I sent Hall of Judgment preliminary files to the printer

They were accepted first try, as “ready to print.”

I expect that I’ll hear back from the printing liaison today, since it’s mid-afternoon in the UK, and we can make plans to get things moving forward. But I think that means the clock on printing has started.

Still waiting on final ship approval as folks get settled and Return from Gencon (with associated Con Crud expected, if you’ve been to one of those). But things are nipping along well.

Just a reminder: if you’re interested in a physical copy of the book, and you don’t live in the USA, the very best time to order it is right now, as shipping will only be this cheap if there’s enough back-order for me to get a reprint from not-the-USA. Sure, one day I’ll have POD copies available, but odds are they won’t be as good, as most POD tops out at 105gsm/70# paper for one (the book as ordered uses 140gsm/93# silk-coated paper), and are much, much more expensive to print, for another.

So, this should be an interesting week.

For one thing, I really don’t have much on my plate from a “writing games” perspective. This is the first time in about four months that this has happened, since Dragon Heresy was immediately (and I do mean right away) followed by Hall of Judgment.

Both are basically done, and out of my hands until it comes time for shipping. Even then, except for the day(s) printing postage and/or actually boxing up hundreds of books, I have those hours back. I’m about to go to sleep before midnight for the first time in a long time that didn’t involve sickness or simply collapsing from exhaustion.

Where do we stand?

Dragon Heresy PDF is long since shipped out. Not much response from it thus far; I hope that changes when the physical books arrive, and folks dig in and really read it. The changes to the base 5e SRD are somewhat simple, but provide a great deal of emergent behavior that everyone from GURPS players to OSR fans to 5e aficionados to Pathfinder folks should like.

This week should see the arrival by FedEx of the final signature, which I sent back for corrections. That was on my end, not theirs, so that delay is on me, but I saw a mistake (some formatting) and I fixed it. After that, I’ll give permission to print and bind, and then in a week or two I’ll start seeing advanced copies and basically be ready to give ship approval. About 30 copies will go out to backers of both the DH kickstarter and the HoJ one who live in “not the USA,” and the rest – about 1,470 of them – will come to my house, and about 250 (ish) will then depart for places here in the USA and Puerto Rico. Last week in September or first two weeks in October. So “on time,” if not “ahead of schedule.” Alas.

Also, within about 12-36 hours I should hear back from the Hall of Judgment printer in the UK about pre-press. I’ve paid my deposit (via PayPal! Yay! No wire transfers or certified checks) so I am as current with that vendor as I can be, and if they say “oh, yeah, these files work” I’ll give the go-ahead for printing, which means in about 3-4 weeks they’ll be done, and then another 2-3 weeks to get them sorted out and shipped and received. So really, all these books for both KS will arrive effectively simultaneously.

I’m very proud of both books. For one, they’re very, very pretty. For another, I think they’re legit good work.

But now I need more to do. Fortunately, I do not lack for options. If nothing else, I need to convert Hall of Judgment into Lost Hall of Tyr, 2nd Edition. Then it will be the adventure it needs to be.

More on that later.

Pre-Final File!

Today I finished what I like to call the “pre-final” PDF.

What does that mean?

  • It’s got a front and back cover
  • My proofreaders and testers comments, as well as my own “print it out and go over it with pen in hardcopy” edits, are in
  • It passes muster at 300dpi for printing
  • It’s the right page count
  • It should be fully playable (a word on maps in a moment)

What’s not done?

  • I will be updating the backer list in the PDF until y’all stop telling me to change your names. I will be downloading and comparing your KS names and Backerkit survey responses to help me with this
  • I will be compiling an index. If this fits on one page, we’re REALLY done and I don’t have to delete any monsters or change layout. If it needs two, I will consolidate ulfjarl and wolf to one page and give it two
  • If y’all catch anything truly wrong (and not just “I’d have done it differently”) I will be able to make changes for the next week
  • Hyperlinks for internal references
  • Final ToC update

Lockdown and Cards Charged

I’ve done the first round of “lockdown” and charged cards for those backers that finished their survey. That means that if you ordered PDFs of my other game products, they’re awaiting your download!

