Valor Live/Asians Represent Charity Stream to Support Trans Rights

We are excited to announce our first Charity stream! The stream will be on Saturday, June 25th at 10:00 AM Pacific/1:00 PM on our Twitch Channel. Additionally, we’re thrilled to be partnering with the phenomenal award-winning Asians Represent Podcast! This stream is a Pride Month stream supporting the Transgender Law Center, a cause near and dear to our hearts as Valor was developed by two trans people. The game will be a one-shot adventure designed around martial-arts inspired action and combat styles inspired by Bleach and Demon Slayer. Join us and our amazing crew to raise money for a great and necessary cause!

Here is our cast!

Emma Yasui

Emma Yasui (she/her) is a mixed Japanese-Canadian archaeologist who has found herself in the world of TTRPGs in the last few years. She started this expedition with the Asians Represent! podcast, discussing topics related to representations of Japan and the Japanese diaspora, and she now works as a writer and cultural consultant on TTRPG content. Emma also tries to be a professional academic, researching ancient foodways in northern Japan during the Jomon Period and teaching courses on the intersections of the past, pop culture, and diaspora experience. She loves squirrels, playing games, and knitting socks. She currently resides in Toronto with her cat Hunter, who has appeared on Asians Represent! live streams almost as many times as she has.

Lily Emil Lammers

Lily Emil Lammers is a bigender voice actor from Valencia, California. Their pronouns are she/he/they. After studying theater at Mills College in Oakland, she’s returned home and currently resides in Burbank.

Most notably, Emil can be heard as Ash in the Nintendo mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes, in addition to appearances in SMITE, Genshin Impact, and Negative Atmosphere. He’s also provided background voices for anime such as HunterXHunter and Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun. Outside of anime and games, she was lucky enough to provide narration for the audiobook of Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens, now available on Audible.

In their free time, Lily enjoys listening to old radio dramas, practicing lightsaber combat, and learning new languages.

Steven Hyunh

Steve Huynh (he/him) is a Vietnamese tabletop RPG writer and gaming enthusiast based in Toronto, ON. He is a co-host and Discord Admin for the Asians Represent! podcast. His most recently writing credit was for Unbreakable Vol 1 where he wrote an adventure based on his childhood memories of climbing mountains in Vietnam. He edited for both Unbreakable: Revolutions and Unbreakable Vol 2 releasing in 2022.
He works full-time as a business consultant and spends the rest of his time pursuing cooking, lifting heavy stuff, cosplaying, and trying out as many RPGs as possible!
With a background in education, Steve loves RPGs for their ability to give you space to tell stories that both bring you joy but also give you a safe environment to explore and play with feelings and thoughts – with people you love and want to grow with.

Tamara “Tide” Fritz

Tamara Fritz (she or he) is a genderfluid British-American Voice Actor who has been producing work online under her handle ‘totalspiffage’ for more than 10 years, including original music, parody songs, and covers. She got her start in VO in 2014 and has worked as a full-time VO ever since. She works primarily in the commercial sector, but video game VO is her passion.
His more notable credits include Wargroove, as Queen Mercia, Magic the Gathering: Arena, as Freyalise, and multiple roles in the MMO Warframe, as the evil robotic spider Profit-Taker as well as the lead quest-giving NPC Eudico in Warframe’s expansion, Fortuna. He was also a cast member on Live Play series URealms for two years, where he provided voices for animations as well as performing on the show, and a podcast for Demon: The Fallen called “Ladies of Darkness”.
She currently lives in Columbus, OH, where she spends her free time writing and playing music, gaming, and memorizing obscure video game lore.

Coming Out

Hey everyone, I wanted to share some personal news today. Up to this point, I’ve generally been presenting as male within my work, including during the livestreams we produce. This presentation, however, hasn’t been exactly correct for awhile now. While I am still early in the process, in my personal life I’ve begun transitioning to feminine presentation and pronouns. It’s been getting harder and harder to continue presenting as “male”, when that’s honestly not who I am. I am a trans woman, and I want to present myself honestly in my public life.

