TRANSCRIPT: Hearthside Chat with Cat McDonald of Peach Garden Games

INTRO: This is the show for grownups. And they say bad words. Final warning!

Nate: Hello and welcome to the Pod of Blunders. My name is Nate Magnuski and I am here today with Cat McDonald’s of Peach Garden Games. How the hell are you, Cat?

Cat: I’m alive and well, thank you. And how are you doing?

Nate: This is my greatest day.

Cat: Yay!

Nate: I can’t oversell it enough. Best day ever.

Cat: Glad to hear it.

Nate: Nothing has happened to earn that distinction, but I’m just calling it now. A couple of hours left. Maybe something cool is going to happen. I’m not sure.

Cat: I’ll try and keep it from going the other way, at least.

Nate: That’s all I can ask. Thank you. So first and foremost, what got you into the roleplaying game hobby?

Cat: Oh, goodness, goodness. We’re going all the way back to middle school, aren’t we? I had friends who just really wanted more people to play Dungeons and Dragons with. So, our entire social circle, the nerd kids, frankly, got roped into playing D and D in middle school. This was third edition. I think it had just come out, actually, because I know my friend would occasionally talk about the fabled second edition, but I never cast my own eyes upon it. I remember being, well, I was mostly irritated when 3.5 came out because my monster manual wasn’t valid anymore. But then I got the new monster manual. So, it’s fine. No, it worked out then and then in high school, my friend, a different friend. A completely different friend, equally nerdy, approached me for help play testing a game he was making. And I absolutely fell in love with the game design process at that point. I went from play testing to helping design to designing my own games to where I’m at today, where I guess I’m designing my own games and publishing them and making podcasts about them.

Nate: So, what was your first game that you designed?

Cat: Do you mean like solo, just me, Cat? Or do you mean that I contributed to?

Nate: Either way, run with it however you see fit.

Cat: Because “Mod” was my friend’s baby and you can actually still see the version on our Drivethru. It was just a modular generic system. Okay. Which was the kind of thing you made in the 2000s when you were designing RPGs. My friend woke up and approached me one day at school and said, I had a dream. I had a dream that ten strengths was a plus ten bonus. So, I’m going to make a game. And I said, okay, tell me how that goes. And then very later on, I followed that on ramp through helping him play test it to actually being part of the design team. And what was the first game I did all by myself? Do board games count? Because when I was a little kid, my sister and I would build board games and just junk cardboard we found, the only one I really remember was called Blow Up Your House. And you had to assemble chemicals to blow up your house.

Nate: How old are you when you made this?

Cat: Oh, gosh, I do not know. It must have been around ten or eleven. Yeah, it must have been, because that was after the move, and my sister and I had a summer where we didn’t know any other kids in the province we’d moved to. So, we just got up to whatever we got up to. And that involved making board games, I guess.

Nate: I want to analyze this now. Like, okay, so you just moved and then you created a game called Blow Up the House.

Cat: Oh, we had a lot of frustrations. Yeah, we had a lot of frustrations that were being uprooted, of course, at ages ten and eight, respectively, that we were not prepared for being moved across country.

Nate: Oh, no, of course not. Who would be?

Cat: But the result was that I had a little notebook that I absolutely filled with details about an imagined science fiction setting that I remember nothing about. I could picture the notebook, but I remember nothing of its contents. Thank goodness. Making board games and watching so much Star Trek. Yeah.

Nate: So, the TNG days?

Cat:  That was the TNG days. Yeah. That was our family Star Trek time. Yeah. And then we also watched a bunch of Voyager. They’re both kind of shows. As an adult, I realized that Deep Space Nine is extremely intelligent and well-made TV. Oh, my God. It is. Yes. But as a child, it was too boring for me because there weren’t as many Pew Pew lasers.

Nate: Right. Where’s the gun battles? Come on.

Cat: This is my official apology to Star Trek Deep Space.

Nate: I’ll pass that on for you. I’ll make sure they get that. So, I first found you through the incredibly successful Itch.IO bundle you hosted Solo, But Not Alone.

