Character Creation Cast

Character Evolution Cast E17: AP at Home Part II with Kristine Chester and Marshall Sims

Episode Summary

In a follow up to episode 5, we revisit the concepts from actual play podcasts that you can bring to your home table.

Episode Notes

In a follow up to episode 5, we revisit the concepts from actual play podcasts that you can bring to your home table.

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Episode Transcription

Transcripts Automatically Generated - Not 100% Accurate

Amelia Antrim  0:00  

Welcome to an exciting part two of our AP at home series. We didn't feel like we covered everything last time, so we thought it was worth revisiting.


Ryan Boelter  0:11  

A quick reminder that once again, that descent into midnight Kickstarter is coming up very, very soon. They just released pictures of the cover with art by our former guest, Devin George. And it is absolutely phenomenal and breathtaking.


Amelia Antrim  0:29  

It's so good. Doesn't happen you you killed it. So good and also me maybe a little bit good.


Ryan Boelter  0:38  

Such a good cover and the game is looking to be phenomenal. Every


Amelia Antrim  0:43  

every little piece of information they put out I'm like more excited, which I didn't think was possible. Yeah. Be more excited about this game. Yeah, like it's gonna back it like it's gonna fund in like two minutes. It's gonna say, yeah, half hour


Ryan Boelter  0:54  

tops. Seriously, check out their Twitter and di RPGs They are doing a like kind of tweet, storm sort of thing going on for the next like 20 some odd days.


Amelia Antrim  1:11  



Ryan Boelter  1:12  

whatever countdown Yeah, it's very good and they've got a lot of great content coming out there and keep an eye on that. And we're definitely gonna keep yelling about it. Pretty much constantly. I've just been retied re tweeting everything they've been retweeting and


Amelia Antrim  1:28  

I mean, it's, I mean, it's been like stories of other people's games, they've been posting art and you know, info about how the projects coming along. It's really cool to follow like, even if you've known nothing about the game, just from like Kickstarter game design perspective. It's really cool to follow. So like, it's a great game. Yes, you should watch the game. Go ahead. Love the game.


Ryan Boelter  1:51  

Good game trust


Amelia Antrim  1:57  

became descent into midnight, Gen. Con. Gen Con was the first time I played descent into midnight, it is officially my quintessential con game, which is why I bring up the fact that Gen Con badges are officially available now. And while the convention is still six months away, I will be there. Ryan is pretty sure he's not going this year. He's still recovering from last year. It was,


Ryan Boelter  2:19  

it was an experience


Amelia Antrim  2:21  

was an experience. I told you.


Ryan Boelter  2:23  

I enjoyed it a lot. But I think the anxiety leading up to the con was the worst part.


Amelia Antrim  2:29  

Yeah, it's definitely a lot and you know, not for everybody. And that's, again, not everything's for everyone and that's okay. I will be there though. And if you are planning to attend, let me know I'm excited to potentially meet more people and get a chance to get to know some of you. And I will like I said, I will officially be there this year unless something crazy happens which please, I cannot take any more crazy stuff in my life. So


Ryan Boelter  2:56  

and there's still six months so it's fine. It's fine. Half a year away.


Amelia Antrim  3:02  

Okay, it stresses me that my schedule is not done. I said to God the other day, I was like, oh, it stresses me that I don't have like, my packing list and everything. And he's like, it's way too soon to be packing. And I said, but it's never too soon for a packing list. That's true. It's true.


Ryan Boelter  3:18  

I mean, certainly shouldn't be the same thing every year.


Kristine Chester  3:22  

No, I might do different things. Okay, I guess that's fair.


Amelia Antrim  3:26  

Run different games or something. I guess that's also fair. I don't know. But it's exciting. You know, what else is exciting, Ryan?


Ryan Boelter  3:34  

Oh, let me guess. Reviews.


Amelia Antrim  3:39  

Do you like that segue? That was a great segue. I feel like I've done two great segue. I agree.


Ryan Boelter  3:48  

Well, as usual, if you do like what we're doing here, the very best way to show your support is to leave a rating or review on something like Apple podcasts or anywhere you can leave a review When we get a chance to do these cold opens together, we'll read one out and gush about how amazing you are as a person. Like we're about to do with this review from Mad Dr. Jeff from the United States on tunes, titled, one of the few gaming podcasts that calms me down. And they wrote, I love Character Creation Cast. It's a loving tribute to the games they make characters for. It's calming and sweet. And they show how much they love the hobby. I'm hooked. Thank you so much, man.


Amelia Antrim  4:40  

Thank you. Are you worried that everybody says we're super chill? I don't think that's not my vibe at all.


Ryan Boelter  4:47  

It's it's definitely like a us together vibe.


Amelia Antrim  4:53  

Okay, that's fair. Maybe because we're not like mean or snarky or you know, We are just genuinely excited about the games that we cover like games with cool people. We are genuinely excited about them. And that's okay.


Ryan Boelter  5:09  

Yeah, I think that's okay too.


Amelia Antrim  5:11  

Yeah. Well, thank you, man. Dr. Jeff. That was a very nice review. We're glad you're hooked.


Unknown Speaker  5:18  

Yeah, it's stuck now. Haha.


Marshall Sims  5:21  

That's forever.


Ryan Boelter  5:24  

Well never stop being interested.


Marshall Sims  5:25  

No, never.


Amelia Antrim  5:29  

Right, we're about to be right now.


Ryan Boelter  5:33  

With that out of the way, enjoy the show.


Amelia Antrim  5:58  



Unknown Speaker  5:59  

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 Marshall and Christine of the new omens call podcast, a d&d actual play, to talk about more concepts from actual play podcasts that you can bring to your own games, folks, welcome to character evolution cast. Thank you so much for joining us. Christine, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself and some of the cool stuff that you are involved in?  


Kristine Chester  6:28  

Sure thing. So Hi, everybody. I'm Christine Chester, and I do a number of actual play podcasts. In addition to omens call, I play in another d&d game the glass dagger, which is about a group of wayward narrow do wells who fall into a mystery centered around a series of artifacts. And then I'm also for the last three years I've been producing a Star Wars actual play as a player and the editor.


Kristine Chester  7:00  

Cold heroes of the Heidi and way. And that uses Fantasy Flight games narrative dice system and we've been centering them around the pre published adventures. So we've completed our age of rebellion season and we're about to complete our edge of the Empire. So we have one more to go.


Ryan Boelter  7:20  

Very nice.


Amelia Antrim  7:22  

And Marshall, can you tell us about some of your products?


Marshall Sims  7:26  

Yeah, absolutely. I if anybody's heard me before, they probably would recognize me as that his crew on sounds like crows. were pushing through season for that right now. And outside of this new omens call, just play games with people. So they've got projects.


Ryan Boelter  7:48  

Very cool. Well, before we get to the meat of the episode, we always start character evolution cast by introducing you to our audience, letting them get to know people who are doing great stuff in RPG world. So I would like to ask, what kind of RPG content Do you like to consume? Are there any actual plays or Twitch streams that you can think of that people should probably check out that you really enjoy?


Kristine Chester  8:16  

So besides great shows like sounds like crows, I keep up with the almost obligatory critical role. I've been watching all of season two for that. And I recently started clear sky is which is a Star Trek twitch stream done by the Sheila tomorrow people. It is a very queer which I quite like especially in my Star Trek. So that is what I'm going to be tuning in every week for for a while. Otherwise, like I cannot listen to I guess a lot of shows that are using the same systems either play or enjoy or want to play like the magpies, which is a blade from the dark AP and I would be ready Miss if I didn't plug force measure which is another Star Wars actual play using force and destiny that's a rata force measure pod calm we've done a crossover with them and heroes before but I also just really enjoy their show and an atom is a dear friend


Marshall Sims  9:19  

swell well I


Marshall Sims  9:22  

I do enjoy me some live streams. Most recently I've been really going into this one on it me JP called court of swords. It's run by the designer of dungeon world Adam kobol. And he did he's done some really cool stuff with sort of flipping the idea of the d&d champions and just the the general like way races work and things like that in the game. And it's been really intriguing to see some of the uses he's done with this


Marshall Sims  9:57  

critical role, obviously Pretty diehard critter


Amelia Antrim  10:03  

I think it's funny we have so many people who are like oh Critical Role I'm like I've never watched I'm just like I think at this point I'm so intimidated by the backlog that I'm


Marshall Sims  10:09  

like, it's it's too late for me


Marshall Sims  10:12  

you're looking at like, you know, 900 hours of content I don't blame you for missing it. But you know, they, you know, I wish I was sponsored to be cool, but they've got that the cartoon coming out. Maybe eventually you'll be able to catch up on season one. At the very least.


