Character Creation Cast

ReCast - Series 3.3 - Star Crossed with Alex Roberts (Discussion)

Episode Summary

Welcome to a special Character Creation ReCast episode! December is a busy month for Amelia and Ryan, so join us on a remastered version of the discussion episode of Star Crossed, one of the four most impactful episodes that we’ve hand-picked to ReCast throughout December. If you enjoy this episode, check out the whole series back at the beginning of our feed!

Episode Notes

Welcome to a special Character Creation ReCast episode! December is a busy month for Amelia and Ryan, so join us on a remastered version of the discussion episode of Star Crossed, one of the four most impactful episodes that we’ve hand-picked to ReCast throughout December. If you enjoy this episode, check out the whole series back at the beginning of our feed!

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Episode Transcription

Transcripts Automatically Generated - Not 100% Accurate

Ryan Boelter  0:01  

Welcome to a special character creation recast everyone, December and November for that matter is turning out to be busier than we expected. So we've queued up four of our favorite episodes from the last almost two years for the first four Mondays of this month. For those who haven't heard these before, enjoy, these episodes should set while on their own. And we've learned some great things from each of them that we've selected. If you have heard them before, we have remastered them, and it may be worth a read Listen, since it's been a long while since I've been released, at least in most cases. First up is our discussion episode with Alex Roberts for her game star crossed. This was our third series we ever released and one of the series we recorded before even launching the podcast. So not only is this one of our favorite series, as


Ryan Boelter  1:00  

Whole. But this recording directly led to us getting invited on to the one shot Podcast Network, which we are still humbled by every single day. This episode, Alex offers up some really great insight into consent into RPG as we talk about bleed, safety tools and so much more. It is like a lot of little evolution cast episodes, wrapped up into a single discussion episode. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this format. Our hope was to serve up something interesting or fun from the past. Well, giving ourselves a little bit of a break, so we can build up some recordings for next year. Each episode will have new Cold opens too. So definitely check out these segments at the very least. And for those looking forward to the episode. Let's get right to it. Enjoy


Amelia Antrim  2:46  

Welcome back to our discussion episode I'm your host Amelia. Last time we created some hesitant lovers with a brand new game called Star crossed. This episode we are going to discuss the character creation process.


Amelia Antrim  3:00  

Ryan and I are very excited to welcome back Alex Roberts, host of the backstory podcast on the one shot Podcast Network and creator of this very game, which you can back on Kickstarter. Now. Alex, do you want to go ahead and reintroduce yourself to everyone and tell us about the couple that you and I made?


Alex Roberts  3:23  

Thank you. Yeah, my name is Alex Roberts. I'm a game designer, writer, critic. And I do some secret background work in the games industry as well. And the couple that you and I made, gosh, sexy spies. Is there anything better?


Alex Roberts  3:40  

Now you were KGB? I was in my six. I was just completely and utterly devoted to Queen and country. You were utterly terrified of the punishment of their your brutal dictatorship under which you lived.


Alex Roberts  3:53  

It was so forbidden. It was so delicious. Yeah, it was great.


Ryan Boelter  3:57  

And Amelia, do you want to talk about the couple of them Both you and I made.


Amelia Antrim  4:02  

Yes, you and I made some really adorable Magic School students who are rivals for a seat at the top of the class. And they can't be together because they are just a little bit too engrossed in their work. And I viewed it as education being the most important thing and nothing can get in the way of that. And you had a little bit of self doubt, I think about being good enough to compete with me even though you were always in close competition. Alright, and then Ryan, do you want to talk about the couple that you and Alex made? Oh, most definitely. Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  4:56  

Alex and I made a magical girl duo sailors. Xena was Alex's character and sailor Gabriel was my character. And we played basically a sailor scouts I guess you could say. We're trying to defend the world from darkness and sailor Xena has like a miracle romance going on with an unknown Prince. And if we were to go against that sort of destiny, the world might fall into darkness and it would pretty much Doom everybody that we know including each other.


Amelia Antrim  5:36  

I love the wide variation in like stakes for like, some of them are like, I might not be top of my class and my college application would be sketchy. And someone were like no, the whole world is doing


Alex Roberts  5:49  

That's right. I love I'm so glad we did multiple setups. It really really yeah, it shows off really nicely the


Alex Roberts  5:58  

the wild stuff that can happen When people get a hold of this game,


Amelia Antrim  6:02  

yes, I mean, we came up with like some very, like vastly different scenarios. I mean, and partly because we were trying to change it up a little bit, but like, and they're really good guys. I'm so excited about the


Ryan Boelter  6:17  

awesome. Now that we know where we left off from last episode, let's go ahead and dive right into a segment we are calling d 24. Your thoughts be 20 fair thoughts on rate. In this segment, we want to talk to our guests about their thoughts on character creation, about the process and how it feels in this system compared to others, and First, we like to start with a little bit more of a personal question for you, Alex, how did you get into role playing games in the first place?


Alex Roberts  6:48  

So there are many answers to this question. I think if I go back, like as far as I can, I feel like I've always been like LARPing you know, I do a lot of LARPing actually. Don't talk about much on this cast. But um, I feel I want to at some point,


Ryan Boelter  7:05  

we will get into that at some point.


Alex Roberts  7:08  

I feel like I've always been doing like role playing or something. And I think I was. I was probably just a really bossy kid. But I feel like I was always the GM when we were playing pretend as kids. And I really feel like we, like me and my friends absorbed the concept like the cultural concept of d&d before we actually had like access to the system in any way. So we would just like sit in the treehouse and be like, yeah, we're playing d&d, which means that I say what's happening and other people pretend that they're a different person, and they respond to what I'm saying. So yeah, I feel like I've always just been kind of like freeform role playing. But when I was in high school, I was really delighted to meet other people who like had the actual books and everything. So then I was like, Oh, it's time to play legal d&d. So I had some very sweet friends who, you know, we would hang out in the basement and play 3.5 good stuff. And actually, ironically, for this show, I feel like we would always get super into character creation, we'd spend hours on that. And then by the time it came to, like, actually play the game, we would just be really tired, it would be 3am. And there's not enough energy drinks in the world. And so we would like barely actually ever play.


Amelia Antrim  8:26  

And then yeah, I mean, I feel like we are those kind of people like that. So that's why we have this show so that we don't have to, like feel bad about not feeling


Alex Roberts  8:35  

there's an excuse me, just get it just play the good part. Yeah, which is fine, because I'm sure I would just would have been personally disappointed. 3.5 is very cool system. But I think I would have been personally disappointed by it. And indeed, when I got to university and forth, it came out. I tried playing a couple of times. I was like, yeah, you know, I really want to like RPG. So I'm going to play d&d. You know, I I knew people who were running it and who wanted to play. And I was just, I found myself really disappointed by by what I could do and couldn't do, I guess, because I'm just personally not really into tactical combat, which was a huge focus of that game and it did it really well. So I played that a couple of times, and I decided, oh, well, not my thing. And I and then one day, I went out for a beer with my my good buddy, Patrick. And he said, he would I knew that he was really into role playing games, and somehow it came up. And I said, you know, Patrick, I've been playing d&d, I play the new one and everything. And I guess it turns out, I just don't like role playing games. I thought that I did, but I guess I don't. And he was like, let me tell you about these other systems that exist. And I'm pretty sure as soon as he described burning wheel to me, I was like, my jaw was hitting the table and like my eyes Why the saucers and I was just like, what is this world? What are you describing to me? Tell me everything. So he actually started this group that was kind of like a book club for indie games. And so almost every month we would get together and I played all the classics of that era, you know, we played fiasco and dread and my life with Master igmp caga motsu i actually jammed my life with Master which I was totally unprepared for, but I just was so in love with it. I jammed Komatsu which I would still do at the drop of a hat with very little provocation. So yeah, I played a lot of the games that that Yeah, actually inspired this game that I'm working on now. So that was amazing. And then yeah, and then it kind of became my whole life and here I am.


