Welcome to Variant Ventures!
Whether you are a first-time or seasoned adventurer, creator, and overall table-top role-playing game lover, we want to welcome you to Variant Ventures (VV) where through the magic of storytelling, we can make the world a better place.
My name is Kait (she/her), and I am the founder and creator of Variant Ventures. Currently, I am also the Chief Creative Officer for VV.
I am a Storyteller and Creator looking to cultivate connections through storytelling with others. Having grown up in the Midwest and moved all around the East Coast for work, school, and major life events, I was trying to find a place to belong. I soon realized that my purpose in this brief life did not lie in the places that I worked, but in the people that surrounded me and in the beauty of creating and storytelling. Currently, I spearhead the Variant Ventures Shop, which has been an amazing experience alone, but I wanted to create something bigger.
While running my shop I frequently felt like white noise or a teeny tiny voice amongst large corporations who had the financial capabilities to run endless ad campaigns and felt unheard in the marketplace. I figured there MUST be others who feel the same way! It’s hard to know who to trust online and feel heard, so “How do we make this better?”
With the help of my team, we began the process of creating the Variant Ventures website and our primary feature the VV Artisans Guild to help small shops and creators connect with each other and potential clients in an easy, safe, and less saturated environment online.
Having officially launched our site and the guild, I am pleased to introduce my fellow team members to you! Here they are in their own words:
Variant J, CEO
Greetings Adventures! I am Variant J (he/him) and the Chief Executive Officer of Variant Ventures.
Collaborative storytelling has been an interest of mine as far back as I can remember. In the beginning, before I had learned to read or write, I would act out elaborate stories and plays with my toys and dolls. I would referee games of “make-believe” with my friends, and we would spend long summer afternoons taking on the invisible forces of evil. As I grew older I traded backyard heroics with internet message boards and chat rooms, which allowed me to collaborate with a larger and more diverse cast. And then one day someone introduced me to their table of friends and a tabletop roleplaying game called Dungeons and Dragons. I spent the next several hours exploring a home made world as Jiggins McKenzie, the powerful half-ogre monk.
I wish I could say I immediately fell for the hobby, but in truth I left the session feeling that perhaps D&D (and by extension, TTRPGs) were not a viable means of telling and sharing stories. As I have since learned, my reservations were more with the table I was playing with than with tabletop role-play itself. Years later I would find myself sitting around a table with a new set of friends and discovering the true joy that is storytelling through TTRPG. Some of those friends are also introducing themselves on this blog.
One of my goals for writing this blog is to help new or experienced game masters promote the kind of table I wish I had found when I first approached the hobby. I have spent several years sharpening my creative blade both in the space of a player and master, and while I do not pretend to know everything one can know about collaborative storytelling, I have come across some universal truths and advice I would love to pass along. I will be discussing the importance of communication amongst the table at all levels. I will touch upon how forming bonds with your party, and with the game master leads to an overall higher quality experience. I will also provide advice on developing personalized content (frequently referred to as indie, or home brewed).
In addition, I will spend some time discussing charity and ethical theory, as I believe that the heroics of the table can extend to the world around us. (Click here to see Variant Venture’s List of Charities we support, and here to see our Code of Ethics.) When the mood strikes me, I may even post some silly short stories or literary work, if for no other reason than to promote the propagation of storytelling.
I truly believe that collaborative storytelling and tabletop role-play can make the world around us a little bit brighter. I hope that we can all learn how to communicate with one another, and learn how to bring out the best in each one of us both in the dungeon and in our day to day lives.
Variant Berry, CMO
Welcome to the Berry Patch! I am known by many names, but you may call me Berry (she/her). I am your one woman hype show, ready to pump you full of self esteem and teach you self advocacy! I am also the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Variant Ventures.
My background is in behavioral health, working directly with kids and adults on the East and West Coasts of the United States. It is amazing the growth that can come when we put away our pretenses and enjoy the power of play! In this space, confidence will grow and leadership will develop as all participants work on interpersonal communication and develop a stronger sense of self. TTRPG’s bring a unique sense of growth due to the explorative nature of role play. It doesn’t matter if you are a young kid playing pretend or an adult trying to escape the world; TTRPG takes you into the unknown, and if all goes as planned, you’ll leave the table with amazing memories!
In coming posts you can expect tools for keeping a safe table for both Players and GM/DM’s, ideas for how to develop an inclusive game, game reviews and other similar topics. Additionally, I hope to cook up some edible battle maps and board games down the line! (If I put it here you have to hold me to it!)
Variant Liz, CFO
Hey all you cool cats and kittens,
No, you are not trapped in a pandemic-popular series on the Flix… I’m Liz (she/her). This is the first blog I have ever written and thanks for being here! As this is my debeau, I am going to give you a little background on me then get into the good stuff; what I can do for YOU.
