*Dungeon Not Included is an actual play podcast, currently running the sci-fi adventure RPG, Bulldogs! by Galileo Games
In this episode, we create the rag-tag group of characters that will serve as our crew of adventurers.click here for a transcript of this episode
[Slightly spooky electronic music plays]
Brennan: This is Dungeon Not Included, the actual play podcast for the adventurous listener. You are listening to our game of Bulldogs!, a sci-fi adventure rpg from Galileo Games. Brennan (breh-nehn) is your GM and host, Frank (frenk) plays Sticky, Alex (al-ecks) plays Growlcolm McGruff (growl-come mih-gruff), and Red plays San Ming (sahn mihng). Our theme music is by Seamus Ronan (shay-mus row-nan)
Brennan: All right I am Brennan Taylor (tae-lohr) and I’m going to be the Game Master for this game of Bulldogs. And we have three players, that are ready to uh, to get going. We are going to uh start, today by doing character generation. But everybody should introduce themselves as we go around. Um, let’s start with you Frank.
Frank: Hi my name is Frank. Uh, long time podcaster first time guest on this podcast. Which is not that surprising since this is the first episode.
Frank: Hi everyone.
Frank: Uh I am going to be playing uh s- Do we actually want to talk about our characters right away or are we just gonna talk about ourselves and our likes and our dislikes?
Brennan: Let’s talk about ourselves to start and then we’ll hit the characters.
Frank: Okay. Well hey I’ve been a podcaster for, uh longer than it sounds like with this introduction. Um, and, uh, yeah, a gamer for a while- Brennan I’m so glad you invited me to this… to this game session. I can’t wait to play Bulldogs on the regular.
Brennan: Great! Uh let’s move on to Alex!
Alex: Uh, Alex Tully (tuh-lee). Uh, not a huge- I mean a huge podcast fan, only, and had two very… bad, failed podcasts. Uh-
Frank: I immediately want to hear more about this.
Alex: Oh no, you really- you really don’t. They’re- they’re so bad.
Frank: [cross-talk] I wanna get [unintelligible] from you.
Alex: All right. Off mic, maybe. Uh, [laughs]
Frank: Right, right.
Alex: So, uh, the actually- the- I’ve been guest on a couple, including One Shot which is actually where I met Brennan ‘cause I played, uh, Bulldogs- a one shot with him uh two years ago at Metatopia. I’m an amateur game designer and uh I came to present stuff and they kinda dragged me in and it was awesome.
Brennan: Great! Red?
Red: Uh hi, my name is Red. Um… I’ve been playing tabletop roleplaying games basically my whole life, including Bulldogs. And, uh, this is my first time on a podcast but definitely not my first time playing.
Brennan: Cool! So let’s go around and uh, start creating these characters. We are going to be playing Bulldogs which is a sci-fi space adventure game, uh set in a place called The Frontier Zone. The Frontier Zone is a uh, sort of lawless area of space where there are, uh, many independent planets and the uh, characters that we’re gonna be presenting here are all gonna be part of a company called Transgalaxy which has a section called Class D shipping, which is hazardous delivery. They are all people who have signed on to this because of something in their past, and we’ll all find that out as we go. So let’s start by discussing what uh species we’re gonna play. There’s a lot of different kinds of uh aliens in this game, and uh I think everybody picked a different one. You wanna go first Frank?
Frank: Sure, uh, so you’re gonna have to help me with the preferred pronunciation of this? ‘Cause there feels like there’s a less savory one? Is it ursa-semite?
Brennan: It’s Urseminite (er-seh-mih-night)
Frank: Urseminite! That should be cut out of the podcast.
Frank: I am- I am mildly dyslexic, see? And-
Frank: -I keep trying to read it straight and I’m just like “This can’t be right, this can’t be right.” Okay. So, uh, Urseminite, yes. Uh, yeah uh, I’m gonna be like the- I think one of the most iconic races in your game.
Brennan: That’s true, the Urseminites are- are well known as uh… bad ass teddy bears that uh, that don’t get along with anyone.
Frank: Yes. Uh, and I wanna be ultra-violent and aggressive and I think my concept is… uh he’s basically um, [smacks lips]. He’s one of th- Oh god this is a really wa- bad way of phrasing it, but he’s considered one of the good ones? Like he is the iconic, uh, Urseminite that like- he- he- he- at one point or other he saved like the small group of people… He- he was like this gruff hero that uh, was heroic despite his um, his uh gr-gruely, like kinda, gruff nature? And as such the company just wants to put him on the flag ship of everything. He’s the hero we wanna s- wanna present ourselves as. But he hates it, he definitely does not wanna be a hero. He just happens to be cast as one all the time.
Brennan: And is that your, uh, your trouble? Your Class D reason for being on the ship?
Frank: Yeah I think I’m trying to find uh, like uh- I wanna- I want to get into trouble. Uh- lots of people in this- a lot of Bulldogs kinda find themselves forced into this position? I intentionally took it because this is the only way i’m gonna get my paws dirty.
Brennan: So basically, uh Transgalaxy hired you because you were a hero, and you uh… You filled out the proper paperwork to put yourself in hazardous delivery which is known as an unsavory profession.
Brennan: Sounds great. You wanna go next Alex?
Alex: Sure. Um, [chuckles] I decided uh I- uh- the species that jumped out at me immediately were the Lassieans (lass-ee-ihns)? Who are large humanoid dog people. Uh… and, uh- So I’ve- I had- I- kinda picture him as a, like… I don’t know how tall would you say a Lassieans is? Generally? Is there like a s- height restriction on this species or?
Brennan: Um. No, they’re usually around human size.
Alex: Okay so we’ll say he’s around a 6 foot tall Border Collie person, uh who’s got uh kind of black, uh, fur that goes across one eye, white fur most of the face, uh which is, basically the dog I had when I grew up whose name was Pirate because of the black eye patch. Um.
Alex: So I’m turning him into a bad ass, uh former soldier. Um, yeah so Lassieans from what I’ve read here in the lore is generally they are um… connected as, um, soldiers for the Union of uh, Saldar- Sal- I’m gonna get it wrong again- Saldralla (sohl-drahl-uh)? [cross-talk] Correct?
Brennan: That’s right, the Union of the Saldralla which is one of the two empires that sit on either side of the Frontier Zone.
Alex: Yeah. So, I’m picturing, my character here as having left, and uh is basically just looking for work outside of the military. Um, I haven’t decided what his exact problems with the military were that had him leave? Um but I’m sure they wouldn’t- with this character they’re probably uh pretty gritty stuff. Um…
Brennan: And so uh, why did he ended up signing up for Class D?
Alex: I think it’s what he can get. Uh maybe he- maybe he uh whatever… I’m guessing that whatever he did that uh, either the reason he left he wants to keep a low profile or maybe he’s into a low be- low profile because of how he left. Um…
Brennan: Possibly some uh, things he doesn’t wanna talk about in his past.
Alex: Yeah, as of right now, absolutely.
Brennan: Great. How bout you Red?
Red: I am playing a Thald (thahld) which is uh- a subset of Arsubarans (are-suh-bar-ihns) which are the human-like race of, uh, this universe. Um my high concept is uh “Space Therapist”, uh. My character, San Ming is very concerned with uh, interpersonal relationships and keeping everything friendly.
Brennan: Okay. What brought this character into Class D then?
Red: Um, she has anger issues? [chuckles]
Red: Yeah. Uh, so her trouble is “You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry” which, uh, uh obviously ties into part of the reason why likes to keep interpersonal relationships on a positive note.
Brennan: Makes sense. All right. Moving on, there’s a couple of aspects that you get from your species as well as the ones that you’re going to generate about uh the other crewmates. Um, so let’s get uh- let’s get through those. We’ll start with Frank again. What did you end up taking?
Frank: “Vicious Little Bastard”. Which, I mean how could I not? How could I r-refuse. Um and I think you know it- it goes with my character that I’m also gonna be “Cute As A Button”?
Brennan: Nice. Great combo there. All right, and, your character’s name?
Frank: I’m going with uh, Sticky? Uh I’m sure it’s something longer in my native tongue but everybody calls me Sticky or Stick for short, and uh yeah, yeah, I think that’ll a-appropriately brings out my personality.
Alex: I’m pretty sure that my character’s gonna be fetching the stick every once in a while when it comes to this.
Alex: So, um, for my character a- since he is a dog person I’m going with Growlcolm McGruff as his name.