Amelia Antrim  10:47  

Well, thanks, Patrick.


Alex Roberts  10:50  

And, you know, obviously, he works for burning wheel now. He does copy editing and stuff for them. So Oh, cool.


Amelia Antrim  10:59  

Playing God didn't give up. I'm glad you, you gave it another go. Because it was, if nothing else for the, you know, two hours that we had before. Totally worth it, as far as I can tell. So I want to ask a little bit about your personal process when you make characters for all of these games, not necessarily just for this game, but do you have a way that you usually go about it? Do you try and change it up? And do things a little bit differently every time? How do you decide what kind of character you want to play and, and who you want to be?


Alex Roberts  11:35  

Um, I really part of it depends on the system and how it plays out, right? So if I'm at the table with a bunch of other people, and we're all creating characters at the same time, then you want to create a character that's going to interact with people in an interesting way. Right? So you want to start with relationships. Right? So you want to start with like, oh, I'll be that character's brother. Yeah, that would be really cool because of this thing. That's that Maybe might happen, or you want to say like, oh, if you're playing this really, you know, cranky, upright, uptight Paladin, I'm going to be this Bard who's really like playful and kind of, you know, pokes fun at them a bit. Oh, yeah, that'll be fun. So, it's happening that way, then I kind of want to, like explore relationships and start from there. But if it's happening in a slightly more private way, or if, if you're kind of just like making a character, which actually happens in a lot of the loops that I play, where you kind of just like answering some questions about yourself, and then we'll see what happens. I don't know. I think I really, really like taking elements from people that I know. So like, all like take inspiration from people that I know in real life and be like, I want to play like that person. I want to pretend that I have some aspect of that person's personality. And I think this is especially fun to do in LARP because you can kind of like embody them a little bit. So like, you know, I know this person Network who just has this like obscene confidence? And they just walk around with their shoulders like this? And what if I walked around like that for a couple of hours? What would that feel like? So that's one thing that I like to do.


Amelia Antrim  13:12  

I like that that's really cool. I think there's because there's always lots of interesting ways to, to approach that because some people say like, Oh, this is a mechanical thing that I want to be able to do. Or I like this


Unknown Speaker  13:25  

type of character. Or


Amelia Antrim  13:27  

some people sit down and say, like, this is the kind of story that I want to tell.


Unknown Speaker  13:31  



Amelia Antrim  13:32  

you can kind of, sort of steer things from there, but I like years of like picking a personality trait and kind of building out from there. Like, that's really cool, like, a good place to start with, like, just that seed of an idea.


Ryan Boelter  13:46  

So how do you think you would compare the process of character creation in this game in Starcraft, two other games that you've played? Uh, I think we could probably open that to all


Alex Roberts  14:00  

Yeah, I would actually really like, appreciate your two perspectives on it.


Alex Roberts  14:06  

Would you say that it's shorter?


Unknown Speaker  14:11  

A little bit? Yeah.


Alex Roberts  14:13  

I think I like I like character creation to tell me what the game is about. And I think in Starcraft, that's something I really, really focused on is I didn't want to have anything on the character sheet. That wasn't super important to the theme of the game. Right? So the game is about people who were into each other, who can't act on it. And so the only things that are on this sheet are, why are you so into each other? And why can't you act on it? And those are the key things about you. And I want those things to be written down and in front of your face, right in front of you on the table. Because I want you to always be thinking about them as you're playing right and let that be the focus of your play. You'll notice that this character, this character, she doesn't have things like, name, age, gender, because those things will come up, you'll figure it out. But it's it's not the focus of the game is not what the game is about. If that if that becomes irrelevant at some point, then you'll figure it out on the fly. But knowing in advance now, you just need to know, why are they so into you?


Alex Roberts  15:26  

And, yeah, why can't it be?


Ryan Boelter  15:28  

I like the, the kind of puzzle aspect of it, where you're not really sure exactly how all the pieces are going to fit together until you start playing through the game. And how you can actually create more aspects of your personality through play. Instead of everything being up front. This is everything that my character believes in.


Unknown Speaker  15:55  



Alex Roberts  15:57  

absolutely. And I think that Sometimes people underestimate their ability to fill in the blanks. People are so creative. And I think people just can't help it fill in the blanks, right? Everything we perceive, we are adding additional information to make it make sense to us. That's just like that's like how perception works. That's how we figure things out. Right? I mean, if we see a spill, like, if we see an overturned cup on the floor, and it's right next to a table, we're going to assume that the cup fell off the table, even if we didn't see it happen. And so I think even when you have this really, really bare bones of information, people just, they make it make sense. And they do that through conversation and also in their own heads.


Amelia Antrim  16:40  

And I like the idea that there's so much that you just have to play out. I mean, that's, it's something that it comes up a lot in, in like actual play podcasting, in particular, where it's, you say like, if the audience doesn't hear it, it didn't happen. And I think that that's a cool concept that you can bring into other games at home. And I think in particular here, because there is a lot left blank, that you can say, none of this is real until we've seen it happen. And I like that, like those of you are left to fill in those blanks, because otherwise it's not a full, you don't have the full picture. But like, the whole goal of this game is to find out what that picture is.


Alex Roberts  17:27  

Yeah, exactly. And that's the fun of it. Right? The fun is figuring it out. If you figured it out before you've been played, then it's like, oh, you're robbing yourself of all this cool, fun. And also, honestly, I am really, really impatient. And my attention span is just not that long. And I always find myself being like, when When do we start? When do we start? When do we start? So I like to just kind of put people in play as fast as possible.


Ryan Boelter  17:54  

Yeah, it's really interesting. When you are you have Kind of from this very bare bones set of questions and idea of who you're going to be playing as through this game. And you're going to have a more personal connection to the character, I think, through this sort of process, because you have to fill in a lot of blanks with both your own personality and a thought process of who is this character before you even start playing. If that makes sense?


Alex Roberts  18:32  

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Your mind is already going. You're already kind of like, your wheels are already spinning. When you when you start going.


Amelia Antrim  18:40  

Yeah, exactly. But at the same time, I think because of all of the stuff that's left open, you're forced to sort of live in the moment. Yeah, which I think you can. There are a lot of games where because so much stuff is mechanical, or so much stuff is written out in front of you on your character sheet, that it kind of pulls you back out a little bit. You lose some of that immersion. And I think this is probably probably Oh, some of this to your background and doing a lot of larb and stuff like that. But like the immersive nature of this is that like, you, there's so much that's left open so that while you're doing it, you have to be present because you can't just like look back at your sheet and say, Oh, yeah, like, what was that about? What did I say? It's you have to you have to be there for this.


Ryan Boelter  19:23  

Right, exactly.