So what does this mean for Valorous Games? Functionally, very little. We’ve been working to make our programming inclusive, portraying gender, sexuality and racial diversity wherever possible. This won’t change. Valorous Games is committed to portraying, hiring, and giving creative voice to a diverse range of creatives and performers. I’m proud of the work we’ve already done, and want to improve even more. The major change will be in our content, for our Developer Streams and for Best in Class, you’ll see me more authentically.

For future content, we’ll be working on a reprint of the Valor core book once Best in Class’s printing is complete. With both of the creators having since come out as trans, and with our initial print run almost depleted, now is a great time for us to add in the errata and put our proper names on the cover. Best in Class is already being printed under  my proper name, and all content we produce going forward will bear that name as well. We will continue to support and work with any creatives who want to play or write for Valor, and encourage everyone, especially POC and LGBTQ+ groups interested in working with us to reach out!

My dream has been to turn Valorous Games into an independent small studio where I can work with other amazing creatives and make games full time. That dream hasn’t changed. We’ll continue to do everything we can to make amazing Valor content, and hope you’ll continue to support us! We have a lot of projects in work, and are excited to share everything with all of you. Thank you again for all of the support you’ve given us so far, and can’t wait for what’s to come!


Liana MacKenzie

Valorous Games Owner

New Year Update

Happy New Year everybody! A few quick updates on Valor and what we have in store for the next year!

First, we’ve added a PDF to the Errata page – we were initially thinking we might be able to get the fully updated PDF pushed through but given our current development timeline we decided it’d be best to just release the Errata-only document. You can find the Errata here

Second, Best in Class development continues with the final layout, we have some final text double-checks that need to be completed before the full layout can be placed, we’re hoping that will be finished within the next few days pending layout schedule. Announcements on Best in Class will generally still remain on the Kickstarter page.

Third, we’re looking forward to the conclusion of Season 1 of Valor Live! The current Valor Live will continue later this year – we want to give Zack a chance to develop the next arc, but in the interim we’ll probably have some other streams with different casts running. More details to come on that!

Fourth, we’ve made a quick update to our Patreon. We recently put out the first call for series submissions to do a stream on how to run various Anime and video games in Valor. Based on the response, we’re going to make this a regular fixture, going forward Patrons can submit potential series for us to cover and we’ll put it to a vote on Twitter as to what to cover. Topic submissions start at the $5 Patreon tier, so if you’re interested in making submissions our Patreon can be found here! If we receive enough submissions, we’ll let the Patrons narrow down the topics to about 5 before putting it up on Twitter, and any Patron, no matter the contribution tier is eligible to vote on the narrowed down topic list.

Finally, conventions. We’d love to do them, but we’re not going to start until we have vaccines ourselves and the vaccine situation in the country has dramatically improved. Unfortunately, there’s no saying when that’s actually going to be, but we are guardedly hopeful we may be able to do some conventions during the latter part of the year. More to come on that as we know more.

Valor Live Coming Soon!

Get ready, Cavaliers! Valor Live will be launching on September 25th! The Stream will be hosted on our Twitch Channel and will run from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM Pacific Time every Friday. The 25th will be Episode 0, our initial character creation session, with the game officially starting on October 2nd. Look forward to it!

How to Use the Roll20 Character Sheet

Many of the people who play and develop Valor are scattered across the globe. To help facilitate easier play and testing of new rules and content as well as to just make playing the game easier, we’ve used Roll20 to schedule and play games online. To make this even easier, Valor co-creator Alan “Quinn” Gordon developed a Character Sheet for the platform, which is now available to the public. While this character sheet doesn’t have the full capabilities of the character builder application we are developing, it’s still a great tool for GMs to easily put together NPCs and players to put their own characters together. It does require the Valor core rulebook to use, but even if your game meets in person, this is a great tool to make the experience easier.

When starting a new game on Roll20, you’ll have the option to select a character sheet. Simply select “Valor” from the drop-down menu and you’re ready to go!

