How it's going on the Magic and Martial Arts book...

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    • How it's going on the Magic and Martial Arts book...

      Hey there folks!

      As we get down to the nitty-gritty, I figured it would only be fair to let you know how things are going with our work concerning the "last-minute" efforts to get the Magic and Martial Arts book complete! (I say last minute in quotes because, in truth, we're still talking several months here, due to the workload and process time, even once all the production work on our end is done.)

      This little thread will serve two purposes: it will inform you as to the progress, and it will motivate me to get more and more done on a daily basis so that I feel I have some good stuff to report...

      As of this moment:
      • Our writer-friend Dylan Birtolo has finished all 33 of the new Martial Arts Styles narrative sections and historical sections. These have been implanted into final document, and await a last editing pass to make sure everything's consistent.
      • Dylan has also created fictional snippets for each of the Chapter beginnings, which need to be implanted and edited within the final document.
      • Chapter 2 (the martial arts section) needs the last of its images for each of the 33 styles to be created and/or edited to make sure we have the same level of quality throughout.
      • The descriptive fiction sections for each of the Martial Style categories has been finished by Dylan and is now awaiting editing.
      • There has been a detailed breakdown of the Combat Turn created (thanks to the input of you lovely folks here on the forum, as well as my local play-testers), and this needs its final edits and placement in the Martial Arts Chapter (2).
      • About 90% of the art for the additional 90 Animal Templates for Chapter 3 has been created, with only a few left to go! All need to be properly edited to ensure consistent quality throughout.
      • Speaking of Animal Templates, my friend Andrew Bowman continues to assist in the completion of the data for the remaining templates, and we're not far from being done on that! Editing on all of them still requires attention, however (once Andrew hands them off to us), along with the final layout of all this data AND the final images into the template format in Photoshop.
      • I am currently in the middle of editing ritual number 9 of 10 (possibly 11, if I add another my friend Yishai is working on) for Chapter 1 (Magic)... Each ritual has half a dozen or more individual "disciplines" detailed within to show the type of powers achievable when performing the ritual, so you can imagine the level of writing and editing required. I'm very happy with the edits on these rituals, which expand upon the basic four magic rituals in the Basic Compendium and help add specific details to how all the Disciplines within are played.

      What's still left to do:
      In addition to what I've mentioned above, the main issues still left to tackle are the final editing pass by Aaron, and then me again, the final layout in In-Design, any last-minute artwork needs (to fill in spaces we've discovered during layout), and then final Table of Contents and Indexing... Yikes!

      What I'll be working on today:
      Today my goal is to finish all the Disciplines of Ritual number 9 (Command the Weather), and hopefully get a start on Ritual 10, the Ritual of Warding (possibly the last Ritual, depending on whether or not Yishai and I decide to leave his work for a later treat)...

      Here are the rituals we've done thus-far:
      Dreamwalking (for seers)
      Ritual of Omen (for seers)
      Heal the Body (for healers)
      Heal the Duháma (for healers)
      Summon Demon/Summon Spirit (for summoners)
      Summon Suthra (for summoners)
      Summon Elemental Power (for summoners)
      Ritual of Endowment (for mages)
      Command the Weather (for mages)...halfway done

      I'll let you know how all this goes, it goes!

      Don't be surprised if this ends up being a daily update, just to keep up the level of enthusiasm on all sides!

      Scottie ^^
    • You're very welcome Targath!

      OK! So, as I had hoped, I finished the work on the 9th Ritual, and have the 10th well under way!

      As a reward for myself, I went out and had a delicious meal of Indian food at an awesome local eatery! Yum!

      Tomorrow, if all goes well, I'll be able to finish the 10th Ritual, and either attempt to put together an 11th with Yishai's info, or shelve that for later, sending the chapter on Magic to Aaron as I move on to deal with an edit/image implant phase for the Martial Styles!

      More on that tomorrow!

      Scottie ^^
    • Whew!!! I FINALLY finished my round of edits on the entirety of the Magic Chapter (chapter 1 out of 3 for the whole Magic and Martial Arts book!!!)...

      This includes all the Rituals I mentioned earlier (finishing up with the Ritual of Warding), as well as an entire introduction concerning how these Rituals work, how they are purchased, and how the Disciplines within the Rituals are purchased individually and separately (a different way of dealing with them, compared to the more "general" system offered in the Basic Compendium....), and finally an awesome multi-page piece of fiction introducing the magic chapter written by Dylan!

      I'll be passing this entire chapter (literally 1/3rd of the whole book) off to Aaron tomorrow for editing! That's 69 pages of solid text in Word!!! (I have no idea how many that will translate to once it's laid out in In-Design with the art included...)

      What a relief! I can finally move on to initially editing and polishing up the Martial Arts chapter (chapter 2)....

      Scottie ^^
    • Yay! I got to actually begin implanting some of the new art we commissioned from my friends and fellow-artists Andrea and Nadine! This shiny, awesome new art is being placed into the new Martial Styles, and helps really spiff up the style sheets...

