Catreece MacLeod profile
Catreece MacLeod
Catreece MacLeod
I'm a game designer with a specialization in world design currently dragging the tabletop RPG market kicking and screaming into the modern era via the game Saorsa. You can also find my videos on game design and world design at tinyurl.com/SAORSA which I'm aiming to get back to adding more this year while I work on the game.
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For those who want to support Saorsa's development but don't have a huge budget to work with! Every little bit helps, honest!

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Send questions directly to me and I'll produce a monthly Q&A video answering anything you want to ask! (Psst, you actually have to ask questions if you want them answered =P )

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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.

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Welcome

  • Access to closed Beta testing for the current build of Saorsa and any expansions
  • Access to the Saorsa Discord
  • Ability to feel warm and fuzzy inside for having supported the development of what will become your favourite RPG. You'll be able to stand tall, look yourself in the mirror without horror any longer, and enjoy the sleep of a sound conscience. You may even have diseases cured from a placebo effect. One play tester already had her cancer cured! Twice! True, that was due to surgery probably, not the game, but you never know.

Recent posts

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Catreece MacLeod

It's art time! And this tim...

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Catreece MacLeod
Public post
Hey there! Got some news today that my biggest subscriber over on Patreon is going to have to back out as they're changing jobs. So how does this affect the game's progression?

...It probably won't too much, if any, thankfully!

Thanks to all of your support this has gotten me to the point of being able to proooobably be semi-self sustaining in the near future. It's going to be dicey for the next month or two as I try to roll out a proper website and finish the novel (which should've been done like a month ago... I never said I was good at time management), and hopefully the novel sales will help to keep things rolling with your help! Anyone who subscribes at the $10 level will automatically get the novel free of charge, just by default when it's ready so yay for that! The game's still being worked on as well, just not as fast while I try to juggle a bunch of other stuff all at once. Don't worry, play testing is still going, most of the tests have come out really well with minimal changes needed for the most part as well, so things are going good!

I also welcome a new subscriber to SubscribeStar today so we're starting to recoup the losses already!

SubscribeStar's a bit weird though because it requires 5 active subscribers before it actually lets you make a withdrawal, meaning there's enough buffer cash sitting there I haven't been able to use yet. Which is good, because I would've spent it immediately on more artwork had I access to it, so it's actually kind of handy that it's just sitting there as a backup now. Soooo to my subscribers, if you could do me one more favour and ask about if your friends want to help support Saorsa with even $1/monthly, three more people will bump it over the edge, I can get access to what you've paid in already, and that can cover the costs of the initial setting up of the Saorsa website and putting the book up for sale with some early advertising, and should keep everything rolling!

Anyway, big stuff on the way, and by Christmas I'm hoping to have the website out, novel done, and the next major version of the game finished. ...We just discussed how I am with time management though, so we'll see if that happens. Maybe all of it will be, maybe not, I dunno honestly, but that's the hope! So yeah, wanted to let people know what's up!

There's more artwork already commissioned that's on the way but not done yet as well, so there should be more pretty stuff to show off in the next little bit, just not sure how soon yet.

Thanks again for supporting Saorsa's development so far!
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Catreece MacLeod

This is NOT ready by any me...

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Catreece MacLeod
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Posh. As. Fuck.
Yes, I swore. Deal with it. When you have game art this pretty, you get a pass as well.

The point is, Chessi brings us the new definition of what being posh is and you may now take this moment to go update your dictionaries accordingly.

The first picture of a Frostburn Dragon in the Saorsa setting, these arctic Dragons are able to curl themselves into a defensive position so that they're difficult to harm. The largest of the standard Dragon subspecies, Frostburns stand roughly about six feet tall or so and have a habit of blending in with the snow of their home regions. Of course, just because you're built to handle the frigid weather doesn't mean you don't like to curl up with a nice book and a glass of wine in your private library now and then. Gotta hoard something, and knowledge is delicious.
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Catreece MacLeod
Public post
Crystalsong Dragon Intro

Say hello to the Crystalsong Dragons of Saorsa. Yeah. We do Dragons right, here. None of these generic, boring D&D so-called "Dragons."

In Saorsa, Dragons are genetically all the same species but where their eggs are laid determines what kind of Dragon you get out of them as they soak up the nearby ambient magical energies of the surrounding area. Store your Dragon eggs in one of Saorsa's extensive cave systems lined with crystallized ætheric energy and you get one of these nasty Crystalsong Dragons who are heavily resistant to magical spells and damage.

Note that doesn't mean they can't unleash magical power offensively in return, however. That scythe? Yeah, it deals shadow damage by default and bypasses all physical defenses, stealing a portion of the target's soul to replenish that of its wielder.

Who ever knew the reaper would be such a badass crystal Dragon?

Special thanks to the artist for the amazing piece as well! ARKS Sadinian did some seriously amazing work on this piece!
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Catreece MacLeod

Another Work In ProgressThi...

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Catreece MacLeod

Updated version with a bit ...

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Catreece MacLeod

POSH AS FUCK DRAGON. This's...

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Catreece MacLeod
Public post
Coloured artwork!

Overall, I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and it's gotten some good attention so far and interest, which is handy. Thank you again to all of those who donate to Saorsa and help to make it possible for this kind of stuff to be added to the game!
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Catreece MacLeod

Psst, hey kid, want some ar...

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Catreece MacLeod

What's better than art? MOR...

