Vrahode is coming to Origins Game Far in Columbus, Ohio. Find Jeff at Booth #731 from June 21 to June 25.
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy5rapu8Dd4
Vrahode will be coming to Kickstarter most likely in quarter one of 2024. 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.
Jeff Irving: My name is Jeff Irving, and this is the Vrahode Tavern Podcast. I’m the creator of the Vrahode Game System and in this podcast we’re gonna do a deep dive into the lore and gameplay of Vrahode. I’m joined by Brandon Rollins who will be acting as your stand-in, asking many of the questions you might be curious about yourself.
Brandon, what’s the topic for today?
KublaCon & Origins Prep
Brandon Rollins: All right, so for today’s topic, I was actually gonna ask you about what you’re doing to prepare for KublaCon in May and Origins in June.
Jeff Irving: KublaCon, obviously first, uh, it’s a, it’s a bit smaller convention, but we have a really large presence there. We’ve got an L-shaped booth right up front. Um, we’re gonna be running two demo types concurrently. We’re gonna be running on one table, we’re gonna be running Overland demo. And on the other we’re gonna be running Underlands demos.
We’re gonna be showcasing the new Table Tone, the Vrahode custom music and audio app that, that the folks from Table Tone are working on for us. It really adds a whole kind of another layer of immersion to the experience. And so we’re excited because we just wrapped up, some, as we talked about in the last podcast, we just wrapped up some good play testing to kind of seal the deal on Underlands Exploration.
And so we’re ready. We feel like we’re ready to demo that maybe even with a little bit of Harbinger thrown in for good measure. You know, uh, just a couple, maybe a couple level dungeon, just to let people have a taste of what the Harbinger looks like on the table. Um, and, and that Table Tone app is just, I mean, we’re just starting down the development road on Table Tone and customizing it to the Vrahode game series.
So it’s like, if you get the master all in, uh, during the Kickstarter, you get, you know, you’re gonna get that Table Tone app with it. But, um, like if you’re in, in the forest, you know, you’ve got this beautiful ambient noise going on, and then if you go into combat in the forest, you can add that to the sound stage.
And I mean, it just, I don’t know. I was really blown away by it. And like I said, we’re just starting with them customizing it for, for us. And then if you, as you go through the series, you can purchase little packs, audio packs that plug onto this app. So like you, you know, you’ve got the core box, which is a, a big one.
And then you’ve got expansion one, which is a relatively smaller pack for the Vrahode app. And then expansion two is another big one because we have, you know, four new home villages that you can go visit because we’ve got new races of heroes joining the war. And so those home villages each has a unique music style that’s associated with it.
And then you go into the last expansion and it’s a little bit smaller again, but each one of those packs plugs onto the, to the, to the core box. And each one has a unique skin. So you see Vrahode art when you, when you each expansion, you, you know, you get, you get a new, you get a new skin, um, to show that you’re playing in expansion one or expansion two.
And I mean, I, the part that I’m blown away is I’ve, I’ve messed with this app just a little bit and I’m not a big app guy, so, so app navigation and, and, and management is not something that comes naturally to me. I feel kind of awkward with it. But in the meeting I had with table tone just before this call, they were explaining to me how you can build custom scenes like before the game night.
Like if you know you’re gonna play and you know that you’re going into a certain area of the world, you can basically kind of build custom scenes for the, for that night. I mean, I was like, what? So, oh yeah. I mean, it’s just, it’s so immersive. But anyway, so so KublaCon. Yeah. So KublaCon, we’ve got this huge L-shaped booth.
We’re running concurrent demos. We’re running the table tone, the Vrahode custom Table Tone, music and sound app during the show. Um, we can’t be super loud with it, but we’re kind of away from everybody, so, you know, it’s gonna help make it a little easier to, um, to do that. Origins is a whole different animal.
We just have a 10 foot booth. Um, as you know, Origins, GenCon, all the big ones are really expensive to attend and to have a booth. So, but we do have our, our standard 2023, um, Weathervane Games and Vrahode Booth we’re setting that up. One table, um, we were going to be running, um, demos in Hall C, which is, um, another area it’s not in the exhibitor’s hall.
