For Hand of Asgard, in all cases but one I have final art; for that I have rough-color (though it’s still VERY good even if the artist calls it rough).

I thought I’d share an art preview. If you like it, you can pre-order the book on Backerkit!

Cover (Teresa Guido)

The Allfather (Thanh Tran)

Goddess of Death (Kriz Villaciz)

The Fates (Steven Shan)

The Lawgiver (Piotr Jamroz)

The Lady of Life (Rick Troula)

The Trickster/God of Mischief (Juan Ochoa)

Queen of the World (Matsya Das Bdds)

The Snow Queen (Sandrine Malus)

God of Thunder (Kriz Villacis)

Lord of Warding (Eren Arik)

The God of Wind and Sea (Juan Ochoa)

Valkyrie (Rick Troula)

So, that’s the art for the book. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. If so…maybe you want to pick it up?

I’ll start with the obvious: content has been thin on the ground here for a while in terms of stuff that’s not just updates to my production process/crowdfunding efforts. This one won’t be much different, but it’s a bit of a download on what’s going on.

A Bit of Chaos

First thing, the last few months – maybe since April – have been very hectic. My family decided to move. Not far, still in MN, but we started the process. Found a house we liked. Bought it. And moved.

But we still hadn’t sold the old place yet. We’d put a lot of work into it, so we figured it would sell quickly. That didn’t happen. In fact, it still hasn’t happened. So things have been tight around here, and there’s been a lot of time and angst spent on the process. This past week, a buyer’s financing fell through, and so what we thought was a done deal was not. Exhausting, mentally.

The disassembly of my workshop also meant I stopped crafting for a while. That meant shields and promised goods for the Citadel at Nordvorn kickstarter were on the “to-do” list until my shop got set up again.

I also re-started training in Hwa Rang Do, so to spend more time with my wife, who’s an instructor. So my schedule changed quite a bit; again with less time.

This isn’t going to end with “so bad things for Gaming Ballistic, boo hoo.” It just has taken a bit to recover.

All the shields and swords are now done. My workshop is set up. Nordvorn is completely delivered, the physical copies from Four Perilous Journeys are due to arrive at Studio 2 before mid-November. And the Nordlond Sagas campaign . . . well, we’ll get to that in a moment.

GURPSDay

The first thing GB was known for, other than all the gun stuff and occasional forays into grappling rules, was GURPSDay. Before I got heavily into publishing, that was every week, like clockwork.

Now, with my schedule on Thursday being “get kids up for school early, and then get back from martial arts late,” it’s become irregular. I mostly get one out weekly, but not always. The 100 blogs (or so) that are part of the list are a bit more irregular too, and readership seems to have fallen off a bit. The giant spike in stats that I used to get isn’t nearly as impressive as it was.

I’ll still do it, but it needs a shot in the arm somehow.

Crowdfunding

Not any campaign in particular, but in general. Phil Reed has been (correctly) lamenting the state of the gaming industry for some time now. Too many projects, with too short a shelf life in folks’ minds. The usual timetable for how Kickstarter was “supposed” to work was

  • A roughly 30-day campaign, ideally suited to cover five weekends, so that there are at least two, maybe three, pay periods in there
  • Two weeks of “waiting for all the money”
  • Ten to 14 days for the primary Backerkit survey, which is there because one usually doesn’t know what shipping will look like until the thing is done

So that’s two full months of administrative time just getting the orders, sweating marketing, and hoping that folks will be using the power of social media networking to talk up your stuff. That doesn’t usually happen for the big guys, much less me.

Even if you’re completely on the ball and the entire project is done when Backerkit closes, the best you can usually do is send the PDFs out that day. You still have these steps to take, if you intend to go to print, which I like to do.

  • Have your backers check the PDFs for errors. They usually find some. That’s a nice 2 weeks minimum.
  • Assemble the final files, spool them out, and wait for art to be done. Again, that could be basically one day, could be more.
  • Send them to print. That’s a month. There’s a lot of surprisingly inactive time here.
  • Then move them around the world. I do a thing where my international books go to the UK, and ship out. That’s a week from Latvia to the UK, and then 1-6 weeks to arrive, depending on the quality of the post. For the USA, it’s supposed to be about a month more, but in reality seems to take more like six weeks, because things are always delayed. Always. Then it’s 2 more weeks for Media Mail to deliver stuff.

