Fold and Gather samples for Dragon Heresy are here!

So, it’s one thing to look at individual pages. It’s one thing to look at a PDF on the screen.

It’s quite another to get the entire book very nearly as it will appear in my hands.

Without further blather on my part: pictures.

OK: one bit of blather. I cannot wait for the proofs and finals to be ready. This is going to be a book of which folks take notice. And y’all made it happen.

Lots more pictures below the break…

Continue reading “Dragon Heresy: Fold and Gather samples arrived. Wow.”

There are some parts of the production of a book that are just no fun at all.

I’m in a few of those parts.

Hall of Judgment

Oh, sure . . . it’s getting done. Bit by bit. I should have another major revision to Hall of Judgment done either late tonight or tomorrow. Hopefully tonight (assuming my cat gets off my manuscript, but there are fairly sure-fire fixes for that).

But this is the part where you read . . . each . . . word . . . carefully to make sure things are just right, and you still manage to miss stuff.

But what’s going on and changed from last time?

  • Lots of revisions to the Backer Credits
  • Updated the front matter to hopefully include all my contributors
  • Updated all of Glynn’s maps to tweak out a few things, like labels
  • Lots of final editing and small corrections
  • Removed some DnD-isms from things
  • Rewriting some descriptives to ensure they jive with the evolving monster bits
  • Completely re-did the cover . . . and got word from the printer that it looks pretty good

There might be other things too. But I still feel like I’m on track to deliver the finished product to backers next week, on schedule.

Dragon Heresy

We’re in a bit of a dead zone here. The “F&G” (Fold and Gather) milestone “should be” coming up by Friday. If those are OK (and I’m not sure if I get samples or no), I give the “OK to bind” with the first advanced copies of the book arriving to me at the end of the first full week in August. If that’s what I think it is, it’ll be the first time I hold Dragon Heresy as it’s meant to be (well, as the Introductory Set is meant to be!) in my hands. That will be a good day.

Other Things

As with many others, I was saddened to hear that business conditions have led to the shuttering (at least temporarily, but plan for the worst, hope for the best applies) of Pyramid Magazine.

I got my start there, and in a very real way, a succession of Pyramid editors taught me how to write and organize text. I list my 13 Pyramid articles proudly on my resume, and in no small part, I know that my history with Pyramid plus my playtesting org skills got me the nod to be the first third-party publisher for the DFRPG.

It served as a garden where the seeds of future authors were sown and watered, and those of us that had been published there would frequently go out of our way to help others. For 25 years, it was a monthly dose of GURPS and Powered by GURPS.

Alas, and farewell.

Hall of Judgment Character and Monster Templates taking shape

I’ve been working on the writing, which is now in the “I have something for everything” stage, and now turning to editing and converting from Fifth Edition/Dragon Heresy to the DFRPG/Powered by GURPS stats and difficulties. That starts, well, now.

The other big thing I did was structure the creature and pre-gen templates in InDesign. This was (and will continue to be) laborious, but there’s nothing to be done about that.

In any case, here’s a preview. Starting with one of the Pre-Gen characters that will appear in the book, using the Wrestler template from Pyramid #3/111

And a sample monster, with bonus stock art from the always excellent Dean Spencer

Things may indeed shift around, but I kinda like ’em both.

This update will be quick, because I’ve got writing to do today. Plus, you know: day job.

Hall of Judgment: We passed $10K this weekend, passed the total number of backers and pre-order backers from Dragon Heresy, and that’s amazing. Keep it up! In terms of forward progress, I can say that I’m basically down to writing the encounter descriptions for the last half of the ruins, and filling out encounter details for the two bonus mini-dungeons. Glynn and I had an actual video call last night to chat about doing something cool with the mini-dungeon maps but respecting the boundaries of scope. Scope creep makes for unhappy artists, and I like my artists happy. I have two finished maps in hand, one in progress, and I need to provide sketches for the final two. After the encounter descriptions are done, it’s all mechanical conversion work: stat blocks and difficulty tests and skill level penalties. The most difficult part here will likely be doing a visually interesting but still fairly simple presentation for monsters and characters from a layout perspective; I have ideas and sketches, but I’m not an Illustrator or InDesign professional and that will be, mostly likely, a full day of pain for me. Once it’s done, though: lather, rinse, repeat. Then some final playtesting, comments, etc. I’m talking to printers and fulfillment services in the UK; I think I can manage to get “not the USA” shipping down to a flat $15 or so. That’s not spectacular, but it’s not horrible. Still working it. I don’t like $15 shipping for a $25 book, though. UK shipping from the UK would still be about $8. It’s all very complicated.

