This week I am joined by Lucas Zellers, host of the 'Making a Monster' podcast to talk, unsurprisingly, about monsters! This episode is broadly split into two halves, the first focusing on mechanical minutia of running stat blocks, including various tips and tricks, such as "do your homework"! We also discuss the elegance of Matt Coville's Action Oriented Monster design approach and how it highlights shortcomings in the design of Dungeons & Dragons. Running higher level monsters RAW is essentially parsing a database; it might not appear like it at first glance, but communicating intent, theme, history, and philosophy in a way which is easy to understand is really an exercise in technical writing. The second half of the episode focuses on the historical weight and implication of monsters in the D&D-verse. Lucas shares his passion and knowledge of Dagon, using them as an example of the "iceberg" history all monsters have. Perhaps next time you haphazardly throw an encounter together (much in the way I do!), you'll spare a thought for the legacy of these creatures... which will likely open up interesting and unique ways to play!
01:18 - What Monster Design Reveals About the System
08:46 - "Monsterless" Games
21:57 - Planning & Running Monsters
43:41 - 'Named' Monsters & Historical Baggage
Find Lucas on:
Making a Monster: https://scintilla.studio/monster/
The Book of Extinction: https://scintilla.studio/extinction
Find me on:
'Monster of the Week' by Evil Hat Productions
'Vaesen' by Free League Publishing
Action Oriented Monsters by Matthew Colville
'The Dresden Files' by Jim Butcher
'Ezmerelda's Encyclopedia of Evil' on DMs Guild
Intro Music: 'Local Forecast' by Kevin MacLeod
Intermission Music: 'Chill' by Kevin MacLeod
Outro Music: 'Local Forecast - Elevator' by Kevin MacLeod
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