Welcome to the final episode of series 21, everyone! Today we welcome back Daniel Kwan and Patrick Keenan from Dundas West Games to discuss the character creation process for their new game, Ross Rifles, a World War 1, Powered by the Apocalypse RPG, kickstarting right now!
Welcome to the final episode of series 21, everyone! Today we welcome back Daniel Kwan and Patrick Keenan from Dundas West Games to discuss the character creation process for their new game, Ross Rifles, a World War 1, Powered by the Apocalypse RPG, kickstarting right now!
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Daniel Kwan @danielhkwan
Patrick Keenan @Keenan_Patrick
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Asians Represent @aznsrepresent
Character Creation Cast:
Amelia Antrim 0:02
Welcome to the final part of series 21. Everyone. We're back with Danielle and Patrick to discuss the process of character creation in Ross rifles, and also for a little while to gush about how adorable Antonio is. Ross rifles is still on Kickstarter and has met a few stretch goals. You can find a link to the project in our show notes. A reminder that Ryan and I will be at Academy con in Dayton, Ohio, November 8 through the 10th. We also have a panel that Sunday at 10am. We would love to see you there if you're going to be at the convention. I think honestly, that's about all we have for announcements this time, as weird as that seems. So here's the episode
Ryan Boelter 1:17
Welcome back to our discussion episode everyone. Last time we created characters for Ross rifles. This this episode we will be discussing the character creation process. We are very excited to welcome back, Patrick Keenan and Daniel Kwan, designers on this very date. And it is currently on Kickstarter. Do you want to go ahead and introduce yourselves again for everyone at home? And tell us a little bit about the characters you made an episode?
Patrick Keenan 1:46
Yeah, so thanks for having us again. I'm Patrick Keenan. I'm the writer and publishing coordinator at Douglas West games, one of the authors on Ross rifles, and the Character I created last episode was Thomas Vivian based off of my great grandfather, he is the scrounger playbook.
Daniel Kwan 2:06
His traitor calling before the world was an adding machine mechanic. He's just arrived at the Western Front. And yeah, nice. And I'm Daniel Kwan. I'm a writer and the marketing coordinator at Dundas West games. The character that I made. Last episode is Kenji Nakamura. Kenji is a scout and he has like a notorious reputation in the trenches for being with a straight face, as as it at Tory's reputation in the trenches for being a skilled killer because of the marks on his rifle and everybody thinks that these marks for all the lives he's taken, but really there for all the times that he's gone out into no man's land and made it back without any danger. That's awesome. Can you Papi named Antonio
Amelia Antrim 2:55
Oh, Antonio, the most important character of this series. Ryan, do you want to tell everyone about your character?
Ryan Boelter 3:03
Yeah, so I made Frederick Thomas bolter without the E and bolter? Well, the first one at least. And they used to be a bridge builder, before they joined the war effort, they designed and helped get bridges built. And they are the creative so they they like to do drafting and drawing on the front lines and use that creativity to to help their their people get home safely. I yourself Amelia
Amelia Antrim 3:38
okay. I made algernon Gregory. I used the replacement playbook. So algernon is new here is replacing someone who was previously promoted. And he is, you know, not super sure of himself but just like doing his best and trying to prove That he knows what's going on, even though he really doesn't.
Daniel Kwan 4:06
We really made up a big group of talented individuals.
Ryan Boelter 4:13
Absolutely. All right, let's go ahead then and dive into a segment that we are calling a D 24. Your thoughts, the 24 thoughts.
Amelia Antrim 4:21
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 two other games. But first, we like to talk to our guests about how they got started in RPG in the first place.
Daniel Kwan 4:36
Oh man, do you wanna go for the old me I'm older you the younger person. Well, if you go first then you can lead into you know me because yeah, make me into Rp. Geez. Oh, yeah. Wow, Patrick. Yeah, no, it's true. So I have been playing RPG for this year will be my 20th year. This is my 20th You're playing RPG. I actually started playing RPG at the Royal Ontario Museum here in Canada. My mom signed my brother and I up for this Dungeons and Dragons camp that they had. I had no idea what d&d was. I thought it was actually going to see this every time. I thought it was actually going to get to make a sword and I was gonna, my plans were to hit my brother. I thought we were going to like basically do buffer lobbing before I knew what a buffer Lark was. And we ended up playing d&d. It was third edition at the time. And then I later dove into a d&d on my own. But we started playing third edition d&d, and I kind of fell in love with it. I was a camper at the museum for four years. And then I ended up volunteering with them and working for the camp and then teaching it from 2011 until June of this year. Oh, wow. So I was I was working with the camps in 2005. And then kind of teaching at it from 2011 until 2019. And that's where I met Patrick.
Patrick Keenan 6:04
Yeah, so I was also a camper at the camp.
Daniel Kwan 6:08
When you were teaching it I don't think I was actually maybe for one so it was that will me and rich that you had we overlapped. We alternated. So I started working for the wrong and volunteering at dungeon dragons camp and I started to work with Daniel and for Daniel, I guess. Yeah. During all that time, and then now I've taken over teaching the dungeon dragons program, but it's really what got me into RPG is playing d&d, and we started to play other RPG as well. And then we started to think about writing our own RPG and that's where we met our business partner, Dan JO. Yep.
Amelia Antrim 6:43
So did you know what what d&d was? When you went into doing this camp?
Daniel Kwan 6:48
Patrick, I had an idea that we would be playing a game. I didn't really know what d&d entailed at this time, but I ended up loving it. I love role playing so it was a good choice. Nice very cool.
Amelia Antrim 7:01
That's a cool so I started in the museum like I think more museums should maybe have d&d Yeah,
Daniel Kwan 7:06
yeah. Get in touch with them This was game so
Ryan Boelter 7:12
so then can you tell us about your personal processes for picking and creating a character in any role playing game?
Daniel Kwan 7:21
I you What do you said that I immediately had a thought of your character in urban shadows the one who's just called to the leg. Let's go with the aware Yeah, I really like to play that kind of like I'm confused. I don't know what's happening in the story. Yeah. So what you're referencing when we played overshadows I was the aware which is the playbook that is like just introduced to the supernatural. didn't even really believe the supernatural.
Unknown Speaker 7:47
So it's like, what's happening?
Daniel Kwan 7:49
How could there be vampires I know ghosts are real but how could there be?
Amelia Antrim 7:54
pick that one I'm starting in urban shadows game in a couple weeks and I almost picked the aware to like, I just want to
Daniel Kwan 7:59
say What's up here? I like to play the comedic foil of the group especially what I do so it depends on will help like if I'm playing with like a home group I I love to play like a kooky character or we'd like I like to been max but if I'm ever do anything anything at a con like a live show like that the gen called Live show we did with the broadsword and adventure zone. I always like to pay play like a comedic character. Yeah, so I like to make things suboptimal almost every time.
Amelia Antrim 8:34
So I want to ask, because this is a PvP a game. How do you think that character creation in this game stacks up against other PVA TA games that you've played or read through? Because they all kind of have that similar like playbook style of like picking things off a list and building those bonds and that kind of stuff. And I'm interested to see how you think that this is unique or like what things you've taken from other PVTA games? Oh, no. So many of my friends decided PBT kids. So everything my friends did, I looked at that and said, I can do that better.
Daniel Kwan 9:07
This is how the community furthers itself. To be to us one of the things like I really love about Ross rebels, and I think what makes this stand out is that Ross rifles actually gets you to learn. You're not just like checking off boxes are talking, you are checking off boxes and you are talking to people about the bonds. And so the narrative sort of tags that tie us all together. But the added layer with Ross rifles is that like all of us did when we were making our characters is it gets you to actually do some research. Like our past two independent releases have all been about getting the players to do research. So when we did ZD, Zoo, yeah, a big part of character creation is just and you do it on cue cards is just sitting there and looking up information about the animal you decide to the pic. We basically made Madagascar, the RPG and the last game we played One of our graphic designer will wanted to be a great white shark because we were doing basically you know, Finding Dory. You know, when Dory is at that aquarium, yes. With the Sigourney Weaver aquarium, we were like escape from that aquarium. And one of the players is like, I want to be a great white shark. But I don't know anything about great white sharks. So I'm just going to be jaws have its gonna look at Wikipedia for jaws. I'm just gonna figure out my attributes. Put for Ross rifles, you know, all four of us. We were just like looking up things on like our family. Yeah. Or looking at like our own names in the, you know, the Canadian war records. Yeah, every soldier has a unique story. And I think that's what Ross rifles is really powerful at is conveyed. Every time you play every time you create a different character. I've always found that I've never really had characters that felt similar. I've always kind of had a different sort of narrative in mind going in. And I think that's the ability to pick from any sort of these soldiers stories is really powerful. I think the structure of the playbooks also lends itself to you could be described your like your character is a scrounger. Yeah, but your story is not set on one kind of scrounger. Which I like but yeah with with all of our all of our games are you know our current ones and are our future ones it's all about getting the player to learn something new every session not just about themselves and their real life friendship with the people at their table, but also about the content of the game.
Ryan Boelter 11:29
I really loved the the historical looking up of stuff when we're creating characters here and, and finding stuff that was kinda relatable even even nowadays. Yeah, totally putting that into the game and it is just a really interesting and unique experience that I don't think I've had with not RPG character creation before.
Amelia Antrim 11:54
And I like that it it takes something like you know, World War One which obviously involved tons and tons and tons Tons of people and really kind of like brings it down to a very individual level, like you are focused on who each of these soldiers are as people. And so, you know, like, he brought up the point to that, overall, like you are not making big changes to this war, like it's still happening, but the story you're telling is on this, like individual levels, and I really like that, because I think that's something that we don't get in a lot of those kinds of games that it's very focused on, like, outcomes, and, you know, strategy and things like that. And this is much more personal.
Ryan Boelter 12:33
Absolutely. So how did you decide what types of characters you wanted to have in this game?
Daniel Kwan 12:42
Um, I changed it changed dramatically, very, very dramatically. Yeah, originally, we only had three playbooks who were like, Okay, this is just going to be a rank. Yeah. So we had a sergeant corporal and a and a private and so the idea would be at you know, at the table You would have like a sergeant a corporal and then extra privates, which kind of made sense. But that didn't allow people to have like a set story. Yeah, playbooks. So what we've really gone with in this new these six playbooks is to tell a narrative story for each playbook. So each playbook tells a different story of a different type of soldier on the front. Yeah, and all inspired by, you know, actual people. So like the creative this inspired by like Jr, Tolkien who fought in World War One. The replacement is for basically any soldier who's kind of felt out of place or brought into a situation where they were completely unaware and had no context. The sergeant and many of them, they're based on multiple people, but for me, the surgeon is based on mass Sumit Mitsui, who was the most famous Japanese surgeon of the war. Yeah. Yeah. And I like to think that the playbooks while they have this sort of narrative idea of where you they're going to go they give you enough space as a player to build on the in your own way as well your own agency to determine what your character is going to be now of course no definitely
Amelia Antrim 14:06
are there specific things that you felt that needed to be added as Character options here like things that you felt essential to make this the type of game that you want it to be?
Daniel Kwan 14:17
bonds for sure had to be there in terms of I think, I think for me bonds and the personal item Yeah. The personal item is obviously something that you see in modern day soldiers and in the past when we went to the Canadian War Museum to do some research, one of the things that the armor the curator showed us when we were looking at all the rifles was this was this bracelet and it kind of it almost looks identical to a modern medical alert bracelet. Oh, and we were like, what's that? And he was like, you know, like, you wouldn't have a your normal dog tag which Canada is a circle the desk
Amelia Antrim 14:58
Daniel Kwan 15:00
People at the time were often getting blown up, or they were getting torn apart by by a large caliber bullets. So some soldiers as like a gift from home, would often get an identity desk like a like a dog tag bracelet. So that if they were to die and their torso was blown up, the wrist might survive so that that could be taken in Central. And so for me, that was an the curator said, you know that that's a that's not standard issue. So we always thought like, well, that has to be a personal item, a character has to have the opportunity to give them something new. And then the bonds just tie everyone together. The bonds are really what makes you Section A group of soldiers on the front, like from the get go. The other thing that I personally I thought is was important was actually when you choose the state of your uniform. And that's because I think if you're coming into this with a very little knowledge of World War One, and you see the different uniform options, that kind of Presents that, you know, maybe the soldiers aren't as well equipped as you might think. You can really take a choice on whether you want to be someone who's not looked on positively by an upper command, if you have an ill fitting uniform, or you know, it just gives you an opportunity to set that baseline for your character right at the beginning.
Amelia Antrim 16:20
Yeah, awesome. The bracelet thing is really like, I feel like that tells you so much about what was going on to the people felt like that. That's the thing that I need and like the kind of Yeah, mine people had to be into on top of that, like, that's really scary.
Daniel Kwan 16:36
Yeah, because the way he said it to us was, they knew they were very likely going to go and just die. So what they wanted to ensure was that they would die and be remembered for dying, or at least have confirmation that they died. People wanted to have you know, resolution, even a death.
Amelia Antrim 16:55
Yeah, and that like what they what you were already given like, wasn't enough to do that. too is just like that's like that's heartbreaking.
Daniel Kwan 17:03
It really is. It really is. Yeah.
Ryan Boelter 17:06
Worse not fun not
Amelia Antrim 17:08
worse in fact that
Ryan Boelter 17:14
Amelia Antrim 17:14
heartache or bad
Daniel Kwan 17:16
to me that's kind of what Ross rifle shows you Yeah,
Ryan Boelter 17:19
yeah so what does the process of character creation tell us about the game it here to kind of went over a lot of that with the personal items and and the bonds and whatnot yeah
Daniel Kwan 17:34
I think it also kind of the process of characterization also shows how versatile The game is for its audience Yeah, I like you know when you when you sent us the notes on you know Bo Character Creation Cast and you know the pre recording info. The first thing you put is we're a family friendly podcast. So what Patrick arrived at told mo say this has to be a family friendly episode. Character creation can be made as such. So all of our Characters are pretty kooky. You know, they're they we laughed a lot well making characters in that pretty grim setting. Yeah, despite the terrible setting of the game, you can, you know, choose to either keep the grounded reality of the darkness of the trenches, or you can, you know, look at it in a more light hearted way, which I think is important. Yeah. For having fun.
Amelia Antrim 18:21
Yeah. What do you think is one of the biggest flaws of the character creation process in this game? And then on the other side of that, what is something that you are most proud of here?
Daniel Kwan 18:33
Amelia Antrim 18:35
I will say that when we first interviewed grant how it he told me it was that his game was too evocative. So
Daniel Kwan 18:43
our game is to educational. IV some people might even argue that our game is to Canadian. I don't think the playbooks are Canadian at all. No, I think you can take the playbooks and insert them into any other you know, naturally an American, you just have to change the But if you are playing Ross rifles the way that we've written it, you're kind of pigeon holed into playing a Canadian. Yeah. Or or a Brit. Yeah.
Ryan Boelter 19:09
Amelia Antrim 19:10
But maybe off Canada's time. Maybe it is KV America. Maybe we've had our turn.
Daniel Kwan 19:16
Yeah, she's definitely Yeah. I the biggest flaws of Character Christian, I think of one of the things that we talked about actually putting on the playbooks is like having art. There is a lot of information on the playbooks. And we really want to make sure that it goes well, right now with the Quick Start that came out before the Kickstarter. There were a couple things that we wanted to add and will be added. So when the Kickstarter is funded at the end of the month, so on November 4, everyone's going to get an updated quick starts is going to have way more updated playbooks and everything. And I think one of the things that we needed to do is like little things like actually right valor. I wit and down underneath the attribute table like squares, eliminate text. So for instance, on the scrounger, it actually says that you can add 0011 to your attributes in that order, when we could have done was just put those numbers in the bottom right hand corner in, you know, a translucent font so that people could see it. And then when they get to add one to any of those, they just write in the total number at the end. So not only does that eliminate a line of text, but it will also make the attribute selection a lot clearer. That that's one thing that I've been thinking about a lot. That and wanting art on them. Yeah, the art is a big I wish we had our Yeah, well.
Amelia Antrim 20:47
You guys have put a lot of thought though into like, what these look like and how easy they are to use. And you know, we talked before about the fonts that you picked and having the icons and things like that. It seems like you've put a lot of thought into how people are going to interact with these playbooks to not just the mechanics of it and the flavor of it, but like how, how it actually acts as somebody sits down to look at this because as somebody who is not good at reading large paragraphs of text and is mildly dyslexic, like, these are things that are important to people like me. And I feel like you guys have done a really good job of taking those things into account.
Daniel Kwan 21:21
Yeah, like my, my day job involves, you know, accessibility, inclusion, and education. Same with Patrick, because we both work in education. And so if we want this to be usable, by, you know, families, educators, because it would be so cool to see Ross rifles in a school. Yeah, that's one of our big, I think goals that we have in mind, right. And if we want that to happen, that the materials have to work alongside those values. So if we want this to be the most inclusive and accessible part by the apocalypse game, that not only does the system have to reflect that and the content, but also the materials that the players will engage with. Yeah,
Amelia Antrim 22:04
yeah. So is there something here that you're particularly proud of? Aside from those, like those kinds of details that you've added?
Daniel Kwan 22:10
For? Do you want to go I have an answer. I have an answer to so. Okay. Go ahead. Go ahead. I'm what I personally like a lot about the characters that I I keep coming back to is actually the playbook moves. I think that all of them are, they fill a certain niche, but you don't have to take any one of them to be effective in the game. And it really lets you play the character however you want to play it. Like you can pick up the playbook that you played last time you played Ross rifles and just pick a different playbook movements suddenly, it's an entirely different experience. And I think that each of them is unique and lends itself to replay ability, which I think is good. I think for me, it's not even a mechanical they got proud of the whole game and I'm proud that I got to work with two of my really close friends on producing like we started a company together. Yeah, like we never thought that this would happen. And we started a company together. But I think what I'm most proud of is that through Ross rifles I get to, like, for me represent the Chinese community and produce a game that allows people to tell the actual stories of the First World War. I mean, there were like, over 600,000 Canadians who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. And of those like several hundreds of thousands of people, there were like 4000 indigenous peoples and like 2000 black Canadians, 200 Japanese Canadians and 300 Chinese Canadians and you wouldn't even know those numbers are you wouldn't even know of those contributions. And I wouldn't have if I if we hadn't actually started this project. And we get to, you know, also tell the world that and we get to let people who might not feel like they are even allowed to engage with World War One material feel like themselves represent their own communities in this narrative. without somebody being led Well, that's not historically accurate.
Amelia Antrim 24:06
Ryan Boelter 24:08
yeah, I really like that, that you change that I because I was thinking like, like, who was the standard, you know, front lines people back in World War One. And it's like, can we can we play beyond that? And I'm really glad that you can. Yeah.
Daniel Kwan 24:26
Well, our whole thing was we wanted to, amongst everything that we said undermine popular notions of what it meant to be Canadian. Yeah. In the First World War.
Ryan Boelter 24:35
Yeah. So how have you changed the the PVTA system than to tell the different stories that you can tell within Ross rifles?
Daniel Kwan 24:48
Oh, man. So I think within the system, there's I mean, the core PPT is that for us the dice system and the moves Yeah. Initially, one of the things we wanted to do was Change the system by adding all these things to it, like we talked about vigilance, how we removed it. We added morale and kept that. But I think one of the things that we've changed most is how you engage with the system and not the system itself. Right? We wanted you to tell these stories, you know about this diverse group of soldiers. But we also PBTA games kind of lean very heavily towards the role play and narrative, and very far away from the combat. Right. So if you look at games like that we love like the watch night witches that feature war, the the drama, and the narrative is very, very heavily in front of you. And the combat is almost second to that. But in Ross rifles, we wanted to have an even balance of both because the combat was so essential to the experience of the First World War. So what we kind of made was a product that has an emphasis on both Role Playing and combat that could lend itself well to not only that in the audience who's already really into PTA, but also people who are coming from like d&d Pathfinder, and that was something we were really cognizant of early on. Yeah. I also think if you're talking about mechanics, a major part of the world war one setting, the world war one experience is war neurosis, and I think adding the second harm track the stretch track was a really good way to represent that. Yeah, psychological damage. Mm hmm.
Amelia Antrim 26:28
Yeah, I was gonna say that feels like one of the biggest things that kind of adds the flavor of the studying because that is really important to that experience. I mean, everything
Daniel Kwan 26:34
everything about the system that we adapted like that harm, the stress, the attributes, the morale. Yeah, the bonds are all and ground are all period accurate. So that's all reflective of what was being experienced in the First World War.
Ryan Boelter 26:50
And I really like the stress track and how it kind of forces you to work together to eliminate the stress. Yeah together because we want to To use that to sort of force cooperation between on PCs or PCs, because it gets really brutal as you get down there mechanically. And like that, that makes sense for that, that war.
Daniel Kwan 27:13
He looks funny, though, but Ross rifles out Initially, it was a super brutal game. Yeah, really brutal. But as we sort of began to change the rules, I actually haven't experienced a lot like I haven't actually killed players while while running Ross rifles. I've only had two instances of player death, and they actually decided to let themselves get killed to save the others. It was always something dramatic. Oh, interesting. Yeah. So it it. It gives you that feeling of urgency and danger. And it kind of puts you there, but it's not designed to be super punishing. Or take away from the fun or anything. Yeah, yeah.
Amelia Antrim 27:51
I don't I always find that really like that balance between, like figuring out mechanics to tell the kind of story that you want to be able to like, take those rules. used them to push people in the direction of the kind of stories you want them to play out is like fascinating to me. That intersection between like, you know, the hard numbers and feelings is so cool to me. And I like that's one of those things that I wish I personally understood better like how to do, but it fascinates me.
Daniel Kwan 28:17
It took us two years to get this. I mean, and that's what so much of play testing is for just just saying, Yeah. What are people doing with these things? I think at this point, we've probably played tested it with easily over 1000 people. Yeah. Oh, wow. Yeah, we've done so much play testing
Amelia Antrim 28:36
your face when you said so much.
Daniel Kwan 28:39
When we were talking about like, you know, doing this podcast and then when I was talking to Patrick, when when I let him into my place, we were like, we're not going to play the game. We're just gonna create characters and we're both like,
Amelia Antrim 28:50
I know I said the lack of consequences is wonderful. Yeah. I want to talk about our group. This is what we always call the fanfiction section of our podcast. How do you think that our current group works mechanically? How would we do it in a typical session? How do we see this this nonsense playing out for us?
Daniel Kwan 29:13
But I think okay, so you had that question. You said, how would we fare well, in a typical flight session, I think we would fare very well, because Patrick's given me this look like all the characters would die, right? But But the idea is that Ross rebels can be played your way. Yes, if we want to create this, like a very like, it's like an episode of Blackadder. If we were creating these really comedic kooky characters, they can have a comedic kooky adventure still feel danger, but still succeed. Right? If you want to make a group of serious killers and you want to be all tactical, you can do that. You can do that now. Right? So I think any group will fare well, it's just a matter of group cohesion and setting the tone and setting the expectation of what you want. Yeah. It really feels good.
Ryan Boelter 30:02
Yeah, it really feels like we're we're not going to be going on the front lines here and, you know, trying to charge the enemy you know guns blazing at all.
Daniel Kwan 30:11
I think our Character all morally against that. Yeah, pretty much Yeah, yeah,
Amelia Antrim 30:15
yeah but we're gonna find so many table legs out there like we're just gonna be scrounging
Unknown Speaker 30:19
Unknown Speaker 30:22
Amelia Antrim 30:23
like rain Antonio to like sniff out tables.
Daniel Kwan 30:26
Right and so we would I mean for a couple sessions we could do like Episode One would be you know, we spot the table we go and we get it, but we only maybe get come out with the table leg. Yeah. And over the course of like a season we we take the group through the war, like the Second Battle of heap some passion to help me read and re sort of like read assigned to different places in the trench and we don't have a table. Yeah, I'm gonna get a table or we stay in one spot and we're just never moving. And our dugout just gets more and more lavish and by the end of the war, we've progressed So far to France that we've been left behind in our luxury dugout, yeah, like,
Amelia Antrim 31:05
idea that like the story is told over time and you can tell the time has passed by like the different parts that we've added to this table. So like over time it has like, the each leg is different now by the end and like the top of it is different and like that's how you can tell that time has passed. It
Daniel Kwan 31:21
is Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants except as the traveling table. The podcast art would be like, you know, the the flag whether putting the flag up at you with the four characters carrying a table across. Over a bridge. Yeah. has to be a bridge. Yeah.
Amelia Antrim 31:44
with Antonio. Yeah.
Daniel Kwan 31:46
Or Antonio's on top of the table as well. Just have
Unknown Speaker 31:49
a leg of the table. Oh, yeah.
Unknown Speaker 31:52
Oh, very good.
Ryan Boelter 31:53
Very good, amazing.
Daniel Kwan 31:57
listening to this and wants to do art of that, please.
Amelia Antrim 32:03
Or if you want to start your own podcast, we can send you our character sheets. Yeah, yeah, we I'm very excited to find out how this goes.
Ryan Boelter 32:11
The table crew, yep, this is amazing. I love our group and I love how quirky it is, but like, we could actually be useful in the war effort as well, you know, with scouting and with scrounging together and materials and like practical, creative solutions on the front lines and all that sort of stuff.
Daniel Kwan 32:31
Amelia Antrim 32:32
So I also feel like the setting of like being in this trench together and you know, like in this like having to go into no man's land and all that kind of stuff allows for you to tell like really emotional stories to which I those are the kinds of stories that I like to tell is like those like really deep personal, emotional kinds of stories too, and I feel like there's a lot of room for that. As silly as we've made it with this dog and these tables and all that kind of stuff. Like I feel like there's the potential but you can tell some like really deep, emotional and grounded
Daniel Kwan 33:00
100% what is the? Yeah, hundred percent? Yeah,
Amelia Antrim 33:03
like, What what? Like, what if, like if Kennedy's really gone for like too long and we have to figure out what that is. And you know, like there's all kinds of potential for things to go just slightly wrong and feel like, because you have those deep personal connections to like really worry about the people around you too.
Unknown Speaker 33:22
Oh, yeah, for sure. For sure.
Ryan Boelter 33:24
And don't run out a dog food either.
Daniel Kwan 33:26
Oh, yeah, that's how we gonna feed the dog is, you know,
Amelia Antrim 33:29
I like barely making it ourselves. And we got to worry about it. Antonio.
Ryan Boelter 33:33
Kind of trying to train it so it can't doesn't bark all the time.
Unknown Speaker 33:37
Oh, yeah. It was really her position.
Daniel Kwan 33:40
Or maybe Antonio is constantly revealing our position and we have to make a difficult choice. Oh, I'll say kill it. Tony, obviously, go to the reserves. Wow, Patrick.
Amelia Antrim 33:52
You know what, it's time Antonio gets promoted to an officer position.
Daniel Kwan 33:56
See that? That's the kind of drama that would happen. Yeah. I wasn't attacking Patrick for implying that I wanted to kill Antonio. I was attacking Thomas Vivian. So I was it's it attacking your great grandfather. Oh, still still is still is still a burden on you.
Amelia Antrim 34:16
Take that Patrick
Ryan Boelter 34:17
Daniel Kwan 34:20
That's a shirt. That's
Ryan Boelter 34:24
awesome. Well, let's get into our advancement discussion then and take it up level up a level. So in this segment we'd like to cover how character advancement and growth happens in this system. So let's first talk about how characters can change as people within the narrative of the game. How does that work out generally?
Daniel Kwan 34:50
Oh, I mean, when in Ross rifles a people depending again, depending on the talent like for, for our if we're just looking at our group, the one of the things that I definitely see happening if we were to play hope this game is that our characters would be less happy go lucky and far more hardened. Like I think the story of you know, no. algernon Thomas Frederick and Kenji is that of three people who don't really belong in the army, eventually proving themselves at the expense of part of their humanity. Yeah. And they become these hardened soldiers by the end of the war, and I'd be super interested to see what happens to them. Right. Hmm. Also, if I find that like a typical play through of Ross rifles, even if you start off as characters who, you know, you don't really get along, right, the what happens over the course of the narrative of the game really makes you care about the other PCs. Even if, you know at the beginning, you're like, Oh, I just care about myself. I only want to get promoted or something. Yeah. Just because of the horror of the setting and the fact that you need to rely on each other. So Much to survive.
Ryan Boelter 36:01
Yeah. Yeah, that whole stress that whole stress track and trying to keep everybody, you know, less stressed and relaxed as much as possible is it would be almost impossible to do that solo or no yeah, absolutely your own. Apart from the groups here, you're almost forced to work together the whole time. And I love that.
Daniel Kwan 36:25
Oh, yeah, a solo game of frost rifles fee it can feel very different. I'm actually for another podcast. I'm doing party of one podcast. Yeah. Oh, yeah. And we're going to do a one on one Ross rifles.
Amelia Antrim 36:37
Wow, that's gonna be
Daniel Kwan 36:38
so cool. And my plan is to actually kind of started in the midst of a battle. And the Character is actually going to be stuck in the middle of no man's land and a crater alongside a German soldier who's also stuck there. Oh, wow. Oh, looks like a Life of Pi sort of thing. Yeah. But it's not a tiger. It's a German person. It's a crater. It's no man's land.
Amelia Antrim 37:03
I think that this has, the way that this feels just like with our little group at least, is that it's very much like the whole game was kind of a bottle episode, right? Like you have these people like in this broader thing that is happening but you're telling this very like tight knit story of like this one situation with these, this one group of people. And I think there's a lot of potential for people to really change just because like, because of the people that you're around to, like we're all affected by the people that we spend time with too. And so regardless of the circumstances themselves, just being in a tight knit group with the same people for any period of time is bound to change you to
Daniel Kwan 37:41
know Yeah, for sure.
Amelia Antrim 37:43
So let's talk a little bit about advancement. And in this game, how do characters level up in Ross rifles and what kind of perks do you get when that kind of thing happens?
Daniel Kwan 37:54
So we touched on this in a little bit in the previous episode, there are like, two ways that you can get experienced in Ross rifles. The first one is through your bonds. So when you resolve a bond or a bond changes, so for instance during the last trench raid I saved a puppy named Antonio they now trust me with their life if something about that bond changes if Antonio no longer trusts me with their life that puppy no oh my god
Unknown Speaker 38:25
I picked this example
Daniel Kwan 38:28
Okay, I'll pick a different cuz that won't make makes me too sad. Right Frederick and I often buttheads when strategizing, yeah, so, so if Frederick and I are constantly butting heads and strategizing, if during our our number of sessions or a single session, we kind of realized that we need each other to come up with the optimal strategy, that bond is changed and we get to Mark XP. Yep. And the second way The second way is by completing objectives through combat or Just going over to no man's land, however you want to do it. But basically, command would give you an objective and you have to complete it. And so we really set that up in a way that you can advance your character through either role playing or through, you know, going with the combat side of things, because you wanted to blend those two aspects together in the game. And so when you do advance, it takes for experience points to advance, you would either add one to your attribute one of your attributes to a maximum of three, or you'd be able to pick another playbook move.
Ryan Boelter 39:33
Yep. Interesting. So is that relatively open ended? Then just like every for experience, just do one of these things? Yep. Very nice.
Amelia Antrim 39:42
I like how easy that is. I really hate when I get like you sit down for a session and you're like, Oh, no, I didn't spend my experience from last time. Hold on. Let's take 30 minutes while I figure out what I'm going to do with this and how many points things cost.
Daniel Kwan 39:53
I really like games that allow you to role play and also level up at the Same time. Yeah. Where that's built in like you could do that in d&d through milestones and all that. Yeah. But if d&d is hard coded for you to level up through encounters, yes, but I like games that that let you level up like I think one of the best ones for that as an asset every single time Coriolis. Coriolis, you, you gain experience by participating in being a part of drama in role playing, and you level up at your own rate, just like in Ross rifles.
Amelia Antrim 40:31
Yeah, I like it when it's rewarded, like narratively, and it feels narratively impactful. Like, this is a thing that, you know, like, my character has been through something and now they are a better person for it, or a worse person, I suppose, depending on what happens and how it happens. But like the experience points should be related to experience like a thing that you have gone through.
Daniel Kwan 40:55
Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Unknown Speaker 40:57
That's very cool.
Amelia Antrim 41:00
Is there anything else that you feel like people should know about this game that we have not covered yet?
Daniel Kwan 41:04
Um, I kill Ross rifles is going to be on Kickstarter from October 4 to November 4. Yeah.
Ryan Boelter 41:13
We should be right in the middle of that. By the time this release is so
Amelia Antrim 41:17
yeah, absolutely. Go back Go. Go Go get this game it's a very good game and there are no no sad things happened to puppies at all ever?
Daniel Kwan 41:28
No, no never. You know what what are the things that we put in the game is we did put safety tools. Yeah we we broke that into the game. There is a section on, you know, we actually put sections on shellshock and war neuroses just so that people had the proper context. When they're reading through the game. They're like, Okay, this is what it actually was. This is how I can be respectful. We put a whole set a whole history of the war itself, but also in the history of the people who fought in the war. Yep. So Ross rifles is if you're looking at the quick If you've downloaded it already on Drive Thru RPG or from our website, that's West games. com. You might, you might see it enough mechanically to play. But our book will feature so much more we're going to put like battles in there. Yep. All the major battles of the Canadians, the weather, the weather, like bunch of GM tools to help the GM run the game, some like that. Yeah, we have some neat things in our in our stretch goals lined up. We're going to one of our stretch goals is a new playbook. We have a whole new supplement on and I think this particular group here will really like it on n PCs, but will also feature mascots, like animal mascots, yes, yeah. That's some cool stuff. Yeah.
Ryan Boelter 42:46
Yeah. That's awesome.
Amelia Antrim 42:48
I'm excited to be good. Well, Daniel, Patrick, thank you so much for joining us and talking about Ross rifles. Can you remind everyone where they can find you where they can find this game and what's what's the things you're working on?
Daniel Kwan 43:02
So you can find me on Twitter. I'm at Kenan underscore Patrick, same as on Instagram. And you can email me Patrick at doneness West games. com. You can find Ross rifles, which is it will be currently on Kickstarter. And on our website, Dennis West games.com. Yep, you can find me on Twitter and Instagram at Daniel h Kwang. You can learn more about me at Daniel h kwang.com. For my email, it's Daniel KE it's off brand, Daniel KS West games. com. What am I working on right now I am the co host of the Asians represent podcast. We released three episodes a month we're actually if you want to hear Ross rivals inaction, where we've released a two episode sort of mini series with an all Asian cast in the First World War. I'm doing some writing some stuff for Wizards of the code for darker hue studios. And I work as like a sensitivity reader and developmental editor. premise.
Ryan Boelter 44:00
Yeah. Well thank you again for sitting down to do this with us. And thank you to everybody tuning in. Definitely check out Ross rifles Kickstarter if you have not already. The link will be in the show notes, and we will see you next time.
Amelia Antrim 44:17
Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network and can be found online at www dot Character Creation cast.com. 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 Antrim and I can be found on twitter at ginger reckoning. Our other host Ryan bolter can be found on twitter at Lord Neptune. Music for this episode is used with a Creative Commons license, or with permission from the podcast that originated from further information can be found within the show. Our main theme music is hero remix. Steve comes and hits us 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 thanks 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 45:44
Now we gotta read some show blurbs show blurbs
Unknown Speaker 45:47
show show burb
Amelia Antrim 45:49
Ryan Boelter 45:51
Character Creation Cast is hosted by the one shot Podcast Network. If you enjoyed our show, visit one shot podcast calm where you'll find out Great shows like adventure.
Amelia Antrim 46:02
Adventure is an actual play podcast that focuses on the fun of fanfiction and setting your favorite fictional universes. Joint house pranks Paul as he takes a variety of guests through self contained stories featuring Harry Potter, Pokemon, Anna morphs and other favorites the game Brian, what is this?
Ryan Boelter 46:23
We'll be covering sorry that was
Daniel Kwan 46:26
taken for the top. That's you
Amelia Antrim 46:32
think about editing out my allergies later. I know that's coming.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai