Our 25th series starts here where we welcome friends of the show David Gunsberg and Morgan Jenkins to talk about Golden Sky Stories, a slice of life RPG where kindness reigns.
Our 25th series starts here where we welcome friends of the show David Gunsberg and Morgan Jenkins to talk about Golden Sky Stories, a slice of life RPG where kindness reigns.
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David Gunsberg @Tigrannosaurus1
Morgan Jenkins @MorriganJenk
Going In Blind @GoingInBlindDnD
Golden Sky Stories
Character Creation Cast:
Ryan Boelter 0:00
Welcome to our 25th series everyone. We are one quarter of the way to 100 series which is just absolutely wild to think about. And we are very excited to welcome a couple of good friends of the show, David Gunzburg and Morgan Jenkins to talk about a really sweet RPG called golden sky stories. But before we get into all of that, first we have some announcements. If for some reason you missed us talking about descent into midnight, it has less than seven days to go as of the release of this episode. Absolutely check this thing out if you haven't already. It is a game that has altered our perception of what games can be and it deserves every amount of success it can get. They are currently about halfway to their next stretch goal, where one shot network alum alley grower will write a piece of fiction that takes place anywhere hold of just sent in to midnight, it will also unlock another episode of the stream punks, which would make the campaign that much longer and that much more enjoyable. So go ahead, pause the show right now and check it out if you haven't yet. It's that good. Don't worry. I'll wait. And welcome back. So, other projects out there that we think could use your attention that we've mentioned a few times before, would be princess world by Kevin pecker where you play as princesses using a pretty unique take on pvta mechanics. We also had a spotlight episode if you missed that, check it out. It's a really good look at what the system can do. Also using a completely different, unique take on PBT mechanics would be pesky on the last pass Jonas. Bye bye Random Liam can better. This is a telenovelas game where over the top is the baseline, and it only goes up from there. I absolutely recommend checking out all of these kick starters, if you can. Finally, we are sadly out of reviews to read. We would absolutely love to read more reviews from all of you wonderful folks listening. If you like what we do, just head on over to Apple podcasts and leave a rating and or a review. It helps other people find the show, and really makes us feel also good in the process. So, going with the lessons we're about to learn with this game, spread some kindness and leave a review. And hey, while you're already there, search for any other podcasts you enjoy and toss review their way. Even if it's just a single sentence of why you love their work. Really, you can go back and re edit those if you want to expand With all of that out of the way, how about we get on with the show? Enjoy?
Ryan Boelter 3:39
Welcome to Character Creation Cast a show where we discuss and create characters The best part of role playing games with guests using their favorite systems. I'm one of your hosts Ryan and this episode my co host, Emily and I are thrilled to welcome David Gunzburg and Morgan chickens to discuss golden sky stories, a heartwarming And non violent RPG by Rio Camille.
Amelia Antrim 4:04
Welcome to Character Creation Cast. We are so excited you could join us.
David Gunsberg 4:08
We're very excited to be here.
Morgan Jenkins 4:09
So excited to be here. A pop up. No, I can't even say that word. That's how excited I am.
Amelia Antrim 4:18
Let's start by introducing you to our audience. David, you want to tell us a little bit more about yourself what you have going on?
David Gunsberg 4:25
I am a putative podcaster and game designer and long running game runner. I've been in kind of doing this since the 80s. currently doing it with my kids, and I'm all about discovering small games that can create real connection. No real projects going on just trying to make the world a kinder place.
Amelia Antrim 4:51
That is a project. Yeah. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 4:54
That's not a small undertaking. That's That's fantastic.
Ryan Boelter 5:00
All right, and Morgan How about yourself?
Morgan Jenkins 5:03
Oh, gosh, where to start? Um, I last time I checked was still locked in a vault with the with you in geek wars. I'm fairly certain that's where I am technically I got kicked out at the end. Oh, you you on in the vault. So I'm here by
Ryan Boelter 5:19
myself i think i think Mitch forgot about you and. And kids, right? Yeah, I'm still in Yeah. Okay. I can remember. For those who don't understand that reference, listen to geek wars at geek wars pod on Twitter, and you can hear all about our shenanigans in the vault.
Morgan Jenkins 5:38
And other than that, I have a podcast that I do that's currently on hiatus yet again, as life gets in the way called going in blind. It's an actual play podcast with visually words hard with vision impaired players. Mm hmm. And we're just playing through d&d at the moment. But we have other games. That are recorded, and ones that aren't where we just play them. And they will never, never be on the podcast. But that's coming back at some
Amelia Antrim 6:08
point games aren't on a podcast. They really happen,
Morgan Jenkins 6:13
isn't it? I don't think so. But apparently I'm in the minority there. So
Amelia Antrim 6:19
now every time I sit down to play a game, and we're not recording, I feel very weird. I'm like, What do I put away? Do?
Morgan Jenkins 6:25
I just get my phone out and recorded anyway?
David Gunsberg 6:27
Morgan and I tried to play a game just for fun. We were like halfway through it. And I said, you're recording? And she was like, yeah, cuz I'm recording. I'm recording you. I'm recording me. Of course, I'm recording.
Amelia Antrim 6:38
Obviously, I can't
Unknown Speaker 6:39
not be recording I have to.
Amelia Antrim 6:45
Well, let's go ahead and get into this. We are going to start by discussing what this game is all about. What's in a game.
Ryan Boelter 6:53
So can you tell us a bit about this setting for golden sky stories?
David Gunsberg 6:59
Yeah, well My pitch to for this game when I talk to players at cons is that if we start with this is a this game is a performative meditation on kindness think about Totoro, the town and animal spirit kind of vibe you're getting Kiki mashed up together with the joyful bittersweet happiness of BIGBANG from inside out where it's small stories told in a sort of semi Japanese feeling place where humans and mildly magical animal spirits live alongside each other and experience sort of slice of life slice of life, things that are really just about being good to each other.
Ryan Boelter 7:51
It's really cool.
Amelia Antrim 7:52
What things do we need to play this game?
Unknown Speaker 7:55
You don't need
Amelia Antrim 7:56
a sense of compassion.
