Character Creation Cast

Descent into Midnight - Character Creation Spotlight with Rich Howard

Episode Summary

Welcome to a special bonus episode of Character Creation Spotlight! Today we’re highlighting Rich Howard and his game, Descent into Midnight, that he is co-designing with Richard Kruetz-Landry and Taylor LaBresh, whom we had on previously for a full Descent into Midnight series back in Series 18! Find out what’s changed since that series, or hear about the game for the first time in this abridged format, and get pumped to back this amazing kickstarter happening right now!

Episode Notes

Welcome to a special bonus episode of Character Creation Spotlight! Today we’re highlighting Rich Howard and his game, Descent into Midnight, that he is co-designing with Richard Kruetz-Landry and Taylor LaBresh, whom we had on previously for a full Descent into Midnight series back in Series 18! Find out what’s changed since that series, or hear about the game for the first time in this abridged format, and get pumped to back this amazing kickstarter happening right now!


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Rich Howard @umbralwalker

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Descent into Midnight




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Episode Transcription

Transcripts Automatically Generated - Not 100% Accurate

Ryan Boelter  0:01  

Welcome to a special character creation spotlight episode everyone. This episode we've got rich Howard with us to give us a quick rundown of a game Amelia and I can't shut up about descent into midnight, currently on Kickstarter and currently going for stretch goals, the game funded in just under 18 hours. And they are as of this recording about 1600 dollars away from meeting their second stretch goal. They already unlocked a one shot by Eric Campbell from the stream punks for the street punks channel. And every stretch goal they hit will give us another episode up to a total of 12 episodes for their campaign. I know I'm excited to see a multi session game of descent into midnight released into the wild so you might as well get on this as soon as you can so we can blow through those stretch goals. Since this is a bonus episode, I don't have much more to announce since Monday. And we've only got a few more days until our next episode, so we will just leave it at that. So let's go ahead and dive into this amazing game and learn about all the new cool stuff that has come since we last covered this game and series 18 series 18 funding in 18 hours coincidence, probably but still makes you thing. Anyway, enjoy


Ryan Boelter  2:13  

Welcome to a special bonus episode of character creation spotlight everyone in this bonus segment will be shining a light on some current or up and coming games to keep an eye out for. I'm your host Ryan and today we are welcoming rich Howard to talk about descent into midnight. A hope punk underwater fish horror, remarkable RPG that is kickstarted right now. Welcome to character creation spotlight and welcome back to Character Creation Cast rich, it's really great to have you again.


Rich Howard  2:44  

Thanks so much. I think this is Molly my second time I've got like five more until I get the T shirt right.


Ryan Boelter  2:50  

I know we got to get you out of that that Lucky Seven.


Unknown Speaker  2:53  



Ryan Boelter  2:56  

For those that missed our blue planet series First is a really great series with a bunch of great guests. So go check that out if you haven't already. But for now, rich, could you start us off with first telling us a bit about yourself and what sort of other projects you have going on right now?


Rich Howard  3:15  



Rich Howard  3:17  

My name is Rich Howard. I am a podcaster and a game designer.


Rich Howard  3:22  

In my off hours


Rich Howard  3:25  

I What do I do, Ryan?


Rich Howard  3:29  

I am the co host and co creator of a podcast called whelmed The Young Justice files. And on whelmed The Young Justice files we got what do we hit 215 episodes? I think now. It's way up there. It's up there. Yeah, it's been going on for about three and a half years.


Rich Howard  3:46  

We break down the DC Comics animated series Young Justice and use that as a springboard to talk about the creative writing process, as well as talking about role playing games as well. In fact, we had a masks actual play, where we played between seasons one and two.


Rich Howard  4:00  

With the DC characters from Young Justice, and it was amazing run by the creator of the game, Brendan Conway. So, I am also the concept lead for descent into midnight, which is the game we're going to talk about today. And you had my co designers, Richard crates, Landry and Taylor the brush who are incredible. On the descent into midnight, four episodes. I'm sorry, I could not make it to those. I think I was working over that weekend.


Ryan Boelter  4:25  

Very cool. Thank you so much for being here, rich. Now, if you notice, so we already covered descent into midnight and a full series with Richard great time tree and Teller the brush. And we know that not all of our listeners hit every series. So we'd like to cover this game in a shorter format. Since we aren't already in the thick of the Kickstarter as of the release of this episode. That's right. So since this is an abridged version of our normal format, we'll just be sticking to the highlights of the system with a special focus On character creation. So without further ado, how about we find out what this game is all about? What's in a game?