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Catreece MacLeod
Public post
The second picture shows the example in the actual book itself - yes, most of the art is still placeholder stuff for the background, chapter headers and other little graphic representations, but it gives a pretty good idea of what to expect and how this new line of art will look in the game in practice.
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Catreece MacLeod
Public post
So here we have the first in a series of new art stuff that'll be added to the Saorsa book! Basically, each weapon skill, combat style and so on will get its own unique little coloured sketch to go with it to help get a good feel for what you can expect from the weapon.

So yeah, thanks to ARKS Sadinian for this particular batch, and you can expect to see more in about a month or so!
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Catreece MacLeod
Public post
It's art time again!
So our lovely Nogitsune sky pirate is finished! Again, thanks to the wonderful Chessi for the great job!
The details are pretty much perfect, right down to the fox skull and nine swords emblem on her hat.
So how does this relate to gameplay? Well, glad you asked, self. (If you ask questions directly here I'll try to answer them as well! ) In short, two main things in play here.
1: Your stronghold doesn't have to be a castle. It can even be mobile, such as the pirate airship she's hanging off of in the picture. You can totally load it up with cannons, a functioning forge, a library and so on should you so choose!
2: Yes, she does have extra swords attached to her tails. In fact, not only is there a weapon skill specifically devoted to tailblades, but there's also a specific combat style known as the Thousand Blades which can be used to overwhelm opponents while protecting yourself amidst a swarm of tailblades from all angles.
Go on, tell me again why you'd rather play D&D over Saorsa.
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Catreece MacLeod

More art on the way! This t...

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Catreece MacLeod
Public post
No artwork today, buuuut... I just finished up the first full combat playtest so yay! There were some things that needed explaining the first time around so that slowed stuff down a bit, but nothing needed really rebalanced, it seems to run smoothly as soon as people know what to expect, things worked as I'd figured the math out in theory, and nothing broke. Er. Mah. Gerd.

Short version: Giant monster scaled a cliff and the players were fighting the top half of it poking over the ridge. They managed to distract it with an illusion, then managed to evade it's big suction ability that draws enemies near it, and flew around back and found the gem powering it on the back of its neck which was protected by an armoured case. They destroyed the case which triggered a doppleganger based on their greatest fears to spawn to defend the gem and they basically had a fight over trying to grab the gem away from the doppleganger while climbing on the back of this enormous creature thrashing about, trying to swat at them like flies and so on.

Yeah, that's all built into the game's basic rules that you can do that kind of stuff. So yeah, the first combat playtest of the TTRPG Saorsa went well! Yay! D&D, your days are numbered >=3
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Catreece MacLeod
Public post
MAD SCIENCE!!1!!!1!eleven

Why would anyone trust K'yuubi with that much power? You know they're just going to do something like this with it.

In any case, the next piece of Saorsa's artwork is completed, as you can see! Lots of other fun stuff in the works as well going on and two more pictures on the way though uncertain as to the timetables on such. Still, should be more amazing things like this!

This one's going up as public though as a reminder that Saorsa could always use more subscribers! More money means more amazing artwork to help get you into the game and get a proper feel for just what you can expect, even nonsense like this. Yes, this is totally in-character for them. You could even do this in-game if you wanted. Why would you want to? ...Because... it's awesome? I dunno, I'm sure there's a reason for it beyond that, but I'm not sure there needs to be further reason beyond that so whatever.

The point is that I can do almost everything in the game's design and such on my own, playtesting is going well and there's some nice updates on the way, but I can't do the art by myself - even a few dollars a month helps to work towards the expensive bits I can't cover myself. As always, Saorsa will be released free of charge, but the amount of amazing artwork will depend upon how much help I can get along the way, so please consider becoming a subscriber or showing it off to others so they can lend a hand! Thanks a ton for the support those who have chipped in have already given, I still can't believe how close we're getting to moving out of alpha testing and getting into beta testing proper!
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Catreece MacLeod
Public post

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!

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Catreece MacLeod

MAD SCIENCE! . . . Well, te...

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Catreece MacLeod
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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!

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Catreece MacLeod
Public post

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!

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Catreece MacLeod
Public post

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)!

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Catreece MacLeod
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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.

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Catreece MacLeod

So I've gotten the first sk...

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Catreece MacLeod
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https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/528689595282358278/543518789019369488/Finalized.png

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.


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Goals

$23 of $1,250
per month
Were I to reach this goal, I'd be able to cover the minimum basics of survival and maintain a steady flow of commissioned artwork at a rate which would allow for the production of new books at a regular pace without slowing down waiting on finances for more art. Each expansion would only cost about $10 apiece and you would see a new one every 3-4 months.
$23 of $1,750
per month
With a comfortable buffer of income for survival as well as artwork, I can arrange for new expansion content for Saorsa to be dropped in cost substantially. Each new book would only cost $5, and the quality and quantity of the artwork in the books would increase.
$23 of $2,500
per month
I work on Saorsa full time, but have already gone through the entirety of my personal savings funding this project. Fortunately, I require very little to sustain myself. Were I to reach my $2,500/month goal, I would have enough to pay rent, utilities, get groceries and basics like that, plus have plenty left over to spend upon artwork for future versions of the game and expansions. Anything past this amount will go towards even more artwork put into the game, translations into other languages and other such benefits which will lead to the game being better than it already is! At this point, I could afford to make all future PDF content free of charge. I could also start looking into printed copies to be sold at-cost if I ever reach past this goal.

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