Marshall Sims  10:30  

Other streams are like


Marshall Sims  10:33  

I'm pretty sporadic in my viewership. But hyper RPG has a lot of really cool content that they do and they they they like to combine twitch integration that affects the stories and they've got really great storytellers on there. You know, got your d&d games, they've done some edge of the Empire Star Wars games, they've done. Lots of really cool one is that it's all bikes. Oh, yeah, they, they love the indie games. So they've been all over the place with that. Very cool. Yeah. And, you know, some of the DND present shows are pretty good as well. enjoyed some of them. They're doing a descent into avernus campaign right now. It's been pretty fun. Pretty cool.


Amelia Antrim  11:21  

I want to ask, what has been a favorite moment in a game that you've played in?


Marshall Sims  11:26  

a hard question for me. So Christine, you got a couple ideas.


Kristine Chester  11:31  

I know since I I don't think I can say everything and Season Two of heroes. Pretty much everything in season two of heroes. It's been it's been such a great cast and group of characters and the dynamics that have been presented all throughout it. But in there been some, a lot of really standout moments, but one that absolutely floored me was there's a scene Between act one and act two of maskull, the pirate Queen and where my character cab has earned their first name kavas again, and that's a whole cultural thing for them. And Ben and I have discussed this, I knew this was coming up. But oh boy, I did not know how they were going to present that. And, and I wasn't prepared for the level of detail and like ceremony surrounding it. And I'm like, that was a scene that when I re listen to it, when I was editing at, I just like went all the way through it and then realize I hadn't been doing the editing part and need to go back and apply filters and stuff. It was so good.


Amelia Antrim  12:46  

I love those moments where like, you know, something's coming like you've talked about it. You're like, okay, we're gonna we're gonna have the scene. It's gonna happen and then it happens and you're like, Oh, I wasn't ready. I thought I was ready, but I was Even have those like really strong emotions even when you're like playing pretend it feels so


Marshall Sims  13:05  

yeah, absolutely. Oh actually ties really well with probably the the best one that's ever been. I was lucky enough that it was caught on tape, because no spoilers but probably the last session of the first season of sounds like crows into the first couple episodes of that was some, oh, I hadn't really experienced the full potential of what RPGs could do until some stuff happens. And, you know, things happen to players that I didn't think would be possible to happen to those kind of players and the story that came out of it was really cool.


Marshall Sims  13:48  

Yeah, if you haven't heard it, it's pretty cool.


Kristine Chester  13:53  

Yeah, I will always remember that state.


Unknown Speaker  13:56  



Ryan Boelter  13:58  

I need to catch up.


Unknown Speaker  14:00  

A steak. Well, you


Marshall Sims  14:02  

know, once you leave it in there for for too long, it gets a little, a little hinky little green little furry I'm sure. But I'll be honest, I totally lost track of where it went. You know, some things. Some things happened in the end. I just couldn't keep track.


Marshall Sims  14:19  

For what it's worth, it should have been my Oh, no.


Marshall Sims  14:23  

I needed a good steak fishes.


Marshall Sims  14:27  

I'm good.


Unknown Speaker  14:29  

Oh, yeah.


Marshall Sims  14:31  

Actually, if I could get one more, there was a really cool, really cool bit. In one of our home games. I was playing with the majority of the crew boys where we were, we were champions of this. This new key we had found and cleared the whole thing out. And there was a bit of a TIFF going on between these rival wild elves in the forest nearby, and they captured all our folks and we're going to deceive the people. They're performing some dark God ritual thing. And one of our players used some MacGuffin that Caleb foolishly put into the game he never should have gave it to us to as a as a warlock summon his patron deity believe was Beelzebub into the fray. Yeah, well, I wasn't Claire Festus so that caused some issues. But we didn't really get to play those out for very long because then the elves decided they were going to summon up their own solaar and so we got to see some big God fight and then Alex had to save the day and rolled in that one on his wish and it shattered reality. So


Kristine Chester  15:57  

is that the kind of stuff we have to look forward to you woman's call well are we


Marshall Sims  16:01  

gonna get either a learning lesson for Caleb? Or it's no as the name implies, an omen of things to come


Unknown Speaker  16:12  

alive to see.


Ryan Boelter  16:16  

That's amazing. We can't do the podcast anymore because


Unknown Speaker  16:21  

he came over. He just wanted to I'm doing


Unknown Speaker  16:25  

right side there's a spin off


Marshall Sims  16:28  

the daughter of the cleric that I've just been trying to fit into a campaign somewhere. She's got this sweet, rich backstory already prepped for me and Scott to find the right game for.


Ryan Boelter  16:41  

That's amazing. Let's see, is there something you want to try on a podcast or in a game that you haven't yet?


Kristine Chester  16:50  



Unknown Speaker  16:53  

Could you elaborate?


Kristine Chester  16:55  

There are quite a few things. It's quite a few things, but there's been one That's been sort of at the forefront of my mind lately. And that's namely, I am transgender. And even though I play a trans character on the glass dagger, it's kind of very much a more of a background thing. And I definitely want to play more transgender characters and tell more stories about them going forward and in podcasts and games. Now that I've sort of opened up the floodgates to playing people like me, which you wouldn't think that would take that long to do. It's been it's been really heavily on my mind. Very cool.


Amelia Antrim  17:38  

Is there you feel like there's a specific system that would do that really, really well or like a specific way of telling that kind of story or just you it's something that you want to involve in more stories that you tell?


Kristine Chester  17:50  

I definitely want to evolve in more stories. I do feel like certain settings are more conducive towards that like a buddy of mines been talking about doing a start Trick actual play himself. And I that is a setting that seems right for that kind of degree of social commentary and exploration both of the self in addition to the outer world. And I feel like that might be more appropriate than say Star Wars on d&d has been a fun one to explore with, because there's still a lot of things on the table with regards to that. Namely, magic. Yeah, how that can have that can affect things but Star Trek's the one that mostly comes to mind is like, okay, I can do something more with us and have a deeper message.


Amelia Antrim  18:34  

Yeah, I feel like that would work really well. Cuz you're right, it does have that good mix of like, sci fi and social commentary and inner personal commentary and things like that, too. Yes. What


Marshall Sims  18:46  

about you Marshall is Christine's answer is so much richer. I just want to build a guy. I typically build characters who enjoy the adventure. Enjoy exploration but I want to build somebody who wants to invest in the world a bit and maybe build a kingdom or something like that. I'd really like to see how how that plays out. You know, there's that Pathfinder kingmaker. And with Matt Coville, he's got all these kingdom and warfare Kickstarter going on and strongholds and followers and to see you know, just building up a city in game versus just, you know, I'm a DM. So I will say that that's what it is, and hope nobody pushes too hard.


Ryan Boelter  19:34  

Yeah, my friends and I did that. Back in the late 90s. I think it was in palladium fantasy. And it was quite an interesting experience after saving a kingdom from an evil wizard. We basically ruled that kingdom and built it up from the rubble.


Marshall Sims  19:54  

Just really cool. Check out Yeah,


Amelia Antrim  19:58  

yeah, I feel like There's there's more room for that especially in like d&d too. Because so much of it is adventuring and going places and stuff like that. I feel like you do sometimes miss out on that, like, focusing in on where you are in a place. And I feel like that's a fun thing that


Marshall Sims  20:15  

gets relegated to, you know, like, what you and you downtime. Oh, well, I said I did this and I did that and I did those things. And then you make a couple rules. And that's kind of it and be a little more fun to play those out. Yeah, absolutely.


Amelia Antrim  20:31  

I want to ask, What is your favorite thing about doing an actual play show?


Marshall Sims  20:37  

The focus, I think would be for me. I can you elaborate? What do you mean by the focus? Well, you know, when when you sit down at a table with your friends, and everybody's been living their lives and doing their thing, and you know, everybody brings their dice to the table, but everybody also brings their phone. And while I you know, I personally endeavor to always make sure that if My phone is on it's because I've got, you know, character stats or spells or, you know, world knowledge that my character should know. It's not always that way. And you know, even just Friday night I was playing nice little homebrew game, but a lot of us still had some strong feelings about Star Wars. So it was mostly 6040, DND ragging on rise of Skywalker. Yeah. So it was like, you know, still a fun time, you know, if you want to hang out and play with your friends, but it makes it really difficult to sort of build a you know, a cohesive, adventuring story. Not even like a deep emotional one is unnecessary, but even one is just focused on this is what we're all sitting at the table to do. Let's see what we can make.


Amelia Antrim  21:50  

Yeah, yeah, you're definitely there's a lot more to socialize when you're doing it out out of recording game. I noticed that too. Like there's been a huge difference. In how I play like even with the same people when we are recording or not recording, and it's you're just a lot less like, I you don't feel as compelled to be continually focused and I wish that we would.


