Character Creation Cast

Series 37.1 - You Are The Dungeon with Tracy Barnett [Designer] (Creation)

Episode Summary

Welcome to the first episode for series 37! We welcome back Tracy Barnett and discuss the character creation process for their new game, You Are The Dungeon, a solo journaling game about creating a dungeon and dealing with the adventurers that wander into your walls. Amelia is back for this series and this episode we cover what the game is all about and start actually playing the game itself!

Episode Notes

Welcome to the first episode for series 37! We welcome back Tracy Barnett and discuss the character creation process for their new game, You Are The Dungeon, a solo journaling game about creating a dungeon and dealing with the adventurers that wander into your walls. Amelia is back for this series and this episode we cover what the game is all about and start actually playing the game itself!


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Episode Transcription

Transcripts Automatically Generated - Not 100% Accurate

Ryan Boelter  0:00  

Welcome to the 37th series everyone. This series we welcome back Tracy Barnett to go over their new game, you are the dungeon, a solo turtling game. This is going to be something a little bit different than we're normally used to on the show. But it is an extremely wonderful series. It is such a good game. And I hope you check it out afterwards. For now before we get to the episode, some announcements. First up this Friday, as usual every other Friday is my A Tale of twinklin. Our campaign on era that games, you can check us out at 7:30pm Central Time, where we are going to finish up a battle with a gigantic 300 foot tall energy monster. With the help of one of the player characters friends from another dimension, it should be quite interesting to see how all of that plays out. Next up, I really want to take a moment to thank Victoria Rodgers from the broadsword also on the one shot Podcast Network. Starting it let's see, in a week or two, you'll be able to hear my work on the broadsword podcast feed as I will be doing the dialogue editing for them for the foreseeable future. And I am thoroughly excited to jump into this and to help Victoria out. I know Victoria will knock the special effects and the music out of the park. And I am so thankful to be able to set everything up for her to be absolutely amazing. So thank you, Victoria, if you're listening to this, I very much appreciate this amazing opportunity. So I don't have any other announcements. I'm actually recording this without notes. So it is a little more raw than usual and that should be okay. For now sit back, relax, and enjoy the show everyone.


Ryan Boelter  2:54  

Welcome to Character Creation Cast a show where we discuss and create characters The best part of role playing games with guests using their favorite systems. I'm one of your hosts Ryan and this episode my co host Amelia and I are excited to welcome back. Tracy Barnett, designer of the game we are covering today. You are the dungeon a solo journaling game


Amelia Antrim  3:16  

Tracy Welcome back to Character Creation Cast. I'm really excited to do this again.


Ryan Boelter  3:22  

Yeah, yes,


Tracy Barnett  3:23  

I'm really glad that y'all were interested in having me on for this. This is a bit different than the the usual fare for this podcast. So I'm excited to see what we're gonna do cuz this is very different


Amelia Antrim  3:38  

from what you guys do.


Tracy Barnett  3:41  

Yes. Well, they're their connections. That's that's that's for That's right.


Amelia Antrim  3:49  

So it's it's been a little while since we last had you on so can you start by reintroducing yourself telling people where they can find you what you're working on?


Tracy Barnett  3:58  

Yeah, so my name is Tracy Barnett I am a non binary queer game designer and I a real answer is I'm working on getting as much freelance work lined up as I possibly can so I can be a stay at home parent come June, because I am going to be a non binary dad.


Amelia Antrim  4:20  

Brand new parents like all shiny and everything nobody's up on you yet.


Tracy Barnett  4:27  

There will be ample time for that to happen. But yeah, so sometime in the next couple of months I'll be transitioning to to being at home. And I've got a freelance contract that I'm working on. But in the meantime, I am making games I have a Patreon to try and support all those efforts. I am the I guess audio editor in residence for the one shot podcast. I've been doing all the episodes at one shot over there since about last August. And I that's going to be continuing into the future. So, yeah, so I've got that work going on. I have my own podcast called 15 minutes of fame in which I sit down and very casually talk with a person about their favorite thing for 15 minutes. Simple, easy, quick. And I get to hear about a whole variety of stuff. I'm a, I'm not a new stuff, secret router most times. And so I really like hearing what people's favorite things are. Because they're vastly different than


Amelia Antrim  5:31  

very different from each other. Like, I've been looking at the the things that people have been talking about success. Oh, strange and wide variety of stuff that people are like, let me tell you about this thing.


Tracy Barnett  5:43  

Yeah, definitely, I have made it very explicit to all my guests who come on that I don't want them to try and do something relatable, right? I want whatever their thing is, no matter how nice it is, that's what I want to hear about, because that's where they're going to be as passion. And I have enough knowledge about little things scattered across all different subjects that I can at least have a conversation.


