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.

Q&A

Can I Rehabilitate the Trope of East Meets West?

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One of the lasting tropes from 20th-century pulp fiction is of the city where “East meets West,” places like Shanghai and Hong Kong. There’s a romanticism to that idea of a wealthy, cosmopolitan, dangerous city where the rules aren’t quite what you’d expect—but obviously all … read more »

Q&A

Can Training Times Work in an RPG?

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I have seen in various roleplaying games a sort of “training time” mechanic. Basically in addition to gaining the needed experience points/levels/whatever to gain a new skill/power/attribute, your character must also devote a given amount of in-game time to training. These times pretty much invariably … read more »

Writing

Six Common Forms of Bad Writing Advice

A Medieval painting of a university lecture.

It probably won’t surprise you that there’s a lot of writing advice out there. Everyone seems to have their own take on this endeavor we call storytelling. That’s to be expected, but it’s often hard to tell the good tips from the bad. Without the … read more »

Storytelling

Authorial Endorsement 101

Bilbo writing his book.

For all the time we spend arguing about plot holes and magic systems, we spend even more time arguing about what a story means. Fiction can send a powerful message, but first we have to understand what that message is. That’s where authorial endorsement comes … read more »