Kristine Chester  22:13  

That was a good answer Marshall. So yeah, so now I'm trying to follow your act. I feel like my disclaimer, but for me, my favorite part about doing an actual play is I hearing from the fans, like I, for a lot of my groups, I'm blessed in the fact that I forget we're recording a lot of the time, we get deep into characters into the story into the RP. And then you know, and then there's a little production about getting it out there. And I'll just kind of forget that there's actual people who are then listening to this until somebody will come out of the blue and comment about how they liked this character or they thought this joke was funny or this emotional moment made them cry. And I like sinks in at that point that I'm like produced. Something putting something out into the world that's making people's lives a little bit better. And so that's that's my favorite thing whenever those moments happen.


Ryan Boelter  23:10  

Yeah, I don't I don't think that's lame at all.


Amelia Antrim  23:13  

I think that that's a cool because I think too There are a lot of times after a game that you want to like, tell your friends about it. You're like this Really? Yes. And I always talk about gaming is like it's this sort of shared experience that you kind of walk away from, and then there's nothing like it happened. And then it didn't really I mean, you try and talk to other people about your game. They're like, Oh, that's cool. And you're like, Yes, yeah.


Marshall Sims  23:33  

Because you can see their eyes glaze over.


Amelia Antrim  23:37  

It's like, Oh, I was there. You know, yeah, there's this feeling of like you. I don't have to explain it. And I don't have to be like, well, I guess you missed out on this moment. Because people were part of that. And you can have that shared experience with people who weren't even really there. Like, hey, you have to listen to the latest episode of heroes. You wouldn't believe like something incredible happens. I'm not going to spoil it but go


Unknown Speaker  24:00  

Yeah, exactly. I've done that a lot.


Amelia Antrim  24:02  

Because you want people to know you want to talk about this thing that happened to you know that that episode won't come out for like two more months. And you're like, Oh, I can't hold it. Yeah, yeah.


Marshall Sims  24:10  

There's been a lot of boy things on crows, man, we were playing a session tonight. Cool. I don't know.


Kristine Chester  24:18  

Frozen omens call there is there's something coming up that would have made my like, Top Moments list. But we can't talk about it. Yeah.


Unknown Speaker  24:28  

Oh, yeah.


Marshall Sims  24:30  

The thing at the place with the the people I yeah.


Kristine Chester  24:35  



Unknown Speaker  24:37  

The same, same wavelength. We know Oh, yeah.


Marshall Sims  24:39  

That'd be a fun one to talk about. You know, at the time, it didn't seem like a thing. And then all of a sudden it was it was fun, man.


Amelia Antrim  24:49  

That wasn't a thing, but now it is a thing. I happened at the place with the people.


Unknown Speaker  24:52  

Yep. Yeah, you got


Unknown Speaker  24:54  

it. You understand it. You


Amelia Antrim  24:55  

told me


Unknown Speaker  24:57  

Hey, yo,


Amelia Antrim  25:00  

The people that wasn't a thing and then it was,


Marshall Sims  25:02  

I thought this was a place of confidence where we could just come and share with each other. No one's gonna hear this right? No One No One at all. Oh, I made a mistake. I gotta go guys.


Kristine Chester  25:13  

It's right, just throw me under the bus.


Marshall Sims  25:17  



Ryan Boelter  25:20  

Well, now that we know a bit more about you too, we are going to get into the really fun stuff. As usual. Our goal here is to help people be better players. We try to gear these discussions towards how players not just gems can improve their experiences at the table. And we've covered how to make the characters now we're going to talk about how to play them.


Amelia Antrim  25:44  

We previously did an episode about lessons people can take from a podcast and bring to their home games. It's Episode Five, if you want to go listen to it. It's pretty good.


Ryan Boelter  25:54  

But we felt like there's so much more that we could still talk about and it warranted revisiting So here we are, we're going to expand on some of those concepts and see what else people can bring to their games. Absolutely. So one of the things you notice in great APS is continual, more continual momentum in the story. What role do you think players can have in making sure the story keeps moving?


Kristine Chester  26:21  

Marshall, you were the one talking about focus earlier. Yeah, we kind of


Ryan Boelter  26:25  

accidentally touched on that a little bit before how the focus seems to be lacking a bit when the mics aren't on.


Marshall Sims  26:34  

Yeah, I think I think people like to get caught up in the numbers of these games, you know, they they take the G of RPG very seriously. And now we've got the power gamers out there and the people who are just completely overwhelmed by all the, the amount of math you have to do and reading dice and things like that, and they they lose track of notice. We're pretending we're just playing pretend So, being able to find a piece of the setting, you're in the world, the universe, whatever it might be, and sort of deciding that that's something that your character cares about. So that they have a place to speak from and opinions and perspectives. And being able to build on that and express it in play is, I think, really helpful for helping the GM realize, you know, what they should be focusing on, because that's what their characters want. And also the other players at the table can you know, they have their own choices now to decide what they care about.


Amelia Antrim  27:39  

I think sometimes, too, it's, it's, it's helpful to like, look at, you know, like what you want out of a story, and I think Marshall, you touched on this a little bit, but like the GM kind of taking their cue from players about like, the things that they sort of latch on to, and there's, I think, an actual play because you need to keep things moving forward. I always think back on Like campaign, and I love that podcast, but they were at bike for like, a solid year out of character like out of out of context of the podcast and it was like, you lose some of that momentum sometimes because people latch on to like these little things that are important. And I think sometimes it goes the other way of like, players focusing too on like the story that the GM is put in front of them of like not going I mean, you can go off on your side quests and stuff, too. But like, kind of not derailing what you're doing to you know,


Marshall Sims  28:32  

yeah, finding a nice balance between feeling like you're just trying to find the railroad the GM laid out, but also those personal journeys that characters have to go on to grow themselves. Yeah. Yeah,


Kristine Chester  28:46  

there's also an easy way to like cut out a lot of a lot of scenes. I don't, they don't matter. I know Caleb's very good about doing this on a woman's call and we do this quite a fair bit on heroes to where you know, it If, if a player wants to say go buy 10 stimpaks. And the GM doesn't have a good scene to, like, introduce a character or say something about the PC or the world. Why is the scene? Why can't you just say, All right, I'm gonna buy 10 sim packs great mark down the credits, you have them. Let's move on. On to the next thing because I find a lot of those little scenes when they're strung together can SAP that momentum? like going back to campaign that was something they were like they wrote played every little scene.


Amelia Antrim  29:30  

Yes. Awesome. Which was like me it was funny to listen to, but it was not good for the story.


Kristine Chester  29:36  

No, no. So it'd be like three episodes later. And it's like, okay, there's still on those. Right. So that's, that's one piece of advice for me. The other one that happens


Kristine Chester  29:48  

quite a bit on heroes that we're still like working out.


Kristine Chester  29:52  

We have a bad habit of going off on tangents, where we'll get talking about track or Marshall was talking about No rise of Skywalker entering his d&d game, but things like that where that socialization starts taking over and instead of the game, and that's something where just as a player, look for the entry ramps back onto the game and the story because the the GM can't always turn everybody back towards that alone. But if multiple voices are saying, hey, let's get back to this, or Hey, what about this, then? Then you can get off of that tangent and maybe come back to it after the game is over.


Marshall Sims  30:32  

Yeah, yeah, it's a little unfair to expect the GM to be the storyteller, the world builder, the encounter creator, and, you know, the substitute teacher essentially trying to get all these wild cats to focus on something for five minutes. So, you know, some players can definitely help everybody out there like, hey, let's get on track, you know?


Unknown Speaker  30:53  

Yeah, definitely.


Ryan Boelter  30:54  

It's interesting because recently I started a campaign with some friends and their daughters, their daughters are eating now euros two years old, respectively. And their attention spans not the longest still, I know right?


Amelia Antrim  31:11  

attention to things


Marshall Sims  31:12  

amazing. It's very surprising. Well, it's gotta be better than a goldfish, right?


Ryan Boelter  31:17  

It's really good. As long as as long as we stay on topic and non story. Like, as soon as we, if anybody starts talking about something else, their attention spans gone. And then it takes like 1015 minutes before we can get them back.


Amelia Antrim  31:33  

Yeah, I gotta be honest, as an adult, I'm not much better than that. Like granted, I do have a diagnosable disorder. But yeah, once I once I move on to a different track, it's really hard to swing things back in the right direction.


Ryan Boelter  31:45  

Yeah, cuz it almost feels like they're thinking while they're talking about adult stuff. Let's go do our own thing. And then whenever they get back to the game, then maybe we'll we'll join them again. Yeah, but it's it's kind of an interesting fame where when you're thinking about how tangents can completely derail the story,


Kristine Chester  32:06  

it can also destroy whatever mood has been, like, fostered up to that point. Yeah, maybe you're having a very dramatic scene. And then people have been cracking jokes for the last five minutes. And now it's hard to get back to the scene where, oh, yeah, moment ago, your character was about to like burst into tears, but you've been laughing. And I find that's very difficult or especially if the GM is trying to encourage like, a sense of like suspense, or, or kind of like that, like a lot of the tension in the scene.


