Vrahode is a big world with all new creatures unlike anything you’ve seen in a fantasy world before. Of course, that can be quite intimidating if you’re just wanting to start the game!
Vrahode comes with 12 pregenerated roles to help you ease into the game. In this episode, we talk about 6 of them.
Vrahode will be coming to Kickstarter most likely in quarter four of 2023. When that campaign goes live, you will not only be able to buy the core game, Vrahode: The Calteeryn Ascension, but its three expansions as well.
00:00:00 – 6 Of The Pregenerated Roles of Vrahode
00:00:56 – The 12 Predefined Roles of Vrahode & Why They Exist
00:05:02 – Role #1: The Blade
00:06:49 – Role #2: The Augur
00:09:47 – Using the 12 Pregenerated Heroes To Table Them Game ASAP
00:14:18 – Role #3: The Spark
00:18:54 – Role #4: The Shadow
00:21:33 – Role #5: The Syrin
00:24:42 – Role #6: Warden
Jeff Irving: [00:00:00] My name is Jeff Irving and this is the Vrahode Tavern Podcast. I am the creator of the Vrahode Game System, and in this podcast, we’re going to do a deep dive into the lore and gameplay of Vrahode. I’m joined by Brandon Rollins who will be acting as a stand in for you, asking many of the questions you might be curious about yourself. Brandon, what are the topics for today?
Brandon Rollins: So when we last left off, we were talking about the playable races as well as the non-playable characters too. And I was thinking we should, today, talk about the pre-generated roles that you can pick up and play, um, when you first get started. And I guess just to give people a little context, you are able to create your own characters in the world of Vrahode and in the game, but in order to make it easier to start, there are 12 which are predefined.
And so that’s why I wanted to kind of talk about today.
The 12 Predefined Roles of Vrahode & Why They Exist
Jeff Irving: Yeah, I think, I think that’s a, a good, a good one [00:01:00] early on, obviously in, in the podcast because, you know, people are kind of wondering, you know, really first and foremost, what kind of game is this?
You know, because we’ve been able to show so much artwork, but not a lot of, of pictures of people around a table playing the game.
And so, yeah, I mean, heroes are important, but the heroes in the Vrahode game series are extremely different from the archetypal stuff that you find in most fantasy. Um, we kind of decided to do away with, you know, humans, elves, dwarves and kind of take on… Vrahode has its own mythos and its own, um, you know, heroes, enemies, flora, fauna.
It’s all kind of, uh, unique to the world. And, and so we, we decided that 12 was the magic number of, of archetypal roles, you know, so that there was some familiarity with people playing these new races with new [00:02:00] abilities in a new world, fighting new enemies to give them some sort of familiar anchor, um, within their own preferences on gameplay style.
And so yeah, we’ve got 12. I think it’s important, though, even before we talk about the roles, is to kind of talk about a little bit of the rationale underneath these pregenerated heroes. Because like, if you’re, if you’re a, an old D&D-er I am, I mean, I played D&D since I was about 10, and I’m not gonna tell you how many years ago that was. But um, you know, you had, you had strength, intelligence, dexterity, constitution, charisma, uh, those were the stats. Those were the, you know, if you, if you had a strength above X, then you could do certain things better. And the higher, you know, that strength stat got, the more damage you could do. You know, and, and so on down through the stats.
Brandon Rollins: And I think with, um, and I think with Vrahode, it’s body, spirit, mind, focus, and [00:03:00] presence, right?
Jeff Irving: Yeah, body, spirit, mind, focus, presence. Um, what we kind of did is we said, these are heroes. All of these, uh, players are taking on the role of a hero. And so we kind of assume that those kind of D&D stats of strength, intelligence, wisdom, dexterity, constitution, and charisma, those kind of, they’ve all got high stats.
I mean, let’s, let’s be real. These are the, the cream of the crop from each race, um, that are out as adventurers. And so we kind of assume those things. And what we did is we said, “Let’s take those stats and get rid of them, and let’s assume that heroes take on given roles within either solo play or within a group.”
And so we thought to ourselves with those stats all being fairly high, let’s focus their abilities in these kind of areas of magic. Because [00:04:00] in Vrahode, everyone is a caster. Everyone has the ability to use magic because magic is so steeped into the world itself. And so, yes, body, magic, spirit, um, mind, focus, and presence covers the five general schools, um, of, of magic.
