Character Creation Cast

Series 38.1 - Blue Planet: Recontact with Jeff Barber [Designer] (Creation)

Episode Summary

Welcome to the first episode of Series 38! This series we welcome Jeff Barber back to the studio to cover the brand new version of a game we covered 32 series ago, Blue Planet: Recontact, a sci-fi game about life on an alien, ocean world. This episode we find out what this game is all about and start diving into the character creation process! Also, make sure to check the show notes for the Kickstarter page as well as the #Reviews4Good campaign that Podchaser is doing this whole month of April!

Episode Notes

Welcome to the first episode of Series 38! This series we welcome Jeff Barber back to the studio to cover the brand new version of a game we covered 32 series ago, Blue Planet: Recontact, a sci-fi game about life on an alien, ocean world. This episode we find out what this game is all about and start diving into the character creation process! Also, make sure to check the show notes for the Kickstarter page as well as the #Reviews4Good campaign that Podchaser is doing this whole month of April!

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Jeff Barber @BiohazardJeff

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Blue Planet: Recontact by Jeff Barber

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Episode Transcription

Transcripts Automatically Generated - Not 100% Accurate

Ryan Boelter  0:01  

Welcome to the start of series 38. Everyone. This month we have a whopper of a series for you. So we will try to keep these announcements short so we can get to our episode with Jeff barber designer if the game we're going to be covering today, Blue Planet recontact. Which speaking of if you like what you are hearing this episode, head on over to the show notes and check out the link to the Kickstarter that is starting on April 6. The day after this episode releases, we really enjoyed creating characters for the system. And the story possibilities are just remarkable. I also got to play a one shot of the game pack at Gen Con in 2019. And it really is such a joy plus rich Howard's name is in the book so you know it's good. In other news, I wanted to let you know that all of April is reviews for good month at pod chaser. Basically, if you leave a review for a podcast or for individual podcast episodes, pod chaser is going to donate 25 cents for every such review to Meals on Wheels, helping feed those in need. And if we podcasters respond to a review, pod chaser is going to double that amount. All it takes is a bit of your time and signing up for our free content pod chaser if you haven't already, and you can leave a review from any internet capable device. Unlike a certain fruit based podcast store. Not only will this help us out a lot, but the money donated will help out a lot of folks. So let's see what sort of good we can do with reviews. Check out the show notes for more information. And I'll continue this again and the call to action since this is quite a long episode. But I really hope you can help out with this. Also will read your podcast review on the show too. Once I can find the record this with Emilia again. So that is another perk. There is likely more to announce here. But I can't think of anything else right now. And this is getting quite long anyway. So how about we get on with the show? Enjoy.

 

Amelia Antrim  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 Amelia, and this episode my co host Ryan and I are excited to welcome back Jeff barbered designer of the game we are covering today. Blue Planet recontact. a futuristic role playing game that takes place on an alien Waterworld, which may sound familiar to those of you who listened to series six of this podcast. Yeah, absolutely.

 

Ryan Boelter  3:26  

Welcome to Character Creation Cast on. Jeff, we're really excited to have you back here with us.

 

Jeff Barber  3:30  

Well, thank you for having me very much. Excited to be here, and I really appreciate the support for blue planet. I feel a little bit surprised and a little bit special for being on a second time.

 

Ryan Boelter  3:41  

Yeah, not many have had that honor yet.

 

Jeff Barber  3:44  

Well, yeah, it

 

Amelia Antrim  3:45  

was certainly rich still.

 

Ryan Boelter  3:50  

Yeah, so it's been quite a bit since we've last had you on to talk about blue planet. So let's go ahead and start by reintroducing you to our audience. Jeff, if you want to tell us a bit more about yourself, where we can find you online and then the projects you're currently involved in? Sure.

 

Jeff Barber  4:09  

My name is Jeff Barber, and a teacher by vocation. I work in a boarding school in Tacoma, Washington. Though I have long been a science teacher, I mostly administrate these days running the boarding program here. I design games on the side. I think most people that are game designers have it as a side hustle. I got into a long time ago and then was out of it for a very long time. And then came back in. We did blue planet, the original edition. Back in the 90s, which was you how old it is. And then I wrote a RPG setting for Fantasy Flight called midnight. folks are familiar with that. It's kind of like what if SAR on one and now it's 100 years later All fun, though, it's kind of a, a darker fantasy. But that was for the big d 20, glut back in 2000. And then more recently, actually, I said I'd been out of it for a long time, I hadn't done any work on on role playing games for about 15 years or something, and then got inspired by something I just couldn't get out of my teeth and wrote a game called upwind. We did a Kickstarter for that. And that's, that was fun and interesting and about us, as far along the spectrum away from Blue Planet, as you can imagine.

 

Amelia Antrim  5:37  

Think we talked about that last time? This is everything this game is

 

Jeff Barber  5:44  

using playing cards, and it's it's like a love letter to us to do Ghibli. So it's it's quite different than a hard science fiction setting. But you can find me at biohazard Jeff on Twitter. And you can kind of keep up with what's going on with biohazard at biohazard games.us, through our website. And then soon, and I don't know how this works with podcast time, because I know, it's very well. tuned. You can also reach us through Kickstarter, as we launched the blue planet recontact. campaign. April 6.

 

Ryan Boelter  6:19  

Absolutely. And if my calculations are correct, that should be

 

Amelia Antrim  6:24  

April 5, is the day that this can

 

Ryan Boelter  6:27  

be that'll be coming out tomorrow.

 

Jeff Barber  6:30  

You guys have control over your schedule?

 

Ryan Boelter  6:32  

Yeah, little bit.

 

Amelia Antrim  6:35  

Yeah, and nothing like wait until the last minute comes out. Like

 

Jeff Barber  6:40  

it's fresh that way. Right? Right produce,

 

Amelia Antrim  6:42  

right? That's only the freshest podcast content here. Well, let's go ahead and get into this and discuss what this game is all about.

 

Unknown Speaker  6:53  

What's in a game?

 

Amelia Antrim  6:54  

Obviously, we had you on before to talk about blue planet. So in this game, what kind of world are we playing? And is it the same? Is it different? How is it different?

 

Jeff Barber  7:07  

Yeah, in terms of the setting, in broad strokes, it's not going to be different at all. The thing that I think blue planet has in the reason it has endured, as it seems to have is because of its setting, its its deep, its rich, its its detailed, or complex, that's always seemed to be where we we got our accolades, primarily. And so not wanting to mess with success, right, that's we're not really changing that much. I also, the setting also was kind of poised in terms of the socio political events that were occurring, to provide what I, I kind of saw as the most adventure opportunity, there was a lot going on, and there were a lot of tensions. And so we didn't want to advance the timeline much either. Because, you know, that's what a lot of games will do when they do a new edition as they advanced their timeline. We wanted to keep that tension in place. So the timeline is not really advancing either. We are, of course, going through and updating things. We're having sensitivity readers, which weren't a thing in the 90s. We are working hard in that regard. we're updating a lot of the tech, I mean, in the 90s, there weren't cell phones, and we kind of missed a couple of beats there. We're obviously updating the tech a lot where we are adding in new stuff, new sort of social structures, new social political organizations, the big thing that is being updated is the mechanics, those are being I hesitate to say entirely replaced because they are a clear evolution of the second edition of the game. But they are probably the difference between them is far greater than what you would see in a normal evolution of rules. They have moved, they've taken advantage of 25 years of game design, evolution. Yeah, and what we what we feel about games and how we play games these days, so that is substantively different when you'll see that in character creation today.

 

Amelia Antrim  9:17  

I like that you aren't moving the timeline forward, because I think like I've played a number of games that it was like you really like the first edition or third edition or whatever. And then you go to a new one. And it's like, we've made a jump in the timeline. And it's like, why, like the mechanics better here. But like, the story over here was where I wanted to be and you know, like, kind of reconciling those two things because now suddenly, all of the NPCs that you're given are like not static correctly. You have to do all this work to change things. Like obviously any RPG, it's like, you know, do what you want. But it is always like I really liked this game. I really liked this story. I like this world we're playing in cool new mechanics Totally different worlds. That's not

 

Jeff Barber  10:04  

where we're at. That's our that's kind of our position or, yeah, for sure. We are really excited we're getting to do you know, in the 90s, full color books we're not even heard of. Right. I remember when the first one came out, I think it was underground. And I'm not even sure that was all full color. But there was kind of industry changing. And I'm so excited to see blue planet in full color with

 

Ryan Boelter  10:25  

Oh, yeah, that's gonna be gorgeous.

 

Amelia Antrim  10:27  

I didn't even think about that, that like, yeah. Oh, the old one wasn't? Um, I want to not on our outline, but like, what is the thing that going back through you were most like, surprised at the change that needed to happen or like thought was like the most interesting change? Like you mentioned the technology and like cell phones and stuff. Like, were there things in there that you were like, Oh, boy, I got that one wrong. Oh, I was actually really right.

 

Jeff Barber  10:59  

There were some things that were kind of right. But I mean, anybody writing science fiction can see trends and kind of predict what surprised me the most are not surprised. What feels the most clunky, when you look at it now is that we had a different device for everything. Right? You had a navigation device, and you had a communication device. And, and we also had like different size batteries. And like, the idea that not we just sort of, we understood what rechargeable batteries where and we had really fancy energy sources. But this idea that you would have devices that you could remove the batteries from was still there was still a thing. So those are super clunky. Now when you look back at it, but you know, that's easy to fix.

