Character Creation Cast

Character Evolution Cast E15 - Collaborative World Building with Aly Grauer and Drew Mierzejewski [Warda Podcast]

Episode Summary

In this episode of Character Evolution Cast, we welcome Aly Grauer and Drew Mierzejewski from the Warda podcast to discuss the joys of building a world together, including some great tips on how to do it well on both sides of the table!

Episode Notes

In this episode of Character Evolution Cast, we welcome Aly Grauer and Drew Mierzejewski from the Warda podcast to discuss the joys of building a world together, including some great tips on how to do it well on both sides of the table!

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Aly Grauer @dreamstobecome

Drew Mierzejewski @worldstoforge

Warda @WelcomeToWarda



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Episode Transcription

Transcripts Auto Generated - May not be 100% accurate

Amelia Antrim  0:05  

Welcome to the 15th episode of Character evolution cast everyone. We've got a really great discussion about collaborative world building with Allie Grauer and drew GSK from the word up podcast, but first some announcements.


Ryan Boelter  0:18  

First up, will have a new entry to the secret archive coming very soon. I got together with Aaron Cortana says and I got the chain to talk about world building through character creation at Gen Con this year, and we happen to record it so keep an ear out for that sometime very soon.


Amelia Antrim  0:36  

Next up, we got 50 5 star reviews before the end of our review drive last Monday, which means we will be commissioning a ghost cigs to go shirt very soon. Also will be figuring out a fun catchphrase shirt to add to the store as well. So stay tuned for that. Also, if you have suggestions, we'd love to hear him. We would love to hear suggestions of catchphrases that we have said and applied


Ryan Boelter  1:00  

to us and can be easily recognizable.


Amelia Antrim  1:03  

And also don't sound dirty wouldn't set on their own.


Unknown Speaker  1:08  

Maybe like a little bit, just a little bit naughty.


Ryan Boelter  1:13  

That's okay then. In addition to that, we are about to figure out who won our review drive contest we have 50 to choose from. So we just assigned one to 50 in chronological order, and then 51 to 100 and the reverse order. So live on tape, we will roll the results right now.


Ryan Boelter  1:37  



Ryan Boelter  1:37  

is the number consult the spreadsheet. judges say bye bye Marion from the United States of America.


Unknown Speaker  1:56  

I'm so excited.


Unknown Speaker  1:58  

excited for all of you. But


Ryan Boelter  2:02  

I'm also happy at somebody that we know how to get ahold of


Unknown Speaker  2:06  



Ryan Boelter  2:09  

Well congratulations Justin. We will be in touch to figure out how to get your prize selection to you as soon as we are able to.


Amelia Antrim  2:19  

And if you'd like to leave us a review not you Justin you already did it. Thank you. You can do so by going to our show notes and following the links to the various platforms that we are able to see review on if you leave us a review. We will read it right here during the cold open like we are about to do right now. With this review by Nutella medicine from the United States on iTunes. Excellent gateway to RPG for the whole family. Learning new RPG is can feel intimidating. And CCC is great, gentle introduction to new systems and games. The whole show is so chill. It's absolutely soothing to listen to, even when it's for sure. Also consistently kind and supportive. And that is something I really appreciate sharing with my family.


Ryan Boelter  3:06  

Thank you so much. Thank you.


Amelia Antrim  3:07  

Oh, for sure.


Ryan Boelter  3:11  

Wonder what game they're talking about. Yeah,


Unknown Speaker  3:13  

no clue. Yeah,


Unknown Speaker  3:15  

it's probably mask? Probably. Probably.


Amelia Antrim  3:20  

Well, thank you for that review. And everybody else. I'm really excited for all the reviews that you will write.


Unknown Speaker  3:25  

Sure, right. Definitely.


Ryan Boelter  3:28  

Each featured us is very excited.


Amelia Antrim  3:31  

Very excited for all the reviews are


Ryan Boelter  3:32  

going to get.


Amelia Antrim  3:35  

All right with all of that out of the way.


Unknown Speaker  3:37  

Here's the episode. Enjoy.


Amelia Antrim  4:31  

Welcome to Character evolution cast, a show where we discuss what to do with all those characters we just made. I'm one of your hosts Amelia. And today my co host Ryan and I are joined by Allie Grauer and drew mercy esky of the ward up podcast to discuss collaborative world building.


Ryan Boelter  4:46  

Ellie and DREW Welcome to Character evolution cast. Thank you so much for joining us.


Aly Grauer  4:52  

Thank you guys for inviting us.


Drew Mierzejewski  4:53  

Yeah, it's a pleasure to be here.


Amelia Antrim  4:55  

Ali, do you want to tell everybody a little bit about yourself and some of the cool stuff that you're working?


Aly Grauer  5:00  

I'm sure thing Yeah. I'm Allie Grauer, I am an actor and author and an enthusiast of many things.


Aly Grauer  5:08  

The big thing, which both of us will definitely hit on, its lucky you guys, you get two for the price of one here. Drew and I are the CO creators of the warrior podcast, ward of being an original fantasy actual play podcast storytelling. It's kind of a lot of things at once. And we'll get into


Drew Mierzejewski  5:27  

that a smorgasbord later.


Aly Grauer  5:31  

We'll get into that in a minute. But I am also, as I said, an actor and an author. I perform in all of my jobs now really, yeah. Which is really cool. I work as an actor and performer at Universal Studios Orlando, as well as a simulated patient for Advent house here in Orlando. As well as a queen at medieval times here in Orlando. I kind of do a lot of different things on that front. I also teach dialect lessons as kind of a side gig and I write I have written a novel and several short stories. And I I do that that word, word on paper thing. Ooh,


Drew Mierzejewski  6:15  



Aly Grauer  6:16  

double words, that word thing.


Ryan Boelter  6:21  

Andrew, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself and some of your projects?


Drew Mierzejewski  6:25  

Well, absolutely. I'm drummers esky. I am married to Allie and that is my biggest accomplishment. Nice job.


Drew Mierzejewski  6:33  

Everything that I've ever done that's worthwhile has been since 2015. Everything before that was enough.


Amelia Antrim  6:42  

becoming the person that she wanted to marry. I feel like that's worthwhile.


Drew Mierzejewski  6:45  

That's kind of you, you kind of you kind of forced me to become the person I was supposed to be. So there's a big, long fun story there. But, uh, yeah, things that I do is I'm the CO creator of the warrior podcast. As Ellie said, I also am an actor. I act here at the theme parks at Universal Studios. And that's it for right now. You're on the cusp of greatness. I am on the but aren't we all? Isn't everybody on the other cusp of the great things that are that are about to become real and manifested our


Amelia Antrim  7:24  

jump to be like, yeah, I'm


Drew Mierzejewski  7:27  

good. I did it. It was it was more like, I can't be on this bridge anymore. This bridges is not going anywhere. It's just a bridge to nowhere. But down is a lot more exciting than lateral. So I just jumped. I just jumped. What I'm what I'm saying in a metaphorical way is I quit my job, quit my day job. And now I strive to be creative, full time. And it's been great so far. Well, we'll see what happens in six months. But for today, it's going great. I


Amelia Antrim  7:58  

feel like we'll see what happens and say six months is like the same whether you have a job or not, like true, technically true, I could also not have a job in six months.


Drew Mierzejewski  8:08  

So we could you know, there's one never anything can happen in six months is just enough time for something drastic to happen. I think.


Ryan Boelter  8:17  

Hopefully, welcome to Character career can


Amelia Antrim  8:21  

Ryan stop inventing side podcast, we don't have time.


Aly Grauer  8:25  

That's That's how you know you're a real podcast, because you continually think of other podcasts you want to do.


Amelia Antrim  8:32  

I was really proud of myself, because I had a really good idea a couple of weeks ago, and then I forgot it. So now I can't do it. Oh,


Aly Grauer  8:42  

gosh, that's the dream,


Drew Mierzejewski  8:43  

to have a great idea and then forget it, and then it's just gone


Amelia Antrim  8:48  

forever. It's like oh, that's I know, it's like really happy about it. One of our goals on Character Creation Cast aside from making amazing people is to introduce our audience to people who are doing some awesome things in the RPG world. We would be remiss if we didn't do that here as well. So we are going to start by getting to know you a little bit better. We want to start by having you guys explain a little bit about what Florida is and what you feel makes it special.


Drew Mierzejewski  9:19  



Amelia Antrim  9:21  

Just the small questions just


Unknown Speaker  9:22  

like the really basic stuff. It's the little ones.


Drew Mierzejewski  9:26  

Do you want to go with it or July? Yeah,


Unknown Speaker  9:29  



Drew Mierzejewski  9:31  

That's somebody answer my question.


Aly Grauer  9:33  

Okay. I'll start. I'm war de is a it's great that this topic is collaborative world building, because that's literally what we're to is and was where to started as a collaborative, world building exercise that drew forced me into not at knifepoint, but basically at knifepoint. We were standing in line for the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World, the Magic Kingdom, and the line was inordinately long. And drew was like, let's pass the time by making a world and I was like, that's not fun for me. Why do you want to do that? And he coerced me into it. And then what ended up happening is smash cut to us on the ride, while grim green and ghost is playing. And we're going backwards down the hill into the graveyard scene. And I'm like, okay, but what about the transportation system, because we need to figure out what the transportation system if it is, if we're going to figure out what the educational system is, and like, he sucked me in hard down that rabbit hole. And a month or so later, we had sort of got the skeleton put together. The original concept was to pass the time, first of all. And second of all, we wanted to build something from scratch in a fantastical way that I could potentially write stories in. It was kind of the idea that drew was like, well, you're a writer, you should know how to world build, let's, let's exercise those muscles and figure it out together. And then you can play in that sandbox as much as you want. Instead, what happened is a month or so later, we were like, well, we built this world, but nobody lives in it yet. So we should probably like, put some people in it. And the first thing that came to mind was let's have some people over, play a role playing game and see what happens.


Aly Grauer  11:33  

And that's how that started.


