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Giant spider chucking goblins in the MCDM monster book
Episode 718th April 2022 • Making a Monster • Lucas Zellers
00:00:00 00:42:36

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How does it square with your heroes when the bad guys treat their animals better than the good guys? What if your villain pets the dog?

Read the transcript and get more from the show:

https://scintilla.studio/monster-war-spider-mcdm/

Get stat blocks, bonus content, and other monstrous perks: www.patreon.com/scintillastudio

Join the conversation: www.twitter.com/SparkOtter

Meet my guests:

James Introcaso: https://twitter.com/JamesIntrocaso

Flee, Mortals! The MCDM Monster Book: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mattcolville/mcdm-monster-book

Music by Jason Shaw at Audionautix.com

Transcripts

James Introcaso:

Picture Return of

James Introcaso:

the King and the Ollyphants coming

James Introcaso:

in and laying waste to the white

James Introcaso:

city Gondor in Lord of the rings.

James Introcaso:

Here's the deal is that, it's like that.

James Introcaso:

But instead of an elephant bringing

James Introcaso:

in a bunch of warriors on its back,

James Introcaso:

it is a giant, enormous spider.

James Introcaso:

Huge, huge spider with this

James Introcaso:

platform on its back and goblins

James Introcaso:

firing arrows and throwing these

James Introcaso:

little rodents called skitterlings.

James Introcaso:

And then the spider can also like

James Introcaso:

flex its abdomen and fire goblins

James Introcaso:

off like warriors off into the air.

James Introcaso:

Um, the other thing is that when

James Introcaso:

it dies, a swarm of baby spiders

James Introcaso:

burst forth from its abdomen.

Lucas:

gross.

James Introcaso:

So, so yeah, and this

Lucas:

James, why have you done this?

Lucas:

All right.

Lucas:

Let's see if this works.

Lucas:

Giant spider chucking, goblins giant,

Lucas:

spider John King goblins giant, spider

Lucas:

Chucky, goblins jogging, goblins

Lucas:

stupid.

Lucas:

Hello, and welcome to Making a Monster,

Lucas:

the bite-sized podcast where game

Lucas:

designers show us their favorite

Lucas:

monster and we discover how it works,

Lucas:

why it works and what it means.

Lucas:

I'm Lucas Zeller.

Lucas:

Building on years of experience as a

Lucas:

tactical dungeon master and a frankly

Lucas:

uncanny ability to explain the nuances

Lucas:

of the game in a single take with

Lucas:

no audible pauses, I mean, come on,

Lucas:

Matt Colville has created a small

Lucas:

design company for original fifth

Lucas:

edition content called Matt Colville

Lucas:

Dungeon Master productions, or MCDM.

Lucas:

Colville's lead writer is a returning

Lucas:

guest on the show, James Introcaso.

Lucas:

He's here to talk about "Flea Mortals!

Lucas:

The MCDM Monster Book," which is

Lucas:

busily smashing its stretch goals on

Lucas:

Kickstarter and has, as of the time of

Lucas:

recording, made almost $1.3 million.

Lucas:

The conceit of the book is to replace

Lucas:

the monster manual you already

Lucas:

have with new and better monsters.

Lucas:

So I asked James about the monster I

felt most needs an update:

goblins.

felt most needs an update:

I'm here with James Introcaso, who is

felt most needs an update:

the lead writer for M C D M or Matt

felt most needs an update:

Colville Dungeon Master productions.

felt most needs an update:

He has had a long career in tabletop game

felt most needs an update:

design, having worked with Wizards of the

felt most needs an update:

Coast, Roll20, Kobold Press other awesome

felt most needs an update:

publishers before he came on to MCDM.

felt most needs an update:

And he's been on the show before, for

felt most needs an update:

Burn Bryte, talking about the teleporting

felt most needs an update:

mischief fox the Blipp, which was a

felt most needs an update:

whole lot of fun and really rounded

felt most needs an update:

out the first season of the show.

felt most needs an update:

Very well.

felt most needs an update:

So, James, I'm happy to have you back.

felt most needs an update:

Welcome back to Making a Monster!

James Introcaso:

Thanks, Lucas.

James Introcaso:

Thank you so much.

James Introcaso:

So it's a, it's an honor and

James Introcaso:

privilege to get to come on and talk

James Introcaso:

about monsters and have some fun.

James Introcaso:

My role at MCM is basically lead designer.

James Introcaso:

Matt is the design director, and he says,

James Introcaso:

here's a bunch of things I want to do.

James Introcaso:

I want to make a monster book.

James Introcaso:

I want to make a magazine.

James Introcaso:

I want to do this.

James Introcaso:

And then I go and, hire all of the

James Introcaso:

people who work on those projects, you

James Introcaso:

know, the contractors in terms of the

James Introcaso:

people writing not in terms of art.

James Introcaso:

And then I also write myself and I

James Introcaso:

edit everybody's work and I, you know,

James Introcaso:

so I sort of act as the the project

James Introcaso:

lead on all those projects and bring

James Introcaso:

those things together and, and sort of.

James Introcaso:

The final say.

James Introcaso:

So, and then Matt is there to

James Introcaso:

consult with and that sort of thing.

James Introcaso:

But he really wants to be

James Introcaso:

able to take a step back and

James Introcaso:

like big picture at some more.

James Introcaso:

So that's, day-to-day making

James Introcaso:

RPG products for for MCM.

Lucas:

Congratulations, man.

James Introcaso:

Thank you.

James Introcaso:

Thank you.

James Introcaso:

It is it is still very strange

James Introcaso:

sometimes that this is the case.

James Introcaso:

So, but I am glad it is the case

James Introcaso:

that it seems to be working.

Lucas:

I wanted to talk to you about

Lucas:

MCDM's upcoming monster book and

Lucas:

I wanted to park on this because,

Lucas:

the working title for that work

Lucas:

is, or was monsters and villains.

Lucas:

If you've followed this show for any

Lucas:

length of time, or if you remember

Lucas:

GM edition, I've spent quite a

Lucas:

while parsing out the difference

Lucas:

between a monster and a villain.

Lucas:

So I think I do want to address

Lucas:

that with you, but you've opted for

Lucas:

a different name, for the project.

Lucas:

What does it now?

James Introcaso:

So, yeah.

James Introcaso:

So the name of the product now is

James Introcaso:

flee mortals, the MCDM monster book.

James Introcaso:

and we wanted to go that route because,

James Introcaso:

you know, obviously we have strongholds

James Introcaso:

and followers and kingdoms, and more

James Introcaso:

fair are two of the other big releases

James Introcaso:

that we've had, on Kickstarter from MCDM.

James Introcaso:

But we did realize that, we'll never

James Introcaso:

own noun ampersand noun, right?

James Introcaso:

In this space that already belongs

James Introcaso:

to somebody who, who who is very

James Introcaso:

kindly given a open game license to

James Introcaso:

us to allow us to make our things.

James Introcaso:

So we thought if you want to step away

James Introcaso:

and differentiate yourself, maybe we

James Introcaso:

should break that mold a little bit.

James Introcaso:

And and so we have gone with this

James Introcaso:

because we think it's evocative.

James Introcaso:

We think it's fun.

James Introcaso:

You see the book and it's got a monster

James Introcaso:

on the cover and flee mortals and

James Introcaso:

big capital letters and everything.

James Introcaso:

And you're like, this is great.

James Introcaso:

Let's do it.

Lucas:

Yeah.

