Character Creation Cast

Series 38.3 - Blue Planet: Recontact with Jeff Barber [Designer] (Discussion)

Episode Summary

Welcome to the final 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 have some remarkable discussion about the character creation process as well as some very insightful design discussion! Also, make sure to check the show notes for the Blue Planet Kickstarter page as well as the #Reviews4Good campaign that Podchaser is doing this whole month of April! And don’t forget to stick around for the super sized outtakes!

Episode Notes

Welcome to the final 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 have some remarkable discussion about the character creation process as well as some very insightful design discussion! Also, make sure to check the show notes for the Blue Planet Kickstarter page as well as the #Reviews4Good campaign that Podchaser is doing this whole month of April! And don’t forget to stick around for the super sized outtakes!


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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 final episode of our blue planet recontact series everyone, we get into some really fantastic discussion, this episode that we're really excited to share with you. But first, some announcements.


Amelia Antrim  0:16  

I'm really, this was like one of our better discussion episodes. I always love our discussion episodes, but this was, this one was a treat.


Ryan Boelter  0:23  

Yeah, this one was fantastic.


Amelia Antrim  0:25  

First up, the Kickstarter for this fantastic game is still going strong. There's a little over two weeks left before it wraps up. And obviously we're not around next week to remind you about it. So if you haven't checked it out yet, please go take a look. One of the really cool things about this campaign is that by pledging to get the books, you get the whole catalogue of the previous versions of blue planet in a PDF form. So you can have that whole catalog if you want to go listen to suit What does it series, six, something like that, you can get all the books from that. So as soon as the campaign ends, you will, you'll get them. So it's a ton of pages of lore to look over, potentially obsolete technology. But you can start planning your campaign and everything before you even get to the new book, because you will have some of that world building material and stuff to to look through. So you can check our show notes. And we have a link to the Kickstarter in there. And you can go see what that's about if you enjoyed these episodes.


Ryan Boelter  1:35  

Absolutely. And finally, this is again, the last episode were released in April. So this is your last reminder from us in audio format. Final notice, notice that April is still pod chasers reviews for a good campaign. So for every podcast or episode review left on their site, pod chaser is going to donate 25 cents to Meals on Wheels. And if a creator like us responds to your review this month, they will double it. Also, whether it's an episode review, or a full podcast review, we are going to queue it up for reading in our episodes in the call to action section at the end of each episode, to thank you personally for bringing some joy and encouragement to our lives. And they really do help us out. I know we're kind of silly today. And you'll hear about that in the outtakes. But they really do bring a nice brightness to our day, whenever we get these reviews and get a chance to read them. So


Amelia Antrim  2:39  

I love reading them because it's like this reminder that people actually listen to the show. Because it's that's the thing about podcasting is that you don't like you don't like see it happen or look at the numbers. And we have Twitter followers and stuff but you don't really interact that way. So it is always like, oh, people listen to our show. And they don't hate it.


Ryan Boelter  3:00  

It's so nice. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So if you leave a review on pod chaser, we'll read it. And we're actually putting them to the front of the queue for this month to help the campaign along a bit. So you'll hear a couple of them at the end of this episode.


Amelia Antrim  3:18  

That's all we have for our announcements right now. So enjoy this fantastic episode. And find us again after the show.


Ryan Boelter  4:00  

Welcome back to our discussion episode, everyone. Last time we created our characters for Blue Planet recontact. This episode we will be discussing the character creation process. We are very thrilled to welcome back Jeff barber designer of this game. Do you want to reintroduce yourself again for everyone at home, Jeff, and tell us a little bit about the character that you made in our last episode.


Jeff Barber  4:23  

All right. Hi, everybody. I'm Jeff barber. I, one of the creators of blue planet, the original version and the new edition that were kick starting soon. Now, in podcast time, it's right now. I am a game designer by dedicated hobby and a school teacher by by vocation. And I'm just really excited chance to be here and talk about character creation for our game but character gration philosophy in general It's always a trip to hang out with Ryan and Amelia.


Amelia Antrim  5:05  

So what is your character that you made for this? This little adventure?


Ryan Boelter  5:10  



Jeff Barber  5:11  

I'm one of the Pacific investigation employees. Our little pie company on Poseidon. My name is Zeb Smith. And my shtick is that I always say that in this tell whoever's listening that it's with an X and a Y, and let them figure out what that means. And I am apparently the only player character that is an employee strictly of our little company. Here I am, if you're familiar with leverage, I kind of decided to be that the hitter the Andean and the intruder, so maybe a hybrid between those two characters. I'm I'm the PI grunt the go for, for the sort of legwork that needs to get done in real in real meatspace. I am the survivor biomodd which means that I will genetically engineer before birth to just be durable. I am tiny and shy. And my goals revolve my motive. My Profile remote revolves around the goal of acceptance. So I'm looking to find a family.


Amelia Antrim  6:30  

Ryan, why don't you tell us about your character? Alright,


Ryan Boelter  6:34  

I created seren Pacific, one of the Pacific siblings. I'm a mastermind with aspirations of stardom would be my concept. And she is a transhuman genetically engineered individual with three moms. And she just wants to become a famous singer but is kind of tied to this company as well and wants the best for it. Also, she wants to add more joy to Poseidon, but as well as tell her own story. And she's pretty hopeful, optimistic but also rebellious. Yeah. What about yourself, Amelia?


Amelia Antrim  7:23  

I made Maris Pacific is the other of the Pacific siblings. She is a research obsessed private investigator, I think the only one of us that is like really here to do some private investigating. Her whole goal is to save this family business from any kind of like corporate overthrow, because corporate corruption is the worst. She is logical and careful. She is also a pic to the cognitive synergist. Type so very, like smart but not coordinated or entirely. Like with it, unless she continues to go to therapy and be okay. Like so many of us. Yeah. Yeah. She's just like obsessed with researching and auditing and all that kind of really just fun hobbies. Yeah, yeah. Well, let's go ahead and dive into our D 20. For your thoughts a segment b 24, your thoughts in this segment. As always, we'd like to talk to our guests and get their thoughts on the character creation process and character creation in general. So first, Jeff, a question about you as a designer? Where do you feel like your best design ideas come from? And then how do they kind of present themselves to you?


Jeff Barber  9:06  

This gonna sound like a joke. But I'm being dead serious. And I'm not making a lot out of one instance. It is something that is so common, that I actually take advantage of it by doing this thing. When I'm working on a project, it's always in the back of my head kind of percolating. And I would say that the vast majority of my good ideas, because there's plenty of bad ones. Come on taking a shower. Yes. And at first, I just thought it was coincidence, but it is uncannily productive. To the point where I'm when I'm stuck. I will sometimes take a shower. And I know that sounds like a joke, but I think it has to do with how the human brain works. That moments of inspiration come when you're not looking directly at the thing. But your mind is partially occupied by something routine, like lathering your hair. Right, yeah, and the stimulus of the shower and the noise in the way, and it just sort


Amelia Antrim  10:05  

of things like I think it's relaxing, there's like white noise, it's sort of like this quiet personal time where there is no other outside anything, like there's something to be said for that.


Jeff Barber  10:15  

And, and it is been, you know, there, I could point to dozens of moments where I've made breakthroughs in the design process. Now, of course, you know, I don't stand in the shower for hours on end, trying to figure out a game and there's a lot of stuff that happens in the dry spaces in between. But no joke that is a major part of, of kind of grokking through ideas as I need to for design projects.


Ryan Boelter  10:40  

And now we know why you created a water based RPG


Amelia Antrim  10:45  

like Kranz that kids have, so that you can like right on the inside of the bathtub. Like I there's Yeah, they're made for like us, they're like made of soap or something,


Jeff Barber  10:55  

I could do all the design in the shower at this point.


Amelia Antrim  11:00  

Because my siblings are much, much younger than I am. So like they used to be in the bathtub. And occasionally I would be like taking a shower and have a really good idea for like a paper or something at school. And I would take this like bath CRAN and write on the side of the tub so that I can remember by the time I got out. And I'm just saying maybe invested. look into that.


Ryan Boelter  11:21  

Just Just beautiful. Mind it up in the shower.


Jeff Barber  11:24  

Well, yeah, but more generalized, right. I mean, any every gamer, I think it's a fair question to ask any gamer, anybody have games, I think at some point has to think this would be even if they don't ever take the step of writing the first word down, they still have in their mind a game that they would like to make. Right. And, and the actual, like, ideas. I think I mentioned in a previous episode that I leaned into the idea that right what you know, and and given my background in ecology and marine science, and my passion for science fiction, it was kind of a no brainer to at least get the the impetus for blue planet underway, and then just lots of showers afterwards. Yeah.


Amelia Antrim  12:09  

Like Waterworld feel, like be in the space?


Ryan Boelter  12:15  

So a more general question, what do you look for in a system as far as characterization, like when you sit down and and either read a game to get inspiration from it, or to actually play a game, what pieces need to be there for great character creation to happen?


Jeff Barber  12:34  

I'm oversimplifying a little bit, but maybe 10 years ago, I would have said it didn't matter, that I didn't care about the mechanics at all. And that, because I'm always been, it's kind of a setting guy. That's where my impetus really comes from I like world building. And, oh, to make to make this some something people want to mess with, I have to put some rules on it so that they'll, they'll buy it and use it. Okay. But about 10 years ago, I guess maybe a little longer than that. I started thinking more about how settings informed the mechanics and vice versa. And, and that was not my own original thinking it was just sort of the way the industry seemed to be going right. And the more that you can connect your mechanics thematically to the to the setting, and vice versa. And then of course, the more your character creation then is informed by connections to the setting, the more I became the more value I saw in in the mechanics. And now I'm a huge proponent of the more connections you can make between the two, the better. And so character creation really needs to evoke the setting, or if not the setting, I say setting because I like setting, but there's so many games that are kind of setting independent and are really focused on a theme or a feeling. You know, and the more you evoke that theme or that feeling with your character creation, I think the better that character creation is or at least the better it serves the purpose. Hmm.


Ryan Boelter  14:11  

That makes a lot of sense. I know a lot of power by the apocalypse games are basically that's baked in. You know, the the stop hack and roll podcast likes to call it genre bacon. Because it's the genre is baked in. Yep,


Jeff Barber  14:27  

that's good term for


Ryan Boelter  14:28  

the characters and the whole concept. And it's it's a fun little thing to say, Well, how, how much genre bacon does this game have? How much genre is baked into the actual mechanics and character creation process and all that sort of stuff. And I always thought that was an interesting takeaway for what to look for in character creation as well. Because if you in the process of creating the character, you know how to play the genre that you're going To be playing in the game, that's a real testament to the design of the game and how easy it'll be to get into character in this


Jeff Barber  15:10  

world. 100% hardegree. That's, that's exactly where at least where my aesthetic is these days.


Amelia Antrim  15:18  

How do we think that character creation in this game stacks up with other games that we've played? And how does it stack up with the original?