Drew Mierzejewski  11:36  

Yeah, so the long and short is that what Board of is, is this thing that we built, but the concept of it is a game of thrones meets Downton Abbey with a splash of Agatha Christie, and then some socio political commentary kind of thrown in, with fairies. And that's, that's really what the world is, and what we kind of that was like the base thing that we built out of it. To begin with, and that's really, to me, what makes it special is that we kind of built it out of whole cloth out of nowhere, and decided to run with it. And we I think what what makes it the most special is like we have, it has been so many different things for us. But the world has stayed the same trap. We've done fiction in it, we've done actual plays in it, we've done audio drama in it, we've done several different games and and the thing that's really special about it to me is that the world continues to be the same. It doesn't matter what the system is or what we're doing with it. We are constantly creating it, and it just lives and I think that's what makes it special.


Ryan Boelter  12:46  

Why did you decide then, to continue with a completely new world instead of you know, taking a base world for particular game up and running with that?


Aly Grauer  12:58  

That's a good question. I'm I think the initial impulse was, let's try a role playing game in it. See how it, see how it runs, you know, if you put like you can build a car, but it's not going to drive itself you got to put at least not yet the future is now you got to put people in the car right and and see if it's comfortable. See what it sounds like see how it handles. And so the idea was that's how we were going to do it for fun. And then what like a year later, TVs James d'amato came to us and was like, Hey, you guys want to do a weekly stream on our twitch channel? And we were like, sure, what do you want us to do? And he was like, oh, whatever you want. That word of thing. Sounds cool. Alright, cool. So at that point, we were like, well, we built this world, it would be really cool to put it in front of a real audience. Because at that point, we hadn't, we'd been recording the sessions for posterity, but not for like public consumption. Little did we know. But so it was like, now the car is being test driven. But then someone was like, Here, put this car on TV. And we were like, Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah, we could do that. And it didn't. We thought about when he asked us to do the stream, we thought about doing something else, didn't we?


Drew Mierzejewski  14:18  

We did for like, three seconds.


Drew Mierzejewski  14:22  

We were like, We should do something. No, no, let's just do


Unknown Speaker  14:25  

end though we should do? Well, hmm.


Drew Mierzejewski  14:30  

Well, I think the thing that's really interesting when you when you sit down and you decide, okay, am I going to do my own setting? Or am I going to adjust something that works? Or, you know, what, what am I going to do? We decided to do it this way. Because when you sit down and you have those two paths, they really are different ways of interfacing with a world. If you're going to interface with a world that's already pre existing, that's a lot of groundwork, you got to do it in, in the front of that you as the game master, or you, as the player, have an entire world to learn. And if you've been reading that world for years, let's say it's Lord of the Rings, then you know, that's, that's fine, you know the world backwards and forwards, you can just jump into them. But if it's, you know, the Forgotten Realms from Wizards of the Coast, and you've never, you've never heard of who l Minster is, or where water deep is, then you're going to spend a lot of time on a wiki. And that's fine. That's even that's, that's great. That's great for games that are just starting out that people who don't really know what to do with it. Yeah, it's great for them for you to sit down and be like, okay, cool, here's water deep, and like, give them the wiki page, and just have them read that real quick and be like, Okay, and then you build it, you're always going to build world build on your own anyway. Even if we're going to spend time in water deep, like the shops will not be the shops that are in the book, the characters that you meet in that book will not always be the same as our as they are written. So you're always world building, but you have a framework in what you're doing. If you go with something that's already there, and you're adjusting an existing one. If you're building something completely new, that is my favorite way of beginning a game anyway. Because in doing that, it's not just me building the world. It's everybody building the world. And as everybody builds that world, it becomes so much more personal to them. Because we're like, oh, you know about that, uh, that weird festival, you decided that we talked about, like three sessions ago, we're going to go to that festival and you came up with it. So what what's happening there? Yeah. And that's what makes it very personal for your players. And very personal for you as a GM, if you're doing that on on both sides of that of that screen, is that it is something that is collaborative and being built real time and built between you guys. And you have such a deeper connection to it. That if I said, All right, and now we go to boulders gate, and everyone looks at you blankly and goes, What's that? Is it? Is it a city? Is it keep what is it? So yeah, that's why we decided to do that with with water is I really wanted to alley to stretch those legs of building something completely new, and having an opportunity for the two of us to build something that had never been built before. At least to our knowledge.


Aly Grauer  17:24  

Yeah, at least to our knowledge.


Unknown Speaker  17:27  

Yeah, pretty much. Yeah, that's it.


Amelia Antrim  17:29  

This is so this isn't on the outline, but I want to ask anyway, because it's my show. And also Ryan's, but was it kind of scary, then having other people sit down and play this with you to have other people's kind of like sticky fingers on your thing. And like, obviously, part of collaborative world building is that people bring in new ideas that you didn't necessarily have. But there's also I think, at least for me a level of nervousness about like, this thing that like, it's my baby, and I made it and you know, like I have this vision of what it is, and sometimes other people coming in and like I said, getting their sticky fingers on it is a little worrisome.


Aly Grauer  18:11  

Yeah, 100%


Aly Grauer  18:14  

it having been my first attempt to build anything from scratch that far back, like all the way down to the soil. I was nervous about it. But I knew that we needed we needed warm bodies to figure out what was going to make it really tick. And if something was missing, they were going to show us what was missing, you know, and how to figure out how to fix them. fill in those gaps. I mean, I remember our game zero for that first session that we were playing for posterity in our basement. It was like, it was wild. I mean, we had we had index cards and scrap paper and markers and a whiteboard. And we were like, Okay, so this is how it works. And they were like, right, but what about this? And we'd be like, okay, great question here. Let's talk about that. And like, it was a big, they were like, this is so huge. You guys. And we were like, yeah, we kind of went overboard. What do you think? And they were like that we got lucky because we pulled people we knew were good, great consumers of this level of like fiction. Yeah, and media. So we knew that they were going to be able to wrap their brains around it at some point. But it was that first night was scary for us. Because we were like opening up this whole vault of stuff we'd been storing up and wanting to explain it in the best way possible, so that they got it and being nervous that maybe they wouldn't get it or that maybe something would be weird. And they would be like, Yeah, but that looks like this thing that already exists. And that thing is stupid or whatever, you know,


Amelia Antrim  19:46  

maybe they'd be like what you guys have been doing at home alone?


Aly Grauer  19:50  

Yeah, right. Yeah, this is really interesting, you guys. Yeah.


Aly Grauer  19:55  

But but we got lucky that the people we pulled into play with us very game to sort of absorb it.


Aly Grauer  20:04  

And then, I mean, very game to break it to. I mean, to put it bluntly, like that first group that we that we played with, not this is, you know, a year before the stream, is that they, they were all completely unafraid to take the rules, we were giving them agree to those rules, and then literally show us how they were going to break the rest of the rules. And I


Drew Mierzejewski  20:30  

think that's the important part is that there's this social contract that you make between you as the creators and your players, that you have to sit down and understand that, yes, this world is open. And yes, I built it. And yes, it's my baby. But it gets to grow. And it gets to change. And it cannot stay the same as nothing can when it hits, you know, when it hits an audience. And so you have to make this contract between you and them. And they also have to sell into the fact that there are rules to this world. Like I can't just say and the chicken walks in, and it's five feet tall, and it speaks Norwegian,


Aly Grauer  21:06  

we do have dire chickens, don't we? We know we have dire everything


Drew Mierzejewski  21:11  

going. But that's the but that's the idea is that like if you if they did that and be like, well, that's against the rules in the setup that we make. Right? And so if they understand that contract, and you understand your end of the contract, it's much easier to come to a collaborative space. Yeah. I mean, it's it's consent, it's sitting down and being like, do you consent to be in this world and follow these rules? Yes. Do you consent to let those rules change if it's in a narrative way? Absolutely. Exactly. The thing, I also I always tell myself, whenever I get to a point where I'm like, I'm, I feel that the prick of hole there, they're messing with that, oh, I don't know, if I want them to mess with that is, I have to remember that this is not the last World I'll ever make. Just as the character you're going to make for this world is not the last character you're ever going to make. This world is not the only world you will ever make, you will make another one. And if something didn't work in this world, guess what you can take that and make it in your next one. Yeah, there's always something new and there's always something on the horizon to build or make or do. And so you can't sit there and be precious with it. And we weren't with this. Matter of fact, the the world was completely broken. And that was okay. It was it was great was terrifying in the moment. But at the same time, I was like, this is great, because this changes everything and it takes it in a different direction. And that's what's great about narrative sterile storytelling between a group is that you don't know what's going to happen. And that's what's fun.


Aly Grauer  22:47  

I would also like to add that when we did start doing the live stream with a new cast of people and a new point in the timeline of of Florida as a whole that drew as a GM has a really strong instinct for involving his players in whatever he's running. in decision making, and like setting the scene and creating like he was saying, like creating, you know, a festival that's happening, or a shop that's down the street or whatever. Like he does that consistently in all of the games, he runs, regardless of the situation. And that carried over very strongly into the live stream that by having the twitch chat present, not only was he able to incorporate new ideas from the new cast members, the new players, but he was able to be like, okay, chat, tell us what color the dresses that lady Gaynor is wearing tonight. Or, you know, chat, tell us what the what the headlines are. And the latest script like what what's the what's the word on the street about the latest crime, you know, and that first, that first stream we did, I was like, Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, because they're gonna say something weird. They're gonna say something off the wall, they're going to say something that doesn't fit. And I realized that that didn't matter. Because the best things came out of people responding in the moment, coming up with something on the fly. The chat is responsible for so many things that are now like, canon, canon, Canon and like foundational to what word has become in our heads. And that's amazing. There's something really incredible about that.


Ryan Boelter  24:28  

That's awesome. It's like, crowd funded. world building. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That's really cool. So between the the first group and the second group, the streaming group, it the world was basically a continuation from the first one.


