SDM Design – Line Editing (5/3/2015)

editingNow that Thor has finished the developmental editing, I turned the document over to Karen Twelves to perform a line/copy edit. Here’s what she fixed:


If a major event happened 20 years ago, would you still know about it? Of course you would. Even without the internet, I knew about the Vietnam War and Watergate growing up, despite that fact that they happened before I was born.  If something happened when I was 10 and it was a big deal… I’m pretty sure I’d remember it now.

Karen caught a rather large disparity what is common knowledge on the mountain and helped me address it in a way that makes way more sense. There are plenty of things we don’t talk about. Not because we’ve forgotten, but because they are taboo. We even slipped a law into one of the towns that speaking of such things was punishable by a day of public shunning, where no-one will speak to you. Hell yeah!

So Many Monsters

The “Wandering Monsters” aka “Random Encounters”, aka “Here are possible twists to spring on your adventurers” table I had was long. Really long. Not only are there both a ton of threats and personalities on the mountain, but most of these required a fair amount of space to detail. Whereas Skogenby and Three Squires each have a page or so to cover the Wandering Monsters, I had over a dozen. Part of that we cleaned up, but we both agreed (and Thor had suggested this as well) that what I really had to do was split up the “outside” and the “inside” encounters .

The end result is the document feels much more like a two part adventure now. First climbing the mountain… and then descending into it.

Action Man Font – GM Advice

The language we use when writing varies at lot. Sometimes I’m speaking directly to the GM “remember this, do that, consider the following, etc”. Sometimes I’m imparting information about the mountain to the GM as an impersonal fact “This area of the mountain is above the snow line, etc.” Sometimes however I really want to have a conversation, for what that’s worth. Something to say “hey, I’ve run this adventure too, and I know it can be tough to sort through all of this, this is what worked for me.”  This is for advice like when it’s a good time to use one twist over another or what danger signs to be watching for.

I noticed that the Torchbearer rulebook has an example text font (ComicPlain) which serves to do a little bit of this. It’s not quite the same thing, but it does go from “here we’re talking about the rules in general” to “here we’re talking about how something worked in play.” I realized I wanted that. However, I couldn’t get that because I couldn’t even find the ComicPlain (or Comic Plain) font, nor did I want to purchase another font. So instead I used Action Man. Seems very fitting for text to describe what’s happening in play!

Lots of little things

Karen also did a ton of standardizing. Making sure it’s always “+1D” and not “+1d”. Changing case (I tend to make a lot of terms upper case when they shouldn’t be), and clarifying many confusing sentences. All good stuff. One other change was to remove the Page XX references (or at least most of them) as it seems like the document is now much more manageable to flip through. We’ll see if that turns out to be true in playtest.

Current status:

  • Final editing approval by 5/15 (Karen Twelves)
  • Expecting maps by 5/15 as well (Priscilla Spencer)
  • Plan to launch playtesting by 5/20 (Sean)