This is the final episode of our Visigoths vs Mall Goths series, a game where you play time displaced Visigoths in a 90’s mall where, naturally, you are enemies with the mall goths that inhabit said mall. We welcome back special guest Lucian Kahn, designer of Visigoths vs Mall Goths and much more, to discuss this game with us!
This is the final episode of our Visigoths vs Mall Goths series, a game where you play time displaced Visigoths in a 90’s mall where, naturally, you are enemies with the mall goths that inhabit said mall. We welcome back special guest Lucian Kahn, designer of Visigoths vs Mall Goths and much more, to discuss this game with us!
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Lucian Kahn @oh_theogony
Visigoths vs Mall Goths
Character Creation Cast:
Ryan Boelter 0:01
Welcome to the final episode of series 24 everyone elution Khan returns to talk about his game Visigoths versus mall gods. But before we get to that amazing discussion, first we'd like to lead with some announcements. First things first descent into midnight to launch their Kickstarter this last Saturday. And we're really happy and ecstatic to tell you that the game has fully funded in just under 18 hours after launch, which is absolutely remarkable. Congratulations to the dissented team. It was a remarkable push by remarkable crew and they deserve all the success in the world. This game is something very special, so special to myself and to Amelia. So if you have not checked it out yet, please head over to di m rpg.io slash Ks To get in on the amazing Kickstarter. Right now they're pushing for stretch goals every $5,000 raised beyond the initial goal, and every stretch goal will unlock a new episode of a dissented to midnight campaign run by the talented steampunks crew headed by Eric Campbell, which is in addition to the normal stretch goals, and this first stretch goal, a descent into midnight themed coloring book, which is an absolutely amazing idea, so definitely check them out. Speaking of descent into midnight, we've got a bonus a spotlight episode coming up this week with a special guest rich Howard. So keep an ear and old for that. We loved having Richard quotes Landry and Taylor lip rash on for our descent into midnight series back in series. Is 18 so it's delightful that I had a chance to sit down with rich Howard to complete the developer set, so to speak. Finally, if you like what we are doing here, please consider leaving us a rating or a review on Apple podcasts, or anywhere you are able to leave reviews. They really help us out and they always brighten up our days. We're running low on reviews to read when we can read the reviews together. So even just a quick c three good or a five star rating would be very helpful and what help get our podcast recommended to more people due to the almighty algorithm. For now though, sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
Amelia Antrim 3:22
Welcome to our discussion episode. Last time we created characters for Visigoths versus malgus. This episode, we're discussing the character creation process. We're very excited to welcome back Lucian con designer of Visigoths versus Maldives. Do you want to go ahead and introduce yourself again for everyone and tell us a little bit about the character you made in the last episode?
Lucian Kahn 3:42
Hi. So my name is Lucien Khan. I am the designer Visigoths versus mall gods and also several other role playing games such as dead friend, a game of necromancy, grandma's drinking song and other games and I made a character named velvet who is a theater tech mall golf. He is very vampire style so he wears a long red velvet cape made out of the same material as theater curtains it as a high color. He really likes to express his emotions very dramatically, such as the time that he didn't like his friend's little squeaky toy of a fire hydrant. So lit it on fire and said, I have to make you more futuristic toys. So he's he's got a flair for the dramatic
Ryan Boelter 4:44
that you set fire to a fire hydrant? I
Lucian Kahn 4:47
did. Let's see it try to be a hydrant now.
Ryan Boelter 4:54
Amelia, why don't you tell us about your character?
Amelia Antrim 4:57
Sure. Um, I created a Elvira who is a Visigoths rune caster she also wears a cape and is not happy that velvet has stolen her look and you know can levitate and be invisible and cool stuff and definitely one time saw Luna graffitiing some bad poetry on the wall and is not about that. What about you Ryan?
Ryan Boelter 5:27
Well, I made the effort mentioned Luna she is a cyber pet, which means she dresses up in very fashionable futuristic ask a animal outfits. And she she likes to be velvets pet because of those future toys. But, you know, even though Joe Fira kinda levitates and that were tear out a bit. She's kinda got a crush on her. Oh,
Unknown Speaker 6:06
Amelia Antrim 6:07
Alright, well, let's go ahead and jump into our discussion segments that we call d 20. For your thoughts, d 20. Fear thoughts.
Ryan Boelter 6:15
All right. 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'd like to get to know our guests a bit better. So we are going to get the cliche question out of the way. Can you tell us how you got into RPGs in the first place? And in addition to that, how you got into game design?
