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Join Wil Wheaton, Hank Green, Alison Haislip, Yuri Lowenthal, and Laura Bailey for an overview of the world of Valkana! Titansgrave: Chapter 0 is an introduction to the basics of role-playing games, the Fantasy AGE system, and the characters and lore that make up the world of Valkana. Whether you’re a seasoned RPG player or newcomer to tabletop games in general, don’t miss the prologue to Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana!

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Cast
Game Master: Wil Wheaton

Crew
Executive Producers: Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day
Director/Producer: Adam Lawson
Head Of Production: Ryan Copple
Episode Writer: Wil Wheaton
Editor: Steve Grubel
Animator: Andrew Jewell
Illustration Art Directors: Adam Lawson, Stéphane Richards, KJ Kallio
Opening Intro Voice Over By: Troy Baker
Opening Intro Illustrations By: Scribble Pad Studios, James Paick, Joy Lee, Shawn Kim, Stéphane Richards, KJ Kallio, Alejandro Magnozz, Michael Pedro, Soren Zaragoza, Laura Sava, Gunship Revolution, Evan Lee, Serg Souleiman
Episode Zero Illustrations By: James Paick, KJ Kallio, Tony Foti, Alejandro Magnozz, Rock-He Kim
RPG Music/Sound Design Loops By: Wes Otis & Platemailgames.com
The Love Theme From Titansgrave (Valkana, O’ Valkana) By: Louie Schultz and Adam Lasus

Associate Producers: Chris Pramas, Nicole Lindroos
Game Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing

Cinematographer: Zach Voytas
Sound Mixer: Sabi Tulok

Chief Lighting Technician: Team Bashett
Lighting Techs: Jerry White, David Connan
Production Designer: Geoff Flint
Art Director: Drew Wootten
Asst. Art Director: Vanesa Wilkey Escobar
Construction Coordinator: Freddy Palaez
Carpenters: akob Bokulich, Mudavahnu “Moody” Mushonga

Make Up: Christina Waltz

Production Manager: Ashley Krick
Production Assistants: Jason Adams

Post Production Supervisor: James Deuling
Post Production Sound Mixer: Sabi Tulok

 Intro


Wil Wheaton: Welcome to Titansgrave. Or, more accurately, the set for Titansgrave. Titansgrave doesn't exist, it's a place that I made up but today I'm going to introduce you to the characters and the world I made up, so you have a stronger foundation to build our show into your mind. We have got amazing artists from around the world creating tons of art to help you visualize the world of Valkana, but the bulk of the images-- actually, the bulk of the world, really, is going to exist in your mind because this is one of the things I really love about role-playing games.

When we play a game, everyone involved has a different version of the world in their imagination. That includes us on the set, and you at home, or wherever you're watching this, because it's the internet and the internet is everywhere.

 Basic gameplay (0:55)


Before we delve into the mythology, characters, and history of Valkana, I need to go over some of the basics of playing a role-playing game for those of you who might not know much about RPGs, and the age system that Titansgrave is based on. In fact, I'm willing to bet that most of you aren't that familiar with fantasy age, because as it turns out, the Ashes of Valkana is the very first adventure campaign that was created for it, which I'm not gonna lie, I think is kinda cool.

So let's talk about the fundamental basics of Role Playing Games, which I'll call RPGs cuz quite honestly, I'm very busy and don't have time to say the whole thing every time. The game master is the only person who knows all the secret things the players will encounter during the game, and he or she will help the players discover those secrets through a series of encounters with monsters, traps, allies, and enemies. You could think of the game master as a blend of host, referee for the rules, and lead storyteller.

Now, this part is really important. Unlike a story that you would experience in a movie, a book, TV, or even a tale told by a campfire, the player characters in a role playing game are fundamental and integral to the story, and they can and will change it while they play. A really good GM will always react to the choices the players make, and let the players guide the story from place to place.

This means that the same game could be run multiple times by the same people but the story is always gonna be different depending on the choices they make. For those of you out there who play video games, it's like choosing to go paragon or renegade in Mass Effect, but on a much larger scale because the game master can do anything in her imagination, and a video game is limited by its programming.

