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Behind Veil of the Void: An Interview with Trever Archuleta

As streams like Critical Role and The Adventure Zone start trickling into mainstream media consciousness, the tabletop RPG community finds itself entering a cultural renaissance. It’s estimated that 10% of all Kickstarters are indie developers trying to get off the ground. Every day new content is created by brilliant people, expanding our horizons and delighting players everywhere. I sat down with Trever Archuleta, author of the upcoming TTRPG Veil of the Void. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign, our intrepid hero has first-hand experience with exposing and idea to the world and seeing it come to life.

Brittany: Thanks so much for setting aside time to talk with us, Trever. To get started, tell me a bit about yourself - who are you and what's your story?

Trever: Well, I’m Trever, I have been the designer and writer behind Veil of the Void for the past 16 years. I love working on this game, even when I have down time you will always find me working on ideas for it or working on expansions or hosting sessions. I grew up in Colorado for most of my life and hope to stay here for quite some time still. Things weren’t always easy because I was a single child with a single mom but we still made it through and I’m grateful for the rough times as it taught me patience; which with writing you sometimes need a lot of patience. Regardless of how life went however, even working at my previous 10-13 hour work days, I would still come home and write. This book and the joy it brings others is my life’s passion and the thing I enjoy the most.

Brittany: Tell me about Veil of the Void. What do you want the readers of EN World to know about what you have created?

Trever: Veil of the Void is a sci-fi fantasy tabletop roleplaying game that has been designed with a living and evolving ruleset. This system actively encourages home-brewing, and gives every rule needed to do quickly do so. I have worked hard the past 4 years to develop a custom D6 system that evolves alongside the players. So skills level as a player make checks with them. This lets story building and narrative be the focus of this game. Veil of the Void focuses on encouraging your story and letting you think completely outside of the box.

Brittany: So the core mechanics designed to allow the world grow around the players’ characters?

Trever: Yes, exactly. The game is designed to be as customizable as possible. So no game will ever look the same. Players gain unique Expertise based on their choices. Adversaries within a faction grow stronger the more they learn about fighting the PCs.

And the classes are extremely customizable. For example, because Veil of the Void a sci-fantasy universe, there is magic within the game. Magic has always been a personal favorite of mine in any game setting. also means that magic is within the game, and magic is a personal favorite of mine. Mages can craft and build their own spells and aren’t limited to just one spell tree or type. Magic is so open yet controlled that you can make whatever you think of a reality.

It is a very unique system but still feels familiar to any TTRPG player, regardless of previous systems they’ve used. It is also very friendly to new players, as many of the rules can safely be ignored and just the simple core rules used. I’ve designed the GM rules to make improvisation easy, so it’s a good game for anyone to get into. I’ve worked passionately on the Veil of the Void universe for over 16 years and I’m so stoked to finally get it out to the public!

Brittany: 16 years is an incredible amount of time to develop an idea! Have you always been an avid player of TTRPGs? What is your relationship with TTRPGs?

Trever: I have been playing tabletop RPGs for roughly 10 years now I believe. I actually got into TTRPGs when my friend invited me over to play some Pathfinder. None of us had really played a TTRPG before and it was kind of confusing and all over the place but it was a lot of fun. For favorite genre of TTRPGs I would have to go with Sci-fantasy, having both a futuristic setting with magic and strange creatures/items really gives you the best of both worlds. What originally drew me to TTRPGs was actually the idea of making a character and telling a story with some of my close friends. You definitely see that in how I’ve constructed Veil of the Void.

Brittany: It seems like storytelling is a cornerstone of Veil of the Void. I mean, you created an entire, complex universe for it. But when did it all begin? When did that first idea strike you and why?

Trever: Veil of the Void began right around my 10th birthday, which seems like forever ago now. The funny thing is that I originally wanted it to be an MMORPG video game. I wanted to make a game that was totally different than all the other MMOs of the time. It also started out as a pure Fantasy based game. However, I eventually realized I really didn’t want to go to school to learn design. After that, it kind of sat on the backburner.

Brittany: I think that’s something that a lot of people can relate to - feeling like we don’t have the right qualifications to make a game because we didn’t pursue design or coding.

Trever: Exactly. After that realization, it sat on the shelf for about a year before I started on it again. Since then, it has been through many iterations and I made the universe in a bunch of other systems like D&D, Savage Worlds, etc. Eventually though I set out to make my own system that allowed me full freedom to create whatever I wanted. Some flavor and ideas still exist from when I first started at 10 but now it has changed into something way better than I could have hoped.

Brittany: You’ve been building this game for so long. So when did you decide that you wanted to publish Veil of the Void? what made you take that plunge?

Trever: I started playtesting Veil of the Void heavily back in July of last year and the groups I tested it on really enjoyed it. It was so much fun to GM those groups and see the joy the game brought them and to hear that the system feels different, new, and fun. I still play with one of the groups that I started testing with, we’ve been playing Veil of the Void together for almost a year now.

Brittany: I would think that seeing people enjoy something that you created was a big confidence booster. Is that what made you want to share it more broadly?

Trever: Oh, definitely. That group really helped me fix the bugs and issues. After about 5 months of testing and tweaking, the system was pretty much ready to go. So, I decided I would finally take the leap to get the game published and sold. I’m glad I took the leap as well as it is almost completed and sooner than I could have hoped.

Brittany: I’m glad you took that plunge! The Kickstarter for Veil of the Void was very successful and now you are almost two months away from it being published. How does it feel to be so close to publishing the project that you have put so much of yourself into?

Trever: It feels better than I can describe to know that I am so close to publishing. And so much sooner than I thought I would be! The joy I get every time I look at the process of the book and see just how much is done already is just... fantastic. The fact that people actually want to read and play what I have worked so long on and dedicated a huge part of my life to just brings the biggest smile to my face. Veil of the Void is almost done and it feels so amazing to be this close.

Brittany: It really is incredible that you’ve come this far after so long. So many people have amazing ideas but are held back from sharing them for one reason to another. What would you say to anyone reading this who might want to put their work out there, but are afraid to do so? Any advice or words of wisdom?

Trever: I was terrified to place it out there as well. I mean I’m naturally an introvert and it was especially scary for me to put something so close to my heart out there for people to see. But fear is just something that holds you back. It’s so hard to share your idea at first and fear may attempt to stop you, but keep going and don’t turn back. There is no better feeling than the one that comes from seeing others enjoy your work and get as passionate about it as you are. So keep going and don’t let fear or failure stop you because your ideas matter and others won’t know they want it if you don’t get it out there.

Try out Veil of the Void for yourself by downloading the demo book and character sheets on the official SDG Creators website! Follow Veil of the Void on Twitter to get updates as they come out: @PublishersSDG

The paperback, PDF, and hardback copies of Veil of the Void: Core Rulebook should be fully completed and shipped by July 30th, 2019. Want to be cool and be one of the first to get it? Make sure to preorder!

This article was contributed by Brittany Bastian (TypedMischief) as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program. If you enjoy the daily news and articles from EN World, please consider contributing to our Patreon!