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Reviews Starting to come in!

Over at GreysonWHY, we have

Quick Review(s) of The Dragons of Rosgarth, Forest’s End, Norðlondr Fólk, and Hand of Asgard from Gaming Ballistic for the DFRPG

Then high praise over at Don’t Forget Your Boots. To the North!

If you write a review, let me know. If you use the character-building books, let me know. If you play the adventures, link up your session summaries if you write them!

If you’re interested, you can find the books set in Nordlond on the GB Store:

Adventure/Setting

Rules/Supplement

 

After much toil, four new books in the Norse-inspired Norðlond setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG (Powered by GURPS) are now available on the Gaming Ballistic web store in PDF form.

The Dragons of Rosgarth

A dragon has come again to Rosgarth Castle. He hopes to ascend, becoming an Elder Dragon. They ruled the world for countless thousands of years. He believes he has found the way to do it. He may be right.

In the Norse-inspired realm of Norðlond, 100 miles south of Rosgarth, signs and portents, rumors, and reports all say the same thing: If brave thegns do not stop the threat of the dragons of Rosgarth, a new Ragnarök threatens.

112 pages. Full color.

Forest’s End

Far beyond the safety of Audreyn’s Wall, the ambitious noble Dalmar, his wife Freythor, and their lifetime friend and lieutenant Tobias carved a new settlement out of the dragonkin-infested wilderness. The planning and struggle is to come to fruition with a grand celebration in front of the King’s representative. Dalmar will offer up the Konungsgjöf and petition to be named Jarl of Skógurenda: Lord of Forest’s End.

Skógurenda is in peril and does not know it. The only questions are if external or internal threats rip the town apart first … and if a party of adventurers, newly come to the town, are mighty enough to save it.

96 pages. Full color.

Hand of Asgard

Within the book, you will find

  • Customized cleric templates for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, one for each of the Aesir
  • Suggestions for modifying the holy warrior traits to better suit each god, whether they serve the Queen of the World, the Lawgiver, or the Snow Queen
  • More than 20 new Holy Might powers, available to any cleric or holy warrior
  • A guide to the major festivals celebrated during the Norðlond year, honoring each of the Lords of Asgard

16 pages. Full color.

Nordlondr Folk

Inside Norðlondr Fólk, find a whole new world of playable races for your character!

  • 16 templates to supplement and enhance those from Dungeon Fantasy Adventurers.
  • Alternate versions of elves, dwarves, and other races specific to the Norðlond cosmology.
  • Honor your gods: Take on the visage and abilities of their totem animal.
  • Become one of the many hybrid races walking Nordlond: the half-demon eldhuð, dragon-blooded, and more.

16 pages. Full color.

A Word of Thanks

The Nordlond Sagas Kickstarter campaign offered all four of these books. Production was delayed a bit, and then the COVID-19 pandemic made things even harder. Hard-copy versions of each book will be made available, but printing and shipping are probably going to stretch out until May or June at best. The wonderful backers of the project allowed – and in many cases insisted – that the PDFs be made available even without the print books being shipped. So thanks to them for understanding!

Printing

Today I made the final edits to Hand of Asgard and Nordlondr Folk. Both of these books are being printed by Mixam, and will be done in the US for US people and in the UK for the Rest-of-World. I have placed the US order, which they tell me will arrive on my doorstep next week (!!). I wound up ordering 300 copies of Folk and 165 of Asgard.

The UK order is much smaller: 80 for Folk and 55 for Asgard. I’ll be placing that later today as well.

In both cases, reprinting is fast and easy, because they’re small, stapled, and local. So I don’t have to worry about “how many to order overseas or local so I don’t run out?”

I have also received the final round of quotes for Forest’s End and Dragons of Rosgath. I’ll be ordering 500 of each, 150 to be delivered to the UK (for about 75 orders), and 350 to the USA (for about 210). They’ll be sewn-binding, digital print…same paper quality used in the 2nd edition of Hall of Judgment and Citadel at Nordvorn.

I anticipate a month to print, and another month to six weeks to ship to me. As usual, getting them to the UK is likely faster, and Kixto will be handling fulfillment for me again when they get there.

Even so: that means it’s probably going to be mid-May before Rest-of-World fulfillment begins, and maybe late May or even early June before the US books start going out.

Pre-Order Store Closed

In anticipation of putting the PDFs up for sale – and thank you for your understanding on that front – I have closed the pre-order store. Once I get Forest’s End and Rosgarth finalized and spun out for printing, I’ll first send out “last” updates for the PDFs (there always seems to be one or two formatting things that creep through; some of that is the ‘style guide’ is (a) a moving target, and (b) somewhat subjective at times), then put those files up on Gaming Ballistic.

Some time later, they’ll be available at Warehouse 23, but that will probably be a month or so. Print copies at W23 and Gaming Ballistic will obviously be in the summer.

Say Nice Things?

All of this is to say that the general public will be getting a look at the books later this week if things continue to go well.

Should they pick up copies? What about Hand of Asgard, which lags behind the other books by a third or so?

Folks won’t know unless you tell them. So if you have reviews, comments, play reports . . . please throw them up online. If you have a blog . . . make sure I know about it so I can put it up on the GURPS Blog Roll that I keep on Gaming Ballistic. If you don’t, but still want to say something . . . send me an email and I’ll publish it on my own blog.

So, major milestone today, with a few more coming later this week.

For now . . . I’ve actually got to hit up the Day Job for a bit. Later!

Today the last of the art came in for the Norðlond Sagas books.

Nordlondr Folk and Hand of Asgard, both by Kevin Smyth, wound up right on target at 16 pages.

Forest’s End, by Merlin Avery, grew to 96 pages by the end.

The Dragons of Rosgarth, by Kyle Norton and Douglas H. Cole, came in totally swole at 112 pages.

I’ll be taking a short breather, seeing if my outstanding proofers catch any remaining errata, and then getting these to the printer.

I will probably offer the PDFs for sale on GURPSDay this coming week: Look for them on Gaming Ballistic on March 26 in PDF.

Pre-orders for printing will come shortly. I may open Forest’s End and Rosgarth up so that if many not-the-USA orders come in, I can compensate with a slightly larger splice of the books to the UK for international shipment. The smaller books are easy: they print at Mixam in both the UK and USA, so if I need more, it’s a piece of cake.

Over on the SJG Forms, user Dalin wrote up a perfectly blushingly glowing play report on The Citadel at Nordvorn:

This past weekend, three of my players and I retreated to a small family cabin in the snows of northern Minnesota to launch our new Norðlond campaign. I’ve been buying Doug’s great DFRPG products since the first kickstarter, but have only run bits and pieces as one-shots with side groups. (I snagged a few monsters and sample characters for other adventures, too.) My main group just wrapped up their previous campaign, so we decided to dive in whole hog.

I wasn’t sure where to begin and, with my school rapidly retooling for distance learning, I had little time to prepare. It came down to skimming/rereading my Nordlond material (Hall of Judgment, Citadel at Norðvörn, and the prerelease PDFs from the Nordlond Sagas kickstarter) and hoping something would click.

As I headed into the weekend, I expected that we would begin with Hall of Judgment as an introductory scenario. The players, however, wanted to get to know the wider setting before diving into an adventure, so we decided to begin with some vignettes along the Jotunnáin river. This led me to pull out the Citadel at Norðvörn. This was the book that I was the most unsure about. I loved reading it as a setting book, but I wasn’t sure that I would be nimble enough as a GM to flesh out the various plots on the fly. I should never have hesitated.

It was awesome. Seriously. I’ll post more about it in this thread as I have time, but we probably played for 15-20 hours over the weekend and there was no shortage of material. The vignettes idea faded away as the group became absorbed by the plot threads in the small town of Áinferill. The NPCs were rich and evocative. The maps and pictures in the book made great game-aids, and my players were fully immersed. It grew naturally from low-stakes roleplaying with minor NPCs to an epic quest into the Dragongrounds. There were moments of comedy, pathos, and edge-of-your-seat action. It was some of the most rewarding gaming that I’ve ever experienced.

I don’t get a lot of feedback on my stuff, least of all play reports. So hearing that it went well, and that more detailed reports will follow, fills me (and Steve Jackson himself!) with joy.

If it seems interesting, The Citadel at Nordvorn is not hard to get in PDF or Print!

Here’s the New Errata Page!

I’m coming down to the end for The Dragons of Rosgarth. Today, “thanks” to Coronavirus-related school shutdowns and social distancing, plus a pair of kids who happily kept themselves occupied productively for nearly nine hours, I got the hyperlinking and indexing done. I also realized that I’d missed a whole page of unique magic items (the source of the Bang’a Gong errors, as an example).

But it all got done. Plus lots and lots of errors corrected in the main text and bestiary.

A few more pieces of art came in too.

So now I feel like I’m down to a few pieces of art, maybe a few “please fix my name” things.

Final Requests

This means that if you have any changes to request on ANY  of the four books, please make them now. Let’s assume that the last changes I made to the other three were made the last time I sent out files. So if there’s something in Nordlondr Folk, Hand of Asgard, or Forest’s End that you haven’t sent me using the new errata page, please take the time to do it now.

If things go to plan, I’ll have all the remaining art by the end of the week, and I’ll start placing

print orders this coming Monday.

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Errata Page Again

The new submission system is working out really, really well. So I’m going to insist that all new requests for changes use it.

Thanks! So very close!

While working on edits and changes and proofing for The Dragons of Rosgarth, a proofer asked me to correct several instances of “gauntlet” to “gantlet.”

I like words, and I like language, but that was the first time I’d run across the word gantlet, which it turns out is the original phrase for “run the gantlet,” while gauntlet is what you use when you “throw down the gauntlet.”

From The Grammarist:

Gantlet vs. gauntlet

Gantlet was the original spelling of the word referring to a form of punishment in which people armed with sticks or other weapons arrange themselves in two lines and beat a person forced to run between them. It came from the earlier English word gantlope, which in turn comes from the Swedish gatlopp.1 Gauntlet is an alternative spelling of gantlet, but it also has several definitions of its own, mostly related to gloves.

Gantlet was the preferred spelling in early use of the phrase run the gauntlet—meaning to suffer punishment by gantlet or to endure an onslaught or ordeal—but gauntlet prevailed by the 18th century. Today, most writers use gauntlet, though gantlet, which is especially common in American English, is not incorrect.

The phrase throw down the gauntlet, meaning to issue or accept a challenge, uses gauntlet in its glove-related sense. It derives from the practice among medieval knights of challenging each other to duels by throwing down their gauntlets. So gantlet does not work as an alternative spelling here.

The two are pronounced essentially identically. My own predispositions would probably make me want to pronounce them as:

  • gantlet: gont-let
  • gauntlet: gawnt-let

In any case, I decided to go with the gantlet spelling, since I also favor the AP usage for colons (short version, if it’s a complete stand-alone sentence after a colon, capitalize; if not, not, unless of course it’s a proper noun). But then, the AP style guide does not insist on the use of the Oxford comma, and I do: In game writing, rules writing, and game rules writing clarity is key. Plus: see what I did there? Oxford comma in my explanation of the Oxford comma AND a capital letter after a colon because it could stand on its own as a full sentence.

I have to finish this book before stuff like the above takes over my brain.

As part of “coming up for air,” I hope to be fixing/adding a few things to the site, and to my business processes. One of those things is a new method of submitting errors found in all my books. There are over a dozen now, and more on the way, so keeping track of everything is a challenge. There are so many lines of possible communication – Kickstarter messages, Facebook and Facebook messenger, Discord, email, and more (and I’ve received feedback from all of these) that it’s too easy to lose track. And too easy to have them deleted or missed.

So…here we go.

Check out the new page on the menu bar:

 

Once you click the Errata link, you’ll be taken to a submission page. Only one entry per submission, and you’ll need to choose the product (I’ll update the list as new products come out), provide a contact email, and a few other things.

It is very, very helpful if you give me enough information to easily find the thing you want changed.

There’s only so much I can do. If your suggestion is to replace “Maui” with “Maui, Shapeshifter, Demigod of the Wind and Sea, Hero of Men and Women,” well, that might not fit. Or it might. But it’s not really an error.

“There’s no such thing as a Technique in the Dungeon Fantasy RPG” is a rules-related error.

“Immunity isn’t a thing in GURPS!” is true in the Basic Set, but if you look up Immunity in the Dungeon Fantasy Monsters book, you’ll find it right there on p. 11: “Immunity: Monster cannot be affected at all by the indicated threat – e.g., disease, mind control, or poison – regardless of cause or means of delivery. As it needn’t defend against or resist such things, they don’t even count as distractions!”

