Planegea with David Somerville

Body-snatching jungle aliens called the Kelledros roam the prehistoric, stone-punk of Planegea, a new setting for D&D 5th Edition by Atlas Games and designer Dave Somerville. Learn how identity and mystery shape the nature of horror in your D&D game.

Follow wherever you get your podcasts:
RSS | Apple Podcasts | SpotifyGoogle Podcasts | Amazon Music |
Breaker | Castbox | Castro.fmDeezer | HubliHeartRadio | ListenNotesOvercast |  Pandora  | Player FMPocketCastsPodcast AddictPodchaserPodhound | Radio Public | RPG Casts | Series Seeker | Stitcher | TuneInVurbl  |

Join the Scintilla Studio Patreon

A D&D Game in the world of Planegea

David Somerville: You wake up to alien wailing and something’s screaming in the jungle.

You get up from your tent and you run past the clan fire, looking for the source of the noise. And as you move through the jungle, you come to a clearing where, peeking out from behind these trees, you see a roughly constructed ziggurat. Crooked-limbed creatures, humanoids with fungus-white skin and baby blue eyes, are crawling up it, dragging a bound saber toothed cat to the top where one of their kind waits. The cat is lifted onto an altar at the apex and held down while the waiting creature screeches and wraps its arms around the saber tooth in a ritual embrace.

Just at that moment, you feel a dart sink into your neck. Three more of the creatures emerged from the forest around you. As you try to fight off the toxin, that’s trying to put you to sleep. They grab you and drag you to the foot of the ziggurat. The creature at the top of the pyramid stands, but now it’s taller and broader with shaggy white-yellow fur sprouting out of its wider shoulders and it bares two long, sharp canine teeth from its newly cat-like mouth.

The Keledrosians have you. Now you have to escape or lose yourself to the embrace.

Lucas: Let’s play D&D!

David Somerville: Yeah, let’s go! You can get out of there! Roll a Strength saving throw!

Lucas: Ah! That’s a different podcast. Um, jeez. Ooh. Okay.

Becoming a D&D Game Designer

Hello, and welcome to Making a Monster. I got an email this summer from Atlas Games about a Kickstarter project, somewhere between Journey to the Center of the Earth and Horizon: Zero Dawn. This is Planegea.

David Somerville: I’m David Somerville and I created Planegea, the stone-age setting for Fifth Edition.

Lucas: Is this your day job?

David Somerville: Man, from your lips to God’s ears. Uh, no, it would be great if it was my day job. No, I am a designer creative director for my day job. This is my very early in the morning job.

Lucas: When did tabletop role-playing games become a part of your life?

David Somerville: It was 2014. It was just before Fifth Edition dropped. I grew up very conservative, in a family that just assumed that like, if you played D&D you’d be like ushering demons into the house. So we didn’t, because no one needs that stress and, uh, You know, I kind of knew was out there, but was pretty sure it was going to destroy my soul if I did anything with it.

Lucas: Well, jury’s still out on that.

David Somerville: Yeah, that’s true. Well, you know, we’ll find out, uh, wait, waiting for the final grade on that one. But the, uh, but it’s funny how many D&D-like things I did, it’s almost like I was like searching for D&D my whole life. I have notebooks where I made basically a campaign setting and didn’t kind of know what to do with it. Cause I didn’t want to write a book about it. I just wanted the world to exist from like middle school and was really interested in like choose your own adventure and any kind of emergent narrative thing. We had a game that we played where we like sketch little medieval mazes that you went through and you had to find the key from over there and bring it to the door over there.

And we had no idea that it was D&D, but it was, which didn’t know it. Formally though. I grew up, I got a job in DC and I was hanging out with a nerdy crowd there. And I was like, looked around at everyone else one day and was like, we’re all a bunch of nerds. Has anyone here played Dungeons and dragons? And none of us had, and I was like, we should probably, I feel like we should do that.

Like, I feel like we need that badge as geeks. So we got together, we played a couple sessions of fourth edition. It was great. I was hooked and then fifth edition came out and I was hooked even more.

Lucas: How did you go from ” let’s get that geek badge” to, “let’s write a game”?

