- Hall of Judgment is a micro-setting and scenario for the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (Powered by GURPS)
- It features non-linear adventuring for 4-6 250-point characters
- Explore a Viking-flavored world trekking through cold, harsh mountains, facing dangerous fae, and searching for a lost holy place, and the priceless relics within
- Easily portable and usable with any GURPS Fantasy campaign
(Note: If you're looking to purchase a copy of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, Steve Jackson Games has asked me to note that they are out of stock in their primary warehouse.)
Odd that the basis of law and justice would come out of the savage barbarian lands. Yet out of the Norðurlönd came law, order, and indecipherable conjugation of word forms.
Deep in the mountain peaks where even the wild berserkers of Norðlond fear to travel was the Hall of Judgment, the famous Dómstóllinn.
Here the God of Law himself was said to guide the Norðlending in the ways of honor, law, retribution, and justice - both in war and life. It was a place of deep learning, and underpinned by its teaching and wisdom, the Norðlending (Northlanders to everyone else: Barbarians) carved a swath through neighboring realms, raiding and making gleeful war. Then the way to the Hall was lost, and the teachings lost with it.
The hall itself was hidden by the power of the Gods from those without permission to enter. Until now . . . a mystical skilti, sometimes called a Tyrstakn, has been brought to the town of Isfjall in the wild north. It is an item of true-seeing, a wayfinder, that helps to guide pilgrims and seekers to the Hall.
Who will take up the Tyrstaken - armed with their wits, their weapons, and an ancient riddle - and rediscover the lost Hall of Judgment? The clerics and guards in the city of Isfjall have been hard-pressed for years to keep the wildfae from reaving the quarries, forests, and farmland surrounding Isfjall, and cannot spare the manpower for the journey. It must fall to bold adventurers to find the Hall, and return with the location and any artifacts of historical significance.
Great rewards, and even greater renown, await.
Hall of Judgment is an adventure micro-setting for four to six 250-point characters, made under license to Gaming Ballistic, LLC for use with the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (which is required and referenced in the book).
Hall of Judgment is an adventure scenario for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, set in the barbarian lands of the north (predictably called Norðlönd). It is designed to evoke the feeling of a nordic/viking culture without specifically invoking Norse myth and legend.
It was originally written for Fifth Edition in the same fictional setting in which the Dragon Heresy RPG is based, but is a perfect fit for DFRPG-style exploration and delving. It started out as a convention scenario to demonstrate the alternate Fifth Edition/S&W book Dungeon Grappling, optimized for two hours of play at GenCon in 2017, which was expanded into the Lost Hall of Tyr adventure.
This book represents a conversion and expansion of the original work to be better suited as a micro-setting. It has town, where adventurers can rest, heal, buy and sell goods and equipment, and find rumors and quests. It features more agency, in that there are many pathways to the Domstollinn and the players are free to avoid or embrace any methods to achieve their goals. Finally, the adventuring possibilities are expanded with ruins to explore, additional random encounter possibilities, and more.
The original volume was 60 pages. Hall of Judgment will be at least 80 pages, possibly more if the content drives it there.
The book contains:
Preface. Contains a brief discussion of the original volume and how it came to be converted to the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.
Isfjall. An overview of the local geography and the situation that characters entering Isfjall will find themselves in upon arrival. The local geography and what is known of the events leading to the quest to rediscover the Dómstóllinn. The introduction also provides some inspiration to use the adventure in other flavors of campaign. Isfjall is described in enough detail to serve as a base for further adventures; the Norðlönd is a place of constant strife and danger.
The Journey. This section is broken out and expanded from the original volume. Random encounter tables, weather hazards, and other difficulties that arise when nature itself rises against you. The rumored location of the Domstollinn will require weeks of arduous travel through mountains and into the fae-touched Frostharrow.
Lögheimili Ruins. A dangerous place. Full of evil it is. In you must go. A micro-dungeon! You don't have to go in. But aren't you curious about a town that appeared out of nowhere by the light of a harvest moon?
Domstollinn. The core scenario. It is presented as a set of encounters that can be tackled (or not) in any order. Each might be a riddle, combat, or a physical feat. An encounter will include a set of Challenges, telling the GM what must be overcome, Concealed information that the players don't know initially, Alternatives that explore about ways to short-circuit, bypass, or otherwise not just Leroy Jenkins one's way through a challenge, and Rewards, where appropriate.