David Gunsberg 7:59
Yeah, with that can Sometimes be the hardest thing to get, as you might imagine, in some cons you have been going. So Hey, where's my animals Attack stat, it's like it doesn't have an attack stat. That's not what this guy does. So it can be very good in that regard that it can it's, I like games where the mechanics know what the game is trying to do in this game does that. So players very quickly go, Oh, this is not for me. But what you need to play it is very little, it's priceless, which blew my mind if it was the first night I played. It just had, you just need a character sheet and some counters. And you don't even really need the counters. You basically need the character sheet. And the way I run it is to also then put like a blank a4 sheet in amongst assault where we write down the NPCs that we've created and the places in the town that we've created that we have connections to. So very little.
Ryan Boelter 8:55
Yeah, that's probably the the least amount of materials that we've seen for a game you Yeah,
Morgan Jenkins 9:00
I think so. Yeah. I mean, if you really feel like you're missing out with with the dice instead of counters, you can use dice as counters, but you're not going to be rolling them.
Amelia Antrim 9:10
Yeah. Then what do I do with them?
Morgan Jenkins 9:13
You just you look at them and then go do I have Oh dice? I should probably get at least 50 more of these.
Amelia Antrim 9:20
Right well, so I do like to look at my dice. That's why I actually have them in glass vases up on top of my bookshelf.
Unknown Speaker 9:27
So you're doing dice correctly then that's good.
Amelia Antrim 9:30
They're decorative along with
Ryan Boelter 9:32
useful Yeah, they are color coordinated
Amelia Antrim 9:36
Not right now there just didn't talk last I do have them separated by like my Fantasy Flight die. So my Genesis mile five are my Star Wars dice.
David Gunsberg 9:45
Flight, pouring one out for all five are
Amelia Antrim 9:49
they did just announce another source book though. So who knows? And it finally has the day he can in it. Yeah, so someday we'll cover that game.
David Gunsberg 10:00
And as far as other things you need to play the game, there is a core rulebook you can buy, but there is a free quickstart PDF, that style and publishing have up that you can I'm sure we'll put a link in the show notes that you can just go to click. And you basically just need that.
Morgan Jenkins 10:20
Oh, so in the same way that descent into midnight, has a sort of Quick Start rule on their website ready to go. But you could also maybe back the Kickstarter that's happening right now. Yeah,
Ryan Boelter 10:32
it's just like that. Tell Tell me more about this amazing Kickstarter that it happens.
Amelia Antrim 10:39
supposed to talk about how you can
Morgan Jenkins 10:40
still talk about it. We can mention it as many times as we want. It's that good of a game, and you didn't make it now.
Amelia Antrim 10:47
Rich Howard should send us a T shirt. Rich where's my T shirt.
Unknown Speaker 10:54
I haven't introduced you in that other podcast.
Unknown Speaker 11:01
David Gunsberg 11:03
I love that I love you can if you like what you hear you can just grab that Kickstarter and play a few small games with it's got like the the four of the animal spirit types because we'll be playing as animal spirits in the Quickstart and you know and then you good to go and if you like it you can get the full rules. Very cool. I should tell you to
Amelia Antrim 11:23
try it before you buy it. Yes role playing game. I don't know I think that's nice and RPG is especially because the books tend to be like heftier, and I mean, it can be an investment to spend $60 on a book that you're not sure if you're gonna play or you know. And I that's another thing that I think a piece do really well is like introducing people to new systems and kind of giving you an idea of like whether this really is for you. It's not everything's for everyone, but I love games that have quickstart guides.
David Gunsberg 11:54
I think that that also tells me that they are confident that in what they've done is they going here The thing, have a look at this thing and the mechanics are very clear, you can get that Quick Start. And if, if you're a like hard combat head, then you're gonna look at this very quickly and go, Oh, I don't need to spend my money on that.
Amelia Antrim 12:13
I think it lowers the barrier of entry to for for newer people. Cuz those bigger books are really intimidating. Like for a long time. I didn't want to play any other games besides like the one or two that I knew because it was like, I can't read that whole book. And now I'm like, Sure, let's play this game. I'll figure it out while I go. But quickstart guides are really nice for that for, for figuring it out right away.
David Gunsberg 12:36
I also find it's a really lovely thing when you've got sort of newish players to hand them a single sheet play. Here's your character sheet, but it comes all printed sort of a4, two sided with two sheets on each side and say, here you go. Here's the entire game you can take with you if you enjoyed what we did today, you know,
Morgan Jenkins 12:55
okay, so that means that when I go to the con with you, I'm not gonna To be receiving the full 146 pages printed out and bound up, is that what you're saying? No, you'll get the Quick Start. Okay. And I think in the same way that and I know I jokingly mentioned descent into midnight earlier, but in the same way that that game is about a group of people coming together to try and fight back against the corruption and bring some some kindness in the world, even though a lot of the times people come across it as a one shot so they only ever get to see the corruption and not the the pushback against that. This game tells much smaller stories in a much more I don't want to say lowest stakes, because I'd say much more personal stakes, because it all of these stories that are happening are big to the people that they're happening to and that they're just they're not stories about can we save the world their stories about a Can we help this person get to a concert, or can we help them ask out someone or can we help them feel a little bit better about themselves or come out? To the parents or significant other, and it's just these cute little stories about encouraging kindness within yourself and within a community that you helped create. That's really cool. And I am really, really bad at it. This game yeah, I'm terrible at this game. I love it so much. But every time it's like, you know, what do you want to do? I want to make everyone feel better how? I don't know if I knew the answer to that we would all feel better. And then it's like, oh, no, we broke Morgan again. So we
Amelia Antrim 14:32
wouldn't be doing it already. If I understood how to do it. If I knew happiness
Unknown Speaker 14:35
works, it would exist.
Amelia Antrim 14:38
Would I be on this podcast would I be would I be shouting to the world right now if I knew how to be happy.
