From the Desk of the Animancer, April 25th 2022: Vaz’kin’rai Arrives May 3rd!

Hi folks!

It brings me great joy to announce that our next Big Serious Animancer Release will be arriving Tuesday, May 3rd, in the form of Vaz’kin’rai!

An image of a large stone door in a cave. Three white salamanders stand in front of it. Text reads 'Vaz'kin'rai'. The Animancer logo, an icon signifying 5th Edition compatibility, and a sigil of the door are featured in the lower left.
Wow! Look at that cover, courtesy of Izzy!

Vaz’kin’rai is a dungeon-based one-shot adventure for 5th Edition, designed for 1st-level characters, which sees them stumble onto a cosmic vault buried deep underground and the shape shifting menace sealed within. Along the way they’ll encounter some psychic salamanders, a tree from space, and the vor’tai monk of the Silver Staff, Keeper Mar’dir. The adventure itself features:

  • Two new monsters (including another Paragon Monster)
  • Four new magic items
  • Five premade characters
  • A host of original artwork by Izzy Collins, Emma Durno, and Robin Baxter
  • A fully supported hook, as well as suggestions for others and how to develop the storylines and themes introduced in the adventure into a larger game

Vaz’kin’rai is, much like Corwyn, designed to be as usable as possible straight out of the gate, and to work equally well as one night of adventure or the jumping off point for a larger campaign.

But wait – there’s more to the Vaz’kin’rai launch than just the adventure! We’re also very excited to launch Vaz’kin’rai with not one but two other…experiments! These experiments come in the form of an Enchiridion, and a collection of Sonoria.

…WTF is an Enchiridion?

We appreciate that not everyone is a GM, and not every GM might want to even run a published adventure. Those people might see Vaz’kin’rai and say “Ok, looks fun, like the vibe a lot, but it’s unfortunately not really for me. Bummer.” Might we not be able to provide something for those people too? Or a GM runs the adventure but wants a bit…more. Maybe they really like Mar’dir and the vor’tai! Maybe they’d like to have the salari crop up again! Maybe they’d like to involve the Silver Staff in their campaign, but want a bit more…juice? Wouldn’t it be neat if we could offer something that appeals to all those people? That’s where the Enchiridion comes in.

A pale salamander presents a rock to the viewer, beaming widely.
Who wouldn’t want to play one of these wee folks as their next character? Robin did a beautiful job capturing their spirit here.

Enchiridion: Vaz’kin’rai is a companion supplement for the adventure, which takes some of the interesting organisations, people, and themes of the adventure but decouples them from the adventure itself into some new, adventure-agnostic content. In this supplement you’ll find:

  • Rules for playing a vor’tai character
  • Rules for playing a salari character
  • A background for characters from The Silver Staff
  • The Way of the Silver Staff, a monk subclass for…playing as a Silver Staff monk! Ever wanted to be a psychic monk from space? Now you can!
  • An assortment of magic items from the Silver Staff vaults to use as you see fit. A comet you use in a sling (because do you ever see slings being used? Wouldn’t it be cool if you did?), a staff with both a white hole and a black hole – a literal sun god! All sorts of neat stuff lurks in here.

Great! WTF is…are..? a Sonoria?

Glad you asked! Sonoria: Vaz’kin’rai is a collection of fun audio content designed to complement the adventure. It’s a selection of sound effects and ambiences that you can download and use alongside Vaz’kin’rai, or indeed for something else entirely! This batch:

  • Contains five bespoke sound effects: one for a monster in the adventure, one for a trap, and three variations on a chunky door opening.
  • Also comes with three loopable, five-minute ambiences for the three main locales the adventure takes the players through.
  • …is free! You just…download it!
Here’s one of the aforementioned chunky door openings.

One thing I particularly wish to point out about those ambiences is that they come in two formats: binaural and stereo. You probably read that and understood stereo, but what’s binaural? Put simply, it’s a method for processing audio with reference to how the human head affects sounds, in order to more closely mimic how you would actually hear those sounds in that environment. It’s designed specifically for use with headphones – if you listen to those mixes on speakers you…won’t really notice a difference. It might even sound kinda weird! Listening on headphones though, you’ll find that compared to the stereo mix, the ambient elements sound more like they’re located around you, rather than being somewhere on the edge of your head as you’ll find with a stereo mix. Results will vary based on how average your head is, but it’s neat!

If you play online the majority of your group likely uses headphones, and if you play in person you probably just use a speaker for your sounds so rule of thumb: online = binaural, in-person = stereo. It’s just the ambiences that have two formats – the sound effects…there wouldn’t be much point in binauralising them. But we think you’ll like the sound effects too!

Here’s a segment of the stereo vault ambience!
And here’s a segment of the binaural vault ambience!

I’m not aware of anybody else doing binaural stuff in the TTRPG space (perhaps I’m wrong!), so I’m really pleased to be able to offer that, and I hope folks dig it. I really believe audio can elevate a game to the next level, and it’s my hope that after running Vaz’kin’rai with the Sonoria, you’ll feel the same way.

Fantastic! Where Do I Get This Stuff?

Now you’re asking the real questions.

An illustration of a corridor criss-crossed with beams of light. The walls and ceiling are glass, on the other side can be seen wheeling stars and nebulae, cosmic portals, and spaceborne vessels. A door stands at the far end of the corridor with a symbol of a tree.
Whoa, cosmic. Emma contributed this great rendition of the final hurdle before encountering Keeper Mar’dir…

PDF Format

You’ll be able to get both the main adventure and the Enchiridion in all our usual marketplaces, so here on our webstore, DriveThruRPG, and on our Itch page.

The adventure will retail for £4.95 in Scotland money, so somewhere in the $6USD region for those across the pond, depending on exchange rates and such.

The Enchiridion will retail for £3.95 (~$5).

If you want both, we’ll have them bundled together for £7.49 (~$10USD).

Virtual Tabletops

We have the adventure and the Enchiridion converted for the big three VTTs, so it’ll be appearing for Roll20, Foundry, and Fantasy Grounds, at the same price points as the PDF.

Each platform has slightly different processing times for this stuff so it won’t all launch at once, but it’ll launch pretty swiftly, and we’ll keep you abreast as and when those conversions come online.

Sonoria Download

This’ll be available to download through our website, and you’ll be able to get a variety of file formats too: FLAC, MP3, and OGG. We’ll bundle the MP3 and OGG files together as the core download and bundle the FLACs as an ‘audio nerd’ download for those that want them (and if you don’t know what FLAC is, you…probably don’t care about getting them in FLAC format).

The Sonoria will also be folded in with the VTT conversions, for VTTs that support audio (Roll20 and Foundry), all fully implemented for you, ready to go.

…Print? Can I…Are You Doing It In Print?

We have very firm plans to get into print, yes, but we don’t yet have a firm timescale. We’re working on it! Sometime this year, we anticipate.

…And that about does it! One adventure, one companion supplement for those that want something different/extra, and some free sounds. Launching May 3rd, 2022.

See you then!

Sign up to our mailing list below to get notified when Vaz’kin’rai, Enchiridion: Vaz’kin’rai, and Sonoria: Vaz’kin’rai launch, and be the first to venture into the vault…

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