Commentary

Five Characters You Love That Are Just Terrible

Don't watch Home Alone as an adult, or you'll discover that nothing the hero does would actually work.

You’ve liked countless stories, but only a few had that special spark: a character you believed in. One you cried with and rejoiced with – someone that, real or not, would stay with you long after their tale ended.

Now you’ve wandered too deep in the swampy wilds of the cyber web, and the dark side approaches. Dread rises as you hear the approaching footsteps of a viscous theory. Someone wants to take your favorite characters away from you. You fight back, you try to resist, but you can no longer deny what you know to be true: the characters you love are actually terrible.

In particular, these characters.

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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 »

Analysis

Five Heroes With Dark Reflections

Many popular heroes have faced a dark version of themselves. This trope creates thrill in a video game battle or novelty in a TV episode about an alternate reality. However, some stories go beyond that, using a hero’s dark reflection to add meaning and depth to the work. By comparing the hero 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 »