Well, here we go! The last 24 hours of a Kickstarter campaign are always the most exciting (ulcer inducing? You pick). Nordlond Sagas will very clearly partake in that trend.

I’ve been getting a lot of manuscript updates from the authors, who are all working to make my life easier in many ways. Revising text, checking formatting, and playtesting in the background.

With that, though, it’s well past time for another glimpse of something. In this case, another page from Hand of Asgard.

This is totally not Hela, Norse goddess of death. Nope. If it were, she’d look like Cate Blanchett, clearly.

Even though this is Norse-flavored, Kevin has done a fantastic job in capturing these as archetypes, so that with a bit of care, they could be worked in as “domain” flavored clerics in any game.

Until tomorrow, then . . . come check out the Nordlond Sagas. Four new books for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG!

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Funding Progress

Welcome to Monday! As we close in on the first two weeks of the Nordlond Sagas campaign, we’re sitting at a bit more than $19K: just shy of 130% funding! If we happen to double this by the end of the journey . . . I’ll be well pleased. Heck, the “record” Dungeon Fantasy RPG project for me is $26,000 . . . and the BackerTracker seems to suggest that we will surpass $30K, and between those following the campaign and those actually pledged, we have enough to hit $40K, though that is “irrational exuberance” at work: it assumes that all 350 folks following the campaign but not yet pledged jump in at the end. Even so we’re poised to conquer the previous best campaign in funds, and on track with number of backers as well!

I’m super glad that the addition of Hand of Asgard  was popular enough that hundreds of backers upped your pledge for the book. That is one of the things that has brought the project trajectory to such a good place.

Layout and Production Progress

I had a very productive weekend. I received a full manuscript for Norðlondr Fólk late last week, and put it into layout during a long day Saturday. By the time I had company arrive just after 5:30pm, it was basically complete.

Here’s a shot of the title page, and the brief introduction followed by one of the templates. With only a 16-page book, I can’t give too many previews without spoiling the whole thing, but here’s at least the title page, and one preview spread.

Things not yet done? I want to find a compelling border for the white space in the book surrounding the parchment background. I think I want to fade that parchment a bit to make it less dark, for readability. I need to do a proofing pass – there’s always something that’s missed, and there are some spacing issues with some of the boxes. Kevin put every single word he could in there (go him!), and we got it to fit (go me!), but the plan of one quarter-page image, neatly put in front of each entry, did not survive contact with reality. I do have 14 art spaces, and only Half-Orcs and Half-Ogres get short shrift: they’re not properly of Norðlond anyway, so no big loss.

I’ve forwarded the full PDF to the artist chosen: Ksenia Kozhevnikova. I really liked some of her prior work on Norðvörn and my TFT project, so I chose her to illustrate the entire book. She’s already sent me some thoughts on novel ways to capture things that I really look forward to seeing.

I still need to provide art direction to her more formally . . . but since Kevin did a nice job about describing the look of each entry, Ksenia could potentially just go with that. That’s not me doing my job, though, so . . . art direction it is!

Map Progress

One of the add-ons is a larger-scale version that shows the lay of the land from as far west as Isfjall to Akkerisborg by the sea. Glynn Seal is working that as we speak, and he sent me a work-in-progress image. It’s still early, clearly, but you can see the scope of land we’re talking about.

I’m still working on an intermediate delivery option. The heavy cardstock large map won’t fold; more properly, you don’t want me to fold it, as it’s as heavy as a good business card and it’ll crease. A poster-sized large map that WILL fold, on something like 100# paper, might be a good intermediate. I just need to secure a US and “not the US” printing option and then we’ll see. But I like where this is going!

Next Steps

So, after this, I will turn my hand to the other three books. I need to provide and write some setting details for Kyle and Merlin for their books, which are closing in on wordcount nicely, and then turn my hand to editing and layout. Meanwhile, Hand of Asgard will get Kevin’s attention. You’ve seen the preview page for that already:

So in essence, the “lather, rinse, repeat” part of the layout is already done. At this point, it’s really just about minor tweaks, and getting each thing to fit.

I also spent a bit of time this weekend working on those long-delayed shields and swords from a prior project. The shield are completely done; I have to do a final sanding pass on the swords and put cross-pieces on them. I already know what I’m doing with those, so it’s really a matter of a few days before they are ready to go into the mail.