Alex Roberts  19:25  

Thank you so much for identifying the LARP connection because


Unknown Speaker  19:29  

there's so much


Alex Roberts  19:32  

like of the kinds of loops that I do in I think, particularly in this character sheet because I'm used to playing games where your character sheet is maybe like, two cards, you know, that say two different things, or like two sentences that you wrote down and you just put them in your pocket. I mean, some larks have incredibly elaborate character information and backgrounds and your cast in advance and you read you know, 20 pages of information. There Totally kinds of loops that are like that. But I think in, in the traditions that I'm familiar with, and a lot of the free form or scenario LARP, or whatever you want to call it, style, you're often given a really small amount of information and you jump into it right away. And I like that. And I tried to bring that here and see if it would work in a tabletop environment.


Amelia Antrim  20:21  

And I feel like it plays well off of the the relationship centered aspect of this, though, that like so much of like, who you are in a relationship is, is informed by the person that you're with, like, even if you are, you know, a confident person who you like you have your own strong personality. There are still things about yourself that are determined by the people around you. And so I think that leaving some of that open and having it be determined in play is really important, because you are, you are affected by that in a relationship.


Unknown Speaker  20:57  

Right. Yeah, totally.


Amelia Antrim  21:00  

Just also really excited about this game.


Alex Roberts  21:02  

So good. I just this is like the best discussion show ever because you're just saying really nice things about my game and I just got to be like, Yeah, Yeah, it does. Yeah it is.


Amelia Antrim  21:14  

I'm gonna change that on our go far and be like, hey, do you wanna come on our show and send us say really nice things about you? Like that's a good pitch doesn't easy sell


Unknown Speaker  21:21  

my friend.


Amelia Antrim  21:23  

Let us play your game and then we will tell you how great you are. Okay, now I lost my spot because I was laughing too hard.


Alex Roberts  21:32  

That's okay. I think the next question is about specific things. I want to make sure that I did with character creation. I feel like we've been talking about that.


Amelia Antrim  21:40  

Yeah, I mean, I we've we've talked about some of the specifics of things that you wanted to bring in, but like, outside of the ones that we've talked about, have there been other things that you were like, no, this has to make it into the game. More like a thing that you you sort of had to work around because you were so sure that like it needed to be there.


Unknown Speaker  22:00  

I think


Alex Roberts  22:02  

I think making it as minimal as possible was actually something that was like a really important goal of mine. And to cut away things that weren't important. Like even to have that first question the Who am I was kind of like a concession that I made to myself like, okay, players really seem to want something that they can put that as like their role, you know, so that they can be like, Wait, am I the alien parasite, or am I the human host? I forget. So I can be like, okay, you can write it at the top. And, yeah, so I think it really is about that, like, only the important bits, only the most essential stuff.


Amelia Antrim  22:36  

I'm always fascinated by the sort of information that's on a character sheet and how that kind of tells you a little bit about like what you're supposed to do in the game, you can get a good idea of what this game is about by looking at the character sheet. Yes. And I feel like because you've broken that down into these questions of like, why, why are we together? Why can't we? Why can't we act on the Unlike that is the whole game and you've put it like right there.


Alex Roberts  23:03  

Yeah, and you know what you've hit on something really important, which is not everybody wants to play a romance game. And I get that, because I don't really like. I don't really like playing games where there's like a lot of killing. Like, if there's some killing, it's okay, but not if there's like a lot. And it's super important to me to be able to just look at a character sheet. And if I see like, strength weapons, like if I see this huge list, that's just like things that you have that make it easier to kill people. I can be like, Wow, cool, wouldn't What an interesting game night, I'm probably not going to have a lot of interest in that I probably won't enjoy. So I want someone to be able to look at this sheet and either be extremely jazzed or to say, Yep, not for me. Because it it's going to have the words attractive on it. And like and it's gonna have the word feelings on it. I mean, like For some, for some people that's just like a big magnet. You know that that says, Yes, let's put it this is my game I want to play it. And for other people, it's it's a nice little like kind of a big red warning sign but like a nice little orange one just says like, yeah, tilings just adds up.


Amelia Antrim  24:19  

Yeah, I mean, everybody's into different things and everybody like just like in relationships like you've you've got your things that you're, you know that you are interested in that you want. And that's totally fine. Not everything is for everyone. Yeah, it's okay. Yeah, it's, um, but I like that it's, you can see that pretty clearly. Like, here's the here's what we're about, here's what you're going to be doing. I want to ask in that same vein, did you find yourself having to add more questions because you wanted it to be really minimal? Or did you kind of put a bunch of stuff down and then kind of take away as you went along, as you saw what wasn't important?


Alex Roberts  24:58  

How did that process go, you know, What? It's I'm actually kind of glad that it came up in our the first couple that we made that I had an older version of the character sheet in front of me that had two separate questions what has brought us together? And what is keeping us apart? Before it gets into why is that important to me? Being able to synthesize that into a single question of why can't I act on my feelings was like, wha, Chef kiss? I was so happy when I was able to do that. This is why you draft folks, this is why drafts are a beautiful thing.


Alex Roberts  25:31  

You do not have to get it right the first time or even the seventh time.


Ryan Boelter  25:37  

It kind of seems like we answered probably the next two questions how the process of character creation sets a player's expectations for playing star crossed and how it adds to the immersion of playing the game.


Amelia Antrim  25:55  

Well, yeah, I mean, I feel like you You did a pretty good job of putting all of the together in, like, in a question like it is, it's amazing. I feel like the complex people that we came up with, with like four or five questions, like, I am baffled at how we did that after, you know, having recorded episodes of, you know, other other games where, you know, it's like we had to answer I mean, l five are we did, and it's that one has after you finish, you're creating your character 20 questions that you then answered about your character. And I like that process. Yeah, that's crazy to me. Like, how different this is that like you have four questions and we still came up with


Alex Roberts  26:36  

there was still a person at the end. That's wild, right? Yes. Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  26:41  

scores or their string scores or?


Amelia Antrim  26:46  

Yeah, or their whole families. Like that's all okay.


Alex Roberts  26:48  

Yeah. Because well, and it's all about like, what is important, right, like what is important in this game? If this was a game, where you then sent these two characters into combat, I would have done A very very poor character creation system because you'd be like I don't know what I'm good at. I don't know what I bring to the table necessarily.


Alex Roberts  27:08  

Yeah, but it's it's you know the right characters for the game.


Amelia Antrim  27:12  

I want to as far as immersion goes the one thing that I feel like outside of just answering questions and kind of building the world and the thing that I think was most immersive for me was the point where we trade she is back and forth because like there's a level of I talked about before like agency that you are giving up to this other person to say tell me this things about myself and or that you told me how you mean trust, but that is an integral part of any relationship is giving up some of that agency to somebody else and trusting the other person and that's like to be kind of thrown in to that in creating a character to was really cool to me. Yeah, basically saying to the other person, I trust you to do something with what I'm giving you, that's going to be amazing for me to use while we play this game. And that's kind of


Ryan Boelter  28:13  

a really big part of relationships is having that trust. And this is kind of I don't know, if it's intentionally doing this kind of giving you give you into that sort of mindset, just from the act of, I'm trusting you with this, and you're trusting me with the same thing. And then we are going to, you know, have that sort of bond together before we even start playing.


Amelia Antrim  28:46  

Yeah, it's an out of character exercise that really like informs the things that you are about to do in character.


