Oren Ashkenazi

Oren is a grumpy old man whose physical age hasn’t quite caught up with him, at least that’s what the kids who won’t get off his lawn keep saying. He’s been into roleplaying games since he was knee-high to a d10, and into prose writing for nearly as long. He loves stories and games that push the envelope of storytelling, like the Discworld series and the RPG Primetime Adventures. He’s also a huge Star Trek fan, though his rants on the mistakes of Voyager and Enterprise might make you think otherwise.

Podcast

124 – Distinct Sounding Dialogue

The Mythcreant Podcast

A common fear among writers is that our characters will all sound the same. Unlike film, we can’t count on an actor to give them personality; it all needs to come from the written page. That’s why we sat down this week to talk about … read more »

Podcast

123 – How to GM the Environment

The Mythcreant Podcast

NPCs and monsters are one thing, but what about a game’s environment, how should a GM handle that? Should dust storms and floods be confined to flavor, or should they inflict serious penalties. What about hunger and thirst? Join us this week for a discussion … read more »

Storytelling

Five Tropes That Make a Villain Look Incompetent

Villainy is a profession loaded with tropes. From the evil speech to the climactic duel against the hero, villainous behavior has been tweaked and refined through the ages. Unfortunately, some of these tropes make the villain look incompetent. They invoke eye-rolling from the audience and destroy tension in the … read more »

Podcast

122 – Redeeming a Villain

The Mythcreant Podcast

Everyone loves a villain. Sometimes we love villains so much we want them to be heroes. But how best to redeem them? Should they even be redeemed? Join us this week for a discussion on what goes into flipping a character from team bad to … read more »

Roleplaying

Six Fantastic Roleplaying Mechanics

A steampunk pendent, heart shaped with gears inside.

A few weeks ago I wrote about flawed mechanics that shouldn’t be in roleplaying games, and a day or so later, Jonny sent me this email: Dear Mythcreants, I loved Oren’s article “Five Roleplaying Mechanics That Must Go.” I couldn’t help but feel, however, that … read more »

Podcast

121 – Animal Companions

The Mythcreant Podcast

We all love our furry (or not furry) companions, but how should they be used in stories? What separates animal companions from traditional side characters? Is R2-D2 an animal companion? We answer these bold questions and more on this episode of the podcast – plus we … read more »

Analysis

Eight Reasons Your Critiques of Marvel Are Wrong

The actors for Netflix's Defenders, with Jessica Jones looking at Iron fist like he just said something rude.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, is the shared universe for the screen adaptations of Marvel’s comic book properties. It started with Iron Man and includes all of the Marvel movies since then, as well as TV shows like Daredevil and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Notably, it … read more »

Worldbuilding

Five Plausible Scenarios for Planetary Evacuation

We scifi authors love to write stories about abandoning Earth and colonizing space. We also love to write scientifically plausible stories. This is a problem, because most stories about evacuating our home planet are wildly implausible. Most planetary evacuation scenarios don’t work for two main reasons. The … read more »

Writing

Six Reasons You Shouldn’t Enter Writing Contests

Writing contests seem so flashy and cool. They promise big prizes and publishing deals, and surely your story is good enough to win, right? Entering seems like a no-brainer! Except that it’s almost never a good idea to enter a prose writing contest.* For authors, writing … read more »

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