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As I’ve mentioned, I am planning to reengage in a more well-rounded manner with my inner monsters – the ones that I have pop into my head during moments I spend drawing… eating, sleeping, pooping, walking, shopping… remarkably, a lot. So I took a day to get acquainted with NaturalCrit’s Homebrewery, a tool that formats tabletop roleplaying content in the style of the current D&D Fifth Edition ruleset, and converts to .pdf format.

You may have seen the creature I’m going to share here. It was a concept developed during #Orctober (or, #Orktober if you prefer) in 2017. I was sick with flu, home from work leafing through the Monster Manual, and in particular looking at the orc entries. Wandering later into the drow entries, I decided that it was a shame you could find a creature as chaotic and insidious as the drider, but amongst the orc- nothing comparable?

I recall sneezing several times, and then scrambling for pen and paper and feverishly scribbling out a really sad version of what I would later call the “orcorpian”, an orc torso blended with a scorpion’s body. It was a year later that I put together a creature stat-block concept that broke down the key pillars of the monster: orcish savagery mixed with an insectoid predator armored by chitin, pincers and an almost lethal poison. I drew the orcorpian two more times after that. This past weekend, as I started typing up the stat-block out using the Homebrewery toolset, I looked at the art I had done, and realized I needed to accurately reflect my current style, and started drawing it again:

It feels good to look back now and see where I stand today in my art progression (versus the previous version, part of my “#Inktober & #Orktober” post) . As you can tell, this is still a work in progress that I’m weaving into my schedule and weekends around my regular commission duties. I will eventually have something complete and embedded into that Homebrewery document to share with you all as a PDF either through a Patreon Creator account, the DMsGuild, or DriveThruRPG (I still have to look at the metrics before making that decision).

Doing this work has forced me to engage with it as more than just another drawing, but as something that needs story, a reason to skitter across a cieling, or burst out of false walls and covered pits at your player characters. As a long-time dungeon master, I’m thrilled to be doing this.

I can’t wait to finish it and share the link with you.