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Tortured Earth Presents

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Two of our March conventions were canceled. The COVID restrictions are causing delays and cancellations in a lot of cities. At the earliest, we are looking at April (realistically, May) before the convention circuits begin to open again. Fortunately, our time has not been idled away. We have been creating and refining since the closures began. The game guide is edited and printed for the graphic design phase. Next on the menu is the editing of the creatures. The creature manuals will be a little different from most other creature manuals. They are shaping up to become more or less expansion material. There are certain spells and abilities that did not fit in the main guide because they referred to creatures. This has been pulled and placed in the appropriate creature manual.   To add interest to the main guide, I've embedded a story in the form of journal entries throughout the document. Does anyone have thoughts or comments on this concept? The game guide is a technical manual and

Creative friends and finishing touches

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Image by   veeterzy Tonight, I enjoyed a pleasant phone conversation with an old convention friend. Robert Stikmanz has always held a special place with Tortured Earth. He is the creator of the D'Varsh language, writer of Nod's Way, and a novelist to boot! Since we've met, he's proven to be possibly one of the most creative people I've known. As old friends, we're pretty much open with one another regarding our businesses, promotional strategies, and general operating practices. We are also very open with one another regarding the issues and hurdles we face. Robert mentioned a friend who has basically called him out for wasting his time on his labor of love. From the conversation, I had the feeling his intention was to shame Robert into giving up his project and pursue more profitable ventures. For those of you reading these blogs and never having attempted to create anything, please pay attention. A creator pours their heart and soul into their projects. When y

Podcast Intro Clip Completed. Progress in Magic.

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Last night was spent refining the Magic section, ensuring the abilities align with the new rules, and correcting grammar. A large part of the editing process is making sure that official terms are capitalized while the usage of the same word as a description is lower case. It. Is. Maddening! I managed to squeeze in a little time working on the setting for the podcast. I'm not sure if it is the prospect of working on something that is not editing or the opportunity to write creatively again, but I find the work gratifying and refreshing. After editing, I did take some time to record the intro segment for the podcast. A few minutes ago, I let a colleague listen to it. He was impressed. Despite editing dragging on for what seems ages, I still feel confident the final product will be available in March. The podcast is scheduled to begin recording on February 6th, with releases beginning two weeks later. For those interested in the intro to Tortured Earth Presents , please click on the

A new avenue of writing

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After about two hours of editing last night, we broke and worked on our separate projects. I started on the one thing about this industry I absolutely love - story creation. I worked on maps in Dungeon Forge, fleshing out the community of Gatlinburg. When creating this way, I usually begin with the key figures - providing backgrounds and environments useful to the game master. Today, I managed to get some of the destination maps completed - setting the stage for the preliminary campaign elements. I also dedicated a little effort to build the character profiles for the main players in the upcoming story. I know this is not often an important step, but it helps keep character personalities and interactions in line with the main storyboard from a writer's perspective. With the physical environment beginning to take place, I dedicate time to the missions through which the characters will segway into the main storyline. Normally, when homebrewing adventures, I don't dedicate this mu

Turning the page

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Image by Forrest Kidder Chicot State Park, Louisiana I'd like to begin with an apology.  Normally, I'm very focused on the blog and social media promoting our game and new developments. Christmas was a busy time - in both personal and business arenas. I've been writing, editing, and preparing. On top of it all, I'm now involved with a video game development business. Despite the excuses, I am sorry for pushing the blog to a back burner. This project is far from an afterthought. With all that laid out, here is the update: First, Sanctum Games is officially up and running. The company is now an independent entity with its first product available. I've met with the other owners and am impressed with the talent on board. The small company has its own programmer, sound personnel, and writers. Already, plans are being laid out for a new game, and the group is looking for ideas for a third. The edits are speeding along. The writing on the new game guide is not so much the

Breaking Free of Game Mechanic Editing

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  I am finally able to take a few steps from grammar editing and focus on creatures. Naturally, updates and refinements are needed. Some creatures were created in the early stages of revision and needed to be brought in line with current rule sets. Fortunately, these corrections are not nearly as complicated as balancing the rules. The process is not as paralyzingly slow as it is in the rule book. Kevin is going back through the chapters and making sure the rules align throughout the entire book. It is one of those projects that the more you have working on it, the more distracting it becomes. As hard as it is, I am taking my hands off that part of the project and allowing him to work as needed. Naturally, modifications to the rules still need to be reviewed, but this is an editing element, not a development issue. Honestly, I am quite excited as I edit the creatures. Going through the descriptions and stats is refreshing after the previous work. Adding abilities, modifying stat bl

Reaching a Threshold

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Picture by Dakota Naramore, Facebook Group: Abandoned Louisiana The current edits are resulting in fewer and fewer mechanical errors. Most corrections are grammatical errors caught with Grammarly and other editing software packages. We have made a few changes from the original version, which change how gameplay. During combat, characters received damage as LP (or Life Points), and weapons received damage only on critical fails as IE (Item Efficiency Points). The system was clunky and prevented an easy transition from item to character damages. Questions often arose when a character decided to wail away at a wall to knock a hole in it. How did was damage dealt? At what rate did it accrue? At what point did the weapon damage convert into IE damage? Items still receive damage on critical fails. The Item LP serves a function similar to that of IE. Now, attachments require the Item LP of the host item and are lost when the Item LP holds them in place. Specific Status Effects can now del