Character Creation Cast

Character Evolution Cast E19: How Plot Plot?

Episode Summary

In a bonus Evolution Cast episode (because March has an extra Monday) we tackle how to plot out your characters story using goals and motivations.

Episode Notes

In a bonus Evolution Cast episode (because March has an extra Monday) we tackle how to plot out your characters story using goals and motivations. 


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Episode Transcription

Transcripts Automatically Generated - Not 100% Accurate

Amelia Antrim  0:00  

Welcome to character evolution cast number 19. Everyone this month has five Mondays so you get a bonus evolution cast episode about plot,


Ryan Boelter  0:10  

plot plot, plot plot, that'll make a lot more sense. But First up, we have some announcements as usual. Um, first is the descent into midnight Kickstarter update as of the release of this episode. There are 13 days left to get your hands on this phenomenal game.


Unknown Speaker  0:32  

Do it Yeah, the grubby little hands endorphins on this game. I know. If you haven't done it yet, why haven't you done yelling do I have to do to get you to do it


Ryan Boelter  0:44  

so much more yelling?


Amelia Antrim  0:45  

I mean, I will yell do not. Do not make me yell. Do not make it come down


Unknown Speaker  0:49  



Unknown Speaker  0:51  

Don't put your voice on it.


Unknown Speaker  0:53  

Don't make me turn this


Unknown Speaker  0:54  

car around. There it is.


Ryan Boelter  0:59  

Well as This time right now as we are recording this they are two stretch goals and I'm getting close to their third stretch goal. And every 5000 past the initial funding point, they'll be locking another session in for these Treme punks to play descent into Midnight in a full campaign, which is super exciting. We've talked about this a lot, and they are not paying us a single set to gush about how amazing this game is. Why not? Which I know right? But we did we just love it that much. Yeah, we don't sell out so


Amelia Antrim  1:42  

so I'll just tell you I mean honestly, I feel like every episode we're like, oh my god, we love this game. Like not just about to send it to midnight, but about all of the games that we cover too, except for a limited Wow. Yeah, you can say that but there are also a few other key starters to check out including princess world which we did a spotlight episode on recently, and the creators of characters in which we'll be doing a spotlight episode on soon. Also picea nails possio nice edlp by our former guest Brandon lang gambetta is kickstarting now it is killing their stretch goals.


Ryan Boelter  2:22  

Just destroying the stretch goal


Unknown Speaker  2:24  

absolutely murdering a man.


Ryan Boelter  2:26  

Like like so fast. Brandon can't even keep up posting new stretch.


Amelia Antrim  2:31  

No, no but we did was the one that we came up with the other day like I posted about it. No one can hack five you can only make possio possio Nice. So now your dorms are in love with someone and you're with an evil twin. And James tomato was like I would watch this telenovela. I said if it gets $5 million, maybe we can talk Brandon


Ryan Boelter  2:54  

Novello for us. You know what? That that might be a lofty goal but it's possible.


Amelia Antrim  3:00  

Absolutely. So take a look at some of these awesome games if you're looking for cool things to play.


Ryan Boelter  3:04  

Absolutely. And speaking of cool things and things that are remarkable, it's review time


Unknown Speaker  3:10  

to time.


Ryan Boelter  3:12  

And unfortunately, we are all out of reviews after this last one. But you dear listener, can help us out with that situation. If you head on over to Apple podcasts, or iTunes, or if you're on an iOS device of some sort, or you want to go to one of these other websites that allow you to actually review things like podcasts on the website itself. You can leave us a rating and review and then we will read that out on the air. Every review helps us out a lot and brings the show to more listeners. Like this review from Carpathian from the United States of America on Apple podcasts titled comfortable stretching. This lovely show always has surprises for me, whether it's talking about five hours which we will be covering and very soon or something brand new. The hosts and guests seem to stretch their comfort zones without cracking anything, but smiles. Ah.


Unknown Speaker  4:13  

Very nice. Thank you so much for that review. Thank you. With all that out of the way. Let's get to the episode. Yeah. Enjoy


Amelia Antrim  4:58  

Welcome to character evolution Cast, the 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 hi are sitting down to discuss how to plot out your characters plot, how to plot plot,


Unknown Speaker  5:13  

plot how plot plot.


Amelia Antrim  5:20  

Today we are going to talk about how to kind of plot out the path that you want your characters to take.


Ryan Boelter  5:25  

Yeah, that's probably a more concise way of saying that. Yeah.


Unknown Speaker  5:30  

plot, plot plot.


Amelia Antrim  5:37  

Everyone. This is another episode where it's just Ryan and I. You're welcome.


Ryan Boelter  5:43  

Enjoy the witty banter. Yeah. All right. So whether it's for a campaign or a one shot, your character has a story that it wants to tell. And sometimes it's a bit more difficult than others to figure out what sort of plot points your character can about exploring. I think most of the advice that we're going to have this episode is more conducive to campaign play. But there are a lot of good points that you can pull out of quickly if you're creating a character for a one shot, especially if it's part of the whole one shot process. So, to get into a plot point is a significant part of the narrative that will be told throughout play. Basically, think of them as the story beats that you'd be playing through to help tell your character's life story.


Amelia Antrim  6:36  

And this episode, we're going to go over some of our thoughts on how you can go about creating some really interesting plot points for your characters. So you don't feel like a side character in the main cast of the game. Whether it's your session zero or partway through the campaign, I think it's never too late to work with your GM or the other players or even just on your own. Sometimes To add some interesting story ideas that make you love your character, and you know you'd love to see your character experience as part of the game. Absolutely.


Ryan Boelter  7:11  

So let's go ahead and just dive right in. first


Amelia Antrim  7:16  

segment we're calling,


Ryan Boelter  7:18  

calling. Wow plot plot.


Unknown Speaker  7:23  

Plot plot plot. Do you think we can get Marie Claire?


Unknown Speaker  7:28  



Ryan Boelter  7:31  

Oh my god. So first, depending on the system that you created your character for, you might actually have a lot of future plot baked right into your character during the creation process. And all a lot of power by the apocalypse games have this in spades. Where main draw of the playbook is this is kind of the story that you want to tell.


Amelia Antrim  7:56  

Yeah, we look the way the advances work. It's like a path built for your character. Yeah, absolutely. I'm thinking of like the doomed and mask. Really, that's, you know, that one is pretty well built out for


Ryan Boelter  8:07  

Yeah. Masks is such a good example of character playbooks that drive the plot forward. And literally just playing to, to the moves and most pvta games is going to drive the plot forward and, and have all those motivations and stuff built in. So if that's the case, it may just be a matter of putting those pieces together and figuring out which plot points you want to tackle first for your character.


Amelia Antrim  8:37  

Yeah, so basically, if you're playing mass, so you can stop this episode, right? Just kidding, you should still listen to it because maybe someday you'll play a different game. Uh huh. For everyone else that's not playing. We're going to dive a little deeper and really uncover the good plot points that will define your character story. So the best way of doing this is trying to figure out what your characters true desires and motivations are, what does your character really want? And why do they want that? And those sorts of things can help define who your character is as a person where they're going. But also what sorts of things can get it in the way of achieving those goals that will tell you what kind of story you're really looking toward.


Ryan Boelter  9:24  

Yeah, absolutely. So since the characters we are going to be playing are the main characters in a story that we're building together as a group, we can easily look at advice for writers into how to tackle these questions. And you could actually listen to our second character evolution cast episode with john adams, where we covered a lot of that in a more general sense, and definitely, also was a very fantastic episode if you haven't heard it yet. Hmm. So first, we talked about desires and motivations. Let's talk A little bit more about desires right away. So what does your character want? And depending on the type of game you're playing, this could be pretty much anything, right?


Amelia Antrim  10:13  

Some games will definitely have it baked in that, you know, like, when we when we asked that question of like, what, what are you doing as characters in this game? That's sort of what we're getting towards, or sometimes, you know, like, bigger plot points that you're like, this is the thing that you're going toward.


Ryan Boelter  10:28  

Yeah. So so for some examples, maybe like in a fantasy game, they want to go on grand adventures. Or maybe they want to settle down and safety and comfort if though if the world's a particularly dangerous place, you know, I know if I lived in the world of d&d, I would be terrified out of my gourd every single day that a monster was going to fly into town and destroy


Amelia Antrim  10:52  

Why are these people not more worried? They're all just like, Uh huh. Oh, well, let's go out and get the monster like No, stay inside.


Ryan Boelter  11:01  

Dangerous out there. Why are not the walls made of metal?


Amelia Antrim  11:06  

I know I like honestly, why do these people not live in Grand fortress? anyway? end? I have


Ryan Boelter  11:13  

it's pretty much a lot of fantasy genre in general with monsters roaming the world that you kind of have to think about. Why are not so why are civilizations not more fortified? When a dragon could come? Eat your entire family at any given notice? Honestly, but that's a side point.


Unknown Speaker  11:35  

That's that's for a different episode. We're gonna call that episode why fantasy fantasy.


Ryan Boelter  11:44  

How plot plot


Unknown Speaker  11:45  



Ryan Boelter  11:46  

So another example like in a cyberpunk setting, maybe they want to steal money from those that are in power and or become the greatest hacker in the world or something like that. So there's a lot of different types of desires that a character could have.


Amelia Antrim  12:06  

And I think too, it's it's important to kind of look at desires as as a personal thing too sometimes. Because I think you want to be careful about delineating your desire from your goal. Yes. Right. Which I don't know. That's Is that something that you have in here? Not exactly. Okay. I think your your desire is a lot more personal. Your goal is kind of like what your group and game is, right? Yeah. So we talked about like stealing the money. That can be both your goal and your desire. I think your desire would be more based around like, why do you want that money? Is it because you want to specifically take it from this person? Is it because you need it for something I think that is more of a desire than just like stealing the money is the goal of this campaign. That's the thing that we're trying to do. Right, and so delineating a little bit between desire and goal is also kind of important. And they can be the same thing. But generally they're for different reasons. Your your group will have a goal, right, your group will say, this is the end game, this is the thing that we're trying to get toward. But the reason that everyone is participating in that game is different. And that difference is your desire.


Ryan Boelter  13:24  

Yeah, absolutely.


Amelia Antrim  13:26  

your desires are definitely something Every character has. And it's, it's the thing that you want out of life. So even if it's something really small, you're still we as people have those and figuring out what those desires are. It makes us get into the heads of our characters, it helps them feel like people. So this is really extra important if it's a character that you don't feel the most connected with. We've all been in that place where we've built characters that we just are like, okay, they're cool and I need to play this game, but I'm just not like Like there yet? Yeah, I know I'm one of those people that I have a hard time connecting with my characters. It's why I prefer campaign play over one chat because it takes me a little while to just like really get into their skin. But having a desire is a good way to do that. If you're having trouble with that, one of the things that you can do is imagine a normal day in your character's life. You start with the small, everyday desires and kind of work your way up to something bigger. Because I think finding the big thing of like, what is my overall life goal? What's my motivation can be really difficult. I think even I think about me as an adult. That I'm like, What am I doing? Yeah, was that I want I you know, like, I don't know what my grand life and goal is like, what do I want the world to look like when I'm laying on my deathbed, but I can tell you that about an hour from now I'm gonna want a sandwich. Yeah. So that's okay. It can be something really small. You know, are they they have Is there something that they currently need to be happy? Is there something that they would like to have have, again, it can be something as small as just wanting a sandwich, maybe they want to be more excited with life. Maybe they want to do something important in the world, each of those is kind of a step up to that grand goal, like big desire that you want out of life and it's okay to not know that. Absolutely.


Ryan Boelter  15:19  

And regardless of what you want to figure out for your characters, desires, that kind of leads right into the whole motivation thing, right? Because if you figure out those small desires, those generally lead to motivations for this month about desires which generally leads to bigger desires and bigger motivations. Right, your your desire is definitely going to be a what's in your motivations going to be? Absolutely So basically, yeah, motivations. It's the why the why questions Why do you desire this? You know, why does your character want a sandwich, you know, in the middle of the day Maybe sandwiches are kind of scarce, maybe maybe sandwiches or something that they can't get, you know, like a good sandwich on a day to day basis because maybe the ingredients are a little too expensive in the world that you have. And maybe they're a little too expensive because, well, you've got an oppressive city state that is keeping the population kind of down on their luck for their own gain.


Amelia Antrim  16:28  

And you're in an oppressive city state and gentrification has made it so there's only autism. Oh my I know exactly.


Unknown Speaker  16:35  

That's a call back


Unknown Speaker  16:39  

goes into our spire episodes everyone you can hear about our little man


Ryan Boelter  16:44  

and goodness, and then that can just snowball into more and more. motivations for more and more desires. Have wanting a good sandwich can easily lead to an I know Aaron catana says said this very well in our character creation character evolution cast episode. Um, these things can just snowball into really interesting world details. Everything from a very small little thing can blow up to a world changing discovery that can definitely push your desires in a certain direction and your motivations.


Amelia Antrim  17:27  

Yeah, I mean, we talked about little things like, okay, you know, like your character, what kind of boots are they wearing? Well, why does that matter to them? Are they new? Are they old that you know like, what is the deal with your sword? Where did you get that sword? What does it tell us about you? Well, it tells us you know how to use a sword. Where did you learn that? Yeah, all of those kinds of things can all snowball and I think, really, this is sort of the thesis of these episodes in general is that like every little decision that you make about your character matters. And we don't say that to like, put pressure on you like every decision soon. Important. But to say that like, these little things that we kind of take for granted when we built characters can have a lot of meaning and can help you tell a really good story. And so when we talk about those motivations, like why are you doing those things? It matters and can really help you tell the story that you want to tell and can really drive. why you're doing it. Yes. We talked a little bit You and I, as we were typing up this outline. Hey, it's Amelia is L five arcore. And one thing that I really love about the fifth edition of this game, which we're going to try and cover at some point, is that part of the character creation mechanic is to have a thing called your ninja and your Giri which are your duty and your desire. So one of them is like, what is my job? What is the thing that I have been told to do by my Lord? And what is the thing that I really want out of life and the game tells you that ideally, those things They're supposed to be in conflict. Yeah. So I think that's a cool way to think about your desires and motivations to is to say like, what is my character supposed to be doing? What is their job? But also like, what do they want out of life. And if you can make those things be in conflict, it's going to help you tell a really great story of like working against, you know, some kind of something to really like better yourself.


Ryan Boelter  19:21  

Yeah, going against the grain. Definitely as a great way to introduce a lot of interesting plot points. Yeah, absolutely. I can go can create


Amelia Antrim  19:31  

a lot of plot hooks for your GM.


Ryan Boelter  19:33  

Yeah. And, and that's kind of a good point. This is this is kind of all work that you're doing for your character to feed to your GM. So you and the people around, you can experience that story as it unfolds all together. And not only that, sharing that with the other players at the table, will allow you to work together to kind of fulfill your character. There's desires as you help to fill fulfill their characters desires. So, pushing the story in the right direction is is exactly what we're talking about here.


Amelia Antrim  20:10  

Absolutely. And your motivations don't have to be locked in and character creation, this is not something that you have to come in with your sheet full of, you know, your bullet points. For a long term campaign, those desires can change, the motivation can change, sometimes based on things that happen in the campaign, certain plot points that your character experiences, even during the game can drastically change them. Yeah, I think about I had a character at one point who was patro so this was like before the game and then during the course of the game, the betrothal was broken off, she's married to somebody else. And then eventually he died. And then once he died, it became a huge, like, life changing thing for my character. And suddenly her motivations for doing anything changed completely because basically her whole world has changed completely. Yeah. And so Building your motivations and your desires off of that plot. You know, like because then her motivation became I have to defeat to the thing that killed him, I have to you know, avenge his death, whatever, totally changed based on the plot. And you know, sometimes that can happen sometimes you don't want it to sometimes you really like your characters thing is kind of set. Yeah. And you've decided that and whatever happens in the plot happens and you you know, play along with that. But sometimes it can totally change what your character wants out of the thing. I think, especially when you're really deep into a story. I know, for me as a player, that was like a life changing experience for me of like, oh, the way a story can affect me, is incredible. So definitely keep that in mind to that. Like, it doesn't have to be locked in at character creation. And I think a lot of times it shouldn't be, be open to the things that are happening in your game. Because your character is a person and just like you as a person, things that happened in your life are going to change you.


Unknown Speaker  21:56  

Yeah, absolutely.


Amelia Antrim  21:58  

Sometimes finding those motivations can be difficult. But there's a couple things that you can keep in mind in order to figure out some of those motivations. Right, right.


Ryan Boelter  22:05  

Yeah. So first, try to make the characters motivations credible. So what do we mean by that? So, if you thought about, like your character's backstory that can lead to a ton of motivation and a ton of desires, and automatically tying into where your character came from, is going to make that more credible, it's going to make it more believable that you have those desires in those motivations. Yeah, so backstory is the first part of this equation to making your your characters desires credible. It makes that motivation more realistic and makes it more like anchored in in the characters reality.


Amelia Antrim  23:00  

Yeah, you've given a credible reason for why they would feel this way. Yeah, you know, cuz you don't you don't make up a story that's like my character wants to save all of the peasants, even though they were a high born noble that like never left the palace row. Why? Why did they want that because they read it in a book once because it like, try and tie those things together to say, you know, to tell a story but definitely like don't pick a backstory that's like all of this thing and then suddenly you have this motivation that comes out of left field that has nothing to do with anything. You know, like, like I said, if you're a sheltered noble who's lived in this one place, Why do you suddenly want to save these villagers in this village you've never heard of and never been to?


Ryan Boelter  23:40  

Absolutely. Yeah, like, if we take the I want to be an adventure example from above. Maybe your parents were famous adventures and you really looked up to them, and now that they're gone, they're there feels like there's a void in the world and that you want to fill right that's a huge motivation and a huge desire that can instantly like push you into some really interesting places in the story. And that's so much better than saying I'm an adventurer because that's what's expected of cuz I met in


Amelia Antrim  24:16  

a tavern. Yeah, another adventure Exactly. Now I'm gonna go do it like what? Why, right?


Ryan Boelter  24:22  

Yeah, and you can you can certainly have an adventure like that but why is your character there in the first place looking for other adventures to do that? That's that's the question that you need to ask and figure out to make it a lot more interesting.


Unknown Speaker  24:39  

Why do any of us do anything right?


Amelia Antrim  24:42  

That's the questions we're asking here. Why do any of us do anything there's


Ryan Boelter  24:46  

gonna be a lot of existential crises after


Unknown Speaker  24:51  

Oh man. Why life? Why I plot plot plot plot, not only how plot plot but why plot


Unknown Speaker  25:01  

Failure we so mad at listening to go say? Never


Amelia Antrim  25:07  

another way she makes sure that your motivations are credible is to keep causing effects in mind, how does your character respond to certain situations? So some of this goes back to what I said about allowing the plot to change your character. But you can also think about this in a relation to a backstory to maybe your venture or wanting to become an adventure because they need to save all of their best friends. No one else is stepping up to do the job and they can't find somebody else. So they're going to do it. You know, maybe your character met an adventure once who is a real jerk. And they're like, you know what, I'm going to make a better name for adventures. I don't want people to think that this is what adventurers think about things that may have happened to your character things that they've experienced and what effect that that might have on them as as a person.


Ryan Boelter  25:58  

Yeah, and I don't think I have anything to add to that.


Unknown Speaker  26:03  

Yeah, good. No, I got a great job, right?


Ryan Boelter  26:08  

Cause and Effect. Yeah, you did. Um, so the next thing that you want to keep in mind for creating some, some good desires, and motivations is to keep in mind, there could be a difference between conscious and unconscious motivations. So sometimes characters know what they want. Because it's it's obvious that, you know, I want to I want a better life for myself, I want to be a better adventure. I want to be a better example of what an adventure could be that sort of thing so they strive for those goals consciously. But sometimes there are unconscious motivations as well. Maybe a character grew up in an environment that wasn't the greatest for them, but it's all that they knew. So now they're the subconsciously Trying to better themselves or subconsciously trying to move into a place or subconsciously acting a certain way. Because of past experiences.


Amelia Antrim  27:10  

I think that's a really difficult thing to play out as a player. And I think that's one of those things that like you think about as a writer. And you can say that here's the thing I know about my character, as I'm writing them that like they don't know. But it's really hard to play out at the table. Yeah, it's really difficult to be like these. This is an unconscious motivation that I am consciously playing as I unconsciously do it. I think that one is like a that's like a level three Yeah. 300 level piece of advice.


Ryan Boelter  27:40  

That is diving deep into your character's head basically, and trying to look at the really nitty gritty details of their lives. And try


Amelia Antrim  27:50  

and definitely something that you can do. Yeah, I think I just think that that's a thing but who, boy, don't feel bad if you can, yes, because I'm not sure that I can get that deep. I think that's definitely when you're toward the end of your three year campaign. Finally, no, yeah, you know, in a one shot, don't worry about It's okay.


Ryan Boelter  28:09  

Probably not for a one shot. Try to try to stick towards those conscious motivations in one shot. It'll make things a lot easier for yourself. But it is an interesting mental exercise to kind of go through and think about, at the very least, what does my character do? Because of unconscious motivations, right? Absolutely. And I think that could prove to, to at the very least thinking about it can probably even add more conscious motivations that you wouldn't have thought of prior.


Unknown Speaker  28:43  

Well, now that you thought about them, they're not unconscious anymore,


Unknown Speaker  28:46  

I guess.


Unknown Speaker  28:48  

But they are for your care for


Ryan Boelter  28:50  

you. That's called meta knowledge.


Unknown Speaker  28:53  

Oh, and how do we feel about meta knowledge? We love


Ryan Boelter  28:56  

it. We love it. Embrace the meta


Unknown Speaker  29:00  



Amelia Antrim  29:03  

Another thing to think about is to keep in mind, is your character impulsive or do they only act after thinking things through this can definitely color the way your character is motivated by things. Yeah. If your character is really impulsive, then, you know, they're going to act on their motivations right away. Yeah. Because their motivation is the or they're going to act toward their desires. Right away. They're going to say, you know what, I want that sandwich. I'm gonna go get that sandwich. Yeah. If they act after thinking things through very carefully, they're gonna say like, Okay, well, I want that sandwich. But I also know that we're going to eat dinner in a little bit. So probably, I should wait, you know, like, just in that kind of thing? Do they absolutely go for that thing that they desire, without really putting a ton of thought into it without being cognizant of all of the pieces around it? Or do they really stop and think if I want this thing, you know, here's what Have to do this, this this. And that can totally change how your character goes about those things. Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  30:06  

And that pretty much leads right into kind of how you can start constructing the these plot points for down the line. Because if your character is impulsive, maybe you can just throw out, these are my desires, these are my motivations, I'll act on them as they come up. And if your character is the type that plans, you can say, here's what my character is kind of working towards, and here's their 10 step, you know, program to get there, and all that sort of stuff. And then the the GM or the other players can can help you along that line and give you opportunities to, for your character actually think things through in the session as well.


Amelia Antrim  30:51  

Absolutely. Maybe it's possible that they meet some new characters and they create new relationships that totally alters their motivations dramatically. I talked about that a little bit and Example of like, you're supposed to marry somebody, you marry somebody else, whatever, but you fall in love with this person. And then suddenly your characters very much changed by that. You know, you want to really think about the way that those things that happened in a game affect your character again, or don't affect the character because I think that also makes a difference. So just, you know, think about those things, too.


Ryan Boelter  31:21  

Yeah, absolutely. And don't give characters what they want to easily, I would say. So yeah, you want a sandwich? It's, it's not as interesting if you could just go to the fridge and get a sandwich.


Unknown Speaker  31:35  

Right? That's not a good yeah,


Ryan Boelter  31:36  

if you have to travel to the next town over through monster infested forests in order to get the good sandwich that you're really craving. That's a little bit more interesting. Because it's I have


Amelia Antrim  31:48  

to go all the way to your grandma's house because she's the only one that knows how to make the sandwich the way that you like, exactly for fear my child, only grandma's spaghetti it will do mom's spaghetti is not good enough.


Ryan Boelter  32:00  

You know that that's a very good motivation and desire that leads to conflict and obstacles. Potato it


Unknown Speaker  32:08  

led to so much temper tantrum


Unknown Speaker  32:12  

Oh no.


Amelia Antrim  32:14  

So dear listeners consider this Spaghetti Incident at the antrum house of 2020. When you think about your characters motivations is mom spaghetti, okay? Or will Oh my grandma's spaghetti


Ryan Boelter  32:29  

it's not okay enough.


Unknown Speaker  32:31  

It's not okay. And now there you go. That's


Unknown Speaker  32:35  

there's a catchphrase. Mom. Spaghetti is not okay. I'm not Oh,


Ryan Boelter  32:40  

Oh, goodness.


Amelia Antrim  32:41  

Let's make that a T shirt. Yeah. You don't have to be totally explicit with motivations. You can have subtle motivations that keep things more interesting. You think about showing rather than telling when it comes to something so your character can have things that drive them that you don't necessarily say? Loud you can't you don't have to walk into that Tavern and be like, Hello, I am here to adventure because my parents died adventuring, and I must avenge those. It's okay to just say it. You know, you don't have to cover it up necessarily. You don't have to hide it. But it's a thing that sort of can come out over time. Yeah, in the story, it's okay to not walk in with your bullet point list. You know, we, we talked about showing rather than telling all the time, this is another thing that falls into that concept. Your character doesn't walk into that Tavern and readable Yeah,


Ryan Boelter  33:29  

yeah. And that's not to say that you can't share your bullet point list with your other players in your GM.


Unknown Speaker  33:36  

Dolly meta


Ryan Boelter  33:37  

knowledge meta knowledge Exactly. But it Yeah, it's totally unrealistic to think that your character is going to be walking around exposing or x positioning, like their entire desire list and motivations to everybody that they meet that that's just kind of ridiculous.


Unknown Speaker  33:56  

Let's keep this a little squeeze to a minimum haha.


Ryan Boelter  33:59  

So try it. Make your motivations complex, if you can. So having that simple motivation certainly can drive the plot forward. But having a motivation that is more complex can definitely up the suspense and the drama as your character strives towards fulfilling that motivation. So you want a sandwich? Yeah. And you want a sandwich because you're hungry. That's fine. And that could probably, that could lead to some interesting stuff. But if you if you want a sandwich that that requires you to have a specific ingredient that can only be found within the caves of the doomed. Perhaps guy will


Unknown Speaker  34:41  

make a weird sandwich.


Ryan Boelter  34:43  

It's a weird sandwich, but you never know. Maybe in this world, there's a special ingredient


Amelia Antrim  34:48  

as mushrooms only grow in. Exactly man. They are good. satay him with a little


Ryan Boelter  34:53  

butter. It's the best thing. So so perhaps that that More complex motivation and desire for the sandwich will lead to an adventure in the case of the doomed, and then you have to figure


Unknown Speaker  35:10  

that Doom


Unknown Speaker  35:12  

I'm so glad this came out of it. So


Ryan Boelter  35:16  

just remember dear listeners, the shrimps of the doomed will guide you to more complex motivations


Amelia Antrim  35:29  

I think that's a good thing to remember. And I think also you can have both um, you know, we talked about your your, your you're to gear today motivation, right like I'm going to be hungry in a little bit. Yeah. And then we talked about like, what am I doing with my life? And I think ideally, when you build a character, you should have both of those things. You should have some of those What am I doing in an hour? You know, what is my next kind of life goal, you know, and then once you I want you to remember on my deathbed, yeah. And having each of those In kind of thought through at least a little bit, can lead to really strong character. Yeah, absolutely. And I think if you start to think of ways to fulfill those goals, two things that will, you know, help you reach those motivations, share those with your GM, definitely make notes. And you can kind of hand those off to your GM. Again, I always say like, don't give them 35 pages of backstory, please don't give your GM homework. But you can kind of hand that off to your GM and say, Hey, like, these are the kinds of things that my characters really want. It would be awesome if this came up in the story. GM will I don't know. I, again, I'm not usually my thing. But I think GMOs will appreciate that as something that helps them like work things in and honestly, I truly believe GMOs want their players to have a good experience. They want them to be happy. And so hopefully they'll have some of that into the story.


Ryan Boelter  36:54  

Yeah, absolutely. And and probably the the way that they'll be doing that By adding obstacles in your way of those desires, because that's what makes interesting story. Having those having those obstacles if you can just get everything at the drop of a hat without any sort of effort, then you're just I guess, monologuing today that makes no sense to an overarching interesting story.


Unknown Speaker  37:23  

Right? Absolutely.


Ryan Boelter  37:26  

So having those obstacles is key to having conflict in the story. And conflict is a huge thing when it comes to creating tension and story beads.


Amelia Antrim  37:38  

Absolutely. I want to talk real quick to about ways to help you do this. Yeah. I think there are a couple things that you can do to kind of make these things come to fruition because I think sitting down and just like going, Okay. What's my motivation? Yeah, it's not necessarily the most productive Ryan. I know. You are. A fan of in character journaling. Yes. So I don't know if you want to talk about that a little bit as an option for people, because I think that might be a really good way. So tell us a little bit about like how you think in character journaling can help you bring about some of these moments. Oh,


Ryan Boelter  38:14  

absolutely. So a lot of the things that I do for in character journaling is after I'm done with a session for my characters in the campaign, usually, if I have the time, which I don't anymore, unfortunately, adult adulting I know. But if I had the time, I would go and open up or a document or a Google Docs thing for the for the kids nowadays. And


Unknown Speaker  38:39  

as the kids,


Ryan Boelter  38:40  

Google, Google Doc, and I would write what happened in the adventure from my character's perspective in my character's voice, and even including my character's thoughts as if they were writing in a journal in the game world itself.


Amelia Antrim  38:59  

I can see how it was Easily help guide you toward the part of this that they felt was important. And the part that they want to deal with next.


Ryan Boelter  39:08  

Yeah, absolutely. And so many times doing this journaling has helped me find and solidify my characters voice.


Unknown Speaker  39:18  

Absolutely. Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  39:20  

It's, it's been immensely helpful. I am sad that I'm not able to do that. Nowadays.


Amelia Antrim  39:27  

Yeah, um, but I think even doing it for like five or 10 minutes, or if you're the kind of person that takes notes during a session. Take them from your character's perspective. Yeah, um, I think that that can be really helpful and solidifying what things your character thinks are important just based on what you find yourself writing down. Absolutely. For me, the way that I prefer to do it is with my other players in a group, and I generally tend to do this on like discord or something like that. Usually when I play a long form campaign, we have some kind of server to talk about these things. We do this a lot more pregame than during game though it does still definitely come up between sessions. But a lot of times during the beginning of the game, there's a lot of collaboration going on where I say, Okay, I'm, I've made this character, but I just can't really like get in their skin. And so I will talk it through with people. And they'll say, Well, you know, what about this? What about this? And then we kind of talked through things, and then we start to build links between those characters, which is another thing that we've talked about before, is, you know, building off of another character story and saying, like, Oh, you have this sibling who something What if I am that simple? Yeah. But talking it through with other people and saying, you know, here's I picked this stat for my character. My favorite one is when you pick like disadvantages for your characters. And you say, I picked this disadvantage. And they say, Well, what if it's because of this, and that can start to build the motivation of like, is this disadvantage a thing that I want to overcome? Is this a thing that continually There's me, you know, or I have this advantage that I'm, you know, super good at whatever. Yeah, well, why is this the thing I care about? Is this the thing that I want to pursue? Like, I'm really good at painting? Yeah. Do I? Do I want to go out and make this beautiful piece of art? Or is this a thing that I've accidentally good at? And I'm really frustrated that people keep asking me about Yeah, absolutely. You know. And so I like to work with other people and have them help me kind of by asking questions. And I think that's a really great way to help find motivations and to help other people too.


Ryan Boelter  41:29  

Yeah. And it definitely leads into the experience that your character is not in a void. In this world. Your character does have relationship with other people NPCs and characters like and tying your motivations and desires with another characters motivations and desires pretty much automatically creates more interesting plots as well. Absolutely, because now both of you care about a single desire to Goal, whatever that is. And


Amelia Antrim  42:02  

I want to go back to the point that we made at the beginning that your characters are the main character in the story you're telling, even if you're like off on a side quest adventure, like we talked about last time, you know, playing as characters, like the dark side, and VCs or something like that, even in that story, those are now the main character. So you are part of this ensemble cast. And so you want to have fully fleshed out characters who have motivations, because that TV show is not fun to watch. If you're just like, man, we're doing things for reasons, I guess, you would not watch that show. So just, you know, try and think about your character as the main character in a movie or a TV show or a book that you're reading. Yeah. Um, and and what would that look like? Absolutely.


Ryan Boelter  42:47  

Yeah, there's, there's a lot of different ways you can figure out your characters, desires and motivations. And there's a lot of different obstacles that you can come up with, that will make those desires and motivations A lot more interesting in the long run. And absolutely working together with your group, working together with your GM are all absolutely great ways to help spark your imagination if you're at all stuck in any of that process.


Amelia Antrim  43:17  

Absolutely. Thank you, everyone for joining us in this discussion. We really hope it helps you bring your characters to life. I do want to say as always, this is only the beginning of what you can do. There's so much more out there. And you know, we can only we can only begin to discuss it with you. Absolutely.


Ryan Boelter  43:34  

So we really hope that this sparked some creative choices that you can go and explore, for making your characters cooler and making the story that your character is going to be telling even more exciting to delve into. We would love to hear about that


Amelia Antrim  43:56  

character evolution. The one shot podcast and we're all just found online at www dot Character Creation head to the website to get more information on our hosting 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 antrum. And that can be found on twitter at ginger recommend. 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.


Unknown Speaker  45:05  

Now we gotta read some show blurbs show blurbs show love. Show by show mabs


Ryan Boelter  45:13  

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


Amelia Antrim  45:24  

The most fun way to learn about new games is to play. On one shot you can discover the amazing variety in RPGs by listening to actual play. Every week, James tomato brings you a new episode with a talented cast of improvisers, game designers and other notable nerds. At least once a month one shot features a new system exploring a wide variety of genres. The stories are self contained, so you can jump in anywhere and it's a great way to find your new favorite game. Discover the magic of RPGs with one shot and your favorite podcast app.


Unknown Speaker  45:53  

I did it. Me too. Good. Now we can get that sweet sweet audio of me


Unknown Speaker  46:00  



Ryan Boelter  46:01  

know nothing funny will happen.


Unknown Speaker  46:03  

No nothing funny.


Amelia Antrim  46:06  

Last night my mom was like walking around wearing fake eyelashes


Unknown Speaker  46:11  

just to see what would happen I guys and


Amelia Antrim  46:15  

then my sister was trying on the other eyelash so like the each had eyelashes on one eye


Unknown Speaker  46:22  

which is unsettling to begin with.


Amelia Antrim  46:24  

And then she's like, I wonder how they would look on the dog.


Unknown Speaker  46:30  

Do not do that.


Ryan Boelter  46:31  

I almost spit on my teeth.


Unknown Speaker  46:36  

And it's just like this is a totally normal thing at my house.


Unknown Speaker  46:41  

It's just what it is.


Ryan Boelter  46:43  

Put fake eyelashes on the dog.


Unknown Speaker  46:46  

Yep. Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  46:48  

We have one rule in this house.


Amelia Antrim  46:51  

No, we do have other rules to like you have to ask before you smell people.


Ryan Boelter  46:55  

I mean, that's that's,


Unknown Speaker  46:57  

that's an actual rule in our house.


Ryan Boelter  46:59  

I mean, Up close, right?


Unknown Speaker  47:03  

points, plot points. points.


Ryan Boelter  47:08  

We're gonna do some cloud point


Amelia Antrim  47:15  

I think that because we need to find a new song I can be our new song. We can just let's let's take a character evolution cast one.


Ryan Boelter  47:22  

Oh, can I evolve? Right? No.


Unknown Speaker  47:30  

No, I'm sorry.


Ryan Boelter  47:32  

It sounded very like 80s cartoon


Unknown Speaker  47:37  



Unknown Speaker  47:50  

Characters are like, Oh, come on.


Unknown Speaker  47:55  

guys got them. Sometimes it takes some work.


Unknown Speaker  48:00  

You gotta catch them hole.


Unknown Speaker  48:03  

Don't cut your characters you actually have to make them. You don't just find them wherever looking in the tall grass


Unknown Speaker  48:14  



Ryan Boelter  48:16  

I don't think that's the song.


Unknown Speaker  48:18  

No, I don't think


Ryan Boelter  48:21  

we'll pass on that version.


Unknown Speaker  48:23  

Okay. Wow,


Unknown Speaker  48:25  

my heart all of my hopes and dreams.


Unknown Speaker  48:27  

Okay, it's gonna become a singer. You know what we get big.


Ryan Boelter  48:30  

We'll shelve it for now. This podcast


Unknown Speaker  48:32  

is just gonna launch me into greatness.


Unknown Speaker  48:36  

Everyone will know how great my songs are.


Ryan Boelter  48:38  

I know how to use a microphone I'm a singer.


Unknown Speaker  48:45  

Casting is just like singing. I mean it is kind of in a way except that you can be really pitchy and no one cares.


Ryan Boelter  48:57  

I'd like to point out that voices are delightful.


Amelia Antrim  49:03  

so far that seems to be the general consensus is that we do have very nice voices. I've not heard any commentary about my vocal fry. So


Ryan Boelter  49:12  

that's very true. Left, ask our friends at the cryptkeeper to see what they say about that.


Amelia Antrim  49:18  

Uh, I'm gonna have to listen to that. I know for sure we have to have a whole bag.


Ryan Boelter  49:22  

Oh, yeah, they've got an episode on the whole dig. Yep. Yep. Yeah, I've listened to their entire backlog and they've got some weird stuff on there.


Unknown Speaker  49:31  

Yeah, I'm gonna have to go through it and probably,


Ryan Boelter  49:34  

which is all factually true. All of it, all of it. And if you doubt it, they're gonna get you. The cryptids not not Alex and Addison. Although,


Unknown Speaker  49:48  

who knows?


Unknown Speaker  49:50  

They seem like a feisty button.


Ryan Boelter  49:55  

Alex and Addison. If you're listening to this Yeah, you can


Unknown Speaker  50:00  

Please don't get us


Unknown Speaker  50:03  

please don't get


Unknown Speaker  50:10  



Ryan Boelter  50:12  

bad tasting pills.


Unknown Speaker  50:13  

I know


Ryan Boelter  50:14  

my favorite pills are Advil.


Unknown Speaker  50:26  

My favorite pills are Advil.


Ryan Boelter  50:31  

They're so they're so tasty.


Unknown Speaker  50:32  

Hold on. I got a tweet that


Unknown Speaker  50:38  

okay, soliloquy.


Unknown Speaker  50:41  

soliloquy it's


Unknown Speaker  50:42  

that's what they call Oh, well that makes sense when


Unknown Speaker  50:44  

you when you monologue like that it's just a little fancy.


Unknown Speaker  50:50  

It's a Shakespeare were you all educated?


Unknown Speaker  50:54  

We went to the same college


Ryan Boelter  50:58  

I am a creative writing minor


Unknown Speaker  51:01  

I should know this


Unknown Speaker  51:02  

was in Spanish.


Unknown Speaker  51:05  

Sounds like a Spanish word.


Unknown Speaker  51:09  

Latin or something.


Unknown Speaker  51:12  

soliloquy. Good word. You learned a new word today.


Ryan Boelter  51:16  

I mean, I knew it before, but I didn't know exactly what it meant. So


Unknown Speaker  51:22  

that's my that's my way.


Unknown Speaker  51:29  

As opposed to just Queen, which is the Spanish word for guinea pig. Oh,


Ryan Boelter  51:33  

there you go see it? Totally. It sounds like Spanish.


Unknown Speaker  51:40  

Yes, yes.


Ryan Boelter  51:44  

Amazing. All right. Well good luck with those outtakes. That's fantastic.


Unknown Speaker  51:55  

We went off script.


Unknown Speaker  51:57  

We did. We're throwing sound


Unknown Speaker  52:02  

I can I can count one that's an actual thing that I did here again. I


Amelia Antrim  52:09  

just crumbled up a receipt and threw it across.


Unknown Speaker  52:13  

I'm at no


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