David Gunsberg 14:47
So the we can talk about this later, but I think that there's a lot of that beautiful failing forward like leaning into the smallness of it leaning into the awkwardness of it and remembering when You were 11 and you know, wanted to buy your I've done one whether we invented a lantern festival, and a child wanted to buy the perfect lantern for their mom who they love a lot. And we helped this child buy a really nice lantern. And that was the whole story, huh? But like, you know, when you when things go wrong, one of the other things I've said about this game is it's kind of it's very safe, and it's all act it's kind of all act one. It's like a romance novel way you you know, the game is designed so that you know it's going to work out okay. So you can enjoy that kind of small slice of life anime feeling of the you know, the cat catching efficient, taking it into the shop to try and make things better and it make things worse. It can it can you can have these small, intimate moments of kindness, knowing that it's going to work out and just be goofy when you're trying to help people. But
Unknown Speaker 16:01
yeah, it's I don't think
Amelia Antrim 16:02
that there are a lot of games that do that. I think that like, even when we talk about cute games, you know, like, we talked about mom scarred and things like that and but they still have that tension of like, Is it gonna be okay like are we gonna roll okay and have this story work out and you know, like, I don't think I've ever played a game where it was just like, I know that we're gonna succeed and it's gonna be okay. And I can just sit back and enjoy the ride. Mm hmm.
David Gunsberg 16:26
Yeah. And that's, that's another I find that's another checkout point for people who've sat down at a con with me that right go the, we're going to get a resolution. So, this is about in this is exactly about the journey. If you if you're if your game joy comes from having fought that triumph out, that's not this game. In this game, we're going to create a small sadness, discomfort awkwardness that's rich in emotion and then we're going to To ineffectually, but wholeheartedly try and help, and it will be good by the end. And one of the things that I find like I should say that the bleed in this game is real, because in, to be honest, in this game kindness works in this game, you will be kind to each other, the community will be coming back to you even like there'll be you know, you might have the policeman you know, the cutesy policeman, kind of character or the teacher might get cross at you. But then you kind of move on and I've often looked each other and gone. Okay, now we need got to take some of this out into the real world where the stakes are, you know, high. Mm hmm.
David Gunsberg 17:40
It is a performative meditation on kindness.
Amelia Antrim 17:43
Yeah. I think role playing games have a really, and I don't think that they embrace them enough, but a really unique opportunity to teach empathy. Oh, yeah, in ways that a lot of other media just can't like you can watch a movie about people being kind but it's Not, it's not participatory in the same way. And I think role playing games give us that room because it's one of the very few places where you take yourself and inhabit a whole other person. And you have to think about what does this person want and need and care about, and you have to really embrace that, and then play that out with other people sitting in front of you, and with work with those people to do things. And I think, um, I wish that there were more games that embrace that it's one thing that I really like about being able to play them with my kids. Because it's a skill that I value. And I don't think that there's a lot of other ways that to effectively teach that rather than experience it. Yep.
Ryan Boelter 18:46
Mm hmm. This is a good game for that. Absolutely. So I think we kind of covered our next two questions already about stories and themes and when what characters do in this game so let's go ahead and get to what Aside from all the wonderful stuff we've already talked about what's unique about cold storage? It's I mean, we dice lists, there's hardly any materials. It's a game entirely about the journey to kindness through kindness. Is there anything else that that kind of strikes you as, as unique from either maybe like, like a technical standpoint or from some other sort of standpoint?
David Gunsberg 19:29
Yeah, one one thing that I really like about it is when we get into character creation, and you look at the innovative comments, magical abilities, is they're beautifully whimsical, and some of them seem really pointless. Like one character has the capacity to make it rain faintly in a scene. Oh, and that's like a very powerful ability for them is to just let a light misting rain happen in a sane Yeah. Which I think is about it's very poetic in that regard. Embrace the poetic nature of it. I found it quite unique that and you'll see that when we get into the creation and we start looking at, what attributes Do you have, and what abilities and weaknesses Do you want to take?
Morgan Jenkins 20:15
And also, I think the fact that they tie certain abilities to certain weaknesses. So if you're taking one of these things, you're taking the other. And that can lead to some really interesting. And and, I mean, I don't necessarily want to say unique because I feel like there might be other ways that these elements come up in other games. But the fact that it's such a direct pair, as opposed to you must pick one of these and two of these, or one of these and one of these, it's like, No, you get this one. You know, you get this attribute, you get this weakness. That's, that's what's happening. So I would, I would also say, in terms of uniqueness, you get to be a spirit that's also an animal that can also turn into a person and you get to run around being all of these things plus magic and that It feels pretty unique to me.
Ryan Boelter 21:01
Yeah. Yeah, that's pretty cool. I, I when when you were saying about the shape shifting animals and stuff, it reminded me of Brie boosh, heldens. Turn, which came out recently. Turn is a it's a it's a slice of life game, where you play as animals that can change into human and back. And you are trying to exist amongst other humans in secret. And you have to do human stuff. And you have to do animal stuff. And you have to kind of balance those two lives together. And it's a very slice of life sort of mystical role playing game. But it seems like the stakes are a little higher in that one.
Morgan Jenkins 21:54
Yeah. But it sounds like what that one it's about will you get caught Will you balance it whereas with right with This it's a lot more about what what is this this small story this you know is minimal sadness that may feel big to the person that's experiencing it and more importantly how can you as players help alleviate that? Yeah. And and so it's it's a lot less about oh no will I get caught in a lot more about well we know I'm not gonna get caught or if I do it'll turn out all right, let's figure out how to help this you know this this person in the absolutely
Ryan Boelter 22:29
yeah that's really great in this game do the other humans the NPCs know about your your spiritual something
David Gunsberg 22:40
that the question of whether or not like how much do the humans know about the hand game or the animal spirits which are called angeI how much they interact kind of varies from game to game but what tend to design that at the table, but what is sort of in there is that This is where the bing bang thing comes from. Kids can see you and the elderly can see you. Okay, but adults with jobs who are being adulting Yeah, they can't see you. they've forgotten about you.
Ryan Boelter 23:16
Their minds are occupied with adulting things. Yeah,
Morgan Jenkins 23:20
well, it's like it's like any sort of mystical force out there like fairies or brownies or what have you from other cultures. It's that thing of you'll see the children interacting with the fairy circle or the the the elderly who haven't lost that sense of wonder, but then you've got people going, I don't believe in fairies. And then you have to clap your hands to save them.