There are three parts of the Character sheet, Attributes, Skills and Flaws, and Techniques.

The attribute section will automatically calculate all of your attributes based on your level, skill selection, and primary attribute array. The level and type will also factor in, if you are playing a PC or Elite you will receive the full stats but if you select Soldier or Flunky you’ll note dramatically reduced skill point and stat totals to reflect the different enemy type.

The skills and flaws section lets you input skills and flaws. Every skill and flaw in the Core Rulebook is included, but no descriptions are present in the Character Sheet so players will need to refer to the rulebook for the effect. Any skills or flaws that directly effect your base stats will be automatically calculated into the character sheet. You can also input custom skills, in this case the level of the custom skill equals the amount of skill points it removes from your character.

Finally, the Technique tab makes the hardest part of Valor character creation much easier. You can select from any cores within the book and assign an attribute, which will determine how Modifiers and Limits interact with it. All Modifiers and Limits can be typed into the respective text boxes with a number at the end signifying their level. These inputs will populate the text section with a full description of the Technique, how to use it and what it does. While all modifiers are loaded into the Character Sheet, you will still need the core Valor rulebook for their names and the level requirements.

The Valor Character Sheet is completely free to use for anyone with a Roll20 account. While Valorous Games is not in any way affiliated with Roll20’s service, we use it quite a bit, and hope it will help some of you either for building characters and NPCs, or even for running whole games online with friends all over the world!

International Tabletop Day Demo Podcast

In celebration of International Tabletop Day, the Valor team got together and put together a podcast of an adventure for your enjoyment! You can listen to the trailer here:

The full version can be found here:

Show Off Your Valor Character!

Valor is all about the characters. It’s about you being able to play who you want how you want, and being rewarded for doing that. We know there are some amazing characters out there that you’ve already been bringing to life at the table. This year for International Tabletop Day, we want to share your amazing characters with the community!

If you want to enter, all you need to do is submit a description and backstory for an original character you have played (or want to play) in a Valor game! We’ll pick our 3 favorites and give them a full-body color interpretation by the Valor art team and share them with the community after the contest! Please send all submissions to [email protected].

We will also be accepting submissions at both our gaming table and our Sales booth at Sakura-Con this year! If you’re going to be at Sakura-Con, stop by and see us, we’ll be happy to accept your submission! The gaming table in Room 613 will be holding workshops throughout the day to help with submissions and will have supplies to write them out. We’ll also be at Booth 409 in the Exhibitor’s Hall. All submissions must be received by the end of Monday, April 17th.


Please read below for full rules:

-Submissions via email must be in .doc, .txt, .pdf, or .jpeg format

-Submissions must include a physical description of the character and the character’s general backstory, including in-game accomplishments if applicable. The more detailed the better!

-If desired, you can include additional documents such as their character sheet, a picture you’ve drawn of them, a description of their personality and goals, or anything else you think will help the character stand out.

-Please make sure they’re original! We appreciate characters that draw inspiration from all the fantastic media that’s out there, but we can’t accept characters that use terminology and names from existing properties.

-Submission deadline is 11:59 PM Monday, April 17th. Any submissions received after that will not be counted.

Valor Interview: Jenna MacKenzie, Lead Writer

For our third interview, we sat down with Jenna MacKenzie, the Lead Everything Writer for Valorous Games and asked her about the process of writing for Valorous Foes, as well as the Valor events she runs.

Staff: So, tell me a bit about yourself and what you do with Valor

MacKenzie: I actually wear quite a few hats here. Most recently, I’m the Lead Writer for the new expansion, but I’ve also done a wide variety of other things both for the game as well as getting the name out there. Before VCF, most of what I was involved with was getting Valor to events, so more often than not I was the person that people would see either at convention booths or at local gaming events. If you’ve seen us around, you’ve probably seen me!

Staff: What are you most excited about in the writing for this book?

