Storytelling

How to Keep Your Horror Campaign Scary

Running a horror campaign is one of the most challenging undertakings a GM can attempt. Populating your game with ghosts and monsters is easy, but making your players care is hard. In other mediums, horror depends on control that GMs simply do not have. Filmmakers … read more »

Five Villains Who Follow the Heroine’s Journey

I outlined the Heroine’s Journey last week, but it’s more fun to watch it in action. Because this structure is about a character who’s out of balance and makes a course correction, it’s often used for villains who take a heel-face turn. Here’s five villains … read more »

Using the Heroine’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey has become widely popular. Unfortunately, the original was clearly intended for men and not women. In response, some feminists have created their own, female-centered version. Lucky for us storytellers, both can be abstracted to work for a wide array of stories. Read more »

Designing a Central Villain for Your Campaign

Good stories need villains, and roleplaying games are no exception. Sometimes you can get by with bad guys of the week, but a more permanent antagonist can be a huge boon to your campaign. Central villains give the story a sense of continuity. They provide … read more »

How to Get Fans to Slash Your Characters

Did you know you can inspire a passionate fanbase who will spend countless hours creating free advertising material for your story? And that those same people will then post their advertising – for free – in public places online where even more passionate fans will see it? Read more »

Five Rules for Retelling Old Stories

Humans have been retelling old stories for as long as there have been old stories to retell, as the current plethora of Hollywood remakes can attest. On its own, this isn’t a surprise. There are only so many kinds of stories, and it’s much easier … read more »

Is It Plot?

New storytellers often have trouble telling the difference between “things happening” and “a story unfolding.” Without the ability to turn events into plots, there is no story, and audience will quickly become bored and spend their time elsewhere. Luckily, plots only need a few basic … read more »

How to Create an Unhappy Ending

Throughout your story, your audience will cheer for your hero as she struggles against the villains. There will be many losses and gains, until it’s time for the final battle. You know your audience will leave satisfied if your hero knocks the bad guy out of the park. But what if you want her to fail? Read more »