I am probably the Variant who is the most novice in the TTRPG game and I am a total noob to DnD. (If there are any other noobs among us TTRPG = Tabletop Role Playing Game and DnD = Dungeons and Dragons.) I love playing games and am expanding my horizons with the help of my fellow Variants. I am also the Variant with 10 years of finance experience and a master’s degree in business management, thus making me the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Variant Ventures.
I’m sure at this point you’re thinking, “Yeah, ok cool but you said something about doing things for ME?” Your patience will be rewarded, my liege. I offer you insight that is twofold; one part learning to be a TTRP Gamer and one part giving you tips and tricks for financial aspects of life but without any hidden agenda. Hence; RealTalk. I look forward to offering insight into the confusing topic of finance for your daily life, small business and general knowledge. I’m also happy to take suggestions if there is a particular topic that readers wish to hear more about. One underlying theme will prevail; everything I cover will be real talk. I will not make specific recommendations but will do my best to make various topics not digestible for readers.
A thousand thanks for starting with me to the end and I look forward to providing more insight soon!
Variant Rory, COO
Greetings and well met, visitors of the Variant Ventures Blog!
I am Variant Rory (he/him), the strategist and historian of our party as well as the Variant Ventures Chief Operating Officer (COO). Some of you may know my works on Twitter with Tactics Tuesdays and Weapon Wednesdays, and now it brings myself and the whole team at VV great pleasure to present our blog.
On this forum, I plan to discuss some of my interests such as: tabletop roleplaying games, history, strategy and tactics, real time strategy games, science fiction, and whatever other ideas float through my head.
My adventure begins much like Kait’s, as I grew up in the Midwestern United States, enduring weather far too cold for normal people to live comfortably, and relocated to the land of the sunshine state. This is also where I finished grade school and attended university. My primary studies included: history, sociology, military strategy, and other similar topics. As an adult, I now live in the MidAtlantic, enjoying the many historical sites the region offers.
My introduction to TTRPG’s and role playing in general was a bit different than my fellow Variants. As a youth, I participated in Medieval reenactment and full contact sword fighting. I started this at a young age and continued until school and other pesky real life obligations made it untenable to continue. During the near decade I participated, I learned not only traditional martial combat, but also courtly behavior and many skills from times past. I also learned chess, checkers, and the less traditional game of Magic the Gathering.
My first experience with TTRPG’s was also at the same time I met most of the people who would come to make up the VV team. We were invited by a common friend of ours to begin a game of Dungeons and Dragons, a game I had never played, but loved the sound of. I created a knight in shining armor, and rode proudly into the game on my noble steed. While this game did not last forever, it led to many others and solidified the friendship between many of the VV team members.
With that brief peek behind the curtain into my background finished, I welcome you to enjoy the works created by the rest of our party, the artisans of our guild, and fellow Variants. Be ready for more content, both from myself and others very soon, and may your path be filled with friends and good memories.
More About Variant Ventures:
All of us here at Variant Ventures are HUGE on community outreach and support. Through fundraisers, special online and in-person events, and general support for fellow Variants, we hope to help various groups and programs to make the world a better place. You will soon find an ever expanding list of charities we support on our site, variant-ventures.com. To learn more about these charities, stay tuned for an entire article dedicated to outlining who we support and why.
At Variant Ventures our mission is to provide the resources and support for collaborative story-builders at all levels of experience, ability and backgrounds — through collaboration with passionate, talented individuals along with our own products and services to inspire and entertain our community.
To help you better understand how and why we do what we do here is a look at our Code of Ethics:
At VV, We expect all members of Variant Ventures, including our business partners, to operate by the same values featured in our mission statement in their judgment and behavior. Open communication and expression should be guided by the desire for a respectful, inclusive, and collaborative working environment.
We welcome and support people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, social and economic class, educational level, color, immigration status, sex, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical differences.
We conduct ourselves in a kind and professional manner so that we may foster a creative working environment. We believe in the Golden Rule of “treat others in the way you want to be treated.” This principle extends to each interaction we have and in every communication we put forth.
We operate in an environment of honesty and transparency. This includes our internal operations, our relationships with our partners and our business and communications within the community.
We comply with all local, state, and federal laws and requirements in all areas in which we operate. In addition, we only operate with businesses or in partnerships that operate in full accordance with the law.
We operate under the principles of objectivity and fairness. As such, we work to reduce favoritism at all levels of decision making within the company.
We stand by our products, our communications and the decisions we make as a company. If necessary we take the appropriate steps to fix any mistakes that are made. We also own up to our limitations and ask for help when needed to ensure we operate at our best.
We find strength in diversity. Sharing differing viewpoints and perspectives is a key element to creativity and conquering new challenges. We are a community that is strongest when we all work in harmony. Communication is key, as such, all members are expected to keep open and timely communication when collaborating with Variant Ventures or other crafts persons, artists and partners.
We hope you enjoy your time with Variant Ventures as you get to know us through our growing pains and beyond, but we can’t wait for what the future holds for Variant Ventures. The adventure begins…