So our lovely Nogitsune sky pirate is finished! Again, thanks to the wonderful Chessi for the great job!
Another quick art update! A fair bit more detail on the shot FoxInShadow's doing. I'm planning for this one to be the cover of the magic section if things go well and I'm pleased with the fully finished piece. Probably will be given I've been pretty picky about who I pick to work with as artists, but it's my first time working with this one so we'll see how it goes. Looking very promising so far though!
Chessi's got two more commissions on the way, but this is the first look at FoxInShadow's initial work in progress sketch! It's got a bit of things that need tweaked which have been sent out already, but I'm pretty pleased with the rough layout so far. Should be getting back an updated WIP within the next few days probably, not sure what kind of timeframe I'm looking at though on it, could be in a few hours or a week as it's the first time I've worked with this artist so far.
In any case, some nice stuff going on in the mechanics side of things, though I've been juggling a ton of other things development related like trying to get marketing up and running which is sucking up a ton of time and effort, and I've been working on the play testing which is just piling on more things that need fixed. Hence... the next version is kinda being delayed still. Because derp. I should've just gone for a small update like I'd meant to. Oh well, it'll be out "soon" though by now you've probably gotten used to my definition of "soon" being somewhat lax. Sorry about that, but as I get stuff to show off, I'll put it up still!
The second of a two-part series of pictures, this time showcasing the other four playable species for the tabletop RPG Saorsa. With a bit of spare coin on hand, gambling and drinking lead to a nice night in the tavern free of the wintery chill outside. This beauty will be taking up a full page at the end of the first four species in the book.
On the far left is your fairly stereotypical Human. The Saorsian Humans are derived from celtic lineage and are far less based on being generic, unlike most RPGs, and focus more upon the unique aspects of Humans in reality - exceedingly high endurance, exceptional eyesight and other such things. Yes, she likes stroking her balls. In this case, it's an exceedingly oversized variation on the meteor hammer weapon, which packs far more than a gentle touch when she decides to make use of it. Fortunately that slender mythril chain can withstand the abuse she puts her favoured toy through.
Next in line, we have a Feraxian woman. The second-largest of the species in the game, she's more than capable of protecting her allies. As a runemistress, her shield down in the corner by her seat is the ideal, broad surface to carve in the runes she powers by kinetic impact - hit her shield and she'll unleash her reprisal back in your face. Assuming she bothers to wait that long - Feraxians have a habit of hitting back first, and they tend to go with the nuclear option to make sure that first hit is the last hit of the fight.
Don't let the small stature of the male Caragh in between the bigger women at the table fool you - he's an artificially constructed species built by mages as a bodyguard and research assistant. Even though he looks tiny, the physical strength packed into his tiny frame is terrifying. A mixture of a mage's familiar, a gargoyle, and a golem, the Caragh embody many different traits from each. As each Caragh was originally a familiar before being upgraded by their owner, the original familiar traits tend to show through in their final form: in this case, it means the head of a raccoon, as he had been such as a familiar in his previous life. His armour hides the large gemstone that powers him, with circuit-like arcane symbols etched onto his skin beneath it. That manacle you see on his wrist isn't just for show, either, as it's part of a complex system which recycles kinetic energy into the ætheric energy needed to sustain his life, allowing him to move about considerably with minimal drain on his magical batteries as it were. A drink bigger than his own head doesn't hurt, either. It's not needed, given he can live solely on magical energy, but why pass it up?
The far right shows the most common variant of the Saorsian Dragons - a Magma Dragon. Much like any good dragon, she's invested in a fair bit of jewelry for her horns and wings, because a Dragon without bling is hardly a Dragon at all. This particular dragonness is not exactly pleased with someone off-screen who knocked over her drink, and that fiery temper is flaring to the surface... quite literally. Magma Dragons have a thick series of hardened, black scales resting over top blistering hot skin beneath which often shows through the cracks on their still-young scales. Given that Dragons have a reputation for punching holes through solid steel doors when they're in a bad mood though, spilling her drink probably wasn't the wisest decision.
