Dungeon Grappling Kickstarter - Grappling just got scary again

edited November 2016 in Community Creations
Dungeon Grappling


From the first story ever told, to tales on the silver screen. Gilgamesh and Beowulf. Hunting cats and giant scorpions. They all have at least one thing in common: they engage in one of the oldest forms of combat on the planet. Dungeon Grappling delivers that to your tabletop, for editions including OSR-based, the PFRPG, and 5e.

Why should you care about grappling?
  • The stories are better. The Rancor and King Kong grabbed the hero and the damsel
  • The fights are better. More options means more resolution options for violent conflict. Not every fight need end with someone being impaled and dying.
  • The monsters are better. Most critters want to kill you to eat you, not beat you up or fight you. Such encounters will ring more true when creatures grab you to bite or strangle.
So: if you would, please reshare the Kickstarter link, or even pledge yourself!

Live to Grapple. Grapple to Live. Dungeon Grappling . . . on Kickstarter.

The KS has passed it's funding goal, and even it's first stretch goal. We've also added a print-on-demand option.

So with that, an $18 (plus shipping) "Fechtbuch" pledge gets you
  • A hyperlinked, full-color PDF of the book, with layers for easy printing
  • A softcover, premium color POD copy (should be 46-50 pages) from DTRPG
  • A single-column layout eBook for easy reading on small screens, tablets, and smartphones
Other pledge levels are available - including some Art Sponsor tiers so you can support the fine folks doing the illustrations for the book.

Thanks for reading - and please check out my offering!

Need more information? Check out the posts and updates about Dungeon Grappling and other RPG-related topics on the Gaming Ballistic blog. It's also the home of the GURPSDay blog compliations, so plenty to see there!


  • Where are we now?

    Obviously, we are about 10 days into the campaign, and have raised about $2,165. This is great, and based on Kickstarter fees, shipping costs, and printing costs for the book, this means that about $1,500 will come to me in order to pay the artists and other contributors for their work.

    That's pretty good! It's a bit less than half of the raw, out-the-door costs to make the book everything I want, based on the best information I have to date - which is obviously better information than I had when I started the campaign. My estimate was that it would take $5,000 to hit all of my goals for the book; at current distribution of reward selections, we'll hit the "get everything done" level at about $4,500 in pledges. If everyone suddenly goes print-happy and orders one book each, that will require $6,150. So my budgeting process was pretty good. This pleases me.

    Where will we wind up?

    Backerkit projections are both more pessimistic and more realistic, I think. They suggest $3,000-$5,800, with a most likely value of $4,400. Kicktraq uses fairly crude algorithms, it would seem, and suggests about $5,400, with a range from about $4,100 to $6,800.

    So paying for everything the book needs is not crazy-talk, but it's not certain, either.

    More Backers!

    The best thing for the project is to spread the word. Talk to your friends, ask them to check it out, and pledge. We're a long way from there now, but if we could get in the neighborhood of 500-1000 backers, things become conceivable that simply are not at lower volumes.

    Start Strong, Finish Strong

    So, where are we?

    • The manuscript is finished and edited.
    • The preliminary layout has gone through two revisions, and Nathan has done great work.
    • We have committed to an eBook version, and I'll be writing a supplemental contract for Nathan for that today. Nathan also has to put in the links within the book.
    • The number of art spaces has increased to 22, and I will fill them with color art no matter what. I want it, I think you want it, and it's simply easier to give all my artists the same instructions: full-color, full speed ahead.
    • I have added a two-page quick-reference guide at the back of the book. That was a great idea that Larry had, and it was easy to do.
    • I have tested the layout with layers on and off, printing full-options-on on a color printer (my advice: don't do it unless you have an hour), and printing full-options-on on my P1102w (instant print, quite readable). You can turn off both art and backgrounds if you want a text-only printout.
    • The art direction is all written, and the artists are starting to sign their final contracts. I hope to have three of four in hand by week's end, and hopefully the last soon. 
    • I have minor revisions to put copyright statements and attribution where they need to go. That requires some homework. Not a lot, but it's there.
    • We'll need to generate a Table of Contents. That's pretty trivial.
    • I need to fill out the details and create Backerkit surveys
    • I have to fill out the detailed information for the ISBN and Bar Code
    • I have to create final versions of the cover for both the print run as well as the PDF. The print run needs a 0.5"x0.75" space on the back for the LightningSource bar code, while my own version will need a large space for the ISBN and EIN barcode. The things you learn when you do this the first time.

    And that's basically it. Other than the art, determining if we get the custom-made cover or not (anything north of $4,000 in total pledges and that starts to look like a no-brainer), and a few administrative details, this book is well on the way to being complete and ready to go.

    Thanks for your support thus far! With a bit of networking support, I know that we can hit that $5,000 stretch goal, or even beyond it.

  • Last Week of the Campaign

    Dungeon Grappling is entering its final week of the crowdfunding campaign.

    It’s been a great ride so far, and we’ve solidly funded and passed the first stretch goal. I’ve also (in a prior update) noted that I’ve placed all of the art orders in color already, so even though we’re not at the stretch goal for it yet, we’re tracking there, and I’d rather get you a great book early than any other option.

    Welcome to the party, pal

    How can you help me hit those last goals? Bring friends.

    This is the time to share that you’ve backed the project with others, including perhaps the proprietor of your FLGS. The KS price is likely going to wind up being roughly half what the retail price will be, as it turns out. So you’re getting in at the right time.

    The Art Cometh

    As I showed on the prior update, I have started to get final art images. I suspect they’ll continue to come in through the end of December.

    What might that look like? In low resolution, something like this

    Is that final? No. Nathan may come up with something brilliant (the above is me and a really low-quality image editor), and that’s what layout pros are for – to take raw material and make it brilliant.

    Speaking of Layout

    I got some good feedback on the book from a reviewer. He was completely fired up about grappling, especially when he realized how many monsters really should be grappling as a primary attack mode.

    There were some things that he recommended in layout and structure that would make it easier to use in play, and streamline knowledge uptake. Nathan and I are working through these bits.

    Some are easy, such as reorganizing the Quick Reference section by game instead of by topic. So if you’re playing the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, there’s a Pathfinder section for you. Same with Basic/S&W, and Fifth Edition. The grappling techniques reference also got some shorthand to define the mechanics to be used (Attack Roll vs. Grapple DC; if successful, stunned for 1d4 turns). A few things were deleted, and some things were substituted or added that really should have been there the whole time.

    There was also a monster tweak (Constrictor Snakes are now PFRPG instead of 5e) so that there are four example monsters for 5e and PFRPG, and three for S&W.

    I’m also going to add a combat example for each rules system.

    Good feedback, then, and actionable, so action was taken.

    What’s in a Fechtbuch?

    So, if you’re in at the Fechtbuch level ($18+$5 shipping to almost everywhere), what do you get?

    • A full-color, layered, hyperlinked PDF that will likely be 48 or 52 pages long.
    • A text-only eBook in black and white, with just content and charts, for easy loading and easy reading on small screens and tablets.
    • A full-color, premium quality softcover book printed and shipped through DriveThruRPG.
    • Your name in the book on a thank-you page.

    Probably $35-37 plus shipping if purchased piecemeal after the Kickstarter campaign ends.

    Finish Strong

    Once again to all my backers – thank you for your trust. I’m definitely on schedule to deliver on time, and (knock on wood) at the moment “on time” looks like a worst case situation.

  • 27 Hours to go!

    The Dungeon Grappling Kickstarter campaign is in its last 27 hours. We have smashed the penultimate stretch goal, and fully funded full-color interior art. We are making progress towards the custom cover commission as well, with just shy of $4,300 raised of a $5,000 goal.

    This means that the "Fechtbuch" (fight-book) level includes

    • A full-color, hyperlinked, PDF with index, ToC, quick-reference guide, and combat examples
    • An eBook in black and white with tables for use on tablets, phones, and other small screens
    • A full-color, premium softcover POD book that will be 48 or 52 pages in length

    All around the world

    Right now, the countries explicitly listed are the United
    States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel,
    Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United

    That doesn't mean those are the only options. It takes me about 10min to get the shipping information and add a new destination, so if you want in, want print, and don't see your location, send me a message!

  • The Dungeon Grappling PDF was distributed to backers on January 8, 2017, ahead of a promised delivery date of February 28, 2017. So about seven weeks early.

    Next steps are to get a proof copy of the physical product (the POD files are ready, if large), collect errata (if any, but there are always some) while I do that, and then release "truly final" PDF and ePUB formats as well as get the printing presses pressing and physical copies shipped.

  • The DG print copies are now arriving to backers. It's a great-looking book, and the first delivery was three months ahead of the promised schedule. 

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