And obviously each of those is kind of flavored towards the way a person prefers to play. Um, solo, you know, you may, you may say, “Hey, I’m just comfortable being a warrior type.” And so, you know, the body, um, area or body skill area of magic or ruhl as we call it in, is kind of geared towards that type of play style.
But yeah, we can go down through, um, the different roles, predefined roles that we have for the game [00:05:00] series and talk about each one if you want.
Role #1: The Blade
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, absolutely. So just give people an overview. We’ve got the Blade, the Augur, the Spark, the Shadow, the Syrin, the Warden, the Shield, the Arbiter, the Dream Catcher, the Jester, the Rook, the Oracle, uh, the Brain, the Princess, the Basketcase. No. Okay. Those are Breakfast Club, but the, the first, the first 12 are, are definitely in the game.
So I guess, you know, let’s just start at the top and move our way down. So we’ve got, At the top, I see the Blade and he’s a, uh, a Cautuuk.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. The, the, the, the pre-generated one that we chose, um, was from the Cautuuk, uh, race, which is kind of like a, a mini centaur, if you will. They’re, they’re, we based the culture of the Cautuuk on Native American culture, and they kind of look Native American in their upper body, and their lower body looks a bit like an antelope.
Um, so you’ve got a, a [00:06:00] quadriped, you know, kind of, uh, hero that you play. Um, but again, they’re, they’re, they’re gonna be, the Blade is gonna be, they’re gonna start out with a really high body, um, stat. The body stat is where they’re focused. Um, the rest of their stats, the spirit, mind, presence, are all fairly low.
And so they start out with three, uh, specific skills. In that body school of magic. Um, so what it does is it just kind of clarifies and purifies that role by making the magic fit with that kind of aggressive warrior type.
Brandon Rollins: Mm-hmm.
Role #2: The Augur
Jeff Irving: Um, going on down the Augur, um, is kind of a, it’s definitely a, a spirit-forward, [00:07:00] um, you know, he’s gonna, he’s gonna be drawing from the spirit deck, which is a lot about healing and selflessness and keeping, keeping one’s friends alive, or yourself. If you play an Augur, uh, uh, as a solo player, you’re going to, you’re going to probably take more damage than a Blade would. You might not be quite as well protected, but you’re gonna be able to heal a lot of that damage, um, because you’re gonna have robust healing abilities.
Brandon Rollins: And so this one’s a Mynoc, which I think would mean kind of outside of the fray because they tend to be quite fragile. Um, and like you said, they’re good healers to have back there.
And so I noticed, um, because I’m looking at these kind of side by side, the Blade is really heavy on the body stat. Like you said, it’s nearly maxed out and the, and the Augur is nearly maxed out on the spirit skill.
So [00:08:00] I, I’m guessing these, these first handful of roles, it seems like they prioritize being particularly good at one skill and they start to have more even distribution of points as they go on.
Jeff Irving: Okay. What I’ve got here, the, the cards that you’re looking at, the cards that are on the, um, The website, um, that show these pregenerated heroes, if you’ll look at the stats, the stat points, the way they’re allocated on that card, that is the most current point allocation for those pregenerated heroes. And you’ll note that if you look over into the copy, I think you’ve used some old copy in the, in the description.
And so why, while it looks maxed out in the copy, if you look at the cards, which those are much more current, you’ll see that your primary statistic as a pregenerated hero, at least a blade is 12.
Brandon Rollins: Oh, [00:09:00] yeah.
Jeff Irving: It’s it’s just over 50% that you’re gonna hit. You know what I mean? And, and so that’s gonna be, that was a kind of an early, um, balancing pass that we made through those heroes to make sure that we had a large range of, um, improvement of advancement for all the heroes, even in their primary stat. And then if you look at the rest of the stats, heck, they’re, they’re way below 50%.
Brandon Rollins: I’m glad you pointed that out, because I actually can’t see the images all that well. I’ve got the page kind of squeezed in the far right corner.
Jeff Irving: Me too. Me too. Yeah.
Brandon Rollins: So it’s like you bringing that up is good. It also means I need to update the copy on the site.
