Character Creation Cast

Series 27.3 - Beyond the Wall with Alex Flanigan and Adam Steward (Discussion)

Episode Summary

In the last episode of series 27, we welcome back Alex Flanigan, from the A Horror Borealis and The Cryptid Keeper podcasts, as our special guest co-host, filling in for Amelia due to a family emergency at the time of recording. We also welcome back Ryan’s best friend since the first grade, and current GM for their campaign together using the system we’re covering this series: Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures, a Fantasy RPG by Flatland Games. This episode we’ll be discussing what we thought of the game as well as learning more about our characters during the fanfic portion of the show!

Episode Notes

In the last episode of series 27, we welcome back Alex Flanigan, from the A Horror Borealis and The Cryptid Keeper podcasts, as our special guest co-host, filling in for Amelia due to a family emergency at the time of recording. We also welcome back Ryan’s best friend since the first grade, and current GM for their campaign together using the system we’re covering this series: Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures, a Fantasy RPG by Flatland Games. This episode we’ll be discussing what we thought of the game as well as learning more about our characters during the fanfic portion of the show!

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Guests and Projects: 

Alex Flanigan @Coff33Detective

A Horror Borealis @AHorrorBorealis

The Cryptid Keeper @CryptKeepPod

Adam Steward

Games discussed this episode:

Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures

Beyond the Wall Further Afield

Beyond the Wall Supplements




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Character Creation Cast:

Amelia Antrim:

Ryan Boelter:

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Episode Transcription

Transcripts Automatically Generated - Not 100% Accurate

Ryan Boelter  0:01  

Welcome to the final episode of series 27. This is a another amilia free episode aside from this cold open, but once again, Alex Flanagan did an amazing job. You can find more info about Alex's great work in the show notes,


Amelia Antrim  0:17  

we do have a quick announcement to make about our schedule going forward. For a little while, we're not totally sure how long we're not going to be doing our regular character evolution cast episodes, we will instead be taking a week off between each series. Many of you are aware of my delicate mental health situation. Most of the time I do my best to not have it affect the show and the work that we do here. But my issues have been particularly bad lately and it's left me feeling really drained both physically and creatively. Because of that we have chosen to pause that part of our show until I'm feeling a little better and more able to fully contribute. We are going to miss doing it It's one of my favorite parts of the show. I'm really sad that we're putting it on hold. But I think it's the better choice for my health and well being right now. It's not permanent. It's just a pause until I feel better, please soon hopefully. I'm really struggling out. Yeah, we are


Ryan Boelter  1:18  

all rooting for you.


Amelia Antrim  1:19  

Thank you. Yeah, it's not a thing that we wanted to do, or a choice that we made lightly. But I think for the longevity of the show, it's it's better to take a break from that and not burn out completely. Yeah, and right now, that's just a thing that I need. And sometimes admitting where your shortcomings are is the best thing that you can do for yourself. So yeah, this is this is where I'm falling short right now. No.


Ryan Boelter  1:44  

And I just want to add that it not only you, I mean, it was it was also me feeling a little bit of the burnout as well. Especially with all the stuff that's going on in the world right now. And yeah,


Amelia Antrim  1:56  

life is just a lot right now. You're doing great life is just A lot right now, like, take a minute everyone, give yourself some credit, we are living in interesting times, and it's exhausting. And it's okay to be exhausted and it's okay to be burnt out and to just not be able to do all of that right now.


Ryan Boelter  2:14  

Yeah. And what what's going to be nice about these little breaks is you'll have a little bit more time to catch up on the show. I know a lot of people aren't able to have their commutes now for a while and so they have less podcast listening time. So if you are spending your time if it's less than normal, if you're spending that time listening to our show, we thank you immensely for sticking with us during all of this.


Amelia Antrim  2:41  

Absolutely. And honestly, you're welcome for the break. You know, we just we don't want to overwhelm you with our content is really what this is about. I lied. It's not about me. It's we don't want to overwhelm you the listener. Give you a break. Yeah,


Ryan Boelter  2:55  

yep. Well, we'll fix that in the post, edit somehow and make it sound That was our case the entire time. Yeah, absolutely. or not,


Amelia Antrim  3:05  

or not? Either way.


Ryan Boelter  3:06  

All right, well, if you are looking for a way to help us both feel better. In the meantime, you can go ahead and consider leaving a rating or review on Apple podcasts stitcher pod chaser, or your app of choice. We always enjoy getting them and reading them. Like this one we got from the dark Fiddler on pod chaser. C three is a wonderful way to expose yourself to new games by focusing on character creation, perhaps one of the most wide reaching parts of gaming, you get to see a lot of what really makes a game tick. Ryan and Emilia are great hosts with a good chemistry. And their guests are always passionate about the game being discussed. Put it all together and you get a wonderful podcast.


Amelia Antrim  3:51  

Thank you.


Ryan Boelter  3:52  

Yeah, that was nice.


Amelia Antrim  3:54  

That was nice. That's what I needed today.


Ryan Boelter  3:57  

Yeah. So send in your reviews. It'll make us happy.


Amelia Antrim  4:02  

Yeah, we say it every time but it really does.


Unknown Speaker  4:04  

It really, really, really does.


Amelia Antrim  4:08  

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


Alex Flanigan  4:44  

Welcome back to our discussion episode last time we created characters and a village for flatland games is beyond the wall. This episode we will be discussing the character creation process. We are so excited to welcome back Stuart, thank you, Adam, do you want to go ahead and reintroduce yourself again for everyone at home? And tell us a little bit about the character that you made in our last episode? Sure. So I am


Adam Steward  5:13  

Ryan's longtime friends and current role playing game master and one of our groups together and whatnot. So you're your own person, too. That's right. My identity is linked to Ryan and everyone. Yeah, and so I built my character I had created Phil. He is the was my playbook, the self taught and made and he's an orphan. We learned that he had to do a little bit of fighting and defending himself as a child. And he is we talked about a godfather and then I was reminded that I was an orphan. I thought that after, after the fact that maybe maybe this godfather of mine, who also has some magic background, he might have been my guardian making growing up and whatnot. So, so that's the character. I'm pretty much the, the full name of our group, I think. Mm hmm.


