So . . . Hall of Judgment funded fast. Less than 12 hours to reach the $3,000 funding goal. Felt pretty good about that. Still do. My wonderful backers on The Citadel at Norðvorn passed that in just over three hours. Right now, in still less than the 12 hours it took for Hall of Judgment to fund, we’re running over 30% hotter than the first day’s rate. I’m . . . impressed.

So welcome aboard! I’m going to wear out my F5 key. Well, it’s an old keyboard anyway, and it will be sacrificed to good cause.

Regardless: thanks for jumping on early, and I can’t wait to see what the next two days bring.

In the meantime, even if you’re here . . . you can still help!

  • The Power of Networking. The usual re-shared that you guys have been doing on Twitter, a link to communities you’re part of on Facebook, Instagram, MeWe, Discord . . .whatever. As long as it’s not spam, ’cause that never helps.
  • Favorite Local Game Stores. One new-ish thing I’m doing with Nordvorn is I’m offering several retail levels. Three or four copies of Dungeon Fantasy RPG or my other books at more-or-less a 50% discount. Those are aimed squarely at retail shops, and if you have a local game store, bringing my work to their attention might help. It will certainly help with the overall visibility of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG product line, and the upcoming KS for Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 plus the boxed set reprint will help there too!
  • Blogs and Podcasts. I’ve reached out to some folks that I’ve podcast with before, and will be doing more. But if you run a podcast, or operate a blog . . . I’d love to answer your questions!

Stay tuned. I’ve got a really fun update for tomorrow morning – Sean Punch has graciously written another introductory Foreword to Citadel, as he did with Hall of Judgment . . . and it’s a heck of a read.

Until tomorrow!

By the way, for Hall of Judgment:

  • Day 1: Reached $3,300
  • Day 2: Reached $6,500
  • Day 24: Reached $13,000
  • Kickstarter Total: $15,793 from 525 backers

Crush your stretch goals, see them driven before us, and hear the lamentations of their, um, actually, if we do that no one will be lamenting much. Onward!

In the meantime, watch the Nordvorn Updates page for sneak peaks and information. For example, tomorrow morning, I’ll be posting Sean Punch’s remarkable Foreword for the new book.

Today at 10am Central Time . . . in a bit more than two hours after I publish this update . . . the second third-party publication for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG will launch on Kickstarter.

The Citadel at Norðvorn is a mini-setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG. It consists of three major settlements, many small villages, at least one ruin, and two primary sources of conflict: The Hunted Lands to the northwest of The Palisade, and the Endalaus Forest, to the north and east of Audreyn’s Wall.

It is intended for starting Dungeon Fantasy RPG characters of 250 points. They will be major players, and the fulcrum around which the future of Norðlond turns. 

I hope that you will join me on this project, share the Kickstarter with your friends . . . and perhaps even more importantly, tell your Favorite Local Game Stores about it: there are several retail-level tiers available for stores looking to get their Gaming Ballistic on. Combined with the upcoming Kickstarter for Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 and a reprint of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG boxed set, this is an important inflection point in the product line.

So join me in bringing The Citadel at Norðvorn to life!

The Citadel at Norðvorn

Return to Norðlond in a detailed mini-setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.

In The Citadel at Nordvorn, you will find many adventures, plus more trouble the players will doubtless create on their own. The area is so teeming with strife and peril that their characters will have the opportunity to stand at the center of many crises.

The Citadel at Norðvorn is a mini-setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPGIt consists of three major settlements, many small villages, at least one ruin, and two primary sources of conflict: The Hunted Lands to the northwest of The Palisade, and the Endalaus Forest, to the north and east of Audreyn’s Wall.

Return to Norðlond, Viking-flavored world with its own history, culture, and expectations. Visit as an outsider, or fresh from a victory rediscovering the Hall of Judgment.

Citadel is intended for starting Dungeon Fantasy RPG characters of 250 points.

Good luck, and may the Fates have a bold destiny in store for you!

