The Vorrgistadt Saga - Review Request & Swap


  1. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago


    Good to see you're on RRL. I've followed and favorited you there. I'll post the review there and will on WFG once your story finishes up the submission process. I'll discuss some of the stuff here when it's done in case you want me to change anything.

    If you have any questions about RRL, I'd love to help. Unice5656 can also help as they're a pro when it comes to RRL (former mod) if/when they have time.

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
  2. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago


    Posted the review on your RRL listing. Here is a copy of it below. If there is anything you'd like me to change or that I glossed over too much, please let me know what you'd like me to fix. I tried to steer clear of any plot details to avoid spoilers at all. Went with how I felt and what I saw with the spirit of your work.


    Disclaimer: This review was done as part of a review swap.

    First Impressions: Music Masters is a wonderful and novel surprise that mixes together elements of superhero fiction with shonen-manga sensibilities. The novelty of the project is that instead of heroes (and villains) tapping into mutant or psionic powers, the characters all call upon the power of their own personalized musical tastes. The wonder comes from the Young Adult vibe that mixes together the eastern focus of shonen-manga with the western dramas of teenage life. Throughout all of this, the story mixes its media and reveals its influences through fiction writing, musical sound-scapes, and the author's artistic talents. You get more than just a web serial with Music Masters; you get an entire multimedia exploration of what it's like to be a teenager once more.

    Content: Music Masters - CD One is divided up like an ultimate play-list or mix-CD. There are separate albums (episodes) and tracks (chapters) that take you on a ride through the life of Michael Kay and his friends. You're thrust into the life of Michael from the start with just enough information about him to whet your appetite, but with just enough mystery of his past to make you want to find out more of who he really is. The story doesn't waste time before introducing other characters and showing off Michael's unique powers once they're activated by his tastes in music. The story moves smoothly with lots of energy behind its writing. You'll find yourself binge-reading through the chapters and growing more involved with the characters, the world around the characters, and discovering new things about how the Music Masters work by blending their musical tastes into manifest superpowers they can draw upon.

    Particulars: The author is proficient in the story they want to tell and can keep pacing fairly level (although with a quick pace) throughout the story. Each chapter is distinct, and every episode is unique. The grammar is efficient and strong, although there are a few wobbly sentences that could be easily cleaned up with a quick revision. The spelling is top-notch, with only one minor error (also quickly fixed with an editing pass) every couple of chapters. These are mostly due to the author really getting involved with their work while writing the draft and sometimes missing it once uploaded. Again, the author has a strong voice, a strong skill-set, and knows what they're doing. Just a quick editing pass is needed before everything is of top-notch 100% level. All of us miss at least one thing in our writing, especially on web serials.

    The multimedia nature of the story is both a blessing and a curse for some. Personally, I really enjoy it and think it makes Music Masters something wonderful, fresh, and fully-realized. For some, who prefer a quick thing to read on the bus holding a phone, they can overlook the importance of the included music tracks to listen to while reading and the excellent character portraits that are included with each chapter. I, honestly, think this multimedia aspect is what sets Music Masters apart from most other web serials and gives it a lot of life, depth, and makes it truly enjoyable. Other readers will have their own sets of tastes or levels of enjoyment, much like the message behind the entire work itself, that everyone has different tastes in the media that inspires them.

    Conclusion: I really enjoyed reading Music Masters - CD One, and will continue to read it as the author makes new chapters available. I highly recommend this fiction to anyone who enjoys multimedia pieces of art and to everyone in the web serial sphere to check out something new. The author has hit upon something really special, that is both uplifting and rich in its tone. If you haven't tried reading this story yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. It really is a piece of art that merges fiction-writing with music and traditional illustration. I'd prefer to give Music Masters - CD One a 4.9 out of 5.0 stars, which can easily be bumped up with a solid set of edits once the project is finished.


    Hopefully this is accurate and helps you get some more readers. Your project is awesome and I wish you the best of luck.

    Here is an updated reviews list:

    1 - 'Tomorrow Girl in Bismarck' by Docmars (Review done)
    2 - 'Inheritors' by Megajoule (Review done)
    3 - 'Music Masters: CD One' by Hejin57 (Review done - can be amended if the author wishes)
    4 - 'Don't Feed the Dark' by Scott Scherr
    5 - 'Birth of Mana' by shou kouyou
    6 - 'Not All Heroes' by Rhodeworks

    I'm going to work on 'Don't Feed the Dark' and 'Birth of Mana' at the same time. I'll probably get shou kouyou's work done first as they already did a review for my work already and focus on Scott's work a bit more afterward. Rhodeworks, I've started reading your work but since you prefer more detailed reviews (as you've mentioned before), I'd like to have a bit more time.

