The Hall of Judgment: Here Tyr himself guided human and dwarf in the ways of honor, law, retribution, and justice in war and life. It has been lost for centuries, hidden by the power of Asgard from those without permission to enter.
Until now . . .
The Tiwstakn, the fabled keys that unfog the mind and guide the body when seeking the Hall, have been found. The clerics of Tyr in the city of Isfjall, have offered the PCs a substantial reward if they have the will to rediscover the hall, and return the holy books from within.
They are, of course, not the only ones looking…
Lost Hall of Tyr is an adventure scenario for Fifth Edition, targeted at four to six characters of level 3-6. It offers support for the alternate grappling rules from Dungeon Grappling, including an introductory two-page quick start.
The guts of the book is an adventure scenario for Fifth Edition, targeted at characters who have chosen their archetype but are not yet the movers and shakers of the world.
The module is set in a Norse-based culture and land, and uses the mythology and legends of the Asgardians, and the nordic/viking culture, as a basis. It includes, of course, advice on how to drop it into any campaign and setting, so long as the journey and quest takes the party into the mountains and wilderness, in search of an object or goal that is valuable because of its history and contents, but not powerful by itself.
The book contains:
Preface. The preface introduces the adventure as having started life as a 2-hr demonstration scenario run at GenCon that introduced two groups to the alternate grappling rules in Dungeon Grappling. Fifteen players, two sessions, great fun. It was then expanded into the volume being kickstarted.
Introduction. The local geography and the events leading to the quest to rediscover the Dómstóllinn, the Hall of Judgment, are laid out with enough background to drive the adventure if running Lost Hall of Tyr as a stand-alone demonstration. The introduction also provides some inspiration to use the adventure in other campaigns, settings, locations, or even as part of a mega-dungeon!
Lost Hall of Tyr. The core scenario. It includes a flowchart so that the GM can see how the different encounter areas connect, and then 20 adventure segments - a journey, a riddle, a combat encounter, or a physical feat. Each encounter will include Challenges, telling the GM what must be overcome, Concealed information that the players don't know initially, Alternatives that talk about ways to short-circuit, bypass, or otherwise not just Leroy Jenkins one's way through a challenge, and Rewards, where appropriate. Ransom encounter tables, encounter map images, and evocative artwork paint the story of the challenges faced.
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.
Bestiary. Each monster that is listed in the scenario is given statistics, including a quick-reference chart for grappling, as well as statistics compatible with the Dungeon Grappling rules.
Dungeon 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 Fifth Edition basic rules mechanics.
All together, this is a complete adventure that can be run on its own or dropped into an existing campaign.
A project is only as good as the team working it, and this project has a great team.
In addition to the writing and the grappling rules, which were executed by Douglas, the project has received the attention of two established industry professionals.
I was thrilled to be introduced to, and then to be able to work with John Adamus as an editor for the work. Everyone needs an editor, and based on my experience with him, everyone certainly can use John for their work.
The book is being laid out by Todd Crapper of Broken Ruler Games. Tood and I became acquainted through the Indie Games Designer's Network, and I was very impressed with the quality of his graphic design on his book High Plains Samurai, which everyone should check out.
He's done a fantastic job with the template for Lost Hall. You can see that the layout is effectively finished - the basic template, background, and all the key choices are already in place, and final layout is only awaiting the results of this campaign - to see how much extra art we can get into the final piece.
The Bestiary sections are particularly fun - easy to read, assimilate, or print out, and utilize at the game table
The writing and layout are both essentially finished - the adventure is ready-to-play as-is, and only awaiting embellishment through the addition of appropriate illustration.
Without the maps, the project stands at 52 pages, and with the seven full-page maps added, plus an extra illustration from Roland, and the scenario flowchart . . . the final book should come in at 60-64 pages. Exactly how many depends on the funding level
I've recruited and partnered with a spectacular group of artists on this project. Some of whom, such as Juan and Rick, I've worked with before. I've also got some new-to-me collaborators on this project, and I'm thrilled to be able to enlist their help.
I've already commissioned an amazing cover for the book. Todd provided the graphic design, and Juan is illustrating the cover piece.
An adventure can be brought to life on the field of battle by it's maps, and Gaming Ballistic is working with Dan Roy of Bogie Maps to create the proper locations for the adventure. Each of the key encounters has a map tweaked to fit, available as both in-book files (2800x3850 pixels), as well as JPEGs in large format (34 x 40" with a scale of 1" = 5', or 6400x8000 peixels!) for high-resolution export into your favorite VTT program. The adventure features six such encounter maps.
Another Gaming Ballistic veteran, Rick is contributing his fine sense of detail and image composition to the interior art of the project.
Two artists old to the illustration field but new to Gaming Ballistic projects are Gerasimos Kolokas and John Blaszczyk. Their work stood out for me in the realism and rich texture of their figure work from their portfolio, and I can't wait to see what they bring to the final product - their sketches already show a fine sense of drama and proportion.
One final team member was added relatively late in the game. As it happens, this project was an outgrowth of another one - a full RPG called Dragon Heresy, which features an original setting inspired by Norse legends and viking culture. As part of my research into how vikings fought, I studied with the Asfolk viking martial arts school, who brought in Roland Warzecha for the grand opening. Roland is perhaps one of the premier Sword and Buckler fighters in the world, and his detailed study of the 1.33 historical fight manual, as well as other ancient western fighting styles, is rich with scholarship and detail.
He's also an exceptional illustrator, and since we both share a love for Viking Martial Arts, I commissioned him to contribute at least one image to the project, a proposal which he accepted. I'm thrilled to have him on board, and additional pieces by Roland are included in the stretch goals for the project.
The team is detailed below. More artists might be added to the roster if the project does well!
JOHN ADAMUS is an editor whose work appears in many role-playing games including Fate Core, The Dresden Files Roleplaying Game supplement The Paranet Papers, Marvel Super Heroic Roleplaying, and Night’s Black Agents. He is a vocal advocate for creatives, designers, and artists and is almost always found tweeting at @Awesome_John.
He is excited to help bring this project to Kickstarter and to its many backers.
JOHN BLASZCZYK is an illustrator, biker, and metal-head, who has done art for various small press RPGs and boardgames. When not painting, he starts (and never finishes) computer game projects of his own, as well as dabbles in 3d modeling and animation. You can see his work at www.artofjohnblaze.com. He's looking forward to adding some badass art Lost Hall of Tyr!
TODD CRAPPER (yes, you read that right) is a multiple-ENnie nominee and recipient of the 2013 Judges Spotlight Award for Killshot: The Director’s Cut. He is the creator of RPGs such as Killshot, ScreenPlay& High Plains Samurai as the owner/lead designer of Broken Ruler Games… but in this case it may be good to note he is a graphic designer by trade. Currently living in the middle of nowhere over an hour outside of Ottawa, he’s always eager to talk about games, play games, smell games… ok, maybe just the first two. You can learn more about him at On The Crapper, the sweet blog with the gross name.
GERASIMOS KOLOKAS is a freelance illustrator living in Athens, Greece. He has a degree in graphic design and illustration. For more than a decade he's been working on book covers, trading card games and music album covers while occasionally creatIng logos for sites.
JUAN OCHOA. Gumshoe whistleblower reporter hero? A narcissistic antagonist out for blood? Fall-guy for a horrifying nanite invasion? Sleeper agent for extraplanar feline intelligence? The FACTS: He is a straight-dealing, smooth-lined, grit-teethed artist, twainsplit mirror-master-magician-carouser-cavorter, and noted wizard, with knowledge bilingual, exotic, and esoteric, who theoretically does most of his thinking in Español. Check out his portfolio here.
Juan has worked on Dungeon Grappling and preliminary art on Dragon Heresy with Gaming Ballistic, and is excited to work with the team to bring the Lost Hall of Tyr and other projects to life!
RICK TROULA is a comic book artist, illustrator, concept artist and storyboard artist as well as a teacher. He has worked with storyboards for films, animation and tv commercials, illustrated covers for books and done concept art for games and animation. He's also the author of The Displaced, a medieval fantasy comic book series.
Rick joins Gaming Ballistic again as an illustrator and concept artist to help bring to life a world of fantasy creatures, characters and landscapes for the book. He loves medieval fantasy and science fiction, has been a fan of RPGs for a long time and tends to enjoy the darker aspects of any creative universe, so he's excited to be part of this project.
If you want to know more of his work, please visit his personal website
DAN ROY is a battle map cartographer who has been making maps for RPG gameplay for over 10 years.
He is also known for creating thousands of art objects for use in mapping which he has made available for people to use on numerous websites under his internet persona of "Bogie", and as part of a couple of very successful Kickstarter Projects, MapForge and Battlemap Layers. Some of Dan's maps have been used in RPG games published by Adventure-a-Week, Eldritch Enterprises, Super Genius Games and now Gaming Ballistic.
To see more of Dan's maps check out his gallery on Cartographers Guild.
ROLAND WARZECHA is a professional illustrator and internationally renowned researcher/practitioner of historical swordsmanship. He has taught medieval swordplay in a dozen countries all around the globe, and continuously travels to arms collections to examine and document medieval weapons. , His followers eagerly await the fully illustrated publication of the results of his research, which he has been working on for some years now . “The Lost Hall of Tyr“ is his first venture into the realms of fantasy. You can support his efforts into researching medieval arms and armor at Dimicator, his Patreon.
The manuscript has already been written and edited, and preliminary layout has been completed and is being refined. The encounter maps have been commissioned, as has the cover art - I decided that this and future projects would start life with a great cover, not make that a stretch goal.
Additionally, I have already commissioned a few pieces of artwork from the Creative Team to get us used to working with each other before the Kickstarter launches.
The money, then, goes to three places:
More Art. I love commissioning artwork that just fits with a book, and there are a lot of scenes implicit in the scenario that would make fantastic images. As each goal is passed, I get to add more and more artwork to the book from a variety of sources - including some surprises later on.
Printing Costs. While not nearly as big a chunk of the budget as the art budget, the printing costs are next on the list. I've got some great printers in mind for both POD and, if we can crack 350 backers, an offset run. Whatever happens, I'll get you the best book I can have made.
Cover Expenses. As noted, Gaming Ballistic has taken some risks and pre-commissioned art, layout, and editing. Some of the money will go to bringing that to break-even, and maybe even pay the writer a bit.
The basic funding goal will get the book made. You've seen the layout above, and at $2,500 I can commission the remaining art to fill the holes in the layout, with some of the art being Dan's maps.
$2,500 Gaming Ballistic Handles Printing
The printing will be fulfilled by a high quality POD company and will NOT be done through POD coupon. This is a change from the original campaign plan, but I want to ensure backers get the best book possible.
This turns a "stretch goal" into a basic reward delivery; it's better for everyone!
375 Physical Copies
At this backer count, it becomes favorable to do an offset print run instead of POD. This will be a significant increase in the quality of the physical product, and can easily be felt.
This backer count goal also applies to copies of the add-on Dungeon Grappling book! If backers collectively add 375 or more copies of Dungeon Grappling to the total physical reward pool, I will procure this as an offset print run as well!
$6,000 More Art and Swords and Wizardry Conversion
Also at the $6,000 level, I will convert the scenario from Fifth Edition to Swords and Wizardry and ACKS as well. These additions will be distributed by PDF to all backers.
The work involved here is in converting monsters and challenges to the OSR-based S&W system. Gaming Ballistic will endeavor to delivery this on or before the date that physical rewards are delivered (that is, April 2018).
$8,000 A Full Page of Roland
$12,000 More Roland, and Additional Surprises
Unlike Dungeon Grappling, where print was added as an option mid-campaign, Lost Hall of Tyr will feature print from the get-go.
There are two levels of print that will be made available as stretch goals are hit.
Gaming Ballistic POD. The project will fulfill physical product 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.
Offset Print. If we hit the right number of backers (375 or more), the physical copy will shift to an offset print run with the paper weight increasing to 100-105# stock. This is a tangible improvement in the heft and feel of the book - if you've ever felt the ACKS core book by Alex Macris, the hardback is printed on this stock and it's glorious to the touch.
All backers will receive the same physical product from the same source, and it will be as high a quality as the campaign can afford. I want to see a nice book as much as you do!
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. After the project closes, Gaming Ballistic will send you a survey through BackerKit, and you can tell us exactly what you want.
Note that Lost Hall of Tyr started life as a demonstration scenario run at GenCon 2017 to support Dungeon Grappling. I spectacularly over-prepared, and realized very quickly that the adventure I was running would be better over many sessions. But it started out, and continues to be, a great vehicle to show off how cool grappling can and should be - especially when used by monsters against the players.
Several of the add-ons reflect this lineage, while others are just great ways to support the Creative Team and some of Gaming Ballistic's friends.
Dungeon Grappling PDF - $5 Add-on item
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!
Dungeon Grappling Print + PDF - $15 Add-on item
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.
The Manor Collection (PDF) - $12 Add-on item
Tim Shorts has been creating these OSR-focused ‘zines since 2012, and this is your chance to pick up all 8 issues at a steep discount.
Inside these PDFs you can find micro-adventures, character classes, NPCs, locations, nasty monsters and encounters, as well as the original alternative grappling article in Manor #8: Grappling Old School.
To receive the Manor Compilation PDFs, add $12 to your pledge amount, and you'll be able to indicate your desire for the product when you receive the Backerkit survey at the end of the campaign.
Bogie's Encounter Map Pack (PDF) - $10 Add-on
A lot can happen when you step out your door, and Bogie's got you covered in terms of what your doorstep looks like.
If you're in need of maps to flesh out wilderness random encounters while searching for the Lost Hall of Tyr, or perhaps stumbling across an interesting location, the Encounter Map Pack makes for a fantastic and fast way to visualize the battlefield on the tabletop, whether virtual or tangible!
The Encounter Map Pack includes 6 maps in digital format only, chosen by Bogie for this Kickstarter!
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.
"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. If there are ways to reduce shipping costs to international backers, they will be explored!
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.
Risks and challenges
The primary risk to backers is the timing of delivery.
The manuscript is 100% complete, and Todd and I have already laid down a layout concept and template. The preliminary pass utilizes maps as art, and if we pass the basic funding goal, the additional artwork required to complete the project is minimal.
Of course, the artists have already agreed to work the project, and the only real question is how much art will the campaign allow me to afford?
All but one of the stretch goals are art-related, and the print-related goals are simply related to passing the stretch goal first for going from at-cost coupon to another POD vendor for a higher quality book, and if we can hit 350 backers, to an offset print run.
Once the art is in hand, it should be a matter of weeks until the final product can be delivered.
The add-ons are mostly already completed (The Manor Collection, Dungeon Grappling, and the map collection, for example). The custom commissions are deliberately limited in scope to ensure that all can be delivered on or before the physical product ships.
I believe that 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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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