Amelia Antrim  6:11  

I love when people find like, their one thing that you're they're like, like the rest of us are like, Okay, I know, an inch worth of stuff about, you know, most things and people are like, No, I've done 25 feet deep. And let me tell you, like, it's so cool to listen to just like the passion people have and how excited they are about this thing that you're like, but why?


Tracy Barnett  6:34  

Yeah, and, and it's also something that I can record the episodes pretty quickly. If we go, we go typically about 30 minutes when we record and patrons get the bonus episode. And that can be however long, I've made a few of those public so people can see what they're gonna get, like when I talked to JV Hampton fans, and we recorded or we recorded for two and a half hours. And then we decided we should like we were getting too in the weeds for the recording. So we stopped the recording. And then we talked for another hour and a half and following that. Wow. Yeah, just cuz that's the Yeah. So it's a lot of fun. But I can generally produce it pretty quickly. And that's going to be necessary going forward as having things that I can do quick turnaround on, because my time is going to become very segmented.


Amelia Antrim  7:22  

Yeah, there's conversational ones I found, like when I've done editing and done my own projects and stuff, those are the quick ones to do is like that back and forth. Yeah,


Tracy Barnett  7:31  

I look out for us. And by and large, try and make sure our vocal levels match. And that's about what it Yes. Because everyone's recording pretty cleanly. So I'm thinking about doing a game design version of that, by the way, where the premise is that it's, it's Friday night, and the rest of your group didn't show up for game. So it's you and one other person. And in 15 minutes, we're going to, like, hear the goalpost for it, right, we need a premise, we need a pitch, we need resolution mechanic and in 15 minutes, we make a game. And then I'll write the PDF up. And that's what the bill is good. That's nice. So we'll see that I that one's still on the


Ryan Boelter  8:11  

time stages. That would be fun. Yeah. All kinds of projects. Absolutely.


Amelia Antrim  8:16  

But I say like, as somebody who's already a parent, and these are all great, like things that you can get done during naptime. Like, like you have chosen wisely.


Tracy Barnett  8:26  

I am really trying to because I know my time is going to be so constrained. And so not even necessarily constrained. But it's going to be different, right on my days off now. I have other than doing chores around the house or whatever. I have uninterrupted time where I can just sit down yeah, and do a thing. I'm going to be keeping windows open and like, okay, she's down right now. We're or we're between feedings, or whatever it is, and I need to get this thing done. Because capitalism says that I need to provide value in society or otherwise. I got


Amelia Antrim  9:06  

to have it like, this is like way off of character creation. But like you want to, to i was i do that was a thing that like, honestly, making this podcast helps me kind of rediscover a lot. But was that like, I missed doing those things for myself that were just for like, my creative energy, because it was like I was consumed by being a parent and my whole identity was Nate and Eleanor's mom. And it was like, I don't want that I want to be Amelia as a person. And so like having those kind of creative projects really mattered a lot to me.


Tracy Barnett  9:44  

Yeah, and and I mean, obviously if this isn't germane to anyone listening, Ryan will will be a deal with this, but


Amelia Antrim  9:51  

Ryan gets it on parenting listeners.


Tracy Barnett  9:56  

Some of the stuff that that we've been reading, just sort of trying to make We're not trying to like, discover our parenting style now or anything like that. But we're trying to just sort of figure out what some of the things that make our. And so one of the things that we're really interested in is setting firm boundaries, even with a tiny, tiny, tiny thing, right? Like, there has to be space that is ours, there has to be time that is ours. And I know that that seems like an impossibility. Nope. But if you don't try to do it, you're never gonna do it.


Amelia Antrim  10:32  

This is, like I have told friends and people think that I'm nuts for this. But like, I am, like, I think every parent has like, this is my Hill to die on. And mine has been sleep. Like, like, Nate was a terrible sleeper. But like, for me, it's like, this is bedtime, you go to bed at this time. Why? Because I'm ready for you to go to bed at this time. But also, like my children do not come in my room, like lots of people like will have their kids sleep in their bed when they have a nightmare. And it's like, that's great. If that works for you. That has never been like my room is my space. It is my sanctuary. It is sacred, you do not come in here. They don't sleep in my bed. They don't like they'll come in here and find me if they need something or whatever. But like, like, you know, this is my like firm boundaries, this isn't really a space. You have the rest of the house child.


Tracy Barnett  11:24  

Yeah, and who knows what those things are practically right end up being but because and I think this is this is part of the of the game designer and me like, or Game Master in this in this case, right? This is like a life long running


Amelia Antrim  11:41  

campaign friends, this is not a one shot.