Aly Grauer  24:45  

Sort of so when we played the first campaign is called winds of change. It was that experimental, how does this world fit? How do these characters work? These are all people with very strong, Super Objectives and motivations, that they want something big out of their lives, and they're willing to do whatever it takes to get there. And then when we decided to do the stream, we were like, All right, let's, let's not put this story on the stream. Because we were already a year into the campaign. We were like, let's start from scratch. And let's set it you know, a couple years back in the timeline to give us a little bit of wiggle room to play with that cannon, that timeline. And so the second one, the streaming set was called curiosities. And that's what a lot of people were brought into the world with, because that was the earliest thing on the timeline, we think it's like four years and 10 years, okay, it's 10 years apart. And so we gave ourselves that, that margin for error, and that margin to figure out new people in a new setting in the city, and give them the freedom to do whatever they wanted, right, but, but also to allow for the fact that in 10 years, these other people will be our focus, doing all of this other stuff. It also gives us opportunity to bring in people from that first game from winds of change into curiosities, and introduce them


Drew Mierzejewski  26:10  

prequel style, prequel style and be like him. But it was it was critical to us, but not to our audience. That was the goal. Here's this cool person, we're like, oh, you just wait. Yeah, and that was one of the fun things about it. And it was tricky setting that up. Because there were there were only not there were only certain things, but you had to be careful about where we were putting our focus. Because I knew what happens. And so the group had to be like, okay, we're going to look at this and look at this and look at this. And the tour in the stories tended to be smaller, they tended to be not overarching world changing events, like you would see in, in a, like a high fantasy. They tended to be smaller, self contained. Mystery stories, war stories. And that's the thing about world building and making your own world and being like, guess what, any genre fits in here, we can do anything here. We can have an overarching, you know, world ending, calamity happen. Or we can have personal romance stories that happened between two people. And that's it. And, and that's really, I mean, that that's one of the things I find most special about Warden, but most special about building a world from scratch is if you're going to make that way you start that's in your foundation, is that you lay that foundation that way. Yeah.


Amelia Antrim  27:36  

So far, what is your favorite thing that has come out of this process, even if it's just like one specific detail about the world or something you've learned about world building,


Drew Mierzejewski  27:46  

I learned a lot out of this process, I learned a I gained a deeper appreciation for the Star Wars prequels.


Drew Mierzejewski  27:58  

Having to do prequels.


Drew Mierzejewski  28:01  

And understanding like this is where everything ends up. Sure. But we need to make sure that everything fits to make sure that that happens. And like I gained, I gained a lot of a lot of formative kind of feelings for collaborative story building with a group with a chat with your characters with that. And allowing that and a lot of that, that I've kind of come to as my core philosophy with collaborative world building came from doing this. And so it's really helped me kind of define my process.


Drew Mierzejewski  28:36  

You know, they talk about how


Drew Mierzejewski  28:39  

mastery of a skill is not about how good you do it. It's how consistently you do it. And so anybody can go out on stage and have a great performance. But only masters can go on and stage and have a great performance 100 times, hey. And so like really doing this was me learning what my processes so I can be consistent in my world building and how this works, and how we collaboratively build stuff. That's my favorite part of it. I mean, there's also a ton of fun things that came out of Florida that I like like like what like San Dieter


Drew Mierzejewski  29:16  

or, or


Aly Grauer  29:19  

goodness Hicks's in general


Drew Mierzejewski  29:21  

Pixies and magic bureaucracy, I loved all that. Like there's a lot of fun stuff in order that that I enjoy doing. But for the whole process that was my favorite,


Aly Grauer  29:30  

I would say that on a content level. I'm very fond of the weather Guild. And in Florida, we built it so that weather is scheduled. And weather is art. So the weather guild consists of masters and apprentices and you know, all sorts of people who specialize in weather magic. But you know, the way that society views it is it's like, you can open the script, the newspaper and look up who's who's up for the week or whatever. And you can be like, Oh, you know, whether master van Claude is up this week, I love his seven pointed snow, it's just absolutely gorgeous, you know, or his perfect days are my favorite perfect days, you know, the way that they craft the the weather through magic is seen the way high society in the early 1900s would have viewed like impressionist art, which is like, very, very, it's a cross hair of some of my favorite things. And so I really, really like that, how that came about. But as far as the process. I, it's weird. It Well, I don't know that it's weird. I mean, it might be weird to some people. But the fact the bottom line here, folks is that drew and I are married. And so it wasn't just that we were building a world from scratch to experiment with. Its that as a married couple, we were also learning how to creatively communicate with each other in a way that was not only effective, but respectful and coherent. I know a lot of people who are in very happy marriages but can't create things together. Because they cannot, they don't see eye to eye on whatever level they don't communicate what they want each of them needs. Or maybe even their creative interest just lie in such different genres that they can't collaborate on things. I know a couple of married couples who are very good at collaborating together. The author of the steampunk authors, Team RS and Philippa Valentine are come to mind, they're married, and they, they have written like seven novels together, and they're great. But going into this, not only was drew helping to stretch my world building muscles as a writer, but I had never built anything at all like this with a partner, let alone a partner that I was romantically involved with. And so one of my favorite things about Florida is that, even though there there were absolutely times where I wanted to jump out a window, because I didn't understand something that we were working on, or I didn't see a way out, or I didn't see a solution, or whatever that the the process of building everything has taught drew and I how to communicate as collaborators. And it's I mean, that's, that's pretty life changing. Like Not only is it like the foundation for this podcast that we've created in this, this media, this multimedia experience we've created, and we continue to create, but it's setting sort of a precedent for for other creative endeavors that both of us may encounter in the future.


Amelia Antrim  32:54  

And collaborating with anybody on stuff is never easy. Like I've worked on projects with people that are like my best friends. And you have these moments of like, What are you talking about? Shut up? Like, why is that not important? Why are you stuck on that thing? And like learning to work through that is is really difficult.


Aly Grauer  33:11  

Oh, yeah, yeah, I mean, and even just down to like, as you're trying to work through something in your head, the way you communicate, that may not make a dang lick of sense to anybody else in the room. So there are times where I'll be like, yeah, like this, and drew will be like, what? No, that's not what it's like, it's like this. And I'm like, I don't know what that is, you know, rewind a little bit and unravel it. But that's absolutely true that like it. I mean, doesn't matter who you are, collaboration can be very difficult. But if you have the patience and the, the given take and the wherewithal to be able to pick apart each other's thought patterns that over time, it gets easier and easier.


Ryan Boelter  33:55  

Yeah, absolutely. So what is something about your world that you haven't determined yet? But you really want to get to sometime? No,


Drew Mierzejewski  34:08  

I, I have an answer for this. Okay, so, um, our world has over 4000 years of history. Um, and I wanted to go big with that, to leave lots of room for lots of stuff. It also was an asset, necessarily, because our world is populated by faith that live a very long time. In our world that we built, I was I was sick of humanity being like, the end all be all, like, like, we we basically, we are human, therefore our lens is usually human. And I was tired of seeing everyone like, Oh, it's the humans that are oppressing everyone else. And I was like, well, let's turn it around. And we'll make it humans are at the bottom at the bottom of the barrel. And there's something way higher than them. And the best way that I can see do that was to keep humans at the same age that they are now and have everything age, much slower. And so you have faith that live eight 900 years, like a very, very long, long time, to the point that if a human comes up to you and goes, Hey, this is wrong, I would like to change this, they look at it and go, we'll just wait 50 years, and then that will go away. And and so by nature of that we had to have a very long time, or we were going to have characters like Oh, yes, my my, my, my grandfather was here, the very beginning of this city. And so I was like 4000 years. It's a big long time. Let's put that in there. So we had this big long section of time. And we start our story in the 4800s. So we're we're almost a 5000 years of history that I've gone by, wow. And there is a section of the story 5000 years, called the governor era. It is it is what I would consider the medieval renaissance of our setting. And that entire section of time has the godlike Fay, the the highest rung of fame, which are called the ceilings, which live forever, they don't die. Yeah. And they are all powerful. And they are godlike in their in their abilities. It has them having a much more personal touch with the people and the world itself. In the setting that we are now in the 1400s. In the guild era, what we as we call it, they are completely absent. They are they're there. And they are in places like you could if you were living in Florida, in the city of common ground and you were having a wedding, you could absolutely send a an invitation dare and the map and all the other Sealy and they may come you don't know. They do exist. But they have removed themselves from from society, from everyday society. In this governor though they run the society. And one day, we're going to we're going to delve into what that looks like. When a godlike being is basically a king, a god king over a section of the world. And what what happens then what do all those other God kings and queens and mop rulers decide like what does that happen? I'm very interested in that. And one day, we'll we'll delve into that. But that is one day, one day, we'll do that,


Aly Grauer  37:44  

for sure. I agree with that i think the governor would be super fun to do.


Aly Grauer  37:50  

I mean,


Aly Grauer  37:52  

I also have a keen interest in going all the way back to zero or one.


Aly Grauer  38:01  

Because the world that this is not this is not secret knowledge. The world of water existed prior to the FE arriving the FE are not of water naturally.


Aly Grauer  38:15  

And so when drew talks about there being almost 5000 years of history, we're talking about the modern age with a that prior to that, which is of course beyond human reckoning. Prior to that, it was a world populated by human beings, and possibly other things. But the faith all arrived together around year zero or year one, and changed everything. And so I i've been dabbling with a particular piece of fiction that isn't done. But I've been dabbling with that on and off since we started or to so like three years. About about that, about that thing, that thing that happened when the FE arrived and every thing changed. Because I think that I find that super interesting. And I think one of the reasons drew why I haven't finished it is because there's so much secret knowledge about what was going on in the world at that point. And like, what, who, who encountered them first and why and all of that. And so there's a lot of stuff that we've laced into the world that we would love to see somebody pull on that bell rope or love to see somebody tug on that sweater string and unravel it and see what happens. But it has we haven't gotten there yet. And that's okay. Because it means that there's more, there's more exciting stories to tell, you know, there's more built into the woodwork


Aly Grauer  39:45  

for later.