David Somerville: Yeah, well, it was from DM-ing really, I was, running a game for two friends. I had never really run a game before. You know, I was a young father of young children and didn’t have the time or the people in my life to get together an in-person game. So I had a couple of friends on Twitter and I was involved in the board game space.

Then I, I designed a game that was kind of popular for a few years called Vast the Crystal Caverns. So I had a bunch of like gaming interactions on Twitter, but totally over on the board game side. And two of the people who I had met over there were down to play a, basically a play by post D&D game in Twitter DMS.

So for like a year and a half, we played just a two-player campaign in that space. And it didn’t start as a world. It started as a cottage in the rain. And then as I was playing, I was like, well, I need the village nearby. Well, I need like bandits nearby. And it all grew out into this world. That’s not the world that I’m working on now, but that, that bug of like, oh man, I love working on this, uh, hit pretty deep.

Manifest Zone podcastAnd then I stumbled across Keith Baker’s Manifest Zone, where he talks about Eberron, and I was outside of the hobby enough that I hadn’t heard of the Fantasy Setting Search. I didn’t know about Eberron or where it came from. And so hearing about him responding to this call for a world. I was like, oh man, what would that be like? Like what would I do? What if I had been like around them? I mean, I wouldn’t have been Eberron, Eberron’s awesome. but what would I have done? And the stone-age setting, Planegea that I’ve been working on is the answer.

What really made it like, okay, I have to do this as I, I drafted up something. You know, a one-page description in a map and I posted it on Reddit and it completely blew up. Everyone was like, where can I find out more about this?

Where are you sharing about this? Like, I want to plan this in this world. You have to start a subreddit. You have to start discord. I literally did not know what discord was. So people, other people made subreddits and discords for me, I was like, and they were like, come here, post here. And I was like, if you would say so so I did and here we are!

Stonepunk Dungeons & Dragons

David Somerville: Planegea is the Stone Age setting for Fifth Edition. It’s a stonepunk world where there is no writing, there are no wheels, there’s no advanced technology and metal literally doesn’t exist.

So it is a world that is permanently locked into a Stone Age. You have brilliant minds and immortal wizards and all of the like savvy, cunning, awesome heroes that you have in the world of D&D. In fact, you have everything that is D&D, but they’re unable to escape the Stone Age because, uh, there is something out there called the Hounds of the Blind Heaven. And they have these, these taboos, which you dare not break. You can’t write. You can’t create the wheel. You can’t create coins. There are these certain things that if you sort of like pass this very low technological ceiling, Something that happens and what that is is a mystery. But you, you cannot, you dare not break the Black Taboos. And so you have this world that would progress, but cannot, and is therefore having to find other ways to survive and develop.

So it’s full of factions and threats. The gods have not yet fully developed. You have “proto-gods” where, you know, you don’t have the “god of fire”, you have that bear over there on that hill who’s lived there for so long that now the people fear and revere him. And because they’ve done that, he’s gotten divine power. And so the gods are hyper-local and hyperphysical and they’re just starting to turn into celestials and fiends. So everything is like at the beginning of time.

The valley where mortals live is surrounded on all four sides by the empires of giants who are stronger and bigger and more sophisticated than them. So they’re dealing in the shadows of these mightier fearsomer,and hostile civilizations, that act both as the boundaries of their world, but also protect them from the even scarier things that lie beyond. And so it’s just sort of this Petri dish of adventure all set in this Stone Age world.

What is stonepunk, anyway?

Lucas: Love it. I’m glad you’re here. You have however, done a thing. There are a couple of things usually happens when people come on the show,. One, they mention the name of Lovecraft, and I have a protocol for that. You’ve done the other thing, which is. you said punk, you know, steampunk, solar punk, X thing, punk. I have an idea of what that means, but you said it. So now you have to tell me why is it stonepunk?

David Somerville: I will, I would love to tell you that. First off, it’s not, it’s not right. Like it is absolutely gamer jargon. And it doesn’t mean what it once meant. Uh, I recently was super lucky enough to read Neuromancer for the first time. And that book is brilliant and it took me a minute to get into it.