Lucas:

Well, it's a solid business

Lucas:

decision and it's a solid

Lucas:

storytelling decision as well.

Lucas:

But part of the reason I wanted

Lucas:

to bring it up is because

Lucas:

there's a really fascinating.

Lucas:

Attitude that comes with that

Lucas:

title that I think you've

Lucas:

reflected in in the book as well.

Lucas:

So some ground rules, or rather some,

Lucas:

some context in, in terms of Dungeons

Lucas:

and dragons, they define the word

Lucas:

monster as anything with a stat block.

Lucas:

Which is from a technical writing

Lucas:

standpoint, from a dungeon masters

Lucas:

standpoint, very useful from a

Lucas:

literary philosophical, analytical

Lucas:

standpoint, incredibly problematic,

Lucas:

and it makes for a rich conversation.

Lucas:

So by changing the title.

Lucas:

And also you've kind of sidestepped this

Lucas:

in the book, by giving a different name

Lucas:

to monster itself in, in that context.

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

I mean, I think we, we

James Introcaso:

generally agree with that.

James Introcaso:

You know, we write for fifth edition

James Introcaso:

Dungeons and Dragons, and so we

James Introcaso:

use their style a lot and the word

James Introcaso:

monster does appear in this book.

James Introcaso:

It's right there on the cover, but we

James Introcaso:

use the word creature a lot more because

James Introcaso:

I think often creature is also used as

James Introcaso:

like a catch all for everything from

James Introcaso:

commoner to you know, gelatinous cube.

James Introcaso:

And so we wanted to do the same thing

James Introcaso:

and, and we're doing some things to sort

James Introcaso:

of get the idea across that the stat

James Introcaso:

blocks in this book are living creatures.

James Introcaso:

And so like, you'll notice that D

James Introcaso:

and D step blocks often default to

James Introcaso:

the "it" pronouns for creatures,

James Introcaso:

which can be confusing because

James Introcaso:

we also use it for objects.

James Introcaso:

So we use "they," we default to "they"

James Introcaso:

when we the gender of a creature in

James Introcaso:

a stat block and that sort of thing.

James Introcaso:

You know, we're just sort of looking

James Introcaso:

for places where we can make it more

James Introcaso:

more accessible to people so that they

James Introcaso:

can understand like, Hey, these are

James Introcaso:

living things and they can be used

James Introcaso:

in your game in many ways, right?

James Introcaso:

They're NPCs and they're all sorts of

James Introcaso:

things, but the title "Flee, Mortals!"

James Introcaso:

is also saying, this is a book to battle.

James Introcaso:

And we take great pains to make sure that

James Introcaso:

this is the case that we're saying this.

James Introcaso:

It doesn't mean that because goblins

James Introcaso:

are in this book, every goblin is

James Introcaso:

something that is going to fight

James Introcaso:

and challenge the adventures.

James Introcaso:

On the contrary we actually go, do we

James Introcaso:

say most goblins, like all humanoids,

James Introcaso:

are normal people and they just want to

James Introcaso:

live and they're kind to their neighbors

James Introcaso:

and they're nice to everybody else.

James Introcaso:

But when there are goblins who are thieves

James Introcaso:

or murderers and they're pushed out of

James Introcaso:

society, because of that this is how they

James Introcaso:

act, and this might be what they would do.

James Introcaso:

And you might find them with, you

James Introcaso:

know, hanging out with other bandit

James Introcaso:

humanoids and things like that.

James Introcaso:

And so that is sort of the

James Introcaso:

idea behind the book, right?

James Introcaso:

Is we don't want to paint any

James Introcaso:

ancestries or sapient creatures

James Introcaso:

really with like such a broad brush.

James Introcaso:

We wanna, we want to get in there

James Introcaso:

and we want to give you the worst

James Introcaso:

of the bunch so that you can have

James Introcaso:

fun tactical encounters with.

Lucas:

yeah.

Lucas:

Yeah.

Lucas:

Something that triggers the

Lucas:

fight flight or freeze response.

Lucas:

And I, and I love that.

Lucas:

There's that, that scifi echo in

Lucas:

your voice calling them "sapients".

James Introcaso:

Yes.

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

So it's funny that comes from

James Introcaso:

my Burn Bryte experience.

James Introcaso:

We talked

Lucas:

I remember that one.

James Introcaso:

yeah, yeah.

James Introcaso:

A lot about creatures.

James Introcaso:

And and Darcy Ross who is a scientist

James Introcaso:

and was a game designer on that said,

James Introcaso:

you know, we call a lot of things

James Introcaso:

sentient and a lot of creatures

James Introcaso:

sentient, but sentient just means

James Introcaso:

you are aware you exist in the world.

James Introcaso:

So like plants aren't necessarily

James Introcaso:

sentient, but like my dog is sentient.

James Introcaso:

And, and we don't think of it that way.

James Introcaso:

Sapience is really what we mean

James Introcaso:

often when we say sentience.

James Introcaso:

And of course the way language works

James Introcaso:

now, sentience also means sapience so,

James Introcaso:

not to be too pedantic on this show.

Lucas:

Right.

Lucas:

Well, I, I mean, it is kind of my brand

Lucas:

uh, but now, and I did want to dig into

Lucas:

that a little bit before we got to our

Lucas:

specific monster, because being this

Lucas:

careful about language versus when it,

Lucas:

especially in terms of "creature" and

Lucas:

"monster" and "sapient" and "humanoid",

Lucas:

was there anything else that you had to

Lucas:

do to kind of the core style of the way

Lucas:

things are written for fifth edition in

Lucas:

order to accommodate this choice to call

Lucas:

things by the name "creature" more often?

James Introcaso:

No, honestly,

James Introcaso:

fifth edition does use "creature"

James Introcaso:

a lot in the core rules.

James Introcaso:

And in fact, in their mechanical language,

James Introcaso:

they use "creature" a ton, right?

James Introcaso:

If you read a spell, it says, you

James Introcaso:

know, pick a creature, you can see.

James Introcaso:

And, and they'll differentiate

James Introcaso:

between creature and object.

James Introcaso:

So, you know, for a living thing,

James Introcaso:

in a non-living thing and and they

James Introcaso:

also will, we'll use a creature

James Introcaso:

outside of that context, but they'll

James Introcaso:

use monster a lot in the lore.

James Introcaso:

So it was just using creature a lot

James Introcaso:

in lore, but like I said, we don't

James Introcaso:

shy away from the word "monster"

James Introcaso:

either because of the way it's used.

James Introcaso:

And also I think.

James Introcaso:

If people see a monster on the cover

James Introcaso:

of a book, if they're D and D players,

James Introcaso:

they know what it means, they associated

James Introcaso:

immediately and that sort of thing.

James Introcaso:

So we don't want to move to

James Introcaso:

the point of accessibility.

James Introcaso:

And we also, you know, Wizards of the

James Introcaso:

Coast is taking strides forward with

James Introcaso:

what they're doing, both in terms of

James Introcaso:

the, the sensitivity with which they

James Introcaso:

approach these things, but also within

James Introcaso:

the mechanics that that they're creating.

James Introcaso:

And so we're just trying to

James Introcaso:

also do the same thing that is

James Introcaso:

happening over wizards of the coast.

James Introcaso:

You know, we're a company of eight people

James Introcaso:

that don't have like Hasbro corporate

James Introcaso:

overlords and we don't have to answer it.

James Introcaso:

So like, we can move a little

James Introcaso:

bit faster in that sense.