Ryan Boelter  39:47  

Yeah, absolutely.


Amelia Antrim  39:48  

We're just scratching the surface at this point. Yep. Now that we know a little bit more about you and about Florida, we're going to get into the super fun part of our podcast. Our Our goal with these episodes is to help people become the best possible players at the table. We always feel like there's tons of GM advice out there and there's not nearly enough for players. So this episode's a little bit different normally we give people advice for after their characters are made. Today, we're going to talk about something that will help create a truly unique and personal experience regardless of where you are at in that character creation process.


Ryan Boelter  40:27  

Yeah, today we are going to talk about collaborative world building a topic that I've been wanting to cover for a very long time now. And how plane in a personalized world that you create as a group can elevate the experience.


Amelia Antrim  40:44  

So our first question here that we want to talk about creating your own homebrew setting for a game isn't necessarily uncommon for people. A lot of times though it's done solely by a GM who then shows up to the game and informs their players, here's the world that you're going to play in, I've created this thing for you. How this collaborative world building differ from that?


Drew Mierzejewski  41:10  

Well, I think the first thing, the biggest thing, and how it differs from a GM bringing you an already made setting, and you just kind of building a setting together is that contract we talked about in the very beginning. If you sit down with your, with your GM, as a player, and if you as the GM and the player, have this contract, where you decide, these are the parameters we're going to work in, everything goes much smoother, believe it or not, we cannot read each other's minds. That is, that is a hard, honestly, it's a hard lesson to learn. Yeah. That somebody who's looking at you cannot tell what you want. In that moment that there's there is no nonverbal cues you're going to give somebody then makes them immediately know what's going to happen and what they want from you. And so talking to people, and letting your needs and wants known, in the very beginning as you begin to build is very important. And it can be hard, it can be very hard to sit down with somebody that you care a lot about, or people that you don't know, and to say, okay, we're going to make this social contract between everyone. And then we're going to start building. So I think that is the very first thing you do. That's the first brick you lay, as you begin to build a world you sit down with your players actually recently just did this I'm running a game Dungeons and Dragons game for a group of my friends from Universal. And they were like, I asked them what they wanted to do. That was the first thing I was like, do you want a pre made module? Do you want a a mixed up that like, what do you what do you guys want? And I said one of the options was, do you want me to make a world? And they were like, yes, we trust you, we want you to do that. And I immediately went, Okay, that's not going to work with this group. I can't just show up and have like, here's my 300 page, theses world. And that slide that across the table and be like, you will not have 30 minutes to review. And then we will begin. I didn't want to do that. And creating a world to me is about sitting down and going okay, this thing? Does that work? And people chime in. And then when you finalize that you go cool, that raises these five questions. Let's answer those five questions. And you go person by person figuring out how this works. And when somebody in the game goes, Oh, my character is such and such. Like if we were like, Oh, yes, my character is absolutely a soldier from that undead army. And I'm now alive. I've been resurrected in some way, that person has the prerogative on that setting on that particular part of it, because their character is going to become coming from that. So they get to decide the social structure of that undead army, why they would came back from the dead, like stuff like that. And I know a lot of people look at that. And they're like, oh, but doesn't that take the mystery out of the game? No, that's not.


Drew Mierzejewski  44:30  

It doesn't know you're absolutely right, it does not remove the mystery, you can still be surprised your character can still experience things that are surprising. And that whole group can even though you come up with stuff. And I think that once you bait find that basis and have that understanding within yourself, and with your everyone else that like this is going to be a safe space where we all can build this. And if you know that, then from there, it's not always gonna be smooth sailing, but it says least a good place to start. Yeah,


Amelia Antrim  45:02  

that's the thing that we talked a lot about when we did our episode on our session zero episode was kind of having that open communication. And I keep saying I people are gonna be so tired of hearing this, like now in episode whatever of this, that your role playing group is a type of relationship. And like any good relationship, you need to have communication about what your expectations are, what your boundaries are, all of those things and say, you know, here's what I would like from you, here's, you know, like, What can I do for you to make this successful? All of that kind of stuff. And I feel like road building works very much the same way any collaborative project does saying, like, here's what I would like from you, here's the parameters that we're working within, let's see what happens. And then also having that communication when things aren't working, of stopping to evaluate and say why, you know, like, Where is the problem, rather than just like, throwing your hands up in the air? And this isn't working? Like, where are things breaking down?


Drew Mierzejewski  46:03  

Yeah, I mean, any relationship we have is a collaborative world building experience, you get married, and that's a collaborative world building experience. Yeah. You date somebody in this collaborative world building experience, you go to work, or go to school, or go to an organization that is now a collaborative world building experience between you and those, those people. All of this thing, these things that we talked about in gaming, have real life applications. Um, we're not just a bunch of nerds sitting in basements, you know, trying to escape the world. I mean, we are that to some time we are that. Also, we are learning how to, because that is what storytelling is. That's what mythology is mythology, and stories are teaching us how to be human. And that's what we do. When we role play, we tell stories, and we learn how to be human.


Ryan Boelter  46:52  

Yeah, one of my favorite parts about collaborative world building with others, is seen everybody kind of riff off of one another, when somebody comes up with a cool idea, but it's not exactly solidified. And then another person's like, well, what if we add this, and then that spark something somebody else and, and now it's just idea after idea after idea of something that makes this initial, like, that was a pretty decent idea into something that's just remarkable, and now crucial.


Amelia Antrim  47:24  

And suddenly, you never have done by yourself? You know, you have very different lived experiences, you have different personalities and ideas of what you want things to look like that once you start adding in those other people, you get something much richer than you would have had on your own.


Aly Grauer  47:40  

Yeah, exactly. And I think that that's really what we're kind of talking about here is the root of why we want to play games in the first place. I think as kids, we, we can have toys, or we can have no toys, and we can be anywhere at a certain age, and anything is possible. And any stranger can come up to you on the playground, you know, some other kid that you don't know. And you can be like, hey, you want to be in my army? We're playing a game. And they're like, cool. Yeah. And like everybody just says yes to things. And all of that kind of ties back into what, what I was trying to do with the game that I wrote for 200 word RPG last year. sidewalk. Yeah. Which is that like, you can stand in the middle of a sidewalk and and say that you're playing a game. But until you have somebody come into the square and say, I will play with you that you can't, you know, nothing happens, right? What did you You said something at one point drew Not tonight, but another time that like art can't be created in a void. I remember you saying that. To me. It's


Drew Mierzejewski  48:50  

like, basically, yeah,


Aly Grauer  48:52  

that like


Aly Grauer  48:54  

that that childhood impulse to create an event and imagine and play lay out and explore and experience things together, not just by yourself, but with other kids. That that carries into a certain level of subconscious decision making as adults, and that that's why many of us continue to play games that don't involve, you know, warping being its own thing, of course, but that many of the games that we play, don't involve props, or costumes, or, you know, whatever, that so much of what we strive for is just that moment where everyone's sitting around the table, and this beautiful thing just happened, and we're all grinning at each other like idiots, because it came, it came seemingly out of nowhere, but not out of nowhere, because everybody has entered this contract together this, this agreement to imagine and to create together absolutely, really, really cool.


Ryan Boelter  49:49  

That's art. So there are so many things to think about when creating a world or setting. But probably the the very first one, people need to consider what kind of world they want to play in. Some games actually guide you to answering this question, such as descent in the midnight in my game camera. But without those tools available in the game that you're playing? How do you go about making a decision like that?


Drew Mierzejewski  50:19  

that's a that's a fundamental structure question. Because there's so much that goes into that and so much you need to like figure out. But I guess the first thing you need to decide is you need to ask a question. There, nothing is created, if there are no questions, you know, we don't we don't make anything if we don't, if we already know everything, why make anything? And so the first thing you do is you ask a question. And it can be a simple question. It can be what happens when a nation is run by a dog, you know, like, it's, it's, if you go with that, like you like, okay, you hold on to that first question. And from that first question, you're going to spiral out and figure out things. But to me, you really got to like, sit down and like figure out, you gotta ask yourself all those little questions until you find like, what is the thing? What is the thing that makes this setting different than any other setting? Or what? What is? Uh, what about it? hooks me into it? And that I'm interested in finding, finding out the answers to, for us in war de, it was magic. I mean, one of the first things I wrote down, when we stopped talking in that line, and we actually sat down and wrote stuff I, I wrote, it all begins with magic. And I, we sat down and had to decide what, what is magic, because we were talking about faith, we were talking about the faith coming from a different plane of existence, or a different world arriving this place, we had to figure out like, okay, they obviously are magical creatures. So how does that work? What HOW DOES MAGIC work? And it was such a fundamental building block of our setting, that everything kind of spiraled out of that. Yeah. And so it may take you have one or two different questions to ask till you find that central question that is central to what your world is about. And it's trial and error. And it's also working with people around you. And but I guess the best thing to say is like, don't be precious about it. Don't be precious about like, I have to find the perfect question, I have to find the perfect entry point in this world. You don't have to, you can enter anywhere. And eventually you will find that the center of it, or you know, you can start on that first thing, and that is the center and you spiral outwards. That's really the two ways that world building works in my brain is you either begin from inside out or outside in. And either way is valid. And either way, just takes communication and figuring out what's going on with it.


