I got back into D&D after a long, long time with GURPS (though I did not, and will not, stop creating for that system) by joining Erik Tenkar, Peter Dell’Orto, Tim Shorts, Joe the Lawyer (I never actually got his whole name), and several others in Erik’s “B-Team.”

We played once a month, and compressed a whole lot of gaming into 2-3 hours. We used the Swords & Wizardry system, a retro-clone that showed me how much fun rules-light gaming can be, and helped me appreciate Fifth Edition a bit more when it came out.

S&W taught me to think simple, think fast, and think light. It helped me shape my grappling rules into something anyone would want to pick up, and could either “play easy” or add as much modular awesome as they could.

I got to know Matt Finch through Erik, and I believe other than the Wednesday night Tavern Chats, we started to get to know each other when he started “ambush interviewing” me for his D&D Neighborhood YouTube shows. While the first interview was me chatting with him about Dragon Heresy and related stuff, he tapped me for a few other shows like “How to write a player’s guide.” He’s a good guy, drives a good interview (maybe the legal training), and runs a good game, which I got to experience at GameHole Con in November of 2018 (this past year).

When it came time to introduce this second edition of Lost Hall, I asked him if he would be willing to contribute a Foreword, and he agreed.

Here’s the laid-out Foreword for your image perusal, followed by the text and a link to a PDF as well.

Foreword to Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition)

by Matt Finch

Some longish time ago, I was talking with Doug Cole via Google Hangout. As the conversation went on, it started to dawn on me that he was sitting in the middle of what looked like a small armory of blades, axes, and shields—all of them made of wood. So after a while, of course, I had to ask about this clutter of weaponry piled up all around him. Now, anyone who knows Doug already knows that “enthusiastic” only vaguely succeeds in capturing the essence of Doug. Seconds later, I was looking through my computer screen at a sword-wielding, shieldbearing warrior in fighting stance, delivering an energetic lecture on the proper way to use a Viking-type shield. As the lecture evolved into methods of using the sword in concert with the shield, I started to realize why there’s no furniture anywhere near his computer. Or, at least, what happened to it if there once was. As I’ve said, “enthusiastic” doesn’t quite capture it.

Doug manages to infuse his writing with the same effervescent energy, making for a wild ride through his game world and the adventures to be found in it. Since I’m no expert on Vikings or Norse mythology I can’t speak to how much of Doug’s exploration into the wyrd, wild world of Viking adventure is based on history and how much of it is just a sheer, fantastic Norseplosion of adventure. It doesn’t really matter, of course —this book is a mix of pure mystery and adrenaline for RPG gaming, and that’s what counts in the long run.

One is always tempted to write a long foreword to a good book, sprinkling spoilers here and there in an effort to tell the reader how to enjoy what they’re about to encounter in it. But I don’t think that’s the purpose of a foreword. A foreword is for setting the mood: giving the reader that last deep breath before the plunge into strange worlds and vivid imagery. I can assure you, even though the world of Norse adventuring might seem familiar on the surface, what lies beneath that surface is strange and mythic indeed. And so, consider that last, deep breath to have now been drawn—it’s time to turn the page and let yourself go a-Viking in the rich sea of ideas you’ll find beyond!

 LINK TO PDF FILE

The Lost Hall of Tyr Kickstarter has funded and is striving to achieve its “high quality printing” stretch goals. It won’t take much, but I need your help.

Funded. Closing in on Stretch Goals

This is where it happens – the last two days of the Kickstarter are where it takes off and assumes its final form.

We’ve got the new maps. We’ve got a new cover (and I hope to be able to show you an improved version before the campaign ends!) and a lot more gameable material than the first edition. Now it’s time to make the physical product awesome.

If you’re a Dragon Heresy fan: This is your chance to support a fantastic adventure in Dragon Heresy’s native setting. The $3500 stretch goal is still a fine book: heavy paper (about 85# paper, a tetch heavier than what Lulu prints on) and quality printing, but I know we can do more. If we hit the $6,000 stretch goal, that will allow me to get adventure support alongside the hardback book into stores, so you can see them, point to them, and pick them up and play. It will also print on 105# paper and have a lay-flat binding, even in softcover.

This is the time: For everyone on this list, who has been interested in Gaming Ballistic material, I’d ask that you share out the Kickstarter link and make folks aware of it. This will be my fifth (of five) funded projects. Each was on time or early, and a high-quality affair. Help me do more by spreading the word if you can’t pledge, and pledging if you can.

Lost Hall 2e: The Final Hours

Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) is a mini-setting and adventure for the Dragon Heresy Roleplaying game. Dragon Heresy is a self-contained complete game in one volume, and the Introductory Set covers Level 1-5.

Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) contains

  • A non-linear adventure for 4-7 characters of Level 1-5
  • A detailed workup of the Viking-inspired town of Isfjall, suitable as either a home port for an extended campaign or a jumping off point for the adventure
  • Rules for overland journeys in the wild north, several adventuring locations, and of course the quest to rediscover the Lost Hall itself
  • A bestiary containing all the key creatures from the adventure, including the Dragon Heresy unique stats pre-calculated (Threat DC, Hit DC, wound and control thresholds, wounds, and vigor)

Lost Hall of Tyr is 112 pages long, in full color. The Kickstarter is to enhance the quality of the original combat/location maps, and fund a high-quality print run. 

Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) on Kickstarter

 

I was recently (like 30 minutes ago) interviewed on the Tenkar’s Tavern Designers and Makers podcast.

He asks me five critical questions (including such weighty matters as “Race as Class” and “what do you think of Save or Die – the die roll, not the podcast?”

I always love talking about gaming, so give a listen, and share it with friends! I talk Dragon Heresy, Swords and Wizardry and the OSR, and of course, Lost Hall of Tyr.

E218 – Designers & Makers – I Interview Douglas Cole (Gaming Ballistic) by Tavern Chat

I just wanted to make it clear, as I got a note that alarmed me about the Kickstarter:

This product is the 2nd Edition of the Lost Hall of Tyr adventure.

It is NOT for 2nd Edition D&D, which I believe I have played either once or twice, ever.

The native system is Dragon Heresy, which is based off of a tweaked version of Fifth Edition, that is: the System Reference Dictionary v5.1, under the Open Gaming License.

One week ago, Gaming Ballistic launched the Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) Kickstarter. It is a short campaign: 17 days, running from a week ago Friday, Dec 7 through Sunday, Dec 23. This Lost Hall 2e Kickstarter Update provides the good news, a request for help, and some further details about what’s different, and what’s coming.

Read on!

The Good News

The good news is that we funded almost immediately: by the end of Day 2, we’d passed the basic $1,300 funding goal by 40%.

That means that what used to look like this:

now looks like this:

The new maps will be executed by Glynn Seal, who deservedly won the 2018 ENnie Award Gold Medal for Best Cartography for his work on his Midderlands setting. I’m really looking forward to this upgrade, as it will bring the book up to the artistic standard it deserves.

The Campaign and The Ask

The good news is that we funded. The hard part of this is that after three days of solid growth in day-to-day pledges, the last few days have been pretty flat. There is hope, however. There are about 130 people who are currently following the project but have not yet pledged. At anywhere between $13 and $33 for these folks, that’s $1,700-$4,300.

Well. Added to the $2,150 current funding level gives a campaign finish between “short run digital printing” and “softcover offset print run!”

A lot of potential sitting there!

The Ask

If you bought Dragon Heresy during that campaign, and are one of the 200 folks that don’t have any support for it: I’d ask that you seriously consider pledging to this one. You won’t be disappointed in the results, and you’ll have direct play support for the Introductory Set. It’s a great ruleset, setting, and adventure, and the updated version of Lost Hall of Tyr plays really well.

If you’re one of the folks following, I’d ask that you pledge sooner rather than later. It will allow me to get a jump on planning the printing, and help the campaign’s velocity, which always brings in more supporters.

Finally: if you’re a current backer or follower, please share out the link. It really helps!

See more details about what’s changing below the break! Continue reading “Lost Hall 2e Kickstarter Update”

Two New “Instant Play” Rewards Added

I’ve added two new reward tiers, called “Instant Play,” to the Lost Hall 2nd Edition Kickstarter. I’ve also adjusted the pricing on some of the add-ons to reflect sales on my website that will outlast the Kickstarter.

PDF Instant Play Tier

The PDF Instant Play tier consists of the Dragon Heresy core rules (PDF usually $20) and a copy of Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition). It’s priced to include the Lost Hall PDF … free. The Dragon Heresy PDF and hardback are on sale until after the KS campaign is over, so why should you pay more?

Print Instant Play Tier

As with the PDF Instant Play Tier, this is priced at the sale price of Dragon Heresy Intro Set (about $46 currently) plus the $26 print tier for Lost Hall. That’s $72, and ensures that if you don’t have either one, you’re getting a good deal. If you have Lost Hall 1e but not Dragon Heresy, you’re also getting a good deal.

Dragon Heresy and Other Add-ons

To reflect the Holiday Sale going on on my website, the add-on price for Dragon Heresy books have been adjusted accordingly.

Greetings, Torengur!

The Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition Kickstarter) made it through the weekend in good form. Our first two-day total was $1,825 (a bit more if one accounts that Kickstarter chops off the sales at night). Why is that significant? While all Kickstarters are not the same, and hopefully ours will outperform, my data crunching in prior Kickstarters – my own and others’ – suggests that one can make a good prediction of the end by looking at the average of the first two days.

That would suggest we should be getting between 1/8 and 1/12 of $912 per day during the “flat” period between launch and the typical kick-up at the end. That’s about $75-115 per day. Well, hey, we did $150 and $119, so beating expectations. That suggests that – I hope – if things continue (or accelerate!) we’ll hit the digital print run long before the three-day sprint at the end.

What does that mean? It means the book will look like an 8.5×11 version of this:

The skinny one in the middle is Lost Hall 1st Edition
The skinny one in the middle is Lost Hall 1st Edition

Our book will be a bit thinner, but between the increase in page count and the much nicer paper, it’ll be a book with a solid heft to it.

And the hardcover goal is not out of reach; not by a long shot. A few good days and we can make it. A few retail or bulk pledges or even a shield or three and we’re there as well.

Work In Progress

And of course, there’s more on the way. I spent my downtime today adding a few thousand words to The Citadel at Northwatch, which will be next on the release schedule. I have been detailing the Citadel itself, as well as the town on the southwest side of the river. Details such as The Citadel, Little Rock, the Eternal Bridge, and The Gorge are taking shape – I can’t wait to bring this to life through art.

But that’s next quarter!

As always, now that you’ve backed, the biggest thing you can do is spread the word. If you have Dragon Heresy, bring it by your Favorite Local Gaming Store on your next outing, and ask that they carry it, or (even better) order it through the retail plan on the Kickstarter itself!

25 hours to fund!

Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) has reached the basic funding goal on the Kickstarter campaign! Thanks to the backers – just shy of 50 of y’all – who pushed us into the new maps territory! Dragon Heresy will have some new, and attractive, adventure support.

So, I’ll reach out to Glynn and we’ll start chatting about the upgraded maps. That happens today.

For the rest, right now, I’ll be doing hardcopy fulfillment via Print-on-Demand.

Future Stretch Goals

At $3,500, it becomes feasible to upgrade to a digital print run. As noted in the goals section, that’s about 75 more people at the current average pledge level. At the risk of self-immolation, this seems likely. The print quality here will be equivalent to the Hall of Judgment book . . . which has been well received by those that got it.

The $6,000 and $7,500 levels are not out of reach. If the 200 folks that have Dragon Heresy but do not have Lost Hall of Tyr come out to play, that’ll take us almost all the way to the final print run goal. If the campaign reaches as many people as the first Lost Hall campaign, we’ll get lay-flat softcover with 105# paper.

For now: Thank you! In the meantime, please do click the “I’m a backer!” share links, and help draw more attention into the campaign. Thanks, and have a great weekend!

Morning, Torengur!

It’s just shy of 24 hours since the Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) Kickstarter campaign launched, and Lost Hall of Tyr is 97% funded! That means we’re about two pledges from funding. That’s not bad at all for the first day.

As soon as we hit that level, I’ll start working with Glynn on getting the maps in place.

In between hitting F5 a lot, I’ll be writing the next adventure north of Audreyn’s Wall, The Citadel at Northwatch. This one will be a true micro-setting: the titular Citadel itself, and one or two more locations, populated by groups of folks with their own plans and goals. The PCs should hit that web of interactions like a rock into a still pond (or a rock into an unbroken window) and wackiness will likely ensue.

For now, please help spread the word about Lost Hall, especially to folks who don’t have it yet but do have Dragon Heresy. There are about 200 of y’all, and this adventure is what you need to get a game started.

Lost Hall 2nd Edition on Kickstarter

When I first published Lost Hall of Tyr, it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. Not enough art, the maps weren’t anything special, and the convention-style romp (2-4 hour one-shot) didn’t explore the awesome viking-inspired setting that I had set the adventure within.

Thanks to the publication of the Dragon Heresy Introductory Set and the expansion of the 1st edition supplement into the much larger Hall of Judgment version for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, I had the art, the contacts, and the content to make Lost Hall of Tyr what it should have been all along.

Lost Hall 2e: Now On Kickstarter

Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) is a mini-setting and adventure for the Dragon Heresy Roleplaying game. Dragon Heresy is a self-contained complete game in one volume, and the Introductory Set covers Level 1-5.

Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) contains

  • A non-linear adventure for 4-7 characters of Level 1-5
  • A detailed workup of the Viking-inspired town of Isfjall, suitable as either a home port for an extended campaign or a jumping off point for the adventure
  • Rules for overland journeys in the wild north, several adventuring locations, and of course the quest to rediscover the Lost Hall itself
  • A bestiary containing all the key creatures from the adventure, including the Dragon Heresy unique stats pre-calculated (Threat DC, Hit DC, wound and control thresholds, wounds, and vigor)

Lost Hall of Tyr is 112 pages long, in full color. The Kickstarter is to enhance the quality of the original combat/location maps, and fund a high-quality print run. 

Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition) on Kickstarter