I haven’t added these as items to be commissioned as part of the project . . . but I could, if there’s interest. Since it’s not the dead of winter and I’m not in the middle of a house move . . . things would go much faster.

That’s where things stand!

If you want to help the campaign, please re-share the link, talk about the project, or comment on one of the RPG forums. Folks talking about other people’s work is usually encouraged by such channels, whereas project creators advertising their own things is frowned upon (for good reason, in many cases).

Thanks! I’m really pleased with where the campaign is going, and I can’t wait to get the new books to you guys!

It’s another GURPSDay, and here’s the last few weeks of posts! My 8th Kickstarter, Norðvorn Sagas, launched on September 10, and funded on the 17th! We are now at 125% funding with more than three weeks to go. Given the trajectory of Kickstarters, we’re estimated by BackerTracker to hit over $30,000, well past the highest stretch goal. With help, we may even do better. This was helped a whole lot by a surprise addition.

The Hand of Asgard presents additional options and guidelines presented for Clerics who choose to devote themselves to the worship of just one instead of the pantheon as a whole. Also included are more than twenty new Holy Might abilities available for Asgardian Clerics and Holy Warriors to bring the word . . . or the sword . . . to those that need it. The book is 16 pages long, in 8×10 format. It is available as an add-on to a pledge level, rather than as part of an existing pledge.

 

In any case, we’re here for GURPSDay, so scroll all the way down (the random order is, well, random). Catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some. They’re in reverse chronological order, so if you’re up-to-date, just skim off the top!

News for Gaming Ballistic:

  • The proof of Dungeon Grappling to finally finish all the physical rewards for Citadel at Nordvorn came in brilliantly (if months late). I got 100 of them printed, and the’re on the way to me (PubGraphics expedited the printing). They should be in the mail Tuesday. Finally.
  • I ordered all physical goods for Four Perilous Journeys except for the international card decks and counter tiles. Still working on CE Mark issues; need to chat with folks. Might have found a better option for the cards, but not the cardboard chits.
  • All five files for Four Perilous Journeys were accepted and the books will be ready to ship by October 4! 100 of each book will go to the UK for international distribution, and the balance come to the USA.
  • I announced the approval of the Nordlond Enemies Book (tentatively titled Norðlondr Óvinabókin) as my next approved Dungeon Fantasy RPG project. I’ve actually got an idea for a companion book that should be a very tasty treat.

GURPSDay is in 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 “GURPSDay! Aug 30 to Sept 19, 2019”

The Norse-inspired Norðlond setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG keeps growing. Here’s what’s going on, and what’s coming, for Gaming Ballistic in this series of third-party products for SJG’s Powered-by-GURPS boxed set.

Nordlond Sagas: Now on Kickstarter

On Sept 10, Gaming Ballistic launched its 8th Kickstarter campaign, and much like the quite-successful “Four Perilous Journeys” campaign for The Fantasy Trip, Nordlond Sagas is also funding multiple books.

The Dragons of Rosgarth

48 or 64 pages
This setting expansion and adventure scenario details the towns of Midgard and Jarngarðr, and provides a looming threat worthy of a party of seasoned delvers. Targeted at four to six delvers of 300 points or more. Written by Kyle Norton.

Forest’s End

64 or 80 pages
A bold thegn built a fortified settlement beyond Audreyn’s Wall, near where the forest meets the sea: Skógarenda . . . Forest’s End. Forest’s End features several threats and three actual dungeons to delve for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG! Written by Merlin Avery.

Norðlondr Fólk

16 pages
Sixteen playable racial templates to supplement those from Dungeon Fantasy Adventurers, including Norðlond-specific versions of elves and dwarves. Also dragon-blooded, children of humans and demons, and other hybrids, such as raven-folk and those who are brothers and sisters to bear and boar. Written by Kevin Smyth.

Previous Books

Of course, if you missed out on the Hall of Judgment and Citadel at Nordvorn campaigns, those are available, along with the Fantastic Dungeon Grappling booklet, as both comprehensive “all the books” pledge levels in both PDF-only and Print/PDF bundles, as well as add-ons should you wish to pick and choose.

Announcing: Nordlond Bestiary and Enemies Book

Gaming Ballistic is thrilled to announce that we’ve been given the green light to develop a comprehensive bestiary for the Norðlond setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.

