Lucas: “I need you to gather a specimen for me. It is a very important piece of my research and, it is very important that it be taken alive. Have you perhaps heard of the frog of holding?”
Sheryl: Has she perhaps heard of the frog of holding?
Lucas: I mean, Hey, first roll. Let’s get to it. This is going to be an intelligence Arcana check.
Sheryl: Oh, good. Okay. Yikes.
Lucas: I think I’m looking for a DC 13 on this.
Sheryl: Oh, off the table. That was a nat 20!
Lucas: If that’s the kind of game we’re playing, then here we go!
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Hello, and welcome to Making a Monster, the bite-sized podcast where game designers show us their favorite monster and we discover how it works, why it works, and what it means.
All of the design acumen I’ve accumulated over two years and 50 episodes of doing the show has been poured into my monster bestiary Book of Extinction, resurrecting extinct animals as D and D monsters. And one of my favorites from that book is a riff on a classic D and D item you may remember from our episode on the arrow of destruction. I have a soft spot for anything in fantasy that’s called “the thing of the thing.” And as much as we are preserving the stories of lost animals through Book of Extinction, we are also filling that book with monsters as fun and compelling as anything in the monster manual. And if the project has taught me anything, it’s that compelling world-building and storytelling often grow from a rich knowledge of the world we live in.
So I was thrilled to partner with Nature Check to present the frog of holding during a streamed game this month. Nature Check is a D&D show where you come for the games and stay for the science as Sheryl, the roving naturalist, and a team of scientists and science-adjacent players bring you stories as full of life as the ecologies they study.
This adventure featured Sheryl as Brina, the gnome Paladin; science illustrator Ethan Kocak as Karrell, the grung fighter; herpetologist Chelsea Connor as Esculenta the wood elf ranger; and Maria Gatta, ecologist and biology consultant for video games playing as Kira the firbolg bard.
What follows is the piece of that game where the team encounters the frog of holding in the wilds of Tinibria. You can experience the whole game on YouTube here:
Meet the cast:
Sheryl, The Roving Naturalist: https://twitter.com/RvingNaturalist
Ethan Kocak: https://twitter.com/Blackmudpuppy
Maria Gatta: https://twitter.com/M_Gatta