 

Amelia Antrim  11:46  

That's really fun. Like I remember, recently, very recently explaining to my children that like, you used to only be able to text on your phone. I was like, I remember like, somebody in my class in college had an iPhone. And it was like, oh, how can you afford that that's like, the coolest you can do the internet on your phone. And like, my kids are like, okay, whatever. And I was like, you could play snake. Like, you could play snake. And now they're like, you know, they've got their switch and their DS and that, you know, but it's like, we've come so far in 10 years, like, you know, much less, you know, 20 year, whatever. Yeah, that's even think about that, that like, there's, it's all one thing now. Yeah. This is my phone and my map and like, you know,

 

Jeff Barber  12:37  

even even this idea of the cloud, right? And that, yeah, really affects technology, because of access and storage, and who controls the gate and all that kind of thing. And that's an idea that, even if we had done this 10 years ago, probably would know, I am a tech guy. So I would have probably missed

 

Ryan Boelter  12:57  

that. That adds a whole nother dimension to a lot of the stories that you can tell in blue planet I can imagine,

 

Amelia Antrim  13:03  

as I was playing Shadow run at 1.2. And you have like the matrix, and I was like, Oh, it's like the internet. And like, I remember my my table being like, Yeah, but like, worse? Like, why is that? Because it was written forever? Yeah, that's fine.

 

Ryan Boelter  13:22  

All right. Well, what sort of tools then do we need to actually play this game?

 

Jeff Barber  13:27  

Nothing special. As far as, as a traditional role playing games go, I mean, a book a couple of character sheets, something to write with and detained. uses a small pool of D 10. So you need three d? 10? Oh, that's nice. Nothing special about them? Very, super easy.

 

Ryan Boelter  13:48  

Yeah, I'm gonna have to figure out my D 10 days if I need to roll them for character creation.

 

Amelia Antrim  13:54  

So what kind of stories and themes does this game explore? And you know, are they roughly the same as what you worked with with in blue planet? Or have you changed those things? I know, we said that the setting is kind of?

 

Jeff Barber  14:09  

Well, that's a big question for a couple of reasons. One is, if we've received, there's been two sort of, I won't call them consistent criticisms. But if there have been criticisms, there are two that have been consistent. And one of them is it depends, I think, probably on your politics, but it was identified as sort of a left leaning environmental game, right. It was about this water world and it assumed that there was ecological collapse because of this agricultural blight on earth. And all the all the bad things that were important, you know, vague portents, to scientists back in the 90s. were part of this ecological decline that was driving this setting. And then on the planet, Poseidon, there was this fresh new opportunity. due for humans to be more respectful of the ecology and the native population, recognize that and then the newcomers with their big mining conglomerates didn't. So there was that that was the big sort of one of the big in game tensions. And so a lot of that would never happen in real life.

 

Amelia Antrim  15:19  

What kind of leftist fantasy or

 

Jeff Barber  15:23  

a lot of people, if someone had trouble with the politics, it was around that, right. And I understand that, I get it. But it's, it's what I knew, as a science teacher, it's, it's what I liked, and what I could write about, and it meant a lot to me. So it, it was, you know, that what's that advice you get from your English teacher, when you're a kid, like, write what you know, so I had written what I knew, and and if anything, that is a stronger thing. Now those things, you know, back then a lot of people wouldn't have known what global warming was, let alone climate change, or ocean acidification or, or reef bleaching or anything like that. But now, a lot of those things are daily conversations. So if anything, the the opportunity to lean into that is greater now and the need to continue that is greater now. So that that's something that I think, might have been considered a detriment in the past, from some people's perspective about the game, but now it's something that we're definitely leaning on. leaning into, as as to add our small, little tiny voice to the chorus that's calling for better stewardship of the planet. Right, absolutely. And then sort of the other criticism that the game got, and this was more more game related, was that the setting was so big, and so broad that I knew Game Master would come in, and they just wouldn't know where to start. Right. And, and I guess, in a way, that was sort of intentional, because we wanted to present a realistic and vibrant world that was full, and people can play in that world any way they wanted to. But I think people were so used to games presenting you a default campaign, you are an explorer of dungeons, or you are a shadow runner, or you are right. In this, you could be anything from most orphan street urchin to a mega rich corporate executive, anything in between, as a super soldier to native freedom fighter. And I think a lot of people sort of struggled with that, at least from the reviews that have been out there or just conversations that we've had. And so we are trying to address that in a very specific way with the new addition. But that's sort of the other area that has been, I guess, a critique.

 

Amelia Antrim  18:00  

Do you think that that's still a concern, given the like, the 20 years or whatever, of sort of evolution and game design? Because I feel like there are a lot more like, rules, like open world kind of games, too. I mean, obviously, there are still people that are used to coming from something with like a, you know, pretty strict setting or, or something like that. But like, is that something that you think maybe people are more open to now I

 

Jeff Barber  18:25  

think people might be more comfortable with it. But I think if you look at the games that have kind of guided game design in the last few last years, let's take blades in the dark, for example.

 

Unknown Speaker  18:36  

Mm hmm.

 

Jeff Barber  18:37  

That is, I think one of the things that appeals to people is how narrow it is. Right? And get started in 15 minutes, your character, you're told exactly what your character does, you're given a few options to pick from, and then you go do a very specific task, which is a heist. Right? And, and I think with the busy lives, people are leading and still wanting to game. There's a lot of appeal in that. And we're definitely not that. But we needed to, we needed to address that. And so we've taken some steps to do that, for sure.

 

Ryan Boelter  19:11  

Very cool. So then, when we get into the game, and we actually start playing, what do characters do then, in this game? And what options do we have?

 

Jeff Barber  19:21  

Well, I guess, as a segue, anything goes? I think this game really benefits from a really thoughtful session zero, where you talk with your players, and try and figure out what kind of game you all agree what kind of game you want to play, what kind of game you want to run. And then you build your character party around that intention. Now finding that that decision, finding that consensus might be challenging, but once you have it, then you can create your character concepts and generally okay to move forward. But you can do it for anything right. Do you want to play an adventure game where you're exploring the Want to play a conflict ridden game? Where there's a lot of sort of military tactics? Do you want to play a urban survival game? Do you want to play a rural survival game? Do you want to play corporate espionage? Do you want to play in space? Do you want everyone to be living in the asteroid belt and, and try and just get by day to day, the thing that we are doing to address that structurally in the game is that we are providing what we call campaign archetypes. So you know how there was, seemed to be more of a trend in the past. But there are games that still do it, you get to the middle of the book. And there's a bunch of sort of pre made characters to show you the kinds of characters you can play. They'll have a character sheet to be filled in, there'll be an illustration of the character and a little background stuff. There'll be like eight or 10 of those that give you all I can play this kind of person, I mean, the hacker can be the gunrunner. And and then even more, so things like blades in the dark, right, you can play the leech, you can play that. So we've expanded that to be four campaigns instead. So we're providing these little like 2000 word two page spread campaign structures that give you the sort of structure for the campaign, the the hooks for the campaign, the kinds of characters that you would want in it, a little collection of NPCs that will be associated with it. And then some little venture threads that you can build on to make make the Start your campaign and maintain your campaign.

 

Amelia Antrim  21:27  

That's really cool. Like that's, that is very smart. I, my brother is starting his first GMAT experience, he and his friends have played d&d. And then he reached out to me and was like, Hey, can you tell me about some other games, and I was like, you're gonna have to be more specific. But he's, he's been sort of like texting me about all of these ideas. He's like, I just don't like know where to start. He's like, I know that they want to play. First, it was cyberpunk. And then they kind of decided sci fi. And he's like, I don't know what to have them do or like how to, you know, like, how to make these things happen? And like, what's, you know, what are good sort of hooks to do these things? And so like, I think, especially for first time, gms, like those will be really, really useful tools. Yeah. Explain, like all of the questions that he's asking me that I'm like, I don't run games, I don't know.

 

Jeff Barber  22:26  

Hoping. So we're trying to be really specific with them. So you know, we themed out like, these are the themes that run through blue planet. So we tried to pick one for each theme. And it's not like, if you want to run an environmental theme, these are the things you do, we're trying to be really specific, like, the one that's in the quickstart guide is based on the play test campaign that I've kind of been running off and on for years, called Red Sky charters. And so that was the theme of like, the intersection between the native culture and the newcomer culture. And, and so it's a family run business where they are kind of a guide service, but also a freight company. And they're, you know, barely making ends meet, and they have to take increasingly dubious jobs to do that. So it's kind of like Firefly, but we were doing it long before Firefly was a thing, because you know, 90s. And that's been. So that was the example that we present in the quickstart guide. And it's got specific characters and specific events and, and so it reads like sort of the elevator pitch for a television series. And that's kind of what we're trying to do for each of these little, little bits. Yeah, I

 

Ryan Boelter  23:37  

think I played the opener to that specific scenario at Gen Con. And

 

Jeff Barber  23:43  

that's the that's the Quickstart guides adventure is the one that you played.

 

Ryan Boelter  23:47  

Yeah, it was fantastic. had a really fun time with that one. And still remember, quite vividly to this day. So

 

Jeff Barber  23:55  

you had a good table, too. There was a lot of good energy. I thought it was fantastic. Yeah.

 

Amelia Antrim  24:00  

I love games like that, where you're like everything just like clicks into place and like, you're set to go. But I really, I'm, I'm very excited for you for that idea. Like that's, I think gonna be super helpful for a lot of people. Like, smart

 

Jeff Barber  24:16  

rocky putting the intention is to have a couple extra ones as stretch goals in the Kickstarter, and try to line up some industry luminaries to write very nice.

 

Amelia Antrim  24:31  

Very cool. What do you think is unique about this game? Like, why if somebody is looking at their game store and like a shelf of books? Why grab blue planet?

 

Jeff Barber  24:41  

Um, I would say, depth of setting. Yeah. There's not well, depth of setting and hard science fiction. There's not a lot of that in RPGs. Even things like, I mean, there are other things you can point to that that are Good science are accurate science, but then there's often an extension that makes them not scientific, more science fantasy, I suppose. Yeah.

 

Amelia Antrim  25:09  

We're not very deep. I like the combination of the two, I think.

