It’s all well and good to defeat the enemy and destroy their all-powerful battle station, but sometimes you want characters who build things instead. There’s a special kind of feeling when you read about a character creating something where there was nothing before. You have so many options to choose from: schools, towns, and, yes, coffee shops! This week, we talk about the special challenges such stories face, how to overcome them, and why it’s worth the effort. 


Generously transcribed by Ace. Volunteer to transcribe a podcast.

Chris: You’re listening to the Mythcreant Podcast with your hosts Oren Ashkenazi, Wes Matlock and Chris Winkle. [Intro Music]

Chris: You’re listening to the Mythcreant Podcast. I’m Chris.

Oren: And I’m Oren. And it’s just the two of us for the next couple weeks. Wes is out having a grand adventure, but he shall return.

Chris: We have a dream about running a popular podcast, but we’re starting with nothing. We have to find co-hosts that don’t squabble, buy recording equipment and attract listeners. But in the end, we’ll suddenly become super successful, because this is actually just wish fulfillment about how cool it would be to run your own podcast.

Oren: Me thinking, “hey, it’d be really cool if we had some kind of mic to record stuff on” and then like the next day, one of us will be walking and trip over a really nice mic that just fell off of a delivery truck. And it’ll be like, “yeah, we did it! This is what doing a podcast is like!” And then we’d be like, we need listeners. And it’s like, “have you considered asking your friends to listen” and then we will and our friends will all listen and they’ll tell all their friends and they’ll tell all their friends and then we’ll have millions of listeners.

Chris: Or better yet, we could have the story take place a number of years ago and then invent podcasting.

Oren: Oh, yeah, we could invent the podcast.

Chris: [laughs] Have it take place a while ago just so that our characters can invent and of course, everybody will instantly understand what podcasting is and listen to them, even though they run on RSS feeds, which are, you know, most people are not very familiar with and even though there won’t be an iTunes yet or distribution for most people, they’ll just instantly catch on.

Oren: Right, we’ll skip all of the intermediate stages that these things actually go through, right? You know, all of the stuff will exist necessary to make podcasts. And for some reason, we will be the first ones to think of it, like the idea will just spring fully formed into our minds.

Chris: [laughs] Yeah, obviously, we’re commenting on some things you will find out what we’re referring to. But this time, we’re gonna be talking about stories that have a significant arc where the protagonist is trying to set up a business, an organization, a town, some kind of establishment, institution. There are also stories where protagonists work on setting up kind of a home base, which is sometimes similar. I think these are great fun. I’d like to see more of them. But even with just the few I have seen, we’re already identifying a few repeating problems that they tend to have. So…

Oren: Yeah. For example, one of them is The Book of Boba Fett. And you should never try to attempt anything that The Book of Boba Fett did. So I think the genre is officially dead. [laughs]

Chris: Oh, no. I mean, maybe you’re right. It kind of, it’s so weird because all he seems to do is gather people, right? We don’t actually see him do much of anything else when it comes to actually building up his like, crime lord business/government.

Oren: In theory, the point of that show is Boba Fett wanting to build his crime business. Now, it’s a very bad show. And one of the problems with it is that he never does that. [laughs] Nor do we have any real clue how that would even work because the show doesn’t want him to show him doing bad crimes, because that would just be unpleasant and no one wants that. So instead, they’re like, oh yeah, whatever. I guess he gets tribute maybe from other criminals. Maybe they do the bad crimes. Who knows?

Chris: Yeah, the only activity we see him engage in is recruiting, which would be a thing that he would have to do. But everything is handwaved like oh, sure, people are absolutely going to pay tribute to that guy who’s just a guy walking around with maybe like two bodyguards and doesn’t have any power to enforce anything. People definitely pay that guy money.

Oren: That whole thing, it’s just extremely bizarre. Nothing about The Book of Boba Fett is good, but the weird inability to realize what it is theoretically about is probably the most surprising mistake. Where it’s like, he’s gonna be a crime boss. Okay, do you have the money to pay for a bunch of crime people? And it’s like, no, we don’t. Alright, well, he’s not gonna look like a crime boss then.

Chris: So let’s talk about some stories where they actually do a better job of getting into it. And one of the most surprising when I first remember is this random side plot in The Skin Map.

Oren: Does not sound like a story where you would find a coffee shop plot. But there you go.