Jeff Barber  15:29  

It's night and day two, the original. The first, the first edition, this is this would be the third edition. First Edition was a point by percentile based system by someone who had just gotten out of grad school for a call ecological science. So it was simulationist. Yeah, the intent was that you could play like a miniatures game, using it, as well as the role playing game. And I like to think, let's say mission was a lot different and a lot better. And this is a very thorough evolution of that system, so that they're almost unrecognizable, though the genetic ties are still there. I like to think that this, the new system is just as evocative, but is much more character and player facing. And it's not about simulating the mechanics of pulling a weapon and using it on a target, as it is about simulating what it feels like to be this person. Yeah, in this setting.


Ryan Boelter  16:35  

Yeah, cuz I remember, we covered second edition, and I remember the, the characters in that was a lot of the the 90s ish mentality of what can my character do? Mm hmm. And how well can my character do that? Mm hmm. Um, and that was that was very much there. But like, a lot of themes, I think that the second edition had, feels like it's here to in spirit, which is interesting. But yeah, it's it's totally overhauled to be a person instead of like, What can this person do? It's focused on the individual?


Jeff Barber  17:16  

Yeah, I think a good way to, to give us the similar phrasing would be the second edition was, what could the person do? And then this addition is, who is this person?


Ryan Boelter  17:28  



Jeff Barber  17:29  

that is what they can do. But there's more to it than that. How did they get to the ability to do these things? Where do those abilities to do these things come from? What is the consequences of doing these things?


Amelia Antrim  17:43  

I feel like we talked about that last time when we recorded about that difference between like, what can you do? And who are you? And I don't remember if it was because you were like, this is the thing that I would change or if it was that you had some of those I feel like it was because you had some threads of that in your game, which weren't in a lot of games at that time. And so it was like you had started to get there. And I feel like this sort of rounds it out and is like, No, for real. This is about like, who you are and how you fit into the world as opposed to hope so what are you doing? You know, but I distinctly remember that being conversation that we had last time and I wish I remembered exactly like, how it went or what it was, but it was a discussion of like, this game is, you know, like, we want it to be less about


Jeff Barber  18:36  

what you can do. Rich Howard was also there. So it was probably something he said to Yeah, very positive. Sounds very rich. Like


Ryan Boelter  18:46  

I like how, like, normally people will say, crunchy is a bad thing. But I do like how crunchy This feels. But it's not like super crunchy in practice, right? It's like the spirit of the crunch. Yes.


Amelia Antrim  19:04  

Yeah. Like with all you get, like the option of like, a lot of skills that you can do stuff with, but it's not like writing to like 3% here and 2% here and yes, not overwhelmed, like,


Jeff Barber  19:15  

Yeah, well, I'm super gratified to hear you say that, because that was exactly the target we were aiming for, for a couple of reasons. Primarily, for me, blue planet is a really deep setting with a strong focus in real science. And it didn't make sense to have a completely narrative style mechanic system laid over that. It didn't feel like a good match. But I also didn't want to recreate a simulation as approach. And I didn't want to alienate the fans of the planet who've supported us with a system that didn't make people made characters that felt like They were ready for this challenging environment. But I wanted to do a lot of the things that more modern game design allows in terms of making care, making the game character focused, and not requiring a calculator at the table when you're making a character act. I think in the last episode, as we made characters, that was a couple hours of effort, but there was a lot of discussion that went in between the actual choices we made, and the disk and the choices themselves are pretty simple and pretty straightforward. And now having done it a bunch of times myself, I can make a pretty fleshed out character in about 15 minutes. Yeah, there was a change.


Amelia Antrim  20:46  

difficult process, like I think most of that time was because we were like, Hey, what is this or like, you know, you explaining how to do it, and then just making the choices?


Jeff Barber  20:57  

You guys have been through it, I imagine it would be similar for you, you could sit down and plow through this, really, because there's nothing the numbers are simple. It's a few integers here and there. And everything else is is player chosen descriptors. Really, you don't even need to consult the book for if you know what goes there.


Ryan Boelter  21:15  

Right. And it's interesting, like the the skill sets, and the tags felt very much like coming up with aspects for fate or something like


Jeff Barber  21:24  

yes, I was thinking that the tags tickler are very much. You know, it's just a different version of that same implementation. Hmm.


Ryan Boelter  21:33  

Yeah, exactly. And, and the open ended nature, but like, still kind of confined to like the general core and specialty was really interesting, like finding a theme horizontally. Yeah, for those to fit the, the the bucket that it goes into was really interesting as well.


Jeff Barber  21:53  

And that's the that is the intention of making the characters represent not just what you can do, but who you are, how you got there, and and why you're doing what you're doing. Yeah, I mean, you could boil it down to saying it is a game that has four attributes and five skills. But it's not right. I mean, right, it's got four attributes. And each one can have a focus, couple of focus attributes, if you want, that really let you create nuance. And then your skill sets are way more complicated than five skills, but only in terms of what they represent. Not in necessarily in creating them.


Ryan Boelter  22:32  

Yeah, exactly.


Amelia Antrim  22:33  

Yeah, I think that it gave me the feeling of like, Oh, I can do lots of things without having to have this compendium of skills that I have to double check and make sure it applies to this situation, which felt like a really good balance, because there are some games where like, even pvta, where it's like, you've got your five things or whatever, where it's like, okay, now I have to, like make what I'm doing fit, right thing all the time. And I felt like a little broader than that, like, I have more options. But I'm the kind of person that gets analysis paralysis. So when you hand me a book that's like, Here's 100 skills, I'm like, like, That's too much. It's too hard. You've lost me. Yeah,


Jeff Barber  23:17  

it might be fair to say that imagine a slightly more robust forged in the dark system, that is got a Madlib component. Oh, I love instead of having to like, pick from the two or three words that the system provides, you get to put the word in that you actually want. And that's kind of the target we're aiming at.


Amelia Antrim  23:38  

I thought it was really fun to to have that like increasing specialty of like, even just imagining of, like the first level of like, okay, as a kid, I started with reading and then when I got a little older, you can do comprehension, you understand what you're reading? It's no longer phonics, you know? And then what is the next level of that? Well, now I can write my own thing. And that kind of, I think helped me imagine some of my characters background to have like, Where did you what, you know, where's baby Maris starting? And then like, here's where I am now. I thought that was cool, too. And the way that like, the skills kind of reflected that growth, too,


Ryan Boelter  24:18  

I never would have gotten into a character with realtime strategy games as a skill set. Without that sort of like free form, but also contained a factor there. I was


Amelia Antrim  24:32  

like, what is the what is what comes after logic, right, like, yeah, you know, what do you do with that? And it was like, well take the L SAT, I guess. But you know, it's like, okay, now I like to do puzzles.


Jeff Barber  24:42  

I knew pretty close to done with the character creation section when I had mentioned previously started this group of teenagers at my high school or I work in a game group, who'd never played role playing games before and Was wrangling eight of them. And we made characters for everybody in about an hour and a half. Oh, wow, they've never played role playing games before. And they made really interesting interconnected characters that all had, while most of them had backstories baked in, in, in two hours with a chaos of eight kids whose attention spans, you know, arguably, are no better than mine. So it was it, it made me feel like, Okay, I think we're where we want to be with this character design.


Amelia Antrim  25:33  

Yeah, we can do it in this situation, we can do it anywhere.


Ryan Boelter  25:39  

That's really cool. Um, I really liked the comparing the the ties to like pbta bonds and whatnot. It's interesting, because in pbta, the bonds that you have are like, a, we did something specific in the past, or were related because of this one specific thing. And, and it feels very much. In most cases, like, this is a backstory. This is how our characters are connected thing. But here, it feels like we're connected in a certain way. And there's an active obligation that will reinforce our roleplay with one another, which was really great.


Jeff Barber  26:26  

Yeah, I started actually from Delta green, I don't know how familiar you guys are with Delta green system. Amazing things but have bonds, which are, you know, you you identify a person, an NPC, like a boss, a co worker, spouse, and you have a relationship with them, that is worth a certain number of points. And at least in my experience, players, and mechanically, what you use that for is, you can strain that relationship, to find to like, calm yourself down to be less traumatized by the experiences you're having. But it affects that relationship. Most of my experience with Delta green has been one shot. So I haven't seen it play over the course, of course, in the campaign. But in the one shots, people just abuse it as like a sanity battery. Right. And I wanted to see what it would look like, over extended play. And so that was kind of my impetus behind the ties was, I want this to be an active thing that characters have to players have to consider, as they go through a campaign and manage these and nurture those as they as they go along through the story.


Amelia Antrim  27:43  

Can I ask, then, what was the impetus for the tracks because I've really liked writing them. Like I had a lot of fun being like, what, you know, what is this thing that we're looking to do? And then like writing is a middle and upper level. Like, that was a fun, creative exercise for me. Yeah. So a lot of playing, it's hard to


Jeff Barber  28:05  

I love horror games. So I come from that background. That's how I got started in game design actually working on Call of Cthulhu stuff. But in games like that, there's the sanity track, which arguably is, you know, enable this kind of thing these days. But there's other games, I think paranoia has some kind of track like that, I know that there's don't rest your head has a track where you're getting more and more disconnected from reality. And a lot of games these days that are focused on a specific kind of feeling, have some sort of currency or some sort of progression that leads you towards a sort of a final state. I wanted that. But I needed something that could apply to all the different ways that someone could engage the blue planet setting. So instead of realizing that, you know, I all I could have would be some kind of, instead of having some kind of sanity mechanic or legality track where you're becoming more, more illegal or more of an outlaw, let's make some guidance around making your tracks specific to your campaign, and to your characters. So that you can pursue those kinds of emotional states for your character are those those states of mind or those sort of outside forces that are imposing on you that are unique to the plane, the plane that you're going to do? And so that was the intent behind the current structure.


Ryan Boelter  29:31  

Yeah, I think we played with that a little bit during that session in 2019. I remember liking it in play.


Jeff Barber  29:42  

Yeah. The track for that play test for that. Con game was the red sky charters company that you were part of. Yeah. And, and you know, there's a fly by night sort of seat of the pants, family business, and everyone had a track where they were completely dedicated at one end and running either call it quits at the other. There's a little mechanical hook in it that it can give you bonuses or penalties in some specific circumstances, so that you pay attention to it. But it's also a tool that the moderator uses to kind of audit the state of mind of the group. Like, hey, forget, you know, this might be a cool moment in the game. But you still have this, this thing going on in the background here.


Ryan Boelter  30:26  

Yeah, like that. So how does the process then of character creation reinforce the feel of Blue Planet recontact, and set expectations for play? I mean, I kind of got the fluidic nature of it, that you can have these conversations, like figuring out what skills apply to what situations I picked up on that right away from the character creation.