 Character creation (2:58)


Let's talk a little bit about characters and how these characters are created. When I run a game, I always let my players decide what kind of character they want to play. Maybe they want to play a rogue who carries a dark, sinister secret. Maybe they want to be a good wizard, who will only use their magical power to help people who are in need. You want to be an explorer who never want anyone to find out about your disgraceful past in a far-off land, that oh no, we have to go adventure in! They can be anyone they want to be, and as a game master, I am going to help them bring that character to life and facilitate the telling of that character's story.

So to keep track of the important things about the characters, things like how strong or smart they are, what kind of armour they're wearing, and how wounded they are, each player is going to fill out one of these character sheets. These different statistics let the players and the game master know how good or bad that character is at things like throwing a punch, deciphering a scroll, or not falling into a hidden acid pit that has absolutely no f*** business being in the foyer of a mansion Chris Perkins! That doesn't even make any sense, it should never have been there, you murderer!

Whenever a player wants to do something that has the chance of failure, I'm going to tell them to make a test and use one of those statistics. They players roll some dice, add them up, apply any modifiers that they get from their relevant stat, and I tell them if they succeeded or failed.

For example, in our games, Alison Haislip's character Kiliel is really agile. So she has a very high dexterity score. Yuri Lowenthal's character isn't nearly as agile as she is (he's a wizard, agility isn't that important to him) so his score is much lower. When they both have to dodge a thrown dagger, Alison has a better chance of avoiding it because her dexterity modifier is a four while Yuri's dexterity modifier is a 0.

In this example, when I as the game master, throw that dagger, I'll tell them to make a dexterity test, right, because that's the relevant stat to getting out of the way. On my side of the test, I decide how difficult it's going to be to not get hit and I give that test a target number to reflect that difficulty. A one is really simple and 20 and above is really hard all the way up to impossible. On their side of the test, they roll their dice, apply their modifier, and then they let me know their result.

So if Alison rolled 3, 5, 6, that would equal fourteen, she adds her modifier of 4 and gets 18. So Alison rolled an 18 on her dexterity test. Yuri rolls 5, 2, 2, for 9 aww Yuri, and adds his modifier of 0 and he gets 9 on his dexterity test. I decided that the dagger was coming at them out of the dark, so it was pretty difficult to dodge to begin with, and the target number they needed to meet or exceed was 17. Alison rolls out of the way and now Yuri has a splitting headache. Because he has a dagger in his head, get it? Right? It's very-- shut up! It's funny!

 The age system (6:26)


The age system that we're using is very similar to the one used in the Dragon Age RPG we played in Season one of TableTop. You might remember that it has a unique mechanic called stunting, which lets the player do extra actions if they roll doubles on two of their three dice. The number on the action die when they do that, that's one of the three that's a different color, determines the number of stunt points that they get to use.

We also had this idea during production that we could do a new mechanic that is totally unique to Titansgrave. If a player rolls three sixes, not only will the player get to do the most awesome stunt imaginable, but the GM (that's me) Will cement the players action in history by making it something legendary that people speak of for years and maybe decades after it happens. You could do that in your game too if you wanted, or not, I'm not the boss of you. Except you, I am the boss of you.

 Valkana (7:30)


I am really excited to introduce you to the world of Valkana. Valkana is a science fantasy setting. It is inspired by classics like the cartoon Thundarr the Barbarian, and the Heavy Metal movie. I'm going to give you a brief but broad history of Valkana, focused on the three major events that shaped the world as it exists today.

For centuries, the Saurian (? 8:00) Empire, through their mastery of technology, ruthless subjugation of the elves and humans, and enslavement of the Orcs, claimed absolute dominion over Valkana until one day the sky itself fell down upon them, destroying their cities, killing millions and plunging the world into a long darkness.

Every culture has a different explanation for the day the sky fell down, but it would be the Saurian belief that ended up having the greatest impact on Valkana. A charismatic Saurian called the prophet Dhawan (?) preached that the gods were right to punish not just the Saurians, but all the people on Valkana.

She preached that the melding of science and magic was an abomination, a blasphemy. She declared that providence commanded all true users of magic to rise up and purify their societies. Only when magic and science were permanently separated would the gods be mollified. The prophet and her followers were determined to spread her message across all of Valkana, first with open arms, and then with closed fists.

Few took the prophet seriously at first, but that changed quickly when the first villages were consumed by flames. Almost immediately uprisings began throughout every major kingdom. All over the continent, the cult of the prophet took root, and soon the nations were tearing themselves apart. The prophet's army grew and her enemies soon realized that they had to unite to end the threat. Thus began the Chaos Wars.