Aly Grauer  53:09  

Yeah, I mean, I think that


Aly Grauer  53:13  

in terms of world building for gaming, that one of the questions you need to consider early on is, what kind of game we want to play? Do we want to play a game like d&d? Where combat is present and prevalent in many cases? Do we want to play a game like descent into midnight? Where that that character driven personality, almost like emotion driven storytelling is the prime directive of the game? Do we want to play something where you know where we need dice where we need cards where we need a tic tac toe board, you know, whatever. But as far as as far for a game standpoint, you need to know you need to ask what kind of game it's going to be. And from there, you can figure out what kind of world it will be. In one way, when we were creating gorda, we got to a certain point and drew put his foot down. It was like, we gotta have we got to have combat combat has to be present. And I was like, but so far, we've built a very societal. I mean, for lack of a better word civilized, like culture, where everything is all about hierarchy and social standpoint and all of this stuff. And he goes, then we make it culture. And I was like, Well, how do we do that? And he goes, we had dueling clubs. And I was like, oh, okay, because what it is not, or should not be a place where people play in the streets and become murder hobos, like in d&d. And that's not every d&d game. But that is a common occurrence. But we wanted wanted it to be a place where you can do whatever you want, depending on where you put your focus, guess. So Drew, built this whole system of how magic in combat works, and why it works that way. And then he built the societal concept of dueling clubs and different fight styles and different philosophies that go into it. And that that's how the societal elite get into it. And that the lower you go on the social ladder, the less elite fight, perhaps more for money, or perhaps more for street cred, or whatever. But that he found a way to build that into the world, because that was something he knew he wanted to be a part of the game when we played it, which is a cool sort of inversion of what you were describing before I feel.


Drew Mierzejewski  55:43  

And also a lot of the combat in order is social, like, Oh, we do a lot of social. We do so much of this. of this back and forth of like you say this, and I say that, and we have reported between the two of us, which is it's a sword fight any Yeah, you have any argument with anybody? That's a sword fight? Yeah, it's great. We have that as well. And so by knowing that by knowing that, like, Oh, we want these things, and then asking your questions, you know, you'll have a good foundation, and you build off of that.


Aly Grauer  56:12  

Yeah. And then I was going to say, from a fiction standpoint, from a writing standpoint, with world building, that sometimes it's not, I'm going to sit down and build this sand castle to play with. But sometimes you get stuck on a line or an image or a feeling, or some people I know, start with the end, and they come up with this beautiful finale, and then they work backwards. And they build the world around to this moment that they've seen in their head. For me, the current thing I'm working on, started with an image of basically like a female cowboy. But her mount is a unicorn in a world where unicorns are like, wild mustangs. And they're everywhere. And it's kind of like I was stuck on, why are they everywhere? Why is this the thing in this fantasy world that I want to explore it obviously, I'm a sucker for unicorns, but but I wanted to see what would happen and so I built backwards from that withdrew his help, and have created this fantasy, high fantasy storyline with the trappings of a Western of an American Western. So it's, it's an interesting combo that came out of one image of this character writing a unicorn into the sunset on the on the range, you know. And, and sometimes you have to build from that image or that that feeling or that character, or even that, that banter between two characters that you have in your head and build outwards from that moment. Rather than sitting down with a clean slate and a fresh pen, and saying, Okay, I will not build a world from scratch. I know that that's super daunting and scary. But that a lot of writers I know find that those idea buds come from really weird places. And if you keep digging around them, you come up with a whole,


Ryan Boelter  58:14  

one of my favorite things to go to first is figuring out what type of genre that you want to play with. So if you're doing high fantasy, that's going to look a lot different than like, cyberpunk world, right? So figuring out what type of genre everybody wants to kind of play in, can definitely spark the imagination of everybody around the table of what they want to see in that sort of world.


Amelia Antrim  58:42  

I think that sort of leads into our next question to, which is, what details do you think are sort of the most important to consider? And obviously, this is going to depend wildly on the group and what kind of game you're playing and things like that. But when you start to build a world from scratch, what things do you think people really need to think about or consider as part of that world building?


Drew Mierzejewski  59:07  

For me, the first thing that I always ask is aesthetic. I asked for tone, I asked for that. The wash of it, like if you were just to paint that wall with this, whatever this is, what does it look like? And in that sense, when we first started doing War Two, I literally said on the wall, what does it look like? What is this thing worth this world you want to build? And an alley when early 1900s like garden party, Conservatory, glass, grass, you know, but mystical, like, an all of a sudden with those, like few buzzwords and like painting that aesthetic on the wall, you can see Oh, that is what we're looking at. We're looking at this thing that is roughly a 1900s painting of a garden. But they're all fairies. And what does that look like? And, and from making that aesthetic. And we recently just did this with a another thing. We got a bunch of our friends over and I was like, we're gonna build stump something, we're just going to build a world, the four of us, we're going to sit down and we're going to figure this out. And they were like, those like, okay, the aesthetic, what does it look like? And they were like, it's space, but with brass and wood and rusted metal. And they were like, Well, not exactly Treasure Planet. But there's also neon


Aly Grauer  1:00:44  

drawn. So try so.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:00:46  

So it was like, okay, so it's a it's a NEO Georgian Tron space pirates, is that what we're looking at here? And they're like, yeah, and that immediately invokes invokes an image. It invokes that patina, that that you've kind of painted on that wall. Yeah. And looking at it from different angles, you go, Okay, so I feel like this, this is this kind of genre, or this is we're going to go with these type of people, or we're going to go with this level of tech. So that to me, by getting all those ideas down in the very beginning. And looking at that wall, and then having everybody who's sitting there going, Well, I see this, and I see this, and I see this. None of those, none of those answers are wrong. All of those answers that they just gave are absolutely correct for what we're seeing. And they can all now be a part of the world that you're building.


Amelia Antrim  1:01:36  

Yeah, I think like spider webs from there to like, if you talk about your, like, early 1900s Garden parties already tells me like, okay, here's what the level of technology is. But you know, we are in a society where garden parties are a thing, right? Like you are in a sort of, like, cold, you know, like, there's this cultural aesthetic to that to them, like we are not in like a, you know, a wild anarchy sort of, you're free range, nowhere kind of a place like you have set social structures then to right. And so it's like you've already built up those, like basic elements by just saying like, we have garden parties.


Aly Grauer  1:02:13  

Right? Yeah, I think that's super important that and it's not something that I realized until I started collaborating on things with drew that aesthetic is a really great starting point. Partly because, as a writer, if I can see something, I can write it, if I can't see it, I have a hard time getting into it in a big way. And same thing with reading, like if I'm reading something, and I can't see who is talking well enough, I struggle to to connect with what's going on there. But that I know that that's not true for everybody, you know, and it won't be true for everybody. But since working with Drew, I really like the idea of starting with a look an aesthetic, a feel a texture, and then spiraling outwards like you said, Amelia from there, because that does tell you tech level. And it tells you about their language. And it tells you about the structure of their world on a social level and on a political level.


Aly Grauer  1:03:14  

So I mean, I feel like, I don't know, do


Aly Grauer  1:03:19  

you? Yeah, I feel like the aesthetic is a good starting place just from the experiences we've had. But I know that like, like you were saying, Ryan, like you need to know what genre you're going to play with first. That like if you lay down genre, and then you layer on top of it and aesthetic and make some choices make some big bold choices there. That it can take you in totally new directions. Like I'm sitting here thinking if I didn't start with a static, and I knew I was doing fantasy, myself, and probably an infinite number of other people would assume the same aesthetic for that fantasy, we would assume. You know, the Ranger has a deep green cloak with a silver clasp and a quiver of arrows on their back and boots that are covered in mud from the road and the tavern and the pony pulling the cart. And you know, we're all going to go to that Tolkien place, right? As a baseline. But the beautiful thing about fantasy fiction and fantasy media now, where we are now with things in the Euro, or 2019. There are so many other options. And there's so many things that we haven't explored. Like you could put all of that you could write down a ton of, like you said, Drew buzzwords, and put them on scraps of paper, shuffle them around and pull six of them out of a hat and build that world. Easy. Like that's a good idea. That's a great way to jump in. Right. But I'm saying that both for myself and for anyone listening who might be like, what, how do you come up with an aesthetic? You know, the other advice we have for you is


Aly Grauer  1:04:50  

just amazing. Pinterest is so great. Like, goodness, there's so much there that you wouldn't have thought of. You just keep clicking around, you know,


Drew Mierzejewski  1:05:02  

and actually in Pinterest, if you just put the word aesthetic after what you're looking for. Yeah.


Unknown Speaker  1:05:08  

It's the magic word. It's the magic keyword,


Drew Mierzejewski  1:05:11  

you right, you could write down, you know, dark fairy tale aesthetic, and you just get like, this wash of color and pictures. And you're like, oh, oh, yeah, that's exactly what I want. Or it's that. But yeah, you know, there is no metal, you know, it's like, whatever you want to do with it.


Aly Grauer  1:05:30  

I mean, how you could even type in something from an existing IP, you could type in Star Wars aesthetic. And you'll probably come up with things that are from Star Wars, but that make you go, Oh, I didn't notice that. Or Ooh, that's what I'm looking for. You know, I mean,


Drew Mierzejewski  1:05:45  

and so there's that wonderful technological tool that we have to just sit down and be like, New World, new board, new ascetics, what are we doing here? Let's look at that. Let's look at this. Let's make some sections, roll Pinterest for six hours, cast our nets and see what we can we can do that. Right. And that's the fun part of it for me, like, yeah, just kind of going out and fishing for that. And like, figuring that out and finding ways that you've never looked at it before? And also, I mean, yes, the the aesthetic for me is the most important. I've answered the question. Yeah.


Amelia Antrim  1:06:23  

I think I mean, some of it is going to depend to on what you're doing with this world you're building. So in the case of water, you wanted to be able to use it for games and for writing, and all of those kinds of things. I know. Personally, when I like to look at playing a game, one of the questions that I like to ask in our session zero always is what is the the tone or the theme of this game? Like? What kind of themes do we want to explore? Are we talking about like family? Are we talking about revenge? Are we talking about revolution, and things like that? And I know that sometimes that can be helpful in building your world. So like, if you start with something like revolution, okay, obviously, there's a system where some people are on top, and some people are not right, like, what are you revolting against, and she kind of like start to build out from there too, by saying, These are the things that I want to explore. And some of that world building, then will happen more in the game than before the game. But you kind of start getting an idea of like, these are the things that are important to the story that I want to use this for. And yeah, I think it, it also kind of narrows the focus a little bit, because I think world building can be really daunting sometimes, too, because you're like, Okay, I need a government system. And I need to know the history. And I need to know, like all of these details. Whereas if you start with a theme, you're like, Okay, I need to know how it relates to this particular piece of it.