Dragon Heresy Introductory Set: I pushed the very truly final PDF to backers and the 300dpi/200MB PDF-X/1a file to the printer. I received “wet proofs” of the cover (gorgeous!) and digital proofs of specified pages (mostly outstanding; two key images were too dark for my taste and I asked them to adjust). They forgot to send me wet proofs of the color end sheets, and are rectifying that. I suspect we’ll be out of proof phase by next Monday, which means into print phase. From there, it would be a few weeks to print and validate the books. Once I finalize what is to be printed, I will need to lock down addresses and make arrangements to split the order for international backers. That’s on me, though, and I have a plan.

Venture Beyond: No link for this one (yet), but David and I had a few exciting conversations about Venture Beyond, and things are moving again. That’s good news.

Other Product: I will probably take a short breather when I get DH and HoJ finished. There are things I’ve been putting off a bit that need to happen at home. But after that, I have at least two Dragon Heresy/Etera (and maybe Norðlond?) modules to write, and one of those, The Citadel at Northwatch, has enough done on it already that it should be a fairly quick writing job. The pattern I’m using for Hall of Judgment – details about a town or towns for expanding the background, local color, and important personalities, followed by the adventure, and then a bestiary if needed, is a good outline and I intend to repeat it. I had a conversation with an old friend who reminded me of a campaign I ran a while back, and how it would be amazing as a stand-alone RPG. So it would. I’ve got at least five (including Venture Beyond) concepts or projects on the “let’s consider this” burner that are written by not-me.

Gaming Ballistic: I have to say it: with revenue from Dragon Heresy and the HoJ Kickstarters looking to be something on the order of $25,000 between the two of them, it would appear that on a single-year basis, we’re steaming towards being profitable in 2018. If DH and/or HoJ (especially DH, since I will have over 1,000 books in my basement) moves successfully into distribution, Amazon, and other vectors, that could get even better, perhaps erasing the net-negative total cash flow since GB was started. It usually takes 4-5 years for this transition, and I’m looking good for doing that on schedule. Knock on wood and all that, but 2018 feels like an inflection point. We shall see.

We hit $10,000!

I mean, the trajectory and usual Kickstarter behavior (where your last two days are about 60% of the first two days) suggested this anyway, but still, seeing it is astounding. We also surpassed the total number of backers for Dragon Heresy, my full 288-page RPG, which was 328 during the campaign itself, plus a few pre-orders. We’re at 334 as I write this, which means no matter what, we’ve passed both.

The next “can we get there” milestone is to pass Dragon Heresy in terms of funds raised, which is a higher challenge. Our first two days were astounding: $6566 raised! Then we kept up at a $440 per day rate for the next 6 days, and since then, the pledge rate has leveled to $200 per day. The final two days can be up to 70% of the first two . . . or they can be “just another day.”

That means that at the low end, the next 13 days of the campaign could bring in another $2,500 and 85 people . . . which is awesome no matter what. Or they could bring in another $7,300. Who knows! The key will be getting the word out, and that depends on you more than me.

In any case, the campaign has already been very successful, and each day makes it more so.

Printing and Shipping

I had a question come up on the SJG Forums, and I thought I’d open the kimono a bit more about where we are, and where we might go.

I have four vendors I use for printing. DriveThruRPG, Publisher’s Graphics, a UK company that does short-run, high-quality digital print (Call it Company C), and a Hong Kong company that only deals in 1000+ quantities (call them Company D).

DriveThru and PubGraphics both have online quote generators open to all. DriveThru uses Lightning Source for printing, which has a UK branch; this means “not the USA” uses Royal Mail for shipping, which is much less expensive to y’all. A full 30% of backers to this project fall into that category (double the usual!) so this is a real consideration; the lowest cost to get a package out of the US to London by USPS is about $25. Royal Mail does that for $5-6.