I mention this because my publishing to date for Steve Jackson Games’ products is confined to The Dungeon Fantasy RPG and The Fantasy Trip. So if you’re correcting rules usage, please ensure you’re using the correct the source material.

I hope this works out better for everyone. It’s got the advantage of all being in one place for everyone. It gives me the most easily searchable format. And hopefully means that I can do things more efficiently across all my product lines. It also means that I should be able to compile easy “from–>to” errata sheets over time.

We’ll see! I hope it’s useful to you. I know it will be useful to me…if it’s used.

Errata Reporting Page for Gaming Ballistic LLC

It has been a regrettably long time since I’ve posted here. But some personal and GB-professional things finally went to the to-done pile, from what seemed like a perpetual to-do. I hope this bodes well for my sanity, and the blog, going forward.

So, what’s up?

  1. We finally sold the old house. That was nearly seven months of having one house and effectively two extra mortgage payments than I really wanted to have. More importantly for fans of the blog and Gaming Ballistic, it means that the nearly endless series of visits to fix up, adjust, prepare, clean, or otherwise deal with the older place are no longer on the list of things that might (and did!) disrupt other work. So very nice to be done with that.
  2. I now have three of four books from the Nordlond Sagas Kickstarter completely finished, and the fourth has all 112 pages of content in place, though we’re still in the “odds and ends” phase. That means proofreading, checking monster stats, getting marketing copy on the back cover of the book, indexing and hyperlinking, and of course getting all of the art finalized. While that sounds like a lot, it’s probably about a week of work. After that, the books go to the printer.
  3. I’m getting things in place for FnordCon 2, where I’ll mainly be there manning my booth and doing a few panels about TFT and the Dungeon Fantasy RPG/GURPS. I get to hang out with Sean, which is always a treat.

The real news for the publshing track is of course #2, but the mental, financial, and time-related drains on my energy from #1 were huge.

So hopefully in about a week the final PDFs for Nordlond Sagas go out. Then I take a short break for myself, and start digging into the next TFT project. Three of five manuscripts are already in, and the three together represent 48 laid-out pages . . . contrasted to The Dragons of Rosgarth, which came in at 112.

So this is a much more tightly-bound project set coming up, and I will have the mental and financial wherewithal to have a LOT more of it completely done by the time the crowdfunding campaign launches.

I should also have more bandwidth for, you know, actual gaming. I have some personal friends and family for whom I want to run some games, and an online game I want to join . . . which happens to be set in Nordlond. My setting. So woot to that.

More gaming means more writing about games, too. So that’s to the good. Needs to liven up in here.

FnordCon 2 is looking for folks to run and play RPGs. 14 tables, three days, in Austin TX. Gaming Ballistic will be there; so will Sean Punch. Come by!

This is a repost of the Daily Illuminator. I’d like to point out that RPGs are listed first in the title, and that there are 14 tables for RPGs. That’s more than Car Wars and Munchkin combined. So if you were worried that FnordCon is really MunchkinCon, well, if it were, they’d have called it that.

I’ll be there. So will Sean Punch, who is great fun. I’ll be on two panels: one on GURPS/DFRPG, the other on TFT.

So sign up, and sign up to game. Sign up to RUN a game. I’ll give digital materials, from pre-gen characters from Hall of Judgment to any of the adventures I publish, to anyone that wants to run games at the Con. Let me know you’ve signed up, what games you want to run, and the time slots, and I’ll email you the adventures and map packs if they exist.

I have semi-final table assignments for FnordCon: 14 tables for RPGs, four for Car Wars, six for Munchkin. Times a weekend’s worth of game slots . . . equals a lot of games. And that’s not even taking the open gaming room into account. Or the Ogre room, whose tables will move around depending on the scenario.

There is still time to sign up, and we’d love to have you. Actually, right now would be a great time to register, because I’m about to send out the “want to run games and earn swag?” letter to everyone on the mailing list.

What have we got for you?

     – A weekend of games in a nice hotel.

     – Our staff will be accessible, running games and answering questions.

     – A big game library, and people to teach you both the new things and the classics.

     – Also meet our guest(s) – starting with GoH John Kovalic.  Also: Sean Punch! Drew Metzger! Andrew Hackard! David Blanchard of GPI! Ross Thompson of The Op!

     – See (and help playtest) games and adventures that have not been released, and in some cases have not been announced.

You can register right here.

 Steve Jackson