      I was so giddy about starting this new chapter's edits and clean-up that I was giggling throughout the day (the fellow working with me, another artist named Denis Loubet, thought I must surely be going mad)...

      Just WAIT until you see this stuff,'s great!

      Scottie ^^
    • Thanks! Glad you're finding them interesting!

      Today,....not only did I get several more images implanted,...I ALSO got to pow-wow with my friend Yishai over a possible additional Magic Ritual, and over the possibility of a section that may be added later concerning some specialization possibilities to consider when using certain existing Mage Rituals (like the primary Ritual of Endowment)...

      Yishai and I also discussed examples he created (as well as other samples already made) of some of the magics practiced by fringe-groups like cults, lost societies, and secretive cultures, namely; the blood-magics of the Hardazi, the lost and forbidden magics used by the northern Sarpah prior to (and during) the Twilight Wars, and even some of the scarier magics of Klinráh... We're not sure if these might be something offered later on in supplements or not... We want Aaron to weigh in and see what he thinks... This may need to wait until later...

      And, as a total aside, I have completed a document I'll be sending around to my own current play-testers as I once again prepare to ramp up my personal game again... I find that active gaming builds up my creative game-production juices as well!

      Things are cookin' now!

      Scottie ^^
    • Wow! I just noticed we now have over 700 members on the Forum!

      How awesome is that?!?!

      Whew!!! Lots of progress today! I was able to edit nearly half of the text at the beginning of the second chapter, which introduces and explains our 33 new Martial Styles!

      These really are gonna be lots of fun... I can't wait until folks out in the wide-wide world start playing with them!

      Scottie ^^
    • I've been thinking seriously about that,...and assuming Aaron's cool with that, I might just find a way to throw a teaser of some kind up soon, just so you can see an example of the progress at this stage...

      I got a fair bit more done today (despite family arriving in town and the play I'm currently in), and was even able to begin incorporating elements of a discussion I had during a recent thread on this forum about the order of events and precedence during a player's turn in combat... (thanks Sherbie)

      I'm very pleased, so far, with how this next chapter is turning out!

      Scottie ^^
    • OK!!!

      I just finished my edits on the portion of the introduction of the Martial Styles where the chapter dicusses some of the differences in the Combat Round created when using the new Martial Styles... I'm now about 3/5th of the way through the text at the beginning of Chapter 2!

      This comes on the tail end of having spent several pages carefully describing the new kinds of things you can do with the new Styles, including Preparatory Maneuvers, Multi-Maneuvers, special single-Action maneuvers added to each Style's Maneuver Location Table, and even cool stuff like Special and Damaging Defenses!

      Whew! There's some cool and complex stuff to consider!

      Assuming I nail down the essence of one of the new Martial Styles to my satisfaction, I may upload a teaser of it to the Forum here so you can check it out before Aaron has a chance to do the final edits on it (unless Aaron would like to drop what he's doing to edit it first)...

      Scottie ^^
    • Now I'm in the midst of a really tough part of some of the Martial Arts Chapter re-writes,...specifically the portion with a long narrative detailing how two examples of the new Martial Styles would play out in-game... It's written in the same way that the longer narratives describing the Magic Rituals in the Basic Compendium were written.

      What makes this narrative particularly tough to deal with is the fact that it was written long before changes were made to the combat rules just before be finally published the Basic Compendium...

      As a result,...I've got to be REALLY careful to take all of those changes into account, and make sure the whole thing still makes sense after changing major tid-bits throughout... Not easy...

      Wish me luck!

      Scottie ^^
    • Thanks Targath, I appreciate the sentiments...

      And yeah,...I do sometimes over-do it...

      But I'm just trying to make up for lost time suffered during the last two contract jobs, and the recent theater/play gig...

      I feel so behind schedule!!!

      Ah well, least I'm energized by the recent progress... I just need to get as much done as possible before I need to take another contact opportunity... Stuff slows down too much then, and I'm so close!!!

      Scottie ^^
    • Woo-hoo!

      I'm now working on the part where I discuss how one makes their OWN Martial Styles!!!...

      With this, the last of the main, initial text-block of the Martial Arts chapter is complete...

      After that, the only sub-blocks of text left to edit are the two-page introductions to each of the "categories" of martial arts for SHARD (temple-based, military-based, arena-based, and lineal-based)... These are the categories that all the Martial Styles get divided into...

      Fun descriptions and historical facts for the world!

      Scottie ^^
    • Oh, it sounds like you are getting to the fun part. I really want to develop a martial arts style after seeing a video of a secretary bird fending off an eagle who was trying to steal its lunch with some high leaping kicks. (Unless there is one in there like that already, which would still be cool. :) )

      You rock, Scott! Thanks for all your hard work, and you too Aaron! I am getting really excited about the game again.