MacKenzie: The lore for our Foes. While we aren’t drawing from any one particular setting, getting to write the flavor for each one has been a blast. I was a huge mythology nerd as a kid (I think I lot of us were, honestly), so I feel like I’m making my nine-year old self really happy. While most of the Foes that we have in this book are based on things that people might recognize—urban legends, myths, things like that—we also have a few originals, and I get to really go wild with those. Being able to take a base stat line and breathe life into it has been an amazing experience, and I’m having a lot of fun.

Staff: What are some of the challenges for writing for a book like this?

MacKenzie: This thing is enormous. Initially, we had 200 Foes slotted, and that got to be too much, but even 160 makes it a huge challenge. But I think the most challenging part comes with translating the rules in such a way that will be approachable both to GMs who are veterans of the system, as well as those who are coming to us fresh. Valor really lets players and GMs come up with just about anything, but there is a learning curve. I hope I don’t end up writing over anyone’s heads!

Staff: You mention Valor lets players do whatever they want, how do you plan to express that with VCF?

MacKenzie: With VCF, we’ve added a bunch of different Skills and Abilities to give both GMs and players more options. Obviously a large majority of them are Foe specific, but I like to think that there’s enough in there that the players can really sink their teeth into. And who knows, maybe this book might be a sign of more to come on the players-side.

But you didn’t hear that from me.

Staff: Duly noted! Are there any new skills or abilities that really stand out in making interesting lore?

MacKenzie: Too many! Going into this project, we expected to create a few different Skills and Abilities to be able to properly depict some of the Foes, but we ended up with a lot! Did I say this book was going to be enormous?

I think the most fun new toys that we’ve had to play with are the ones that expand upon Malevolent Entity. It’s something that we thought was a really fun mechanic, but really felt needed to be fleshed out. It might have seemed like a simple Flaw in the core rulebook, but in VCF it’s potentially really dangerous. I kind of feel bad for the players who have to deal with it!

But no I don’t. Sorry. This may have also been indirectly my fault. And I’m still not sorry.

Staff: Let’s talk about some of the other hats you wear, what has it been like being the face of Valor, and running all these events?

MacKenzie: One of the faces at least. Running events is probably the most exhilarating, exciting, stressful and chaotic things ever. You have to be crazy to want to do them. And yet it’s one of the most fun things for me, since I get to meet with our players face-to-face. It’s really gratifying. Tiring, but gratifying. Our fans are awesome, we get a lot of people who come back and see us event after event, either to tell us stories about their games or even just to give us some love.

Most of the time I’m in the trenches selling the game, but being able to run demos as well has been a blast. I’m still a bit shaky as a GM myself, so I feel sorry for anyone who has to be at a table with me! But honestly, the feedback and support we get from the fans is almost addictive. I love it.

Staff: What are some of the best or most memorable moments from events you’ve been a part of?

MacKenzie: That’s really not fair. Can I say all of them?

Staff: Try to narrow it down to two or three

MacKenzie: That’s still really tough. We’ve been running demos and events for seven years now, even well before Valor was first released, and we’ve had so many wonderful memories and experiences. But I think my favorite ones come from when the players really get into the game. Valor naturally lends itself to loud, dynamic games, and there have been times where I’ll laugh so hard that I start crying. But I think the moments that stand out the most to me were when people really went outside of themselves to role-play their character.

We’ve had people rap at the table before, which was fantastic, by the way. We’ve had epic monologues at bitter rivals, and puns. So many puns. It’s terrible, the dad jokes flow freely apparently. But really asking me to narrow it down to two or three concrete memories is nearly impossible.

I’ve been with Valor since our first demo, and in the seven years, I’ve gotten a chance to be a play tester, a con gofer, booth staff, marketing staff, so many different things. So not only are my favorite memories tied to the things that our players have done at the table, but also to being able to see players get excited while playing our game. We’ve had people who come to see us every year, who have been around about as long as I have. And when asked what I remember most about the events, I would have to say that look of joy and excitement when they come out to play our game.

Staff: It definitely sounds like you’ve done a lot with Valor. Is there anything else you wanted to mention, either about the events or the writing you’re doing now?

MacKenzie: I’m just that person behind the curtain, don’t mind me.

But in all seriousness, I know my opinion is probably extremely biased, but having played tabletop roleplaying games for half my life, and playing a number of different systems this one really does feel like home for me. And I don’t just mean in the way that Valor plays, which, yes, it is a lot of fun and I highly recommend it. But with the people who have created and contributed to it, with our fans, and the people who we’ve been able to meet along the way.

As far as writing is concerned, I always wanted to write books, but I never imagined that my first would be a rulebook! It’s strange to think about, but at the same way, it’s been a fun challenge, and I love being able to construct this lore for players and GMs to do with as they please. I want to hear about what stories everyone ends up telling with the Foes in this book. In a way, they’re all like my kids. My sometimes ugly, awkward, terrifying kids.

Valor: Villains, Creatures and Foes can be found on Kickstarter through October 15.

Valor Interview: Kylee Henke, Lead Artist

For our second developer interview, we sat down with Kylee Henke, the Lead Artist for Valorous Games and asked her a bit about the art process with Valor.

Staff: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do with Valor?

Henke: Hi! I’m Kylee Henke, and I’m an artist based out of Seattle, WA. I like to blog, play games, and embarrass myself on the internet. I’m the lead artist for Valor!

Staff: So, how did you get involved with doing art for Valor?

Henke: I was actually selling my artwork at Sakura-Con a couple years ago when Austin and Jenna came by my booth and flipped through my portfolio. They said they loved my work, and grabbed my business card. After the convention, they messaged me and asked if I’d be interested in an interview for an art position at their company. By some miracle I managed not to screw it up, and soon I was brought on board the art team!

Staff: What kind of work did you do with the first book?

Henke: For the first book, I mainly worked on splash pages. I got to push myself in ways I’d never really had to before, and some really cool pieces came out of it! My favorite one to work on would definitely have to be the picture of the heroes facing off against a zombie horde.

Staff: That’s actually one of my favorites as well! So with Villains, Creatures and Foes coming out, I imagine you’ll be providing art for that as well. Is there anything you’re working on right now?

Henke: Right now I’m actually designing the book cover art! I’m working on nailing down the composition first before I render and color it. I’ve already gone through several different versions [laughs]. Gotta get it perfect if the cover is gonna be the first thing people see!

Staff: What is the process for putting together the composition for a cover like this?

Henke: A whole lot of stuff goes into consideration. The directional flow of the  art, where to bring the viewer’s the focus, the angle and perspective, the proportions and poses–all this stuff has to be nailed down before I tighten the linework and start coloring. The cover depicts an action scene so it’s a challenge in itself to cram it all into specific dimensions for cover art. I’m gonna make sure the final product looks super cool.

Staff: Given how awesome the splash pages are for the last book, I bet the cover is going to look amazing. : So what is the cover for the new book going to look like? What kind of Foe are we going to see on it?

Henke: On this new cover, our heroes (both old and new!) will be facing off against both sides of an entity called the Mother of Life and Death. She has two different faces that control, well, life and death [laughs]. The front and back covers will each depict the heroes battling one of the faces.

Staff: So the five heroes that we know from the first book?

Henke: Yep! The original squad will be making a return, but they will be joined by some brand new faces.

Staff: New faces?

Henke: In addition to the cover art, I designed a whole new squad of heroes for this new book. They will be making their debut in Valorous Foes, and I’m excited for everybody to meet them!

Staff: That’s exciting! Can you talk a bit about what went into designing the new squad of heroes?

Henke: I was given some descriptions of the characters’ personalities and general looks, and from there I was given the artistic liberty to flesh them all out. Personality and cultural background were both big factors in how I approached the designs! Some of the heroes even turned out a little different than they were originally intended to, but it was for the better! Sometimes characters create themselves, and the artist just gives them form. It’s really fun.

Staff: It sounds like it! I imagine you’ve gotten a chance to play the game before. What was that like?

