4 min read

Ravings from Skarhuld

Icarus updates, Ravings from Skarhuld, Discord changes, Brandon Sanderson's Worldbuilding.

LK Weekly: Ravings from Skarhuld

Welcome back to the LegendKeeper Weekly, where Team LK shares progress, setbacks, and sneak peeks of the future. Let's dive in.

The tech debt canoe trip

Our next big release (codename Icarus) is in the polishing phase.

This week Adam prepared the checklist for every product video and screenshot we will have to update (34 items, including 2 new videos), while Braden stayed heads down working out edge cases in the code.

We've talked about this for a couple of weeks now. So why is it that the tail end of a big feature seems to drag on for so long? Well, it's because of things like this:

Braden discusses tech debt in LegendKeeper.
Will we get across the lake with this canoe? We think so :)

This short message between two developers reveals some interesting truths about software development:

  • Tech debt is when an engineer willingly adopts a suboptimal design in exchange for speed. Later, the engineer has to "pay back their loan" with interest.
  • Tech debt is like money debt–it's not always bad. It's a tool that lets us deliver value to customers faster, in exchange for future interest payments. The canoe metaphor is a good one: we can definitely cross this lake but we can't keep crossing other lakes unless we pay up and patch the leaks.
  • Past design decisions will affect you in unknown ways.
  • Estimations are hard because every time we make big changes, we do something new. We rarely build the same thing with the same design in the same problem space. We confront totally new problems almost every time.

The point in plain English: this release is tantalizingly close (1 - 2 weeks) but you won't be able to convert tabs into their own pages right away. Eventually, you will.

And now for something that swings a spiked flail in the face of tech debt.

Ravings from Skarhuld: The Lost Brother's Bestiary

Ravings from Skarhuld: The Lost Brother's Bestiary
Cover art design for Ravings from Skarhuld

We first mentioned this project back in November, and it's finally ready to launch. Ravings from Skarhuld: The Lost Brother's Bestiary is a collection of 20 original monsters designed for Mörk Borg. Each monster comes with a ghastly description, mechanics, and an original illustration by Thomas Novosel.

The bestiary also includes lore and a map of Skarhuld–a lost continent that cannot be saught.

Seeking to expand their pastureland, herders at Sarkashís edge demolished an ancient, ruined wall. Amidst its foundation stones, they discovered a bundle of papers wrapped in oilskin. Those pages described, among others, the horrors inhabiting myth-spun Skarhuld.

Prior, Skarhuld existed only in hysterical whispers. Somewhere on the fringe of Sarkash, they said, near the frigid Kergus wastes, one may wander into that twice-damned place. It cannot be sought; the route that takes a traveler to Skarhuld never leads there twice. Fools and lunatics argued whether its curse was meant to punish its inhabitants or to protect the rest of the world from what dwells therein.

No sane man or woman took them seriously.

We'll be releasing the cursed PDF on DriveThruRPG next week and will announce it at that time. We'll ask that you consider buying a copy and sharing it with any of your friends who enjoy doom metal or disturbing monsters. A bestseller on DriveThruRPG would help us introduce more people to LegendKeeper.

It's important to us to work on projects like this so that we never stop being worldbuilders ourselves. Our focus on LegendKeeper means that we can never do these projects alone. Thankfully, we know that many of you are talented creators who will be willing to jump in with flails swinging.

Now let's talk about how we might share those future opportunities.

Discord needs a shakeup

Keep an eye out next week for changes in the LegendKeeper Discord. We haven't thought about roles, channel structures, or party vibes in a while.

It's time to shake things up.

One new idea is the #opportunities channel. This channel will contain job postings, cool projects, or other opportunities for creative worldbuilders. It will be curated by Team LK. If you want to post an opportunity, message Adam (wazels#1693).

We'll be keeping the #discord-suggestions channel so you can tell us what you think as we evolve things.

Special thanks to our mod Alan (CS42R#1982) for continuing to push for this.

Brandon Sanderson's Worldbuilding Masterclass

Our latest blog post by Elly Runnalls summarizes expert techniques for better worldbuilding. The techniques were distilled from a well-loved lecture series.

The teacher is none other than Brandon Sanderson, the prolific fantasy author who's been getting press due to his astonishing Kickstarter that raised $41 MILLION to fund 4 secret novels.

As always, thank you for reading and continuing to support LegendKeeper. It is our honor and privilege to keep working on this for you every day.

To be honest we had some moments of low morale this past week. Getting slowed down in the weeds of technical edge cases and long ToDo lists can be frustrating.

But when we reminded ourselves how lucky we were to be working on worldbuilding software for a like-minded community of wonderful customers, everything felt a whole lot lighter.

Written by Adam Waselnuk

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