 

Jeff Barber  25:12  

Yeah, I think that especially that's what makes us if we're unique. That's what that does it. I mean, I hoped the new rules are good. And I hope people like them. But I, I'm not enough of a mechanic's designer, strong enough mechanics designer to feel like, Oh, that's what should draw people to the game. I do think it's the setting. And I do think it's the, at least the respect we try to play by science as it plays into the mean. Obviously, we have wormholes traversable wormhole. So it's still science fiction, but trying to do what? What seems possible.

 

Ryan Boelter  25:46  

Yeah, absolutely. So let's talk a little bit about the history of the game. Before we hop into the character creation stuff, now blue planet, the second edition came out 25 years ago or so? Yeah.

 

Jeff Barber  26:02  

It was published in 97. I think second edition was 2000, maybe 2001? Or something like that. What

 

Amelia Antrim  26:09  

was the difference between those two?

 

Jeff Barber  26:11  

So we had produced the first edition as biohazard games. And we, at Gen Con one year, we ran into the guys at Fantasy Flight. And they had just released discourse. Are you guys familiar with that? And that had made them kind of cash flush, all of a sudden, and they didn't have role playing games, and they wanted one. And we were kind of tired of trying to carry blue planet on our backs. It was just me and my partner, Greg. Yeah, who I need Greg Bennett, I need to just give a shout out. I keep talking about me and I, he Blue Planet wouldn't exist without him. If there's anything good in it, it's because he came onto the project and, and made sure that we made it good. But they said to us, Hey, you guys want to license it to us. And we'll do a new edition and all the books that you had talked about doing that you're clearly kind of tired and don't want to work on on your own anymore. We'll, we'll do that. And they wanted one of us to come work for them and run the line. And I had a teaching job that I didn't want to give up. And, and so Greg took that gig, and he worked for them for a long time for a bunch of role playing products through Fantasy Flight. And they never owned the game, but they did have the license for a long time. And then it reverted back to us. And then it was licensed again by a company called capricious games. And then, no sorry, they were redbrick games, and then their name became Fassa, because they got some other people involved and sort of picked up the facet role playing lines. And then they change their name again to capricious games. Anyway, so they did this third edition they did to the Revised Edition. If you look on like RPG, geek calm, you'll notice sometimes they refer to second edition revised. And this was put out by red brick. And it was just some minor tweaks in the second edition of rules. And they wanted to get it out and on Drive Thru RPG, and it was just a way to sort of sustain the line because they were big fans. And they were doing that with a couple other games like earthdawn kind of fallen out of production, and they were keeping that alive. Oh, very cool. And then they kind of fold it up and it sat with us for reverted back to us and sat with us for a bunch of years. Yeah.

 

Ryan Boelter  28:33  

Awesome. So So then what sparked the the thought to bring this back and update the rules and all that sort of stuff?

 

Jeff Barber  28:40  

Um, well, it was probably working on upwind. I guess we're gonna end up when we're just about to launch the Kickstarter. And I got involved with Stuart wick, who people may know from White Wolf publishing, he was one of the wick brothers who created White Wolf and the world of darkness, and drive thru RPG and all of that. And he was kind of getting back into publishing, after having, you know, sold all that off. And then he was bringing together a bunch of different small games into like a studio. And he pulled in upwind. But really, I think what he wanted to do was pull in blue planet for future options. And that midnight line that I talked about, he had licensed that from Fantasy Flight, and we're going to do a new addition to that and do a new edition of the planet. Sadly, through the middle of that he passed away. And so that plan kind of stalled a little bit. But as part of that, I met Ellen Barr, who runs gallant Knight, gelt Knight publishing. And he was actually part of Stewart's little studio. He was stewards, basically assistant in that whole project. And so he said, Well, why don't we continue with To the planet. And I was kind of hemming and hawing, I was just come off a plane and I was tired and didn't want to work anymore, then comes along the tower.

 

Amelia Antrim  30:12  

And I told people to get into things I

 

Jeff Barber  30:14  

told him many times that I hold him responsible for all the time, blood, blood, sweat, and tears that are going into this. But he has, for as long as I can remember been the biggest Blue Planet fan. In fact, that's how we met just through his, his his life of blue planet. And he connected with me on the internet. And we finally met at Gen Con A few years ago, and his enthusiasm for everything is infectious. And, you know, it's like a superpower when you're in the room, you think you can do anything when he's there supportive, and

 

Amelia Antrim  30:44  

he's just like, endlessly encouraging. Like, shout out to rich who, like I swear, got me through my divorce with like, his messages of like, you can do this, I believe in you, you're great. And I was like, I am great.

 

Jeff Barber  30:59  

That's, unfortunately, when he's not in the room, I tend to lack the energy that I have.

 

Amelia Antrim  31:05  

As he walks away, you're like, what was I thinking?

 

Jeff Barber  31:08  

Right. Um, so that's, that kind of brought us to the decision making point. And I think technically, we're at Gen Con a couple years ago. And we're like, we do this. I don't like to do this. I'm sure there was a little bit of beer involved. And I'm like, Yeah, I want to do it. And then I tell the guy, yeah, we'll do it. And then the next day, I'm flying home going, Oh, god, what am I? And then here we are. I'll tell you one thing, rich Howard are not a pandemic is not a place to find motivation for writing role playing games. No, it's been a hard year getting to where we are. But here we are, Kickstarter is launching and, you know, it's, we're at the top of the roller coaster. Now we'll see what happens. Absolutely. Yeah,

 

Amelia Antrim  31:51  

I think that's been a weird thing about this pandemic is that I'm suddenly like, I have all of this time for all of these creative endeavors. And it's gonna be, and none of the energy willpower, or, you know, I'm like, I don't I have an extra two hours a day, because I don't have a commute. And, you know, like, all this kind of stuff. And it's like, none of the energy to do any of it. Like, and then I feel bad about it. But apparently, everybody's in the same boat, it seems. So there's at least that I want to, I want to know, what is it like, working on a new version of this sort of revisiting the things that you you did before, like looking closely at your previous work, and then sort of trying to fold in all of the design changes and things that have happened over the last 25 years?

 

Jeff Barber  32:44  

Oh, that's a great question. Um, it depends on what I'm working on. And I guess the mood I'm in working on mechanics, I, I don't love working on mechanics. I don't mind it, but I don't. It's not what I get into. I'm more of a world building kind of guy. But when I do do mechanics, and someone clicks, that I can get really excited. It feels good.

 

Amelia Antrim  33:03  

Doesn't that like a moment?

 

Jeff Barber  33:05  

Like like that? I like when that happens in mechanics. And obviously, that's been sort of the biggest push so far, because we had to write a new system. And then our new character creation system, which is debuting today. Yeah. I mean, we've been play testing it for a long time. And I've been using it at cons and, and in my personal games. But in terms of like, publicly sharing it, this is it, isn't it? Right. So that's, that's been that's one kind of like technical focus. And it has moments that are rewarding, but it doesn't have the same kind of emotional response in me when I'm working on it. The other stuff, the setting, alternates between Oh my God, I was a genius back in the 90s. Like, Oh, God, I was super cringy. And, and could not write to my way out of a wet paper bag back in the 90s. Again, when I talk about things that are good in blue planet, Greg is a fantastic writer. And when I read a reading through him go, wow, this is really Oh, you know what, I think Greg wrote this part. So there's that. But it's been really rewarding to look back and still feel like, yeah, there's still something to be said here. This is still, this still feels different than than what's come since. And so I'm not, I'm not feeling like we're putting it out in the world simply to rehash something old. I think if new players can come to blue planet and see things that are see the things that I hope they can that we're putting into it. They'll they'll like it all over again, because it does present something different. And something that, as I mentioned before, I feel is really timely, in terms of its sort of underlying messages if if a role playing game can be said to have underlying messages

 

Amelia Antrim  35:00  

Yeah, I that was really interesting to me when you talked about that before, like the feeling of, you know, people being like, climate change, and all that kind of stuff being like, crazy far left. And then like the fact that that's really basic stuff that my kid is learning in school right now. It's just that like, climate change is the thing. Here's what's happening. You know, he's, like, very concerned about it. I mean, granted, I'm pretty far left, I will, I will admit that. But just like, the difference is that that amount of time makes in in something so simple. Do you find that you're still like, I mean, I guess you must be because you're making another edition of it. But like, really, sort of, like excited and passionate about this thing that you made? Like, does that feel good to like, look back at it and be like, 25 years later? I'm still like, really feel like this, you know?

 

Jeff Barber  35:55  

Yeah. I guess the answer is, maybe sometimes,

 

Unknown Speaker  36:00  

sometimes. Some days, it

 

Jeff Barber  36:02  

is some days? No, well, I don't mean that in any kind of, like, deprecating way or false way. When you write something, and you've probably had the experience, especially if it takes a long time, and the first of the planet took like four years to write. And then you write supplements for it, and you play countless hours of the game. And it you live in it in a way that nobody else ever did. Right? I mean, I feel like I can run a blue planet game code without even any any prep. Because I live in the world and any questions somebody has about it, there's no more accurate authority, then the race. And I don't mean that to brag. It's just that I've lived there so long. And I wrote so much of the book that what I say kind of is my world, I can I can say things and mountains grow. Right? Like, right,

 

Amelia Antrim  36:53  

like it typically. Yeah, if I say and it is. Yeah.

 

Jeff Barber  36:59  

So having lived in it like that, there's nothing else that I can compare it to that I, I get that much. So it's really just, um, it's not almost separate from, from my experience anymore, don't look back at as a separate thing and say, This is good or bad, or whatever it just is. And sometimes I feel like I'm too close to it, to actually see the flaws anymore. At least the bigger flaws. I'm always picking up the little ones, but to see the sort of bigger scope. And I worry about that too, right? Like, what am I missing in this second edition? That, that I would see if I had fresher eyes.

