This year we had another social justice post go viral: my Six Rape Tropes and How to Replace Them. Roleplaying articles came back with a vengeance thanks to a new guest blogger, Ari Ashkenazi, and our youngest team member, Bunny, demonstrated she could deliver top-notch sass. Oren doubled down on explaining why storytellers shouldn’t be depicting oppressed mages, and we’ve seen his take catch on around the internet.
Our Top Ten Articles
Fictional depictions or rape or attempted rape normalize sexual assault and are often hurtful to survivors. Let’s go over how rape ends up in our stories, why these patterns are hurtful, and how storytellers can accomplish their goals without it. Read more »
Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (5E) is one of my favorite RPGs out there. It has an almost comical lack of balance, but the sheer scale of the system provides an almost infinite number of builds, and I’d like to share four of those builds. Read more »
Sexism in stories can be quite egregious. Heroes may outright state that women don’t belong on the battlefield, rape is often treated like a cutesy and forgivable mistake, and supposedly likable characters act in blatantly misogynist ways. Read more »
Do you want a story where the villain isn’t a mustache-twirling baddie who does terrible things just “for the evulz”? Instead, would you prefer a semi-sympathetic anti-hero antagonist who does terrible things for the greater good? Do you want your heroes to oppose the villain’s … read more »
A good villain is critical for most stories. The villain is usually the second most important character, behind only the protagonist themself. If a villain goes wrong, they often drag the entire story down with them, and there are many ways for villains to go … read more »
Classes have been a key part of Dungeons and Dragons since 1st Edition all the way back in 1974, when players could choose between fighter, wizard, and cleric.* Over the intervening 45 years, the class system has been changed a multitude of times, but at … read more »
You asked me to critique The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, so here we are. What will win: this award-winning, best-selling, critically acclaimed book, or my dislike of practically everything? Read on to see! While I usually record my first reactions to a … read more »
I talk about stories that misunderstand power and privilege a lot here on ye olde Mythcreants, but I get by far the most pushback when it comes to the trope of oppressed mages. It’s not hard to see why. This trope is incredibly popular, and … read more »
An infestation spreads through the ranks of our beloved genre. Distorted by centuries of grotesque overexposure and abhorrent inescapability, these clichés have wormed their way into even the best-intentioned novels. Watch out! Read more »
Crafting a great plot is no easy feat. You need compelling stakes, a likable main character, an urgent problem, and so much more. Fortunately, we have a lot of advice on Mythcreants about how to build just such a plot. But once you have your … read more »
Top Three Podcasts
Transcripts are posted for all three episodes.
Behold, you thought the story was about this character, but actually it was the cutesy animal companion pulling strings from behind the scenes. Aren’t you in awe of this clever twist? If you’ve ever beheld something like that, you’ve seen a puppeteer in the wild, … read more »
Having magic is such a struggle! All the muggles are out to get you, and the church keeps trying to set you on fire. Clearly, mages are oppressed. Or are they? Wes returns after a short sabbatical, just in time for us to discuss this trope and why it doesn’t make any sense. Read more »
More than one in ten Americans is disabled, making it one of the largest marginalized groups in the country. Even so, storytellers often have a really difficult time portraying disabled characters. We want to change that, so this episode is all about the most problematic … read more »
Top Three Q&As
Hello, I had a writing-based question I hope you would be able to answer. I’m writing a book in which I feature several characters from the public domain. The setting will not be the original setting that any of the characters are from. I want … read more »
In many stories, we have male heroes who go on their adventures and while they travel have several sexual encounters, loveless sex, and being generally free when it comes to sexuality. I think it can be used well and serve the characterization, but the problem … read more »
Hello! I love this site and really appreciate the depth of thought you put into the articles here and how you approach difficult topics. I was hoping for a little help with introducing a physical description of a character. I am aware of the clichés … read more »
Keep Us Going
Mythcreants is an ad-free publication run by cash-strapped, overworked volunteers. If you enjoyed our content this year, please help us stay afloat by becoming our patron. We’re also happy to receive one-time gifts.
Happy New Year to all of our wonderful readers and listeners!