But printing! The basic factor here is the quality and cost per book. I find PubGraphics quality superior to DriveThru. The paper is a bit better, the binding MUCH better, and the color more vivid. They’re also roughly 2/3 the price per book, but charge a setup fee. In short, somewhere between “I order 8” and “I order 32,” it’s cheaper to order from PubGraphics even including the ridiculous shipping cost to get it out of the USA.

But I will be ordering a minimum of 200 books, because you guys are great.

Let’s hit the other extreme. I can’t order fewer than 1,000 books from Company D. So that’s a dollar amount threshold, full stop. That, however, means that I will have something like 700 books sitting in my house. If I can sell them? FANTASTIC. That’s extra revenue, and the cost per book easily supports a distribution model. That’s an additional $7,000 in revenue (with associated licensing fees to SJGames!) over time, though not front-loaded like the Kickstarter.

In the middle, between 345 orders and about 720 orders, we have Company C. Their stuff is going to arrive with much thicker paper (140gsm vs 105gsm; 93# paper vs 70# for us Americans) and still be perfect bound like DriveThru and PubGraphics. Originating in the UK means that the costs for international shipping are lower, though I will need to find a good partner to split off 30% of the orders and get them to international folks.

So where are we for printing? We’re just at the cusp of kicking over into the wide territory where Company C wins the cost/quality battle. If I wind up ordering about 50% more books than actual print backers, then once we hit 230 print backers, we upgrade to the thicker paper. At 475-480 print backers, we get the sewn binding.

I’m working now to find a good partner for this in the UK. If you know of one (a game store that also fulfills international orders at a reasonable cost, perhaps), please let me know.

Nerdarchy!

I was on Nerdarchy on Friday, and we had a good conversation. There was a lot of stuff on shields and D&D, because that’s the crowd. I tried to keep the conversation at least mildly focused on Powered by GURPS and the DFRPG, though!

Progress

Writing continues, as does map creation. I just did a quick layout trial, and the current text – with no maps or art of any sort – runs over 75 pages. Add on the “Thegn of Your Own” backers, five full-page maps, six half-page encounter maps and we’re at 88 pages with zero artwork. Given I like to put something every spread or two, if we budget a quarter-page of art every four pages you’re dealing with another five or six pages of art.

And there’s a lot of dungeon and wilderness encounters and lions, tigers, and bears, oh my yet to do. (No tigers, actually. But lions and bears play prominent roles, so there is that). “Town” itself is 18 pages long, which makes for a nice, robust starting place with lots of things to do, and good embedded culture and entry points for adventurers to explore.

So we’re definitely trending to the 96 pages or more endpoint, which is fun for a book that started at 64.

Today is a “write all day” budget, so by day’s end, hopefully I’ll have most of the prose done. That would mean the big job is converting to Powered by GURPS numbers and stats. That’s a challenge, but it’s a direct one.

So I’m going to get to it. In the meantime, a bit of “yay, team!” on social media would not go amiss.

Thanks!

This is mostly a picture dump, but overall, here are my impressions:
  • Readability is excellent. The colors came through very well.
  • The spot finish on the cover may not be fully visible in the image, but it’s awesome
  • Still going to be a pretty book

The mild criticisms. Two are on me.

  • One of the big signature images is misaligned in the borders. I can and will fix that (p. 140)
  • The Gaming Ballistic logo on the spine should get a spot finish and didn’t
  • While overall color fidelity is good, some of the details on one of the important images got obscured in the printing process due to low contrast and a bit of color mismatch.
  • I was supposed to get “wet proofs” of my end sheets, and didn’t

I’ve provided this feedback (and the following pictures) to the printer, but obviously haven’t heard back yet. I also need to do a (gulp) page-by-page inspection of the entire low-quality book block to ensure everything is good, and there are no more p. 140 surprises.

To the pix!

That’s probably good for now, but this is major progress. When I hear back on p. 238 I’ll know more about timing. More later!

As always, I try and post an update summarizing current progress on the Hall of Judgment Kickstarter and what’s to come each Monday.

