What’s in Store for Valor

Hello! Liana here, I wanted to sit down and talk through where we stand and where we hope to go with Valorous Games in the upcoming months and years. It’s been a long time since we did one of these posts, so I’ll try not to be TOO wordy but I have a lot of ground to cover. Let’s get into it!

We continue to work through the Pandemic, although it has caused a number of issues for us operationally. While still modest, we relied a lot on the profits from conventions to help fund our new products. Having lost two years of that revenue has hurt quite a bit. Fortunately, we have received a boon in the way of some government disaster funding which we hope to stretch toward pushing some of our larger projects forward.

Our first major developmental project is a full errata update to our Core Rulebook. We’ve been out for years now, and over time people have found a number of rules and balance issues that need tweaking and sorting to make the system run smoother. On top of that, our master file had some issues that prevented us from extracting the text to make a proper fix. We’ve been undergoing the painstaking process of fully rebuilding the book from legacy text files, and I’m excited to say we’re very nearly done. I’m coordinating with our designer and we hope to have this moving through the reconstruction process soon. Upon completion, we will release an updated PDF file that will be available for free to anybody who owns the book in any form. For itch.io and DrivethruRPG customers, we’ll push an update through the system that people will be able to download. We’re looking into options for Storenvy customers, our intent is to blast an email with a download link. Finally, for convention customers who only purchased the book or for those who have purchased through one of our distributors, we’ll open an email where you can send a picture of your hardcover and receive a PDF download link.

Once the PDF is fully updated, we’ll be launching a Kickstarter to fund a second printing. Even with the pandemic, Valor’s sales have been steady and interest continues to grow. We couldn’t be more thrilled and with the major updates and our physical stock dwindling now is the perfect time to go for a second printing. With all the layout work completed, the printing should be a fairly quick process so our hope is this particular Kickstarter will be fulfilled somewhere between 3 and 5 months after completion depending on current freight times.

While that is in progress, we’ll be launching back into Valor: Villains, Creatures and Foes. While we were unsuccessful in Kickstarting the book several years ago, we still have most of the completed text on hand. We’ve been assessing what we have completed and determined that part of the issue with the book was simply its immense size – clocking in at 400 pages in a word document the book would have easily been 800 pages, an art budget for which could quite easily run tens of thousands of dollars and well beyond our funding capabilities. With that in mind, we’ve made the decision to split out the book into two books, focusing on Foes that work best with our two in-development campaign settings. Our hope for this is to have the text wrapped up later this year and get the art in a good enough position to Kickstart for the final push and printing in 2023. We’ll be first focusing on the Foes from Valress, featured in the Actual Play Windriders which is currently available on YouTube.

With the Foes book focusing on specific lore related to our original settings, we’ll also be working to further produce information for our two campaign settings currently in development. Part of this will be through our Actual Plays, with Windriders Season 2 expecting to launch later this Summer and The Woven launching on June 10th and featuring our new Lenaia setting. With these two settings in progress, our hope is to release more infomation on them with hopes of releasing proper setting supplements and adventure paths over time. We’re also interested in exploring other mediums, and are in early discussions with some writers to write some novels within the settings. More to come on that as it develops!

In terms of core books, once we finish the first Foes book we’ll assess whether the second is in a position to push but our hope is to focus in on our Tools of the Trade expansion, the alpha for which can be found on itch.io. With the Foes book, we want to make sure we’re giving player characters a lot of new and interesting options to really engage with the system and open up new forms of play and engagement.

Beyond that, we’re still working on improving our web and tech presence. Development on the Character Builder continues with assistance from our phenomenal Discord community in identifying bugs and errors. We’re also working on putting together a proper SRD that we hope to make widely available. We’re committed to making Valor a strong option for any TTRPG that wants to draw heavier inspiration from Anime, Manga and Super Hero fiction and part of that is taking full advantage of our Creative Commons license to allow other creators to develop for and even sell their own Valor projects without being required to give us any money at all. A healthy system is one people can freely develop for, and we fully support this for our community and want to deliver the tools to allow them to do so. Depending on the success of our other programs, we are also hoping to update our web presence to something stronger, we’d love to allow users to fully register and manage all their digital files and products directly on our website. This is a lower priority for us, but if we manage to secure additional funding it is something we’d like to explore to improve our online services for all our players and fans.