It’s going to be very meaty, to the tune of 200 to 250 creatures, mundane and magical. Making it Nordlond-specific and based on the Dungeon Fantasy RPG means that the project and its collaborators get to write to a common target. The specificity of it means each creature and entry can be tailored well enough that it’s not just a list of generic creatures. The issue that plagues such projects is that it’s impossible to guess what campaign flavor it’s going to be in. By making this support Nordlond, it removes that constraint and allows me to be specific while not precluding other efforts or adaptations.

This is going to be, well, a beast of an endeavor. The good news is that tens, maybe even hundreds, of thousands of words already were written as part of a different project for this purpose. Some art even exists. And I even have a draft (work-in-progress, subject to change, etc.) cover:

A project this large will take a lot of funding to pull off. That’s why I haven’t rolled it in to the Norðlond Sagas kickstarter directly.

But I will say this: if by some miracle the current Kickstarter takes off and hits like $75,000 or $80,000 (which is a record-for-me-breaking campaign of 1200 to 1500 backers!), I’d not need to fund it separately to get to the printable PDF stage. I could develop it and only at the end use a short campaign to size the print run.

Wouldn’t THAT be fun?

The Norðlond Sagas crowdfunding campaign launched this morning at 10:30am. AS I write this, perhaps seven hours into the campaign, we’ve already passed 45% funding. In one day. We’re thousands of dollars past where we were on the end of Day 1 of the Norðvörn campaign.

This campaign is offering up three more books to add to your Dungeon Fantasy RPG collection – perhaps you were fresh off the Dungeon Fantasy Magic Items 2 campaign, and that whetted your appetite for more? Well, we have it for you.

What’s on Offer

So…what can you get with the Norðlond Sagas?

The Dragons of Rosgarth
48 or 64 pages
This setting expansion and adventure scenario details the towns of Midgard and Jarngarðr, and provides a looming threat worthy of a party of seasoned delvers. Targeted at four to six delvers of 300 points or more. Written by Kyle Norton.

 

Forest’s End
64 or 80 pages
A bold thegn built a fortified settlement beyond Audreyn’s Wall, near where the forest meets the sea: Skógarenda . . . Forest’s End. Forest’s End features several threats and three actual dungeons to delve for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG! Written by Merlin Avery.

Sample Layout with content from Nordvorn. Will definitely change!

 

Norðlondr Fólk
16 pages
Sixteen playable racial templates to supplement those from Dungeon Fantasy Adventurers, including Norðlond-specific versions of elves and dwarves. Also dragon-blooded, children of humans and demons, and other hybrids, such as raven-folk and those who are brothers and sisters to bear and boar. Written by Kevin Smyth.

A Note on Add-Ons

A few comments on add-ons.

Multiple Copies of Books

I had a question on ordering more than one set of books; this also applies if you wish to pick and choose from the offerings from the Kickstarter.

You bet. If you want to gift them to someone else, or want to frame them, or whatever: A second set will be available regardless of final page count to backers at $60 per set. If we hit a stretch goal and page counts go up, anyone who actually has joined the campaign early – even the $1 folks – will be able to get more copies at this price. If page count goes up, pre-order backers coming in late will get the books at the post-campaign retail price (that’s only $65 for the set instead of $60, but still).

If there’s interest in buying multiple copies of a particular book, those will be available too during the backerkit phase.

  • Nordlondr Folk: $10 in print, $5 in PDF; $13 as a bundle
  • Rosgarth: $18 in print at 48 pages; $9 in PDF, and $23 as a bundle
  • Forest’s End: $21 in print at 64 pages; $11 as PDF; $26 bundle

Norðlond Maps

One of the add-ons is a choice of large-format map options covering Norðlond, and showing how Isfjall (from Hall of Judgment), Norðvörn, and the towns and adventure locations from the books in development are connected.

Right now, it’s offered as a 12×18″ POD version from DriveThruRPG’s poster printing service, and as a 16″x20″ option on 14 ponit card stock.

That option is going to be big to ship. It cannot be folded (well, it can, but you’d be mad) and so may very well cost $10 or $15 in shipping for a $15 item. It will not roll up into a small USPS triangular mailer.

So I’m looking into a middle ground, which is a 16×20″ poster on heavy poster paper, which CAN be rolled up and will therefore be less expensive to ship. No word on how that will play out internationally; it may wind up being prohibitively horrible to ship the big format cardstock. We’ll see. Shipping is horrible.

Milestones Already?

This is my eighth Kickstarter, but it marks a few milestones for Gaming Ballistic and the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.

  • When it’s finished, there will be a full half-dozen books supporting the Norðlond setting. Four setting/adventure books, and two rules supplements. That’s a credible showing, and I’m proud of it.
  • It’s the second time I’ve asked for, and received, permission from SJG to play in the “rules” space. The first was with Fantastic Dungeon Grappling, which was inserted into the Boxed Set Reprint, much to my joy. The new book, Norðlondr Fólk, features some exciting options for character generation, with 16 new race and ancestry options and variations.
  • It’s the first time in the Dungeon Fantasy RPG space that the products aren’t written by me. This means three new people, who have never before written into a GURPS/Dungeon Fantasy RPG book, are joining the stable of “folks who have written for GURPS/Powered by GURPS.” This makes me very happy, as more writers means more stuff.

Schedule

Just to give a rough idea of where things are supposed to go:

  • Sept 10 through Oct 12: Kickstarter Campaign Active
  • Oct 12 through (roughly) Oct 26 – Funds Settle
  • Haloween Week: Backerkit phase opens for surveys, shipping, and pre-orders
  •  Mid-November: Backerkit “closes” and cards are charged[1]
  • End November: PDF review phase[2]
  • Mid-December: PDF feedback due
  • Before Xmas: PDFs sent out and final files sent to printer
  • End January: Printing
  • End February: Moving books through the world
  • End March: Arrival in-hand

[1] Backerkit won’t really CLOSE until the final printer files go out, so I know how many orders to place.

[2]The PDF review phase will see about 10% of the backers get preliminary files. These are chosen based on a combination of how much was pledged (total pledge amount, not pledge level) plus a random factor, so that the highest pledge levels get priority, but lower pledge levels are not locked out. This phase is IMPORTANT, and everyone who provides useful feedback will get credit in the book.

Ready, Set, GO!

So that’s the plan for now. As noted in the various preview announcements, now that you’ve pledged, you can still help out. Share the link to social media. Start or contribute to a thread on the various RPG groups (which reminds me: gotta post on Reddit). Say nice things in places! It really does help.

Join us! Support the Norðlond Sagas

Today and tomorrow

This is all the time that you have to back the Dungeon Fantasy RPG Magic Items 2 “Quickstarter.”

Help push the KS past the $15K Stretch Goal!

As of Thursday morning, with 34 hours to go, the project stands at 447 backers, for $10,181. That means there are another 212 backers needed to push it past the $15,000 stretch goal that pushes the book from 48 pages to 64 pages.

It’s funded – the goal was $4,000 – so the 48 pager is going to happen. But $64 would be better. Don’t wait on this one! And tell your friends.

A Note on Pricing

Not sure if you noticed, but Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 is $15 as a PDF and $25 for a softcover print book for 52 pages. The current product – Magic Items 2 – is being offered for only $10 for PDF, and $18 for both print and PDF.

This represents a significant discount for the period of the Kickstarter. I’d hazard that if you have any interest in this, you want it now. The PDF of DFRPG Monsters 2 was also $10, the Print + PDF bundle $20, in the last campaign.

Go back it. What are you waiting for?

Coming Soon from Gaming Ballistic

And as I noted in a prior comment, September is a good month for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.

Coming perhaps as soon as next week to Kickstarter, three new products:

The Dragons of Rosgarth

This setting and adventure details the towns of Jarngarðr (the Iron Garden) and Midgard, and describes a great deal of trouble caused by some unusually motivated dragons. I’ve got cover art for this one already! By Kyle Norton.

Forest’s End

The first of the Nordlond Sagas that features actual dungeons, and more than one, for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG. This one will come in at 64 or 80 pages, I suspect. Details the settlement and area around the town of Forest’s End, whose celebration of the Jarl’s plans to make his claim of domain to the king are about to be rudely and fatally interrupted. By Merlin Avery.

No cover yet on this one, but here’s a page of Nordvorn, but with a new border and banner that represents what the interior of Forest’s End will look like.

Races of Norðlond

Finally, this 16-page short supplement is planned around 16-18 lenses, from half-breeds to beast-men. Will include more data on some of the major cultures and races of Nordlond, such as the dwarves and true elves. By Kevin Smyth, who did yeoman’s work in helping me build and adjust the 16 pre-gen characters in Hall of Judgment.

