Podcast

136 – Game Master Burnout

The Mythcreant Podcast

Running a game is hard work, and GMs can burn out if they aren’t careful. When burnout sets in, it gets harder and harder to enjoy the game – if GMs can motivate themselves to run one at all. This week guest host Ari joins us for a third time, and we discuss what GMs should do to avoid this problem.

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Worldbuilding

How to Create an Eclectic Magic System

Some time ago I outlined steps for creating rational magic systems. In short, a magic system is rational if it follows a consistent set of metaphysical laws. This prevents plot holes, reduces the need for foreshadowing, and makes magic feel less contrived. Unfortunately, some magic systems are easier … read more »

Analysis

Five Injustices in Superhero Stories

Batman on his Bat-Cycle

I’ve written about injustice in speculative fiction before, but this week I want to focus on the superhero genre. For superheroes, justice is a particularly important topic. A huge number of superhero origin stories focus on a person seeing some kind of injustice and deciding … read more »

Commentary

When Dark and Gritty Is Just Exploitation

Daenerys being held aloft by freed slaves.

­Some weeks ago, the makers of the Game of Thrones TV series, Benioff and Weiss, announced their next project. Titled Confederate, it will feature an alternate-history US where the South won the Civil War and slavery is still legal. In response, many social justice advocates … read more »

Analysis

Five Stories That End With Bizarre Reveals

Riker dresshed as Chef talking to Hoshi.

Ending with a well-executed reveal brings the whole story together. The audience finally knows what’s going on, creating enormous satisfaction. Unfortunately, reveals don’t always fit the rest of the story. They could be out of theme or contradict established facts. Instead of watching the story click together, the audience gets a bad taste in their … read more »