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.

Analysis

Five Antagonists Who Never Stood a Chance

Rand lifting a magic horn from The Great Hunt's cover art.

Captain Kirk’s adventures would be a snoozefest if the Klingons just rolled over for him. No one would care about T’Challa taking back his throne unless Killmonger could match him blow for blow. Batman’s investigations would be pointless if the Joker just turned himself in.* What’s … read more »

Analysis

Five Emotional Arcs That Fell Flat

Riker looking confused in sickbay.

Drama is a cornerstone of storytelling. Even the most action-heavy violence-fests need an emotional core if they want to be more than a forgettable special-effects reel. We have a number of articles covering how to get the right feels in your story, from character arcs … read more »

Q&A

How Do I Keep My Magic Separate?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Hello, Sorry for pestering you with questions lately, but I could once again use your advice. I have a world with two factions at war with each other and a magic system based on magical pigments. One side uses written words to alter people/things in … read more »

Analysis

Five Useless Powers in Popular Stories

Bunny, Jack, and Santa in action poses from Rise of the Guardians.

Special powers are a cornerstone of speculative fiction. Whether they come from ancient magics or alien evolution, we love to see characters with abilities that humans cannot possess. Such powers provide excellent novelty and wish fulfillment. But sometimes storytellers don’t think about how their powers actually … read more »