Campaign Progress

I can’t put it any other way but to say that the Hall of Judgment campaign has exceeded my expectations and is rapidly closing in on my hopes as well. My “don’t be irrationally exuberant” math was “the usual number of folks for a Gaming Ballistic KS pledge 50-50 for print/pdf,” which would have been 250 backers and $5,000.

Well. Well, well, well.

You guys are speaking very loudly. This is one of the kinds of support you want for the product. The louder y’all speak on this and other places, the better the odds of doing more.

And I’d love to do more.

As of this update, we’re nearly at 300 backers (THIS! IS! DUNGEONfantasyrpg!) and have passed $8700. This is behaving very much like my other three KS, and frankly, is looking a LOT like the DFRPG KS in terms of rates. That carries with it implications for total number of backers and total funding rate that are . . . impressive.

Writing and Progress

Over the weekend I did a lot of work on the town of Isfjall. It’s currently sitting at about 6,400 words and will get a bit longer as I flesh out a few more sections, and I’ll be looking to do that tonight. I suspect that the section on Isfjall will wind up being in the neighborhood of 16 pages on a town that you can transplant to anywhere in any campaign that supports a vaguely viking-esque culture.

Why this much? Town is important in the DFRPG, and can serve as an important part of a campaign in more expansive Dungeon Fantasy or just GURPS Fantasy campaigns. While “Town” is geared to the needs of the DFRPG, the outline and model I’m using is the most excellent Dungeon Fantasy Setting: Caverntown.

Rest assured, though: once this is done (again: hopefully tonight) the next section is the wilderness journey. I’ve got a map for that already, so writing this section is really a matter of random encounter tables.

Finally, I’ve started to provide more art direction to Glynn, and that’s the other thing that needs to happen in the next 2-3 days. I’ve sent him notes on the “zoom-in” map of the area around the Hall itself, and now I need to give some direction on the three new encounter maps – basically small dungeons. I know what these have to be, and that will let him do maps and me write the encounters and challenges that will be faced within them. Two are easy; the third will take more thought but things are gelling well.

We also had two full-on blindtests of the Fantastic (Dungeon) Grappling rules. One by a group that didn’t typically use the GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling rules in any form, and another long-standing, long-running DF campaign that has been using a stripped down, suitable-for-DF version of TG for years to good success. I learned great things from both groups.

Then there are two more tasks: get the existing adventure edited and tweaked to fit the new map and layout, and then do the hardcore numerical conversion work for the adventure proper. This is both harder and easier than it sounds.

Form Factor

I ran a quick Google Forms poll on form factor and geography. The results thus far with 126 backers (roughly 42% in that survey alone) are running about 60-40 in favor of “make it fit in my DFRPG box!”

I have received POD and now digital larger-volume printing quotes for both 8.5×11 and 8×10 form factors, and prices per book for the quotes thus received are so close to each other in some cases that it’s literally pennies per book. So there’s no pricing justification either way. I don’t need to make the “real” decision until the manuscript is done and ready for layout, but unless things change radically I will look strongly at an 8×10 format.

Also: a full 30% of those answering the survey are from “not the US,” which influences my “where do I wish to print?” decision a lot; international shipping is so horrible that if I can use Royal Mail or Korean Post to fulfill those orders I want to do so, and the quantities involved are significant enough that I can explore a dedicated “not the US” run from out of the UK and still beat the DriveThruRPG prices, all while delivering 140gsm silk/matte paper instead of the more typical 105gsm from DriveThru.

No promises, but shipping is a painful part of these Kickstarters, and I try and be as open as possible about what options I’m considering. The higher the backer count for physical books, the better those options get for all of us.

GameHole Con

In a few of the comments, I mentioned that I was working to secure a table at GameHole con to try and host a game or two. Thanks to the SJG MiBs currently working that convention’s setup, I will be able to do so.

At 10am CST tomorrow (Tuesday June 26) I will open up 6 spots at a table. The game will be held on Friday November 9 from 4pm to 8pm. The $250 reward level will contain:

  • Space at the table for the game
  • A copy of every printed book Gaming Ballistic sells, including Hall of Judgment (it should be available by then no matter what the shipping route), plus PDFs on a USB stick
  • Credit in the book at the GameHole Con level (or some other appropriately-named tier)
  • You may also submit a pre-gen character as per the “A Thegn of Your Own” level

There will also be two spots at the table left open on a “first come, first served” basis. The level does NOT contain badges, transport, hotel, food (though I’ll share anything I have), t-shirts, pets, hats, or badge pins.