Jeff Barber  30:53  

I think if I was being honest, or trying to be most effective, I would suggest that you guys answer that question, because I'm Yeah, kind of close to it and can't really see. See it from orbit anymore. I would say that the I don't know that the actual mechanics because the goal was to create characters that could be played in any kind of campaign in blue planet. I don't know that character creation itself, is particularly thematic of blue planet, the aquatic themes, the environmental themes, I mean, sure, some of the genetic mods you can get are only for aquatic things. And, and there's a lot of like scientific recommendations for skill sets that are based in exploration and that kind of thing. Yeah, I do think that the mechanics could probably be used for any kind of modern day or near science fiction kind of setting. But I'd love to hear your guys's impression of the thematic tie in or the reinforcement of the gaming intent behind it.


Ryan Boelter  31:54  

Yeah, the, because I know you've got the species, which really fits in with the the themes of blue planet, that kind of gives you a big in to the whole scenario and the elevator? Sure, yeah, yeah. But then you've also got the, like, the skill sets that give you those different buckets, like your past is important. Your, your occupation is important. Your present is important, your your, the future that you're working towards is important, that sort of stuff. I know that that could be generalized, but it feels also important to blue planet as a setting, as well.


Jeff Barber  32:49  

Because as you say that I think I realized why it might feel that way. Because to answer those questions, you're drawing from the setting. Yeah. But as you're making the character, you're forcing yourself to like answer the in ways that would fit the person to the setting. So I guess that would be true if this was a game that took place on Mars, and you'd be answering those questions differently. But I think by default, then maybe I'm feeling pretty happy about that, actually, in the realization that it draws it, it draws its own thematic connections. Let's go glad.


Amelia Antrim  33:24  

I think for me, when I when I look at that, I look more at how did building a character Tell me like what the experience of playing is going to be like, even more than like, the setting of the game or the world or anything, but like, what did it tell me about? You know, like, Am I going to enjoy this experience? Because you, when you have a game where you have like 100 skills, it tells me like this is going to be kind of crunchy, you're going to be doing math, you're going to be you know, and I'm like this not for me. What this told me is that, like, it's, it's pretty simple, like the number of things that I'm pulling from aren't going to be, you know, like, I don't need to combine eight different things from 40 different books. But that there's a lot of room for me to kind of, like move around in this world that we've created, and that I have a lot of like narrative control. Because over the course of this, I set out like, you know, what are the kinds of skills that I've had, I've said these are things that exists in the world, like auditing, that's the thing here, because I have made that skill. Um, you know, I've said that there, there are puzzles and riddles, because I made that skill. You know, Ryan has defined now there are realtime strategy games. So that tells me as a player that, that I'm going to have a lot of narrative control. It's told me that like, work is very important. Because we've set out that we work for this PX py agency, I want to save the company like All of the things that we created around the job that I'm doing so like in our game, those are important. So I feel like it's the sense that I get is I will have a lot of narrative control. It's, it's really open. And if I want to do something, there's probably a way that we can figure it out. And that, like, the things that are on my sheet, are extremely important to the campaign that we're going to be playing. Because in so many spots, like we started writing this campaign and saying, like, these things are going to be important, because this is what we put on our sheets. And so I'm getting the sense that it's like very player driven, regardless of like, the setting or anything like that, that like, those are things that I'm going to experience.


Jeff Barber  35:51  

I think that's a fair assessment. But I don't want to take too much credit for that. Because I think we kind of did a little pretty good session zero, as in between, as we were making our characters. I do think if I sent if I had sent those those kids home and to their, to their dorm rooms and said, Make a blue planet character using this checklist. And then they all came back. They wouldn't have had any of the sense that you were just describing, right? Because everything


Amelia Antrim  36:16  

would be different campaign, right? It's why you'd have I


Jeff Barber  36:19  

think a lot of our I think your observation is particularly astute in terms of the front loading, because of the way the characters are made, you're a lot of the player agency isn't necessarily mechanical, as it is in some games, because there's a lot of games that depend on player agency to move the mechanics forward, especially in the narrative lines, blue planet is a little more traditional in that regard, during play, but there is a lot of room in front loading the characters, because of the way that the attribute focus attributes are made and the skill sets are made, and you build things, and then also in play while you're interpreting what it means to have an accounting skill, or to be, in my case, friendly. Right? How does that get interpreted in play? And so I think there is room right there for some player agency that's maybe more uncommon in more traditional games.


Ryan Boelter  37:14  

Yeah, absolutely. And I know the bio mods are a big part of character creation as well. That kinda like how it's near the end of the process, because then it kind of gears you into the world a bit more. That it it says, Yeah, this is this is a game that has some some interesting equipment and modification, things that you can do after the fact, if you want. That if you save up your money, and you can, you can get these cool things. So it's another like, interesting in setting goal that you can add into the, into your campaign as like a side quest effectively, right. And then getting a hold of the, whatever supplements that you have that are like, Here's 300, more biomarkers that you can throw in, or whatever. Or even if a game master or group wants to create their own, you know, just something cool that you can work towards. Right, which would be an interesting peek at like, This world has fantastic technology. And and it gives you an understanding that you're playing in the future not playing in the present set in the future. Right. Which is really cool.


Jeff Barber  38:47  

Yeah, and you weren't having to pick your species right from the start. You're still a human species. But you've already made a formative decision that's going to help inform all the other questions that you have about character design.


Amelia Antrim  38:58  

And even like what species we picked, like, immediately, you were like, Okay, well, you're not from here, then. And it was like, Oh, good point. You know, like that already started setting up what the limits of this campaign might be. Yeah, I think that there's like, a lot of what we did in character creation decided a lot of things about our campaign. Should we play this game? And so I think it it made character creation, important in a way that it's sometimes isn't like, sometimes it's like, I fill out my character sheet and I show up and then the game happens, and I'll slot myself in somewhere. And this is not that.


Jeff Barber  39:42  

I'm glad to hear it because that was kind of the goal we were going for, but wanting but not wanting to make it over overwhelming or require a deep immersion to be able to do it effectively.


Amelia Antrim  39:55  

Yeah, I mean, I feel like you hit that sweet spot for me. At least have like not handing me a list of 8000 options where I get overwhelmed, but not just saying, Do what you want. Where I also get overwhelmed because I'm like, anything. Like this felt like a very good, a good middle ground of like, I can make things happen. But you've told me what things and that's for me like, perfect.


Jeff Barber  40:25  

Going into the Kickstarter that's very reassuring.


Amelia Antrim  40:28  

Good good.


Ryan Boelter  40:29  

It's the it's the chips and salsa on the jello to sand.


Amelia Antrim  40:34  

The sand continuum of crunchy This is my my game design theory of like, you know, some things are too crunchy. Sometimes you're just chewing sand, and you don't want that. And then there's jello that's just like real wiggly and not kind of in a shape. You're like this is roughly game shaped.


Jeff Barber  40:56  

But that's the one form it holds until you cut into it. And then it's


Amelia Antrim  40:59  

Yep. Right? That's right. And so you want to be in like the like chips and salsa kind of like shapes and it could be a little soggy. That's good. Yeah. See, that's so this is right in the chips and salsa sweet spot. I'm gonna write a book on my game design theory. The stands to jello scale. One of the things that I get really excited about in games is character sheets. I filled out lots of them, I saved them all in a folder. Let's discuss the intention behind the design of the character sheet. I know it came up a couple times as we were going through that you're still kind of working things and there was like one or two spots where you're like, we got to put that back on there. But can you talk about like, what kind of story it tells, before you even begin making characters like what influence the character sheet has on the design process


Jeff Barber  41:56  

the other way around, love to because it's something I kind of discovered in recent years as being an effective tool. I, I wanted to avoid having to write everything down and iterate from there, because iterating on writing, at least for me is not very efficient, because I'm a slow writer. But I'm much more of a visual thinker, and graphically, thinking about the character sheet. And the tools that are needed on the character sheet to do the game that I had in mind made it a lot easier to just iterate on a character sheet rather than iterate on a Word doc. And this, so that was one, that was the starting point, right. So it really came down to sketching out some different character sheets with just a pencil on Blank printer paper until I got to the point where I had something that was usable for the first play test of the new system. And then I would use illustrator to just make up something, it's, if it tells you anything, I think the character sheets you guys have are for version 4.5. And usually, I have to do a pretty big fundamental change to change the version number. Yeah, and I don't have any schema. It's just in my own head. So I think my folder, right. But I think we're pretty close. And so on version 4.5, you can imagine there's been a lot of a lot of changes that have happened. But when I finally sat down to write the character creation that you guys are on, we're already on version, point, four point something. So there hasn't been much change since the document that you guys worked off of today. And it was great to just bale put the character sheet down in front of me, and write the character creation section, step by step from what I had learned from playing with the character sheet. Oh, yeah. And so that that was sort of like my personal sort of design approach, or the other sort of tenant that I wanted to make sure we were trying to include, and I'm sure there are places we can still do this. And I'd love to hear your suggestions. I wanted as much of the guidance for making the character to appear on the character sheet that would fit in. That was that's my favorite thing, and maybe a game design nerd thing. But that's my favorite part of fours in the dark, is that the character sheets themselves pretty much guide you through the process. Yeah. And I and I wanted that, to not only be reflected on our character sheet and the character creation process, but also during play, to provide some references as well. As many as we could cram in and still be a reasonable character sheet. So I hope that's kind of the at least the ballpark into which we've landed. And we're going to continue to try to refine that a little bit.


Amelia Antrim  44:47  

I noticed like now as we're talking about it, there was only one point in the character creation process where I said, Hey, where do I write this? And it was the thing that you said, Oh, shoot, did we take that off, we have to put that back on. So otherwise, so because there are lots of times where we go through games, and I'm like, okay, we just came up with this stat. I don't know what box This goes in, because we've kind of called it this, but it might go over here, like, there were I had none of that, it was very clear to me, like, this goes here, this goes here. And we went near, like, right in order down the line, like, box by box. I don't think I really had to look too much at the the mechanics list, because it was like everything on the sheet was what was in the, in the doc you sent us. So, um, you know, obviously, I would have to more if you weren't here to just like tell me things. But it was really easy to just like go section by section. These things are, you know, this is what's next.


Jeff Barber  45:59  

And that's really how it's presented in the write up is it there's a list of I think it's 10 steps, you just follow the steps on number of steps, you follow each one and it leads you through the process, hopefully in a way that builds on the previous decisions you made. And anybody can do it, even if they aren't familiar with how the game plays.


Ryan Boelter  46:20  

Yeah, it's really interesting, because when you go through the sheet itself, when you're just visually looking at the sheet, you can see that it's laid out in a way where you can, you can easily grok where you're competent, and and potentially lacking in a mechanical sense, right. But also, for the character creation process, it's, you just go down the line from like, left to right up top to bottom and, and you've got your character made. And then it continues on to the second sheet. And it's all just kind of right there, which is fantastic.