Not every adventuring day is about going out and killing stuff though! Some time to think about what you've learned, and to build closer bonds with your allies can be just as, if not more important, than picking a fight in the first place.
Again, the upload size on SubscribeStar is a bit too small for the full .png picture, so it's been cut down to a 95% quality .jpg, which is good enough to show off what's present. The actual game book will have the higher quality .png version.
As usual, your support in making Saorsa possible is always welcome! While financial donations are a huge help for making sure I can get more awesome artwork like this in the book, even just so much as a comment of what you think can be a big boost to productivity and morale!
So Chessi's newest sketch just got approval, and we have the other half of the playable species on the way! From left to right, we have a Human, Ferax, Caragh and a Dragon. Of course, the Dragonness isn't too happy with the jerk who spilled her drink, and the Caragh probably doesn't honestly need a drink bigger than his own head, but hey, why let that get in the way of anything.
Given the past timeframe, it'll probably be about a week to a week and a half for the finalized version to be done, so look for it soon!
In the meantime, yes, I'm actually still working on the next patch. ...Being in actual play testing keeps bringing up more and more stuff I need to fix "immediately" and then I don't want to release a new version until I've fixed the stuff that needs to be done ASAP aaaand yeah, so I keep piling on more work for myself. I'm good at that. I should seriously just release what I have but at this point it's taken so long I feel an obligation to have everything done so... yeah, I'm being stupid on this. Just bare with me.
Given the next play test is tomorrow, I expect to pile on even more of a workload for myself after that, too.
So yeah, anyway, enjoy the art, I'll finish patching the next version soon(ish)!
As of about 2am for me, I got a surprise message from Chessi with the next finished piece of art! I hadn't expected this until Monday or Tuesday, so it really made the night that much better!
In this piece we have the latter four of the playable species on display with (almost) everyone having a great time around the campfire and amidst the ruins of what had once been a military outpost under the doubled moons. Well, one's a planet, but you get the idea - it's most assuredly not Earth.
On the far left, the Kaelas is more than a little upset at the rather... unpleasant excuse for "singing" the K'yuubi (middle-right) is insisting on performing. The Nogitsune (middle-left) is busy sharpening the blade of her scythe. As may be seen, the Serketh (far right) is showing off his singing skills from his grimoire - the magical spellbook is perfectly useful in combat, but there's no reason he can't add some handy music in there as well. As may be expected, the K'yuubi just has to help out, though she doesn't even bother to read the notes and it's not exactly what you'd call... skilled.
Also, I'm still slogging through the v0.352 patch for Saorsa. There's a ton of stuff done but still a ton more to go. Given how much I have done already, I might end up splitting it up into two patches just so I can get it out sooner and have something to showcase. I'm not sure if I will or not in practice though, so we'll see.
Anyway, enjoy the art, and thank you for your financial support so that these things can be added to the game!
Due to file size limitations on SubscribeStar, the higher quality .png had to be cut down to a 90% quality .jpg, so sorry about that. You shouldn't be able to see much of a difference though, and the game book has no such limitations so it'll be in its full, glorious quality in the game itself.
So the first, fully coloured and finished look at the Ferax is complete, thanks to the artist Chessi. With high quality, quick production and low cost, as well as very capable design choices when given open options to do what they want within a broad range, this test has gone exceptionally well and I'm happy to announce that plans have just been made with Chessi for additional artwork to be done as well.
The first new pair of pictures to be done will be a barroom scene and a campsite at night, each being a full-page to show off four of the eight base species, so I'll be getting details done for that shortly. Looking at Chessi's work so far, I expect these to be finished about 1.5 to 2 weeks apart from one another, give or take depending upon any additional workload the artist has. In any case, this is the standard of quality to be expected for the Saorsa game book, and yes, many of the pictures in the book will be fully coloured. The base game's PDF will still be released for free, including all artwork, such as this picture.