The Coming Week

I’ll be on Nerdarchy with Dave Friant this coming Friday at 11am Central. The chat window is lively and you can pass on questions.

I’m not flooding the zone with podcasts like I did with Dragon Heresy; I think folks (including me) got a bit burned out. But if there are any podcasts that cater to Not That Other Game (5e and the OSR) that would like to have me, I’ll gladly be on them.

If you want to ask me more immediate questions, you can always hit me up on the Gaming Ballistic Discord channel.

For the rest, it’s write-write-write plus more art notes to Glynn.

That’s enough! Thanks for all the support thus far, and please take the time this week to drop a few notes in your social media channels plugging the Kickstarter. Every time I think I’ve surely saturated the airwaves, I find someone I know plays the DFRPG or GURPS who reacts “Kickstarter? What Kickstarter?” and I have to be sad.

But then I go write a really lethal encounter that will make my fellow GMs smile, and that makes me feel better.

Good gaming!

Well, as I’ve said before, and I’ll say again before the end: Thank You! The support you’ve shown so far has allowed me to proceed with great confidence. It’s nice to be able to err on the side of “more!” whenever there’s a choice.

Funding Progress

I’m a bit of an analytical guy in my personal and professional life. So here’s what I can say.

From an absolute perspective, we’re four days into the campaign and have raised just over $7,800, an amazing 260% funding level.

Looking at my three prior Kickstarters and that of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, one can see some pretty clear trends.

  • There are three funding zones. Day 1-2, Day Last and Next to last, and The Giant Ocean of Pain in between
  • The Day 1-2 pace tends to set trends. If one sets the average funding rate per day at 100% for Day 1-2, the last two days tends to be about 60-70% of that level (per day), and the entire middle runs at 13-16%
  • The Hall of Judgement campaign is 25 days long, with four fridays in it

Our funding rate for Day 1-2 was just over $3,000 per day. This suggests a finishing rate of $1,500-2000 per day, and a daily rate of roughly 1/8 to 1/6 of the initial total, or $375-500. That suggests an amazing $16-20,000 for the entire campaign.

That’s awesome, but it’s not the most important number.

Four Hundred Seventy Five

This is. What is this? It’s roughly the point in terms of total number of backers where it would be foolish of me to not do a full-on offset print run of at least 1,000 copies. That’s the minimum order with the company I’m working with on Dragon Heresy, and given the price and quality difference for a sewn offset softcover (both cheaper and nicer), is the tipping point where there’s really no decision to make.

Sewn offset softcover?

Yes. Get your copy of Adventurers or Exploits. Hold it up sideways. You’ll see this:

Each group of pages is a “signature,” made by printing a bunch of sheets and then folding them up, and binding them in the black glue near the spine.

Now open Adventurers to pp. 54-55. I’ll wait. Got it? If you look inside where the pages meet, say, roughly to the left of “Choose 15 for a tendency,” on p. 55 on the bottom left, you’ll see an obvious hole or puncture, maybe even thread.

The signatures are sewn together to keep pages from falling out.

This is a very high quality softcover book. I’d like to make Hall of Judgment the same way, but it’s going to take more help to do it.

Nose, Meet Grindstone

A amazing as this last week has been for me to watch, it’s time to get busy. What have I done?

I’ve taken the entire final version of Lost Hall of Tyr and re-exported it as a text file. I’ve cut that up into the new outline (which hews to what I promised in the main campaign itself). I’m spending the majority of the weekend writing, revising, and expanding the text. I have no real upper limit on what I intend here: the book will be as long as it needs to be.

Fantastic (Dungeon) Grappling

I’ve completed a really good revision of the grappling subchapter, and this one took and incorporated the entire grappling section from Exploits to eliminate questions on “which rules apply?” It runs four pages, including art.

Here are two pages from the middle of the layout. This is the third and fourth page of the section.

