Monsters of Murka is designed to be the satiric culmination of years and years of playing table top RPGs and making funny one-off references and inside jokes with our table of friends. You know the scenario I’m describing—Your GM is describing some ancient horror, a demilich with a rigid, boney face, high-arching eyebrows, a weird, hairy mole, and this heinous cackling
laughter, when suddenly you realize…
“Hey, that’s our Algebra instructor, Mr. Redford!”
Your GM, pleased with themselves, cracks a smile and insists, in a dry, evil voice, “No, no,
I am MISTER DEADFORD!”
That… is Monsters of Murka.
Monsters of Murka began as a fever-dream-inspired idea to lampoon Donald Trump as a monster in fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons. I remember this vividly, because I awoke at 4 A.M. in my significant other’s bed, groggily reached for my phone, and jotted down my genius idea before collapsing back into bed. When I checked the notes the following morning, it all made perfect sense:
“Trunp as dnd monstee”
This would over time, evolve into a series of monsters parodying Trump, as well as a dungeon I
created based on the White House. Of course, that dungeon would need to exist in a town, and
that town in a kingdom, and that kingdom in a world…
And so, Monsters of Murka came to be.
I could never bring such a magical world to life myself, however, and that’s where the other authors, CJ Thomas and Brad Roberts came in. CJ has been such an influence on my creative writing over the years, and we’ve been best friends since 2008. He’s a history buff with a knack for good jokes, so he was perfect to do a lot of the heavy lifting with the lore of Murka as a whole, and with a majority of the body work of the three key locations in Monsters of Murka’s campaign setting book. Brad is our resident rules lawyer, with a keen, in-depth knowledge of the fifth edition rules system rooted in many years of playing and GMing for numerous groups.
The three of us collaborated for several months, spending all of our free time outlining ideas, choosing only the best (and funniest), and pushing forward with the intention of creating a world that served as not only satire of America, but also as a sort of social commentary. We always had every intent on the social commentary element playing in equal harmony with the comedy of the book. If we weren’t making people laugh, then what was the point?
One of our major goals through this project was also to incorporate the full breadth of talent the world has to offer, and so we’ve collaborated with artists from Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, France, Poland, Canada, and beyond! We’ve also had the pleasure of working with U.S. based artists and contributing writers/sensitivity readers from all across America, who have helped provide us with incredibly useful cultural context that we otherwise wouldn’t have had, growing up in
The finished version of Murka is something we’re really proud of. We feel like it’s got something for everyone, that it has a lot of potential, and that it’s brought a lot of smiles and laughter to people all over. We love hearing stories of people recreating their hometown in the world, or GMs retelling exaggerated adventures that their friends have gone on. This is exactly what we wanted out of this book, and it makes us so happy to see that we achieved what we set out to do.