Marshall Sims  32:39  

Yeah. I've been very fortunate that with omens and sounds like gross all the players are able to because Cameron and Alex they're, they're great dudes, but boy do they like they like laughs And I mean, if you've listened to sounds like Chris, you know that there are a whole Lot of those who there, but I think we've been really fortunate that we're able to jump those tracks really quickly back and forth to make sure we keep some consistency. It definitely takes


Amelia Antrim  33:12  

practice and work though like having played some of those more serious games to it definitely


Unknown Speaker  33:16  



Amelia Antrim  33:18  

a level of like self control to kind of be like no, we are doing the serious thing we can't we can't go off and talk about this other stuff until we've done what we need to do.


Marshall Sims  33:28  

Yeah, I'm not sure I could do like a call Zulu game and 10 candles to where everything's supposed to be doom and gloom. I don't


Amelia Antrim  33:37  

see but in those games, like part of why it's really difficult is because like you naturally want to undo some of that tension you like want to release some of that but you're not. Yes do and I yeah, I don't know. It's really difficult.


Kristine Chester  33:51  

Something else that I know Caleb does for omens, is he we have like a warm up scene before we get started. And that inevitably devolves into a giggle fish. I raised my hands, we just get really ridiculous and funny and like, we get a lot of that out of our system. And I've actually realized, like, I've done that from my home games to like, Hey guys, let's have like, yeah, we're meeting up at eight, but we're going to have half an hour of a time where we're just going to talk about whatever and then the game is going to start at 830 and we


Amelia Antrim  34:26  

see theories on Reddit. We find like the most ridiculous one and then we would read it and we would discuss it for like a half hour before we started so that we could get out all of our jokes about fake moon landings and flatter


Marshall Sims  34:39  

it's just a good idea in general everybody's just got to have that that wind downtime know where everybody can sort of we've been apart all day. But all focus on this one thing that inconsequential but it's fun. And then let's get into the mean potatoes.


Amelia Antrim  34:56  

Yeah, changing direction a little bit. One of the things that I I have a difficult time with sometimes when I'm listening to a new actual play podcast is telling the different voices apart I noticed that the ones that I particularly enjoy have people who have either distinct voices or they're kind of doing character voices. We have done an episode on character voices. It's our very first one. But do you guys have specific thoughts on using different voices for your characters or telling characters apart? Things like that?


Kristine Chester  35:27  

Marshall you should definitely take this one first as the one of us who can do accents


Marshall Sims  35:34  

I guess I do have that crown down. I


Amelia Antrim  35:38  

I have to say when I started listening to crows, your voice was like the only one I could tell apart. It took me a while. How many brothers they were? Yeah, like I always tell people I'm like by Episode Four, you'll figure it out. But like the first couple, I was like, okay, their status and then there's a couple other ones.


Marshall Sims  35:55  

A few others will I you know, it's just as simple as just on a little bit of gravel on your voice and all of a sudden You're somebody different. And so long as that doesn't hurt you for four hours at a time, then you're right there. It's that simple. And, you know, it sort of helps you commit, when you can feel the way your voice is coming out. It almost sort of subconsciously triggers. Okay, well, someone who talks like this has to think a certain way, right? That's not necessarily me. And it helps you sort of separate yourself from the character you're playing. Versus, you know, using all these, you know, first person I me, sort of


Marshall Sims  36:34  

phrasing and put yourself in there


Marshall Sims  36:38  

as far as other actions go. Yeah.


Kristine Chester  36:44  

I, I think that's really good advice, Marshall. Um, even as somebody you can't do the like dramatic voice shifts. I try to do little things for my characters, because likewise, I find it helps me get to get into character. So I'll try to do things like, lower my voice, raise my voice, shorten my sentences, rambles, stutter, speed up how I talk slow down just little things to try to give a slightly different feel or pick certain a certain words, or like a vocabulary that helped me get into that right? mindset. A note something too dramatic, but it's helped me out a little bit. I will say also on this topic, if you ever play a Star Wars game, and you're playing again, you're going to need to say when you're talking because talking in the third person all the time, not not helpful, actually, for distinguishing you from your character. Not


Unknown Speaker  37:45  

Not at all. That's true. Uh huh. Yeah,


Kristine Chester  37:50  

yeah, it sounds really good with the vocal filters afterwards. But for the actual players, that's just been me. And they've understood now when I'm talking character, but early on, it was rough.


Ryan Boelter  38:00  

That's awesome.


Amelia Antrim  38:02  

I think though that having that separate voice to kind of add to that previous question of like, you know, having that tension and like knowing when you're in and out of game and like that kind of stuff to that if you're using a voice for your character, it's pretty easy to see when you are in character and like, kind of keep things moving that way to, like, it becomes very clear when you've stopped doing those things. And you can tell right away like, Oh, I'm off track.


Kristine Chester  38:26  

One of my favorite things to do with AI is if you're making plans, I do so in character, nothing will derail a game faster them in the plant and then when the players are making plans instead of the characters making a plan.


Unknown Speaker  38:40  

Hmm, yeah, that's a good idea.


Marshall Sims  38:43  

Breaking into meta talk really, really hurts.


Ryan Boelter  38:46  

There's definitely times when it's helpful to condense things down to meta talk, but my goodness, it definitely doesn't be like your characters are sitting around a table discussing what what the plan is going to be, you know?


Marshall Sims  39:04  

Yeah, yeah, if I'm honestly we had a bit of a an issue with that sounds like crows. In the last couple months, the last few sessions, we've had to try to figure out how we're going to attack this situation. And a lot of it comes down to Well, what? None of us want to die, but maybe we're all gonna die. So how do we not die, but also make it look really cool, but also not die? And then we just ramble on for 45 minutes and all of a sudden it's 2am and hate. Got the episode, right? Because I'm tired and I'm scared and confused. Can you sleep on it?


Amelia Antrim  39:50  

Yeah, I think there's a difficulty in that too. Because you, you do know that you're playing a game and so there's part of you and your head that's like okay, I really do have to plan and Like, like beat the game like I have to win against this, this system that we're playing against and sometimes it's not as fun to be like, Well, you know, my character would just rush into this situation even though I as a person know that that's like the worst possible idea.


Marshall Sims  40:20  

Worst absolute


Kristine Chester  40:22  

worst. Sometimes it works out though. Like I've had moments like that in the game where where I Christine like Yep, my character is gonna die we're all gonna die terrible idea but they have to try and then boom it's like okay the dice the dice Gods favored us and we came out on the other side and it was like, Okay, that was awesome. Why didn't we just do this in the first place instead of arguing about it for two hours about it. Christine,


Marshall Sims  40:47  

what does that feel like?


Kristine Chester  40:50  

Oh, what rolling


Amelia Antrim  40:51  



Marshall Sims  40:52  

having the gods the gods of dice like on your side?


Kristine Chester  40:55  

Yeah. The dice really do hate Marshall if you haven't listened to either of his shows. Listen to them they hate him a lot is why we made him play a cleric for for omens call that way he makes other people roll. Yeah. Is this just instead of the other way around?


Marshall Sims  41:11  

Yeah, let's just let me support you doing well by doing better. I'll give you all the dice to roll. I you know i'll


Marshall Sims  41:22  

i'll stick to concentration spells.


Kristine Chester  41:28  

But to answer your question, Marshall, it feels pretty good. Feels feels pretty good.


Unknown Speaker  41:33  

I don't know what I did my last life punishing me for it now,


Kristine Chester  41:37  

although I feel like like, you must like take some of the bad luck for omens because my dice have been on fire for thing. Like I don't feel like I roll that well on the other show.


Marshall Sims  41:49  

I dig it. It's fine. by me. I mean, it's if if my suffering brings, brings joy and success for at least like three or four other people around me that's probably a job well done, right? Yes.


Marshall Sims  42:04  

The team, I can I can do that I can do that.


Marshall Sims  42:09  



Ryan Boelter  42:10  

Well, one last point I wanted to make about character voices was that I noticed during my in person games that when I get into character, I've just been adjusting my posture and talking a little slower and more distinctly because I play a normal person in this like small village, so like, just just adding that little bit of different cadence and a little bit of different posture kind of changes my voice just enough to, to sound different instead of, you know, trying to do something completely different.


Amelia Antrim  42:54  

Yeah, we don't give enough credit to how much of a difference Caden's especially makes because I think we always think it has to be an accent or a different voice or something like that, but even just changing the rhythm of how you talk, it's huge.


Ryan Boelter  43:07  

Like if you if you normally don't enunciate your words, and you start in on saying even your words for your character that's like a completely different voice.


Kristine Chester  43:16  

Hmm. I think you're onto something there too, with in terms of like the posture, like there's a lot of things you can do on your side that affects your voice. Like I'm for playing arena on glass dagger. I have like loaded up with jewelry and stuff before because that's a trait of the character and it helps me get into like the right mindset. And I'll notice I'll do things like fidget with a ring or something. And I'll describe that in character because it's something that would happen and so sometimes, sometimes those props and things to can also help. Mm


Marshall Sims  43:47  

hmm. Good. I'm just remembering back to you all those special features and Lord of the Rings where Ian McKellen was talking about how he got newest voice for Ghana. Often, and it is a lot just like that. slow yourself down, start to enunciate the words that you speak, and all of a sudden you're a different person. And then that can be


Marshall Sims  44:12  

you say it's very helpful.