The Citadel at Norðvorn goes live on Kickstarter at 10am Central Time, Feb 19, 2019.– Douglas Cole

Thursday is GURPSDay, Valentine’s Day, and a great day for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.

Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 was put on the “watch this space” calendar. SJG doesn’t do teasers – they’re either ready to rock, or they keep quiet. So look for this one.

Also, The Citadel at Nordvorn will go live on Kickstarter on Tuesday, Feb 19. Return to Nordlond about 250 miles east of Isfjall as the raven flies . . . and check out the Kickstarter preview.

In personal Gaming Ballistic News:

  1. The Lost Hall of Tyr proofs are on the way; I should get one from the US printer today even!
  2. The graphic design of Citadel got a major overhaul, and the Kickstarter is ready to go; it’s even approved by KS launch control.
  3. I posted a hoped-for publishing schedule for me in 2019.
  4. I received word from my authors on TFT projects that the first two (one from each) are over 75% completed for writing.
  5. I’ll be headed down to FNORDCon April 6-7, and running a table. Lots of Nordlond, maybe a preview of Citadel even, and several surprises

GURPSDay is starting 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 “ValenGURPSDay: GURPSDay Summary Feb 8, 2019 – Feb 14, 2019”

Return to Norðlond with a mini-setting by Gaming Ballistic.

Response to the first journey to Norðlond, to find the Hall of Judgment, was outstanding, and introduced players of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG to Isfjall, a city in the depths of the barbarian north. Now, journey from Isfjall to Norðvorn, the magnificent castle and town that anchors both Audreyn’s Wall and The Palisade.

The Citadel at Norðvorn is coming to Kickstarter on February 19

From the northeast, the dragonkin threaten; from the northwest, the Hunted Lands are simmering, and about to boil over with hostile faerie. And of course the peoples of Norðlond are troubled by scheming, demons, and schemin’ demons.

Citadel will contain three large settlements: Norðvorn itself, home to 7,500 residents including the Castellan and the Wardens. Longbru, opposite one of the sallyports in Audreyn’s Wall, a town from which many adventurerers depart into the Dragongrounds . . . but not all return. And Ainferill, a town in turmoil after the tragic “accidental” death of the Jarl’s wife and adult son. It also spends some time to talk about what is between the big settlements: details on some sample villages, many important NPCs and what they care about, and a tangled web of danger and deceit that the PCs can engage with, or not, as they choose.

Citadel is a mini-setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, again licensed by Steve Jackson Games to Gaming Ballistic. It will contain the locations above, plus important and not-so-important people and factions, each with their own goals. The entire region is about to burst into chaos . . . can the PCs find out why, and help contain the coming dark?

Citadel is planned for 80 pages, but I probably have enough content for 128 page or even 144 if things go very well. Stretch goals will add content in 16 page increments, improve the quantity and quality of art. As before, the book will be softcover and in 8×10″ format. If you liked Hall of Judgment, this book’s production values will be at least as good.

I hope you will join me, as before, in spreading the word and helping this come to life.

I always feel better when I’m working on something that, while not final, is at least good enough that I feel comfortable showing it about.

Today, I spent a lot of time pounding on the layout and look of the next book: The Citadel at Nordvorn.

This is what I came up with, and the basic look which which I’ll go to Kickstarter but it’s been modified since the original. The new look is reproduced below instead!

What might change?

The pagination circles will probably become either towers or (more likely) gate-houses.

The sword on top will be re-done in Illustrator or by a professional render, because at the moment the look is OK but it’s not an image that I can use other than a placeholder.

The running title font characteristics may be adjusted

The color scheme is very beige, and a better graphics pro than I am will help with contrast and readability, though most of the elements are OK.

In short: it’s not bad, and will get better, but it’s solid progress on delivering a good-looking book. I wanted it thematically related to Hall of Judgment. This qualifies. I also wanted it different than HoJ, and this also qualifies.

