RPGBOT.News – MOAR The Monsters Know What They’re Doing with Keith Ammann

Show Notes

In this episode of RPGBOT.News, we sit down with Keith Ammann to discuss his latest book, recently-released MOAR The Monsters Know What They’re Doing. We talk about what’s new in the book, what you can learn from Keith’s work, and why everyone should go read both MOAR and his previous books, The Monsters Know What They’re Doing, and Live to Tell The Tale.

Special thanks to our Patreon discord users for suggesting questions for today’s episode.

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Materials Referenced in this Episode

Transcript

Keith 

I think one of the great things about goblins as an introductory monster, though, is that they teach you to be careful.

Randall 

Welcome to the RPGBOT.News. I’m Randall James, your deficient dungeon master, and with me is Tyler Kamstra.

Tyler 

Hi everybody.

Randall 

And Random Powell.

Random 

Good afternoon.

Randall 

And with us today we have a special guest, Keith Ammann. How are you doing, Keith?

Keith 

I am well how are you?

Randall 

Doing great, doing great. Keith, tell us about yourself a little bit.

Keith 

I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons since God’s grandma was a little girl. I am the author of the blog, the Monsters Know What They’re Doing. TheMonstersKnow.com. And the books, the Monsters Know What They’re Doing: Combat Tactics for Dungeon Masters, the newly released MOAR The Monsters Know What They’re Doing, and Live to Tell the Tale: Combat Tactics for Player Characters.

Randall 

Awesome. And yeah, so the MOAR has actually just come out. So we’re recording this in January 2022. And it came out in…

Keith 

It came out in January 2022. It was it was due out November 30th. It got grappled and restrained by the supply-chain Kraken and it came out officially on January 4th

Randall 

Okay. Well, congratulations!

Random 

Honestly, I just have to say for this time period, having only been restrained by the supply chain cracking for like, a month and…

Keith 

I know. A month in a week was was a pretty good…

Random 

Pretty…

Keith 

It could have been way worse than that.

Random 

Yeah. So, congratulations!

Keith 

Thank you.

Randall 

Awesome. So tell us about the book. It, you know. the original covered the Monster Manual, some of the the material in the backend. But this new book, it’s covering some newer releases that folks would like to have access to, right?

Keith 

Right. The Monsters Know, the first volume, is the Monster Manual. Complete minus a couple of monsters that I did not think anyone really needed me to analyze for them. Like the troglodyte which is a very, very… people ask me about it all the time, and I don’t know why, because it’s a totally autopilot monster. There’s there’s nothing you have to think about with respect to troglodytes. MOAR Monsters is the same, but for Volo’s and Mordenkainen’s. And again, the only monsters I leave out are ones that you really need no assistance to figure out how to run. And there are even a couple I throw in there that you don’t really need assistance to run these. But I just throw them in because I feel like people are going to ask me about them if they’re not there. And so I take a moment to say, Yeah, this is… this one’s on autopilot. Don’t worry about it. This one is really more of a hazard than an actual monster, that sort of thing.

Randall 

Okay.

Keith 

But MOAR Monsters includes a little bit more sidebar content than the Monsters Know. I go into more depth in talking about my analytical process in in an introductory section. And I get to something that people have been asking me about for a long time and I had resisted for a long time. But I needed to add some more material to this one. I thought well, okay, I’ll go ahead and do it. And that is analyses of the archfiends. The demon Lords and the archdevils.

Randall 

And in the structure of the text, you actually give it its own section on the back end, right? What was the title of this?

Keith 

Well, the it’s the monsters and then the malefactors. That’s okay. That’s all the archfiends.

Randall 

Awesome. Awesome. And then you also had material on… you gave kind of a homebrew solution for solving Counterspell.