Using the 12 Pregenerated Heroes To Table Them Game ASAP
Jeff Irving: But yes, so, so even though, like, I think it’s important as we go through these pregenerated heroes to talk about something really important, what we’re giving you is 12 pregenerated [00:10:00] heroes for one purpose to get to the table quickly.
You don’t have to fuss with picking your skills, they’re already picked for you. You don’t have to fuss with rolling up your stats. Those are picked for you.
And so what it does is it focus, it gives you three stats that match your primary, I mean, three skills that match your primary stat right away. Boom. And you’re off to the races. So, so for example, um, you know the Blade, his name’s Alrabion, the Cautuuk, he’s gonna have his racial abilities and he’s gonna have three skills already picked out for him to start playing.
He’s gonna grab those three cards from the body deck. He’s gonna put those in his dashboard, in the slot marked body, and it’s gonna, it’s gonna be all done. So it’s, it’s very, very quick. Um, let’s see, going on down, same thing with the, with the Augur. Um, you’re gonna, you’re gonna grab, we’re gonna have three skills picked out for you in [00:11:00] the spirit, in the, the spirit deck, they’re already done for you. You grab that, that hero, uh, in the rule book, it tells you what three skills you start with and, and off you go. Same thing all the way down. And that makes it really nice.
Now, some of these, some of these pre generated heroes are single stat, um, heroes. In other words, the Blade is, he’s completely focused on the body, the body deck, to start. The Augur is completely focused on spirit, to start. That doesn’t mean that when these players begin to advance, that they may not want to advance some of the other stats, or the next time they’re, they have the ability to pick a new skill, they may pick one outside of their primary stat because they wanna start developing that stat. So you have these five unique channels in which to develop your character from this kind of starting template. And so in, in a few levels of [00:12:00] advancement, or not necessarily levels, cause we don’t have levels in Vrahode, but in, after you’ve done some quests and you’ve advanced and you’ve had the ability to grow some of these statistics, you may start to push yourself.
Let’s say you’re a Blade to start with. You may start to push yourself towards also being good at spirit so that you can begin to heal more and have some of these more selfless, um, skills so that you are better in a party setting. And, and so every, every, hero has the ability to kind of push themselves and modify themselves and customize themselves from this beginning, this jumping off point, if you will.
Brandon Rollins: I like that because you can not only lean into your strengths if that’s what you want to do, you can just go all in on what you’re naturally good at with your, uh, pre-generated role or the custom one you make, or you can balance it out and you could have theoretically even stats on everything if that’s what you wanted to do.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, you can, [00:13:00] you can do that, you can do that. And I would say the times when that works, when you’re kind of going for that jack of all trades kind of hero. I think when that works best is when you play with a gaming group, because solo play kind of, and, and play in small groups kind of dictates some purity of these archetypes.
You, if you, if you’re gonna, uh, have, let’s say you have three people that you play with regularly. Or no, two, you and two other people, you better have a really good warrior that can deal out a ton of damage. You probably oughta have some sort of distance caster that can, can do a lot of damage from afar and you probably oughta have somebody that can kind of fill in that healing role to keep that warrior alive.
That needs to stay out front and keep the enemies from rushing back and, and hitting those softer targets in the back. But then when you get into a bigger group, yeah, you might want somebody that can kind of hit [00:14:00] and fill in a lot of the holes, um, and be able to…
Brandon Rollins: like a wild card if somebody dies or is too fatigued to battle or something.
Jeff Irving: Yep. Do you wanna go, you wanna go on down to the next, um, uh, pregenerated hero or…?
Role #3: The Spark
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, I was just thinking about the Spark. Well, your next two are the Spark and the Shadow and these are the Athak-uuls, which you really want to start playing with when you, when we get to prototyping. So, um, why don’t you tell me a little bit about those, cuz I know you’re particularly excited about playing the Shadow.
Jeff Irving: I am. I, I, I tell you, I think it has a lot to do with both the, the race, the Athak-uul race, and the, um, focus deck. Um, I love that deck. I love some of the abilities in it. But, um, let’s start with the Spark, which is, um, the the pregenerated hero for the Spark, uh, is, her name is Drista. And so [00:15:00] she is gonna be our, um, she’s gonna have a mind focus her, her primary stat is mind.
And so she draws exclusively from that mind deck. With her first three skills. Um, she’s a caster. She’s our pure caster. If we have a mage type, it’s her, um, and so she’s gonna be hitting at, at distance, she’s gonna be hitting multiple targets. She’s gonna be kind of doing a little bit of battlefield manipulation and crowd control.
Not a lot, but she’s more about kind of direct damage. But she’s extremely soft. You know, you hit her, she’s like a soap bubble, so she has to kind of stay away from the fray.
Brandon Rollins: Mm-hmm. Does that conflict any with the, um, the Athak-uul magic being based on blood?
Jeff Irving: Um, I’ll tell you what… they do love, they, they, they, they’re all about blood. And also they have this, they have access to kind of fungal resources being underground.
And so their, their [00:16:00] magic is is kind of blood based, but it can be their own blood…
Brandon Rollins: okay.
Jeff Irving: …amount of Athak-uul a lot of of powerful, uh, skills.
And so even though, you know, you think of blood as being the enemy’s blood, which fuels their magic, it’s actually almost a self sacrificial type thing.
Brandon Rollins: Okay. So they really don’t have to be immediately in the fray in order to, to exercise their ruhl.
Jeff Irving: No. Um, they, they, uh, I mean obviously there’s, there’s benefits because they’re not afraid to bleed and because blood is part of their kind of the, the math of their magic, um, when they get hurt, when they get, um, cut, um, it actually can reduce fatigue for them because it kind of puts them in this, this kind of happy state.
You know what I mean? They’re almost, they’re sadistic or masochistic, I guess it would be. Right?
Brandon Rollins: I [00:17:00] guess it would be. Yeah. That’s, that’s so, that’s so odd.
Jeff Irving: They’re, they’re a really cool race. I mean, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re, meant to be ugly, What’d you say?
Brandon Rollins: Who am I to yuck their yum?
Jeff Irving: Exactly. Uh, but no, they’re, they’re, they’re kind of, they’re kind of repulsive and creepy. And, um, you know, I think one of the cool things about the Athak-uul too is they’re the only uh, subterranean race we have, uh, that’s playable for our heroes.
Um, so they’re, they’re accustomed to being underground. They can see underground without a penalty where everyone else, all the other five, um, are penalized because they just are not used to living and, and existing there. Their eyes are not accustomed to that.
Brandon Rollins: That’s really handy in the Underlands where it’s especially dangerous. Probably the most dangerous place in the game.
Jeff Irving: Oh yeah, definitely. Um, and the other thing that they do is they have the ability for short flight. Um, they’re not, they’re not a traditional flyer in the sense that at the end of their [00:18:00] turn, they can remain aloft. They can’t do that. They just don’t have, their wings aren’t designed to carry that much weight for that much time.
However, they kind of, they had the ability to fly over short distances, um, at their normal movement rate, which allows them to kind of, uh, hover over, um, obstacles to, to, to, so they could move farther on rough terrain because they can just essentially just fly over, um, you know, small obstacles and things like that.
So it’s nice, um, to give them this kind of consistent movement no matter what terrain they come up against, because obviously caverns are full of jagged stalagmites and ‘tites and, and pools and things that their, their culture has, you know, this ability to avoid. So. There’s, I, I could go on and on about this race, why I wanna play it.
Role #4: The Shadow
Jeff Irving: But anyway, the Shadow is the other Athak-uul hero we have. Um, and Grendleh [00:19:00] is the male Athak-uul that plays the Shadow in our pregenerated list. And the Shadow is, I think in the truest sense, kind of a Swiss army knife rogue or assassin class. They have, they have access, um, primarily to the focus deck. So the focus deck is, is a deck that serves rogues and archers pretty well because the focus, focus magic is kind of about extending one’s self into one’s environment through kind of a dextrous and, and it’s just a very focused way, uh, of projecting yourself into the world.
And, and I think martial arts and archers both kind of have that sense of focus about the way they battle and the sha… so the Shadow can kind of do a mix of that. Um, uh, they’re, like I said, they’re gonna [00:20:00] draw from the focus deck, so they have some abilities, um, to, to disarm traps.
Brandon Rollins: Mm-hmm.
Jeff Irving: Uh, to unlock, to unlock doors, um, to hide in shadows.
Brandon Rollins: That makes them really good at getting into the places where, um, others aren’t able to get into.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, they have an in, they have an in indoor-only invisibility, uh, which you have to have some darkness to be able to use this particular, uh, invisibility. Um, so yeah, I mean, they’re really, really handy in the Underlands.
Brandon Rollins: Mm-hmm.
Yeah. And, And that’s maybe where you need the most help. I mean, the mountains are gonna be quite tricky too, but especially the Underlands.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, I think, I think, I think a party going into the Underlands without a Shadow is gonna be a little bit hamstrung. Um, I think if I was gonna, if I was gonna solo play the game, um, [00:21:00] and I wanted to, to, to use the Harbinger system and use… be in the dungeons a lot, because I felt like that was kind of where the, the good items and, you know, the best treasures were.
That’s the, probably the class I would play. I would play the shadow. Um, now that being said, they, they don’t start out with a whole lot of life, you know. So you have to, you have to be careful. You have to run from some battles to stay alive. You’re not gonna be able to stay and fight everything as you advance.
You’re gonna have to pick and choose your battles until you, your life is increased enough for you to feel pretty robust.
Role #5: The Syrin
Brandon Rollins: Mm-hmm. Let’s see. So I, the next one’s on here, I, I was just looking at them. They are both Mahorii, still working on my pronunciation here. Uh, so. Excellent. So we’ve got the Syrin and the Warden.
Jeff Irving: Okay.
Brandon Rollins: Um, the Syrin’s a, a singer, right? You described the, um, the pregen Syrin as being, uh, the Whitney Houston of Vrahode.
Jeff Irving: Oh, absolutely. [00:22:00] Yeah. Um, it’s like that note, she hits in “I Will Always Love You” that you could, you could make a car alarm out of it.
Um, but, but yes, her instrument is her voice. She, it gives her the ability to do a lot of crowd control. Um, she can, she can kind of sing to her comrades, to, um, buff them. She can sing poorly, disonantly, uh, in a way that can agonize enemies and actually hurt them or, you know, distract them enough to make their attacks weaker. Weaker.
And so an amazing, amazing, uh, player to have in a party. I would, if I were playing a Syrin solo, I would spend an awful lot of time kind of trying to build them up, um, to get them prepared for some of the tougher places in the [00:23:00] world of Vrahode. Because like, if you took a Syrin solo down into the Underlands, it would be really hard to keep them alive.
And, you know, you would have to run from some, some serious battles for a while until you really learned, um, how to play, how to play them, and then also how to, you gotta get ’em geared right. You know, to give ’em some protection.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, it’s probably not the best solo hero, but very good to have in a team, especially with the ability to essentially winnow enemies down, control the…
Jeff Irving: Oh, the other thing, uh, I would, I, I think it’s important to note about the Syrin is her, her primary stat is presence.
Brandon Rollins: Mm-hmm.
Jeff Irving: So the presence is more about projecting oneself into the environment. You know, almost like an aura or a persona, is the power of that kind of projected persona into the world. They can, um, barter better than anybody with merchants because they have this, they can take on a tone of persuasion.
[00:24:00] Um, so, you know, they can, they can be good, uh, kind of diplomatic people for a group, you know, and buying and selling things sometimes. Um, they’re also, um, the pres, presence gives, uh, some heroes the ability to control others. Um, and so again, they’re kind of a crowd control, um, type player. Um, the deck, the presence deck has actually turned out to be one of my favorite decks.
Um, as far as the, the skills that are available in there, it the, it is very, um, it does a lot of thing of different things. Much like the focus deck. It’s, it’s so varied that you end up with this kind of Swiss army knife, uh, uh, hero at the end.
Role #6: Warden
Brandon Rollins: So I guess let’s, um, let’s cover the Warden in this episode, and then I say, take us out then we’ll, we’ll resume in the next one. All right, so let’s see. We, we have the Syrin, which honestly seems to be a really good team player between the just unique qualities of the presence deck and just the, um, [00:25:00] the ability to like, kind of control the flow of enemies coming in.
And for that matter, getting good loot too, from bartering. Um, but then you’ve got the Warden, so the Warden’s, the other Mahorii, and I understand that they essentially, they, they have pets with them and that’s their whole thing. Like they, they have pets that can help them do different things in the world.
How does that play out?
Jeff Irving: Uh, the, the Warden is gonna be, I don’t know. I love, I love the hunter in World of Warcraft. It was one of my favorite, um, heroes to play. They have this, you know, they have this ability to just summon a pet, which is an enemy, you know, they basically tame an enemy and, um, we like, we liked that for the Warden.
So, you know, they’re gonna be a ranged attacker almost exclusively, because when they enter into melee combat, they lose the ability to control their pet. Um, but their pets again, much like, WOW. WOW did it because I loved that. You have [00:26:00] to, you have to tame an enemy.
And, and so they use their magic, their presence magic is, is there to tame that enemy. And, and the, the health of that enemy has, obviously has to be below theirs. They can’t, they can’t tame things that are more powerful or have more life than the Warden itself. So if it, this is something that has a lower life than them, they can use their magic to then tame it.
And that enemy, that basic enemy, you can’t do it with bosses and you can’t do it with racial enemies. Uh, But these are, these are the rest of the enemies. As long as their health is below that of the Warden they have the ability to tame them and control them as long as they stay out of melee until they rest next.
When they rest the Warden, the, the, the, the creature is released. They’re, they’re then freed to go on and, and live their life, but while the Warden is [00:27:00] awake and after he has tamed that enemy, it will serve them until they rest next. And so that’s a cool thing because then what you get is you get this kind of unique, uh, this, you’re, the Warden’s pet is essentially kind of their, the, the extension of them in combat, in melee in, in a lot of cases, or could also be ranged, but it changes for them daily.
And so playing Warden is fun because you, one, you’re an archer. So you’ve got, you’ve got a bow, you’ve got amazing, uh, abilities that you, you know, skills that use the bow and enhance arrows, make them magical, make these attacks magical. And as long as you stay out at range, you have this other, essentially this other character that changes daily.
So every, every day you wake up and you tame something new and you get to play kind of a different play style every day. So this is for, this is for the people that like a lot of, uh, kind of variety to their play style.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, [00:28:00] that’s cool. So do you just take the enemy card, um, once you tame them and just kind of carry it around with you?
Jeff Irving: You do? Um, we put an extra, we put an extra enemy card for each enemy in the deck, uh, uh, so that if, if an enemy type is, is tamed, then yes, the Warden can grab that card and keep it by them until they rest, in which, at which point they relinquish that card. Um, we do, because we don’t want battles to get sloppy and to have way too many pieces for it to be manageable.
We limit the number of pet, um, taming folks to one, there can only be a single Warden in a group. We have other means of summoning help. And we can also, um, yeah, I don’t wanna get too deep into the weeds on that one. We have other possibilities for [00:29:00] not necessarily pets. But summonables, let’s put it that way, summonables. There are other summonables that can join us in, in, in battle, but there will always be one Warden, no more.
Brandon Rollins: All right. Yeah, and, and I, I figured that just simply because you can just tame different stuff and I, like, change it out over a time that’s gonna lend quite a bit of variety to their place style. So I’m actually looking forward to seeing how that plays out in play testing. That’s gonna be a fun one.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. And it’s nice too because as the Warden advances see their life’s going
Brandon Rollins: Mm-hmm.
Jeff Irving: So it allows…
Brandon Rollins: Oh. So you can get better and better enemies over time.
Jeff Irving: That’s it. You can have better and better, as you progress, because as long as their life is less than yours, your skill in, it’s called bestial mastery. Um, your skill in bestial mastery will allow you to, to, to have them come up just beneath you. And that’s nice.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. Yeah, that’s gonna be fun. So we are actually, I say [00:30:00] let’s, let’s stop here. Let’s cover the next six in the next episode. And, um, why don’t you take us out on this one?
Jeff Irving: Thank you for listening to the Vrahode Tavern Podcast. If you’re enjoying this show, take a moment to subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts. If you’re on Apple Podcasts, please leave a five star review. It helps more than you know.
You can learn more about Vrahode on vrahode.com. That’s V R A H O D E .COM. Link in the show notes. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we are @Vrahode. Thank you again for listening. We really appreciate it. Keep an eye out for our next episode in two weeks.