Henke: Every single time I’ve played Valor I’ve had a blast. We of course had an excellent GM, which is half the battle, but the game itself allows for boundless creativity – and potential for hilarious disaster the likes of which I’ve never experienced before, and I recall laughing to the point of actual tears many times. No matter how ridiculous the characters I played, Valor integrated them into the system with no problem. I mean, let me give you an example of the things I have accomplished while playing Valor:

-I once used a designer glitter cannon to Fabulous my foes to death

-I have been the victim of a grotesque barbecue sauce massacre and have been forced to ruminate on my poor life choices while occupying the insides of a large gelatin dessert that ate me alive

-I delivered the killing blow to a giant boss dragon by ejecting out of a speeding escape vehicle and punching it in the throat

…Just to name a few.

Valor: Villains, Creatures and Foes can be found on Kickstarter through October 15.

Valor Interview: Austin MacKenzie, Lead Designer

With Valor: Villains, Creatures and Foes in development and the Kickstarter in full-swing, we wanted to take the time to get an inside look at what goes into creating Valor. Over the next few weeks, we will be sitting down with a number of people who made this game happen, from the designers, to the artists and to writers, to hear what goes into making a tabletop roleplaying system from start to finish.

Our first interview is with Austin MacKenzie, the Lead Designer for Valorous Games, and co-creator of Valor, the Heroic Roleplaying game. We asked him what went into his design for the original game, and what fans can look forward to in Villains, Creatures and Foes.

Staff: So tell me a bit about your design background. What made you want to design games?

MacKenzie: It’s something I sort of fell into naturally. When I was a kid, I always thought I was going to be some kind of great novelist. I’d always start trying to write a novel and lose steam after about 1 chapter. At the same time, I was playing a lot of video games and started designing my own tabletop roleplaying games on the side. While I never came close to completing one novel, I finished maybe thirty different games when I was a kid and was always eager to start on the next one. That got me thinking that maybe I might want to work in design. From there, I started doing some modifications and homebrew rules for the D20 system, most notably for the anime Bleach. From there, making my own system seemed only natural.

Staff: Basically you got bit by the design bug as a kid

MacKenzie: Yeah you could definitely say that. Or I spent too much time being grounded from playing video games because I never turned in my homework! Designing games wasn’t barred while I was grounded, thankfully.

Staff: Didn’t we all?

Staff: So did you always know you were going to design something that was more video game or anime focused, or was that something that just happened over time?

MacKenzie: Oh, Alan and I definitely knew it was going to be anime focused. One of the things I discovered working on Bleach d20 was that d20 wasn’t especially suited to anime. While there’s a lot of tactical crunch that I really enjoyed, the system is very specifically about this big epic fantasy and the inspirations are very obvious, Tolkien, Vance, it’s a very core part of the identity and anime works under entirely different rules.

When we launched Valor, our working title was “Shounen”, because we wanted to capture the feel of the shounen anime genre – big, loud, epic battles, screaming attack names, the very theatric, sometimes over-exaggerated pathos, that was definitely what we wanted from the beginning.

Staff: Would you say your work with Bleach d20 influenced Valor in any way?

MacKenzie: Definitely. When I made Bleach d20 I crafted this enormously elaborate system for the Zanpakutou – the magic sword each Soul Reaper carries that personifies their soul and personality. In the original system, I created a huge host of special abilities that you could give it in order to customize it and make it unique, this would provide some basis for the eventual Technique system you see in Valor.

Additionally, while d20 is very much a character class system, I used the stripped down generic 3 classes from Unearthed Arcana to create the baseline for the Soul Reaper, so you had the Warrior, the Rogue, and the Spellcaster. That contributed into our decision to do away with character classes entirely in Valor.

Staff: So in a lot of ways Bleach d20 was a test bed for what would eventually become Valor.

MacKenzie: You could definitely say that, although we did a lot of different things with the final result. We wanted Valor to be able to achieve far more than just Bleach, after all.

Staff: Were there any other things that you took inspiration from when creating Valor?