Unknown Speaker  44:15  



Ryan Boelter  44:17  

Um, another thing that's helpful for successful APS is the chemistry between the cast members. That seems to be a huge part of why a lot of big APS are successful, with players often helping each other to tell their character stories. What advice can you offer people on working together with other players during the game to tell everybody's story?


Marshall Sims  44:43  

I have been a big fan of just outside of the game, talking to other players, you know, a lot of the time you think, Oh, I gotta tell the DM about this cool idea I had for a magic item or some cool thing that I want to do next time but That completely separates yourself from everyone else in the party and they don't have an option to, to help you tell the story or to help you achieve your goals or, or even help modify it so that it benefits everyone at the table. So, you know, if, if I've been harassed, Christine can tell you, sometimes I'll just send paragraphs on paragraphs like, oh, there's this really cool idea I've got, we can talk about these sorts of things, if that's something you're interested in, hey, I think that from what I've heard about your character, this sounds like something that's important to them. I think we can meet here and, and either have a scene or we can, you know, work towards pushing that through is something we do in game. I don't know if it's healthy or not, but I do think about the table a lot when I'm not around it.


Kristine Chester  45:47  

I think that's a good thing. Marshall. Like you're one of the main people who is chiming in on that sort of thing and you're always looking for the opportunities to help other people out and telling their their stories. Like you and I were even talking recently about a like thing in bizarros thing that you were trying to get one thing for your character and then it came up like something like clicked with mine as well and it was like oh, okay, well we can do both This is perfect. Um I also very much encouraged that if you have any downtime for characters especially plan out scenes and things of that nature but even just in general have an idea of what sort of stories the players want to tell for their character and look for those look for those opportunities to take them or planet out big moments between characters like there are there are definitely things we haven't gotten to yet that like a Cameron and I talked about way back before we even recorded our test sessions Romans, that one day we will probably get to just the right moment hasn't happened yet. And so the out of game communication is so important for them, leading What you do in game,


Amelia Antrim  47:02  

I think to that players have a unique opportunity to help each other tell stories in ways that your GM always can't always. And it's, there's a feeling a lot of times that it's like I'm playing this game with the GM and you're playing a game with the GM and marshals playing the game with the GM, like, really, we are all playing together. And so it's not just on, you know, like these sort of one on one kind of options is that like to say, this is a story that I want to tell about my character. You know, here's how I think it works well with your character, can we, you know, and like, Can you help me make sure that it comes up in the game to have like, you know, hey, I remember you saying this, and then to help me like bring that information forward rather than me having to narrate those things.


Ryan Boelter  47:49  

Yeah, Christine had brought up a point about downtime in the games and role playing some of that out some of my favorite times, listening to actual plays. Is there downtime episodes, where it's just the characters being the characters and doing things that are not high stakes. I think we get caught up sometimes playing games where everything has to be high stakes, where if you're not fighting tooth and nail to a goal, you're not, you know, quote unquote, playing the game. Where if you slow things down and you have these real moments between characters where they're just them being them for the sake of


Unknown Speaker  48:35  



Ryan Boelter  48:36  

then you've got this this whole avenue of rich role playing that you don't get otherwise.


Amelia Antrim  48:45  

Yeah, I think there's there's something to be said for that role playing part of role playing games a little bit earlier, but I know a lot of times when you're listening to actual plays, you'll be 20 minutes to the episode and the GMO call for a roll and you're like, Oh, that's right. They're playing a game. Yeah. forgot about that. I always find those moments really funny when you're like, Oh, yeah, I forgot that. That's what I'm listening to, isn't it?


Marshall Sims  49:06  

Yeah. I mean, not to toot our own horn or anything, but I mean, how many times can you get through three episodes of an actual play? And there's one be one and a half rounds of combat. That might just be because Cameron built a crazy barbarian. But, but it's also we had just enough stuff to talk about and explore away from the dice entirely that.


Kristine Chester  49:40  

Yeah, and that's for a d&d game to which we think about that that's normally combat heavy. And


Marshall Sims  49:47  

yeah, it's part of why I'm not a fan of d&d is because it usually does skew pretty heavily toward combat, which is not my preferred kind of mechanics say, you find a thing. You kill the thing. You take all the It's stuff, rinse and repeat. Yep, until you die, and then it's over. But it's so shallow, you can do so much more with it. Just take some time.


Amelia Antrim  50:11  

We've talked a little bit about this in in talking about player chemistry, but to kind of hone in on it more I want to talk about like story beats and plot or like, as I would call it, the dirty concept of meta gaming, which everyone will know I do not think is a dirty concept. So what do you think players in actual play podcasts do differently there? As far as meta gaming?


Kristine Chester  50:34  

Well, we've already touched on the planning things out, like planning out scenes talking to one another outside of the the game, but I've had some home games that have done that sort of thing. It's normally with people I've already done an actual play with. Um, whereas a lot of home games, they're just ends up being a lot of silence in between the sessions until you're back into it. There's a lot more thought there. As well as sort of where your, where your character is, is going to go and that's that's a difficult thing is you want to have some ideas for for directions they can grow and develop like scenes you want to have but at the same time because it's a game and flexible, you need to you need to remain that way you need to be able to adapt to all right, like like if somewhere along the way for like have been had introduced some something where I reacted and encap did something where they would not have earned their first name, I would have adapted, we would have gone with that that would have been a new direction for that character. So what ended up happening but like you, you have to be that flexible,


Unknown Speaker  51:40  



Amelia Antrim  51:42  

Yeah, there are still dice involved. So things aren't won't always go the way that you want them to. But I think that having an idea of where you want to go makes a big difference. Yeah.


Marshall Sims  51:53  

I think I'm guilty of being a little bad about this. Honestly, I I kind of the character As I make, I sort of, sort of leave them pretty reactionary, usually they, I'm not too focused on where their input will be, or critical moments for them, I sort of see them developing, you know, maybe one or two sessions ahead of me, if I'm, if I'm lucky, sometimes it's, someone will say something, Oh, I should care about this. This is a thing that can be super important, and swell, you know, jump on the topic. But for the most part, I kind of just have these characters that, that live the world and react to what happens to


Amelia Antrim  52:41  

I mean, there's nothing wrong with that. I think that, you know, you still have kind of an idea of at least who they are as a person and like how they would react to situations. Which I think helps a lot. But I think your point earlier about talking to people like between sessions, I think helps a lot too, because I know that there are a lot of games that I've played, where we don't talk to each other at all. And then you come back four weeks later, or whatever. And it's like, Where were we? Where did we leave off? What was I doing? You know, and you have to kind of start the game over every single time.


Marshall Sims  53:15  

A lot of momentum that way.


Amelia Antrim  53:17  

Yeah, I think talking about things outside of game even if it's just to keep track of it.


Marshall Sims  53:22  

Yeah, supposed to sort of Prime's you for recognizing the opportunities when they arise, versus trying to manufacture them showing up.


Ryan Boelter  53:33  

Yeah, yeah, I've I've heard a lot of behind the scenes with like GMOs have certain natural actual plays and whatnot, where the the GMOs would say they would plan out the story kind of a bit with their players. And they would have talks, you know, every now and then check ins to say, you know, where should we take your character story next Because they they want to have a multiple arc, you know, story that makes sense for an actual listening format. Because they're thinking of podcasts, we're creating content for an audio medium that somebody's going to be listening to. So it has to kind of make sense. We don't want to go off the rails randomly and then lose the story completely. Because, you know, I've got stuff going on in the background. And you your characters aren't aware of this, but maybe I'll make you aware of this so that you can have the knowledge that this stuff is going on in the universe that will eventually affect your characters. So how can we get your characters there so we can we can have the biggest impact,


Amelia Antrim  54:43  

yet make sure that we're all moving in the same direction. I think I remember having conversations of like, we would finish the session and then being like, okay, we discovered these three things. Which one do we do we want to kind of move toward or Which thing do we think is most important? You know, kind of like talking a little bit about just like even those minor ways of like, Okay, this is where I think we're kind of heading. And then what does that mean? Right? Which I think that those are sometimes those after session talks, I think we don't have as much in non actual play games too. Is that like, you finish up and you're like, Okay, I'll see you next week. Thanks for the pizza, whatever. Yeah, I think there's a tendency to kind of like nitpick a little bit more when you're when you're recording it.