 

Amelia Antrim  37:36  

But I think that's what playtesting is for. That's what having a team as far as you know. But yeah, I can see that if like you've looked at it so many times that it sort of starts to like it's you know, like, you walk past that coffee cup on your counter so many times that you just like don't see it anymore. And I could see that being a thing when you when you've been like deep in it for so long?

 

Ryan Boelter  38:01  

Absolutely. Well, I really want to dive into character creation. But there are probably some basic terms and concepts that are gonna be like stop

 

Amelia Antrim  38:11  

talking about all this other stuff. It's time

 

Ryan Boelter  38:13  

now I really love it. But we'll be here for six hours if we

 

Amelia Antrim  38:19  

all stop asking questions that are not only.

 

Ryan Boelter  38:22  

Good question. So what are some of the basic terms and concepts that we need to know? To create characters? I put a few in the outline that I kind of had questions about.

 

Jeff Barber  38:35  

Those are good ones to pick up that kind of covers at all, I think sweet.

 

Ryan Boelter  38:39  

We got we got concept. Tell me a little bit about the concept.

 

Jeff Barber  38:43  

Yeah, I mean, I think I don't think it's unique to blue planet. For sure. I think everybody has had character concepts before, we just wanted to kind of codify it a tiny bit as the first step in character creation, because I think it's so useful. It's the kind of stuff that you ask your players to come to a session zero with right? A couple of adjectives and a noun or two, for the kind of character you're imagining you want to play. And I think if someone has the concept for their character, that they can latch on to it makes all the other questions they have to answer about that character a lot easier. And so it feels like for me, it feels like a necessary first step if you want to certainly have a cogent character right up mechanic in a book. So that's a good place to start. But I think for a session 02 or just someone sitting at their table making their own character, it's a great place to start.

 

Ryan Boelter  39:35  

Yeah, absolutely.

 

Jeff Barber  39:38  

Yeah, the idea would be to pick like I suggest a couple of adjectives, a couple of nouns that describe what, what the character is in terms of maybe a profession or their major life activity. Something about the way they interface with others, and what their attitude or outlook is To the rest of the world, and then just build on that.

 

Ryan Boelter  40:04  

Okay. Very cool. And then I see on the the character sheet, there's the everyday exceptional and elite, I believe that was in the last version as well.

 

Jeff Barber  40:13  

It is, yeah, the, the, where you start with sort of your character build depends on the general scope of the campaign you want to play? Do you want the characters to be sort of everyday people? That would be obviously everyday? Do you want them to be exceptional, so that they are, you know, maybe wealthier or maybe physically more capable or better trained, or, or some combination of the both of both, they want to have more resources in terms of allies and, and patrons and organizations that they can call on. And you can find, I mean, I would, I am definitely an everyday person. But maybe the owner of a big company, or someone who is, in the act of military, maybe Special Forces might be considered an exceptional character because of the kinds of training they have, or the resources and backup they have. And then, of course, exceptional would be sort of the fantastic action heroes style, or, you know, corporate moguls or famous Nobel winning prize prize winning scientists, that kind of thing, where their knowledge or training or physical progress are far beyond normal people, and just seem like action hero character action movie characters.

 

Ryan Boelter  41:40  

Yeah, that's the elite, right? Yep. Very cool. And then I see we've got the, we've got four attributes, cognition, psyche, coordination, and physique. But there's a bunch of circles there. And I'm very curious about what we need to know about those.

 

Jeff Barber  41:58  

Okay, so in the if we make any comparisons between mechanics in the system and the end the previous system, it's between this and second edition. The first one first, and second edition rules are completely different. First Edition rules I wrote, they're pretty terrible. Greg wrote most of second edition rules. I really liked them, but they do. They are dated. In so in many ways, we had like, like, eight attributes, plus another like six or seven derived attributes in second edition, there was like 14 attributes, which today in these in modern game design just doesn't fly, right. But we did have them grouped into cognition, psyche coordination, physique, because the those are easily grasped areas of sort of a person's persona. And so we kept those as the primary attributes to simplify it down before and cognition is pretty self evident the kinds of things that they would address in the game. And they each get a value that you, they all start human average is zero. So there are ways to change that average, because you get some points to add. But you also get bio mods. And there's also other species you can play, or other species of human that you can play, they all affect those numbers. And they either either up or down. The blanks that under each one are for optional focus attributes. And this is one of the areas that I that I like the most about the new mechanics, what I wanted to do, the kind of guiding tenant in the new mechanics was increase the simplicity, and accessibility, but maintain the kind of realism in describing a person that would parallel the realism in which we're describing the setting. I didn't want to go full narrative mechanics because I didn't want to so simplify the people and maintain this super like science, hard science setting. It felt like a lot of sense, it felt like a strange matchup. So I wanted the characters. rather than use complex characters to create that I wanted to use evocative characters to create that. Okay, because in previous editions, it was all about the complexity, we had over 100 skills to describe all the skills that somebody could have because we wanted to be realistic. modern game design is not that not that focused on realism, right, and I'm looking at the character sheet from the last

 

Amelia Antrim  44:35  

time that we that we talked to, and I'm like, this is so much cleaner.

 

Jeff Barber  44:39  

So one of the ways to do that is to give the players the chance to create a lot of their own content to describe exactly the characters they want. And one of the ways we do that with attributes is that you can pick focus attributes, and you'll see those listed in the in the character creation outline that I sent you In the mechanics, and those are descriptors that fall within each of those categories cognition, psyche, coordination, physique, that you can either pick from the list we provide or create your own. And they just give a little bit of nuance to the character you're playing, they make that character ultimately unique, because no one else is ever going to have that combination of traits. So, with just a couple of words, in a couple of blanks, your character is now unique in the blue planet universe. And mechanically, so let's take cognition, for example. And let me call up my list here real quick, just so that we can talk about what's actually in a book. For example, we give a list of possible focus attributes for cognition of things like aware, calculating, clever, cunning, focused, and so forth, right? logical, resourceful, witty, you write one of those in or make up your own, and then the score for that focus attribute is just a plus one over whatever your cognition is. So if your cognition is one, then your focus attribute of woody would be to. But with that, just that little simple step, you don't add a lot of complexity, because it is very intuitive what you're doing. But you do now have a character that is unlike potentially anybody else's character ever made for the game, but also, with a very intentional nuance helps describe the character you you're trying to play.

 

Ryan Boelter  46:39  

And it sounds like if you play to those focus attributes, as as your character you have a better chance of success.

 

Jeff Barber  46:48  

Correct? And possibly, yep. And it's, it's interesting in play, because there's an emergent element where as someone's deciding, between, say, using savvy or logical to go along with their test. It tells the table, how they're doing the thing, in a way that just rolling cognition wouldn't.

 

Ryan Boelter  47:11  

That's awesome. I like that a lot.

 

Jeff Barber  47:14  

It's a, it's a, it's a touch that we're finding. I'm finding a lot of sort of satisfaction in terms of game design.

 

Ryan Boelter  47:22  

Yeah, absolutely. Um, let's see. And I know, in the last version of the game skills were kind of a big deal. And here, we've got skill sets. I remember playing with this a bit at Gen Con 2019. I really like that you want to tell us a bit about the skill sets?

 

Jeff Barber  47:45  

Yeah, absolutely. Um, so in the previous edition, I think there was 107 skills. And we tried to cover kind of all the different possibilities for a character in the setting. And not only that, but we clustered them into what we call aptitudes. So there was another layer on top of it, where you might be good at scientific things, and you might be good at physical things, but maybe you were terrible at or less good at social things, which you know, is, is how you kind of try to model people, I suppose, characters, but there was a lot of front end work on involved in that. And then a lot of math because you had so many points to spend, and so forth and so on. I liked the aptitude area, because it did provide a nuance to help you create the character you wanted to create. But I didn't want the complexity of that in the actual character creation, or in play. I didn't want people to have to like, okay, what's my attitude in this? Okay, so and then I wrote, but I wanted to capture that nuance. So with skill sets, we've done that by we've followed by more modern game design in reducing complexity, but increasing sort of robustness and applicability, by tossing out all the skills entirely. And trusting, trusting people to understand that if I say my character is a biologist, anything that would fall under the purview of being a biologist would be something they should be able to do, right. Yeah. If I am a biologist, in a science fiction setting, I probably have some passing familiarity with computers, right? So I should be able to do some basic computer stuff without having a computer skill. In addition to my biology skill, I should be able to identify an animal or at least guess at the characteristics of that animal, the behavior that animal based on its present characteristics, right? So I don't need a skill in taxonomy are a skill in like field science, or predator behavior, to be able to say something about that creature. But we also didn't want things to be super skills where I pick a skill and just an area of expertise in everything, I am a jack of all trades. And I, that is my skill set. So we do, we do have some, some guidelines around it. And I like to use science, the science example because I trained as a biologist, but we'll use that as a basic descriptor for other skill sets work. So for the skill sets are broken into three categories. You've got general core and specialty. So any any given skill set has those three parts. So I might pick biologist as my as my general. And then maybe I will pick lab scientist, as my core. And then maybe I'll pick geneticist as my specialty, right? So realistically, if you talk to a biologist, they're not just a biologist, every biologist now especially in the future, it has increasing areas of expertise, if they're an active biologist, so this models that realism in people's jobs and careers, right as you get increasingly specialized in something. And mechanically, the payoff is that as you go from core or general, to core to specialty, you go from one d 10, to two d 10, to 3d 10, when you're making tests for that thing, so all the biologists kind of things, I would roll one d 10. Anything to do with a lab, like maybe computers, or running a test or testing a blood type or whatever, I would roll to D 10. And anything related to genetics, I would roll 3d 10. Okay, that folds in this idea of aptitudes from the previous version of the game, seamlessly into to the skill set, while simultaneously giving us really way, way more than just 100 skills, you have all the skills that are possible in the universe, the players just get to choose what they are.