Tomorrow needs to be a real writing day, but I know what I have to do. I now have layout chapters where before I just had a wall of text. I have a look that makes the book distinct, though different elements may wind up being final, and those could be very different. I tentatively have six sample characters and a bunch of monsters in there, and while I cut the stuff from the HoJ bestiary that wasn’t there, there’s still a lot of placeholder for things that might be there but may or may not need writeups. I’m looking to make this one shorter, not longer, unless the Kickstarter does very well. There’s almost no way I can bring the entire thing in at 80 pages . . . but 96 or 112 is probably doable, and there’s content enough for 128 easily if the crowdfunding goes well.

I managed to get my “year in review” out on January 1, which is really quick for a year in review. Now, even more importantly, it’s time to look forward. While “do more with the games I have” is in the cards, publishing and growing my business is about new content. So without further ado, here’s my tentative publishing and crowdfunding schedule for 2019.

On the Docket

There are certain things that are either contracted or have already an agreement in place but signatures pending. What are those? Some you know, some you don’t.

I did announce this in various channels, but Steve Jackson Games and Gaming Ballistic struck a deal similar to the one we made on the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, allowing me to produce 3rd-Party content under license for The Fantasy Trip. The TFT projects are up to 10 short adventures, which will be a color cover, black and white interior, and 16 pages long each. It would be insane to crowdfund one of these each month, and they can be produced reasonably quickly, so I’ll do them in batches of 4. If the first two campaigns do well, I’ll solicit for more authors for more projects. I’d love to effectively get far enough along on these, and have them be popular enough, to release one per month until SJG and the buying public get tired of them.

Additionally, I’m very excited about the new Dungeon Fantasy RPG projects. Nordvorn is the one I’m writing now, and I’ve now pretty much cleared my plate of everything but finishing the draft. When it’s close enough to done that I don’t feel like I’m in a panic, I’ll launch a Kickstarter, but I really want that to be in February, which means I’ve got about two weeks to polish up the draft. Given that I’ve already written 42,000 words and I don’t think the market will bear a book larger than about 80-112 pages, this means anywhere between zero and 17,000 words in about two weeks, which is completely doable.

The other two Dungeon Fantasy RPG projects and all of the TFT ones aren’t being written by me as author. I’ll manage the projects, get art, edit, and do other publisher-type things. I’ve got nice contracts in place for all of these, including a feature where the pay scale rises for the authors as the number of backers increases. I hope they max out!

In any case, I’ll release more tidbits as I can. The “Print Available” line assumes a no-time-lost turn on an offset print run. If the demand isn’t sufficient to print the titles offset, then print availability will be a month to six weeks sooner, as digital short-run printing is faster but more expensive. Any offset runs will see books go into stores beside the core books, though, so I’m very excited about that. I hope that folks join me in making that possible.

Let’s do a table.

Project Working Title Book Title/Working Title Crowdfund Date Backer PDFs Print Available
Lost Hall 2e Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) Jan-19 Jun-19
Citadel The Citadel at Nordvorn Feb-19 May-19 Aug-19
TFT Group 1 Untitled TFT 1 Apr-19 Jun-19 Sep-19
Untitled TFT 2 Apr-19 Jun-19 Oct-19
Untitled TFT 3 Apr-19 Jun-19 Nov-19
Untitled TFT 4 Apr-19 Jun-19 Dec-19
Dungeon Fantasy RPG 2 Ruins Project Jun-19 Aug-19 Nov-19
Dungeon Fantasy RPG 3 Forest’s End Aug-19 Oct-19 Jan-20
TFT Group 2 Untitled TFT 5 Oct-19 Dec-19 Mar-20
Untitled TFT 6 Oct-19 Dec-19 Apr-20
Untitled TFT 7 Oct-19 Dec-19 May-20
Untitled TFT 8 Oct-19 Dec-19 Jun-20

A Deep Breath

This represents a very aggressive schedule for a one-man shop plus contractors. If Citadel and the first TFT crowdfunding go as well as I hope they go (without being irrationally exuberant!), though, it means that there will be a stream of funds available from sales of those books that I can get a head start on the rest, and that turns an aggressive schedule from one of stress to merely one of project management and risk assessment.

