I have two monsters and their stat blocks for use in DnD out as part of the bestiary Scientific Secrets of Avernus. The Volcanitherium is an adorable two-headed, gliding murder hound, and the False Cleric Fish is the spookiest arthropod you could ever encounter.

I’m a big fan of both ttrpgs and monsters, so this was a very fun project to be a part of. I also wanted to work on the bestiary because all the monsters had to be based in science, and include citations for whatever inspired the monster.

I really love these sorts of projects – its similar to the mission of Story Seed Vault, which has published some of my flash fiction, and includes links to the science research and news that inspired each story. I think these kinds of works are a great way to make science more accessible, and circumvent some of the fears people may have about interacting with research and scientific concepts. They’re also a fun way to push the boundaries of what science fiction is, and break down some of the walls around who is “allowed” to write “real” sci fi (as well as illuminate how thin the boundaries between sci-fi and fantasy can sometime be).

If you’re into monster stat blocks, I hope you’ll check out Scientific Secrets of Avernus. There are 25 other monsters to play with besides my own, as well as illustrations by Dana Braga and Erin Anderson. Erin Anderson did the fantastic illustrations that accompany my monsters. Leon Barillaro provided amazing editing, and Anja Svare did the wonderful layout. Zeke Gonzales produced the whole fantastic bestiary.