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Eberron's Shattered Kalashtar of Reirdra
Episode 1131st May 2021 • Making a Monster • Lucas Zellers
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The shattered kalashtar asks questions about dealing with trauma, and lets other players participate in the answers. It expands D&D's Eberron campaign setting with a psychic dystopia reminiscent of Neuromancer and Brave New World.

Download the stat block and read the full transcript here: https://scintilla.studio/monster-shattered-kalashtar-eberron/

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Join the conversation: www.twitter.com/SparkOtter

Meet my guest:

https://twitter.com/ILGingell

https://imogen.space/

Music by Jason Shaw at Audionautix.com

Transcripts

Imogen Gingell:

A lone human figure sits waiting in their meditation chamber,

Imogen Gingell:

their lips, moving in silent whisper.

Imogen Gingell:

As you step beyond the threshold, they open their eyes and

Imogen Gingell:

stare at you and through you.

Imogen Gingell:

Four eyes watch through two sockets, one pair dilated, content, and relaxed.

Imogen Gingell:

The other pair twitch as if about to erupt.

Imogen Gingell:

They scream and you feel it pierce deep within your mind.

Lucas:

Hello, and welcome to Making a Monster, the bite-sized podcast

Lucas:

where game designers show us their favorite monster and we discover how it

Lucas:

works, why it works and what it means.

Lucas:

I'm Lucas Zellers.

Lucas:

On this show, I describe every tabletop role-playing game as having a setting,

Lucas:

a chance operator, and mechanics, which is useful, but not universal.

Lucas:

Fantasy RPG Dungeons and Dragons has embraced many settings over

Lucas:

its 40-year publication history.

Lucas:

In fact, the recently released source book Van Richten's Guide to

Lucas:

Ravenloft offers some three dozen micro-settings called Domains of Dread.

Lucas:

You might be familiar with the concept already from the country of Walakia

Lucas:

in Netflix's Castlevania; Ravenholm from the Half-life games, which I am

Lucas:

certain is not a coincidence; or Dr.

Lucas:

Doom's, Latveria in Marvel comics.

Lucas:

For my money, though, D&D's most interesting setting is ever on the pulp

Lucas:

adventure and film noir setting created by Keith Baker and first published in 2004.

Lucas:

I've covered this setting before, in my episode about the Warforged Colossus.

Lucas:

But 10-story robots are only the beginning of what this intricate and

Lucas:

expansive fantasy world has to offer.

Lucas:

Whole continents of story existed in Eberron, and while much of the

Lucas:

story takes place on the continent of Khorvaire, you'll find that

Lucas:

strange-eyed figure's meditation chamber on a different continent in

Lucas:

the country of Riedra, the particular favorite of my guest on this episode.

Imogen Gingell:

I'm Imogen Gingell.

Imogen Gingell:

By day I am a space physicist, I work on solar system plasma dynamics, but

Imogen Gingell:

by nights, I spend my time thinking and writing about Eberron in D&D.

Imogen Gingell:

I joined Manifest Zone which is a podcast put together by - well, at the time it

Imogen Gingell:

was Keith Baker, who created Eberron; Wayne Chang, who is a well known as

Imogen Gingell:

the producer of many of Keith's DM's Guild work, like Exploring Eberron;

Imogen Gingell:

and then Christian Serrano as well.

Imogen Gingell:

But they had a spot open and I'd managed to meet Wayne and the others

Imogen Gingell:

through the Across Eberron collaboration.

Imogen Gingell:

So the invited me in and said, would you like to talk Eberron?

Imogen Gingell:

And, absolutely, there's nothing I could talk about for longer.

Imogen Gingell:

The podcast is very much lore focused.

Imogen Gingell:

Usually we take sort of one broad topic.

Imogen Gingell:

It might be one of the races of Eberron, it might be one of the

Imogen Gingell:

nations, it might be a concept like the war or artificers and so on.

Imogen Gingell:

And then we wax lyrical about it for an hour.

Imogen Gingell:

So some of the episodes are really good for, especially if you're new to

Imogen Gingell:

Eberron lore, put them on and listen, and you'll end the hour as an expert.

Imogen Gingell:

Of the ones I've recorded so far.