Tracy Barnett  11:44  

Exactly. But the way that I operate best is by loading myself up with the the knowledge that I need to have and the experiential data that I'm going to gain about how all of this works. And then improvising right from there. Right come from a firm place, say these are the things that we know to be true about what we're going to be doing here. And everything else is jam, right. Like,


Amelia Antrim  12:08  

I think though that there's there's something to be said for that and like in the way that we play games to have like, okay, here are all of the options of the way we can solve this problem. Let's try them out. And we'll figure out which one works. And like, so much of life is like that. And I think so much of parenting is like that. But I think that you You are smart enough to say like, you know, I need to figure out where those boundaries are and where I can, you know, like, it'll take a little bit to figure out like which ones work and which ones don't. But I think that you're you're certainly not wrong to like, say we need to have some of this.


Tracy Barnett  12:43  

Well, and it's the difference between someone saying Tell me a story. And someone saying, Tell me a story about the time that you were a scary dungeon they killed all the adventurers.


Ryan Boelter  12:57  

So we're gonna start we're gonna transition from people parenting podcast to


Amelia Antrim  13:03  

say, here's the thing. Parenting podcast is for After you create those characters.


Ryan Boelter  13:12  

Oh, I made some


Amelia Antrim  13:14  

people and now we got to figure out what to say.


Ryan Boelter  13:19  

All right, well, let's go ahead and get into this then. And we'll start by discussing what this game is all about what's in a game? All right, so what sort of world are we playing in? For you? You are the dungeon? What what sort of setting what's what's the pitch for this game.


Tracy Barnett  13:39  

So the pitch for the game is you are the dungeon You are a the embodiment of an a, a grotesque, dangerous, horrifying liminal space, within which people Delve for secrets and treasures and leave scarred by the experience, perhaps they don't leave at all. And they leave telling the story of you. You then grow in size you grow in power you grow and renowned and more adventures come. So the assumed setting is kind of like dungeon crawl classics, OSR type grim fantasy sort of sort of jazz, right? And that's where it all kind of ends like there's there's not as of yet there's not a full realized setting with this. So when you read it, it's it's general fantasy type stuff like dark fantasy, but I've already had one. One pair of people play this on a stream where they set it in a sci fi context and they did a derelict spaceship which is completely dealt like I was really happy to watch that stream because this game really can be adapted to fit whatever kind of story you want to tell, as long as those same constraints of evil dungeon ever expanding, are kept in place. Yeah.


Amelia Antrim  15:10  

What kind of tools do we need to play this game.


Tracy Barnett  15:13  

So you need the PDF, because that is where the text for how to do the things what you do in the game is found. Then you need there's a there's a little paragraph that the interesting thing about this is the dungeon is the character and and play is how you build the character and you don't ever stop unless you want to. And it's it can be a synchronous, like you don't have to do this all in one shot like we're going to you can take time and breaks and do this across a long time. But there's a paragraph called the necessaries and I'm just going to read it real quick. To be the dungeon. You will need the pages from this document, a deck of tarot cards, a single 10 sided die and something describe the happenings within your walls. You can have this experience digitally. But it is preferable to print these pages. So you have a physical record of the broken souls who staggered from your deaths. Nice. Yeah. And I do have my tarot deck at Herrick so


Ryan Boelter  16:14  

this is this is the third series in a row where I will be creating a villain.


Tracy Barnett  16:21  

It's interesting that you frame the dungeon as villainous. Well, we'll talk about that one we what yeah,


Ryan Boelter  16:32  

it's interest or antagonist would probably be at a better word for it.


Tracy Barnett  16:38  

That's a really good way to put it. Because part of the impetus of creating this in the way that I made it is that the idea of of dungeons in a classic Dungeons and Dragons context is that they are places to be explored with enemies to be killed and loot to be gathered. Yes, right. And those are all very, very colonialist, kind of gross ideas if you start unpacking them at all, Yes, right. It's it's the leftovers of someone else's civilization or someone else's work and effort. And potentially also something's home. Yes, and you are heading in there and pillaging now. I am a white, masculine presenting non binary person, I cannot and will not be the person to write an anti colonialist game, it is literally impossible for me to do. So as a white person. However, what I want to do is make a space where the door is open for those kinds of narratives. And that's what I think this game accomplishes in part nine, right? Like, if it makes you wonder about the motivations of the hapless fools who are going to wander down your corridors, so much the better. Yeah, because it has the potential to get people thinking about the context of what it means to be an adventurer, and what it means to be the space within which they adventure. And that's, that's cool.


Ryan Boelter  18:06  

Absolutely. And that kind of starts diving into our next question of what kind of stories and themes is this game meant to explore?