This will continue to be tested in actual play in blindtests (that means that I’m not around to correct or nudge folks; it gives a clearer view of what’s left uncertain or unclear). I’ve got some great folks on it, and you’ll see playtest reports in the coming weeks.

Maps and More Maps

Glynn Seal, author of The Midderlands and The Midderlands Expanded, did my main map for Nordlond and the adventure material (previewed in the main campaign page). The KS smashed the goals so quickly that I was able to, with full confidence, order four more.

You’ll get a zoom-in of the area around the Hall, a complete micro-location with map and potentially life-threatening things to do, plus two more dungeons to explore.

As I said: this is going to be bigger and better than Lost Hall.

Isfjall

Sean did such a good job making Caverntown a living, breathing place to visit that I felt I owed it to DFRPG fans to do the same thing. And with the release of Pyramid #3/116: Locations, there’s yet another template/method for presenting interesting places to go and get killed.

Sorry: go and kill things and take their stuff. Ignore the glint in the GM’s eye and just keep telling yourself that’s the plan, Mr. Jenkins.

Pre-Gens and GameHole Con

What templates will be in the book as pregenerated characters?

  • Barbarian (but how can you tell ’em from the Nordlonders?)
  • Bard (Skald)
  • Cleric
  • Holy Warrior
  • Knight
  • Scout
  • Wizard
  • Wrestler

All will be 250 points, hew to the DFRPG core rules or Pyramid articles, and be inherently approachable to beginners and fun for experienced hands. I’m working on layouts for characters and monsters now, and will post pictures as I make progress. And we’ve already got two takers for the fan-contributed Pre-Gens, and I hear a spear-wielding swashbuckler is in the works.

GameHole Con

I will be at GameHole Con from Nov 8-11th, and have booked a room. The most excellent Men in Black are working with me to secure at least one 4-hour game session, probably in the Dorkstock area.

One session is confirmed, and I’ll post that reward level this coming TUESDAY at 10am. You will need to secure your own badges, transportation, hotels, etc. I will provide the game, and a hardcopy of every book I’ve made from Gaming Ballistic including Hall of Judgment. Even if we go full offset, with 14 weeks lead time, I should have hardcopies by then to hand out.

No matter what, I hope to see you there!

Go Tell The Spartans, Passerby

That’s it for the update today! That being said, a brief story: late the other day, with us hanging out comfortably north of $7000 funds raised, a fairly frequent poster and contributor to some of the forums I frequent was surprised to learn that there was a Kickstarter running.

So: please share the link and spread the word! The usual and unusual RPG forums. Reddit. Facebook. G+. Twitter. Other places I don’t know about. We’ve got the SJG Forums pretty well covered, both in the DFRPG subforum and the GURPS subforum.

But a small a community as we think we are . . . we’re not so well tied together that we can assume everyone that would like to hear about this has already! Want to help? Share!

Gaming Ballistic is THRILLED to be the first third-party vendor to be granted a license to produce material for the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (Powered by GURPS) from Steve Jackson Games.

This product directly supports the excellent DFRPG Boxed Set. It provides a mini-setting and adventure, in full color, bookmarked and layered for the PDF, and with a print copy available for backers who wish a high-quality tangible reward.

Below is a preview of the Kickstarter, which will launch at 10am CST on Tuesday, June 19.

The Kickstarter Pitch

Continue reading “Hall of Judgment – a Dungeon Fantasy RPG Supplement (Kickstarter Preview)”

So here we are. The last week before the interior files get submitted.

What did we do, and what does that mean?

Production Process

We’re really down to two basic tasks at this point: art insertion and proofing.

Proofing continues. It’s a big document and we keep finding things. Most are small. Some are annoying. Much like Pokemon, I’d like to catch ’em all.

I need to regenerate the spells index and the monsters index, which requires saving a new file and doing a “local” index, then copy/pasting that into the document. It’s no big deal, and right before the files get exported at full resolution for printing, I’ll regenerate both the Table of Contents and the Index one last time.

The art is the last thing. I’m down to the last few pieces and these are easily accomplished by a responsive team (see prior gushing update).

The COVER is the farthest along. I decided that dangit, I want round-back rather than square back (think ACKS or Symbaroum rather than Shadows of Esteren, GURPS books, or the DnD hardcovers), and I had to regenerate the cover to fit the new template. Then the spot-finish files. That didn’t take long, and the printing company is looking at them today and should tell me “yeah, these are good” tomorrow.