Imogen Gingell:

I think the Riedra one is my favorite but that's just because it falls into

Imogen Gingell:

a topic that very much interests me.

Imogen Gingell:

I went back and picked out a bunch of my favorite sort of monsters I'd made

Imogen Gingell:

between the third and fourth edition stuff I'd put on the internet and

Imogen Gingell:

then I collected It into the Codex Sybaris, which was the first big

Imogen Gingell:

project that I put on DM's Guild.

Imogen Gingell:

There were a few Riedran monsters.

Imogen Gingell:

So there was the Crysteel Golem, there was the shattered

Imogen Gingell:

Kalashtar, there was a lot in that.

Imogen Gingell:

But a lot of those concepts ended up being brought together in an

Imogen Gingell:

adventure I published in September called Escape from Riedra.

Imogen Gingell:

So that is the first published adventure to ever visit that region,

Imogen Gingell:

official or not, as far as I can tell, and we did the deep dive to check.

Imogen Gingell:

And yeah, some of the Codex Syberis monsters appear in, that adventure,

Imogen Gingell:

such as the shattered Kalashtar.

Lucas:

It's fascinating to me that it's been more than a decade since

Lucas:

Eberron was released and we are still finding new pieces of it to explore.

Imogen Gingell:

Yeah.

Imogen Gingell:

Absolutely.

Imogen Gingell:

And as far as Riedra while the whole of that continent, Sarlonna, is concerned,

Imogen Gingell:

it did have a source book to sort of flesh out all the details in third edition.

Imogen Gingell:

So that was called Secrets of Sarlonna.

Imogen Gingell:

And it was one of the long-form hardcover books that, that there was so many of

Imogen Gingell:

the third edition and the lore in there just kind of, it really did grab me.

Imogen Gingell:

So I'd been wanting to write an adventure that visited that place for, so long.

Imogen Gingell:

And I finally managed it and then converted it into a Dm's Guild

Imogen Gingell:

products with the Across Eberron folks.

Imogen Gingell:

So it's sort of been hovering around at the back of my mind for quite some time.

Lucas:

What happens on Riedra?

Imogen Gingell:

Well, one of the key premises in, in setting up Eberron was

Imogen Gingell:

that the designers wanted a place for everything that's significant to D&D.

Imogen Gingell:

And for some that's, Xendrik , which is a continent, the jungle

Imogen Gingell:

continent with the ruins and so on, you can put anything there.

Imogen Gingell:

ButRiedra was the place where the designers wanted to put

Imogen Gingell:

psionic magic or psionics.

Imogen Gingell:

So in the same way that Khorvaire asks, "How would arcane magic shape

Imogen Gingell:

society?", Sarlonna in general and Riedra specifically asks,

Imogen Gingell:

"What if psionics were widespread?"

Imogen Gingell:

So the kind of magic that can manipulate minds.

Imogen Gingell:

Riedra is the largest empire on Sarlonna.

Imogen Gingell:

And the dystopia of the worst kind where there is a sort of a ruling

Imogen Gingell:

class called the Inspired who use psionics to manipulate the populace

Imogen Gingell:

into accepting them as their rulers.

Imogen Gingell:

And they do this with a network of psionic magic supported by giant monoliths

Imogen Gingell:

which tell everyone, via telepathic, broadcasts, how to feel, what to do.

Imogen Gingell:

And yeah, it's a hell hole.

Imogen Gingell:

yeah, everyone there is very happy because they're forced to be.

Imogen Gingell:

So digging into the deeper lore, the Inspired set up a religious order

Imogen Gingell:

whereby they've convinced everyone that they are inspired by great spirits.

Imogen Gingell:

And in truth, they're possessed by fiendish dream nightmare

Imogen Gingell:

monsters from another world.

Imogen Gingell:

So they manipulate dreams, they manipulate minds and they've

Imogen Gingell:

created this stagnant utopia with which to manipulate the world.

Imogen Gingell:

And it's terrifying.

Lucas:

Which does lead us to the question of the kalashtar.

Lucas:

Are they native to Riedra?

Imogen Gingell:

Not as such.

Imogen Gingell:

The Kalashtar are opponents of Riedra, I suppose is the word.

Imogen Gingell:

Most of the Kalashtar live in a place called Adar, which is a sort of a

Imogen Gingell:

mountain refuge that borders with Riedra.