And then when I did, I was just in it And that’s punk. I mean, cyber punk was like, fight the man, be a punk. Like it actually had that like punk, anti-authoritarian aesthetic, anti commercialism, like rage against the machine. And that was a real thing. And both of those words were meaningful. Cyber was meaningful and punk was meaningful and it meant the mashing up of these two things.

I feel like in geek culture, punk has become a shorthand for this thing, but a lot of it and sort of exaggerated. So we’re going to take whatever comes before punk and crank it to 11 and build all of our assumptions around that. So if you have pirate punk, it just means it’s very pirates. And if you have, you know, whatever steampunk, it’s very steam and it means that all the aesthetics are going to be exaggerated and intensified and It’s it, I think it implies like a less safe world.

Like I think whenever you have punk on there, there’s sort of an implication that that those extremes are going to cause a lot of tension. So in that spirit it’s stonepunk. And I think that. If I step back and ask myself, is it actually punk? It’s, it’s not very early on, not very punk. There is a rage against the machine kind of thing. in like, uh, being against the giant oppressors. I actually use the word tyrant a ton in the book, which I wasn’t planning on, but I keep on going like, you know, tear down this tyrant or don’t let that tyrant and it probably says more about me than about the setting, but I do think that there’s something in there about like throwing off oppression and sort of surviving by any means necessary that that does feel kind of rebellious and punk, but it just mostly means a lot of stone age, cool stuff.

Lucas: Okay. Yeah. Fair enough. you held your own feet to the fire on that one and I appreciate it.

David Somerville: I’m here to play.

The Kelledros in Planegea

Lucas: Well, let’s talk about the kelledros. Who are these? What is this? What it do?

David Somerville: Yeah. Good question. So, uh, these are the Kelledrosians, or the kelledros. The Kelledrosians are body snatching jungle aliens. They live in the wild, completely deadly jungle that surrounds sort of the heart of the world, in Planegea. And they are spreading like fungus out into the world and they are actively trying to steal the powers and beings and bodies of other creatures to strengthen themselves.

They have a ritual called The Embrace. And if the Kelledrosians get you, then they are able to suck out your life force and add it to their own, in a very physical way and sort of become stronger. So it’s this sort of mixed, mutated species that is, you know, onekelledros to another, one might look like a giant gorilla, one might look like a dragon. One might look like exactly like a human depending on whose, lifeforce they’ve been able to steal.

Lucas: So obviously there’s a couple of things that spring to mind when we talk about body snatching jungle aliens. And I don’t think anything is derivative in like the pejorative sense.

David Somerville: Everything is derivative. Everything is a remix.

Lucas: Right. So can you point to specific things that were your influences for this creature? Or interestingly, can you point to things that definitely were not?

David Somerville: Sure. Well, I’ve never seen invasion of the body snatchers, so I can tell you that that’s not one of the direct ones, so, okay. Uh, the reason the kelledros exist is because in my first draft of this, I was running out the jungle andI was like, oh, and the yuan ti are there! The snake people from D&D and I was like, yeah, they’re definitely down there because Planegea is designed to say yes to all of D&D. So everything that is in fifth edition should be in Planegea somewhere. Although it may be in a different form. So I was like, that’s where they go, that’s it. Then I learned about the Open Gaming License and what is and isn’t allowed and yuan ti are not public domain.

You can’t use them. So I was like, all right. So something, something like the yaun ti. And here’s what I knew about the yaun ti. I knew that they were sneaky. I knew that they were jungley. I knew that they had temples and I knew that they had different shapes of their bodies, like different versions of them.

There’s one, that’s more snaky and one that’s more person-y. And I did a thing kind of on purpose where I didn’t read more about them. I was like, I’m that’s all. I know. That thing is kind of the thing that I want. What can I make up? And I didn’t read more. I don’t want to step on their toes.

And so the Kela DROS were the answer to that. So original inspiration is the idea as if your buddy had told you about the yaun ti that’s about how much I know or less. So the, the broad idea of the yaun ti. I always gotta credit Space Jam as a, as a inspiration here. Those little shrimpy guys taking the power of, uh, the world’s greatest basketball star as is definitely the vibe here.