Wilderness Travel. Travelling overland, especially carrying an adventurer's usual load of gear, is hard work. This short chapter discusses ways to make that work dramatic and fun, including guidance for food, water, hunting, preserving meat, and rules for cold weather and climate. Not all challenges have talons and teeth. These provide an expansion and alternates to rules already in Exploits.
Bestiary. Each monster that may be encountered in the scenario is given a description, statistics (including brief stats used with the Fantastic Grappling Quick-Start), and combat tactics to make each one unique. At least a dozen creatures are presented.
Fantastic Grappling Quick-Start. Even if you don't have the book, you can still use the rules. Two pages of grappling the way it should be: fast, fun, and well-integrated with the DFRPG mechanics, using the control damage type first introduced in GURPS Martial Arts: Technical Grappling, but refined and simplfied after years of play in multiple systems.
Pre-Gen Characters. Eight 250-point characters will be provided to allow the scenario to be played with minimal preparation; this adds to the excellent pre-gens already provided in the DFRPG boxed set.
All together, this is a complete adventure that can be run on its own or dropped into an existing campaign.
Much of the original scenario was fine, and was retained.
Some has been expanded, and some changed.
Mildly De-Norsed. The original scenario was explicitly based in Norse mythology set in an explicit fictional land. The Hall of Judgment conversion files that off a bit, so that the barbarian north feel of venturing into the wild lands is retained, but Odin, Tyr, and the other Norse gods are only present if you wish them to be - Tyr becomes the God of Law, while wild berserkers worship the God of Storms (Thor), and all pay homage to the Snow Queen (Skaði).
Increased Agency. As a convention scenario, there were certain things you were going to do. You were going to find a shortcut to the Hall; you were going to have certain fights that featured grappling, and so on.
That has been completely relaxed in Hall of Judgment, allowing wide latitude in approach and outcome based on the players' choices - much more of a setting than a pathway.
Certain locations have been added. Others (such as the goblin warrens) have been expanded.
There's a lot more to do and explore.
An Amazing Map. And we have an amazing new map, courtesy of Glynn Seal. The original scenario didn't care much about where the Hall was located, and assumed the GM would just put it somewhere interesting. Hall of Judgment plunks it down in a specific location in the Frostharrow, and it will be the PCs job to find it, go there, kill things, and take their stuff.
The map already features layers for labels and different pathways to the Hall, so that the GM can flexibly allow nearly any approach.
Powered by GURPS. The biggest change is of course that the entire book, and all of the new material, are re-written and adjusted for compatibility with the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.
Creature stats, skill tests, and the like are all based on the DFRPG boxed set.
While there is much to do, there's also much that is already done.
The main encounters of the campaign are already written. The only thing required for these is to tweak them into proper game-mechanical shape for use with the Dungeon Fantasy RPG. Perhaps 60-70% of the book is already in this state.
Layout template is complete; it had better be, since this is, in fact, a conversion, not a brand-new book. The color scheme has been tweaked to differentiate it from Lost Hall of Tyr, but the following spreads show some of the actual arts and the evolving look of the new book.
and, of course, if you saw the April 1 announcement, you've already seen the cover!
There will be tweaking! But much of the hard and expensive parts of the production process - the layout and the art - have already been handled.
The money, goes to three places.
More Maps. The new maps and locations aren't yet finished, and the first bit of Kickstarter funds goes to having Glynn make more beautiful maps. I anticipate at least two, possibly as many as four or five, depending on how quickly we fund and what strikes me as an interesting addition to the book.
Printing Costs. Much like the Lost Hall of Tyr version of the scenario, the book will be offered in softcover, perfect-bound, full-color as one of the rewards. This will use a high-quality POD vendor for short runs, which has the advantage of very rapid turn-around time. See Potential Stretch Goals for more here.
A Vote for More. This project is an exciting experiment for both Gaming Ballistic and Steve Jackson Games. SJG graciously approved my request for a license to provide quality supplemental material for the amazing Dungeon Fantasy RPG. The better this campaign does, the more likely they will give the nod to further third-party work.
As a publisher, and as someone that's been playing GURPS since 1989, it's hard for me to contain myself at hoping this project paves the way for more . . . and not just from me.
