Not just murderhobos, but kid-critters as well.

For context: I’m first-time DMing a game for a bunch of neutral characters and the only person who seems to try and be the moral center of the group is a Half-Orc Barbarian. Currently the party is smuggling a guy to a pirate ship. They just found the dock where the pirates are docked and the only people they’ve encountered so far are two children. The incredibly salty Dragonborn Sorcerer is trying to intimidate the children, one of whom is mute, into telling them where the captain is. This trainwreck promptly ensues.

Barbarian: “We have a good cop, bad cop thing going on here.”  

Me, the DM: *sighs* “Cloak (the Rogue), please do something to fix this.”  

Sorcerer: “Wait, I’m the bad cop??”  


Sorcerer: “Yeah, but she came at with a knife!”

Me: “Because you threatened the other child! Cloak! Do something!”  

Rogue: *vaguely OOC* “I’m gonna kick the kid.”  


Me: *getting fed up* “No, I’m not letting him retcon it. Roll.”  

Rogue: “You have to roll for me.” (He forgot his dice.)  

Me: *rolls a natural 20*

Party: *devolves into hysterics*


*about a minute later, after the Rogue dropkicks a little girl and nearly knocks her unconscious*

Me: *almost losing my mind* “Why me?? Why did I have to roll well for that? I’ve rolled two natural 20s tonight, and the other one was against my own damn headache!”

Sorcerer: “Did that work?”  

Me: “Yep, it’s gone.”  

Rogue: “I think you just transferred it to me…”  

Me: *flipping him the double bird* “FUCK YOU, YOU DESERVE IT, YOU CRITICALLY KICKED A CHILD!”

A legit game we had with a legit conversation

Player 1: “Wait so there’s 4 bovine women in skimpy outfits and a totally nude one that are all worshiping a type of motherly figure kind of god.”

GM (Me): “Uh, yeah, so what?”

Player 1: “Are they lactating?”

GM (Me): “What do you think?”

Player 1: “Niiiice, gonna have me some fun.”

GM (Me): “Alright any other questions?

Player 2: “When the fuck did D&D turn sexy?”


GM tips with Matt Mercer of Critical Role

Improv and the Unexpected

Heroic Afterthoughts

So this is from a 3.5e game that has a ton of time in between meet-ups. So my players tend to get unfocused after a bit to catch up. This has the side effect of being just a bit forgetful.
They recently saved a town from a wolf attack, and were sad to find out that the townfolk just wanted that damned orc (the newest player) out of their town. So they all head to the forest (because that’s what you do with a person you just met) to talk about what to do with the wolves.

Cleric: Well, the wolves will definitely be back, they’ve been bothering this town for a while.
Fighter: So we go and kill them all, save the townsfolk. Sounds fine.
Druid: Wait, why? This is part of the cycle of nature. The townsfolk will be fine, or deserve to die. Plus they’re racist.
Cleric: Plus, we don’t know where they came from.
The druid asks if his wolf companion could probably find out. Wolf goes out, comes back. The pack is maybe two days away.
Enter conversation about animal intelligence and if that’s possible. Fifteen minutes later….
Monk: So are we going south to meet the wizards?
Druid: Since I’m just wandering, mind if I join?
Party: Sure!
A day of travel later.
Fighter: Did we forget something? Because the DM is smiling in his….oh shit! THE WOLVES!
Group facepalm as I start cackling.


Many bogeymen exist and persist because they illustrate a certain theme or fear.  The wolf from “Little Red Riding Hood,” for instance, is a symbol of Stranger Danger to the young, and a smooth-talking stealer of virginity for the not-so-young.  He looms large because he’s a potential villain in our lives as well as Little Red’s.

For a long time, one of the main things vampires represented was the fear of being buried alive (and/or the fear of accidentally burying a loved one too early). It’s all there in the early folktales: the grave dirt under the claw-like nails; the gaunt, hungry features; the thirst for blood, particularly the blood of those the victim knew in life; and so on.

But as vampire legends became codified and romanticized around the Dracula and Lestat models, they’ve become symbols of other things: fear of death, the lure of immortality, the horror of sexually transmitted diseases (attention, post-AZT kids: AIDS was a nightmare and you need to learn your queerstory), eternal love, and so on.  In the process, dirty fears of the grave fell away.  When your pop culture portrays every vampire having Spike’s looks and Christian Grey’s bank account, the fear of having to smash open your casket and then dig through six feet of earth just doesn’t compute.  Meanwhile, other candidates for the theme are also too burdened with cultural weight of their own: Zombies stand for pandemics and the breakdown of the system, while ghouls are much more about fears of grave robbing and cannibalism.

All of which is a very long-winded way of saying that we needed an undead to fill the thematic void left by vampires—and the gravebound is a perfect candidate.  Not only is it obsessed with its own unfair death, but it’s got some nasty mechanics to inflict that death on others.  It can make a pit appear under a victim as a standard action, and then fill the pit up with grave dirt the following round as a full-round action.  Even if a gravebound’s victim escape its clutches on the initial encounter, he could well contract a disease that sends him into a coma almost indistinguishable from death…dooming him to an unfair live burial despite his best efforts.

Whoever created this monster also gets points for a nice bit of flavor as well: the gravebound’s dirt body has a shovel sticking out of its back.  Not only does this detail feel very true to folklore—I can especially envision such a detail appearing in a Japanese ghost story—but it gives PCs who vanquish the gravebound some in-the-nick-of-time assistance in recovering their buried comrades.  All in all, this is an excellent monster and a great example of how to make a new creature feel as authentic as one from folklore with just a little attention to detail.

After losing his gold to a devious country parson, a leprechaun became consumed with hatred for humanity.  Most leprechauns who give in to such feelings murder the objects of their ire and become redcaps, but this particular fey went unrevenged when the parson died unexpectedly.  The leprechaun still lurks in the graveyard by the parsonage—he has knocked over the cleric’s headstone so often the burial society has stopped resituating it—so he was first on the scene when a premature burial caused a gravebound to rise from the earth.  The leprechaun now has a new revenge plan: lure as many people as he can to the graveyard and then aid the gravebound in sending them to an untimely rest.

A doge protected the location of his treasure vault in the most efficient way possible: He buried alive everyone who worked on it.  When the workers arose as gravebound spirits, the callous doge was unconcerned, as he could dimension door into the next chamber past the atrocity.  His son, however, does not have such magical talents. Having taken his father’s place, he hires adventurers to open the vault so that he can claims his legacy.  (Of course he pleads ignorance when the gravebound manifest.)  He also fails to tell them—because he does not know—that his father survived the assassination attempt and secretly plans to retaliate against his son and all his allies.

A kami asks a party of adventurers for aid.  A gravebound has arisen in his ward, and he lacks the power to dispatch the creature by himself.  If they aid the kami and slay the gravebound, he rewards them with an old prayer scroll that hides a secret on its reverse side.  However, doing so complicates their social lives and possibly their honor. First, a rival of theirs spots them with the gravebound’s shovel and spreads rumors that they are doing menial labor below their station; second, the kami’s ward is devoted to the Turtle God, whose worship is despised by the current regime.

Pathfinder Bestiary 5 128

Looking for the goliath frog?  We covered that a few days ago.


I’m done, I did it, I’m super happy with it and I’ve provided two versions. If Trott or Katie sees this, I’d rather the background version be shown on stream.

Now, onto the explanation.

Mina is a beautiful character and I loved doing this piece so I wanted to spend as much time on it as possible. I love her backstory, as heartbreaking as it is, and when I have the time, I plan on drawing more, including the rest of her family. I love this character as much as the main party, she was a perfect addition as a guest and I can’t wait to see more.

To me, this is more than just fan art of a well thought out, amazingly roleplayed and presented Dungeons and Dragons character, this is a thank you to @typewriterkatface. Every time I have done a piece of art, she has reblogged/liked it and if a piece of fan art for her, she has made a comment, this goes for all the High Rollers art. On Wednesday’s stream, Kat, you made me extremely happy by saying you liked my art and I’ve never actually felt more proud to be an artist till you said that. Yes, I’ll include I am now tearing up writing this. Kat, you have helped me in so many ways you don’t even know it. Being on streams is the best for me, not that I don’t love the other guys, of course I do, you’re the best, but you show me that it’s okay to exert yourself and have fun, something I often struggle with. So, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for being an amazing, heartwarming person, you deserve all the love you get and I mean that.

Also, as a side note, I may consider making a Mina cosplay? If I get the time to, curse you college! Perhaps next year some time, I have no idea yet but I really want to cosplay her, she’s my favourite lesbian, topping Commander Payla.

Music listened to when creating the piece: (in case you were interested)


Pulling out the ol' Street Fighter moves

Party is making their way through a spooky old mansion and find themselves in one of those fancy in-door outhouses.

Sorcerer: Is there anything in the toilet? *looks inside*

DM: You find a dookie/poo elemental.  Roll for initiative.

*initiatives for all*

Sorcerer: Ok, I’m going to point blank blast it with a fireball.

*rolls attack, crits*

DM: You do a hadoken and light him ablaze.


Sorcerer: …I’d say I did a HaDOOKen