Like the yuan ti are not an impressive species. They look like, you know, the classic gray aliens small and weak and fragile, but they’ve figured out this way to suck the life force, the physicality of another creature out. And I don’t know, like something about space damn is terrifying.

Like that idea of like being able to just like rip that away and use it against a person is real scary. So Space Jam, man. Um, And then, uh, a third, I would say is Alien. The original, it’s one of my top five movies. And I think later in the franchise, you see the xenomorphs. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, they’re very scary aliens and they basically infect you and then you hatch one of these aliens. But I think in later films it becomes clear that whatever they infect hatches a different kind of the same alien and there’s that diversity through the creature. The parasitic element I think is from that and the idea of this race that takes whatever it needs from those around it to survive and be sort of as powerful as it can. So those are three of the big ones.

Lucas: Great pulls. What are some of the relevant game statistics that every kelledrosian has?

David Somerville: It’s a caste system. And, uh, the sort of base kelledrosians are in the bottom. And then you sort of have warriors and priests and arch priests, and then like the horrible monster that happens when everything goes wrong. you know, We build it intentionally from the bottom.

So it’s, we started with the base kelledrosian which is not impressive. It’s a medium monstrosity. It is like got a minus two strength and charisma plus one to dex and zero to everything else. It’s very much that like goblin, kobold. And really all it has going for it is it can do this embrace ritual and they’re like, come preloaded with a blow gun and a net.

And then what we did is we built from there. Based on assumptions about what it embraces. And we have different varieties. So we have and this is all like, again, credit to Daniel Gable who did the, the technical work on the monster design here and is just a complete artist of his craft.

So created a few different approaches for, okay, well, let’s assume it embraced a big, scary beast. It would look like this and you can kind of flavor that differently. Let’s assume it embrace a spell casting creature. Here’s what that looks like. And Daniel came up with this thing that I absolutely love.

It’s a feature called Embraced Weapons. And it says the kelledrosian has one or more of the following attack options provided it has embraced the appropriate creature. And then it has bite, claws, slam, and spit. And so you, as the DM can decide how you want this kelledrosian to behave. Has it embraced one of those like spitting dinosaurs from Jurassic Park?

Alright, there it is. You got, this guy is totally different than something that’s slashing you with claws or trying to sink its things into you. And that, embraced magic, embraced weapons, that continues through all of the varieties. And sometimes it says one or more, sometimes it says three. As the power scale levels up, they get access to more and more, and more impressive, versions of those. So by the time you’re at the sort of the hybrid mystic priests, they have, you know, elemental orb and storm grasp which is a pretty far cry from, you know, bite and slam.

How D&D Monsters Get Stronger

Lucas: One of the things that makes D&D and their approach to, antagonists narratively and monster specifically, is that they don’t level up. Heroes level up. So you have to kind of create this family tree or this Pokémon evolution chain of, of

David Somerville: Yeah. That’s exactly what it is. Pokémon evolution is a perfect way of describing this.

Lucas: It hits a couple of my other questions too. So let’s take them as a group. Cause I assume there’s never just one.

David Somerville: Yeah, if there’s one by itself and something has gone very wrong with their.

Lucas: Yeah, So let’s take them as a group. When a Planegea player encounters this monster, what do you want them to feel?

David Somerville: Yeah, first. I want them to feel nothing. Because the first encounter they’re going to have with them ideally would be, there’s a stat block for a kelledros called an Infiltrator, which has specialized in looking like a person. The only way to tell a kelledrosian is, is one, is their eyes always remain this baby blue color.

So if you are someone who, has been around the setting for a while, and you encounter someone with like bright blue eyes, you’ll be like, oh, okay, hang on. But you know, if I, your DM and just like, oh yeah, and there’s there. And then this person comes up to you and they have blue eyes and they say this, I don’t want you to think anything about it. Except like, oh, that person’s kind of charming and kind of interesting. And and then when that person is like, Hey, I have a secret to tell you, like we should take a walk and you’re like, yeah. Okay. You seem cool. It’s very much intended to be sort of a, an ambush an ambush monster. At its start the first time you meet them.