That’s another 14 weeks – three full months – before all stuff is in hand. Once the books go to print, though, the “I have so much stuff to do on Project X” period is really over. Starting a new project is not crazy at this point, but you will be paying lots of money for print, ship, and fulfillment during this period. So while the workload is lower, the financial drain is maximum. The biggest individual checks one writes are for printing and shipping. The total project cost is higher for art, but that’s almost always spent on many artists.

Best case, you can do a project every 2.5 months; worst case if you wait for everyone to get their stuff before you start the next one? Two projects a year.

I can’t really turn Gaming Ballistic into a self-sustaining main job at two projects a year. Even five per year isn’t awesome unless each of those gets roughly 2.5-5x as large as they are now. Doing MORE requires something else. I can parallel process more books at once than Kickstarter will allow me to do, since my project management skills are up to the task.

What to do? Well, I’ve got two options here.

One is to explore alternate options. GameOnTabletop is intriguing. One thing is that all the add-ons and whatnot are available right away, in addition to pledging. You know exactly what folks are getting, they’re just set up as items. So the “add a new thing in the middle” that happened with both Four Perilous Journeys and Nordlond Sagas is much easier to handle. I’m getting a better feel for shipping, too. I mean, it still sucks, and costs too much, but I can probably guess what it’ll be in advance of the projects these days, since I now can calculate the weight of books easily due to experience in actually getting them. So it’s a bit of a one-stop shop for that. Cards are charged right away, too, and the fees are lower. Cash flow should be superior to Kickstarter, and you need money to pay writers and artists right away when the work has already begun.

The other possibility is to bring it all in house. There’s a crowdfunding app on WooCommerce. No rules but the ones I make for myself. If I have an idea, I can put it on there and say “pre-order it, and it gets made if we hit the goal.” This provides a powerful market tool, in that if I’ve got several books I want to make, the backers will vote with their dollars on which ones they like, and which ones they don’t. It means I can have rolling funding drives, too. It’s sort of the bastard child of Kickstarter and Patreon. All the IT burden falls on me, but there are real advantages to this method. I may try it out with a single small project to work the bugs out.

Even so, the actual process of crowdfunding is a bit of a slog, since you’re bound to the rules of the other systems you use (KS, Backerkit, GameOnTabletop), and they take their cut. It may only be 5%, but that’s 5% that doesn’t go into developing new cool stuff. A few thousand bucks goes a long way at my scale.

Nordlond Sagas

Still working away at this. The block-and-tackle of Kickstarter and Backerkit should be done. The two small books – Nordlondr Folk and Hand of Asgard – are looking really good. Layout is finished, art is underway. Now it’s time to turn the effort to full-on editing the adventures, which is a big job. Writing tight, technical, entertaining prose takes work, and so the authors and I are in constant contact helping that out.

I’ve got about five weeks to edit and lay out the two adventures. That will get them in a state to have art done, I hope, by the end of December. I’ll admit it . . . that’s starting to look optimistic. Even so . . . time to get to it.

Next Year

The current project will run through the end of the year at least, and I suspect that I will slow down a bit on the back-to-back sprints that has been this year. Even so, there’s at least two major things happening next year, and maybe more than two.

More Perilous Journeys

The first up in 2020 will be the sequel to 2019s very successful effort. The logistics pathways and needs for counter sheets, card decks, and of course the adventures themselves are now well known. Shipping and production time scales and costs are known. I anticipate a much better planned effort this time. Hopefully with content that folks want. I hope that with a few more hoped-for solos, and lots more time to plan and execute the cards and counters, that this will be even more successful than the last one.

