Sword and sorcery fantasy games played with pen, paper, and dice have been with us since Dungeons & Dragons defined the tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) genre in the early 70s. With the recent explosive mainstreaming of TTRPGs, aided by pop culture phenomena like Netflix’s Stranger Things and Critical Role, Y Combinator founders Jay and Scott Rosenkrantz saw the potential to merge this popular pastime with audience-led content creation and digital collectibles.
Heroic Story is the realization of that vision, reimagining traditional pen-and-paper RPGs as a new gaming platform that empowers players and world-class game masters with collaborative events and digital collectibles that allow players to direct their shared adventures together. Transcend has been an early backer of the company so this is technically a somewhat belated welcome but, with today's announcement of an additional $6M in funding, we are excited to see them now poised to rewrite the definition of online role-playing games.
“The intersection of storytelling and technology has been the theme of my career, from my early years as a top online poker pro and entrepreneur, to designing and directing one of the first adventure games for consumer VR,” said Jay Rosenkrantz, CEO of Heroic Story. “At Y Combinator, Scott and I doubled down on solving problems for storytellers, the world’s most undervalued talent, and after spending the last year and a half exploring Web 3, we truly believe smart contract powered platforms will transform gaming, storytelling, and community building.”
Led by the Rosenkrantz brothers as co-founders, the Heroic Story team includes art director Paul Adam (BioWare, Wizards of the Coast), programmer Martin Beierling-Mutz (EA), and esports industry veterans Matt Elento (Team Liquid) and Daniel “Tafokints” Lee. Production partners include Concept Art House, Windwalk, and Thirdweb, and Heroic Story’s core team consists of industry veterans including artists, writers, engineers, game developers, and seasoned community builders.
The company’s first game franchise, Legends of Fortunata, invites players into a realm of high fantasy and gripping adventure, where the audience helps guide and contribute to the world and its narratives. Quests are played out in live, scheduled sessions hosted by an ever-growing list of fan-favorite celebrity game masters, including Ron Ogden (The Dungeon Run) and Luke Gygax, son of Dungeons & Dragons creator Gary Gygax. Legends of Fortunata launched Sept. 23, 2022 with a free-to-own collection of 1,049 World Passes—what Ogden called “tickets to deadly Disneyland”—which became the top traded collection on OpenSea shortly after minting. Legends of Fortunata is already amassing a growing base of avid players, drawn from a deep global audience of tens of millions classic RPG fans.
At Transcend, we are proud to be part of Heroic Story’s own epic quest to make tabletop role-playing games accessible to new audiences. Their transformative ideas, guided by industry gurus and supplemented by deeply invested players, stand to democratize the economies of online gaming by making players both the creators and the owners of their characters and worlds. You can join adventuring party - they are hiring!
About Transcend Fund
Transcend is a top performing early stage venture capital firm that partners with the boldest founders in the industry to collaboratively build the future of interactive entertainment.
Founded in San Francisco by gaming veterans, the Transcend portfolio features a preeminent group of high growth digital entertainment companies around the world.
About Shanti Bergel
Shanti is the founding partner of Transcend and a 30 year game industry veteran.
His global operating experience spans every major platform and business model transition of the last several decades and is animated by a career-long fascination with how changes in technology and distribution affect products, services, and communities.
Shanti is a recognized member of the Techcrunch List, speaks fluent Japanese, and is a frequent speaker on early stage investment, M&A, and strategic partnerships in digital entertainment.