is creating TTRPGs that feature disaster, depravity, and hope

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Thank you! For your support, you'll receive all the above benefits plus:
Entrance into random drawings for our playtests.
Your name in the credits of finished products we publish.
Access to monthly Q&As (usually held on the evening (eastern US time) of the last Friday of the month) where I answer questions about setting, rules, or really anything at all that you want to know about.
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  • Work-in-progress/Behind-the-scenes
  • Private community
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About Varutotham

Me: Sean Byram
My Team: Joshua Blackketter, Fiona Geist, Roman Gensky, and Jensen Toperzer

We're a small team working on tabletop RPGs. Our two main projects are Arnspiel and Meskellian.

Arnspiel is the second version of Arnhack, a game I published in 2013. It's roughly the same system, except with d12s instead of d6s, and a lot more fleshed out. Character progression, spells, the setting, and an included campaign are all getting a lot more attention. And courtesy of my artist Roman Gensky, some fantastic art.

It's a pre-medieval weird sword and sorcery game with lovecraftian horror, absurdism, and some southern gothic vibes. The formerly grand Istish empire has fallen and powerful sorcerer tyrants are trying to rebuild. The average person is doing just fine though; they get by, and look after their own. Small enclaves of non-humans protect their little corners of the world and try to delay being swallowed by the expanding mass that is humanity.

It's not about heroes. Or villains for that matter. It's about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, looking out for themselves and those close to them, trying to see the world while making ends meet. And hopefully occasionally getting something they want instead of just what they need. Most people will try to screw you over if it benefits them. When encountered, kind souls are to be cherished and protected. And just outside the banal surface of the world your eyes see is a bubbling froth of alien malice and horror that wants in.

Meskellian is a dark planar fantasy RPG which could be said to fall into the genres of sword and sorcery, dungeonpunk, and planetary romance. It follows ambitious freelancers who have stumbled upon great opportunity and are in way over their heads.

Meskellian games take place in a massive multiverse dominated by twelve metropolises collectively called the Dodekapolis. The celestial court gave up and abandoned the multiverse millennia ago, gods are now mere celebrities who have to desperately maintain a following in order to survive, and just a few years ago humans failed catastrophically in their attempt to build an interplanar highway. Their energy source, a volcano chain on the Prime Material, went critical and it tore the very foundations of the planes. And the wizards responsible for the project have of course gone into hiding.

The rules utilize a three die system; one for your eminence, one for aptitude, and one for skill, each rated between d4 to d12. You advance through trees of traits that you buy with experience points and provide complex social roleplay abilities, various battlefield tactics, and spells with customizable effects.

It's a game about exploration, trade, politics, and violence in depraved ancient metropolises. Or breaking out of that system and building something better. The planes are broken, things are coming apart at the seams, and someone needs to do something. The perfect opportunity for someone with ambition and initiative to actually instigate some change in this stagnant heap.

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More art and faster.
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