When all is said and done, the goal for Valor hasn’t changed – we want to create a fun and engaging system that people love to play. We want to deliver this system to as wide an audience as possible, and engage fans who want to play tabletop RPGs but haven’t been able to get into them yet. We want to keep improving the game so people still want to play it for another decade.

This isn’t an easy journey. We are entirely self-funded, we both work day jobs and divert whatever money we can spare to keeping this business rolling. We keep at it because we love the system and we love the community that has formed around it, we love being able to meet fans at conventions and hear about the games they’re running (Valor fans REALLY love My Hero Academia as it turns out), hear stories of their epic moments, and the kinds of things they want to do with the system. You all make it worth it. Even after all these years, we’re still having a blast creating and playing Valor, and we hope you will all continue to join us as we keep pushing forward. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for your continued support, I will do my best to deliver great content that keeps you playing for years to come.

Liana MacKenzie

Valorous Games Owner and Lead Designer

Announcing Valor Live: Best in Class

We’re excited to announce our next Live Play! Valor Live: Best in Class will debut with episode 0 on Saturday, February 27th at 2:00 PM Pacific Time on our Twitch Channel! This will be a bi-weekly game run by Valor Co-Creator Austin MacKenzie. This game will explore our Best in Class module which we  hope to release physical copies of within the next few months. It will follow the exploits of a group of students within the Knighthood program at the illustrious Silver League school Mercurial University.

As with the original Valor Live: Wind Riders campaign this game will take place in our modern fantasy Valress setting. We’ll reveal the characters with session 0, but first, let’s meet the cast!

Asher Dmitri

Asher Dmitri is a curious little nonbinary individual living out of the Pacific Northwest. They discovered a love for art and comics at a young age and chose to follow the bonkers path of a self-taught artist, which brought them to conventions, and ultimately to a seat at an early Valor playtest panel. From there, they not only found a love for the Valor system, they also joined Austin’s team as a baby artist, providing some of their work to the core manual. They’ve since gone on to work in Kickstarter projects, comics, music, and voice acting, as well as finding time to take their first art class through Syn Studio. Today, they’re a freelance illustrator working out of their home with their spouse, still in the dampest corner of Washington state. Eleven months living indoors and counting – Stay safe out there, everyone!

Jason de Kanter Gualberto

Jason de Kanter Gualberto is a Texas-born IT professional, occasional freelance writer, and host of the podcast Come Back a Star: A Movie Award Podcast. He had an unusual childhood with parents who both grew up in fascist Spain. He went to one of those high schools that taught Creationism and had Latin as a required course. College at the University of Chicago opened Jason’s eyes up to a broader world of social science, movies, and acting – all worlds that he still loves to this day.

Jason has been a proud supporter and play tester of Valor ever since he befriended creator Austin MacKenzie when they both worked in the aerospace forges of Washington state. Buying metals for the might of the Boeing Empire took its toll and the two witnessed many lives sacrificed to the success of the dreaded Project Polymos. After a while, the furnaces became too hot, and, after a daring escape, the two left for greener pastures. Theirs is a bond forged in blood, loss, and triumph against overwhelming orcs.

These days, Austin is a game dev and Jason supports Project Polymos from the comfort of his home office.

You can catch Jason’s Come Back a Star podcast, covering every Best Picture winner and nominee since 1927, every week on Thursdays.

Jenna MacKenzie

Jenna MacKenzie has been with Valor for over a decade, being introduced to the system during its first convention demo in 2009. From then on, she was hooked, hopping on board as a playtester, PR/event manager and one of the founding members of Valorous Games. A Midwestern transplant with a background in vocal performance and stage acting, she looks forward to bringing nearly a decade of opera, musical and improv theater experience to Valor Live: Best in Class. When she isn’t flexing her managerial muscles or doing weird voices on the internet, she can be found streaming old-school RPGs and randomly bursting into song on Twitch.

Zack Maher

A self-proclaimed “King of Screaming,” Zack Maher is a voice actor who’s work you can hear in various indie animations and video games all over the internet. Notable credits include Dr. Sylvester Ashling in the animated series Epithet Erased, and various characters in the So This is Basically webseries.