Alex Roberts  28:52  

Thank you that that's a really eloquent way of putting it both of you and i think you know, that I think we we underestimated the that, that moment of vulnerability when you hand your sheet over to someone else, and you think like, Oh, I hope something good comes back. And also, Amelia, I love that. The moment when you were like, I'm not too sure about this, the way that you articulated It was like, I don't want to say something about them that they won't like, you know, or I don't want to give them something that they can't play with. And so I mean, the whole game, you're going to be tossing stuff back and forth and trusting each other, and building on what each other said, say. And so, you know, maybe it is this sort of, like first, first toe in the water, of Yeah, of trusting the other person to come up with something great and to trust yourself that, hey, if I say something that they don't like, and they don't want that they're going to tell me, right because this game really relies on that. This game relies on your


Amelia Antrim  29:56  

moment of vulnerability.


Unknown Speaker  29:59  



Ryan Boelter  30:00  

And normally this is where we discuss, like the group's cohesion, whether it'll play well in the system that we're playing. But this is a lot different of a game compared to most. So I want to ask, you know, setting aside a person's non descript, branded, block building tower set skills. How do we think that these different scenarios might actually play out? in a broad sense?


Amelia Antrim  30:38  

We get to spend a few minutes thinking about our fanfics


Alex Roberts  30:42  

Oh, boy.


Alex Roberts  30:45  

Oh my gosh, it's it's really hard to know. It's really hard to tell.


Alex Roberts  30:51  

How do you think the wizard school scenario would play out? How do you hope, huh?


Amelia Antrim  30:57  

I know it's hard because like the whole premise of it is It doesn't happen, right? Like or no Is it like that if the tower gets knocked over, that's the thing. So if you top


Alex Roberts  31:05  

tower, you act on each other's. You act on your feeling,


Ryan Boelter  31:09  

but then it's who topples the tower is who acts, right?


Alex Roberts  31:13  

Yeah, whoever whoever touched it last. Yeah. They act on their feelings. So they do something that makes their feelings known. So that could be verbal, right? They just, they suddenly just kind of blurted out, or it could be just anything that makes it obvious and sometimes very subtle, right? It's, it's very specific to the context.


Ryan Boelter  31:35  

I wanted to say for the wizard stereo, and let me know if this is if this is good for you, Amelia. At some point, we get in an absolutely heated argument, like really top voice yelling at each other and then it just gets blurted out by the person that knocked the tower over


Amelia Antrim  32:00  

My gosh that's such a good loving like we're having this whole fight of like everything is terrible and I can't believe you did this and why would you know like and then it's just like


Unknown Speaker  32:11  

because I really liked


Amelia Antrim  32:15  

it because I wanted to spend more time with you okay those two so sweet


Alex Roberts  32:22  

This is such cheesy like pulpy stuff that you came up with for those two and I'm so down for it like I'm just so for those two oh my god really like the kids please


Amelia Antrim  32:33  

everyone send us your sweet competitive wizard


Ryan Boelter  32:40  



Alex Roberts  32:43  

my dams are open


Unknown Speaker  32:44  

or an 800 page


Amelia Antrim  32:49  

you feel so inspired so I like I mean how do you think your your magical girl saying to somebody knock over the tower or are they like


Alex Roberts  32:59  

strong enough? To I mean, we. So I have, I have only had one game in like two years of play testing. I've only seen one game where they were at they were in scene eight. And the follow said, You know what, I think I want to end the scene here. I think I want to end the scene without us. And that means like, the characters never act on their feelings. It's super rare. But it does happen. It's totally mechanically allowed, and you can play towards it if you really want. And that was this beautiful game where like, one of them was from the moon and one of them was from Earth and the Moon was like it there was this war of independence going on, like a civil war for the moon was trying to become its own like, anyway, it's kind of Ursula Gwynn sort of the dispossessed fanfiction. So they, but they were on opposite sides. But they really loved each other. So they, yeah, they decided that, you know, the war was over and they went their separate ways, and it was touching and beautiful, but that's actually very rare. So I definitely think There's a possibility that Xena and Gabrielle would get there because this is like world ending stuff, you know? Yeah, that's true. I don't know. No, you know what? I'm calling it, please. I think okay, I think it's, it's, I think that they eventually just like breakdown express their love for each other. And then it's like, this was the real miracle romance all along. Oh, you know, because like magical girls stories and so much about like, trusting your feelings and like learning to like, trust in each other and like, see the happy. Clap that right? Like, it would be so cheesy. And it would be so like final episode, negating a bunch of like stuff that happened earlier in this really like non earned way. And that is perfect. Yes, I want it to be like, you know, the are to animal companions turn into their human forms. And they were like, all you needed was to learn to believe in yourself and like, you know, the feelings that you had were real and important, and it's okay to feel that way would be this like, yeah. Queer coming of age like, inspiring


Ryan Boelter  35:05  

thing. The whole series this Tuxedo Mask type character has just been a red herring to the audience like of course he's the prince that she's supposed to be patrols to know


Amelia Antrim  35:18  

that's right and you could tell that he was wrong for her all alone


Alex Roberts  35:25  

and be and she did what she believed in what was true and integral and not what other people expected of her not what society said she had to do. At that is that is that was the


Unknown Speaker  35:34  

real magic. Oh my


Unknown Speaker  35:39  

gosh, it makes me something.


Amelia Antrim  35:43  

I feel like if anybody made it to the end without acting on it, it would probably be our spies though. I feel like that would be nice. Got the training? Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah. the wherewithal and the like, they put their they put their feelings aside all the time.


Alex Roberts  35:58  

Totally. The end and they're just like, cool about it, you know, and maybe there's some little like flirtatious thing, where they're both like acknowledging it a little bit, but never ever ever acting on it. And so it's just this like, you know, Oh, it's you, I'm sure in Panama,


Amelia Antrim  36:16  

you know, I think there's like always this hope that like, they're going to have to, like go undercover to like, infiltrate the other one. And like that, they're gonna have to, like pretend to be a couple, but like not really pretending.


Alex Roberts  36:31  

Yeah, or like, they get trapped in some situation. Definitely. And they have to work together and like God, pretend married is like, that's a stupid trope, and I really like it a


Amelia Antrim  36:42  

lot. So good, very good for it.


Alex Roberts  36:44  

And and that would be great because then they could just be like constantly sniping at each other, but then they still have to, like pretend to be nice to each other when they're around other people and you know, rent one hotel room and everything.


Amelia Antrim  37:00  



Alex Roberts  37:01  

the idea of that being a pair that never act on it is like, really good. And I noticed in our character creation, we had the most like, you know, really kind of cool, sultry, enticing build up. That then was, like really sad at the end. So I think that the idea of the actual play, like reflecting that is really cool. Mm hmm.


Unknown Speaker  37:24  

Yeah. Oh, gosh, okay. Okay, so,


Amelia Antrim  37:29  

one of our big questions is always, how does this game handle character development, not necessarily advancement, but like, as you're playing? How does your character grow as a person? Is that something that like, you thought a lot about or because it's like a very kind of a short window of time that you felt like this was sort of an encapsulation of who they are at this particular time?


Alex Roberts  37:55  

Um, how do you how do you feel about I think it again, has to do with making sure that they're all lot of unanswered questions at the start. When there are questions, people want to answer them. And when you play, you kind of have to necessarily figure out what those answers are. And that's also part of why that's the questions about like, what are their attractive features are important? I mean, from the other person, right? What about them? Do they not realize is attractive is important? Because, like I said, part of playing out this character is deciding whether you're going to live up to that perception or not, right, whether you're going to mention maybe you disappoint the other person by not living up to it, or maybe you sort of exceed their expectations, or you show this side of them that they didn't see, like, one of the moves is reveal something personal, and you can play to what's on your sheet or you can play kind of against it in an interesting way. Right. So like, Oh, yeah, no, I'm cooling confident, but there's this one thing that I'm like super insecure about and, and that is kind of interesting. Or, you know, I play really stuffy and uptight. But there's this one thing that, you know, I can't resist dancing. So whenever there's music that's good to dance to, I can't resist it. So it gives you a lot to play with and against. So by having as many open questions as possible, that is how characters develop, right is by spending enough time together with another person revealing things about themselves constantly, and putting themselves in these vulnerable positions over and over again, you inevitably see something about them and and i think that that's character development, whether they're changing or whether we as the sort of audience slash directors, actor, you know, that is being a player. Just see different sides of them. Yeah, I think I think that's the version of character development in Starcraft,


Amelia Antrim  39:57  

you definitely know a lot more about them at The End even if they aren't necessarily changed as a person overall, although I feel like you would be at least slightly changed based on, you know, whether you do or don't act on it. But yeah, what we know about these characters is definitely vastly different. Yeah, over the course of play,


Alex Roberts  40:18  

and I think I do end up changing right just because of the situations that they're in. And, you know, when we imagine different endings for our characters, you know, like that sailor Xena at the end of that series is gonna be very different than sailor Xena at the start of it right. And, and I feel like those spies in order to get be in those situations, they're going to have to adapt and figure things out about themselves. And I think those two crazy kids that was in school, like, you know, if it just in the act of acting on their feelings, because it's something that they've resisted something about them changes, right. There's some internal change that says, Okay, well, I'm going to do it anyway.


Ryan Boelter  40:56  

Yeah, right. So normally at this point, We talk about character advancement and leveling up. But that doesn't really pertain to this game. So we want to talk about something a little bit different here. So we're still going to take it up level, but not quite in the same way.


Unknown Speaker  41:14  

Take it up a level,


Unknown Speaker  41:16  

level level. So


Amelia Antrim  41:18  

Alex characters don't necessarily level up in this game, like they do in more traditional campaign style games. Because you have eight distinct scenes and you have your jumbling block tower. And there's, there's a definite end to the game in mind always is, I feel like it would be really cool to talk about growth in a different way, though, because the growth that happens isn't always mechanical, right? We grow as players. There's narrative development. There's even increases intensity of things. And so I want to start with intensity and talk about the intensity of the game. In particular, the concept of bleed, which is not something that I think we get to talk about in role playing games a lot, but I feel like it's really, really important when we play the more like dramatic style games. So can you talk a little bit about that?


Alex Roberts  42:24  

Yeah, so I think so for those not familiar with the concept of bleed. That is a term that we use sometimes when we talk about role playing, which is when either the feelings that we as a person have bleed into the character. And, you know, we're just, we have this anger maybe and so we just end up with this really angry character and they're expressing all this anger. And this happens often not intentionally. And sometimes we experience bleed the other way, which is things are happening to our character, not to us. Right, it's all happening fictionally but we, we feel the reaction that our characters having to the situation. So something so, you know, they just did this amazing cool thing and achieve this amazing goal that they've been working towards for 10 sessions. And, of course, our character would feel amazing about having achieved that, but man, we feel amazing too. So that's how bleed works either in or out. And it's a term that was coined by Emily carabosse but it is it's such a part of the lexicon now and it was expanded upon greatly by Dr. saralyn. Bowman and and by pretty much every role playing scholar, I mean, you can't talk about role playing without talking about bleed. So this is a game that is designed to make it happen. This is a game that is designed to induce bleed, which is where I thought I'd not only be consider it with something like the x card but I don't think just including an X card would be enough. I think it would be unethical for me to design a game that is designed To get your feelings out and onto your character and to get the characters feelings out and into you without writing the whole game as an act of care. So, it was super, super important to me every time I drafted a new version of the rules to make sure that what I'm telling people is to care about themselves and each other, and to check in and be like, Hey, is this are these fun feelings that I'm feeling that I'm super into? Or are these like bad feelings? I don't want to be feeling because this game can make you uncomfortable. But like, discomfort can be fun, like, you know, kind of a little like squirming in your seat. I mean, there's a reason why people go to see horror movies or they go to see you know, real like nail biting thrillers or whatever. But that's some discomfort, but it's a discomfort that you want to feel. Right you've chosen to Yeah, exactly. And, and, and it can be an exciting, you know, not knowing what's going to happen kind of fun, discomfort. But in this game, what is important to me is that you are feeling feelings you are excited to feel. So I don't know how to end that sentence like that's just like a sentence like, so feel like, yeah, be what you are, do what you are jazzed to be doing.


Alex Roberts  45:17  

I'm looking for that enthusiastic consent. And there's a number of instructions and the rules that tell you to check in with each other and make sure that everyone's enthusiastically into what's going on. And it's kind of funny that, you know, this is a this is a game about romance. And I feel a really strong need to include rules like that and, and text like that. When really, I think playing any game, you can experience bleed, and even in the most like light hearted, you know, sort of whatever game I'm not going to feel any feelings about this. You never know what can come up, right? I mean, we're we're all role playing and we're all coming up with stuff together. You have no idea right? You get scared by the silliest things or you


Alex Roberts  45:59  

You get upset by this villain by the smallest things are things that other people would consider small you're like, no, that's a big deal because of stuff that happened in my life actually. So yeah, I think when you play with with other people, you should care about them. And I think you have responsibility to, to take care of yourself first to  


Ryan Boelter  46:17  

so how long before we see the first star crossed? actual romances stemming from playing this game?


Amelia Antrim  46:28  

So yes,


Unknown Speaker  46:30  

funny thing about it.


Alex Roberts  46:35  

That's already happened. Oh,


Alex Roberts  46:37  

I mean, I don't want to take too much responsibility. You should. I can't say that I caused it by having people play this game. I just know that whether or not there's a causation, there has been some correlation with people playing this game and then later


Alex Roberts  46:55  

being very close with each other.


Alex Roberts  47:00  

But but that doesn't always happen. Sometimes people just end with a handshake. And that's cool to


Amelia Antrim  47:05  

me. So that's some, like very, that's a very real


Ryan Boelter  47:10  

convention plane star crossed.


Alex Roberts  47:12  

Oh my gosh, that's the dream when someone sends me their wedding photos, and with the, oh my gosh, I'm gonna cry.


Unknown Speaker  47:21  

So, I mean,


Amelia Antrim  47:22  

how do you how do you kind of deal with I mean, because bleed can be totally positive emotions. And that's really great. Like, you get to walk away with like, these really good feelings of like, you know, like, Look, we made love happen. But but sometimes it's, it's not like sometimes you like stories are really sad, or, you know, you walk away feeling like things are unresolved. How do you kind of manage that? Like, sitting down at that, you know, like, at the end, everything's over, like, what do you do to say like, okay, now I have to go home.


Alex Roberts  47:56  

Well, so I'll give you a little design. Secret wink wink, part of the way that I stop that from happening is via the scene structure. So rather than having one open ended thing that lasts two hours, roughly, I have eight scenes, meaning that you have an alibi, you have a sort of mechanical reason to stop and pause and be like, how is this going? And there are no instructions in the rules that say, between scenes have a discussion that looks exactly like this. It is just it just seems to happen based on my play tests that I've observed and been in that at the end of each scene. People just do this like, okay, cool, great. Okay. Now, now what and how Okay, was that that was pretty cool. And there's there's some expressions back and forth about how each other feeling about it. And if you're not feeling great about the game, I one thing I do specify in the rules is that if you're not feeling great about it, and the game, either knock over the tower or just be like, well you know, I'm kind of done. Let's Let's end it here. Let's wrap it up. That's the power that you have. And I don't know if people would necessarily find that easy to do if I didn't have these little sort of mandated breaks like approximately eight of them. So So part of the scene structure is giving those little kind of release valves and also giving you these very easy opportunities to say hey, our games kind of going in this direction. Can we make the next scene like maybe a little more fun and cute? Or hey art games going in this direction? Can we like play even harder to like how steamy it is and how like cool and sexy it is, you know, or whatever the tone is, or whatever the themes are, that are coming up. I'm you really have an opportunity to calibrate not just during, right because you haven't turned Structure you're going back and forth deciding what happens. But but there's these little breaks too.


Amelia Antrim  50:04  

Yeah. And you find that people are like in your playtesting that people are kind of utilizing them for that purpose and consistently checking every single


Alex Roberts  50:11  

time and it's just oh my gosh, I feel like a wizard I love it.


Amelia Antrim  50:15  

Is that I was gonna say is that a moment of like? supervillain except people are just being nice to eat don't even know what I've done.


Alex Roberts  50:26  

That's my version of like a, like trolling or like practical joking. It's just, yeah, setting up these opportunities for people to be kind and care.


Amelia Antrim  50:37  

That's kind of trolling.


Ryan Boelter  50:40  

Awesome. So we can learn a lot as players by playing these kind of games. Are there specific things that you hope people will learn from a game like this? And are the things that you have learned? Well, playtesting this game?


Alex Roberts  50:55  

Thank you so much for asking this question. It is a very good question. humans learn things constantly. They are constantly learning, they will never stop. You can try really, really, really hard. But humans are pretty determined to learn stuff. And whether or not you want your game to teach things, your game is saying stuff. And your game is reinforcing certain behaviors, and not giving opportunities for other behaviors. So, I've tried to be as intentional as possible in what I want people to learn from this game, while also, you know, being subtle about it. But my game contains lots of instructions on how to say what you want, and how to say what you like, and how to say, I don't like that. Let's take that in a different direction. How to say all different kinds of yeses and all different kinds of nose and to have those, all the yeses and all the knows be valuable and kind and expressions of Passion and care. And in other words, I want to teach people how to do, like totally consent based negotiations of intimacy of creative intimacy. And I, I hope I've done a good job of that. I don't know how much I do that or to what extent, but that's a really, really strong design goal that I discovered about halfway through making the game that I was starting to do that a little bit and suddenly became really, really important to me. So if anyone learns that from playing this game, or if they become slightly more skilled at it, or if it just comes slightly more naturally to them, or if or if it's just a good opportunity to practice those skills that we all use, that would like really warmed my heart and make me really, really happy.


Amelia Antrim  52:51  

I mean, that's the thing that I, I noticed, reading the rules is that it's a really good it's a really good run. of how to communicate in a complicated situation where you have a lot of emotions and a lot of things going on. And it's a good a good guide for how to have those kinds of conversations in like sort of small snippets in ways that you would get to practice. And I, this is probably like, not really for the podcast, but like, I think a lot of our How to have those discussions about consent. Because I have kids, and like, they're still very little. So like, we're not at the point where we need to have those discussions. But I think about it when I tell my daughter things like please stop touching my face all the time. She's this thing where she like, has to do this. And it's like, you don't have to people like just don't want. So like I'm always like, in the back of my mind, thinking about how to have those kinds of conversations and how to teach, you know, like, particularly in this case, little kids, but even like grown ups need to learn to how to have these kinds of difficult discussions that are sometimes uncomfortable and there is is the chance that like, the other person isn't necessarily going to like what you have to say, or you're not going to be on the same page. Yeah. But you have to have those conversations anyway, because they're important. And so I think that this game, like, aside from all of the fun that we had, making these characters and telling really cool stories, like there's the opportunity to really, truly sit down and practice having those kinds of difficult conversations in an environment. That's really low stakes.


Alex Roberts  54:30  

Thank you so much for recognizing that.


Alex Roberts  54:33  

But that makes me happy that it comes through. And I think, you know, talking with kids is a great example of like, how do I talk about, here's how you should interact with people and when you're close with them, right? And how do I teach like, asking upfront, right, like, Hey, can I do this and how to respond when someone says no, right? Like, how To resist the urge to be like, Oh, well, are you sure? Like how to take no graciously to accept no as a gift? Right? Like I think really strongly in this game, no is such an important thing to tell your partner. And it leads to a better game, right? If you go along with something that you're not really excited about, like, if you say, Okay, yeah, no, I guess your character can be that. Yeah, well, that's, that's not my preference, but go for it like that games not going to be as good. Then if you had said, No, I'm just really not excited about that. Let's see if we can see if we can come up with something that's even cooler that we're both really into. Like, you're going to have a better game if you say no, when you want to say no. And and if you say yes, when you want to say yes. And if you have the courage to say, I am into this, right if you have the courage to be like, I just want to be magical girls can be magical girls. Then whether or not your partner says yes to that. You're making the game better. By being honest, and putting yourself out there and saying, This is what I like.


Amelia Antrim  56:03  

And I think learning to navigate, having those conversations when there are really strong emotions attached to is really important because I think you can have lots of discussions about like, it's okay to say no when you don't like something. And that's one thing to say like, No, thank you. I don't want to eat these peas that you gave me for dinner. But it's another thing to say. No, like, you are my friend. And I don't want to ruin that. Like, those are very different kinds of know. And to sort of learn how to navigate it when you have those really strong feelings that are telling you something different from what you logically know that you need to do this. And to say no, when there's a lot of pressure to say Yes, right. Like I think there is a lot of pressure to say yes in a co creative game, because people sometimes get the impression that saying yes to everything is the way that you make a good game.


Alex Roberts  56:52  

When in fact saying yes is awesome and saying no for no reason. You know, for the Not realizing that you're saying no, can not always be the right choice, but saying no when it seems like they're going to be really happy if I say so maybe I should say yes. Like, that is a skill that I want people to practice. You know, and I want people to practice saying yes, when, when it's something that they really like, and maybe it was when it's something they're really embarrassed about, because people like really, people like really kind of cheesy stories and stuff. And sometimes maybe they have a little hesitation to bring that out. And, and honestly, like, I think most people have some inhibition, talking about what they like, when, when it's a romantic and possibly sexual game. Right? Like, things can get really like intimate in this game. The stories and the scenes can be about people being very, very close to each other. And just saying, like, you know, I want your character to be really tall. I'm going to say that your character is really tall. I'm revealing something about myself when I say that. You know, and regardless of what it is, even if it's the most mundane thing like being doll, sometimes people, you know, they, that's hard to say. And if I can give people an opportunity to practice saying that I like this. And to put that out there without the expectation that it is a demand or that your partner has to respond in a certain way to it to just put it out there as a as a gift. Yeah, I think that again, it would just make me really happy if people did that as a result of my silly fun game.


Amelia Antrim  58:33  

I'm a huge fan of like, what you can learn from role playing like about yourself and how you interact with other people. And like, I mean, there's just, there's so many things that you can, you can sort of teach in a way that it doesn't feel like teaching or like I said that you can learn these lessons in a low stakes environment. Like you can play it out and see what happens when there are, you know, when the consequences are sort of confined to the The table there's a you have a lot more opportunities to explore things that you you don't want to learn the hard way in.


Alex Roberts  59:08  

Yeah, totally. And you know, it feelings come up in this game, but for the most part it is usually very light and, and often very silly. And that's such a great opportunity to have this like totally low stakes. Practice, right? It's practice practice practice of I like this, I don't like that. I'm excited about this. I'm not excited about that. This is really valuable. To me, this is really important to me. And this isn't. That's really upsetting to me. Like all those things are just let's practice saying those things when they're true about ourselves. And, and as as you to notice, when we started putting characters together and started putting, particularly in that sort of, when we're answering questions about the other character and what's attractive about them, and when we get down to, why is that important to me, like a piece of yourself does come in to this game and and you really do Kind of lead in a little bit to your character. And that, I think that makes it a more valuable practice like that, that makes them more valuable learning experience because it feels a little bit closer to home without feeling, you know, like a real intimacy negotiation thing, right? Yeah.


Amelia Antrim  1:00:17  

I mean, I don't know about you, but all of my romantic encounters have involved bricktown


Alex Roberts  1:00:23  

know what you guys are doing first date, gotta bust out the tower and see what's up.


Amelia Antrim  1:00:28  

See how it goes, you know, how we know whether it's really gonna work? No, you knocked over the tower.


Alex Roberts  1:00:34  

And thank you for including a second part of that question. Are there things that you have learned while play testing this game? Because, yes, because I would not have even realized that this, you know, that in its early form that this game was about that if I hadn't played tested it and seen people starting to have these discussions, that included stuff like, I'm really excited about that. And I like that and can we have more of this? And I was like, Oh wow, if people are going to have discussions like that, I need to write a game that honors that process and that helps it happen in a in a healthy and, and caring way.


Amelia Antrim  1:01:06  

I love that like that's such a cool part of game design that I think that like doesn't get highlighted very often is how you after playtesting can go through sometimes and like really emphasize the things that are working well to on top of you know, like you spend a lot of time cutting things that are reworking things that aren't going well but you can spend time to highlighting and emphasizing the things that are working well and kind of make sure that those things


Alex Roberts  1:01:32  

shine yeah definitely thank you for pointing that out. Like I I really hope that people don't think of play testing as like your game on the chopping block and people are going to tear it apart and you know you're going to see all the bad stuff and have to go back and do a bunch of work to fix it. Because very often you will be people will bring you gems you know people will say hey, Wow, did you realize that your your game did this or you know I had this experience as a result of your game or this part. You know? really emphasize this part and bring it to the forefront because it's that's where the fun is. You know, those are things you only find out through play testing, and it's really a joy when you do.


Amelia Antrim  1:02:08  

Yeah, that's one thing like I would really love to. I'd love to be like sitting there and listening to those conversations is people are like, Oh yeah, you can you know, I did this and you have this moment of like, oh, oh, I didn't even know that if I could do that. Or like that. That's the direction that people would want to take it and like that like a light bulb of like, Oh, this is like even better than what I had originally thought it would be.


Alex Roberts  1:02:30  

Well, I will tell you when I encountered people playing out that alien brain parasite and human host scenario, I was I was amazed, never dreamed. That was not one that I included in the sort of samples. Examples of play. I have been. I have been honored to witness the incredible creativity of the human brain


Amelia Antrim  1:02:55  

and heart parasite or know


Unknown Speaker  1:02:58  

when it's infected by it. Alien parasite


Unknown Speaker  1:03:02  

called love


Unknown Speaker  1:03:05  

metaphors going.


Amelia Antrim  1:03:09  

I mean, I think that we kind of talked a little bit about this already in in just the the wide swath of topics that we've we've covered with this game but do you have any particular advice that you would want to give people to get the most out of this kind of game?


Alex Roberts  1:03:27  

See what you like just put it out there. It's not scary it's not bad. You know feel like if you feel love Xena loves out there. And if you want actually want to play like just super normal to people who, you know whatever they work together, they don't want to have weird workplace thing. That's a perfectly good game. If you really love just being in space and you want to set your game in space, put it out there. It doesn't matter what it is. When you offer it, you are just that that's the only way to make the game great is is to just just say it, hey, I like this. And maybe your partner will say no. And then you'll know, you'll know that that's not something they're interested in. But even in their know, there will be something that you'll want to play with


Amelia Antrim  1:04:18  

that will come out of it. You're going to just have, you will have the best time if you are open and honest and forward about those things like everyone, it will be better for everyone. If you say what you want. Do you have a reason why people who don't normally like this kind of game, might want to give it a try? Well,


Alex Roberts  1:04:40  

I don't want to. I don't want to because not everything is for everyone, like I said before, and if you are 100% sure that like you are just not interested in these kinds of stories, then that's cool. But if you don't want to play because you think it's only for couples or something That is definitely not true because I have played tested this with a lot of strangers.


Alex Roberts  1:05:06  

People who are strangers to each other, have played tested this at cons.


Alex Roberts  1:05:11  

And they have a really good time. In fact, it's a hell of a way to get to know somebody. It's super, super fun.


Unknown Speaker  1:05:19  

If you are not sure, like


Alex Roberts  1:05:24  

the other really cool thing about playtesting is that it was very important to me that I get this in front of people who identify as a sexual or a romantic, and I have had the opportunity to do that. And I was like, sir, anything in here for you like it's interesting to you at all. And like, obviously, not all Arab people, not all these people, but the response that I had from I had a really, really good discussion with an aromantic identified person after having played this game. And basically their response, if I may sum it up was you know, I have no interest in this for myself. It's not something that appeals to me and in my personal life, but I can ship with the best of them. And I ship those two. So


Amelia Antrim  1:06:08  

yeah, I mean, that doesn't mean that, you know, because you don't identify in those ways personally doesn't mean that you can't enjoy telling those kinds of stories. Because I think that, you know, I mean, we all play all kinds of weird role playing games and like, I do not identify as, you know, like a straight man. But I can play that at a table. Like there's nothing that says that that's, you know, my character can't be that and so when you're suspending that amount of disbelief of you know, a brain eating parasite, like there's nothing that says that you can't also tell these kinds of


Alex Roberts  1:06:41  

story and if you're just Incidentally, someone who is like sick of the dominant culture telling you it's really important and so you don't want engage with those stories. 100% respect, but it is something that I have tried really hard to like make sure that it's open to those folks. So if if you are one of those folks, and it goes well for you, I'm really happy And that means I've met my goal. In fact, if it doesn't go well for you, like, hit me up, and please let me know if if you're comfortable with that, because I want to know and how I can improve. Yeah, so I, honestly, it seems like the kind of game that you would never play. That's cool. But like, you know, my dams are open if you want to, like talk it through and maybe it really is. Because I believe in you. I believe that. That there is something about these kinds of stories. There's some relationship. That is one way, that could be another way. Like, as long as there's a story like that, that interests you. You can tell it with this game.


Amelia Antrim  1:07:40  

I'll leave it I'll leave it to us like it like sound like my mom here and be like, how do you know you don't like it if you haven't? It's the same as green beans, guys. Just give it a try. Maybe it's not so bad.


Ryan Boelter  1:07:57  

It's amazing. Well, Alex, thank you. So So much for sitting down with us to talk about Star crossed. Can you remind everyone at home where they can find you and this wonderful game?


Alex Roberts  1:08:08  

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. You can go to Hello Alex and find out about me. You can go to bully pulpit games calm and find out more about Star crossed. But if you're listening to this around the time it came out, you can probably still catch it on Kickstarter. So go to Kickstarter. com and search for Star crossed and you'll find it there and you can even back it if you feel like it. Toss a little support my way. I think you will find that it makes you very happy. It will definitely make me very happy


Amelia Antrim  1:08:45  

and make us happy too. And you know, it sounds like it's gonna have great art and everything. Right? Oh my


Alex Roberts  1:08:51  

gosh, buy it till the end. I just think I literally just I looked at sketches yesterday and I was like, This is the greatest. This is the best best fit its best fit of all time. Good. Oh yeah. And if you want to contact me personally, the best way is probably Twitter. You can find my email on my website, but I'm also at muscular Pikachu on Twitter. And I talked about the game a lot on there. So if you want to find out more, that's a good way to get ahold of me.


Amelia Antrim  1:09:22  

Thank you so much, Alex, for everybody listening, we will make sure that we put a link to the Kickstarter in the show notes for everybody. And so thank you, again, so much. So, so much for taking the time to sit down with us and make these really amazing characters and to talk us through your process. I really, really appreciate it. Thank


Alex Roberts  1:09:40  

you so much for for being open and giving us a try and doing something that sounds like it's a little bit different. That's, I'm really, really touched by that. Thank you.


Amelia Antrim  1:09:50  

And everybody listening. Thank you so much for joining us. We will be back again soon. 


Ryan Boelter  1:10:05  

Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network and can be found online at www dot Character Creation until 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 or on our Discord server at discord Character Creation i one of your hosts, Ryan bolter, and I can be found on Twitter at lordan Neptune or online at lordan Neptune calm. Our other hosts 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 you with a Creative Commons license. This podcast is owned by us under Creative Commons. This episode was edited by Ryan 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 preview 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. 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 will see you next time.


Unknown Speaker  1:11:52  

Now we gotta read some show blurbs show blurps


Unknown Speaker  1:11:55  

show. Show by


Unknown Speaker  1:11:57  

show nerves.


Ryan Boelter  1:12:00  

Character Creation Cast is hosted by the one shot Podcast Network. If you enjoyed our show, visit one shot podcast.


Ryan Boelter  1:12:12  

If you enjoyed our show, visit one shot where you'll find other great shows like backstory.


Unknown Speaker  1:12:19  

backstory is a


Amelia Antrim  1:12:20  

cozy, thoughtful interview show featuring the most fascinating folks and role playing. Join host Alex Roberts. As she gets to know game designers like rights scholars, community organizers, and more. from emerging artists to seasoned veterans, guests open up about their creative process, what keeps them engaged and their visions for the future of role playing. I'm glad Ryan puts up with me because he was the podcast with me and I was like, here's three spreadsheets and a Google form.


Alex Roberts  1:12:49  

Sorry, give me a second. I'm realizing I'm tired.


Amelia Antrim  1:12:54  

I like a little bit of that like leftover nap cobwebs.


Unknown Speaker  1:12:57  

So yeah, Yeah.


Alex Roberts  1:13:01  

See mashing up rules?


Amelia Antrim  1:13:03  

Exactly. It's good rules and genres mash together always like, yeah, the best results.


Unknown Speaker  1:13:08  

Seems to be things that I


Amelia Antrim  1:13:10  

love and put them together. Better. Yeah, it's the Reese's of game design.


Ryan Boelter  1:13:20  

Exactly. Anything else that you want to add before we dive in?


Alex Roberts  1:13:24  

Oh, gosh, no, I have talked about my own game far. Too much already.


Amelia Antrim  1:13:30  

So let's talk about your games.


Unknown Speaker  1:13:38  

So why don't I guide


Alex Roberts  1:13:44  

you and Ryan? Ryan, you and Amelia.


Alex Roberts  1:13:48  

I feel like I'm officiating a wedding. I'm sorry.


Alex Roberts  1:13:54  

Give me one second. out so I can go to the right part of the document.


Ryan Boelter  1:14:00  

Now we match them two together, right?


Amelia Antrim  1:14:04  

Yes. The Vampire and the babyface play that I think wrestling vampires. Sounds good. Well,


Alex Roberts  1:14:12  

yeah, I'm sorry that sorry. That was just that just hit me with how good it was. But let's focus back on wizard school. So


Amelia Antrim  1:14:20  

Griffin door like I feel like their house motto is I'm the protagonist. I've sorted my children into houses too, though.


Unknown Speaker  1:14:29  

So well, you know, it's like,


Amelia Antrim  1:14:31  

you know, a core part of their identity to my son is definitely a Hufflepuff he's sweet and my daughter is a southern she's, she'll do what it takes, man.


Ryan Boelter  1:14:47  

I don't know how I spelt that right on my first try, but kudos.


Amelia Antrim  1:14:51  

Nice. I just write an incomprehensible cursive so that like you can't tell whether it did or didn't.


Unknown Speaker  1:14:56  

So that's why it tape Nice.


Alex Roberts  1:14:58  

Yeah. Oh, Sweet that means I have time to go put more water in my teeth. I'll be right back.


Ryan Boelter  1:15:05  

I'll sit here and do stuff.


Amelia Antrim  1:15:26  

cinemas my table


Unknown Speaker  1:15:29  

part of a pirate costume.


Ryan Boelter  1:15:34  

Xena and Gabrielle magical girls, I would watch that in the heartbeat. Oh my god.


Amelia Antrim  1:15:40  

Call us Netflix.


Ryan Boelter  1:15:44  

Just keep picturing Lucy Lawless.


Alex Roberts  1:15:50  

Same but every day.


Amelia Antrim  1:15:55  

Alex is having fun now.


Unknown Speaker  1:15:56  

This is great. Oh my gosh. I love it. Okay.


Ryan Boelter  1:16:02  

Okay, I'm going to


Unknown Speaker  1:16:07  

go right now I get to spy


Unknown Speaker  1:16:10  



Amelia Antrim  1:16:18  

For everybody that can't see Alex is like


Alex Roberts  1:16:20  

wiggling. Sorry the eyebrow doesn't really come through audio but you know, it's


Amelia Antrim  1:16:27  

very, very mischievious look on her face.


Ryan Boelter  1:16:31  

Insert wrinkles here.


Amelia Antrim  1:16:37  

You can edit this out later but I want to say that I really liked how you said that like a radio.


Alex Roberts  1:16:41  

It really gave me this kind of like NPR good stuff. Yes, it


Unknown Speaker  1:16:46  

was really good.


Amelia Antrim  1:16:48  

I feel like we keep saying that over and over in this episode of like, This isn't how we normally like normally like we've done this 100 times. So


Unknown Speaker  1:17:02  

It doesn't apply okay?


Alex Roberts  1:17:06  

That was like an extreme amount of fun is the thing.


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