And I, I wanted, I talked to, um, the folks from Origins and I said, hey, I, I want to just run scheduled demos in our booth. And you can’t do that. If you wanna run scheduled events, you have to do it outside the exhibit hall. You have to do it in a play area. And so what we’re gonna do instead, We’re gonna run all of our demos in the booth and we’re gonna have a countdown clock.
We’re gonna have a digital countdown clock. So like, if we get a group of people that want a demo, we’re gonna start the countdown clock and in two hours we’re gonna start the next demo. And that way people that come by the booth know when they can come back and, and do the next demo, but they also know they’re going to get adequate time to play and really experience the game.
And at Origins, because we only have a 10 foot booth, we’re only gonna have one demo table. So one day we will run Overland demos. The next day we will run Underlands demos. So like, if you come one day and you want to do a, a demo one day, you can come back the next day and then see a completely different demo and experience a whole different group of mechanics for, for the game, which we have eight separate biomes in the game that play subtly different, but Underlands is the most different of all of them. And so you can, you can, you can play, play a demo one day and probably experience a biome or two and then come back the next day and experience Underlands guaranteed.
So that’ll be, I think, I think it’ll be fun.
Brandon Rollins: That’s gonna give people a reason to visit the booth more than once. Um, which at a place like Origins, I mean like, if you can get even a handful of people coming back for more, that’s a really good sign.
The fact that you’re sharing with Ravenwood doesn’t hurt either.
Jeff Irving: No, we’ll have, we’ll have Rob and Jen from Ravenwood Woodworks there, um, from Vancouver, Washington. Um, by then, we’ll definitely have some Vrahode branded accessories to go with. Um, uh, everything else we’re showcasing. Um, And I think I’m gonna, I’m hoping this is, I’m not lying, but I think even though they may not have a whole lot of Vrahode branded stuff yet, I think they might actually have some stuff to send to KublaCon with us as well.
Even though they’re not gonna be there, they’re just gonna ship it. So I don’t want to overpromise and underdeliver, but I think we’ll have some Ravenwood stuff there. We may have some like flyers and stickers to hand out from them, but when you guys see this stuff, woo. I mean it’s above high quality.
It’s Cadillac. I mean, it’s just Cadillac.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, like I, I can’t wait to see it because I’ve, I’ve seen what they’re capable of doing for non-Vrahode stuff, and it’s really, really good looking.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. I mean, when you’ve got a, a dice tray that is some sort of strange, exotic wood and it’s got resin in it and it’s live edge. And, and I mean, it’s, it’s all cut on a CNC machine, so it’s perfect. I mean, it, it has a very unique crisp, well, it’s basically what Wormwood is doing without the drama.
Brandon Rollins: Pretty much.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. It’s like Wormwood quality. It’s just you don’t have the drama that goes on at Wormwood.
Brandon Rollins: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And, and you know, I, I didn’t wanna let this slip by, like you said, you’ve got a good booth at, um, KublaCon. You’ve got a comically good booth, like it is, I, I could not honestly imagine you having a better setup L-shaped like as soon as you walk in, you’re visible and it’s one of the largest ones there, that’s just completely ridiculous.
Everything about, like, it’s a very favorable booth.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, we’re, we’re happy to be a little bit bigger fish in a little smaller pond.
Uh, Kubla. I mean, I, I guess I could do a quick mention of the fact that we’re going to be at GenCon.
It’s not, we’re not gonna have a booth. We’re gonna be in the first exposure play test hall. Um, and we have our events already filling up for that for people to demo Vrahode, um, at that in early August.
So that’ll be another fun experience. And it’ll be, even though we don’t have a booth, it’s such a huge event that just being there is, is a big deal. And so hopefully, um, we get some, uh, some of our friends in the Midwest to come and, uh, and play some bra hood with us.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, and for that, I think just being able to talk to people and have conversations is probably going to help just because of how huge con GenCon is. And I know the rules on promotion are tight, but it’s like, you know, people still go there to build the relationships that end up leading the bigger things later on.
