Character Creation Cast

Series 26.1 - Genesys and Skyjacks with James D’Amato (Creation)

Episode Summary

We’re very excited to welcome you to the beginning of series 26! This series we welcome our very own network president, James D’Amato, to learn about Genesys, a setting neutral RPG by Fantasy Flight Games, as well as begin creating characters in the Campaign Skyjacks world of Speir!

Episode Notes

We’re very excited to welcome you to the beginning of series 26! This series we welcome our very own network president, James D’Amato, to learn about Genesys, a setting neutral RPG by Fantasy Flight Games, as well as begin creating characters in the Campaign Skyjacks world of Speir!


Leave us reviews in any, or all, of these places:

Character Creation Cast on Apple Podcasts (The best place to leave reviews for us)

Character Creation Cast on Podchaser

Character Creation Cast on Stitcher

Character Creation Cast on Facebook

Guests and Projects: 

James D’Amato @OneShotRPG

Campaign @CampaignPod

The Ultimate Micro RPG Book

Games discussed this episode:





Our Podcast:

Character Creation Cast:

Amelia Antrim:

Ryan Boelter:

Our Website:

Our Network:

Network Patreon:

Episode Transcription

Transcripts Automatically Generated - Not 100% Accurate

Amelia Antrim  0:00  

Welcome to series 26. We know it's a little bit late but we are really excited about this one. First though, you have to wait a little bit longer cuz announcements.


Ryan Boelter  0:11  

Mm hmm. For some reason, we're going to be plugging couriers call, um, that is going to be a doing a Kickstarter to fund their production. If you love campaign. If you'd love campaigns, Gygax, or just stories of adventure for all ages, definitely look out for that because it's going to be kicked hurting very, very soon. And we will be tweeting a link out to that once it is live.


Amelia Antrim  0:38  

It's such a great show. It's I mean, I can't say enough good things about it. My kids love it. I enjoy it. And you know, as many parents know, you can't necessarily say that you enjoy all of the things that your kids are into, but if you get your kids into this one, you won't regret it.


Ryan Boelter  0:54  

Absolutely. And can I just say that the the energy of Aaron continence He is oh my god we the best the best energy in podcasting,


Amelia Antrim  1:05  

such a good energy. It's so I mean like you just I just smile like so big when I'm listening to it like it's just enjoyable. It's wholesome. It's sweet. It's Uh huh, energetic. It's, it's good. It's good. Yeah. Do yourself a favor. There's only like five episodes out right now. So you're not that far behind. Do it. Yeah, that


Ryan Boelter  1:25  

that show is just amazing. Get get into it if you haven't.


Amelia Antrim  1:28  

Yes, absolutely. Speaking of things that we love, as always, we love getting reviews from you. So we do ask that you take a moment to review us on Apple podcasts or a pod catcher of your choice. And we will read it out like this one from Michael D in Germany on iTunes. It is titled, inspiring and entertaining. On the one hand Character Creation Cast has a very entertaining show that has introduced me to several gate games. Amelia and Ryan are delightful hosts who are really good at creating compelling characters. On the other hand, this podcast has been the most useful source for me to improve my skills as a player and GM, especially the episodes on session zero safety tools, or how to use other games within one within one's campaign did increase the quality and fun I had at the table. Well, thank you, Michael. That was really nice. I'm really glad that we're helping.


Ryan Boelter  2:21  

Yeah. One other side note I wanted to say is right now pod chaser is doing a drive for every review and every creator reply to review. They are donating 25 cents to Meals on Wheels. Oh, so if you go ahead and yeah, so if you go ahead and leave some reviews for podcasts, which is ours. You can create some money for some charity. And that's pretty cool.


Amelia Antrim  2:51  

All you have to do is tell us how great we are.


Ryan Boelter  2:54  

Yeah, exactly. Um, you can actually go to pod chaser, Character Creation, Cast calm and that'll actually take you right to our page. And from there you could you could search for your favorite podcast so leave some good reviews and help some people


Amelia Antrim  3:08  

and make some podcast hosts feel really good. Haha just bring some joy into lives in general


Ryan Boelter  3:13  

help people emotionally Yeah. and nourish them. It's all good.


Amelia Antrim  3:18  

Just put put good energy out into the world we need that. Absolutely more Ryan energy in the world right now.


Unknown Speaker  3:27  

I agree.


Amelia Antrim  3:28  

Well with all of that out of the way, here's the episode.


Ryan Boelter  3:32  



Amelia Antrim  4:07  

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, Amelia, and this episode my co host Ryan and I are thrilled to welcome back James d'amato of the one shot and campaign podcast to discuss in Genesis a setting neutral game from Fantasy Flight games and about his own setting for it the world of sphere.


Ryan Boelter  4:31  

You're welcome to Character Creation Cast James, we're really excited you could join us again.


