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.

Analysis

How Team Rocket Villains Ruin Stories

I invoke the terrible memories of Team Rocket because they are the most extreme example of something that pervades a lot of other stories: recurring villains who simply lose their potency as time goes on. This can ruin an otherwise great story. Read more »

Podcast

19 – Character Death

The Mythcreant Podcast

Chris, Oren, and Mike discuss the great dilemma of whether or not to kill a character. They describe the storytelling problems created by this dilemma, and question the difference between good character deaths and bad ones. Read more »

Podcast

18 – Subverting Expectations

The Mythcreant Podcast

Oren, Chris, and Mike talk about breaking conventions in stories. They discuss works that offer delightful surprises to their audience, and contrast them with works that simply fail expectations. They also talk about Star Trek. A lot. Read more »

Analysis

Six Reasons You Should Read Discworld

Discworld is an expansive fantasy series created by Terry Pratchett. It features a flat, disc-shaped world (who would have guessed) resting upon the backs of four enormous elephants standing on the shell of a giant turtle, the Great A’Tuin. It’s made up of multiple series … read more »

Podcast

17 – When Stories Become Self-Aware

The Mythcreant Podcast

Mike, Oren, and Chris talk about stories in which characters use their knowledge of dramatic structure to anticipate what will happen next. They discuss worlds where story mechanics influence reality, and describe how self-awareness is used for parodies and subversions. Read more »

Roleplaying

Five Tips for Running a Mystery Game

Mystery is one of the most common types of roleplaying game sessions, especially for games that have moved out of the dungeon. They provide both a direction and objective for players: solve the mystery! Mysteries come preloaded with suspense and the subversion of expectations, plus … read more »

Podcast

16 – Running Post-Apocalyptic Campaigns

The Mythcreant Podcast

Oren, Mike, and Chris discuss how to do post-apocalyptic roleplaying games, how not to do them, and how really not to do them. They talk about cultural influences on post-apocalyptic settings, player expectations, and how game masters should prepare for running this kind of campaign. Read more »

Commentary

Four Problems With Multimedia Continuity

There’s a lot of words in that title, so let’s parse some of this down. ‘Multimedia’ here refers to stories that are large enough to exist across multiple platforms, such as film, television, books, comics, video games, and so on. Star Wars, Mass Effect, and … read more »

Podcast

15 – The Hero’s Journey

The Mythcreant Podcast

Chris, Oren and Mike discuss mythic structure and the wide variety of works that use it. They talk about the themes that make the journey effective, and how it can help writers craft better stories. Read more »

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