For that past five years Zack has been creating laughs, delivering tears, and making unforgettable memories in various tabletop games. He is a frequent GM and player in different streamed shows that can be found at https://www.twitch.tv/surpriseroundrpg. He also served as the GM for the first show of Valor Live: Wind Riders, happily excited to work on the player side of story telling.

When he’s not booking jobs or playing games, Zack is also pursuing the field of school psychology, where he hopes to provide kids the resources they need to succeed in their education. He also hopes to develop a specialty for transgender advocacy in the schools he’ll be working with in the future.

Episode 6 Guest – Joe Zieja

Valor Live Episode 6 will feature our second Guest actor! Please welcome Joe Zieja, who will be playing the fey Purifier Probasus Spasimo!

Joe is a writer, voice-over actor and general creative with a huge array of notable credits. His EPIC FAILURE series, inspired by his time with the US Military and their unending inscrutable bureaucracy is described by critics as “Terry Pratchett in space”. His voice-over credits include Bumblebee from Transformers, War for Cybertron: Siege, Claude von Riegan in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Fox McCloud in Star Fox Zero: the Battle Begins, and Kurt Vander in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III & IV. When not voicing your favorite characters, Joe can be found enjoying a number of physical pursuits such as parkour, scuba diving, and flying planes. Joe currently resides in the city of Los Angeles, where he frequently criticizes the driving “talent” of West Coast drivers.


On Valor Live, Joe is bringing the character Probasus Spasimo, an Unseelie Fey Purifier. Purifiers are tasked with eliminating mortals and immortals that have, through their own evil action become consumed by Soul Taint lest they become demons, a job Probasus carries out with gusto and brutal efficiency.


Joe can be found all over the internet, and you can find those links below:







Patreon Launch and Tools of the Trade on Early Access

Hey everyone, a few announcements today!

First, we are pleased to announce that the Core Rulebook Valor: Tools of the Trade is now available on Early Access! You can find it here: https://valorousgames.itch.io/tools-of-the-trade

This is the first of our Early Access and Micro-Content projects, with a more complete version of Villains, Creatures and Foes expected a bit later after we get all 400 pages of it into some semblance of a workable format for export. You can read a bit  more about our Early Access program here

Second, we have officially launched our Patreon! It can be found here

While we will still be working behind the scenes to customize the page, the core goals are providing alternate ways to support Valor development. Patreon proceeds will go toward supporting programs such as Valor Live, as well as full product releases so we appreciate your support!

Third, we are launching a second stream over on our Twitch channel, which can be found here

This stream will be every Tuesday at 6:00 PM Pacific time. We’ve currently slated it to run one hour, but depending on the response we are open to increasing that time as needed. These streams will feature Valorous Games owner and Lead Designer Austin MacKenzie, who will walk through in-development content such as rules used in Valor Live or some of the Early Access content. He will also take questions from the stream, and unveil development content requested by Patrons. The Valor Development Stream will launch on October 27th, where we will explore the freeway rules used in Valor Live Episode 3: Immortal Wind (episode found here)

Finally, we’re down to the final map for Best in Class art! Expect an update on Best in Class hopefully in a few days!

Casting Call – Voice Actors

Valorous Games is seeking outgoing, talented people for a Valor Live Play program! This will be a paid position where actors will play a campaign of Valor within our upcoming Modern Fantasy Valress setting. The play sessions will be posted and uploaded, and depending on the circumstances they may also be streamed on Twitch. The games themselves will be run online through Roll20 using our Valor character sheet, and will use either Discord or Zoom for the recording. We’re specifically seeking voice actors or stage actors (established or not), especially those with interest or experience in JRPG and Anime acting. We also strongly encourage LGBTQI+ and BIPOC actors to apply!

Read more

COVID-19 Update and Bonus Content

Hello everyone Austin here again, thank you all for your well-wishes and understanding as we navigate the COVID-19 crisis. We have some great news on our end, as well as an early release of some fun bonus content as an additional thanks for your understanding during this difficult time.

First, I’ve received an offer for a position which will eliminate the immediate funding crisis. I expect it will take a bit of time to fully ramp back up (especially since I’m running into issues getting my Unemployment due to the strain on the system and my Valor operations being incorrectly classified as income), but my hope is that by mid-May or early June we should be back on track. Additionally, since we did have some distribution earnings, I have resumed production on Best in Class, the distribution earnings aren’t enough to complete the project but they’ve got us working again so hopefully we’ll be able to return to the project in full soon and get this finished.