Ryan Boelter  55:27  

Yeah, I think having those debrief sessions at the end can be really helpful. I believe we do. Hey,


Marshall Sims  55:37  

y'all will be happy to know that. That's a pretty big staple of the whole recording process for everything I do with Caleb and the boys. The sons are crucial end and then it's like okay, a lot just happens. What are we doing? How's everybody feeling? Where do people want to go? Caleb's really great about like, I have provided you a situation, I legitimately don't have any, any concern for which way you guys go. I don't have an interest or a direction I'm looking for. I've already got whatever you do here doesn't affect my overall arc that I'm shooting for. So we know how we feel about it. And then we'll just spin up and talk for hours way too long.


Marshall Sims  56:32  

about all sorts of things. It's great.


Kristine Chester  56:36  

We do the same thing after after omens for a while, although that that's maybe not always productive, but it always it's always a good like, release of energy, because we're all like writing a high from a good recording in the aftermath. And a lot of the times we will discuss sort of what are we what's going to happen next or what are we missing? Just as a side note,


Marshall Sims  56:58  

Christine, I just like to officially apologize for what that does to your sleep schedule.


Marshall Sims  57:06  

You're two hours ahead of us and


Marshall Sims  57:10  

stopping the conversation is kind of difficult over here in Colorado


Kristine Chester  57:15  

Yeah, well, it's difficult over here too. Like I it will be like four or five in the morning on my end and fortunately I'm a second shifter so I have quite a bit of time before I have to go to work but it's not like I go to turn off my camera, my mic and I'm like, Okay, I'm ready for bed. Now I'm thinking about my character or character or there's an opportunity to opportunity to level up or something's going on and it's so hard to just like turn your brain off immediately after


Amelia Antrim  57:46  

that like wind downtime afterwards, like after game after recording, like well sometimes even record till like midnight or something like that, too. And we're not playing anything, but I'm still like, Okay, I have to like, come back. Yeah,


Ryan Boelter  57:58  

exactly. Are there any behind the scenes secrets? You think people should know that might help them have a better game? Or things that you think they should stop feeling bad about not being able to do in their home games?


Kristine Chester  58:17  

Ah, I know this came up back on your Episode Five, but I feel like it bears mentioning mentioning again. Actual plays are heavily edited. Yeah. we stumble over words. We stutter. We say, um, a lot. We get facts or rules wrong and so much more. So my advice is, don't worry if your game doesn't sound as polished as ours, because someone is working hard behind the scenes to make sure that it sounds that way.


Marshall Sims  58:48  

Yeah, yeah. The systems that we play these games around, like we said, there's a lot of math. There's, there's a lot of different rules that sometimes Override Rules and sometimes there's a base rule that negates any of the other ones just because it exists and there are synergies between different things and sometimes you just forget that a spell doesn't have concentration so you cast another spell and now you feel like you've made a mistake you're playing your character you know, without optimization and you're just a fool. None of that matters did die know so just enjoy your game and have some fun and remember it for next time. If you are the type to take notes, write them down I'm really really bad about it myself. But you know, I'm sure it would help somebody


Amelia Antrim  59:39  

usually the designated note taker and


Unknown Speaker  59:42  

everyone else


Kristine Chester  59:43  

every every group, every group needs a an Amelia or a Leslie, who takes notes for heroes, because I'll my little bullet points, but if I need more details, I go to the note taker. She has like a Google Doc she puts all this on Go there and look I'm like, Oh yeah, I completely forgot about those.


Amelia Antrim  1:00:04  

We had this whole scene and nobody remember but


Ryan Boelter  1:00:06  

it's fine yeah, I'm normally the the note taker for my groups and usually I'll just have a full detailed synopsis of what happened the last session but then my my friend and GM he, he he does the same thing. So I just stopped doing so like Okay, you got this. That's fine.


Amelia Antrim  1:00:33  

Yeah, see, for me, it's an attention thing because it makes sure that I'm paying attention to what happens because I'm writing it down. Like I can't lose focus on what everybody else is doing. But I know for some people like it takes them out of it.


Ryan Boelter  1:00:43  

Oh, I take my notes afterwards usually. Oh, yeah. Okay, because I I take mental notes throughout the throughout the game, and then I usually will type them on a


Marshall Sims  1:00:58  

short term, spring up write stuff down with


Ryan Boelter  1:01:01  

So, so my memory. To be fair, my memory is horrible. Except for when it comes to things like games I get.


Unknown Speaker  1:01:09  

I get that they don't matter. Yeah, exactly. Make sense.


Amelia Antrim  1:01:15  

I'll let you have that one. No, I think I think the the point about things being heavily edited is the one that I always go back to is that like, why does our game feel like it's stumbling or It feels like the pacing isn't right or like, we're not having the same witty banter that everybody else is having. And it's like, well, because they cut out all the crap that isn't that, you know, and just trying to like not hold yourself to that standard of like, why does my game not sound like this polished like tight thing? Cuz here's the secret. There's doesn't even


Ryan Boelter  1:01:46  

it's interesting because I've been editing horror Borealis lately. And for the most part, I don't see myself cutting too much in the middle. Unless there's like a big flub or anything like that. But there, it's a lot of pacing. It's like, okay, there's this 10 second gap, I'll shorten it to a couple seconds, or, you know, there's these other little gaps that all that will shorten down. And it's a matter of, you know, making things a little punch here. When it comes out in audio. When you're at the table, you know, you're going to have those times where you have to think, you know, character conversations back and forth. You have to kind of think of what the other characters going to say sometimes, unless, you know, the


Amelia Antrim  1:02:31  

dialogue isn't always that snappy.


Ryan Boelter  1:02:33  

Yeah, it's it's really interesting going from like, okay, there's somebody says something, then there's a two second gap, and then there's a response that would have happened immediately after. So let's, let's cut that response time, you know, down to half a second maybe.


Amelia Antrim  1:02:50  

Yeah. Yeah, it makes a huge difference. Yeah. And I just Yeah, I remember when I first started listening to actual plays, and then going back to my own home games being like, doesn't feel like that at all. And then when I started like doing an actual Yeah, this doesn't feel like that. Like it definitely is a little bit more focused because you're like, Oh, we can't get together for another, like two weeks or whatever. And we have to get this audio out. And we have to, you know, like, he definitely is more focused, but it's not as quick and snappy as I think


Marshall Sims  1:03:22  

that fact alone is probably why I'm such a fan of my own show, which coming from the metal community and the stigma of wearing you know, your own bands, t shirt, things like that. It feels it felt a little weird. I had to, I had to, I had to come to terms with that. But being able to hear how everything gets finally edited down and you can see the through line and see how all the pieces sort of fit together a lot better when we put all close together like that. It's been really fun and helpful.


Kristine Chester  1:03:58  

Yeah, at all. is a really good way to like sell your podcast and your own abilities like its way it's Caleb's editing is what convinced me to go to him and I, I listened to those first few episodes and I'm like, wow, this is really well put together. And as somebody who does editing myself it was I understood like what I had to take behind the scenes, and everybody was so good and it was like, Okay, I've got to be a part of a show with these guys.


Amelia Antrim  1:04:29  

Caleb is meticulous with his editing. And I'm like, dude, that's Wow, I mean yeah, good for you but


Marshall Sims  1:04:36  

he's got like a full head of hair and everything isn't ripped out yet.


Unknown Speaker  1:04:43  

You understand?


Kristine Chester  1:04:49  

I think one more show when he starts up his third actual play. That'll be that'll No, listen.


Marshall Sims  1:04:56  

Scott Reaper played around with it. I'm gonna try to be like part You You run one more game, just one more game, and just show me the way I will be your pattern one. And then and then I'll edit it. And so we'll keep saying but


Amelia Antrim  1:05:13  

I can't see him ever like


Unknown Speaker  1:05:17  

well he


Marshall Sims  1:05:18  

doesn't edit Oh, here's an Cooper and elements are both done by Alex


Amelia Antrim  1:05:23  

I mean I was I knew Alex did Harrison and Cooper but I didn't know that yeah he does


Kristine Chester  1:05:28  

kill but least has enough sense understand that while he can gamemaster to two podcasts he doesn't have the time to edit to know that's good. But Alex says you can you definitely hear in the show is very much Caleb's cables Palawan to borrow marshals were there because he there's a very similar style to it. Um, and I think Alex is going to be just as good at once he has a season under his belt. Yeah,


Amelia Antrim  1:05:55  

yeah, I don't I don't think anybody should edit to actual play podcast. I don't


Kristine Chester  1:05:59  

know. No. Also, I don't recommend doing a weekly show. Trust me as somebody who's done it for three years. I weekly.


Amelia Antrim  1:06:09  

Right. So here's the thing I always I always say about this show is supposed to be monthly. Yeah. And it is weekly, and we were fools. And then on top of that, I was like, I'll do another bi weekly show. And these were all just discussion shows. And I still am like, I'm editing four episodes a month because Ryan and I split that today. And I'm still like, this was stupid. What was I thinking? I can't No, don't do this. Don't do it.


Ryan Boelter  1:06:34  

Just don't I always thought about taking this biweekly. But then like we would miss out on so many games.


Marshall Sims  1:06:40  

If we could just develop. Yeah, time travel, specifically for the purpose of helping all the editors across the world.


Marshall Sims  1:06:50  

I think we'd be set.


Ryan Boelter  1:06:51  

Yeah. In the


Unknown Speaker  1:06:55  

even in that limited capacity.


Kristine Chester  1:06:57  

You mean I can edit a show and I can get a reasonable amount of sleep.


Marshall Sims  1:07:02  

Yeah, we're gonna put a giant server


Kristine Chester  1:07:04  

sound like a miracle. Yeah, I don't think you can have those two things and have a day job and have a partner or kids or life free


Amelia Antrim  1:07:13  

time or life or happiness or podcasting is a trap.


Marshall Sims  1:07:19  

I figured it out, right? We develop a hyperbolic time chamber, we put a massive editing rig inside of it. And then everyone just, you know, they go in, and it's probably only like 30 seconds that they spend in there, right? Because, you know, it's usually like a year. So 30 seconds in, you get your work done. You hop back out


Amelia Antrim  1:07:38  

and it's your day off still aging, you're still aging while you're in there. Like you're still like,


Marshall Sims  1:07:44  

yeah, you gotta take a nap. So you know, take another minute and you get like a week vacation.


Ryan Boelter  1:07:48  

I'm sure we can figure out a mortality, but then


Marshall Sims  1:07:51  

you're still gonna come out on the rise here that's on the rise generation Z's, the last ones that are going to deal with mortality.


Marshall Sims  1:08:03  

First immortality, then post scarcity, then the galaxy,


Unknown Speaker  1:08:09  

then podcasting. Oh, right for


Ryan Boelter  1:08:11  

only $1 a day you can help a poor editor somewhere nearby.


Marshall Sims  1:08:17  

Oh, no. Oh,


Amelia Antrim  1:08:20  



Unknown Speaker  1:08:23  

See the tangents?


Amelia Antrim  1:08:24  

Yes, I know they ruin everything. Do you think that there are things that people should be doing outside of their time at the table that would help their experience later. We've talked a little bit about like communicating between sessions and things like that, but I think are there like habits that you recommend people develop or specific things they should be doing? while they're away from the table, and then similarly, things you think they should do at the table


Kristine Chester  1:08:48  

for away from the table, a couple couple of things. One is if you are doing a character voice, practice it away from the table, you know, practice it in the car while you're driving to work your practice it in the shower, practice it on your own talk to your dog with it, like, try to try to help develop it, it'll make it stronger


Marshall Sims  1:09:10  

dogs children's birds all that's


Kristine Chester  1:09:17  

a little pet peeve of mine level up character in between sessions spend your XP you know roll your hit die whatever you need to do. Get your get your stuff in order know what you can do mechanically is going to help out whatever game you're in that way you're not stopping play to have to look up the rules or how things function.


Marshall Sims  1:09:39  

There certainly isn't anyone on crows who might be guilty of something like that.


Unknown Speaker  1:09:45  

Uh huh. You know,


Marshall Sims  1:09:50  

usually, listen, usually they're they're pretty lucky about just how everything works out, but, you know,


Amelia Antrim  1:09:57  

why does that not surprise me


Marshall Sims  1:10:01  

Well, you know, there's gotta be one in every party. For better or worse. It is super helpful though Christine is absolutely right. If if you get a level up, if you get a new item that has, you know, a lot of different moving parts to it, being able to figure out okay, what does that do? How could I use it? How do I want to use it? You know, how can I make this game better? incorporating all of these these new pieces that I've got is super important. Beyond that, I did kind of make my shot before you know, always talk with the other players at the table. Even if you're not a table, you know, that maybe you're not close friends this each other on a daily basis or co workers or at work or something like that. But even just being able to check in, you know, once or twice a week, depending on your schedules for planning. Games, say Oh, hey, it was there anything going on with your character that we haven't touched on yet? Is orders of magnitude more helpful than just winging it every single time? Absolutely.


Kristine Chester  1:11:16  

So, uh, for at the table, um, I have one piece of advice that is, admittedly very difficult to do and, but it's something to strive towards, which is to avoid talking over one another. happens a lot. I myself am very guilty of doing this. And it's something I'm always trying to get better about. Because it's so easy to like, like, you have something you want to say something you want to chime in on, but you need to let everybody have their moment in the spotlight. Even if you've got an idea yourself of like how you would do the scene or whatever. Yeah, listening to your previous episode on


Marshall Sims  1:12:01  

Bringing AP to your home games, things like that, I realized, I'm actually pretty bad about the opposite. I want to give people their opportunity to say their piece and to have their moments. But it does sometimes come at a detriment to being able to push, you know, my own stories or ideas for it. So sometimes you just got to find those ways, I think I'm gonna be taking some of those pieces of advice, you know, raising your hand, maybe leaving notes after the session to say, Hey, this is something that we should probably touch on just so I can, I can make sure this is established. Because otherwise, y'all are going to see me make choices that come out of left field. Because, you know, I never got a chance to really get it in there.


Amelia Antrim  1:12:49  

Yeah, finding that balance is really difficult, especially with a newer group. I think over time, you kind of figure it out and fit where Pete you know, kind of like you know, when to start turning to those people and saying, Okay, what do you Thank, because there are people that aren't as willing to jump in all the time because they want to kind of wait and see where things go. I think every group has that person that's like the classic like last to pick what they're going to do. And, you know, it's it's important to, to kind of know when to turn to those people and say, Well, what do you think? But on the other hand, there are people too, that are always like, okay, here's what I want to do. And you're like, Well, okay, you breathe for a minute. Let's let somebody else talk.


Ryan Boelter  1:13:26  

So, uh, yeah, one of the things I was thinking of is taking Mike etiquette, right? When you're recording a group, and bringing that sort of thing to the table as well. When you were talking about not talking over other people, trying to wait your turn to talk and giving visual cues that, that you do have something that you want to say. And if people around the table as well are kind of looking out for those cues. Then they they know when to pass that spotlight. effectively.


Amelia Antrim  1:14:01  

Yeah. Ryan, do you want to explain Mike etiquette for people who don't have to be in front of a mic? Oh, absolutely. Yes.


Ryan Boelter  1:14:07  



Amelia Antrim  1:14:10  

we're not doing this for people who bet in front of a microphone a lot,


Ryan Boelter  1:14:13  

right? I mean, this is kind of like that, where were you, when you're talking as a group you're trying to talk, one at a time when you're trying to record for something because you don't want to be talking over each other on the audio tracks. Some of that can get split out, but then you have that disparity of conversation and things get lost in translation a little bit. So having one person speaking at a time is is really helpful when you're making a podcast, but also helpful for people to pay attention to, at the table. And then giving cues of like, you know, I'm going to say something so so maybe, maybe my posture changes little or, or I go to open my mouth or take a breath that normally signifies that I'm going to be Sejuani to say something. So when the person that's making a point finishes up their point, then that gives a little bit of a space for for the other person to interject with what they were going to say.


Amelia Antrim  1:15:17  

Yeah, and importantly to like paying attention to when people around you are doing those things, like you can tell when people, you know, kind of lean forward or something like that. They're going to say something and I know, depending on who you are, sometimes those cues are harder to read. I'm not always great about that. Because I get a little bit of like, tunnel vision and I'm also just generally not great social cues


Unknown Speaker  1:15:38  

all Yeah.


Amelia Antrim  1:15:40  

But like, you know, kind of starting to pay attention to some of those, like, is this person leaning forward? Did they open their mouth? Like they're gonna say something? Yeah, stuff like that. I mean, also good. Mike. etiquette is like, don't eat while you're on mic. But I think at a home game, that's probably okay.


Ryan Boelter  1:15:52  

Yeah. What, while you're playing, one of the interesting things I just thought of is if you're doing your character voices By changing your posture, just looking for that visual cue of that person changing their posture, they want to talk in character. And then you can give them that space to do so.


Amelia Antrim  1:16:13  

visual cues also only work if you're playing with people a on video be in person. That's true. So if you only play over voice, not super helpful,


Kristine Chester  1:16:22  

but which I do recommend. That's something where I have a couple of shows that don't have that visual element. And I find we talk over one another a lot more and we stumble a lot more where I would ideally like to use zoom for like every online game now just for the visual cues, even if you're not recording video. Yeah,


Amelia Antrim  1:16:45  

yeah, I found a huge difference in my games, whether we play over voice or we use video, because almost all of mine are online games. But there's a huge difference in how much we talk over each other and like how the flow of conversation happens whether we can see each other or not. It makes a big difference.


Marshall Sims  1:17:05  

Yeah, absolutely I can I can picture. A couple of instances, I hope that you can't tell when you listen back to the episodes. But there have been a few times where one of our players, Isaac, plays Abel. He is not here, he doesn't get to play the table with us. And he actually does a lot of traveling for his job. And so there have been a lot of hotel sessions, where hotel internet is pretty terrible. So you know, we'll think up and sometimes, you know, the collapse come together, and they're perfect. And we're second to second, right in line with everyone. Sometimes, there's a giant pause where we're pretty sure he wants to say something in this moment, but it hasn't caught up to him yet to be able to respond. And that that can be an issue and the unfortunate part is, there's not a whole lot you can do about internet. So, you know, especially when you're not the one paying for it, or you know, the one, you got it installed or whatever. And, and so yeah, a lot of the tactics and techniques we've been talking about being able to make those pauses and pay attention and ask for those characters that they've got something in the moment they want to add, can really make a lot of difference.


Marshall Sims  1:18:22  



Ryan Boelter  1:18:23  

So are there any concepts that you have personally brought from playing on mic to an actual home game?


Marshall Sims  1:18:31  

I think, for me, it's it's always been a focus on the worlds that we're playing in a lot of the time now, we've said it a few times now that people kind of just want to roll dice and hit things. But being able to sort of elevate those moments with you know, nice flowery descriptions of how your your sword slashes swiftly and cleanly through, you know, someone's armor, or, you know, the sound of birds chirping, to sort of help bring everybody into the environment that they're in has always been something that I really enjoyed. And I was lucky enough to find it, that was a lot of Caleb's style. And so just being able to, to connect to the setting and to the world, pay attention to, you know, some of the the NPCs and what they say. It's not just the GM saying stuff at you to be difficult sometimes there's, there's something there that your character can explore and you can find a lot of joy.


Kristine Chester  1:19:45  

I actually bring a lot of the behind the scenes advice. We've been talking about this entire episode back to my home games. Like I try to set up scenes think about characters in between, talk to people find out where they're where they kind of want to With their characters, and for some groups, nothing comes of that and that's okay you know not everybody's going to have that same or think about the the game and their characters in that same way. But sometimes it does work and it helps them to get into the same mindset. And let us know lets us set up some really amazing things like for what am i home games we d&d game, we started instituting what we call the campfire scenes that are really just basically the characters talking to one another. Just whenever we were stopping to camp it was an opportunity inside of a Oh yeah, you take your long rest we you wake up and you move on. It was okay. Does anybody have a scene and I love getting to do that for the for the home games as well. I find that just you get to, like sink your teeth so much deeper into like each of the characters and their stories. Um, otherwise I do try to do that. voices and games both on the mic and off. Even though it's not my greatest skill, I still like that it provides that like distinctive feel for the characters. Yeah,


Amelia Antrim  1:21:13  

I think a lot of this advice to definitely depends on what you find fun in a game we talked, you know about, like, some people latch on to those concepts, and some people don't. And I think a lot of this goes back to our eight kinds of fun. A lot of this won't appeal to people who are really there to just like play as a way to hang out with their friends. You know, there are people who don't, you know, like narrative isn't like their goal here, or they really do just like combat and rolling the dice. And that's totally okay, too. I think a lot of this advice kind of pertains to people who really enjoy this sort of like theatrical narrative kind of play. But I think there are people too, who sometimes are just like, no, I really do just want to like hang out with my friends and I don't care if we go off on tangents and that doesn't bother me and You know, I really do just want to roll the dice and have combat after combat after combat and don't want to have those downtime moments. And that's totally fine. If like, none of this sounds like any fun to you. Like, I don't know, live it up. Yes.


Marshall Sims  1:22:13  

Yeah, exactly. I was thinking you do you, boo, boo. It's, it's all good.


Ryan Boelter  1:22:18  

I mean, I think that's the standard point is, is, as long as everybody's having fun around the table you're doing, you're doing things right. You know,


Amelia Antrim  1:22:26  

your mileage may vary. Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  1:22:28  

And the whole point of these is just to say, you know, if story is your jam, if taking some of the AP stuff is your jam, and bringing that to your home games, then there's a lot of stuff that can be done to increase your your fun potential, I guess you could say, at the table.


Amelia Antrim  1:22:48  

Yeah, definitely didn't mean to like undermine everything that we said. But as with every episode, I don't do it if you want. Don't if you don't, I guess yeah. Why are you listening?


Marshall Sims  1:22:58  

This is for education. And entertainment at best if you care about the education part. Excellent. take lessons you can, if you only care about, you know, some heads talking to each other. Excellent. Enjoy the conversation and maybe none of this matters to


Amelia Antrim  1:23:12  

you. I mean, honestly, either way, you're welcome.


Kristine Chester  1:23:18  

Advice. advice is, you know, it's gonna work for some groups, it's not going to for others, and it's it's kind of that the shotgun effect, whatever, whatever is going to, you know, take whatever works for your game, don't worry about the rest.


Amelia Antrim  1:23:31  

Right, right. Well, and I mean, and this is, you know, certainly advice specific to your AP experience do and, you know, that's not the same for everybody, either. I know there are some APS to that are largely unedited. Yeah. And so you know, that advice about like, it should sound clean and all that kind of stuff, like, maybe not.


Marshall Sims  1:23:50  

Sometimes on those live streams, you're going to get everything that they did, and some places they're better about keeping it at least focused to the task at hand. Well, sometimes they'll just go on tangents. And really, you're there for the personality of the players.


Amelia Antrim  1:24:06  

Definitely. Is there any other last advice that either of you want to add you feel like we didn't cover? Or anything you want to reiterate? I guess, too, you're more than welcome to use that time.


Marshall Sims  1:24:17  

Well, if you didn't have a session zero, with your at the start of your campaigns, then I would recommend that you at least have one or two sessions where maybe you don't play dice. Maybe don't bring them to the table at all, and maybe have that, that discussion. Like, hey, you know, we're all players at this table. We're all looking for something. Are we here to just hang out play games and maybe chat about some stuff and occasionally, roll some dice and say something cool happened or something unfortunate happened or are we here to tell a story are you looking for, you know, intrigued? Are you looking for exploration or What what are we here for and get an idea of what everyone's looking for and whether that's going to be a campaign you can continue with or if it needs some slight modification, or if you guys found the right place and you're ready to just spawn, steamrolling through.


Kristine Chester  1:25:16  

That's also so that's really good advice. I'm a big fan of sessions zeros. So much so that if you have a long campaign going on, don't be afraid to do a another session zero partway through. Like what? Yeah, I think there's nothing wrong with like a session 12.5 if that's what works for you. We just recently did this on heroes season two, actually, because we hit a point where we realized like, hey, like the obligations for the characters and a lot of what was going on. It's changed or some things we just never really touched on. So okay, then we only have this many sessions left. What does matter? What's important to these characters? What do you want to see in these final arcs. And that's just I feel like that's good advice to you know, wherever you are, you're starting a new tier in d&d and no new plot line character just died and the new ones coming in whatever it's it's good to have that like those group conversations.


Ryan Boelter  1:26:15  

Absolutely. And if you want a good guide on session zeros we have one sessions hero Character Creation Cast, aka. Well, thank you both so much for sitting down with us. This was a lot of fun and we really appreciate it. Marshall, can you go ahead and remind everyone where they can find you and your projects?


Marshall Sims  1:26:35  

Yeah, absolutely. I you can find me on sounds like crows and we just started releasing episodes of omens called those will come out every other week as opposed to sounds like pros weekly release schedule. Those are both on twitter at sounds like crows or sounds of crows I should say sorry. And omens call and then you can find me on the inner with Mr. malicious one,


Amelia Antrim  1:27:02  

and Christine Can you tell people where they can find you and what you are up


Kristine Chester  1:27:04  

to? Yes, so I can be found on Twitter at 12 night that's when to teach and night with AK. Alongside mercial I can be found over at omens call which is at omens call pod on Twitter or omens, cold calm if you want to get straight to the episodes. Mother DND show the glass dagger can be found at the glass dagger on Twitter, or over at complete also night with a K. And last but certainly not least, heroes with the Heidi and way can be found at a Heidi anway on Twitter or, or the Heidi and where you can listen to three years backlog worth of episodes.


Amelia Antrim  1:27:46  

If you're looking for something to start just like really binge like yeah, this is a good one. Well, thank you both so much for joining us. And thank you to everyone for listening.


Unknown Speaker  1:27:54  

Thank you for having us.


Amelia Antrim  1:28:03  

Character evolution cast like Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network, and can be found online at www dot 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. I'm one of your hosts Amelia antrum. 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 antrum. Further information for today's guests 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. We'll see you next time.


Amelia Antrim  1:29:10  

Now we gotta read some show blurbs. Show blurbs


Unknown Speaker  1:29:13  

show love show by


Unknown Speaker  1:29:15  

shell NURBS


Ryan Boelter  1:29:18  

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


Amelia Antrim  1:29:29  

modifier is an interview show hosted by Megan Darren Brock, all about why and how people change games. From hobbyist to the professional from house rules to publication. We all have in mind a better way to play what's yours


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