Character Creation Cast

Series 20.3 - Heart with Grant Howitt and Chris Taylor [Designers] (Discussion)

Episode Summary

In the final episode of series 20, and we welcome back Grant Howitt and Chris Taylor, designers of Heart, to talk about the character creation process, their hopes for the game, and the reasons behind the design choices they made. Amelia also gets to talk about jello and sand again.

Episode Notes

In the final episode of series 20, and we welcome back Grant Howitt and Chris Taylor, designers of Heart, to talk about the character creation process, their hopes for the game, and the reasons behind the design choices they made. Amelia also gets to talk about jello and sand again.

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Guests and Projects:

Grant Howitt @gshowitt

Chris Taylor @TheMaddigan

Rowan, Rook and Decard @RowanRookDecard

Hearty Dice Friends @HDFpodcast



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Ryan Boelter:

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Episode Transcription

Automated Transcripts Below - Not 100% Accurate

Amelia Antrim  0:09  

Welcome, everyone to the last episode of series 20. We get into some great discussion with Grant Howitt and Chris Taylor about their game Heart, which is kickstarting tomorrow. If you're listening the day this episode releases, obviously, if you're not then I don't know it released on a different day, I guess. But you probably should listen to this the day it comes out because we're great. And we should be top on your list of podcasts. Before we get to the episode, as usual, some announcements.


Ryan Boelter  0:38  

Yeah. First up, we have one final week left on our review drive. And we are currently sitting at 45 five star reviews and hapa podcasts. And we would really love to hit that 50 mark so we can commission some really fantastic art of our Ghost Shanks 2 Go characters for a T shirt that you'll be able to select from if you win the contest to be eligible for the contest. And if you like what we're doing on this podcast in general, you just need to leave a five star review on Apple podcasts and let us know what you think we'll pick from that list and give one lucky winner the option of a free AcadeCon badge where you can meet us in person this year, or to select a free Character Creation Cast branded t shirt from our store.


Amelia Antrim  1:25  

The contest goes until September 23, which is just next week. Again, if you're listening to this on the day it comes out. Unfortunately, scheduling has been a little bit crazy lately, so we won't have our normal episode on September 23. Thankfully, though, there are five Mondays in September. This is the only time anyone has been thankful for extra Mondays, but that's fine. Our evolution cast episodes going to be moved to September 30, which is where we will announce our winner. Also hitting that 50 Review mark will make us would make us immensely happy and that T shirt design thing would be incredible. I think it's some of our favorite characters and hashtag slippery john. So good. So every review does help us out.


Ryan Boelter  2:13  

And once you do submit those reviews, we will go ahead and read them out here during cold opens whenever we are able to record together like this one from bladalio. I hope I pronounced that right from the United States of America and iTunes. They titled it childhood.


Ryan Boelter  2:32  

character creation was my favorite part of RPG is when I was young, so much so that I have developed a passion for understanding personalities. I see others as unique characters, and we choose who we want to be by how we live our lives. I love your podcast because it reminds me of my childhood taps into my passion. And you're one of the few gaming podcasts I feel comfortable listening to. Because you don't have to use foul language. Mhmm. I don't have to worry that my kids are listening. Thank you so much for this safe and fun place to hang out. Well, thank you so much.


Amelia Antrim  3:09  

It's really nice.


Ryan Boelter  3:10  

And I feel I feel validated.


Amelia Antrim  3:13  

I'm watching Ryan's face too. And he's like, take that Amelia.


Amelia Antrim  3:18  

Is Ryan's rule. Don't use foul language? That's fine. I can handle it. I can suck it up. It is good because then I can listen to it with my kids in the car. though they're kind of like mom why are we listening to your podcast.


Ryan Boelter  3:30  

Cuz it's good.


Amelia Antrim  3:33  

Cuz it's good. Darn kids. appreciate my work.


Amelia Antrim  3:38  

We love kids.


Amelia Antrim  3:40  

They're they're great. Mostly.


Ryan Boelter  3:45  

Oh my.


Chris Taylor  3:46  

Well, thank you so much for that review. That was really nice. Was all that out of the way. Let's get to the episode.


Ryan Boelter  3:51  

Yeah, enjoy.


Amelia Antrim  4:29  

Welcome back to our discussion episode. Last time we created characters for heart. This episode we will be discussing the character creation process. We are very excited to welcome back grant Howitt and Chris Taylor, the designers of this game which is on Kickstarter tomorrow. If you're listening to this episode, the day it comes out. Do you want to go ahead and introduce yourselves again for everyone and tell us a little bit about the characters you made in our last episode?


Grant Howitt  4:56  

My name is Grant Howitt. I'm one of the one of the authors of Heart and a bunch of other stuff, honey heights, one last job, etc, etc. I made a character called Blanche Fleur, who is a lunatic priest who's exploring the city beneath in search of deeper mysteries concerning the moon goddess that she's devoted her life to.


Chris Taylor  5:15  

And I'm Chris Taylor I write Grant, I write games with Grant quite a bit.


Grant Howitt  5:19  

I write grants games.


Chris Taylor  5:20  

I write Grant's games for him sometimes, he puts his name on it and makes it look good. And I made a forced hound somebody who's been forced down into the heart and has kind of fallen it accidentally into law enforcement after a terrible crime and their name is Robert Errord.


Ryan Boelter  5:37  

nice. Amelia, why don't you tell us about your character?


Amelia Antrim  5:39  

Sure. My character is named Charles I made a junk mail age who is penitent? Trying to do better but also maybe not really doing better.


Amelia Antrim  5:52  

Ryan What about you?


Ryan Boelter  5:54  

Um, I made a enlightenment witch I named Snow Blanche she is the closest thing probably to a Disney Princess in the world of Heart.


Amelia Antrim  6:05  

Oh my gosh.


Chris Taylor  6:07  

Genuinely a good rendition.


Grant Howitt  6:10  



Chris Taylor  6:11  

I'm very impressed.


Ryan Boelter  6:14  

And yeah, so she talks to animals and has a little animal familiar and can also see ghosts.


Chris Taylor  6:20  

Excellent. singing voice


Ryan Boelter  6:22  

Yep yep. that's that's that's just part of the flavor.


Amelia Antrim  6:26  

Let's go ahead and dive into our segment we call d20 for your thoughts


Marie-Claire Segues  6:31  

d20 for your thoughts?


Ryan Boelter  6:33  

in this segment we want to talk to our guests about their thoughts on the character creation process and how it relates to this system and other systems. And we already asked Grant about his entry into RPG is but Chris would you love We would love to hear yours as well.


Chris Taylor  6:51  

So the way I got into RPG is well kind of the source of a lot of problems in my life. My mother gave it to me. When I was about nine I went on a business trip with mom and dad and to keep me quiet they took me to like a Toys R Us and bought me one of the one of the early starter sets for the set for second edition dungeons dragons and I then proceeded to play it on my own in a hotel room for six hours and kind of fell out of the kind of fell out from there really, it got a bit crazy. And now it's my career. Which is pretty good


Amelia Antrim  7:30  

It snowballs pretty quick, doesn't it?


Chris Taylor  7:32  

It does.


Grant Howitt  7:32  

It's all down hill from here.


Chris Taylor  7:34  

It's like, and you know what, as staple of other things that others give me that's my favorite.


Ryan Boelter  7:40  

I love that. They were selling that at Toys R Us back in the day.


Chris Taylor  7:44  

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, like it was a starter set. And they did. They had the old little packets of chess x dice. And it was really nice going in there and places like Waterstones, like a big just a standard chain bookstore. used to have like the old second edition settings that you could find like Raven loft that Arkadin moon all the weird stuff. And it went away for on that Now thankfully, it's all coming back.


Amelia Antrim  8:08  

Yeah, I think I wasn't d&d stuff at target the other day.


Chris Taylor  8:11  

Yeah, like it's it's it's becoming mainstream enough that it's become accessible again, rather than the thing you have to go to a store that sells it. Yeah, or check online or whatever. You could just go dragons What is this? I should get horribly involved for the rest of my life?


Amelia Antrim  8:27  

Though I wish it were more than just D&D but that's a conversation for another time. How did you both decide what kind of characters you want to have in this game?


Grant Howitt  8:39  

You mean like in general or the ones we just made


Amelia Antrim  8:42  

uh no, in general like what kind of classes you felt fit in this game?


Grant Howitt  8:47  

took us a while.


Chris Taylor  8:49  



Grant Howitt  8:49  

a long time


Chris Taylor  8:50  

did actually


Grant Howitt  8:51  

longer than Spire I think to try and work out what were we doing? Because we didn't just want to be Dungeons and Dragons. We didn't didn't we didn't want to have Okay, so this guy's the cleric this guy's the fighter and this guy's the rogue... we wanted that we want them to stand out. I think like the first few drafts we had, they didn't reflect the setting in any way. They were just like we had we had a cool wizard who did stuff and we ever a bunch of different spells you could have. And we nothing was none of the classes were what's the word illustrating the setting and the way of the ones from spider so like the knight of the North docks from Spire which a perfect example in the it says, here's, here's something true about the Drow. Here's something about the city. here's, here's what most Drow are x and these guys are y unless you explain stuff. And so we went through quite a few iterations. We had sun clerics for a while, which we cut out we had very posh hunters, which we couldn't come up with a way to play them when you weren't just a colonialist. bad person.


Chris Taylor  9:50  

Yeah, we essentially made was that was Van Pelt from Jumanji. We just want to kind of put in the game somewhere,


Grant Howitt  9:58  

we're going to advance I think, yeah. Because that is something which you can play with an invert. And like the best way, the best thing is that we can write rules which are effectively undermining the core concept of the character in a paradoxical way, which is fun. But we did that. We also want to sort of Spire, and extrapolate from that anyway.


Chris Taylor  10:19  

Yeah, I mean, for instance, one of the one of the major classes in Canada is literally the inverse of a Spire class. If you if you look at it in detail, some of its powers are actually identical to the Azurite ones, but the opposites because they they worship a different gods of the sort of the same godhead as it were, like, almost the same entity, but they're, they're different in their motives and how they interact with the world. Like the az az Azure in this by setting is all plenty, and Incarne is all absence. And what's in it for me. It's greed, and it's, it's awful. And it's about making characters that start from that point of Hello, I'm the worst human being you can possibly imagine. And redeeming themselves in a lot of ways. And potentially not, but it actually the option.