Lucian Kahn 6:39
Okay, so the answer to how I got into RPG is a sort of a two pronged answer. Because it depends on whether you want to start with how I got into computer RPGs or how I got into larcs and tabletops. And I'm going to give both answers because they're both interesting. So when I was nine years old, the first Final Fantasy game came out for the NAS, and my cousin got it for Hanukkah. And this is really what happened. And we were on winter break. And so my cousin and I just spent like 80 million hours playing the original Final Fantasy and it was the first time we had seen anything like it. We didn't know anything about role playing games. We didn't know anything about the strategy. And it was like, extremely hard, right really, really hard. And so we just obsessed over it. And then when I got home from visiting my cousins, I I convinced my mom to get it for me. And then I spent a year more than a year really obsessed with Final Fantasy. I got the Nintendo Power strategy guide. I made like elaborate charts in my journal of like when I reached a different landmarks in the game, and I still have it I have this amazing. Yeah, so I have this journal. Full of like, charts in Pentel markers like multicolored Pentel markers of like beat the ice cave. Like it's like that.
Amelia Antrim 8:09
Is this like, venturing journal like you're like mountain climbing you have like David today I beat the
Lucian Kahn 8:14
escape. It's actually funnier than that because it's just my regular journal. So like, so like, also in another pages, it's like Here are the top five cutest boys in my class, right? And then and then it's like and then I beat TMR and the volcano like or whatever, right? No it's Carrie and the volcano and TMR and whatever anyway, so um so that's that's how I got into any of this at all. But then, like unrelated Lee when I was 15 I went to a performing arts camp for a few weeks for guitar because I was like in all these grunge rock bands and I played guitar. And so I went to this Performing Arts camp but most of the people in the performing arts camp were there for theatre and Um, I very quickly got asked if I wanted to join the improv troupe because I'm funny. So they brought me into the improv troupe. And then these people in the improv troupe, these Goffs, were like, Hey, we're all playing this game. It's it's secret that we're playing the game. It's a secret game. It's called Vampire the Masquerade. And you can't tell anybody that we're playing it, but in this game, you pretend to be a vampire. And like, they explained to me with Vampire the Masquerade was, but they didn't quite explain it right. And I actually feel like they're wrong explanation really helped me. Because first of all, they told me that it's a secret game. So I actually thought for like many months, that part of the concept of the masquerade and vampire is not only that it's a secret that vampires are exist in the world of the game, but I thought that part of how you play it is you're not supposed to tell other people that you're playing the game. Which like is actually a terrible idea and seems like it would cause disasters. And I don't recommend this at all. And it sounds very unsafe. But miraculously, nothing bad happened. It was just really fun and weird. So, accidentally, this did not cause a disaster. But this was really fun because we were at this camp. And like, at any time, you could just go up to any other person who was in the game. And you could say, like, now we're in game and like, start role playing if they agreed to it. So you could just like go up to somebody at breakfast and be like, in game and then like, you're suddenly just like having a conversation in game. This again, right? Not a great idea. But also was really fun, because nobody knew what they were doing when we were all 15. So another thing that they told me that is not usually what people tell you, but is really actually very key to my continuing Understanding role playing games is they told me that you are not trying to win. Right, which I, which is actually really important to my development as a designer, they were like, the purpose of this is like you're not trying to make decisions that are that are going to be advantageous. You're actually just trying to act, how your character would act. And like, see what happens. And I think the reason why they told me this is how you play the game is because I met these people in an improv troupe. Right. But I just thought for like, years and years that, that larcs and tabletop role playing games, were always like this, like I did not realize until many years later that anybody was actually trying to succeed in role playing games. And it was actually really fun. Like, I was like, Oh, this is a very interesting thing to do. Like, I'm just going to, like really get into pretending to be this character and making bad decisions and seeing what happens. And that continues to be really central to how I play when I'm when I'm a player in a role playing game. And I try to communicate that as well in my designs that you can do that right that you don't actually have to try to make advantageous choices.
Amelia Antrim 12:19
I love playing games like that. And I feel like it took me so long to because I had the opposite experience of playing with people who are always like looking for the optimal outcome. And it took me a long time to realize that there were other ways to play and that I much preferred, playing that other way that it was a lot more fun for me to like, just see what happens rather than playing to win or for like that optimal result.
Lucian Kahn 12:41
Totally. And I think that that, that what you're describing is a very frequent experience. Right. I think I think that because most games that we know about, you know, board games and you know, competitive sports and other kinds of games, like sort of have this built in assumption that you are trying to When right you're trying to, like actually do well in the game. And it's just by like, random luck that I happened to be introduced to role playing games as like, no, this is different. You're actually just trying to play a character. But it's a really fun way to play. Yeah,
Amelia Antrim 13:17
yeah. I really enjoyed it.
Ryan Boelter 13:19
Yeah. Especially in the 90s. Like,
Lucian Kahn 13:21
yeah, oh my god. It was it was just random luck. It was like, and I met some and I met some Goths and they were in an improv troupe and it was just like, this is what happened.
Unknown Speaker 13:31
Lucian Kahn 13:33
was just like, improv. improv golf.
Amelia Antrim 13:39
That's the sequel.
Unknown Speaker 13:40
Lucian Kahn 13:43
But I mean, obviously, you can see how you know, the way that I got into role playing games in the first place is very much reflected in this game.