Keith 

Yeah, because I, you know, there’s one in Xanathar’s and it’s okay. But one of the things I find myself doing a lot is running numbers, running probabilities, and seeing what feels right, what makes sense. And what I found with Xanathar’s is I thought it made identifying low level spells little too hard and it made identify high level spells much too easy. And it also didn’t really give you a seamless way to identify a spell and react to it at the same time. And I thought there ought to be some room in there to account for the kind of automaticity that comes with expertise. If you yourself have cast a spell many times in the past you’re going to know when someone else is casting it. You’re not gonna have to think about it. You’re going to see what it is and and say, “Okay, I know what’s coming.” In a case like that, you should not have to wait steer reaction on identifying the spell. You should be able to see it and counterspell it in, you know, in the same thought. And so my rule is slightly more complicated than the Xanathar’s rule. But I think on the whole, it’s more balanced. And it’s something that both DM’s and players could find more satisfaction in.

Tyler 

Yeah, I took a look at the sidebar. I haven’t gotten all the way through the first book yet, I’m rushing to catch up. But the Counterspell sidebar is really good. The math on it does make a lot more sense than Xanathar’s. So for people who have used Counterspell and the Xanathar’s rules for identifying spells, definitely give Keith’s books a look. It’s definitely an improvement.

Randall 

Yeah, I thought, you know, the biggest improvement is just the the idea that you’re, you’re scaling the difficulty with the level of the spell. I think that’s the core of it.

Keith 

Yeah, the base level of the spell. So if you, for example, are a Wizard and you see someone getting ready to catch Scorching Ray. You know, Scorching Ray is a second level spells. So if you know second level spells, you’re going to be pretty familiar with the forms of that kind of casting. But let’s say they’re boosting it to fourth level. You’re still going to recognize what is essentially a second level spell and you’re also going to recognize that they are doing something to turbocharge it. All of that recognition is going to come at once. It’s not going to be more difficult to recognize simply because they’re casting it using a fourth-level slot.

Random 

If I understand correctly from reading the bits in in your acknowledgments, it seems like you skipped 3.x largely, which is amusing to me because basically you have recreated 3.x’s mechanics for recognizing spells where, like, it was… the DC was tied to spell level. And honestly, I think that a lot of us who really enjoyed a lot of the crunch have been slowly migrating house rules back to some ways that 3.x added verisimilitude. Whic,h there’s your dictionary word for the day, go listen to our previous episode where we talked about it. I really liked that aspect of this. And it’s really interesting to me to see the tactics that you have worked out, because 3.x where Tyler and I are natives of was… and it’s hard to say this, because D&D has always been very, very crunch-focused. But 3.x was kind of the absolute most chock full of combat mechanics that provided you this option for really leaning into how to make monsters tactically threatening. And one of the, one of the options that has been changed a little bit in fifth edition that my players are intimately familiar with is ghosts hiding in floors. I’m curious, as you came back to fifth edition, was that what really made you start thinking about, I remember what tactics were like an AD&D, and and now that these monsters work very differently, is this something that I want to write up just like as a guide for myself? Or was was the transition between editions just sort of a footnote as as you were thinking about this stuff?

Keith 

Well, it definitely wasn’t attempting to hark back to the tactical flavor of AD&D because at the time, I was 18. And our tactics consisted of “get ’em” and “run!” So, you know, it’s definitely not, it’s definitely not anything like that. But there is one way in which it harks back to my AD&D experience. And that is the recollection that we didn’t really see in AD&D a whole lot of difference between the various cannon-fodder type humanoids. The goblins, the kobolds, the orcs, the lizardfolk, the gnolls. There wasn’t a whole lot to make one of those feel very different from another one. And when I got into 5e, which, for the record, I immediately appreciated for its streamlined quality and the fact that it still gave you the feeling of D&D without the quagmires.

Tyler 

That’s a great way to describe it.