I am going to send out the preview file for HoJ tomorrow, for folks to read over the weekend and tell me where I done them wrong (say that like Scarlett Johansson from Ultron). Then I’ll fix that, get final blessings from SJG, and if that’s all good, the final file will be pushed to you guys on August 1.

Then also on August 1, I will send the file to the printer, beginning the cycle for physical product delivery. As I’ve noted before, I expect that to take 5-7 weeks.

Maps

The maps in the PDF and book are, frankly, too small to use.

No worries. I will be preparing PDFs and other digital files that will have GM-only and player-eyes-OK versions for import into VTTs (the digital maps come in 32×40″ files with grid files with 1-yd hexes OR 5-ft squares, your choice). Those will go out over the next few days as well. I understand how important maps are to play, and will do my best to make that as convenient as possible given my source material.

This is not the end . . . actually it IS the beginning of the end.

With mad props to Winston, this begins the process of giving you what I promised. It’s on time rather than ahead of schedule, and the upgrade in print quality does mean physical product will hit in September rather than August.

But the first third-party release for the DFRPG is about to be in your hands. I’m thrilled, and I hope you are too.

Now: play it. Write about it. And tell me what you want to do next.

I’m all ears.

Douglas Cole
Gaming Ballistic, LLC
July 26, 2018

Today I updated the cover for Hall of Judgment. It had to be resized for 8×10 format, I used a more readable font that echoes the choices inside the document for the title and author slug, and new no-background Dungeon Fantasy RPG logos. A bit of tweaking of the back-cover text as well.

I also got a major interior file milestone done today. All things that needed to be written have been written. I still might put in a few hundred words on one subject in the wilderness section, but by and large, we’re in the “proofing and tweaking and spelling and layout consistency” stage until I can send out a preliminary file.

I ran into a snag with Backerkit today, or else y’all would have your surveys already. I expect to fix that tomorrow afternoon, and then surveys will go out. I’ve asked more questions than usual in this one, but you can always just put “NA” and move on if you don’t want to answer.

GURPSDay is currently pulling from 103 blogs on the roster.

The Hall of Judgment Kickstarter ended on July 14th, having hit 525 backers and very nearly $16,000 in funds. This is fully 1/3 of the backers of the original DFRPG, which means by any metric the project was a financial success. I am moving steadily ahead with finishing up the draft, as well as working on surveys, print-and-ship, and other important details to get the PDF (August) and physical copies (late Sept) to backers.

Welcome to GURPSDay 2018, and its fifth year – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic.

The Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPSWe still need your help. And 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 Summary July 13, 2018 – July 19, 2018”

I heard back from my fulfillment partner and printer. So, here’s the final word on printing and shipping.

Printing

Printing is going to take longer than POD usually takes: 4 weeks from me placing the order to books being ready to ship. I intend to place the order on August 1, right after I send the PDFs out to y’all.

That just gets the books made, though, and it would appear that will take us through August 25 or so.

The book will be pretty cool, though. 140gsm/93# paper, matte finish for readability, with a glossy cardstock cover. If you’re familiar with ACKS Domains at War: Battles, it will be about like that. Perhaps 3/8″ or 9mm thick, 8×10 format. About the size of Spells and Companion put together, I’ll guess.

Shipping

Once printing is complete, it will take about a week to get them from the printer to the fulfillment company, processed, packed up, and moved out. From that point, it will be hopefully a maximum of three weeks until everyone has their books.

Both the printing and shipping schedules quoted have as much of a week of slop in them. It could be three weeks to print, and two weeks until the first books arrive.

Even so, we’re looking at a span of 5-8 weeks, or delivery of the physical product between September 5 and Sept 26. In short, I will be a month behind my promised date for the physical books.

This irks me.