Alex: Uh, and for my aspects I have him as a “Dog of War”. Uh, and also “Loyal to the Last”. I want him to, uh really look out for hi- the people who are, with him.
Brennan: Nice. And Red? What’s your character’s name and uh species aspects?
Red: Um, her name is San Ming? Uh and her species aspects are “Backwater Homeworld” and “Stay Off the Radar”.
Brennan: Okay. So, definitely low-key there.
Red: Very low-key.
Brennan: But uh, with some anger issues as we said earlier. [chuckles]
Brennan: All right. Um, the last set of aspects that you get are related to your crewmates. So Frank did you uh, have a couple of those for Sticky?
Frank: Yes I do. So, for Growlcolm- which is an amazing name.
Alex: [chuckles] Thank you, thank you.
Frank: Uh- [laughs] my aspect is “Have Some Self Respect”.
Frank: Uh, you know I- I think he’s a powerful warrior and what have you but just the fact that he’s so eager to please it- it rubs me the wrong way.
Alex: Fair enough. [laughs]
Frank: A-and San Ming, mine is “You’ve Changed, Man”.
Red: [sighing] Oh…
Frank: Eager to see how that plays out.
Red: [laughs] Yeah.
Brennan: Sounds good. How bout you Alex?
Alex: Uh, for Stick I have uh “Part of My Pack”. Uh I think that I’m going to… really… take a liking to the other small f- for the small furry creature that’s uh, running around the ship. And then for Red’s with the whole psychologist, psychiatrist vibe you’re going for, I went with, “Am I a Good Boy?”
Alex: [chuckles] I want my character to be co- you know. Lookin’ to you for, acknowledgements that he- he isn’t a bad boy, he is being the good boy that he wants to be.
Brennan: Nice. Red?
Red: Um, I have one. For everybody on the crew. And, um, that one aspect is “Everybody on This Crew Needs to Chill”.
Alex: [cross-talk] I like it.
Brennan: Very true.
Red: Growlcolm is too eager to please,
Alex: [cross-talk] Mmhm
Red: And Sticky is just, a walking disaster, [laughing] so…
Frank: I don’t see the problem with that.
Brennan: Nice. All right. Um, so the next thing that we do for characters in, uh Bulldogs is create, s- a skill pyramid which is the list of skills that you have. There range from plus 4 to plus 1, and you get a lot more plus 1s than you get plus 4s. So, let’s see what everybody has chosen for their character on those areas. Frank?
Frank: Right so technically I mean Stick- everything, everything is just great, he’s just amazing.
Frank: But I mean more technically, he’s great at Command, which is… ridiculous, cause he doesn’t want to be in command, but he’s great at it! Uh, he’s good at Larceny, and Resolve, so not only does he want to steal things, and is good at it but he’s da- he’s… he’s committed.
Brennan: And he’s strong willed, yeah.
Frank: Yeah. Uh fair is Contacts and Provoke and Stealth, I mean he’s got a decent amount of contacts in the field and he’s this little guy so, seems reasonable that he’s pretty good at that, and average is his Shoot, Physique, Haggle, and Survival.
Brennan: Cool. So those are y-your, uh your sort of back-up skills there.
Brennan: So you’re much better at provoking a fight than you are at finishing one.
Frank: So basically I’m playing myself in this.
Brennan: Nice. All right, how bout you… Alex?
Alex: Uh, so my great, uh I put Shoot. Uh for- cause- as a soldier it seemed to make sense to me. For good I have Fight, and Empathy. Uh, for fair, I put Physique, Engineer, and Survival. Well, Engineer cause, you know, someone’s gotta take care of this thing. And then for average I put Pilot, uh just cause I f-figure with his backstory he probably has some experience in it, uh Athletics, Command, and Contact- uh, yeah Contacts. It gets what I’m going for. Soldier boy, right?
Brennan: Yeah, so you’re pretty tough.
Alex: [cross-talk] As a- as a good, soldier boy.
Brennan: Yeah, exactly. All right. Red what did you do for San Ming?
Red: Uh, San Ming has um, great in Rapport, so she’s pretty good at talking to people, uh… a good in Fight and Pilot. Somebody’s gotta drive this ship. A fair in Physique, Athletics, and Resolve. And then an average in Stealth, Survival, Systems, and Empathy.
Brennan: Cool so you’re definitely the one who uh should be talking to people even though it’s probably going to end up being Sticky most of the time, uh…
Brennan: Causing problems. [laughs]
Frank: That’s how you get conflict in stories!
Brennan: [cross-talk] Nice
Red: That’s the problem with having the Urseminite as the face of [laughing] the operation.
Brennan: [chuckling] Right. Okay. So uh, the next thing that we have there are some stunts and species abilities that you get, uh, from your… from your species but also from, uh, your- you get to choose some stunts. So… let’s see what people have done for that, because this kind of help define the characters a little bit as well. Frank?
Frank: All right. For stunts, I have um… “Companion”. Which to be honest I’m blanking on. I- I- I wrote this down earlier in the week and I can’t remember what “Companion”… meant.
Brennan: Well. Allow me to look it up.
Frank: On page 135 if you’ve purchased the book and if you haven’t, now’s an excellent chance to purchase the book.
Frank: Oh “Once per session I command a weak-willed nameless NPC”. [laughing] Why wouldn’t I pick this?
Frank: [cross-talk] So I think when I jotted this down I thought it would be any weak-willed nameless NPC, not a specific one? Um-
Brennan: Well it- I think you can choose one from the scene that seems legit.
Frank: Oh all right, good, then that’s exactly what I want yes. Every once in a while, I just wanna gleam my disgusting fangs, and smile, or whatever, at somebody, and just convince them to do what I want them to do, and that’s- that’s- that’s me right there.
Brennan: [cross-talk] Perfect.
Frank: That’s my character right there. I’m gonna draw that distinction. Uh-
Frank: [cross-talk] I also-
Brennan: [laughs] It’s probably good to draw that distinction.
Brennan: Uh, now.
Frank: I have “Cut the Red Tape”, which is, again, gonna be very useful for just… eliminating some of the bureaucracy we’re gonna face, cause this character while despite being you know a command person who gets a lot of things done, he’s doing so in a way that’s opposite of what you would expect a charismatic leader to do. He just, kinda, gets right through it. Um, and then “Planning”. “Planning”, which is gonna be a lot of fun. It- when we come up with a good concept for something we’re gonna get some bonuses and, uh, I can’t wait to uh, to see that happen in actual play.
Brennan: Cool, cause that lets you, uh… basically, implement a plan and then everybody else gets a- a boost because of it.
Frank: I figure, you know, actually have something that will actually benefit people as a leader.
Frank: Instead of just… constantly forcing other people to pick up my uh, dirty, uh, whatever I’ve destroyed.
Alex: Uh, all right so Growlcolm has “Quick on the Draw”, and uh let me just make sure I’ve got that very page up here. “Quick on the Draw, you get your gun up and into position in the exact right moment. Once per conflict, you can take your Shoot action at any point in the exchange as long as you haven’t taken an action yet in the exchange.” Sounds good to me. Um next I have “Two-fisted shooter”. Uh, “In combat, you fight with a gun in each hand. Normally, shooting two guns just looks cool without providing a bonus. With this stunt, you fire two weapons, you ha-” uh, “have a distinct adva-” uh, “decisive advantage. Once per conflict when you use two guns, and successfully hit a target, you make your ray-” uh, “your target take a consequence instead of a str- the stress that it would normally deal.” So… yeah, very nice. And then, uh th-
Frank: I like that this is a role playing game that acknowledges that-
Alex: [cross-talk] Yeah, “usually it just looks good!”
Frank: -it’s usually just cool to shoot two guns
Alex: “This time it actually does something.”
Alex: All right I just gotta get to page 136 for my other one. What is it again? Uh “Jury-Rig”, okay that makes sense for my character. Where is it? Ch-ch-ch…
Frank: Page 136 is also on page 142 of the PDF, if you’ve purchased that. Because- I mean it’s a wonderfully useful companion-
Alex: [cross-talk] If you can- if you can find it…
Frank: -to go along with your Bulldogs! [unintelligible]
Alex: What page is it on, in the book?
Alex: Cause I have it written as page 136 but I don’t see it on page 136.
Frank: Probably 142 in the PDF.
Alex: No- yeah it’s “Jury-Rigger”, uh “Jury-Rig” which, I’m under Contacts now where’s Engineer? I- I must have wrote the page number wrong down. That’s why. Okay 138 “Jury-Rigger”. Um, “You can make the best of a mi-” uh, “of makeshift materials. When you lack proper tools for materials you can still effect repairs or build temporary machinery or systems. You gain plus 2 to- on Engineering, to either overcome obstacles or create an advantage,” uh, “to do so.” Perfect.
Brennan: Cool. All right, how bout you Red? What’s San Ming got?
Red: Uh San Ming has two stunts. Uh “Smooth Over, when attempting to calm someone dad- down, add plus 2 to Rapport-”
Alex: [cross talk] Kind of like the idea of you being able to calm someone’s dad down.
Red: “-as long as you are not the cause.”
Alex: Only for dads.
Frank: Let me get a [unintelligible]
Red: [cross-talk] Only for dads, you can’t use it for anybody else.
Red: Um, and uh, San Ming also has “Inner Strength. When someone tries to unnerve you, intimidate you, or provoke a fearful response you gain plus 2 to de- to defend with Resolve.”
Brennan: Nice. And San Ming-
Frank: [cross-talk] Oooh.
Brennan: -also has a couple of other secret stunts that we’re not gonna talk about right now.
Red: [evil laugh]
Brennan: They’ll come out in play.
Frank: [laughs] Do we have to become Patreon subscribers to get more of these details?
Brennan: Maybe, we will reveal some of these-
Alex: [cross-talk] Oh yeah.
Brennan: -uh, secrets in advance,
Brennan: To Patreon subscribers. Yeah. [laughs]
Brennan: All right. So um, the last bit, uh, is, everybody also has a little bit of gear. Um, anything that sticks out for you that you want to talk about, um, uh let’s go ahead and go over those.
Frank: My f- I think my favorite thing that I have, is uh ray-coated imperial armor-
Frank: -and “Imperial” is in scare quotes.
Frank: Um, the way I see this is it’s really pretty, looks cool, is good at stopping, I guess assassins, uh-
Frank: -from killing their poster boy. But really it’s just impractical and bright and [chuckling] garish. And I’m really just a moving target. I think it’s gonna be fun.
Brennan: Okay, awesome.
Alex: Yeah, well since I took the “Two-fisted Shooter” I have two medium guns, uh. One- each with their own… little bit here one is uh “Easy to Conceal”, and the other says “Standard Issue” so I figure we can have fun with those. “Standard Issue” is going for kind of like it’s his military piece, so, it’s, maybe recognizable to certain people. Maybe get us in some doors, that we might not have been able to get into. Um, or piss other- which is why it has easy to conceal!
Brennan: [cross-talk] Or piss off people, you didn’t realize you could do. [laughs]
Alex: Um, speaking of that same idea too, in both the piss-off yet help, I have light armor, which has a scroch- a scratched out insignia on it, so like, if you’re looking for it you might see it but… you know, tryna get away from that life. Scratched out the stuff that it would make it obvious- yeah.
Brennan: [cross-talk] So you still have your military-issued armor but you’ve just scratched out all of the uh, identifying marks, yeah, nice. All right, how bout you Red?
Red: Uh, San Ming only has one weapon.
Alex: [cross-talk] Oooh.
Red: Well one notable weapon. Um, it’s a katana? With the aspect “Silent but Deadly”.
Red: Uh, it is a medium weapon, so. That’s, pretty darn useful.
Brennan: Yeah. So, in Bulldogs a medium weapon actually skips over some of your damage tracks so that uh, you have fewer resources to absorb it. Which is pretty useful for a weapon.
Brennan: All right. So, the last thing-
Alex: [cross-talk] Oh-ho-ho, yes.
Brennan: -that we have to do is uh, talk about the ship.
Frank: [chuckles] Mmhm.
Brennan: So, uh we were discussing this, uh, beforehand, and we were talking about how, uh, Sticky is the poster child for, uh, Transgalaxy. So, they gave you a very high profile and uh, flashy ship right?
Frank: Yeah, they- uh one of the things I get for being so, uh, special to the company is their most state-of-the-art ship, despite the fact that it-
Alex: [cross-talk] Yes. [chuckles]
Frank: -didn’t quite go through all the uh, [chuckling] appropriate phases of testing, before uh, being put into production.
Brennan: I-it’s basically in-in beta, at least, if not alpha.
Frank: Yeah you know how when you were young you were really excited for getting a beta product? You were like “Aw, I’m on the cutting edge!”
Alex: [cross-talk] It’s like getting half the video games out there now.
Frank: Not so much.
Alex: Isn’t it? It’s like, waiting for patches after patches for, them to fix everything that’s not quite done yet.
Red: [cross-talk] And then paying 60 dollars to boot.
Frank: That’s why I-I am sick of video games and why I rely on tabletop role playing games!
Frank: Like the one thing [tapers off]
Brennan: We patch those ourselves. [laughs]
Brennan: Okay. Uh, so th- it also has uh, the aspect of being “Too New for Its Own Good” as we were just discussing. But it is full of “Cutting Edge Technology” so.
Alex: [cross-talk] Yes.
Brennan: That uh, that’s a big advantage for you guys. Um, the- the name of the ship- uh, do you wanna, go ahead and uh, introduce f- uh Frank since-
Alex: [cross-talk] Yes.
Brennan: -I think Sticky decided what it was called.
Alex: [cross-talk] This is perfect.
Frank: Uh i- the White Elephant.
Frank: Yeah yeah-
Brennan: [cross-talk] Yeah.
Frank: It is both a boon and a curse.
Brennan: [laughing] Right.
Alex: Oh absolutely it does.
Brennan: And uh, I think it matches your armor.
Alex: You absolutely match this, yeah.
Frank: Yeah, yep, definitely. Uh, paired to it, yep.
Red: I- I bet they gave us all like, matching outfits but like, nobody else will wear them. [chuckles]
Brennan: [laughs] Well- Sticky’s hap-happens to actually be useful-
Alex: [cross-talk] Plus-
Brennan: It’s armor so yeah, that’s the reason he’s sticking with it.
Alex: Plus this is like the Nascar of situations right?
Alex: Where he’s gotta wear the jumpsuit that matches the car as well while he’s in it. [chuckles]
Brennan: [laughing] Right!
Alex: Oh yes.
Red: [cross-talk] It’s got a whole bunch of uh, product label stickers on it.
Brennan: [sighs] Nice. So that’s our uh, that’s gonna be our party, um, and our ship, and then we are gonna be going on some, uh space adventures with these guys. Uh, all in hazardous delivery, uh doing things that are dangerous and are not, uh necessarily fun-
Alex: [cross-talk] Yes.
Brennan: -or survivable.
Frank: Fun for the listener, sure.
Brennan: Well not fun for the characters.
Frank: In this podcast of realism and sadness.
Brennan: That’s right.
Brennan: That’s right- I want you all to feel the pain of these characters. [laughs]
Frank: You know what’s weird-
Brennan: [cross-talk] All right!
Frank: -I just got e-mailed by-
Frank: our network’s Patreon.
Brennan: You did? [laughs]
Frank: That’s creepy.
Frank: It is creepy.
Frank: All right.
Brennan: They- they heard you s- talking about it. All right! Great. So uh, that will be, uh, this- this is our uh introduction of the characters and then we’re gonna uh, dive into an adventure for our next uh, our next episode.
[Theme music fades in]
Brennan: That’s our adventure for this week. We hope you enjoyed listening to Dungeon Not Included. If you did, please tell a friend, leave us encouraging comments and five-star reviews on iTunes, Sticher, Google Play, or whereever you get your podcasts, it really helps spread word for new shows like ours. You can follow the latest from the Dungeon Not Included crew on Twitter @DNIcrew or over at Facebook at Dungeon Not Included, or at our home at the Non-Productive Network at Non-Productive.com/DNICrew, where you can find articles, character sheets, and Patreon exclusives as well as our latest episodes. All of us do this for the love of the game, but every little bit helps us keep making Dungeon Not Included. Thanks for listening.
[Theme fades out]
[Lively piano music fades in]
Narrator: This has been a Non-Productive Media presentation. Executive Producer, Frank Hablawi (hah-blou-ee). This program and many others like it on the Non-Productive network is distributed under a creative commons attribution noncommercial noderivatives license. Please share it, but ask before trying to change it or sell it. For more information, visit Non-Productive.com.
[Music fades, video game sound effects come in then fade]