Aly Grauer  1:07:47  

Yeah, exactly. So


Ryan Boelter  1:07:49  

how do you ensure that the world you create isn't too restrictive? I have a follow up question for you, in what way, especially if you're going to be playing in this world, like you don't want it to be, especially if you're going to be playing in this world and constantly adding to it. You don't want it to be too restrictive of a setting where you can't easily add in your own details, right?


Amelia Antrim  1:08:22  

I think this is something that more happens, like the longer you've been playing in that kind of world, but like, how do you get to a point where it's not like you have to read this full page before you can sit down and feel comfortable moving around?


Aly Grauer  1:08:35  

We don't know what that's like,


Amelia Antrim  1:08:37  

I don't understand the question


Aly Grauer  1:08:39  

is too big.


Amelia Antrim  1:08:41  

I mean, but I think that that's part of it too, then right? The answer is like, if you make a world that's big enough, you should feel free to move around in it, you know, for sure.


Aly Grauer  1:08:50  

Yeah. I mean,


Drew Mierzejewski  1:08:52  

here's the thing. Um, I think the best way to make sure that you roll this into restrictive on your players and on yourself, if you are the one building it, and also you if you're playing it, is to realize that, again, go back to that contract, we set up in the very beginning, and realize like, Okay, what are the rules here? What can I change? And if you're feeling restricted, if you're feeling like, Oh, I don't feel like I can go in that direction with it. The question is, why not? Right? So much of what we say is impossible, is absolutely possible in our real, everyday life. And so why shouldn't it be for your made up fantasy world that you are now in that it is absolutely possible for you to do that. And if it is, if you're just going to sit there and go. So I'm going to decide that in this world, I've gotten to a point where I no longer want to be a part of this social structure that are in, I would like to leave that social structure. And if we sit there and go, but we've established that nobody leaves this social structure, and all that to do that is death, you have to sit there go, that I'm the exception. And then how and then build how you are the exception, there is always an exception. And the exception, and the contradiction is usually where the story is, when I when I was learning acting in grad school, one of the things they would always tell us is that your character is in your contradictions. Hamlet his contradiction is we look at his super objective is super objective is we can throw out any number of things. But let's just say his super objective is I want to be seen as competent, because I am not competent, that is contradiction. And so his whole arc is then him trying to see himself as competent, trying to prove to everyone that he is a competent person, when in actuality he is not. And that's the contradiction. And that's where the character comes from. It's the same thing when you're building, if you get to a point where you feel the contradiction in your character, or in the world, you go, that's where the story story is. That's where the interesting thing is happening in the world. If I'm building, building a world, and I get to a point, and I go, yeah, that's impossible to do that. But the characters need to do that, or it just needs to happen, then you go, this is the story. This is this is it, this is where it is. And so if you have that formula in mind, as you build things, and as you're learning things about the world, I don't think it can become too restrictive. in the, in the idea that if it gets too big, if it gets too big, remember, there's always corners of the world that no one's explored. And you can always be like, Well, great, we've we built all this, we built all this stuff. Let's now look at this small corner over here. And we'll tell a story in that corner. And we'll build out from that way. And eventually we'll hit the rest of the story. And that was a part of the story. Right? Yeah. Which is interesting. And if there are partially well that contradicts with that, and that and that, then again, those are your stories, how do those work?


Aly Grauer  1:12:00  

I think that one of the ways that word has managed to both be massive, and also structured, but not too restrictive, is one of the things that we've done all along, since its inception, is like anytime we run into something that in our real world history, or our real world present is a thing, we often in order will go Nah, an inverted completely. For an example. Humans being on the bottom of the social ladder, that's one thing because we would normally expect humans to be at the top and the fate to be their servants. But it's the opposite. You can have a row, row hashtag amazon prime. One of the other things is we one of the things that we built from the beginning was that word is a sex positive society. That there there are so many, not only legal, but like common place and openly discussed. options for people to engage in sex work. In Florida. We haven't gone into that in detail in the podcast or in the fiction, but it's there it exists. And it has from the beginning. Also the gender spectrum and the sexuality spectrum. There are fe and humans of all genders, all pronouns, all preferences, and it's all totally acceptable. Like and and legal. The only illegal thing that we've really established is that fake can't legally married humans. That and that has to do with the reason why humans are at the bottom of that social ladder. But we've so we've taken these things that we we take for granted as far as power imbalances, especially I think, in our modern society and in our in our real world history. And we've inverted their equivalence. So that they're in places where we find in real life, there is restriction we give we gave it freedom and war to instead we gave it a total open possibility. Would you agree with that? Yeah.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:14:19  

That's always a good exercise to do if you get to a point where you go, oh, but this is always the common thing. You know, we'll just invert that. And change happens with it.


Aly Grauer  1:14:28  

Flip it over, like, what's on the other side? Yeah.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:14:30  

If you're going to be like, oh, there's this evil empire, and they're all about war, then you invert that? Well, there's an evil empire, and they're all about peace. What? Yeah. Like, guys, what's up? Guys? That's interesting. And you just invert it, and immediately go, Oh, that's Yeah, I have to figure out why.


Aly Grauer  1:14:49  

Yeah, yeah. I mean, but that that, to me has, has created a lot of freedom in Florida, that in you know, as opposed to it being all of these rules that people new people coming into the world have to follow. It's more like, here's the way this kind of looks and feels, you can do whatever you want. And I'll show you how it fits. So that's how we usually introduce people to order we give them the elevator pitch. And then we invite them in by saying, Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? And they go, Well, I, I think my character is going to be a hat maker. And we're like, cool, look, high class, low class, what do you feeling and then we drive we like help sort of mold it with them, by giving them the freedom to choose these things. And us sort of being the little like, midwives, that little doulas that go Yes, good. And in this direction, we find all of these different things, do you want to learn about any of these so that you can have that incorporate into your character. But I think that that's that's really it is that by by giving those inversions into the structure, that we allow people to not only break the rules, but help create them. And that keeps it from being restrictive.


Amelia Antrim  1:16:05  

One of the other questions that I had on here was how you ensure that when you're doing something collaborative, you don't feel like people are ruining your thing, which we've kind of talked about. So what I want to ask instead is, how do you kind of pinpoint those places where you are feeling like somebody, you know, ruining your thing? And how do you? How do you kind of address that and sort of understand that? So like when you have that moment of like, No, no, that's not what I want? What do you do with that?


Drew Mierzejewski  1:16:42  

Good question. Um, we did a bunch of war to one shots, we caught glimpses. And we brought in a lot of people that had never been a part of the world before. And we just let them play and see what happened. And there were a couple of times where things would get to a point where I'm like, Oh, is that is that okay? Is that I feel like that's going to break something. And when it gets to that point, and they begin to, like, press on that. And you begin to feel there's that that kind of resistance and that pressure happening with you. You one have to take a step back. And think, is it really that important? In, in writing, they talk about kill your darlings. And the concept behind that being that your ideas, feel so more much more important to you than they do to anyone else, because you are you. And sometimes your ideas are not always the best ideas. And so if it gets to a point and you go, you have to sit down, you have to remove yourself from the equation, remove yourself emotionally from it and look at it and go in the hole. If this is now changed, will it destroy everything I want? And if it doesn't, you have to BOK letting it go. And letting it letting it quote unquote, not die, but change. But let us say you look back and go No, no, that is a linchpin to this entire world. I need this to remain the same. If I want to continue doing this down the line, it is 100%, okay to stop and look at your players or look at your GM or look at anybody there and go, Hey, this is what I'm feeling about it. And that's, that's terrifying. It's terrifying to like, stop everything and like, pull everyone out of the mind space that you have built to go. I'm uncomfortable with changing this. But you can do it and you should do it. It's it's the whole reason behind the x card and all the other safety mechanisms we're beginning to build into our games. And those are not just for things are like, well, I'm uncomfortable with you know, child torture. It's also been like, I'm uncomfortable with changing the changing our non binary Queen, x, or you know, our non binary ruler into a king. I'm uncomfortable doing that. And then being OK. And then as a group saying, Why? And not into like, why why why you do that? Why? Why can't we do that. But being like, this is obviously very important to you why there's so much to be to be said about taking a moment and having empathy for everyone at the table as a creator. And understanding that they are feeling probably the same things you are feeling, if not exactly the same day at least deserve your empathy and deserve your deserve your ear.


Amelia Antrim  1:19:50  

I think that's all the more true when you're doing something as a collaborative project that like you've also put something into and then recognizing that like, as much as this thing is pulls at you. It probably pulls them in different ways to. And so I the first thing I go to is like, Okay, if this thing feels bad to me. Why does it feel bad? What What part of it feels bad? You know, is it because I'm worried about what it's going to do for my character? Am I worried about how it's tied to this other thing? And do I just like feel kind of icky about it, like, Where is that distress coming from? And then sort of like backtracking from there to say like, okay, is it something that I should just let go of? Is it something that like, we can make adjustments to and still be okay, with? Like, how do you, you know, like, that's a conversation that I think that you need to have, especially when it's collaborative.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:20:44  

And that's the key, it's a good conversation, you get to open up that conversation, and you should be open and allowing of that.


Aly Grauer  1:20:51  

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.


Ryan Boelter  1:20:54  

So, we've got a lot of tools to create these worlds. There's a lot of different ways we can go with the creation of these worlds together. Do you have any suggestions for cataloging the information about the worlds that we come up with,


Aly Grauer  1:21:14  

um, we got Google Docs in a big way.


Aly Grauer  1:21:21  

Partly because it's on the internet, which means you can access it from your phone, as well as your computer. So we would we could do, we could add add things and edit files. While we were like out and about coming up with stuff on the fly, which was very useful. It meant that we could collaboratively edit these files together at the same time, which is very useful.


Aly Grauer  1:21:43  

You know, it auto saves. That's great.