I’m good at that. Five for five Kickstarters on time, or even early to promised schedule.

Also, the Print Available release schedule is geared towards “not the kickstarter.” I suspect backers will get their print stuff all on the first date, but if there’s a retail release, it’ll follow the stepwise schedule so folks can see something new from me each month on the store shelves.

Even so, if these projects take flight at all, and Nordvorn and its children do as well as Hall of Judgment, and if the TFT content is half as well received as the TFT Adventures project, it will give a great start on getting the next ones going, and if they achieve the same success that the TFT Adventures do, the line becomes self-sustaining.

We’ll see.

That represents my intent. Real life and the slings and arrows of the real world may conspire to move things around . . . but this is what I’m aiming for. Five crowd-funding projects this year, each effectively launching when the PDFs go out for the one before. Once that happens, the printing is somewhat on autopilot – barring disasters and lost shipping containers, that’s just time. My printing partners of choice are top-notch, so I’m not worried on that score.

Is that “all” for 2019? Maybe, maybe not. I suspect so.

I think I’ll be quite busy enough!

 

The next installment in the licensed adventures for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG is starting to really come together. Look for The Citadel at Nordvorn soon! I’ve got over 42,000 words written so far, and in super-dense text format (no art, only the barest of layout, and a very temporary background) I’m at 650 words per page and 66 pages. The usual with-art layout is 500-550 words per page, which means the final document would be something like 78-86 pages were it done.

Which it’s not.

A Mini-Setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG

In Hall of Judgment, I set up Isfjall as “Town,” where you buy and sell your stuff, and it served as a jumping-off point for the quest to find the titular Hall.

Nordvorn is going to be a bit different. Yes, there’s Town. And nice GMs will tell the players which that is. But there are many other potential settlements to explore, and all of those are very much not Town.

There will of course be monsters to fight, ruins to explore, and bandits to kill and take their stuff. There will also be a tapestry of personalities and culture to play in, and if you liked what you got with Isfjall for Hall of Judgment, well, you’re going to get a whole lot more of it with the Citadel at Nordvorn.

Bear in mind that everything about the presentation of this will probably change. The image is just a simple background of a castle done up in Photoshop; the real background and graphic design will be similar enough to Hall of Judgment that you will know they’re related, but different enough to set it apart.

But it’s much easier for me to pick apart words on a page than it is to stare at a screen, so I dumped it into layout and now I can see what’s going on.

Nordvorn Itself

Nordvorn itself, both the Citadel and Laegribaer, the lower town. I cannot wait to get an artist to detail this up. I’ve got a really crude sketch of the city and town in, well, PowerPoint.

I’ve also got notes on what braethralag (brotherhoods devoted to the same god) cluster where, temples, craft districts, etc. Note that the Citadel is not necessarily “Town,” and that betrayals, violence, and things that aren’t rest, study, and buying and selling stuff can happen there!

There are five inns in the city, and each is located and described. There’s a fun section on shopping (and shipping, for that matter), of course. Plus even more festivals, some familiar, some new:

Geitur Dag (October). A festival peculiar to Norðvörn—and peculiar in general, really—Goat Day. Each year, the Lower Town goes absolutely mad for goats. Goat costumes, fermented goat milk, goat races, head-butting competitions, and the animal husbandry competition to see which pair of goats will be dubbed Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr (the goats that pull the Thunder God’s chariot) for the day. Alas for the winners, at the end of the day, they get eaten by the Hamar and Steðji of the Thunder God’s temple.

More than One Town

Two neighboring towns, one of which very much is “Town.” The other is Ainferill, and there’s . . . a lot going on there. Little of it good. Violence, betrayal, cult activity, and a tangled web of intrigue. Plus folks to kill and stuff to take. Good times.

This is a piece I commissioned a long time ago for Dragon Heresy . . . but from the moment I set it down, I knew it was going to be one of the plot points in Citadel at Nordvorn.

There’s also Longbru, which is home to a dwarf-made bridge that spans the Jotunnain river for over a mile (thus: Long Bridge), and the opposite end terminates at one of the few sallyports in Audreyn’s Wall. Naturally, Longbru hosts many adventures seeking glory in the Endalaus Forest . . . and can be considered “Town” as per Exploits!

Coming Soon

With the relationship web already written, and the nouns coming together (Places, People, Things), I’m hoping to get to the point where I feel comfortable launching a project in a few weeks. That will be the first of three Dungeon Fantasy RPG projects, all set in Nordlond, and all planned for PDF delivery, if not print, in 2019. I’ve got some finalization to do on another project first, but when that’s done, it’s all Citadel, all the time when it comes to writing.

Unlike many of my prior projects for the last bit of time, though, Nordvorn is going to feature virtually zero re-used art from prior books, unless it’s absolutely on point. So you’ll get to see the graphic design and maps and imagery take shape more or less at the same time as I do.

Stay tuned! I hope you will have as much fun exploring this, which is the beginning of an extended look at Nordlond, as I am having writing it.

Thursday is GURPSDay, and I’m on time this week! I’m still hard at work writing The Citadel at Nordvorn, a mini-setting with far too much going on for its my own good, but it’s at 39,000 words so far, and I’m nearly done putting (too many) details on the city, towns, and villages in place. I expect that when all is said and done, much of that detail will be edited down to a very few summary lines and associated “this is how you use this as a plot hook” notes for the GM. But for now, it’s kinda cool to see the area take shape.

In personal Gaming Ballistic News:

  1. The Lost Hall of Tyr Backerkit phase closes tomorrow. Finishing touches and fulfillment of that will take up much of my time over the next week or so
  2. After that, Citadel is my #1 priority, and I’m hoping to launch crowdfunding for that in February, but it will go when it’s ready and not before.
  3. SJG and Gaming Ballistic have reached a happy place on an agreement for GB to produce up to 10 short adventures for The Fantasy Trip.
  4. I’m continuing to refine and detail “Fantastic Dungeon Grappling,” another item I have permission to produce. This one will be 8 pages and will not crowd-fund, because I don’t need it.

That means, for me in 2019, I will likely produce:

  • Three full length (64-128 page) Nordlond adventures/mini-settings for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG
  • One short Dungeon Fantasy item for those that want refined, short grappling rules but don’t want to bother with Technical Grappling, also for DF/the Dungeon Fantasy RPG
  • Lost Hall of Tyr 2nd edition
  • Anywhere between 4 (minimum) and 10 (maybe in PDF format with print coming after) TFT adventures, depending on how things shake out

There is also more in development. Even without it, we’re looking at 9-15 releases this year.

GURPSDay is in its fifth year – 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.

The Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPSIf 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 January 18, 2019 – January 24, 2019”

Thursday is GURPSDay, and this one shows up on Friday. I swear, the first thing I’m doing when I finish writing Citadel is to try and implement my ideas around making this happen in a more automated fashion. More on that later.

I am busily writing The Citadel at Nordvorn, a mini-setting with far too much going on for its my own good, but it’s over 30,000 words and I will be doing a lot of writing for it in the next four days.

In personal Gaming Ballistic News:

  1. If you liked Hall of Judgment, and either also play or have friends that play Fifth Edition or Dragon Heresy, the Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) campaign closed having raised roughly the same amount of money as the 1st edition. That left us short of the offset print run stretch goal at $6,000 . . . but the Backerkit Phase is going very well, especially thanks to a few folks who ordered Viking-style shields! If you can show your D&D-playing friends the link, pitch it to your FLGS, it would go a long way. We’re something like $100-400 from that stretch goal, with two weeks left in the Backerkit phase. The more I can get product out there, the better stuff I can do for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, as rising sales lift all boats.
  2. There’s been a lot happening “under the waterline” over at GB, and more will be revealed soon. I will say that several varieties of product, not written by me, are all simmering on the mid-stove. Some of these will really excite SJG fans!

GURPSDay is in its fifth year – 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.

The Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Powered by GURPSIf 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 January 11, 2019 – January 18, 2019”