Chris: The Skin Map has a highly fragmented plot. And this particular storyline is about the protagonist’s ex-girlfriend, who is in the story for some reason.

Oren: Yeah, because she’s around, you know, the protagonist met her early and was like, I’m gonna show you my dimension walking powers. And then she went off and had her own adventure for a while.

Chris: Right? She tried to follow him as he walked through dimensions and then ended up in like, oh, I don’t know what period.

Oren: Prague in the 1600s, I think.

Chris: 1600s Prague. But that was the best storyline in the book for me by far. And I read for that storyline, and then stopped reading when that storyline ends. But in any case, her name is Mina. And she happens to run into, I think he’s a German baker on the road who’s heading to Prague to open a bakery. So then she goes with him and ends up becoming his business manager. And it’s all about bread bakery struggles, and how hard it is for them to open and try to run this bakery business. Because they can’t afford a nice location and then people don’t want to go to the part of town where they are.

Oren: And then of course, she introduces coffee. And it’s like, oh, everyone loves coffee immediately. Hmm, have you tried introducing coffee to people who have never had it before? Especially if you don’t have anything to put in it, just like straight black coffee. It doesn’t go well.

Chris: [laughs] And the storyline is really compelling when we have the business struggling because we care about the characters, we want their business to succeed, and it has a fair amount of tension. I think the problem that happens with a lot of these stories is that the writer doesn’t actually know very much about running businesses. And so they’ve seen lots of stories where there’s fights, they know how a fight ends, how the fight is solved. But then how do you solve the business problem? And so that’s the point where very often it’s resolved with something that is too quick and too easy, doesn’t take any agency on the protagonist’s part, is very magical. And in this case, it’s kind of hilarious because Mina’s like, well, coffee hasn’t been introduced yet. I know, we’ll introduce coffee for the first time. And then she sends out the baker to go buy coffee beans. But like, there’s no coffee trade, right? Because people aren’t consuming coffee. So how does he get coffee beans? God. [laughs] That is the actual answer. He goes and just happens to find some beans that somebody can’t sell because nobody’s buying beans and offloads them for a cheap price. And God did it.

Oren: That sounds like when we describe it that it’s just a contrived coincidence. But the book is actually pretty explicit that this was God, literal God reaching down from Heaven to give this guy some coffee beans.

Chris: It’s a literal deus ex machina.

Oren: I have been thinking about this because we’re talking about a story where the characters are trying to build something, as opposed to trying to defeat a bad guy or destroy a superweapon or what have you. And I do think there is definitely a factor of the people who write these stories do not know a lot about whatever it is they’re writing about. You know, I definitely got the feeling reading Legends and Lattes that that author knew a lot more about baking than he did about coffee. Which is weird, ‘cause that’s a coffee shop story.

But I don’t think it’s only that. I think it is also that it is more challenging to create what we would call child arcs or problems to solve with dramatic turning points in a “building something” story than in a “destroying something” story. Because if you’re trying to destroy something, you know, a bad guy presumably, who needs to be destroyed, there’s a fairly built-in and easy-to-understand way of creating problems that your characters have to dramatically solve. Because the bad guy is trying to fight them. And it may not be literal fight scenes, but you know, you’re trying to get stuff from the bad guy and you’re opposing another sapient being and that’s not too hard. Whereas with most of these construction stories, the things that they’re emulating are often businesses or building a town and whatever. And those often in reality have slow iterative processes that get better over time. And do not have a single dramatic like, “wow, we did it,” right? Looking at my editing career where I tried to build myself as a freelance editor, there’s no eureka moment in there. I just kept working at it and working at it until I got where I am and I’m still working on it.

Chris: Yeah, but actually businesses do have a specific point in which they become viable. So again, you have to know a little bit about business. I think it’s really easy in my mind to create child arcs for any kind of business to worry about because I run businesses. But generally for the business, it would be when the business is actually viable. Because when you start a business, it’s usually losing money. And if you get an upfront investment, depending on how you do it, that means that you have only a certain period of time before you need it to be making enough money to support you and support the running of the business before you run out of your initial seed investment money. And so usually the point at which the business is self-sustaining and earns enough money to support itself. And the business owner, whoever’s running it, is that turning point.