I suspect that the “get all three” pledge level for print and PDF will be about $65. The “all the Nordlond!” level, which gets you all three new books plus Hall of Judgment 2nd Edition, The Citadel at Nordvorn, and Fantastic Dungeon Grappling is likely $130, in case you missed the last few projects. Other levels will be available, including Retail pricing for bulk orders.

Watch for it!

It’s another GURPSDay, and here’s the last few weeks of posts! I made major progress on Four Perilous Journeys, and for the first time in months I can hit the garage and work on shields and crafting.

Scroll all the way down (the random order is, well, random). Catch up and get some repeat views and if you missed some. They’re in reverse chronological order, so if you’re up-to-date, just skim off the top!

News for Gaming Ballistic:

  • Fulfillment is complete on Citadel at Nordvorn, in that all books were sent out. I presume nearly everyone has received them, and if not, they have tracking numbers and my email address.
  • I’m still working to get a reprint from PubGraphics on Dungeon Grappling. They literally changed their print equipment, and in the last year or so reshuffled staff; I’m not wild about the timeliness of the interactions as of this point, and my need another local POD source. Once the new proof copy arrives, I’ll get the 14 owed books out.
  • Ship approval and print approval for Four Perilous Journeys is done. The counters/chits ready for print. I finished up the first draft of the NPC reference cards and they look pretty good, and I’ve sent them out to about 50 folks for proofing. As these are a licensed product, I also need ship approval from SJG on these as well. They’ll be fully finished by the end of the weekend. Then I can start ordering stuff.
  • I anticipate launching another Dungeon Fantasy RPG Kickstarter on September 10, which should go until October 12. There will be three books in it: two adventures and one short supplement. Look for it, and please spread the word.

GURPSDay is in 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 “GURPSDay! Aug 9 to Aug 31, 2019”

As I continue to work towards the closure of various Kickstarters, I thought I’d take a moment to work down the list of what GB currently offers, and its status. I’ll do this in the order they were published for active products, and then talk about a few things I’m retiring or deprecating.

One quick note: unless I screw things up badly, and in business, that’s always possible, 2019 is going to be the best year to date for Gaming Ballistic. Not only is revenue up already by 2x over 2018 (and there’s still likely another KS in the near future this year), but GB is strongly trending to a profit as well. Even formal break-even would be amazing – covering 100% of all costs – but having something left over to fund future work or (gasp) reimburse my own inputs is a great thing, and very good for Year 3 of a business.

Anyway: to arms!

Active Products

The following products are currently on sale at Gaming Ballistic and/or other places, and likely to remain so.

Dungeon Grappling

Dungeon Grappling was my first product, and the one that set the tone for Gaming Ballistic and Kickstarters. It’s also sold well: Since creation, Dungeon Grappling has moved 654 PDF copies and an additional 358 print copies, for what was my first title with over 1,000 sales.

It is, even if I do say so myself, very good, and achieves its mission of unifying the grappling mechanics and feel in S&W and 5e; I think it falls short on Pathfinder a bit. Other folks think so too.

I recently found myself having to re-order 100 copies of my print version, having run out. I’d need to do a well-received crowdfunding campaign that scored at least 500 (and ideally 750) backers to reprint this in a way that could go do distribution, though. Unless that happened it’s going to have to stay POD.

Honestly? The demand should be there. It really adds to games. Perhaps if I continue to grow revenue and income I’ll invest and take the inventory risk. That can be a 2020 goal.

Dragon Heresy Introductory Set

The crown jewel, in a way, of my RPG line, this was the reason I got into RPG publishing in the first place. This is, bar none, the highest production value book I have made, and competes favorably with any other book on the market from that perspective.  Heavy weight cover (3mm board), 128gsm (85#) matte-coated paper with a sewn binding, done by offset printing. In the last 15 minutes of the Kickstarter, I got a $1,000 pledge that pushed me into “offset print run” territory, and I committed hard, ordering 1,500 books.

Well, I still have a lot of those left, but my recent experience at CONVergence gives me hope – it was my strongest seller in numbers and dollars, at a convention where basically no one shows up to buy RPGs (that’s not its purpose).

To date, Dragon Heresy has moved 414 PDF and 309 Print copies. There have been perhaps 30 distribution sales into retail, and 8 direct-to-retail sales. Folks that have played it – really played it – have commented favorably on the blend of tactics and options without being overwhelming. OSR players that have experimented with it talk of it as “the only version of 5e they’ll play.” At the convention, when asked, I not-entirely jokingly said “Well, this one time, GURPS and 5e got drunk at a convention, and disappeared to a room for a bit. A year (maybe two?) later, Dragon Heresy was born.”