The Ferax themselves, as depicted in the picture, have larger females (right) than males (left) for their species as you can see. Even the smaller males tend to stand about 6 1/2 feet tall, while the females typically weigh in at about 8 feet in height.
Exceptionally aggressive as a species and competitive in all that they do, the Ferax value 'strength' in all forms, not just in that of the physical sense. For example, the most popular sport upon their homeworld involves a form of competitive meditation - participants are provided headgear which measures the alpha waves within their brains, so the more relaxed and calm an individual is, the stronger the response and the further a magnetic ball is pushed away from them towards their opponent's goal line. Surrounded by loud, cheering fans and opponents who try to goad their foes with taunts, slipping into a deep, meditative trance while also being able to be aggressive in their own taunting is an exceptionally complicated feat of mental prowess.
Upon the planet of Saorsa itself, the Ferax have taken to the rehabilitation world's premise exceptionally well and have become the most common populace upon such. Their towns tend to be highly-specialized in a particular mindset, following the Feraxian tradition of finding like-minded individuals to settle down with as one's true home. One town may be solely dedicated to the production of weapons, from researching new techniques, testing various types and engraving complicated filigree upon their blades and hilts, while the next town may be focused heavily upon a specific type of chaos magic. Due to this, each town one finds upon the planet tends to be heavily dominated by the Ferax, and a given philosophy, with other species showing up less frequently and covering the gaps the Ferax themselves tend to leave wide open.
Alright, so thanks to the exceptionally talented Chessi, the first sketch of artwork is semi-done! There isn't much to change, just the muzzle size and shape of the Ferax in question as they currently look a bit like a different species, but the background game out amazing, and the overall shape is great otherwise, giving a nice look at their overall species shape.
This is currently set to go onto page 58 of the book as of v0.351.
Seriously, this is the kind of character design you can expect to have in-game, and shall act as inspiration for players to know what to expect from Saorsa. The same should be pointed out of the background as well - Saorsa is a high-magic environment, and locales such as these floating islands held together by chains are completely normal for the kinds of things you can expect for environments.
Anyway, v0.352 is on the way, I just ran into some complicated issues I needed to think on to resolve that cropped up during play testing. I think I've worked out the solutions for the most part, so I should be able to get this batch of work done this week for the next release soon.
So yeah, this is where your money has been going. Awesome stuff like this! The full, updated and coloured version will likely be done this week as well, and I hope to have more from Chessi in the near future!
Another artist, FoxInShadow, has set the date for their own first commission to this April due to a large backlog of work before their commissions open up again, but I at least have a rough date now! With these initial commissions starting to be taken care of, the bulk orders should be a lot less waiting and a lot more arting soon enough!
Also, I'm opening this up to subscribestar as a public viewing so everyone can see what to expect from the game for artwork. Hope this whets your appetite for more! Keep in mind that more income means more awesome art like this, because the money's going directly to the game not to me!
Welcome to Saorsa! So, wait, what is Saorsa, anyway?
Simply put, Saorsa's a tabletop role playing game focused heavily upon character customization, player choice and tactical combat, with mechanics and a setting developed to bring role playing into the modern era.
What's Saorsa about?
Well, to start with, you've committed a sin. Not against some arbitrary set of morals, not against some obscure deity you've never heard of before or anything like that. No, you've committed a sin against yourself. The one thing you considered to be the most important thing in your life, the one thing you valued above all else, which you would have died to defend... you betrayed. And, in so doing, you've been whisked away by a pack of holier-than-thou angelic wanna-bes who have decided to "fix" you by imprisoning you upon a penal colony planet which is specialized towards training its inhabitants to learn who they truly are.
Learn who you are and you'll be rewarded with the ability to go home, or to be teleported to any location or time of your choosing to begin your life anew. In fact, if you succeed well enough, you may very well find yourself ascending to godhood.