But here’s the thing, a lot of these stories, they’re very wish fulfillment-y. And I would love to see them be more rigorous on the business end. And I have some examples of that. At the same time, we don’t really want them to feel exactly like running a business because running a business is, as you said, it’s a long slog. It’s not really glamorous and fun and wish fulfillment-y. And so a lot of what you have to do in a story like this is almost like speed up that really slow process so it’s fast and fun. And a lot of times by making it less nitty-gritty and more wish fulfillment-y, we kind of handwave a lot of the money aspect. We don’t really know how well the business is doing money-wise and that kind of makes it hard to keep track of how well it’s succeeding and kind of keep it going. It’s like a toggle switch. Either the business is a complete failure or it’s really profitable. And there’s no steady progress with setbacks, right? Because the writer doesn’t know how to create a setback. They don’t ever have the landlord, for instance, raise the lease costs [laughs] if you’re in a physical location or other kinds of setbacks like that. They don’t know how to do that.

Oren: And you can certainly pick once the business starts making money, that could be the endpoint of your story. Because that’s another challenge that these types of stories run into is that there isn’t always an obvious “when does the story end” moment. Because if you’re running a business, then you run the business presumably for quite some time, often for much longer than the story would actually go. Whereas if you’re fighting a dude or trying to break a battle station or whatever, that has a fairly built-in endpoint where you can at least see where the climax should go. Whereas with a construction story, you have to visualize a point at which the thing that is being built is no longer in danger. And that could be when it first starts making money, if that’s your stakes, or it could be when you finally defeat the mafia that keeps trying to shut your business down. That could be the endpoint right there, right? Just the question is, when is the thing you’re building safe? Have you defeated the elves that were trying to crush the town you’re building in the wilderness? Because if so, there you did it. That’s your climax right there.

Chris: And Legends and Lattes, again, brings in the protection racket as a way to shore up tension because the business side is super wish fulfillment-y, and we solve the problems real fast. I love how in Legends and Lattes, we do have the problem of, again, we’re introducing coffee for the first time to a city. No one knows what coffee is, and I really like the way they frame it as, okay, well, how do we sell this product to customers who don’t know what it is and they have to be kind of educated, they don’t know they need it yet? Hilariously, the solution is just, well, everybody will just try coffee, and as far as we know, they’re not putting any sweetener in the coffee, and they’ll just instantly love it.

Oren: Yep. And they never mention the caffeine. It’s so weird. The caffeine is like the biggest selling point!

Chris: Yeah, the obvious sell for coffee is the caffeine, and that’s kind of how it started, especially with students, you know, staying up late, studying, and that’s why they hang out at cafes. The hilarious thing, again, with these stories where we’re reintroducing something that exists in modern life, it’s like we recreate it too quickly. It’s so strange that somehow everybody knows to show up in the morning to get their coffee.

Oren: Yeah, they all know it’s a morning drink somehow.

Chris: Right, we’ve never tried coffee before, they take it for the first time, nobody talks about caffeine, somehow we have a morning rush specifically.

Oren: They’ll be very disappointed if they think it’s an evening drink, and they’re like, yeah, let’s go get a drink before bed, and then they go to get coffee for the first time. Whoops.

Chris: [laughs] But yeah, so basically that solved the problem of nobody knowing what coffee is just by having an open house and giving samples, which in many cases would be a good tactic. But for coffee, you can’t really count on people to love it when they first taste it because it’s real bitter, and they have some things they don’t do. For instance, we established that this coffee comes from gnomish cities, and the espresso sheen is made by gnomes, and we know that there’s a gnome population in the city. We can assume that some of those gnomes might have moved in from other cities where there was coffee, and they might really miss it. And we just in passing mentioned there’s gnomes in the city, and then we never try to connect with a customer base, which for any business, that’s honestly one of the most important things is finding who the ideal customer is and what that customer wants.

Oren: Yeah, I mean, it would be like if you wanted to open a burger place in a place that didn’t have burgers for whatever reason, but there was a big population of American immigrants there, and you didn’t try to sell the American immigrants burgers. Now, of course, you would have to ask the question, why have none of the American immigrants opened burger places if there’s that many of them? But that’s the premise of the story, is that none of the gnomes have opened coffee shops for some reason, and they ask that question and then never answer it.

Chris: Right. Yeah, I mean, it could be a combination of the gnomish population on their own isn’t enough to support a coffee shop so that the main character can get a boost from the gnome population but still has to sell people on coffee. Using caffeine, of course.

Oren: Yeah, that would be very easy. Or, I say that would be easy, but that would certainly be easier than trying to convince them to drink this incredibly bitter liquid. It’s like, yes, drink it. It’s good. It tastes horrible. It’s like, fine. If you drink it for a year, you’ll eventually learn to like it.

