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?

It was the moment I’ve been waiting for, and it arrived today. The first six copies of the fully-printed, smyth-sewn, entirely freakin’ awesome Dragon Heresy Introductory Set arrived today by FedEx.

I am utterly blown away. This is a book I think anyone would be proud to put on their shelf. Even better, to take out and play. The production values are ridiculously good. Yeah, I know, it’s my book, but wow.

I’ll put two pictures above the fold, then a bunch more below.

As I said to a backer on my Discord channel: I pulled out all the stops for this book. Every time I had a choice to make between “awesome” and “merely satisfactory” I went with awesome.

I don’t regret it one bit. Neither will you.

(If this looks like something you want on your game store shelf – and you know you do – please contact me directly and we’ll make that happen.)

Continue reading “Dragon Heresy Advance Copies Arrive!”

PDF Distribution

The (digital) moment has arrived: check your email boxes for a note from Backerkit, because the PDF file for Hall of Judgment has been given approval for distribution.

Thank you all so much for coming along with me this far!

The file as distributed is exactly what the print copy will look like. Hopefully we’ve caught most/all of the major errata, but there always seems to be a few that slip through.

Such errors can be corrected in PDF, obviously, but not print.

Haven’t ordered it yet, but want to? Hit Hosted Pre-Orders on Backerkit and get in on the first print run.

Print Schedule

The print file sailed through pre-production, and printing and binding is expected to be complete by August 22.

That’s a Wednesday, which means Thursday will see the books nipped over to my fulfillment partner in the UK, and international books should be in the mail that Friday. Backers in the UK could thus see their print copies the following week, still within August, which makes me happy.

The US copies and surplus inventory will head over to Minnesota by airmail, which means that I could be packing and mailing them the following week, assuming no delays at customs (and airmail makes that easier, ironically: less, and less-expensive, paperwork, apparently). So either later that same week, or within the two weeks thereafter (mid-September), all physical copies should be in hand.

Map Files

I will also be pushing out some VTT-scale map files. These were made available for the Lost Hall of Tyr distribution, and will also be made available with 1-yd hex overlays (for programs with built-in maps, I’ll provide a pixels-per-yard conversion).

The maps from ENnie Gold Medalist Cartographer Glynn Seal (he loves saying that, so I figured I’d repeat it) will also be made available. The large-area maps in PDF with a GM-layer for extra info, and the Logiheimli map in 72dpi with a pixels-per-yard conversion as well (though the scale is wide enough that “yards per pixel” is possible but unlikely.

Next Steps

After a deep breath to recover my balance after a long sprint to finish both this and Dragon Heresy, the Eye of Sauron will turn to what’s next. I’ve got ideas for more DFRPG stuff, and more, depending on what SJG wants to consider. More on that later.

I also will compile, after shipping of the physical product, the “where did the money go?” report, likely for both Dragon Heresy and Hall of Judgment, since they’ll finish at roughly the same time. I feel that’s an important part of Kickstarter fulfillment for projects that wouldn’t exist without your backing. Kickstarter can’t use the “I” word, but no matter what you want to call it, you guys are important Stakeholders in Gaming Ballistic thanks to your participation in this and other projects, and you deserve to know what happened on this project so that you can understand both the past and the future.

For now . . . thank you. For later: there’s more coming.

I sent Hall of Judgment preliminary files to the printer

They were accepted first try, as “ready to print.”

I expect that I’ll hear back from the printing liaison today, since it’s mid-afternoon in the UK, and we can make plans to get things moving forward. But I think that means the clock on printing has started.

Still waiting on final ship approval as folks get settled and Return from Gencon (with associated Con Crud expected, if you’ve been to one of those). But things are nipping along well.

Just a reminder: if you’re interested in a physical copy of the book, and you don’t live in the USA, the very best time to order it is right now, as shipping will only be this cheap if there’s enough back-order for me to get a reprint from not-the-USA. Sure, one day I’ll have POD copies available, but odds are they won’t be as good, as most POD tops out at 105gsm/70# paper for one (the book as ordered uses 140gsm/93# silk-coated paper), and are much, much more expensive to print, for another.

So, this should be an interesting week.

For one thing, I really don’t have much on my plate from a “writing games” perspective. This is the first time in about four months that this has happened, since Dragon Heresy was immediately (and I do mean right away) followed by Hall of Judgment.

Both are basically done, and out of my hands until it comes time for shipping. Even then, except for the day(s) printing postage and/or actually boxing up hundreds of books, I have those hours back. I’m about to go to sleep before midnight for the first time in a long time that didn’t involve sickness or simply collapsing from exhaustion.

Where do we stand?

Dragon Heresy PDF is long since shipped out. Not much response from it thus far; I hope that changes when the physical books arrive, and folks dig in and really read it. The changes to the base 5e SRD are somewhat simple, but provide a great deal of emergent behavior that everyone from GURPS players to OSR fans to 5e aficionados to Pathfinder folks should like.

This week should see the arrival by FedEx of the final signature, which I sent back for corrections. That was on my end, not theirs, so that delay is on me, but I saw a mistake (some formatting) and I fixed it. After that, I’ll give permission to print and bind, and then in a week or two I’ll start seeing advanced copies and basically be ready to give ship approval. About 30 copies will go out to backers of both the DH kickstarter and the HoJ one who live in “not the USA,” and the rest – about 1,470 of them – will come to my house, and about 250 (ish) will then depart for places here in the USA and Puerto Rico. Last week in September or first two weeks in October. So “on time,” if not “ahead of schedule.” Alas.

Also, within about 12-36 hours I should hear back from the Hall of Judgment printer in the UK about pre-press. I’ve paid my deposit (via PayPal! Yay! No wire transfers or certified checks) so I am as current with that vendor as I can be, and if they say “oh, yeah, these files work” I’ll give the go-ahead for printing, which means in about 3-4 weeks they’ll be done, and then another 2-3 weeks to get them sorted out and shipped and received. So really, all these books for both KS will arrive effectively simultaneously.

I’m very proud of both books. For one, they’re very, very pretty. For another, I think they’re legit good work.

But now I need more to do. Fortunately, I do not lack for options. If nothing else, I need to convert Hall of Judgment into Lost Hall of Tyr, 2nd Edition. Then it will be the adventure it needs to be.

More on that later.