Q&A

How Do I Establish a Mentor Before They Die?

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Dear Oren/Chris, I’m an amateur fantasy writer and a rising college freshman working on the second draft of a high fantasy novel. Some context for the question: 1. The main character lives on a different continent than the magical school she ends up going to, … read more »

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 »

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 »

How Can I Make My World Accommodating to Disabled People?

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I am writing a non-magical fantasy story set in a low-tech world that is primarily composed of city-states with limited regional authority. I am trying to work out what kinds of seemingly realistic accommodations could/would be in place for disabled people. Culturally, I am trying … read more »

How Do I Create a Monster School?

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Hello. I’m currently working on a newish story idea that I only recently figured out the plot for, which has made me realize that I ought to work on setting more. The story involves another “magic school”-esque setting, but different in that it’s a school … read more »

How Can We Make RPG Languages Work Better?

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Can you write a column about language proficiencies as a game mechanic? Are there any games that do it right? Language proficiencies (esp in DND5e) often feel like they suffer from the problem of being too situational and thus expensive for their cost, and it … read more »