Amelia Antrim  47:03  

He was like also a visual person too, though, it's very clear to me from the size of things on this sheet, that attributes and skill sets are the things that I'm going to use the most. They're bigger. And like that, like I know is such a simple thing. But it's like, oh, those are where I need to spend my time and my points and


Jeff Barber  47:26  

they're bigger. I think I told you before the skill set box needs to be even bigger, in my opinion. Because you need to be able to write more than we were running in there as well as the tags, tracks and ties. And we did try to make it so that really to play the game, you're looking at the first character sheet 90% of the time. And so, you know, a two pages for a character sheet that's over some people's limit. So you don't really need the second page, the second page is more sort of general reference in the background. And so we're trying to make sure we keep it that way.


Ryan Boelter  48:03  

Yeah, like that. Yeah, it adds detail to your character. And you've got the bio mods and gear and weapons and all that on the second sheet. And I see this, this maneuvers, which tells me it's important.


Jeff Barber  48:19  

Well, boxes, wait, the graphic designer kind of went a little a little far afield with that one, that box is considerably larger than it needs to be because it's just you don't actively use that box unless you want to start creating your own maneuvers. But yeah, it's probably going to be about a third that size.


Ryan Boelter  48:40  

But it does tell me something about how the games can be played for sure.


Jeff Barber  48:44  

A bit which character sheet. And if it's on the character sheet, it should be important.


Ryan Boelter  48:48  

Exactly. Yeah. And that tells me a bit about the intention behind keeping an eye on the character sheet right? To say, hey, while I'm playing this game maneuvers are going to come up. And they're going to be interesting, because it's there. And it's readily available, which is cool.


Jeff Barber  49:05  

The the intention behind them being there is as I was saying, with the forged in the dark and a lot of plays, guided by the character sheet, and much of what your character does when they are opposed by either NPCs or natural forces or what have you, boils down to these maneuvers and be able to think in the general terms rather than getting lost in the minutiae of what skill sets specifically fits this circumstance, to be able to break it down into three options for each of these categories, helps shape people's thinking and makes it a lot simpler for them to choose the skill set they want to use. And that's why references being included like that.


Ryan Boelter  49:48  

Very cool. Well, what do you think then? This is one of my favorite questions, just because especially when we have designers on the show. What do you think is one of the The the biggest flaws of character creation in the system, and what do you think is one of the best parts of character creation?


Unknown Speaker  50:06  



Jeff Barber  50:07  

laws? I think that it's funny because even that sort of language anymore smacks of the, oh, this is better than that system. Right? And it's, and I think a lot of people are getting to the point where like, all systems should coexist together because people like different stuff. If If I was just going to play blue planet by myself all the time, I think I would have more attributes. Because I sometimes struggle when I'm running the game, to be able to answer people's question. Well, is this cognition or psyche? Well, okay, whatever. Yeah, just whichever you prefer. And, of course, the default then becomes, well, I'm just gonna pick the one that got the best app. Right? Yeah. So for me personally, that's what I would maybe change if I was going to play it just for me, and not try and have a broader, more assessable approach.


Ryan Boelter  51:12  

Yeah, it makes sense.


Jeff Barber  51:15  

Conversely, or maybe it's perfect parallel. But one of the things I like the best about it, is the fact that we have these focus attributes that you can add in. And they are absolutely customizable to the player and therefore the character. And so you can really start to nuance those four attributes into something that really represents the exact character you want to play. And I think that was the whole point in that design process was like, I don't like just having four attributes, but I don't want there's no way to have if you started breaking them out is suddenly doesn't become five attributes, it becomes like 10 attributes. Yeah. So when I struck on the idea of these focus attributes, and being able to customize them, I became comfortable with presenting just four basic attributes and still be able to make the nuanced character that I wanted to make.


Ryan Boelter  52:07  

Yeah, absolutely. And I love the focus have to boots for the the role playing pretend to potential the the guidance, potential for the players to play towards their their character sheet. which honestly sounds like a fun topic for character evolution cast whenever we get around to that playing towards your character sheet. Because like, the whole idea of being able to look at your character sheet and know what your character would do, is kind of the the impetus of what role playing games should be. Whereas like, some games, I won't name names, but some games, you create a character, and they can do all sorts of fun, cool things, but then you have to shoehorn a background into it, and personality and why your character cares about anything in the world. That's like separate from the system and then now you're playing to something that's not on your character sheet.


Jeff Barber  53:13  

Earlier what your character can do versus who your character is. Exactly.


Ryan Boelter  53:18  

Yeah. So like, not like having the motivation having the goal having the attitude having the the specific attributes, and the modifiers of those things that find attributes and all that sort of stuff. It really lends to I know what how this character would kind of respond based on all this cool stuff that's on my character sheet. And I like that it's all right there on the first page and available to you at any glance right.


Amelia Antrim  53:53  

Well, let's discuss our character stories here. We're going into our fanfiction section. What let's just like our first adventure, let's say like what, what are we doing and how does it go?


Ryan Boelter  54:06  

And what are we up to?


Jeff Barber  54:07  

I would love if it started in media rez.


Amelia Antrim  54:11  

Oh, yeah.


Ryan Boelter  54:12  



Amelia Antrim  54:13  

So like mid. I said a heist? Is it like I don't know. Like, what are we doing? I'm undercover at a jazz club. Ryan's character is performing. Oh, nice.


Jeff Barber  54:31  

So we must. We must not be in our little rural office town. We are in a rural town where our offices we must be in a bigger city to have a jazz club.


Amelia Antrim  54:41  

We went to the next biggest city which has like 3000 people.


Ryan Boelter  54:44  



Jeff Barber  54:45  

so there's just a music venue and tonight is jazz night.


Amelia Antrim  54:48  

It's Yeah. It's really a bar with like a tiny stage.


Jeff Barber  54:53  

We call it the jazz club.


Amelia Antrim  54:55  

Right? Right. Better. Um, I mean, I assume there's probably like some kind of information that we have to get while we're there. But we definitely use it as an excuse.


Jeff Barber  55:10  

So for the opening scene be me being punched, and then falling backwards and then freeze frame. And then it says, two hours ago, right? Yes.


Ryan Boelter  55:22  

I like that. Yeah. And, gosh, I can't imagine that, that my character would be just trying their best to maintain the attention of the audience. So that both of you can, you know, easily do what you need to do to get the information from people that are, you know, otherwise distracted.


Jeff Barber  55:48  

So is this an open mic night? Are you actually booked in the singing tonight?


Ryan Boelter  55:54  

I want to say, we booked me into Same for this specific purpose. But knowing that, and I say this is a genre outside of the genre that I'm interested in getting into. Right. Um, to add that little bit of complication. Right.


Jeff Barber  56:12  

You don't have a you don't have a deep catalog of songs that you've practiced.


Ryan Boelter  56:17  

Yeah. Exactly.


Jeff Barber  56:19  

By the brothers playing in the country bar.


Ryan Boelter  56:21  

Yep. Kinda like that. Yeah. But yeah, so I got to keep the audience distracted while you to figure stuff out. On that side of things, but what what are we what are we here to figure out?


Amelia Antrim  56:36  

I feel like we're trying to like there's a conversation happening, that we're just trying to, like, record or something because we're not, we're not thieves. We're not like, you know, like, we are a pie. Or we're all backwater pie. Yeah. Association. So I feel like it's just like, let's say it's like a, like an eminent domain dispute or something.


Jeff Barber  57:02  

You wanted to Britt, you wanted to break in corporate. Right. And And what if there was a local, local miners were the independent miners are trying to form a collective, essentially a union. And there were plans, we somehow have been hired by them to figure out who's trying to bust their union. And oh, yeah, meeting meeting here tonight, between whoever we think is bust trying to bust the union and their their union busters.


Amelia Antrim  57:36  

Right. Okay. Yeah, their muscle. Yeah,


Ryan Boelter  57:39  

that makes sense. I'm so sad. I imagined that you're probably here in case things go south, for whatever reason.


Jeff Barber  57:47  

Yeah, maybe? Can I be waiting tables? Oh, yeah, that sounds fun.


Amelia Antrim  57:52  

Why are you getting punched in the face? Oh, well,


Jeff Barber  57:54  

I guess we'll figure that out. I had to have been discovered at some point. Or maybe, you know what it was, we were about to get made. And, and so I started a fight with someone randomly happens, right? That makes them spill on somebody. And then I said, well, dude, what are you doing? And then it just went from there?


Amelia Antrim  58:14  

Did we get the information?


Jeff Barber  58:17  

We'd have to roll some dice to find that out? I would say I would say probably not. Because that's the complicating, open now the credits roll. Great show starts. Second, the second way to get the same information.


Amelia Antrim  58:33  

Like the show starts and it's sitting in a diner and you with like, a steak on your I like,


Jeff Barber  58:39  

paper up my nose?


Unknown Speaker  58:41  



Ryan Boelter  58:41  

Yep. And then then I can see, like my tactical brain working, like how can we salvage this? This, you know, blow against our group, and tactically figure out a way to get the information that we need. And maybe now it turns into heist? Hmm. Like our reputation as a company is on the line to get this information. Yeah. And we we really need you know, this to come out into the open so that these, this minor group can can unionize successfully and become a successful group of employees.


Jeff Barber  59:24  

So I feel like we're going full leverage here, which is awesome. So I think the name of our RS campaign series would have to be something like fulcrum or whatever to like, yeah, take advantage. Take advantage of that.


Ryan Boelter  59:38  

Yeah. That sounds really fun. Yeah. And then we're kind of all trying to we're all we're all going against type a little bit. Having to do this heist, like thing, like we're all not trained for stealing information and stuff from wherever. But we've got the computer know how You you with your your skills, Amelia could easily find out the financial situations and where the money is funneling to in order to get the the union busted. so to speak. Yep. But we just have to get in. And I see myself kind of more like the face character, trying to talk our way past situations. In a way,


Amelia Antrim  1:00:30  

interrogation, and undercover.


Jeff Barber  1:00:32  

You are the performer?


Ryan Boelter  1:00:34  

Yeah, I'm the performer. And I've also got, like, especially if we are dealing with like younger individuals, trying to work our way through like, the the interns of the organization, so to speak. And yeah, the Federal youth. You do fellow you? Yeah, no, I think that would be really interesting. Um, we've got a lot of avenues to utilize our life experience to get this information.


Jeff Barber  1:01:13  

I feel obliged to point out that if I would imagine someone picks up Blue Planet off the shelf and starts thumbing through it, they're not immediately going to go to like, Mom and Pop pie campaign, just screams that's what I want to play. Well, but the point is, the point I'm trying to make is, I'm super excited to play this campaign. I want it to be like one of our archetypes that I was talking about now, is a call back to what we talked about, right? Like, the setting is so big, you can play any kind of game, you want to be there just to set it up. And I think it's interesting that that's where we settled on, on the start of our little Creation Cast campaign. Yeah. Given the alternatives that are in the setting.


Amelia Antrim  1:02:02  

Yeah, the plethora of other options. There are Yeah, this is where we went.


Ryan Boelter  1:02:06  

It's interesting. We combined corporate espionage and rural survivalist to get to where we are here. And I think it's really cool that this game can support all of that.


Amelia Antrim  1:02:20  

Well, finally, let's get into our last segment here our advancement discussion, and we will take it up a level.


Ryan Boelter  1:02:28  

Take it up a level.


Jeff Barber  1:02:30  

Take it up a level. Oh, I see what you did there. Yeah.


Amelia Antrim  1:02:35  

In this segment, we like to cover character growth and character advancement in the system. So the first question we want to ask is, how does the character level up in blue planet? And how do characters change mechanically, when that happens?


Jeff Barber  1:02:51  

The answer is it exists in the moment is quite simple. But I'll preface it by saying a lot of the playtesting I've been doing has been one shot ish. So there really hasn't been a lot of play testing of advancement, that we have advancement rules. So I will say that these, these may change between now and publication. But the attention is to again, tie the characters to their environment and their actions to the mechanics in a way that motivates them to be their characters. So advancement is based entirely on your character profile. And that includes your character's goal, motivation for that goal, and the attitude. So in kind of rising order of importance, perhaps attitude is your characters, the way they interact with the world, is a simple way to describe it, their motivation is why they want what they want, what's driving them to that, and then their goal is the thing that they're reaching for. And it's more than just to go out on Friday night. Short term type goals. It's long term goals, like Do you want a family? Do you want to move to the big city? Do you want to become powerful in the corporate world? Do you want to free beside them from its corporate oppressors, that kind of thing. And if you demonstrate your attitude, and I'm winging it, I don't have the rules up in front of me. So I'm gonna wing this a little bit. So forgive me if I'm not exactly right. But if you play your attitude, so the idea is at the end of every session, you do a little inventory with the game masters say, hey, look, I did this thing I got punched. My character has this attitude problem. And I used it to get punched to cause this distraction. That then I go, checkbox, and on the character sheet, you'll notice there's chips that character improvement points, the little circles, just check one of those circles. Maybe did it twice in a way that was significant in the game. It has to have like an impact on the narrative. It can't just be you grinding away on on points by saying look, I use my attitude because I swore every


Amelia Antrim  1:04:58  

time. I was grumpy.


Jeff Barber  1:05:00  

Yeah, right? Yeah, seven narrative impact, and that there's some guidance in the rules about that, um, say with motivation. But with motivation, it's a little harder to demonstrate that motivation to drive the narrative with your motivation. So maybe, maybe you know, you're supposed to be doing this thing to support the company, but you really want to do this other thing. And so you kind of make problems for the company, and the rest of the players because you pursued your motivation. Instead, you get to check marks for that. And usually, it's once per session, maybe if you really lean into it, you get twice per session. And then achieving your goal is, I think, it's not achieving the goal, but it's benchmarks towards your goal give you like five checks. You don't have to line out benchmarks. It's not like you have a timeline and you know, a 10 year plan, that's my character's five year plan. But you tell the moderator, like, hey, look, I spent all the money I made last session on this on this map, so that I can find where my dad's boat went down as your goal of like finding your last dad, or whatever your goal happens to be. And if you do one of those, you get your five check points. And then you get to spend those, like a currency on character advancement. Think it's 515 and 25, you can spend five points to add a plus one to a skill set, I think you can spend five to get a one, maybe it's 10, to get a one in a new skill set. So you can say, you know, I've been playing the guitar a lot in my room, over the pandemic. And I've learned to play the guitar. So I've got one guitar, and you can develop a new skill set. Using those points, you can raise a focus attribute by spending, I think 15. And if you spend 20, or maybe it's 25, you can get a increase in your actual base attribute. The caveat to all of these is that you have to be setting that up during play. You can't just say, Well, today, I'm a point smarter, right? Maybe you have to be going to school, maybe you have to be doing some research, maybe you have to be taking some experimental drugs, something in the story has to be lined up to make any of these happen. So if it's just a matter of learning to play the guitar, you just say through a couple of sessions, I'm going to spend some downtime playing the guitar. And then you get to add your new skill set. So it's not super robust or innovative. But it does lean heavily into this is the character I decided I want to play. And if I want to that character to grow, that character needs to be that character.


Ryan Boelter  1:08:00  

Very cool. I love how it plays to those in order to level up.


Jeff Barber  1:08:06  

And it's very, I mean it call it leveling up is is probably not fair to the expectation. It's such a minor change. It's very mental. If you're not going to feel like I know a lot of games like d&d, you come into a new session after leveling up and you're like, oh my god. Yeah, right. Yeah, there is no moment of glowing light, generally, alright. Yeah, around this.


Amelia Antrim  1:08:29  

I have I come from games so that have just like straight XP spends on like, you know, like any skill is three XP or something like that. So it's like, you're constantly going forward a little bit each session. So is every time people are like, it's a whole level, I'm like, a level of what, like, it's not the kind of game that I play


Jeff Barber  1:08:49  

that hasn't really been played tested is that hopefully the numbers work out that every session if you want. And if you were diligent and your moderator was diligent about tracking stuff, you can get a plus one in something in in sorry, in a skill set. Right? That's like the cheapest thing. So if you really like pushing it, at least every other session, you could get a plus one. So you have the option of getting like at least a little bit or somewhere where you can save it up and then get a big thing later because obviously, increasing the game mechanic is attribute plus skill set role equal to or under, right. So if your attribute is bumped up by one, suddenly, all of the things you do with that attribute is plus one. Obviously, it should be more expensive, and they're harder to do we know human will, is going to go to the gym and workout and try and get a better physique. It takes a lot of effort. So it should take points.


Ryan Boelter  1:09:40  

Absolutely. So what effect does this advancement have on the narrative, like does the mechanical benefit represent something in the story or connection that we have to make?


Jeff Barber  1:09:52  

That's the requirement if you if you want to to justice if you want to have an advancement, you have to justify it to the to the table Ideally, you do that through some sort of role play, or at least resource expenditure, right? Like a gym membership, or I have gone back to college, or something like that, right? Oh, very cool.


Ryan Boelter  1:10:12  

I can't just be saying that, Oh, I'm gonna increase this point here. Just because I think it would benefit me even though I didn't use any of it right? For the last the entire campaign,


Jeff Barber  1:10:24  

right? That's the intention. And, and I like it, because you can really hook players in like, I am playing a native character, and I don't have any combat skills, or I want to raise my combat skills. Well, that's because I've been secretly training with the insurgency for the last six months. And nobody knows it, right. So that kind of thing can really tie back into the setting and developing the characters of person two.


Ryan Boelter  1:10:46  

Very cool. I like that. All right. Is there anything else that you want to tell us about blue planet, before we head out, or anything you want to highlight on the Kickstarter? Now that we're in the last, you know, few days, probably, since this episode releases or half of the campaign, your


Jeff Barber  1:11:08  

i, i, this has ranged, this whole process of creating these series, this series has ranged much farther and more in depth than I would have anticipated. I'm not sure that there's anything that we haven't at least touched on. I think this, maybe I'll say, Well, I think this game would appeal to if you like science fiction, check. If you like hard science fiction, the idea that it's based in in as much as possible and still be science fiction. Science, I would say check. If you have if you are an environmentalist, or have sympathies with the environmental plate of our world, check check. If you want to make characters that are evocative of the game you're trying to play, I think we landed there. So that would be a check mark. If you want to have control over a lot of nuance control over who your character is, I think there's a lot of that in there. If you want a simple system that still evokes and supports a hard science fiction setting, I hope that's where we've landed, I'm, I'm counting on the Kickstarter being generous enough that we can make them beautiful books. But even if they're not, if we don't, if we can't make the physical copies as beautiful as we want them to be. Or if you're the kind of person that has gone all PDF at this point, we are going to be providing those is user friendly format as possible. And we're actually going to lean in a little bit to some hardship pricing on some of those as well, which we hope increases accessibility a little bit. Yeah. One thing that I will admit this is entirely salesmanship. But if you don't want to wait, and you're just getting into it, and don't already have some of the previous editions, on the day that campaign closes. Depending on your pledge level, you're going to get a big download of the currently existing PDFs. So you can dive right in, if you want to start reading this. You know, it'll certainly be a lot of changes in additional material, but it will still give you a good solid grounding in the world of blue planet, for sure. Very cool.


Amelia Antrim  1:13:34  

I'm so excited to see like what this looks like. And this is really, like this has made me even more excited about it like, Yeah, that's good. It's good. I love the changes that you guys have made.


Ryan Boelter  1:13:50  

Well, Jeff, thank you so much for joining us to talk about Blue Planet recontact.


Jeff Barber  1:13:54  

Well, thanks is all mine to you. You guys are great. And this is a great chance for us to talk about a game that really excited about.


Ryan Boelter  1:14:02  

Absolutely. Can you remind everyone where they can find you online and the things that you're working on?


Unknown Speaker  1:14:08  



Jeff Barber  1:14:10  

For timeliness on a daily basis, Twitter, at biohazard Jeff. And then our website, www dot biohazard And then, of course, the Kickstarter page, you can find out how that's going just by going there. And there's ways to reach us through the page as well.


Amelia Antrim  1:14:32  

We'll have links to all of those things in our show notes as well. Well, thank you for sitting down with us. And thank you to everyone for tuning in.


Jeff Barber  1:14:41  

That was a joy. Thank you.


Ryan Boelter  1:14:45  

Call to Action.


Amelia Antrim  1:14:49  

Yeah, like that. Okay, well, we are here back at the end of the episode. It's like, did you ever read that book the monster at the end of this book, with Grover children's books.


Ryan Boelter  1:15:01  

No. Okay.


Amelia Antrim  1:15:02  

But anyway, he's like we're here at the end of the book. Oh, that just made me random. That made me think of that. Jeff was such a fantastic guest to have on again. I really enjoyed the discussion that we had this episode is always delightful to talk to. But like I, I love that we got to break down some of the game design and like really work through why he was doing some of the things he was doing.


Ryan Boelter  1:15:29  

Absolutely, there was a lot of really good stuff there. I just realized I didn't finish this portion of the action, but that's okay. But yeah, we do have a few things before we let you go for the episode. First, if you've liked what you've heard on today's episode series, you can actually go ahead and check out the blue planet Kickstarter. The link is in the show notes. As of this recording, a nother stretch goal is just about to be taken care of. They are Yeah, just under $300 away from the next Kickstarter goal. So we might even hit that by the time this episode releases. But with only three more goals to go before the end of their stretch goals list.


Amelia Antrim  1:16:15  

That's awesome. Because then they already have to put out more and they hit the other ones like day one. Yeah,


Ryan Boelter  1:16:19  

this is the second stretch goal list. And yeah, they're they're almost done with that, too. I don't know if there's going to be more after that. But I'm really excited to find out.