As a reminder, our Valor store sale is continuing through the rest of the month, if you’re looking for a Hardcover book at $10 off or an eBook for justt $5, now is a great time to grab it!

Finally, one of the things I am looking at is ways to get content I’ve been working on out to the general public earlier – while having it written is all well and good if I’m not able to get it released fully due to expense (such as with the entirety of the Foes book), it’s not really doing any good. I’m looking into a Patreon-based model to keep moving these larger book projects that require a massive amount of investment to complete, while I don’t have a full view of how it will look this is an example of content you might generally expect were you to back us – regular micro-updates of new skills and abilities. The abilities presented below are some of my favorite introductions in Villains, Creatures and Foes – the Personal Domain Ultimate Core and some related mods (as well as the Effect Lock standard mod). This Core allows you to create a domain of influence around the area and gives a lot of interesting and unique abilities, it’s especially handy for big, threatening bosses but can also be effective in the hands of PCs. Just make sure to come up with a dramatic chant about bones and swords so you can get that extra Valor from your GM!

Ultimate Cores

Personal Domain

You exert your influence over a part of the battlefield, generating a personal domain that empowers your allies and hampers your enemies.

Action: Support

Cost: 3 per Technique level

Effect: This Technique creates a broad zone that aids your allies and hinders your enemies, targeting every space within 1 space of the user per Season (2 spaces at Season 2, 3 spaces at Season 3, and 4 spaces at Season 4). When creating a Personal Domain Technique, select a combination of Flaws and Skills. Each point of Core Power for this Technique counts as 1 SP for flaws, or 2 SP for Skills, and the combination of Flaws and Skills cannot exceed the Core Power. Personal Domain may use Boost and Weaken-only Skills and Flaws. All Skills are automatically applied to the user and any allies within the Domain. When you use this Technique, make an opposed roll of any Active Attribute, chosen at the time of the technique’s creation, against all targets in the affected area. At the start of your turn, roll again against any unaffected enemies still in the Domain. A successful roll applies all Flaws to the character until they leave the Domain, at which point the Flaws expire at the beginning of your next turn. The defender may substitute an Active Attribute as if the Personal Domain were a Weaken Technique. The Domain persists until the end of the scene, or until the character who created it is Incapacitated. 

Special: A Personal Domain Technique gets 2 levels of Modifiers at no cost. Each level of a Personal Domain Technique that is not used for a Core Power counts as two levels for the purpose of non-Ultimate Modifiers. Ultimate Modifiers are exchanged at a rate of 1 Core Power for 1 Modifier Level, as with Ultimate Damage Core. A Personal Domain Technique is eligible for all Modifiers that can be attached to either a Boost or a Weaken Core. Skills attached to a Personal Domain may be up to one Season higher than your current Season. Modifiers attached to Personal Domain which typically have a single effect, such as Reposition, initiate at the beginning of each turn, but you must make an Attack Roll against all enemies as normal.

Alteration Modifiers

Effect Lock

Your field effects stay trained on you no matter where you move.

Applicable to: Personal Domain, Technique with Persistent Effect and Blast Radius

Season: 2nd

Level: +2

Effect: If this Technique is centered on a target, it will stick to them for the duration of the effect, moving as they do. If the target is an enemy, it only sticks to them if technique hits. If it misses on a later turn, it stops sticking to the target.

Special: If this Technique is a Mind Technique, the level is reduced to +1

Ultimate Modifiers

Astral Form

Even when outside your Domain, you can still influence it directly.

Applicable to: Personal Domain

Season: 2nd  

Level: +2

Effect: If you are not within your Personal Domain, you project an Astral Form inside of it which occupies the center of the Domain and creates a Zone of Control. You may attack through your Astral Form as if it were you. The Astral Form does not block movement.


Astral Mobility

Your Astral Form can move within the bounds of your Domain.

Applicable to: Personal Domain with the Astral Form modifier

Season: 3rd 

Level: +2

Effect: You may move your Astral Form within your Personal Domain in addition to yourself when you use a Move Action.