The Nordlond Bestiary

This is the big dog of the coming year. I wrote a huge amount of text for the Dragon Heresy RPG back in 2015 and 2016, taking most of the SRD and writing fluff text and stats accordingly for the Norse-inspired world. Well, those efforts have turned to the Dungeon Fantasy RPG…and the words are still there. This is going to be the bestiary folks in the GURPS sphere have been waiting for. A giant book of monsters, thematically unified by the Nordlond setting . . . but any GM worth their salt can port the critters to their own needs. It’s going to take a lot of work to do right, but I’ve got a great team.

Dragon Heresy

Speaking of Dragon Heresy, I do have plans next year of taking some of the existing work – Lost Hall, Nordvorn, Rosgarth, and Forest’s End and pulling them apart to turn them into two different books. One with lots of setting and flavor information, and one with the adventure content. I’m likely to crowdfund these to see if they can garner up enough interest for a profitable print run as well.

DriveThruRPG

I’ve avoided putting my stuff on DriveThru for a while; the bite they take out of revenue is large, and in most cases the print quality of their POD offerings is simply lower than the books I print in Latvia. But in 2020, all my PDFs will go up on DriveThru as well as through other channels. We’ll see what happens there.

Conventions

I’ll be at two conventions early in 2020. The first is Con of the North, here in Minneapolis Feb 14-16. So Happy Valentine’s Day. The second is FnordCon, down in Austin TX. That’s April 3-5.

Shields and Swords

I’ve refined my techniques on these, but they’re only going to be available by special order, through the website. I love making them, and have gotten much, much better at it. But they’re not really on point for the publishing business. Even so, if you’re interested, reach out. They’re not cheap, but the shields in particular are going to be closer to what you might have seen historically (based on certain finds) than most of what you see made of plywood online. Some of those plywood guys cost more than my planked, accurate ones!

Parting Shot

So that’s the recap for Gaming Ballistic. I’m not sure if the work above will be what folks want – I hope so – but it seems like a good plan for 2020. There might be one surprise – and it would be a big, cool one – that could show up later in the year.

It’s a full schedule, but less than I would be able to do if I could get the reach and interest to make my hobby job my day job. That, of course, is on me . . . and we’ll see how that goes. Maybe I’ll win the lottery.

 

Shipping of All Rewards Complete

This past weekend, the very last item – a shield and sword for a backer who requested a purposeful delay in shipping in order to be home when it arrived – was mailed out.

As far as I know, this means 100% of all promised rewards for this campaign have been sent out.

Thanks for coming with me on this journey.

Up Now, Up Next

As most of you know, we launched and funded four more Nordlond books from Sept 10 through Oct 12. This funded in the first week, suffered through horrid doldrums until campaign close, and then we got a bit of a spike at the end.

I made a lot of progress in moving through the Backerkit tedium to get the pre-order store open for the books in the Nordlond Sagas campaign. That’s always painful, as it’s excruciatingly manual. International shipping also goes nowhere but up these days. It’s only a pass-through, but it’s still unwelcome.

I anticipate having the store open on Oct 27, so if you missed the campaign, you can get the books you want then. I’m going to try and arrange it so there’s no differentiation between pre-order backers and Kickstarter backers in terms of pricing and shipping. That’s not always easy.

In the future, I’m giving a very hard think to what kind, and how much, Dungeon Fantasy RPG content to offer. The strongest feedback thus far has been “great stuff, but so much of it…can’t digest!” That’s fair! But it’s also not something I can run a self-sustaining business off of.

So I’ll be doing a few things.

Nordlond Bestiary. You guys probably know I got pre-approval for the Nordlondr Ovinabokin, or “The Nordlond Enemies Book.” This is what we’ve all been poking for for a long time: an explicit conversion of a giant list of monsters to the Dungeon Fantasy RPG. The original draft of “The Book of Foes,” from my DnD5e-based “Dragon Heresy” RPG spanned 130,000 words, including stat blocks, and had 200-250 creatures. My aim in 2020 is to bring the full draft over into the Dungeon Fantasy RPG space, only skipping creatures that are already in the Monsters boxed set, unless new “fluff text” is required. Obviously, you can skip the fluff – which is all based on the Nordlond setting –  and just use the stats in any fantasy game, and frankly, in a Monster Hunters or similar critter-filled campaign world as well. This will not be a cheap book to produce, but I’m going to go all out on it. I hope you join me.