 

Ryan Boelter  52:00  

Yeah, and I love those conversations with the GM of I think this would fit under my you know, specialty because and then the GM would be like, oh, maybe. And then you get to have that little back and forth before you roll those dice.

 

Jeff Barber  52:15  

Well, and then you reject it. Right. And that's kind of intentional. Because then you take your aptitude that best matches with the the thing you're actually dealing with at the moment. Is this logical? Is this witty? Is this intuitive? And then you link it to that skill set for any particular role? Yeah, so you're telling the whole table, I'm a, I'm a geneticist, we're looking at this alien creature, I got no idea what it is, I'm gonna use intuitive because I'm just going to try and like guess at it, or I'm using logical because there's all this evidence in here, right. And that gives us subtlety to the role of flavors the role in a way that I really like. But it also gives you a chance to make exactly the character you want, because you can specify their skill sets. And you don't have to worry about the details. Like did I take a computer skill I forgot to take driving? How can I be like the driving skill. And you're not fighting over, you're not kind of min maxing over your point assignments, so that you get a try and make a realistic character This way, you just make a character that feels like a real person. Yeah. And by the time you're done assigning your skill sets. You have what what I think is an absolutely unique character that no one else is ever going to have in the world of the planet. And that's kind of fun. In most games, there are going to be like, if you play a tiefling, Warlock, and you're trying to maximize the characters struck? Build, there's going to be a lot of other tiefling warlocks that are exactly the same.

 

Ryan Boelter  53:54  

Yeah.

 

Unknown Speaker  53:54  

And do you think

 

Amelia Antrim  53:56  

that some of that is due like, obviously, some of it is like evolution of game design that we don't need, like 7000 skills, like looking at you political games? Do you? Do you think some of that has to do with like the evolution of the like, GM player dynamic, too, because I feel like in the past, because it was always sort of viewed as more like adversarial to that it was like, if you don't have that skill, you can't make that role. And now I think we live in a world where like, as a player, I can go to my GM and be like, here's why it should work. And then GM can say, Yeah, like, I can trust that they will listen to that, too. Like,

 

Jeff Barber  54:35  

I think that's a that's a great insight. I think that's absolutely true. Because I think now there's the sense of cooperation and storytelling. And that's definitely my approach to gaming. That's how I played the planet. I mean, some people might not be, but if everybody at the table is trying to make that lift, it's going to be a lot cooler. And if you give players the chance to make Little characters they they generally do. And if you're not fighting over, like, is that really covered by computer skills? I don't know, that's you don't have computer skills. So you can't like,

 

Amelia Antrim  55:10  

that's a cell phone, not a computer. So you can go to a website.

 

Jeff Barber  55:17  

You don't have computers, right. So I think I think you're absolutely right. I think it's definitely a, an open artifact of more modern table dynamics. And in game design,

 

Amelia Antrim  55:30  

I mean, it's hard to say like, how much of table dynamics is influenced by game design, and like, how much is the other way around? But I do think that like, there, you know, when I play older games, it's, it's like, well, you don't have that specific skill to do that thing. And then I play something like I always bring up l five R, because that's my game of choice. But it has like approaches where you say, like, I am doing this quickly, or, but like you explain how you're doing it. And that influences whether you're like how you're role playing influences whether you can do that thing or not. And I think that it's sort of a way that modern game design has, I don't know, like I said, I don't know which it's a chicken and egg thing. But like, I can see the difference here of like, I should be able to justify to my GM rather than my GM saying, you don't have hiding. Right? So you can't do that.

 

Jeff Barber  56:26  

I think it's a natural evolution. And I think it's would somehow be better served, we still say game, right? role playing game. And I and I think that is evidence of its history, because they started as games where there was like a winner and a loser and mechanics that guided the result. And it'd be great if we could somehow call them something else, role playing experiences or role playing events or role playing, I don't know, some other term that would best encapsulate getting together and telling a collective story. Because they're not really games anymore. They're not a winner and loser, and they're not tight enough. There's very few role playing games that are tight enough to really hold their own against like board game mechanics. Right, right. And I think that's part of this idea with this adversarial ideas. The reason that they held together was because of that adversarial relationship, right? Like, we're going to pretend like this is a game and we're going to lean on those rules in a way that I think we just don't lean on. Many people don't know wrangles anymore. Hmm.

 

Amelia Antrim  57:28  

Yeah, we're just looking at a very different kind of experience than we were used to.

 

Ryan Boelter  57:33  

Awesome. Ah, let's see, we've got a couple of the things do we need to know about the tags, tracks and ties?

 

Jeff Barber  57:41  

Yeah, I like the I'd like to talk about a little bit, they're definitely new to the game. And they are definitely part of sort of more narrative game evolution. But it's recognizing it was an attempt to recognize that characters aren't just what they can do. Characters are also the how they connect to the world and the challenges that they face doing those things. So tags are long term or short term alterations to the characters state. So maybe you are frightened. And this is not unique to move on. I mean, there's lots of games that use tags and qualities and those references directly out of the game universe. But maybe you have a classic like, Oh, I got an old football injury. And so I'm minus two to run anything where I'm running, right?

 

Unknown Speaker  58:36  

Or,

 

Jeff Barber  58:37  

I just got the crap scared out of me. And now for the next for the remainder of this scene, I'm gonna have a minus two, anything that requires me to be brave. So they're, they can be you know, as as significant as just a scene, or they can be permanent alterations to the character, but they just give one more layer that we can differentiate the character from others and connect it to the events that have happened to the character through their life. And they can be as simple as, like I said, the bum knee, or as complex as I have a very complicated relationship with my molecule of of family members, and I'm on the outs with them now. Right? It really is going to depend on how much players and gamemasters want to lean into that aspect of the game. Absolutely.

 

Ryan Boelter  59:32  

Can you have the positives on that too is you

 

Jeff Barber  59:34  

know positives, you know, negatives like I am an internet famous and I can use that sometimes when I when I you know, wanted the situation merits like, oh, did you see the video? That guy falling off the dock? That was me? Ah, me. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, very cool. Um, the similarly that the tracks do just that they kind of take not directly the idea of the tag. But they take something that is important to your characters concept. Or, more often when I run it, something that's important to the concept of the campaign. And they track it in real time through the course of play. So for example, with the red sky charters game that I that you played in, those characters have a track called Red Sky charters. And it is basically their relationship to Red Sky charters, they're all employees or close family friends that work at the company. And, you know, at the top of the track is, you know, blood, sweat, and tears, I'll give my, my life, I devote my life to this company. And the bottom of the track is Screw it, I'm out. Right, done. And so as events in the game happen, you can ask for relevant tests, like maybe a psyche test, or logic, or cognition test, or even a skill set test. And if it feels right, you can move that up or move that down, which will give you a narrow a narrative roleplaying hook in regards to, in this case, your relationship with the company, and how you feel about it. So if you're desperate for them to succeed, mechanically, and you've moved up that track, you get some bonus, if this is the moment that's going to make or break the company's future, you get a little bonus. Or if your family is being held hostage, like they were in the game you played Yeah. And you're desperate to get them back. It could give you a penalty, because you're so devoted to it, you're so wrapped up in it, that it's making you nervous in this moment of negotiation with the gangsters. Yeah. So you get a penalty to that test. Or, you know, arguably, in that same circumstance, it could be a bonus, because you're so committed that you're willing to go all in. Right. So again, there's table negotiation around, is it a bonus? Is it a penalty, and that helps everyone understand what that is being loaded into that scene. Yeah, but it gives you a hook, because you can track it right there on your character sheet.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:02:02  

I love all of these player hooks and player, things that you can utilize to to roleplay your character from your character sheet. Instead of just trying to figure out well, what will my character be thinking in this scenario? Like, I've got this list of skills, I've got these attributes, but this actually, like, if you play to your character sheet, you'll be playing as your character. And I really like how that feels.

 

Jeff Barber  1:02:31  

Yeah, we're consciously trying to lean into some of the hooks right on the character sheet. I mean, really taking inspiration from things like forged in the dark. Yeah, where they put those things on the character sheet. But these are, we want them on the character sheet. But these are things that the characters get to create. One thing that I haven't had a lot of people lean into yet, but I'm hoping players will is that they can opt to make their own tracks as well. Maybe you want to play a character who who is cowardly, would make like a bravery track. And you would, okay. It's it's different levels with the moderator and you play as you play, and maybe you could evolve your characters bravely, as tracked on the character sheet. And I really think that will give a unique flavor to how people can opt to play their characters. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And then ties are kind of self explanatory. They're also not uncommon in a lot of games, I think games, we'll call them like bonds or Oh, yeah, right. They, I think an important part of I mean, how many characters Did you play when you were younger, that were orphans, and didn't have a spouse or kids, right? And they hated everybody. And all they wanted to do was go get a treasure, right?