Amelia Antrim  1:16:29  

Yeah, I'm, I'm so excited for Jeff that it's going so well. It's always it's always good. Don't forget to April is pod chasers reviews for good campaign, you can leave a review on your favorite podcasts, they'll donate 25 cents to Meals on Wheels, and if creators respond to it, they will change it to 50 cents. This works for both shows as a whole and for specific episodes. So if you have one that you specifically love, or you know, I guess not love to but really just just help just only say nice things. But you can leave specific episode reviews. We will as always read reviews on our shows, and we will read those episode ones too. So you can let us know what's your favorite. Like this one from Michael of Healy on pod chaser. A good look at the process of creating characters in a wide variety of game systems. Well, thank you, Chef kiss sweet and to the point. Yeah,


Ryan Boelter  1:17:32  

right to the point. And thank you so much for listening, Michael. Mm hmm. But we also have a bonus one, since this is the last episode going on in April and since this campaign is in full force Well, we'll go ahead and read another one we got on pod chaser recently. From Whoa, whoa,


Amelia Antrim  1:17:51  

that's like, Can you do that? Brian,


Ryan Boelter  1:17:56  

it's our show.


Amelia Antrim  1:17:56  

There are rules.


Ryan Boelter  1:17:59  

breaking the rules. I'm breaking the rules.


Amelia Antrim  1:18:02  

Ryan has gone crazy with power


Ryan Boelter  1:18:07  



Amelia Antrim  1:18:08  

You are mad with power,


Ryan Boelter  1:18:09  

bad with power. And I'm going to read this review from bricks steelhead from pod chaser and and i love this is it's in very advertising format, which is fantastic. So


Amelia Antrim  1:18:23  

please read it in like an old timey radio voice man.


Ryan Boelter  1:18:27  

Are you suffering from alcoholism? Do you have stacks of unplayable character sheets higher than no dog is tall? Are you that player who bring the backup PC to the non lethal game? Just in case? If so, then chumlee this pods for you see squared takes me way back home to the first fine I ever had in ttrpg is cooking up top people's as hosts are the rowdiest his jokes that daddy asked its goals as a loftiest his tone is the softest games the RTS is guests the smartest listen for the episodes that are essentially Kickstarter spotlight let's play session zero and for those that are but like what even is personhood, you know, squints and raises eyebrows Ilan musk Lee all of them are great. How to get six stars out of five spotlight some of them old timey games what have wild and wooly character generation methods your guy my world seventh edition, your Warhammer Fantasy role plays third edition, you're into the odds, your atomic highways, your dark harriss at Holly


Amelia Antrim  1:19:51  

Wow, I can't believe you held on that was a long, really long review and


Ryan Boelter  1:19:58  

it was fantastic. Well


Amelia Antrim  1:19:59  

Also I appreciate all of the thought that went into that. Like, that was intense. That was so good.


Ryan Boelter  1:20:07  

Well, thank you so much brick steelhead. That was fantastic.


Amelia Antrim  1:20:10  

Yeah, and we, we definitely are looking at some old timey games. Yeah, it was a discussion that we just had the other day that we're, we always try to kind of like, mix and match like French and you know, your potato chips and your jello. But, you know, we want to start mixing and matching some like new Kickstarter spotlight kind of stuff and some of the old timey classics.


Ryan Boelter  1:20:37  

Yeah, I think after probably series 40, we'll be able to start diving into some more variety of games, as well. And since I think we're starting to plan a bit more ahead of the times, I guess we could say,


Amelia Antrim  1:20:58  

we say that for now, I always do really well for a little while. And I'm like, and then


Ryan Boelter  1:21:03  

stuff happens. Life is life. It happens


Amelia Antrim  1:21:07  

to be like


Ryan Boelter  1:21:08  

to be like that, but we'll see what we can do. So stay tuned our brick steel head at Alia. We will we'll see what we can do for old timey games.


Amelia Antrim  1:21:19  

Yeah, prepared to give us that sixth star. Be ready. Be ready.


Ryan Boelter  1:21:24  

Well give another five stars maybe. But don't just leave one extra star somewhere?


Amelia Antrim  1:21:32  

Well, yeah, to be clear, don't don't like to have like one.


Ryan Boelter  1:21:37  

I would have given this six stars but


Amelia Antrim  1:21:40  

but what I did instead was do a five and a one, which cancels out to be like. No, that's not just watch your star math everyone. That's all we have for this episode, which honestly, I think was more than enough. Next week, we will take our week off and then we will be getting into a series that we've been wanting to cover since the beginning. So stay tuned for me it's going to be very exciting. Until then, take care, stay safe, drink water, and keep making those amazing people. We will see you next time.


Ryan Boelter  1:22:44  

Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network and can be found online at www dot Character Creation Add to the website to get more information on our hosts this show and even our press kit. Character Creation Cast can also be found on Twitter at Creation Cast or on our Discord server at discord dot Character Creation I'm one of your hosts Ryan Boelter and I can be found on twitter at Lord Neptune or online at Lord Neptune calm. Our other host Amelia Antrim can be found on twitter at ginger reckoning. Music for this episode is used with a Creative Commons license, or with permission from the podcast they originated from. Further information can be found within the show notes. Our main theme music is hero remix by Steve combs, and it's used with a Creative Commons license. This podcast is owned by us under Creative Commons. This episode was edited by Ryan 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 free music platforms out there including Apple podcasts in our show notes. Also, check the show notes for links to our other projects. Thanks for joining us. And remember we find that the best part of any role playing game is character creation. So go out there and create some amazing people. We will see you next time.


Amelia Antrim  1:24:30  

We got to redo show blurbs show blurbs


Ryan Boelter  1:24:33  

show show


Amelia Antrim  1:24:35  

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


Ryan Boelter  1:24:48  

session zero is a discussion podcast that seeks to explore the psychology of role playing. Each episode will feature RP concepts stories and tropes viewed through the lens of psychology by clinical psychologist Porter green, and industrial organizational psychologist, Steve discount. Join us on the couch for the next session. He


Jeff Barber  1:25:13  

did it. I didn't hear him clicking as well. Wonderful. There's a little squiggle when I talked.


Ryan Boelter  1:25:18  

So I guess that makes perfect. That means it's working. Yeah. Awesome. Oh, and you'll be so proud of me. I mean, yeah, I got my printer working. I can actually print out stuff now. And I've got physical character sheets that I can actually write on. I am overjoyed. I don't. I know.


Jeff Barber  1:25:42  

So you are the only people to to have ever used those character sheets yet? Because they're kind of kind of new.


Ryan Boelter  1:25:50  

Yeah, I really like them.


Jeff Barber  1:25:53  

We've already discovered on their layout issues that we need to address. But


Ryan Boelter  1:25:56  

yeah, of course, that happens a lot. Isn't that always the case?


Amelia Antrim  1:26:01  

I know. It's like the moment you you share it or have anybody else look at it. You're like, Oh, no. Like, you send out your child's birthday invitations and you didn't put the date anywhere in


Jeff Barber  1:26:10  

other areas where you need to write. The longer sentences are kind of some of the smaller boxes. So it may be you might write down a little cramped. In terms of today's


Ryan Boelter  1:26:22  

I'll see if I switch to keyboard or not in between filling other things out. I thought that was a cat. You're on mute Emilia or am I on mute?


Amelia Antrim  1:26:36  

Oh, no. I muted my other microphone too. I forgot so that it wouldn't record a bunch of


Unknown Speaker  1:26:43  

noise. Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  1:26:45  

She's a tiny puppy.


Amelia Antrim  1:26:47  

She is she's not going to get much bigger.


Ryan Boelter  1:26:49  

Hey, Peggy. Peggy.


Amelia Antrim  1:26:57  

You can't be in here If you're gonna be nice.


Ryan Boelter  1:26:59  

We have minor puppy issues. Oh.


Jeff Barber  1:27:07  

I guess if you're gonna have issues puppy issues are some of the best ones. That means you have a puppy.


Ryan Boelter  1:27:12  

That's true. And Amelia has puppy. Peggy is super adorable looking. Just a little Fuzzball. There she is. Oh, good thing.


Amelia Antrim  1:27:29  

Yeah, she's she's very small. I can


Ryan Boelter  1:27:33  

see that's, that's the size of a dog that I wouldn't mind having. Especially if she doesn't get much bigger than that.


Amelia Antrim  1:27:40  

No, she'll be like, I don't know, like maybe 22 pounds or something like that. She's a golden doodle. But she's like, bred from a smaller dogs. And then she was the runt of the litter. So


Ryan Boelter  1:27:54  

yeah, my wife's or my mom's husband had gotten a black lab recently. Starting from puppy. And that thing is getting extremely large. Yeah, those


Amelia Antrim  1:28:10  

things are huge. My parents have a sheepadoodle and they were my dad was here yesterday. And I was like, This dog is so heavy, trying to hold her on the leash. Um, but she and Peggy are best friends. So we got to play together.


Jeff Barber  1:28:26  

Well, we're gonna have to listen to my own voice, which I really don't like.


Ryan Boelter  1:28:31  

You just have somebody else do it. And then they can read it.


Amelia Antrim  1:28:37  

Yeah, I was surprisingly like, gotten over that. I guess maybe not surprisingly, after three years of this podcast, and you know, like another year, year and a half of the other one. Like, I'm pretty okay with it. Now.


Ryan Boelter  1:28:54  

Once you edit your own voice, it's for a while. You just are just accepting that that's the way it sound.


Jeff Barber  1:29:06  

Took deceptive and cool headed for psyche. Did I say that? I'm not sure.


Amelia Antrim  1:29:13  

I don't know. But Ryan will find out when he edits it.


Ryan Boelter  1:29:19  

I'll leave both into if it's there.


Amelia Antrim  1:29:24  

I'm finally going to see the doctor tomorrow. No, yeah. I sent her message. She was like, hey, do I see you for this? Should I go see a specialist and she's like, well, we can talk about conservative treatment options, or here's the names of some specialists that I would recommend. And they were all surgeons. And I was like, Oh, okay.


Ryan Boelter  1:29:47  

No, thank you aggressive.


Amelia Antrim  1:29:49  

Yeah. Well, I it's been a problem for eight years. Yeah. And it's just getting worse. So


Ryan Boelter  1:29:57  

yeah, probably I always recommend the physical thing. He wrote first, I see a physical therapist for my ailments. And the thing that's helped the most with those sorts of things, has been the ultrasound therapy


Amelia Antrim  1:30:14  

for like my shoulder because I've been going to physical therapy on and off for my back for years. The hard part for me is that like the, one of the first things that they want you to do for carpal tunnel is anti inflammatories. And I can't take those. Oh, boy. So I'm like, on a walk. So we have to jump right to like steroids or a cortisone injection or something like that, because I can't. The only option to take anti inflammatories is to go off of my lithium, which is a big No. We're not really, I went to the doctor for something. Oh, last weekend when I wasn't feeling well. And she was like, yeah, it says that this interacts with your Lexapro. So if you could just not take that for a couple days. I was like, that's an antidepressant. So no, I'm not gonna do. Like, don't just tell me to go off my meds for a couple days. It seems very irresponsible.