Shipping Fees

The moment we’ve been waiting for:

  • United States and United Kingdom: $6
  • European Union: $9
  • Everywhere Else: $12

If you’re ordering a bunch of books, expect to pay a bit more per book, but not huge. 2-4 books total is 50% more than listed, and 5-8 books is 100% more than listed. Most folks will only be getting the one book, but if you want more, that’s how prices step up.

Next Steps: Surveys and Processing

The finalization of shipping rates means I can rapidly get things entered into the system and things sent out. That means finalizing addresses, collecting shipping fees, and allowing you guys to allocate your pledge or extra money for add-ons, or just buy add-ons outright. I’ll also ask a few questions about the Kickstarter and potential future products that I would be very pleased if you answered.

So that’s it. Look for a survey from me in the next week or so. I’ll get it out as soon as I can.

Amazing. I’m floored and thrilled by the response to this Kickstarter.

Let me be straight. I expected about 300 folks and $20 per pledge. That would have been a success for me. We landed 1/3 as many backers as the CORE RULES THEMSELVES.

That’s just wild, and I thank you for it: 525 Backers; nearly $16,000!

Next Steps

So there’s always something to do, and here’s what it will be.

As soon as physically possible, I’ll get the list of backers to my fulfillment partner. That will allow me to be MUCH more specific about shipping.

My printing contact comes back from vacation on Monday; I’ll ping him ASAP about getting all the final pricing details, and do one last comparison of all options.

I have some finalization of the draft to do, including two new backers for A Thegn of Your Own, which brings the total to 16 sample characters, I do believe.

I will prepare the Backerkit portion of the project and get that launched as soon as freakin’ possible. That more or less translates as “that portion goes live as soon as I have shipping costs.”

There will be some important questions on there. Finalizing shipping address is of course one of them. You will also have the opportunity to spend your pledge and buy add-ons if you like. One of the key questions is going to be “If I get another DFRPG license, what should I make?” Another will be “If that expands beyond the DFRPG, what would you like to see?” I’ll also ask if you’d like to be added to my mailing list. I don’t use it much, maybe monthly to give updates.

I guess that’s it! Sometime right about when I push the PDF to backers, I’ll come forward with my usual “where did the money go?” update that I always do, though I will need to be a bit vague about some things because not just my business.

In closing: Thank you, and I will endeavor to make this book worthy of your faith. And with that, hopefully earn your trust when I come back to do another.

I already have ideas. Plans, even.

Progress

Things going very, very well for the Hall of Judgment Kickstarter heading into the last 14 hours! We passed $14,000 during the night, while I was getting a tiny bit of sleep. Not a lot, since there’s work to be done. But some.

Let’s share this around, hit as many as possible, get the word out, etc. It’s more effective if it comes from backers!

Layout Continues

I’m down to six monsters yet to do. Looking at the Thegn of Your Own level, I know I have characters from everyone but one, and he’s working on it.

That means that I have a bit of rules tweaking to do for Wilderness survival (the Powered by GURPS version needed more tweaking than initially intended), I  have to put some treasure in one encounter, and a few other odds and ends.

Then it’s time to re-playtest the thing at least once. Blindtest, really. Which brings me to:

Playtest Announcement

Call for Hall of Judgement playtesters, Playing on discord.

  • Text based so theater of the mind.
  • Using Pseudobot for rolling.
  • Starting NZ(UTC +12) 9-10PM.
  • Over 3 or 4 weeknights next week.
  • Using any of the Pregens from DFRPG or Hall of judgement for simplicity, testing and speed
  • Fair warning the GM is a parent and it is the school holidays
  • Message the user (E) on the gaming ballistic discord server if interested

If we get more testers than we can handle, priority will go first to highest pledge total, then to who backed first. But if you want to try out the adventure and the pre-gens, this is your shot to do so before publication.

More Shipping

Immediately after I posted my last update, more info came in to make me rethink. The now-128-page book makes things revise a bit. I was premature in stating what things would be. I’m going to look into several ways of getting this all done, but I won’t know what it is until next week. It’s really about, oddly enough, the best way to get the stuff to US backers. The “not the US” are easy and that’s settled in terms of how, if not precisely how much.

