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


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.


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.


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”

I’m going to host an Ask Me Anything about Hall of Judgment, Gaming Ballistic, and anything else gaming-related you want to chat about.

Thanks to the actions of Erik Tenkar of Tenkar’s Tavern, I now have a channel on his Discord server. Since he’s got a lot of folks there regularly, I figured his site would be a better place to host it than my channel.

So: if you want to Ask Me Anything, come by and join the Gaming Ballistic channel of the Tenkar’s Tavern Discord. It will somewhat contemporaneous with the Wednesday Tavern Chat (8pm until folks get worn out), but that’s fine too!

There will be a voice channel available as well as text chat.

See you tomorrow!

Hall of Judgment Final Week

We’re in the final week for Hall of Judgment, and there’s been a lot of movement on the Kickstarter! We passed $12,000 and that puts us on track to more-or-less equal Dragon Heresy unless we see something, as Mr. Furious would say, “either very good or very bad.”

Layout: Block and Tackle

I’ve been working really hard to pull things together, and the efforts are paying off. In quick-point format:

  • Sean “Dr. Kromm” Punch, GURPS Line Editor and author of the DFRPG, will be contributing the Foreword to Hall of Judgment! I made the offer to SJG, Steve pronounced it virtuous (his word!), and I’m very excited to have that going in there.
  • John Adamus, editor extraordinaire, turned around my manuscript in twelve hours, and caught enough detailed points that it was clear he got both content and copy. If you’re in the market for an editor: hire this man.
  • I’ve got the first full layout pour of the document in place. So there’s a page for just about everything that needs to go there. Title page, Kickstarter Backer credits, Table of Contents, Crazy Norse Words pronunciation glossary, Town, Journey, Dungeons, the Hall itself, Grappling, Pre-gens, Bestiary, and a bit of modified backstory for those that care.
  • The PDF as-is, no maps, no art, no orphan text fixes, is 116 pages. So my delivery target for a print book will be 128 interior pages; likely the PDF will be 131 or 132 for spacing and facing for the cover.
  • The maps are still being worked, but there’s lots of time for that. Each is a page in size, so they’re easy to plan for in layout. No delays expected there.
  • The pre-gens are coming along nicely. The eight promised with the book are done. I think I have 2-3 of the backer-submitted ones in hand already, if not fully laid out.
  • The monsters are also coming along; perhaps half done. The core 16 that originally came with Lost Hall of Tyr are finished, and the 14-15 more that are added with Hall of Judgment are next on the list.
  • Fantastic Dungeon Grappling got another small revision and is looking solid.

I’ve got 22 days left until the deadline set by “we plan to release the product in August” promise I made in the April 1 announcement, and the PDF will be ready by then.


That leaves us with the print question. At this point, we’ve got 275 (ish) print backers. That’s more than enough to get us out of POD, but not enough to drive to a full offset print run.

Wild and crazy things can happen, and I hope they do. What does this mean? It means unless we see a wild uptick, I’ll be using a short-run printer in the UK to deliver 140gsm interior pages (that’s about 93# paper; typical DriveThru is 70#/105gsm).

Because the printing is in the UK and the fulfillment partner I’ll be using is also in the UK, I expect to be working hard on the shipping side of things. I’ll probably know more in two weeks on that score.

Ask Me Anything

I’m working on a “final week Ask Me Anything” session, probably a few hours long, sometime this week. Not sure what that will look like, but I want to do it and take questions about the process, the adventure, and anything gaming-related. Or viking related.

Campaign Close Process

That brings us to the finishing touches.

The campaign closes July 14, which is this coming Saturday. I would deeply appreciate re-shares on social media, and talking about the project in general. The better we do, the more likely SJG is to want to do this again.

When the campaign closes, I’ll ready and fire up the Backerkit phase, which will have a short survey to get your pledges allocated to product. For those not getting add-ons, is all you’ll do with the “survey” is:

  • Validate you’re getting the product you want
  • Pay for shipping
  • Select any add-ons you’d like
  • Answer a few questions about the product, and what you’d like to see next

It is pretty important to be prompt on this one, and the survey period will be short: Probably 7-10 working days.

Note that Backerkit does not set the pace for digital reward delivery. As long as the funds settle and there’s no weirdness with payment (this happens every campaign; it’s depressingly normal) you’ll get your PDF on August 1.

So that’s it! This is the home stretch, and while there’s still work to be done, that work is pretty well defined at this point.

Grab your axe and shield, board your longship and let’s finish strong. Glory awaits.

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.

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.


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!


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.


Nordlond is my renamed Torengar for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG project I’m working on. Naturally, I have a playtest crew. Kalzazz is on it. For fun, and because one of the Festivals that are a key part of “town” in the adventure features a story about a bull . . . he wrote up a Nordlonder bull as a creature.

Bulls are unaltered mature male cattle, often clocking in at a ton or more of muscle and bad attitude, complete with horns. Nordlondic cattle are known for coming in a variety of colors* and have upswept curved horns. This represents a bull in his prime that is a survivor in the harsh Nordlonds. Bulls will fight to defend the herd, to drive off rivals, and because they plain do not like people.

ST 33
DX 9
IQ 4
HT 13

Per 12
Wil 12
Speed 5.5
Move 5/10 (Enhanced move 1)

HP 40
DR 2 (Tough Skin) / 6 (Skull) / 5 (Feet)
Dodge 9
Parry (Horns) 11
SM +2

Kick C, 1 14 – 3d+5 cr
Gore C, 1 14 – 3d+8 imp. Can also be used as a slam. Counts as a weapon.

Bad Temper (12)
Lecherousness (12)
Domestic Animal
Peripheral Vision
Combat Reflexes (included in defenses above)
Weak Bite
Peripheral Vision

Skills – Brawling 14

Notes – based off the Ox from Campaigns, but upgraded because its not an altered ox, its a bull!

*per wikipedia, Icelandic cattle do come in many bright colors! They also are on the small side, but Nordlond is the land of mighty barbarians, so presumably Nordlondic cattle are NOT on the small side!

OR 4 skill + 37 damage + 4 move + 3 FP = 48
PR 6 AD + 3 DR + 3 HT + 30 HP + 3 Wil = 45
CER 93