There will be more Dragon Heresy support coming out in the future, and should things pick up more, I have levels 6-20 already written, with vastly more monsters, classes, races, and spells, all tuned to the game.

Lost Hall of Tyr (Second Edition)

An enhanced version of the original Lost Hall of Tyr based on the doubling of the page count that we did for Hall of Judgment.

It includes a lot more on the city of Isfjall, which is a great viking-flavored location for any D&D game (and is presented in mostly system-neutral terms anyway, which means it’s a great location for any game). It’s moved about 91 PDF and 118 Print copies, so not a strong seller yet. I’ve got an idea about that, but it’ll be late 2020 I think before I can pull it off.

Hall of Judgment (First and Second Edition)

My first license for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, it was, at the time, almost my best Kickstarter to date (since eclipsed by both Nordvorn and Four Perilous Journeys). It was the expansion that added 64 pages to the convention-driven Lost Hall of Tyr (1st Edition) and added new maps.

The success of Nordvorn meant I could revisit it for distribution, and I did. Sewn binding, excellent paper, and upgrade maps, plus errata fixes. And a cost to produce that’s low enough to support sitting with pride next to Nordvorn and (hopefully . . . retailers get on it!) the Dungeon Fantasy RPG boxed set.

Folks that have played this with me at conventions have loved it. Play reports and reviews have been very positive. Inspired by Dungeon Fantasy: Caverntown, it delivers what GURPS fans have been asking for: a full-color, high production value treatment of their favorite game, and adventure support to boot. In print.

It also includes a preliminary version of “Fantastic Dungeon Grappling,” which was later expanded into its own stand-alone release. Taking the concepts from my SJG-published book GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling, and refined in Dungeon Grappling, it distills the core down to about four pages.

It also includes over 30 monsters and 16 pre-generated DFRPG characters, which means it has more monsters in it than the excellent DFRPG Monsters 2 book.

To date, Hall of Judgment (both editions) has moved 717 PDF and 541 Print copies, for 1,258 total sales! Over 120 of those came from the Nordvorn Kickstarter as the second edition version . . . and THAT book just arrived at Studio 2 on August 6, which means it should start heading off to backers Real Soon Now.

Note that until I run out, Hall of Judgment 1st Edition is on sale at both my website and Warehouse 23 for 50% off. So if you want a print version of the book but don’t want to pay as much, you can nab it for about $12.50.

The Citadel at Norðvorn

While Dragon Heresy has – by virtue of being a hardcover – ostensibly higher production values, I am ridiculously proud of Norðvorn.

Front to back, it’s a gorgeous book. The art team over-delivered, and the setting screams to be used. As a mini-setting, it’s not an “adventure” so much as it is a playground. A great, glorious, full-color playground that lets you go romping around Nordlond dealing with men, faerie, and dragonkin in a strongly interlinked set of issues. It provides a relationship map that will allow GMs to improvise responses to their players’ actions, and I have used that map on more than one occasion to improvise four- and five-hour play sessions.

Nearly all the sales have come from the Kickstarter, and it’s not yet available for wide release. It arrived at Studio 2 in TN for distribution the week of Aug 6, and will hopefully be in all backers’ hands by the end of the month.

Thus far, even so, it’s sold 587 PDF and 432 Print copies, for 1,119 total.

Fantastic Dungeon Grappling

Yeah, I write a lot of grappling rules. But rarely have I had an opportunity to play, refine, rewrite, play some more, play with other people, and then finally commit to print such a concise, fun-filled short work.

I won’t lie, folks: this is the grappling product you want. It is better-written, fully tested, and simply an improved version of Technical Grappling, done in 8 pages rather than 50. Why? Because as it turns out, you don’t really need more. Now, I could certainly take TG and do each technique as a worked example using the concepts presented in Fantastic Dungeon Grappling. But for the DFRPG, well, those techniques don’t exist.

This is my most-played concept. I and my fellow GM friends have used these rules in actual play over multiple campaigns, and they add a lot of flavor and fun to the game with minimal overhead.

It moved 272 PDF copies and 171 Print copies through me during the kickstarter . . . and, well, at least 1,000 more because it was included in the DFRPG Boxed Set Reprint. That was something I never expected SJG to do, but they did, and it means in terms of number of copies floaing out there, this is my #1 product, ever.