A Few Small Projects. I may release some focused products. Perhaps a Trevinur (Druids) book. Maybe a 5-room dungeon or two. But other than the big dog above (the Bestiary), my production of Dungeon Fantasy RPG material on Kickstarter will be more constrained.

Finish my TFT Commits. I have standing permission to bring three new TFT GM’d adventures, and up to two solos, to life from the same authors that brought you the “Four” Perilous Journeys that resulted in five new TFT books, NPC/Monster Cards, and some die-cut counters. This will be the first project launched after Nordlond Sagas completes.

New Approach to Crowdfunding. As a small business with no real post-crowdfunding income stream, my ability to source new works is really constrained more by the crowdfunding platform than by my ability to produce material. The usual “crowdfund, wait for funds to settle, post-funding phase” cycle is two full months long. Policy (and not a bad policy at that) is to not allow a new project to launch until the old ones are done. That limits campaigns to three or four a year. So I’m going to try something new with funding individual projects on a “first past the post” basis using my website and a crowdfunding app. I’ll try it with a small project first, and if it works out OK, see what that looks like. I do know the current model is unsatisfactory to both me and to those who have spoken up and given feedback, so I want to try something new.

New Product Lines. There are a few projects that I want to bring to life. One is an entirely new RPG. The other is a quiet discussion with another writer whose work I’d love to see print but a lot has to happen before that. More on this later; they’re second half of 2020 at best. I also might look into “same world, different setting” and bring a few new-feeling cultures/locations to the world on which Nordlond is set. Something that feels like Japan/Korea/China (the land of Inthriki), as well as Macedonian Greece or Republican Rome (Morevel). Perhaps that will refresh things!

Dragon Heresy Conversions. Likewise, once the Nordlond Sagas are done, I will probably pull apart Hall of Judgment, Nordvorn, Dragons of Rosgarth, and Forest’s End and publish one setting book and one compiled adventure book/path, all for Dragon Heresy. This will allow playing pretty much as-is with 5e as well. I’ll release these as PDF only and crowdfund a print run. That should keep costs down. I’ll also list all of the PDFs on DriveThru and see what happens there.

Parting Shot

In any case: this brings The Citadel at Nordvorn to a formal close. Thanks, and I hope to see you around on other Gaming Ballistic projects in the future!

To run Gaming Ballistic as a growing business that is self-sustaining, I need to be able to turn more product, more quickly, and have it sell pretty well. Not exactly a unique business plan, right? But to do that, I probably need 2-3x the number of customers on any one project, and to turn 2-3x more releases. I’d hoped that after hitting 600 folks on both Nordvorn and Four Perilous Journeys, I could continue to grow that pool. The last project, though, showed clear signs of product fatigue. That’s a big concern, obviously, but hopefully some of the items outlined above will shake things up. If so, onward! If not . . . I’ll have to throttle back and look more towards a small number of releases each year, maybe only one or two. That will keep Gaming Ballistic the company around, but really just as an occasional player.

Glynn Seal does great work. He’s been my go-to cartographer for my last several books, and never gives me reason to doubt he will be The Guy for the next several.

Gushing aside, he did this image for my currently-in-Kickstarter “Nordlond Sagas” project. I love it.

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As I write this, the campaign has been active for exactly three weeks, and we have 12 days to go.

Daily Illuminator!

Today the Norðlond Sagas was featured on Steve Jackson Games’ Daily Illuminator. If you get a moment, re-sharing or commenting on the post – especially in venues off the forums – will help bring some needed attention and (hopefully) velocity to the campaign.

Map of Norðlond

Things have not been idle since I last posted an update. Glynn Seal has completed the map of Norðlond that is available as an add-on, and it unifies the various adventure locations geographically. The team had a good time naming the various larger towns and cities. I’m looking forward to using this particular map in books and as a stand-alone.

With that in mind, I’ve done a bit of digging on the map options, and wanted to pass this information on.

The heavy, 14-point map, UV-laminated for limited use with dry-erase markers is basically printed on business card stock. I’m going to ship these directly from my house, so that I can pack them in a rigid mailer and two plies of double-wall cardboard to keep it safe. Shipping in the USA is likely to be about $10 (it can’t go by media mail, and the packaging to keep it safe is expensive); rest-of-world is likely quite a bit more.

For those who want portability, for the same price of $15 I can offer a 100# paper map, 16×20″, which can be rolled up in a tube mailer. This is just a glossy poster format, no lamination or coating. There’s no price difference there, just paper stock. As always, shipping is a pass-through, I have no control over it, etc.

For international customers, the 12×18″ maps available through DriveThruRPG will be your best bet to have a larger map but still have shipping be affordable.

Editing

I have started in to editing pieces of Rosgarth, and to a lesser extent Forest’s End and Hand of Asgard. The work is coming in a chapter at a time, and I’m going over it and making adjustments to keep the world coherent, as well as acting as editor and keeping in mind flow, art, and all the things that go into making a set of books. This part of the “publisher” job is time consuming but also a great deal of fun, helping folks achieve their vision.

Funding

Right now, we’re hovering at around $20,000 and we’ve been, well, pretty flat – the last 11 days have been tough. Roughly $600 in cancelled pledges, and some of that is related to Kickstarter itself. I hope that these folks come back to us during the Backerkit phase, which avoids that interaction.

The good news is there are nearly 400 folks who are following the campaign but not yet pledged: that means that between actual and “latent” interest, there’s as much as $43K out there. We certainly won’t pull a Pokemon and catch it all, but there’s more than enough to surpass the $29K stretch goal, and all non-shipping funds collected in both Kickstarter and Backerkit will count towards that goal. I want more pages in the book(s) as much as y’all do. The authors, of course, will want more room for more material in their books! (Plus, they get paid more as the backer count increases; my version of profit sharing. Their per-word rate goes up with backer count).

So while things have been quiet for the last week or so, there’s still nearly two full weeks in the campaign, we’ve long since funded, and there’s lots of potential to hit the big goals for offset print as well as longer books.

Gaming Ballistic on the Web

In case you’re looking for me, you can always find me here:

Just for Fun: Yrth?

Earlier today, someone pinged me on Discord and noted that they just bought Hall of Judgment, and while they really loved it, their current campaign is on Yrth, and so how would Nordlond fit?

My first suggestion was to plunk the continent on which Norðlond can be found elsewhere, simply not on the continent of Ytarria. The explicit “the Gods of the setting are real, walk the earth, and the creation ‘myth’ isn’t a myth at all” would have to be altered to fit the setting. I talk about variations on the cosmology of the setting in a blog post: Monotheism and Competing Divinities in Norðlond.

The other possibility is, well, those Nomad Lands are pretty far north. What is more, Ytarria is very big. I found this map online, which is the publicly available Ytarria map plus the continental USA and Alaska, added by Eric B Smith.

For those of you that know me, I’ve been living in Minnesota since about 2000. Norðlond is very deliberately sized to my home state, maybe a bit bigger, and the location of major cities in the setting might kinda sorta happen to correspond to county seats in Minnesota. But if Nordlond is roughly 90-100K square miles (it is), that means it can fit into the Nomad Lands about four times over. If your campaign isn’t already much involved there, you could probably drop Nordlond and a good part of the Dragongrounds into the Nomad Lands without even blinking.

Make of that what you will!

user avatarGaming Ballistic is thrilled to announce yet another product approved for the Norðlond Setting. This one will be ready in time to be included in the Norðlond Sagas Kickstarter as an add-on!

The Gods of Norðlond—The Aesir—are more than just mythological, ineffable entities: they walk among the people of the world, offering their wisdom and might to those they find worthy. This book offers detailed information on the denizens of Asgard, the divine realm worshipped by the people of Norðlond and its surrounding regions.

The book presents additional options and guidelines presented for Clerics who choose to devote themselves to the worship of just one instead of the pantheon as a whole. Also included are more than twenty new Holy Might abilities available for Asgardian Clerics and Holy Warriors to bring the word . . . or the sword . . . to those that need it.

The book is 16 pages long, in 8×10 format, in full color. Written by Kevin Smyth, who just couldn’t stop writing after we put the bug in his ear with Norðlondr Fólk. Thanks to Jake Harrison whose casual “what about . . . ” question led to the very rapid proposal and approval of this book!

As an add-on, it will be $5 PDF, $10 Print-only, or $13 Print + PDF. If you want it, simply adjust your pledge. This book will print and ship together with the rest. No waiting!

For Asgard!

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Good morning! As we head into the weekend, we’re just a hair short of 80% funding. For what they’re worth, projects put us just shy of the top stretch goal, which suggests we’ll handily make the offset print goal. Of course, it’s all speculation until it actually happens. As always, a tweet, a blog post, a reshare of the link help quite a bit to expand the project’s reach.

I thought I’d lead into the weekend by teasing the content of the 16-page Norðlondr Fólk book.

Norðlondr Fólk

Each entry features a template, of course (Traits), plus special traits specific to the template (Special Traits). Additionally, there are unique “grow into them” gifts for every race to spend surplus or (in most cases) earned points on.

So what’s in the book?

Familiar Faces

  • BOX Racial Gifts
  • Cat-Folk
  • Dwarves
  •      Dvergr (a Norðlond-specific description and traits better fitting with the implied history of the setting)
  • Elves
  •      Elfàrd (a Norðlond-specific description and traits better fitting with the implied history of the setting)
  • Gnomes
  • Half-Elves
  •      Hálfálfar (a Norðlond-specific description and traits better fitting with the implied history of the setting)
  • Half-Ogres & Half-Orcs (orcs and ogres need some tweaks to fit in with the setting history; their niches are usually filled in Norðlond by trolls and storalfar/hobs, respectively)
  • Halflings
  •      Neveri Halfling (the Neveri are the thorn in the side of the southern border of Norðlond, perhaps 400 miles south of Audreyn’s Wall. Nomadic tribes with the analogy to the Algar horse-lords, the Dothraki, or the Mongol hordes of the Khans. Some of the tribes are halflings, and they are not nice.)
  • BOX Downsizing (Kromm-approved optional guidance for tweaking out armor for little races like halflings and gnomes)

Beast-Folk

Some of these beast-folk are the results of purposeful rituals to bring a person closer to the totem or favored animal of one of the Gods, such as the Allfather’s Ravens, or putting the bear in bear-shirted (berserker). Some of them, well, “a wizard did it.”

  • CC Björnhjarta (Bear-Folk)
  • CC Gullinálmur (Boar-Folk)
  • BOX Becoming the Beast
  • CC Úlfblóðugur (Wolf-Blooded)
  • CC Hrafnar (Raven-Folk)
  • CC Triger-Folk

Half-Breeds

  • Dragon-Blooded
  • Eldhuð (Demon-Blooded)
  • Himneskur (God-Blooded)
  • Vandræðagemsi (Fae Gnomes)

We have 15 pages to fill, and I’m fairly sure we’ll also have room for elemental-touched half-breeds (four of them). I’m not listing them here yet; we’ll either see them if we have room, or we won’t, because the book is so filled with awesome already that we don’t need them.

Hopefully you like what you see. I know my previews of Kevin’s work have been really fun to read.

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?

The Norðlond Sagas crowdfunding campaign launched this morning at 10:30am. AS I write this, perhaps seven hours into the campaign, we’ve already passed 45% funding. In one day. We’re thousands of dollars past where we were on the end of Day 1 of the Norðvörn campaign.

This campaign is offering up three more books to add to your Dungeon Fantasy RPG collection – perhaps you were fresh off the Dungeon Fantasy Magic Items 2 campaign, and that whetted your appetite for more? Well, we have it for you.

What’s on Offer

So…what can you get with the Norðlond Sagas?

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.