 

Amelia Antrim  1:03:48  

Like, why are you playing in a group with other people do a solo journaling get

 

Jeff Barber  1:03:54  

that opposite of that is that you have an extended family that you're responsible for, and you're constantly having to like, do all this stuff for that, right. And again, that might not be people's idea of escapism, but it is realistic to have ties to people and organizations. And that's the intent here. So the ties just identify as many or as few connections that your character has to specific people, and then identifies what that connection is, and then identifies what your obligation to that connection is nice. And then what happens if you don't meet that obligation,

 

Ryan Boelter  1:04:26  

specifically NPCs or can you include Player Character

 

Jeff Barber  1:04:30  

players do in fact, one of my favorite tricks now, the game? I wish I had plenty, lots of time, I would love to talk to you guys about this game. I'm currently running. I'm a high school teacher. We're at a boarding school, and we've been bubbled up so while

 

Amelia Antrim  1:04:45  

some of your tweets about it, like fascinating,

 

Jeff Barber  1:04:48  

one of the things I've been able to do is get kids into games a lot more because they're bored, right? Come play a board game with me like oh man, leave me alone. How do I okay, fine and Some of them, we did a couple of one shots of blue planet and they're like, Can we play a campaign with our own characters? I'm like, Yes. We've been playing every Friday night for weeks now and their enthusiasm is what's keeping me going. So cool. But um, one of the things I did was when we made the characters, I said, Okay, now you need to make a tie with at least one NPC and now you have to make a tie with someone else in the group. And they got so fired up, like I sat back, and for about half an hour, they were just like yelling at each other and enthusiastically, right. No, no. And they came up with this great web of interconnections that you can just lean on and play. That just makes the party. Now it's the antithesis of you meet in a tavern. Right. Yeah. No complicated mixed up with each other already. Here's how, and we haven't started playing the game yet. So it's been it's been? It's been playing out just as I hoped it would, at least at our table. That's awesome.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:06:04  

Is there anything else we need to know before we dive into character creation?

 

Jeff Barber  1:06:08  

I'm probably not. I think a lot of it is explained along the way. Well, there's one thing I don't think that's in character creation that is relevant to character creation. And that's character advancement. I, I tend to kind of forget about character advancement when I'm playing. And I'm like, oh, guys, sorry, you need some character improvement points we've been ignoring for the past several weeks. But I know a lot of people really like it. And they like to advance their character and grow their character. So the way we're currently doing with the new edition is through your character profile. Now, the profile is part of character creation. We'll see that today. But character advancement is a separate mechanic. If you demonstrate your character profile through play, if you it's made up of your attitude, and your motivation and your goal. And if you demonstrate those things and pursue your goals. That's essentially how you earn the points that you spend on growing your character. Okay. And so just keeping that in mind when you're, when we're making our profiles today, okay. might be helpful.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:07:11  

Yeah, we could cover that more in depth during our advancement discussion segment, in the last episode of this series. But that's good to keep in mind. Um, well, should we go ahead and make some people?

 

Amelia Antrim  1:07:23  

I think we should it looks like or is there? Oh,

 

Ryan Boelter  1:07:26  

yeah. Let's make some table. Let's make some people. All right. So I printed out my character sheet. Because I recently fixed my printer by actually buying toner for it. I know I'm very, I'm very excited for my like, six year old seven year old printer to actually work again.

 

Jeff Barber  1:07:48  

I was almost late today, because I was trying to figure out how to make mango black and white. So I wouldn't use up all my cyan, but I ended up having to give up. I have a very up

 

Amelia Antrim  1:07:57  

on my iPad. I have my pencil. So I'm just gonna write on here.

 

Jeff Barber  1:08:02  

Can you write in theme because you're not wasting paper? So yeah, environmental.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:08:06  

Good job. All right. So see,

 

Amelia Antrim  1:08:09  

I can't actually write very well, because I can't hold the pencil, but it's okay.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:08:13  

It's fine. All right. Are we all set?

 

Amelia Antrim  1:08:17  

I think so.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:08:18  

I'm so excited to dive into this. So where do we start, Jeff?

 

Jeff Barber  1:08:24  

Well, technically, I mean, in it as it'll appear in the chapter, we start with character concept. Yeah. And the more I've thought about things, I'm considering adding in like a session zero recommendation. But then again, that's also becoming pretty common. So I don't know that we need much detail about that in the actual book. But I think I always like to start there because I like cohesive parties. And given blue planet is what we said about being such a broad possibility for for characters, actions, and, and playstyles. It seemed like a good place to start. We don't have to do a full session zero here, but maybe figuring out what we would like our party to be doing, what helping form what characters we wanted to make.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:09:17  

Absolutely, um, gosh, there's so many good options for characters in this game, and so many good options for stories that we could tell.

 

Jeff Barber  1:09:30  

We can do native insurgency, we can do military peacekeeping. We can do corporate espionage we could do, like urban, urban crime. can do rural crime.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:09:47  

I like espionage. To me.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:09:53  

I like corporate espionage too. I was intrigued by the Like urban or rural survival sort of thing. Maybe a combination of the two.

 

Jeff Barber  1:10:09  

Interesting. There are ways to do it for sure. I mean, there's a lot of secret corporate secret corporate installations out in the air that are being used for various purposes. One that might be cool to consider. So there are a lot of isolated colonies and, and corporate facilities, maybe we could combine the two by saying this one is particularly isolated. And is, and it's not so much secret so that it actually is more subject to espionage from other incorperate, which means we could play the security team responsible for keeping, keeping it secure. That would give us the world the urban and rural environment in which we have to also deal with the ecological threats that are a big part of the blue planet setting. Yeah, as well as everything from the logistics of resupply and support to actual spot spy assault or agent intrusion to the facility. Okay, you get a little of both, both of your flavors mixed in.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:11:21  

Sorry, everybody, I'm

 

Jeff Barber  1:11:22  

the defensive corporate espionage or offensive corporate espionage. Who no reason you couldn't do both. That's true. Like, you could defend your place where you're assigned, but then they could send you out on jobs occasionally to backup or, or to take advantage of your expertise.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:11:41  

Okay, sir, is there such a thing as like, Mom and Pop corporate espionage?

 

Amelia Antrim  1:11:49  

Right. Like, I don't want to

 

Jeff Barber  1:11:50  

be part of the corporation. Sure. In fact, the school group I was telling you about, we did a session zero. And it's clear they sort of one shots we did involved some one in particular was very criminal activity. They were like, full on doing a heist. And they liked that. But they also didn't want to just be criminals. So they're this security company that does security stuff. But sometimes a lot of it is would be considered illegal either in other places, or if if they were caught. So they basically want to be teenagers can do whatever they want. They want to be lords of chaos. That they are doing just that they are a little company that gets contracted out to anybody that wants a deniable asset. So I wouldn't call it necessarily mom and pop, right? They are a small group of entrepreneurs.

 

Jeff Barber  1:12:46  

So a cell that works for a broker, entrepreneur.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:12:51  

Yeah, yeah.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:12:52  

Okay.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:12:53  

It's gonna be espionage entrepreneurs. Ryan,

 

Ryan Boelter  1:12:56  

I think that sounds fun. Um,

 

Amelia Antrim  1:12:58  

let's be a firm of private investigators.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:13:02  

Hmm. I like that.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:13:05  

So we can go and see if other big corporations are like, doing stuff that they shouldn't be hired to find that

 

Jeff Barber  1:13:16  

as advice to GMOs, I find that those kinds of setups that you just describing are perfect for a blue planet. Because there are so many things that people want to do. Sometimes it's not a matter of not being to pick one. It's a matter of like, Oh, I want to this one. Oh, and this one. Oh, and this one, too. With a setup like that, you can actually pull in all kinds of different parts of the setting. Because each job can be completely different. And I find that with the red sky charters, I can do that. And with this deep sea security that the kids are Yeah.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:13:46  

Yeah, let's let's be a, you know, a family owned, I guess. private investigation firm.

 

Jeff Barber  1:13:55  

Okay. When we get to ties, we can figure out exactly how the family is structured. I like it. I like it, too.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:14:05  

So under concept is that so we went that would be more like what I like

 

Jeff Barber  1:14:12  

it would probably end with pi. Yeah. Or, or whatever your role is at the company. So maybe you're not actually the PI which or the computer tech or you're the like the driver or maybe you're a small a small mom and pop thing. You're probably several several things right? So wearing several different hats.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:14:31  

Like the researcher,

 

Ryan Boelter  1:14:33  

Okay, that makes sense.

 

Jeff Barber  1:14:35  

The guy in the van, the person in the van it's always one of my favorite roles, especially in the world of the planet because you have so much tech that will keep you actively involved with all the remote telepresence.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:14:50  

So researcher that kind of goes with what I wanted to do is I kind of want to be the one Like the smarty pants, but, um, I don't know if you want to have to smarty pants in a group.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:15:05  

Well, if you want to do that, that's fine.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:15:07  

I can I'm good. With switching up to,

 

Jeff Barber  1:15:10  

I suddenly feel like we're doing leverage blue planet.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:15:15  

I mean, look, watch, I had a free watch that I've not watched that and so long.

 

Jeff Barber  1:15:22  

There's a reboot in the works.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:15:23  

So you know, I'm pretty excited.

 

Jeff Barber  1:15:25  

So are you the mastermind? Is that what you're thinking? Right?

 

Ryan Boelter  1:15:29  

Oh, that's interesting. Yeah. Okay. I will be the mastermind with aspirations of startup. Whoo, whoo.

 

Jeff Barber  1:15:39  

I'll be the hitter. In leverage terms. Or the, I'll be the grunt. Okay.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:15:45  

I was born with these brains. But all I want to do is sing.

 

Jeff Barber  1:15:48  

Oh, I thought you meant stardom as a mastermind. But I'll start stardom as like a performer. That's even better. It does make it hard for you to do clandestine work if you're also simultaneously trying to be famous.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:16:04  

That's the Yeah, it's the life of the podcaster I guess.

 

Jeff Barber  1:16:09  

Yeah. You're your parent. is so are you? I'm curious. Now, are you a singer or an actor? Or? I think my character wants to doodle artist singer. Yeah, I

 

Ryan Boelter  1:16:19  

think my character wants to sing.

 

Jeff Barber  1:16:22  

And so we will definitely have to have at some point in the campaign, the musical episode. Oh, absolutely. So are we every day exceptional or elite? Oh, I mean, I think that's the next step on and yeah,

 

Amelia Antrim  1:16:34  

I feel like every day, right, like, yeah,

 

Ryan Boelter  1:16:38  

I mean, most exceptional. Yeah, every day feels bright. For this sort of setup. I think we're everyday people with aspirations to be exceptional.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:16:52  

No, you have aspirations to

 

Ryan Boelter  1:16:53  

be. I mean, that's fair.

 

Jeff Barber  1:16:56  

So just for the sake of the listeners, there is a section here that is undergoing constant rewriting, but is an evolution of something we used to do in the earlier edition, which is kind of like a 20 questions about your character to help spur the concept on just a list of questions that you can answer. There's not even a place to write them on the character sheet, but it's really just a creative tool. The things like what your character's chronological age, and what's the what was the biggest impact of where they grew up on their life? And, you know, what's your relationship with your parents? That kind of thing? Yeah.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:17:34  

I know, there is a few of those. You've kind of parent age and actual age and pronouns and stuff like that on the second character sheet.

 

Jeff Barber  1:17:42  

Yeah, that's the profile. And there's actually a section dedicated to that later on. And then there's a whole note section. So technically, technically, it's there. It's true. The idea is that you don't have to feel like you have to have answers to all these questions, but it might spur you on when someone gets paper lock.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:18:01  

Yeah, absolutely. I do like that. There's a lot of really good questions here. Asking about your characters family. Like how you were educated, all that sort of stuff.

 

Jeff Barber  1:18:14  

Now with everyday character power level, and I don't, I don't have a better term than power level. It just means I don't like it because it sounds like a superhero game. Yeah. Anyway, power level, is what it is at the moment. With every day, there's a couple of numbers that we can establish right off. Sure. So you, you start with zero bonuses to your attribute ranks. So you can go ahead and write in your first numbers. So cognition, psyche, coordination, and physique would all start at zero, which is considered unmodified human average. Okay? Now, you are allowed to bump those up and down a little bit, but they all still have to average to zero. So we can talk about that. Okay, you also get five skill sets. So you're going if you look at the character sheet, you'll notice how in very faint writing behind each skill set is sort of an identifier to tell you what that skill set is related to. Okay, and, and the first five are in a in blue, and those represent everyday characters. So you'll fill in, you'll get five to fill in, in those five lines. And as we get to the next section, I can explain what origin background occupation and so forth means you're gonna get, you're gonna get five skill sets, areas of expertise, and you can assume that your character will have something around 25 corporate script worth of bio modifications. So in this setting, especially on Poseidon itself, very few people are completely unmodified. But at everyday level, you've got about 25,000 script worth. Awesome. And we probably won't get into that in as much detail as we might otherwise. In in today, today's game simply because we're still finalizing the conversion of a lot of the tech to the new mechanics, but I can give us some, some of the tech that your characters might want based on the things that you decide your characters concept would have very

 

Ryan Boelter  1:20:29  

cool.

 

Jeff Barber  1:20:30  

All right, um, I find myself sort of guiding you guys through this. Is that what you were intending? Or would

 

Ryan Boelter  1:20:37  

have been guided through this, you'll want to create a character yourself? I'm assuming

 

Jeff Barber  1:20:41  

I am I'm the grunt. Yep. And I right now, I'm considering the next question is species Yes. The game from a biological standpoint, because that's my training. I describe characters species as as well a little more loosely than what actual species are, I mean, most of these species can interbreed. So from a biological standpoint, they're not actually species. But I much prefer that terminology over race, because it's not that anyway. And these characteristics were intentionally built into these different species through genetic modification, which is also a very different thing. But some of them can't interbreed, which does kind of fit the species. species as well designation. So your character, you need to pick one. And there are a variety, you can be a completely unmodified human. You can be a modified human, which many people are. And there are sort of two types of those there are those that have been modified postnatally. So after they were born, or those that were modified prenatally, which are essentially genetic redesigns, or at least tweaks of the normal genome. And there are a variety of those, if you are playing a native, or if you decided you wanted the general modification, you can be an aqua form, which is a species unto itself, but it is what the natives of the planet, the original colonists were all modified before they came to be essentially amphibious, they have either the capacity to hold their breath for a long time, or they have Gill, actual gills, they have nictitating membranes, collapsing lungs, webbed fingers, that kind of thing. So they spend a lot of time I mean, on a planet that is 97% ocean, and you're sent them there to survive, it was essentially a no brainer. So that is an example of one of the redesigns. There are several others to choose from cognitive synergists are extremely rare. It's funny, most of these are pretty rare. But because we're a player characters, they tend to always and we've actually tried to lean into why there would might be disproportionate numbers of them on beside and in the backstory, but cognitive synergists, there's probably 100, or maybe 1000 in all of creation, because it's an experimental design that comes with a lot of problematic elements. But it was an attempt to increase the mental capacity of humans. And you can see in the character, creation text that you have, the benefits that you get, there's a bonus to cognition. But it makes, it does have a negative effect on your psyche, and your physical coordination. And you can choose whether you are undergoing therapy to help moderate your emotions, or whether you're foregoing that therapy and it has different effects on how that cognitive synergist just realized, this is a interesting character. This kind of thing happens a lot in blue planet, you're not. This is not a game in which you try to power game. But I mean, you can if you want to, that's fine. But if you also want to tell meaningful stories about people's struggles with who they are and what they're trying to accomplish, there's lots of ways to give your character ways to identify with those struggles and cognitive center just as intended. Is that right? Like, sure I want to play in the Brainiac in the scenario. But I'm also really interested in challenging myself to deal with my interpersonal relationships or my willpower or things that about my character that make for an interesting protagonist. You can make the kinds of what I like best about making characters and blue planet is you can make the kinds of characters that would appear in a novel and and not a novel about an action hero but a novel about someone who is trying to deal with big challenges and overcome them. They're not intended to be superheroes unless you make an elite character and then you're playing a different game, but that's fine. Oh yeah. And then there's a whole bunch of different hybrids, which is a general term for different human species that were mixed with some

 

Jeff Barber  1:25:10  

selected genetics from other terrestrial species. So there are feline hybrids and silver hybrids. felines are obviously, cat DNA, big cat DNA, and silver high Silver's are hybrids with gorilla DNA, some of that gorilla DNA. The idea was that the again, these are very rare, but because they they have that cool factor for sci fi gamers, they are pretty confident in the PC realm. Yeah. But they were an attempt to make super soldiers by a corporation, it was illegal, they got busted the the experiments, the people who this was done to the children were freed. And one because they haven't been raised as super soldiers. The God gave them the opportunity to join the military, if they wanted. Many of them did, they also funded a colonial effort on beside and for them. So look a free ride to beside and you can become part of the colonial effort and have your own your own society, your own land will repatriate you there if you if you want to go. So a lot of them took advantage of that. And so there are a disproportionate number on beside, because they're they had the opportunity to go to this new unhealthy world and be part of the colony effort. Yeah. So those are options. composites are an amalgamation of lots of different animal DNA put into the to the human genome. So they are just durable and quick and wirey and tough. But they tend to be pretty wild, spirited, emotional, aggressive, and they are not, they don't play well with others. And so that's an interesting character to bring into a group spacers are genetically engineered for low or zero G environments. They've got prehensile, basically, hands instead of feet. And, like bones and, and a lot of modifications that are made for life in zero G, they can walk into gravity, well live in Gravity, well, but it's hard on them. And so they would be mostly for games that you'd want to play in the asteroid belt or in orbit. Survivor mods are just mostly a normal human, but they've been redesigned to just be a little more durable for rough environments, heat tolerant temperature, tolerances are higher, they can eat just about anything that's organic, without getting sick. Some mods like that, by far, the most common human hybrid art, genetic redesign are the transhumans. So you get a couple of bumps to your attributes, a couple of bumps to some other things. It's just, it's the kind of thing we're approaching now, right, where you can select certain traits for your offspring. So in general, there is a biological class that is quickly separating from the other biological classes based on access to resources, right? Okay, you're wealthy, your kids are going to be better looking, and they're going to be smarter, and they're going to be healthier and, and so that's what the transhumans are. And of course, these things are all traits that you can actually choose to make them a character creation, but you could become the equivalent of transhuman, if you had enough money in the game. You could buy the therapies that would turn you into that and theoretically, you can do any of these you can become an ACO form, if you chose to. It's just kind of expensive. Okay. Of course you could also play a cetacean.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:28:52  

Yeah.

 

Jeff Barber  1:28:53  

Which is a whole nother thing that some people think is awesome about it and other people think is weird, and, and just don't want to touch. But as part of the backstory, cetaceans were uplifted dolphins initially and then orcas, common dolphin, sorry, bottlenose dolphins initially and then orcas and they a small population was part of the original colony effort. So there are native cetaceans as well as humans. And then, of course, in the intervening 100 years, there have been all the other cetacean races that were still alive, says nation species that were still extent had been uplifted. And many newcomers are cetaceans as well, because, hey, polluted Earth, oceans dying. Wow, a whole ocean planet that already has like, two nations who are equals in society will sign me up. And I think what people are intimidated by is this idea of, I'm in the water all the time. How do I play with everyone else when there's land stuff going on? Well telepresence is ubiquitous. The game and every station has at least one, if not many remotes that keep them not only engaged with the other characters wherever they are, but give them full capacity to manipulate the environment and and experience that environment as it were there. In fact, there's an advantage because, in reality, cetaceans sleep with only half of their brain at a time, because they need to be able to breathe. So they keep swimming and coming to the surface with half of their brain while the other half sleeps, and then and then switch. We decided that in the fiction, that means that when they're awake, they can do telepresence, they can kind of do two things at once mult genuinely multitask, whereas humans actually can't. They can actually multitask two things at the same time. So they can have telepresence in one place while they're also doing something else in another, which gives them an advantage as a character. So you can play you can now play bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, orcas and, and pilot whales. They've all they all have Oh, and beluga whales. That was the other one. They all have representative populations on the planet and they've got a whole we've got a whole source book dedicated to them in the second edition. So their their world and their their possibilities are

 

Ryan Boelter  1:31:18  

fully fleshed out. That's awesome. Oh, somebody's got options.

 

Jeff Barber  1:31:22  

I don't, I'd love your opinion on something. So one of the things that were that I put into the Kickstarter as a stretch goal is to introduce a new, a new set of character species. And one of them sometimes I think is ridiculous and stupid. Other times, I think, Oh my god, this is so cool. So I'm trying to get people's opinions. The there is an idea that there was a kind of ego maniacal and corporate oligarch who had all the resources and he, they're extinct on Earth, but he was able to clone and artificially gestate a sperm whale. And he has released 12, sperm whales on Poseidon. And they are therefore available as player characters. Oh, that's the idea that I'm toying with. And what makes it a little bit ridiculous is they're so big. But that's also what makes it so cool. In my mind, yeah. But it also may make it feel over the top, even for a world where genetic engineering has, has allowed for immortality. But

 

Amelia Antrim  1:32:40  

I don't know. I feel like that's like players choices, though. Like if they want to play with that, then go for it. You know, like some people want it to be over the top.

 

Jeff Barber  1:32:48  

I know. Are you guys familiar with clubface the game? vaguely. They have whales that are that live in the corona of the sun, which I think is fantastic. They're genetically engineered creations. Right? Yeah. I think it's fantastic. But I think a lot of people even in the over the top world Eclipse fans are like, no, that's just dumb. And so it's maybe sensitive.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:33:15  

It makes a lot more sense on a fully aquatic world to bring in, like extinct species or what have you. And especially elevate them to the same level as these other cetaceans that that makes perfect sense of my brain.

 

Jeff Barber  1:33:34  

Well, I bring that up not because it's an option for you today, because we haven't yet really figured out how that would work. But it was something I wanted to pick your brains about.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:33:42  

I mean, full blue whales would be named.

 

Jeff Barber  1:33:49  

some evidence that the Bailey whales have lost a lot of some of their cognitive advantages. Just because they're not predators. And Oh, interesting. It makes it you know, there's a lot that your brain has to do to be a predator that your brain doesn't have to do when you just open your mouth. Yeah,

 

Ryan Boelter  1:34:11  

that makes a lot of sense.

 

Jeff Barber  1:34:12  

But you know, in a world where you can modify things, there's no reason why they could Yeah, modified the brain.

 

Unknown Speaker  1:34:18  

Well, that's really interesting. What do you think and I'm,

 

Ryan Boelter  1:34:21  

I'm goodness, I was I was kind of going between one of the human the regular human types, or cognitive synergist. That's what I want to do. Which I figured you probably wanted to go that route. Maybe transhuman as well. Yeah, I think I'll go transhuman for this one. I know I went feline last time

 

Amelia Antrim  1:34:53  

you did.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:34:55  

But I think I want to go transhuman this time because for what Never reason.

 

Jeff Barber  1:35:03  

Forget, you'll get a plus one to any two different attributes. So right now we're at zeros. Yeah. So any one of any two of those are now twos. Okay? You just can't make up, you can't make one of them afore right? Back up anywhere, any two of those are ones, you can't make any one of them or two.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:35:27  

That makes sense. So since we have a concept of mastermind, I'm going to put my cognition to one.

 

Jeff Barber  1:35:35  

And if you want to be a star and have a little charisma, then they might put a second one in psyche.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:35:40  

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking to.

 

Jeff Barber  1:35:42  

is, that's our catch all for things like willpower and charisma, and those kind of nice,

 

Amelia Antrim  1:35:49  

is there a spot for

 

Jeff Barber  1:35:50  

writing your spaces? It is in the second page under features, it should be is that something we left off of here, what I think we need to add it in, he got left off, we're in the drafting stages for this character sheet. So need to make sure it gets in here. So it will be under features. Okay. And then Ryan, you would also get a plus to to any kind of social maneuver where grace and appearance can be influential physicality as a transhuman unless you have specifically chosen to have a particular uncanny look. If you've gone with sort of the norms of human appearance, then you're just going to be better looking. And there's going to have the advantages that come with that. Yeah. So you get gain a plus two in any tests that are already of social maneuvers that involve appearance or grace, like that. And then you want to be a cognitive synergist. And

 

Amelia Antrim  1:36:53  

so it looks like cognition plus three, minus two incoordination minus one correct.

 

Jeff Barber  1:37:00  

And that just depends on whether you want to be really diligent about your emotional regulation therapies.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:37:08  

I as a person and very diligent about my emotional regulation therapy,

 

Jeff Barber  1:37:13  

and in game, if there were some reason to that you got separated from that, right, we're unable to then we could shift but there that would change those modifiers a little bit. Cool. I gotta admit to, maybe I'm assuming you guys do this all the time. So you probably have much stronger opinions than I do. But I worry about the intent of these kinds of things coming through the, in an honest way. Whereas there's a lot of sort of bio essentialism, discussions that are going on around character creation these days. Like, why are orcs always evil? Seems to be like sort of the center of those conversations. And I can see that in as we even as I make characters with you guys today, I feel like is it? Is it fair to give a penalty to psyche to a character because the idea of game balance because we've abandoned game violence, there's nothing in blue planet that addresses game balance, really, except that everyday characters kind of start with the same resources to build an everyday character.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:38:15  

Yeah, I mean, like, I obviously can't speak for everybody. But like, one of the things that appeals to me about that is that, like, I have borderline personality disorder. So emotional regulation, extremely difficult for me. And it is a thing that I see a therapist for every two weeks. And I'm very diligent about like, so for me, it's like, oh, that's, hey, that's me. You know, like, I can't, obviously, like some people might be like, Huh, that's a little weird. But like, for me, like, Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

 

Jeff Barber  1:38:54  

That we provide opportunity, not enforce stereotypes, but it's hard when you're trying to make a game and let people do the process we're doing today with some sort of like, step by step number crunching. Right, but but I get sensitive about it. And I worry that we're doing it with grace. Yeah.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:39:15  

I mean, I think there's something to be said for like, none of this is like you are inherently good, or you are inherently bad. which I think makes a difference. There's nothing in here that's like, you are for sure, always 100% better, because you did this thing. And in the cases where that might be true. It's like that's part of the thing that we're unpacking in this game is like, you know, like, if you have a corporation that's like, we're genetically modifying these people to make them better, but like, the corporate structure is something that this game is unpacking to. Well, I

 

Jeff Barber  1:39:51  

prefer a perspective that's like that. Thank you. Alright, so we've got our species, and now we would do

 

Ryan Boelter  1:39:59  

105 What are you going with Jeff?

 

Jeff Barber  1:40:01  

Oh, I am going to go with survivor I think, well, I guess the question would be related to ties, we can figure that out. I'm going to go and then we'll go survivor, just because it's simple. I was gonna, I was leaning towards the composite, because I always like to play sort of like, I have a soft spot for nihilistic characters. And because they don't play well with others, I thought that would be a fun like, I work in a small family business, and I don't play well with others, which would imply that you guys are the only ones that tolerate me kind of thing. Yeah. But I, I don't have the composite list pulled up in front of me. So just to make it simple.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:40:51  

What a doozy of an episode, it might be one of our longest single episodes yet, which is just wild. Jeff was such a delight to have on the show, and I am really hyped for this game. If you are just as hyped for this game. There is a Kickstarter that is starting this week for this very game. Just had to the show notes and see what amazing stuff is in store for you. And stay tuned for next week when we finish creating our characters and show off some of the really cool features of this game. Also, don't forget about pod chasers reviews for good campaign that they brought back from last year. This is going to help a lot of people but only if you leave reviews, you can head on over to our pond chaser page and leave a review if you haven't already. But you can also leave reviews for specific episodes if you wish. For every review left this way, pie chaser is going to donate 25 cents to Meals on Wheels. And that's pretty remarkable. It'd be really cool if we could get some more reviews as well, because then we'd have more to read in the spot. But if you're going to leave review, this is the way to do it this month. And while you're there, check out some of your other favorite podcasts and leave them some reviews too. That's all we have for today. Thanks for joining us for this extra sized episode. We hope you'll join us next time for some more fantastic character creation. Until then, take care of everyone stay safe, and keep making those amazing people. We'll see you next time.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:42:48  

Thank you for joining us for part one of this character creation series. We'll be back in part two picking up right where we left off.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:42:55  

Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network and can be found online at www dot Character Creation cast.com. head to the website to get more information on our hosts this show and even our press kit. Character Creation Cast can also be found on Twitter at Creation Cast or on our Discord server at discord dot Character Creation cast.com I am one of your hosts Ryan Boelter and I can be found on twitter at Lord Neptune or online at Lord Neptune calm. Our other hosts 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 show notes. Our main theme music is hero remix by Steve combs, and is 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 show notes. If you'd like to leave us a rating or review. We have links to various review platforms out there including Apple podcasts in our show notes. Also, check the show notes for links to our other projects. Thanks for joining us. I remember we find that the best part of any role playing game is character creation. So go out there and create some amazing people. We will see you next time.

 

Amelia Antrim  1:44:42  

Now we got a ransom show blurbs show blurbs

 

Unknown Speaker  1:44:45  

show show

 

Amelia Antrim  1:44:47  

show blurbs.

 

Ryan Boelter  1:44:49  

Character Character Creation Cast is hosted by the one shot Podcast Network. If you enjoyed our show, visit one shot podcast.com where you will find other great shows like one shot

 

Amelia Antrim  1:45:00  

The most fun way to learn about new games is to play. On one shot, you can discover the amazing variety and RPGs by listening to actual play every week, James d'amato brings you a new episode with a talented cast of improvisers, game designers and other notable nerds. At least once a month one shot features a new system exploring a wide variety of genres. The stories are self contained, so you can jump in anywhere, and it's a great way to find your new favorite game. Discover the magic of RPGs with one shot and your favorite podcast app.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai