In this world building/character creation/game building episode, Jess takes us to the city of Pinnacle, a techno-magical dystopia mirrored by the VR world of The Dreaming. She also introduces us to a hybrid home-brew game with elements of of DnD 2.5 and 5e, Normality, and various other systems. There is no actual play in this episode, but we hope you’ll enjoy hearing us talk organize a game and create characters!
Drew exercises his right to bear arms, Ellie achieves robotic sapience, Avery decides to become an intolerant tank, and Ronnie invents a new pronoun.
[NOTE: It’s our goal for Dicey Sitch to be as accessible as possible, which is why we want to provide transcripts for every episode we release. We are disappointed to say that transcripts will likely update at a slower pace than audio episodes, which is our own fault. However, we’re still dedicated to make sure that transcriptions are released as close to audio episodes as possible. For now, please enjoy Episode 1 of Dicey Situations!]
Season 1: Pinnacle
Episode 1: Have You Seen My Robot?
Jess: The city is made of spun green glass. It fades into the distance and then focuses in. The city’s name is Pinnacle. It’s been around for a few hundred years, and it blossomed from the end of the world.
In this city, there are, well, they’re not really factions, but three different groups of believers. Those that believe magic came back into the world to rise humanity above, those who believe magic is a penance from the Gods, and those that believe magic mostly doesn’t exist, and when it does, it’s more technology than anything.
In this city, there is the Dreaming: a massive, cyberkinetic, shared VR reality that people use to escape from their own. And in the Dreaming, you do escape. There are sometimes mistakes, sometimes firewalls get breached and people’s properties and lives get destroyed, but no one dies in the Dreaming. Your body can be killed outside, but if you die in the Dreaming, you wake up in real life.
[Music continues, then fades.]
Jess: So! Welcome to Dicey Situations, the…. podcast! It’s… this is the people! Go! Drew!
Drew: I’m Drew. I use he/him/his pronouns. I am an on-again off-again Internet user. I shamelessly use Facebook way too much, and I get paid to do that sometimes.
Ev: My name’s Avery, I use they/them pronouns, I’m agender, and I am on the Internet on Twitter @crapiocaa with two a’s.
Ellie: My name is Ellie, I use she/her pronouns. I’m not giving out my personal tumblr, but my fun tumblr is badlifeadvice.tumblr.com! It’s awesome, it’s full of things you shouldn’t do, like stalling the intro for a podcast!
Ronnie: I’m Ronnie, I use they/them pronouns! I draw queer comics on the Internet! You can find them at gqutiecomics.com. It’s spelled GQ………… U…TIE comics dot com!
Drew: [sarcastic] “I know what I’m doing!”
Ronnie: I totally know what I’m doing!
Jess: My favorite thing about that was the pause as you had to, like, remember [laughs]
Ev: As Ronnie remembered how to spell their webcomic!
Jess: And I’m Jess! I’m your… I don’t have a fancy name for this session, like, I can be a Dungeon Master or a Keeper, but this is house rules, so I haven’t got a name, so I’m Jess. I use she/her pronouns, and I use this as a coping mechanism, and my comic’s at closertohomecomic.com… if you want it!
Ronnie: It’s great!
Ellie: Why don’t you call yourself the Master Controller?
Drew: You should be a Dungeon Guru!
Jess: Maybe I’ll just introduce myself as something different every time.
Drew: I like it!
Ellie: Do it!
Drew: Do it!
Jess: I think Dungeon Guru will work for this week, cause this gonna be all about me, like guiding you down this like, fucking, homunculus, this is… this is a homunculus game you guys.
Ev: I don’t know if that’s the right way to use that word by the way!
Jess: Uh… a chimera?
Ronnie: That makes more sense!
Ellie: Yeah, I was gonna say chimera, but, you know.
Jess: You guys are insurance agents! Clerics and wizards and fighters and rogues hired by an insurance agency to go out and investigate insurance claims. Be they someone suing a corporation, a house being burned down, you guys know what to do.
And… that’s pretty much it so far. That’s my pitch to you guys about your characters. So, it’s future cyberpunk with elves and magic and clerics and stuff and…
Drew: I always wanted to be an insuranceman, so…
Jess: That’s good.
Ev: That’s exactly what I said when I heard about this campaign! [laughs]
Ronnie: Hey Jess!
Ronnie: In the Dreaming, do people have… avatars?
Jess: Shit of course they…! [laughs] Actually, last night Ev and I, uh, created, oh shit, come on computer, don’t do this to me right now… I know you’re hot… You’re gonna be fine…
Jess: Yeah I’m sweet talking my computer into working. Ev and I have made a ton of…
Jess: Puns! Pun objects, because we went through, like, the DnD objects list and… like, just kind of updated it to be futuristic. Clerics in this world, and druids, and technomancers, and paladins believe in different kinds of gods, and part of that is they have to maintain a Holy Site, which is like a fansite for their religion!
Ronnie: I love it.
Jess: And then, as one of your perks is that you can get a Church Verified Avatar, which makes you less likely to be hacked!
Ev: Yeah, everyone should definitely have the game items list open by the way.
Ellie: Yeah, I just opened it.
Jess: Ev and Ellie kind of have ideas for their characters so if, you guys actually wanna, like, summarize your characters real quick, so Ronnie and Drew know some places that you can go with this…
Ev: Or have you guys looked into it, too?
Jess: Have you guys got any dreams?
Drew: Um, I don’t. Ronnie might. I’ve like, worked the past two evenings, so I’m ready to go now but I haven’t done any homework. I’m a bad student!
Jess: Keeping you after class, young man!
Ronnie: For me, I’m imagining, like, this sort of shitty teenager character, who is like, a teen radical who puts up tech graffiti places…
Jess: [laughs] I love it.
Ronnie: And wants to encourage the rising of the proletariat and stuff.
Drew: You know what would be fun? A like, a middle-aged, kind of balding, really angry person, that actually turns out to just be all those things.
Ev: What kind of class would that be? Would that be like a rogue or something?
[Inaudible because we’re talking over each other like dorks.]
Ronnie: I was thinking Bard, but I don’t think Bard is available, is it?
Jess: It is actually!
Ev: Oh no it is!
Jess: It is totally available!
Ev: That’s an awesome way to be a Bard, actually!
Jess: Yeah, we were trying to figure out how to do Bards, because one of the custom classes for this campaign is LARPer which is similar to Bard but different. LARPers can create different alternate identities and stuff.
Ev: This is my favorite part of the campaign right now.
Drew: Where are the funky different classes?
Jess: I shared the items list, and that has all of the different classes that we have, but mostly the classes are just DnD classes, but with like a little bit of a cyberpunky upgrade. So like, your wizard’s going to be a technomancer, your thief can be a hacker and your rouge can also be a hacker…
Ev: And then of course there’s, you know, LARPers are like, masters of disguise crossed with rogues or thieves basically, right?
Jess: Yeah, they’re masters of disguise, they’re also the ones who can kind of impersonate people, they can doxx people, and like, take on their personality and act like them, and they’re less likely to get caught doing it.
So, so far we have two religious dudes, [laughs] and I feel like, honestly Drew, if you wanted to play a cranky old dude, you can definitely play a cranky old wizard dude…
Jess: … who’s like, just been showing up for his paycheck at this insurance agency.
Ev: One day away from retirement!
Drew: Oh, that’s when the shit goes down, though!
Drew: “It’s my last day before I retire, guys!”
Drew: “Nothing’s gonna happen to me!”
Jess: Man I sure hope nothing happens to that guy!
Ev: “I sure hope I don’t end up in a Sin City comic!”
Drew: “Ha ha!”
Jess: So, Ronnie, can I make some suggestions for your Anarchist, like, shitty teen?
Jess: Ok, I like the idea of them being a thief or a rogue or a hacker or a LARPer or a combination of that. And I also like either they’re interning at this insurance agency to make money for like, paying rent or something…
Ev: Interns don’t make money!
Jess: Well, my other thought is maybe it’s a community giveback program that the agency is doing to show great they are, like, “look at this teenager we’re rehabilitating really badly”…
Jess: But also it could be like, some sort of future community service, like I’m kind of imagining a Shitty Corporate Future, where like, if you get arrested you have to work it off at a corporate 9 to 5 job.
Drew: I mean, that’s not really that far from what it is now, so that’s sounds like a pretty good movement.
Jess: Are any of these appealing to you, or do you have your own ideas?
Ronnie: I enjoy the intern. [NOTE: Ronnie said this but then went with a sort of combination of both, which may be confusing, woops!]
Jess: Yeah, the miserable intern! [laughs] Alright, I like this. Okay! So let’s start some characters, then. You got your character sheets. Your traits are gonna be just how you would roll your DnD traits, so your Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. You roll four d6 for each, and then you take away the smallest one, and then you can plug them in wherever they’re needed, okay?
Ellie: Jess I already did mine, like I did them before… but I can roll again if you want.
Jess: You don’t have to because it’s probably good that other people can talk while people are figuring out the math bits, right?
Ellie: I suppose, yeah. I mean, I haven’t put them anywhere, I just have them.
Jess: Oh, well, you can plug them in if you want, ‘cause, Ellie your character is basically a robot druid, which is the coolest thing!
Ronnie: Oh my god, that sounds awesome!
Ellie: Oh man! I wanna, I wanna tell you my robot’s name.
Ev: Yeah, tell us all about your robot.
Ellie: Alright, my robot’s name is H u M 4 N, and it’s pronounced–
Ev: Oh Christ!
Ellie: –it’s pronounced Human!
Ev: Your character, your character and mine are going to get in so many fights!
Ellie: My, mine doesn’t fight! It’s a lovely robot!
Ev: Just wait.
Jess: What’s your lovely robot’s pronouns?
Ellie: I’m trying to figure that out, y’know?
Jess: Okay, yeah.
Ellie: Um, maybe put N/A because I’m not sure.
Jess: Yeah, I’ll put pronouns N/A. And HuM4N, the robot! [laughs]
Ellie: I might give a 15 Charisma for my druid robot!
Jess: So he’s like a religious, they’re like a religious leader a little bit?
Ellie: No, I mean…
Ev: Or just like, really charming!
Ellie: Yeah, like a charming robot!
Jess: All robots are charming robots.
Ellie: Yeah, but this one’s especially charming because HuM4N’s surrounded by… other… little robots?
Jess: Okay. Ev, give me, hit me, let me know. [laughs]
Ev: Okay. [laughs] Uh, my character is named Adrianna Arkadie Usko, and she goes by Adie for short, or Ah-die, I’m not sure. But anyway, she, I, fuck, I gotta stop calling her “she”, they’re a they!
Ev: They’re a human cleric, and they belong to a church that believes that machines should be tools of flesh-and-blood people, instead of sentient beings.
Ev: And they’re gonna be in a party with a robot named HuM4N!
Drew: I’m sure a great friendship will totally grow, and not hatred!
Ev: Oh yeah totally! They’re also, like, you know, their church is considered somewhat moderate in that they’re not anti-technology in general, but they definitely have the basis of their church’s beliefs is that, uh, machines are fallible, and that if you want something with a real, actual sense of responsibility and life, that it should be a flesh-and-blood being. That robots can’t understand the true meaning of life, basically.
Drew: I want the two of your characters to become Platonic Life Partners by the end of this campaign.
Jess: I ship it!
Ev: That’s a, that’s a possibility!
Jess: It’s the future!
Ev: I also do, you know, in true Avery fashion have, uh, a two page backstory and personality document for this character and… yeah.
Ronnie: Also, also Jess…
Ronnie: Can my character be a ratfolk? Can they?
Jess: Yeah they can definitely be a… I feel like gene modding is kind of a thing that kind of was, like, used early on…. Okay, wait, do you have ideas about the rat creatures? I should not just stumble over your ideas before you get to put them out there. What do you, where do the ratfolk come from, Ronnie?
Ronnie: Um, they either came from underground, or they came from the desert, whichever.
Ev: And they’re part of like, the magic coming back into the world, basically, like they’re magical creatures?
Drew: I want them to be like, nuclear devastation, and they’re like pet rats that have evolved through toxic sludge.
Jess: See, can I put forward a third proposal? Of they are, like the results of “Hmm, well we figured out how to cure cancer in rats. We haven’t cured it in humans yet. What if we can we make kind of humany-rat things, and then try and cure cancer that way?”
Ronnie: [laughs] Excellent!
Jess: Like, you got some choices out there!
Ev: It could be, it could be both, you know! They could be like, lab rats that became human when the magic came back and they just were like “What the fuck?!”
Ev: “When did this happen? Okay, I guess we’re people now! Sure!”
Drew: I like it!
Jess: They’re also underground, and like I imagine… Although we’ve kind of built up this robot-human conflict, and elves and dwarves… I feel like they’re not super happy, like that’s probably why your guy’s so proletariat risey-upey.
Ronnie: Uh-huh. They dream of a utopia in which the sun’s warm, and there are fields of grain, and everything is happy farmland, I dunno!
Drew: And there are no cats!
Jess: Alright, do you have any names or anything? Or…
Ronnie: Ooh, how about Sybil?
Jess: Ooh, I like it!
Drew: I’m only gonna think of the author now that you say that.
Ev: How do you spell… What way is Sibyl spelled?
Ronnie: S-I-B-Y-L. No! It should be a Z! It should be Z… Zibyl!
Jess: Yes! I love the future. And Drew, do you have any ideas about your guy? Is it just like a human guy, or is it like a…
Drew: I’m like “Oh, I wanna be something fantastic” and then I’m like “No, I kinda just want to be an old, crotchety human with, like, age spots on his face and I want his name to be, like, Earl.”
Ellie: Earl the Human.
Jess: Oh my god.
Ev: What class is Earl? [laughs]
Drew: I haven’t thought that far ahead, but Jess did say Wizard, and I thought that was kinda good.
Jess: Um, wizards are the ones who get guns in this universe, by the way. Cause, we figured that magic missile is basically, like–
Ev: It’s a gun.
Jess: –a projectile. It’s a gun! It’s like a laser rifle but in a fantasy setting. So, Wizards get guns.
Drew: [drawling old man voice] “It’s my right to bear arms, that’s why I got bear arms attached to my body when I was seventeen!”
Jess: …Wait, please tell me this is true.
Drew: Maybe! We’ll find out.
Jess: Old wizard with bear arms. I like that.
Drew: And he’s got a tattoo of a human head on his shoulder.
Jess: [laughs] On his bear arm he has a tattoo of a human head drawing?
Jess: I love… okay. Yeah.
Ev: These are the best one-line character descriptions that I’ve ever written in my entire life.
Ronnie: Also, also, my character’s, like, underground username was going to be The Oracle, but somebody had already taken that, so it’s like, TheOraclexx27.
Ev: So good.
Jess: Is it also, does it also have x’s in front of it, so it’s like xx_The_Oracle_xx27?
Jess: Oh my god, this is such a good party. I’m just imagining this old shrively guy with massive bear arms that like come out of his shoulders and drag along the ground, but…
Ev: What kind of bear arms? Are they like Sun Bear arms, or Grizzly Bear or Panda Bear…
Drew: Brown. Brown Bear. He couldn’t afford to get the Polar Bear ones that he wanted when he was younger, so they’re just Brown Bear’s.
Jess: Does he dye them white, though?
Drew: Yeah, he cleans them.
Ev: I gotta bleach my bear arms today!
Drew: They’re kind of blondish, but don’t… don’t talk about it.
Jess: I’m just imagining frosted tip bear arms.
Ronnie: Oh my god!
Ev: He’s a 90’s kid!
Drew: What’s the retirement age?
Jess: Yeah I think it’s dystopian, like, future-hell, so… Basically, like, the concept is Paprika meets Brazil, meets Ghost in the Shell, with a little bit of Wizards, the 80’s cartoon about nuclear magic.
Drew: I just wanna know how old my guy is. I’m okay with him being super old. I’m fine with that. I just wanna know.
Jess: It’s all about how old you want him to be.
Drew: I feel like… I dunno, 63?
Jess: 63 is a good age. He’s… he’s a pretty old guy.
Ev: 63’s not like, unreasonably old. It’s not like he’s, you know, 95 or whatever.
Drew: Nah, nah, he’s not 95! But he’d be pretty… he’d be a different class of wizard if he was 95 though, let’s be real.
Jess: Yeah, he’d have maybe gone up the ladder a little bit. …Oh shit, Drew, you get a hat!
Drew: It gets to hide his head so he doesn’t get a sunburn on his balding scalp!
Jess: Well, we decided that, like, it’s like the class ring of wizards. So, wizards who go to school get a class hat, and you get to choose a spell that goes with that hat.
Drew: He didn’t go to school, he’s old school!
Jess: He went to the school of hard knocks?
Drew: He was in the Trades. He learned from the people… I dunno. He failed High School, I dunno.
Jess: Maybe his apprenticeship ended with him getting a hat from his gruff boss man? It’s his hat?
Ev: Okay, so I have to go and eat dinner. I will be back in fifteen, twenty minutes.
Jess: Ev, you have your Spirit and Objectives done, so I can probably just do that for everyone else while you’re gone, is that cool?
Ev: Yeah, I’m gonna leave my recording running, and then I’ll just let you guys know when I get back, but I’ll try and be quick.
Jess: Cool! Have fun!
Ev: Alright. Laaater!
Drew: What do the hats look like?
Jess: Whatever you want. It can be whatever hat you want. It’s just a magic hat. It can be a magic fedora, it can be a magic, like, helmet, one of those mining helmets, it can be a magic…
Drew: What about… it’s a fez. It’s a fez hat.
Jess: It’s a magic fez?
Jess: Okay. Why don’t you figure out a spell that goes on your magic fez? So, for Spirit, you guys, Spirit is pull three random books, then go to a random page and pull a sentence that you think describes your character.
Ellie: That involves moving!
Ronnie: I happen to have three books on my desk!
Drew: They have to be random books! Those aren’t random!
Jess: As long as they’re on your map it’s fine.
Ellie: There’s books around Finn’s [Jess and Ellie’s little brother] bed. I’m just gonna pull those books.
Drew: So you said to grab three random books?
Jess: Yeah. If you have three near you that’s fine.
Drew: There’s a bookshelf…
Ellie: So wait, it’s a random line as well?
Jess: Well, you can choose a line on that page if you want. I don’t mind!
Ellie: Alright, uh, Jess, say a number.
Drew: [counting to himself]
Ellie: Page 27… [flipping pages]
Drew: [laughs] Alright… oh man my three books…
Drew: Where the Boys Are: Urban Gay Erotica…
Drew: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets…
Jess: [laughs more]
Drew: … Jaws.
Jess: These are all… definitely titles!
Ronnie: My books are Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder… Queer and Trans Artists of Color… and Fruits Basket! [laughs]
Drew: And we just have to pick a random sentence? From each of them?
Jess: Or you can just pick a sentence. It doesn’t have to be random. I pulled this from Normality, which is a really fun game.
Jess: You pick from your favourite book a random page, and then pick a sentence from that page.
Drew: Oh man, I picked a page and there’s a lot of…
Ellie: Jess, say another number.
Jess: Sixty… nine.
Drew: [reading] “Gripping his jaw, I kiss him, I kiss him for…”
Drew: “…our noses rub, our tongues exploring, our teeth crushing together.”
Jess: So like, your guy is gay, right? That’s what that means?
Drew: I feel like… Well, he can, or like bi.
Jess: That’s true.
Drew: I mean, let’s be real, though. He’s got bear arms. He’s clearly a gay Bear.
Jess: Oh my god!
Ronnie: This is really funny, because the book I have actually landed on a quote by Nietzsche.
Ronnie: And so, the sentence is, “From this point of view even the blunders of life have their own meaning and value– the occasional side and wrong roads, the delays, “modesties,” seriousness wasted on tasks that are remote from the task.”
Jess: Oh that’s kind of horrifying, and also kind of nice, and also kind of in character.
Drew: So, the sentence I wanna do is “I lift my hand off his face just long enough to reach for the ball gag on the bedside table.”
Jess: [laughs] Alright!
Drew: There’s… there’s not a lot on that page I can get through. Most of it is about nipple clamps and sex. So… well, I’ll write down what I got from it.
Drew: Where the Boys Are… he’s gay, and he likes ball gags!
Jess: [laughs] His spirit is strong.
Drew: Oh man, but he… so he should get some sort of special rope ability, ‘cause he’s clearly into bondage.
Jess: Rope is very expensive, I’m warning you now! I literally only made it super expensive because Ellie wanted it to be included.
Drew: Is there any way that he could just have like his bondage rope, and then it just could be half as useful as actual rope but no one really knows why he has this kinky rope?
Jess: Except him?
Jess: I think so. [laughs] I like the idea of, someone’s like “Does anyone have some rope?” and he sheepishly pulls it out, and they’re like “Yeah! Thanks guy– where did you get this?”, and he’s like “…Adventure reasons.”
Drew: He’s like, “I can’t really hold a lot of weight, but I can tie a whole bunch of knots if you want.”
Jess: “I can suspend this bad guy from the ceiling a whole bunch of ways.”
Drew: Yeah. [laughs]
Ronnie: Oh noooo! Mine just got so angsty!
Jess: Oh no!
Ronnie: Fruits Basket pulled up for me, “They didn’t really want me.”
Jess: Awww no!
Drew: Mine’s just like, Dursley yelling at Harry. “I warned you, I will not tolerate mention of your abnormality under this roof!”
Ronnie: Oh no!
Jess: So sad!
Drew: So he comes from a family that, like, doesn’t believe in magic, and he’s magic, and they’re like “Fuck you! Get lost!”
Drew: I dunno! That’s what I get from that.
Drew: They don’t care he’s gay, they just don’t like that he’s magic.
Jess: I’m just, it’s so sad. Some tragic backstory shit happening all of a sudden.
Ronnie: [in the background] Oh no!!
Drew: Are we using “magic” with a “c” or “magik” with a “k”?
Jess: Um, I think it’s with a… well, you’re the magic guy, you choose.
Ronnie: The quote that I got is “I’m not going to exploit my grandma just because somebody gave me money.”
Drew: That’s nice.
Ronnie: This rat… loves his grandma.
Jess: Aww! His ratma!
Ronnie: I say “his”… I’m going to say “they.”
Drew: I don’t know what to say from this. Um, there’s a lot of, like, weird stuff on this page, but a lot of it has swearing, so he likes to swear.
Jess: Ah. He’s such a gruff, old, like BDSM guy.
Ronnie: [laughs] It’s great!
Jess: I think I’ve met this guy at Pride before.
Ellie: I think I’ve got my quotes maybe. From The Supernaturalists… [correcting self] Supernaturalist, single.
Jess: Aw, I love that book.
Ellie: “Even if sometimes, she couldn’t remember her mother and father anymore,” from that.
Ellie: From Martin the Warrior, “I’ll try to get back to you this time tomorrow night,” and then from Itch, “‘Reading’ said Itch.”
Ellie: Those are my quotes.
Drew: Did we have to write down the actual quote because I just wrote down what I got from them.
Jess: You can do either, it’s about how you’d interpret it best.
Drew: Okay. My brain keeps being like “But Jess, what’s your character?!” and I’m like “Uhh never mind, shut up.”
Jess: [laughs] Don’t worry! Ev and I have been discussing some of the side characters and stuff. You’ll meet some fun types.
Um, so, I think next we’re gonna go on to adjectives ‘cause you guys are kind of getting what your character is.
Ellie: What about Ev?
Jess: Oh, yeah, Ev! Sorry!
Ev: [sarcastic] Alright, cool. [laughs] That’s how it is!
Jess: Shut up! Shut up and speak!
Ev: Okay, um, sorry, I’m just moving things around a little bit.
Okay, so, I have “A little voice in her head said ‘Are you doing the right thing?” which is that, uh, Adie’s always questioning their faith and their motivations.
Um, “String me up ‘cause I’m in it now,’ he said to no one,” which is that they go whole-heartedly into things, and they commit to things.
And, “If you’ve had a freakish education, at least use it,” which is that they were brought up in a weird, like, super technophobic, like… I called the organization that their parents were in “Radical Organicists,” which is like, in my head it’s like a combination of, like those weird culty communes, and anti-vaxxers, and anti-GMO vegans, and basically everyone who, like wants to go back to the Earth, but in kind of like really harmful, bad ways. [laughs] So…
Ronnie: Did I tell you that my grandma totally lived in a couple communes in the 60s?
Ronnie: She’s a cool grandma.
Ev: This is like, they grew up in a bad commune. It was definitely much more cult than anything else.
Jess: Okay, so adjectives. And your adjectives are describing words. This is something I pulled from MechNoir, because I’ve been listening to a lot of Friends at the Table, and this is something they do. But you get to choose three adjectives to describe your character, and they can give you bonuses on rolls if you can convince me that it’s relevant.
Ev: My, my adjectives for Adie are committed, clever, and blunt.
Jess: Committed, clever, and blunt.
Jess: I like it. Has anyone else got any thoughts on theirs? I guess it’s very soon.
Ronnie: What’s the word for when someone is really good at, sort of, MacGyvering things? I-Innovative? No…
Ronnie: …Resourceful, there we go.
Jess: Yeah, that’s good, yeah.
Drew: I wanna use Persnickety.
Jess: So far very good. Ellie, you got anything?
Ronnie: Oh my god.
Ev: That’s the same thing as persnickety!
Drew: No, it’s not! Persnickety is being particular, and crotchety is being “ill-tempered, irritable, or grumpy.”
Jess: [laughs] I love this old man!
Ev: He’s so hard to work with, it sounds like!
Drew: Persnickety is “fussy or putting too much emphasis on trivial or minor details.”
Jess: I love, I love, oh my god the worst co-worker of all time.
Ev: Right? This is gonna be so… man, this party is just a nightmare. We’ve got like a shitty teen, we’ve got a grouchy old dude, we got a religious zealot, and we got a robot, who’s just like “Yep.”
Ellie: Oh, Ev! And you’re like “And a robot!”
Ev: [laughs] I’m becoming Adie!
Jess: My favourite thing so far is that you guys have all, like, fallen into being like of each other? Already? It’s very exciting. Does anyone else have extra adjectives, or do you wanna like, you can also sleep on it and we come back to this next week.
Ronnie: We need to do it NOW!
Ellie: I’ve got something note worthy.
Ronnie: I thought of “resourceful,” oh wait, I already thought of “resourceful,” but “rebellious”!
Drew: Oh I know what I wanna… Oh, sorry!
Ellie: How’s “volatile”, Jess?
Jess: Volatile’s good!
Ev: It’s really good.
Jess: Surprising but good, yeah. I wanna see how that runs out.
Ev: Like, temper-wise or in the fact that your HP is so low and you just explode when someone touches you?
Jess: Oh no!
Ellie: I said the wrong words and wrote the wrong word down, so that means I’m keeping it!
Jess: I like it though!
Ev: What word were you thinking?
Ellie: Um, I’m keeping it either way.
Jess: I like volatile and versatile.
Ellie: I’ll put both! So, my character is trustworthy, volatile, and versatile.
Ev: That’s a good robot.
Jess: That’s a good… yeah!
Drew: I’m, uh, so “charitable” is the other one I wanna put down.
Jess: Ah shit, that’s really interesting! Like, as a third, compared to “crotchety” and “persnickety”… and charitable.
Jess: I like it. How’re you doin’, Ron?
Ronnie: …Good. I’m trying to think of a… specific word.
Drew: Oh I know!
Drew: [typing something for Ronnie]
Ronnie: Uh… no.
Drew: Ronnie’s third word is “stinky”!
Ronnie: No it’s not!
Ronnie: They can’t ’cause [rats] clean themselves so much!
Drew: They do.
Jess: Especially ’cause this rat has high Charisma! This is a fancy rat.
Ronnie: I-It’s more than just cleanliness, like… like… he grooms a lot, they groom a lot.
Jess: Uh, “neat,” “clean”…
Ronnie: Fussy! There we go.
Jess: Fussy’s good! Yeah!
Drew: That’s the same thing as “persnickety!” Except my word’s better.
Jess: So what were your three words in the end, Ronnie?
Ronnie: Resourceful, rebellious, and fussy.
Jess: I wanna bully that rat!
Ev: Everyone’s so cute!
Ev: Ronnie and Ellie, did you guys decide on like, genders or pronouns for your characters?
Ronnie: My character’s pronouns are they/them, yeah. Or maybe zey/zem to keep with…
Ev: Zibyl, zey/zem, oh good!
Jess: Okay! I love it. Uh, Ellie, do you know what your robot is yet?
Ellie: Might be she/her?
Jess: Aw! Yeah, I like it.
Ev: Yay, we got a girl robot! [laughs] It’s perfect!
Ellie: Ev, have I show you my robot?
Ev: No, show me your robot!
Ellie: My robo…
Jess: She’s so cute. I love her.
Drew: She’s the cutest!
Ev: Oh my god, that is really charming! [laughs] What kind of hat is that, or is that an antenna?
Ellie: It’s a little, it’s a bird!
Jess: A ro-bird?
Ev: Too cute!
Ellie: Ro-bird! [laughs]
Ev: It’s a little bird on her head!
Ellie: And then, that’s the feet! Because, poor Dexterity.
Ev: [laughs] Oh my god! All of our guys are so good!
Jess: This is so good!
Ev: Uh, my character looks like Michelle Forbes in, uh, Battlestar Gallactica. I’ll find a link. Hang on.
Drew: I’m so bad with names!
Jess: Are you, are you going back on Earl?
Drew: What? No. No no no, I… Ev just said some person’s name, and I was like “I know Battlestar Gallactica, but I have NO idea who that is.”
Drew: No, Earl is Earl, like… Earl cannot be any more Earl than Earl already is.
Jess: It’s true!
Ev: Let’s see…
Ellie: Unless he wakes up in the morning… Because then he gets up EARL-ly.
Jess: [grunt and long sigh]
Ev: I linked to Michelle Forbes in the chat.
Drew: Yeah, okay.
Drew: I want them to get in a relationship!
Drew: Ship it! Ship it!
Ev: [laughs] They’re in a relationship and they have a, have a son. I’m telling you, I go so deep into character building!
Jess: Wait, they have a son?!
Ev: Yeah. You want me to read this, part of this real fast?
Ev: Okay. “Adie grew up within a commune that was also slightly a cult. They retained some of the ideas they were raised with, but actually consider themself very moderate compared to what they grew up with, even if that’s sort of reactionary in most society. They became an insurance investigator because they wanted to reduce the dependence of flesh-and-blood people on machines and change the system of the Dreaming from the inside, in a way they’re not completely sure how that’s going to happen, yet.” [laughs] Um, “They love travel and reading, and they’re very curious, not very funny, and maybe not quite as clear on what their ideals are as they should be. Adie is estranged from their parents and extended family due to aforementioned cult/commune thing. They have a life partner named Robbie McCabe and a seven year old son named Colin.”
Drew: Are they Poly [polyamorous]?
Drew: Are they Poly?
Ev: I want them to be! I’m not sure if I should do that, because then, like, I think most of that’s going to stay deep in the background, but I kind of wanted them to actually be married to two people.
Jess: It is Space Future.
Drew: I just wanna ship them with, um, with Ellie’s character.
Ev: With HuM4n?
Jess: It would be so symbolic!
Ev: It would. It would be so solid. Their, their wife wants them to stop being such a zealot.
Jess: That’s a fun table talk. “Adie…”
Ellie: I think HuM4n would have a nice tea session with Wife.
Ev: Yeah! I can, I can see Robbie meeting HuM4n and being like “Oh, you guys should date because then Adie would just, fuckin’ chill for a minute.”
Ev: What a bunch of trash babies.
Jess: Um, okay. So, we’ve got our adjectives… we’re gonna do… Luck next. So I want you all to roll 3 d6 [dice]. And don’t cheat, goddamn it!
Drew: Roll 3 d6?
Ev: Whoa! I did Ellie rolls on that one.
Jess: What did you get?
Ev: Five, four, five.
Ellie: I didn’t, I did the opposite of Ellie rolls!
Jess: What did you get?
Drew: Oh, Ronnie got shit! Ronnie got anus hairs!
Ronnie: Oh nooo!
Jess: What did you…
Drew: I got 12. But Ronnie got 3!
Ellie: Well, my robot’s…
Jess: Oh no!
Ronnie: I got 4!
Jess: What did you get, El?
Ellie: One, two…
Jess: Oh my god!
Ellie: …and one.
Drew: Hey, you got the same thing as Ronnie!
Ev: Wow, you are SO unlucky.
Drew: What is this roll for?
Ev: For Luck.
Jess: For Luck!
Drew: For Luck…
Drew: I got twelve.
Jess: Well, okay. So, here’s the thing about Luck.
Drew: Good luck and bad luck.
Jess: There’s good Luck and there’s bad Luck, and um, you can actually trade out skills for better Luck, but you have to take three points away from your skills to get an additional point of Luck, and you can do the reverse. You can trade your Luck to get more skills.
Drew: I dunno, I kind of like having high Luck, even if it could be bad for me, ’cause it feels fun.
Ronnie: You say that because you also have high skills, Drew.
Drew: [evil laughter]
Jess: It’s true.
Ellie: Here’s the thing. I think it would be hilarious if my robot, who’s got all these high skills has really, really low Luck.
Jess: Aww! What a squishy baby!
Ev: That’s really charming.
Ronnie: As my quote spirit says: “Even the blunders of life have their own meaning and value.”
Jess: Aw! [laughs]
Ellie: Ronnie! Your character and my character should get tea!
Ronnie: [laughs] Yes!
Ellie: Well I mean…
Drew: My character will buy the tea and grumble about it.
Ellie: Everyone’s invited!
Ronnie: He doesn’t have to!
Drew: Yeah, but that doesn’t matter, I’m your elder!
Jess: So, I’m just figuring stuff out on this end, but um…
Drew: There’s no spot for age.
Jess: You can put age down… somewhere.
Drew: So, are we following, um, the rule with, uh, I think D&D has a thing where you actually get lower skills if you’re older…
Jess: No, we’re not. We’re ignoring all that. [laughs]
Drew: Okay. Did I say I was 68 or 63?
Ellie: I think 63?
Drew: 63, okay.
Jess: Okay, so here’s how Luck is gonna work. You can use it to re-roll rolls. For example, if you have a 20 on Luck, you can reroll 3 rolls a session, and they don’t have to just be yours, they just have to affect you in some way or another. So, if you have 20 Luck you can reroll 3 times. If you have 19, 3 times, Eighteen, three times. Seventeen, two times. Sixteen, two times. Fifteen, one time. Fourteen, one time. Thirteen, one time. Twelve, eleven, ten, and nine have no Luck values one way or the other. And then, if you have…
Drew: Twelve has nothing or twelve is still one?
Jess: Twelve is nothing.
Drew: Twelve is nothing.
Jess: Twelve is average. Yep. You can’t reroll, um, unless you have greater than twelve. If you have eight or less, I get to reroll a roll against you!
Jess: If you have a 4 or a 3, I get to reroll two rolls against you! And if you have a 2 or a 1, I get to reroll three rolls against you. There are some other things that Luck will have, and you can combine Luck for things, and Luck does have other applications, like there will be times where I won’t know if something’s going to go one way or another, where you’ll roll a Luck thing. So, at the moment I get to roll against Ellie and Ronnie twice a session.
Ronnie: [laughs sadly]
Ellie: It’s okay.
Drew: Sucks to be them!
Ellie: HuM4n’s fine about it.
Jess: And the only people who get rerolls, are Drew and Ev, which… wait, no! Drew doesn’t get any!
Jess: So only Ev gets to reroll.
Drew: I don’t get any rerolls but you don’t get to roll against me!
Ellie: You said three d6 right?
Ellie: Wow, I rolled so terribly!
Jess: I kinda like it! I kinda like the low…
Drew: I think it’s hilarious that you and Ronnie both rolled the same thing.
Ev: The same really bad thing!
Jess: It’s so impressive… Christ. Okay, um, now let’s do materials. Um. Which are Status, Education, Money, and Equipment. Your Status and Education will have some effect. Money’s probably going to have the most effect to start, because that’s going to depend on what, it’s gonna change your budget around, and then Equipment is also a thing. So, roll one d6.
Jess: Roll one d6.