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
  3. Hejin57 (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago


    Thanks! Very super appreciative as always.

  4. Scott Scherr (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago

    @SovereignofAshes Just letting you know I didn't forget about you. I just finished my fifth book (took longer than I thought). My slate's clear now so I'll be finishing up your story. Should have a review up within a week. Thanks for your patience ;)

    Author of the apocalyptic series, Don't Feed The Dark.
  5. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago

    @Scott Scherr,

    Congrats on completing Book Five. After re-reading Book One, I'd like to keep going and get caught up on Book Four and Book Five.

    Sounds good. I'm a bit behind on reviews. I'm working on your Don't Feed the Dark right now and Birth of Mana by Shou.

    Seems this Summer has had a huge up-tick in everyone's activity, good to hear overall, lol.

    Are you giving yourself a few weeks or a month of respite before jumping into Book Six? Have you already started your notes for the next one?

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
  6. Scott Scherr (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago


    Yeah, summer's definitely getting busy. That's usually why I try to time these finales to end in May. Not this time, though. I'm giving myself a week, maybe two, before I jump right back in. I won't start serializing Book Six until the fall. Gives me time to write at a much slower rate and get some much needed rest. I already have the general outline for the next book and it's going to be challenging. Fortunately, I've been seeding throughout this series for quite some time.

    Please don't feel like you have to rush my review. Take your time. I know you've been reading multiple stories. I'm looking forward to catching up on yours. I'll call it some of the rest I've been looking forward to... lol.

    Author of the apocalyptic series, Don't Feed The Dark.
  7. Scott Scherr (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago


    My review is finally up. It was a real pleasure reading your story (and one of the easiest for me to review because of it). I loved every one of your characters and the amount of effort you put into bringing them to life on the pages. My only regret is that there isn't more to read... lol. I'll just have to wait and let you finish up the third arc. I have to admit, I'd considered reading your story several times in the past but was intimidated by your 'busy' home page, believing that I was going to have to read a concordance of histories long before I could enjoy the story. That was not the case. Well done.

    P.S. I've also posted at RRL.

    Author of the apocalyptic series, Don't Feed The Dark.
  8. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago

    @Scott Scherr,

    Thank you for your review. When I read it I was floored. It means a lot that you took the time to read through what I have up and give it a shot. I really appreciate the depth you went into and the encouragement as well as the critique you provided. Cutting down on verbose-ness, a bit less heavy exposition, speeding up the fight scenes (less minute detail and needless choreography), repetitive word usage, and doing far more editing passes. You also mentioned that the home page was 'busy,' above. I'd like to ask, if you have time, what makes it 'busy' so I can do some work to correct the whole thing. The web page is in constant flux as I'm trying to figure out the best and most stream-lined way to get the story out there while still having some bits strewn around for those people who like to get lost in the lore of sites (I do). All of the reviews thus far have given me a long list of things to work on and fix.

    I really liked that you extrapolated in your review about the world and what it might be like to live there. That's a big deal for me as it's what I try to do when I read other people's work. I like a big setting with lots of atmosphere that I can get lost in. Not just read a story inside of, but actually want to daydream that I'm there when I'm away from the book. I'm one of those people that loved playing Silent Hill and Resident Evil games, but would pause the game on a cool bit of setting and then daydream like I was there. I get that feeling with your own work (Don't Feed the Dark), and stories I really enjoyed in the past. It's a fine line between wanting to create a large world, and the brevity that most readers expect now so they don't have to deal with anyone else's description but the one inside of their heads.

    Thank you, also, for posting it on RRL as well.

    I'm just finishing up an analyzing read of DFtD Book One right now. My apologies for the wait. I have some notes for my review, but I'm trying to avoid gushing too much. I think I'll be focusing the most on the first half of Book One as I feel that avoids the most spoilers for readers and can get people to want to jump right in. I've been reading DFtD on RRL as I like the dim text on black background for my nocturnal eyes. Your main site is perfect as it is, just, a bit bright for me while reading at 1-3am. I have... Russell eyes.

    I'll be focusing more on story elements and less on the nitpicky elements like grammar and spelling. You have already fully edited, perfected and published Book One (digital, physical, and audio), so there's really nothing to bring up in that department. In all honesty, your work as it is right now is an aspiration for what the rest of us strive for. You've been at this for four or five years now? You've got everything covered, lol.