Of course, things aren't quite all sunshine and rainbows in paradise. The warden of Saorsa has plans that don't exactly jive well with the rest of the universe's inhabitants, the army of druids which reshape the world to the prisoner's needs are just about ready to begin a civil war, and things only go downhill from there.
So what makes Saorsa different?
TTRPGs have fallen behind video games heavily in terms of things like player psychology, UI management and player choice. Rather than complaining about the state of affairs, I studied and practiced as a game designer, a writer, and a world designer for years, and am now in a position to bring the highest quality TTRPG which has ever existed to the market - for free.
Come again? Yes, yes you read that correctly. Saorsa will be released as a free PDF - donations are greatly welcome of course, but if you want to just sit down and start playing with your friends, there's no financial barrier at all to be had here. I'm of the strict belief that if something is high enough quality, people will say "Shut up and take my money!" to help support their favourite game devs. Fortunately, the quality issue isn't a bottleneck for me, as the current TTRPG market is saddled with issues of not being able to progress beyond some problems that have lingered for literally decades on end at this point. Either the designers have their hands tied by corporate interests forcing them to make sub-par games due to profits coming before quality, or they're focused upon a very small niche audience, or they're amateurs with little to no experience in the field. As such, this leaves the market wide open for someone like me to come in and provide the highest quality gameplay seen to date.
So what do I mean by "highest quality" anyway? Just in and of itself, it's nothing more than marketing lingo, so let's look at what Saorsa does differently than anything else out there.
And much more. Because... this sounds like an infomercial. See, I shouldn't be doing marketing, I should really have someone doing this for me, but I don't currently have that so you're going to have to put up with me writing this on my own unless you want to, you know, chip in with a subscription to help pay for that.
So why should you support me?
Now there's the real question, isn't it? I mean, I'm into the late alpha stages of building Saorsa as it is, it's going to be released free to the public anyway with full artwork and everything. Why would you support me?
Well, to get all that lovely artwork, that requires hiring artists since I simply don't have the time to build my muscle memory back up. I haven't drawn in years and while I know how, it's just not going to happen, and wouldn't be nearly as good as proper hired artists would anyway. Giving me money ensures that the artwork is top quality, and that I can hire a proper editor since, even though I've worked as an editor professionally before, it's virtually impossible to edit your own work. Quality of life adjustments like these would be nice to have, and I'd rather have the game look professional instead of just having the mechanics and setting alone be top quality. It should be a holistic package deal of quality.
The other reason is that by supporting me, I can keep producing more stuff like this. I'd love to have everything be free for everyone forever... but then I'd starve and you wouldn't get much else as there seems to be a significant drop off in productivity when dead. I have plenty of plans for Saorsa well beyond the base game, with several expansions in mind already and a novel series I'd like to write when I get the chance. For the extra stuff, I'd like to keep the costs as low as possible, hopefully under $10 apiece, and if I can get enough support through subscribers and donations, it'd be great if I could release the extra stuff for free like the base game and not worry about it. I mean, there are bonuses for supporting me and such, like early access, directly being able to question me on stuff, or to even get personal one-on-one help with your own projects, but really, I think it mostly comes down to producing something that is worth making.
So, since I suck at the talking about why you should give me money bit, let's just pretend that I totally woo'd you over with some wonderful argument, and you're like "Yeah, that's a pretty good reason." and you subscribe so I can get back to working on the game.
Send questions directly to me and I'll produce a monthly Q&A video answering anything you want to ask!
Gain access to Alpha testing versions of Saorsa and its expansions and other content, allowing for early previews of new concepts and mechanics, and the ability to help shape the game with feedback at its earliest design stages!
For aspiring game designers, writers and so on, an hour long monthly critique and personal coaching about whatever you're working on, preferably over Discord. I have a limited amount of time per month to spend on this, so keep in mind I can only maintain 4 of these at a time. More than that and I may not be able to cater to everyone, or may start having it cut into time developing the actual game.