Rich Howard  5:08  

Yeah. So at it's hard to send to midnight is a game about community and family and hope in the face of encroaching corruption. So I love the fact that people constantly are like, I don't know how to describe this game. Even after they've played it six or seven times, they still don't know how to describe it. You would think that would be a terrible PR point. But in our case, it seems to be more of a peak of curiosity than anything else. The kicker with this particular game pun intended, I suppose, is the sentiment it takes place on a yet undiscovered, unknown, alien aquatic world.


Rich Howard  5:49  

That aquatic world has never been touched by humanity. There. The characters that you play are guardians of an advanced underwater


Rich Howard  6:00  

Civilization. That's biotechnology. That's I'm sorry, that's technology is based on biotechnology, and psyonix.


Rich Howard  6:09  

We emphasize the fact that humanity has never been to this place and never will go to this place. Because we are leaning heavily into this concept of like, what is Sapiens? What is sentience.


Rich Howard  6:22  

We have no cannon setting, necessarily. So even though we give these descriptions that there's biotechnology and there's psyonix, and there's a corruption, and there's an advanced civilization, that bit and you're playing basically aquatic fish people, but you don't even have to do that and we'll get into that in a little bit either as well. So those are like bumpers for you. But really, the setting can be because we have no cannon setting. We have no set species and we have no set corruption. All of that the game guides you into creating at the table with your friends at the table to create a setting and species and culture. And corruption that's entirely unique to your gaming table and hits the points and hits the the dramatic narrative concepts that you want to address at the table, which to us is more important than us trying to create a setting and convincing you that it's interesting.


Ryan Boelter  7:16  

Yeah, the the collaborative world building meeting, this game is phenomenal. I know we did a collaborative world building episode on one of our evolution cast series. But this this kind of even goes beyond that. And you're creating everything from scratch with one another.


Rich Howard  7:32  

Yeah, table. And it doesn't the thing that some people I would think anyway, would be like, Oh, I don't that's a lot of work it we try to make it not work. Yeah, we beauty of it. I think that's the thing in the game. And you could speak to that being a player like we can design it all we want, but the effectiveness of it is only determined by the people around the table. Right? Yeah. So with a few with leading questions with playbooks because we're a power by the apocalypse system. We don't use class systems or point by systems, we use playbooks Those playbooks for the characters we have 10 of them so far for the for the concepts for characters. And those playbooks are designed to kind of guide you into some ideas and concepts, seed ideas with the language that beautiful, poetic, fascinating language that Taylor uses that is very inspirational to the, to the imagination, to give you some tools to bring to the table, literally to the table. One of the things for myself, that was very important for me, I have a degree in marine biology, amongst other things. And my platform when I started doing game design, seven or eight years ago on a professional level, was to bring more aquatic settings and a more aquatic adventure to a wide range of role playing games. The reason why is because I want people to understand and to be curious about the oceans that we have here. With descend to midnight, you can bring this that that random fact that you learned from that documentary when you were six years old. You can bring it to the table and you Don't need to know the science. Because here it's an alien world there psyonix there's biotechnology, use it as a seed of inspiration, not as Oh, I don't know enough about the ocean to be able to play in it. We don't want that. We want it to be a welcoming, enjoyable exploration of those things at the table and peak curiosity, not not quash it with details, huh?


Ryan Boelter  9:22  

Yeah, it's it's a lot. Like when you're trying to think of something that you want to use in a more traditional game, and you say, Oh, well, it's it's magic. So it just works.


Rich Howard  9:34  

Yeah. And in our case, though, that can have some narrative that can be a narrative crutch, that can be an issue in many ways, which we try to use it as Look, if you want to play it if you want to play kind of a merfolk. Like if you literally want to make your setting Little Mermaid and have the psyonix be magic, and have the Caribbean be Ursula. It's all you Right. Yeah. So you can Make whatever you want. But if you want to play a tuna, you can play a tuna. It doesn't matter because in the society we assume there's a there's a blanket, you know, a conceit of the game, that the species that are involved however they're created have enough level of cyanic ability to be able to communicate between the species, however you want to describe that and to be able to interact with their surroundings. You don't have to have something like an octopus or something that has a Hansel a tail or fingers. You don't need to have that and the Sonics help us kind of gloss over that so we can get to the point that we're not talking about that what we're talking about is the emotional consequences of choice and action, the emotional consequences of things like violence of conflict resolution de escalation, how does that work and community building coming together? I don't want to get lost in you. If we were focused on those other things about how the species work too much. We'd get lost. In the weeds, and we lose the story we're trying to guide people to.