Ellie: Okay, I rolled a six.
Jess: Okay, that’s your… that’s your Status, so you have been with this company the longest, Ellie.
Drew: Oh man, I rolled a four.
Ev: Hey, that doesn’t make any goddamn sense! [laughs]
Drew: Hey it’s your bad luck.
Jess: I mean, it’s kinda like, if you’re middle management, and this robot’s kinda come along and is kind of, muscling you out.
Ev: Climbing the corporate ladder!
Jess: Yeah! [laughs]
Drew: That means I’m gonna hate you!
Ev: [sarcastic] Goddamn robots takin’ our jobs!
Jess: You could get along!
Ronnie: I got a five.
Ev: I also have a five.
Drew: That doesn’t make any sense!
Ev: Aw man, I’m at the same Status as the, the intern?
Drew: I have LESS Status than the intern!
Jess: I don’t, I think it also is like, societal level Status, so if you have Status in certain groups, that might also count towards this. So maybe the fact that Ellie’s kind of the leader of a church is gonna bump her Status up a little bit.
Ellie: I mean, it’s kind of a church. Kind of, but not really.
Ronnie: I’m internet famous! [laughs]
Ev: You have a lot of followers on Tumblr!
Drew: People are just jealous of my bear arms.
Drew: My friends have all died. I have no Status because they’re all dead.
Ev: Oh my god, Drew!
Jess: It’s because our society doesn’t respect the elderly.
Drew: I’m sure they just ship us off to get burned or something.
Jess: Aww! It’s not THAT dystopian! I’ll just work you until you’re dead!
Drew: Oh, okay.
Jess: Okay so roll me another d6, guys.
Ellie: And this is for Education?
Jess: Uh, actually I’m gonna let you roll first, and then we’ll figure it out, so it makes more sense next time!
Ellie: I rolled a three.
Ronnie: I got a one!
Drew: I rolled a two.
Ev: I have a five again.
Jess: Okay, it does make sense for this to be Education, right?
Ev: I think so.
Drew: I already said that my character did go to, like didn’t go to school, he just learned his stuff from Trades.
Drew: He failed high school, so.
Jess: I’m guessing that Ev, your guy went to, like, your person went to like, a Clerical college? Like a religious…
Ev: Yeah. Um, yeah, probably.
Jess: And then, Ronnie is like, a homeless teenager, so… Roll again, guys!
Ronnie: Gah! [dropped their dice probably]
Ev: Frick, I got a three for Money.
Ellie: I got a four.
Ronnie: Oh dang! I got a four for Money.
Drew: I rolled it off of the edge of my book. [laughs]
Jess: Don’t do that!
Drew: I rolled a six! Retirement money!
Ev: Retirement mon! [laughs]
Jess: Okay, nice, so, this is your weekly income in Creds, which are the currency. Actually…
Drew: Six dollars a week!
Jess: Well, if you’ll look, I think you actually get twice that.
Ev: Yeah, you said it was two weeks back pay when you start.
Jess: Yeah, it’s two weeks back pay, is what you’ve got sort of behind you, so you’ve got twelve creds to start. You get six a week but you have two weeks of back pay. But, you do have, like, weekly things you might have to pay, like rent and rations, uh…
Ellie: Do I pay rations if I don’t eat?
Jess: Um, oil, maintenance, that kind of thing.
Jess: Also, you as a druid/technomancer/paladin have to pay for a Holy Site with 1 Cred monthly, so you can subtract that from your income.
Drew: That’s complicated.
Jess: Yeah, I wanted to make this, uh, a game about budgeting.
Drew: In the loan section, are we doing compound loaning?
Jess: No, because I don’t want to have to do that much math.
Ronnie: Hey! Hey! Stop! [laughs] Noooooo! [yelps]
Jess: I don’t know what’s happening over there, but I bet it’s disgusting.
Ev: I think Drew and Ronnie are being married right now. [laughs]
Jess: God… damnit.
Ev: They’re doing married shit.
Jess: This is what happens when you invite married people to anything, right?
Drew: I’m tickling them!
Jess: [sarcastic] Gross.
Ronnie: Okay, okay.
Jess: They don’t deserve that. Anyway! Um, you guys all need rent to rent out a place and rations. You can combine those however you want. If you want to eat fois gras in a gutter, that’s fine. If you wanna eat spam in a mansion, that’s also fine. Uh, you can get yourself some prosthesis…
Drew: There’s very little money to start with!
Jess: You guys don’t have, like glamorous jobs, you know that right? Like…
Drew: Yeah I know, but we’ve been living for a while! You’d think we’d have SOME money to start with!
Ev: I have a partner who brings in her own income, presumably!
Drew: Yeah, right?
Jess: It’s Capitalist Space Future! Do you wanna… [laughs] You have to pay Air loans probably!
Drew: Can I just get a tattoo of a corporation on my ass and call it a day?
Jess: I mean, you can if you want! That’s probably why you get six, six pay a week!
Ev: Earl is so into body modding. [laughs]
Drew: Earl IS into body modding.
Jess: There is totally like, underground body modding places, and people get addicted to modding their bodies until they’re like, weird. Ah… Space Future.
Ellie: Can I use my creds that aren’t, that are part of my Money to get a tiny automaton familiar?
Jess: Yes, of course you can!
Ellie: [happy sound]
Drew: Where are the familiars?
Jess: The familiars are for wizards and druids. You can get one. It’s gonna be alive by magic whereas Ellie’s is gonna be alive by religious…
Ellie: It’s a tiny robot!
Drew: But, but isn’t that like a baby then?
Jess: I was thinking more like the daemons from The Golden Compass and The Amber Spyglass, but robots.
Drew: I was just thinking ’cause it’s robot, I’m like isn’t there some sort of like, weird existential thing that you have to consider because you’re also a robot?
Jess: Yeah, Ellie! Do you?
Jess: Do you have to consider that, that they’re babies, or is it different for robots?
Drew: Or that they’re equal?
Ellie: They’re different for robots!
Drew: But doesn’t that have like a weird supremacy thing for robots though?
Ellie: No! It’s my buddy!
Ev: It’s like, you know, being a human and owning a dog. Like, they’re still flesh and blood guys, they’re just like, dumb and you know, you have to take care of them.
Drew: A dog, a dog isn’t a tiny human, though!
Ellie: I have a connection with my tiny robot friend! It’s like we’re both friends on equal terms.
Jess: Also, I think in this society, there are like, dogs that are as intelligent as people, and dogs that aren’t. I think that it’s gotten to the point where people occasionally will just make a creature or a species super smart ’cause they can.
Drew: That that mean that there are like, super not-smart people?
Ev: I dunno if I like that, ’cause that gets into weird like, weird territory.
Jess: That gets kind of into, um, what’s-it-called, that one dystopian, not nineteen-eighty… Brave New World! It gets a bit Brave New World. I’m not sure we’re gonna go that far into the like, intelligence hierarchy, some-people-are-better-than-others…
Drew: Yeah, I’m fine with not doing that! I was just asking about robots.
Ev: [sad laugh]
Jess: It’s interesting from a robot perspective. I wonder if it’s like, based on how, like, close they are to the Singularity.
Ev: Well, plus we also have in this world, robots that are dead people’s souls put into machines.
Jess: Oh yeah! That’s a thing!
Ellie: Maybe I built my own familiar.
Drew: Oh I know what, I know what I want now!
Drew: I want Earl’s, like, Life Partner to have passed on [Ev gasps], and they had decided he was going to go into like, one of those, um, machines and then like he was super fit-looking and awesome and he’s like “See ya later, Earl!” and then just like leaves.
[lots of sob laughing]
Drew: So that was Earl’s like, retirement funds.
Ev: Oh my god!!
Ellie: He’s… he’s so sad and awwuh!
Jess: So, does Earl not have any money anymore? Did you get it, like, the large…
Drew: He gets six Creds! Of course he doesn’t have any money! I’m trying to explain away the fact that he’s saved for like sixty years and he’s got like, 12 Creds!
Drew: Um, do I need to pay for my prosthesis or should I just like imagine that I paid for them when I was young like I said?
Jess: I think I might have to make you pay for your prosthesis.
Drew: I still have one dollar left!
Jess: You have your Equipment money! I gave you Equipment money!
Drew: Yeah, then I’ll just be naked! [laughs]
Jess: I’m assuming you have…
Drew: Do I have to pay for each arm or can it just be 11 dollars, 11 Cred?
Jess: I think you just paid for it all. You can can also have been in debt for the last like…
Ev: Rope is really expensive.
Jess: That’s… [laughs]
Drew: Oh, what’s the deal with the bondage rope that I had suggested?
Jess: You get to keep your bondage rope, but if Ellie wants rope, she has to pay full price.
Ellie: Jess, how much are weapons and what what weapons are available for a druid?
Jess: Um, so… mostly, you just have to look at the druid weapons in AD&D and then we’re gonna adapt them.
Ellie: Can I have a quarter staff?
Ev: And that goes for spells, too, right?
Ev: We’re just doing AD&D ones?
Jess: Yeah. If you want.
Drew: Is there, like, a certain amount of spells?
Jess: Uh, same as AD&D, it’s just whether we’re gonna start you as level one or level three. What would you guys prefer?
Ev: What’s a man catcher?
Ev: I’m looking at Cleric weapons and there’s something called a man catcher.
Jess: Like a net? [laughs]
Drew: I’d like to advocate because I have bear arms, that I get to use one of the D&D things where I have claws, which actually is an attack weapon.
Jess: Okay, but you don’t get any other weapons except for a magic gun if you wanna shell out the money for that.
Drew: Well, I mean, I’m already shelling out the money for my arms, they’re 11 Cred, right?
Jess: Yeah, it’s true! [laughs]
Drew: So I just wanna be able to use my claws if I need to!
Jess: Yeah, those are probably gonna be a 1d4 damage. And I think the thing is, the reason they would be kind of lower as well is because I think there are a lot of robots and people who have body mods and you’re gonna need energy weapons.
Drew: Well, and also I’m just old. So my physical body is probably pretty old, even if my bear arms are rad.
Jess: Man, you could probably get your claws, like, upgraded into laser claws at some point.
Drew: That’d be cool. I wonder if my bear arms need to be replaced at points because bears, like, live way less and so every like, ten years my bear arms have to be replaced when they, like shrivel up and fall off.
Jess: [laughs] So they’re like actual bear arms not just like, look like bear arms?
Drew: Yeah, they’re actual bear arms!
Jess: I love it, okay, yeah.
Ellie: So Jess, are we first level or third level, ’cause that changes how many spells I can get.
Jess: I know! [sighs] …I guess you guys are third level.
Ronnie: I have picked out my stuff!
Jess: Oh yeah? What do you have?
Ronnie: I have a Hacker’s kit, one alternate ID which is The Oracle… xx27…
Ronnie: Uh, two costumes, a glow worm, and… a set of Dream Interference. And… no weapon because this shitty teen doesn’t understand.
Jess: I am gonna get that shitty teen a hoverboard if it’s the last thing I do.
Ev: Oh good.
Jess: [laughs] Like, I just want the shittiest, eighty-est, 80s-est…
Drew: So the hat actually says that it doesn’t have to be a spell! I get a special effect, which can be frost resistance, advantage on charisma rolls, or an extra spell slot!
Jess: Shit! [laughs]
Ev: Yeah, that’s kind of what I was thinking when we were talking about it, Jean. You can change it if you want, but I was thinking like, it’s like having an item equipped in a video game where it like, gives you a buff or something.
Jess: Yeah, I think that’s it. I think I just said “spell” because I’m a sleepy baby all the time, and I don’t know what’s going on in the game I’m creating! So.. yeah!
Drew: I think I’m gonna end up getting a loan, I think.
Jess: I’ll just have to keep track of that, and then there’ll be creditor organizations who are keeping an eye on you, and I’ll just have to remember that.
Ev: Can I have a, a sword?
Ev: A non-haunted sword?
Jess: Yyyyyeesssss… I feel like you’re kind of edging more towards the Paladin territory in some ways…
Ev: That’s true.
Jess: I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it kind of, almost fits with the character more than the Cleric?
Ev: I can do a Paladin.
Ev: Alright, yeah, I’ll just be a Paladin. Fuck it!
Jess: I feel like there’s probably a cool name we could give to the Paladins, for the Future Times, but we’ll figure that out.
Jess: [laughs] Pala-do?
Jess: Uh, Pala-drives?
Jess: Like, drive? Like… a computer drive?
Ev: Mods? [laughs]
Jess: Oh no wait, I love that! [laughs]
Ev: Well, that doesn’t really make sense, ’cause they’re not really in charge of any, like, they’re not like, well… I dunno! A mod?
Jess: Um, admins?
Drew: How come technomancers get to be in the druid/cleric/paladin AND in the wizard section?
Jess: Uh, ’cause technomancers can use, uh, pretty much they can use wizard or druid magic to affect the Dreaming.
Drew: Okay. …What’s a spring belt?
Jess: Oh, the spring belt is, uh, if you have your weapon in it, it means you always have it at the ready, so even in surprise attacks, you’re not gonna get surprised and you can attack and roll initiative.
Drew: Okay. Um, and what’s a travelling duster?
Jess: Like, a cool duster, like the jacket in [shyly] …Fallout New Vegas.
Ellie: You’re a nerd, Jess.
Ronnie: I might need it.
Jess: [laughs] Oh my god, you do need it!
Ev: That’s what that hoodie is! [laughs]
Jess: Oh my god, no. I need…
Ronnie: My hoodie is actually a travel duster?
Drew: Ooh what’s a festival lantern do?
Jess: I think it’s just a cool lantern! [laughs]
Drew: Dentures?! C’mon! I’ve been working here for how many years and I don’t get coverage for dentures?
Jess: Yeah, there is definitely only private health insurance in the future.
Drew: I’ll gum you to death!
Drew: Uh, so right now I need, I would need a 14 Credit loan.
Jess: I think you can get a 14 Credit loan. I’ll just write it down. Does anyone else need a loan?
Ev: Yeah, I need a loan of… 4 dollars.
Drew: I’ll, I’ll probably need to get one or two Credits more just so I can clothes. Um, but, that’s what I’ll ask for right now, and then I’ll email you about it later.
Ronnie: My clothes come from the garbage!
Ronnie: Except for the cool duster thing.
Ev: You saved up for a good jacket.
Jess: Aw, that’s so, like, like, I’m just imagining zem like, saving all of their money for weeks on end and spending it all on a jacket.
Is there anything else you guys want to go over before we leave? Any worldbuilding stuff that you think is really appropriate to this world that you need me to inject right now?
Ellie: Well, I don’t know if it’s really anything important, but I thought, so we all have usernames in the Dream, right?
Ellie: My robot’s username is Sore_491, and it’s that because the robot had to have a human friend help to log in because of the prove-you’re-not-a-robot, and that was what, that was the code that needed to be typed in, and the human thought it would be funny to name the robot’s…
Drew: Hey, can my guy’s name be deepthroat_69?
Jess: Yeah! Absolutely! And I bet, yeah, he had to be really fast on the draw to get that, that username.
Drew: What I, well I, well he’s old, right? But he…
Ev: Yeah he’s had it since the Internet was new!
Drew: I want it be that, basically they, um, you can’t change your username once you have it, so like, so like he just went into the Dreaming when he was horny one time or something, and then he got this job later on and he was like “Fuck, whatever.” [laughs]
Ev: There’s probably SO many people with that, that that has happened to!
Jess: Yeah, like… Oh, I want the mayor’s username to be, like… 420justblaze$$$, and like, part of their campaign was being like, now I’m a serious candidate!
Ellie: One of the heads of the churches is called MiLady450.
Jess: [laughs] Cleric…
Ronnie: There is so much Vaporwave in this, in this RP right now.
Ev: It’s so good. I’m trying to think of something that Adie would have… It’s probably something that they thought was really clever when they were a teenager… shit.
Ellie: Can there just be a, epidemic of memes? In the church? Like…
Ellie: [laughs] like another head of the church has one that’s “Can I Haz Churchburger?”
Ev: I bet this is a future where there’s definitely, like, a church of Our Lord Dril, or something like that. [laughs]
Jess: Oh god! Oh god….
Drew: I want people to be back to worshiping cats again.
Jess: I think, I think we can do that. Think they probably put on performances of Cats every Sunday. IN the Dreaming, though. Like, they got kicked out of other… they can’t do it Live anymore. They, have a Live, once a year, Cats performance.
Ev: Oh, oh! Can we have it, can he have “Hugh Jackman’s Huge Act-in” be canon in this universe?
Jess: Yeah, definitely.
Drew: Hugh Jackman’s what?
Jess: It’s a CoolGames Inc. … it’s a podcast where they make up game ideas, but one of them was “Hugh Jackman’s Huge Act-in.” You get to be the actors in Broadway show of your dreams, and it’s virtual. You’re virtually kind of, filled into a lobby.
Ev: It’s VR theatre, and, and it’s such a good concept, and I’m so mad that it doesn’t exist. [laughs]
Jess: I feel like there’s, like, bazillions of entertainment channels, and some of them are just like virtual, and some of them are real actors, and some of them are just Amateur Hour. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s a, like, station called “Amateur Hour.”
Ev: [laughs] Good.
Drew: I, I drew Ronnie’s and my character. [shuffling paper] [The drawing shows Earl with an arm around Zibyl.]
[chorus of giggles and “aww”s]
Jess: “You’re gonna go far, kid.”
Ev: He’s so little!
Drew: He’s super short! He’s like 5’2″ or something!
Ellie: Like, he’s reaching up with his arm!
[laughing and yelling, probably because Drew’s showing a drawing of Earl with a leather harness and black g-string.]
Jess: That’s happening. I guess.
Ev: Is that…
Ellie: Earl’s the best.
Ev: Is that his avatar?
Drew: That’s his, so he’s got two avatars. He’s got his like, cruising avatar, and then this is his regular avatar. [Drew shows the drawing of Earl’s avatar, which has him in his normal dress and slacks with suspenders and bowtie, but taller and more svelte.]
Ev: Oh, yeah!
Jess: So cute!
Ellie: Earl is the best.
Ev: Earl’s the cutest character I’ve seen in my life. Oh my god.
Drew: Back to his cruising avatar! [laughs] [Earl is in a harness and g-string again in this drawing, but with his more “ideal” build as an avatar.]
Ev: Jesus Christ. [laughs]
Ev: Oh boy.
Drew: [showing another drawing] This is his partner that left him when he got downloaded into a robot!
Drew: Um, what’s in the, uh Adventurer’s kit?
Ev: Whatever we want, I think, right?
Jess: Yup! And, like, you can…
Drew: Whatever we want?
Jess: And if you can try to convince me it’s like, something you would carry, I will just say yes to you carrying it, but you can’t go ridiculous with it. You can’t be like “I have the item we’re looking for!” or “I have the Heart of the Dreaming!” Neither of those things are gonna happen, so, like.
Ronnie: [laughs] So, like, in Pathfinder there’s actually a Perk called “Packrat,” for Ratfolk, which is, if there is a mundane item that we need, I can just say “Oh, I happen to have it!”
Drew: That is one thing I like about Pathfinder, is that they give you, like you get to pick a couple qualities and they affect your characters, like what is that?
Ev: Oh, that’s like what we have!
Drew: The [traits] are really cool, and they can be things that like affect your character, so one of the [traits] can be like you’re rich, and you start out with like, three times the amount of money, but that wastes one of your [traits] so it only affects you at the beginning of the game, basically. Whereas, um, you can have a [traits] where, what is it? One of them is that I was an orphan, so everyone who didn’t have parents trusted me more automatically.
Jess: Heh! It does kind of also sound like, uh, the proficiencies, almost. Which, are just things you’re kinda good at. You’ll get proficiencies, you can be good at stuff that isn’t, like, directly based… like dancing and cooking an’ things like that.
Drew: Earl’s really good at tying things.
Ev: That’s not surprising.
Drew: We had that discussion.
Ellie: Can I have animal handling?
Jess: Yes, but you can apply it to robots.
Drew: Do you have a list of possible ones or are we just making them up and asking?
Ellie: I’m gonna apply it to robots.
Ev: Uhh… can we, I think we can make ’em up, right? As long as they’re not weapon proficiencies?
Drew: Um, and how many do we get?
Jess: Uh, magic-user has three non-weapon, but a Druid begins with three non-weapon slots and gains another at level six, book rules suggest a character should receive two additional slots every six levels. [distant meowing] So you get up to five at level six. A paladin gets two non-weapon slots, one more is gained at level three. A thief acrobat, which is…
Ronnie: [distant] Sheppard, come here!
Sheppard: [continues meowing]
Jess: Um. [laughs]
Ev: Everyone be quiet, there’s a cat talking!
Jess: I don’t want to interrupt, but here’s something else that’s also useful. [sends link]
Sheppard: [meows louder]
Ellie: Jess, I want ancient history!
Jess: Okay. Oh, here’s a great list, shit!
Ev: God, the background on this site is balls…
Drew: It’s balls and ass!
Drew: It’s a, like, hairy anus.
Jess: But it’s useful! Look, I, I didn’t make this site!
Drew: Just paste it to a google doc and save our eyes!
Jess: I will paste it into a google doc later!
Ev: [laughs] How difficult are we making your job right now, Jess?
Jess: Not, I mean, you just changed the rules of the game like six times, but…
Jess: But it’s fine! [laughs]
Ev: It’s like, okay so…
Sheppard: [meows loudly into the mic]
Jess: Oh my god that’s the loudest cat in the world.
Ev: Who even is this cat?
Drew: You know what’s even louder? I’m reading about a spell called Ghost Sounds that sounds completely useless.
Jess: What, what is the spell called Ghost Sounds?
Drew: Um, you just make a sound that people think could be a ghost. You send a whisper fifty feet away.
Ev: Ohhhh, I wish my character believed in ghosts! [laughs]
Jess: This is a decision, okay? Uh, so I decided that technomancy comes in three forms, and… There are Clerics who can like, religious people use their belief to manipulate the world and technology. Magic users use magic over technology to manipulate technology and, um, LARPers, Bards, that lot use technology to manipulate magic, and mechanically, that means that if you are a religious person, you roll under your Wisdom to Hack. If you are a Wizard, you roll under your Intelligence to Hack, and if you are a Bard, you use your Charisma to Hack. Because basically Bards sweet talk the machine into doing what they want.
Drew: “Hey baby… take your cables and tie them up real nice…”
Ronnie: Actually it’s… [laughs]
Jess: Earl is a terrible Wizard. Um, here is the other thing, Drew, I’m just making sure you know this… You can use spells that aren’t in your spellbook, but you will forget them forever.
Drew: Okay…! I didn’t know that, but now I’m like… I’ll have to look into spells that I wanna have as like my eventually-I’ll-forget-this-spell but it’s a pull-it-out-of-my-ass kind of thing.
Ev: Your burn spells.
Drew: Yeah. I don’t have my Ass Spells yet though, so.
Jess: Yeah, I just figured you should probably know that.
Drew: I appreciate that.
Ev: All of Earl’s spells are Ass Spells.
Jess: [laughs] ‘Specially those rope spells. Anyway! Moving swiftly… on!
Ellie: Alright, I was just saying I’m having swimming as one of HuM4n the robot’s… proficiencies… even though HuM4n is a robot.
Ev: They could be waterproof. I mean, she could be waterproof.
Ellie: Yeah, but she feels uncomfortable!
Jess: It’s so cute!
Ev: That doesn’t sound like a proficiency!
Ellie: No, it’s like she’s, she’s good at swimming, it’s just she hates it!
Drew: That’s fair.
Ellie: You know how you have parents and they’re like “Err, you’re gonna do this,” and you’re like “Why,” and then you get good at it, and you’re like “I still don’t like it!”
Ellie: That’s HuM4n’s experience swimming.
Ronnie: Obviously Zibyl is good at sewing.
Drew: Why is it obvious?
Ronnie: Because, Zibyl made zeir clothes from garbage!
[chorus of “aww”s]
Ronnie: And also, uh, and also…
Drew: Why does, uh, Zibyl have red eyes? [Referring to a drawing Ronnie is making]
Ronnie: ‘Cause that’s what that breed of rat looks like!
Ronnie: Anyway! Zibyl makes zeir clothes from all of the hand-me-downs from zeir gazillion sibilings, and so…
Ev: Their zibilings?!
Ronnie: Zeir gazillion ziblings! [laughs]
Jess: No! Please… Okay, I’m going to get more water, you guys have to make some decisions! We have to move on this!
Drew: This, this list of spells is, like, terrible! It’s so hard!
Jess: Yeah, you shitty spells ’cause you’re a shit wizard!
Ronnie: [laughs loudly]
Jess: Get a promotion! Maybe get some better spells!
Drew: I more mean that it’s difficult to find what it is, but that’s fair! That’s fair.
Drew: Um, you didn’t get back to me about, you were going to think about my hat, because what you had told me and what the sheet said about what my hat can do is different, and you said you were going to think about it.
Jess: Yes. It can… buff you. Choose a buff. But choose a buff that isn’t, like, “I want this for my character for gameplay reasons.” Think about it in the world. Like, what did… wait, I can’t remember Earl’s… oh, Earl. Not deepthroat69, which is why I have it written here.
Jess: Um, what did Earl’s, like, mentor… what would he, or she, or they have wanted to pass down to Earl? And what kind of person would they, like what kind of buff would they have put on that hat? So you think about that, I’m gonna get some water…
Ev: My character wants to mentor Ronnie’s character, that’s, like immediately what they, like… I was talking to Jess about this, they’re… actually no, I was talking to Ellie about this I think!
Ev: Which is that, they want to take Zibyl under their wing and have Earl take zem under his wing! And then they’d want HuM4n to just not be there. [laughs]
Drew and Ronnie: [laughs]
Ellie: [in a robot voice] HuM4n understands, but will not comply. Beep boop!
Drew: I love it. …There’s not a lot of spells, because they’re not sorted in any way, on this Wiki, so it’s like going through all these shitty random spells that all like, does this weird obscure thing from this one side quest thing.
Jess: I’m back!
Ev: Well, I mean maybe you could think about what kind of effects you wanna have, and then just pick something that’s similar to that and you can mod it, y’know?
Drew: Yeah, I’m just, a lot of them do things that I don’t even know what they mean. So I’m just trying to find ones that make sense, ’cause there’s a lot of like weird, stuff being like “alter normal winds” and “avert evil eye, means that Evil Eye doesn’t affect you,” and then I have to read about what Evil Eye is…
Jess: Evil Eye is someone watching ya. Creepin on ya.
Drew: Oh, okay. That’s actually not bad.
Jess: Yeah, I mean I would say you could mod that and be like, it means that cameras around you will go out!
Drew: I like that!
Ev: I really wanna fast ask about, are we, are we doing alignments, because a lot of my stuff has to do with alignments. [laughs] And if it’s, I mean, I can totally pick and choose and sort of ignore the whole Detect Evil stuff, but…
Jess: I think… [sighs] Ah, shit, are we doing alignments…
Ev: I don’t want to have to be Lawful Good. I, like, that’s the most boring thing about being a Paladin ever.
Jess: Oh, I’m definitely not, like, constraining anyone to anything, like…
Ev: Okay, okay…
Jess: Like, those systems exist, but you do not have to abide by, like, race restrictions, character class restrictions… all that shit. Nah. Nah son.
Ronnie: I think, Ev, is that, it’s not necessarily that your character is Good because everyone’s vision of good is different, just as long as your character falls within their scripture, the honoring the five things…
Ronnie: I can’t remember which… the body things. The bones and the blood stuff.
Ev: Yeah, I think… Yeah, I think I’m gonna go with, like, they… maybe “evil” in this case is stuff that doesn’t… well, that’s a really really broad base… I dunno. I think maybe, maybe it would be best to just ignore the “what here is evil” skill, because it’s so weird and broad, and it doesn’t make much sense in terms of actual morality.
Jess: What about “What here is malevolent,” or what if you have a virus scanner?
Ev: Ooh! That’s exactly what I’m gonna do!
Jess: Like, you can just check if things have bad spells and bad viruses and shit.
Ev: Yeah! Okay, I love that. That’s awesome. Oh, and I also have uh, a thing called “Aura of Protection,” which is that if Evil tries to attack me within, like, a certain range, it take a -1 penalty, and I’m just gonna say I have really good antivirus software.
Ellie: So, Jess?
Ellie: I was thinking about “Speak with Machines.” Does that mean there’s more than one language with machines?
Jess: I think there might be multiple languages. Because there are like, Ev and I were talking and there are like, different platforms that can get you onto the Dreaming with, and we’re making some analogies to like, Wizards and Clerics and Bards being, like, your Mac users, your PC users, and you Linux users. So that’s that, and then like to get to the Dreaming you have different “browsers” quote unquote…
Ev: There’s also like different programming languages in general that you can use.
Jess: Yeah. That’s what I was thinking like, the different classes maybe create… they can all create robots, right? So maybe a robot created by a Cleric has a different language to one created by a Wizard, to one created just by mechanics, to one created by a Bard.
Ellie: But maybe robots speak just like, maybe the spell, ’cause I’ve got a spell “Speak with Machines,” maybe they speak to each other on a spiritual level.
Ev: How would you communicate with a microphone that doesn’t have any kind of… maybe that’s what allows you to communicate with machines that don’t have any kind of like, sentience or whatever, or…
Drew: Maybe you would give them sentience briefly?
Ellie: [dramatically] But Ev! We’re ALL from the Earth!
Ev: Yeah but, I can’t talk to cows!
Jess: [quietly] Sorry.
Ev: Or I can but I can’t communicate with them!
Drew: Oh dear.
Jess: Can I also just say, uh one thing we did talk about was that Hymn is the language of the Church of the Born, their like programming language is called Hymn. Like H-Y-M-N.
Ev: I, I thought it was more like, the language of religious things, because the Church of the Born, their whole thing is like, “we don’t really do that,” so… [laughs]
Jess: Okay, yeah, so maybe it’s just that. Religious things.
Ev: Like Clerics use Hymn to do their shit.
Jess: Uhhh, oh, and I found the browser names for where you jack in. Uh, it’s Reverie, which is like, Opera, and then Lotus and Morpheus are the ones we have already.
Drew: Uh, so this, uh, thing doesn’t actually have anything about the duration of the spell or anything like that, in the Wiki.
Jess: Well, uh, we can just make up durations.
Drew: We’ll figure it out when I actually use it.
Jess: I figure that probably, yeah, it’s probably just going to be as long as narratively relevant, so I might just cut it out at a slightly inconveniently time. Cause that’s more interesting.
Ellie: Maybe it could be Luck dependent.
Jess: Oh shit yeah! That’s a good idea.
Ev: [to Drew] You do have nice Luck.
Ellie: And I have terrible luck!
Ev: That’s a great way to use that.
Ronnie: Also it’s funny how the things that I’m interested in have snuck into this roleplay. I mean, rats is obviously one of them!
Jess: [laughs] It’s not surprising.
Ronnie: Oh, but, since I’m actually reading through the AD&D book I have a second time, like highlighting shit, I’m just, the things that I’ve read are just coming into the…
Drew: The what book?
Ronnie: The ADD… the ADD book, sorry.
Drew: [laughs] The AD&D book!
Ronnie: Oh no! [laughs]
Drew: That’s why I was asking what you said!
Jess: We’re all… yeah.
Ronnie: The ADD book… uh, so I guess Zibyl has ADD traits now. [laughs] Because that’s sort of what…
Jess: That’s fair.
Drew: Can we go over talking about what my familiar does?
Jess: Oh yeah.
Drew: And like where…
Jess: Where is your familiar right now by the way?
Drew: I don’t know! Um, I don’t know what my familiar would look like right or anything. We could retroactively have my familiar on my shoulder. A small one?
Jess: Yeah. Or you could have it on your desk?
Drew: I, I could be so creepy, I’m like, “I have a rat familiar!”
Drew: Like a little rat!
Jess: Aw! [laughs]
Ronnie: See, I was thinking about, about Zibyl being like super fond of cats.
Drew: But I feel like the cat wouldn’t be the small one.
Ronnie: No, probably not a tiny one, unless it was a tiny cat.
Drew: I could have a squirrel!
Ronnie: Can I run a couple proficiencies past Jess?
Drew: I don’t have my proficiencies…
Jess: Yes. You can.
Ronnie: Uh, proficiency in telling whether or not food is good?
Ellie: Like poison detection?
Ronnie: It’s like, yeah, it’s like poison detection, but it’s like, people are like “That looks bad,” and then it’s like, “No, you’ll only just get mild diarrhea, it’s fine.”
Drew: Yeah, but that would require you to know other peoples’ makeup if you can tell what’s going to affect them. I can see how it would affect you, but then you’d have to know like everyone else’s biological makeup to know how it affects them.
Ellie: It could be through observation.
Drew: Yeah, it could be through observation, I just meant like you can be that specific in that sense.
Ev: It is though a pretty like, I mean you could be that specific just because it might not be, like, THAT useful
Ev: Like in general, like it’s a very specific thing, you know? It’s not like it’s an overpowered trait or something, y’know?
Ronnie: [laughs] It’s true.
Jess: I mean, it might not even be poison detection, technically. Like you can’t tell if it’s poisoned, but man, those eggs in the back of your fridge? You should really throw them out.
Jess: Oh! No! You know what this is? Like, I think it’s a magic thing. Like, I think some of the ratfolk have this weird, like, inborn useless magic and yours is like, it’s not even like because you can smell good, it’s ’cause… you have like, a sixth sense of whether food has gone bad or not.
Drew: I feel like that’s probably gonna bite Earl in the butt because he’s gonna look through something and he’s gonna want to eat it, and you’re gonna be like “That’ll make you sick!” and Earl’s gonna be like “Fuck you!” and then eat it, and then he’s gonna get sick, and he’s gonna be like [dramatic gravelly sick voice] “Euurgh, I’m not sick, I dunno what you’re talking about! I’m gonna go away now…”
Jess: I also like the idea of like just being able to sense that food is rotten is just kind of really annoying. Like, there’s like a constant anxious “Oh shit, in the back of that fridge, it’s got someone else’s name on it, someone else has labeled it, but there is mould growing up the inside of it, oh god.”
Ev: And yet, like a totally useful skill if you’re a little rat child!
Ronnie: Yes! And so I’m thinking that, and sewing, and… the other thing is… is just like able to sprint for a long time.
Jess: Real hard.
Ronnie: Like compared to other people. Just because, having to run from shit constantly. [laughs]
Ev: And four legs!
Ronnie: And so, and so, if something goes bad, he’s just like gone. Bye.
Drew: So we get three, um, three proficiencies right?
Jess: I think you do, yeah, I think everyone at this level has three proficiencies.
Ellie: I get four!
Jess: …Fuck you, Ellie. [laughs]
Ellie: Aw, whatever. [laughs]
Ev: Do you really or is that…
Jess: Druids get four, and Paladins start, like if we’d started at level one you’d have only gotten two.
Ev: Yeah I’m annoyed. Goddamn it, I chose the wrong class. It’s okay, I’m gonna fight the heck out of everybody! Just gimme a minute! [laughs]
Jess: Let us pray.
Drew: Um, okay so I’ve got knots, like, as one of my proficiencies.
Drew: Well, slash rope. Um, I want leatherworking to be one of my other ones, and then cooking.
Jess: Good. Yeah. Done.
Ev: [laughs] Oh my goodness.
Jess: Okay. Outro! This has been Dicey Situations! I’m Jess.
Drew: I’m Drew!
Ev: I’m Avery.
Ellie: I’m Ellie!
Ronnie: And I’m Ronnie!
Drew: [sarcastic] No you’re not!
Ellie: Breaking it down now!
Jess: This has been a podcast about a game that’s kind of being made as we play. We’ll find out. It should be fun. See ya next week! [Makes clicking noises, probably while doing finger guns]
[Music fades in]
Jess: [shyly] Stop laughing.
Ellie: [singing] Ba ba ba, ba ba bada!
[Music continues, then fades out.]
Drew: But before we continue, is this, are these mechanics popular, or are they unpopular mechanics?
Jess: They are really, really unpopular. They’ve been bullied in the past.
Jess: You NERD. I’m gonna bully Drew!
Drew: [laughs] Bring it on!