Magic

Podcast

73 – Limits on Magic

The Mythcreant Podcast

While it might be fun to imagine a world where magic has no limits, it won’t work for your story. Without some sort of limit, magic will destroy all conflict and make a mockery of your setting. This week, we discuss how best to put … read more »

Analysis

Five Superpowers That Will Break Your Story

Costume-clad or not, many speculative fiction characters have a superpower of some kind. Maybe they can levitate, shoot lightning out of their hands, or read long blog posts in a single glance. Whenever you give your character an ability that people in real life don’t … read more »

Podcast

59 – Should You Base Your Setting on History?

The Mythcreant Podcast

Chris, Mike, and Oren discuss the ups and downs of using history in worldbuilding. They question whether historical realism is a worthwhile goal, cover the pitfalls of using the history of other cultures, and critique settings derived from real places and events. But mostly, they … read more »

Worldbuilding

Six Consequences of High Magic

Some fantasy settings, like anything written by Brandon Sanderson, impose strict limits on what magic can do. Others – like The Wheel of Time,* The Malazan Book of the Fallen, and just about any D&D setting – do not. In these worlds, magic is both … read more »

Worldbuilding

How to Create a Rational Magic System

Azula propels herself with blue flame.

Magic systems vary from colorful bears with tummy badges to ritual blood sacrifices. Magic isn’t real, so it can be anything we want. But that doesn’t mean all magic systems work equally well for stories. Some feel cohesive; others feel random. Read more »

Worldbuilding

The Seven Worldbuilding Sins of Storytellers

Planet colliding with moon

Last week, I described how avid worldbuilders often sideline the stories they’re telling in favor of parading the setting around. Now I’m pointing at storytellers who treat their worlds as an afterthought. We know who they are because their stories are committing these sins. Read more »

Roleplaying

Five Great Magic Systems in Roleplaying Games

Magic systems are one of the trickiest elements in roleplaying games. The pitfalls are obvious. How do you maintain game balance while making sure that your magic feels… well, magical? A lot of systems don’t, and that’s just the start of it. Fortunately, not every … read more »

Podcast

27 – Worlds of Good and Evil

The Mythcreant Podcast

Oren, Chris, and Mike discuss how black and white morality is built into worlds, particularly through magic systems. They examine how good and evil are represented in different stories, and question the difference between light and dark magic. Read more »

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