Tracy Barnett  18:15  

Yeah, so it's some of the stuff that I mentioned above. And if you don't want to take it all that seriously, you can just tell the story of a dungeon that is, you know, munching on the the bodies of adventurers as they, you know, seek fame and glory. It also can very easily be read as a queer story, because there is a lot of monstrosity in how queerness is portrayed and a lot of famous villains throughout, you know, historical portrayals. Frankenstein's monster, Ursula, the sea witch from from Little Mermaid are queer coated. And so it is very potentially empowering to be embodying the, the thing that is dangerous and enticing and alluring. And when the people come expecting to exploit it and and take from it are left dead or beaten or broken or psychologically damaged beyond repair. Wow, that's a powerful feeling. You know, not not that, like in the real world, you necessarily want to hurt people like that. But the empowerment of queer people is a super important thing to me. And I think that a lot of mainstream narratives of what it means to be queer fall short of the mark. So if you can, if you can be monsterous and queer, and make people ask questions, again about what it means to be safe, what it means to be normal. Fantastic. you're you're you're doing a great job. I


Amelia Antrim  19:51  

think there's something to be said for the amount of like, catharsis, something like that gets to though because you think about like, even like d&d, yeah. You know, it's like you You are adventurers and often you think you're the good guys and all that kind of stuff. Sometimes you're like, I just want to fight monsters because it is cathartic to just be up against something and to kill it, you know? Yep.


Tracy Barnett  20:13  

Yeah. And and the catharsis in this game exists in the inevitability of your existence as the dungeon. Right, the dungeon is ever present, it is eternal. It sits there crouched on the hillside or occupying the destroyed church, or at the at the bottom of a ravine, it is nearby, the town, or settlement or whatever, it's nearby civilization. Where are these people come from to to do their explorations? And at no point in time during this game, Is there ever a single chance that the dungeon is going to be defeated by the adventurers? It's It's not how the game is written? It's not It's not possible, you would have to you would have to make your own? Because that's not the point.


Ryan Boelter  20:56  

Right, exactly.


Amelia Antrim  20:57  

So what you characters do in this game, like we are not the adventures in this one?


Tracy Barnett  21:03  

No, you are literally what it says on the tin. So in this, in this game, you simply exist as this unfolding. menace to the people who who explore you write, the whole thing happens iteratively like we'll we'll start with the beginning of your sort of foundation, right, and we'll there are two phases, and ones where the adventure has come in. The other one is the time between adventure and parties. And that's how your whole existence is defined. And so what you what you do in this game is you entice people into your space, you tempt them with, with treasure with power with glory. You disabuse most of them of the notion that they're going to leave a line. And then you give what you said you would give them with the hook that they will never ever forget about the time that they spent within your walls.


Ryan Boelter  22:18  

It's interesting because the more I think about this, it there's there's a card game out there boss monsters, I believe it's called a that is it's competitive, where you each are building your own dungeon, so to speak with a boss at the end of it. And then adventurers just come in and you're the whole point of the game, is to prevent the adventurers from defeating your boss. So you tempt them with traitor you tempt them with like all these other side things and, and traps and all that sort of stuff. It's interesting to see this in, like a role playing space, especially like the solo RPG space. So I know there's a lot that's unique about this game. But why Why did you go the solo RPG route with it?


Tracy Barnett  23:11  

The the pattern easy answers for that are we're in the middle of of a pandemic, and you can't as easily get together and play games with other people. So why not have something that you can do on your own. And there have been, there's been a proliferation of solo games all through 2020 and 2021. Beyond just those reasons, though, I think that when you start with the basis of a solo game, you can very easily modify it to include input from more than one person. Like, we are going to play this game as a trio. Wait, we are, we are all going to be the dungeon. But it doesn't default to that. And if you want to take a more traditional role playing game, and you start paring down, how many people are playing right you quickly run into a problem that's where you're like well, I can't play this without to other people. I can't I can't do this with Just think about it like unless the game yeah, and and these are not thoughts that I necessarily had before. They're sort of like coming to me right now as I'm thinking about it. But like Cthulhu confidencial from pelgrane, gumshoe one one v one thing, like that's made for offensively one game master and one player. But if you try to play d&d or Pathfinder with one player and one GM, it throws the math of like combat encounters. Right? Imagine trying to play one person apocalypse world, right you're rapidly going to be looking at needing to play multiple characters as the player or sharing character control with the with the MC. So this kind of game though, can easily I mean, it takes literally Really no effort can be played with as basically as many people as you want to, as long as the signal to noise ratio doesn't get too high, because you're just asking questions, and answering questions, and then telling the stories of what happened to these adventurers when they're walking through the dungeon.


Ryan Boelter  25:17  

Yeah, so it's effectively collaborative world building at that point, right?