Ryan Boelter  11:03  

Yeah, it's great because it has this power by the apocalypse backbone to it where a lot of pvta games allow you to interpret the stuff that's in the rules like it'll it'll give you a small little prompt and you get to determine what that means to you into your character into the story.


Rich Howard  11:22  

Yeah. My when I first experienced pvta games, it was with masks and brilliant game by Mark Richardson called headspace. And yeah, just the character generation and headspace was incredible. I was actually a guest on one shot network. We did like a special it was just a character creation episode for headspace that I did with Jim McClure and nice. Who is a megalis for modifier and her now husband, Dan, and James. We were at I think that was I think that was almost It was a while ago, but it was at a Gen Con and we recorded it and I was like, This is incredible. All the time. The way the leading questions created this fascinating story between us and we hadn't even quote unquote, played the game even though crater creation is playing the game. But in this case, I walked away and I was like, I have a whole I have an epic novel in my head, just from character creation. Same thing happens in masks that brilliant concept of those leading questions really, really the idea behind this concept why I'm concept lead a lot of the ideas that are in this game I've been trying to do in role playing games since I learned how to play in 1977 or 78. I wanted to do some of these things. And I've tried to play with them wrote, I don't know how many articles I have on tri Valley. I have a whole column called from the depths talking about, you know, using these things and these ideas for things like d&d and other systems. But they weren't really scratching the itch. I had an itch I couldn't get scratched. I couldn't figure out what it was until I played headspace. And I was like wait a minute you your ability scores our emotions. Yeah, and and masks your ability scores are How do you perceive yourself? Oh like, wait a minute I did. You're just totally reprogramming my brain. And so when Richard and I were talking about this game, it came up from a Twitter joke. When we were talking about it. I was like, oh, what do I want? What What things do I want to focus on? Hope, community altruism, rate, dry, calm. Those are our five stats. And what does that mean to me? And what socio emotional or psycho psycho social or socio emotional things I do I want to focus on in a game. Yeah. And I think I can do it in this game. What? And also make it about, you know, the underwater ocean? Yeah. I be perfectly blunt. Like, Richard and I kind of came up with this general idea. And then we immediately were like, We need somebody who knows pvta better than we do right now. And we brought Yeah, I was like Taylor, please. Taylor is an incredible human being and an amazing designer. Let's bring them in. And so we all started getting this idea together. I was like, Who's gonna play this? He's gonna play who's gonna play this game? This like strange alien fish emotion game like that we're making. And we're like we were loving it and we can't stop working on it. No. But we I have to tell you, I'm consistently floored with the reactions we're getting from the game after the three and a half years of playtesting.


Ryan Boelter  14:19  

Oh, absolutely.


Rich Howard  14:20  

It's become way more than any one of us could have possibly done ourselves. And the play testers have pointed us in that direction.


Ryan Boelter  14:29  

Yes, I know. I know. I'm extremely excited for this one. Yeah. This is the PBT, a game that opened my brain, basically, no, to to the possibilities of RPGs which, which is fantastic.


Rich Howard  14:43  

Well, we appreciate that. I'm shocked by the number of people like oh, this is my first role playing game. I'm like, this was your choice. Okay. Well, all right. Well, let's do this. Let's start you on a very different footing then I start hot.


Ryan Boelter  14:58  

Okay, my wife had my wife has played two role playing games. sessions, and they have both been descend into nice so yeah, it's it's a it's a really interesting experience. So let's let's, uh, let's find out a little bit more about this this game. What sort of materials do we need to play descent into midnight?


Rich Howard  15:24  

Yeah, absolutely. So we have 10 playbooks, you'll need a playbook. Someone will need either the rulebook or what we have currently right now and it's available right now on the Kickstarter. And we have discussed and I think we have settled on the idea that the quick start guide and the playbooks will always be available for free. Right. So anybody who wants to play the game can pick up the quick start guide and the playbooks and go to town. So you'll need those two things. pencil to six sided dice and bring to the table That one thing you learned from that documentary that time when you were six? Oh, yeah. And it doesn't matter what it is more evident, you know, more than likely and I've seen this at so many play test tables, people come to the game and say, I don't know anything about marine science. They're inevitably the person that's teaching everyone at the table the marine science because they think everybody's heard about an Aristotle's Lantern, or, you know, how the how hermit crabs change their shells in a conga line or whatever, whatever, whatever random bizarre piece of information they have about the ocean. They're just like, Well, I know this. So everybody must know this. And everybody the tables like excuse me, and then they're all googling amazing things. So you know, bring bring that whatever fascinates you, whatever you find beautiful and entrancing, whatever you find horrifying, whatever you find scary. Bring it to the table and and introduce it at a level that you're comfortable with. And then fold it with other people's ideas. So those are the only real things that you need.


Ryan Boelter  16:57  

And I think another thing would be maybe like a sheet of paper, because there's a math mechanic that that you can use to map out your city and community. Well,


Rich Howard  17:07  

actually, so yeah, I'm glad you brought that up. So when I say the playbook, you'll need a playbook there are there is a community playbook basically. So you can just print that out and it on the playbook there are. So each individual character playbook, there are something called corruption moves. So in power by the apocalypse, you You're the game is a conversation, right? You're having a conversation about what happens if you if you want to do something, you do it until you run into like a mechanic or there's a question narratively about what interesting thing might happen. And so once you run into a mechanic, it's called a move. Each playbook has their own personal moves that kind of described narratively what they do in the world and the story you want to tell in that world, but each playbook also has three specific corruption moves in so there's 30 individual individuals Corruption moves in the game. There are two corruption moves that are common to everyone that you can choose from. So there's a total of five, those two corruption moves, we put on the on the community playbook, so you can see what those are. And then there's also spaces to create new moves for your community itself, if you want to, or advancements are things that you want to put on. And there's a space to draw your community. So it's really so if you, you can, by all means do whatever detailed drawing you want of your community. And as the games go on, if you're playing a campaign you add to the community as the spotlight goes to new districts or areas or arenas. Yeah, so you can you can have a piece of paper we do at the community playbook that you can use. Okay,


Ryan Boelter  18:41  

so what you have a bunch of playbooks for this game, you said about 10 of them, what sort of character playbooks can we expect from descent into midnight?


Rich Howard  18:51  

Yeah, so our playbooks I mean, some people refer to them as character classes are like think of them as character classes and I get that idea. But they're kind of not so they're as much about their as much about the story you want to tell with the character that you have is they are about what the character does in the world. And a good example I give that as a playbook we called the redeemed. And the redeemed character is a character who is created for conflict. So a machine of war, someone who has created even like a social war, like someone who's like trained or has certain psychic abilities or or you know, something to deal with, with politics and in a in a direct confrontational way, some way you are a You are a weapon of conflict, and you are no longer that and you are now a guardian of this society. So you are trying to the playbook is about attempting to try and figure out what you are now. Where do you fit in, in society when you were created for a thing and that thing is not is not a thing you do anymore? Who are you? So you can look at the day the redeem playbook used to I think Think Taylor Richard mentioned this in the the larger descend to midnight but the redeem playbook originally been called the living weapon. And it just became a playbook that people were like, Oh, it's the fighter it's just going to play that well, you can look at the redeem that way if you want to, but just a lot like the bowl in masks. Yeah. It's like oh, yeah, you can play Super boy if you want. But let me tell you this playbook is going to lead you to some emotional places and, and questions of who you are and why you exist. So yeah, you know, you're welcome to go that route. Other playbooks include like the empath that absorbs and supports other people's emotions and, and helps them kind of heal from traumas and things like that. But our empath also can absorb the corruption, take that corruption away from other people and absorb it into themselves. And then they can either choose to let that go or they can choose to use that corruption against the corruption. So you walk a thin line between how far do you go fighting fire with fire? And what are the consequences of what that is so less again, it as much. But the story you want to tell with the playbook as it is what you just do in the world?


Ryan Boelter  21:17  

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, there's a lot of really great character types. empath is one of my favorites. The seeker


Rich Howard  21:26  

seeker is also one of my favorites. Yeah. So in our setting along with the biotechnology and psyonix we have an aspect that you'll see in some other games it's called the EQ we call it the echo. And it's it's a it's another dimension in a game like d&d, they may call it something like the astral or theory of planes. In our game, the echo is the the world behind worlds. I describe it as if, if the echo is an ocean, the physical reality the dimension that you live in, is the ice Berg that has frozen and solidified out of that ocean. And that that solidification that is can be melted and reformed into new and different things. So the physical world affects the echo and the echo effects the physical world. So that's how our psyonix work. And most people use psyonix in a descendant midnight setting in the same way that we use our cell phones, like I have no idea how my phone works, I just turned it on and press buttons and it works, right. So if you have species that don't do that, like one species that communicates by chromatic forest on their skin, and another species that communicates you know, audibly or vocally, they may not be able to communicate well together under normal circumstances, but in this setting, everybody's got enough telepathy to make that work. And the way till about the works is someone has a thought or idea and they basically, like toss it into the Echo, the echo and the ripples from that thought, that idea that emotion, go through the echo to that other person and becoming And get interpreted in their brains the way that you know, they can understand the concept here your your offering. Well, there are playbooks that l the playbooks kind of interact with the echo and in different ways in small ways. But the seeker and the Muse both deal with the, the the echo and very, in much deeper ways. And the case of the seeker where most people deal with that they the echo that's nearby and close to your reality, the secret projects, what we call their silhouette, their own personal echo reflection, they can project that through the echo and go to other icebergs, they can add, they can explore other worlds other ideas, they can explore the future the past, they'll go out into the world, they will they will psychically journey into the world but they're, they're a form of psychonaut. And they will, they will bring back visions that they can then interpret to help the people around you or use those visions to to help to hurt or manipulate or whatever. Like some CEOs may not have everybody's best intention in mind, we don't know. So, the play all the playbooks are designed to be played along a theme or a trope, but to be played in different ways. So each time you play a playbook, you can play empaths that are very, very different from one another. We have had make sure that each playbook has a core move that they always have. But then they have many other moves that they choose from. And you choose two at a time and those moves were designed in different combinations to be able to reflect different concepts and ideas. Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  24:31  

So you're you were talking a little bit about the moves, that the playbooks given the moves that you select, what's other sort of things do you need to do for character creation at kind of like a higher level?


Rich Howard  24:45  

Yeah, sure. So the main front page will have ideas for things of your attitude, what kind of creature you are, but these aren't specific things like a shark. They're more like a colony of creatures. You know, or live and lustrous or deceptively delicate. These are concepts, right? their ideas to spark your imagination to not tell you what you need to do on your on the on the the session that you guys had if I remember correctly, Amelia had live in lustrous and she interpreted that as a iridescent clam by clam right. And other people may may interpret those as different things and again, in each of these 10 playbooks has three to four typically alliterative descriptions of whether who they who they could be and they're meant to inspire your imagination. Another place would be your homeland. Originally in the development our homelands were very specific. It was like a kelp forest or a hydrothermal vent field. Right. And then Taylor, in his in his poetic genius, took all that out one night inside said you know I'm gonna try something different and then he put in things like too many teeth, or a center of civilization. You know, or a warm light, like those were the ideas of homelands. And that was, it was, again, reprogram my brain. It was brilliant. Because then it inspires you to think how would I interpret this? Like how when is this interesting, the boneyard? Is that a graveyard? Is it a place that generates life? Like what is that, instead of again, us telling you something that we hope is interesting. We're seeding ideas so that you can tell us what your most interesting thing is, the people who are guides for our game game masters, we call them guides. I know I can speak for myself and Richard and Taylor. We are constantly blown away by what is brought to the table. We're as entertained as anyone at the table is about what's happening in front of us. Yeah, and so that's amazing. So that playbooks, your, your stats, which we talked about earlier, stats, like things like hope and community altruism, drive and calm. Those are typically assigned depending Know what your playbook is, but they can be adjusted as you get advancements. And that's basically it. As you advance as you interact more with the world around you, and as you interact more with the corruption, you may accumulate corruption. And when you accumulate a certain level of corruption, you will gain access to a corruption move. One of the three special ones that you have on your playbook or one of the two that are that anyone can choose, each each. Each corruption move can only be selected and can only be triggered once. And it allows you to do something absolutely spectacular and breathtaking. And at terrible, terrible consequence. So, yeah, there they can be really fascinating. One of the shared corruption moves that anyone can choose and that you will eventually have to choose if you've chosen your other for is how do you end of the story of this character related to the corruption. The thing is that you can pick that corruption move as your First one if you find it narratively interesting, and you can, which happened at a one shot that brought me to tears. It was incredible. So these corruption moves are fascinating to me. And this idea that you can do these things that may save everyone's life. But then what is what is the emotional consequence? The social consequence? The idea the concept of what it is that you're doing afterwards? That is also fascinating to me.


Ryan Boelter  28:28  

Yeah, absolutely. Uh, gosh, there's a lot of good stuff with like, there's there's not many steps to character creation, but there's so much to the characters that it is is so dull, yes. Have a system to create characters for


Rich Howard  28:47  

that's, that's a great quote, right. I think I think any good game tabletop game like board game, that kind of thing has simple concepts and ideas that can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. And so that way teaching the game is generally pretty easy to do. And we were able to get into a story fairly quickly in a world fairly quickly and even go through some some conflict and resolve that conflict fairly quickly in a in a three to four hour one shot to the point where people walk away, feeling like they have novels and novels have a story in their head, just from a few hours of sitting at the table. And and that's something that's, it's a breathtaking thing to watch, because, of course, we love that it does that. And we were trying to head in that general direction. But somehow the pieces fell together quite well. And the playtesters gave us feedback that said, I want this, do more this lean into this. And we're like, Hey, we're in let's do it and see what happens. And so it really was a collaborative effort, not just between the three designers, but all of the got hundreds of play testers that we've been honored with 50 at one Gen Con it was Oh wow. It was amazing. So We're super grateful. so grateful.


Ryan Boelter  30:02  

Yeah. Um, now we talked a little bit about now there's a community playbook. Is there any other like, big changes that happened within the last about six months or so since our dissented midnight series went out?


Rich Howard  30:17  

Yeah, that's it. That's a good question. The big one that we were just introducing at the time, to the point where, uh, you and Amelia had not heard of it yet was that community playbook? So let me talk about that a little bit for those people who are the last one. So the community playbook was a concept that Taylor came up with that Richard and I were like, yes, please, let's do this, which is as you're creating your world, you get a visual, you can have a visual people learn differently, and we're trying to do our best to be able to address the different ways that people learn and read and see as much as we can. So having a community playbook allows people to have a concrete thing at the table that they can look at, that they're building together and really even an artifact that they can carry away after their campaigns done. But during the creation of the of the community. When you take actions, those actions will affect the community. And you will have harmony tokens and corruption tokens that are introduced onto the onto the map. So when you fill your harmony track, which is like our experience points, and you gain a new advancement, or you complete your corruption track and you gain corruption moves, you are placing these harmony and corruption tokens on the community in places that are narratively appropriate for the story that you're telling and the things that pushed you over the edge. In some cases, with corruption moves, you're placing more than one corruption token. And the way that we have it's set currently for the long term game is that a corrupt shake a harmony token can erase a corruption token, rice, but a corruption token can never erase a harmony token. I love that. So for the long term game, what we're trying to do and you don't get to see this in the one shots as much, but with the long form campaigns, what we're aiming for is this idea that over time Over time hope hope can and will help to push back. The thing that's that's affecting the world around you in such a negative into antagonistic way. And so and so once you place a harmony token for the most part that harmony token stays where it is. Now, if it correct corruption can be introduced into that space, but you just have harmony and corruption happening at the same time. So if you place a harmony token in where corruption token already exists, they cancel each other out. And so and so over time, you're going to see a lot of corruption. Corruption is very easy to rack up particularly early in the early campaigns. And hope is a little harder to rack up, and you need to rack it up by doing a lot of things learning from your mistakes like with a lot of power by the apocalypse games. Our game is a fail forward style game. You gain harmony, from actions you take and things that you do that affect the world around you, but you also gain harmony when you roll low and and it's B roll a six or less And and you make a mistake and you learn from that mistake, and those harmony that you that harmony that you rack up can and the mistakes that you learned can help to move the community forward together as a whole.


Ryan Boelter  33:11  

Mm hmm. Gosh, I've got I got goosebumps when you were talking about the long term implications of the harmony and corruption.


Rich Howard  33:19  

Yeah. And I have to tell you like the concept of the the the the community playbook and placing these tokens was Taylor. And it was it was absolutely brilliant. And through play testing back and forth, we started to see kind of this interaction of what could happen if, you know, what if harmony tokens cancel, you know, corruption tokens, but corruption tokens can never cancel harmony, and we were all like, that's the through line of the whole story. Yeah, that's, that's what we want to see. Right? And so and so and then the more harmony or the more corruption that stacks up narratively, you could use it as a timer or a clock like some other pvta games, you could certainly do that. Or you could just look at it and say like, Look, we have one harmony here. But there's six corruption. What does that mean? Right? What does that mean? You're like, there's a seed of hope that's, that's being crushed. Like, what does that mean narratively to us. And then as it as a group as a table, you can come up with the idea of like, Man, what are we doing here? Like, are we losing this place? Like, is this place break off into the abyss? Like what is going on here? Even though there's hope alive here? It's just can't do much of any. Right. Right? So so we're leaving that a little bit more open to interpretation. But those individuals like my like, particularly myself, because I came from more of a simulation is background, you know, for decades. I could look at that and say, Oh, you know what I'm going to think like, all right, as a guide, you know, when when we hit three corruption here, I'm going to do X, you know, this, it's five corruption. I think I'm going to move this concept forward, right, and you can use it as a bit of a guideline. If you want to do that. It gives you something to hold on to if you want to, or you can interpret it a little more loosely. If If you're more freeform and mind's eye, it can be used either way. And that's something that we tried to do with a lot of the game.


Ryan Boelter  35:06  

Yeah, absolutely. All right. I know we're running a little low on time. But there's one question I had left for you sure. Is there anything interesting from the Kickstarter that you'd like to highlight that we haven't gone over?


Rich Howard  35:19  

Thank you for actually Yes. So


Rich Howard  35:24  

we will have several articles. There's a currently an article right now on tri Valley calm, where you can see our specific tears, they're the ones that exist will be that way we are contemplating adding a Tier or two, because of some things that have come up recently, particularly having to do with a streaming platform that is going to be doing a descent into midnight series, based on our stretch goals, what we achieve, and so we're looking at adapting things to that. But at at the $40 level, you get a hardback full color book, plus the PDF at the $80 level. You Get that PDF and that hardback copy and you can have a hardback copy donated to a school and after school program and aquarium at a library, any place that you want to have a copy donated to, we will ship the a copy to that location at the at the hundred at every level above that you get that donation copy. So at at at the next level, which is at 110. You get the hardback copy we already talked about you get the donation copy. And you get the Kickstarter exclusive copy. When we decided to do a Kickstarter exclusive copy it 110 we had a long conversation, we said Look, I love my exclusive copies of stuff. Also I'd like to have an everyday copy I can beat up and have at the table. Yeah, and since we want that, let's do that. And in addition to that, we're donating a book too. So the hundred and $10 level we think that the people Who can afford that? will want to look at that level and because you can, you can donate. You can you can get a coffee for yourself, or give it to a friend and have the kickstart starter exclusive. And every level from $110 up gets all three of those.


Ryan Boelter  37:15  

That's amazing plus


Rich Howard  37:16  

the PDF obviously. And so that's something that we're really really proud of this was inspired by Brie Shelton's Kickstarter for turn, which is a brilliant PBT a game please go check it out their Kickstarter that they had allowed me to get a copy for myself and purchase a copy to donate to the community. And um, I jumped on that in a heartbeat because I wanted to support turn with more money, but I was like, well, I just, you know, and it gave me this thing of like, Oh, I also feel good, because I want to give something and we wanted to do something very similar. This game is focused on not just social, socio emotional concepts and ideas that we really want to introduce into the world, but also the educational aspects of marine science. And evolutionary biology and ecology and things that you could that teachers and educators can introduce at their tables. So it's covering everything that I wanted to learn when I was a kid. My wife is a teacher as well. She was a special education teacher for over a decade. She and I talked about a lot of these things as well as we were developing, not just the game, but particularly toward the end of the game, like how are we making this more accessible? And, and what are we what are our goals, and this is how we talk about the raising of our children as well. So taking a game like I love the DVD after school programs, I love seeing how popular that they are. It's fantastic, please, my kids will be playing it a ton as well. Also, perhaps we're thinking descent into midnight for again, these different socio emotional concepts and stories, having something a little different and also focusing on some educational aspects as well. And I think being able to lean into this player agency and allow, particularly the younger kids who are learning to harness that imagination, give them The agency to be a part of the story and to to be a story part of the story and have the guide that may that may be the adult to start, be able to sit back, be quiet and listen to the amazing things that can come out of a child's mouth or young players mouth when they're allowed to speak. Right? Just sit and listen. It's incredible. Yeah. So Gosh. So that's something that we're really excited about is the donation tiers. And then the hundred and $10 level we think people are going to be quite interested in as well.


Ryan Boelter  39:29  

Absolutely. That's awesome. As if I couldn't be more excited about this.


Rich Howard  39:36  

Well, thank you. We're hoping that Kickstarter itself as we keep adding things, and when talking about it, we hope that we put as much intention into what we're doing and why we're doing it with the Kickstarter as we did with the game. And that we want to walk away from this saying that we had a successful game and a successful Kickstarter, but also not just you know, financially or whatnot, but also that we're proud of what we did and what we can do and Hopefully lift up the community as much as we possibly can. From our tiny little corner of the corner of the pond.


Ryan Boelter  40:07  

Absolutely. Well, rich, thank you so much for joining me to talk about descent into midnight. You are now officially one episode closer to your teeth.


Unknown Speaker  40:18  

I got five more to go.


Unknown Speaker  40:21  

We'll get there someday. That's right.


Ryan Boelter  40:24  

Could you go ahead and remind everyone where they can find you online?


Rich Howard  40:26  

Absolutely. I encourage people to just pop over the easiest is to pop over to at di m RPG that's at dem RPG for the descent of the midnight Kickstarter. From that Twitter feed that's pinned up there, you can find links to myself to Richard and to Taylor. It's just the easiest way to link straight over to us. You can find us there I am on Facebook as well. I am going to be shutting my Facebook down to just probably family after a while and focusing on some other things including a new website I'm working on and some other things but for now, just link over to Twitter. And you can Find us at di m RPG or online descent into www descent into midnight calm. Oh, and if you if you want to check out the Kickstarter, you can do go to di m slash Ks. so damn slash forward slash Ks should take you to the Kickstarter. Very cool.


Ryan Boelter  41:27  

I am very happy that that URL exists. Awesome. Well again, thank you so much for joining me for this special bonus episode of character creation spotlight. And thanks for everyone for tuning in. Don't forget to check out the descent into midnight Kickstarter, which kicked off this last Saturday. And we'll be back in a regular time next week. We'll see you then.


Ryan Boelter  42:00  

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 this show and even our press kit. Character Creation Cast can also be found on Twitter at Creation Cast Born on our Discord server at discord Character Creation I'm one of your hosts, Ryan bolter, and I can be found on Twitter at lordan Neptune or online at lordan. Neptune calm or other host Emily antrum can be found on twitter at ginger reckoning. Music for this episode is used with a Creative Commons license, or with permission from the podcast they originated from. Further information can be found within the show notes. Our main theme music is hero remix by Steve combs and it's used with a Creative Commons license. This podcast is owned by us under Creative Commons. This episode was edited by Ronnie boltar further information for the game systems used and today's guests can be found in the show notes. If you'd like to leave us a rating or review, we have links to various premium platforms out there, including Apple podcasts in our show notes. Also, check the show notes for links to our other projects. Thanks for joining us. 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 will see you next time.


Amelia Antrim  43:46  

Now we gotta read some show blurbs show blurbs.


Unknown Speaker  43:51  



Unknown Speaker  43:52  

show maps.


Ryan Boelter  43:54  

Character Creation Cast is hosted by the one shot Podcast Network. If you enjoyed our show Visit one shot where you will find other great shows like total party kill.


Amelia Antrim  44:06  

Total party kill is a weekly live twitch stream where john Patrick Cohen, Eddie clinker and James do again play through cephalo fair games is gloom haven. Join them in the stream to play along through the action and interact with a constantly changing cast of characters and special guests or watch them after the fact on the one show YouTube channel TPK airs Thursdays at 7pm Central time at twitch TV slash one shot RPG


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