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.

Roleplaying

Preparing to Run the Zombie Apocalypse

Everyone loves to talk about their zombie plan, but who actually needs one? Game masters, that’s who! The zombie apocalypse is ever popular for roleplaying games, but it’s also challenging. Many factors go into creating the perfect undead playground, even when they seem simple from … read more »

Worldbuilding

Creating a Fresh Vampire Antagonist

Living in spooky castles or just next door, vampires provide excellent antagonists for speculative fiction. They’re humanity’s predatory reflection, something that looks like us and yet isn’t. Unfortunately, they’re also overplayed. Vampires are so common in fiction that the novelty has worn off. Even when … read more »

Analysis

Five Terrible Games in Speculative Fiction

Characters in stories play games just like you and me.* But what do they play? Some stories can use real games, but strange fantasy cultures should have strange fantasy games. Unfortunately, most writers aren’t game designers, and many of their creations fall flat. Others fall … 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 »

Roleplaying

Six Strange Stories From My Gaming Table

Roleplaying games never go the way you expect, which is the entire point. Predictable campaigns are boring campaigns. Players are smart, and they need room to experiment. When things veer into strange territory, you get the best stories, tales you’ll still be talking about years … read more »