballistic, and eight days into the New Year I find myself multitasking furiously. This is good. One of the things I’m working on is setting up international print-on-demand for Hall of Judgment.

One of the eternal frustrations of working as a US publisher is the difficulty – largely due to shipping – of serving cross-border customers. For whatever reason (and I’ve read several), it’s darn near prohibitively expensive to get books made in the USA out. This is especially irksome given that if for some reason I am able to afford an offset print run, which brings the cost per book down to levels that can survive a distribution channel profitably . . . I can’t effectively get the books OUT again.

Anyway, short version here. I really liked the production values of Hall of Judgment. It wasn’t sewn or lay-flat, but it was a nice perfect-bound book on 93# paper (140gsm).

I just approved the new cover for Hall of Judgment via Print-on-Demand from the same vendor (CPI Anthony Rowe). It’s going to be about 1mm thinner, but still printed on nice thick silk-coated paper stock. It’s also going to be print-on-demand out of the UK, and sent by Royal Mail. This is the best shipping arrangement I’ve found.

So if you order a book from me and you’re not in the USA, it’ll probably come from them, and we can avoid the extra $20-40 in shipping that comes when I send out of the USA.

Once it’s all finalized, I just received word that the title is now ready to print! As soon as I get an update on prices, I’ll change the shipping prices on my website for that product. But it’s a good step to getting product worldwide for less.