Keith 

At least without as many of them nearly as many. And I mean, the just… just tangentially the the fact that you can know what your target number, is roll against it, boom. Without having to look at a table on the dungeon master screen. Reducing all of the math to something that you could do in your head was essential. It was, it was revolutionary, it was essential, and I’m so happy for it. Anyway, when I was running Lost Mine of Phandelver for… my first 5e group, which was my wife and a group of her co-workers, we had our first encounters with the goblins there and I felt very strongly that something was missing. That I was missing something because I didn’t really think that I was getting the most use out of the goblins. I felt like… there’s something something missing here. This doesn’t feel right. This doesn’t feel convincing enough. I need to know what it is about goblins that I am failing to grasp. So that was when I began really sitting down and looking at the stat blocks line by line and trying to figure out the implication of each ability score, each tactic, each sense, each action, and working that out in a way that made sense to me. And I am a, I am a longtime language professional. I’ve worked as an editor, I’ve been a writer. And one of the ways I make sense of things is just by writing it out. At the same time, I was thinking I wanted to get back into writing on a regular basis that maybe I might want to start a blog. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to write a blog about. But I was starting to have these thoughts at the same time and thought, okay, I can do my thinking about this kind of stuff in public, write it up for other people, and maybe it’ll be of some benefit to them as well as to me. And it turned out Yeah, yeah, people did in fact, want to read that. So yay for good decisions.

Randall 

Absolutely. One of the things that I thought was interesting in the new book, you actually open it up with I think, even make the analogy, you know, teaching folks to fish. You do this analysis, and you present to folks in in a nice narrative form, you know, how should each of these creatures behave? What do we expect their battle tactics to look like? But you actually open up with saying, Look, this is all I’m doing. This is the process that I go through. And I think that you could do it yourself.

Tyler 

I really enjoyed that section. That’s, that’s as far as I’ve gotten in the second book, unfortunately, I skipped around a whole bunch, I’m still trying to finish the first one. Teaching that basic skill for how to look at a new monster is really helpful, because it means people can open up adventures or third party supplements and look at a monster and say, Okay, well, what would Keith do here, and more or less figure it out on their own. But the, like, the full content of the book is still a really, really good resource.

Keith 

Yeah. And, you know, I’ve been very clear from the outset that I’m not really doing anything that people couldn’t do for themselves. But at the same time, I am all about saving people trouble. To me, coming out with all these combat tactics that people can can think about in advance while they’re planning their sessions means that this is less cognitive load for them during the session itself. Because as dungeon masters, we have to juggle a lot of different things in our heads, we have to track a lot of different things in our heads, and to have all of that cognitive load going on and also have to try to be making tactical decisions on the fly. That is a lot! And it’s going to make it’s going to result in poorer decision making. So the more of these decisions that you can make in advance of your session, and and already have semi-scripted, or at least in the form of maybe a quasi-flowchart for yourself, that you can just refer back to, you know, call up during the game, call up the choices that you’ve already made. It’s a big labor saver, it’s a big time saver, it results in better decisions, overall combat encounters that are more high speed, low drag. So there are always going to be tons of monsters out there that I’m simply not going to get to because I don’t have the books. Because maybe they are third-party, I know that’s something you are going to ask about. I generally avoid analyzing third-party content because, frankly, it’s enough of a challenge to keep up with Wizards of the Coast own releases, especially lately. Especially after I, you know, took off 13 months to try to get another book in the can. So… it wasn’t meant to be 13 months, it just happened that way. There’s always going to be things I can’t get to and so I want to be able to say to people Okay, here I am doing all this stuff serving it up so that you don’t have to but for the things that I’m not serving up, don’t feel lost. You can do this too. Here’s how.

Random 

Just a really quick sidebar. The Homebrew monster that you chose to to do that with is terrifying and I hate it. Thanks.

Keith 

I’m glad! I’m glad. I was trying to make something that would actually be a little scary.

Tyler 

So I want to I want to call back to Lost Mine of Phandelver, sorry, Lost Mine of Phandelver, because you called that out as a good example. So the Goblin is the first monster that you look at in the first book. And I think that’s a really good example of what am I going to get in this book. And when you look at, Keith, when you look at the tactics you’ve described for the Goblin, it’s immediately apparent that goblins are terrifying.

Keith 

They are tricky and nasty, and they will mess you up if you’re not careful.

