And we’re done!

At least I hope so!

This morning I dropped off about 40 books into the mail, which means that all but one order – and that one is an international order – is complete. I’ll take care of that one with TheDiceLatte in Korea over the next day or so.

Including today, this means that the usual 10 days of media mail will bring us to Halloween. October 31 . . . meaning that I can chalk Dragon Heresy as my fourth “on time or early” Kickstarter, preserving my 100% hit rate.

Thanks to everyone for supporting this project.

A Request

I’ve been getting some nice emails or quick Tweets about the book, which of course, I appreciate greatly. Even better would be a fast review on a social media site or forum, even better attached to a play report. It’s a non-trivial ask, I grant, but the more folks curious about Dragon Heresy and who buy books, the more support I can give to the line! (More on that later.)

Favorite Local Heretical Gaming Store

As a result of breaking through to the last stretch goal, I’m in possession of about 1,300 copies of Dragon Heresy that I’d obviously love to move out and get into folks’ hands. So bring your own copy by your Favorite Local Gaming Store, and they can either order from me directly or the books will be available via Studio 2 come December. I think the books will have great shelf presence, and if your game store owner contacts me, we can work out an appropriate retail discount if you want to order from be before then.

What next?

Well, the very first thing will be to provide a bit of adventure support. Originally, Lost Hall of Tyr was a convention module I ran for 5e at GENCON 50, and then published it as a 64-page supplement.

I approached Steve Jackson Games about converting it to The Dungeon Fantasy RPG (Powered by GURPSand to my surprise and pleasure, they said yes, and we announced Hall of Judgment for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG in April. In doing the conversion, I also expanded it to be more of a micro-setting rather than a linear convention romp. It grew to 128 pages, with more detail around the city, three additional dungeons/locations, and tweaked-out new rules.

Well, I’m going to be converting the larger version of Hall of Judgment back into Lost Hall of Tyr, 2nd Edition (for Dragon Heresy). I’ve already got a preliminary layout, and the new edition will support play at Level 1-5 for Dragon Heresy. Any who already have the PDF will get a free upgrade; I can’t upgrade the print copies, as I’m sure you understand.

I’ve also been asked about mid-tier play. Well, there’s good news and a challenge there. The good news is that I’ve got another two races (elves and gnomes), several classes that didn’t make it into the Introductory Set (Ranger, Paladin, Warlock, Monk, Sorcerer), 16 more backgrounds, and of course the spells lists that go along with them. Those need to be edited and laid out, but they already exist.

The challenge is art. I’ve used and re-used quite a bit of the original art I’d had commissioned for my first four products, and I’ve had quite enough of that. So there will need to be new art to go into this expansion. I’d also like the product to sit next to the Introductory Set on retail shelves, which means an offset print run!

Those would require money. I’ll rough out what it would need, and see if we can fit a crowdfunding campaign into what is shaping up to be a very exciting and busy 2019.

Fit in? Yeah. I’m not ready to announce yet, but expect even more support for the world of Dragon Heresy in 2019, and not just written by my hand. I can’t wait for the announcement, but a few things are pending that need to happen first.

So stay tuned . . . and I hope that I can continue to make things happen over the next 14 – 18 months for you.

Thanks again!

I got word from Studio 2 that 1,510 copies of Dragon Heresy arrived there yesterday, and before the day was over, 320 of those were on their way to me here in Minneapolis.

Delivery to me is scheduled for Tuesday. I expect to print labels and start shipping the following day. So all books should be in hand by the end of October, as promised.

We’re coming down to the end of this one. Now I just need to determine what, if anything, is next.

I heard from a backer in Sweeden that he just received his hardcopy of Dragon Heresy. So “international” backers should look for theirs this week or next, ideally.

Last I heard, we’re still on schedule to have the bulk of the US order arrive at Studio 2 on October 8, which hopefully means will see inventory at my house later that week, and then into media mail for the USA. Hopefully that means US folks should have their games by Oct 21.

If your address has changed since the Kickstarter, ping me at gamingballisticllc@gmail.com and I’ll change it in Backerkit. Once the books arrive at my house, I’ll print postage via the Backerkit online system – that worked beautifully when I did it for Hall of Judgment – and that, as they say, will be that. 186 copies of Dragon Heresy, plus assorted other copies of Lost Hall and Dungeon Grappling, are in the queue for distribution. A few of you ordered 3-4 of them.

I think you’ll be pleased with the books. We’re almost there!

It’s been a long time coming, but the first hardcovers are going into the mail. As seems to be amusingly the case, it’s the international books that go out first. Roughly half the books went out last week, and the rest will go out next week. Postal service is Korean air mail, so it should be pretty much everywhere in about two weeks. Hopefully everyone will have theirs by Oct 6 or so, certainly I hope by Oct 13.

