Message From Sage Deviston: How to Avoid Over Committing (Just Don’t, Now Read This Silly Series of Events)


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Intro: The Introduction

There was a wonderful conversation last night about the uniting of powers to edit words/sentences and put documents together in programs and in general just make wonderful things happen with Table Top Role Playing Games (TTRPGs) in conjunction with a killer workshop out there. Unfortunately, it was a tall order that I committed myself to and this is what comes from me being unable to fulfill that order.

I’m no major crafter of art. I’m no excellent mover of pencil on paper to make elegant works! However, I have an eye for making silly things in photoshop just good enough to laugh at. In this situation, I made an attempt to turn an excellent joke into a living thing!! I wanted to bring it to life! I knew I knew that if I could find the right images I could do exactly that. Unfortunately, I overestimated my “Google-Fu”! 

Background: The Background

Discord is a wonderful place to do yon connecting with folks for far more than gaming like the platform suggests. Technically working with words in TTRPGs is still gaming as we all know, but I digress. In the server set aside for the RPG Writer Workshop (the aforementioned workshop for TTRPG manufacturing and produced by Ashley Warren Writes, please go put your face on her work, I assure you will not be upset) a very kind individual, one “Sadie” (she/her) offered to do some editing and layout work pro bono for a few folks in the workshop. A few folks because… well we all know editing and layouts for a book take both time and energy so let’s be honest, the fact that she offered at all is already an impressive act and the fact that she is taking on several is more than just a statement of aid, it’s a commitment to the workshop participants at large. That being said, I knew that Sadie couldn’t take on too too many workshop participants and I have a smidge of time on my hands during the holidays.

I jumped on the train! I offered similarly and since I’m not a “professional” editor I tossed in my company’s stock art (on DTRPG) for those I do layouts for. That’s not to say I can’t edit! I primarily use Grammarly and Pro-Writing Aid to catch the major issues and go by manually reading the document after that. However, I’m not nearly as experienced as Sadie so I didn’t want to step on those creds ya know?

Main Event: The Main Event (This is funny now right?)

Now you know…The rest of the story (shout out to my man Paul). Not quite though! Here’s the punchline: Sadie is HI-larious. Sadie gets my humor, Sadie gets my joke method. This wonderful human (I’m assuming human and not an awakened familiar or animal companion) walks out of nowhere with a gem I couldn’t help love!

Sadie, “With our powers combined, the adventures in this workshop will be edited, by golly!”

I… liked… ta die. I genuinely woke my partner due to laughing uncontrollably in bed. I just couldn’t help it I rolled so hard on that! There were tears, there were pillows thrown, there were shoves out the room, all in all still worth for the laughs I had from it. In fact, I had such a good time laughing at the image in my head of two geek bedecked Captain Planets that I ran off to the Googs to see if I could slap a few images together in Photoshop and see about making a visual representation of my head movies for the world to get a taste of what joy it brought me. 

Conclusion: The End

That’s the meat of the tale. From there comes my very short story to writing this article. I must apologize, dear reader, for I have given you something to expect, but I am unable to deliver. I was unable to make that image. I set myself a time limit of 30 minutes (due to day job needs) and it was too large a check for me to cash. Here I sit, documenting my failure…. Which is an important lesson that I hope to share with you all. Don’t give yourself only a half-hour to do photoshop research and work! 


About the RPG Writer Workshop, quote from the creator, Ashley Warren, from the workshop website: 

I'm Ashley Warren, the "Chief Warlock" of the RPG Writer Workshop. I started the workshop to help aspiring writers create their first adventures! Wading through mountains of advice and resources can be daunting, so I recruited some talented and prolific creators to help break down the process into manageable pieces. Behind every great writer is a team supporting them, and I hope this workshop becomes that for you!

As for me, I'm a former college English teacher, researcher, and literacy academic. Now I work full-time in the RPG industry as a writer, narrative designer, and communications specialist for publishers including Wizards of the Coast, D&D Beyond, Hit Point Press, Onyx Path Publishing, Kobold Press, Astral TableTop, and more. I can't wait to get to know you!


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