Unknown Speaker 23:41
And wait, what?
Morgan Jenkins 23:44
And, and it's, it's, it's just about, like those who would seem to be in a position to believe about the hang guy who had this mystical that they're creatures. They would be if you're prone to believe If you're prone to think magic is real, you're more likely to witness these sorts of things as opposed to just block them out. And so a lot of those adults who are off adulting aren't necessarily even if they see it, they'll just explain it away and keep going about it. Mm hmm.
Amelia Antrim 24:14
It's like children in Santa Claus. Like if you believe it, then yeah, like if you have this like innocence of spirits. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 24:21
Ryan Boelter 24:22
Yeah, that's very cool.
Amelia Antrim 24:25
So now we get to talk about the history of the game a little bit. Do you want to tell us about the original Japanese version? A little bit about the English version?
David Gunsberg 24:33
So I discovered the the English version actually, through potty of one pod. Hmm. And jumping GM Jeff Stormer. Big shout out there. He's been like he is the gateway drug to so many systems.
Morgan Jenkins 24:50
Yeah. Who wrote one of my favorite role playing games that has destroyed me utterly game. It I don't know what its name is. But it's the one where you create a village and you have to defeat a dragon. It's about 200 words long and in tears.
Ryan Boelter 25:07
That's not the Olive Garden LARP them right now.
Amelia Antrim 25:09
The official the official LARP of all of which is fantastic, which they did not mention at all in the sonic movie, even though there were several references Olive Garden, and every time it came up, I was like, Is this about the LARP? No one knew what I was saying. Oh,
Unknown Speaker 25:27
say okay, money
David Gunsberg 25:28
was a came out in Japan in 2006. And was trying to slide it into English in 2013 by I hope I get his name right or their name, right? You and a one Clooney. If I get that wrong, we'll get back there was a Pronunciation Guide on their Twitter. I meant to check before in doing
David Gunsberg 25:51
David Gunsberg 25:52
And I've come across it through the English translation. That was it was kickstarted. You know, Gloria is full color full rulebook that I won't bother holding up in. That's its history it there's, there's a whole bunch of these sort of slice of life RPGs small JRPGs I'm not a big JRPG head, so I don't know where it sits in the kind of larger ecosystem of them, but like, that's where that's how that's how it came into my life. Mm hmm. That's very cool though. So like I Can I be honest, I'm now hearing like game pitches, like this is like off mic in inverted commas. But so one of the things I would pitch is, this is the kind of thing that for the right table, you'd go, we're going to create an adult who, whose family the four of us used to look over and this adult is grappling with mental health and has just come back from the big city with the new prescription, and our game might just be making sure they take their meds too. I mean, that could be the whole game. And just being with them through the day and making small kind things happen to that person as they move through the day, and the end of the game could be them, you know, making sure they were hydrated and they took their pills and close out with the final shot of one of us sitting on the window seal as as a human who won't see us again until they're old enough to remember us. has gone through their day. And that could be the whole game. That That sounds so relaxing.
Unknown Speaker 27:30
Yeah. Oh, it really is. And let's
Amelia Antrim 27:31
see, I feel like that sounds like emotionally fraught to me.
David Gunsberg 27:35
That sounds why I was saying the bleed can be real you have to if you're running this game, you have to be very, it because it looks cutesy. It you kind of go oh we can we can we can do these things. It sneaks
Amelia Antrim 27:49
up on you.
Morgan Jenkins 27:50
Yeah, for the anxiety can be real. If like I remember there was the the game that we mentioned earlier about the lanterns and I remember thinking, I don't know how to help this child pick the correct lanten nor do I know what the correct lanten would be and I was getting
Amelia Antrim 28:09
Morgan Jenkins 28:10
emotionally invested in what is the
Amelia Antrim 28:12
objective measure for correct lanter? Well, where's the rubric for that?
Morgan Jenkins 28:17
So apparently, his mother had opinions on Latins, and he had differing opinions and we had to make sure that his opinions lined up with hers and I got lost in a I was trying to create a parable and I got lost in talking to him. And at that point, that's where thankfully the DM stepped in and or narrator I guess in this one stepped in and and basically said, and he gets what you're talking about, even though you are not doing the words well, and and I think that's a part of if you're running this game, that that's part of what you have to be mindful of is that this is about meditative kindness, but that also includes your players because if you are very, very anxious like myself are prone to anxiety. You can get lost in those spirals that you've created in exactly the same way that you can in games with larger stakes, like descend into midnight. And, and it's, it's not a question of the scale of the game, it's a question of what you're able to do to pull yourself out of that and what the DM is able to do. And the game itself lends towards, okay, well, we can just stop this scene, pick up in another scene and try again a different way. Mm hmm.
Amelia Antrim 29:32
And that part of it sounds like really cathartic to me. Like, I like bleed in games. I like to like feel things and to be like really involved and there and it's part of that, that empathy need but like, I also like experiencing those things in those kinds of safe spaces. So like having those anxieties about a lantern instead of like, the pile of papers that I have over on my desk that I really should be Dealing with and habitant and, you know, which is also another like, small thing. And, you know, like in the grand scheme of everything that's going on in the world, this pile of papers that I have on my desk probably isn't that big of a deal. But to me it is. And so like the idea that you can have a game where you're doing those kinds of things, and, but you know that it's going to turn out okay, and what's really feels like really, you can experience that anxiety but also like, know that it's gonna be okay. Feels really cathartic to me. And that catharsis
Morgan Jenkins 30:30
carries through out into life as well. I know that for me, when we played the few times we've played Now, every time afterwards, it's like, I know it's just a game but I feel so games change you rewarded it's it's almost like it Yeah, it's almost like games change you. It's crazy, but you feel so whole almost, you know, in a way where you can go I did that I succeeded at something and And it was a nice thing to do for, you know, this imaginary person that I helped. And you're then able to go, you know what I can put on a load of washing instead of collapsing on the bed, I can do something today. I can carry this forward because I accomplished something and I can go accomplish the next thing. I know how to do that. And it can certainly for me, it, it really gives you this sense of direction after the game, which is very different to a lot of other game bleed that I've come across. Mm hmm. Yeah,
Amelia Antrim 31:32
it sounds like, like, I accomplished something. Even if it was a small thing. It felt important. I helped other people. Other people helped me. Yes. Which that last one is important to like, as much as it's about kindness to other people. I think being kind to yourself is important too, and like learning in that space to that so you do have to lean on other people sometimes too, and that part of it is okay, too. Aside from just helping other people let people help you
Morgan Jenkins 32:03
very much. So.