Imogen Gingell:

And when the Inspired came to power the people of Adar, they had a sort

Imogen Gingell:

of monastic tradition, retreated into the mountains and closed themselves

Imogen Gingell:

off from, the influence of that place.

Imogen Gingell:

But the key thing that makes them more than human is that they are a refuge for

Imogen Gingell:

spirits of the same sort that rule Riedra.

Imogen Gingell:

So these are the Quori spirits who are nightmare fiends.

Imogen Gingell:

But in the same way that there are fallen angels, there are some risen fiends,

Imogen Gingell:

and the Kalashtar were some of those nightmare spirits that didn't fall in

Imogen Gingell:

with the sort of evil manipulation that, the Inspired were trying to achieve.

Imogen Gingell:

So rather than be hunted down and killed on their home plane, the Region of Dreams,

Imogen Gingell:

those risen spirits binded their souls to the monks in Adar and that power

Imogen Gingell:

is now inherited by their children.

Imogen Gingell:

So every kalashtar is born with a sliver of a shared dream spirit

Imogen Gingell:

that fled the nightmare realm.

Imogen Gingell:

It sounds pretty wild when I put it that way, but they are the good guys.

Lucas:

Yeah.

Lucas:

I think by the time we get to kalashstar, we are operating at several levels of

Lucas:

subversion in that Eberron is D&D but slightly different, and kalashtar are

Lucas:

these spirits, but slightly different.

Lucas:

Are there any real world influences or antecedents or other legends or myths

Lucas:

that you could point to that would be similar to the kalashtar or help

Lucas:

people understand what they are and what they do and where they come from?

Imogen Gingell:

Hard to say.

Imogen Gingell:

I think one of the things that Eberron does very well is that it

Imogen Gingell:

creates cultures, that aren't just direct analogs of real world ones.

Imogen Gingell:

So it puts together new and interesting.

Imogen Gingell:

Factions from pieces of inspiration spread far and wide.

Imogen Gingell:

So you can't look at the main continent on a Corvair and on, and say, here

Imogen Gingell:

is the Egyptian country, or here is the Western European country, here

Imogen Gingell:

is a native American country and so on, but you can piece together

Imogen Gingell:

where some influences might lie.

Imogen Gingell:

So you can look at kalashtar and the Adar, and you might say, well,

Imogen Gingell:

you have a monastic culture in the mountains and you might look

Imogen Gingell:

to somewhere like Tibet or Nepal.

Imogen Gingell:

But then you start drifting into, psionic nightmares and enchantments

Imogen Gingell:

and everything and you add a new spin on it that really mashes out with some

Imogen Gingell:

other real world fiction, all kinds of stuff, about theory of the mind and

Imogen Gingell:

psionic powers in general, which, you can look to things like Neuromancer for.

Imogen Gingell:

So I, I, yeah, I hesitate to draw to, you know, point at a real world

Imogen Gingell:

and say, this is this, because there's more to it than that.

Imogen Gingell:

You could even just look back in European folklore you know, what is the nightmare

Imogen Gingell:

and things like that, of these malignant spirits that, manipulate or intrude

Imogen Gingell:

on your dreams or you could look to.

Imogen Gingell:

the sleep paralysis demon that sits on you and you can't do anything because

Imogen Gingell:

it's started this weight on you that, sets at that gap, that just sits

Imogen Gingell:

between being asleep and being awake.

Imogen Gingell:

Yeah, but then you could also look at the, of the art of the Quori,

Imogen Gingell:

these dreams, spirits, and see all these tentacles snapping claws.

Imogen Gingell:

And you can think to the sort of lLovecraftian horror, that

Imogen Gingell:

kind of gets mixed in with that.

Lucas:

He's back.

Imogen Gingell:

For something like Riedra, you can look very easily at

Imogen Gingell:

things like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, which has a rigid caste system.

Imogen Gingell:

You have your alphas and your betas and your gammas and so on.

Imogen Gingell:

And that kind of system pretty much drives somewhere like Riedra.

Imogen Gingell:

So you have, there is a strict caste system which in the

Imogen Gingell:

canon is racially divided.

Imogen Gingell:

So if you want to explore racist power structures, you can do.

Imogen Gingell:

But, it sets up the Inspired as the highest cast that, divinely

Imogen Gingell:

inspired by these spirits.

Imogen Gingell:

And then beneath them you have the changelings, and beneath them the

Imogen Gingell:

humans, beneath them everyone else.

Imogen Gingell:

You can reincarnate into the higher caste by doing good works in your life, which

Imogen Gingell:

doesn't really mean doing good works.

Imogen Gingell:

It means doing what you're told.

Imogen Gingell:

All kinds of dystopian fiction but Brave New World sticks out

Imogen Gingell:

for me as a kind of exploration of rigid castes that Riedra does.

Lucas:

And it's only at this point I think at least three subversions down

Lucas:

that we can begin to address the question of the shattered kalashtar.

Lucas:

So can you walk me through what a shattered kalashtar is?

Imogen Gingell:

Yeah, this was a monster that I created for the Codex Syberis.

Imogen Gingell:

So it wasn't one that I'd done for, for previous editions.

Imogen Gingell:

It was a new arrival for that book.

Imogen Gingell:

And the point of the shattered kalashtar was to say, okay, we have

Imogen Gingell:

this bond for regular kalashtar for a kalashtar player character.

Imogen Gingell:

You have a bond between a human or, descendent of a human and the, and a

Imogen Gingell:

sliver of a soul of a nightmare spirit.

Imogen Gingell:

And the shattered kalashtar asks.

Imogen Gingell:

"Well, what happens when that bond breaks?"

Imogen Gingell:

So rather than have this union of human and dreams, spirit minds unified and

Imogen Gingell:

working together in the same goal there is a schism drawn between the two,

Imogen Gingell:

they're separated.

Imogen Gingell:

They become unable to communicate well.

Imogen Gingell:

UNderstandably that leads to some stress in said kalashtar.

Imogen Gingell:

So it's devised as a way for a kalashtar to bend under pressure and break,

Imogen Gingell:

introduce a new supernatural threats.

Imogen Gingell:

Which can turn a kalashtar into a villain or an easy villain, you know, driven by

Imogen Gingell:

the madness of their mind, having been torn into that difficult to understand,

Imogen Gingell:

difficult to control and they lack that sort of continuity of mind that

Imogen Gingell:

might make them easy to talk to, or rather it would makes it a challenge

Imogen Gingell:

to talk to you or to reason way or to encounter in your D and D adventure.

Lucas:

Yeah,

Lucas:

I will say the D and D has a very broad definition of the word monster which makes

Lucas:

it linguistically difficult to discuss because in many, many other contexts

Lucas:

it's, I won't say easy to define what a monster is, but fairly predictable.

Lucas:

In the terms of the kalashtar, or the shattered kalashtar

Lucas:

rather, it falls almost into this broader usage of the term.

Imogen Gingell:

Yeah.

Imogen Gingell:

So this is, Yeah.

Imogen Gingell:

This is taking up a person and breaking them.

Imogen Gingell:

It it's, it's a monster in the sense of both human evil and supernatural

Imogen Gingell:

evil, I think, on the one hand, because, it's a character that you

Imogen Gingell:

can introduce to your player characters as someone they know, or someone

Imogen Gingell:

who they might expect to be an ally.

Imogen Gingell:

But then you can reveal to them gradually either.

Imogen Gingell:

Wow.

Imogen Gingell:

Gradually or instantaneously that something's not quite right here.

Imogen Gingell:

And doing monstrous things, I suppose.

Imogen Gingell:

And maybe they're doing that in pursuit of something they feel is

Imogen Gingell:

good, or maybe they're doing it because their mind is broken and they

Imogen Gingell:

don't understand what they're doing.

Imogen Gingell:

So I think you can, you can take the shattered kalashtar and

Imogen Gingell:

you can do either in fun ways.

Imogen Gingell:

Yeah,

Lucas:

It gives you justification to do a lot of the things that I'm really hoping

Lucas:

listeners of Making a Monster will do with they're monsters, which is to use

Lucas:

them more intelligently or to ask better questions or to read into the coding

Lucas:

of the stat block and draw from it, the intent of the designer with the full

Lucas:

gravitas and danger that it represents

Imogen Gingell:

exactly.

Lucas:

There's a question that I have about environment and key features.

Lucas:

I believe that - especially in terms of beasts, which are the most common

Lucas:

monsters in D and D - that monsters are a product of their environment.

Lucas:

With an NPC, or the option to be an NPC like the one you've given here that

Lucas:

that rule can be a lot more flexible.

Lucas:

But is there a place you might encounter a shattered kalashtar more often or

Lucas:

somewhere where you're more likely to find them or a part of a story in

Lucas:

which they're more likely to appear?

Imogen Gingell:

So I think that there are two main places or main

Imogen Gingell:

themes I, I try to, to pull on with, with a shattered kalashtar.

Imogen Gingell:

And I think that informs how and where I'd put them.

Imogen Gingell:

The first is to is the one I actually used in the escape from the atria

Imogen Gingell:

adventure which is to include a shattered kalashtar as a NPC embedded

Imogen Gingell:

in a resistance cell inside Riedra.

Imogen Gingell:

So this character is called Nivi.

Imogen Gingell:

She appears in that adventure and she has being defending a cell of

Imogen Gingell:

dissidents who are hidden in the underground tunnels beneath the

Imogen Gingell:

town you visit in that adventure.

Imogen Gingell:

And she's been there using her psionic power to mask the dissidents that's a

Imogen Gingell:

holed up In those tunnels except that the constant psychic stress of doing so

Imogen Gingell:

has eventually caused her mind to break.

Imogen Gingell:

So she's barely hanging on and you encounter her inside hidden underground

Imogen Gingell:

storage chamber sat amongst a bunch of other rag-tag bands of dissidents.

Imogen Gingell:

Other Riedrans who want none of this and have managed to

Imogen Gingell:

resist that, that psychic aura.

Imogen Gingell:

So she's presented there as a, good guy who's tipping on the balance where if

Imogen Gingell:

you put a foot wrong, maybe she'll erupt.

Imogen Gingell:

The other thing you could do is to put one of these shattered kalashtar

Imogen Gingell:

in the control of the Inspired.

Imogen Gingell:

So, perhaps the Riedrans, the Inspired have captured a Kalashtar and through

Imogen Gingell:

the stress of the poor treatment, or just psionic influence they've

Imogen Gingell:

caused that Kalashtar to break, and then they could perhaps use that

Imogen Gingell:

shattered kalashtar as a weapon.

Imogen Gingell:

You send it a ticking, psychic mind bomb with the face of one of your old

Imogen Gingell:

friends back to, to to the good guys.

Imogen Gingell:

So you kind of counted them sort of metaphorically on the leash of the

Imogen Gingell:

inspireds perhaps in that dungeon or even in one of the gray palaces,

Imogen Gingell:

you could encounter them in the dark and dingy tunnels, dissidents

Imogen Gingell:

But as an NPC, as you say that, that the options are quite broad.

Lucas:

The reason that Making a Monster is what it is, is that it's much, much

Lucas:

easier to discuss a monster, at least in the way that D and D uses the word,

Lucas:

rather than a player character, because they have a stat block rather than a

Lucas:

character sheet and they don't level up.

Lucas:

So on the stat block, you've put together for the shattered kalashtar.

Lucas:

what are the most important mechanics or attributes or

Lucas:

features that you've rendered here?

Imogen Gingell:

So there are a couple of main abilities I should say, you

Imogen Gingell:

know, beyond the sort of basic attacks or psionic spells and such one is

Imogen Gingell:

the captivating eyes which is one of their traits essentially, whenever

Imogen Gingell:

you look into that deep into that eyes, you have a chance to be transfixed.

Imogen Gingell:

So you have that charisma saving throw to resist being charmed.

Imogen Gingell:

But charmed in the sort of loose sense of captivated rather

Imogen Gingell:

than, forced to do that bidding.

Imogen Gingell:

But I think that the most mechanically distinct feature is that Dream Rend

Imogen Gingell:

feature which is a sort of a bespoke psionic blast that I wrote for them.

Imogen Gingell:

And the idea of this Dream Rend ability is to give the play of

Imogen Gingell:

characters a bit of a flavor of the pain that this kalashtar is in.

Imogen Gingell:

It's a sort of an area burst and if you become affected, you gain

Imogen Gingell:

a special condition called schism.

Imogen Gingell:

You take some damage as well, but this cause it was the interesting part.

Imogen Gingell:

So the idea of this schism is, is it's for the players to emulate the same sort of

Imogen Gingell:

split in the mind that the kalashtar has.

Imogen Gingell:

And in doing so I put together a mechanic that kind of breaks the fourth wall.

Imogen Gingell:

But one of the great strengths I think of, of putting out fan content, especially

Imogen Gingell:

on the DM's Guild and stuff, is that you are afforded more room to try things.

Imogen Gingell:

So I don't think this mechanic would ever make It into a official Wizards

Imogen Gingell:

of the Coast book because it's easier to pick and choose, a DM can

Imogen Gingell:

decide to, I like the idea of that.

Imogen Gingell:

Let's give it a go.

Imogen Gingell:

You can just afford to go a bit wild.

Imogen Gingell:

So the way it works is that if you suffer a schism when you want to take

Imogen Gingell:

an action on your turn, you have to secretly tell the dungeon master.

Imogen Gingell:

So you might say, I want to attack the guard.

Imogen Gingell:

And then the dungeon master will turn to one of the other players at the

Imogen Gingell:

table and say, what do you think this player would do in this situation?

Imogen Gingell:

And if they say.

Imogen Gingell:

Oh, I think they would want to attack the guards then great.

Imogen Gingell:

It happens if they say oh, I think they want to cast your light wounds or cure

Imogen Gingell:

wounds - that's my edition showing.

Lucas:

It very much is.

Lucas:

Oh, that's special.

Imogen Gingell:

Say they want to cast cure wounds at first level.

Imogen Gingell:

And they say, oh no.

Imogen Gingell:

Then the action fails.

Imogen Gingell:

And the point of this is to represent is your character acting how

Imogen Gingell:

other people think they would act?

Imogen Gingell:

So it's a way to emulate that slit between the Subconscious or super conscious, sort

Imogen Gingell:

of top level personality stuff that other players might have encountered versus

Imogen Gingell:

a deeper, , what is your character's inside voice saying that, if not, you

Imogen Gingell:

might not be able to access that because the other players don't know that.

Imogen Gingell:

So it's a way to try and bring out that that's gets them into real play because

Imogen Gingell:

you're , rewarded for trying simply actions that other people are expecting.

Imogen Gingell:

If that makes sense.

Lucas:

it really does.

Lucas:

I've said this on episodes before that one of the great strengths of

Lucas:

being a part of a, a party in a game like this is that eventually your

Lucas:

character becomes predictable, I think a better word might be reliable

Lucas:

that other players at the table can predict what that character would do.

Lucas:

And I think you've succeeded as a player when other characters can say,

Lucas:

of course that's such a fighter move.

Lucas:

And what you've done here is enshrined that beautiful moment of reliability

Lucas:

and predictability in playing your character well inside of the stat

Lucas:

block that's fascinating to me.

Lucas:

I'm glad to see it.

Imogen Gingell:

Yeah, when I'm designing monsters, I really like to avoid the

Imogen Gingell:

stunned condition because it's essentially miss attack and no one likes that.

Imogen Gingell:

But I think there were ways to emulate that without By kind of

Imogen Gingell:

Maine where you can still play with the action economy rules, but also

Imogen Gingell:

leave the players feeling satisfied.

Imogen Gingell:

And I think, well, I hope this succeeds in doing that because it still gives the

Imogen Gingell:

player something to express at the table.

Imogen Gingell:

So they still get to think about what they would do.

Imogen Gingell:

And if, as you say, you've built up enough camaraderie with the other player

Imogen Gingell:

characters or the other players that you succeed, it feels really good.

Imogen Gingell:

You feel like you're beating the monster where, so you can still sort

Imogen Gingell:

of inject that stun like mechanic, but still have it feel good.

Imogen Gingell:

That was sort of the goal there.

Imogen Gingell:

Yeah.

Lucas:

I asked before about how the kalashtar might be heir to

Lucas:

other stories that have been told.

Lucas:

And that's, that's one part of what this podcast does is to look backward.

Lucas:

The other part of it is to look forward into the moment or into the present.

Lucas:

Is there it's okay to say no to this?

Lucas:

Because just from my reading of it, there's a lot of, there's a

Lucas:

lot of very rich and very, weighty topics that are coded here is this.

Lucas:

Was it part of your hope that making this monster are encountering this

Lucas:

monster, we'd give people a way to understand something in the world

Lucas:

that they live in or things that they might encounter outside of the game.

Lucas:

And if so, what?

Lucas:

What does this monster tell us about the world we live in?

Imogen Gingell:

Good question.

Imogen Gingell:

I think

Imogen Gingell:

The key theme that I wanted to look at in a monster like this is from a

Imogen Gingell:

lore perspective, the theme is what happens when you take something that's

Imogen Gingell:

supposed to be good and you break it.

Imogen Gingell:

What is your limits?

Imogen Gingell:

What is your sort of, what is your breaking point?

Imogen Gingell:

And if you pass beyond that breaking point, are you, or is that thing

Imogen Gingell:

recognizable as what it was before?

Imogen Gingell:

It's sort of an expression of What trauma can do.

Imogen Gingell:

And if you sat down at the table and you encountered shattered kalashtar as a sort

Imogen Gingell:

of antagonistic NPC, I think it's all the richer if it's perhaps someone you

Imogen Gingell:

knew as a good guy before because you can explore that and well, that process of

Imogen Gingell:

breaking someone or something, you know?

Imogen Gingell:

So if you're exploring that with a character that you've known for

Imogen Gingell:

some time, it can be all that more impactful when you start to show

Imogen Gingell:

that breakdown in a very powerful.

Imogen Gingell:

Way powerful in terms of the magic they use and powerful in terms of a

Imogen Gingell:

breakdown of any emotional connection you may have had to what they

Imogen Gingell:

were before and what they are now.

Imogen Gingell:

You know, I hope that makes sense.

Lucas:

I'll tell you I felt that this is a bit more personal than I usually

Lucas:

get, but to my mind the default state of the world is broken this that it's the

Lucas:

image of something better than it is now.

Lucas:

And I've also heard it from quite a few people on the podcast.

Lucas:

Some of the most interesting stories that you can tell are the ones that that

Lucas:

allow for a villain to be redeemed.

Imogen Gingell:

Yes.

Imogen Gingell:

Yeah.

Lucas:

I think you've done something really beautiful here.

Lucas:

My guest is Imogen Gingell, co-host of the Manifest Zone podcast, D&D

Lucas:

adventure designer, writer, artist scientist, and true Renaissance woman.

Lucas:

If you want to know more about the shattered kalashtar, you can find the

Lucas:

full stat block on the show's website by following the link in the show

Lucas:

notes or at scintilla.studio/monster.

Lucas:

It's the holy grail of subscriber gifts, and it contains updated

Lucas:

art by image in herself.

Lucas:

Seriously, is there anything she can't do?

Lucas:

If you want to get involved with Imogen's work, the best way to

Lucas:

follow her is on Twitter @ILGingell, or to subscribe to Manifest Zone

Lucas:

wherever you get your podcasts.

Lucas:

And while you're at it, subscribe to Making a Monster, fill your whole

Lucas:

podcast feed with monsters and pulp fiction and space physics, I dare you.

Lucas:

Thanks for listening to this episode of Making a Monster.

Lucas:

If you like what you've heard and you want to support the show, please

Lucas:

share it with the people you play games with your recommendation.

Lucas:

Lets people know they can trust me with their time and attention and it's a real

Lucas:

gift to me and the creators I feature.

Lucas:

You can also support the show directly on Patreon.

Lucas:

When you do you'll get access to special extras like bonus bits from

Lucas:

the live premier of this episode.

Lucas:

Given that pantheon lycanthropes what's your opinion on a were-pigeon?

Imogen Gingell:

Oh, I know you've been talking to the Sivis Echoers.

Lucas:

Find all that and stickers at patreon.com/scintilla studio.

Lucas:

That's patreon.com/s C I N T I L L a.studio.

Lucas:

There are five episodes left in the second season of Making a Monster

Lucas:

so make sure you follow the show wherever you get your podcasts.

Lucas:

So you don't miss a single glowing eye or toothy ma and there are more to come.