    I have no complaints at all about subject matter, so no worries there. You handle the darker elements wonderfully and I'm not squeamish about them at all. I enjoy the grimdark side of things. I admit, I was bewildered and stunned the very first time I read Demon Night 1 through 4 on RRL two years ago. To be thrust into the mindset of such a killer and then find yourself actually rooting for him so quickly. That's a hallmark sign of good storytelling. Another big one from later on is the stuff concerning some characters. Some people you just... Love to hate, lol.

    I'm going to be away from the computer for the next three days. I'll still be reading your story on my tablet and getting notes done, but won't have means to post. I should have my end of the review swap ready to go for later this week. Sorry, again, for the lateness. Thank you so much for your review, it really means a lot. I've been hovering for the last few months on if tVS should get the axe. While I was figuring that out, I started working on some side projects (wanting to get back into horror, actually). Your words about wanting more to read and not being able to finish the third arc makes me want to get back into tVS, again. Leaving people hanging isn't good times. Heavily edit things, but get back into the whole thing some more. I was worried that there just wasn't an audience for tVS, as it is. Slow-moving, dark fantasy seems like a very niche thing right now; a cobweb-strewn niche in a dark corner, behind some rubble, shoved behind a bunch of rotted skeletons that ward everyone else off. ^_^

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
  9. Scott Scherr (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago


    I thought your webpage was great. What I meant by 'busy' was just seeing all those additional 'coming soon' links and thinking to myself that I might get overwhelmed by the amount of time and effort you've spent building this world. It's more me, and not your website. I approach fantasy stories with a whole lot of trepidation, wondering what I'm about to 'get into' with big stories like this, involving other worlds. I have a lot respect for people who create these worlds, but often feel like the writing goes over my head. But that's just me. That wasn't the case at all with your story because your characters made it easy for me to follow the history as the story progressed. To borrow an old expression, they put the cookies on the bottom shelf for me... lol.

    I really hope you don't put the axe to this story. I'd read your other post about your struggles with serial writing and had meant to post something about it, but everyone else covered it pretty well. I think Rhodeworks said it best for me when he said, "Writing is intimate and it is lonely". I can't tell you how many times I've had to write through the fires of self-doubt and get myself the hell out of the way so I could keep writing my long-ass story. I've had rough days where people come out of the shadows to share a kind word about my story, giving me that needed boost at just the right time. It always feels good knowing that others are reading along, even if you rarely hear from them, while you push onward. And then I've had days where I was excited about writing, just to have nameless assholes come out of their holes and kick me in the head, telling me how my story is "supposed" to be. I've had some real great moments with my story that I've been able to share with others, but most of those moments, I've celebrated alone. Serial writing is so much different than traditional writing. It's fluid and always in motion, with readers coming along on the journey, and then drifting away just as easily. I had no idea when I started that I'd be five books into this series. I always thought it might be a trilogy or something. Serial writing is running a marathon... and sometimes a real fucking long one. But when I finished my third book, which was the first major arc, something kicked in for me that's made this journey so much easier, despite the annoying deadlines, empty comment sections, and the occasional asshole along the way. I realized that no matter who reads my story or who doesn't, I'm all-fucking-in to completing this thing because I want to know what happens!... You have to be. And if you can't do it for yourself or for the readers, you do it for those wonderful characters you've let loose on the pages. Sometimes I think we're nothing but scribes writing down stories that are already finished... somewhere. When you get a hold of one of those stories, you just have to run with it and see it through to the end--even if you're the only one who will appreciate it, once your arrive at that lonely-ass summit.

    I made the mistake of stopping once to edit the first three books. It ended up costing me a year before I started book four... and it was hell getting started again. I lost a lot of faithful readers during that time. So I don't worry about detailed editing, for now, until I've finished what's left to write. I'll edit on the fly and do what I can, but not at the expense of losing valuable time to create. That's helped me out a lot. Hell, I rarely go back and read anything I've written until I need to... got to keep pushing forward and get to that next episode, next chapter, next arc... whatever. The rest can wait until the story is done. You need to enjoy this gig and believe in it. It's a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but every page written is a new damn discovery... and you get to be that first adventurer who discovers it. And give yourself scheduled "time off" periods, not so much from the writing, but from posting to keep up with the serial novel demands. There's nothing wrong with taking a few months just to build up the back-log again. But I can't stress enough, you have to fall in love with the story again and put your faith behind it. Maybe you just need to put the serial on hold for a spell and just enjoy writing The Vorrgistadt Saga again? I hope you do, but if not, maybe you could just let it rest for now and create something new.

    I started DFTD back in the summer of 2011, and wrote the first four chapters. Then it sat around, collecting cobwebs for a while as I jumped around writing other things, and I forgot about it. Then in the summer of 2013, I picked it up again, read what I had, and thought, "Shit... why did I stop writing this?" The magic came back and I've been writing it ever since. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you need to put this story down for a while and write something new, then you can. If this story is worth telling, then it will be there for you when you get back... no axe needed... lol.

    Well, didn't mean to ramble on.

    I look forward to your review, and again, no rush. I'm just delighted that someone else is enjoying reading it ;)

    Author of the apocalyptic series, Don't Feed The Dark.
  10. Megajoule (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago


    Your review is up! I hope you find it fair, and if there's anything you don't feel is accurate or well represented, let me know. Sorry for the delay on my part, once again! But, it's out there, now! / a clone of the greatest superhero in the world, with only a fraction of the power
  11. Scott Scherr (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago


    Thank you for that incredibly insightful and encouraging review. I feel humbled that you thought so highly of my story and I'm glad you've enjoyed what you've read. Your review came at the perfect time since I just posted my final Book Five episode today. Talk about extra motivation to push on into Book Six... lol. Again, much appreciated, and thanks for posting it on RRL as well. I'm going to take a much needed rest this weekend and then get back at it on Monday. I wish you well on your future writing endeavors, whether it's your current one, or something new. Peace ;)

    Author of the apocalyptic series, Don't Feed The Dark.
  12. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago


    Thank you for your review. I really appreciate everything you said in there and find it more than fair. You've given me more stuff to work on going forward. Thank you for taking the time to read the work and make a wonderful review. If you ever decide to take the plunge and post your work on RRL, just let me know and I'll send my review over there as well.

    I'm keeping up with Inheritors and checking out your latest chapters.

    (As a postscript... As a fellow acolyte of the dungeons and the dragons... Are you playing Fifth Edition right now? Do you have a preferred edition or non-D&D set of games? Can't resist the nerdliness and gotta ask.)

    @Scott Scherr,

    Thank you for your advice in the post above, I've added it into my Scivener notes for tVS so I don't forget. No rambling at all, all of what you mentioned was really great advice. Thank you for sharing your creative process and what you had to deal with.

    You mentioned getting lost in Revision Hell, as well. My commiserations for that, but I have to admit that the blood, sweat, and tears you put into your work shows through in your latest iterations. I think I might still have a little while in my own layer of Hell before I can escape it. I'll still try to keep chapters coming while I'm clawing my way out, though.

    I'm glad the review came across okay. If there's anything I can do to make it better, or something I missed, please let me know and I'll fix it. I'm glad it came out in concordance with you finishing up the latest book. I'll be eagerly awaiting Book Six once you start posting it. Do you usually like to have several months backlog before posting or are you crazy and post by the seat of your pants like I made the mistake of doing?

    Hope your weekend is going well. I wish you the best on your endeavors as well. If you need anything at all in the future, just let me know.


    I'm working on Birth of Mana by Shou Kouyou right now. Shou, if you read this, I haven't forgotten. I can't find your work on WFG right now, are you in the submission process? I'll post the review to RRL first. I'm glad to see your first pass of revisions/edits went well. I can't give an exact time-frame of when your review will be ready, but it should be in the next couple of weeks at the very latest.

    Not All Heroes by Rhodeworks will be right after. Rhodeworks, I've read about half of what you have up and have some notes ready. It should be ready to go by sometime in August. Pardon the delays as I'm having to juggle a lot of spherical objects at once, right now.

    Also, because I know people's work changes or gets revised as time goes on... Anyone who I've written a review for thus far -- if you feel your work has changed at all, now or in the future, please get a hold of me in this thread if you'd like me to redo your review or update it.

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
  13. shou kouyou (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago

    Don't worry about it, the review isn't really urgent anyways. I just started my book's first major arc anyways so I'm not expecting much draw to the at this stage either way so its really fine.

    As for WFG, its currently still in the submission process so just rrl will be fine.


    Currently working on Birth of Mana
  14. Megajoule (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago


    I'm currently using 5e the most. I've run games in Savage Worlds, used to play Pathfinder a lot (and I'm going to check out 2e Pathfinder when it comes out). I've actually even used a modern conversion of 5e to run some of the Inheritors fights in simulation. 5e is probably where I feel comfiest. What edition do you prefer?

    I'll let you know! If I put Inheritors on RR it will probably be during a break in between arcs so I can focus on putting it up without having to scramble!

    Btw, your writing is quite excellent! I really enjoyed Vorrgistadt, and I'll continue to follow along (at my own, incredibly slow pace haha) / a clone of the greatest superhero in the world, with only a fraction of the power
  15. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago


    ((The RPG-bear has been poked, so this is an aside for this thread.))

    Good to hear that you're enjoying 5e. Savage Worlds is a great un-complicated universal system for pulp-style games. Pathfinder is a solid grounding as well. If you do trad-fantasy 5e games, do you prefer a homebrew setting or do you use the Forgotten Realms a lot? Have you tried your hand at any of the published adventures, so far?

    Is your modern conversion of 5e mostly homebrewed or have you ported over stuff from the D20 community? Do you have a playing group that you have for modern-style supers games or do you ask Beta-readers to run some of those combats? It's interesting to think of the mechanics when reading your chapters during a fight scene, looking back now. That some character might get advantage or disadvantage in a situation. ^_^

    I've ran, at one time or another, every version of D&D. --Even the old White Box pamphlets as scary as that is-- 5e is the new hotness (relatively speaking) so it's what I'm asked to run the most. As far as 5e goes, I've had a fair share of people wanting Forgotten Realms and a couple homebrew games (only one Dark Sun and one Planescape retro adaptation thus far). I've taken a crack at each of the adventures put out. Really enjoyed the Yawning Portals 5e adaptations of the old classics like Tomb of Horrors. Curse of Strahd was fun, but I prefer that kind of stuff actually being set in the Ravenloft setting and not just a 'vacation' port game (although that was the source of I6, after all). I'm really looking forward to trying out the 5e version of Into the Borderlands because I absolutely loved the open-ended hex-crawl-ish fun of the old Keep on the Borderlands and In Search of the Unknown. It's been forever since I was able to do a locale-based adventure or a hex-crawl.

    My dark secret is that my two favorite versions of D&D are AD&D2e and BECMI D&D (D&D Basic or D&D Rules Cyclopedia). The former has the best campaign settings and lore, the second is just fun for old school romp-age now and then through Mystara; as irksome as having Dwarf as a class can be sometimes. Advanced D&D, for all the THAC0 and fiddly bits, is my home for playing Planescape, Ravenloft, and old Forgotten Realms games. D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder come shortly thereafter.

    I'm open to all games, to be honest. I have way too many Pathfinder products, a fair deal of Savage Worlds core (although I have far more Deadlands Original than I have Deadlands Reloaded). I've got everything from Traveller (yes, the game is spelled that way), to Legend of the Five Rings, to Mage: the Ascension, to Rifts, to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1e/2e, to Ars Magica, Shadowrun, Mutants & Masterminds, Call of Cthulhu, and numerous editions of Star Wars. I try to keep busy. That's a small sampling, of course, my table-top haven takes up a whole floor of my tiny house. I think last time I updated my inventory spreadsheets... I had 4,208 RPG books in total. Not counting Dragon, Dungeon, or White Wolf magazines. Not counting tie-in novels, comics, or card/board games, either. Dusting the place every four months is a total pain in the ass, but oddly worth it, lol. The AD&D2e box sets can get downright annoying to dust, though.

    Are you hyped up for Pathfinder 2e? I think there's going to be some big announcements for it at GenCon. I don't know if the Beta is already out or not. I was really sad to see that Planar Adventures would be the 'last' Pathfinder 1e book. I guess they saved the best for last. I'd really of liked Planar Adventures, oh... Say... A decade ago. =P

    I saw announcement of the new D&D 5e gift set with the corebooks in it, plus the alternate cover versions. It's weird that they're doing this so late into the run of the edition. I know they want to get the sweet holiday money this Winter now that 5e is super-popular, but it has me worried. D&D 4e had the corebook gift set right at the start of the edition. D&D 3.0 had it relatively early in the launch. The last time I saw a late launch of the corebooks was with 3.5 and they saved that until right before they killed the edition. That, and Pathfinder is moving into the 2e phase now. Warhammer FRP 4e is coming out. Some of the stuff that Mearls and Perkins dropped a few months ago... It has me worried that they might be looking to either revise (5.5e) or put out a new edition of D&D in the next two years. I hope not, 5e is the smallest collection of books I have for any given edition (except White Box), they need to release more and they keep teasing us about other campaign settings.

    Do you do meatspace gaming or do you usually do online gaming (Roll20, Discord, Twitch, or Fantasy Grounds)? I'm still getting used to Fantasy Grounds and Roll20, myself. Discord just feels like gaming over the old IRC servers of many moons ago, but with voice capability. I don't have the cameras or anything to try Twitch/Google Hangouts, yet.

    It's good to hear that people who write serials still enjoy old table-top RPGs in their own way. MMOs are great and all, but it's just nice to hang out with diverse folk and tell a story now and then.

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.

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