The hyperlinking is done. The active ToC is done.

I made a few usability changes to the style, so conditions are now bolded as terms of art. So (as an example), two creatures might have each other grappled, but one is restrained, while the other is only grabbed. Bold for game-mechanics, plain-text for plan-language use.

PDF Rewards Distribution

Net/Net: I plan on spooling out the PDF for final reward distribution this coming weekend. That means next week (June 18-22) your PDFs will be sent out, which if I can get that done on Monday, will mean PDF is 6 weeks ahead of schedule.

This also means I’ll do a brief clean-up on Lost Hall of Tyr and Dungeon Grappling PDFs for those that ordered them, and get all of the PDF rewards out next week. I might distribute these through DriveThruRPG – at-cost downloads for PDFs are really easy, and the updating and archiving of DriveThruRPG products is just easier and better than backerkit.

Printing Timeline

As noted before, it’s a 12-week process by design, plus another 2 weeks for in-the-USA shipping. So if the official “go time” for the printer is Monday June 18, we’re on track for all backers to have their book the last week in September (by Sept 24). We’ll see if we can hold to that schedule or beat it; there are 2-3 weeks of potential pull-in, and of course infinite possibilities for delays.

Still: I think you’ll get the books in September rather than October, so that meets my goals of “on or before the promised date.”

Hall of Judgment for Dungeon Fantasy RPG

If you like Lost Hall of Tyr and are also a fan of Steve Jackson Games’ Dungeon Fantasy RPG (Powered by GURPS), then you might also like to know that some time ago, I was granted a license to convert Lost Hall to the DFRPG system.

This is the first license of its kind for the DFRPG. I am pleased and humbled.

That being said, Lost Hall could use some improvement. It is a fairly linear convention scenario designed to show off the Dungeon Grappling system for 5e and OSR games. When played as a one-shot or at a convention, it works beautifully for that purpose.

However, putting it into a living campaign it suffers a bit. Too many constraints.

Well, Hall of Judgment will fix that.

First, I’m updating the interior look a bit to clearly differentiate it from Lost Hall.

Second, there will be a lot more “agency” in the game, with Isfjall (in DFRPG parlance, “Town”) getting a more detailed treatment modeled after the information presented in Sean Punch’s wonderful “Caverntown” mini-setting.

There will be a new map, courtesy of The Midderlands’ Glynn Seal, that will feature both GM and Player-centric views.

There will be no fewer than three new “mini-dungeons” to explore, to allow some things hinted at in the Lost Hall of Tyr version to bear full fruit in Hall of Judgment.

Monsters will be updated to DFRPG standard, with intent to not duplicate existing creatures. Pre-gen characters will also be provided, likely 6-8 choices.

The Kickstarter for this version of the product is set to launch June 19 (next week!), and once the upgrades are done, I will back-convert the new edition of the scenario to Dragon Heresy. If you got Lost Hall of Tyr as an add-on to the Dragon Heresy KS, you’ll get a free copy of the new updated Dragon Heresy PDF if you back the new Kickstarter, and and discounted copy of the Dragon Heresy PDF even if you don’t back it.

I’d appreciate it if you backed it, though.

Future Dragon Heresy Plans

I’m not even remotely done with Dragon Heresy.

I have no fewer than four concepts on the drawing board.

The mini-setting tentatively called The Citadel at Northwatch was given some visibility on the Roles to Astonish Twitch stream. It’s a solid adventure with several connecting parts, playable as a sandbox, that is designed for beginning adventurers. It will likely fall between 16-48 pages, ideally 24-32.

A much larger setting project called The Hunted Lands will cover many interacting things going on in this very dangerous area.

A To-Be-Named third-party scenario, again as a mini-setting, will look at an area closer to the coast.

Finally, a player character expansion with more backgrounds, classes, and races is on the docket to fill out level 1-5 of all thing things I wanted to put in the book but couldn’t fit.

That’s just what I’m working on right now. There’s lots more in me noodle.

Thanks for coming with me this far, and I look forward to giving you your PDF rewards next week!