Grant Howitt  11:13  

Yeah, and the other like the other things like the calling, which I think is a massive part of the Character in terms of fiction and in terms of driving story, but not so much mechanically. because there wasn't tried we couldn't we we experimented with having lots of different stuff in the callings. And it turns out that it was just too much to try and gel both things together. So we put most the weight in the class and then had the calling power the machine which makes the class work and the callings. Like, there's definitely backgrounds you can have in games, definitely things like that, but I have not seen I've not seen something which takes the idea of your character and says here it is, right from the start. This is what you've got. And the way you get there is up to you. But you have an end in mind. And you have your own you want. Yeah, the the place like the place is a place I stole it from didn't quite steal it from this from Marvel heroic role playing. So that's the more recent one. And they had this really cool thing where unfortunately, you can only play pre generated characters. So you play a Wolverine you play a Mystique or what have you. But you'll have so like say in Wolverine, you get three XP, when you go back to save someone even though he said he wouldn't. And so you get these little these little beats that you hit which let you which which reward you for doing things like Wolverine doesn't the comics. And so by taking that idea and said, Okay, so we want to Character and it's going to get worse. And here are major things and here are little things you can do. And here's the big his whole point of your character. And then just giving people those keys and being quiet front about it. We think that's quite exciting.  


Ryan Boelter  12:42  



Chris Taylor  12:43  

Yeah. And also like when we were looking at the classes, and what do we bring? What do we leave out? Like we started with the very beginning of going like this is a ranger type character. This is a cleric type character. And I mean, I just played torchbearer. Yeah, at that point. Like Torchbearer, there's a really good dungeon crawl. Like it's grim. It's gritty, it's it's a nightmarish game, because it's so difficult. But it doesn't link story intrinsically at the character level. It doesn't progress arcs in the same way that we wanted in that sort of narrative story, game style. So we thought, all right, we're looking at this from the wrong way we're looking at what roles can they fulfill in a party? That's wrong, we need to look at is what stories is it fun to look at in these situations? So you've got the junk mage, you've got somebody who has that, like, in a standard in a game, you've got a wizard who gets almost limitless power? What if that's a problem? What is that? What if, what if you can get too much power and get drunk on it, and then that power starts going away. Like you're addicted to it, this is an issue for you. That's a, it's an interesting story and interesting arc, we can tell. And by combining the coins in the classes, you mix and match this kind of deck of store story arc and how you go about fulfilling that story. That's really interesting. And you can either pick up and play it just dead has written just fall into it. Or you can tweak every little aspect of it to your own flavor and put your own spin on it. And it's as much contribution as you're willing to make the game can cope with.


Grant Howitt  14:19  

So for example, in my in my Monday night game with doing a play test, and one of the characters played a mesian knight and they want to play a gnoll. And rather than having that weird experimental technology of the humans and Dark Elves and of Mesian were like I want I want, I want a fish, I want gin in my armor. And so they've got this like weird fizzing bronze armor and this glowing hammer. And like, mechanically, there's another just say what you want, that's fine, exactly the same rules as another thing Mesian knight except you get to be special. And something which we've always encourage people is to take, take the ideas and put different skin on top of them put different flash on top of them. Because that means you can really get into a nice start. You can start like working out how come we have can I make this power make sense a new paradigm.


Chris Taylor  15:02  

Yeah, and for instance, just just use another character, this one of my by play tests, I've got an enlightenment heretic in my game. And what they're trying to do is they're trying to get to heaven is at the bottom of the spire where they believe Heaven is before their brother who was just died. So they're racing their spirit down to the afterlife to they can essentially bolt the gate, so that he doesn't go into heaven, and he can do a full resurrection. And that's that that's what the Enlightenment calling that we've that we've looked at last episode, that's a completely different turn on, on how you can interact with enlightenment. It's like wanting to learn more about this and learn where it is, I gotta find the Akerlund how to do resurrection, that's not even in the game. You know?


Amelia Antrim  15:46  



Grant Howitt  15:46  

we've got lots of ways to do that inspire, but none, none.


Chris Taylor  15:49  

None at all.


Chris Taylor  15:52  

And it's really lovely, just seeing people go full tilt at something when they given the framework to do it with.


Amelia Antrim  15:58  

I think that's something we talked about, with spire to at one point, we were talking about, like a weapon that does d6, whatever. And we talked about, like, if you want it to be ghosts, it can be ghosts, if you want to be a gun, it can be a gun, like it is just whatever you want it to be. And I think that this game, does that really well that you can kind of flavor things however you want, and still have the feel of the narrative?


Chris Taylor  16:24  

Yeah, I mean, like even in, in real base terms, like the rifle that my character had the hand in the last episode that we made, has a le grande rifle. That's not detailed enough, just called on le grande rifle. Inspired was a little bit detailed, and it was the standard issue firearm of the military services. But that's it. There's no like, this is a match lock firearm forged in 1842. And there's no history to it, you put the history on, if it's important to your character important to your story, you're going to build on it because it's cool. And we just give you that space to do cool stuff.  


Grant Howitt  17:00  

It's been an interesting challenge being more so what and getting popular because spire is our most popular thing that we've done, but to providing a discourse. So there is the instant capacity to come speak to us about something. And so people will see something and they'll say, oh, wow, it's really interested. What's the deal with this? I dunno. Like, like, like someone like in touch and say, Hey, what's a relic bludgeon? I dunno, whatever, what do you think you should be? Because we just like, we just pick these cool words, and then you you go at it. And like, so much of our world building is create something which is like, Oh, what's that, and then being able to explore and conquer that yourself. And that's one of the one of the great things about role playing is you can find out you can define that yourself. And I think that we need to resist the temptation to write everything down beforehand, and a big fat book,


Chris Taylor  17:49  

What is the difference between sparking imagination, and defining the limits on imagination? like, I want to start the engine rather than tell you which way you're going. Yeah, just let people just go nuts with it. Because you can have fun. If you even if you just sat in a room with your mates make it up a story. With no rules, no anything, you're gonna have fun. But when you codify it, and when you focus it down into specific themes, it becomes a lot easier to explore a lot easier to interact with. And any way that we can do that, especially with setting stuff is great. And I never ever want to see one of our books. This is the history of the world from 25,000 years ago.


Ryan Boelter  18:29  

That's not interesting to me.


Grant Howitt  18:31  

If I ever wrote that, I need you to business divorce me, that's fine.


Amelia Antrim  18:37  

I think I mean, that's a thing that I've talked about a number of places too, because obviously, like game design isn't my thing. I don't know a lot about it. But trying to find that balance between something that is narratively, very open and wide. And um almost like just handing somebody a blank sheet of paper, and then giving them rules and information on every little thing. I described it as like the jello to sand continuum. And like, like sand is too crunchy, you should not eat sand. And jello was like maybe a little too wiggly, and we're not entirely sure what it is. And somewhere in the middle is potato chips. And that's like a really good place to be. This is like my theory, it's the jello to sand continuum. But potato chips is like a really good place to be where you have some structure and like ideas to kind of work within. But it's not enough that you are like bogged down and you feel like you can't do the things that you want because there's just too much to pick apart.


Grant Howitt  19:43  

Yes. Or there's Oh, there's too much to learn. There's too much to understand before you can make informed decisions.


Amelia Antrim  19:48  



Chris Taylor  19:48  

Where does dip go in this continuum? You


Grant Howitt  19:52  

kind of a jelly


Chris Taylor  19:53  

you use like the crisps to pick up the salsa dip.


Grant Howitt  19:56  

I've always thought of crisps is a cross between jelly and sand.


Chris Taylor  19:59  



Chris Taylor  20:00  

Yeah, I mean, it's it's clearly the exact middle point.


Grant Howitt  20:03  

That's why you get jelly flavored crisps and sand flavored crisps.


Amelia Antrim  20:06  



Chris Taylor  20:07  

In your continuum, like we kind of aiming for for crisps, but we're definitely erring on the side of jelly.


Grant Howitt  20:14  



Amelia Antrim  20:15  

So I think it's then


Grant Howitt  20:17  

Very runny crisps


Amelia Antrim  20:17  

it's after you dipped them and they like get a little bit softer.


Chris Taylor  20:21  

Yeah, we like a good flexible crisp around here.


Amelia Antrim  20:24  



Grant Howitt  20:25  

actually, you know, I think I think that we are dip.


Amelia Antrim  20:28  



Grant Howitt  20:29  

in that you can take you can take a robust chip, which is your understanding of a fantasy world and just dip it into our wonderful strange setting and it makes the chip better


Chris Taylor  20:38  

Smeared in cream cheese and that's us.


Grant Howitt  20:40  

One of the... that is literally us


Chris Taylor  20:44  



Grant Howitt  20:45  

One of the the chapter Mark rosewater did a it was a 20 lessons he learned 20 years of writing Magic the Gathering he did a talk for GTC is I would recommend if you've not seen it for every game designer out there who thinks that other stuff watch it. Because


Chris Taylor  21:00  

genuinely important.


Grant Howitt  21:01  

Yeah, he tells you things you already know. But it's like, Oh, I didn't know, I knew that. It's really wonderful. But one of the things that he talks about is people is that you need to use the literacy of your audience. So like, you can assume people know what a Minotaur is. If they're coming to a fantasy game, you can assure them that they're already playing magic together, they can you can draw a picture of a bull with horns and write minotaur. And I'm not gonna be like what the hell is this? why is he walking around on two legs, they can understand that. And so it's up to you to use the the implied cultural understandings of this stuff, unlike some people more literate some people less literate. But taking we all know a fun to see us, right? Okay, move it around, shuffle it. And if you have no prior knowledge of fantasy, then I'll be honest with you, our games aren't quite as interesting. Because we're not we're not sort of we're not inverting anything, we're not taking a fresh look at anything, which you already know. And also, that was a load of huge gaps in there. Like, like, well, what, what are the economics of this place? You know? Does gravity work? Okay?


Chris Taylor  22:08  

It's fine. Like one of the big ones, the crop types, like, what happens if there's a fire?


Grant Howitt  22:13  

Oh gosh.


Chris Taylor  22:13  

We have no idea


Grant Howitt  22:14  

we have, we have to write a book. So we have to


Chris Taylor  22:16  

write a whole section when somebody lives if there's a fire, that's a really good point, it would kill everyone


Amelia Antrim  22:24  

Well, I know that I, I was playing in a game when we recorded about spire last time, too. And I had the one of my friends was running it. And he was very concerned about like, making sure that he was doing the setting justice. And then after he listened to our episodes, he was like, Oh, I'm doing it fine. It's like, whatever I want it to be. And I was like, that's what I was trying to tell you that like, I mean, there's so much cool stuff there. And so it's really easy to want to, like, play into that. But also, like, you know, like, those are hooks. They're not like hard and fast rules.


Chris Taylor  22:55  

Yeah, the the, the optimum thing for us is when somebody reaches for the book and goes, this is all cool. This fits my favorite, because that's the bit your basic campaign round. That's the bit that your your game revolves around. And then the rest of the game is either not there, like you can completely ignore it. Or you can go Actually, I can take this faction and use them really effectively. And while we may have set up like a counter faction, you have to use them, nobody cares, it's your game.