As soon as the campaign closes I can send my fulfillment partner the backer list, and we can start working up pricing options. I have a few novel ideas that might be the best of both worlds. As soon as I know, you’ll know shortly thereafter.

Finish Strong

I’m now very, very confident in PDF delivery by the first week in August, probably August 1. With the characters in hand, the monsters certainly finished by this weekend (maybe even tonight), and only a bit of writing clean-up to do, the list is pretty small. I’ve got a great prelim layout pass I’m still happy with, so I’m feeling pretty good about this one.

Please share and spread the word in these last critical 12 hours – the trend in Kickstarters I’ve seen has been an explosion in the last day, and here we are.

Hall of Judgment

We’re now at 48 hours to go on the Hall of Judgment Kickstarter. It has been, and likely will continue to be, an awesome and humbling experience.

It’s not even done yet, and it’s already been my most successful KS to date from a number of backers perspective, and may yet still eclipse Dragon Heresy as my most financially successful KS as well.

And let’s not beat around the bush here. While money to me is of course good for me, the licensing revenue to SJGames is the best of all. Darn near infinite ROI. But it’s really just the start: as Zarina said in The Pirate Fairy (can you tell I have two girls?): “From a trickle to a roar!”

This is the time: go to your social network, go to your Favorite Local Game Stores if you have one, tell your friends. Share this, encourage folks to pledge. Let’s freakin’ blow up the last two days.

What’s in it for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG community:

What’s in it for you?

  • A Foreword by Sean “Dr. Kromm” Punch, GURPS Line Editor, that should make everyone that’s wanted to publish for GURPS sit up and take notice
  • 20 pages of viking-inspired town, with festivals, culture, and adventure seeds Three micro-dungeons to explore: a ruins and two underground warrens.
  • Five maps by MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal), ENnie-nominated cartographer. These things are unbelievably cool.
  • The main adventure, featuring a non-linear evolution in encounters, not-just-combat challenges, and more
  • Over a dozen sample characters; five or six are backer submitted at the Thegn of Your Own tier!
  • More than 30 creatures ready to play with a new open layout for easy digestion.

This book is VERY different, and quite frankly, better in almost every way than Lost Hall of Tyr, from which it sprung. 128 pages (rather than 64), full color, awesome art, and layered and hyperlinked for ease of use. The print copies will be 93#/140gsm interior paper; fulfillment is from the UK so international shipping should be pretty affordable.

Finally: let’s not beat around the bush: let me quote from the aforementioned foreword:

 “…it bodes well for Dungeon FantasyRoleplaying Game fans and fans of SJ Games products in general. We now have evidence that licensing third-party publishers to crowdfund content for our games pays off. That isn’t a guarantee we’ll agree to every proposal—our standards remain exacting, and we still prefer people we know and trust—but it means we’ll listen. Intently.” -Sean “Dr. Kromm” Punch

Please help drive more support the Hall of Judgment Kickstarter.

48 hours to go.

GURPSDay is currently pulling from 103 blogs on the roster.

We’ve passed 400% and 400 backers for the Hall of Judgment Kickstarter. This is the last three days of the Kickstarter, and the book is really starting to take shape. We’ve got a Foreword by Kromm himself, which will catch the interest of all third-party publishers. The book is settling into a solid 128-pages. I’m narrowing in on shipping options. This is going to be a very full-featured supplement. If you’re not a backer, but you own the Dungeon Fantasy RPG . . . it’s possible you may wish to check it out. Come on over and join me on my Gaming Ballistic Discord channel.

Why “Judgmental” GURPSDay summary? I already used Monster and Hall. Running out of words. “OF GURPSDay summary” doesn’t have a zip to it.

Welcome to GURPSDay 2018, and its fifth year – GURPSDay started in February 2013,  a year after I started Gaming Ballistic.

The Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPSWe still need your help. And 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 “Judgmental GURPSDay Summary July 6, 2018 – July 12, 2018”