Hall of Judgment will fulfill physical product in the USA through a fantastic POD company. It will feature a 12-point cover, and 70# matte white paper as the base. This is now the default print offering. International orders will be fulfilled through DriveThruRPG's POD service. This cuts down shipping cost and time as international orders (even to Canada!) are printed in the UK. It's much cheaper, and faster.
The basic funding goal will get the maps paid for and cover the cost of printing.
There's really only one stretch goal for this campaign. If things go really well, I will investigate either short-run digital printing or an offset print run. This will require at least 200 print copies to be ordered for digital short-run printing, and at least 500-750 for full offset printing.
Either case will push the print delivery out by months. A typical full offset run occurs on a 14-week order-to-delivery cycle and given needs for communication and processing would probably push delivery into November or early December. A digital print run can be done faster, but is still much slower than POD.
Why should I care?
An offset print run is a high volume run. A minimum of 500 copies, and in many places 1,000. It really comes into its own when you're making 1500 to 10,000 copies. Lower than 500, and folks won't do it. Lower than that, Print-on-Demand, which is quite expensive, is actually cheaper. The start-up costs are high.
But boy, when you get up to that level, the quality can be amazing.
Ever had a softcover (or worse) hardback book's pages come out?
Well, when you stitch the pages together, that doesn't happen.
Pages wrinkled and curling on what should be a flagship book? That can be because of high "ink density" on too-thin paper.
Offset printing is viable, as I've noted at about 600-700 copies ordered. If that happens, what's in it for you?
- You get a sewn binding: your pages won't fall out. Unless you cut them. Don't do that.
- You get heavier cover stock, with nifty treatments. You can put a shiny "spot finish" on the title or other places to enhance the look of the book.
- Most importantly for the consumer, the paper can get far, far better. The best paper that DriveThru and my other POD printer offer without special request is 70-pound, or 105gsm (grams per square meter) stuff. I can easily spec out 85-lb. or even 100-lb. silk, matte coated paper for the print run, which makes for a very . . . lustrous . . . book.
In short, if I can order a bunch of them - a thousand or more, it's win-win. But that's why it's a stretch goal (ordering 1,000-2,000 books is no joke), and why it's worth waiting a few months to get them.
We'll cross that bridge when we come to it . . . but I hope we come to it.
Add-ons are extras that can be added to your backpack of holding during the campaign. To add these items to your rewards, simply include the listed cost as part of your pledge.
You will also be able to secure these items in the post-Kickstarter Backerkit phase . . . adding them on early helps the project fund, though!
After the project closes, Gaming Ballistic will send you a survey through BackerKit, and you can tell me exactly what you want for the money added in the Campaign phase.
Note that many of the products below are not for the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game, but rather for Fifth Edition or Swords and Wizardry (or both).
More Copies! - $25
If you wish to order more copies - to supply your gaming group, or for any reason, just add an additional $25 each to your pledge, and we'll get you as many as you'd like!
GB Ultimate Add-On - $100
Add $100 to your pledge to get all of Gaming Ballistic's other products in one batch. Dragon Heresy, Dungeon Grappling, and Lost Hall of Tyr as a bundled set.
This is easy in the USA; it will be a bit trickier for international folks, but I think I can get it done.
This level includes both PDF and Print copies of all books.
Dungeon Grappling (5e; PFRPG; Swords and Wizardry)
Dungeon Grappling is a product for Fifth Edition, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and Swords and Wizardry . . . NOT the Dungeon Fantasy RPG.
While Lost Hall of Tyr features a two-page quick-start for the grappling rules, if you want to see just how fun and simple grappling should be, toss the full book into your kit!
If you also just love to feel a book in your hand, you can order a hardcopy (softcover, full-color, 52-pages) of Dungeon Grappling. If it is possible to do so, Gaming Ballistic will combine physical rewards into one shipment. It's better for everyone.
- Dungeon Grappling PDF - $7.50 Add-on item
Dungeon Grappling Print + PDF - $20
Lost Hall of Tyr (5e; Swords and Wizardry)
The original Fifth Edition/Swords and Wizardry demonstration adventure run at GenCon 50 and turned into a linear supplement designed to show off Dungeon Grappling in live play.
Journey through the lands of Torengar to seek and find the Lost Hall of Tyr. Find the waybridge that will transport you instantly to your destination, or journey overland for weeks through treacherous terrain.
When you get there, will you be able to prove your worth and enter the Lost Hall of Tyr . . . or will a conniving High Lady of the Fae thwart your intentions?