Amelia Antrim 13:52
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about your process for picking a character creating a character in any kind role playing game when you sit down to play?
Lucian Kahn 14:02
Yeah, absolutely. So I, depending on the game, I first tried to decide, do I want to play really close to home? Or do I want to play? Like very different from myself? Right? I actually, like, consciously asked myself this question like, do I feel like playing the sort of character who's kind of like me, but an amped up and more extra like more flamboyant, even more daring, whatever version of myself? Or do I want to give myself the challenge of playing the type of character who's nothing like I am in real life and like seeing how that plays out? So that's my first sort of decision tree. And a lot of things sort of sort of spiral off them from there, right? If I'm going to play a character who's really similar to myself, then I'm going to go for the characters that are like the most Jester II The most Bard like the most sort of like flamboyant jokesters, like flirtatious. You know, all that. Those sorts of things. But then right, if I'm deciding now I'm in the mood to play somebody really different for myself, then I start to think about like, well, like, what are some of my personality traits that are like really sort of core to who I am? And what are some of the things that are like other options that are not like that, right? So I'll be like, Okay, so what if instead of playing a character who, like makes jokes all the time? What if I were like super serious and took everything really seriously? Right? Or, like, what if I played somebody who was really interested in you know, revenge or whatever, right? So I try to like, examine my own personality and see like, well, what if this this trait were the opposite and try to lean in that direction. Very cool.
Amelia Antrim 15:44
feel like that's very self reflective in a way that maybe a lot of us are not great at.
Lucian Kahn 15:51
Maybe I don't know. I i tend toward I tend toward being like, I if I'm in my like, happy mode. I tend toward being like flamboyant and jokey and flirty. And if I'm in like some when you go to like you're sad mode, right? A lot of people in their sad mood get like depressed or self hating or whatever. When I go to my sad mode, I just get really philosophical. So like, you'll know if I'm like in a bad mood or having a bad day, or having a bad week, if I'm just like, I go deep, deep, deep into like analysis and philosophy and theory. So that's just kind of a temper temperament thing.
Ryan Boelter 16:30
Interesting. Yeah. So let's get into the discussion about this game in particular. How do we think character creation in this game stacks up against other games that we have played?
Lucian Kahn 16:43
Is this for you or for this for all of us? Yes. Oh, great. Well, you talk first because I made the thing so. Yeah.
Amelia Antrim 16:50
Okay. So it definitely has a lot of that pvta feel. Yeah. You know, like picking from categories and things like that. I see. Like the choices are really evocative of the genre, though, like the things to pick from for the Visigoths, or for the mogga. Like, they're so quintessentially like malgus especially like so quintessentially 90s. And like golf, he said Gothic, because that's different gothy really evocative of like those feelings and tropes and stuff. And I really like that.
Ryan Boelter 17:27
And I like that. You can get into this without having read much of the materials itself, and get a kind of idea of what the settings like because the first thing that I looked at with this game was looking at the character sheets and seeing that, are you still glowing from time travel question was like, okay, there's something interesting going on here. And it has to do with time travel a little bit on these character types. So, let me let me look into that a bit more and It it really it really set up the setting without having to really dive into the the materials in the book itself.
Amelia Antrim 18:09
Yeah, I think the the info that you get just in a little bit on the character sheet is gives us a lot about the game without having to like touch the game at all.
Ryan Boelter 18:17
Yeah, exactly. Like how it's, it's it's minimalistic, but like it at a level that highlights the most important things that you'll be kind of hitting from what it sounds like when you're playing the game. Yeah,
Lucian Kahn 18:32
yeah. I mean, I definitely I'm glad you mentioned the minimalism I really I play tested this extensively. And I really tried to narrow down the character sheets to what is actually necessary. And you know, if you want to embellish on top of that, of course, you're free to but I wanted I wanted the character sheets to really highlight right what is what are the what are the parts of this character that are the most likely to interesting and fun in interacting with this setting and this rule set. So I really like honed that down and was very deliberate about that.
Amelia Antrim 19:09
I think that's something that we talked about with Alex Roberts when we did our Starcraft episodes too, because the Starcraft character sheets are very minimal. There's like four questions. And we talked a little bit about how some of that had to do with her background and LARP too, and just like honing in on the things that are important, and then letting people kind of expand from there on their own. And yeah, like sitting down and she talked to you about the importance of like, looking at a character sheet and knowing what you were going to be doing and what this game was about. And, um, you know, because we talked about like d&d, you have all your stats for fighting and like, how am I going to kill things? Yeah, and you know, it was really important to look at a character sheet and say, What am I going to be doing in this game? And I feel like this game does a really good job of that. Yea, yea
Ryan Boelter 19:56
it's interesting cuz I looking at the sheets, and then And talking about and reminding me about Star crossed and whatnot, is making me think about my own game and how complex the sheets are there and not gonna settle down to pare it down a little bit.
