beauty is in the eye of the…

When I designed my latest RPG adventure “Rolling with Laughter” I placed a certain monster in it that I discovered was a trademark by Wizards of the Coast as D&D product identity. What’s a GM to do?
My first thought was to use the beeholder but misspell the word biholder every time I write byholder or behoolder. I wasn’t sure if it’s such a good idea, both legally and practically. You don’t want to be inconsistent in your writing, confused GM creates confused players.
I also thought of creating the same effect by reskinning other things. Like having a wizard that specializes in anti-magic with his ten disciples (one spell each) and have them all levitate in a circle as they are clearly in the midst of some ritual. I love this stupid idea.
The solution (like most of my solutions) presented itself in the middle of a playtest when the players rolled a lousy perception check and thought the beholderrr was a cat. Suddenly the next encounter was a cat-holder and everyone loved it. (Art by the amazing Ori Ayalon)
I debated how to name it, so I started a discussion and the winning answer was “purrr-ceiver” isn’t it ingenious? All credit to Aviad Shamir (you should check out his YouTube channel Beyond the Screen at ).
The adventure is also a guide to running comedy sessions. Each scene has a list of the comedic devices used so new GM will learn to spot and incorporate “The Funny” into their own adventures. I debated if I should tell this but decided against it since it’s mostly unrelated.
That’s it, thanks for coming to my Ted talk and if you want to see the end result, the adventure is here:



The Stairwell System

(or “How to remember everything that happened in the session”) In episode 18 of On the Shoulders of Dwarves I’ve briefly mentioned how I use