Aly Grauer  1:21:47  

I love that for us.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:21:50  

During those days, we save manually.


Amelia Antrim  1:21:54  

You just cross your fingers and hope.


Aly Grauer  1:21:56  

Yeah, and you go Wait, how long ago you forgot your floppy disk? It's


Aly Grauer  1:22:06  

what even is a flash drive? Gosh, um, but yeah, so I mean, I'm sure there are other software's, but Google software, software, Google Drive has been our rock and our foundation from the beginning of war to, we also both do a lot of writing things down by hand. We carry notebooks and pens with us wherever we go. And, you know, we we take a lot of handwritten notes, we both have notebooks from the beginning of war two that are still filled with stuff that we wrote down at the time. And most of it made it into us transcribing it into Google Drive, so that we have it forever. And we're not going Hey, where's that notebook? What what notebook was?


Drew Mierzejewski  1:22:51  

Until society clubs.


Aly Grauer  1:22:52  

Yeah, until society collapses, Google Drive is sort of my vote.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:22:55  

I, I have played around with things like the beyond and world Anvil and stuff like that the programs that are made for world building, and they are so daunting, because you go in this, you have so much to like, learn and how does this work? And what does that work? And so I always go back to I always go back to Google Docs, which is, you know, day one, when I was sixth grade making a story. And I would just be in Microsoft Word, just typing things up. And and you know, that's I transferred over to Google Docs doing that way. But really, really, the best thing I can say is, whatever works for you, yeah, whatever you're going to use is going to be good for you if you're using a you know, Dewey Decimal System. You know, card catalog for what you got, that's great. If you're going to use notebooks if you're gonna use Google Docs or world Anvil or whatever. I mean, I I use a lot of spreadsheets.


Aly Grauer  1:23:52  

love a good spreadsheet, spreadsheet. Amazing for Character


Drew Mierzejewski  1:23:57  

or Character. I use spreadsheets all the time, lines, timelines, for just information that needs to be quantified in a small block and that you want to send one go. spreadsheets, do


Aly Grauer  1:24:10  

we use spreadsheets for math? never know. writing, writing?


Drew Mierzejewski  1:24:14  

Yes. Because correct. Because we are we are us and methods.


Amelia Antrim  1:24:21  

Qualitative not quantitative.


Aly Grauer  1:24:27  

You're allowed to write, you're allowed


Unknown Speaker  1:24:28  

to what's good for you.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:24:32  

So So yeah, like, for me, that's, that's the what the main thing.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:24:37  

And it's good to remember to be organized in what you're doing. Not just in cataloguing your information, but organizing that information in such a way that is easily accessible to you and to everyone around you. One thing that I am starting to do I haven't done in the past, I've tried to do in the past, and it hasn't always worked out is I will do a look at title, like a table of contents Doc, where I just have, I write down everything I know that I'm going to write about and I'll like write about it here and there. And like have it all ready to go. But if there's something that I'm like, Oh, this blurb is not enough, I need to do a whole page on it. I will have a whole page and I will make sure that that is in a in a proper, inappropriate place. But having that first big page of these are the important things. Here's our timeline. Here's this thing about about the Fey. thing about humans, here's how half genes work. Here's how magic works, you know, all having these the touchstones of what's going on in your world that are the most important. And then being like, if, if you're interested, please see, you know, a one, you know, keeping yourself organized. Because if you cannot find the information you wrote, then it might as well and everything. Yeah,


Ryan Boelter  1:25:53  

I know some people use wiki as well. Where you can set up like Wikis on like wiki, or whatever. It makes it a little bit more public. But if it's just you and your group editing, and not really advertising, hey, go to this wiki and and see our world, then that's a pretty decent place to to organize things I've I've found


Drew Mierzejewski  1:26:17  

clearly how to do a wiki.


Aly Grauer  1:26:19  

Mean, someone started with you for Where to? I don't know, I don't know how detailed it is. But it exists. That's very cool.


Unknown Speaker  1:26:26  

It's there is


Aly Grauer  1:26:27  

Yeah, it's there.


Amelia Antrim  1:26:28  

Great to do with you start them right at the beginning.


Unknown Speaker  1:26:31  

That's exactly. Otherwise, they're real daunting,


Ryan Boelter  1:26:34  

because it's interesting, because you were talking about having an outline at first and then going from the outline and expanding up the each topic and then expanding on that topic there. And a wiki is kind of perfect for that. Because you can create links that go to nowhere. And then once you click on that, you can go ahead and create that page right away. And if and if that's going to spider out into something else, you just create more links seemed like I'll get to that when we get to that.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:27:04  

Exactly. Yeah, I am writing all this down. Actually, this is good information I need to remember.


Amelia Antrim  1:27:11  

Three or four years is not the time to start. No, no, no.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:27:15  

The word wiki the word wiki would take would take forever


Amelia Antrim  1:27:19  

to do. That's the thing.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:27:21  

Yeah, yeah. That's a crowdsourcing thing. The other thing I would say is using discord as a world building tool with a group as a collaborative world building tool. Yeah. Because in the discord chat you can search


Unknown Speaker  1:27:34  

for Yep.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:27:36  

And so being like we have, we have an entire discord channel on biology, ice, when it comes to Fe. So we would sit down and be like, Okay, I'm the earth Phaedra Silvana, what is their biology? How does it work? How does life death and birth work? Like, how does that work? How does this work? How does reproduction work? How does all the other bodily functions work? And then we'd move on and go to another another one. And so if anyone's like, Oh, I forgot how, how do how are young Silvana born you go, oh, let's find that out and we type it in. There it is, and we can read it. So that's a good place to like, keep your thoughts,


Aly Grauer  1:28:16  

especially if you're working with more than like two other people. Because discord can be great for just discussing things and shooting the breeze and figuring it out as you go, you know, yeah. chatting.


Amelia Antrim  1:28:27  

I like having them honestly, for basically all of my gaming groups, because you can have channels for like, here's our world building. Here's our Character stuff. Here's our scheduling channel, like you can and it's all still there. Then later when you go back and say like, what did we say about this character? Oh, right. Now it's, you know, so I find that helpful. Like, even if you're not doing a huge world building thing, even if it's just, you know, something small. discord, it's a really good place to do a lot of that


Ryan Boelter  1:28:55  

pinning the really important information.


Amelia Antrim  1:29:01  

I want to ask, like, the big question of this episode now, which is what makes doing this a quote unquote, better experience? Like why would you suggest someone do their own world building versus picking up and establish setting?


Aly Grauer  1:29:21  

I was gonna say,


Aly Grauer  1:29:24  

the freedom of, of creation and knowing that if a question comes up in a game, for example, or a story, and you're like, I don't know the answer, let's come up with the answer now. Versus knowing that the world exists already in a book that you have to read and know and remember and check and cross track, and all of that I was going to say that, but then I remember that like nine times out of 10 when someone asked me a question about water, I don't remember the answer. And I have to turn to drew like he's the DM guide. And go Hey, honey, do you remember how this works? And he'll be like, yeah, it's this and I'm like, great. Yes. Correct. That's right. I was just checking you just have drew instead of a book, right? It's just drew because his brain is is like a steel trap like nothing. It's all there still all the time. And I'm over in the corner like I can't


Drew Mierzejewski  1:30:17  

remember your name to save my life.


Aly Grauer  1:30:21  

But I'm over there in the corner like but what flavor t are they having? But how many dogs to she?


Unknown Speaker  1:30:30  

isn't right,


Aly Grauer  1:30:33  

which is why collectively we are we don't have like an official company or anything but our creative duo is called whimsy and artifice, because somebody knows how to build things and somebody knows how to make it colorful.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:30:50  

I think making it you know, for quote unquote, lack of a better word better a better experience with building your own world. I think I think we do it so subconsciously anyway, we're we do it all the time. Even if you're going to play in at Greenwood's The Forgotten Realms, which was made goodness in the 70s. So you're looking at like 40 years of history built into this fantasy world. Even if you're going to, you're going to delve into that, you're going to build it, it's going to be different. Your your candle keep doesn't necessarily have to be my candle keep. And you know, your, your, you know, your child is not my child. That's just the way that's the way we do it. We're always constantly world building. And it's always going to be different than what is actually put down in the book. So we're always doing it. But I think if you're doing it from scratch to make it a better experience, the thing that makes it a better experience for me is that it's personal. Yeah, it is so very personal to you. And it gets to a point where, you know,


Drew Mierzejewski  1:32:08  

I, I always think about so I do you guys watch critical role. Now. Are you? Are you critters.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:32:16  

It's okay, if you're


Drew Mierzejewski  1:32:18  

not like we got enough podcast. It's fine. It's over 600 hours of thing. And I think that's part of it. For me.


Amelia Antrim  1:32:24  

I'm like, this is too daunting now at this point.


Ryan Boelter  1:32:27  

four episodes in for the first season. And that's it.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:32:31  

Oh, congratulations.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:32:36  

It's a it's a fun ride. But I think one of the things that is so interesting about that experience that has happened is that Matt Mercer built that world with those. And, and he's able and I mean, they're also that's the funny thing when people are like, why is it my group like Matt Mercer's group they're like, well, they're they're professional actor. Yes. Like, that's why thing. Most of them have been on Broadway, like it's


Amelia Antrim  1:33:02  

it when they were children. They were gone. We do have said about that. Why doesn't my home game sound like this actual play that I listened to?


