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An Interview with the creator of Ventigad Universe TTRPG

An Interview with the creator of "Ventigad Universe " TTRPG

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) creation?

My name is Scot M Butler and I am the creator of The Black Books of Ventigad a ttrpg that I started working on when I was in my teens. I am 49 now and after many long years of playing this game with different role/roll testers at least once a week I felt it was ready to introduce to the public. The thirty or so players I have had over the Years enjoy the game a great deal and I would like to share that experience with other RPG players. I played a game of D&D when I was young and found its system to be constricting and alot of the ideas in the Game I felt were taken from other sources. I wanted to create and play something original.

What inspired you to create your own TTRPG? Were there any specific games or experiences that influenced your design?

My biggest influences include art and movies that Frank Frazetta and Ralph Bakshi worked on. Comics and lord of the rings were a great source of inspiration.

How would you describe the unique gameplay mechanics or systems in your TTRPG?

Detailed combat system with numerous moves and abilities and a vast magic system with over 600 spells available. Fourteen types of character are available. Four are warrior types and ten are spell casters. There are over one hundred skill abilities to choose from, trade charts, arcane liquids and equipment specific to the game. We offer sixty three players races over five worlds. And the Lifeforms book has detailed continent maps and descriptions of each society on the True world Venturia.

Can you give us a brief overview of the setting or world in which your game takes place?

The game takes place on the Five True worlds in a midevil magical type setting. The Five True worlds are connected by the Inner and Outer realities and these contain numerous creatures known as Beings and Entities. The game is combat based and these worlds are filled with conflict and adventure.

What role do you believe storytelling plays in TTRPGs, and how does your game facilitate or enhance that aspect?

As an Overseer each game we run is a part of a larger story. Our campaigns can last up to a year or longer in real life. I think a good story line with action and intrigue is essential to a fun game for the players. The game is what I call an idea generator and provides a platform for an endless amount of stories and adventures.

Are there any interesting or unusual character classes or races in your game that you would like to highlight?

The ten available spell casters each have their own spell listing with numerous interesting spells. Each world has a set of its own playable races. Races vary in abilities, statistics, traits, Armour rating and natural weapons that offers a great deal of variety.

How do you balance the need for player agency and the overall structure of the game in your design?

As an Overseer it is important not to overpower characters with the system. Campaign design and choosing the possible character interactions and creature encounters is an important aspect as Overseer in this game. Flexibility as a storyteller is extremely important and the ability to react to the players choices is a skill that takes time to develop. Keeping in mind that fun is the goal of the game mixed in with some excitement.

What is your favourite aspect of the TTRPG creation process, and why?

I love to build campaign story lines and expanding on the detail in places my players visit and the non player characters they encounter. Roll/role testing is one of my favorite aspects of the process from testing how spells interact in the system and helping to build the lore behind the game.

Are there any unexpected challenges or obstacles you encountered while developing your TTRPG, and how did you overcome them?

Through years of role/roll testing determing how spell effects played out in game was a challenge. Trying to find balance in game play with the variation of spells and their effects was probably what needed the most testing out of all the game systems.

How do you approach the inclusion of diversity and representation in your game, both in terms of characters and players?

Most societies and races in the Game do not differentiate between male and female in statistics or roles within the society.

Do you have any memorable anecdotes or stories from playtesting sessions or player feedback that you’d like to share?

Most of our role/roll testers play other systems and I have had many tell me this is by far their favorite. This gives me a great deal of pride and makes many years of hard work very worthwhile.

What advice would you give to aspiring TTRPG creators who are just starting out?

Try to be original and remember the first goal is fun for your players.

How do you envision the future of TTRPGs? Are there any emerging trends or technological advancements that you believe will impact the industry?

I believe AI art is becoming very popular and hope that it does not take away from the pencil and paper artists too much. Also I feel like there is a lot of wonderful talent out there with a little too much focus on the popular existing games. It would be nice to see some new ideas. I believe with the availability of the different types of social media more independent creators can push exposure.

If you could play your TTRPG with any group of people, living or dead, fictional or real, who would you choose and why?

I think it might be fun to play a game with the folks from Critical roll. They really get into the characters.

What are some of your favourite TTRPGs created by other designers, and how have they influenced your own work?

I love the artwork from both D&D and warhammer 40k. Their art does not influence mine so much, I have a different style completely however, I still really like what they have done over the years. Using polyhedral dice is a big influence.

Can you share any interesting Easter eggs or hidden references that players might discover in your game?

The past is broken and forgotten. Ancient Objects of power exist from that time and bits and pieces of Lore that leads to lost truths. This is hinted at throughput the game.

What do you think is the most underrated aspect of TTRPGs, and why do you believe it deserves more attention?

Group play. Social group play is essential in the development of skills like speaking in front of groups and expressing thoughts. I believe it builds confidence for real life situations.

If your TTRPG were to be adapted into another medium, such as a video game, TV series, or movie, what would be your dream adaptation and why?

Animated movies would be my first choice. I would love to see the game set to a really good music score and some heavy action scenes.

If you had to design a TTRPG based on an unusual theme, like a game about sentient vegetables or underwater cowboys, what would you choose and how would it work?

Sentient vegetables have overrun a world durme to mutation from a magical backlash. This magical backlash derived from too much positive or negative energy in the world and now the ecosystem is corrupt. This makes life extremely hard for the original races as now they have to compete with sentient mobile vegetation as it hunts them down for nutrients.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and how would you incorporate it into a TTRPG session?

The ability to travel between realities at will. In a way it’s available with spells in the system. However, it would be fun to do without casting. I would always attach a cost to great power. Perhaps an immortal champion trying to bring back the lost Ancient religion of the past. On a quest to restore order in world’s that have moved on.

Where can people find and purchase your TTRPG? Are there any online platforms or stores where they can access it?

Amazon

Have you published any supplemental materials or expansions for your TTRPG? If so, where can players find them?

The first three core books are available on Amazon

Are there any upcoming projects or future plans that you’d like to share with your fans and the TTRPG community?

We are planning on releasing nine more spell casting types in a second Worldly Persona Book and a second Lifeforms book detailing the continents and societies on the other four true worlds and more creatures. Also with more Beings and Entities for the Inner and Outer realities.

How can people connect with you and stay updated on your work? Do you have a website, social media accounts, or a mailing list that they can follow?

Ventigad Universe is pn Facebook and Instagram. Any questions can be directed to Ventigaduniverse@gmail.com

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to add or share with our readers about your TTRPG or your journey as a game creator?

I am hoping people can find the same enjoyment in this game that it has brought to my friends and myself over the years.

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