Grant Howitt  23:22  

And like in our in the in the adventure, we've gotten the Quick Start, I made up a bunch of stuff. Like we don't use the established landmarks in x. And actually, this this doesn't quite tell the story I want to tell I want to tell different stories. But we want to encourage people to be able to say, Oh, actually, I like this, but I'm going to change that as soon as these bits around. And now these guys are in here and go. Because it's it's a it's a it's a toolbox not a sandbox.


Amelia Antrim  23:47  

Well, and I think that's something that we got into a little bit in our panel at Gen Con to when we were like fleshing out the backgrounds for our characters


Grant Howitt  23:56  

between making jokes, about mayonese.


Amelia Antrim  23:57  

Well, I mean, that's the thing is that like man is is not an important part of the setting. But it was very important to the story we were telling.


Grant Howitt  24:05  

Yeah, we had a legal mayonese runners.


Chris Taylor  24:08  

Yeah, like a mayonese speakeasy.


Grant Howitt  24:12  

Hey, give me give me three fingers of mayo.


Amelia Antrim  24:17  

None of that artisinal crap


Chris Taylor  24:18  

in a pint glass.


Grant Howitt  24:19  

Gotta get it out with a fork!


Chris Taylor  24:22  

Make it runny, so it's drinkable.


Grant Howitt  24:26  

Hey, water it down!


Ryan Boelter  24:26  

Oh why?


Amelia Antrim  24:26  

Oh gross. Super gross.


Grant Howitt  24:26  

So I think that answers three questions, one of which you may have asked.


Ryan Boelter  24:34  

Uh huh.


Ryan Boelter  24:35  

While this is specifically a dungeon dungeon crawl type game as well? Are there specific things that you felt you needed to add as Character options for that type of game. And also, what about a game that has these elements of body horror.


Chris Taylor  24:53  

So when you're looking at the standard obstacles within a dungeon crawl, you're looking at things like traps crevases to jump over that kind of, there's a lot of that physical nature. And when you're doing a story game traps kind of don't work anymore, because they don't know where you're standing. Right, you're not standing in the five foot activation square, you don't know if you're caught by the fireball as well. So we had to look at other problems, we had to look at things like NPC is being the issue and the environment as a whole like storms or the ground being made of fire or whatever. And give people tools for overcoming that rather than the granular nature that you get in like a 10 foot long corridor that dog legs left into a temple that you get another another dungeon crawlers. And by doing that, it gave us kind of better look into how to suddenly work out how the journeys works. Because the journeys, the only actual like true dungeon crawling bit is a journey between two known locations


Grant Howitt  26:03  

without a connection between them,


Chris Taylor  26:05  

yep you make a connection between them. And that is kind of a dungeon crawl like a traditional dungeon crawl. But the big points are the beginning and the end, the bit in the middle are or what we kind of internally called called story beats, where you hit a landmark, and maybe you get a scene. And maybe that scene is a monster is going to kill you. Or maybe it's just a quiet place of contemplation where suddenly you're alone with your thoughts, which is a rare thing in the heart because something's always happening. And we wanted to lean into that. So that's what we changed the Character abilities towards rather than a granular trap based economy essentially.


Grant Howitt  26:46  

We also when we were when we've done quite a few passes on this repurposing the fallout system. So the it's written initially for spire and it's like as we as we discussed the last episode it it does hit points, but it also does sanity but it also does have close you want to get in the door kicked in, but a secret police that sort of thing. It's all badness that can happen to you. And there's different kinds of badness that can happen and underground, infinite city. So we want to sort of mess around with that a little bit and see what we could do. And we kept hitting problems with the supplies fall out because really like oh well how to be write rules for you're running low on torch fuel? How do you write rules for your hungry? And we've we realized that the interesting bit wasn't or you're getting hungry, interesting bit is you are starving to death, and another one of our another one of our philosophies, we were talking last episode about one of our philosophies that you should always want to pick every power you see, one of our philosophies is stolen from a from a TV show called Spaced, which I don't know whether it landed in in the US. It's a very early Simon Pegg and


Amelia Antrim  27:47  

yeah, I've watched a little bit of it, it's really good.


Grant Howitt  27:49  

It's it's pleasing rather than laugh out loud, funny.


Chris Taylor  27:53  

It's also eerily reminiscent of pretty much every English kid's adolescence


Grant Howitt  27:58  

Yeah, just


Grant Howitt  28:00  

and they have one characters explaining something to another character doesn't care and the character goes skip to the end. And that's that's our that's our best tried to try to be philosophy which we've done. So one no dead levels and to skip the end like that. So that's the boring bit. The other stuff can we just had the bit which gives you the exciting the spike, so so it's your torches gone out? So something's gone wrong rather than your rather than Oh, you don't have any fuel. So you won't leave this bit? No, we don't we're not interested in the in the reasons that have led you up to the problem interested in what the problem is and how you can solve it. And so we looked at we tried to come up with all the horrible things that happened to you in a dungeon, and then just put them in the game as Fallout and the fallout is typed towards what what what particular things you've been doing. So everything exists exists in potential here.


Chris Taylor  28:49  

Yeah. 100%.


Chris Taylor  28:51  

Are there specific lessons that you learned from making spire that you felt applied to this game?


Chris Taylor  28:59  

That's a tough one actually.


Grant Howitt  29:03  

Have we learned anything?


Chris Taylor  29:04  

We're very bad learners, especially from our own mistakes.


Grant Howitt  29:08  

We Okay, one thing we didn't learn is his defense.


Chris Taylor  29:13  

Oh, my God.


Grant Howitt  29:14  

So Chris, and I have a white whale. On the white whale, which we both share is so we've written about I think we've written three systems together now.


Chris Taylor  29:25  

Yeah, three major systems,


Grant Howitt  29:26  

three major systems and between those they've had I'm going to say like, I'm not exaggerating, 45 drafts in total, but between, like different iterations of the system. Start right again. All be all. Good. Okay, cool. You play you play this kind of character. Okay. What do you got these cool abilities? Yeah, remember, is great in the world. Are you? cyberpunk are? angels? Cool? Okay, so what happens when someone shoots the players?


Grant Howitt  29:52  

Well, okay, well, how does armor work?


Grant Howitt  29:56  

We completely lose it. We have, we always get armor wrong, we always get resistance and toughness wrong. For some reason. When the world acts on the player, we just forget, we cannot make that work. And we've done it again, with Heart.


Chris Taylor  30:13  

It's like it took us It took us like, it's call it a day, like a full day's work to get this kind of full outline of everything we wanted to do with with with Heart. And then it took us maybe three months to do the defense system.


Chris Taylor  30:30  

Like that's how I planned it working.


Chris Taylor  30:32  

it was. And we should have done that. First, we should have worked out how interactions mechanically function before we worked out necessarily exactly what mechanics we wanted for that


Chris Taylor  30:43  

What junk mages do.


Chris Taylor  30:44  

Yeah, what junk mages do is irrelevant. If you can't be interacted upon by the world.


Grant Howitt  30:50  

It's it's a it's a weird thing. I think the writing spike did teach us that. It's a back and forth between that. So you need to understand the world need to understand what kind of stories are telling. And the easiest way for us is to write classes, by I think that's the bit of our job, which we are both most excited about and most scared about. Because that's what the bulk of our rules go. And writing those cool, we're sketching out the setting, there's all these cool potential stories you can tell. And I find that if you just go straight mechanics and get all your mechanics set up first, you end up write yourself into corners. And so I think there's there's like of any good process, especially when you're building a game of this size and the scope. There's a back and forth between Okay, here are the characters here's what I can do. All right, here's, here's has rules, okay, go back and change the characters. And there's a you sort of just merged everything together until you hit play test.


Chris Taylor  31:39  

It's one of the reasons that we that we do the long drawn out process of iterative design.


Grant Howitt  31:45  



Chris Taylor  31:45  

So we make a game we call it the minimum viable game, the base tiny is level that it will work at, we reckon. And then we look at it as a whole unit of like it was finished, and go, Well, this bit doesn't work. This was among the circle bits and red pen. And then we start again. And we use what we learned from the last one. And we keep doing that. And we stripe it over and over and over until we get a game that we are very happy with.


Grant Howitt  32:09  

And it works. Its last little while and exhausting. I also know that is the precise opposite of my design process on one page Games. Yes. And like that's gonna say like, we're lucky, a second draft tops, sometimes I've just written out by hand loose, and then we go, those are much more expressionist game poems. But this is a finely oiled machine.


Grant Howitt  32:35  

Big, greasy machine.


Amelia Antrim  32:36  

On that question of defense. Is that because you just haven't figured out how to do it? Or is it because it's not something that's like particularly important or interesting to you?


Chris Taylor  32:47  

I think it's massively important. And that's potentially the problem we had with it.


Chris Taylor  32:53  

There's got to be some...


Chris Taylor  32:57  

to put it in, in electronic terms of what some logic right as to why something affects you, but not another thing. In every system.


Amelia Antrim  33:05  



Chris Taylor  33:06  

That can be as simple as a line in the robot says, player characters don't hit other player characters. It doesn't happen like that your characters can't die, whatever. Or it can be as intricate as like a full PvP system. Something that like technically dungeon dragons can support and the wind can support all of these like tactical role playing games. And it's an important thing to know. And especially when you're looking at something as as invasive as Heart is, as a game. You need to know exactly precisely the conditions under which that you are affected. And we move... When we when we when we do Minimum Viable game, that is a really easy place to essentially cop out to just put in for an hour putting an armor class call thats hanging, off we go. And then we create all these wonderful powers that we're really excited to use that then don't quite interact right with that previous system. And for some reason, I'm never 100% sure why. But it's always defense that trips us up in the first couple of drafts.


Chris Taylor  34:09  

Is it because of the specificity of the other powers that like, it's hard to define how you would defend against that?


Grant Howitt  34:18  

I think so. I think the challenge that we faced is that we can get your base defense, we can get like here, here's the chance of a of an average person, something going average, the wrong thing we really struggle with is how did you get better at defending yourself? And then how is that interesting? How is that? How is that smooth to play? How is that easy to remember? How does the GM not have to reference everything? How do you need to do the least amount of maths possible? And I think i think i think this is because we're because in this and miniatures painting, we are perfectionists. One person is a perfectionist that miniatures painting.


Amelia Antrim  34:55  

Well, I also think it goes into that like dead levels thing to that that's not necessarily an interesting thing thing to increase when you're, when you're advancing. It's like, oh, cool, I have one more defense. Like that's not fun.


Chris Taylor  35:09  

Interesting. This is something that we we learned from the play test. We put out this massive play test. Like there's a whole lot of content in there. A lot of it has changed for the actual game. But one of the things is that the minor abilities that you saw earlier, a lot of them are like gain plus one blood protection. Necessary, honestly, mechanically speaking, to have an ability to increase protection to blood.


Amelia Antrim  35:33  



Chris Taylor  35:34  

boring, real boring. So now what we've done is we've split out and so there's every single class has the ability to get a minor ability that is plus one protection to one of the protections one of the resistance tracks, except for one. And there's also one for skills and there's also one for domains and again, every your missing one of them for every single one. And then all of the other miners same amount of miners now, like game plus one blood protection, and you can talk to dogs, or you gain the warren domain, you are completely invisible when in darkness. So you get you get get the ability to craft and create a character in the way you want to, with a building block level ones. Or you can take these ones that maybe push you towards a bit more story and a bit more Character. But you've got the option. And it's about creating those options in a as loose and interesting a system as possible, while still being mechanically sound.


Amelia Antrim  36:35  

Yeah, I mean, I think that I would imagine you are not the only people that have a hard time with defense because I can't think of a game that I've played where it has felt like, I'm not clunky. I guess that like it always feels like even in a narrative game. Like this is the one like sort of mechanical thing that you have to keep track of, I don't know a lot of games that do it smoothly.


Grant Howitt  37:00  

If you if you look at the alternative so that lady Blackbird by john Harper has content has conditions which go in your character and things like captured, injured, tired, dead, whatever, and no rules for them. Not Not a single rule for any of those. And there's lots of rules for performing actions, but none for the conditions. And it takes the consequences out of the game. I'd like I just say I absolutely adore lady Blackbird has been a huge inspiration for me throughout my career. Something so tight and precisely made. And the setting is told in such like vibrant broad strokes hugely impressed by it. But in terms of the bad things happen to you, there's no real like it's it's it's still the same fiction, this is exactly the same in force mechanically say walking into a room as it is catching fire. And that's that doesn't quite as incredulous as it has to be something mechanical have to be something there. And it's i think i think we're still struggling with it as an industry because I mean, hit points, isn't it?


Amelia Antrim  37:58  

Right? sense.


Chris Taylor  38:00  

Yeah. I mean, that's why we put it in. Because if you look at it, like stress is hit point loss. And Fallout is the is the concrete, actual problem you're facing from hit point loss. And we give you plenty of opportunities to get it and quite a few avenues to get rid of it. But it's not as easy. And it means that we control the decline. Like we've got, we've got the opening valve on the tap, that changes the flow of stress and incoming problems to a Character. And it's about getting that in the right place. What a horrible time. It's just the West half.


Chris Taylor  38:40  

It's just oil and


Grant Howitt  38:43  

oil and stress. Yes.


Ryan Boelter  38:47  

So what does the process of character creation is this game? Tell us about it.


Chris Taylor  38:53  

I like to think that it's fairly simple. And the big problem you face is choice. Because we wanted to kind of as you as you sort of enter the game of the character creation level. You're, you're you're asked Okay, so what you want to do you want to cast the magic, you know, this is a little questions, essentially. And then it suddenly blossomed into cold, you know, you got all these glasses pick up. All these glasses have thousands of different ways you can take it pick one, and none of them are wrong. Like if I was playing dungeons dragons, and I took point blank shot, but not a crossbow. That's useless. It's possible it is possible to choose badly. Yeah, I mean, that's, that's a fairly obvious mistake, you probably should notice that. But you can make a bad character. We wanted to make it so that everything was interesting. And none of it was a bad choice.


Grant Howitt  39:48  

Everyone was equally bad.


Chris Taylor  39:52  

Like, either in competence or morally.


Chris Taylor  39:57  

And it's Yeah, we wanted that freedom and like that freedom is replicated further and further as you go out through the system. And out through the world because again, we only do the first Third, we set the framework and then push it off the bridge.


Grant Howitt  40:10  

I think the other thing which character creation tells you is through picking a color that you aren't right. Like you are not playing a happy, normal, well adjusted person. Even like even like the vanilla class, which is adventure, I'd say the vanilla calling which is adventure. So that's like, I want to go and play play the fantasy role playing game and you know, gives you the beats and he's due to hit that so firebrick wants to steal his shoes, but the you're in this nightmarish other world, you shouldn't be acting like this, you're not. And like everything, everything else. Like we want to try and get across the obsession, your character that you will do these things which have been no relevance to the mission, but no relevance to your job. They are dangerous, they are unsanitary, they are ridiculous, but you're going to do them because you're obsessed with this. And that pushes your character forward and that means you get more powerful so what so while it's a while you're all you're all together friendship, what the character creation is about is your own personal mad desires and how you can take advantage of other people to hit them. I think the calling is do that which is nice.


Chris Taylor  41:12  

And one of the things I mean I guess is actually really like apparent in the party that we made on this podcast the character creation works two ways. So you're creating your character and your place in the world cool. What you're doing is you're telling your GM This is the game I want like if I was you if I was the GM of this party I know I'm my campaign is going to be featuring ghosts heavily.


Grant Howitt  41:38  



Chris Taylor  41:39  

and animals and like it's going to be more wilderness it's going to be more Colts a cursed you know, like ancient hauntings, people coming back from the dead, all of this sort of stuff. Guys, if nobody had picked that, I don't need to bother with ghosts. They don't need to feature totally my campaign if I don't want to.


Grant Howitt  41:56  

I just I just came up with a really cool idea for your for your hands mission as well. You've been contracted by a very bad man to kill his ex wife again.


Chris Taylor  42:04  

And like that's a good that's a good reason why I'm with the party, right? Because I've teamed up with people who can see ghosts. I can't I've made them. So I need I need to go Oh, yes. Oh, there's a little soul we need to get rid of how do you can let ghost just be trapped in this box?


Grant Howitt  42:19  

Does she look like this picture?


Chris Taylor  42:22  

Just be cross through it was saying


Grant Howitt  42:28  

the current situation works two ways.


Chris Taylor  42:30  

Yeah. And like spire was a good one for that because it had the power that I used as an example of this all the time, which is the admiral power. For the night, the North doctors gave you a boat. Theres a river in precisely two locations inspire. But which means the rest is fine. It's useless, complete redundant power. But what it's telling people is I would like you to put canals and rivers all over my game. What they want to play cheese is always going to inform what a GM does. We just made it we just push that forwards. We just made it as strongly as we could. So it was really obvious.


Grant Howitt  43:05  

Yeah, the players, the players have to start every session, tell them two things they want, please. And it's the Germans job to give them that exciting life,


Chris Taylor  43:13  

but also is the players players responsibility to also try and push for it. Like you said, You've got like an MPC turn up and one of your beats is you meet an NPC who hates you. You'll fully Liberty as a player to go Can this be the button that hates me? Yeah, sure I can.


Grant Howitt  43:28  

Absolutely. Because that that's just saved me that saved me the difficulty of bringing this guy into the party. Oh, I can't believe you show your face round here. Oh, my disappoint MBC at the same voice.


Chris Taylor  43:39  

Yeah. And you get to use your evil voice, which is always fun.


Grant Howitt  43:41  



Amelia Antrim  43:42  

That's the thing that I, gosh, people are going to be tired of hearing this that I always go back to his players need to show up and they need to have input and they need to be an active part of the game like a game does not happen to you. And I think that there's a lot in this character creation that kind of drives that forward, just by default that you've you have to say what you want. And you've already expressed that even if you didn't entirely mean to, which I think helps Geums a lot because I think a lot of times so much effort is put on them to create everything. And then people are just like, cool. And then they get mad when it isn't the game that they want. And you know, like you have to say what you want. And I think that there's a lot in here that kind of starts that dialogue already just in the mechanics of the game.


Grant Howitt  44:35  

So we really need to run unbound on this Character Creation Cast. unbound, so I'm very sorry, of course, because you know, we're only here for a second time. We don't have to run it, maybe you get someone else to do it. But unbound does the hands down not a boast best session zero but he gave me over Have you might use 18%


Chris Taylor  44:56  

of the game is the character creation


Grant Howitt  44:58  

you make the world and the plot and the antagonists and everything at the same time in session zero. And then the game basically runs itself but it's perfect for this for its way your your shows about world building. We send you a copy. But it's been a print for last three years because no one bought it.


Amelia Antrim  45:16  

I remember you guys talking about it when it was coming out to and it was like this is, huh, this is really good. But also I was like just getting back into gaming. And so I was like, I don't know what to do with


Grant Howitt  45:28  

the word like we didn't sell it properly either. Like when


Amelia Antrim  45:31  

I think we talked about last time to that, like generic systems are really hard to explain to people because it's like, how do you sell that other than, like, here make your own game? I guess? Like,


Chris Taylor  45:44  

yeah, I mean, like when you compare like a generic system to something as intertwined in it setting Aspire and heart where everything is dripping with more setting that you can build it from Bill from add you sell a generic one that you do. What do you want?


Grant Howitt  46:00  

Yeah, well,


Grant Howitt  46:03  

yeah, we can make an elf or rebel money, please.


Amelia Antrim  46:08  

But look, it's better than GURPS


Chris Taylor  46:11  

everything is.


Amelia Antrim  46:12  

I know. It's


Chris Taylor  46:14  

like losing a leg is straight better.


Amelia Antrim  46:16  

Yeah, that's I hate that when people are like, I don't know, why don't you just run it in groups? I don't know. Why don't you just run it and d&d? Because other games do these things better?


Chris Taylor  46:26  

and quicker,


Amelia Antrim  46:27  



Ryan Boelter  46:30  

It's gonna be fun covering GURPS when we get there.


Amelia Antrim  46:32  

No, we're not doing


Chris Taylor  46:36  

I want to hit you get angrier and angrier every time you have to make a decision.


Grant Howitt  46:42  

Building a single sailboat.


Amelia Antrim  46:44  

Listen to our palladium series. And hear.


Ryan Boelter  46:45  

Yeah, we did heroes unlimited. And Amelia had the best of times. After this,


Amelia Antrim  46:55  

what do you think are potential flaws in this character creation system? I'm inspired grant said that there were no flaws. So maybe thats Sarah


Chris Taylor  47:04  

just assessment?


Amelia Antrim  47:07  

No, he said it. I'm sorry. It was too evocative. At that point, it was like three in the morning, so and then are there things that you're particularly proud of here?


Chris Taylor  47:20  

So I think one of the biggest flaws of the character creation and indeed the game is that it assumes a certain level of competency in imagination is the wrong word. Everybody has imagination, but the ability to to improvise and to throw out story and to be involved in a story


Grant Howitt  47:38  

competence as well.


Chris Taylor  47:39  

Yeah, confidence. It's not like like the beauty of things like dungeon dragons is it can run on autopilot. Like, sure it's better if it's if everybody's really throwing their all behind it and telling this great story. But it can run on autopilot heart cannot Yeah, you cannot coast. It is all about all of the story all of the time. Do it now do it harder. And that is intimidating as hell to some people. And I fully understand that that is a flaw with the system but it's an the characterization. But it's a flaw that I'm willing to take on the on the chin,


Grant Howitt  48:19  

you know, which we've written in on purpose. So so like, if if this is the game for you, it's better. Yeah, I would I would say also compared to spy spy had really nice mechanics making bonds between characters. We haven't got that in yet. I would like to get I just


Chris Taylor  48:36  

want to listen to this the day before after the Kickstarter has come in.


Chris Taylor  48:40  

Yes, we have.


Grant Howitt  48:41  

We have


Chris Taylor  48:42  

that is going in. But between recording and play. Yes,


Grant Howitt  48:45  

we are. We are we are currently writing the book. Yes.


Grant Howitt  48:49  

So I would I would like to, I would like the final version to have more bonds and more ways of it ways of telling your characters together. I think that was a really strong part of spine.


Chris Taylor  49:00  

For instance, one of the things we've been doing in play testing is I've been making. So in the game you have places called havens, which are safe is the wrong word. But safe places label vironment, yes, stable places in the environment. And the places you can get healing and some minor, minor psychiatric treatment, that sort of stuff. And I've been having a lot of people, a lot of groups make a haven as like a unifying action. So the beginning of the end, you create characters, and then we make a haven. And now you got a home base. Yep. And that really ties characters together. And we're going to be using the bond system from spire with a couple of changes where everybody's like interlinked, at least at some level. But just having like, one little piece of stability in this game is wonderful. somewhere you can run back to when it all goes wrong. Yeah. It unifies everybody. And it really pushes towards more stories, because if they're doing really well in the game, unlikely if they're doing really well threaten their Haven, you will instantly see them just throw caution to the wind, yeah, like set fire to their own armor, so they do more damage to the enemy, just so that they can save their haven.


Chris Taylor  50:10  

And it's been so fun. So fun.


Ryan Boelter  50:12  

Yeah, I find that the the collaborative world building part really is an auto buy in for every player that contributes to that. I can see like the little bits of world building through the different characters that we created. And those parts been kind of personal to the player that created the characters. But when you come together as a group and create a singular place that's defined, that that place automatically becomes the special place in the world.


Chris Taylor  50:43  

Yeah. And then like, especially if you like Delve all the way down, like months of playlists a real time all the way down. It's just you play for months and months, months. But still, it's an exhausting game. It's so tiring. And then fun. Do you come back to that haven you made? Like That feeling is great. And we want to push that. And that's not in the places rules, or it will be in the final version, but not in the latest ones. And yeah, keeping everybody unified and interested and on board with the story is key. Because everybody doesn't buy in? The game does fall apart.


Amelia Antrim  51:19  

Yeah. Player by and as always, I mean, every game, you need to be interested in excited about the story.


Chris Taylor  51:26  

Exactly. Yeah. And as I say, the biggest flaw is that if you don't have that buy in, it doesn't work as well. anywhere near as well.


Amelia Antrim  51:34  

So is there something that you're particularly proud of here?


Chris Taylor  51:38  

The classes as a whole for me? Like, I think each one is massively interesting in their own messed up way.


Grant Howitt  51:46  

They're all snarky. They're all interesting.


Chris Taylor  51:49  

Yeah. And link, I there's not a class where I have to wear the cleric. You know, that nobody should be left out. Everything's interesting. Everybody's got a a part to play, not a role to fill.


Chris Taylor  52:04  

And that I'm really, really proud of that.


Amelia Antrim  52:07  

Yeah, I mean, I think that they all have like a little bit because it It feels like because you didn't do those sort of standard, like d&d kind of classes like this maps on to this. Because of the way that they're kind of mixed in all those ways. It feels like there aren't any that I'm like, No, I don't want that. Because I never play fighters. I don't like them. It's just not interesting to me. And I don't see anything here that is like, straight fighter that I'm like, I know. Thank you. Like, are there ones that I'm like, I'm super excited about that. This one's pretty good. Sure. But like, there's nothing in here that I think, no, I would never play that.


Chris Taylor  52:47  

We wanted to make it so that if you wanted to play a fit version of whatever you're doing, you can, they can do it in different way to everybody else. Sure. But you don't have to be a fighter or you can be a fighter, it looks FL


Amelia Antrim  53:00  

that's another one of those that like it sort of directs the GM to what kind of game that you want them to how you flavor those things. I don't like combat heavy games. So I wouldn't flavor it that way people do can pick things that go with that.


Chris Taylor  53:13  

And like we didn't want to exclude anybody based on preference. Because like, in some games, I've known people and I was my one myself for quite a while who only really played healers. And you, you there's a whole load of choices. If you want to do healing. You can pick anything and do a bit of healing, but it's something else. You've got control over how you do it. And that, that being that that ability to just go Yeah, all right, I'll go with this is what I'm proud with. I like doing satisfying.


Ryan Boelter  53:46  

So compared to spider How have you changed the system in this game, to tell different stories.


Grant Howitt  53:55  

We've got different existences. So there are different things you can lose, we got supplies. So blood and mind are the same ones from spy. But we have supplies fortune and echo as we mentioned earlier in In the previous episode. So they're like we're focusing on different things that you can lose. Basically, the other thing we've done is because the games got more fighting in like spire, although it was quite a violent game, it wasn't really about having fights, every session, and heart is much more, it's much more dangerous, as much more many more opportunities to get into a fight. So we've made the combat rules a bit more stable, literally expanded them in that stress has two extra Dyson top of it. So it used to be d3, d 68, stress and very little else. And now we go from default to D 12. With everything in between, which gives you room to submerge up and down the line, which gives us room to have more armor, which gives us room to make to have more incremental choices, which stack up to something really, really impactful. That means that we we can write more smaller rules around combat and that way


Grant Howitt  55:06  

we was your first


Chris Taylor  55:08  

we've changed how you turn stress into Fallout. Yes. So previously, what it was is add up all of your stress reality 10 if it's under that number you get you get full out. If it's if you had Bilos for the number below six stress, it was minor Fallout above major in our


Grant Howitt  55:32  

three different flavors. Yeah. Now what here


Chris Taylor  55:36  

now what it is, is you did you still do the same, you add everything up, you only need 12 sounds strange just to change a detained to a D 12. But it shifts it so there's less likely to be Fallout, it gave us more room to play with again gave us more room to play with. And now if the dice if you roll underneath your stress and the dice show under six, you get minor of the day show over six, you get major. Now that is like a semantic, tiny little change. But what that does is that ripples out into the rest of the system and how survival everybody is. Because what this means is you could take 300 stress just to give it a ridiculous number and walk away. It's possible to walk away because you could roll low on the fallout dice, get a minor fallout from that and survive it. And we've also given the DM the ability to upgrade Fallout. So if you take a minor Fallout, and you took another minor Fallout and same category, the GM can get rid of both of those and call it a major.


Grant Howitt  56:36  

We did that in the last game, we made it much clearer and made it much clearer


Chris Taylor  56:39  

and talked about how you can stack it if you want to. And for instance, critical Fallout, which is death, and its narrative death. So some of them are just you get lost in the heart. You do all sorts of stuff before dying, whatever, but it ends up as their stories over your story ends. The only way to get that is by upgrading two majors. So it has to be the only way you can die is essentially after a dialogue between the DM and the player going. Do you want this? Do you want this to be the end of your character because I think would be really cool. If it was there's no way to just roll. Roll badly around a new character.


Grant Howitt  57:16  

At one shot it


Chris Taylor  57:17  

it's impulse it's literally impossible to die.


Grant Howitt  57:19  

Like it's a horrible rueful game. It's not It's not like an easy game


Chris Taylor  57:23  

to lose legs and eyes.


Grant Howitt  57:25  

But we don't just want to kill you straight out of the gate because that's not interesting. We want we want you want everything to go wrong to you beforehand.


Amelia Antrim  57:32  

Be narratively important, like it should be a big deal.


Grant Howitt  57:37  

R The so critical follows Chris mentioned it's a new grader fall I basically there's a place of fear. It has similar power but if you can only ever upgrade to now you can't ever get it just straight out the gate. And the kids were talking in the previous episode I think about getting a cult with echo Fallout. So and hopefully around because I think you're incredible, powerful person. If you've ever looked for that major Fallout with another major, the cult, either a decider, a false prophet and kill you, or be you believe you're a prophet and golf and found a New Haven in the heart. And your story is over. But it's mechanically the same as dying. But we get to we get to we get to tell all these calls started. It's like you get this, you have an injury up, which which we we should try to really underline


Chris Taylor  58:26  

we have we have quite a few fallouts that are changed. So there's one in minor, there's one in major and there's one in critical that are all interlinked. And they'll say like this can be upgraded to, and it was sort of prompt you along. And like the first one is the rambling how they're having hell, it's an echo Fallout. So it's an interaction with the heart follows is weird. And all it really does is there's a bit of a howling noise in the back of your brain like tinnitus. The major, these weird fractal dog suddenly jumps out from behind the bush and kills when you've adversaries like it helps. And the the critical fallout of that is you suddenly learn what's projecting this fractal dog, which is your own brain, which is where it hatches from. And you haven't if you have a dog come out of your mind.


Grant Howitt  59:15  

I mean, that's the killer,


Chris Taylor  59:16  

the body has to kill it. And that's like, that's a real simplification of the story, I'll admit.


Chris Taylor  59:23  

But like it grows like you, if you follow this Fallout track all the way through, you've got this like foreshadowing, then you've got a problem. And then you've got you let the problem get out of hand. This is your fault.


Grant Howitt  59:34  

It takes the wackiness out of it lets it lets you it lets you build it but lets you build platform for the eventual payoff in your terms.


Amelia Antrim  59:44  

Yeah, and as a player, it lets you lean into that too, and also like be a little bit more in control and have some sort of agency over a potential death.


Chris Taylor  59:53  

And like, we tried to create a lot of them with various touchstones of dungeons dragons of the zoo of things like that. So again, as I mentioned earlier lead that that vocabulary that we have, that prior knowledge, we kind of put things adjacent to things people know, so they can apply a quick flavor to it or make their own. So I talked about the rambling hound if anybody knows called kazoo that's based entirely on the hands of $10 of these like extra dimensional time hunting dogs. And so somebody played golf, the zoo, they can go, Oh, actually, that's a lot like something I know. And somebody hasn't has their own view of it. And there's not a Canon view of anything. Yeah, and that's so satisfying to try and pull off. That's very cool.


Amelia Antrim  1:00:40  

Alright, it's time for my favorite section. It's the fan fiction section, we get to talk about how our current group works mechanically. How we think we would do in a game and how do we potentially see this playing out? I think you know, Chris, you mentioned that like, there's going to be a lot of ghosts and kind of spooky stuff and talking animals. I do like the idea of having touched down someone's dead ex wife.


Chris Taylor  1:01:10  

Yeah, like that. That to me sounds really fun because we got into parties we got to people who can see ghosts. One person who wants who wants to see ghosts but absolutely can't. And gone.


Grant Howitt  1:01:24  

I have I have a stick. I think what's the thing like I think that I would? I'm definitely interested in under in like, because I because I've got heart song, trying to find weirdness and trying to find strangeness and throwing myself at it and trying to understand it. So like, Can I hit some killer ghost? Let's find out. How do I heart and ghosts? Are these ghosts? Like, do I need to hunger? Can I eat ghosts? Is that going to bring me closer to the Goddess? Are these manifestations of her? Can I level and so like trying to basically lick every window on my way down to the heart to try and strive to see what it tastes like.


Grant Howitt  1:02:02  

I think I can solve jello.


Ryan Boelter  1:02:04  

Yeah, I'm picturing my character as not only like the quintessential Disney Princess, but when I be friend animals, all those animals are weird. Like I only befriend the weird ones. So I'm like treating these like horrors and like ghost creatures and stuff that I only I can see sometimes. As like, you know, the the singing birds and like


Amelia Antrim  1:02:29  

sweet forest critters


Ryan Boelter  1:02:31  

within forest creatures and stuff like that.


Chris Taylor  1:02:33  

It's half the ghost of a dog and half insects. Yeah. Nobody quite knows what's going on. They're just


Ryan Boelter  1:02:39  

tundras mandibles and


Chris Taylor  1:02:40  

yeah, and they're just lovely to you. Yeah, yeah.


Grant Howitt  1:02:45  

What is your What is your true formula?


Ryan Boelter  1:02:47  

Oh, gosh. So I've been trying to think of this this whole time. And it's got to be something like totally bizarre. Like No, not humanoid at all.


Grant Howitt  1:03:00  

I've had two ideas. Okay. One, the architect pickle. Protein beast. So like a stag cross with a wolf crossed with a snake? Like every sort of terrifying Sonic beast or just a load of animals that all have the same eyes and the


Chris Taylor  1:03:18  

grapes into a swarm oh my gosh, nightmare


Grant Howitt  1:03:22  

swarm rolling over everything.


Ryan Boelter  1:03:24  

I do like that.


Chris Taylor  1:03:26  

Like the Scarab and the mummy films have sent in unified chattering Horde.


Amelia Antrim  1:03:33  



Ryan Boelter  1:03:34  

I like that a lot. Yeah. Okay, I wasn't thinking of anything like that. I was thinking Marcus totally in horror, but I really like this. I really like the the splitting up into different creatures and they all have kind of like a features that look a little bit like me if you look close enough


Grant Howitt  1:03:55  

and again like they're all they're all the weird ones they're all like they all have weird bits next in my whole house like if you're which has horns they'd have the same horns Yeah, sort of thing.


Ryan Boelter  1:04:06  

They all have the same eyes and they all have humanoid teeth.


Chris Taylor  1:04:12  

But I like the idea that like when it happens you sort of like melt into Yeah, all of these it's like


Chris Taylor  1:04:17  

a bucket of water just hit the ground.


Amelia Antrim  1:04:20  



Ryan Boelter  1:04:22  

Yeah, I love it


Amelia Antrim  1:04:23  

so good.


Chris Taylor  1:04:24  

That's gorgeous.


Amelia Antrim  1:04:25  

I love it. But like that


Chris Taylor  1:04:26  

just just by describing your your true form in that fashion like that gives you a lot of narrative power and love narrative wait in the world like your bugs cool you can get through tiny gaps now. Yeah, because we have no rules for tiny gaps doesn't really come up you know nobody's crawling through five foot things doesn't matter. But if ever there's a like a really like you to get through a keyhole we've got the witch for the job.


Grant Howitt  1:04:50  

Probably Yeah, as long as we don't mind the witch eating everyone inside we can get


Grant Howitt  1:04:55  

she can't turn that off until it


Chris Taylor  1:04:57  

swings and roundabouts my friends


Ryan Boelter  1:05:01  

you know it happens. It does the friendly demonic critters.


Chris Taylor  1:05:08  

Like the really pleasant


Amelia Antrim  1:05:11  

because I picked the junk page and this penitent calling I like the idea of this character that's like, addicted to magic, but like also trying to get better. But also like, needs it. Like to do their job.


Chris Taylor  1:05:26  

Also have pockets full of narcotics.


Amelia Antrim  1:05:30  

Right. Right. I can I can quit anytime I want. Yes.


Chris Taylor  1:05:35  

Just like I can unhook my veins from this otherworldly entity.


Amelia Antrim  1:05:38  

Right? It's fine.


Grant Howitt  1:05:40  

Yeah, I can I can rip these wings off my back. I fly again. Whatever.


Amelia Antrim  1:05:45  

Look, it's fine. We'll just slowly tie trade down. Don't worry about it. I'm working on. It's a process.


Chris Taylor  1:05:54  

I think this part is quite solid.


Grant Howitt  1:05:58  

Yeah, it's some. We don't have a lot of different domains. I think that from from a from a from an explorer point of view. We're quite heavily focused. And once we get out of that Haven, we're going to start struggling. Yeah, but that's fun and what the game is about? Yes. Okay.


Chris Taylor  1:06:17  

We've got at least one Dell family.


Grant Howitt  1:06:19  

We've got Delve. I'm, I'm pretty good at killing things.


Chris Taylor  1:06:22  

Yep. I've got Shannon,


Grant Howitt  1:06:25  

right. Cuz you can solve most problems with I can mend. You can mend. You can talk to animals. And I think that I can see one. We've got some really interesting stuff, what we do what we're good at, and then the gym. Okay, cool. It's technology now. That like, like, yeah, a machine is breaking in. And this machine is building itself all throughout your wild lands, you have to stop it or you don't have to have it, but the Haven logo, and now we're out of our depth. And so now we're like, well, we got we got to try and learn about technology, we've got to pick up the domain. And you know, we got a fifth player for missing night threat with the until they die.


Chris Taylor  1:07:01  

Yeah, so like, when you've got a character characters with a very focused list of skills and domains, what you end up with is like, you know, this isn't a trope of like zero to hero. You've got that but oscillating. So you've got your your superhero using all these abilities. Your God, this is amazing. Oh, we're somewhere else. Now you, you're terrible. Yeah, your trash.


Grant Howitt  1:07:24  

This is the place where you run a mile.


Chris Taylor  1:07:26  

Now you run from everything before you could take on any any threat. Now you're going to die down here in the dark. And then you flee. And then you get some way, you know, again, and you go back up the isolation and your superiors again. Whereas if you have a widespread of abilities, it it's more of a flatline, you're okay everywhere. And the game in the setting in the system, a very much built to handle both of those. It can, it can do really deep lows, really high highs, and that sort of middle ground nicely.


Amelia Antrim  1:08:00  

I think a lot of games have that idea that you need to have a variety of things like you need to have a healer and a fighter and you know, whatever. And I like the idea that we've made these characters that are all kind of heavily focused in this one area, because it means that you wouldn't have a session where it's like, well, I can't really do anything here. We all are, like really good at it or really bad. But we are doing that together.


Chris Taylor  1:08:26  

Yeah, like we're all running away, or we're all giving it our best.


Chris Taylor  1:08:31  

There's no bit where well, I'm really good fighter. This is a combat session, you will go get some coffee and I'll kill all these goblins there's less everybody's on the same page at all times. And everybody's dealing with the same sort of problems but in their own specific ways. And they're in their own ways of handling it but handling it's the wrong word not handling it like the Fallout and the the addiction for some characters and that sort of stuff that


Grant Howitt  1:08:58  

their own Fallout.


Chris Taylor  1:09:01  

Yeah, I'm gonna play this new


Amelia Antrim  1:09:06  



Grant Howitt  1:09:08  

That's it like nothing. Never ruin it. It's a series of beautiful one night stands.


Amelia Antrim  1:09:13  

Oh, yeah. Nobody Nobody gets their gross game fingers all over it. perfect the way it is. Don't touch it.


Grant Howitt  1:09:22  

Perfect. Crystal. I'm I feel we cheapen Dora our initial episode by going back to James tomato.


Amelia Antrim  1:09:29  

Yeah, a little bit like I like expanding on things. But there's also part of me that's like, Oh, I don't know. I know too much about this before I played it.


Chris Taylor  1:09:37  

It was such a beautiful dream.


Amelia Antrim  1:09:39  

Yeah, it was


Ryan Boelter  1:09:41  

just nice to know more about me. Oh,


Amelia Antrim  1:09:43  

yeah, we did learn a lot. Alright, well, let's move into our advancement segment that we call take it up a level


Marie-Claire Segues  1:09:52  

take it up a level


Amelia Antrim  1:09:56  

which is upon that Ryan road, and I hate it.


Ryan Boelter  1:09:59  

And it stays forever.


Grant Howitt  1:10:02  

works because the 20 for your thoughts doesn't work in my ex and that to read it like four times before I understood what the hell it was about?


Ryan Boelter  1:10:09  

Because it's penny for your thoughts. But it's a detail. Yeah,


Grant Howitt  1:10:11  

yeah, but I don't I don't pronounce it the 20


Chris Taylor  1:10:13  

be 20.


Grant Howitt  1:10:15  

The same way. Don't say penny for your thoughts.


Ryan Boelter  1:10:17  

That's true.


Chris Taylor  1:10:19  

Maybe you should


Amelia Antrim  1:10:21  

try it. It's fun. That's amazing.


Ryan Boelter  1:10:23  

Okay, so in this segment, we will cover how character advancement and growth is covered in this system. So how do you think characters change as people within the narrative of this game as we advance? Well, how do we advanced in the first place?


Grant Howitt  1:10:41  

So we've discussed this previously, but to briefly reiterate, actually, Chris Wagner.


Chris Taylor  1:10:46  

Ok. So the way you advance in heart is to fulfill beats provided by your calling. You can also potentially get beats from things like extra advances that kind of tack on. But essentially, when we pick the biggest, like I picked, do something dangerous to protect your past and learn off as as something that lessons control of my Masters over me. These are scenes I want to see, when those scenes play out for good or evil. Like you can mess up a scene however you want. As long as the scene happens, you get a relevant advancement. So you'll notice that the callings are split into minor, major and Zenith then it is really hard to do and is the end of a character arc. So you're mainly be doing minors with a smattering of majors. Every time you complete one, you get a relevant advancement for your plus. So you get to pick another minor for your junk major a major if you just fulfilled that. And that's it. It's real simple. It's no XP, it's cool. The story happened, we had fun with that.


Grant Howitt  1:11:49  

So like it's it doesn't put the onus on the GM to remember and say, Hey, now it's time to level up. We're trying to look forward to a more sort of more story game focused thing where the so I want to do this and it's the it's advancement is rather than say, we're we're rewarding. I didn't Character behavior so so dragons, you reward, tackling dangerous monsters or killing them or bypassing them or whatever, you got XP, your character gets more powerful, it feels good push button number go up. And with us, what we're rewarding you for is having a conversation with a GM before the game about what you want to happen in the game, and then your GM giving that to you. So we're actually we're actually rewarding meta gaming through this advancements. system. Gaming is meta gaming is for the want of a better word good


Amelia Antrim  1:12:38  

means it's not wrong. No.


Amelia Antrim  1:12:42  

I also want to point out to that it's not hard to do, I think that there's there's a lot of games where advancement takes forever. And it's like four or five sessions before you can do anything. And like in our one shot at Gen Con. I got an advancement already. So it looks like you're constantly moving forward.


Chris Taylor  1:13:04  

Yeah. So at any one time, your character can hold two advancements can hold two beats ready, that you want fulfill, and any empty slots of those refresh between sessions. So in theory, you can advance in theory, it's probably quite difficult to actually do, you could advanced twice every time you sit down to play it. And because it's technically possible for that, if we went through the fact of cool, okay, you've leveled up. So now your base attack bonus increases by one if you recorded that. You get three skills plus for one skill plus two. If we did that, it would take


Grant Howitt  1:13:37  

spell points.


Chris Taylor  1:13:39  

Yeah, it would take forever. So the whole point is a year ago call that looks neat. I'll take that. And in a lot of cases, what the parents you're taking the things that you looked at in Character Crusher, and oh, I don't know which one to pick. Pick the other one. And again, there's no bad interactions. You cannot make an ineffective characters impossible.


Grant Howitt  1:14:00  

You deserve a gym. It doesn't listen to you. That's


Chris Taylor  1:14:02  

Yeah, that's the only way to lose is to have people in the game playing intentionally badly. Like contrary to the way the group wants to play.


Amelia Antrim  1:14:11  

Well, that's sort of like a motto of this show, too, is Don't play with. Don't play bad games. And don't play with people who suck.


Chris Taylor  1:14:17  

Yeah, exactly. That. But aside from that, you can advance a character and under a minute. Yeah, like you can fully level up because you can take you and take you more time to write out the power.


Amelia Antrim  1:14:29  

So it took me longer to read the sentence than to like actually put it on. Yeah, like it was just like, okay, I'll circle this one.


Chris Taylor  1:14:36  

Like, the example I've been using is the modern phones, which is like plus one blood protection. Now you can see ghosts. Yeah. How long does it take you to clock one number up by one? Yeah, that's me. That is now Yeah, you don't have any game at all. You have the you have to do with your character sheets. Everything else is that now you can go Hey, Jim. And it goes to that. It's always


Grant Howitt  1:14:55  

been good. Thanks for asking.


Grant Howitt  1:15:01  



Chris Taylor  1:15:03  

thousands of tiny bug ghosts.


Chris Taylor  1:15:06  

Snow. Yeah. So that's how quick it is. And obviously, if you're doing major advancements, it's a little bit longer. But again, like if you're if you're doing like checking for five minutes, that's a reading comprehension problem. You can laugh if you're doing a reading real slow.


Grant Howitt  1:15:22  

You basically get your own session.


Ryan Boelter  1:15:24  

That makes sense


Chris Taylor  1:15:25  

Yeah. When you when you has an issue that is Hey, I'm going to steal the spotlight for one day. Yeah. Because my characters dying. So I've earned it.


Chris Taylor  1:15:35  

And you you've largely become GM for that.


Grant Howitt  1:15:38  

I'm gonna do something hugely outrageous and destructive or creative or go do something world changing. And then my parents it goes, Yeah, like what are the this like the the drag queens and stability for your character, Amelia? Is you married the drag queen?


Amelia Antrim  1:15:54  

Oh, that's nice. Really happy together,


Grant Howitt  1:15:56  

you get you get one or two sessions before you are retired is a play Character jitsu, you know, backstabbing. But you get to rule over a drunk kingdom for a couple of sessions. And it's like, it's like that point where like I said, Don't worry too much about them rules.


Grant Howitt  1:16:11  

Because by the time you've hit the end of your character, you can probably just tell stories together. And you've got the backbone to go through that. But yeah, my favorite one is missing, like can summon the last remaining train on top of whatever they're having a problem with.


Chris Taylor  1:16:26  

Because Because one of the things I really hate is that as you go up in levels in traditional DD start role playing games, the rules getting more complex. Mm hmm. When in my head that should get less complex. Because you've gotten you've got more mystic power. You can mess with the rules of reality. Yeah, like if you can cast a wish. Why do I have a spell? DZ? Like, that's, I don't need that anymore. I just make stuff up.


Amelia Antrim  1:16:52  

Oh, you can wish for more wishes?


Chris Taylor  1:16:54  

Yes, true.


Chris Taylor  1:16:57  

So yeah, we'd like when you hit us, and if we just retired locks off, you know, like the speed limit is gone. Don't you want here you got one session or fire yourself into the sun, knock yourself out. This is great. And I'm you back down to your back down to the dirt with everyone else. And it's great.


Ryan Boelter  1:17:12  

Yeah. I love that.


Grant Howitt  1:17:14  

My my favorite move on my favorite advance we've written I think for the whole game is the incarnate in. So we're doing comedy, and they go through the guts through advances, which is ultimate credit. So you can buy anything, ultimate debit. So you can visit the wrath of incarnate upon any one thing or a happy ending. And you get to move at the heart and go and go and live with people. You got a family, you can get a job and you go happy. I think Congrats. It's all fun. I like that. Scott,


Chris Taylor  1:17:42  

it expressly has no end game effect. The candidates are probably the meanest, nastiest people you can play as play characters like the borderline antagonist. That nasty people. And for some reason, we decided it was going to be funny but also interesting. One of the one that was one of the top Capstone abilities is you retire, you get to stop you die years, maybe decades from now, you know, warm home surrounded by your family.


Ryan Boelter  1:18:08  

That's, that's really interesting. It sounds like the character itself is based around being selfish throughout their whole life. Yeah. And in this sort of environment, retiring and peace and living happily, is a selfish way out of it. Because it only affects you.


Chris Taylor  1:18:25  

So even if you cannot, you cannot use it to help anyone. Yeah, perfectly self serving. That's


Grant Howitt  1:18:31  

living very clever run.


Grant Howitt  1:18:36  

It we didn't this there was a joke.


Chris Taylor  1:18:38  

But no, it's it's really interesting. Because like, you've got this option, you can either you can either have, you know, semi cosmic power for a session, or you can in quotation marks when


Grant Howitt  1:18:48  

Yeah, which is, obviously it's the same level of Yeah, you get stopped playing a happy ending. And it's like that's, that's how hard it is to get a happy ending.


Chris Taylor  1:18:58  

expressively get it,


Grant Howitt  1:18:59  

I want to, I want it, I want to burn an entire haven to the ground. So I'm going to summon the Red King through my body, which destroys me, Oh, cool. I want a wife and two kids at the same level of stress. That's the second level of challenge.


Amelia Antrim  1:19:13  

I have kids, it sounds like the same level of chat.


Chris Taylor  1:19:16  

That's very fair.


Amelia Antrim  1:19:18  

I like the idea that like the ultimate power, you can get us to not have to play your game anymore. I mean, that's the only


Chris Taylor  1:19:26  

way. So we want to give people the option of like, the ultimate power is just you know, what, do you want to be happy? Or you want to win?


Chris Taylor  1:19:32  

Yeah. Yeah, like, make that choice. Genuinely difficult. Because it doesn't matter.


Grant Howitt  1:19:40  

You can buy the last trade, if I've mentioned it from St. And like, try to send it to, you know, run the train network. Yeah.


Amelia Antrim  1:19:47  

It's your dream to own this train station.


Chris Taylor  1:19:50  

And just be happy for the rest of your life.


Ryan Boelter  1:19:52  

Yeah. For years.


Chris Taylor  1:19:54  

It's I mean, it's just interesting to see what people will take.


Ryan Boelter  1:19:57  

Yeah, that's really cool. I like that a lot.


Amelia Antrim  1:20:00  

I like the idea that you get to define your ending that like, that's the ultimate power is you say like, this is what I want.


Chris Taylor  1:20:06  

It's not, it's not just putting you in the spotlight. It's giving you full control of the theater. And, you know, set some of these fireworks whenever you want. go nuts. Show me a story. Show me the DM. Listen how you go.


Grant Howitt  1:20:21  

No one else knows. But this prop guns loaded with real bullets. Go hog wild.


Ryan Boelter  1:20:30  

So that's it. We covered it.


Amelia Antrim  1:20:33  

We did it amazing,


Chris Taylor  1:20:34  

right? We did. Yeah. It's like the whole point. Is that advancement is these quick and snappy. Yeah,


Grant Howitt  1:20:38  

yeah. And you end up doing a lot.


Chris Taylor  1:20:40  

The only hobby is the choice. Yeah. Like, as you saw with character creation, you can do that every time.


Ryan Boelter  1:20:45  

And there's a lot of good choices.


Chris Taylor  1:20:47  

But there'll be more and more in the funnel book.


Chris Taylor  1:20:51  

And, as I said that one of the nice things is that you've already got a mental catalog of things you didn't quite take a Character. So 30% of the way there anyway.


Ryan Boelter  1:21:01  

Yeah, absolutely. Very cool. Well, great. And Chris, thank you both so much for joining us to talk about heart. This was real quick. Yes. Yes. There's a lot of fun.


Grant Howitt  1:21:12  

It's great to just talk at length about just what we are actual professional game designers. And it's quite nice to get the pair of us on and say what we do isn't stupid. Because we do that to each other all the time. Yeah. So it's nice to be it's nice to be nice to have a forum where we can take us all seriously.


Ryan Boelter  1:21:33  

Absolutely. So can you both you remind everyone where they can find you and this game, and what sort of things you are working on. In addition,


Grant Howitt  1:21:42  

you can find me on Twitter at GS how it's less GSHOWITT more, I'll be chatting about everything all the time is from the best place to look at me. You can also go to bit ly forward slash RD games, which we'll get to our website, which has every game we've ever written that we thought was good enough to release. We


Grant Howitt  1:22:01  

launching a Kickstarter tomorrow, I believe


Chris Taylor  1:22:04  

a week ago or whenever this comes out,


Grant Howitt  1:22:06  

whenever you're listening to this. There is well BO was a Kickstarter,


Chris Taylor  1:22:11  

Google heart Kickstarter, and


Grant Howitt  1:22:12  

yeah, feed me Heart Heart RPG Kickstarter. Go to go to either mine or Chris's thing.


Amelia Antrim  1:22:19  

And we will for sure.


Grant Howitt  1:22:22  

And take a look at the campaign with a beautiful article. beautiful things. We think you'll like it. Chris, where can we find you?


Chris Taylor  1:22:30  

I'm at the Madigan on Twitter. But the easiest way to get ahold of me honestly, is to go to the road romantic a discord which you can get either by hounding grant on Twitter, buying any one of our products or just going to our website at the bitly link on talked about and join us on there because we have huge rangy conversations where a community goes incredibly insane. With community documents and just right stuff. And I constantly


Amelia Antrim  1:23:00  

so much stuff in there. It's I mean, it's incredible the things people come up with.


Chris Taylor  1:23:03  

Yeah, like we have, we have an active Google Doc that anybody can edit for all the settings and


Grant Howitt  1:23:09  

one for harm of Aspire and people just go ahead and throw stuff up and it's great to see like I just stopped myself reading it. Because I'm like, what this is a pretty good idea and I accidentally wrote it.


Chris Taylor  1:23:20  

Yeah, like


Chris Taylor  1:23:21  

and put it in a book like me, Miss credit somebody because we thought we come up with it and it was just like Layton in the brain.


Chris Taylor  1:23:30  

So we have to be careful


Grant Howitt  1:23:31  

with Yes, please come to the Scott Sigler.


Chris Taylor  1:23:33  



Amelia Antrim  1:23:34  

Well, thank you so much for sitting down with us. This was so much fun. Thank you everyone to live. I can do this. And thank you to everyone for listening.


Chris Taylor  1:23:44  



Amelia Antrim  1:23:46  

Nope, I will, will fix it in post.


Amelia Antrim  1:23:53  

Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network and can be found online at ww w Character Creation head to the website to get more information on our hosts and guests or even find some of our character sheets. Character Creation Cast can be found on Twitter at Creation Cast. I'm one of your hosts Amelia interim, and I can be found on twitter at ginger reckoning, or other host Ryan bolter can be found on twitter at Lord Neptune. Music for this episode is used with a Creative Commons license, or with permission from the podcast that originated from further information can be found within the show notes. Our main theme music is hero remix, I Steve comes and is used with a Creative Commons license. This podcast is owned by us under Creative Commons. This episode was edited by Amelia and Trump. Further information for the game system used and today's guests can also be found in the show notes. If you like the game systems discussed and wish to purchase them, thanks to the products can be found in the show notes. Also check our notes or the website for cool stuff to go with each character like dice or mixtapes. Thanks for joining us. And remember, we find that the best part of any role playing game is character creation. So go out there and create some amazing people will see you next time.


Amelia Antrim  1:25:22  

Now we gotta read some show blurbs


Ryan Boelter  1:25:24  

show blurbs


Amelia Antrim  1:25:25  

show blurbs


Ryan Boelter  1:25:27  

show blurbs


Amelia Antrim  1:25:27  

show blurbs.


Amelia Antrim  1:25:30  

Character Creation Cast is hosted by the one shot Podcast Network. If you enjoyed our show, visit one shot podcast calm, we'll find other great shows like system mastery.


Ryan Boelter  1:25:40  

System mastery is a delightful stroll through the history of role playing games. Except the games are terrible. And the hosts are real jerks about everything. Join hosts Jeff and john as they explore the weirdest games ever made to talk about what worked what went wrong. And what Silver Hawk was the best. It was hot weekend don't even find their shows at system mastery podcast calm or one shot podcast calm.


Amelia Antrim  1:26:10  



Chris Taylor  1:26:12  

that works so well in your accent.


Ryan Boelter  1:26:18  

So I had to scour Costco, like the entire store to find the only tea bags they had in the entire store. But it's actually pretty good.


Chris Taylor  1:26:27  

What make is it?


Ryan Boelter  1:26:29  

It's a it's like a it's a Japanese brand. From I think it's like authentic Japanese green tea. Okay, central matchup blend. quite delicious.


Grant Howitt  1:26:44  

We don't think we really have that sort of tea culture over here like yet you have to be


Grant Howitt  1:26:49  

really foul language into tea.


Grant Howitt  1:26:53  

Other than just generic, like if you know what kind of what kind of tea you're drinking. It's definitely seen as a sign of snobbery. Well, this three


Chris Taylor  1:27:00  

kinds of classifications of tea right? There's English breakfast, Yorkshire, Yorkshire breakfast. That's it.


Grant Howitt  1:27:07  

Those those are I don't know what the language but Yorkshire Yorkshire is English Breakfast tea.


Chris Taylor  1:27:13  

That's what I mean. Yeah. But like, it's the fancy version,


Grant Howitt  1:27:15  

I suppose. Well, I mean, there's there's


Chris Taylor  1:27:20  

Yeah, it's the same thing. It's just how they're branded.


Grant Howitt  1:27:23  



Amelia Antrim  1:27:24  

like so like, what color box it comes in. Like, what?


Chris Taylor  1:27:27  

It's like, you know, you know, when you go to a supermarket and they've got like, the bulk standard super cheap version of something. Yeah. And then the expensive like, own brand. Oh, very nice version. And then the same tea. It's that.


Amelia Antrim  1:27:40  

Oh, okay.


Ryan Boelter  1:27:41  

That makes sense


Grant Howitt  1:27:42  

It's a close thing.


Amelia Antrim  1:27:43  

But you gotta buy the expensive kind, right?


Ryan Boelter  1:27:46  

it all is it all black tea over there then.


Grant Howitt  1:27:48  

Yeah, much.


Ryan Boelter  1:27:50  

It makes sense


Amelia Antrim  1:27:51  

Does it?


Ryan Boelter  1:27:51  

Well, I mean,


Chris Taylor  1:27:54  

this is this is very ingrained into our class structure, right.


Grant Howitt  1:27:58  

I'm pretty sure you can grow black in the countries we stole. Yeah. So that's, that's quite useful.


Ryan Boelter  1:28:05  

into it. Green is more in the Asian center of the world, right? Yeah, he's


Grant Howitt  1:28:12  

East Asians, which we didn't get around to stealing. He stole


Chris Taylor  1:28:15  

a couple of cities. But that's it like definitely.


Grant Howitt  1:28:21  

This was probably why we're not so much into coffee as a nation. Because we didn't steal South Africa South America or even


Amelia Antrim  1:28:27  

Yeah, see, we got that we got to that was I mean, we just like I mean, we installed dictators and stuff we didn't like colonized so much as like this. fun things on the back end. Yeah.


Grant Howitt  1:28:42  

Crowd fund.


Chris Taylor  1:28:46  

You really look like you should be out on the back porch. Their grand.


Grant Howitt  1:28:49  



Grant Howitt  1:28:55  

We've got we've got enforced breaks, right, so I can go and like styling. I'm Nicola room.


Amelia Antrim  1:29:01  

Yeah. Also, like, if you want to just like get up and walk away. That's fine. No, I'm serious. Like people do. You can?


Chris Taylor  1:29:12  

I don't? Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  1:29:14  

If you need to, you need to and that's okay. All right.


Amelia Antrim  1:29:25  

I was like, it's so early for that. Because I was like, no, not for you.


Grant Howitt  1:29:28  

I'm a European lager. No, its water.


Chris Taylor  1:29:31  



Grant Howitt  1:29:37  

This is work. That's fair.


Amelia Antrim  1:29:39  

Okay. almost choked on my coffee.


Ryan Boelter  1:29:43  

Okay, and I apologize. I am getting over sickness. So if I sound weird at all at some point.


Ryan Boelter  1:29:56  

I don't want to like accidentally sneeze in like startle everybody


Grant Howitt  1:30:02  

is run been possessed.


Amelia Antrim  1:30:04  

know if you sneeze Ryan it will scare me.


Ryan Boelter  1:30:07  

Okay. I'll try to like lungi my mute button If that happens,


Amelia Antrim  1:30:11  

okay. I do always like scream a little bit when people sneeze loudly. It scares me.


Ryan Boelter  1:30:16  

I usually have a couple seconds of warning. So


Amelia Antrim  1:30:19  

I'm just easily startled.


Ryan Boelter  1:30:21  



Amelia Antrim  1:30:22  



Amelia Antrim  1:30:24  

This is the slow part that we added out later.


Grant Howitt  1:30:28  

We swear in the spirit.


Amelia Antrim  1:30:29  

Yeah, for sure. Boss


Chris Taylor  1:30:34  

in Holland, how it


Grant Howitt  1:30:38  

sorry, everyone. I'm like good Christian podcast.


Amelia Antrim  1:30:43  

For a while people definitely thought that we were because our Twitter handle is just Creation Cast OY. Character Creation Cast. And so yeah, people were like, we had a bunch of like religious podcasts following us. It did not take them long to figure out that that's


Chris Taylor  1:31:01  

what's the help the numbers at the beginning, right.


Ryan Boelter  1:31:03  



Chris Taylor  1:31:04  

I actually wrote on the top of my notes, like reminders not to swear.


Amelia Antrim  1:31:09  

Oh, yeah.


Grant Howitt  1:31:11  

In a much route away the idea


Grant Howitt  1:31:14  

is quite large and probably use the biggest swear available.


Amelia Antrim  1:31:19  

What is this note say? Because we'll just edit it out later.


Chris Taylor  1:31:23  

And if it's backwards that is


Grant Howitt  1:31:25  

no, that looks


Amelia Antrim  1:31:28  

bigger, because I can't read it.


Ryan Boelter  1:31:30  

That's amazing.


Amelia Antrim  1:31:32  

Yeah, no beautiful.


Ryan Boelter  1:31:35  

Don't do it. No.


Amelia Antrim  1:31:38  

tempted Chris have one. He was like, I think he had a post it note that was like no foul language were


Chris Taylor  1:31:44  

like, I just like to just look at it like no, no, there are other words we could use Chris.


Amelia Antrim  1:31:50  

To be fair, I still have a hard time with it like a year and a half into that. It's Ryan's role not


Ryan Boelter  1:31:57  

everybody is fun.


Amelia Antrim  1:31:59  

I've heard riots were like, twice.


Ryan Boelter  1:32:01  

Yep. And it was both due to social injustices.


Amelia Antrim  1:32:06  

I think it was mostly just the cost of health insurance.


Ryan Boelter  1:32:09  

Health insurance and health care in America.


Grant Howitt  1:32:11  

Yeah, that's a warning sign


Ryan Boelter  1:32:13  

language that fires


Amelia Antrim  1:32:19  

fires me up. A little bit. Not a right.


Grant Howitt  1:32:25  

You know what, actually, it's just a little pocket. You have to stick out later and


Ryan Boelter  1:32:30  

get it out. You just gotta you just gotta burn it. Mama bird. The cat.


Ryan Boelter  1:32:45  

Oh, that's the worst. It's horrible. masticated up a treat for him. God This game is great.


Grant Howitt  1:32:54  

God I love second French words. Even badly


Grant Howitt  1:32:57  

I language.


Chris Taylor  1:33:03  

That's a point to me is


Grant Howitt  1:33:06  

another one. I've even with Fred Jackson is at least possible.


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