MacKenzie: When we were first plotting it out, we looked at the other existing major anime system, Big Eyes Small Mouth tri-stat (although there was a d20 variant we chose not to focus on that one) to determine what they did to capture the anime feel. We liked that they offered a wide variety of abilities that could be used to capture the feel of a more anime-based concept, but felt the different mechanics for each different ability made it a bit too confusing.

D&D 4th Edition hit early in the production of Valor and they did a lot of things we liked with regards to action economy and tactical gameplay, the system was very balanced and had all characters operating under the same basic ruleset – that would be one of our major guiding principles as we designed Valor’s core ability suite – we wanted everyone to know how their own character operated, and have a good idea of how other characters could operate.

Beyond that, we also took a lot of inspiration from the Super Robot Wars video game series, a grid-based game that is typically Japan-only due to it featuring a huge crossover between a bunch of different mecha series such as Gundam, Getter Robo, Mazinger, Evangelion, and even Gurren-Lagann in the more recent iterations. In Super Robot Wars, you have a stat called “Will” that rises naturally over the course of the battle and gives you access to more powerful attacks and abilities, as well as increasing your overall capabilities.

This idea perfectly encapsulated the idea of how things operate in shounen anime, in the big, important fights as the stakes get higher the heroes become more engaged and hot-blooded, which in turn makes them perform better or even breaking the “rules” of the setting. This concept was eventually adapted into the Valor stat, and remains one of the most important mechanics in Valor.

Staff: The Valor stat?

MacKenzie: The Valor stat is, I think, the biggest part about what makes Valor unique. In the start of any scene, combat or challenge, you start with 0 Valor and it slowly builds over the course of the scene. You gain bonuses if you do cool things like shouting attack names at the table or giving an epic speech, basically, the more like a shounen anime hero you act, the more Valor you get. You can then use it to do a lot of different things such as add +5 to your roll, even after the dice have already been rolled. It’s a great way to turn aside a powerful attack, turn a hit into a critical hit, and do all sorts of cool things, and it really encourages players to think and act in a certain mindset where they want to be valorous, be daring, and be bold.

Staff: So Valor encourages players to go ham.

MacKenzie: Absolutely. Valor players are big on pork, as it turns out.

Staff: I imagine it gets pretty crazy at the game table then. What is one of your favorite things that a player has done to get Valor?

MacKenzie: We’ve had some pretty epic table dynamics. We once did a Battle of the Bands demo and we had a guy rapping at our table, it was pretty awesome. In the same game, Free Bird often came up, and I found that it’s pretty much impossible for anybody to sing it and not sound drunk. Must be something about that song.

We’ve gotten some pretty incredible rival speeches as well, once in one of our earlier tests, one of the characters went up against the assassin who murdered her clan in a big season finale. She was getting pummeled and she kept spending Valor to get up and keep fighting, and was delivering fantastic speeches to keep her Valor up the entire time. At the end of the scene, because she was using Valor to heal herself, she lost all of the health she had regained which brought her so low she succumbed to her wounds and died, basically after putting everything into one final attack she defeated the assassin and just dropped dead right after the battle. I can’t think of a more perfect example of what Valor is and meant to do than that one scene.

Staff: What went into developing the book for Villains, Creatures and Foes?

MacKenzie: We’d already established with the core Valor book what the system was and what you could do with it, so for VCF, the goal was to create a lot of interesting enemies that a GM could throw at their party. What it also let us do was start adding new abilities that would be way too powerful for a regular Player Character but in the hands of a Foe could make for an interesting, unique and memorable scene. In all, we’ve completed 160 Foes for the book, I myself did about 110 of them and worked with some other fantastic writers for the rest. Making and testing the new mechanics has been a challenge, but the fact that we were able to create so much content in such a small amount of time – 9 months of serious work, in fact, was really heartening.

Staff: Where did you take your inspiration for the various Foes in this book?