James D'Amato  4:36  

Thank you so much for having me. This is I believe the first time I'm on Character Creation Cast it


Amelia Antrim  4:42  

really technically Yes,


James D'Amato  4:44  

I got on character evolution cast which you'll get just anybody on.


Unknown Speaker  4:50  

But I had to really pay my dues. I really


James D'Amato  4:54  



Ryan Boelter  4:56  

We can't beat our first one.


Amelia Antrim  4:59  

Now we did a great job. With that one what


James D'Amato  5:00  

a good episode. That was a very fun episode, which has me looking forward to what we're going to accomplish together today.


Amelia Antrim  5:10  

I'm excited about this. Let's start by introducing you to our audience in case they didn't listen to that episode, which case they should blame them for that. James, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and the projects you're currently involved in? So we'll This is like a three hour it's gonna break down into three episodes. Yes. So


James D'Amato  5:30  

the first one is my bugs. The first one is just my bugs. Great. Great, Gregor. Great I'm really gonna make you regret that.


James D'Amato  5:38  

First up, Hi. I am James d'amato, I should say hello heroes, because I am the president of the one shot Podcast Network, a network that you should be familiar with because you're currently listening to a one shot branded podcast right now. For the past oh seven I think it's six and change years, I have been the host of the one shot podcast, a show where we play as many different role playing games as possible. We will record a game in a brand new system with a new cast of players release what we recorded as our long episodes. And, you know, just tear through as many different games as possible to discover the wide wild world of RPGs. We have featured at this point over 100 games. And we've just done some really cool stuff that I'm very proud of. I also happen to run the campaign podcast, a podcast that is dedicated to long form role playing. So that is a sustained narrative rather than one shot which does short stories campaign does long stories and what we're about to play or the characters that We're about to build our from the setting that we use in the campaign podcast. Other things that I'm working on. Oh, you're really gonna regret. I have recently set up pre orders for my newest publishing project, a book that is a anthology of micro role playing games. So games that are less than two pages, they're between 805 hundred words. I've collected 40 different game designers to create 40 different small games that we're presenting in a book published by atoms media, which is an imprint of Simon and Schuster. So this anthology is going to be available wherever books are sold, including big bookstores like Barnes and Noble, assuming bookstores are a thing in the foreseeable future, which is, you know, But you can find it on just about any online retailer you could set your heart on, you'll be able to find that by heading to slash ultimate micro RPG. That'll bring up a list of all the different vendors that you could preorder that book. The next thing is upcoming on the one shot network. I will soon be producing a new show, where I'll also be hosting that is set in the world of tema rant from The kingkiller Chronicles and one thing that makes this very exciting is doing that with me is Patrick Rothfuss, the author of The kingkiller Chronicles so if you're like me and you desperately desperately love Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear, but wish there were more stories from tamarin to read, I've got good news by the end of this At least, you're going to be getting new stories from temperate every other week. And that'll be on the one shot Podcast Network. So look out for that. We don't know what the title of that is going to be yet, but it's going to be a good show. I can guarantee that. I'm sure I have other things, but I can already hear Ryan and Amelia sweating. I can hear the sweat.


Amelia Antrim  9:24  

No, I'm thinking okay, so now when are you going to come back on our show and do that game?


James D'Amato  9:29  

Well, yeah, I mean, we're designing the game for that. I can tell you right now we are in the middle of designing that game. So you know, probably when we're further along in that process.


Amelia Antrim  9:42  

Well, you know where to find us.


Unknown Speaker  9:45  

We're easy to get ahold of


James D'Amato  9:48  

that better stay true. Oh,


Amelia Antrim  9:51  

no, I guess boss.


Ryan Boelter  9:54  

I'm suddenly nervous for some reason.


Unknown Speaker  9:58  

This, this could be your quarterly review


James D'Amato  10:02  

a few times there. It's very rare in a podcast situation where you have a guest on your show and it can turn into a quarterly review. But you know, that could happen at any time.


Amelia Antrim  10:13  

Well, I just want to know, like at the end, like, Is there an official rubric that you're grading us on? Because I like letter grades A through F? Oh, sure. Sure, sure. If I could have it in that,


James D'Amato  10:23  

I can assure you that there is a rubric.


Amelia Antrim  10:25  

Okay, that's all I need to know. I just need to know that there are standards. Yes. I mean, we're on this network. So but


Ryan Boelter  10:42  

I don't endorse Emilio's viewpoint on this.


James D'Amato  10:46  

Ryan gets an F for not supporting


James D'Amato  10:50  

that we're just playing now at this point.


James D'Amato  10:56  

We should probably make some characters just yeah, said the name of the show. Absolutely.


Ryan Boelter  11:00  

Well let's go ahead and get into this and let's first start by discussing what this game is all about.


Unknown Speaker  11:06  

What's in a game? Okay,


James D'Amato  11:10  

so the I mean, do we want to talk about the game or do we want to talk about the setting because yes talk


Ryan Boelter  11:15  

a bit about Genesis first. Let's let's talk about what what is Genesis all about?


