Quick note.

I worked with GoDaddy to get some site maintenance done over the weekend. I’m finally on PHP7, which caused me issues when I wasn’t after the new year.

Also, I now have print and PDF copies of the TFT books from Five Perilous Journeys up for sale on the GB Store. Was only PDF for a while. The link is to the bundle for all five, but you can also get them individually.

I’ve got a bit more to go before I post the 2019 in review.

In case you missed it, you might miss it.

SJG Kickstarter: Dungeon Fantasy Magic Items 2

This is a verbatim copy/paste of the Daily Illuminator Announcement. Please note that when Phil says “it won’t be open long), he means it: it runs next week only, from Monday Sept 2 through Friday Sept 6. Don’t expect to pop in on the weekend and pledge. Make plans now.

As we mentioned earlier this month, Sean Punch has finished a new expansion to the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game . . . and it is going to Kickstarter next week! This “Quickstarter” campaign is scheduled to launch on Monday and will run until Friday, September 6, at which point we will move forward with printing the new book.

For those of you who backed the Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 campaign earlier this year, we’re happy to report that the books arrived in Austin earlier this week and we’ve started packing and shipping rewards. Many of you in the U.S. will see your packages very soon, maybe even next week if all goes well!

Physical rewards in the new Dungeon Fantasy Magic Items 2 Kickstarter campaign will only be offered to U.S. backers; those of you outside the United States may select the PDF option. Once we have shipped the printed book to supporters, then we will make it available as a part of our on demand GURPSline.

To jump in when the Kickstarter campaign goes live, please follow both the Steve Jackson Games and Warehouse 23pages on Kickstarter. Once we launch, regardless of which account we use, you’ll receive an email notification from Kickstarter and can join right away. And you won’t want to miss launch day; the campaign for Dungeon Fantasy Magic Items 2 will not be open long.

And Three More Books Sept 10 through Oct 12

user avatarAnd to follow up on that, while I need to check with my authors (one of whom is under a hurricane watch), there will be three DFRPG products coming to Kickstarter from Gaming Ballistic Real Soon Now.

Hopefully running Sept 10 (the Tuesday after the SJG one closes) through Oct 12:

  • Book 1: The Dragons of Rosgarth (setting info and adventure)
  • Book 2: Forest’s End (setting info and several actual dungeons in which to adventure)
  • Book 3: Races of Norðlond (tentative title; 16 pages of half-breeds and beast-men lenses with options and thoughts on how to use them)

My recent experience with doing five short adventures at once has convinced me that while I can only run a few Kickstarters per year, I can definitely deliver more books than I have crowdfunding campaigns.


As I woke up this morning, I saw that we are creeping up on 90% funding ($14,400) and have passed $14,000 in total funding. Excellent. Of course, I knew immediately why we saw that uptick . . . having been working with Phil and Steve for the last week or so to plan it. Here’s the announcement – taken right from the Decks of Destiny Update – of new collaborative goals for 4PJ.

Four Perilous Journeys Stretch Goals

Speaking of stretch goals to reveal, here are three new stretch goals that expand the Decks of Destiny project as the Four Perilous Journeys campaign attracts support.

  • Four Perilous Journeys – $16,000 – Rumors & Treasures – Four rumor cards added to the Rumors & Treasures subassembly, each based on one of the Four Perilous Journeys adventures.
  • Four Perilous Journeys – $20,000 – Adversaries – Four character cards added to the Adversaries subassembly, each based on one of the Four Perilous Journeys adventures.
  • Four Perilous Journeys – $25,000 – Rumors & Treasures – Four more rumor cards added to the Rumors & Treasures subassembly, each based on one of the Four Perilous Journeys adventures.

To unlock these stretch goals, visit and support the Four Perilous Journeys campaign today! These new cards, if unlocked, will provide you with hooks to the four adventures that may either be used to guide the player characters into one of the adventures or, if you wish, as the springboard to an adventure of your own design.

The Cards: Rumors, Monsters, and More

Each of the rumors, treasures, and creatures is tied to one of the four new adventures in some way. I’m taking care to ensure that each thing ties in with the adventures, while not requiring them. You might encounter an NPC or key player from Ironskull Castle, who’s off doing her own thing. Or catch a glimpse (or be brought face-to-face) with a monster from another . . . and learn important information that will help motivate a side-trip to the Citadel of Ice. And what are the undead Pirates doing here?

From $25,000 to $32,000

There’s plenty of room between the DoD stretch goal and the point where scale and demand drive an upgrade to a full offset print run (which would see extra copies on retail shelves, in distribution!). I’ve been looking into 1″ square tokens on 1.6 or 2.5mm stock, as well as custom card decks for easy tracking of all the critters in the adventures at the table.

If we pass $25,000 . . . these will get real, and fast.

20 Days to Go!

There’s still plenty of time left, and at current pace – unless you guys surprise me – we’re on track to fund next week. There are still 368 people following but not yet pledged to the campaign, a potential pool of $15,000 that sees us through all of the combined DoD stretch goals and likely into the zone where cards and tokens become a real possibility.

Thanks for coming with us this far . . . and I hope we knock down the new goals fast!

Check out Four Perilous Journeys and pledge today!

Why the Dungeon Fantasy RPG?

So, in another forum, I was challenged: “Sell me on Dungeon Fantasy.” OK. I will:

All the flexibility, tactical combat glory, deadliness, and specificity that GURPS is known for, with the additional benefit that the line editor went through and removed all the stuff you DON’T need.

GURPS is a subtractive system: you have all this modular rules and information, and you have to sort through it and go full Boolean: No, Yes, Yes, Yes, NO!, Yes, No, No . . . so it’s very front-loaded, for the GM and for the players.

But the Dungeon Fantasy RPG does all the work for rules for the GM, reorganized them for digestibility, and then provided niche-protecting templates for again easing the front-loading of character generation.

In terms of “how do I get started in GURPS?” I can think of no better answer than “The DFRPG Boxed Set.”


I think the miniatures will exceed my ability to produce them in this effort. If The Citadel at Nordvorn funds and does well, and the next two projects (call ’em Rosgarth and Forest’s End, for now) do well, I can promise a Norðlond Bestiary, and figures will be a part of that project.

Bookmarks, on the other hand . . . those look very doable.

Here’s my preliminary design:

I’ll print these in UV High Gloss, for maximum re-writability with Dry-erase markers.

They’ll be offered as singles and bundles.

  • $3: One bookmark
  • $10: 5 bookmarks
  • $15: 10 bookmarks
  • $35: 25 bookmarks

Orders in the USA will simply be included in your packaging, which I’ll do myself. Outside the USA, I’ll print in the UK and have them delivered to my fulfillment house (Kixto), where they’ll also be included in your orders. Hopefully that won’t complicated shipping or VAT or customs . . . but because I have no visibility to that, I can’t predict or help there.

But look for the FDG add-ons very soon over at The Citadel at Nordvorn’s Kickstarter page!

Thursday is again GURPSDay, though I’m posting on a Friday. How very LEGO Movie.

An eventful week for GURPS. Don’t believe me? Fine! Check out the GURPS News, which is chock full of new info. Also SJG released Steampunk 3: Soldiers and Scientists yesterday.

Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 was put on the “watch this space” calendar, and both the Foreword for Citadel as well as a few other places confirm “March” as the Kickstarter launch date. Since the Pocket Box Kickstarter ends today, perhaps next week? Perhaps a week to breathe? We shall see . . . but it’s close.

Also, The Citadel at Norðvorn went live on Kickstarter Tuesday, Feb 19. We’re at just over $8,100, which is 62% funding, as of this note. There are also 179 or more folks following the campaign that haven’t jumped in yet, so the potential to fund is there.

As a personal plea: if you can do it, jump in early. I like to get started on things sooner rather than late, and funding means I can commission artwork confidently and start engaging the rest of my team. The future of Citadel isn’t quite the future of the DFRPG, but the two are linked, as well as the success of Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2. Go read Sean Punch’s entirely fascinating foreword to Citadel.

I also teased the cover to another upcoming volume of my own: “Fantastic Dungeon Grappling.” This short book (no longer than 16 pages) will revise and extend the short-and-sweet grappling rules from Hall of Judgment. The Citadel Kickstarter will be the place to get it when that add-on goes live, as well as a spiffy set of bookmarks for monsters and characters to keep track of control points, laminated so you can use them with dry-erase markers.

In personal Gaming Ballistic News:

  1. The Lost Hall of Tyr 2nd edition physical print proof from both printers arrived. The US printing is finished and 10 boxes of books will arrive at my house today. The UK printing loks good in most respects, but the art was streaky and showed striations that my wife pointed out in the artwork. They’re re-doing the proof to make sure it’s at least as good as the most excellent Hall of Judgment printing, also done by them. The US books will thus arrive three months early; the UK books probably closer to two.
  2. I posted a hoped-for publishing schedule for me in 2019.
  3. 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

Also: I received the first full manuscript for The Fantasy Trip, by Christopher R. Rice. I am expecting to receive a second one by David Pulver any moment now. TFT fans will recognize those two names as having already published TFT adventures, and these two are the first of the ten I’m contracted for in 2019. More on that later . . . but I can confirm these are all different, and none of them are set in Norðlond for the moment. Could these be worked backwards into GURPS or Dragon Heresy? Absolutely . . . but first play ’em in TFT!

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 “GURPSDay: Feb 22 to Mar 1, 2019”

I’ll be one of the hosts of the RPG Breakfast Club on the Tenkar’s Tavern Discord.

Topics for tomorrow include “Pricing of RPG Projects” and “How to reach out to new folks,” I believe. It’s a good lineup – should be fun.

How do I get to The Tavern Discord? Follow these Steps:

  • Step 1.) Go here https://discordapp.com/download
  • Step 2.) Click which is best for you Windows, Mac, Android, IOS, or Linux and download it.
  • Step 3.) Once it has finished downloading click the + button surrounded by a dotted circle on the left hand side
  • Step 4.) Click the Join a Server button and copy and paste this into it https://discord.gg/GaXW2TX

Each year for a while now, Erik Tenkar hosts “The 12 Days of OSR Christmas.”

As The Mixed DM and others have noted that Dragon Heresy is “a 5e system with an OSR feel,” I figured I’d offer to give away six copies of Dragon Heresy as part of his event. The first give-away is today, with one to follow every other day from there.

OSR Christmas – Day Two

Just leave a comment on the thread and you might win something; and a copy of Dragon Heresy is part of the mix.

There’s an interesting (drink!!*) thread over on the GURPS forums about what a “miss” means. It’s called Failed Attack Rolls, and there’s a concept in there that, especially coming from the source, makes one go “Hmmm” a lot.

Let’s start with two quotes, both originating from Sean Punch, AKA Dr Kromm, the GURPS Line Editor. Also, a note: I’m not looking to quote him to fight, or to agree or disagree. The thread made me think, perhaps even to reflect (I’ve been reading Steven Brust’s “The Phoenix Guards” and “Five Hundred Years After,” so if you detect a bit of Tazendra in my statement, you’re not wrong).

In any case: I reflect, perhaps I even wonder.

The Quotes

Here’s the original note by Sean:

Mostly this. You failed at your roll to capitalize on an opening and/or seize the initiative, so you stood there doing nothing but defending. You can fix this by increasing your aggression (All-Out Attack (Determined) for +4, at the cost of giving your enemy an opening), falling back on textbook attacks when there’s no opening (Telegraphic Attack for +4, at the price of attacking directly into your enemy’s strongest defense), or learning to fight better (improve your skill, at the cost of many hours spent in the dojo, gym, kwoon, or whatever).

Missed attack rolls aren’t blows that hit with insufficient force. Too many things in GURPS (Melee spells, Contact Agents, etc.) rely on a mere touch for that to be a good ruling. Blows that connect weakly are things like successful attack rolls met by unarmed parries that prevent all damage*, and successful attack rolls met by failed defense rolls where the ensuing damage roll fails to penetrate DR.

* It’s safe to assume that in an unarmed fight, not all punches and kicks stopped by unarmed parries are warded off or blocked. Most are the blows you see sport fighters landing by the dozen in a match. A skilled fighter rolls with (not Roll with Blow – the realistic version), turns from, or otherwise minimizes the damage of these; his efforts count as a GURPS parry. These cases do result in contact under the rules.

This quote is from the first post of the thread linked in the intro, but was from a different-but-similar discussion.

Some of the responses were predictable – and not because they’re insufficiently thought-out. They’re more or less the way I’ve played GURPS for years, so I’m naturally sympathetic to the viewpoint. So sympathetic, in fact, that it’s how I run my own games.

In summary, some of the various replies:

  • Missing a roll has consequences, such as ‘weapon unready’
  • Making an attack has implications, such as when you are below 0 HP
  • Nothing in the above takes away from ‘you did do something, and it was ineffective’
  • What the heck is wrong with ‘swing and a miss?’

Sean followed up with another comment: Continue reading “Unpacking Failed Attack Rolls in GURPS”