Pending Products

The following products are currently in the final stages of development and production. They are all part of the “Four Perilous Journeys” crowdfunding campaign and were developed for The Fantasy Trip, with rules under license from Steve Jackson Games.

  • Ironskull Castle (16-page GM’d adventure by David Pulver)
  • Crown of Eternity (16-page GM’d adventure by Christopher Rice and J. Edward Tremlett)
  • Citadel of Ice (16-page GM’d adventure by David Pulver)
  • Curse of the Pirate King (16-page GM’d adventure by Christopher Rice and J. Edward Tremlett)
  • Vampire Hunter Belladonna (32-page solo adventure by David Pulver)

These products are being finalized and are due to go live, and be sent to the printer, before Aug 18. They will also have NPC/Monster cards available – but ONLY through the Kickstarter/Backerkit Pre-order – that are compatible with the Decks of Destiny. And full-color 1″ counters to go with each adventure. And more.

This was my most successful Kickstarter in backer count and funding level, with only a few dollars shy of $50,000 raised before fees and licensing and whatnot. These are going to be very, very pretty on the inside, and the color cover/greyscale interior aesthetic is being put to great use by the art team. These will also go into distribution!

The Kickstarter moved 608 PDF copies and 432 Print copies of each volume, making it an instant 1,000+ club member.

Viking Shields

These mostly move through my Kickstarters as super-high-end tier products, and (due to a house move that disassembled my workshop) I still have four in the queue to make. I’ve maybe sold 10 . . . but they get better and more historically accurate with each one, and they’re an awful lot of fun.

I’ve gotten better supply chains and so they’re more affordable, and the materials (hides, cheese glue or hide glue, milk-based paints, quarter- or rift-sawn poplar that I cut down and dried myself) are top notch.

Retiring/Idle Products

There are several products that are going to be de-emphasized or retired completely.

  • Lost Hall 1st Edition in all forms
  • Hall of Judgment 1st Edition PDF

For obvious reasons, these “first edition” products are being replaced by their improved versions. Accounts at Warehouse 23 and other places will be updated with the new versions where possible, but they’re new ISBNs for the new editions as well.

Parting Shot

Even if I do say so myself, the fact that all of my DFRPG products have moved 1,000 copies or more impresses me. In fact, the only books of mine that haven’t moved more than 1,000 copies (though that does add together print and PDF sales independently) are Dragon Heresy and Lost Hall of Tyr.

I have more stuff on the way, as well. I’m contracted with authors to provide the equivalent of six 16-page TFT books (which will likely be another 32-page solo and four GM’d adventures). I’m also looking for more authors, and I hope to find a way to release a lot more of these 16-page and 32-page books in the next few years.

The next project that launches will be a pair of Nordlond expansions, The Dragons of Rosgarth and Forest’s End, each of which will be 64-80 pages long and further flesh out the northern border of the Nordlond Setting. Look for that in late August or September.

So . . . that’s what’s going on with my books. Take a look. Maybe buy a few.

PDF Distribution

Anyway . . . all PDFs that were part of this Kickstarter have been sent out. In four cases, these are the “final” files: Fantastic Dungeon Grappling, Dragon Heresy, Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition), and Dungeon Grappling.

In two cases, Hall of Judgment and of course The Citadel at Nordvorn, I’m taking errata and comments until Apr 29 or so, when I send the final files in to the printer.

The Backerkit and pre-order phase of the project will be open until I send the order to the printer next week. After that, the PDF sales (and print-book pre-orders) will migrate to my website. Once both print and PDF products have been sent out, a quantity of all the books will be sent to Warehouse 23 and listed there, plus PDF sales. Of course it’s best for me if you buy them directly from my website . . . but as Guy Fleegman once said, “I’m just jazzed to be on the show, man!”

Say Things Please?

I’ve gotten a few nice comments as part of proofreading, for which feedback I thank you. That being said . . . if you have a review, initial impressions, or comments about the book, telling me is great. Telling Facebook, SJG Forums, RPG.net, Reddit, Twitter, theRPGPub, etc what you think is even better. If you feel strongly, you can always include a link to the hosted pre-order page:

https://the-citadel-at-norvorn.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

The author saying “buy my stuff, it’s fun!” is all well and good. If I didn’t think it, I shouldn’t write it. But the backers saying “was worth it,” or even better “I’m going to run this/I ran this and it was fun!” is even better.