James D'Amato  11:22  

So Genesis is actually stands for generic system, spelled G and e. s. Why is so different than the way probably most people would spell that word? It is the Fantasy Flight games generic system. So it is based on fantasy flights, Star Wars narrative system. That's where it started. But there's a version of it for L five R. And there is Genesis which the core rulebook covers a lot have different settings that are proprietary IP to Fantasy Flight games. I will point out at the top of this before we start talking about the merits of this system, the team that designed this system is a very good team. I really like where this game ended up. I think there are a lot of really cool ideas in it. Fantasy Flight did fire the team that designed this wonderful system, because they are currently owned by Asma D, which is a private equity firm that buys game companies, fires staph and sells them off or, you know, the shoe has dropped on them selling properties off yet, but it kind of feels like that's what their mo is. Because that's most private equity firms. So


Amelia Antrim  12:49  

yeah, as someone who follows f5 are very closely not pleased about what's going on over a Fantasy Flight. Mm hmm.


James D'Amato  12:56  

Yeah. So that that is deeply unfortunate and you know, The thing that we kind of have to acknowledge as we go forward and talking about this Fantasy Flight product is, I'm really, really not happy with the people who are currently profiting off of it, because the people who worked really hard to make it are not seeing that profit. That said, Genesis also has the Genesis foundry, which is kind of a community managed content creation thing. And many of the people who designed the Genesis system, do still post things on Genesis foundry. So you can if you want to support Genesis content, you can go directly support the employees that, you know, really made this game. People that actually did the work. Yeah, exactly. So with all that out of the way, the way the system works, it uses polyhedral dice that are six sided, eight sided and 12 sided, they are in different colors. And basically, you assess every like, thing that you would do in the system, whether it's a combat check, whether it's a skill check whether it is a piece of social combat, you assess the difficulty of the role and you compare it to your core abilities and skills and that determines the dice pool that you create. So, if you are doing something that is of average difficult average difficulty, that would be two purple colored negative dice which are eight sided, and they have results on them ranging from blank sides not really affecting the role whatsoever to providing a symbol that means a failure or a symbol that means a threat. So a failure is straight up tells you whether you succeed or fail at the thing that you were trying to do. But Fantasy Flight has this non binary result system with threats and failure are threats and advantages, which create sort of external phenomena that could either benefit or threaten the character who's involved in the role. For instance, if you're just trying to punch a guy, let's say your role successfully on your attempt to punch a guy, you can hit them. But if you roll threats, the act of punching that guy puts you in a threatening position. So, you know, we could say that, yes, you managed to hit your target, but your role to threats so a cop that is nearby saw you do that. So suddenly, even though you actually succeeded at what you were trying to do, the situation has become more interesting and complicated. That can also work for the reverse. You can fail at doing something but still get some benefits out of it. Let's say you were trying to climb a tree. You might fail to actually climb this tree but you shake loose some coconuts in your attempt. So you know, you roll a failure, that failure says that you're not climbing that tree but the advantage that you roll accompanying that says a coconut falls loose. So, you know, now you have a coconut so good for you.


Amelia Antrim  16:21  

Just what you always wanted.


James D'Amato  16:22  

There are also when you're particularly skilled or facing particularly challenging threats, there are upgraded dice that are 12 sided. The good ones have more symbols that benefit you, the bad ones have more symbols that will impede you. And each one of them has a special symbol, triumphs and despairs, which unlike successes and failures which cancel each other out triumphs and despairs if you roll them, they are always counted. So you can and that's essentially the critical success of this system. So you can very well end up in a situation Where you critic you have a critically good thing happen and critically bad thing happen and still succeed or fail, which means that the actions that you perform in the system can be remarkably complicated and rewarding to kind of interpret it takes a little bit of getting used to especially if you're used to a binary results system like Dungeons and Dragons. But once you get the hang of it, it's really freeing and it makes the dice rolling effect play in a way that that's just more satisfying in my opinion.


Amelia Antrim  17:36  

Yeah, I love the the mixture that you get of advantages and disadvantages and triumphs and threats and like it, it really adds a lot of color to the role playing that you're doing instead of just Yes, I did it. No, I didn't. Yes, I did it but no, but I think it adds a lot of options for adding like almost your own like color commentary to the situation.


James D'Amato  17:59  

You And I will say, there are points where it can be exhausting, you know, where you really just wanted to roll something to see if you succeeded or failed and like, what popped up was like three threats and you're like, I don't know, man, I was doing a perception check. Leave me alone.


Amelia Antrim  18:16  

I'll save them for the next turn, I guess.


James D'Amato  18:18  

Yeah, there is a mechanical system at work underneath that, where we'll learn about various derived stats and whatnot in the system. And you can use those results to really just interact with the game mechanically rather than story wise, typically, on campaign, we're not as concerned with that, just because the play style of many of my players like they care more about what's happening in the story than they do the rules of the game, which is fine. That varies. But I'd say overall, it is a really interesting system, especially if you like that narrative forward. Play, just because the randomization in the system is actually really robust, actually really robust and actually really very interesting.


