Storytelling

The Six Traits of Strong Characters

What if you make up 20 pages of backstory, and your character still doesn’t feel “strong”? How can you even tell? I’m going to turn the subjective quality of “strength” into clear benchmarks by detailing six traits that strong characters have in common. Read more »

Should You Spoil the Suspense?

Person behind mask

You wouldn’t want your friends to cry when they ate your cooking. You wouldn’t want to give them a prank call that made them feel they were in danger. But if they told you they cried or felt afraid while reading a story you wrote, you’d probably take that as a compliment. Read more »

Are Blank Characters Too Blanking Blank?

Some hate them. Others revile them. But no one who hates or reviles them can deny that they are really blanking popular. If you use them to please the crowd, does it mean you are writing “junk fiction”? Read more »

Three Tips for Running a Stationary Campaign

The idea of a campaign that takes place almost entirely in one area is a strange one to many game masters. A stationary story presents a list of new demands on the GM, but it also creates new opportunities. It allows the players to really … read more »

How to Write a Racist Story

Many accomplished authors and big name production companies have managed to shrink their reach, reduce their profits, and work against social justice — all at the same time! It’s called racism, and it can work for you too. I’ll show you how to write a racist story like a Hollywood pro. Read more »

Five Ways You Should Never End Your Story

A lot of storytellers struggle to find the perfect ending. If you’re one of them, rest assured that even if the world ends, you can satisfy your audience. Just don’t use any of the endings listed here, or your fans might riot. Read more »

Three Dos and Don’ts of PVP

The subject of player versus player conflict (PVP) has always been a difficult one. In a roleplaying game, you feel like you should be able to do anything within your character’s ability, including stab that annoying elf in the face. However, if that elf happens … read more »

Use Visuals to Creep Out Your Players

Most seasoned game masters will agree that visual aids are a great way to immerse your players in your campaign world. A printout of the Lightning Rail, or a diagram showing, to scale, a Sky Squid alongside the player’s starship are just a couple of ways … read more »

Five Characters That Are Too Powerful

Creating a spec fic character isn’t always like creating characters in other genres. One of the unique challenges we face is preventing our characters from becoming too powerful – and dealing with them when they do. But what exactly is too powerful? Read more »

Failures That Hurt a Game

No matter how many bonuses a character possesses, the dice will eventually turn against them. They will fail an important roll at a critical moment. This can be a good thing, because success means nothing without the possibility of failure. Unfortunately, it can also be … read more »

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