MacKenzie: A lot of the Foes were based on popular mythology. It’s interesting when going into a book like this, you know generally that people expect certain things to be there. Dragons, for example, are an absolute must. Greek mythology always get a high amount of representation, there are just some Foes I feel like you have to have. We still wanted to do some interesting things though, and since we’re an anime system that meant one of the major focuses was on bringing in more Asian and especially Japanese mythology into the foes. Creatures like the Tengu and the Kitsune, for example, as well as some other creatures like the Rakshasa from Indian mythology and the Pennangalan from Southeast Asia.

We also grabbed some cryptids and urban legends, we actually have both Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Some of this is due to some of the settings we’re working on developing that will need that, but in other cases we wanted to bring in some awesome creatures that you don’t see in other roleplaying games.

Staff: So which one is your favorite?

MacKenzie: That’s a mean question, I’ve made so many of these how can I pick just one? Probably my absolute favorite is actually a Valor original, the Mother of Life and Death who is the strongest endgame boss intended to challenge very powerful parties. She’s level 22 so she really breaks the rules since you can only go up to level 20, and she has the power to shift between two different forms, the Life form, which is a big control-focused spellcaster, and the Death form, which is a powerful high-damage assassin.

Some of the other fun mythology-based monsters are the Leviathan, which is on its own the largest Foe in the game taking up 15 x 21 spaces on a grid, as well as the Kitsune who have a really cool, varied skillset. I also really enjoyed making the high-ranking angels, the Cherubim and Seraphim especially, I had a lot of fun naming their techniques and flavoring them based on what they are in the Judeo-Christian lore.

Staff: Valor original?

MacKenzie: Yes, we have several original creatures that are designed specifically for Valor. The Mother of Life and Death is one, as well as the Malevolent Entity, intended to be a big endgame boss based on the “Malevolent Entity” flaw you can take as a character who has a literal demon living inside of them. Currently all our originals are big, high-level end-game Foes but I’d like to introduce a few more with the bonus content if we can.

Staff: Well hopefully you’ll have the opportunity to do so!

Staff: I imagine VCF has let you flesh out some of the rules for creating Foes. What tools will you be giving GMs to make their own Foes?

MacKenzie: We’ve included some tables to make it easier for a GM to plan their Foes, a lot of the different classes of Foes have different TP, Health, and SP totals and now they’re all together in one place. Beyond that, we’re clarifying how some skills interact with the different classes of NPC so that there’s no uncertainty. Some of the new skills and abilities are specifically for Foes, since Foes can have more specialized strengths and weaknesses it gives the GMs a lot more freedom to do really interesting things with them.

Beyond that, we’re also including easy rules for advancing enemies so if you really like a Foe but it’s not the right level, you can make them stronger and use them anyway. Our ultimate goal is making Valor as easy as possible for a prospective GM to run, since running any kind of roleplaying game is hard enough as it is!

Staff: So basically this book is a GM’s best friend and a player’s worst enemy.

MacKenzie: Pretty much! Although hopefully players will appreciate staring at all the cool abilities they can never have. From a distance. As they are used against them.

Staff: Now that you’re done with developing this book, what’s next?

MacKenzie: After this book it’ll be back to giving the players some love, we’ve already begun outlining and compiling a host of new abilities that will be included in Valor: Tools of the Trade. We had a bunch of ideas that were cut from the original Valor book due to time and space, so we want to bring these back around in a new book to greatly expand the options available to players. Maybe that will keep them from wanting to dig their hands into the Foe abilities.

The GMs will still get some love too as we’ll be introducing or expanding a host of optional rules. With Valor, we strive for modularity and customizability so you can really just grab whatever is appropriate for what you’re trying to accomplish and go. Tools should have a lot of great new options for players and GMs alike.

Staff: So is there anything else that you want to tell anyone looking at the Kickstarter?

MacKenzie: I’m just really excited to get this book released. Our goal with Valor is to create a great new system that’s flexible enough for Game Masters to really do whatever they want with it, and I think Foes is a fantastic step in this direction. I’m excited to release all this new content, and even more excited to see what people do with it!

Valor: Villains, Creatures and Foes can be found on Kickstarter through October 15.