Recent MOB Vanguard Deal
Brandon Rollins: The convention prep, that’s big news already, but you’ve got some other big news from relatively recently that I, I wanna mention, am I allowed to mention this? I guess I’ll edit it out, if not, um, you just signed on with MOB Vanguard, which is like kind of a huge deal.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. Uh, I’ll tell you, I, I wish I could take credit for, you know, the art direction and the game design facets. Um, as to why MOB Vanguard decided to sign us on for a five year contract, which is, by the way, longer than normal. Um, they normally do like a three or four year contract. I sent our writing, I sent our campaign book over, and that is the sole reason that MOB Vanguard wanted to work with us. Is because they loved our writing. And so, you know, we, we’ve talked a lot about the Harbinger, we’ve talked about our minis, we’ve talked about our dashboards, we’ve talked about all kinds of assets. Um, the thing that is yet to be drug kicking and screaming into the light has been all of the, this voluminous writing that, that Shawn Dressler and his partner have been doing.
Um, and it’s, it’s amazing. I mean, I would put our writing for the Vrahode series up against any competitor, big or small. I mean, we, we’ve got really, really good writing.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, and I mean, like Shawn’s been doing this for a while. He’s got a bunch of books out. I, I mean, we’ve had a, we had a handful of podcasts with him too. If anybody wants to go back and listen to those, I’ll, um, I’ll be sure to link him in here. It, it’s good stuff, you know. It’s good. It, because, just because he’s, I mean, he is got his reps in when it comes to writing for sure.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. But, but on the MOB, on the MOB Vanguard front, what does it mean? I mean, what is MOB Vanguard and what, who cares? Right? Why should anybody care? Well, MOB Vanguard is a company, um, out of Greece, and their expertise is to seek out companies in other countries to create versions of Vrahode in other languages.
And so they, they, they’ll go to partners in Germany and partners in France and wherever, Poland, wherever, Italy, and present our product to them. And if they show interest, then they can bring us, um, contracts to work with. With those countries to do localized, uh, copies in their languages. And so that, that is a, a way to seek new markets and to have a larger reach with our game, and we’re really excited about it.
Brandon Rollins: Mm-hmm. And it just, not only that, but it also, like these contracts, they, they actually inject money into the project early on, don’t they?
Jeff Irving: They can, um, I mean obviously you can’t sell, um, you, you need to have a, a, a product that’s very far along in order to have genuine interest and people willing to support you. Um, but we’re, we’re nearing that point. We’re, we’re at that point now where, um, the game is essentially done other than wrapping up the writing for the, um, the expansions and then the formatting of all the large documents.
That’s basically what’s left. Everything else is just, um, is done. You know, we’ve got a lot of art that’s done. We’ve got minis done, dashboards done. Um, some of the smaller documents done. It’s just a matter of, it’s, it’s a lot of writing, you know, to the tune of 500,000 words that takes a while.
Yeah, I think we’re getting real close
Setup & Rule Guide + Campaign & Quest Books
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, like most of the gameplay stuff is done. It’s um, it’s the Quest books they still need to the Campaign & Quest books. Those are still in progress. Um, and it’s also the Setup and Rule Guide, right?
Jeff Irving: Set up and Rule Guide is at the point now where, um, I made a, a, a pass through it just this last week and handed it over to Flo, uh, to begin to format it. And so we’re right there. Is it gonna be done? No. Is it gonna be polished enough for Tabletop Simulator and for people to review it and get a really good idea of our rule system?
Absolutely. Um, it’s just, it’ll still be a work in progress that’ll, that’ll deserve probably three more passes of proofing just to make sure we’re happy with it. Um, but the nice thing about the Setup and Rule Guide is it was, it was kind of distilled directly from the campaign book. And so having it to this point also lets you know where the rules are within the campaign book.
Uh, so we’re getting really close and it’s exciting.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the fact that you’ve passed this on to Flo now, by the way, like, just so everybody listening knows like things are changing so quickly. I like, I keep it, I keep charge of a lot of the project management here, and that’s an update from the last few days. That’s how quickly, that’s how quickly things are moving along.
It also means I need to get that up spreadsheet update as soon as we’re off the, as soon as we’re off the call.