David Gunsberg 32:04
So let's, let's put a pin in that. Because when we've create as we're creating some people, one of the things I want to ask you like, I'll create a character with us, of course. But to think about what would be the sort of small thing we would want to approach as a table?
Ryan Boelter 32:22
Yeah. If we've got that in our fanfic section. Yeah. So I'm, I'm okay. So I want to dive right in. But we've got a few concepts and terms to cover first. Yeah. So So everybody that's listening can be on the same page as us. And so we know what the heck we're we're talking about. So you always know what we're talking about. We do we read we read everything before we.
Amelia Antrim 32:49
Yeah, we have read so many role playing games cover to cover. Yep,
Ryan Boelter 32:52
absolutely. Even the non character creation stuff because
Amelia Antrim 32:57
even the games that haven't come out yet we're
Unknown Speaker 32:58
very dedicated. assigned reading completed?
Ryan Boelter 33:02
Yep. Yep. So the terms and concept for the four attributes, um, I looked at these and I'm like, these are really interesting attributes and I understand why
David Gunsberg 33:15
they're here. Can we talk a little bit about them? So Morgan, do you want to take this I'm happy to take this
Morgan Jenkins 33:20
you go for your life
David Gunsberg 33:22
okay. So, at character creation in the Quickstart these are already allocated to your your characters broadly. But a character creation you get eight points to allocate across four attributes. Your hand gay attribute is what powers your small magics your animal attributes. Pet is your is your physical prowess, and bearing in mind that
David Gunsberg 33:54
like, not for combat, yes, I
David Gunsberg 33:59
and then you're Adult is to do with your capacity to hide your feelings because this is a big feelings game. You need to use your adult to hide feelings interact with technology. And when you change shape to interact with humans, you're going to use your adult. I think of this as the unikitty holding the business meeting going Business, Business, Business, Business, Business business. When you when you have changed into the human form to go and help that team, buy the right charm for their crush, and the shopkeeper looks at you can you hold it together? and child is your capacity to express emotions, have fun and feel joy. And in doing so create that for others around you. So you'll have eight points and you'll put some How much do you want to put in your magic? How much in your physical prowess? How much in your ability to kind of be human and how much information to lean into emotions and have fun, and when we get into the different animal forms, you'll see that they will nudge you towards which ones you should you should put in. Mm hmm. That's very cool. So another note that I had when I when I actually did read most of this over
Ryan Boelter 35:18
David Gunsberg 35:20
Yes. So you will be an animal. And in the Quick Start, there are four animal forms. cat, dog, bird, and Fox. And then in the full rules, you also get the raccoon dog, which has a very bad at pronouncing the Japanese name for it. So we'll just call it a raccoon dog. The one from I can't remember the name of it. They called like Tanuki I think, okay, it's like a Japanese animal they like they call them the record dog. Disappointed you Morgan. I'm so sorry. I
Ryan Boelter 35:57
think it's a type of problem. Random. This is not the type of panda.
Morgan Jenkins 36:02
Yes. Okay. It's the red panda.
David Gunsberg 36:04
Yeah, yeah. And they call it the raccoon dog.
David Gunsberg 36:08
So yeah, in the Quick Start, you have cat, dog, bird and Fox. And in the extended in the in the cool book you also pick up the Tanuki, the raccoon dog and the rabbit. Oh, and so we'll we'll pick a true form. And you will you will, we will talk about what we look like are you an old cat a young cat?
Ryan Boelter 36:29
All right. And on the character sheets, I saw that there was listed a friendship wonder and feelings and I wasn't sure what those were all about. Okay, so this is the bit where I ambush you. Oh, with my PowerPoint presentation.
David Gunsberg 36:50
Let me just actually because I want to get this right. And I don't want to stuff it up. Where's my share button share? golden sky resource economy.
Ryan Boelter 36:59
Whoo. I think this is a Character Creation Cast first.
Amelia Antrim 37:03
No we did we did one for iron atta to kind of not not a screen share. No,
Morgan Jenkins 37:09
no, not not to mention not a presentation that that is this well put oh my
Amelia Antrim 37:14
gosh, it has me infographics. This is beautiful, dear listeners so don't even know.
David Gunsberg 37:21
We can put this in the show notes. These are all Creative Commons images.
Unknown Speaker 37:23
Yeah, please. Oh, so
Amelia Antrim 37:26
you will know dear listeners.
Morgan Jenkins 37:28
And you will also know that I 100% helped put this together. I swear. Yeah. I was instrumental in what it is that we're learning
Amelia Antrim 37:38
is important. moral support.
David Gunsberg 37:42
Fantastic. The basic flow of the game is we start with
David Gunsberg 37:49
at the start of a scene, you accumulate to resource pools wonder and feelings. At the beginning of each scene, you get wonder and feelings and those are powered by you'll connect our connections to each other, and our connections to the community. And we use wonder and feelings to power, our hand game magic, and our skill checks respectively. When we do them, the core mechanic is, as my character is doing something, if you think that was beautiful or poetic, or kind or good, you just allocate me a dream. You go. That was, that was really cool. The thing you did for that child or adult was cool. I'm gonna give you a dream. So and then in between scenes, we spend those dreams to grow connections, which makes us more able to gain more wonder and more feelings and be more magical as the game goes on as we deal with this small challenge. So what might that look like connections might be how we know each other and how We feel about each other. But importantly, it's also how the NPCs feel about us. Our wonder is what we use to power our magic. And our feelings are what we use to enhance our animal, child and an adult.
Morgan Jenkins 39:18
And then there are a number of different connection types that are listed in the full core rulebook that we can get into later if you would like but they, they basically run the gamut from, they just they like you or they're affectionate towards you, all the way up to love or rivalry or family. And that just changes how they interact with you, and how many points you can put towards that relationship with them what they're then willing and able to do for you and what you can do for them.
David Gunsberg 39:53
So the wonder and feelings The best way to explain them is imagine they're the dice spots on the dice. We're not using this If you want to do a thing, the game master will say to you, so if you're using your magic, they will have a fixed cost, and you just pay that cost and it works. And if you want to do something adult, I might say, or the Game Master, the Goodman writer might say that's gonna need six points of adult, you just decide do I want to pass it that or do I want to not pass it that and if you do, you draw down on wonder and feelings as you require? And it just works. So that you if there's four people playing, and they're being really good and leaning into this mechanically, you can be earning lots of dreams, you've got huge piles, you're not worried about, Do I have enough magic to do this? Oh, you just thinking the thing.
Morgan Jenkins 40:47
And so again, in the in the central core tenant of the game, kindness begets kindness begets kindness begets kindness.
Amelia Antrim 40:55
It's like the opposite of an anxiety spiral.
David Gunsberg 40:57
Exactly. It is exactly that And, and if the dreams, create a mechanical want to pay attention to closely read what my, my fellows at the table are doing, because I want you to pay attention to me and give me dreams when I'm doing good things. And I'm going to do the same to you. And between scenes, we will, you know, will fill up connection boxes and decide whether the flavor of our connection with each other is still the same. And you can have arcs there. So you may have decided that one of the other hand gay is a rival of yours. And that by the end of the game, you might have decided, you know, I actually respect them. I'm not a rival anymore. We have we now feel respectful of one another. And then if you play it again, that might move from respect to like, very cool.
Ryan Boelter 41:49
I like that. And
David Gunsberg 41:50
yeah, so that's, that's the resource flow. I'm hoping that gave us enough audio. That makes sense to a listener. But the listener, you can check the PowerPoint slides afterwards. They are beautiful.
Ryan Boelter 42:05
They really they're very well done probably the most aesthetically pleasing PowerPoint slides I have ever witnessed. So
Amelia Antrim 42:12
I would agree honestly, I've seen a lot of PowerPoints. I watched a two hour PowerPoint presentation today. And it was not that nice.
Morgan Jenkins 42:20
If you didn't have two hands shaking from clipart in it.
Amelia Antrim 42:24
It did not have any clipart in it what it was, like all words, there was so many words,
Morgan Jenkins 42:31
we need to at least have a light bulb in there or something some terrible
Amelia Antrim 42:33
I know. Yeah, like a stickman pointing to a chart. Really?
Ryan Boelter 42:39
class. I don't know it's a PowerPoint presentation. If there's not a stick man pointing to a chart that is representative of our presentation.
Amelia Antrim 42:49
It's like it didn't even happen. It's like I wasted those two.
David Gunsberg 42:52
So that little resource flow. A less pretty version is what I give to people at cons Mm hmm. But I wanted to make it pretty for you guys. Because this is important to me. Thank you.
Amelia Antrim 43:03
Thank you. It was important to us to I feel like it did help me understand it, though. No, yeah, absolutely made me a lot more make it, it made it make a lot more sense. And especially
Morgan Jenkins 43:13
because they are. In this, you're gamifying a lot of concepts that you don't normally come across in terms of we very rarely would you take dreams or connections or feelings and friendships and turn them into resources in other games in quite the same way as this. And I find it I find it very fascinating and fun the way that they've taken all these concepts and said, okay, in a game where we're not running around and punching and stabbing and setting fire to villages, how do we help and how does that look mechanically and I think it's, it's certainly a system I've not come across before and I think it's great.
Amelia Antrim 43:55
I love the way it sort of continually grows on itself. I think that the mechanics of this game, I'm always fascinated when mechanics like, tell you what to do. And it's a thing that as I've started to do some game design, like I really like dabbling with and saying, like, okay, I want to get people to feel this way I want to get them to do this thing. How do I do that? And it feels like the mechanics of this one, just sort of that continue that sort of, like I said, that like kindness spiral. And, you know, I can see like, we don't look at kindness and compassion in that way. Like we don't make it a mechanical numerical property in real life, but I feel like learning to think about it in that way. I can see how you would take that with
David Gunsberg 44:46
you. And the mechanic is one of abundance. One of my favorite con experiences with this was there was a lovely grog nod gamer who was running the dungeon crawl classics table to over from it And then he came to play this with me. And we had a 19 year old exchange student, and like a early 20s software designer and this big burly grog nerd who decided to play a puppy because he thought, Oh, this will be some silly cutesy game. And there was this moment where he realized, wait, so I can give, I can give as many dreams as I want. And that's not going to break the game. And he he went from being this standoffish guy to literally, like panting and being a dog and cheering for this young woman who it was her first time playing a role playing game. She just come to watch and decided she was from Japan went well, I'll play this game. And he was cheering for her. And every time you could see that she was taking a step into role playing. He was like that was great and giving her another token and giving her another token, giving her another token. And
Morgan Jenkins 45:58
and again, because we're so used to it a
Amelia Antrim 46:01
podcast I've cried on it's very emotional. And I love stuff like that I love when games change you when they like make you think about life in a different way and behave a different way and like, just see the world in a whole new light.
David Gunsberg 46:19
Yeah, so this this one, you don't run out of kindness the Kinder we are to each other. And this is like, huge shout out to reach out who's one of the best of us. Oh, yeah, I want to play this game with him because this is a game that says kindness is is literally our strength in this game. Mm hmm. When we are kind to each other and we are kind to the people around us who need it. We literally become more ineffectively and only with small magical nudges powerful. Hmm, it's a soft, gentle powerfulness that I can't wait to see the characters we want to create. Let's Let's do that. I want to I have
Amelia Antrim 47:00
Rich how'd it like I know that you said that you can't break this game. But rich Howard could. Like he would find a way. He's like the most empathetic person here rich, the most empathetic person I have ever met. And he would ruin this game.
David Gunsberg 47:16
He will just break it because just everyone would just be so broken, the game wouldn't be broken. They would just be such giving rich Howard a kindness enhancing engine
David Gunsberg 47:30
that'd be like a positive weapon of mass destruction.
Amelia Antrim 47:35
The world can't handle like my like my human heart can't take that. There's not enough like there's just not enough room in there in my cold dead heart to
Unknown Speaker 47:46
shower which would give you enough room.
Amelia Antrim 47:49
I know that's the thing is like rich would like take his own heart and give you part of it. Like, right and we've all listened and then when rich listens to our podcast, he can cry. it's his turn to cry. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 48:01
and he does. He's lovely.
David Gunsberg 48:03
You are one of the best of us
Unknown Speaker 48:04
written. Let's make some people. Tiny, tiny hanging. Yeah. Let's make some people.
Ryan Boelter 48:13
Well, tiny headgear that can become people.
Unknown Speaker 48:15
David Gunsberg 48:16
Cuz then me and Amelia the fashion moment is coming so
Unknown Speaker 48:21
Amelia Antrim 48:23
Oh, oh, I didn't know that oh
Morgan Jenkins 48:26
yeah there's a fashion element and that's when we discovered that I do not have a sense of fashion and thought everything was great because
Amelia Antrim 48:34
where is the Pinterest board?
David Gunsberg 48:36
So once you've decided so when you're thinking about your hand guy kind of keep an eye forwards on the horizon of when I asked you when you transform into a human How does your hand guy aesthetic transform into being human? What vibe would you be rocking? So, okay, I love that in the outline it says Are there any specific roles you want to feel like tank or healer? No, there are no One of those, you're just gonna be mildly magical, caring fairy animal.
Ryan Boelter 49:05
Unknown Speaker 49:06
Although now you say that I kind of want a rabbit to tank.
David Gunsberg 49:10
Rabbit. Thank you. Yeah that they use saga Yojimbo of kindness,
Ryan Boelter 49:14
points pain points of animal and that's exactly
David Gunsberg 49:21
if we want to follow the character creation step. So I've got my little thing here. Let's see if I can share this with you.
Morgan Jenkins 49:30
I mean, this one's doing pretty. Do we close out and then open back up again is that? No Well, we'll just
Ryan Boelter 49:39
kind of where we cut it awesomesauce Yeah, we just keep going until it
Amelia Antrim 49:45
so I'm looking at Page Six, is that right?
David Gunsberg 49:48
It's about there that to go away. So when we got see this document, I
Ryan Boelter 49:52
could have used the word documents.
David Gunsberg 49:54
I said, this is what I'm going to step you through. So first thing is I want you to Close your eyes and I want you to imagine the camera kind of coming in over the ocean towards this tiny little village and is this it's morning time we're coming over a small fishing boat we can see a river leading up to a mountain. And there's an old two car electric train. It's just got a front and a back. And it's sitting at these tiny station. This is the early morning train that takes people to the big city, which is probably just a very small city. And there's like a small police station, a small fire station, a post office, three storeys school with some kids playing soccer the hit up sooner tigers are playing kick to kick out in the background. There's the sound of village life. And all over the place. There's like animals here and there. And these are our small little magical hang guy. And some of them are foxes. Some of them are raccoon dogs, the cat panda dog things, and then there's cats, dogs, rabbits and birds. Now, the fox spirit The one that is closest to the spirits, the Tanuki is the best shape changer. The cat is sort of whimsical and very cat focused. If you've got a cat, you know that cats the dog is the one that is the is able to be the closest to humans and interact with him the most easily. The rabbit is the friend maker, and the bird is the most sort of strange and fleeting and flighty. So the the core character choice you're going to make is, what is your animal for? And if you have a look either at the Quick Start or at the core rules, it will tell you a little bit about each. So everyone take a minute. Mm hmm.
Amelia Antrim 51:48
Well, there's four in the Quick Start in there, four of us.
David Gunsberg 51:50
Yeah, that's true. So we can do that.
Amelia Antrim 51:53
That's math. That's just math.
David Gunsberg 51:55
Yeah. So if we go with the Quickstart that means that our listeners can be seen spine that they can go straight from this to download the Quickstart and do this with for people they care about. Alright,
Amelia Antrim 52:06
Ryan's gonna be a cat. Yeah,
Ryan Boelter 52:07
you know me you're gonna be a dog.
Amelia Antrim 52:10
No, I was a fox. Yeah. What do we are we taking bets on this or why?
David Gunsberg 52:18
No, no, I like it's one of those things that I think about if I was to play this with these people, what do I think they would be? What do you think I would choose? And I'm very familiar would be an an awesome kid today and awesome Fox.
Unknown Speaker 52:33
Hmm. I feel like
Unknown Speaker 52:36
yeah, I feel like I would go for bird.
Ryan Boelter 52:39
See, I was thinking bird for you too, as well. Huh?
David Gunsberg 52:41
Okay, well, I will take dog.
Morgan Jenkins 52:44
Okay. Ryan, is that because you think I'm the furthest from humans while you're in Australia.
Unknown Speaker 52:50
That's pretty fun. Yeah. There are very few of us down here and lots of space. So,
David Gunsberg 52:57
so if you look down at your character sheet It will tell you a little bit about you. So for me as a dog, it says, dogs are the best at getting along with humans more than any other kind of hanger. They think like people, dogs can do all sorts of things, dogs special abilities for protecting people close to them. One of my special powers is about getting petted, which I which I love. And then comes comes with some bass powers. So my bass powers include doggy which costs me zero. I'm an I'm a dog, the kind people see everywhere, even when I'm in animal form, I don't surprise people who see me and they won't find my presence strange. I can stick close to people when I like someone, I can help them calm down, that costs me for. So if the person that we're interacting with is feeling a bit stressed, I can kind of go over to them and just be a good dog right next to them. And when I use that power, that character will receive feelings equal to the strength of my friendship. So I just tell them feel a bit better. petting cost six. And being petted makes me happy when someone's in the same scene as me, and states outright that they pit me. I gain extra feelings because I know I'm a good dog, dog and then that helps me grow my connections and grow my abilities or substitution when it looks like someone's in danger. I can be a brave dog and I can take their place This is amazing. I'm really choose some other powers later but yeah, I think I would be just some sort of scruff smart. A little scruff Mark maybe with like, one year that doesn't stand up properly.
Ryan Boelter 54:41
Yeah, I'm reading I'm reading my cat's powers. My base powers I've got kitty which is much like your dog. Doggy power where I'm just an ordinary cat. But then I've got fuzzy so I can like rub against people and make them feel better and peek into hearts. Which is a very cat like thing where you you can get an understanding of what someone's saying in their head. And then cat paths. I can enter a leave a scene when and where you want, regardless of whether it's already in progress. That's just amazing. I love these these powers that they have here.
Morgan Jenkins 55:21
They are so fantastic. And I love how with cat parts as well, you could have been across the other side of the town, and there's no real way that you should have been able to get there. But in much the same way that all libraries are connected in, in Terry Pratchett's world, and you can travel from unseen universities library to somewhere else using the power of the librarians. The cats can use the power of the cat pathways to just get from wherever they were to wherever they need to be as soon as they need.
Ryan Boelter 55:50
That's amazing. I love this.
Morgan Jenkins 55:52
Okay, so for bird in the core book, they have little bird wings when sorry. Gift of wings, rumors and down pillow. And the ones that came in the Quick Start where little bird where I'm just I'm an ordinary bird that anyone would say all the time. And then with wings, I can fly, which is pretty awesome. And and I can use that to run away or search for things and it helps me find stuff potentially, and it can last to the end of a scene. I also can use wind song and call on the power of the wind to blow How I wish. Which means if I needed to, for instance, blow a small lantern up into the air in a magical way. I could totally do that. Or make someone's newspaper fly towards someone else. And then they run into each other and fall in love. And then I also have gifted wings so I can make it so another hand gay or a human could fly. If the story so required for if I just felt like it.
Amelia Antrim 56:58
I feel like I The only one that doesn't have one that's just like be a fox.
Unknown Speaker 57:04
Unknown Speaker 57:06
so as you're more spiritual, right,
Amelia Antrim 57:07
well, yeah, I guess
Morgan Jenkins 57:08
foxes are already magical. They don't need to be a fox, because they can be a magic Fox.
Amelia Antrim 57:14
Well, I mean, who wouldn't want to be a magic? The Magic Fox? Ryan wouldn't
Ryan Boelter 57:18
I wouldn't have to be a magic Fox. Are you kidding me?
Amelia Antrim 57:24
So I have Oracle, where you can give people dreams. But you do have to completely describe the dream to the narrator. And if they find it to be contradictory, inconsistent, not the kind of dream that person would have doesn't do anything well. foxfire, which makes you have a ball of fire from the tip of your tail, but you can only use it at night. It says let's see here. For the rest of the scene. You can use it to make people who see it flee and fear or draw closer out of curiosity.
David Gunsberg 58:00
have visibility on each other in the bamboo grove. You can do that.
Amelia Antrim 58:04
Oh yeah. Nice. I haven't visibility which makes me invisible. And then fairy rain, which I really liked this one. Yeah, you can cause a light rain to fall in the immediate area. This rain will come down regardless of whether there are clouds and it can come day or night while in this rain hen gay can take human form at no cost. And they can use feelings for powers and wonder for checks. Wow, that's amazing. I just It's cute. It's cute, like like a sunny rain. I love when it like in the summer when you get that light rain. And I say like for sure you have the same weather as us. You have like the sunny, light rain but it's still bright outside. So good. Then you get rainbows.
David Gunsberg 58:47
It is my favorite power in the game. And I love that it's a peak power it like costs you 1212 wonder to make it happen. But to me that's kind of like the South Korean television.
David Gunsberg 59:01
We're gonna have a moment so we may as well have it whilst it's raining. Mm hmm. Because
Amelia Antrim 59:06
like isn't even a moment if it's not raining.
Morgan Jenkins 59:08
How do we even know it is? Uh huh. But the fact that it also it's not just about like providing this, this thematic element, it also gives you this change in powers and in the price of powers as well.
David Gunsberg 59:23
Hmm. And, and this is where we know we talked about mechanics supporting the game like none of these on their face, say, make the human do a thing. Make it like there's no taking control of anyone else. There's just I can help someone feel better. You can to Ryan so if that someone's feeling really nervous, we can help them feel good in that moment. If you know we all know they should smooth right now. If only it rained like that. The powers are kind of whimsical and slightly off center. I find it very much like these powers feel like a haiku. They sort of They're definitely poetic, but they use isn't obvious at the outset, but it becomes really rich when you use them in game.
Unknown Speaker 1:00:06
I like that. I really like this.
Amelia Antrim 1:00:11
Thank you for joining us for part one of this character creation series. We'll be back in part two picking up right where we left off.
Ryan Boelter 1:00:18
Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network and can be found online at www Character Creation Cast calm, 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 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 Antrim can be found on twitter at ginger recommend. 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 remixed 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 review 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. I 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 1:02:04
Now we got to read some show blurbs show blurbs
Unknown Speaker 1:02:07
show show bad
Unknown Speaker 1:02:09
Ryan Boelter 1:02:12
Character Creation Cast is hosted by the one shot Podcast Network. If you enjoyed our show, visit one shot podcast comm where you will find other great shows like a woman with hollow eyes.
Amelia Antrim 1:02:23
A woman with hollow eyes as a podcast adaptation of one shots livestream dramatic, invisible sun actual play, discover a world of magic secrets and supernatural civic disputes in our unique take on Saturn. In the first season, James d'amato cool and SNL writer Alan linic are LED on a mind bending adventure by GM Darcy Ross. Even if you already saw the streams, you want to listen to this podcast for the incredible soundtrack, composed and edited by wil Leventhal get it by searching for a woman with hollow eyes or Darcy Ross on iTunes Google Play or your favorite podcast app.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai