There was an error in the Dec 7 update for the PDF of Lost Hall of Tyr. The final map was exported BELOW a background layer, making the climax map for the entire adventure . . . a black void.

Oops.

Problem fixed with u12152017, which has been blasted out to all backers. Sorry about that!

The PRINT version is fine; all three proofs I have contain the proper maps.

Having received both proof copies of Lost Hall – one from PubGraphics and one from DriveThruRPG – and found them both worthy, I went ahead and placed the orders.

The International Orders were fulfilled through DriveThruRPG, and will likely arrive in two weeks (if you’re in the UK) to somewhere between then and about nine or ten weeks (if you’re lucky enough to live in New Zealand). Let me know.

Note that I have no way to sign these – they don’t come to me – so if you asked for a signed copy but don’t live in the USA, I have to apologize. That would have cost us both over $30 extra, and no softcover 62-page book is worth that.

I expect to receive a box of 125 copies of Lost Hall from PubGraphics in maybe two or three weeks. I will immediately get those packed up (with copies of Dungeon Grappling if you ordered them), toss in some promo material, and get those into the USPS via media mail. From there, it’ll be 2 to 9 days, usually about a week. That means you should be getting your physical rewards between the first and third week of January.

We’re really in the home stretch now! If we get into late January and you’ve not heard from me or received your package, email me at gamingballisticllc@gmail.com and I’ll get busy looking for where it went.

I am not surprised by this, but the PubGraphics proof arrived today (a day before the DriveThru one) and they look great. I have to ask them if there’s any way I could order 125 of these things and get them by Dec 19, though – otherwise they’ll likely arrive after I’m away for a Christmas excursion.

Still: looking good. Some pictures below the break.

Continue reading “Lost Hall of Tyr: PubGraphics Proofs Look Great!”

So . . . close

I’ve spent a good few days working on the proof copy as well as the digital files. I posted an errata list on my blog, and have managed to adjust all of those. I also went through and tweaked some things – such as ensuring spell names were in italics, re-inserting some em-dashes where space-endash-space was used, and unifying the look of hyperlinks with the print and PDF files. I’m happy with the print file at this point, and have re-uploaded it to DriveThruRPG. If that’s accepted (sometime next week) I will lock down the physical copy and get things moving for international deliveries.

For US-deliveries for print, the internal file is the same as DriveThruRPG, which is easy. The cover file is not, because the templates for the printers are different. I’ll finish that up tonight, and order a proof copy from PubGraphics. Because the files aren’t exactly the same, it’ll make me feel better to have a physical one before I mass-order.

Also this weekend, I’ll go through and add/validate bookmarks for the PDF.

Speaking of PDF, I want to draw attention to something wonderful Todd did at my request, but he pulled it off wonderfully.
Continue reading “Lost Hall of Tyr: Inching Towards Final Release”

This post is for errata reports for Lost Hall of Tyr. I’ll post an ever-expanding table of what the suggested change is, the potential correction, and other notes.

Page From This To This Notes
1 target and 2d20 target-and-2d20 hypenation should match “target-and-3d6” format
1 target-and- 3d6 target-and-3d6 remove extra space between hyphen and 3d6
1 Open Game Licence v 1.0a Open Game Licence v 1.0a All bold for the formal title of OGL and SRD
1 Swords and Wizardy Complete Rules, Swords and Wizardry Complete Rules remove comma at end to keep format like all others
1 5.1 5.1 5.1 is part of the SRD title, bold it
1 Dungeon Grappling (small caps) Dungeon Grappling this is maybe the only place where titles aren’t in small caps; bold regular text only
1 Matthew J. Finch Matthew J. Finch. Period after Finch in both cases it appears
2 Ferth (FERTH) FERÐ (ferð) We use the funky th thing Ð for other places, let’s do it here, too
3 Unbookmarked Use TOC as basis for bookmarks; add bookmarks in PDF for all tables and box-text PDF has great hyperlinks and TOC, but no bookmarks
3 The Ridge Path, Dread River, Goblin Valley, The Domstollinn The Ridge Path, Dread River, Goblin Valley, The Domstollinn Bold section titles, as they’re higher level than chapter heads but lower than topic heads
5 Find/Replace 5e in bold regular with . . . 5e in small caps Keep all book and edition titles consistently formatted in Bold/Italic/Small Caps
5 The product introduces the “control” damage type. Each monster in the scenario is detailed in its Bestiary, complete with stats for grappling attacks (and the equivalent of a hit point maximum for grappling) that will be instantly familiar to even novice players of the game in any edition.
Grapple by making a normal hit roll (adding your bonus if you are proficient in Athletics, the 5e grappling skill), and if you exceed the Grapple DC— think of it as ‘Armor Class for grappling’—you roll damage, based on the hit die for your class and your Strength modifier. The more control damage you accrue, the more restrained the foe.
Grapple by making a normal hit roll (adding your bonus if you are proficient in Athletics, the 5e grappling skill), and if you exceed the Grapple DC— think of it as ‘Armor Class for grappling’—you roll damage, based on the hit die for your class and your Strength modifier. Dungeon Grappling introduces the “control” damage type. The more control damage you accrue, the more restrained the foe.
Each monster in Lost Hall of Tyr is detailed in its Bestiary, complete with stats for grappling attacks (and the equivalent of a hit point maximum for grappling) that will be instantly familiar to even novice players of the game in any edition.
I suspect that the phrasing in the book currently was edited beyond recognition; it really makes no sense as it reads. The rephrase is all the same sentences in a different order. Flows better, I think.
5 conttrol control typo
6 Incapacitated means incapacitated Incapacitated means incapacitated italics for emphasis
6 web web all spell names should be in italics unless they’re in titles
6 space – endash – space emdash This is fixed in all other chapters but the preface, which I rewrote. This is my GURPS training showing, as SJG doesn’t really use emdashes.
6 Dragon Heresy and Dragon Heresy RPG format in bold/italics/Small Caps book titles
7 Lost Hall of Tyr format in bold/italics/Small Caps book titles
7 modified ability score modified ability score. missing period
7 space – endash – space emdash This is fixed in all other chapters but the preface, which I rewrote. This is my GURPS training showing, as SJG doesn’t really use emdashes.
8 see Alternate Settings see Alternate Settings italics to emphasize that it’s a box title/topic header
9 freeman freemen
9 , and axes, they left , and axes, the hobgoblins left clarity
9 Without warning, ice exploded Without warning, winter exploded ice gets repeated in the next sentence, so tweaked
10 Elunad, a High Lady of Elunad, High Lady of too many “a” in this paragraph
11 Moving the tower and hall . . . Let’s make this a 4th bullet? It could stay the same; if we change it, I’d move the “Moving the tower” sentence between what are currently the 2nd and 3rd bullets, since the 2nd one is terrain, the dungeon is sorta terrain, and then we talk about gods
11 There is also a great deal of both rumor and fact . . . The Hall . .. , A mystical . . ., and There were several pathways are all bullet points, and should get the shield treatment This may break layout, and so we can forget it if needed
14 monsters and other things with hyperlinks bold them? I’ve seen this in OSR modules, where you might see: the hall is guarded by four kobolds, who are sleepy” or something like that. It might be useful to indicate, as we do with hyperlinks, that there’s more information in the back of the book. We can use underlines as well.
15 See Wilderness Survival for See Wilderness Survival for italicize the reference
15 the following table the Alternate Travel Plans table the table is no longer following in the layout!
16 Sploosh Sploosh italicize the reference
16 1d8-1×10 (1d8-1)x10 parens around 1d8-1
16 x10 ×10 use multiplication symbol for this, not “x”; occurs a few times on this page
17 jump, feather fall, levitiation, etc spell names should be in italics if they’re not in titles
19 Rewards. REWARDS. Rewards is actually a run-in caps title
19 awakened tree awakened tree (or another emphasis) as with line 29, some call-out of monsters that appear in the bestiary seems right to me here
19 greater invisibility greater invisibility spells in italics
21 hob and hobgoblin hob and hobgoblin monsters indicated by emphasis
21 inflicting control damage an athletics test control damage is “legacy code” and doesn’t apply anymore
21 a t wizard suffers a wizard suffers extraneous bold t
21 100′ per round (a mile every five minutes) 100′ per combat round (a mile every five minutes). differentiate between combat rounds and nebulous rounds in next section
21 dire wolves dire wolves monsters indicated by emphasis
24 x10 ×10 a careful execution of find/replace will catch this one too
25 see Alternatives, below see Alternatives, below italicize the reference
25 node stage I changed the lingo to be less esoteric in a rewrite
25 Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 bold them? secondary run-in title?
26 runes are mentioned show the actual runes in graphics, so players/GM can visualize? This might be a layout challenge, but if we could fit the blue runestones with the actual runes in them here, I think it would be cool.

I hope y’all have been waiting for this day as I have. But I have locked down those who responded to the survey (all but 17 of y’all) and distributed files to those folks. I will next examine those that have not filled out their survey . . . and if it looks like things are in order for the transfer from Kickstarter and that each of these folks will get what they asked for during the campaign proper, I will release those as well.

As such, 225 people should have received their digital files, or at least an email saying that they’re ready for download. Some of the files are very large, as one would expect from such graphically intensive work.

So, the countdown begins. Please read, inspect, and ask questions, and post your comments in this blog post.

Yes, this one, please!

In any case, read it, play it, let me know what you find. If there are errata (and there always are), please post them to the blog thread, and Todd and I will see what we can do.

Note that an erratum is something like a typo or grammar error. Things that are preferences or suggestions can only be entertained if they don’t break layout, and will be given a somewhat gimlet eye even then: the purpose is to finish the work, after all!

Thank you so much for coming along with me on this journey. I appreciate your faith, trust, and pixie dust.

Douglas Cole

Gaming Ballistic, LLC

Just a very quick update.

Todd rocks. He’s done everything that needs doing for the prelim release. This means three things.

  1. I will be locking down everyone that’s submitted their survey between 3pm and 5pm on November 24th.
  2. Everyone that has ordered digital files – Lost Hall, Dungeon Grappling, The Manor Collection, and Bogie’s Map Pack should be able to download it that day. All files that will be distributed have already been uploaded to Backerkit’s digital distribution hub.
  3. I submitted Lost Hall for a preliminary proof hard copy a few days ago. The files are in prep; hopefully I’ll be able to order the hardcopy Real Soon Now, or receive word of changes.

What might those changes be? Usually something with bleed (stuff that runs over the place where the pages are trimmed) or Total Ink Coverage. If the colors in an image are too dark, they can flake or not stick. That happened to me before with CreateSpace (which is why I’m not going with them at all this time around).

But if the files are approved and the proof looks good, I’ll let y’all know and then start a 10-day countdown clock. That’s when you guys can read your digital files and let me know if I missed anything.

Then Todd and I will make final changes, submit those files to the two printers, and start the clock ticking on orders. I find it likely – but not certain – that folks will start to get physical copies of Lost Hall and Dungeon Grappling in January. February at the latest.

Ironically, because printing through DriveThru/Lightning Source through the UK has a lot of print volume behind it, my international backers are very likely to get their product before my domestic backers. I will keep everyone informed of exactly where we are in the process though.

Again: mad props to Todd, John, Juan, Gerasimos, Michael, Rick, and Cornelia for meeting or beating all deadlines laid before them, which allowed production to go as smoothly as it has (to date, anyway). We’ve done very well, schedule-wise, and that kind of performance requires a great team.

The Lost Hall post-campaign goings-on still go on, and they are going strong.

Backerkit, Huzzah!

This one’s all on y’all. So far, in one day, about 60% of backers have filled out the surveys. This is good. I’d like everyone to do it, of course, but if you are one of the 115 backers that expects to receive Lost Hall of Tyr or Dungeon Grappling as a physical product, I must have your shipping address, and I’d very much like it through Backerkit.

I’m also quite gratified at the number of you guys that are electing to procure some of the cool Add-Ons that are available. I’ll note that the Manor Collection is a great deal, and if you’re an OSR fan, you’ll dig it completely. Dan’s map collection is very cool, and if you play via VTTs you’ll appreciate being able to drop in a new encounter at short notice.

Stythja Still Available

Just a shout-out for this one. The top-tier pledge was the styðja, or patron level. It features the following three things:

  • The opportunity to generate a character that will effectively be a “pre-gen” for Lost Hall
  • The character will be visualized as an epic figure by one of the artists who worked on the project.
  • Finally, part of this process is a preview of the Character Generation, Races, and Classes chapters of Dragon Heresy, my forthcoming SRD5.1 full RPG.

Here’s a peek inside:

I can tell you I had a lot of fun with these, and there’s a lot more in there than just what appears in the SRD. History, different takes on the races and classes, entirely new clerical domains based on Norse mythology, new abilities and fighting styles, and more. I can tell you this: shields are going to get way cooler.

It’s still a work in progress . . . but there’s been a lot of progress and playtesting, so while it’s not perfect, it will give a feel that captures the kinds of characters that will fit easily into the world of Etera, and provide what I hope is an exciting glimpse of what’s to come.

I will be contacting those that have elected the Styðja character levels shortly after the Backerkit phase ends and distributing the required digital files at that time. The PDF collection of characters thus created will be available prior to April 2018, as promised in the Kickstarter rewards section.

Production Progress

Todd emailed me what looks to be the final file (maybe one change pending), and I’ve approved it. This means that he can start building the Table of Contents as well as hyperlinking the document.

The result of his hard work, and the excellent responsiveness of the editing and art teams, is that unless something drastically horrendous happens, the penultimate version of the digital product will be in your hands within the week after the Backerkit phase closes.

As noted in the prior update, two things happen during this phase. Firstly, I send the files to my two print vendors for proofs (actually, this is likely to start happening this week or next). Just as importantly, you guys review the heck out of your document and find what we missed. There’s always something. Check spelling, clarity, and layout issues. Test all the hyperlinks. Head to the blog post on Gaming Ballistic’s website and leave a comment in the thread that will be started for the purpose and I’ll update the “Errata” list with notes on whether we can accommodate the request. Feel free to suggest other hyperlinks that you feel will be useful.

Map Pack

The maps for the adventure are provided as 8.5×11 full pages in the back of the adventure. They are also provided at a lower (more screen compatible) resolution of about 200dpi, and are 32″ x 40″ in size at that scale. They will come as a compressed file of JPEGs so they can be pulled into your Virtual Table Top program of choice, or you can have them printed as posters or anything else.

They are full color, and have no grids or scales on them, so that for those that do use the VTT’s native grid functions, you don’t get the case where either you can’t quite match up the map grid with the program grid, or for folks like me that like hexes, have to deal with a hex overlay on a square grid.

I am working with Bogie maps on a few fun extras to make choosing between grid options easy, but no word on those yet.

Endgame and Next Projects

So that’s where we are. Thanks for coming with me so far, and please do take advantage of the “share” functions of the various forums. Give the project a re-share from Kickstarter or Backerkit. Even better, throw down a nice comment or two on the usual places: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, or the various DnD-flavored groups or RPG forums.

This won’t be my last product. I expect that within the month I’ll take delivery of a 115,000-word manuscript for a completely original Sci-Fi game that I cannot wait to get started on, which includes core rules and three short scenarios. If that goes well, the author has 27 more adventures ready to go.

And of course there’s Dragon Heresy, and I hope that I’ve convinced you that I have the project management chops to deliver even a very large project on time. The only reason that one isn’t out already is that I want to do the same quality job with it that I have done (says me) on Dungeon Grappling and Lost Hall of Tyr. That means art . . . and lots of it. The Dragon Heresy draft that went to Ken Hite (yes, that Ken Hite) for editing was roughly 400,000 words, or approximately 800 pages in 3 volumes. I’ll need anywhere from 200 to 400 pieces of art to do it how I want . . . and that requires a very successful campaign.

When it comes time, I hope you’ll help me with that.

Until then, back to the wilds of production for me!

Last night Kickstarter processed the funds for the campaign – everyone’s payments cleared but one, which is a darn good percentage.

This morning, I sent out the Backerkit surveys. Each of you should have received an email as follows:

“Thank you for supporting the Lost Hall of Tyr Kickstarter!

The primary goal of the survey is to collect shipping and email information so that we can get you your physical and digital rewards. There are also a few “marketing and interest” related questions that I would love to get feedback on so that I can better tailor products to suit, and improve Gaming Ballistic’s customer experience as the company grows.

Thanks for your pledge, and for your time!”

I actually wound up dispensing with the marketing survey part, because you were forced to answer the questions, and I wanted minimum fuss.

In any case, you’ll be asked if you want your physical copies, if any, signed. You’ll go to a page that has pre-added your rewards, and you’ll either show a shipping fee, or possibly a credit if you pledged more than your reward.

You can add stuff if you like, and allocate your money or even buy more if you decide (for example) that you want several physical copies or that you want one or more of the custom characters. In that case you’ll be asked to pay the balance.

The Backerkit phase will run until November 24th. Then it’ll close down and that’s it.

Pre-orders are also open! This means that folks can order Lost Hall, and just for simplicity, they can do so at the Kickstarter discount. Retail price of the PDF will be $10; Print will be $20, and the bundle of both will be $25 . . . so if you have friends that want in, send them to the Pre-Orders Page!

Progress Update

So . . . I don’t want to jinx things. But Todd and I expect to finish the final PDF within a couple of days. That means in all probability, the PDF will be ready to distribute the day the Backerkit phase closes.

So digital distribution of Dungeon Grappling (if you ordered it) and Lost Hall (why you’re here) will occur on Nov 25 or so.

However! That won’t be the final file. I’ll be ordering proofs for print copies, and you guys will have a week or two to read the digital file, ask questions, and point out errors. If you find any, we’ll note them in a spreadsheet that I’ll maintain on my blog, Gaming Ballistic.

Once that’s done and I like the print file look, I will incorporate any clarifications or fixes that don’t break the layout that the backers notice, submit and order final files, and order print copies. Then I’ll order International copies from DriveThru, and take delivery at my home of the US orders, pack ’em up, and ship ’em out.

So . . . things are looking good in terms of schedule.

Schedule

This is just a reminder of some administrative dates and estimates for the Lost Hall campaign.

The Kickstarter funds usually take “about two weeks” to settle, which means some time between today and something like Monday or Tuesday (Nov 13-14), everyone’s cards or other payment options will be charged.

As soon as that happens, I will make the Backerkit process live. A link will go out and your balance from your pledge will transfer over. Your reward amount is usually automatically added, and you might have a balance if you upped your pledge for add-ons.

Regardless of that balance, you will then pick the add-ons you want, and the shipping charges for your reward level will also be added. That final total will be charged at the end of the Backerkit portion – which is also where I’ll get the address information and a few other things.

The Backerkit portion will go until November 24.

Once that closes, I will start the process of assembling “lists” or “segments” for digital and physical distribution. If you bought a PDF copy of Dungeon Grappling, you’ll get that immediately.

Lost Hall Final Layout and Proofing

I’m pleased to say all the final art assets are in my hands, and Todd showed me a preliminary final layout yesterday. We’re not done by any stretch, but things are strong.

The way I did Dungeon Grappling, and the way I’ll do this campaign, is that when we have a final PDF, we’ll distribute it to backers, and then order proof copies of the product from the two printers we’ll be using. Getting proofs (physical ones) can take several weeks.

During that period, I’d ask for your feedback. It’ll be entered into a spreadsheet like this one, and I will discuss with Todd which if any changes can be accommodated. The only ones that can go in at that point are things that don’t break the layout. Reasonable requests will be accommodated, but at that point we’re mostly checking clarity, typography, and grammar.

Add-On Highlights

I’m pleased to report that Bogie Maps (Dan Roy) has completed all the maps for the add-on map pack. Some samples below:

 

 

There are three more as well, and you’ll be able to see them when the Backerkit goes live.

The other two add-ons are a excellent collection of OSR zines by my friend Tim Shorts, and of course Dungeon Grappling, which is available in both PDF and Print+PDF.

We’re coming down to the end, and things are going very well at this point. I’m much farther along than even for the Dungeon Grappling project, and that one delivered substantially ahead of schedule.