Cover art for podcast Making a Monster

Making a Monster

34 EpisodesProduced by Lucas ZellersWebsite

Game designers show you their favorite monster, how it works, why it works, and what it means. Each bite-sized episode features a game designer and the monster of their choice.

episodes iconAll Episodes

GM Edition: Nikki Yager, Beholder to No One

September 13th, 2021


Nikki Yager makes D&D podcasts. Like, a lot of D&D podcasts. Like a lot. Her favorite villains are the ones who think they're the hero. We talk about heroism and villainy on a dimmer, and the many, many times …

Avatar Legends on what makes Azula scary

September 1st, 2021

Opening music: Shapes Within the Jade by Nihilore
Closing tune: Pennywhistle by Jason Shaw at

Roll20's Burn Bryte puts a Blipp in your Ship, ft. James Introcaso

June 28th, 2021


Roll20's exclusive sci-fi RPG Burn Bryte asks you to jump in to a galaxy where an adorable teleporting mischief fox could just walk right into your …

Teaching Social Skills through Dungeons & Dragons at Roll Play Lead

June 25th, 2021


Roll Play Lead uses Dungeons & Dragons to teach social skills to teens in Colorado. Kids and teens use monsters to explore the obstacles in their …

Tamlin, the Feywild's white rabbit

June 23rd, 2021


Leading unsuspecting adventurers to the Feywild with a gentlemanly hand, the tamlin combines the Scottish folk tale with the literary trope of the …

Varadrel, the kaiju angel

June 15th, 2021


As one of D&D's very few Celestial monsters, Varadrel is an agent of divine justice best compared to the personified disasters of Japanese kaiju.

To read the transcript, check out "Titans of Faerun", or see the …

Eberron's Shattered Kalashtar of Reirdra

May 31st, 2021


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 …

Shakespeare and Lovecraft Combine in Delirium

May 26th, 2021


Andrew Grondin wrote a tabletop game that combines European fairy tales and Lovecraftian existential horror. Inside that Venn diagram is a …

In Free League's Vaesen, Fairies Capture Changing Culture

May 3rd, 2021


Nils Hintze is the lead writer of Vaesen, a Nordic horror role-playing game by Free League Publishing. In this game, fairies and other monsters …

Niels RPG Toons makes a Monstrosity

February 1st, 2021

Get monster stats, lore, and papercraft miniatures for monsters from the Stars and Sea campaign bundle at

Melusine of Avalon - Chris Hopper

January 27th, 2021

Get the stat block for the Melusine and read the full transcript here:

Join the community and …

14: Grikk the Many - Matthew Whitby

December 21st, 2020


What happens when the monsters level up too? Matthew Whitby, host of the Dungeon Master's Guild House, shares a goblin with power enough to be more …

13: Werepigeon - House Sivis Echoer Station

December 14th, 2020

House Sivis Echoer Station is a well-written, well-edited fiction podcast taking place in Keith Baker's Eberron setting, where two intrepid gnomes capitalize on the happy magical accident of "broad casting". I play …

12: The Bagger - Justice Arman

December 9th, 2020

Read the transcript and see art from the book:

Visit Justice on Twitter:

Get Devil's Advocate, A Guide to Infernal Contracts:

Bonus: Endless Houses

December 4th, 2020

Visit our website for more bonus content and to catch future episodes:

Everyone in the show:
Robert Turk, Wicked Clever Games:
Michael Sands:

11: Rime of the Frostmaiden Double Feature

November 2nd, 2020


Get Chilling Tales from the Whispering Wind:

Two monsters from Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden - Malquaestus …

Bonus: Dagon - IT GOES DEEPER

October 30th, 2020

Fuel my late-night uploads with matcha:

Listen to the original "Dagon" episode and get a free copy of Alex's monster-fighting supplement "Go for the Eyes!":

10: Heckna - Ashley Warren

October 26th, 2020


Ashley Warren, lead writer for the Heckna carnival horror campaign setting, introduces us to Heckna himself, the post-human clown king of the Revelia.
Get desktop wallpaper with art from the game:

09: Music Elemental - It's a D&D Monster Now

October 19th, 2020

Get the stat block for the music elemental and read the transcript on the show's website:

08: Abomination - Never Going Home, Wet Ink Games

October 13th, 2020


A cosmic horror game set in World War I uses supernatural aberrations to reflect the human corruption of that period in history. Featuring Never Going Home's writer Irvin Jackson, artist Charles Ferguson Avery, and …

06: Monster of the Week - Michael Sands

September 24th, 2020


Monster of the Week is the system that powers The Adventure Zone and Critshow. Designer Michael Sands talks about Marilynn, the improbable fairy creature who nearly derailed a playtest campaign, and the system's …

05: Itzigratz - Bryan Holmes

September 14th, 2020


Just how dangerous can mind flayers be? Forgotten Realms expert and best-selling DM's Guild creator Bryan Holmes brings a proper Illithid Lich to the …

04: Space Leper Nuns - Robert Turk

September 7th, 2020

The "Space Madness" scenario for Robert Turk's game Starship Infernum features a monster that truly embraces B-movie horror camp, the Leper Nuns. 

03: Warforged Colossus - Steve Fidler

August 24th, 2020


Somewhere in the Mournlands of Eberron, a weapon of mass destruction walks freely across the blighted wasteland. For players, the Warforged Colossus …

02: The Heir of Orcus - Anthony Joyce

August 17th, 2020


Will you redeem the unredeemable? Anthony Joyce shares how the Heir of Orcus makes heroes and villains hard to distinguish in Dungeons & Dragons.

Free copies of The Heir of Orcus adventure are still available! Visit …

01: Jiangshi - Banana Chan, Game and a Curry

August 10th, 2020


The Jiangshi, Chinese hopping vampires, in an RPG that addresses the racism and oppression of 1920s Chinatown - featuring Banana Chan of Game and a …

00: Making a Monster

August 4th, 2020

Guest voices, in order: Banana Chan, Irvin Jackson, Brandon Aten, Alex Clippinger, Steve Fidler, Bryan Holmes, and Robert Turk. 
More information at …
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