Drew Mierzejewski  1:33:10  

It's like, well, because Okay, anyway, we can go on forever about that. But what I'm what I feel is really interesting about it is that, because they built that world together, and Matt built a good part of it, like I've met Martin, like I say, Matt, like,


Amelia Antrim  1:33:24  

Matt, Matt,


Drew Mierzejewski  1:33:27  

Matt Mercer, Matt Mercer built that world and his friends helped him flesh it out to the point that they are able to ringcentral emotional meaning out of it. And, and like, if that's not the game you want to play if you're if you're not going to play an emotional game, where you're like, living the story and living these lives. And I'm trying to figure out, you know, why did my parents leave me as an orphan when I was when I was little, you know, if you're looking to find those, those stories, you know, maybe world building isn't for you, in this in this this genre that you're building, but if that is what you're looking for. It is so personal in what you're doing. And you find so many things about my character, not just my character, but me, I built this thing. Yeah, and it is now this thing that I built, and I have it, and not only did I build it, but it now is affecting everyone at the table, in what I built. And not only that, but I am feeling a heightened emotional state because I not only because I built it, because I'm interacting in a way that now has its own life, I built this thing. And now it lives. Yeah. And there is no better feeling than that. Then making something and seeing it come to life in front of your eyes. Which is why I look at critical role. And I'm like, I like shake my fist at the heavens, because that's what they did. They did the thing that everybody wants, they turned their d&d game into like, an animated series. So now they can see all of it and feel it. And so many people do that. And that's, it's the dream. And you can feel that you you can feel just like those guys feel by doing by building a world and making it this way, and giving yourself over to it. And that's why I think it's a better experience.


Aly Grauer  1:35:18  

And I think what you're saying there drew and correct me if I'm wrong is that it doesn't matter if your original collaborative world building experience has any audience at all, as long as you and the people you are collaborating with are in that agreement together and playing and creating and exploring and discovering that that feeling is still there. And that that that. I mean, art can't be created in a vacuum, like we said before, but art can exist in a private place. And that that feeling that you get when you've all come together on a scene and it has gone terribly, or really, really well and like everybody is on the same, that same emotional wavelength, that that's really fantastic. And that it doesn't have to be for an audience. It doesn't have to be for twitch stream or a Patreon or anything, it can just be you and these people that you're that you're playing with. And it can just be for you. And that's that's okay,


Drew Mierzejewski  1:36:21  

I can guarantee that Matt Mercer and Laura Bailey and Liam O'Brien do not feel any more than you do at your table. Like it's not they they are their experiences, not some somehow holier or better than ours. But in your experience is just as heightened as theirs. And that's the thing, I think is that like,


Amelia Antrim  1:36:41  

you see the fun that they're having. You can have this to like, it's that's really the the crux of it is that like you watch how excited people are when they're when they're doing things like you can always hear it in podcasts and things and people are like, oh, what about this? And it's like, yeah, you can have that too, at your own table. Like, even if nobody else in the world hears you have that moment, like nobody else in the world hears your really good idea. You still had a really good idea. Yeah,


Aly Grauer  1:37:10  

yeah, exactly. That's the


Drew Mierzejewski  1:37:12  

reason we do it. Like at all. That's the reason we do any of this is because we, we get that rush, and we get that feeling. It is there. And we are, we are creators, that's what we do. We create, and we feel the joy from it. And that's why we do it.


Ryan Boelter  1:37:29  

Absolutely. I


Amelia Antrim  1:37:30  

just always feel like happier, like mucking around in my own thing to, like, you know, and not that you can't take an established setting and play around with it. Like as someone who routinely plays alpha bar and is fully aware of like the amount of lore that there is there. Like, it still feels really good when you have like your own world, and you can kind of like pull different strings. And you can just decide, you know what this thing, it's here now because I need it to be that like I just I feel much safer. Safer is not even the right word, but like more comfortable and like it, I'm quicker to do those things in my own settings than I am in an established one. Because I'm not worried that it's going to like break something in like down the line. Right?


Ryan Boelter  1:38:18  

Yeah. And collaborative world building feels a lot to me, like painting with imagination. With your people at the table, like an established setting, you're still doing a little bit of painting with your imagination, but it's more paint by numbers kind of thing. Instead of here's a blank canvas. Let's make some art together. Yeah, that's awesome.


Aly Grauer  1:38:47  



Amelia Antrim  1:38:49  

I think it immediately ties the people at the table together too. Because you know that like, you know, if you read a setting, and I read a setting, like the way we interpreted those things could be very different. Whereas when you're sitting at a table together, and you say, Okay, this thing happened and is important, and you are directly interacting with me, as I say that, I think the end like having input on it. I think that we have a much more shared experience there, too.


Ryan Boelter  1:39:16  

Yeah. Yeah, the process of collaboration really kind of cements that camaraderie together, and the buy in of we're doing this together. So let's have fun together. And you probably end up with less, you know, of people trying to control certain things. Like this is the way I felt it should be. From what I read, you know?


Amelia Antrim  1:39:46  

Yeah, that's not what that's how I read it. That's not what it's


Ryan Boelter  1:39:49  

Yeah, exactly.


Amelia Antrim  1:39:50  

Just also just don't play with this kind of people. Yeah, I think it just, it is a much more like, is a stronger experience. For me personally, it's just like, I'm way more attached to it, and to the other people around me.


Ryan Boelter  1:40:09  

Well, very cool. It's


Amelia Antrim  1:40:10  

good. It's real good, real good. It's just like, it's real good.


Ryan Boelter  1:40:16  

Wonderful. Well, is there anything else that we want to say before we wrap up for the day?


Drew Mierzejewski  1:40:23  

You're an artist, everybody is, like, that's what it means to be human is to create and to make art. And so you have that in you. And so don't be afraid to do it.


Ryan Boelter  1:40:36  

Just let it out. Let it out.


Aly Grauer  1:40:39  

Yeah. And I mean, I would like to circle back to


Aly Grauer  1:40:44  

don't limit yourself to not speaking up when something is heading in a direction you don't like or if something is heading in the direction you do, like Speak up, let your fellow players know, let your GM know, you know, make it known. You know, yes, I want my character to have a romance subplot. Yes, I want to see what happens if we all get transported to this other place random. No, I would like to not see any more of that body or Thank you. You know, but like, like we were saying before, that it doesn't take away the mystery of the game. The game is not a present that you get to watch the DM unwrap for you. The dm wants you to unwrap it with this is the whole theory behind these series of episodes is just like you don't show up and have a game happen to you. Like, right, there's a whole you are part of it. Yeah, and the sooner you realize and embrace that, the more fun you will have at the table. And the less bad things will come up randomly and make you feel bad. Like we don't play games to feel bad. We play games to create fun things happen. Fun, laugh, enjoy each other, come up with things feel emotional catharsis, you know, all of that same reason why we go to the theater, go to a movie, you know,


Drew Mierzejewski  1:42:09  

oh, this is this is the theater. This is this is the theater of the modern age. Yeah.


Aly Grauer  1:42:15  

So I mean, embrace that you are a part of that process, that you have that creative agency, make your opinions known and listen to others when they make theirs known and make that a good experience. Hmm, absolutely.


Ryan Boelter  1:42:29  

Awesome. Well, thank you both so much for sitting down with us. We really do appreciate it. Drew, can you go ahead and remind everyone where they can find you online and your current projects?


Drew Mierzejewski  1:42:42  

Absolutely. You can find me on Twitter at Worlds to forge


Drew Mierzejewski  1:42:48  

You can also find me on where else where else can you find me? places things?


Aly Grauer  1:42:55  

shot right.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:42:57  

Right. Hey, you can find I'm either on Twitter, I'm usually on Twitter. You know, he's always I'm always on Twitter.


Drew Mierzejewski  1:43:05  

You can find us at what is our word a thing magic. It's a simple cast. You can watch the show listeners listen and watch the show.


Aly Grauer  1:43:13  

Yeah, it's on the one shot Podcast Network so one shot it's also at word I dot simple


Drew Mierzejewski  1:43:22  

and our Patreon is what


Aly Grauer  1:43:24  

way slash whimsy artifice us both very cool.


Unknown Speaker  1:43:32  

And you can find me in


Aly Grauer  1:43:34  

I guess I'll say


Amelia Antrim  1:43:36  

tell us about you and your project.


Aly Grauer  1:43:38  

Do you for the price of one like we said slash whimsy artifice Welcome to order calm also the website is still kind of under construction. That's a whole other can of worms. We know that. That's a book. Yeah, where did that get symbol or on your favorite podcasting app. I am on twitter at dreams to become like I'm on Instagram at dreams to become I have a website dreams to become calm. My SEO game is strong. Come find me Come talk to me about stuff. I like stuff I like talking about it.


Aly Grauer  1:44:15  

And uh yeah, I mean my website does have some pages where you can look up my my work with dialects and and voice stuff as well as performing acting and my author stuff so you can check out my my, my my fictional work if you should so desire, and that's dreams to become calm. Very cool. Well, thank you so much, everybody for listening. Thank you, Elliot true again for joining us. And everybody. Join us next week for another exciting episode.


Amelia Antrim  1:44:52  

Character evolution cast, like Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network and can be found online at w ww Character Creation head to the website to get more information on our hosts and guests, or even find some of our character sheets. Character Creation Cast can be found on Twitter at Creation Cast, and one of your hosts Amelia intro, and I can be found on twitter at ginger reckoning. Our other host Ryan bolter can be found on twitter at Lord Neptune. Music for this episode is used with a Creative Commons license, or with permission from the podcast it originated from. Further information can be found within the show notes. This episode was edited by Amelia and from further information for today's guest can also be found in the show notes. Thanks for joining us. And remember, we find that the best part of any role playing game is character creation. So go out there and create some amazing people will see you next time.


Unknown Speaker  1:45:59  

Now we go read some show blurbs


Unknown Speaker  1:46:01  

show blurbs.


Unknown Speaker  1:46:04  

Show by


Amelia Antrim  1:46:04  

show blurbs.


Ryan Boelter  1:46:07  

Character Creation Cast is hosted by the one chat Podcast Network. If you enjoyed our show, visit one shot podcast com where you will find other great shows like Florida,


Amelia Antrim  1:46:18  

Florida is an original fantasy actual play podcast created by Allie Grauer and drew marshy esky it's one part Game of Thrones, two parts Downton Abbey served on the rocks with a twist of Agatha Christie, discover our magic mystery and more than a little socio political commentary along the way. The city holds thousands of stories. What will your eyes be?


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