No Rest for the Weary

If you’ve seen the Gaming Ballistic publishing schedule for 2019, you’ll know I’ve got a lot going on:

The next on the docket is “TFT Group 1.” That will be four adventures for SJGames’ The Fantasy Trip.

I’m pleased to say that I took a break from Nordvorn to do a draft layout of one of the four adventures – I’ve got them all in hand already – and I’m pleased with how it breaks down. The complete adventure text, with reflow, comes in at about 11 pages or so, with some room for art. The remaining five pages are going to be tokens and maps, more art, and of course a title page and table of contents.

I like doing a bit of layout first. It’s somewhat silly, but it’s far easier for me to see things, edit things, and get a good drink of a draft if it’s on paper. Also: I need to do it eventually, and being able to directly import a file into something that looks good makes for a better Kickstarter presentation.

And while “April 19” has but a week left in it, the first two weeks in May is very possible for a crowdfunding launch. In fact, May 8 through June 2 looks like good dates for the campaign.

I’ve played a bit of The Fantasy Trip at FNORDCon and GameHole Con, and it’s a great little tactical combat game, and in the “old-school” fashion, is easily expanded into a “roll and shout” RPG with In the Labyrinth. 

The adventures being funded are not (yet) Nordlond adventures. I don’t have an issue with doing some! And I may well throw down a few Viking-esque adventures later (I’ve got an idea there, in fact, that would be a great short scenario).

Realistically, that puts crowdfunding completion and backerkit surveys finished in the first week in July, with The Dragons of Rosgarth launching in July, and Forest’s End in September/October. So there should be  three completely new books for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, plus Fantastic Dungeon Grappling and Hall of Judgment (2nd Edition) in 2019 for the Powered by GURPS crowd.

We’ll finish up the year with yet another project for The Fantasy Trip, and the authors are hard at work there as well.

Final Touches

Even so . . . I’ve still got a week to go on Nordvorn, and I assure you I will not be idle. The proofing and commentary has already proven valuable and continues to be more so, and those edits will be reflected in the released draft. A reminder on what you can help me with:

  • Spelling, typos, and errors in layout/formatting. Y’all are rocking this already.
  • Mistakes in monster stats. Gotten a few of these, and they’re vital.
  • Glossary Entries. “How do you pronounce this?” and “Oh, more Nordlond phrases” are both good reasons to stick an entry in the glossary. I’ve gotten one or two of these, but suggestions are welcome.
  • Index and cross-reference suggestions. Some of these are obvious: “see [Section Topic here]” will always get a link. Some are NOT so obvious. With PDFs, you can always just do “Find X,” but you can’t do that in print, and that’s where a good index comes into play.

And that’s that!

I’m headed out to FNORDCon today, back Sunday night. So I’ll be a bit thin on the ground here . . . but if you’re there, well, if there’s Dungeon Fantasy to be played, you’ll be playing it with either me or Kyle Norton. And two of those games are playtest sessions for the Dragons of Rosgarth . . . the next Norðlond adventure!

We hope to see you there!

DUNGEON FANTASY

We’re excited to have Douglas Cole and Kyle Norton from Gaming Ballistic to run Dungeon Fantasy scenarios all weekend! Here’s a short description of the scenarios being run:

Hall of Judgment: Journey from the Norðlond town of Isfjall to the ruins of Logiheimli, seeking the location of the lost Hall of Judgment. Battle undead, speak with lost heroes, and if you’re lucky, find the Hall itself. Available in limited quantities at the show! (Douglas, 10 a.m. Sat.)

Citadel at Nordvorn: The dwarf-wrought Citadel at Nordvorn anchors Audreyn’s Wall against threats from the faerie-plagued Hunted Lands, as well as the Dragon grounds. For centuries it has stood firm against external threats . . . but it currently faces disaster from within. Can the PCs unravel the mysteries brewing at Nordvorn? (Douglas, 10 a.m. Sun.)

The Dragons of Rosgarth: A new dragon has taken up residence in the Ruins of Rosgarth and gathered an army around him.  The army must be dispersed before they attack Nordlond! The game begins following a stealthy journey to within sight of the dragon’s fortress at the Ruins. What happens after that is up to you. Seize the opportunity to play The Dragons of Rosgarth *before* it’s even released! (Kyle, 3 p.m. Sat. and 2 p.m. Sun.)