One of the things I’ve done in the book is scripted out quest hooks at all four tiers of play for each threat, including kelledrosians. And so in the book is sort of like hints for how you could approach an entire kelledrosian campaign. So certainly that surprise thing only happens once.

At the start, I think it’s sort of like nothing, then surprise, trick, trapped, angry. And then I think as you deal with them more, and you sort of encounter this this theft of power and this total disregard for the rights of other beings or the identity of other beings, I think sort of this horror and repulsion, ideally.

I have art of the kelledrosians where blanking on the name, the monster from Spirited Away that has the white mask?

Lucas: Oh, No-face!

David Somerville: No-face, yeah. So I have art of that, where it’s a kelledrosian face that’s attached to sort of this like much larger bestial, monstrous body with the blue eyes again. And I think that the, the feeling that you should feel as you’re dealing with them and trying to solve the problem of the kelledros is just this, this overwhelming sense of they’re everywhere. They can be anything and they have to be stopped.

Lucas: What do you think makes it effective?

David Somerville: It’s that feeling of happening upon something that is so hostile to you and so doesn’t care about you. I think that there’s a deep sense of the kelledrosians that they. And I think this is one of the ways in which Alien influences it, like you just don’t matter to them, right?

It is that cosmic core that we were talking about? It feels like they just want what they want. They have no regard for life or identity or anything. And I think that the way to twist the knife is continually having them succeed, frankly. I think that there should be a feeling of, there are always more of them. They’re always taking on new forms. This is not a threat with a single source that is going to be easy to stop. It’s like when you’re trying to get rid of pests in your house. And there’s just like always another nest of them. I think there’s always another nest of kelledros and it’s just like a problem that isn’t going to go away.

It’s also not going to stay the same. You know, we’re living right now in COVID times and talking a lot about like the virus mutating. And I think that there’s a bit of a feeling like that, right? It’s like this thing is going to keep changing and keep being a problem. I think that’s a very recent and very strong example of sort of the way that you get this to feel ominous and omnipresent. If you want that, right? If you want to have an extended campaign with it. If you just want a short, like one-time hit kelledros adventure, what you do is you load up like a pyramid of these guys where they get scary or you fight the little one and then the medium one, and then the boss one and then the crazy one. And it’s like, well, how many forms does this thing have? I think that’s the way to do it in a quick, like one shot, kind of a venture. Because Planegea has a very pulpy setting, right? It’s meant to just be like, throw yourself off of the back of the mammoth, like axe raised! And so if you’re just looking for a pulpy good time and you’re not looking for horror, just play that and have fun, like dealing with all of the different, many forms of the thing and finding new creative ways to fight it.

Lucas: I have to break in here cause I didn’t really explain it very well during the interview. But this bottom up gauntlet of challengers is a story structure that I first saw watching Bruce Lee’s last and maybe most influential film Game of Death with my dad. It’s completely opposite of the top down dungeon delve, more typical of D&D in the seventies and eighties, which probably has something to say about Western and Eastern attitudes toward power, I don’t know. Game of Death showed Bruce Lee’s character fighting his way up the floors of a pagoda, each one guarded by a master of a different martial arts style. The last of these was NBA superstar, Kareem Abdul Jabbar who at seven foot two made an other worldly contrast to Lee’s five foot seven. If you watch this movie more carefully than I did as a kid, you can see Bruce Lee expressing his philosophy through his fights. And maybe where I got the idea for Making a Monster in the first place.

The martial art Bruce Lee invented, Jeet Kune Do, rejected the rigid traditional styles of martial. In favor of a chaotic flexible style of know styles drawn from a wide variety of athletic disciplines, including street fighting in game of death, you can watch Lee read his opponents habits and then adapt countering slow hits with quicker ones are closing inside and opponents superior reach professional players at the top echelon of video game tournaments, like Tekken and Street Fighter, call this adaptation “the download.” Which shows you just how extensive Bruce Lee’s cultural influence actually is. So David’s kellodrosians create a deeply layered, but truly terrifying counterpoint to D&D’s established meta-narrative where only the heroes progress through experience, but the monsters are limited to unchanging stat blocks.

What you’ve done with the kelledrosians is you set up something really scary, which is they are learning from you.

David Somerville: Yes. And if they don’t have what they need to beat you they’re going to go out and get it and then come back stronger.

Lucas: We could do miles of work with this. Uh, I think at some point we’re going to spiral away from what it actually is. So before we do that you mentioned a couple of these already. What issues or questions does encountering a kelledrosian ask your players to grapple with?

David Somerville: I think there are a few, I think one is identity, the sense of body snatching and anyone could be one is a strong theme and paranoid fiction of all kinds. I think imperialism is one. I the formal name of the threat in the setting is Kelledros Ascendant and they consider themselves an empire and they are described as an empire and see themselves as taking whatever suits them and spreading through the world. Right. So there’s a strong feeling of, I like that. It’s mine now. If you wanted to explore imperialists themes, they are ripe with those. Also similarly I think ableism is in there. I think that the idea of the perfect body is weirdly mirrored here. Kelledrosians define themselves by their bodies and start in a place of loathing their natural form. The way they were born is the lowest level of their caste system. And it’s all about how can I make myself more strong, beautiful, perfect, powerful, whatever I see myself. So that idea of like the body being the most important thing is in there. And then I think a final thing is jealousy. I think, or covetousness like kelledrosians are a race or species that inherently covets what other people have and are, and they stop at nothing to take it and don’t care what gets in their way.

Lucas: Okay. That’s meaty. I mean, that’s a lot.

David Somerville: Yeah, and I don’t think you need any of those things to enjoy playing with them. Right. They can just be like blue eyed monsters, and that’s great.

Lucas: I do want to give you a chance, cause I know there’s going to be someone in my audience. Who’s going to push back on this. The idea that a race is predisposed to something, especially a personality trait like covetousness. That’s gonna ring a few bells.

do you want to respond to that?

David Somerville: I hear that. No, that’s a good point. First I want to be careful with the word race here. I think I’ve used it accidentally a few times and that’s just, I’m working to retrain my brain from the linguistics of D&D to the lingo of linguistics of society. So it’s important for me to say, they are not a race, right? They’re a species, they’re a creature type. And I think there is a really great question that the RPG world is having right now. What is a monster? What is a person and how do the, what we’ve believed so long about one overlap to the other or vice versa? Here’s what I’ll say about the theme of jealousy.

I think that the theme of jealousy is runs throughout their archetype and the abilities that they have. Right. Taking what someone else has, because you want it for yourself. is an archetypically covetous story, but I have drafted a kelledros player race. And haven’tplay tested it yet, but I fully anticipate, I mean, when I dropped this, the first thing someone said was “I want to be one!”

And I think that there are a lot of really interesting stories to tell about about groups of kelledros who are not this, who walk away from this principle or individuals who, who are not that. It’s fun and interesting when you’re doing world design to create archetypes that are sort of like, here’s the big paint brush. And you know, if you watch Bob Ross paint, he always starts with that big paint brush. Right. But Bob Ross, isn’t done when it’s got a blue sky, he’s adding in those happy little trees and he’s like filling in all of those details. So the big brush is like scary jungle body snatching aliens. And then the stories we tell with that, by definition in contrast to that backdrop make the picture. And I think that while it’s really useful, in my opinion, for DMS to have like a starting place for monsters. And I think that. Some DMS will only ever be like, yeah, these are scary monsters. And they’re just like bad. And there you go. I think if an, if a DM or a table wants to explore more nuanced story, there are a lot of them because I don’t think there’s anything inherently in the species that is like, and they’re evil and they just take whatever they want. I think I think there are a lot more interesting versions of those stories to be told.

Lucas: I do want to take this one step further, from this grab bag of issues that a body snatching jungle alien can give us. Is there any that you feel are useful toward navigating the world that we live in now?