Tracy Barnett  25:22  

Oh, the gasp, and you wonder how it ties. him? No, but but for real, the the thing that is the hallmark of the stuff that I do, I think is that when you're playing in a game that I've written, you and whoever's running it or facilitating it, or whatever, you're all working together to build this space that you're going to tell the story with me. Because I think that that enhances player by in I think it makes it a lot easier to be to feel empowered and to go and do the story things that you do if you are have some stake in what's happening. And so this game is a reflection of that, right? You're you're making this space in, in a fictional fantasy setting, with not too many parameters or boundaries. But as you play, like through multiple cycles, layer upon layer, you're creating a reality and constraints for what the future cycles will hold. Because say, the same event comes up in a later, you know, later run through? Well, if it's, you know, a bloody glowing dagger is hanging before your head, like that happened before? Is it the same dagger, right, these questions start spiraling out of your own head, it's not written into the text, the text is very spare. There's, there's not a ton going on in this game in the written text to the game. But it prompts you to think about this stuff and to really dive in. And the tone with which I wrote it, I think implies that you get to do more with the game than the game necessarily explicitly says you get to do anything. And that was part of the point. Like I didn't want to include a line that said, oh, by the way, if you come up beside stories, feel free to write those down. That's like, that makes me as a player go. And okay, I guess I could do that. But if you if you're reading evocatively written instructional text, and it prompts you to think in that mode, and you're like, Oh, this thing has happened. And you start like, wondering at the implications of those things, suddenly, you're generating fanfiction for your own setting that you're building while you're playing the game. And I


Amelia Antrim  27:37  

know that there are rules as written players. But I think that even those kinds of people tend to sort of like, snowball outside of what the lines are like, there's, there's a difference between saying like, here's the rule, and I need to follow it versus like, I want to do more than that. And I know very few people who play games who don't like starts to build on those things.


Tracy Barnett  28:03  

Exactly. And the the setup of this, I think, encourages you to do that, because I tried to write the questions in such a way that they that the answers automatically prompt more questions. And even if you're the kind of person who's just like, Well, no, I just have to answer the questions. This is a worksheet that I'm doing. By the time you get through certain sort of goalposts of the play experience, you're going to find yourself asking those questions, asking additional stuff, because connections just start narratively forming as you're building the context within which you're operating.


Ryan Boelter  28:41  



Unknown Speaker  28:42  



Amelia Antrim  28:45  

So the history of this game, it's it's not been around for very long, because we just talked a little bit about like that whole pandemic gameplay and still low gameplay. What sparks this game? Why were you like, this? Is it I'm gonna do it?


Tracy Barnett  29:01  

So, back in November of 2020, I scheduled a consultation meeting with one Jeff storm.


Amelia Antrim  29:10  

Oh, hey, I've heard of him.


Tracy Barnett  29:13  

friend of the show, Jeff Stormer. Because in his daily life, Jeff is works in marketing. And I as we had discussed about before we started recording, I have a difficult time sometimes knowing what about myself to market or how to try and get people to buy the games or whatever it is. So not to turn this into a marketing cast. But the context is important. Jeff introduced me to the concept of the marketing funnel, right? Which is like a four step thing where you let people know about your thing, right? People get engaged with the idea of your thing. That's the next level down. People buy the thing that that they have been engaged with, and then the people who have bought the thing go and tell People about the thing they bought, and the cycle starts over again, right? You can probably already see some of the like, stuff from the game as you've read the text like baked into that. Because the idea of the funnel like the first step is really broad. And then the second step is narrower. The third step is narrower still in the fourth step is that the bottom of the funnel, but it all send stuff back up. So the next time your space at the top is wider, right, you're capturing more eyeballs, more attention, so on and so people are


Unknown Speaker  30:28  

already like, Oh, I


Ryan Boelter  30:29  

spotted Tracy


Tracy Barnett  30:30  

Burnett game. Exactly. So I had this meeting with Jeff I got really inspired. And I try it was trying to think of a metaphor for how to talk about this stuff. Because in case you haven't figured it out by listening this far, I'm a verbal processor, I like to talk through things to be able to understand them. And so I wrote a Twitter thread about how to do this marketing thing, as if you are the dungeon right. And the idea is that dungeons in fantasy contexts are these these hulking looming things that sit on the horizon. And they draw people in write stories of the of the glory and the wealth and the riches and so on and so forth that you can get are toward and taverns and they're, they're talked about in hushed whispers, and, and so on. And the idea from a marketing standpoint, is that you bring people in, and they, they come in for what they think there are their own reasons. And then they get entranced by the things that you do when they're left ever changed by the entire process. And they go back out, and they tell stories of the dungeon. And another generation of people are like, well, that person couldn't do it, but I sure can. And they go back to the dungeon, right, and it's the marketing funnel, it's just a loop that you can keep feeding, it's


Amelia Antrim  31:39  

marketing, the game.


Tracy Barnett  31:44  

The original thread definitely was. And this is the outgrowth of it as purely just a game, right? There's no marketing lingo, I don't talk about the funnel and the text or anything like that. But that was the genesis of it, is the idea that there is this thing that keeps enticing and inviting, and altering the people that engage with it. And then they those people go back out into the world and tell their stories. And that brings more people in. Because that's it's a really good story trope, right? Every time there's a, it's like Chekhov's dungeon, right? If you mentioned it in the first act, but the third act, they'd better be exploring it, you know, so I wrote the game from that, from that context. And it like I wrote the game in probably other than the tables, like I had the structure of play, done in like an hour and a half. Like it just because the thread was fresh in my mind, the concepts were all just like, you know, like words of fire in my brain. I was just like, yeah, here's how you do the thing. And then it took a little bit more to like flesh out the, there's a table of adventures, we're going to use tarot cards for that. And there are events that happened to the adventurer. So I had to write like random tables. So that took a little bit more like fine grained work. But the whole thing basically just came really quickly as an outgrowth of that original meeting with Jeff. That's very cool.


Amelia Antrim  33:09  

Yeah, since then, now, you've been doing kind of like ongoing Twitter threads too, haven't you that have like polls and


Tracy Barnett  33:18  

like little bit so I did a playthrough of it on Twitter. And the main thing that I've been doing and this is very much a marketing thing, is I found a formula for how to write a tweet about this game that delivers the tone and the content of it really, really well. And I've I've been tweeting those a lot. And you can expect to see a modified version of those coming out of my Twitter feed within the next well by the time this airs they'll be happening right now. So because I am in the process of writing a sequel slash companion game to you or the dungeon I'm gonna save talking about that until the until the breakdown afterward, but that that method of marketing of basically I situate people within the actual context and I say, you are this and you are that you are the You are the brooding evil that rests upon the hill that overlooks the valley town. They venture forth to seeking glory seeking wealth seeking riches but they are wrong they leave forever scarred by their existence within your walls. You are the dungeon and that's the that's the formula right is situate you as the thing that that big enticing thing, situate them as antagonistic or foolish to mess with you and then hit that you are the dungeon and then linked to the game.


Ryan Boelter  34:48  

Yeah, no, that's awesome.


Tracy Barnett  34:50  

Yeah, I find it funny for the all of our conversation early on about I'm not sure how to market myself that I found a really good way to market Because it came out of a marketing conversation. Yeah,


Ryan Boelter  35:02  

I know.


Amelia Antrim  35:03  

That's fascinating to me, though. Like, that's all of the places that like you would think now, what are we like three years into doing this or something? That by this point, it wouldn't shock me when people tell me like where their ideas came from. But like, I'm still like, are you? Are you sure? Like, that's, that's where games come from? Because that is not. Why can't I make them that?


Tracy Barnett  35:30  

I think I think this is a thing that happens to a lot of people who choose to design a game is that there's a lot of that thinking, ahead of time, I think we talked about this the last time I was on the show, and I told you, Amelia, that you are not far away from designing your first game. And you went, Oh, no, no, I know


Amelia Antrim  35:50  

that I am working on one. It's just we keep kind of getting stuck on parts of it. And


Unknown Speaker  35:55  

so but that,


Tracy Barnett  35:57  

but that's fine. If you're getting stuck. The thing is that I think for most creative people, most people who have a bent towards doing this kind of stuff. It just takes one thing or one set of experiences to flip the switch. And then suddenly, all not all you're thinking about but there's just an entire part of your brain that is now devoted to how to make a game from Thank you.


Amelia Antrim  36:23  

Right? Well, I think like it's and you just start that way with podcasts is that like, you know, I've like started or planned or whatever, like six or seven different podcasts now at this point, because it's like, my brain goes, Oh, I know how to do that. I have the tools. I have those pieces there in my in my box. And what does it we recorded with Allie and drew at 1.2. And I was like, the best thing to ever happened to me is that I had an idea for a podcast and then I forgot it.


Tracy Barnett  36:55  

Yeah, and and i think that like as no matter what your creative discipline is, I think that's that story that you just told forgetting the podcast idea is perfect. Because whether or not it was actual forgetting, it was your mind not immediately going, Okay, I guess I have to make this


Amelia Antrim  37:16  

right, which is totally that's a level our game started was like somebody being like, we could make a game out of this. And I was like, here's how we would do it. And then now we're doing it. And


Tracy Barnett  37:27  

but as you as you go down the road as you keep doing more creative things. Your logical brain becomes more judicious about applying the creativity engine to a problem. So like, I've had now plenty of game ideas that I go, oh, that could be and as I start to like peace through the concept of mechanics and blah, blah. And I hit a point where I'm just like, nope, there's a there's a there's a gulf of note. Yeah, that things have to cross now. And if it reaches like a pseudopod across, nope. And gets to the other side. I go Okay, you're a keeper.


Unknown Speaker  38:05  

Let's go.


Tracy Barnett  38:07  

Yeah, and sometimes things just absolutely steamroll across my brain. So there's not even the possibility of a golf which was what this game is.


Amelia Antrim  38:18  

So good. It's good. Games are good.


Unknown Speaker  38:21  

themes are good, right?


Amelia Antrim  38:23  

Yeah, games are good.


Ryan Boelter  38:24  

Well, before we dive into figuring out what started dungeon we are, are there any basic terms and concepts that we need to cover?


Tracy Barnett  38:34  

Not a ton. This game uses two distinct terms for the phases that happen. And that's really all we need to cover. So I'm going to cover them they are for re f o ra y and fellow f f l o w. And the foray phase is where adventurers come into the dungeon right they foray they venture forth and do this thing. And the fallow phase fallow is like when you let a field lie on planted for a season right? So it is a season of time where nothing external is coming into the dungeon explicitly in terms of antagonistic force, and the dungeon is allowed to grow and expand. Beyond that, I mean, if you know the nomenclature of D number for dice, right? I say d 10. And there are a few different times I reference tarot cards as an excellent thing in the world. And this is all basic stuff, right? But I mean, to answer the question explicitly, that's what you need. You need to be comfortable with the concept of inscribing glyphs with a writing utensil or in a digital medium that can then be read and understood by another human being. So you have to be able to write There you go. Or if you are unable to if physically writing something is not a possibility for you, then you could easily have Questions read to you and you could in an audio medium, you could transcribe your answers. The only thing that you're not going to be able to do easily at that point in time is to draw the the confines of the dungeon. So.


Ryan Boelter  40:12  

So that was one of the most succinct answers to that particular line of questioning. It's a really short game, right? Wonderful. Well, I would normally say, shall we make some people? But I guess Shall we make a place?


Tracy Barnett  40:29  

Let's pick up let's make a place. Let's make a place showing make a dungeon


Ryan Boelter  40:35  



Tracy Barnett  40:36  

Okay, and I figure we'll go through just one, one series of this because that will easily show what, what this can do. And we won't take a ton of time to play it because, you know, we've been digressing a lot, and I want to make sure Ryan's not editing for hours.


Unknown Speaker  40:54  



Ryan Boelter  40:55  

I love anything. Okay, well,


Tracy Barnett  40:56  

then, we'll then we'll go for a lot. We're gonna do 20 rounds of this


Ryan Boelter  41:03  

round right? Let's do 21 coward.


Tracy Barnett  41:16  

After making your first villain, you found sassy Ryan and he comes out sometimes it's amazing.


Amelia Antrim  41:21  

Oh, my gosh, after dirge stranglethorn it was all downhill. It's true. Oh, God.


Tracy Barnett  41:30  

All right. So for the beginning, the the procedure of the game is this. We describe foray and follow. Actually, I'm just gonna I've read, I'm just going to read the procedure because it's not that long. So, to begin, you must know where you started, turn to page two of this document, print the page or scribe upon it digitally. Answer the questions on the page, then use the grid below to below the questions to define your boundaries. This will not be the only such definition. as yours turned to centuries and centuries to eons, you will grow change and become more. Your existence is defined by times a foray and follow forays are when people will explore your unhallowed depths leaving with more than they ever planned. During follow times. Your viral call attracts new inhabitants expands your boundaries, and allows you to bring into being new profanities. After the story of your beginning, alternated between forays and follows to tell your story. Follow the instructions on each sheet describing who ventures through your blasphemies. But twisted abominations reside within and expand your walls, what curses lurk and leave your story as as long as you wish it to be. It can be explored one page after another, or confessor and putrefy between sessions of scribing make known of yourself only what you wish, nothing more and nothing less are like that. I had a whole mood in my head when I'm


Amelia Antrim  42:58  

like, What are you doing? Okay.


Tracy Barnett  43:03  

So the page two of the document is the beginning. Okay, and it's just a series of questions with a grid below it. So we will answer these questions together. We have the shared space over here on the Google slide to put down our answers. Whoever has the quietest keyboard can do the typing.


Ryan Boelter  43:22  

I've got the probably the fanciest mic that completely eliminates my typing.


Tracy Barnett  43:28  

Fantastic. Then Ryan, you are going to be our official scribe scribe. So the first question is very simple. What was your original form? suggestions are a warehouse barracks, a castle, a temple, etc.


Ryan Boelter  43:43  

I want to do something weird.


Amelia Antrim  43:46  

I was thinking that too. I was like, not some. Like I don't want I lay down slots.


Unknown Speaker  43:51  



Ryan Boelter  43:53  

What is


Tracy Barnett  43:55  

so when you when you say weird, and this is for either of you? What kind of landscape comes to mind when you say weird? Like what? What sensory impressions do you get?


Ryan Boelter  44:05  

Like my my thought is something extraordinarily non traditional to the fantasy dungeon type like totally outside the box sort of deal. Okay, let's just send to the midnight weird,


Amelia Antrim  44:19  

right? Okay, so speaking of that,


Unknown Speaker  44:21  

what about


Unknown Speaker  44:23  

that girl riff?


Tracy Barnett  44:24  

Okay, is it still underwater?


Amelia Antrim  44:27  



Ryan Boelter  44:27  

that's an even better question. I would say yes.


Tracy Barnett  44:34  

Okay, so a desiccated submerged coral reef.


Amelia Antrim  44:38  

Are you okay with that, Ryan?


Ryan Boelter  44:40  

Yeah, I think that I think that should be fine.


Amelia Antrim  44:42  

Okay. And we can always kind of you know, finagle with it as we go if we need to start somewhere


Unknown Speaker  44:49  

and then I am spelling


Ryan Boelter  44:50  

words incorrectly.


Tracy Barnett  44:53  

I got you don't worry. Oh, Lord. There we go. A desiccated submerge coral reef question two who was responsible for your creation? suggestions are a landowner a high priest or royal concert arch wizard, so on and so forth. crackin


Ryan Boelter  45:08  



Tracy Barnett  45:11  

the crackin cool capital T capital K. So mote it be,


Ryan Boelter  45:16  

I want to say capital a capital K.


Tracy Barnett  45:19  

A crackin,


Ryan Boelter  45:20  

implying that there's more than one.


Tracy Barnett  45:22  

Oh, see, okay, you are already tapping into the world building aspect of this, of this. Seriously, like that's, it starts that quickly. Nice.


Ryan Boelter  45:37  

Gosh, I really loved this game. And you will hear some fantastic stuff that we do with this next episode, but it's really cool that we're actually getting the chance to play it a little bit, which, which doesn't actually happen all that often on the show here. I know, I promised Amelia would be back. But things have been quite busy for me this weekend and probably for her. And we have not been able to touch base, I'm actually recording the cold open today, or this call to action. So having said all of that, just some reminders, you can check out my detail of twinkle in our campaign using Chi Mira, this coming Friday at 7:30pm Central at twitch kalimera. Dat games. Also, we have a couple reviews in our pocket right now. We're still waiting for being able to record with Amelia before we actually dive into reading those. But we absolutely would love a few more if you could throw a shout out to us on pod chaser on Apple podcasts on Stitcher, any of those things always helps us out in the rankings. And really helps others find the show and expand our audience. And the more people that listen, the bigger community that we have, the bigger community that we have, the more cool things that we can do together. So go ahead and leave a review. If you haven't yet. If you have, just feel free to retweet our stuff that we post or even just say, Hey, I'm listening to Character Creation Cast, and it's great on Twitter, or wherever, and we would be super thrilled to hear people talking about the show. And that's free as well. So if you want to help us out, leave a review, or just chat about us to your friends. I don't think I have anything else to say for tonight. It's getting late, I still have to finish the Edit. So hopefully I'll get this out in time. If not, thank you for your patience. And we will see you next time.


Amelia Antrim  48:18  

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  48:25  

Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network and can be found online at www dot Character Creation 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. is one of your hosts Ryan Boelter and I can be found on twitter at Lord Neptune or online at lordan Neptune calm. Our other host Amelia Antrim can be found on twitter at ginger reckoning. Music for this episode is used with a Creative Commons license, or with permission from the podcast they originated from. Further information can be found within the shownotes 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 Boelter. Further information for the game systems used and today's guests can be found in the shownotes. 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. I remember we find that the best part of any role playing game is character creation. So go out there and create some amazing people. We will see you next time.


Amelia Antrim  50:12  

Now we got to read some show blurbs show blurbs.


Unknown Speaker  50:16  



Amelia Antrim  50:17  

show blurbs. Character Creation Cast is hosted by the one shot Podcast Network. If you enjoyed our show, visit one shot where you'll find other great shows like Neo scum.


Ryan Boelter  50:29  

News comm is a narrative comedy podcast featuring five Chicago improvisers antagonizing their way through the role playing classic Shadowrun. It follows a group of misfits and outsiders z the acerbic cyber troublemaker, packs the candy junkie klepto from across the pond tech wizard, the public access actor with a petulant thirst for adventure. And Dec Rambo the nastiest trucker this side of the rubble Mason Dixon join the irascible Neo scum crew on a pure aisle rockin road trip through a weirdo World of Tomorrow, doling out street justice to every debe they encounter. Whether they deserve it or not.


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