The digital version is a 62-page PDF, hyperlinked, bookmarked, and in full color.
The Print and PDF bundle is for those that want a tangible copy of the original. Printed perfect-bound on 70# matte white paper, copies in the USA will ship from Gaming Ballistic, while overseas will fulfill through DriveThruRPG.
- Lost Hall of Tyr PDF - $10
Lost Hall of Tyr Print + PDF - $25
The Dragon Heresy Introductory Set
The Norse-inspired world of Etera gets a full treatment in this self-contained RPG. All you need to play through Level 1-5, including setting, rules, character creation, and a bestiary featuring over 100 Norse-inspired critters.
This 285-page RPG is a stand-alone game based on Fifth Edition, but modified to be significantly more interesting. Wounds are differentiated from vigor, armor has Damage Reduction (DR) rather than making you harder to hit, and shields are just way, way cooler.
Based on real-world combat research, inspired by Norse mythology, and with speed and fun of play foremost in mind, this is Gaming Ballistic's flagship product to date.
The PDF is 287 pages, indexed, hyperlinked, and cross-referenced. The background, art, and borders can be turned off as layers for toner-saving ease of printing and accessibility for those with vision contrast challenges.
The print version got an offset print run, and the book is nearly an inch thick, on 85# matte-paper, with a smyth-sewn binding. This is a beautiful book, and showcases how much more you can do in the Nordlond (called Torengar in the book).
- Dragon Heresy Introductory Set PDF - $20
Dragon Heresy Introductory Set Print + PDF - $60
To help manage post-campaign add-ons, as well as the distribution of the final product(s) to backers, Gaming Ballistic will be using Backerkit to conduct the post-Kickstarter surveys and fulfillment.
Backerkit is a company whose purpose is to help creators manage these details, including add-ons and shipping costs. When the campaign ends, you will be invited to fill out a Backerkit survey to confirm shipping details, and choose any add-ons you might like to purchase. If you've pledged more than your reward total, this will show as a credit on your account.
The Backerkit phase will only last between 10-14 days. The survey will probably only have two or three questions in it: shipping address, reward selection, and "if I get to do this again, what should I try and do?" as a bit of market research.
"Ships to Whole World" is not Free Shipping!
An important point: the project will ship to the entire world.
Shipping in the USA of physical product will use the USPS media mail, and shipping will be added to your pledge total during the Backerkit phase.
International shipping will use the cheapest method that ensures reliable delivery - the plan is to fulfill through DriveThruRPG in the case of a POD print copy.
But I don't control shipping costs, and there's no way around it: International shipping is very expensive, and time-consuming to boot. If you have purchased multiple physical products, such as a physical copy of Dungeon Grappling plus your physical copy of Lost Hall of Tyr, Gaming Ballistic will do everything possible to group them into a single shipment to reduce costs. Certain countries (such as Brazil) are ridiculously expensive to ship to, and those costs will need to be passed on during the Backerkit phase.
Risks and challenges
The primary risk to backers is the timing of delivery.
The original supplement is already complete, of course. The things that tend to bog down a project are non-issues with this one.
The basic scenario is complete. The layout template is in place and I have already started work on expansion. The creation of monsters and tasks is a matter of converting the feel of the scenario to the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game, and I'm a long-time GURPS writer. Any rules that need porting over from the DFRPG are available to me with no fuss. The artwork will draw from the existing works from Lost Hall of Tyr, plus *dozens* more pieces created for me for the Dragon Heresy Introductory Set, which is the setting in which Lost Hall of Tyr is placed.
The expansion material needs to be created, but it's limited in scope and involves mostly rewrites.
The only possible "risk" is if we do so well that an offset print run becomes possible/desired, and those run on a 12-14 week print cycle.
All add-ons are already in hand.
There are very few things that would disrupt the project other than mild schedule slips – though of course things can always go pear-shaped. Gaming Ballistic will provide regular updates as to the project’s progress, and do everything possible to deliver the final PDF on or ahead of schedule. This particular schedule has no slack in it, however, so "on schedule" is much more likely than "ahead of schedule" for this effort.
One last risk: International shipping is unpredictable and expensive. The add-ons in particular may come from many different locations in order to save on shipping cost, and may still add up to a good deal of money. Gaming Ballistic will work with you to do the best we can, but it may still be spendy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)