David Somerville: I do. I think that It will be different things depending on what you’re trying to bring to it. One thing that I think a lot about the Kelledrosians is as they’re written, the mainstream of their culture is entirely inward facing. They are out for themselves as a people, again, not talking about every single member of the species, but the force that represents a threat in the game, which may not even be the majority of the kelledrosians, we don’t know. It could just, just be a sect that’s threatening, and maybe most of the kelledrosians live in peace and in the jungle or are enacting totally different stories, but the threatening part of them are spreading out into the world and they don’t care about other species. They only care about themselves and they are convinced that they’re right and have the right that they’re to do what they’re doing.

And everyone who opposes them is just raw material to be consumed. And I think there is a total absence of emphasis. A complete lack of seeing other sentient beings as worthy of dignity and understanding. And I think what I take away when I think about the kelledrosians is how, you know, when we see others as stepping stones to make ourselves the way that we want to become in some ways, like there is a danger that we turn into monsters that reflect our own egos and the echo chamber in which we live.

So Planegea was inspired by this question of what does D&D look like if it’s not medieval? Planegea as a world and the kelledrosians as monsters come from that desire for like a big, pulpy, primal adventure. Right. It’s just like, they’re scary and they’re out there and it’s a jungle and oh no, there’s a zigguratt and they’re ripping your body out of your body!

And I think that that’s great! I think that that’s great for those kinds of stories. And I think at the same time, the hobby is evolving. The stories that we’re telling are evolving, they’re getting smarter, they’re getting better and more nuanced. And so I think that what I am hoping to create with these monsters and with everything else in this setting is a world that invites you into big meaty, raw edged, fire -burned adventure, and then adds on layers of, but what if, and, but what else? And, but why? And I think that a race that in so many ways is obsessed with pursuing its most perfect form at all costs but maybe not all of them do and maybe there’s a much larger story that’s buried just out of sight, hopefully those stories can be told I’m, I’m excited to explore them in my end games.

Lucas: Thanks for listening to Making a Monster. Planegea is live on Kickstarter until November 17th and it is smashing its way through stretch goals after becoming fully funded in only 30 minutes. It’s a fully produced campaign setting, including the core source book, the GM screen, adventures like In the Lair of the Night Thing and a stone-age soundtrack.

It’s a long way from the middle school spiral notebook, where it began and David’s work on the kelledrosians is just the tip of the ice age.

David Somerville: So the best way to find out more is to go to, it’s P L A N E G E That’ll kick you over to the Atlas Games website. You can also just go there. And that has links to our setting, preview our Discord, Twitter the upcoming Kickstarter campaigns. Alternately. I’m also Planegea on Twitter. And, uh, yeah, I’m easy to find if you Google “Planegea” you’ll find me.

Lucas: If you want to go deeper with Making a Monster, I have some free TTRPG extras from past guests to level up your games, including stat blocks for monsters on the show and discount codes for top selling DMS Guild products. Just go to that’s S C I N T I L L Monster and click on. Yes, I want those there. You’ll also find a transcript of this episode and links to everywhere. You can find Planegea on the web.

If you’re willing to trust me with your email address, you’ll also be the first to know about my upcoming D and D releases, including something frankly incredible I’m working on with Mage Hand Press- you know, the D’vati/Dark Matter/Wizmos/Valdas Spire of Secrets guys? It’s going to make you believe D and D can be more than you ever thought it could. And I’m really excited to share it with you. If you really like what I’m doing, consider supporting the show on Patrion, patrons, get bonus content like music.

I recorded for the show, extra conversations with my guests, live episode premieres with other podcasting. And believe it or not stickers, this show takes hours every week to produce an edit and Patrion support helps offset the value of that time, as well as allowing me to upgrade equipment and licensed new music for the show.

If supporting the show, monetarily, isn’t an option for you. Please share it with the people who play games with you. There’s a monster for everyone and your recommendation, lets people know they can trust me with their time and attention. It’s a real gift to me and the creators. I. You can also rate and review the show on iTunes, Google podcast, or you are a podcast app of choice.

I’ve been talking about that for a while, but even three dozen episodes in five stars in a few words, help new listeners take the leap and join the conversation with this show. And I truly believe it’s one of the most important conversations that we’re having in the TTRPG space. So again, thank you for listening.

Next Episode: Introducing the Book of Extinction!

Extinct animals resurrected for the world’s greatest roleplaying game!

Scintilla Studio