James Introcaso:

But it was interesting cause we were

James Introcaso:

working on our book at the same time

James Introcaso:

as, as they were working on monsters,

James Introcaso:

the multi-verse and it was like, oh

James Introcaso:

look, we thought of a lot of the same

James Introcaso:

things that we're we're going to do.

James Introcaso:

So that was a fun.

Lucas:

One of the places in

Lucas:

which this approach to monster

Lucas:

is focused very intensely is at

Lucas:

the very bottom of the adventure.

Lucas:

So if you get, and I believe this is

Lucas:

still the case, that last mine's offend

Lucas:

delver is still part of the starter set.

Lucas:

And it's still the first

Lucas:

experience that most people

Lucas:

have with Dungeons and dragons.

Lucas:

And the first encounter in lost

Lucas:

mine's a fan delver is goblin ambush.

Lucas:

And if you're not careful, it

Lucas:

is a TPK waiting to happen.

Lucas:

Goblins occupy a remarkably influential

Lucas:

place in the game relative to how

Lucas:

they're treated lore wise, to my mind.

Lucas:

And I featured a couple of different

Lucas:

goblins on the show, and I think designers

Lucas:

gravitate to goblins for this reason that

Lucas:

goblins have often been used as like the

Lucas:

first thing you fight, you hit them and

Lucas:

they turn you into level two and now you

Lucas:

can fight something more interesting.

Lucas:

So I've never been entirely comfortable

Lucas:

with goblins for that reason.

Lucas:

Looking at goblins in that lens, what

Lucas:

was it that drew you to add a whole

Lucas:

bunch of goblins to flee mortals?

James Introcaso:

One of the things is, we

James Introcaso:

wanted to make goblins more interesting.

James Introcaso:

So in terms of, foes in fifth edition,

James Introcaso:

you've got the goblin and you've got

James Introcaso:

the goblin boss and then, in Volos

James Introcaso:

more goblins appear and that sort of

James Introcaso:

thing, but we wanted to make it so

James Introcaso:

that goblins could be interesting.

James Introcaso:

And maybe you would stick with

James Introcaso:

them as the villains of your

James Introcaso:

campaign for several levels.

James Introcaso:

But also to to help flesh out like this.

James Introcaso:

Tactical nature of them, so that it's

James Introcaso:

not just, they charge it, you fully and

James Introcaso:

wait to turn into bags of hit points

James Introcaso:

and that sort of thing, and give them

James Introcaso:

interesting things to do both inside

James Introcaso:

of combat and out of combat so that

James Introcaso:

you can really, have fun and have a

James Introcaso:

memorable in counter, with goblins.

James Introcaso:

That's why our preview document,

James Introcaso:

that's coming out for flee.

James Introcaso:

Mortals has a lot of goblins in it.

James Introcaso:

And the other thing is, you know,

James Introcaso:

we're, we're famous for putting a

James Introcaso:

little fourth edition into our stuff.

James Introcaso:

So.

James Introcaso:

For the addition has what are called

James Introcaso:

roles for all of the creatures, right?

James Introcaso:

And the roles are things like soldier,

James Introcaso:

which is kind of like a tank or lurker,

James Introcaso:

which is sort of like a, you know, you

James Introcaso:

hide in the shadows and then you pull out,

James Introcaso:

you come out and attack or brute, which

James Introcaso:

is your bag of hit points that hits really

James Introcaso:

hard and has some other cool features.

James Introcaso:

And so we've brought back

James Introcaso:

monster roles to to use those,

James Introcaso:

to help you build an encounter.

James Introcaso:

Because if you look at your thing and

James Introcaso:

say, oh yeah, I'm going to use all of

James Introcaso:

these creatures and you can say, okay,

James Introcaso:

well, I don't want it to just be all

James Introcaso:

artillery because when my players run up

James Introcaso:

into melee, The artillery won't really

James Introcaso:

be able to use their coolest things.

James Introcaso:

So I'm going to have some artillery back

James Introcaso:

here, and then in the frontline, I'm

James Introcaso:

going to have some, soldiers and brutes

James Introcaso:

to stop them and that sort of thing,

James Introcaso:

and goblins have that capability now.

James Introcaso:

And so goblins are dangerous,

James Introcaso:

they're crafty, and they also

James Introcaso:

can make like really good allies.

James Introcaso:

So one of the things this book has is

James Introcaso:

creatures that will adventure with you.

James Introcaso:

And so in the goblin section,

James Introcaso:

there's a goblin retainer, which

James Introcaso:

is a follower who joins your party

James Introcaso:

and we'll, we'll come with you.

James Introcaso:

that's a big, important thing for us

James Introcaso:

is again, we wanted to say like, are a

James Introcaso:

bunch of different aspects of this sort

James Introcaso:

of creature, particularly with humanoids.

James Introcaso:

And here's a bunch of different

James Introcaso:

versions of them that you

James Introcaso:

can use as allies or as foes.

James Introcaso:

And you'll create a fun and interesting

James Introcaso:

encounter with them that will be

James Introcaso:

memorable, but also will like increase

James Introcaso:

your respect for the goblin a little bit.

James Introcaso:

So that's our hope.

Lucas:

There is a conversation

Lucas:

here about how about goblins is

Lucas:

representations of the enemy other and,

James Introcaso:

Sure.

Lucas:

exotic races.

Lucas:

And I would love to hit on that

Lucas:

if you're comfortable with it.

Lucas:

But I

James Introcaso:

I would.

James Introcaso:

I would also like to acknowledge,

James Introcaso:

that it's two, white guys, talking

James Introcaso:

about that in that sense too.

Lucas:

Yeah.

Lucas:

And again, I wear my biases on my

Lucas:

sleeve with this show and part of the

Lucas:

ways that I try to control for it is

Lucas:

to talk to the people who designed the

Lucas:

monster itself and just look at the

Lucas:

conversation in the scope of how it's

Lucas:

represented in a single step block.

Lucas:

So there's a lot here that we can't do.

Lucas:

And there's a lot here that just relies

Lucas:

on kind of tracing influences and seeing

Lucas:

where this stuff has come from and being

Lucas:

honest about what we're working with.

Lucas:

and actually that kind of leads me

Lucas:

into my point because we therefore

Lucas:

needed need to step blocks of work

Lucas:

with, and I was particularly attracted

Lucas:

to the idea of the goblin war spider.

Lucas:

So paint me a picture,

Lucas:

James, what is this thing?

James Introcaso:

The war spider is

James Introcaso:

if you a picture return of the king

James Introcaso:

and the Ollyphants coming in, and

James Introcaso:

and laying waste to the white city

James Introcaso:

Gondor in, in Lord of the rings.

James Introcaso:

Here's the deal is that, it's like that.

James Introcaso:

But instead of an elephant, bringing

James Introcaso:

in a bunch of warriors on its back,

James Introcaso:

it is a giant, enormous spider, right?

James Introcaso:

Like bigger than a giant spider, huge,

James Introcaso:

huge spider with this platform on its

James Introcaso:

back and goblins firing arrows and

James Introcaso:

throwing these little rodents called

James Introcaso:

skitterlings And then the spider can also

James Introcaso:

like flex its abdomen and fire goblins

James Introcaso:

off like warriors off into the air.

James Introcaso:

Um, And it also has blades

James Introcaso:

tied to its legs, the spider.

James Introcaso:

Um, So as it's going through it

James Introcaso:

can, it can blade, blade you up.

James Introcaso:

And so, yeah, so that is the,

James Introcaso:

the war spider in a nutshell.

James Introcaso:

The other thing is that when

James Introcaso:

it dies a swarm of baby spiders

James Introcaso:

burst forth from its abdomen.

Lucas:

gross

James Introcaso:

so, so yeah, and this

Lucas:

James, why have you done this?

James Introcaso:

that was Matt's

James Introcaso:

idea and but I fully endorse it.

James Introcaso:

I do wanna, I do want to underline

James Introcaso:

that I'm not going to, I'm not

James Introcaso:

going to throw him under the bus

James Introcaso:

cause I was like, "That's the

James Introcaso:

coolest thing I've ever heard."

James Introcaso:

But so, and one of the things about me is

James Introcaso:

that in real life I am an arachnophobe.

James Introcaso:

And and sort of like Batman is scared

James Introcaso:

of bats and wants his enemies to

James Introcaso:

also fear bats, I want all players

James Introcaso:

everywhere to share my fear of spiders.

James Introcaso:

And so that is what the war is spider

James Introcaso:

really is, is you know, this idea

James Introcaso:

of, we wanted a lot of different

James Introcaso:

creatures to have like a war

James Introcaso:

beast, what do they ride into war?

James Introcaso:

And so the war spider is inspired by

James Introcaso:

a Warhammer figure actually that, you

James Introcaso:

know, D and D miniatures are very cool.

James Introcaso:

But if you look at like

James Introcaso:

Warhammer miniatures, there's

James Introcaso:

some weird stuff going on.

James Introcaso:

And it was you

Lucas:

clearly occupying a

Lucas:

different they're clearly playing

Lucas:

on a different level there or

James Introcaso:

Yes.

James Introcaso:

Yes, exactly.

James Introcaso:

Right.

James Introcaso:

Well, and that's their

James Introcaso:

whole business is minis.

James Introcaso:

And so that's, there's this miniature

James Introcaso:

that is a spider with a platform

James Introcaso:

on its back and a bunch of goblins.

James Introcaso:

And Matt used it in one of his

James Introcaso:

streamed games and we were like, we

James Introcaso:

should make that an actual creature.

James Introcaso:

And so that is what happens with the,

James Introcaso:

with the war spider, a lot of fun.

Lucas:

That's remarkable.

Lucas:

So there's two influences

Lucas:

already that we're working with.

Lucas:

One is just you as an author:

Lucas:

here's the thing that I hate.

Lucas:

And the other is like, here is the

Lucas:

toy that I had lying around to,

Lucas:

to fit it onto the table itself to

Lucas:

carry the game in the moment, which

Lucas:

I think is how we got a couple of,

Lucas:

some of the classic D and D monsters.

Lucas:

The rust monster is the most

Lucas:

notable example that comes to mind.

Lucas:

But the other thing that I wanted to bring

Lucas:

into this is we're talking about roles and

Lucas:

we're talking about mounts in artillery,

Lucas:

and there's a whole lot of stuff here that

Lucas:

has to do with the way wars are fought.

Lucas:

And there may be there, there,

Lucas:

there are certainly other

Lucas:

capsules for culture and value.

Lucas:

And the, the things that, that Groups

Lucas:

of people have access to., could you

Lucas:

look back into history and I would trust

Lucas:

Matt and MCD to do this and point to

Lucas:

real world armies or battle tactics that

Lucas:

relied on this kind of an engine of war?

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

Well, I think right when and taking

James Introcaso:

the elephant comparison, right?

James Introcaso:

Like thinking of Hannibal crossing the

James Introcaso:

Alps on elephants to invade Rome, I think

James Introcaso:

is probably like the most one of the

James Introcaso:

most sort of like talked about examples.

James Introcaso:

And one reason it's talked

James Introcaso:

about is I think like that's

James Introcaso:

a shock and awe tactic, right?

James Introcaso:

Elephants classically, when they get

James Introcaso:

scared are like dangerous to be around,

James Introcaso:

let alone try to ride somewhere.

James Introcaso:

So it's but, but that idea of

James Introcaso:

like, you know, we have this

James Introcaso:

really one of the things that.

James Introcaso:

Many many, many people fear, right?

James Introcaso:

Like arachnophobia easily is in the

James Introcaso:

top three fears globally of people.

James Introcaso:

We have this thing we're

James Introcaso:

riding into battle.

James Introcaso:

It's part of the shock and awe experience.

James Introcaso:

I think you see a lot, even

James Introcaso:

in modern warfare, right?

James Introcaso:

Like we, we want to have the

James Introcaso:

biggest bombs or the biggest

James Introcaso:

tank or the fastest fighter jet.

James Introcaso:

A lot of that is not necessarily

James Introcaso:

about it's it's used as

James Introcaso:

a deterrent almost right.

James Introcaso:

Of like a don't mess with us.

James Introcaso:

You might think that we're little

James Introcaso:

in small, but look at, look at this.

James Introcaso:

We have the biggest spider.

James Introcaso:

And

Lucas:

a value to it beyond the

Lucas:

intrinsically it's the fastest

Lucas:

fighter and the biggest spider.

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

Yeah, exactly.

James Introcaso:

Exactly.

James Introcaso:

So, you know, I think there

James Introcaso:

is there's a lot for that.

James Introcaso:

And obviously we do

James Introcaso:

turn to war quite a bit.

James Introcaso:

And the reason we do that is because,

James Introcaso:

you know, Dungeons and Dragons being

James Introcaso:

the game that it is, you know, look

James Introcaso:

at 90% of the class features that you

James Introcaso:

get look at there's a whole book of

James Introcaso:

stat blocks for creatures, look at

James Introcaso:

what most of the stats are telling

James Introcaso:

you that the game is about, is a game

James Introcaso:

that has a lot to do with the combat

James Introcaso:

encounter and the combat experience.

James Introcaso:

So we do look to that, but

James Introcaso:

we want to acknowledge right

James Introcaso:

in this book, that goblins.

James Introcaso:

More than going to war and often

James Introcaso:

they are, you know, like I said, most

James Introcaso:

goblins I think are just like most

James Introcaso:

people, they don't want to go to war.

James Introcaso:

They have no desire to and when they

James Introcaso:

take up arms, it's probably to defend

James Introcaso:

someone and that the goblet, but the

James Introcaso:

goblins who are going to cross swords

James Introcaso:

with adventurers are probably thieves

James Introcaso:

and murderers and bandits and you know,

James Introcaso:

all that kind of bad stuff that, you

James Introcaso:

know, again, they might be working with

James Introcaso:

humans, they might be working with any

James Introcaso:

other elves dwarves, that kind of thing.

Lucas:

Is there something that

Lucas:

you added to the worst spider stat

Lucas:

block that you're really proud of?

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

So I I did most of the,

James Introcaso:

the war spider stat block.

James Introcaso:

So Matt created the baby burst, which is

James Introcaso:

amazing, and that is what it's called.

James Introcaso:

But so I really love the ride

James Introcaso:

launcher which is just a trait

James Introcaso:

that they have that when a goblin

James Introcaso:

or any allied rider, actually.

James Introcaso:

So it doesn't need to be a goblin.

James Introcaso:

You can use the war spider as you

James Introcaso:

know, if you want to remove it

James Introcaso:

from goblins, you totally can.

James Introcaso:

And so any allied rider that jumps off

James Introcaso:

the back of the spider has a long jump

James Introcaso:

of 30 feet and a high jump of 15 feet.

James Introcaso:

They land safely in the first melee

James Introcaso:

attack that they make has advantage

James Introcaso:

after leaping off the spider.

James Introcaso:

And so, yeah, and that's like speaks

James Introcaso:

to the fact that this is a mount,

James Introcaso:

it's, it's trained to launch people

James Introcaso:

off of it and and, and work with them.

James Introcaso:

You know, as another trait called

James Introcaso:

wide to back, which lets essentially

James Introcaso:

lets two creatures stand in a

James Introcaso:

space instead of one, so it can

James Introcaso:

carry more creatures on its back.

James Introcaso:

And then I do, you know, the bladed legs.

James Introcaso:

I was really proud of just, just

James Introcaso:

cause I think that's pretty metal.

James Introcaso:

That's really all,

Lucas:

Yeah, we've got a

Lucas:

spider and we've got all,

Lucas:

this scrap metal lying around.

Lucas:

We're tying stuff to its legs, man.

Lucas:

This is, this is happening.

James Introcaso:

exactly, exactly.

James Introcaso:

You know.

Lucas:

Oh gosh, aesthetically,

Lucas:

is there anything?

Lucas:

Hmm.

Lucas:

So the trouble with the monster manuals

Lucas:

is that you're trying to write this

Lucas:

in a, in a way that any DM can use.

Lucas:

But is there is there an aesthetic or

Lucas:

or kind of a, kind of a look that you're

Lucas:

going for, or a genre that you're pulling

Lucas:

from, with the war spider and the way it's

Lucas:

laid out or the way it looks in your head?

James Introcaso:

yeah, so that's

James Introcaso:

a, that is a good question.

James Introcaso:

I think for me There are I used to work

James Introcaso:

for National Geographic and I promise

James Introcaso:

this is going to answer your question.

Lucas:

All right.

Lucas:

I'm on for this ride.

Lucas:

Here we go.

James Introcaso:

And there's a

James Introcaso:

show on National Geographic that I

James Introcaso:

helped promote called Brain Games.

James Introcaso:

And it's, you know, it's like a fun

James Introcaso:

show you watch and they do games too.

James Introcaso:

And, and you see how your brain

James Introcaso:

reacts and they tell you about it.

James Introcaso:

So one of the things they'll do is

James Introcaso:

they'll say, alright, watch your TV.

James Introcaso:

We're going to run through a

James Introcaso:

bunch of images very quickly.

James Introcaso:

And they do do, do, do, do, do,

James Introcaso:

do all these images at a clip.

James Introcaso:

And they'll say like, "Hey, did

James Introcaso:

you see the yellow umbrella?"

James Introcaso:

No, you didn't.

James Introcaso:

The images went too fast.

James Introcaso:

Did you see the, the blue pants?

James Introcaso:

No, that, you know, and then they'll say,

James Introcaso:

okay, we're going to do it again with a

James Introcaso:

different series of images and they do it.

James Introcaso:

And they have, again, a lot of mundane

James Introcaso:

images, but within it, they put images

James Introcaso:

of spiders and snakes and your brain.

James Introcaso:

I can pick those out.

James Introcaso:

And the reason your brain can pick those

James Introcaso:

out is because we evolved in a, in such

James Introcaso:

a way that people who are already scared

James Introcaso:

of snakes and spiders had a higher

James Introcaso:

survival rate when we were, you know,

James Introcaso:

humans who were living outside or hunting

James Introcaso:

and gathering more often than we are now

James Introcaso:

because we avoided venomous creatures.

James Introcaso:

And so like, there is already something

James Introcaso:

hardwired in evolution in our brains

James Introcaso:

about spiders for us to fear them,

James Introcaso:

not everybody, but, but many people

James Introcaso:

like genetically fear spiders.

James Introcaso:

And, and it's a good thing because

James Introcaso:

there might be less of us if we did not.

James Introcaso:

So that is all to say the war

James Introcaso:

spider has a look that is very

James Introcaso:

similar to a real world spider.

James Introcaso:

Because we wanted to invoke that,

James Introcaso:

like you turn the page and you're

James Introcaso:

like, oh, what is that reaction?

James Introcaso:

And I remember the first time I

James Introcaso:

saw the war spider, I had like

James Introcaso:

a like, whoa, what are we doing?

James Introcaso:

And for a while, I actually couldn't go

James Introcaso:

into the artist chat because they were

James Introcaso:

like sharing pictures of giant jury

James Introcaso:

Angela's and things like that to be like,

James Introcaso:

yeah, no, the legs should look like this.

James Introcaso:

And the mandibles should look like this.

James Introcaso:

And the but the thing that it has, right?

James Introcaso:

Like the thing that makes it iconic

James Introcaso:

is it has all of this gear on it.

James Introcaso:

So it's got this big platform on the

James Introcaso:

back and that's really iconic so that

James Introcaso:

it can hold as many writers as possible.

James Introcaso:

And then the legs you know,

James Introcaso:

it's not just a metal strap to

James Introcaso:

the legs because the goblins.

James Introcaso:

Like the spider.

James Introcaso:

They treat it well, they don't

James Introcaso:

want the spider to come eat them.

James Introcaso:

And so the, the the blades

James Introcaso:

are like first, she didn't

James Introcaso:

leather and tied to the leather.

James Introcaso:

And then it's, it's almost like the spider

James Introcaso:

is wearing little boots that allow its

James Introcaso:

feet to be free so that it can still

James Introcaso:

grip to stuff and everything, you know?

James Introcaso:

So like picture, picture of a

James Introcaso:

boot that just covered your calf

James Introcaso:

within a blade strapped to it.

James Introcaso:

So that's kind of the thing.

James Introcaso:

Now, the goblins themselves

James Introcaso:

have more of a distinct look.

James Introcaso:

So we wanted to create like

James Introcaso:

our own look for goblins.

Lucas:

Yeah.

Lucas:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

I think there's

James Introcaso:

some things about goblins that

James Introcaso:

people can interpret certainly

James Introcaso:

as like anti-Semitic right.

James Introcaso:

I

Lucas:

That's been one of the

Lucas:

big issues that came up before

James Introcaso:

yeah,

Lucas:

it's fraut.

James Introcaso:

It is, it is.

James Introcaso:

And I certainly understand it.

James Introcaso:

And so one of the things that we

James Introcaso:

did was like, okay, what if instead

James Introcaso:

of a traditional, like goblin nose

James Introcaso:

we went with goblins, have a more

James Introcaso:

pronounced sort of jaw and an almost

James Introcaso:

protrudes kind of like a canine thing.

James Introcaso:

And their nose is actually kind

James Introcaso:

of small and sits a top of that.

James Introcaso:

And then what if goblins also, like

James Introcaso:

what if instead of caves all the time

James Introcaso:

goblins were like arboreal, right?

James Introcaso:

What, what, what would that look

James Introcaso:

like if they lived more in trees?

James Introcaso:

If they had evolved from creatures

James Introcaso:

that had lived in trees, like maybe

James Introcaso:

they have like sweet prehensile

James Introcaso:

tales, or maybe they have, you know,

James Introcaso:

what, maybe they have a posable toes.

James Introcaso:

And that's where we ended up is that they

James Introcaso:

have opposable toes and these like sort

James Introcaso:

of longer arms that make them look more

James Introcaso:

arboreal and they are also, they got fur.

James Introcaso:

They have body hair.

James Introcaso:

And so there and still, you can

James Introcaso:

still look at them and you still

James Introcaso:

know that there are goblin, they

James Introcaso:

still have sort of some traditional

James Introcaso:

elf ears that goblins often have.

James Introcaso:

And, and and you know, their skin

James Introcaso:

is greenish, but it's fur covered.

James Introcaso:

And so, like, we wanted to

James Introcaso:

make our own look for goblins.

James Introcaso:

And I think it, it turned out pretty well.

James Introcaso:

So, you know, you'll see a

James Introcaso:

lot of them in the packet.

James Introcaso:

We, we have them, so, yeah, that's cool.

Lucas:

First of all,

Lucas:

who did the art on this?

Lucas:

Or, or did you have an artist

Lucas:

that was assigned to goblins and

Lucas:

the war spiders specifically?

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

So the war spider specifically

James Introcaso:

was made by Nick Despain.

James Introcaso:

And Nick is on staff here at MCM.

James Introcaso:

So we have three artists on staff and we

James Introcaso:

also work with contracted artists as well.

James Introcaso:

And then the goblin look all three

James Introcaso:

of our artists developed together.

James Introcaso:

So, Jason Hazenauer, who is

James Introcaso:

the art director, he's the head

James Introcaso:

of the art department here.

James Introcaso:

And Grace Chung and Nick Despain

James Introcaso:

all work together to create

James Introcaso:

the look for the goblins.

James Introcaso:

And, and we went through like

James Introcaso:

a concept art phase, right?

James Introcaso:

Like there's a lot of art that no one will

James Introcaso:

ever see of, of our, well, I mean, you

James Introcaso:

might maybe we'll release like a concept

James Introcaso:

art book or something that would be up to

James Introcaso:

the art team if they wanted to do that.

James Introcaso:

But it was really fun because

James Introcaso:

they would be like, well, what

James Introcaso:

does everybody think of this?

James Introcaso:

And then the whole staff would

James Introcaso:

weigh in and say, oh, I, you

James Introcaso:

know, I think this, I think that.

James Introcaso:

And the art team would say like, oh,

James Introcaso:

okay, well, we're going to go back where

James Introcaso:

they'd say like, you're wrong, James don't

James Introcaso:

w we're going to keep going whatever.

James Introcaso:

And and so that was you know, that

James Introcaso:

was how this all came together.

James Introcaso:

And that was how the war

James Introcaso:

spider came together too.

James Introcaso:

There was a lot of talk about like, you

James Introcaso:

know, should it be more fantastical?

James Introcaso:

Should it be more, it should, it, should

James Introcaso:

it itself have some of the features

James Introcaso:

of the goblin we were developing.

James Introcaso:

And, and all that kind of stuff.

James Introcaso:

And it turns out the answer was no, we

James Introcaso:

wanted it to be like a big old spider.

James Introcaso:

And it's the worst thing possible

James Introcaso:

that's ever happened to me.

Lucas:

Well, doing all this work

Lucas:

for a new, a new look and a new

Lucas:

design for goblins in general.

Lucas:

Did that come with a section of

Lucas:

lore that you guys had to write

Lucas:

or a new take on it that ended up

Lucas:

in a story section of this work?

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

So we have not a ton, you know, we have a

James Introcaso:

lot of staff blocks and we have about the

James Introcaso:

same amount of lore as you would expect

James Introcaso:

to see in like the fifth edition monster

Lucas:

So a few hundred words per.

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

Yeah, exactly.

James Introcaso:

But we do, our lore is I would

James Introcaso:

say different than what you

James Introcaso:

would find in the monster manual.

James Introcaso:

You know, like I said, we start by, by

James Introcaso:

talking really not about the goblins,

James Introcaso:

you fight, but about goblins in general.

James Introcaso:

And we say like all humanoid ancestries,

James Introcaso:

many different goblins, many goblin

James Introcaso:

cultures, each with their own ideals.

James Introcaso:

We talk about that goblins

James Introcaso:

you know, are one of the most

James Introcaso:

numerous humanoids in the world.

James Introcaso:

And they can be found in trees,

James Introcaso:

ending caves and all over the place.

James Introcaso:

So we did do a little bit of our own

James Introcaso:

sort of what our interpretation of the

James Introcaso:

lore is and how we'd like to use it at

James Introcaso:

M and our worlds and stuff like that.

James Introcaso:

And then we talk, then we get into like,

James Introcaso:

you know, in the third paragraph, we

James Introcaso:

start talking about like, all right,

James Introcaso:

so the goblins who face adventures in

James Introcaso:

combat are like this, then we go down

James Introcaso:

a little bit more and we talk about

James Introcaso:

heroic goblins who who go on adventures

James Introcaso:

themselves, what are they like?

James Introcaso:

And that sort of thing.

James Introcaso:

So, and then we also get into

James Introcaso:

there's a special goblin.

James Introcaso:

So Matt did a video a long time

James Introcaso:

ago on action-oriented creatures.

Lucas:

I've referenced it several

Lucas:

times on the show actually.

James Introcaso:

oh, excellent.

James Introcaso:

So we have an, so we have a lot of

James Introcaso:

action-oriented monsters in the book.

James Introcaso:

And in our preview the idea of

James Introcaso:

action-oriented monsters is we

James Introcaso:

wanted to give you, like, not just,

James Introcaso:

Hey, here's an action-oriented

James Introcaso:

goblin, here's an action-oriented,

James Introcaso:

you know, Overmind or whatever.

James Introcaso:

We wanted to give you like, here's

James Introcaso:

the goblin boss and here is the

James Introcaso:

action-oriented goblin boss.

James Introcaso:

Her name is Queen Bargnott and here's

James Introcaso:

the lore about her and here's what

James Introcaso:

she's about and that kind of thing.

James Introcaso:

So we give you lore for this one

James Introcaso:

specific goblin leader named Queen

James Introcaso:

Bargnott then of course, you know, if

James Introcaso:

you want to change Queen Bargnott into

James Introcaso:

a different NPC, you're welcome to do

James Introcaso:

that and it's and use her stat block.

Lucas:

Giant is another one of those

Lucas:

words that gets a little bit more

Lucas:

mileage in the monsters monster

Lucas:

design space than it would elsewhere.

Lucas:

So what kind of scale are we talking here?

Lucas:

Just in terms of the monster itself and in

Lucas:

the places in which it's most effective?

James Introcaso:

/sure.

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

So, so the war spider is huge

James Introcaso:

in, in those terms, right?

James Introcaso:

Your traditional guy giant spider

James Introcaso:

is large in the monster manual.

James Introcaso:

So, so huge.

James Introcaso:

Our war spider is just

James Introcaso:

a little bit bigger.

James Introcaso:

And so, so these, again, this is this

James Introcaso:

is a creature that is when used in

James Introcaso:

combat, usually like being made to

James Introcaso:

either defend against a law, a group

James Introcaso:

of powerful people, or being used

James Introcaso:

to like assault a compound or, or

James Introcaso:

another army or something like that.

James Introcaso:

So you probably won't find.

James Introcaso:

War spider in every community of goblins,

James Introcaso:

goblins who are invading places might

James Introcaso:

have them or those who are worried

James Introcaso:

about being invaded might have them.

James Introcaso:

And, and that sort of thing,

James Introcaso:

it's kind of like, not everyone

James Introcaso:

owns a tank or has the space

Lucas:

Don't

James Introcaso:

Yeah, yeah.

James Introcaso:

Or even like tanks aren't

James Introcaso:

effective in every battle.

James Introcaso:

That's also the idea, right?

James Introcaso:

This would be in a place that

James Introcaso:

could accommodate a big

James Introcaso:

creature that can run around.

James Introcaso:

They have a an action called Trample

James Introcaso:

where they move their speed and

James Introcaso:

everything that they run over with

James Introcaso:

their bladed leg, they get to attack.

James Introcaso:

And so it's like, you, you need some

James Introcaso:

room, you want some room for the

James Introcaso:

spider and you ideally, you want

James Introcaso:

some cool stuff that can be climbed.

James Introcaso:

You know, you want ledges and, and

James Introcaso:

because that's the fun of a spider is

James Introcaso:

that they can get to places that, you

James Introcaso:

know, like an elephant can't climb up

James Introcaso:

the side of a cliff or a wall, but, oh

James Introcaso:

man, if they had these war spiders at

James Introcaso:

Helm's Deep, let me tell you things would

James Introcaso:

be a little different things would be a

James Introcaso:

little different in Lord of the Rings.

Lucas:

Is this meant to operate in kind

Lucas:

of the M CDM broader theater of war?

Lucas:

Is this like built for a thing that you

Lucas:

guys do specifically, or do you expect

Lucas:

people to just kind of have these big

Lucas:

theaters built into their games already?

James Introcaso:

It's a great question.

James Introcaso:

So this this book is a little different

James Introcaso:

from Strongholds & Followers and Kingdoms

James Introcaso:

& Warfare in that like Strongholds

James Introcaso:

& Followers and Kingdoms & Warfare are these

James Introcaso:

things that you can add on to your game.

James Introcaso:

Probably pretty obvious from the

James Introcaso:

titles, what they add to your game.

James Introcaso:

This is a book that we are pitching:

James Introcaso:

you can use it in addition to your

James Introcaso:

monster manual or in place of.

James Introcaso:

The idea here is we're not giving you

James Introcaso:

a new, entirely new creatures, right?

James Introcaso:

Every, like we said, everybody's heard

James Introcaso:

of a goblin before they've you probably

James Introcaso:

fought them if they've ever played an RPG.

James Introcaso:

So the idea behind our book

James Introcaso:

is that you could use it.

James Introcaso:

Now there are also wholly original

James Introcaso:

creatures in here as well that, to add

James Introcaso:

some fun and excitement, and you can use

James Introcaso:

our goblins with the goblins, from the

James Introcaso:

monster manual, if you want to, right?

James Introcaso:

Like you can mix match, you can do

James Introcaso:

whatever you want, but the intent,

James Introcaso:

our design intent is that you only

James Introcaso:

need this book if you want to run

James Introcaso:

the, the game as far as where are

James Introcaso:

you going to get your creatures from?

James Introcaso:

So.

James Introcaso:

That said it, of course does

James Introcaso:

some things at differently.

James Introcaso:

Because we are MCDM and we

James Introcaso:

want to add some things.

James Introcaso:

So one of the first things that it does

James Introcaso:

is we add these companion creatures

James Introcaso:

retainers for humanoids that are like,

James Introcaso:

you know, people who follow you around

James Introcaso:

and the player who is the mentor to the

James Introcaso:

retainer controls the retainer, right?

James Introcaso:

Like you have a stat block, it's much

James Introcaso:

simpler to run than a character sheet, so

James Introcaso:

you can run them along at the same time.

James Introcaso:

And we've improved the retainer

James Introcaso:

rules from Strongholds & Followers.

James Introcaso:

And so our plan is to like revise

James Introcaso:

them, you know, keep, keep going.

James Introcaso:

And then when we're happy with them,

James Introcaso:

we'll probably go back and revise,

James Introcaso:

Strongholds & Followers to do there.

James Introcaso:

We also have companion creatures.

James Introcaso:

And companion creatures are the

James Introcaso:

same thing, but for non humanoids

James Introcaso:

what you might say, sentient,

James Introcaso:

but not sapient creatures.

James Introcaso:

So, you know, owlbears and

James Introcaso:

gelatinous cube, companion,

James Introcaso:

and all that kind of stuff.

James Introcaso:

We put out a bunch of companions

James Introcaso:

already with our Beastheart

James Introcaso:

class when that came out.

James Introcaso:

So you, you get a preview of that.

James Introcaso:

We're adding more of those to

James Introcaso:

that book, new, like entirely

James Introcaso:

new in this book will be minions.

James Introcaso:

So we've been working on like

James Introcaso:

it's super fun to take on a whole.

James Introcaso:

Good zombies.

James Introcaso:

And so we wanted to be able to give you

James Introcaso:

that feel of like cutting through a field

James Introcaso:

of zombies or you know, skeletons or if

James Introcaso:

you're higher level, maybe fire giants.

James Introcaso:

And so, so this idea of

James Introcaso:

minions and how do they work?

James Introcaso:

Because in fifth edition, fourth

James Introcaso:

edition, it was, they had one hit

James Introcaso:

point, you hit them and you move

James Introcaso:

on to the next blah, blah, blah.

James Introcaso:

Pretty easy.

James Introcaso:

Fifth edition has some rules

James Introcaso:

that make that more difficult.

James Introcaso:

So like, for instance, the sleep

James Introcaso:

spell very effective against minions.

James Introcaso:

If everybody just has one hip

James Introcaso:

point, you know, things like a wall

James Introcaso:

of fire that just automatically

James Introcaso:

do damage magic missile, right?

James Introcaso:

Like you're laying waste

James Introcaso:

to millions in a way.

James Introcaso:

It's through play testing, we

James Introcaso:

have learned is not as effective.

James Introcaso:

So we have different ways

James Introcaso:

of, of tackling that.

James Introcaso:

And there is a, and then we have the

James Introcaso:

action-oriented creatures, which are

James Introcaso:

creatures meant to either be fought

James Introcaso:

alone or creatures that are meant

James Introcaso:

to be fought like as the leader of

James Introcaso:

a band in a climactic encounter.

James Introcaso:

And they have a couple of you know,

James Introcaso:

underlings around them defending them

James Introcaso:

and that sort of thing teammates.

James Introcaso:

So, you know, that's, those are the,

James Introcaso:

those are the sort of the big things

James Introcaso:

we're bringing along with a couple

James Introcaso:

of little innovations, like we're

James Introcaso:

moving CR to the top, right corner of

James Introcaso:

the stat I don't know, you know, and

James Introcaso:

creature rolls and things like that.

James Introcaso:

We'll probably have some new

James Introcaso:

encounter building rules to try to

James Introcaso:

make encounter building a little

James Introcaso:

easier and and that sort of thing,

James Introcaso:

but that's, you know, this is mostly

James Introcaso:

about giving you really cool monsters

James Introcaso:

to, to run in, in combat encounters

James Introcaso:

so that you, you and your players.

James Introcaso:

The most enjoyment there.

James Introcaso:

And one of the things that we're doing

James Introcaso:

right is we've learned some lessons.

James Introcaso:

We tried to do that in

James Introcaso:

kingdoms and warfare.

James Introcaso:

We ended up with these massive,

James Introcaso:

massive stack blocks that went

James Introcaso:

across two pages and it was like,

James Introcaso:

okay, we're going to pair that down.

James Introcaso:

We're going to, we're

James Introcaso:

going to make it simpler.

James Introcaso:

Everything you need is on one page.

James Introcaso:

But we're also committed to like, we

James Introcaso:

don't want to give you a lot of spells.

James Introcaso:

So you have to look up

James Introcaso:

to shorten a stat block.

James Introcaso:

So, you know, and again, this

James Introcaso:

is the thing that comes up in

James Introcaso:

monsters of the multi-verse.

James Introcaso:

You know, we're, we're giving people

James Introcaso:

more bespoke, custom features that

James Introcaso:

are right there in the stat block.

Lucas:

I want to park in the relationship

Lucas:

to nature because we've, you know,

Lucas:

you have the Beastheart, you have

Lucas:

companions, you have mounts and you have

Lucas:

your own work with National Geographic.

Lucas:

So, my work as a designer has spilled

Lucas:

over into the intersection of, of tabletop

Lucas:

role-playing games and natural history and

Lucas:

how we kind of relate to those together.

Lucas:

I wonder if the, the goblins and

Lucas:

the war spider tell us anything to

Lucas:

your mind and maybe to the, to the

Lucas:

team at M CDM about how heroes and

Lucas:

villains relate to the natural world.

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

I think, you know, it's, it's interesting,

James Introcaso:

especially right now we're living.

James Introcaso:

In a time where nature is in trouble

James Introcaso:

and in a way that nature is starting to

James Introcaso:

hit back against humanity to, to sort

James Introcaso:

of like, Hey, you got to stop burning

James Introcaso:

those fossil fuels or, or, or you will

James Introcaso:

be wiped from the face of the earth.

James Introcaso:

And it's scary.

James Introcaso:

And I think I like, you know, so

James Introcaso:

I think about every day sort of

James Introcaso:

humanity's relationship to nature

James Introcaso:

in that respect, but also our

James Introcaso:

relationship to nature in that.

James Introcaso:

Like, I think we often think of

James Introcaso:

ourselves, especially if we live

James Introcaso:

in cities and, and drive cars and

James Introcaso:

whatever like that, we're separate

James Introcaso:

that we are somehow not part of nature.

James Introcaso:

It's wild because we are right.

James Introcaso:

Like we're living,

James Introcaso:

breathing, farting creatures.

James Introcaso:

And, and so we have this connection

James Introcaso:

to this world that has made us.

James Introcaso:

And I think sometimes we, we separate

James Introcaso:

ourselves from that in a bad way.

James Introcaso:

Like, oh, we have to save the earth.

James Introcaso:

And we don't think about

James Introcaso:

like, we have to save us.

James Introcaso:

That's what we're talking about.

James Introcaso:

It's not like an act of good will

James Introcaso:

we're doing, it's a it's self

James Introcaso:

preservation when we save the earth.

James Introcaso:

And so I think when you think

James Introcaso:

about it that way All of

James Introcaso:

these things go hand in hand.

James Introcaso:

And so when I think about heroes and

James Introcaso:

when I like working with nature, I

James Introcaso:

think often we see in fantasy movies,

James Introcaso:

this idea that like the heroes are the

James Introcaso:

ones who they're not mining, right?

James Introcaso:

Like they're not pillaging the earth.

James Introcaso:

And and that kind of thing,

James Introcaso:

they're, they're going out there

James Introcaso:

and they're working with the ents

James Introcaso:

to destroy Isengard for instance.

James Introcaso:

That kind of thing.

James Introcaso:

And I think it's interesting to

James Introcaso:

have villains who are not the

James Introcaso:

ones who are doing that, who

James Introcaso:

are like, Hey, see this spider?

James Introcaso:

We actually treat this spider really well.

James Introcaso:

And that's why this spider works with

James Introcaso:

us, not because we're like, we're

James Introcaso:

mean to it and we're kicking it and

James Introcaso:

we're whipping it or what, like that,

James Introcaso:

that would never work a huge spider

James Introcaso:

like that, that we would just eat.

James Introcaso:

And so it means that goblins,

James Introcaso:

even the ones who are going to be

James Introcaso:

villains in this book have this

James Introcaso:

relationship with nature that is deep.

James Introcaso:

And, and one that if you're riding a war

James Introcaso:

spider you understand, and is probably

James Introcaso:

important because you have friends who

James Introcaso:

are tied to this, but it's also something

James Introcaso:

that is that, that is worth defending.

James Introcaso:

And so I think you know, there's scenarios

James Introcaso:

in this book where it could be that like,

James Introcaso:

Hey, you adventurers from the big city

James Introcaso:

who are out here defending your mine;

James Introcaso:

have you ever thought about what all of

James Introcaso:

that runoff is doing to us down here in

James Introcaso:

our, in our community here in the woods?

James Introcaso:

And it's like, wow,

James Introcaso:

that's, that's cool stuff.

James Introcaso:

And maybe you can get the players who

James Introcaso:

are playing these heroes to think twice

James Introcaso:

before they just go in with guns blazing.

James Introcaso:

And so, that's you know, I hope

James Introcaso:

that answered your question.

Lucas:

It did.

Lucas:

Yeah.

Lucas:

That kind of turn from applying a heroic

Lucas:

attribute to, to to a creature that's

Lucas:

functioning in the role of the villain

Lucas:

for the purposes of the story and all the

Lucas:

questions that makes you ask as a player.

James Introcaso:

So if you are

James Introcaso:

interested in Flee Mortals, the MCDM

James Introcaso:

monster book you can head on over

James Introcaso:

to MCDM productions.com, where there

James Introcaso:

will be more information there.

James Introcaso:

Also if it's afterwards, if you're

James Introcaso:

like, "Oh no, I missed the Kickstarter!"

James Introcaso:

guess what?

James Introcaso:

Backerkit's up there, and

James Introcaso:

we're taking late pledges.

James Introcaso:

So you can head on over there to

James Introcaso:

to get your sweet, sweet book.

James Introcaso:

It's like an exclusive mini and

James Introcaso:

stuff like that too, that people can

James Introcaso:

check out, but MCDM productions.com

James Introcaso:

will have all of the info you need.

Lucas:

Thanks for listening

Lucas:

to Making a Monster.

Lucas:

If this show has earned five of

Lucas:

your stars, please leave a rating on

Lucas:

the podcast app of your choice and

Lucas:

consider leaving a review as well.

Lucas:

It's a small thing, but it really does

Lucas:

help new listeners find the show and take

Lucas:

a chance on listening to a few episodes.

Lucas:

And I fully believe that if they

Lucas:

get that far, I can keep them.

Lucas:

You can learn more about the

Lucas:

relationship between D and D and

Lucas:

conservation by checking out Book of

Lucas:

Extinction, a monster manual of extinct

Lucas:

species, resurrected for D and D.

Lucas:

Learn more at scintilla.studio/extinction,

Lucas:

or follow this podcast for more

Lucas:

episodes in the Extinction series.

Lucas:

Thanks also to MCDM and James

Lucas:

Introcaso for being a part of the show.

James Introcaso:

Lucas, thank you so much,

James Introcaso:

really for having me really, really fun.

Lucas:

Yeah.

Lucas:

I really enjoyed our last interview.

Lucas:

MCDM is, doing some really clever stuff.

Lucas:

And you guys have your own outlook on the

Lucas:

game and your own way of moving forward.

Lucas:

So I was really excited to get

Lucas:

to talk about the thing that

Lucas:

you're putting your efforts into.

James Introcaso:

Yeah.

James Introcaso:

Thank you.

James Introcaso:

Thank you.

James Introcaso:

Like, yeah, it's just been it's

James Introcaso:

it's this is what my life has been

James Introcaso:

for a while now, this monster book.

James Introcaso:

So it's fun to be able to talk about

James Introcaso:

it with somebody outside of M CDM

James Introcaso:

too, and, and and see like, oh, okay.