Tyler 

Yeah!

Keith 

I think one of the great things about goblins as an introductory monster, though, is that they teach you to be careful. You know, you can you can look at the list of actions available to you in Chapter Nine of the player’s handbook, and not fully register how important some of them are. Some of them are obvious. Attack, dodge, dash. Others are less obvious. Fighting goblins teaches you that hide and search are very important actions. If you are in the thick of combat, you need to use the hide action to make an intentional stealth check. You need to use the search action to make an intentional perception check. And if you are not using your stealth and your perception checks, your height and search actions, in a fight against goblins, they’re gonna mess you up. They’re going to completely mess you up. By and large, if they are doing even a halfway decent job on their own hiding actions, on their own stealth rolls, your passive perception is not going to be enough, you’re going to have to make some active perception checks in order to figure out where are those goblins are so that you can fight back. Because if they are hidden, you don’t know where they are. You can guess where they are, you can make those attacks at disadvantage, and take the chance that you might be shooting at an empty square or an empty hex, but it makes a lot more sense to search for them, call out the locations of the ones you see. Because talking is always a free action. Talking is always free, it costs no action economy. So when you see where someone is yell it out, and then one of your allies can then attack that spot Even if they don’t see the goblin themselves, they can attack that spot and know at least that they’re aiming their attacks in the right place.

Randall 

Yeah, that that makes perfect sense that I think you’re hitting something we’ve talked about on the podcast, I think quite a bit. 5e has a formula for measuring challenge rating for measuring CR. We talked about it to some extent. Tyler recently built the Monsterizer and launched this, which is something you can go and you can build your own. And it’ll even show you like hey, the SRD says this oughta have a challenge rating of X. But when I actually use the rules to calculate it, it’s Y.

Keith 

Goblins have huge error bars on their CR.

Tyler 

Yeah.

Randall 

Yeah. How effective and efficient is your DM? Or how kind is your DM depending on like the party acumen.

Keith 

But also how shrewd are your players? Because they Live to Tell the Tale, I use goblins for the first example. And I use the typical walk right up to the obvious bait, then the goblins attack, and before you know it, one of your party members is down and out of the fight. And then I say okay, okay, okay. Back up now. How should you have approached this combat encounter instead? And when the players approach the combat counter directly, suddenly things are very much more in their favor.

Randall 

No, absolutely. And just to reiterate it so live to tell, Live to Tell the Tale was your second book, which is all about player character combat tactics.

Keith 

Right.

Randall 

So the question I want to ask is How does as you write these tactics, and as you analyze these monsters? How often do you find that look, if you follow the right tactics, if as a DM you, you play this out to the full advantage, especially when you have a full encounter, you have multiple monsters. How often is it that you look at the CR and you say that CR is just wrong, like, this is never gonna work?

Keith 

Honestly, I never know until I’m actually running the encounter. I have very little intuition for that. I will say though that analyzing some of these creatures, the one that comes immediately to mind from the Monsters Know What They’re Doing is the shadow. The shadow can really wreck a low level party. And in fact, I have only ever had one TPK and that was pretty close to the beginning of Curse of Strahd and it was an encounter with and it was an encounter with shadows. And the party just got wrecked.

Random 

So let me tell you about my personal experience with that encounter. Because when you look at the CR for a shadow, it is very misleading, and there is a particular room in Death House where you’re supposed to fight like four of them.

Tyler 

Well, that’s too many.

Keith 

It’s four, it’s four or five.

Random 

My DM toned it down to one and it still nearly killed somebody. This is a really great example of just when you use a monster tactically correctly. It can be terrifying. Boy.

Keith 

Although, that being said, I think that if you actually do the encounter math on that encounter, it does come up as a deadly encounter.

Random 

It definitely should. But just…

Randall 

Sure was!