It took decades, and countless desperate battles, and the blood of millions, but the prophet was defeated and her armies dismantled and scattered. By the end of the Chaos Wars, the world had been reshaped. Many of the cities that had been rebuilt after the apocalypse were again destroyed. Entire populations were dispersed while small pockets of cultists remained, The prophet Dhawan Is widely despised as a force of evil who brought suffering and destruction to all she touched. And the great heroes who defeated her are revered.

Today, as the Ashes of Valkana begins, an ancient evil not seen since the time of the prophet is rising, and our four heroes may be the only ones who can stop it. So, let's meet them.

 The Heroes (11:03)


I would like you to sort of introduce your characters to the audience. So uhm, go ahead and introduce--

Laura Bailey: Just go for it?

Wil: Yeah, introduce your character.

Hank: Introduce them to us.

Laura: OK. So my character, her name is Lemley. She is 17 years old. She's a human. She was orphaned at a very young age and found by her new parents, which were Saurian (?) parents. Around the age of 14, she was messing with some old tech that she found and hadn't told anybody about it, and it exploded on her and blew out her arm and her leg and ended up killing her parents in the process. It was very sad. Uhm, so now she has a cyborg arm and a cyborg leg and she's been wandering around, kind of as an orphan since then.

Hank: Right, not just an orphan but an orphan ho killed her own parents.

Laura: Who killed her own parents. By accident.

Hank: Yeah, but you know you're never gonna forgive yourself for that.

Laura: Yeah, not really. Nope. Which is funny because when I happened upon you uhm, I kind of for the first time felt like I belonged somewhere again.

Hank: It kind of makes sense. I hadn't been introduced to this character, but knowing my character, that does make sense.

Wil: Let's jump down and meet your character Hank.

Hank: Oh, OK, jumping across. My character is named Aankia. She is a young Saurian female. She was raised by a single father and he was a street performer and he would go out with his like little, sort of this high mechanical puppets and they would perform sort of puppet acts. And their show was crashed into by a vehicle. It destroyed most of the robots and over the course of several months he never recovered and died of those wounds.

Laura: Happy family life.

Hank: And she was able to cobble together one of the robots from all of the different spare parts of the ones that had been destroyed, that accompanies her.

Wil: Does your robot have a name?

Hank: Jeremy.

(Laura laughs)

Alison: Awwwww.

Laura: I like it. Jeremy's adorable.

Wil: That's fantastic.

Yuri: Did they ever find the person who uh--

Hank: No, actually her short term and long term goals are also written down. Short term: survival, long term: vengeance.

(Alison laughs)

Yuri: Always a good long term goal.

Wil: (? 13:05) Yeah. Uhm, Lemley,

Laura: Yes?

Wil: What are the names of your weapons.

Laura: (laughs) Oh, I have an awesome sword that comes out of my arm.

Wil: Yes.

Laura: And that's name is Dr. Lobotomy. (Hank laughs)

Wil: Does it actually say "Doctor Lobotomy" on the blade?

Laura: Of course it does.

(?)

Wil: Laser engraved. That's great, I love that.

Yuri: It has inscribed "If you can read this..."

Wil: You're probably dead.

Yuri: Lobotomized! (all laughing)

Wil: And which of you did they come across first? Yes, Yuri...

Alison: You.

Yuri: Yes, right.

Wil: Tell me if you would please,

Yuri: It was years ago.

Wil: Let's meet your character.

Yuri: Uh, my character is S'Lethkk Dormor (?). He's a half-orc, half-Saurian. Uhm, I was--

Hank: You tell us more about

Yuri: The illicit romance?

Hank: The actual-- not the romance, just the sex itself.

Yuri: (laughs) Just the sex itself.

Alison: How did it biologically work?

Yuri: Ok, so--

Wil: Fanfiction writers, if you could get to work and just let hank know, that would be really useful for him. Hank@hankgreen.com, the subject should just be something like "What the f*** is wrong with you bro?" (all laughing) Please, continue.

Yuri: Uh, one day the kids from the Saurian side who detested me, locked me away in a religious chapel in the house. And I had been left there for a long time. They assumed I would be found and I wasn't for days, and in trying to survive I uncovered a hidden room in the chapel and found old religious texts, and I learned magic. And when I was finally found, everybody looked at me different you know they were-- they were a little scared of me. Uhm but I didn't see anything, I didn't see a huge change, but the short term goal is my brother, my orc brother, we never got along very well and I want to find him and mend things.

Wil: And you found your way to Aankia and Lemley because they were performing and uh, Lemley thought you were cute--

Laura: You were pretty dreamy.

Yuri: For a half-orc/half Saurian?

Wil: And hung around to begin participating in the shows and in the course of your travels, you one day came across...

Alison: Me!

Yuri: Forever changed.

Alison: I am Kiliel. I am half elf, half dwarf, and my parents, my biological elf mother and my not biological elf dad own a tiny little shop together where they sell ancient relics and rare artifacts and things like that. And when I was young, my father would go off on these journeys to find these things to sell and then one day he went off on a journey and just did not come back. And then my mother fell in love with a very attractive dwarf and thus I was created, but then surprise, my elf dad came back, having been--

Yuri: What!?

Laura: What what!?

Alison: --lost, found out that his wife was pregnant with someone else's child.

Yuri: But don't dwarves and elves get along usually?

Alison: Never! Never! So uh...

Wil: See it's funny because they usually don't.

Alison: And you guys wander into my parents shop because you have a locket

Laura: I have a locket, which was the only thing I had left from my original parents, the only thing on me when my Saurian parents found me was this locket. So one of my goals is to find out more about my family through this, so I like to go to places that deal in antiques and relics and see what they know about it. So I found her.

Alison: Right. And so, my family's at the point right now where my dad is too old to get out very frequently, to find uhm other treasures...

Hank: Also maybe he's thinking he shouldn't leave so often.

(raucous laughter)

Alison: Right. Very true, very true. Uhm, and I've never seen the world so I decide to join up with the band so I can go out and find more antiques and relics to bring back to my family's shop, but also, my long term goal and my secret mission is to find my dwarf dad, because I've never met him before.

Hank: It must be nice to have a dad to try and find.

Yuri: awww

Alison: I know, how am I the only one who ends up with like a semi-healthy family.

Wil: Roll for sadness. (all laughing)

Laura: Oh, I rolled a two!

 Secrets (17:47)


One of the things that I like to do, and something that I suggest all game masters do, is let the players have secrets that their characters are keeping from each other. It changes the way that they think, it brings depth to and complexity to their characters, and it lets me serve the story in way that will be appealing to them. On our first day of production, I gathered the actors and I asked them, "do you guys have any secrets that you know about yourselves? What about secrets that you know about the other players?" They all had something to tell me, and this is what happened.

Wil: What do you know?

Alison: I know that that locket that Lemley brought in with the three on it, my parents wouldn't tell her what it said, they said that they didn't know, but I knew and it actually means, the people who have those lockets are descended from a very terrible branch of humans.

Laura: So, what nobody else knows is actually how much of my body was blasted away. It's pretty much half of my body was gone.

Wil: Oh wow.

Laura: So a lot of organs have been mashed together and Aankia is the only one that really has seen any of that and really has worked on that with me.

Wil: uh-huh.

Laura: For some reason I connect that with what I actually committed, what I actually did to my parents. These, I feel like I can bring them out and I can really make it right and I can fight with this, but this I can't do anything with this and-- I just have to keep that, what I did, to myself.

Hank: I also did-- I never felt like I was going to have a friend again.

Wil: Uh-huh.

Hank: So, like, just the act that she would share something

Wil: Yeah

Hank: With me, I felt like suddenly...

Wil: Yeah

Yuri: That event that happened in the church when he was very young, it tied him, you know, sort of to his god. Um, I think he talks to that entity from time to time and believes that he is in contact but understands that that's not socially acceptable for regular sane people sometimes. So sometimes I'm actually talking to that.

Wil: Awesome.

Yuri: You're awesome.

Wil: I know. I mean, you're awesome. (laughs)

Yuri: Yeah.

Wil: The stage is set. I cannot wait for you to experience the adventure ahead. And unlike tabletop, which has new episodes every other week, new episodes of Titansgrave release every week, starting today. We've worked so hard on this you guys, I sincerely hope that you love it, and I hope that it inspires you to play more games.

(endscreen)