Cat: Yeah. Holy crap. That took off!

Nate: That did so well.

Cat: I know! It was so exciting. Not the last time I’m doing it either.

Nate: Good. So, what inspired this? Can you tell me about the charity that you chose to support?

Cat: Absolutely. The charity that we were supporting… well “am” because I’m doing it again. You heard me, Jasper’s Game day. And what happened was I realized, gosh, it was around December that I’ve got a stable, full time job that I enjoy a great deal, so I don’t need money from game design. And I thought to myself, well, if I don’t need money from game design, who does? And I tweeted, hey, if I put together a bundle for mental health, who would be in? And it took off like absolute wildfire to the point where 15 minutes later, when I got off my coffee break, my Twitter had exploded, and I was like, well, now I have no choice but to do it. I just wanted to do a mental health charity. Because that’s a topic that’s very important to me. And someone in my mentions mentioned Jasper’s Game Day, which is specifically they work with the TTRPG community. They found events and live streams specifically for suicide prevention and for suicide awareness and education. And so, I thought they were the absolute perfect fit. I reached out to them. They were so thrilled about the idea. Fenway is fantastic. We were working together on it from the word go.

Nate: Beautiful. So, before I interview everybody, I always ask my oldest son, my eight-year-old, what I should ask my guests. And he said, “Was it hard kind of wrangling the cats and getting everyone involved?”

Cat” The cats mostly came to me, to be honest with you, when I tweeted that I wanted to put a bundle together, I had people in my mentions just like, here’s my game. Put it in hindsight, I should have made a discord for it to make it easier to contact everybody because there were so many authors in this bundle. But everybody got the approval for the bundling. Just for those of you who aren’t familiar with maybe how itch IO works, when you put together a bundle of games, you can’t go live and start selling it until every single contributor has clicked the approval link.

Nate: Oh, wow.

Cat: And that’s for bundles where people are sharing the proceeds so that you know that everybody agrees with how the money is going to be divvied up. But what that means is that when you’re putting together a large bundle like Solar, but not alone, you’ve got 67 people who need to click that link before you can go live. It was nerve wracking. My God. But they all did it.

Nate: I mean, that just goes to show how much our community goes to support good causes.

Cat: Absolutely.

Nate: We have a good group of people in this hobby, by and large.

Cat: You’re not wrong. You’re not wrong in the slightest. The original goal when I was just talking to Fenway in DMs on Twitter was 300. And I was like, no, you know what? We’ve got enough people in this bundle. There’re enough games that maybe we will make 500. So that was the goal. I settled was the end result. And I’m still blown away by like, how many authors were like, here’s all five of my Solo games. So many authors did that. How many people in the community chipped in more than more than the base price of the bundle? I think the highest anybody paid for it was $255. We have a great community. It was genuinely every single day was beautiful for me. As I just opened up and watched that little bar creep ever higher. It was just an absolute delight.


Nate: Hey, folks, it’s Nate. Sorry to interrupt, but I need to let you know that Solo But Not Alone 2, the stunning sequel to Solo But Not Alone, is going on right now. So, from the time you’re hearing this until early March. You can go on to support this amazing charity, and you get I think it’s over 100 games now for the introductory prices, $10. So of course, if you can pay more, I encourage you to do so. But this is really a fantastic way to get into solo RPGs, to help a fantastic charity, and to let Cat know that their work is appreciated and that they are doing really excellent stuff out there for the community. So, follow the link in the show notes. Go get yourself 100 plus games and really know that you’ve done some good with it. All right. So, thanks for listening, and let’s get back to the show.


 Nate: And I know you contributed several games to that as well, because you’re a solo game designer, and amongst other things, what is it about the Solo Game experience that speaks to you?

Cat: Well, I got onto solo games relatively recently, actually. Last summer I bought the bundle for racial justice and equality, like almost everybody did. Bundle is huge. And I was reading someone tweeting about what it meant to them to contribute a game to a bundle, knowing so many people were going to get it and so few people were going to play it. Oh, and what that does to their product and what that does to their own storefront. And I thought, well, the least I can do is play as many of these TTRPGs as I can. But my group didn’t want to play anything but D and D, and it was the pandemic anyway. It was hard to get people together. It was like, okay, I’m going to find every game that is single player, and I’m going to play them all, and I’m going to let the writers know that I played them, and I am going to let everybody know that I played them. And I worked my way through every as far as I know. And heaven knows, some could have snuck under my radar. Somebody helpfully provided a spreadsheet of all the games in the bundle.

Nate: That’s nice.

Cat: That was my basis. Yeah. So, I played every solo game in the bundle. I tweeted about every solo game in the bundle. I played at least one a day. And that was when I realized that solo games are really beautiful. There’s a ton of variety in the genre. You don’t have to wait for a group. You don’t have to pitch your friends on your vision. You can just sit down and write a poem or draw a map or tell a story that’s all your own. And I thought there was something very beautiful about not only that, but about just the huge variety, all of which I could pick and choose from at my convenience, according to my desires. I’m kind of a people pleaser. So, playing RPGs without having to beg anybody else to play the game I want is the new and beautiful experience. First of all, I made so many friends doing that. So many designers I’m now mutuals with and friends with because I played their games from the racial justice and equality bundle. All designers want is attention.

Nate: You’re not wrong.

Cat: Yeah. And it wasn’t too long after that that I wrote Headless Guide, which was my first solo RPG.

Nate: I love it. I love it so much.

Cat: Oh, I’m so glad. All designers want is attention. I saw the Folklore Jam. It was a game jam for writing games about folklore, specifically your own folklore. The rule stipulated that it had to be your own. And since I was born in Nova Scotia and my family has deep roots in the Maritimes, I was like, all right, I have this book called Blue Nose Magic that is just about superstitions from Nova Scotia. I’m going to read this.

Nate: That’s so cool. Blue Nose Magic?

Cat: Yeah. It was published in, like, the freaking fifties or something. I found it in the ninemo at a used bookstore years ago on vacation. I still hadn’t read it until it was time to write Headless Guide.

Nate: All right, I’m writing that down so I could try to find a copy of that somehow, because that sounds amazing.

Cat: Yeah. And I came across this story about how in Nova Scotia they believe that when it was time for Pirates to bury treasure, they would take a stranger with them, and the captain would ask, hey, who wants to stay back and guard this? And according to the stories, the stranger would stay back to guide the treasure, thinking they were going to escape with it. But then the Pirates would decapitate them and their headless ghost would be stuck to guard the treasure, and they would be unable to move on until someone found the treasure.

Nate: I was reading through your own adventure type book to my kids last night, and it was about a headless ghost guarding a treasure. And I had no idea this was a cultural touchstone for the Maritime because it was set in the Caribbean. But I guess its pirate theme. So, it’s all Pirates, right?

Cat: Triangle Trade.

Nate: Yeah, very much.

Cat: And there were other stories in there about how, like, if you’re seeking treasure, you must be completely quiet when you do. If you say anything, you won’t get the treasure. So that’s how the mechanics of courage and silence were created. I absolutely fell in love with designing solo games at that point. I love them.

Nate: You have quite a few now, and I know you have a certain subset of solo games that speak to your professed love of the occult. What is a ritual game? How do they differentiate?

Cat: I am a huge occult nerd. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a ghost hunter. I’ve been eating this stuff up since I was a kid. But ritual games, at least as far as I define them. And I don’t know if anyone has any formal scholarship on it, but games that incorporate mechanics that are usually set aside for rituals or for occult practices. You see games like Jamila Nedjadi’s Soul Quest, which is modeled after shamanistic practices and shamanistic visualization rituals and inner journeys. And that’s what I would consider a ritual game. It’s built using elements of occult practices and elements of ritualistic practices that kind of blurs the line between game and ritual and self-discovery exercise in a way that to an occultist is delightful and thrilling. So, I did my first one, which was familiar unfamiliar for the Witch Jam. And it takes the place of kind of like a Divination ritual because I love Divination, where you’re like casting objects on a layout to see where they land and interpreting based on what they land, what kind of alien creature you’re striking a bargain with because it’s an RPG, after all. I can’t get too real with it. And then recently for the Domino Jam, I did I have a set of dominoes that I bought specifically for Divination because there is Domino Divination.

Nate: I had no idea there was Domino-mancy.

Cat: Yeah, pretty much anything that has a random outcome, there’s a mancy, for sure.

Nate: Yeah, that makes sense.

Cat: And I have never used them because it turns out these set, they go all the way up to nine. And the guide I had to interpreting Dominoes only went to six, but they’re still linked with Divination in my mind. So, when Matthew Gravelyn hosted the Domino Jam, I was like, well, I guess its time for witch nonsense. So, I wrote Constellation Gallery, which is about, like, heretical Alchemy and these mysterious magic mirrors.

Nate: I’ve read the game about making the packed with the aliens, and that’s fantastic. That’s definitely one of my soon-to-be reviewed games.

Cat: Oh, I’m so glad to hear you like it.

Nate: It was funny because it was that, it was Apex Predator… There’s a few games. I was like, I’m going to review that. I’ll review that. And I was like, I can’t do all these at the same time because Cat is going to think I’m like…

Cat: Yeah. you messaged me!

Nate: I was like, I got to spread these out because you’re going to think I’m creepy.

Cat: And you were like, “You wrote Familiar, Unfamiliar, right?” And I’m like,” Yuppers.” And you’re like, okay, I can’t keep doing these!”

Nate: I didn’t want to come off like a weirdo!

Cat: But I was deeply touched.

Nate: Okay, good.

Cat: Not only was okay, so Unfamiliar was the first time that I shared a game that I had written with my mother that she had actually, like, read and enjoyed. All right. My mother is a very busy professional, and she doesn’t understand role playing games. She’s proud of me in her own way. But Headless Guide was the first time she’d actually been like, oh, this is what you do. And she loved it. She shared it all over Facebook. She sent it to all my family members. And she loved your actual play.

Nate: Oh, that’s so nice!

Cat: She loved your review. She loves the actual play. She was so thrilled.

Nate: So nice to hear. Tell your momma I said Hi!

Cat: Will do.

Nate: So, aside from your ritual games, has your interest in the occult shaped how you design any other games?

Cat: Yes, because as a person who I’m not sure. I would describe myself as a person who believes in magic, but I would describe myself as a person who knows a lot about it. So, when I’m writing a fantasy game, I’m not writing it from the perspective of Tolkien or Lewis. I’m writing it from the perspective of somebody who knows about the ways real life magic is supposed to work. The systems that our world and our cultures have developed to create magic are very different from the ideas that you see in fantasy literature. And I try to lean towards the second more than the first because that’s my area of study. That’s the kind of thing I like.

Nate:  Let’s talk about your biggest fantasy game at this point, Heroic Chord.

Cat: Yay

Nate: Tell me about it. I know you have a very innovative magic system in that game as well, but let’s just talk about the setting at first.

Cat: Okay. So Heroic Or takes place in a world that is 100 years recovered from an apocalypse. This continent used to have a big mountain range down the middle of it, but one day that mountain range melted and just flooded humanity out. For the most part, humanity is still there, but the interior of the continent is no longer hospitable. It belongs to demons and horrors and not to us anymore. The gods of Amylte are asleep in the form of monuments. So, like the deities of this world are physical fixed objects that you can go on a pilgrimage to visit. And in fact, that’s what the player characters have done in their back stories. When you start Heroic Chord, you have already done this pilgrimage. And you are, I guess what I would describe as a combination between a DND cleric, a DND Ranger, and a third different thing depending on where you went.

Nate: So, the magic system, I know it’s basically combining two words.

Cat: Yes.

Nate: So how does that work exactly?

Cat: Well, actually, when you were asking about whether my love of the occult transfers into my games, I just realized that Heroic Chord you take on what’s called scatter when you cast a spell, and what that means is that you begin to dissociate and parts of yourself just flood out into the world. Part of that is from my own struggles with mental health. I make no secret of that. And part of it is from the times that I’ve done large rituals or been part of large rituals. There’s always this feeling of kind of melting out outside yourself, of your consciousness not being bound to your body. And I wanted to express that in the magic and Heroic Chord. So, you have a list of six words on your character sheet. And whenever you want to cast a spell, you ask the GM what words are in the environment, and you combine one word from the environment and one word from yourself into a phrase. And then you talk to the GM about what that does and how much it cost.

Nate: So, it seems like the player has a lot more narrative control in this game than, say, fifth edition or something like that.

Cat: Oh, yeah. I don’t like spell lists, right? Well, I don’t like spell lists for two reasons. One of them is I think that players will come up with interesting spells that suit them and suit their character on their own. Second, it’s a lot of work to write a lot of spells, and if I’m going to make a system that doesn’t require me to do that, I will. So much work.

Nate: So what kind of story is Heroic Chord designed to tell? Is it adventure? Dungeon, delves, exploration, intrigue? What are we talking about?

Cat: It’s mostly adventure survival stories. It’s very influenced by Ryutama in that. It’s very much about being outdoors. There are some horror elements. My friend Nick jokes that I set out to bright Breath of the Wild, but I always write Majora’s Mask. I can’t help myself. I really can’t. There are these creatures called Horrors in Amylte that are basically the ghosts of war and pain and cruelty from before the mountains melted. There’s not really civilization as we know it. There’s no countries, there’s no great powers or colonial powers or anything like that. People are just trying to get by. But the memories of those kind of movements and the cruelty that they spawn still exists in the form of these abstract nightmare creatures that roam the Knights. I’ve played some really good horror stories with Heroic Court as well, but the normal vibe is like cozy adventure game.

Nate: So, it’s cozy adventure game with a touch of complete horror and disassociation.

Cat: Yes

Nate: I love it. Thank you for making this game just for me. I appreciate that. So how does the system itself work? Is it dice based? What sort of dice are we talking about?

Cat: Dice pools love it because several years after my nerd friend made me play D and D 30, the same nerd friend did make us all play Vampire. And World of Darkness is a much bigger influence on Heroic Chord because I love dice pools. We use D six because they’re easier to get. So basically, you gather yourself up a mitt full of dice, depending on your stat and whether or not you have the skill, and then you roll them. You roll a mitt full of dice. A five or a six counts as a success. A one counts as an edge success, which means it’s a success. But you can only keep it if you make a Devil’s bargain with the GM, which is always fun.

Nate: Oh, yeah, I love it.

Cat: I’m pleased with the mechanics with the outcome mechanics.

Nate: How does the stat system work in this? What are the stats like?

Cat: Stats are daring, understanding, subtlety, sensitivity, and adaptability. There are no physical stats. You went on a pilgrimage to a dangerous place. It’s assumed that you are strong enough to do it or resourceful enough to do it. And I don’t believe in intelligence stats. I don’t believe relative intelligence is a thing, least of all relative intelligence with objective measurements. And even then, relative strength with objective measurements is still widely varying. Like, you can look at champion strong men and they’re going to have different totals at different lists. There’s no way you can objectively say that man has a strength of 20. That man has a strength of 19 in the real world.

Nate: Right.

Cat: So, I decided to focus on the ways people solve problems. That way, we get away from some of the troubling able-ist foundations of intelligence stats and get to talk a little bit more about who your character is and how they think about problems.

Nate: I want to have a follow up question for that, but I’m just ruminating on this now, because that’s just a brilliant idea in terms of, like you said, getting away from the able-ist base natures of most of the games. Like, we use the standard six stats of quantifying how you are physically, what your meat can do, not what your brain can do.

Cat: And even then, like, DND will often describe a person who has a low strength score as being like, maybe a person who uses a wheelchair or a person who has some kind of physical difficulty. But athletics is tied to strength. And I also realized that have you seen wheelchair athletes?

Nate: My God, yeah.

Cat: They’re way better than my doughy ass. Who am I to say who isn’t athletic?

Nate: Like that murder ball game where they all are, the combat wheelchairs, essentially armored. Amazing stuff.

Cat: And wheelchair basketball?

Nate: Yeah. They don’t fuck around.

Cat: Yeah. They do not fuck around. Obviously, a strength stat has nothing to do with that. What does it mean?

Nate: So, you’re a person that likes to stay busy. I’m thinking right now, is that an overestimation? Am I reaching on that one?

Cat: No, you’re absolutely right. And I have no idea where this came from. I was just talking to my friends about this earlier because they’re like, no, what are you talking about? You’re very driven and ambitious. And I’m like, what? I’ve never seen myself this way, but I write myself long to-do lists, and I usually accomplish things, but most of it is things I don’t really like. Things I do for funsies. Right. I was about to ask; do you consider it work? Not really. Like, my job is work. Game design is for fun things. It’s fun and it’s social and it’s play. I’m in too many game jams when I sigh and say, oh, I have to start a game for the five powers jam. That’s not work. That’s just an objective statement of what’s on my to do list. I’m thrilled about it. It’s going to be wonderful.

Nate: By the time this episode comes out, there’ll be another game jam that will be probably months over at this point. Your current game that you’re running the Carta Jam.

Cat: I love the Carta Jam so much. Okay, so my first ever solo game was Headless Guide, and then I saw a jam for winter themed games, and I set on my favorite winter section from any video game, which is the Great Glacier segment in Final Fantasy VII. So, based on that, I built into the glacier, which is about exploring a grid of cards, and then you can even find a material. One of the cards has material on it into the glacier. And later on, I realized I wanted to make a game about how much I love Monster Hunter, which was originally going to be a solo but not alone exclusive, but now Alone is over. It’s publicly available. And that was Apex Predator, which you mentioned earlier. And I was like, oh, the engine from into the Glacier works really great for exploring an environment, looking for monster trucks. And at some point, I realized, oh, I’ve made two games with the same engine. If I just write this engine, I will have made an SRD. Cool. That’s fun to do. And that was some of the hardest writing I’ve ever done. Writing a blank game for people to modify. Not easy.

Nate: You’re stripping a lot of flavor out of something. Like, “Here’s a canvas I made for you.”

Cat: Yeah, trying to make it so you’re expressing the rules clearly is important in any game writing, but it’s twice as important when rules are all that’s in there. But I wrote the Carta SRD, which was for games like into the Glacier, where you explore a map made out of a grid of cards, and each card has its own prompt. And some of the games that people have made this system into are so beautiful. They’re all wonderful. They’re all perfect. I’m just going to bring it up here so that I can gush very specifically about them.

Nate: My next question was to ask you about what your favorites were, but talk about as many as that you can just go through and pick out which ones you want to talk about and go.

Cat: Okay, totally cool with me. Let’s see. Dredge is the kind of game I would write. It’s about sailing this enormous, Eldritch haunted Lake, and you’re being pursued by something, and you’re just trying to haul up mysterious objects from the depths, and you don’t even know why. It’s very my brand. I love nautical themes. Fata Dira dawn of a New Day is very close to my heart. Because it is. No, it’s not. It’s Majora’s Mask. It’s based on Majora’s Mask. And so, every card has these problems that you go around and solve before time resets. That’s cool. It’s so cool. It’s so involved. There were lots of people who did dual versions of it label, which is a game about like, you don’t have to be a werewolf specifically, but you are someone who transforms into a monster and so you interact with the cards one way as a human and another way in your monster form. So gorgeous.

Nate: Wow.

Cat: Two of the recent editions are De Deorum Elementa, which is about being one of the elemental gods and bringing a world into being. So, you’re writing a mythology for this world as you flip up cards. So cool. And my friend Ziva wrote and published just today, Theme Park After Dark, which is exactly what it sounds like. You go back into the theme park after it’s closed because you left something behind and Ziva is just obsessed with theme parks and it shows. It’s so colorful. Wow. Beautifully detailed.

Nate: So, are you surprised by the response you’ve got for this jam?

Cat: Blown away. Absolutely.

Nate: I’m not going to jinx you at all, but it seems like everything you attempt gaming-wise…I’m not going to finish that sentence because…

Cat: Don’t curse me! There’s a secret to it. And I’m going to sound like a freaking anime character because I am one. Okay. And the secret to it is love. When I built an audience by playing and loving other people’s games because I felt like other people’s games deserved my love and attention. And then the audience I built from that was excited to help me express my love to people who are struggling with solo but not alone. And the audience I built from solo not Alone was able to see the love I put into Heroic Chord. Thank goodness. They’ve been really wonderful about that. But a lot of people have joined the Jam because I read Buy and Hype every game that is put in the car to Jam. Without exception, I adore them all, and I will express my love for these games all over my feet. If you take the time to let the people who made the stuff you love know that you love it. If you express your love and if you put your love into everything you do, people will pick up on that because designers want attention. And this isn’t to say like, give designers attention so they’ll pay attention to you because that’s a little transactional. But if you express your love for the things people do, they will respond with kindness and affection because it makes them feel good. And if you make people feel good, they’ll gather around and bit by bit, larger things become possible. And I can’t wait to see Solo but Not Alone 2 probably going to launch it again next year. It’s probably going to be even bigger because somehow through these little labors of love, I will have drawn even more people into my orbit who are also willing to express their love for people who are struggling.

Nate: You always know that however we can help on this podcast, we’re there for you and we’re there to help.

Cat: Oh, without a doubt, without a doubt.

Nate: You have been an absolute delight. I had no doubt it would be a delight, but you have been far exceeding my expectations of how delightful you would be. So, thank you.

Cat: I’ve had a wonderful day. Thanks for having me on. Oh, if you’re curious about Heroic Chord, but would like to listen to some very wonderful people playing the game, my very cool friends play test Heroic Chord with me on the podcast Sword of Symphonies. So, if you’re the kind of person who likes an AP to get you into a game, check it out. We would love to have you.

Nate: When do those episodes come out?

Cat: Saturdays. Saturdays.

Nate: Okay, so Saturdays, Sword of Symphonies for Heroic Chord. Again, thank you so much for coming on.

Cat: This has been a blast. I’m having a great time.

Nate: Excellent. I will talk to you very soon.

Cat: All right, take care.

Nate: You too.

Cat: Bye-sies!


Nate: Hey, folks, it’s Nate. Thank you guys for listening. And thank Cat for coming on the show and most importantly, just for being a beacon of wonderful positivity in our hobby. She’s one of the best people out there in terms of her designs, in terms of her social work, in terms of the raw good that she emanates all the time. Cat is wonderful, and I hope that they know that. And if you want to support Cat and her continued good work, make sure you go on to the links in the show notes to get a copy of the Solo, But Not Alone bundle for yourself, and to get Heroic Chord and to follow her on Twitter, because Cat is again, the best of us. So please go show your love, support a good charity in Jasper’s Game Day, and let me know what you think. I can’t wait to hear what you folks think about all those wonderful solo games.

And yeah, of course, if you want to support us, you can always go on to and throw us some money. That will help us keep the lights on, keep the blog up, keep the creditors at bay, and you also get some stuff like access to our Jumping the Street Sharks podcast that’s only for patrons. In addition to depending on your level, there access to certain rooms in our Discord that are exclusive, as well as copies of any game that I make are up there right now. So right now, there are two games, Lucha Libram!, a game of magical wrestling. And there is also Despite All Our Rage, We Are Still Just Some Rats On Nic Cage, which is like Ratatouille meets Nic cage, because why not? So, go get those things. Support us. Support Cat. You know what? Support yourself. You’ve earned it. And for the Pod of Blunders, I’ve been Nate Magnuski. And as always, may all your Ds be twelve.

One thought on “TRANSCRIPT: Hearthside Chat with Cat McDonald of Peach Garden Games

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