Jeff Irving: Absolutely. Also, I will let you know that I’ve already hired, um, Guilherme Holz and Guilherme Nakashima, uh, two Brazilians, uh, that have done a lot of work for us before on the project. As card artists. They are back on the new cards. Uh, we talked in the last episode a little bit about, um, some of the new cards that we introduced there at the end of play testing, uh, about a dozen or so new cards.
And they are, they’ve already been commissioned to do the work. They’re start, they’ve already started on them. Um, I will also say that Moreno Paissan, who has done all of our village maps, um, I just commissioned Moreno and Angela, his girlfriend in Italy to do a grouping or a lineup, if you will, of the four new, four new races that are joining the, the war to save Vrahode. Um, they’re introduced in expansion two, so that’s, that’s a grouping of, of a Chrone, a Ju’Airne, a Sahrhune, and a Greenleng. So they’re all standing there together looking like, uh, soldiers getting ready to go off to war. And I just saw the, the first, uh, I saw the sketch of it today and was just blown away.
In fact, I have, I have a piece of art that’s already been done for the game that is a larger lineup of heroes that I may actually have redone by Moreno, because I love his style so much.
Brandon Rollins: I am glad we got ’em back on the project cause they’re really good at what they do. And plus you also get the benefit of having really consistent art too.
Jeff Irving: I think it’s, I think that’s important. I think we may actually do that because it just, I don’t know, this project is just too important to get everything right, you know? Not that there’s not other uses for that piece that we already have. There is, but, you know, it’s just too important not to just nail it, you know?
Brandon Rollins: Mm-hmm.
Jeff Irving: So what else can we talk about, Brandon?
What Jeff’s looking forward to at the next conventions
Brandon Rollins: Well, I, I’m, I’m curious, like back to the subject of cons, what are you most looking forward to with these next two, now that you’ve got a little con experience under your belt?
Jeff Irving: Well, I think one thing that’s gonna be nice is, although it’s a little bit of a, of an ask for me to have my, my daughter Katie run demos, um, she’s gonna have to, um, because at Kubla, we have two tables and we’re running concurrent demos. I can’t run both. So I’m really looking forward to, um, helping her kind of get into her rhythm of running demos for people.
She knows the game, she’s played the game a ton. She has kind of stepped in when I’ve had to go to the restroom or grab a bite to eat. But this’ll be her first time of actually kind of running the gauntlet of, of a full day of running demos. And I think she’ll get really good, really fast, cuz that’s usually the way things work.
If you’re forced to do something, the first time’s a little nerve-wracking, but then after that you kind of start hitting your rhythm. Um, and I expect her to do a great job. Um, and then I, I think you know, either Kristin or Ryan, our other two booth people, um, which Kristin’s my wife and Ryan is Katie’s fiance.
Um, one of them hopefully will be able to help us a little bit with the, um, the audio app. So that, like, we can take it over here and let the Overland people hear what’s going on with it, and then we’ll take it over here and we’ll let the people that are doing the Underlands demos kind of get a taste of it.
And, uh, so one of them will have to be a little bit of a floater.
Brandon Rollins: Now, this’ll totally free you up to engage with media folks.
Jeff Irving: Oh God, no. I’ll be so busy because I have to run one of the demos.
Brandon Rollins: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s right.
Jeff Irving: Uh, now Origins, Origins is a different story. If everything goes well, if everything goes well at Kubla and there’s not much media presence at Kubla, um, it it’s much like Genghis. But, but at Origins, if I’ve done my job right at Kubla, then at Origins, yes, I can get freed up to be with the media and to, to hopefully do a lot more interviews, podcast stuff.
And, um, Katie, um, and, and maybe even with some help from Kristin or Ryan, they can run the demos and I can step away.
Brandon Rollins: Come to think of it, I think this is gonna work out for you. Um, I’m glad you pointed that out cause I was getting confused on the two Origins. Of course. Yeah. You, you have to wander around cuz there’s so much there. You want to go meet people yourself. Kubla, I actually think is gonna be small and tight enough and your presence there big enough that you’re actually gonna pull people to you.
So you won’t even have to work as hard in that kind of situation.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, I know I have, I know I have Logan an interview with Logan Chops who, um, um, does game reviews and interviews and stuff. And we were supposed to do one back around Genghis time and we just, he got busy. I got busy. And so he’s gonna be at Kubla, so, so me and Logan Chops will be doing an interview there.
Um, And then I know I’ve got some interviews starting for Origins already. Um, so I’m just, I’m thrilled. Yeah. If I can get freed up for Origins, um, that’ll be great. And then especially at GenCon. See, cuz at GenCon we only have that table in the play test hall, and I’m, I’m, uh, bringing a friend, uh, Rance (?) Who’s gonna run demos for me there.
And so at Genghis, or, I mean at GenCon, I should be really freed up.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, absolutely. I, I’m glad you’ve got people who are able to run demos on your behalf. Cuz if you had to solo this, that would be just ridiculously hard to do.
Jeff Irving: It’s a lot of work. I mean, I love it. I, I love, I love it because I care so much about the product. It’s just I start running out of voice. You know, my, my voice starts going, especially on like day two and day three. I’m just, I’m pretty shredded, you know.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I don’t blame you. It’s a loud environment. You have to speak up in that, in that kind of situation.
Yeah. You’re gonna have a ton of fun. I, I think, I think, I mean, like, KublaCon, people are gonna be able to see social media pic, like pictures on social by the time this drops. Anyway, um, you’re, you’re, you’re gonna, you’re gonna love that.
You’re gonna be energized by that same thing with the Origins. Um, I think that’s gonna work out really well for you.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, I do too. And it’ll be so fun to have Rob and Jen in the, in the booth with us as partners and, you know, their excitement to create accessories for our game system and our ability to show off the Table Tone app, uh, and our partnership with Table Tone. I mean, it just goes to show you that if you’re not greedy and you just really wanna make the best products that you can, um, that a rising tide lifts all boats.
And that’s, that’s been our attitude. Yeah. It’s been our attitude since the beginning is let’s not be greedy, you know? Um, let’s just try to, to provide the best product we can and if we feel like being part of this journey with us, uh, helps partners, then let’s do it.
Brandon Rollins: So with all this in mind, um, I know that you actually do have to start getting ready for the conventions very soon. I say, let’s go ahead and call this one, and I’m gonna come up with something interesting to discuss in the next podcast. Honestly, we might even, we might even get a fan on here. That would be cool.
You know, just have, yeah. I think we’re about at that point, right? You know, we can probably hit up people on the Facebook group or Discord and get somebody to join on. I, I think it’d be a neat way to get some, get some, um, new questions in there.
Jeff Irving: Is there any way, Brandon, is there any way we could do a podcast but also have it be connected somehow to a, a Discord so that we could kind of field questions on the fly?
Brandon Rollins: I mean, we could, the, we could theoretically do that. We could schedule an event, let people know. But I was actually thinking, if you’re gonna do that, we might actually, um, turn that into like a livestream event and have people, um, send in their questions, have a moderator field them to you, which I could do and, uh, work like that.
I, I actually very recently did a, um, did a, did a webinar, a summit where that was how it worked. Like questions came in from the audience.
Jeff Irving: I mean, was it?
Brandon Rollins: Oh, it went really well. We got tons of, tons of engagement. As long as we just had the moderator there, it was fine. I mean, it was all on Zoom, like very familiar. Easy stuff.
Uh, I bet you Twitch and YouTube probably have better systems for that, though. I haven’t looked into ’em too much.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. We could, we could give it a try. I mean, I, I would love to get some hands on.
Brandon Rollins: So yeah. But a stepping stone, we’ll just get a fan or two on here. That would be neat.
Jeff Irving: I would love it. I’ve got a few people in mind, um, that have been, that have played the game and have interest, uh, at conventions. Um, so yeah, I definitely have a few, few people in mind that I would love to have on.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. So I think we’ll do that next time.
Jeff Irving: Great.
Brandon Rollins: All right. Until then, do you wanna take us out?
Jeff Irving: Sure.
Thank you for listening to the Vrahode Tavern Podcast. If you enjoyed this show, take a moment to subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts. And 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.