For the US folks, I expect October 8 (ish) to be the date that something like 1500 books arrive at Studio 2, and then it’ll take a few days to get 320 books (about half a pallet) to me in Minnesota. I’ve already got the packing materials, labels, etc, and so will be able to process the US books and get them into the mail in a matter of days. After that, it’s the usual 2-10 days for USPS to get it there, so everyone should have their stuff by the end of October, as promised.

Shipping internationally was unpredictably expensive. That’s on my end, and it will figure strongly into “lessons learned” for the future.

This is likely the last fulfillment update. At least I hope so.

Hall of Judgment

I have either put into the mail, or have ready to drop off at 8:30am Monday morning, all ordered copies of Hall of Judgment and Dungeon Grappling. The ones going into the mail on Monday are 71 copies, which means roughly 190 are already away. This doesn’t include Dragon Heresy, which I deal with below.

The international orders have been arriving for some weeks now.

So, here’s the deal. If you haven’t received your copy by Sept 22, get in touch with me. Up until that point, there’s still room for “it’s in the mail.” After that, even the upper bound expectations mean it’s late, and we can do some gymnastics to figure out where yours is.

Both GURPS Mysteries and GURPS Horror (for 3e) are 128 pages. So is Hall of Judgment.GURPS Low-Tech is 160 pages and hardcover. Just for scale.

Dragon Heresy

Eleven backers decided to get a copy of Dragon Heresy in physical form. The other 517 of you are missing out on a gorgeous, luxurious book. Really. When I first held it in my hands, I shed a manly tear. It was that good. (Not nearly as good as holding my newborn daughters, though. Man has to have some perspective.)

Even so, two international books are either in the mail right now, or will be this coming week. As the proprietor of Dice Latte noted “these things were really thick!” and he had to order a special mailer.

For the US folks, the books are “on the water” and I expect to have them arrive at the distribution center on October 8, and a subset at my house a few days later.

(It’s actually not that straight-forward. They’ll be sent to a location with an actual loading dock, then I’ll borrow a large vehicle and transport them to my home, about 320 books worth, or 1,000 lbs or so. Each is about 3 lbs.)

So I expect to have the nine US-based folks who ordered Dragon Heresy sorted by the end of October, which also happens to be the date when physical orders were promised to those that backed the Dragon Heresy Kickstarter. So y’alls will arrive at the same time as theirs, and I haven’t forgotten about you.

Retail Orders

Once the final Hall of Judgment backer orders go into the mail on Monday, I will open up my web store for physical orders of Hall of Judgment. This includes retail orders as well, so if you have a favorite local gaming store, please have them contact me and we can work out a proper retail discount. If you have friends who would like a copy, you’ll be able to send them my way for direct sales too.

And as I mentioned in my blog post: sales velocity is important. Steve Jackson Games is watching the post-Kickstarter performance this month before deciding on granting more licenses (to me, at least), so it would be awesome if we could burn through the 90-100 remaining copies in the print run and be forced to reprint.

Thanks for your Faith, Trust, and Support

Just to sign off, I want to once again thank you for joining me on this project. This Kickstarter had the highest backer count of my four projects by far, was the first to break 500 backers, and was the most successful core RPG project (Dragon Heresy raised a bit more money, but $3,000 of that was viking shields, not books).

I’ll be back with more in the future – hopefully still in 2018. But for now, my deepest gratitude for allowing me to make a game for you fine folks.

May your hearth overflow with plenty, and all your raids be profitable.

A quick one this Tuesday morning.

I continue – via comments, Twitter, and other methods – to hear about HoJ successfully arriving in the UK, Finland, and even a copy to Australia over the last week. Excellent. Kixto got it done, which is all one can ask for.

For the US backers – and the US author – there are seven cartons of books in Exeter in the UK, waiting for DHL to do . . . whatever it is that they do in order to clear them for departure and put them on a plane. I contacted DHL this morning to see if there was anything I needed to do. They assured me that they’d get back to me before tomorrow at 5pm.

“Well, yeah. Everything’s supposed to arrive by tomorrow noon.”
“I guess that’s one version of hearing from us, then?””Right.”

If that happens, I should be able to get my labels and postage organized and printed. I’ll box up the multiple-order (HoJ plus LHoT or Dungeon Grappling, for example, or more than one copy of HoJ) because they’re “special” and then start boxing up the single-copy orders immediately thereafter. Since I’ll be shipping out 281 books, each of which is about 1.1 lbs, it might require more than one trip to the USPS. Good news is with pre-paid postage, I won’t have to ring ’em in individually.

Anyway: assuming, they show up, most folks should get them by mid-September.