Ryan Boelter  6:25  

All right, Alex, why don't you tell us about yourself and your character?


Alex Flanigan  6:28  

We are the same. I actually don't know where one ends and the other begins now. Since the last episode we have melted and in my brain, you know,


Ryan Boelter  6:37  

that makes sense.


Alex Flanigan  6:39  

I feel like attracts right, like knowing that we know about this character. I really do feel a spiritual kinship, actually, so I'm Alex Flanagan. You can find me on Twitter at coffee detective co FF three, three detective. More interestingly, you can find me on a couple of different podcasts. I am the co host of the cryptid keeper podcast where we talk about very folklore and mythology and critters that go bump in the night. And then I am also the keeper for a horror Borealis, which is a actual play monster of the week campaign right here on the one shot network. My character However, even more interestingly than me, is a rogue major for our group. So that's like a hybridized class or classification. I guess the actual class is trickster Fox. And they are a literal Fox, who was raised by literal foxes before being raised by literal bears before coming to a Human Village. Their name is Bethany fiddle Fern crush Paul, and I love them with my whole heart. Bettany has like an interesting thing going on where they were again raised by foxes and then raised by bears. They ended up in this Human Village because they made a foolish boast and then felt compelled to see it through. So I kind of envisioned that like Bethany's whole deal was probably they were you know roughhousing with their their bare siblings. And cousins at one point and somebody somewhere was just like hey bet you couldn't go just like become a part of that Human Village like bet I can. Now here we are, that knee lives with grandmother Weaver who is sort of an old folk which definitely the oldest person in town and has been the oldest person in town since the next oldest person can remember. And I hang out in her yarn basket, I curl up and nap on her her old yarns and tapestries and things and she teaches me spells and lets me help with collecting potion artifacts. So that's kind of my deal. I love Bettany. Thank you. I do too.


Unknown Speaker  8:41  

I'm enormously fond of. Absolutely. And Ryan, can you tell us about your character?


Ryan Boelter  8:48  

Absolutely. So I made Elise she her pronouns. Elise is the heir to a legend playbook, which is as grandiose as it Sounds her father, a quote unquote simple innkeeper actually boasts about various tales of adventure from his youth and conveniently forgets to leave out that these adventures were not only real but also with Elise's mother and his current wife, as well as the the local blacksmith in town. And who knows who else


Alex Flanigan  9:30  

possibly that godfather I'm thinking


Ryan Boelter  9:32  

possibly or or the wizard that visited the Godfather or guardian. So there's there's a lot of history of adventure in this village. And Elise, basically inherited this great sword that her father used on her adventures. And I want to say that this great sword kind of called to her her father probably never mentioned it, but it was locked away. The attic of the end and one day at least stumbled upon it and, and adventure found her.


Alex Flanigan  10:08  

What's it like behind a humble tapestry or like hidden in the attic or like to say it was,


Ryan Boelter  10:13  

I want to say it was in the attic of the end like wrapped up in like a specific cloth. And like placed in a very like mundane location kind of like hidden in plain sight.


Alex Flanigan  10:29  

I love that. That's so fun. Yeah, cool. Well, I love all of these characters, I would die for them, I would also commit many other crimes. Anyway, let's go ahead and dive right into a segment that we are calling d 24. Your thoughts? Your thoughts?


Ryan Boelter  10:45  

All right. In this segment, we want to talk to our guests about their thoughts on the character creation process and how it relates to this system to other games.


Alex Flanigan  10:54  

First, we like to get to know our guests a little bit better. So we're going to go ahead and get to the Uber cliche Question out of the way, but it's still a good one. How did you get into RPGs in the first place?


Adam Steward  11:05  

So I got into RPGs. I'm trying to think back. So this also ties in to Ryan. So let's see here. We were in junior high school. I recall a very primitive school newspaper. I think it was on eight and a half by 11, paper and Xerox. And there was an advertisement in it for an RPG club. And we thought, Hey, we like role playing video games like Final Fantasy. So this, this is probably all about video games or something to that effect. So while we had no, at least I had no clue that there was such a thing as tabletop role playing games. Before we joined this, this group and I think the first game we played was palladiums. Heroes Unlimited, which is a superhero game and Yeah, so this would have been, I think, what seventh grade maybe? I think this is 93. I want to say eighth grade pathway. Okay. And so yeah, so that's that that was my first introduction into it and then kind of role playing on and off for most of the years since then.


Alex Flanigan  12:19  

Very cool. That's like a really neat entry point. I think a lot of people either have the answer or anticipate the answer that DND would be like your first role playing game for whatever reason. So that's really cool. I've never heard of that game. But that's a cool entry point, I think.


Ryan Boelter  12:36  

Yeah, I think I had heard of d&d, at that point, because of some of the various video games I had played. I think I had some of the d&d like, PC disc games.


Alex Flanigan  12:48  

I know that by the time I was in middle school, like I just assumed d&d, and tabletop games were the same thing. I don't think I knew that there were others. Oh, yeah. I had no idea. sort of in the way that like frisbee means any flying disc and popsicle. A frozen dessert like Dungeons and Dragons meant rolling dice and being in.


Ryan Boelter  13:12  

Yeah, absolutely. Awesome. So then can you tell us about your personal process for picking and creating the character in any role playing system?


