Death Saves – Fallen Heroes of the Kitchen Table

Cover by Jared Morgan

Cover by Jared Morgan

As role-players we have all been there.  That penultimate moment when our beloved character passes.  Whether it’s heroic, tragic or simply amusing, we do enjoy recanting the epic tale of our hero’s demise.  So does Josh Trujillo and his team who decided to take it beyond simple drunken boasting at the local tavern and create a graphic novel illustrating these deaths.

‘Death Saves – Fallen Heroes of the Kitchen Table’ contains 16 stories which explore what happens to fantasy gaming characters when they run out of hit points.  Josh has managed to put together an extraordinary team of talented individuals, including some local Australian talent as well.

In order to go beyond a simple PDF and release a physical product, which many role-players can attest to preferring, Josh has taken the project online to Kickstarter.  Chasing only a humble $3,500 (USD), the project has already eclipsed that goal and is beginning to tick boxes on the stretch goals list.

I was lucky enough to catch up with the editor himself, Josh Trujillo for a chat –

Artwork by Jonathan Lareva

Artwork by Jonathan Lareva

ATGNThanks for taking time out of what is surely a busy schedule to speak with us, Josh. Let’s start at the beginning. How did the idea for ‘Death Saves’ come about?

Josh – Although we spend a lot of time world-building and solving puzzles in my gaming groups, the most memorable adventures are often the ones where a player character got killed. In talking to many different groups over the years I have found this to be almost a universal truth.

“Death Saves” is a love letter to all of the heroes I have killed over the years, both as a player and as a Game Master.

ATGN – What brought you to the decision to use Kickstarter to release a printed copy of the comic rather than simply release a digital-only version?

Josh – I’m kind of an old school player. I still buy the physical version of all my RPG source books, and I have a lot of fun designing new “toys” my players can interact with during sessions. Although I have had success with digital releases for my “Love Machines” series, I wanted something tactile that could be passed around the gaming table for a quick laugh while everything is getting set up.

ATGN – There sure are a lot of contributors involved in this project. Was it a difficult task? How does one go about organising so many people?

Josh – We have about 30 creators involved with this book, so managing everything can be a real challenge at times. I’m very fortunate that everyone involved in “Death Saves” has a real passion for the book, and has been so good about sticking to the deadlines I set.

Artwork by Rob Herbert

Artwork by Rob Herbert

ATGN – You also mentioned earlier that the project included a number of Australian artists? Who should we be keeping an eye out for here down-under?

Josh – A few of us have Aussie in our blood, including artist Rob Hebert and myself (although you’d never guess that from my last name.) “Death Saves” features a big, international group of creators. It was important for me to try to get as diverse a group of talent as I could, since these games are so universal.

ATGN – Is ‘Death Saves’ a one-off issue or are we likely to see further issues in the future? If so, will be they also be printed or digital only?

Josh – For right now at least “Death Saves” is just a self-contained, 130+ page volume. That said, people have been very enthusiastic about the project so anything could happen. Several creators have already reached out to me lamenting that they missed the deadline to submit a story of their own.

ATGN – As a roleplayer myself I was able to relate to a great many of the stories included in ‘Death Saves’. Do you have a particularly memorable moment from your own roleplaying past that you would care to share?

Josh – I’ve had characters ripped apart by six-armed gorillas, swallowed whole by undead dragons, dissolved into acid, drowned, crushed — anything you could imagine. Once I had my halfling sorcerer trick an Earth Elemental into thinking that I was an Earth Elemental too.

Unfortunately the spell broke after a few minutes and now that sorcerer is no longer with us. RIP.

Artwork by Shawn Daley

Artwork by Shawn Daley

ATGN – Beyond Kickstarter, what other websites could interested parties head to for more information on this project or it’s contributors?

Josh – You can learn more about the book and its creators on our Tumblr Page  or on Facebook.

We have plenty of preview art there, as well as interviews with the creators. My personal website is!

ATGN – Thanks for talking with us Josh! We look forward to seeing ‘Death Saves’ become an enormous success!

Josh – Thank you for chatting with me!

You can pick up a copy of the digital PDF for only $10 USD which also includes some extras, while a physical copy of Death Saves will set you back $20 USD plus postage.  While there is a postage fee involved for anything beyond the digital version, for those like myself that prefer a physical product in their hands it’s a small price to pay.  Head over to the official Kickstarter page here for more information.

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One Comment
  1. ahoyhoy
    February 3, 2015 |