Ryan Boelter  19:11  

I think that's the first time I've ever understood how the dice work in that system. Oh, really?


Amelia Antrim  19:19  

Did a whole Star Wars Episode?


Ryan Boelter  19:21  

Oh, trust me. I know. I mean, have you gotten a


James D'Amato  19:23  

chance to play?


Ryan Boelter  19:25  

I have not actually.


James D'Amato  19:26  

Yeah. I mean, that's probably the culprit is I the complaints that I've heard leveled levied against this system from, you know, people who haven't played it or only played at once is that the learning curve is pretty steep. It takes a while for those symbols to become second nature to you. It's not intuitive in the way numbers are intuitive, because we've been learning how to do basic arithmetic since we were very young. But once you learn those symbols, and they become such second nature to you It really opens up a lot of possibilities. And I actually prefer the symbol based play to number play. Just because I can grok you know, symbols cancelling out a lot faster than I can do most basic arithmetic. So


Amelia Antrim  20:19  

I think it's easier to just be like this is successful This is not versus this is a 10 out of 12 successful well what does that mean?


James D'Amato  20:27  

And sometimes in some systems like DND, it kind of means nothing and in some systems, it means a lot. And you know, you'll it's very difficult to determine which situations you're in and some people rule house rule that from table to table as well, which can make things more confusing. I generally speaking, I really like this system and the way it works. There's a lot of rich mechanical fiddly stuff that you can get into especially as you get To talents and things like that. But that doesn't stop you from playing. If you don't understand that you can still play this and have a good time. And if you do understand that you can really dig into it and enjoy yourself. It's one of those games that really tries to straddle a very difficult parallel from the people who really like story based play and the people who really like deep mechanical power gaming stuff. Mm hmm.


Ryan Boelter  21:31  

Yeah, I can see that. So now Genesis is a, you know, the genre neutral, like sort of thing where you can kind of create your own worlds and settings and stuff in there, right? Yes. So part of playing the game. It sounds like you can piece together your own or jump into someone that already exists or one that somebody else had already made it specifically For a specific study like you, like you did with spear, right?


James D'Amato  22:03  

Yes, absolutely. So this is being a generic system, I have to imagine your audience is at least a little bit familiar with generic systems. But it tries to give you enough basic rules with the serial numbers filed off that you can fit it into almost any box. And whether that's I want to, you know, play in a pre existing IP that I'm a really big fan of like, there are people who you know, back when it was just the Star Wars game hacked it to create Mass Effect. So if you're a Mass Effect fan, you could easily take the Genesis core system and fill in the gaps to make your own Mass Effect system. You can also use like the realms of Terra north, which is like a big FFG property, the setting for Twilight Imperium, which is another big FFG game. That is Included in the Genesis core book. So if you're a big Twilight Imperium nerd and you want to play that lion that's on the front of the box or whatever that is, you can do it, you can do it and the system is designed for you to do that and to make that process easier. And that's one of the reasons that we selected this system for campaign and what we were doing with sphere.


Amelia Antrim  23:26  

So do you want to tell us a little bit about sphere what that is for people who are idiots? Maybe not listen?


James D'Amato  23:33  

I won't go that far. I will say are you impoverishing yourself by not listening to the show? Obviously, obviously, but you know, to each their own, I'm almost there.


James D'Amato  23:46  

I almost started listening. I mean,


Ryan Boelter  23:51  

yeah, I was I was kind of intimidated by like, how amazing it was that I wasn't in the right mind space to like devote my attention to it. But now But now


James D'Amato  24:01  

what could you possibly devote your mind? Exactly?


Ryan Boelter  24:03  

So I'm actually going to be finishing up couriers call and then diving into campaign right after that. Very cool.


James D'Amato  24:13  

Yeah, so sphere for those that don't know, is a setting that we designed based on the music of the Decemberists and the board game that the Decemberists made in collaboration with Keith Baker. lm at is, like I another way that I kind of elevator pitch it. It's like sort of a magical Treasure Island meets at least the core story is a magical Treasure Island meets Weekend at Bernie's. The camp,


Amelia Antrim  24:47  

Muppet Treasure Island.


Ryan Boelter  24:48  



James D'Amato  24:51  

It takes itself a little bit more seriously than that. So the core campaign is about a group of sky pirates who are on The edge of society running from the red feather syndicate, which is a kind of Elizabeth in era mega corporation that controls all of the ability to fly in the world unless you managed to steal your own ship. And so they're already in kind of hot water, because they're opposing the major world power. But also, the core cast of characters is covering up a terrible secret on the ship, which is the captain is dead. And they are using necromancy to pretend that he is still alive, so that they can keep sailing the ship without a mutiny taking place are some really destabilizing forces making themselves known? So that is where we start in campaign.


Amelia Antrim  25:54  

The Ryan has just understood why I'm into this show now.


James D'Amato  25:58  

This setting is There are flying ships, there are giant birds that people can ride. It is a post calamity setting. So it's not quite post apocalyptic an event happened that pretty much destroyed most of the world, and certainly most of the organized nations of the world. And what remains are groups that have popped up in cities and towns that are now disconnected from each other on a national level. So there are lots of isolated pockets of humanity around the world that cannot get in contact because the seas are incredibly dangerous to travel. They're full of monsters and terrible storms. The seasons don't flow in order anymore. It might be winter for a week, and then autumn and then summer and then fall for two months. It's wild and out of control and people are struggling to survive. Someone discovered the technology to make a substance called feather weave that when exposed to heat, will become lighter than air and also attempt to move away from that heat. So people have used this to build sky ships. And the world is kind of starting to rediscover itself. But there are no formal nations. There's just this mega corporation that manufactures feather weave and kind of people who are dealing with the fact that this company is taking over the world. And so that's the general gist of the setting.


Amelia Antrim  27:41  

Normally at this part, we ask what kind of things you need to play the game, and we've already covered it a little bit that Fantasy Flight has their patented weird dice. So you do need those to play this game. You generally need a copy of the core book. Um, that's really it. Yeah, there's a There are two supplements for this book. There's the realms of tearing off. And then there's the Android one.


James D'Amato  28:07  

NET runner,


Amelia Antrim  28:09  

something with Bienstock. I have it on my show,


Ryan Boelter  28:11  

but I can still


Amelia Antrim  28:12  

shut off the beans.


James D'Amato  28:13  

Like it is, I think, based on that runner, so like, yeah,


Amelia Antrim  28:16  

yeah. So I have that one too, I should be able to name it. But you have sort of the starts of settings if you want to go and play around in those two,


James D'Amato  28:27  

unfortunately, is back information currently available to play in sphere beyond what we released on the podcast. So if you're really hankering for some skydeck stuff, listen to the podcast. And you can kind of meander through it on your own. We do hope to create either a bespoke role playing game or a World Book at some point, but for right now, it's we're keeping those cards close to our chest.


Ryan Boelter  28:54  

Mm hmm. So what kind of stories and themes then are we looking to explore? In in this world,


James D'Amato  29:02  

so if you don't know December's music, it is kind of melancholic, I will say, and a lot of it is based on classic folk tales. one of their most popular albums is the crane wife, which is based on the Japanese folktale of a man who takes kindness on a wounded crane. And then the next day, a beautiful woman arrives on his doorstep to marry him. They live happily together, but they're poor. So he asks his wife to weave and she creates a beautiful, beautiful fabric. And he gets kind of selfish and makes her weave more and it slowly makes her health deteriorate until he discovers that she is a crane, and that she has been harming herself in order to make this fabric and she flies away. So there are Are all sorts of different folktales that get pulled into December as music. There are some based on just classic folk music. There are some based on other sort of mythology and folk tales and the latest album. They took result, which I think are Ukrainian, sort of river spirits that tempt people into the water and then drown them. There's a lot of music in December's discography about sad sailors living difficult lives. So we took that, and we mashed it up with classic adventure fiction. And by that I mean Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. We tried to capture what is the exciting essence of Treasure Island and how do we make it work with what we've pulled from the Decemberists. So, the world itself is kind of bleak and melancholic in places and desperate, but you are people on an adventure. And that adventure is going to lead you to wild discoveries and thrilling tense moments and things like that, in many ways. Treasure Island is the core of what role playing is. back before we had Tolkien. Like the first real adventure story about people go into get treasure is Treasure Island baby. And so that that's, that's what it is. And right now for skydeck particularly, we are talking about corsairs people who own and operate sky ships outside the convenience of the red feather syndicate. So, those are the general heroes of the setting though if you're a listener to Sky Tech's couriers call, you know that the swift world courier service is a privateer outfit, meaning They are legal owners of their pirate ships in the law in the eyes of the red feather syndicate, but they operate outside the syndicate and independent of them. So, a lot of it is about people who travel on Sky ships.


Ryan Boelter  32:17  

It makes a lot of sense.


Amelia Antrim  32:18  

We've talked a little bit about the things that inspired you in making the setting but what inspired you to make it to begin with why was this the world that you wanted to build?


James D'Amato  32:31  

Oh, well, I guess to eat and live is a big one. That's like a kind of a


Amelia Antrim  32:37  

true artist inspiration.


James D'Amato  32:38  

I mean, the bind the scenes thing is that Star Wars campaign wrapped up and everybody who was involved in Star Wars campaign who was not cat wanted to keep the show going, mainly because it was a big thing for us. You know, we love that game. Just as as players and we liked each other. We loved each other as friends, you know, we wanted to keep playing together. And so we had to come up with something that we thought would be interesting to play together. And the idea that Johnny and JPC came up with together when they thought Star Wars campaign might wrap up, and there might not be anything to replace it. They were like sky pirates. That's the idea. And so, when we eventually talked to each other about it, Sky pirates sort of became like, Well, my real connection to pirates is the Decemberists. I think of a lot of nautical stuff is tied up in their music. And that is like a very primal connection that I have to ideas of maritime nautical stories. So we just sort of went forward from there.


Ryan Boelter  33:58  

That's awesome. So before we dive into character creation, what are some of the basic terms and concepts from Genesis that we're going to need to know? In order to actually create the characters?


James D'Amato  34:12  

Of course. So, from Genesis, things that you need to understand are, let me pull up. There we go. You need to know your attributes, your characteristics and your skills. Those are the big core things. There are also weapons which I'd say the least important and talents, which are, you know, the next most important thing after skills, so your attributes are actually derived, so we'll ignore those and actually, you know, forget it. I'm starting in the wrong order. The real thing that we need to think about before all of this is archetypes. archetypes can be what Other systems would call species or race. But it's also kind of like your general way of being. So your archetype could be something like elf or dwarf, or it could be intellectual. Or let me pull up some of the other archetypes that there are in the world, Cyborg clone, cat folk. So, there are a lot of different archetypes that you could choose from and that gives us some of the base characteristics for your character. It will determine how many build points you have when you're making your character


Ryan Boelter  35:46  



James D'Amato  35:48  

So the things that the I'm not sure it'll be helpful for you to go into your career before We finished talking about archetypes. So let's talk about character general character concepts that Ryan and Amelia have. Were there any ideas that you were bringing into this any things that you desire to play? Before you even really get to talking about mechanics?


Ryan Boelter  36:20  

we're diving right into let's create some people.


Unknown Speaker  36:23  

Let's make some people. Let's make some people. So, Ryan Yeah. Do you have any ideas of what you want to do?


Ryan Boelter  36:31  

I didn't really have


Amelia Antrim  36:32  

the most like wide open here.


Ryan Boelter  36:34  

Yeah, I have like a complete blank slate when it comes to Sky jacks and anything in the world of a sphere.


James D'Amato  36:46  

Excellent. Well, we, thankfully because we are playing and sphere have a way of dealing with that. One of the aspects that we have introduced to the system that does not really exist within the system basically, is the luminaries. Which in element the luminaries are these Taro sized cards that introduce wild new game mechanics to the game as you play it. In the world of sphere, I sort of created Tarot meanings for the luminaries so that we could do neat, interpretive, like ideas while we were playing. So, if you have absolutely no idea what kind of character you want to do, I can do a sailor's reading for you. Basically, we'll ask you a couple questions, I will draw a luminary for you. And that will will mine the information from that to help make your character?


Ryan Boelter  37:47  

Yeah, let's go ahead and do that. That sounds fun. I'll do that.


Amelia Antrim  37:51  

We love making things randomly.


Ryan Boelter  37:53  

Yeah, I do. I love it. Um, I had some I looked at the list of available Ark types here. And there were a lot Little too many that I was interested in. So.


James D'Amato  38:04  

Okay, so then our first question for you, Ryan is do you want? We're going to find out two things about your character. And the you get to choose which things we learn. Do you want to know about your character's internal truth sort of what they think about themselves, or their external truth? Sort of what the world thinks about them?


Ryan Boelter  38:29  

Let's go with a external,


James D'Amato  38:33  

external. Okay, and do you want to know about this characters past or this character's future?


Ryan Boelter  38:40  

I want to learn about this character's past. Okay,


James D'Amato  38:45  

so external, I pulled for you the river.


Ryan Boelter  38:51  

Hmm. That's very fitting.


James D'Amato  38:54  

So the themes for the river are destruction, challenge and separation. Rivers rushing current can overwhelm the weak and strong like flowing water can carve away mountains and where stones to dust. The river can swell to a torrent capable of swallowing all things. It divides us from the rewards that we seek. The divination for this is, the river is unmistakably dangerous. However, the river is ultimately a barrier, something that separates one bank from another at great risk, it can be crossed and an equally great reward can be claimed. Some say this makes the river wicked it calls out promising fortune and grace only to drag souls down. However, heroes are baptized in the strife of the current and those who braved the turn emerge to find glory. So that's one part of it. And that is an external thing that the world thinks of you before we answer that I think finding out your past might be illuminating some the Children. Ooh,


Unknown Speaker  40:02  

that's okay.


James D'Amato  40:04  

The children consequence inevitability, eternity the alternate name for this card is the angels, the children watch and see things you might not even notice. All they although they are not strong now, they will one day be they will one day judge you for what they have seen, they represent a coming world that you do not control and one that cannot be stopped, the power of the children might not suggest immediate action, but they are a promise that deeds both good and bad will be answered. The definition for this is nothing was unobserved a reckoning is coming. So, I kind of think, to me, this means your character would be bringing a reckoning. Yeah, you had the children in your past. And there is like this sense of in depth For around you, I think you might be someone who was wronged in the past and did not have power to fix it, but it's sort of coming into their own power now. And everybody around you is kind of expecting you to go off and do something


Ryan Boelter  41:17  

like that.


James D'Amato  41:18  

I like that a lot. So based on that, is there an archetype that we could fit you into?


Ryan Boelter  41:23  

Oh, let's see. So, there there's a lot of really good ones in here like animalistic alien. That's pretty sweet.


Unknown Speaker  41:32  

Yes. Perhaps setting appropriate,


Ryan Boelter  41:36  

setting appropriately, probably a lot better. Um, so like, what what sort of archetypes are we are we looking at here in the world sphere.


James D'Amato  41:49  

So most of the archetypes that you will have access to and spear unfortunately the Genesis Emporium does not allow me to create To my custom setting yet I think that's something that they wanted to do but just never got around to it. Yeah. Things that are human things like okay segars intellectuals Okay, let's see


Ryan Boelter  42:21  

would cyanic count


James D'Amato  42:24  

no no there is no there's no psyonix and care as of yet. If you want to play something non human the non human options that we have are fallen and changelings. So fallen are angels that have fallen to Earth their wings have been removed and they have lost most of their angelic power.


Ryan Boelter  42:49  

Okay, I'm going to be a fallen


Unknown Speaker  42:51  

Okay, cool. Done.


Ryan Boelter  42:53  

Yeah, that's that's lined up very well with Yeah, those curves there. Yeah.


James D'Amato  43:00  

Literally, angels being in your past? Absolutely. Oh, let's turn to Amelia before we move on Emilia, do you have a concept or do you want a reading?


Amelia Antrim  43:12  

I want to do a reading. This is fun.


James D'Amato  43:14  

Okay. So same questions to you. Internal truth versus external truth and past versus future.


Amelia Antrim  43:20  

I'm going to just pick the opposite of Ryan. So I'm going to go internal and future


Ryan Boelter  43:24  

likes. Okay. And you get to create a character to James if you want.


James D'Amato  43:29  

Oh, that's right. Yeah. Well, I will have to do that. All right. I've got a character concept kind of. So first up, oh, your internal truth is the rake. Emilia. Whoo.


Unknown Speaker  43:43  

What does it mean? You're probably


James D'Amato  43:45  

not a good person.


Amelia Antrim  43:47  

All right, correct.


James D'Amato  43:51  

So the rake, alternate name for this one is the wolf greed, appetite to cruelty and resentment. The rake is ruled by appetite and the desire to pursue it, he is willing to do unspeakable things to see his desires fulfilled. While he can temporarily be played, be placated, he will eventually always want more. He is treated by others as a normal person, but it is a facade that conceals his beastial nature. He can be depended upon to pursue desire but never trusted. The rake almost always suggests danger. While desire is natural, the rake makes it dark, something basis being pursued relentlessly at the expense of other things. This is the sort of desire that hurts people and destroys beauty.


Ryan Boelter  44:42  

So I'm here for


James D'Amato  44:45  

that's find out what your future holds. Oh, holy cow wild. Okay, uh, this is interesting. This turned from like a sort of Dread Pirate situations to perhaps Perhaps a romantic comedy situation. But as you pulled the Union, the union of the alternate name being the communion, fulfillment, harmony, wholeness and love. The Union binds people and things together this luminary draws separate things into a stronger whole capable of grade of things greater than the sum of its parts. It can only act where there is desire, cooperation and existing bonds. magicians all respect love as an as an incredibly powerful force, and the union is an expression of loves power. That friends, family and lovers are never stronger than when they are in the light of the Union. The Union favors harmony, where there is a bond the union grants strength, this power can be stretched beyond any distance or barrier. souls in the Thrall of the Union can find strength even if they are separated by death. However, The bond must be true without selfishness or cynicism in order for this power to work.


Unknown Speaker  46:06  



Amelia Antrim  46:07  

Okay, so you know what movie I just watched recently? What's that The Princess Bride?


Unknown Speaker  46:12  

Hey, yes, yes, you


Amelia Antrim  46:14  

know, I'm getting very much of a Dread Pirate Roberts situation. Uh huh.


Ryan Boelter  46:17  

interest we just making the Princess Bride right now.


Amelia Antrim  46:22  

Yes, we are.


James D'Amato  46:26  

I don't quite know where the avenging Angel fits into it but who knows? Well, that's just


Amelia Antrim  46:34  

Well, it's not Oh, yeah.


James D'Amato  46:37  

Yeah, yeah, that is. That is exactly the case. I stand corrected. Okay.


Amelia Antrim  46:42  

Look, look, we're gonna ruin your game. Are you excited?


James D'Amato  46:45  



Amelia Antrim  46:48  

Well, yeah, no, we can't do any worse than Johnny's shot. Yeah,


Unknown Speaker  46:51  

Travis werewolf.


James D'Amato  46:55  

Okay, so I will draw for me. I'm just sort of randomly going to place these cards I don't know if I'm learning about the past or future, internal or external. So it looks like I'm learning an external truth and my future. So external is the audience, which is an interesting card to pull. me find it here we go. The audience, also known as the spectators, action, drama and suspense, the audience observes and judges all things. This is not a passive observation simply by observing the audience changes events, those under the auspices of the audience, blend myth and reality. real events turn into stories and songs. When people do or say things that seem larger than life. There is a chance that the audience is trying to that they are trying to satisfy the audience. Everything is about to become a bit unbelievable. That People and world around you will seem like players on a stage and may even fold you into the show. So that's an external truth for me. So people kind of see my character as a larger than life mythic figure, which is really interesting.


Ryan Boelter  48:20  

I'm going to Andre the Giant. Yeah.


James D'Amato  48:24  

I think we're sort of really rubbing against the limits of what could possibly be a Princess Bride narrative here. The other card that I pulled is the newborn. The newborn also known as the infant beginnings, responsibility and potential. The newborn is the beginning of a journey. Unlike most of the luminaries, it does not have strong desires. It suggests that something or someone needs to give or receive care. Ultimately, how that care is addressed. is outside the newborns control as it calls as it calls no power its own. The newborn could be a fresh start for one who has been brought into a world they don't understand. It could be the herald of an of an era of tremendous personal responsibility with which requires nurturing attention, no matter what the newborn signals potential with time and care, it can grow. So, I kinda think my character is a mythic figure who is being tasked with overseeing the well being of another person. So, I might be someone who is who has led a life that has resulted and stories and songs. But now I kind of have to put that aside and throw myself into caring for someone thing that is more vulnerable than me. Hmm.


Amelia Antrim  50:04  

I like the idea that potentially there are all of these stories and songs about you, but only like half of them are true. And now you have to actually prove that you can do those things.


James D'Amato  50:18  

Yeah, I'm, I'm not convinced because the thing I think ultimately, like, if I'm, I'm not really a custodian of my own reputation, and my own reputation isn't a new thing. It's a thing that is, you know, an external truth already. So I kind of think it means that I'm more like an Obi Wan figure. I have lived this big adventurous life. But right now in front of me, is Luke Skywalker, and I've got to you know, guide him on a journey to where he needs to be. Even if it means setting all that stuff aside. Nice. So, based on those, let's find some archetypes. Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  51:05  

So I got the fallen. Did you figure anything out for yourself, Amelia?


Amelia Antrim  51:10  

Oh, no, I was really honestly too busy listening to Yeah, everyone else was doing really?


Ryan Boelter  51:16  

Well, I'm glad I picked mine before all the talking happened.


James D'Amato  51:19  

I'm gonna go with something truly wild. So let me know when you have chosen those.


Amelia Antrim  51:26  

I think I'm gonna go with the aristocrat.


James D'Amato  51:28  

Cool. So you're starting from like a real position of privilege and power, which is neat.


Amelia Antrim  51:36  

Well, I like the idea that if, if you will pursue something to the end of the earth, it would make sense that you are in a position of power.


James D'Amato  51:46  

I mean, yeah, for sure. Like I, when we were sort of talking about that character ice envisioned them as some kind of authority figure.


Amelia Antrim  51:55  

James, what are you going to do?


James D'Amato  51:56  

I am going with a ghost boo.


James D'Amato  52:01  

So scuzz I'm already dead. But I am living on as a spirit and I am watching over someone who needs my help. Hmm.


Amelia Antrim  52:15  

Oh, I like this. 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  52:26  

Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network and can be found online at www Character Creation Cast comm add 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 calm is one of your hosts Ryan bolter and I can be found on twitter at Lord Neptune or online at Lord Neptune calm or other hosts nealy 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 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  54:12  

Now we got to read some show blurbs show blurbs show show, show blurbs.


Ryan Boelter  54:20  

Character Creation Cast is hosted by the one shot Podcast Network. If you enjoyed our show, visit one shot podcast comm where you'll find other great shows like a horror Borealis


Amelia Antrim  54:32  

a horror Borealis is an actual play monster of the week podcast set in the 1990s in the fictional town of Revenant, Alaska, just south of the nation's least visited National Park and way north of everything else, a reclusive small game hunter with a magical secret, a young anarchist librarian with a passion for conspiracy theory, and a sensible park ranger with a strong local book club following find themselves pulled together by common threads woven mysteriously into their past when monsters begun plaguing their tiny community, but they soon discover the things they're fighting run much deeper and much closer to home. Tune in for a story about identity, empathy, Community Mental Illness and healing and stay for the beloved local diner.


Transcribed by