Adam Steward  13:21  

Yes, you know, this is kind of a treat because I feel like I am usually a game master and when I play, so, my character, how I pick, I don't know if I have a general system other than I think I'd like to. I like for the other players to play, what they what really calls to them. And then I think I just enjoy Filling in the gap and just working with whatever might around the group out pretty well. So recently, I had played in a shadow run group and we needed somebody to be within that system they call the face you know, So the person that makes the deals and uses the charisma and that type of things. So that was kind of an interesting challenge. So I just go with, I think, what makes what kind of rounds the group out and it might be interesting, you know, with the group as a whole, so I don't know if I, if I have any, anything more formulaic, you know, then than that, huh?


Alex Flanigan  14:23  

Yeah, I mean, I think that that's a really neat philosophy all on its own, though, because that way you're setting yourself up to play a certain role in conjunction with the other players at your table. So I mean, that isn't not a strategy. I think it definitely does speak to a certain kind of, like optics that you have going on for yourself when you're looking what other people are doing and then saying like, Okay, well, what do we have already? Like, what can I fulfill that will be a different purpose than anybody else in the group? Like, that's very cool. That's not totally, you know, shooting in the dark there. That's that's a cool thing to be doing. How do we think that character creation in This game stacks up to other systems that we've played.


Adam Steward  15:03  

I enjoy the process, I think again, it really shines when we're needing to create characters kind of, especially in the short term. I like it also for long term for campaigns and what not to, but I think it really stacks up well and that okay, we kind of get our creative juices flowing, these tables kind of help us with a starting point and then we kind of build off of that. I think if we're there if we wanted to go complete free form, you know, then then a different system might be stronger for that, but I think I think this one kind of works well with giving us a starting point and then and then we kind of break off of that. Mm hmm.


Ryan Boelter  15:51  

It feels very much like a mix between like standard dungeons and dragons and pretty much any powered by the apocalypse game.


Alex Flanigan  15:59  

You I was going to say that there, that's my dog, I was gonna say that there is definitely something of a midpoint there. You know, it's it's definitely, you have this sort of very classical like rolling down tables and sort of like checking off boxes and building stats and like maxing out your character. But it does also have something which I really enjoy, I think probably most about this system, which is that you're building your character with respect to the bigger picture, which is very cool. And that's not something that even all powered by the apocalypse games have, you know, I, I run monster the week very regularly. I've also run masks and I've played in some other pvta games as well, and all sorts of different systems that all have various starting things. And I've also written a few games. So I'm familiar with like character creation in general. And I have to say that this does a really good job of linking your character to like, the fable, if at all, you know, like you, you really learn a lot about the community in the process of it, which is something NEET something I did think was a little bit of a shortcoming of the system. And this isn't necessarily a criticism. It's just something that I would like more of, is I don't feel like I understand my character's personality a lot. I feel like they know a lot about how they fit into the world and what function they serve. And I feel like I know about the nature of this town. But like, if we were to jump into roleplay right now, I would have no idea how to inhabit this character. I just don't know what they sound like. I don't know how they feel about the other people around them. I don't really know them intimately from an RP standpoint, but just what everybody is looking for in a tabletop game. You know, some people want to encounter things and act bravely and swing big swords. And that's very cool. I am primarily a performer who turned into a game player. And so I like to tell that story I like to know like the inside of my character's head a little bit more. And so I kind of wish that we had more questions that dealt with the relationship between us You know, the character creation list told us like three times like, you guys are best friends, but answer a different question. So we still haven't talked at all at this point about our relationships to each other. Like that hasn't come up. And we could extensively start playing the game right now and we still wouldn't know.


Ryan Boelter  18:16  

Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely. That's a very good point. Like, it gives you little nuggets of personality here and there. But you kind of have to extract Yeah, that personality from those nuggets. It's kind of like giving a raw ore and trying to process that into like an ingot. It's not gonna be you can't just take that orange plop it into a thing. You have to process it and do things to it right? To get back, which


Alex Flanigan  18:42  

can be totally fine. But I feel like if you had characters who were bringing to the table who weren't inherently comfortable yet, being like confident role players or improvisers, do you think they would struggle with that aspect of it a little bit because the game doesn't really hold your hand there. Mm hmm.


Ryan Boelter  18:58  

Yeah. Yeah, that's that's interesting. 13 observation for that, and I'm trying to think of because as I was creating this character and as I was creating the character using my campaign, which I've talked about a little bit on the podcast before they, their personalities kind of just naturally built in my head as I was going through, like, what type of person would get into this situation? What type of person would discover this and, and it kind of went from there but but yeah, that now that I think about it, yeah, it was mostly from me and, and not something that the game was trying to show.


Alex Flanigan  19:39  

And I think that probably has something to do too, with the fact that this character creation is really driven by these random tables, which I did find really delightful. I thought they were very fun, but it means that there's not guaranteed cohesion as you go along. Yes, you know, you're not guaranteed a narrative that informs a character. You're guaranteed a lot of really interesting tidbits that you can then string together. However you want, but there's no necessarily like, you're not promised that it will go somewhere that makes sense right away. It's not immediately apparent, I guess.


Ryan Boelter  20:10  

Well, like like for mine, I had the question about the fisherman and I, I still have no like real connection to this fisherman person. I'm like, they're kind of a prominent person in this, this play this character's life. But I don't feel that personally right now. They're they're just a name on a list at this point. And I think maybe if it expanded on that a little bit, it could be a little bit more powerful, a little bit more impactful. But also on the other hand, and add a little bit more complexity to our creation. So finding that balance is is key. And it would be really interesting if the developers of this game listened to this episode and let us know their their thought process. says on that, because I would love to hear that I'd love this game so much.


Alex Flanigan  21:04  

And I want to make it clear, right? That's not like a criticism that I have. I just think it's something that that bears noticing. You know, different games are really good at different things and different character creation engines are really good at different things. This game has a lot of really cool strengths that I love that I definitely will like, walk away in my head for the next time I'm writing something and probably steal. But


Unknown Speaker  21:27  

that's just something that was fascinating to me.


Ryan Boelter  21:29  

Absolutely. So how is the process of character creation in this game set a player's expectations for actually playing the game? Hmm.


Adam Steward  21:41  

Um, that's a good question. I mean, I think with a lot of there's some assumptions and one of the things that kind of came up was when we were talking about this, when we're talking about the witch, for instance, there's some things that after playing the game, and then Going through some of the material I kind of figured out after the fact and maybe that's, that's maybe one one thing that could be a little bit stronger is that there there are certain things that are kind of taken for granted with the game that that the average player like, like for me when I thought the village witch like what is she you know she persecuted or what are what is this? What is this witch and then you kind of start to piece together with some of the the material Oh on the witches just kind of like a person in the village who's like they're like they're maybe they're wise person or their medicine person or you know, a lot of times with when you're thinking about which you might be thinking about like a more of a villainous type of character or something to that effect. So, I think I'm kind of going off on a tangent here. But I think with some of the some of the tables and whatnot. They're gonna they're gonna talk about different apps. aspects of this world that start to give you a little bit of a an idea of the type of world that you're in. But maybe not. not perfectly.


Alex Flanigan  23:11  

Yeah, I think to sort of jump off of that point that we were saying earlier, it's funny that you say that because maybe it's just the fact that my book was like, inherently tied up with the witch to begin with. So I was like, ready to be in that character's camp. But for me when I hear of a village, which like, that's immediately a very strong positive association, in my mind, sure. But you know, like, I grew up in like West Virginia, I come from this Appalachian folk tradition. And so like, for me, a village which is like, that's an asset to your community. That's somebody you have that like has a specific skill set and no wisdom and knowledge that like, you benefit from that everybody benefits from and so, you know, maybe they're ambiguous at worst, but like, it's certainly not the kind of person you want like mad but a good person to have and even better person to be living in their yard basket and benefiting from their secret knowledge. But I think that the the way that this character creation is set up, sort of the way that it relies on these different story elements that get woven together, it really sets the expectation for me that the story in this system is not really about me. It's about this bigger fable that we're like playing into, if that makes sense. Like this is a much more sweeping thing than any of us individually, you know, like, even our individual stories, they feel less like individual stories that are significant on their own, and more like stories that play into each other in ways that will inform the world like, you know, we have a character who is an heir to a legend. And even that is really, like, not so much about you, in the same way that like a legacy playbook and masks would be, it's really more about the way that you inform us of something about this world as a whole like, well, what's the legend? What's the legend that you're inheriting? You know, who is that coming from? How are you going to live up to that like, but more importantly, who are you doing with and what great deeds are you going to accomplish? Like, you start to build out your own little fellowship here, and you're sort of pulling from all these fantasy tropes in these ways that are much larger than life. And it feels a little bit less intimate and a little bit more like sweeping and grand. And I think that's kind of cool. But that definitely paints a very different picture to me than some other character creation engines have. Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  25:24  

Yeah, absolutely.


Alex Flanigan  25:26  

So, we did talk about this a little bit, or at least I did. So I know. I don't want to talk over rails. I'm gonna kind of like step back on this one. But, um, what do you all think is one of the biggest flaws of character creation in this system?


Adam Steward  25:40  

Um, I, I, for me, in I enjoy it a lot. I think depending on the player, they might feel when they're rolling, especially when the oil on the table sometimes there's there's some very specific things that come up, and I think some people might Find that somewhat constraining, that they have to kind of fit the results of this table into their concept of of the character, when they might prefer a little bit more flexibility. For me, I kind of like having that solid point and then kind of building off of that, but I could definitely see that not being something that maybe everybody would would find to be, you know, a strength of the system. Mm hmm.


Ryan Boelter  26:33  

Yeah. And I think I want to say, I wanted to say that the the character creation system is deceptively simple. Where it if you approach it at, like, here's the playbook. And here's the questions and whatever. It's pretty easy to create characters, but you can get super in depth and I'm not saying that this is actually a super flour or anything like that of the system. But you can, you can build pretty much any archetype you can think of, by by creating a bunch of different things and putting them together. And it's interesting that there's, there's not like this, you're you could be a fighter or you could be like a masks legacy or you could be this you've got these like kind of archetypes, but these archetypes are basically just a bunch of puzzle pieces thrown together into into these different archetypes. And if you just change a few pieces here and there, now it's a different archetype. So I think like if the more characters that you make, the more similarities, you'll be kind of finding for sure. I think that that's probably like the one of the biggest flaws I can think


Adam Steward  27:54  

yeah, I think the the best way to counter it is just to try to pull the Other all those different playbooks, but I could definitely see if you had a senior just using those six base playbooks. You, you Yeah, you would start to see the outer edges of what you could make pretty fast, I would say. Absolutely, yeah,


Alex Flanigan  28:14  

I could also see it being a bit of an issue where like, just the sheer number of factors that these random tables start to bring in. If you happen to have a game where everybody rolled in ways that didn't really complement each other, you could end up with a world that had a lot of factors that didn't really can join together in a meaningful way. And that could make it really difficult for a GM to give something satisfying to everybody. That just, you know, it would create a lot of errant directions that might be hard to unify into a world that felt lived in and like had your reaction to it, huh?


Ryan Boelter  28:50  

Yeah, absolutely. It's, it's interesting because I look at our group, right, and we're going to get into this a little bit in the next segment. We've got myself which is got this huge story point, right built into the character. Adams character has a pretty decent sized story point of this this tome of magic linked to this, like forgotten Wizard of some sort. And then we've got this the actual font


Unknown Speaker  29:21  

of this I'm just a literal.


Ryan Boelter  29:24  

Yeah, that's, that's magical. And and it hasn't been explicitly pointed out that I know of that you can talk or not.


Alex Flanigan  29:35  

Again, that was in some of the other places in the tables. It just didn't come up in any of my answers. But right that is wild. Yeah, no. So you're very right. We have a party with three people, two of them have tremendous burdens of destiny. And then I am just I am the sassy animal sidekick who


Unknown Speaker  29:54  

wandered into town on a dare


Adam Steward  29:59  

I think in I think in the the supplement where the playbook came from they do give you some background as to what is the deal with this. off the cuff i think i think it had like, in this world, there's just kind of at random all of a sudden intelligent faxes and there's a few other details in there like sometimes they have to. I don't know where that comes from and whatnot, but But yeah, there is some rough explanation to that. But yeah,


Alex Flanigan  30:29  

it's it's also an interesting thing, because like some of the options that were on the tables that I could have rolled, did paint to like a larger story. And a couple of them I did roll and I just said no to, like, there was one option I could have had were like, my family was killed by like, Beast like men from the north, and I just, yeah, I didn't feel comfortable creating or living in a world where there was any group of like humanoids that was equivocated to savagery. Like I just I don't, I want to stay far away from that trope. And I also just didn't necessarily want my backstory to be that like, my whole clan was slaughtered you know, like that's that's not fun for me after a point. Like I get it it has its place on fantasy and that's all well and good but like I'm a talking Fox, I don't mean to have just super backstory or another one could have been that like my ultimate goal was to, like, face off against the the long standing enemies of my people but like full which people the foxes or the bears or the humans or just gets kind of muddy after a certain point, you know? Yeah, yeah, I think there definitely is like a tonal difference between like the core playbooks and sort of these expansion books.


Ryan Boelter  31:41  

Mm hmm. It's it's interesting because you you noted that the witch finally figured out that you were something special because you kept following her on these dangerous trips for herbs. And it wasn't because you started talking


Adam Steward  32:00  

You're just some mundane talking facts. I


Unknown Speaker  32:02  

can talk to all the animals. And so she just didn't know that's very possible.


Unknown Speaker  32:07  



Ryan Boelter  32:08  

I also I also like, I don't I don't want to tread on your character at all or anything like that. But I, I had this interesting thought of what if you could only talk to people that that knew that you were magical,


Alex Flanigan  32:19  

that's also interesting. Or I kind of also like the idea of like, maybe I just fully can speak English all the time. But I so rarely, like, I just refuse to do it in front of people who aren't like my friends. It's like a Michigan J. Frog situation where I look at our magic talking Fox, and I'm just like, No,


Unknown Speaker  32:40  

I'm just a fox. I mean.


Ryan Boelter  32:45  

Awesome. So let's get into my favorite point of the discussion portion of the show. The fanfiction portion of the show, where we get to kind of talk about what how did our group get to together and and where can we see us going? What? Like what sort of adventures? Would we would we kind of go on? So maybe how did we How does this ragtag group of people, including the fox, get together? Hey,


Alex Flanigan  33:16  

you know? Well, I think that there are some clear lines between the two of you at least right like, because part of what's so cool about this story that we did end up setting up in this the sort of world that we created in this town is that it has this very unique position at occupies, where it's sort of the quiet place of retirement of some very notable heroes who have decided to enter this quiet portion of their life. And so you both are sort of standing in the shadow of that legacy. And that's kind of a cool, incredible thing. But also I get the feeling that like, one we decided that the archivist is like your God, the mages Godfather, Phil's Godfather, and that the archives are attached to the end and that the innkeepers or both adventurers who may or may not have been on adventures with the archivist. So, like, I think that there are some, like, you probably would be neighbor kids that knew each other I would say, Yeah,


Ryan Boelter  34:08  

that would make a lot of sense. Like just kids that have grown up together in the village. Because I would imagine that we're probably roughly the same age. Yeah.


Adam Steward  34:17  

Yeah. And that's, I don't know, if we talked about that a lot. But the, the assumption is for for a lot of the characters is that they're roughly teenage in age and then there's the the exceptions are they have the playbooks that are the elders, which doesn't, which could mean just generally adult of some kind. And then there's the the other races, so the elves or the talking foxes and those types of things. So, but kind of talking, yes. At least in Fox years, or whatnot, I don't know.


Unknown Speaker  34:53  

All right.


Adam Steward  34:55  

So, so yeah, I think especially with the question stuff, everybody's supposed to kind of have been, you know, the same age or kind of grown up together.


Ryan Boelter  35:08  

So I guess my question is, is how long has this Fox been?


Alex Flanigan  35:13  

Well, I guess the bigger question then is do intelligent foxes age at the same rate as fox is? Or do they eat at the same rate as humanoids? Because that will drastically impact portion of my life any of those events has been?


Ryan Boelter  35:31  

I mean, I would imagine for I don't know if it's specifically pointed out in in the rules that I don't think so. But I would, I would imagine that aging at the same rate as human or human equivalent, or or longer would be Yeah,


Alex Flanigan  35:49  

kind of a more like interesting woodland spirit sort of deal where I actually yeah, more slowly, then humans would be kind of fascinating. Yeah, and it would be kind of interesting too, because that would be something that I would literally not realize, until I came to this Human Village and then was like, Why are these humans living so fast?


Ryan Boelter  36:06  

Yeah, exactly. Like you just be entered through the woods for who knows how I


Alex Flanigan  36:11  

spent some time living with my, you know, my fellow kids and my father, then and then I spent some time living with some bears who also cooked and then I spent some time living with grandmother Weaver and I haven't noticed that she doesn't age at the same rate as normal human. So like, yeah, I met a human kid and then I saw it again a year later, and it was much taller. And I was very confused.


Ryan Boelter  36:35  

I wondering if I wondering if one of the one of us was those that kid that you missed?


Alex Flanigan  36:40  

Maybe I don't I don't think I've been in this town. Like, I certainly wouldn't have been here when you were like young young children, like not toddlers, maybe like, five years. So like maybe if we're all sort of 1617 now you know Around the time that you would be like preteens starting to get into some shenanigans, sort of realizing like, you know, this is my magic book. This is my magic sword sort of like the call of destiny weighing upon you, I think fate would have conspired to bring me here around the same time that those things were kicking off.


Ryan Boelter  37:18  

I like that. That's pretty cool, huh? So okay, so we've got childhood friends, we've got a fox that showed up around the same time as all this other stuff started happening. That that kind of pushed us into this direction of destiny, I guess you could say. Um, and I want to say like foxes in the village is not really a thing that much. Right? Um, and and maybe maybe it's getting a little bit more prominent ever since that that special place in the gate has been a secretly found And maybe you're leaving some some old friends into the village every now and then or some old friends are coming to see you Who knows. But I would imagine that just started pure curiosity we'd probably be like, kind of gravitated towards this this magical sort of Fox especially, I think at least would be really fascinated based upon Tales from for sure. Be like foxes aren't supposed to be around here but you know my my dad talked about this magical talking Fox I wonder I've never seen this Fox talk


Unknown Speaker  38:41  

for a couple years


Ryan Boelter  38:44  

and then and then maybe maybe a friendship sparked up by that?


Alex Flanigan  38:48  

Oh yeah, for sure. I think that definitely like, you know is great and wonderful. His grandmother weavers yarn basket is and as fantastic as that life. Maybe I do. get bored, I do get curious and I definitely would just be like ambling around town. I think, you know, one of the questions that I rolled on was this idea of like, I know these, like charming ways and these like fun clever little rhymes and these these sneaky things that I have these like little charisma spells that I can do. And I think part of the impression I was getting is very much that like, I tend to try to like charm and win over people with my adorable ears and my my beautiful beautiful whiskers and my lovely flickering tail to just like kind of get things that I want. And if one of those things is that the food in the end smells particularly good on a certain night, or it's raining a grandmother, we're not home to open the door and I just want to curl up in front of the fireplace. Like I think that hanging around the end is definitely a thing I would do. And it might even be a thing where like, maybe your mom runs the bar or whatever and you It would be evenings where like, I would sort of gravitate to her because she has sort of an adventurers energy about her. Or you had mentioned that she was maybe like, the rogue or the wizard, not not the wizard, but like sort of the rogue for your group. So maybe she has some sort of experience with like, not necessarily animal handling, but you know, game recognize game a fox is a rogue and I think that I would recognize, like, this is somebody who is a kindred spirit. I will hang out and talk to this person. Maybe your mom has known for a while but I talk


Ryan Boelter  40:28  

Oh, yeah, that's very possible. And and probably just hasn't said anything because, you know, trying to trying to keep her daughter safe from the grandiose time of adventure, but, you know, ever since that, that sword came out of the attic. Why stop it when staring us right in the face?


Alex Flanigan  40:49  

I think maybe even like, maybe your mom has the gift of Fox speech. And so the first few times that like we spoke we actually just spoke in Fox. So like, you know, she would see me hanging around and she would be like, Oh, hey, you know, a little fox what's going on and be like, Oh, cool. You speak Fox, so I'm not gonna use it.


Unknown Speaker  41:10  

Why would I do that?


Ryan Boelter  41:11  

That's awesome. I like that. Yeah, that's very cool. So what sort of adventures are we gonna go on? we've we've got this, this ancient city that is underwater where this tome came from? Uh, maybe we want to get more of that. That seems like an endgame sort of scenario though. Yeah, I wouldn't want to delve in a underwater dungeon at level one. Um, there's, there's something special about this sword. Mm hmm. Um, you know, we also have a link to like Woodman, woodland animals. And


Amelia Antrim  41:51  



Alex Flanigan  41:52  

we also have there was mention of something about this town, educating like, watchmen are guards in like a particularly notable fashion. So it might be either that, like some of the youth of this city are called up to help elsewhere. Or that something happens to a group of students on their way to our village. And we are sort of like, well, heck, you know, we want to get out of this small town, like, let's go check that out. Mm hmm.


Ryan Boelter  42:24  

Yeah, I really like the the stumbling into a hero ism trope where we're just kind of in the right place at the right time. Yeah, to help. And, and then and then we help. And then we're like, Hey, this is kind of fun.


Alex Flanigan  42:42  

Yeah, it might even be something as simple as like, this new class of of students, like comes to our town and they finish their training and they're on their way back to whatever city and like, one of them has forgotten something or left something behind and we're like, oh, shoot, we got to go like Head along the main road and catch up with them. This is an easy thing to do, like just send these teens after they can't be that far out. So we like pack food for a day. And we head out and of course, it's not a day of course it ends up being like months and months and months because one thing turns into another thing and one encounter with a group of forest bandits turns into unraveling a scheme to sabotage the watchmen of the great city. And it's


Ryan Boelter  43:26  

I I do like the thought that our village is is kind of inherently tied to this big city. And some of the big city like underworld plots kind of spilling into the villages work


Adam Steward  43:39  

their way here. Yeah, some intrigue. Yeah, I could see that.


Ryan Boelter  43:44  

Yeah, there's a lot of there's a lot of fun ways that this this group could go


Alex Flanigan  43:50  

or it could be something where, um, you know, maybe not like, this tome itself is not the firstly that we follow, but I know that Adam, you had said that like this city probably doesn't have or our town rather not going to do it the displeasure of calling it a city, but doesn't have a lot of books. But that would naturally be a part of your education and you're a self taught age. So you would need to advance your space at some point. Maybe it was as simple as like, hey, do you guys want to come with me on like a two day trip to the big city? I talked to my mentor and they said that there are some books here which I should go check out and like, you know, wrote to their friend over there who has these things waiting for me. So like, we're just going to go over to the big city. Pick a couple of books. Be right back.


Adam Steward  44:37  

Yeah. And then the big city SWAT swallows us up into


Ryan Boelter  44:45  

Mm hmm. I love the Monday, the the mundanity of that where it's just like we've never been to the big city. Mm hmm. How hard can it be? Right? And then yeah, the the grandiose pneus of this larger Then life city just puts us in such a state of awe. Yeah, that we get swept up in in whatever happens there.


Alex Flanigan  45:09  

I also kind of like that too, because you know if something that we're grappling with, even in our own town, and maybe we don't grapple with it so much in our own town, maybe in our own town, it's nothing where it's just like, Oh, yeah, you're the daughter of so and so. And oh, yeah. Like, you're like, we know that the legends live in this town. It's no big deal. But to go to this big city, and like, meet all these people, and we're like, oh, my gosh, big city, and the people in the big city are like, y'all are from that place? Right? Like, you must be something like on some wild Chosen One business like


Adam Steward  45:40  

we assumed nobody had ever even heard of our village.


Amelia Antrim  45:44  

Yeah, maybe we didn't even know


Alex Flanigan  45:46  

that we have this reputation.


Ryan Boelter  45:48  

Yeah. Oh, that would be super interesting. Because at the very least, we would say, Oh, yeah, we train the guards and everybody's probably like, yeah, that's a village where the guards come from. Yeah. And that's all they don't We know the name of the village is just blah, blah. It's like nope, there's there's something definitely more going on there. And a lot more people know about it then than just us in the village. Right? That that would be super interesting. I like it. I love this so much


Alex Flanigan  46:16  

cool that if we don't have any other salient points to add there, then let's go ahead and get into our advancement discussion segment and take it up a level, take it up a level.


Ryan Boelter  46:30  

I love that segment. In this segment, we will cover character advancement and growth in the system. So I guess the first question I have is how do we think characters change as people within the narrative of the game?


Adam Steward  46:48  

So in one thing to point out quick for people that hadn't played the game before, another kind of one of the strengths that we're not really I think probably going to be talking about too much. Those scenario packs and that also kind of gives gives each of us, for instance, there's going to be tables for Okay, what happened recently, and then each of us are going to have something kind of mysterious that's happened. And while we were making our characters, everybody I think the player to the right was with you during some past incident, well, with what happened recently, it's the player to your left, and then you're going to do an ability score check. And the other person can assist you either with fortune points or if they have a skill. And then depending on if you pass or fail something, something has has happened that that went maybe turned out well or didn't turn out well, but it's going to kind of foreshadow where things are going. So for instance, if you're dealing with maybe a mysterious magical cult, you know something, something happens and You know, we witness something or, you know, we save somebody, or something's kind of pointing towards something strange happening in our in our little village or whatnot. So I kind of went off on a tangent there. But what I will, where we're kind of going with that is that we're, each of us, maybe we hadn't encountered too much in terms of high risk or heroism, but those are going to kind of pull us in. And we're going to we're going to grow in that in those regards in terms of how our guests our characters as people who are going to be facing challenges that maybe you know, we hadn't faced before and, and grow in that capacity and how we lean on each other and those types of things. Yeah, for


Ryan Boelter  48:44  

sure. Yeah, that was one of my favorite things about actually playing the game is like before each lesson you roll those those random holes and I think during our campaign, that's how I came to To be friend, a fe hound. Mm hmm. Um, that just randomly showed up in town because the the adventure was all about the like dealing with some mischievous variable. And this fe hound kind of adopted my character. Um, because my character's charisma was very high and that was the status had to roll on for that nice um, and and that was right after I had learned how to bind a familiar and bound a panda ferret familiar as my main familiar and then this fe hound pops in and now I had to pet actively. Yep, nice fluffy dog with antlers and a payment for it. Yeah, it's really interesting that these random encounters definitely do. I can see add to the narrative of your character story, especially relationships to because, like, as you said, it involves other players. That's me. Right. And what's really cool is if you're doing a campaign, and you don't sit at the same spot every time, yeah, there's always different people. Right? Every time, right, which is


Unknown Speaker  50:12  

about that. That's cool.


Ryan Boelter  50:14  

Yeah. So like literally the place that you sit in, in real life matters in this game, which is an incentive to sit next to new people. Yeah, exactly. Oh, sweet.


Alex Flanigan  50:26  

Cool. So how does the character mechanically level up in this game and how do they change mechanically, when that happens? Like, what does that actual process look like?


Adam Steward  50:37  

Yeah, so that's going to be kind of traditional. So And usually, you don't deal too much with the leveling up unless you're going into where you're running the multiple adventures and or you're going into a campaign, but on the last page of the playbooks, it's going to give reference material and one of them is your your your experience. It's a chart, and it tells you for your class how many experience points are needed to advance to the next class. And that's going to affect your base attack bonus, and then each of your five saving throw types and then of course, your hit points are going to go up. One thing that the game does a little bit different with initiative is you just get a flat initiative score. So we don't roll for initiative each time but your initiative score is affected by your bonus, the bonus or I mean, I'm sorry, your your experience level goes into that formula and whatnot too. So and then there's different options. Some of these are laid out in the further afield if you're doing a campaign, but you can also at different levels, get additional skills go up with ability score points and then and whatnot. So in terms of how you actually get experience, there's different enemies are gonna have different experience points assigned to them, but one of the things they play point out in the book is not to focus on simply defeating an opponent in martial combat. For instance, if you find a way to strike a deal with the Goblin to leave your village alone, that should be worth at least as many points as simply going up to him and interest beating him up and whatnot to Oh, cool. I really, really like yeah, or Yeah, exactly. So there's a lot of it encourages you to approach it in a lot of different in a lot of different ways and whatnot. And then, of course, they've for heroic deeds or good role playing, there's going to be experience points associated with that, too. So, for the most part, it's a pretty traditional experience system.


Ryan Boelter  52:41  

And I really like in the expanded further fields supplement, they added character traits as Yes, which are kind of like feats from DND. But you can only have traits if you have a true name. So the true name is not like the name You're given at birth or anything like that. It's like this, this concept of like you, you inherit this, this true name of yourself. And then if somebody knows your true name, they have a little bit of power over you, either in a good way or a bad way. So you kind of have to keep it secret. But like if if your healer knows your true name and invokes the true name, when they heal you, you gain more hitpoints, things like that.


Amelia Antrim  53:27  

Okay, cool.


Ryan Boelter  53:29  

But also, having this true name allows you to select these, these traits that add some really, really nice bonuses. We didn't go into that in character creation here, because we're gonna keep it a little bit more basic, but level one, you can even start with a trait. And then I think there's two more levels, by default that you get more traits like level five and something else. And I think it even points out in there. It's like if you want to have more traits If you're if your whole group is fine with that, go ahead, mom. It, it's really points to the malleability of the character advancement and generation in the system where, if you want to add some extra oomph to all your characters feel free to do so. Mm hmm. Which I really like


Adam Steward  54:19  

you to just don't go overboard, I guess. Right? Yeah, it'd be easy to go overboard. Number one everybody do.


Alex Flanigan  54:25  

It's like people in a fantastical universe, inheriting giant swords that are attuned to their spirit and fulfilling a grand destiny like goes overboard as you want. That's why you play a tabletop game.


Unknown Speaker  54:37  



Ryan Boelter  54:38  

Yeah. Yeah. It was interesting in our campaign that Adam and I are playing in. We didn't start with true names. It was like after the second adventure, or maybe after the first I can't remember I think was after the second adventure. We were kind of heralded as heroes of the village and we gained True names through a like a elaborate ceremony afterwards. So we knew our true names but nobody else did.


Alex Flanigan  55:09  

So like I'm just because I'm curious now. And you don't have to tell me your true name because I understand that would be given me and the audience a lot. But what does a true name sound like? Like what sort of convention does it fall into?


Ryan Boelter  55:24  

I want to say it could be anything. Like my character's name is Elena swan. Um, and we'll catch what was her true name?


Adam Steward  55:35  

I think was was Aria something.


Ryan Boelter  55:38  

It was something Aria swan. Um, oh, yeah. Luna Aria swan. Sure. Okay. So it was kind of like moon song. Was it


Alex Flanigan  55:48  

so they're not just like all warrior cat names where it's just like, power or like chiefly names or it's like, a word that like encompasses you. It's pretty can just actually be another


Adam Steward  56:00  

Yeah, that that is one thing that's kind of struck me about the system is sometimes. And this can be good for, again, allowing a lot of flexibility with the game masters and players but when you look at for instance that creatures there is sometimes is quite vague or you don't get much of a description or there's oftentimes references to the FE, you know the fairy folk. And there's not a lot of description about that. So sometimes I'm kind of digging around. Because in my mind, I'm thinking about Tinkerbell or something to that effect. And I'm looking at, you know, ancient Celtic, you know, fairy lore, and I'm getting a better sense to help you with it. Right, right. Yes, exactly. And so yeah, so for me, I've, you know, it's forced me to kind of do a little bit more exploration because it doesn't necessarily hand it to you but with the True names, it was kind of the same thing where I'm like, Well, yeah, it's somewhat somewhat it kind of presumptive, where it's like, Well, okay, true names. And in here, like, what is this all about? And why is this so important and whatnot. So I think some of it comes comes from some of that,


Unknown Speaker  57:20  

you know,


Adam Steward  57:22  

some actual kind of folklore and those types of things that it's maybe assumed that, you know, that, you know, like, for me, I didn't know a lot of stuff and, you know, kind of learning some of that. Some of that as I go. So, yeah, absolutely.


Ryan Boelter  57:36  

All right. Is that everything that we can think of for level advancement then? I think so. Awesome. All right. Well, Adam, thank you so much for joining us to talk about beyond the wall.


Adam Steward  57:49  

Yeah, thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it. had a lot of fun with you guys.


Ryan Boelter  57:52  

Absolutely. And you Alex, thank you so much for filling in for Amelia. This was really Yeah.


Alex Flanigan  57:58  

Thanks for having me on. It was it was right. It was a really fun system to explore. And I'm glad that I got the chance to do it.


Ryan Boelter  58:03  

Absolutely. And Alex, do you want to give your socials for everybody one more time?


Alex Flanigan  58:09  

Yeah, sure. So if you're looking for me, the best place to do it is on Twitter. You can find me at coffee detective which is c o FF, three, three, Detective, de etc. t i v e. You can also find me on the cryptkeeper podcast where we talk about fairies among other things. Or you can find me as the keeper of the actual play a monster of the week podcast here on the one shot network, a horror Borealis


Ryan Boelter  58:36  

award winning


Unknown Speaker  58:37  

award winning five Borealis.


Ryan Boelter  58:40  

Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you again for sitting down to do this with us. And thank you to everyone for tuning in. We'll see you next time.


Ryan Boelter  58:59  

Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network and can be found online at www dot Character Creation head to the website to get more information on our hosts this show and even our press kit. Character Creation Cast can also be found on Twitter at Creation Cast or on our Discord server at discord Character Creation I am one of your hosts, Ryan bolter, and I can be found on twitter at Lord Neptune or online at Lord Neptune calm. Our other hosts Amelie 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 preview platforms out there, including the apple podcasts in our show notes. Also, check the show notes for links to our other projects. Thanks for joining us.


Unknown Speaker  1:00:18  

Remember, we find that


Ryan Boelter  1:00:20  

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  1:00:45  

Now we got to read some show blurbs show blurbs


Unknown Speaker  1:00:49  

show show but


Unknown Speaker  1:00:51  

show blurbs.


Amelia Antrim  1:00:53  

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


Ryan Boelter  1:01:03  

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


Amelia Antrim  1:01:34  



Ryan Boelter  1:01:36  

Thank you again for sitting down to do this. Dude, I can talk


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