Random 

Yeah, right? It’s one of those places where thinking about how are you going to use this monster tactically, Keith’s content is great. And knowing how to use it best, is a great baseline for you to be able to say, Okay, this is how I would absolutely wreck my players with it. Now I have a top end of the scale, and I can scale it back down to 75%. You know, like, let’s say I want to not use this particular tactic, because floor ghosts will wreck your day. I think that really, this is the best way to increase your skill ceiling. And then you’re going to need to feel out where in there your party is comfortable with the challenge you can provide them.

Randall 

Yeah, I’ll ask the question. You said, you often don’t know, you don’t have a feel for how difficult this is going to be until you actually play out the encounter.

Keith 

Shadows were an exception to that.

Randall 

Okay. How often do you get to DM? How often do you actually get to play the game and test out some of these tactics that you’re putting together?

Keith 

Every week sometimes twice.

Tyler 

Nice! Livin’ the dream.

Keith 

I am in fourr… a dream to some, a nightmare to others! I have, I have four active games going right now, of which I’m DMing three.

Tyler 

Wow.

Keith 

I play something every Tuesday and Wednesday night. So, short sessions, but every week. It can it can sometimes be a little rough on on continuity, but at least it… Well, I mean, it’s it’s two different types of continuity, you know, it’s keeping the flow of the story going versus keeping the campaign itself going. It’s very good for keeping the campaign itself going. It can it can sometimes disrupt the flow, especially since a lot of the time we are alternating campaigns week to week. And so it, you know, there’s some effort involved in getting your head back in the one you’re playing on a given night.

Randall 

Are you… is everything 5e?

Keith 

It’s all 5e. But there definitely are other games that have been sitting on my shelf for a long time that I would like to get into. And the only way that’s going to happen is if I, you know, wrap up a couple of these ongoing campaigns. So as much as I’m enjoying them, I’m also looking forward to reaching the end of them and moving on to other things.

Random 

Well, and so kind of touching on what I was just talking about with raising the skill ceiling to the point where you really can wreck your players. It is that a thing that you do frequently? Like, with all of this tactical knowledge in your head, do you sometimes just maybe like in in a bit of a haze say, Oh yes, my job today is to sit down and kill the table. And you know, have that high lethality? Or do you find that you do kind of tend to tone yourself down from all this technical knowledge?

Keith 

So number one, I’m actually kind of a softie. I don’t like to kill my players. I’m not I’m not out to kill my players. What I am out to do is thrill my players. I want to make them feel like they are earning their victories. But the other thing is oftentimes because of that, I find myself having to make things harder, especially at higher levels. The exercise I’m often finding myself playing nowadays is how much can I pile on in order to make them feel like they earned this victory? Because, you know, especially once they get a few magic items in their hands, they’re just too good.

Tyler 

Now, have you ever given magic items to enemies in encounters? And, like, has that affected how you handle the tactics for those monsters?

Keith 

Occasionally, I will give them magic items. But I mean, it only makes sense that, you know, for example, if you take a humanoid-shaped adversary, like a genie, and it’s got magic items in its treasure hoard. Well, obviously if it found a magic weapon at some point, it’s going to carry it and use it. You know, a monster smart enough to collect and use magic items is going to have something like that, but it’s also going to choose ones that make it better at what it already does, right? It’s not usually going to be much impact on the tactics because they’re going to double down on what they’re good at. The only difference would be if an item let them do something they couldn’t normally do or if it patched a weakness somehow, and and let them maybe be a little bit bolder about certain things. But other than that, it does affect the challenge rating, but I don’t think it affects the tactics that much in most cases.

Tyler 

That makes sense.

Randall 

Yeah. So as you as you go to do your breakdown, do you have an idea of like archetypes of monsters? You know, do you think of them as like, Well, this one’s kind of a blaster. This one’s a striker. This one’s a tank.

Keith 

It’s sort, sort of, but I like I have terms that the people will see me use over and over again. Brute, skirmisher, spellslinger. But those are based around what I identify as their primary offensive ability and their primary defensive ability, especially their defensive ability. And I… in live to tell the tale, I talk about combat roles, which are based on those things. Now, granted, I’m talking about those in the context of player characters. But it’s not all that different for monsters. For monsters, there may be only one or two more types that you’re ever going to see. All you really have to think about most of the time are two, two and a half axes. Are they going to get in and mix it up in melee or are going to, are they going to try to keep their distance? Or the half is, are they going to go in for melee, but then get out quickly? And then are they going to use a weapon or are they going to cast spells? And that’s that’s basically what it boils down to is, what are they going to use to attack? And how willing are they to get up close and personal? And once you’ve answered those two questions, those are the most important dimensions of of how a monster fights and you don’t necessarily need to pigeonhole them further than that.

Tyler 

So one of the things that you talk about a lot in the tactics entries for monsters is how when when they run away, which I think is something that a lot of DM’s overlook. Like you see, you see monsters in a dungeon and say, okay, these monsters will fight to the death to protect this room for… reasons. Describe that process to us, like, describe how that affects how you think about monsters.

Keith 

So the default for me is when they get down to 40% of their maximum hit points. And I choose 40% partially because there are things that Shadowrun did that I really liked and I’ve never quite gotten past. But, but also I feel like 50%, which is the threshold given in, I think the player’s handbook, as this is when you can tell somebody is badly wounded. I don’t I don’t like 50% as a cut off, because I feel like it’s a little too soon for most, but too late for some. My two primary cut offs are 70% and 40% of max HP 70%. I call moderately wounded. 40% I call severely wounded. And your typical monster, just, you know, *growing sounds*, is going to be a little bit extra truculent and it’s not going to run away unless it’s severely wounded. Because it just has that monstrous nature, you know, it just wants to come at you. It’s belligerent. But if you have, let’s say an NPC, or a more intelligent creature that is, let’s say more invested in its own existence. It has a… it rates itself as more important as more valuable to the world. You know, the world needs me. I’m not gonna risk my life over this. It’s gonna, it’s gonna bug out sooner. Same with predators. Predators don’t like prey that fights back. They want easy prey. And the phrase I always use is the young, the old, the isolated, the oblivious, the weak. That’s who the predators are going after. And if they suddenly discover that their prey is none of those things, peace out. I’m going to go, I’m going to go find some easier prey elsewhere. I’m not going to risk my own life fighting this thing that was supposed to be lunch.

Randall 

This tuna’s wrapped on a tin can, and I’m not going to go after it.

Keith  

Exactly. Exactly, exactly. Or this tuna smells off. This tune is going to poison me if I eat it. No, thank you. But then on the other extreme, you have zealots. You have creatures that are fighting out of ideology or compulsion. Creatures that cannot let it go. They are going to fight to the death.

Randall 

Yeah, I think that was in the early sections. When you’re talking through how you read each section you said that was one of the most important things that you took from the flavor text.  Was is this a zealot? Is this something that will will die for their belief versus valuing their own life? Yeah, I thought that was really interesting.

Keith 

Yes. The only exception to that I can think of is cultists, in which their fanaticism is actually written into the stat block. Aside from the cultists, like, the cult and the cult… What’s the other one, there’s cultist and there’s cult fanatic. Well, there it is in the name, you know.

Randall 

Yeah.

Keith 

I think that was like the Drow Inquisitor. You know, then then you’ve got fanaticism written into the name. But usually that aspect is not going to be in the stat block and the flavor text is where you would find it.

Randall 

Yeah. And so that’s, that’s a great exception. You also made the point that you like to read the stat block First, you take only this, and then once you’ve really put together in your mind what what’s going to happen that’s the point where you see if Okay, is there any nuance, is there any additional material? Yeah, I definitely enjoyed reading that section. Actually, I want to talk a little bit more about the book and even like the writing and the publishing process. So having published three books in this domain, had you publish books prior to starting to write these?

Keith 

I had self-published. Live to Tell the Tale was originally a self-published ebook, and I beefed it up for trade publication. And I had also worked in journalism. I had been a bookseller. So none of this stuff was foreign to me.

Randall 

Okay.

Keith 

But this is actually the first time that my work has been published by someone else in book form. I should say the first, second, and third time.

Randall 

There we go. That’s what I was gonna ask. like, what/// have you learned anything, or has anything became like easier, more interesting, as you’ve gone from one to two to three?

Keith 

Well, the easier thing is I’m actually getting paid for my work so I can hire other people to do things like make a nice art for me. You know, when I was self publishing, I had to do everything myself because I had no budget. Now, having had a background in editorial, I could, you know, I could copy edit my own work. Not flawlessly, because you always want two pairs of eyes on everything, but I could I could do a better job than most people. I was skilled enough with desktop publishing software that I could make it do things it wasn’t designed to do. And so in my in my ebook edition, actually, in Live to Tell the Tale, I did a very large amount of those maps in Adobe InDesign.

Randall 

Wow. Okay.

Keith 

Once I once I had the advance for the book, and I had a little bit of money to spend I got Illustrator and I can, now I can actually do a few a few things the way they were supposed to be done. But yeah, for the ebook version, I did all of the maps in InDesign. Desktop publishing software, not illustration, not art software. Desktop publishing software.

Randall 

Nice.

Keith 

Just because just because I could, and it was a way to get something on paper that that I wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise.

Randall 

Awesome. So where where can people find the book.

Keith 

Any trade bookseller, local independent bookstore, bookshop.org, Barnes and Noble, Amazon. If you’re in Canada, Indigo. Wherever you buy trade books. There is a game distributor that does carry the books, but if a game store does not use that distributor as a as a wholesaler, they can get it from Simon and Schuster distribution. And there is a link to that information on my personal website, which is SpyAndOwl.com.

Randall 

Keith, do you have any events like book signings appearances you’re gonna be making soon that way, if we have listeners who are local that can make it out?

Keith 

I don’t have any scheduled mainly because I cannot really travel right now. I would like very much to make the con circuit this year. But I have an under five child at home and I cannot risk bringing anything home to my child. And so my appearances in public this year 100% absolutely depend on whether our country can get COVID under control. So for crying out loud, go out and get vaccinated. I am not kidding. I am extremely angry at people who can do this and refuse to do it because they are putting my family at risk.

Randall 

Yeah, I think 100%. We all agree.

Keith 

And they are forcing they are forcing me to keep to myself and not come out into the world in order to keep my family safe. If you want to see me out there, get vaccinated. You know if somebody walked up to you in your campaign and handed you a Ring of Protection and you didn’t put it on. You refused to put it on. How smart would that be? Alright, you’re being handed a Ring of Protection. Put it on.

Randall 

Oh, Keith, what if it’s cursed? Look at everybody. Everybody’s doing fine. Now get it done. Yeah, I think we all 100% agree. And so that being said, yeah, it as soon as we get it together, you’ll be able to catch Keith out at the circuit.

Keith 

Yeah. And and if we can get it together in time, I hope to be at PAX East, Pax Unplugged, Gen Con, Gamehole. Con. So we’ll see. We’ll see what we can do.

Randall 

Perfect. Perfect. All right. Well, thank you, Keith, so much for joining us today. We really enjoyed it. One more time, why don’t you tell folks where they can find you?

Keith 

My, well, my personal website is SpyAndOwl.com. That has information on all of the books that I’ve written and had published through Saga Press. The blog is at TheMonstersKnow.com. And I’m going to resume publishing on that very soon. I’m just waiting on art for a site redesign. But I’ll be starting that up again any day now.

Randall 

Awesome. Awesome. And so everybody, please go out and grab MOAR Monsters Know What They’re Doing, the third book in theMonsters Know What They’re Doing series. Keith, thanks so much for joining us today.

Keith 

Thank you for inviting me.

Randall 

Absolutely. It’s been wonderful. Special thanks to Gonk and Stubbens from the RPGBOT Discord for some of the for contributing questions for our conversation with Keith today. We really appreciate it. Thanks, folks. See you soon.

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