In personal news: I spent three straight days in chain mail at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival with Asfolk Viking Martial Arts. Had a great time doing shield-and-sword, axe, and spear demos for very good crowds through the weekend. I’m feeling a bit baked today, but it was a great time.

Shipping Timing

I received a note from Kixto this morning. They shipped out 107 books via Royal Mail. Start looking for them in the next few days to arrive.

The remainder of the books, about 200kg worth, will head to me via AirMail. I expect 5-7 working days transit time, so end of next week. Possibly earlier, and if that happens, I’ll let folks know. I just spoke with Mark over at Kixto (and as a by-the-by, if you’re printing and shipping from the UK, I recommend them highly), and it’s likely that I’ll pay my invoice in the next 24 hours and the books will hop on a plane in cartons via DHL; this simplifies a great many things. So I’m hopeful.

Shipping Costs

Just for the sake of full disclosure.

International shipping has presently cost me $925 for 107 books; $999 was collected, so the error was in my favor by $0.70 per book on international shipping.

On the domestic side, the jury is still out. It looks like the total cost to bring books from the UK to me to you will wind up being $7.25 per book, or perhaps a bit higher. So I’ll lose about $1.25 per book mailed out. That’s not horrid. I’ve got 300 book mailers arriving Friday, and will be printing postage on a thermal printer. So the longest part of the process will be packing up the books, and I’ve got a plan for that.

Once the shipping is done, I’ll recap the project financials and post a summary of what the viability of such a book would have been had it not had so much pre-work done in the form of Lost Hall of Tyr.

It’s fulfillment week for two of my Kickstarters, whose physical product are coming due at roughly the same time. So: dual-wielding emails! (I picked up that proficiency/specialization over the last few months)

Other Books

If you are not in the USA and ordered Dungeon Grappling or Lost Hall of Tyr  as a physical copy from either the Hall of Judgment or Dragon Heresy Kickstarters, your books are now on the way. I placed the orders for six folks for Dungeon Grappling, and two more for Lost Hall (both of those from the Dragon Heresy KS). I have contacted the backers with a personal email with a copy of the info forwarded to me, as well as an order number.

Any issues, let me know. The UK product should show up within two weeks. Italy shortly thereafter. The Australia/New Zealand can take days or weeks, depending on when things fall together. But do contact me if things don’t move sprightly as things go forward.

Hall of Judgment

I’ve heard from Kixto in the UK, and they’re in the process of filling the HoJ orders for international folks, after which they’ll forward the rest of the orders to me via airmail. That still means that it’s not crazy-talk for me to see a pallet of books on my floor by the end of the week, or perhaps the weekend. This weekend is a holiday weekend in the US (Labor Day) and I’ll be at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival all three days doing Viking Martial Arts demonstrations . . . but as soon as it’s remotely possible, I’ll bundle your HoJ books and any other physical product that you’ve ordered into one shipping box and get them on the way by next week at the latest. So on schedule for Sept 15.

Dragon Heresy

The Dragon Heresy books are still going to be the last to leave. The books are done, and 50 books will head over to Dice Latte in Korea as soon as a few customs issues are sorted out and folks get back from vacation. Then the international copies for both DH and HoJ Kickstarters will go out. Sometime this week, I expect the books (nearly 1,500 of them) to move to staging at the shipyard, and then three weeks on the water to the USA. Then another week to get to Studio 2 in TN, and finally they’ll break the order into “keep ’em!” and “ship to Doug” and then I’ll do fulfillment from my house. So six to seven weeks until books are in-hand: first two weeks in October, I suspect.

Again, the US orders that have Dragon Heresy in them will be sent in one bunch. I will not hold Hall of Judgment waiting for a Dragon Heresy bundle, so if you ordered Dragon Heresy through the HoJ Kickstarter and you’re in the USA, expect two packages: one with HoJ and Dungeon Grappling and/or Lost Hall of Tyr (if you ordered those) and another with Dragon Heresy.

If you’re on the Dragon Heresy KS, you’ll get everything at once.

Printing Complete!

I was informed this morning that all 500 copies finished at the printer and were mailed to fulfillment on Wed Aug 22 (two days ago!). I expect that my partner in the UK will start doing their thing anywhere between yesterday and Monday. International backers will thus start seeing their stuff that following week (Aug 27-31), and even Australia should be 5-7 working days from that point.

For the USA, I expect (?) that I’ll get my boxes of books late next week. If that’s the case, I can print labels and package shipments over the Labor Day weekend when I’m not out at the MN Ren Fest dressed as a viking, and then folks should see books-in-hand by mid-September.

Nice Things Said on the Dungeon Fantasy RPG Kickstarter

I’ll just repeat it here. Note this was written by Phil Reed, and that I had no notice that nice things were going to be said until I read them myself.

Dungeon Fantasy: Hall of Judgment PDF Now on Warehouse 23!

Posted by Philip Reed
Congrats, Doug, on a fantastic job on the new Dungeon Fantasy: Hall of Judgment micro-setting and scenario. The Kickstarter campaign that you ran went as smooth as any could hope for, and at the Steve Jackson Games office, we’re proud to include your work in the Warehouse 23 catalog!

For those of you who have not yet checked out Doug’s work on the Dungeon Fantasy: Hall of Judgment supplement, now is your chance! The PDF is available at Warehouse 23, and we’re happy to report that Doug was so good to work with that we’re currently considering possible future projects that he would create under license. No decisions at the moment, but we’ll be sure to announce here if Doug produces another supplement for use with the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game.

This will likely be the most eventful two weeks of Gaming Ballistic’s existence, as physical fulfillment begins on two core products.

Lots of things going on, all at once.

Dragon Heresy

Printing is complete. The final tally was 1,530 books printed, which is 2,219 kg of books. Two and a quarter metric tons.

Of that total, perhaps 250-300 are currently spoken for between the backers of either Dragon Heresy or Hall of Judgement, plus the comp copies for contributors.

To deal with that, I entered into an agreement with a distribution company to push the books into retail! This is exciting for me, and the terms are good. Soon, as Thanksgiving and Christmas approaches and the books are in hand, we might start seeing Dragon Heresy on store shelves.

Speaking of which I dropped by Mind’s Eye Comics here in Burnsville, and the new owner Chris and I hit it off pretty well. I suspect I’ll be a regular fixture there, as my daughter loves comic books, and enhancing the presence of gaming and comics in Burnsville, specifically the Burnsville Center Mall, seems like a win to me.

But . . . there will be one-week “get all the paperwork straight” hold, then the books will go three places. To my house (320 books), to Dice Latte in Korea for international shipments (50 books), and the balance into distribution. I will also begin the process to get things carried on Amazon.

Based on probable outcomes, I suspect everyone will have their books by mid-October. Not early, but not late. A Wizardly kind of pace, I suppose.

Hall of Judgment

As anticipated, today I got pinged by the printer in the UK about what to do about the books. I was ready, and closed the pre-orders for Hall of Judgment in Backerkit, delivered the list of “not-the-US” backers and my home address to Kixto (fulfillment company, also in the UK), and provided the required addresses and contact information to get 500 books from the UK to the UK, which really ought to be in the “not hard” category.

I will have a cost estimate by the middle of next week, and shipping should begin by the end of next week. The international books (107 books to 103 backers) will thus start their journey. Some may arrive the first week in September – there are 24 backers in the United Kingdom and there’s no real reason why Royal Mail should take that long to get things in place. Beyond that, it will be a bit of a random number generator, but most international folks should get their stuff in September.

For US backers, let’s assume it takes the better part of a week (first week of Sept) to airmail the stuff to me and then take delivery at my home; most of that is likely paperwork related, since actual travel time from fulfillment to airport to airport to my house is probably 12-24 hours. In any case, once they arrive, I’ll do the Backerkit postage thing (I’ve got my label printer all ready) and get those in the mail. From there, Media Mail is usually less than two weeks. So the US books should arrive in hand by mid-September as well.

Dungeon Grappling and Lost Hall of Tyr

There are perhaps 50 folks that ordered hardcopy of Dungeon Grappling and Lost Hall of Tyr along with the other two kickstarters. I will begin shipping all copies of these books to international backers this week. Those that ordered hardcover will get them fulfilled through DriveThruRPG premium, as that’s the best way to get it to you for not-ridiculous money.

The rest will ship out with HoJ or DH orders, packed together.

New Plans

The next move for Gaming Ballistic is to look into some new projects. I’ve already got at least four concepts being worked, and more news on that when I can say something.

Next I convert Hall of Judgment into Lost Hall of Tyr (Second Edition). This brings all of the work done on Hall of Judgment back into the Dragon Heresy fold. It converts backwards from the Dungeon Fantasy RPG and makes LHoT into a more sandboxy experience instead of the convention-style linear adventure. There are some things I have to work out – the LHoT original layout was 8.5×11, while HoJ was 8×10, for example – but once those decisions are made I should be able to convert HoJ to LHoT(2e) fairly quickly.

Anyone with a PDF of Lost Hall of Tyr (first edition) will get an upgrade for free. The new 2nd Edition upgrade will more directly support Dragon Heresy by tweaking the challenges of the adventures into the 1-5 range supported by the Dragon Heresy Introductory Set.

Not sure the timeline on this, but since books are probably arriving in October, well, that seems appropriate, doesn’t it?