Influential Control

Within your Domain, you exert a greater Zone of Control

Applicable to: Personal Domain

Season: 1st 

Level: +3/+3

Effect: While inside your Personal Domain, your Zone of Control extends 1 additional space.

Level Up: Extend your Zone of Control by 1 additional space. 

Special: Bonuses from Influential Control do not extend outside of your Personal Domain; if your Zone of Control reaches the edge of the Personal Domain, the bonus does not apply to any spaces outside of the Domain.


Locked Domain

People cannot enter or leave your Domain without your approval.

Applicable to: Personal Domain

Season: 2nd 

Level: +2

Effect: If a character attempts to move out of your Domain, they must make an opposed Attribute Roll based on the Attribute assigned to the Domain. If successful, they may leave the Domain. If not, their movement stops at the edge. Techniques being used on an area inside the Zone from outside the Domain or vice-versa suffer a -2 penalty to their Attack Roll if applicable. This includes techniques used by allies, unless you apply the Smart Area of Effect modifier to your Personal Domain. If the Technique is one which requires no roll, it instead costs 4 additional Stamina per Season of the User.

COVID-19 Update

Hello everyone, this is Austin MacKenzie, owner and lead designer of Valorous Games. I wanted to speak directly today to talk about the current situation, how it’s impacted us, and how we’re working through this. These kinds of updates are unfortunately common at this point in time, so I wanted to make sure to provide as much transparency as possible.
Some of our regular convention attendees are probably aware of this but others may not be – Valorous Games is a tiny studio and labor of love managed by myself and funded by my day job as a Procurement professional. I insist on a certain degree of professional production and design because that is the kind of product I want to make and deliver. In mid-February, just as the COVID-19 situation was starting to ramp up, I lost my job and haven’t been able to secure a new one at this point in time. This, combined with the cancellation of Sakura con which has always generated a great deal of revenue for us, has forced me to place development on a temporary hold. It’s important to note that I never ask for the full amount of money that I need for development, I always expect to fund at least half, often more of a product out of my own pocket and base my projects and available money around my monthly contributions so while the Kickstarter money has given me the ability to continue development a bit beyond the initial job loss, those funds have dried up and I have nothing available to replenish them with.
Fortunately, the state of Washington does have some money available for small businesses like ourselves who were impacted by COVID-19. The cancellation of Sakura con was by direct order of our Governor in response so we should qualify. I am working through an adviser with the Small Business Association to work to secure these funds, if we are able to do so it should theoretically cover the last bit of development (we have about 18 pictures left to complete and the final printing and import, so we’re very close). I don’t at this time have a time-frame as to when this will be completed as the state is, understandably, seeing a large amount of requests for this level of support.
With all this uncertainty, I am also exploring other options. I am working with the SBA to refine our business plan with the intent to court investors. It’s always been my dream to eventually work on Valor full time, and while we are still at the small startup phase today there are a number of actions I am looking into that could exponentially expand our reach and profitability – so long as I can receive the funding to carry it out. Beyond that I am, of course, still searching for a new day job, postings and interview requests are starting to pick back up and we are somewhat fortunate in that Washington State’s social distancing initiatives seem to have blunted the effect of the virus in our region which leaves me hopeful that securing a new day job soon isn’t out of the question.
In the interim, I am doing whatever I can to secure funding. That is why for the entire month of April, we will be offering a $10 convention-level discount on all hardcover and hardcover+ebook bundles on our store, as well as a $20 discount on the base Valor ebook – if you’ve been interested in Valor but on the fence, you can now obtain a digital copy from us for $5. Please allow up to 24 hours to receive it – our process for sending ebooks is at this time still 100% manual (our web infrastructure being about as good as I can afford through self-funding, which isn’t saying much). You can find the sales active now on our Storefront. The bottom line is I will get this book out come hell or high water, and I am working all of these paths simultaneously in hopes that at least one of them will pay off. Best in Class has hit me with so many unexpected production issues at this point I suspect it is driven by some kind of malicious spirit to thwart me, but said spirit underestimates my stubbornness. I WILL get this book out, one way or another.
And for those looking to try out a new system and taking advantage of this deal? I recommend Roll20. Roll20 is a great, free program for tabletop RPGs in general, and Valor co-creator Quinn Gordon has created a character sheet on it that will do most of the math and calculations for you, it makes creating characters and running the game so much easier and the online grid and voice features let you run RPGs even if Social Distancing has you housebound. We’re currently testing new content through this platform ourselves using this exact character sheet, it works great.
Finally, there are a few things I am looking into, as this situation has, if nothing else, given me an abundance of time. With the help of my lovely, talented and all-around wonderful wife we’re looking into an official Discord channel for Valor as a place for people to congregate and set up games together. Our primary concern is if a combination of bots and available people are able to properly mod it – if we were to host an official Discord it is imperative to us that all players feel welcome and included no matter their race, creed, sexual orientation or gender identity. Every Valor fan we’ve met thus far has been wonderful, and I want to make sure if we create this space you will feel valued and protected. The other thing I am looking at is, potentially, an early content release, perhaps through Patreon or some other platform, to get some of the finished material out sooner. The text from Valor: Villains, Creatures and Foes remains more or less complete although I am retooling the story text to make it more in-line with our setting as it comes together, so this would be a great way to release less polished but fully playable rules for people to test. I am also sitting on a fair few new mechanics for Valor: Tools of the Trade, the major book release I am working on for after Villains Creatures and Foes with expanded skills and abilities that I’d love to release to people sooner. I’m working on a few potential ways to release this and some of the content will likely be made available for free on our website either way, so there will be more information on that as we work on it.
If you are interested in any of what we’ve talked about, I’d love to hear from you! I’m opening up our info@valorousgames.com email to receive feedback, if you want to send some thoughts, wishes, or critiques please feel free to send it to that email. I understand folks are likely rightfully frustrated at the continued delay, as I am, and I want to make sure to give you the opportunity to be heard. It’s tough right now, but I am confident we will get through this, and I am doing everything in my power to deliver on what I’ve promised. Thank you to everyone for being amazing, and I’ll keep you all posted as things develop.
Note: This is cross-posted with our Kickstarter, there is no difference between the two posts.

Errata, Roll20 Character Sheet, and Upcoming Releases

Hey Valor fans! We’ve got a number of announcements, so let’s dive right in!

  • Official Errata: The official Errata has been released, and can be found here. We will be releasing a printable PDF document of the Errata in the coming weeks, as well as working to update the Valor Core Rulebook PDF to reflect the changes in the Errata.
  • Roll20 Valor Character Sheet: We are pleased to announce that the Valor Character Sheet is now live on Roll20! This character sheet requires the Core Rulebook to be used properly, and will perform all stat calculations and Technique calculations based on the information you input. It will also allow you to create different classes of enemies such as Soldiers, Swarms and Masters, making it an excellent tool for GMs even if the builds are intended for offline games. The Character Sheet is the work of Valor co-creator Alan “Quinn” Gordon and has seen several years of development. The character sheet is up to date to all current Errata except for the minimum Stamina Cost to Healing Cores, which was rolled out too late to be added to the initial release and will be added at a later date. As a disclaimer, Valorous Games has no affiliation with Roll20, but we do use their product internally for a number of system tests.
  • New Adventure Path – Best in Class: We are officially announcing our first Adventure Path, Best in Class! The cover art can be seen featured in this post. Our goal is to launch a Kickstarter for a print release in mid-April, with the Adventure launching later this year. Best in Class will be the first Adventure Path in our first official campaign setting, Valress. The world of Valress is a realm of fantasy and magic that has ascended to the modern era, and Best in Class follows the exploits of members of an elite university as they complete their studies to become full fledged Knights. We will roll out more information on the campaign setting as we approach the Kickstarter.
  • Valor: Villains, Creatures and Foes Update: As many of you know, Valor: Villains, Creatures and Foes unfortunately failed to meet goal when it was on Kickstarter, but it does remain very much in development. We are raising funds in the background and working to complete the book. We are working to release adventure paths in the interim and bring out a number of other tools such as the Roll20 sheet to continue to support the system while we work toward releasing the next core book. We’ll have more news on this book as it approaches completion.
  • Convention Appearances: We’re slowing increasing the number of conventions we attend! We’re working on adding a few more to our list and we’ll be posting up a full convention schedule soon! For now, we’ll continue to attend Sakura con in Seattle as we always have, and have added Kumoricon in Portland to our list. We hope to add more in the months to come!