Ryan Boelter  1:31:06  

Yeah, no, that makes sense, though.


Amelia Antrim  1:31:09  

I think they look at my med list. And they're just like, Huh, why don't you just got home? I don't want to deal with that. I did manage to fit them all in my


Unknown Speaker  1:31:19  

little water bottle thing.


Ryan Boelter  1:31:21  



Unknown Speaker  1:31:23  

Cool, nice.


Ryan Boelter  1:31:27  

Great for recording.


Amelia Antrim  1:31:30  

Then I always have water when I have nickels.


Ryan Boelter  1:31:32  

That's true.


Jeff Barber  1:31:34  

If I were running this campaign, oh, sorry, that was my cat. I just realized that this zoom call wasn't work related. And then if I wanted to drink a beer while we were doing it,


Amelia Antrim  1:31:46  

whatever you want


Jeff Barber  1:31:48  

the power.


Amelia Antrim  1:31:50  

Look at that. It's your weekend. I'm trying to start looking at names because I know that that's gonna come up. Who's so bad? I don't know. I got an email today that like referred to me as Mrs. And I was like, no. I like when I get ones at work that say, Dr. Krauss. And I'm like, you are wrong on both of those. But thank you. Good try.


Ryan Boelter  1:32:16  

Good try. Good effort. All right. Now we can stop. Now that Peggy is barking in the background? It's fine. All right. No. He,


Unknown Speaker  1:32:33  



Ryan Boelter  1:32:35  

I did a click that was really loud. Again, should be fine enough. I should be okay.


Amelia Antrim  1:32:42  

I hate that when you like, do it. And you're like something? Something isn't right. But also, I haven't touched anything. And it was fine last time, and I don't.


Ryan Boelter  1:32:52  

Yeah, one of the things, my my HP recorder that I have everything hooked up into when I unplug it in transport it wherever and plug it back in it. It has a built in noise gate on there, that I set the threshold to negative 50 DBS. So anything below that it just cuts off. Nice. But when I plug it back in, it resets to negative 80. So that's just picking everything up. Yeah. And and I have to keep remembering Oh, yeah, I plugged it in. Let me let me change that back. Otherwise, the next time we record it. It's got all the sticky note on your arm on your microphone arm. Yeah, all the horrible background noise of my studio, which is negligibly there in the first place.


Amelia Antrim  1:33:41  

Like me with all kinds of noise happening.


Unknown Speaker  1:33:45  

Yeah, it's fine.


Amelia Antrim  1:33:46  

I really gotta find a better way to.


Ryan Boelter  1:33:50  

Yeah, I think the only thing that


Amelia Antrim  1:33:51  

I'm like your third microphone, and I'm still using the original one.


Unknown Speaker  1:33:55  

Three years ago.


Ryan Boelter  1:33:57  

It still works.


Amelia Antrim  1:33:58  

It does. It does. I need to get an arm for it. I think. Yeah, I need to finally break down and do that. I have different headphones than I used back then.


Ryan Boelter  1:34:08  

That's true. Me too. Yeah, the new headphones from James and the microphone.


Amelia Antrim  1:34:17  

Yeah. I was gonna say I bought new ones, but I didn't. This was shuttle cabal money, actually. Oh, yeah. These ones because mine kept like, being weird. And then like, occasionally gave feedback and Tanner was like, I can't stand you.


Ryan Boelter  1:34:33  

Sorry. I wonder if if we could talk to James about getting one of these mics for you. Yeah, the ATR or ATR ATR, whatever it's called.


Amelia Antrim  1:34:47  

Yeah, maybe because I feel like I'm outgrowing this one. Yeah,


Ryan Boelter  1:34:51  

well, plus the the whole room that you're in and all that sort of stuff. That one will pick up less than the reverb in a


Amelia Antrim  1:34:58  

weekend. It's an echoey room.


Ryan Boelter  1:35:00  

Yeah, and if you get like an arm like like I've got here, you can just keep it off to the side on your desk and then just swiping over cuz I can I can


Amelia Antrim  1:35:09  

move it, but I want to do that I want to get one that like attaches to the desk because I can't like screw anything into my walls. Yeah, I need to do something because I just also don't have a lot of desk space.


Ryan Boelter  1:35:20  

Yeah. Do what you can.


Amelia Antrim  1:35:22  

Yeah. Anyway.


Ryan Boelter  1:35:25  

Oh, I didn't color code anything. Oh my god, I knew something was wrong. And also, um, the You said you might have had one, but you forgot it. Did you remember?


Amelia Antrim  1:35:36  

No, I couldn't. Okay.


Ryan Boelter  1:35:39  

That's fine. I'll just delete that. Finally.


Amelia Antrim  1:35:44  

You put it in the outtakes for next time. Dear listeners, I had a cold open thing, and it was gonna be great. So I'll let you just imagine it. Again, I have no clue. Like when it was even about much less. Like, yeah, yeah. No, it's


Ryan Boelter  1:35:59  

long gone. Um, so it


Amelia Antrim  1:36:03  

might not have been good, but I called up and play


Ryan Boelter  1:36:05  

it Madison, who knows? We'll never have been anything. Okay, so we'll have you start. Okay. And then we'll have me go there. Oh, wait. Yeah, this whole thing should be me. And then you put the punch chaser stuff? And then I'll just finish that up. And then who's reading the review this time? Um, how about me? Because


Unknown Speaker  1:36:37  

I want


Ryan Boelter  1:36:38  

Oh, that's great.


Unknown Speaker  1:36:41  



Ryan Boelter  1:36:43  

then I'll just come out there. And we'll see where it lands up here.


Amelia Antrim  1:36:49  

Head to explain pod chaser to you the other day. And he was like, What is pod chaser? And like, why is Aaron all mad that somebody left a review on like, what our show about like, it was like some kind of like, reply guy review on like, every single episode that they've put out of this, like Babylon five podcast is doing. Oh, and I was like, okay, so pod chaser is this thing and like, and he's like, so it's like, a different iTunes? I was like, No, I would describe it as like Yelp. If iTunes was McDonald's, like, it is like, it's, it's not like putting out the podcast. It's just like, it's finding and talking about podcasts. Feels like,


Ryan Boelter  1:37:32  

it feels like the IMDb of podcasts.


Amelia Antrim  1:37:36  

There you go. That's probably a better way to put I was like trying to find like, a way to explain it. Because I was like, it's not like, aggregating them. It's not like, but like, I'm like you're leaving reviews and you can find stuff. As a creator. You can say, Hey, this is a podcast that I made. I also guessed it on this one episode over here. Like, you know, so yeah, you're like IMDb is probably better. Yeah. yelp is like, okay, so not a big deal. And I was like, No, probably not.


Ryan Boelter  1:38:04  

Yeah, it's pretty nice. Because it, it verifies everything that you put in there, too. So if it's like,


Amelia Antrim  1:38:10  

I know I've said that it was a guest on like, some podcast somewhere and like, I don't remember which one it was, but whoever runs the podcast still has not verified it and abolished because it's like two years ago.


Ryan Boelter  1:38:22  

That's annoying. Sorry.


Amelia Antrim  1:38:25  

No one will ever know if that


Ryan Boelter  1:38:26  

person's listening to this, because this is definitely going in the outtakes. Verify Amelia.


Amelia Antrim  1:38:39  

Okay, see, I'm starting so I will yawn one more time and


Ryan Boelter  1:38:45  

All right. I'll just do it again.


Amelia Antrim  1:38:49  

Even though I stopped


Ryan Boelter  1:38:51  

Ah, I went to bed at two so then I woke up at nine.


Amelia Antrim  1:38:57  

I think I fell asleep by 11 but the two nights before that. I only got like an hour each night so


Ryan Boelter  1:39:03  

exhausted. Everybody's just like give me sleep.


Amelia Antrim  1:39:06  

Right? Well then, of course I haven't taken my ADHD meds today. So it was like sleeping eat.


Ryan Boelter  1:39:11  

I mean, that's pretty


Amelia Antrim  1:39:14  

good stuff to do. Lando make cake from a box. Anyway, okay.


Ryan Boelter  1:39:23  

All right. Call to Action time action


Amelia Antrim  1:39:26  

action. It was it bothers me that there's no like,


Ryan Boelter  1:39:31  

there's no like, we need


Amelia Antrim  1:39:33  

to get one of those like movies Netflix. Which I can't like properly.


Ryan Boelter  1:39:39  

Call to Action.


Amelia Antrim  1:39:43  

Yeah, like that. Just do that. using coal to me being like, yeah, like that.


Ryan Boelter  1:39:53  

I'll see what I can do.


Unknown Speaker  1:39:54  

Thanks, Jim.


Ryan Boelter  1:40:00  

Be some explosions behind there. Who knows? Okay, I'm gonna record the recap. While we're here. You don't need to be recording for this. That's, that's good. Here's your lane. I'm doing it anyway.


Unknown Speaker  1:40:17  

He did it.


Ryan Boelter  1:40:19  

I also have waveforms.


Amelia Antrim  1:40:24  

I'm pulling my character sheet back up so that I can remember what I did.


Ryan Boelter  1:40:27  

Oh, I'm pulling my character sheet back up to Oh, Tom to clipboard.


Amelia Antrim  1:40:33  

Really nice, though.


Jeff Barber  1:40:34  

That way.


Ryan Boelter  1:40:39  

Oh, that's gorgeous. Yeah.


Amelia Antrim  1:40:44  

It's in the completed characters folder. Yeah, I bought it almost entirely because of the enhanced stuff, we get so many electronic submissions. And I want to be able to like take notes and like not try and like sit at my computer and scroll. And


Jeff Barber  1:40:58  

can I, I know, this isn't a game design, direct, essentially a game design podcast, but it's very, very specific parts of game design. I'd like to make a plug for aspiring game designers to use their character sheets, effectively. I have found both working on upwind and blue planet, that that's a great place to start. I think it could be a mistake to start writing out your rules, your mechanics, your character creation. Because if you're like me writing is hard work. But if you know what you want to do for your character creation, even if you are not a great graphic designer, you can create a character sheet even with a pencil and blank paper, it really helps shape your thinking. And you can start your your tweaking and your iterating and your playtesting just using the character sheet, and you go a long way towards a final version of your character creation and rules, using the character sheet as the guide much easily, much more easily than writing and rewriting and rewriting it at least for my money.


Ryan Boelter  1:42:04  

Yeah, absolutely.


Amelia Antrim  1:42:05  

That's something I think we talked about, we touched on briefly when we did our starcrossed episodes, with Alex Roberts talking about like the intentionality of the things that are on the character sheets. And like what it tells you about the game, I would love to sit down with like a bunch of game designers and kind of do a panel about like, what your character sheets say about your game, and like how the design of that, you know, like goes along with what the game is supposed to do. And like I'm I'm fascinated by the concept of character sheets. Like, I don't know, I mean, I think they're easy enough to make in Google Sheets to to even start like sizing things and see like, how much room does this take up? Man? How important is it to the game? And you know,


Unknown Speaker  1:42:47  

I don't know.


Amelia Antrim  1:42:48  

I think that's interesting. I didn't think ever about like kind of starting there. But yeah. How they look and like what they tell you is important is fascinating to me.


Ryan Boelter  1:43:00  

No, no, that makes sense to me. Because I started my character stuff. With Chi Mira has character sheets. And designing the sheets. So that's interesting.


Jeff Barber  1:43:12  

Yeah, it might not be a revelation in general people may go Yeah, that makes sense. And I do that all the time. But for me, it was like, important. realization in my design process.


Ryan Boelter  1:43:22  

Yeah, I like that. Yeah, we can we can fit that in. I know on a previous series, we asked about character sheets on there. Do you remember what the one that was? No. Okay, let me let me find it real quick.


Amelia Antrim  1:43:45  

Trying to like think


Ryan Boelter  1:43:46  

it was a very, it was a very good question. And let's see here. Let's see. Yep, here it is. No, that's not it. That's close. That's not it. So it's got to be right before them.


Amelia Antrim  1:44:09  

Yeah, it was it was a recent one. Right.


Ryan Boelter  1:44:11  

It's fairly recent.


Amelia Antrim  1:44:12  

Yeah. So maybe, maybe quest


Ryan Boelter  1:44:16  

wasn't quest. unbound? Maybe.


Jeff Barber  1:44:22  

I don't think it was unbound. Listen to that one. But I don't recall that specifically.


Ryan Boelter  1:44:27  



Amelia Antrim  1:44:28  

And anyone anyone can wear the mask doesn't have character sheets,


Ryan Boelter  1:44:31  

right? burn bright. I think we talked about that with about it being an online format. So that's,


Amelia Antrim  1:44:41  

um, my brother was so funny because he's playing that one too. And he was like, he had some question. And I was like, Well, I don't know. I'll ask some of the designers and he's like, yeah, okay, whatever. Until like I tweeted about it. And like James altucher also got back to me. And Mark was like, Oh, I didn't realize like you were that type of people. And I was like, What do you think that I do? Like?


Amelia Antrim  1:45:09  

I was like, buddy, I went on a date with one of the designers of the game that you're about to play. So like, Yes, I know them. Like, she helped me with his science project.


Ryan Boelter  1:45:20  

It's fine. I think I can take this, this question and modify it just slightly.


Amelia Antrim  1:45:28  

Yeah, I know, there was one, but I couldn't tell you where it was or what I was


Ryan Boelter  1:45:32  

to put the intention behind the sheets design, that sort of stuff. And what are we on? 3838 There we go. Hello.


Amelia Antrim  1:45:43  

Yeah, I remember writing it but I don't remember. When?


Ryan Boelter  1:45:47  

Yeah, right there.


Jeff Barber  1:45:50  

Well move. This really doesn't matter anymore.


Ryan Boelter  1:45:56  

Exactly, right.


Amelia Antrim  1:45:57  

No. I used to pretend it doesn't because my son is turning 10. And that makes me feel old. Been a parent for a decade.


Ryan Boelter  1:46:06  

It's wild. That my son is half your son's age right now. And I'm like, wait.


Amelia Antrim  1:46:18  

too long?


Unknown Speaker  1:46:19  

Uh huh.


Amelia Antrim  1:46:20  

I've kept a human being alive for 10 years


Jeff Barber  1:46:24  

to achievement.


Amelia Antrim  1:46:25  

I have a plant that I've kept alive for like five years, though. So pretty proud of I feel like that might be the bigger issue, man. Kids always tell you when they're hungry. True.


Jeff Barber  1:46:38  

But have you instilled a value system in your plant? No,


Amelia Antrim  1:46:41  

I don't think so. I don't know. I don't I haven't really asked it.


Jeff Barber  1:46:47  

Sorry, to throw a curveball.


Ryan Boelter  1:46:49  

No, I I love the question. So I think adding it right after the process of character creation works really well. Can you talk about your process with redesigning these character sheets and how that helped guide the character creation process? I think that would be good. Um, yeah, I think that works. Works for me.


Amelia Antrim  1:47:17  

Yeah. That we can't ask our question. How did you get into role playing games?


Ryan Boelter  1:47:24  

I got other questions for that. So. Alright, ready to get started?


Amelia Antrim  1:47:29  

Ready? All right, I'm


Ryan Boelter  1:47:30  

gonna give us a five kind of silence and with that background noise and we'll get started. And you're muted Emilia.


Amelia Antrim  1:47:38  

Well, because my neighbors were stomping upstairs.


Unknown Speaker  1:47:41  

Oh, there you go. Like


Ryan Boelter  1:47:45  

Alright, now we can we can.


Amelia Antrim  1:47:50  

I just decided that that should be a T shirt we make? Hmm. 321 clicky. Yeah, like, I don't know. Like, most people don't hear it. Right. But like, we put it in our outtakes like a bunch. Oh, yeah. And when we did that, like cold cuts.


Ryan Boelter  1:48:07  

Yeah. So we always, we always talk about the I always putting the outtakes. The E of my clicky


Amelia Antrim  1:48:16  

and like, whenever guests comment on it, too. Yeah. Usually, like, leave that in there, too. Yeah.


Ryan Boelter  1:48:21  

So it's alluded to is the is the illusion of the clicky.


Amelia Antrim  1:48:26  

Right, but we should like, find a fancy font or somebody to do formatting or something and do three to one. clicky


Ryan Boelter  1:48:33  

There you go. Hey, hey, outtakes. Here you go. This is just for you. three to one. clicky


Amelia Antrim  1:48:44  

There you go. Now we can make a T shirt. Put it in the show.


Ryan Boelter  1:48:48  

It's happening. It's happening. It's happening.


Ryan Boelter  1:48:58  

It's Saturday, people. Welcome.


Amelia Antrim  1:49:03  

It's Yeah, 320 on a Saturday. And we're both acting like we're joking. Ready? And neither.


Ryan Boelter  1:49:13  

Hey, I've got a vaccine coursing through me. second dose, so I haven't excusive


Amelia Antrim  1:49:20  

I don't know I ate a sandwich. Hey, let my dog eat antidepressant.


Ryan Boelter  1:49:27  

I'd say that's a pretty good day. Oh, Lord. Yep. Okay, so you've got this one. We've also got this one here by brick steel head. That's a good team.


Amelia Antrim  1:49:50  

That's definitely a professional wrestler, right?


Ryan Boelter  1:49:51  

I'm probably


Amelia Antrim  1:49:54  

or yet another nemesis of dirt stranglethorn


Ryan Boelter  1:50:00  

Or unlikely companion.


Amelia Antrim  1:50:04  

Future BFF


Ryan Boelter  1:50:06  

steelhead and Garstang stranglethorn taking on the world


Amelia Antrim  1:50:11  

oh yeah that's like the sequel movie.


Ryan Boelter  1:50:13  

There you go.


Amelia Antrim  1:50:14  

It's like he shows up in the first movie and then like when they have an offshoot and all the other actors are like we're too busy for this. It becomes you know, dirt and brick.


Ryan Boelter  1:50:25  

Yeah, garage and brick. There you go. That's the name of the show. Yeah durjan brick. Oh, Lord. I did your reading Michael have Heelys. Okay, then I'll read. Brick steelhead.


Amelia Antrim  1:50:42  

Oh, steel thorn.


Ryan Boelter  1:50:44  

Brick steel authority. Oh,


Amelia Antrim  1:50:47  

it's hyphenated because dirt his mom remarried later on.


Ryan Boelter  1:50:52  

Again, strangled dashboard.


Amelia Antrim  1:50:58  

You see my, my tweet about Nate's terrible


Ryan Boelter  1:51:03  



Amelia Antrim  1:51:05  

he goes. He's like, Deathly Hallows is like a really boring movie. The second one. And he's like, it's just like, can't are the first one he's talking about. He's like, it's just like camping, and Voldemort. And I was like, camping with Voldemort. And he goes, that's a terrible podcast idea.


Unknown Speaker  1:51:29  

To say,


Amelia Antrim  1:51:29  

I didn't ask but you're not wrong. So anybody who had that on their podcasting bingo card camping with Voldemort. I don't know. Nate will not be a listener. to work on your 10 year old.


Ryan Boelter  1:51:49  

Today, we're gonna be learning about cookie no for the fire.


Amelia Antrim  1:52:01  

The only thing that he knows how to cook is like potions to make you immortal.


Amelia Antrim  1:52:13  

So if he gets a bummer for everybody else around him. So at least one episode is probably about that. And more she smells like a skunk.


Ryan Boelter  1:52:28  

Oh, Voldemort. You're bad at camping.


Amelia Antrim  1:52:36  

camping with Voldemort?


Ryan Boelter  1:52:43  

Ah. Oh, gosh,


Amelia Antrim  1:52:45  



Ryan Boelter  1:52:51  

We should do these more often and it's fine. Yeah, it's


Amelia Antrim  1:52:55  

why I don't know why we're like this right now. Like it's, you know, it's the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday like it's not late at night. It's not, you know, but neither of us has slept enough. Camping is funny. Okay,


Ryan Boelter  1:53:13  

cold, open, cold open. I will start the countdown. And we'll get to it.


Amelia Antrim  1:53:19  

Here come the fingers. Here come


Ryan Boelter  1:53:21  

the fingers. All right. I do have an intruder in here. Now.


Amelia Antrim  1:53:27  

I was gonna say well, we'll pause as well. You know what that's all


Ryan Boelter  1:53:32  

about. Okay. Hey,


Amelia Antrim  1:53:34  

what's up Quinn?


Ryan Boelter  1:53:36  

What do you mean? I can't hear what you're saying.


Ryan Boelter  1:53:50  

You're talking too close to the mic. Backing up a little bit


Amelia Antrim  1:53:55  

better than a podcast about Baltimore campus.


Ryan Boelter  1:53:59  

We got to put this in front. And then you can talk. Talk writing trade talk right to this thing. Oh, hi. She says Hi. Hi. Here. Let me put these on your ears and you can talk to me.


Amelia Antrim  1:54:18  

Hello. Oh, are you a real podcaster now? No, no, no.


Unknown Speaker  1:54:32  



Amelia Antrim  1:54:33  

I think when I grew up, yeah. What would your show be about? No, no. Oh, well, you've got time to think about it. Oh, okay.


Ryan Boelter  1:54:53  

All right. Bye. Bye. Okay. Almost done. I'm almost done. I just got to finish up this part of the recording and then theater DVD doo doo doo


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