Amelia Antrim 20:14
I mean, I think that's a really tough low in I mean, like, you and I are just going to talk and listen can just listen for a while. I think that's a really tough thing when you're designing something or making something. Because you really want to convey everything that you feel about it to other people. And I think pairing stuff down is really tough sometimes, because you don't, you don't want to take things away because you think there's a worry about people misunderstanding what you're trying to do. And I don't know if you feel that way illusion, but like, I feel like every time I try and put something out, I'm like, Okay, I need to say all over the words and do all of the things because I want people to understand where I'm coming from.
Lucian Kahn 20:53
That's interesting. I feel I think I have less. I think I have less of that. I think that I I might have to think about this even more to to figure out exactly how I feel about that but
Amelia Antrim 21:05
but I think one of those philosophical days a week yeah.
Lucian Kahn 21:09
The next time I'm feeling bad I can think about this for five hours. But I I definitely enjoy paring things down like I think it gives me a kind of like an endorphin hit to like to sort of hone things down to the to the core of what I need. Like it kind of feels like you know, you know, cleaning cleaning a room and then they're like, Oh, my rooms clean now.
Amelia Antrim 21:35
Like some Marie Kondo design games Exactly.
Lucian Kahn 21:42
The sparks joy. Yeah, I think I do feel a little bit of that where I'm just like, Oh, good. There's like nothing. There's nothing unnecessary in my character sheet. Yeah, I like other people can add to it if they want, but like, what do I like? What do I really need to say? Like, what do I really need to give these strangers who are going to pick this up so that they can, like have the core experience and like have that as a jumping off point for their own creativity, like and what is what is just like not necessary for me to give them that they can come up with their own thing?
Amelia Antrim 22:16
Yeah. Oh, that makes a lot of sense.
Lucian Kahn 22:19
Yeah, like I really I want, it's it's very important to me that my games give players a feeling of having tools that will help them be creative, and that will help them use their imaginations. So I want to give them like, what they need to be able to do that and then just get out of their way because I'm a stranger and they don't know me, right. They have their own fantasy, right? Yeah.
Amelia Antrim 22:46
I like that. Yeah. I mean, so kind of on that same note, how did you decide what kind of character types to put in this game? Like how did you decide which Malkoff? The sort of tropes in which physical tropes. I don't know if there are,
Unknown Speaker 23:02
are there true
Ryan Boelter 23:06
Amelia Antrim 23:07
No, you know what they say about those?
Ryan Boelter 23:10
Yeah, they don't say much.
Lucian Kahn 23:13
Yeah, I definitely wanted to, I was thinking a lot in terms of variety, right? So I wanted to have a set of characters that were different enough from each other that it gave it lets people have fun with the differences between the character types. And it also gives people a wide range of options of like types that they might like to play. It also gives you some replayability so you can like see what it's like to play different character types. So I was really going for like, what are what are some character tropes that are both fun and funny and also are different enough from each other that it's it's like entertaining to play off the differences and and switch around which ones are playing. So then like, I had those constraints. And it was like, I need things that are different enough for each other. I need things that are fun. And that sort of fueled a lot of how I thought about the characters and in terms of like balancing them out and stuff. Right. So like, there are a lot of things I could have done with with smaller Gods for sure. Right? I could have had like, a million different types of performers, for example, right? Because I could have done like, Oh, and there's like, you know, the theater ones and the band ones and then this one's on that ones who were like all the different kinds of artists, which would have been true to trope and would have been true to the goth scene but would not have made for a lot of variety so wouldn't have ended up being a very interesting role playing game. So that was sort of how I was thinking about it
Ryan Boelter 24:42
was very cool. Are there specific things that you felt that you needed to have as character options for this type of game?
Lucian Kahn 24:50
Wow, that's a great question. needed in what sense like needed for like,
Amelia Antrim 24:56
to like make the genre work like a Feeling? Um, I mean, the answer can be no,
Lucian Kahn 25:05
maybe not. I don't know. I felt like I did so much whittling down to like, get to the core of it that I feel like everything that's left is stuff that they needed in order to express it. Yeah, so everything, everything that's left everything but I did not edit out in the first like 99 versions of this. And I say that because I am an obsessive play tester and an obsessive editor of my own work. So this game, I literally had over 150 play testers. I play tested this game for a year I brought it to conventions. I brought it like to all of my friends I brought it to like random strangers. So I play tested this 80 million times and I had like 80 million new edits and revisions and like I obsessively reworked this game so everything that is not in it. anymore was not necessary.
Amelia Antrim 26:03
Good. You've done it. Well.
Unknown Speaker 26:06
Amelia Antrim 26:08
What does the process of character creation in this game? Tell us about what playing it will be? Like?
Lucian Kahn 26:15
I love that question. It definitely tells you that it's going to be whimsical, I think, right? I think you know, straight off the bat from the types of questions right right off the bat from like, your Visigoths are being asked, Are you still going from time travel and one of the options is maybe a little like, you know that it's going to be kind of funny tongue in cheek not so serious. You know, that there's going to be a kind of playful antagonism when you get to the like, assigning each other embarrassing traits, right. So So, thank you so much like you get you get this feeling of like, Oh, right. There's a rivalry here, right? It is versus, but that the rivalry isn't between the players. It's between like these funny character tropes, and it's going to be Something that we can all laugh about together not actually real, like combat antagonism, right so you right off the bat I think at the got the mood of the game as being like, whimsical, fun funny, like pretty warm hearted and good natured even when there's conflict.
Amelia Antrim 27:17
Yeah, I like having the spots on there for hurt feelings right away that like that makes it pretty clear that like, what kind of, you know, game we're playing? I like the questions that we have in there about like, having a crush on someone and you know what kind of things you've seen them be up to, and that kind of stuff just clearly sets the scene for sort of like, I don't know, just yet like the interpersonal conflict, but not like conflict conflict, like very light hearted, like it's very teenage conflict, but things that you think are so important when you're 16 and then as an adult, you're like, really, I wasted so much time on that.
Lucian Kahn 27:56
Yes, I really wanted to get that. I'm glad you brought that up, because I really wanted to get across the idea of like, low stakes are high stakes, right? Yeah. So like there are a lot of things in this game where it's like this adventure episode is about. So there's this adventure episode called the Little Mix scare all Padgett that was written by generic camper. And the stakes are like you're trying to get into this like, Omni goth beauty magazine, but like, you're like not cool enough or old enough to go to the goth clubs yet. So you're trying to like get signatures from members of this obscure band to like, prove that you have golf cred, right? And it's like, right, it's like low stakes are high stakes, right? No one's in danger. It doesn't matter.
Amelia Antrim 28:48
Like everyone on the line.
Lucian Kahn 28:50
Yeah, you really care. Like I care about my reputation. Do I have golf cred or am I a poser? So I wanted to sort of get that feeling of like the these are these are the things that are emotionally important to teenagers who are trying to like be part of a of a scene and a subculture in the 90s. But like, a lot of the stakes, you know, sometimes it gets higher stakes, but a lot of the stakes are that kind of a thing.
Amelia Antrim 29:16
And I think that that it translates really well though, because I, you know, we talked a little bit before, like, I was not part of the goth subculture, and honestly was not a teenager in the 90s. But I still can very much like, I can still very much understand that and remember, like how things felt at that point of like, being part of a subculture and feeling like everything was so important and all of that kind of stuff that like, you didn't have to be a goth. You didn't have to be, you know, a mall goth in the 90s to like, feel what you're trying to do here because it still feels very much like the quintessential teenage experience that we had of like, Oh, this is so important, and I just need
Lucian Kahn 29:56
Yeah, like, Am I cool? Yes, sir. Nice.
Amelia Antrim 29:59
Yes. Yes Now maybe, like the absolute worst answer.
Unknown Speaker 30:03
Amelia Antrim 30:05
Nothing is worse than maybe. No.
Ryan Boelter 30:10
That's amazing. So the the fun question. What do you think? Is the the one of the biggest flaws of character creation in this system? Or what are you most proud of
Unknown Speaker 30:24
Lucian Kahn 30:28
I guess if you are the kind of player who really wants everything spelled out for you, which there are those kinds of players, right, if you're the kind of player who really wants to know, like, what is my aerobics ability, right what it like exactly, quantifiably, like how good am I at herbal ism, right? If you're the kind of player who's who the fun that you get from a role playing game is for from knowing. Kind of like my new detail and quantified in numbers of exactly how good you are at everything and like, want to know precisely like mechanically how all of that stuff works than this games character creation and its mechanisms are not going to satisfy that desire, right? It's not a good match for that desire. Because the the style of play for Visigoths versus Morgoth is first of all much more improvisational than strategic. So while there are elements of the characters and the way dice rolling works and the mechanisms that are a little crunchier right, have some some, you know, numeric and luck based stuff, right and all of that mechanical stuff. It is lighter on that stuff than some games. And if that kind of a thing is what brings you joy, and What is aesthetically satisfying for you in role playing games, it's just not going to satisfy that need. So I don't think that's a weakness of the gamer of its design. But I think that it's definitely something to know if that is the specific thing that you enjoy most about role playing games. It doesn't have that in the way that you might want, if that's your thing.
Amelia Antrim 32:22
Yeah, not everything is for everyone. And that's
Lucian Kahn 32:24
okay. And that's fine with me, right? On the other hand, I will say that even if you do like that kind of a game, and you're interested in the setting of Visigoths versus Nagas, you can just port over the setting to some other game right. So if you want to use the mall, which is a fully developed mall with a full set of NPCs and a full set of items that you can buy, and you just want to port over the mall Visigoths versus mall Goths and play it in, you know Vampire the Masquerade or Dungeons and Dragons or you know, burning wheel or whatever you want to play at Right. Um, it won't hurt my feelings if you still buy my game, I don't care. So, you know, even if even if the mechanics of this are not your taste for the type of role playing game that you like, obviously they're my taste. That's why I made it this way. But if they're not your taste, but you still want to play in my 90s Mall of Visigoths and mall gos, feel free to buy my game and just use the setting for something else. Some some game designers, I think that would hurt their feelings, but it doesn't hurt my feelings.
Amelia Antrim 33:34
I mean, obviously, you know, those creative types. But think of it like there's some level of like, Hey, you at least appreciate part of the thing that I made and like something about what I did resonated with you? Yeah, I mean, it's also a level of like, Don't touch my thing. I made it
Lucian Kahn 33:50
this way for a reason. Yeah, totally. I mean, I just I really just want to give people tools to use their imaginations, and have fun fun, right? So like, I obviously have a design perspective, right? And I have, you know, sorts of experiences that I am hoping to deliver to people through the mechanics and through the systems, right? But if you don't like that, right, you can still use my setting like it's fine like I want you to have a rich Fantasy Life and have fun with your friends. Right? So that's that's still more important to me.
Ryan Boelter 34:26
It's funny because what you were talking about that and I was thinking like I have very min max sort of brain from my 90s role playing with palladium and whatnot. Yeah, and, and pretty much any like, Video game RPG that I approach. I was trying to mean Max, because that's just the way my brain works sometimes. Yeah, when I was going through character creation for the cyber pet. I saw one of the one of the one of the options for the embarrassing traits for a busy guy was the fear of animals. Uh huh. Like if I wanted to min max then I could just play off of that throughout the game. Yeah. And and have an advantage over this Visigoths character. Yeah. But I didn't go that way because I thought bad dancer was much better.
Amelia Antrim 35:20
I saw the option of like bad taste in music too. I thought about giving you that. And then I could just blame my bad dancing on actually, it's just your bad taste in music. It's not that I can't dance that you listen to the wrong guy.
Lucian Kahn 35:33
I'm glad you mentioned the thing about men maxing because I actually think there's a sort of like a fun. A fun result. If you try to do that. And Visigoths versus Nagas. Like let's say for example, you decided right, you're playing a Visigoths, sorry. You're playing them all goth. And you're like, I'm going to min max. I'm gonna like, try to screw over my my my Visigoths, you know, friend over here by giving them fear of animals, especially if there's something like a conqueror where They might have the skill of control animals. But what's what ends up happening in play, right is if you're a Visigoths and you're a conqueror, and you have both control animal and fear of animals, you now have even more opportunities to use your embarrassing traits to help others. So you end up having like, funny double binds like that, where it's like, well, like it is, it is unfortunate for the character, right? That they are both like a Visigoths conquer who controls animals and are afraid of animals, but mechanically it could actually be advantageous.
Amelia Antrim 36:44
Haha, take that.
Lucian Kahn 36:45
Exactly. Also, it's funny, like, that's the thing like i'm not i'm not tricking you to like, give you a bad time. I'm tricking you to give you a good time. Like it's actually really funny and fun for everyone. When there is a conqueror Visigoths, who is controlling and Animals and afraid of animals like it's actually really really funny.
Amelia Antrim 37:09
I lost my spot in our outline here.
Ryan Boelter 37:10
We're at your favorite part.
Amelia Antrim 37:12
Oh, my favorite part. It's time for my favorite part everyone. It's the fan fiction section.
Unknown Speaker 37:17
Oh my god. Yes, we started
Amelia Antrim 37:19
this question originally as like, let's talk about our groups cohesion and how we would fare in a typical session. You know, like, let's talk about party balance. And then pretty soon we realized that like, we never actually talked about that. We just talked about what we would want to happen in this game if we ever actually played it. So now we have dubbed it the fanfic section. That's amazing. Let's talk about what would happen with these terrible teens.
Lucian Kahn 37:41
Okay, well, first of all, what's what's the crush? There's a crush?
Ryan Boelter 37:46
My character Luna has a crush on gel vyra.
Amelia Antrim 37:50
Yeah, and I saw you writing bad poetry on the wall.
Ryan Boelter 37:54
That's true. My poetry is great. I don't know. It's
Amelia Antrim 37:57
terrible. It's terrible. It is not the right number of civil
Ryan Boelter 37:59
understands my soul I'm sorry.
Lucian Kahn 38:05
I also have another question so I know that that Luna wants to be velvets pad is it is it is it purely for like role playing is it romantic? Right? Is it like what in what manner does Luna want to be I want to
Ryan Boelter 38:24
I want to say it's a it's more of a role playing thing to kind of kind of because then then she kind of has like this built in friend, but also because she she likes having the the new fun toys that you make.
Lucian Kahn 38:41
Yeah, that's amazing. I think that velvet. I think that velvet is enough of like a self absorbed, like dramatic theater Boy, that he doesn't understand this right. I think that I think that velvet. I think that velvet would would think that Luna has a crush on him, but not be interested. Right? Like Luna would just be like, like very arrogant about like, like, Oh, you know, this this. This cyber Pat like totally has a crush on me but I'm like a cool vampire theater guy and he'd be kind of a snob about it.
Amelia Antrim 39:22
I mean, I think that I, so I think go viral really resents velvet for stealing the cape look, but I think secretly feels like maybe he pulls it off better than her and it's like, into that. Oh, brutal. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think really what I'm saying here is if there's not a love triangle, we're not playing this game craft. Exactly. There has to be a love triangle.
Lucian Kahn 39:48
And also, I mean, the thing that's fun about this is this game is technically for four to six, four to six players plus GM, right. So Oh, by the way, the GM is called the mall rat. So it's four to four to six players plus the mall rat. So with even more of us right there, we're surely also be additional like love. You know, it'd be like a love Pentagon or whatever. Or a love pentagram, I should say. Yeah, yeah, I love pentagram. So, yeah, definitely, definitely a love triangle, at least.
Amelia Antrim 40:23
Yeah. I mean, if you're playing this game correctly, there has to be. I have I think my pinch tweet right now actually is something about how if you don't have a shopping scene in your RPG, you are playing RPG is wrong. Yeah, this game is perfect.
Lucian Kahn 40:36
This game has at least six shopping.
Amelia Antrim 40:39
Right? I mean, it has shopping right in the right in the title. Well, mall not shopping. I mean, okay, fine. No, I think that I think there's the potential for some very high drama, and at least one school dance. Yeah, sure. Because if there's not a school day I don't think you're doing it correctly there.
Lucian Kahn 41:02
I also think that given given velvets, history of lighting things on fire, I think there's definitely going to be a fire.
Amelia Antrim 41:09
Oh, for sure there has to be at least like 123 arsons. Exactly like I feel
Lucian Kahn 41:13
like there's going to be a situation where like, you know some of these crushes or love triangles like come to a dramatic p hint velvet just starts lighting the fire and it becomes a hole
Amelia Antrim 41:24
and then the sprinklers go off and it ruins my cape. Exactly. It may be an overflow, I clean only
Lucian Kahn 41:32
it overflows the fountain you know all kinds of problems.
Amelia Antrim 41:36
Oh, yes. Yeah, this is very good. There's a lot of potential here for things to go terribly, terribly wrong. Yeah. Especially once you start adding a few more. A few more gas in here. Yeah.
Lucian Kahn 41:46
More Goths and coughs.
Amelia Antrim 41:48
Ryan Boelter 41:51
I love this. I love our people.
Amelia Antrim 41:53
We meet great people. Great
Lucian Kahn 41:55
job for sure. And I hope that you know when the game comes out, you know that they You get a chance to play with these characters. Oh, yeah,
Amelia Antrim 42:03
yeah, I really want to I I bought the game I'm waiting when it gets here and it's on my shelf and then it becomes one of the books that I look at longingly and think someday I'll have time to play.
Lucian Kahn 42:13
Totally, but I can still make character. Yes, yeah. But well, it's it's it's getting there it is currently with the, with the stylistic editor slash copy editor. So it's really in late stages of development. It goes from there to to graphic design and layout, but all of the templates are already made. It just needs to be actually the text put in that and then it goes to print so we're we're getting there.
Amelia Antrim 42:37
So close. Yeah, exciting.
Ryan Boelter 42:40
Yeah. So let's go on to our final segment, which I love to call take it up a level, a level which I hate. I know I really hate. Well, normally in the segment, we we talked about Character advancement leveling up and, and whatnot, but this game doesn't really have that sort of mechanic to it. Did you want to talk about why? To leave out why you left out character advancement,
Lucian Kahn 43:15
I would love to talk about why I left out character advancement. This was a deliberate choice. So first of all, you can play this as a one shot, you can play this as a series as a campaign. In fact, it works very well to play on all six of the pre written adventures in order as a as a plot arc. I say in the book, there is no character advancement, there is no experience points. The mall is as in real life, always just as hazardous as the very first time. And that's sort of the core of why I did this. I feel like if if we're staying in genre, right, if we're staying in the idea of like, this is like a teen movie. It's like a 90s teen movie or a nine sitcom, and we're dealing with like, romance and like mall antics and shoplifting, and like maybe some fights, right? It is not actually the case when you were a teenager, like hanging out in these mall settings, that you somehow get better at being a teenager in the mall. As you as you do this over time, right? It just isn't,
Amelia Antrim 44:23
right. Like the quintessential fact about being a teenager is it does not get better.
Lucian Kahn 44:27
No, it doesn't get any better. You just eventually age out of it. And then you're in a different part of your life. Right? So I wanted to, to sort of capture the sense of like, what you're doing here is not trying to get better or hone skills or like become a hero or gain mastery. That's like not the point of this activity, right? Because that's not what any of us were ever doing when we were teenagers hanging out in malls having like, our terrible dramatic interpersonal problems or like trying to like buy weird jewelry or whatever, right? So so the idea Is that you know, as you as you go through your experiences in this mall and these different like plot arcs and dramatic arcs and and you know, have all these, all of these things happen to you it's not that you get any better at it right? It's not that you somehow become a more honed, you know, machine of navigating team life in the mall, right? It's always just as hard. And all of the other people in the mall, right are continuing to live their lives and none of you are really getting any better at what you're doing. Right. So I wanted to keep that and I think it I think it adds to it adds, I think, to the comedy, right, it's like, well, you know, what have we done here? Right? We've rescued this. This Morgoth who's been who's been captured by Visigoths, and we've tried to either do or not do some of the things on this purity test. And like we may be we got dates to this dance, but like, what what did this do right what how did this Did this make us better people? No, it didn't make us better people. Absolutely not. It did not make us more charismatic. It didn't make us stronger. It didn't make us wiser. Right? We're going to go back to the mall next Saturday, and we're going to be just as awkward and embarrassed and in napped and make terrible choices and like, have all kinds of high jinks happen as we would have last time before any of this happened, right? And that's what it means to be a teenager.
Amelia Antrim 46:27
So good. That's perfect.
Lucian Kahn 46:34
Thank you. So that's better
Amelia Antrim 46:36
a better reasoning for like not
Lucian Kahn 46:38
you're just not gonna get better. No, you're just not getting any better at anything you're doing.
Amelia Antrim 46:43
It's so sad and so true.
Ryan Boelter 46:48
For some reason, I was picturing like, 11 Lane up mechanic where literally you just gained a level and that's it.
Lucian Kahn 46:55
Yeah, you are now level two. Congratulations.
Amelia Antrim 47:00
It's like now you're 17 Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 47:01
Lucian Kahn 47:03
Now you are a sophomore. Yeah.
Ryan Boelter 47:08
All right. Well, Lucian, thank you so much for joining us to talk about Visigoths vs. Mon. Gosh, this was really great.
Lucian Kahn 47:17
Thanks so much for having me. And I hope you enjoy the game when it comes out
Ryan Boelter 47:20
a lot of fun. Yeah, can you go ahead and remind everyone where they can find you and this game and what sort of things that you're working on as well?
Lucian Kahn 47:28
Yes. So I am Lucien con. It is L UCI NKHN con like Madeline not like Angus. And you can find me upon the internet, especially on twitter at Oh theogony which is o h underscore t h e ojio. And why? You can find Visigoths versus mall Gods available for pre order now on backer kit. The easiest way to find it is to just google visit Gods versus small Gods it's the only one and you will eventually see both the Kickstarter which double funded yay and the backer kit place for pre orders where you can place pre orders for either the hard copy and PDF together or just the PDF. So those are both available for pre order and you can find my other games in a variety of places. dead friend a game of necromancy is available on the firstname.lastname@example.org you can go to necromantic.h.io it is also available in a variety of stores, including 20 sided store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and a variety of other stores. And grandma's drinking song is coming up soon. It will be in joy kite, a TT RPG anthology. Also if you are an adult, look out for honey and hot wax by coming out from Paul green press somewhere near the end of 2020. I am the CO editor on that project along with Sharon Biswas. Yes.
Amelia Antrim 49:09
Well, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you to everyone for listening and we will be back next week.
Ryan Boelter 49:25
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 this show and even our press kit. Character Creation Cast can also be found on Twitter at Creation Cast or on our Discord server at discord Character Creation cast.com i one of your hosts Ryan bolter, and I can be found on twitter at Lord Neptune or online at lordan Neptune calm. Our other host Emily antrum can be found on twitter at ginger reckoning. Music for this episode is used with a Creative Commons license, or with permission from the podcast they originated from. Further information can be found within the show notes. Our main theme music is hero remix by Steve combs, and it's used with a Creative Commons license. This podcast is owned by us under Creative Commons. This episode was edited by Ryan bolter. Further information for the game systems used and today's guests can be found in the show notes. If you'd like to leave us a rating or review. We have links to various preview platforms out there including Apple podcasts in our show notes. Also, check the show notes for links to our other projects. Thanks for joining us. And remember, we find that the best part of any role playing game is character creation. So go out there and create some amazing people. We will see you next time.
Amelia Antrim 51:11
We got to read some show blurbs show blurbs show show, show blurbs. character creation Creation Cast is hosted by the one shot Podcast Network. If you enjoyed our show, visit one shot podcast calm, where you'll find other great shows like The broadsides.
Ryan Boelter 51:29
The broadsword is an all woman DND podcast focused on drama roleplay and subverting stereotypes. Join the broad as they unravel the mystery of snowy rushman a land ruled by witches and steeped in superstition. berserkers rain and spirits roam the frozen wastes you larious keela mcrea all have their own reasons for journey north but they soon find they have something in common. They are pawns in a divine plot.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai