Status and Trajectory

There’s no better way to say it than to show it:

Double Your Dungeon Fantasy Fun

There are TWO Dungeon Fantasy RPG products on Kickstarter right now, and they’re being mutually supported by Gaming Ballistic and Steve Jackson Games.

The Citadel at Norðvorn funded several days ago and is now in the process of crushing stretch goals. We surpassed the first yesterday, and we’re on course to hit another one today or tomorrow! More on that later.

Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 and Boxed Set Reprint also funded a few days ago, and is in the process of knocking down stretch goals.

The SJG and Gaming Ballistic projects are separate, but have mutually-supporting stretch goals!

  • When Citadel hit $16,000 not only did Nordvorn boost to 112 pages, DFM2 upgraded the dice inside the box.
  • If Citadel hits $18,000 (possibly today!) DFM2 puts a game notebook in each box.
  • If DFM2 hits $45,000 (less than $800 to go as I type this) then SJG will include an entirely new RPG supplement by Gaming Ballistic, Fantastic Dungeon Grapplingin each copy of the reprint of the Box Set.

That’s not even talking about the DFM2 stretch goal at $48K and $60K for more pages in the Monsters book itself, and the offset print run for Nordvorn at $25,000, which would see the game on store shelves as well as available through Warehouse 23 and Gaming Ballistic’s website.

The level of cooperation here might be unprecedented (might not; it’s certainly unusual). My data – which I’ve shared over on theRPGsite after it came up – shows at at least on MY end, the mutual support has been effective and shows the strength of the line.

And I’ve got at least two more adventures – true adventures, not settings – being written right now.

It’s a great time to be involved in the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.

Please consider backing both projects today!

The Citadel at Norðvörn

 

Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 and Boxed Set Reprint

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

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

Here’s the deal.

What’s Different about FDG vs HoJ’s Version

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

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

How Do I Get the Book?

There are two ways to get it.

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

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

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

This is Grappling

Grappling has always gotten short shift in games. Gaming Ballistic wrestled with this problem repeatedly over the years, first with GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling for GURPS (available at Warehouse 23), and then for 5e, Swords & Wizardry, and the Pathfinder RPG with Dungeon Grappling (PDF at Warehouse 23Print and PDF at Gaming Ballistic)

The knowledge and play experience from all of that helped me create Fantastic Dungeon Grappling, a short insert in Hall of Judgment. And now, thanks to the successful funding of the Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 Kickstarter, Steve Jackson Games has a new stretch goal for that campaign.

New Dungeon Fantasy 2 Monsters Stretch Goal: $45,000

If the DFM2 Kickstarter shoots through $45,000, Steve Jackson Games has agreed to include a copy of the 8-page Fantastic Dungeon Grappling booklet in the boxed set itself.

All of Gaming Ballistic’s Dungeon Fantasy RPG products are 8×10″ size . . . just like the box. And if that stretch goal is reached, we get to put that into practice.

Fantastic Dungeon Grappling takes the “attack roll, defense roll, damage roll” basic play of Powered by GURPS and makes it work for grappling as well. A new simplified tracking mechanism – tested over years of play – keeps this fast and light at the table.

And After the Grapple, easily and quickly perform feats such as Takedowns, Disarms, and inflicting pain or injury on your target.

Oh . . . and of course there are a few new magic spells that grapple, plus a short section on the best part about grappling: having your monsters grab and eat the players!

To unlock this new stretch goal and improve the box set contents, please visit and support The Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 Kickstarter today! And for those of you who already own the box, don’t worry!. . . Fantastic Dungeon Grappling will be available separately as a $9 for Print+PDF, and $4 in PDF-only, during the Backerkit phase of The Citadel at Nordvorn!

Excellent progress

The Citadel at Nordvorn is doing very nicely. A bit more each day, and just shy of $1500 to the first stretch goal. 405 actual backers, which exceeds where we were on Hall of Judgment four days before the campaign closed . . . and we have twice as much time remaining!

Speaking of those last four days on HoJ . . . we added 122 backers and $3300 in that period. So that’s one measure of where we might get. On the other side, there’s $12,500 in latent backers – those following but not pledged yet pledged! Though we probably wont’ get all of them, I hope to get many!  And note that total, plus the actual pledges of about $14,500, significantly eclipses the $25,000 stretch goal by quite a lot.

Do I smell offset printing in the air?

Cover! and Art Direction

Rick turned in his final version of the cover (and got paid that day, because when folks do good work for you, you pay them right away).

I’ve put in some draft “ad copy” for the left-hand side of the book. It’s being revised and edited for maximum “bite” but as is, this cover could go to print. I believe even the ISBN is accurate.

I’ve also given out all of the art direction for the parts of the book that are complete, and sent contracts to all of my artists. All have responded positively to the suggestions, and a few have come right back with “but how about this instead?” which I love. These guys are pros . . . I am one level above stick figures.

So we should see some really fine, fine pieces from the team, and I’m looking forward to seeing them develop.

Until then . . . keep spreading the word about the Citadel at Nordvorn, and back Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 as well!

This week and next week will continue the string of “rah rah!” GURPSDays. Still looking to rally support for the two Kickstarters going on that influence the future of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG specifically, and GURPS more broadly.

Let’s start with the big one.

Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2/Boxed Set Reprint

This one’s important, and it’s 83% funded! It’s been having some very good days, but it can use more. It’s on track to hit about $50K, but it has to fund before it starts hitting stretch goals. I think it’s important, especially for those that passed on the first Kickstarter, to pay attention to this one. Why this? Why more fantasy? Why not leverage GURPS to do something that isn’t D&D?

There have been GURPSy releases that are not Fantasy. Even sub-lines, such as Monster Hunters and After the End. Many volumes of Spaceships! Steampunk now has three releases. Good stuff, all. But there have been 20+ volumes of GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. Other genres clearly didn’t generate the sales, the inspiration for authors to step up and write books in those genres, or both.

I like other stuff too! I’d dearly love to see some modern-day boxed set/subline love. I’d also like to see characters of 100-200 point variety featured more prominently. But between what folks are willing to write, and what folks have been buying, Dungeon Fantasy has been the obvious and repeated winner. Winner and still champion, as it were.

So they’re not just handing the ball to the guy and having him slam his face into the scrimmage line. There’s their own sales data and feedback from shows, cons, reviews, emails to the SJG staff, etc. that back it up. Which comes back around to “PLEASE back both DFM2/Boxed set and (self-interest alert!) Nordvorn. If these do well, someone like myself could ask to do something not-Fantasy. If they don’t . . . there might be nothing at all.

The Citadel at Norðvorn

We funded!! We hit the $13,000 goal – the highest of any Kickstarter of mine to date – and are now past $14,000. Going strong! At the current trajectory, we’ll likely pass the first stretch goal. We have enough backers following but not yet pledged to go all the way to the offset print run at $25,000 . . . in fact if all the latent backers came in at the current average pledge, we’d have over $26,000 now! My best ever latent conversion rate was 41%, on Hall of Judgment. That’s 95 people who are statistically likely to come over, which is $3,400. So it looks really good for the first stretch goal . . . and we’ll see about more!

If you can manage to throw in early, please do so. The latest updates can be found below, in the Gaming Ballistic section.

Share Early, Share Often

As noted above, the key to success for both campaigns is new folks. In particular, retail stores and bulk orders are really key. They are more likely to bring in new players, and they tend to order many copies, which helps push up the numbers for print runs, and large print runs are better on a marginal cost basis. That means more financial success for the line, which means we want to do more, better, and faster.

So, what can you do?

  • Reshare this post. Seriously.
  • Jump over to this thread on rpg.net, and let folks know about Citadel (the new set discussion starts on p. 88). Tell them about Hall of Judgment, if you have it or have played it, or point them to reviews if you haven’t.
  • Share this Facebook or this tweet. The more folks see it, the more attention, and the more backers we can get. This has knock-on effects! More than one site, like Kicktraq, uses the number of comments and the general buzz about a project to decide how to feature it.
  • Do the same thing for the Boxed Set. I can’t stress this enough: without the Boxed Set and continued interest and support from both backers and Steve Jackson Games, there’s no product line for me to support. Share play stories. Talk to your local game stores this weekend. Both the Boxed Set and Nordvorn have retail levels where you can get more than one copy of the game at a significant discount.

Back to GURPSDay

A quick note: I’m getting five blogs that pull up empty each time. I’ll contact the owners, but check your settings, too!

GURPSDay is starting its sixth – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic. Things have slowed down a bit, and I’ll be considering how to revitalize this weekly activity. I’d like to see an average of 100 posts here per week – one per blog, ish – so we’ll see what we can do to get creative juiced flowing.

If you just started a GURPS blog – and I know that some of you have – email me and get on the list! With the advent of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPS, there’s even more reason to write.

How? Two action items: post more, recruit more. It’s really that simple. More posters is more posts, and more interest in GURPS.

Below you can find the blog activity for the last week. There’s a whole lotta awesome GURPS going on. Read all the posts.

Not every blog posts about GURPS every week, but some are ridiculously prolific! The list is randomized, so different bloggers will be highlighted at the top of the post each week.

As always, if you’re interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line. Take special note of the RSS Settings Fix if you’re on WordPress.
Continue reading “Thursday is still Dungeon Fantasy Day! March 8 to March 14, 2019”

Mockup! $317 to go; $24,000 actual plus latent!

 

The Citadel at Nordvorn is close to funding! Only $317 to go! If you’re one of the 315 backers following but not yet pledged to The Citadel at Nordvorn, I just want to note that *today* would be a mighty fine day to jump on board.

If we take those pledged and add those following . . . we’re now up to $24,000 which makes the offset print run stretch goal, and a 128 page book, start to look feasible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Status

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

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

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

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

Cover WIP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In any case: Meet Emily!

Revised by Emily

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

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

Prior Work

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

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

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

https://www.revisedbyemily.com/
https://www.revisedbyemily.com/