Sample Layout with content from Nordvorn. Will definitely change!

 

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.

A Note on Add-Ons

A few comments on add-ons.

Multiple Copies of Books

I had a question on ordering more than one set of books; this also applies if you wish to pick and choose from the offerings from the Kickstarter.

You bet. If you want to gift them to someone else, or want to frame them, or whatever: A second set will be available regardless of final page count to backers at $60 per set. If we hit a stretch goal and page counts go up, anyone who actually has joined the campaign early – even the $1 folks – will be able to get more copies at this price. If page count goes up, pre-order backers coming in late will get the books at the post-campaign retail price (that’s only $65 for the set instead of $60, but still).

If there’s interest in buying multiple copies of a particular book, those will be available too during the backerkit phase.

  • Nordlondr Folk: $10 in print, $5 in PDF; $13 as a bundle
  • Rosgarth: $18 in print at 48 pages; $9 in PDF, and $23 as a bundle
  • Forest’s End: $21 in print at 64 pages; $11 as PDF; $26 bundle

Norðlond Maps

One of the add-ons is a choice of large-format map options covering Norðlond, and showing how Isfjall (from Hall of Judgment), Norðvörn, and the towns and adventure locations from the books in development are connected.

Right now, it’s offered as a 12×18″ POD version from DriveThruRPG’s poster printing service, and as a 16″x20″ option on 14 ponit card stock.

That option is going to be big to ship. It cannot be folded (well, it can, but you’d be mad) and so may very well cost $10 or $15 in shipping for a $15 item. It will not roll up into a small USPS triangular mailer.

So I’m looking into a middle ground, which is a 16×20″ poster on heavy poster paper, which CAN be rolled up and will therefore be less expensive to ship. No word on how that will play out internationally; it may wind up being prohibitively horrible to ship the big format cardstock. We’ll see. Shipping is horrible.

Milestones Already?

This is my eighth Kickstarter, but it marks a few milestones for Gaming Ballistic and the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.

  • When it’s finished, there will be a full half-dozen books supporting the Norðlond setting. Four setting/adventure books, and two rules supplements. That’s a credible showing, and I’m proud of it.
  • It’s the second time I’ve asked for, and received, permission from SJG to play in the “rules” space. The first was with Fantastic Dungeon Grappling, which was inserted into the Boxed Set Reprint, much to my joy. The new book, Norðlondr Fólk, features some exciting options for character generation, with 16 new race and ancestry options and variations.
  • It’s the first time in the Dungeon Fantasy RPG space that the products aren’t written by me. This means three new people, who have never before written into a GURPS/Dungeon Fantasy RPG book, are joining the stable of “folks who have written for GURPS/Powered by GURPS.” This makes me very happy, as more writers means more stuff.

Schedule

Just to give a rough idea of where things are supposed to go:

  • Sept 10 through Oct 12: Kickstarter Campaign Active
  • Oct 12 through (roughly) Oct 26 – Funds Settle
  • Haloween Week: Backerkit phase opens for surveys, shipping, and pre-orders
  •  Mid-November: Backerkit “closes” and cards are charged[1]
  • End November: PDF review phase[2]
  • Mid-December: PDF feedback due
  • Before Xmas: PDFs sent out and final files sent to printer
  • End January: Printing
  • End February: Moving books through the world
  • End March: Arrival in-hand

[1] Backerkit won’t really CLOSE until the final printer files go out, so I know how many orders to place.

[2]The PDF review phase will see about 10% of the backers get preliminary files. These are chosen based on a combination of how much was pledged (total pledge amount, not pledge level) plus a random factor, so that the highest pledge levels get priority, but lower pledge levels are not locked out. This phase is IMPORTANT, and everyone who provides useful feedback will get credit in the book.

Ready, Set, GO!

So that’s the plan for now. As noted in the various preview announcements, now that you’ve pledged, you can still help out. Share the link to social media. Start or contribute to a thread on the various RPG groups (which reminds me: gotta post on Reddit). Say nice things in places! It really does help.

Join us! Support the Norðlond Sagas

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