Chris: But then very quickly, we just hand out some samples. Very quickly, this business is a success, and so we need some tension. We’ve got this local protection racket with the main character who used to be an adventurer because it’s a D&D setting, who really doesn’t want to give into the protection racket, which is reasonable, but she also doesn’t want to use violence. It’s funny because this is the type of storyline that you would expect somebody well-versed in D&D and exciting stories to be able to solve pretty easily. But once again, we’ve kind of put in a position where we’ve got a main character who refuses to use reasonable violence, and there’s no way to solve this problem. So we just decide that the person running the protection racket is, she’s a grandma, so of course it’s fine.

Oren: Yeah, she’s really nice.

Chris: She’s a sweet old woman, so of course there’s nothing wrong with protection rackets now, and they’ll just be best friends.

Oren: Right, because we met her and she was personally kind, so it’s good now. It’s okay because the protagonist, instead of paying her in coins, is paying her in free drinks, and free baked goods. How is that better? Unless you had to throw that stuff out, unless you were making more than you could sell, I guess, that would be a slight improvement.

Chris: So even that problem is solved much too quickly, unfortunately.

Oren: Although that one I think has more to do with the author wanting to keep the tension low, but making a classic mistake of low tension stories, which we have that coming up as another topic in a couple weeks. I’ll save that for that podcast. But I’ve run into just a number of stories that just have some difficulty with how to create these problems that are actually related to the thing they’re trying to build instead of just introducing an exterior threat. Which is also legitimate, you can also do that, but you should only do that if you actually want to. Are you actually interested in that external threat? And if you’re not, then don’t put it in there.

Chris: [laughs] Yeah, it’s going to wither on the vine if you don’t like it.

Oren: One story that I think actually did a pretty good job with the whole “solving problems related to the thing the character is trying to make” was The Wandering Inn. Because in The Wandering Inn, the protagonist actually has to learn how to make food and where to get ingredients and how to get people to come to the inn. And she solves those things, not all of them are great, but in ways that are interesting. There are turning points and she has ways that she figures stuff out through clever deductions. I really liked the part where she made pasta for the first time because she’s from the real world, it’s a portal fantasy story.

Chris: It’s a lit RPG story specifically, which does matter in this case. Because she comes from the real world and enters the type of world where you level up by doing things and suddenly get skills. And that’s actually used to really good effect because then she can, just by for instance cleaning the inn, she finds an abandoned inn. She can suddenly level up in innkeeping and then acquire more skills that she needs to run the inn. And again, it provides a way to speed up that sort of business building process, which normally just takes way too long and is too tedious for a good story. So I like that magical mechanic, it works really good in this instance.

Oren: Yeah, and I mean, I can totally see why someone would want to skip past the initial phase of, alright, I want to start a business, I have to do a bunch of research to figure out where the best place to start this business is. Or if it’s not, you know, it could be something besides a business. I’m going to do a bunch of land surveys to figure out where the best place to build my town is. It’s like, sure, okay, you can skip past that. We can skip to the thing actually starting and then introduce problems from there, right?

Chris: Right, yeah. And being in a position where you can’t be picky, [laughs] where the protagonist can’t be picky about where or what they start is great. In this case, she finds an abandoned inn. And I love the fact that we have a good explanation for why this inn is abandoned. The problem, of course, that the story has is it makes it look like it really still should be abandoned and she should probably leave. [laughs] But it’s basically outside the city, all the people are in the city, and it’s in an area that’s outside the walls, dangerously exposed to goblins. And that’s why nobody comes.

Oren: Did they ever explain why there was an inn built there in the first place?

Chris: You know, I’m not sure. But I think you could go through some historical stages and be like, the goblins arrived at this and this time and that’s when the inn was abandoned.

Oren: Or maybe it was along a road that used to be a major trade road, but then a new canal opened or something and now everyone uses the canal and no one comes down this road anymore. Something like that.

Chris: But I will have to say the RPG mechanics speed up the business building just enough. You wouldn’t want to just handwave everything. It’s fun to see her figure out first how she can forage for some food and later how she can go back and make that food into more stuff that she can serve to other people. Right? So it actually gets into the nitty-gritty just enough to make interesting problems that she has to solve.

Oren: The problem with The Wandering Inn is that it veers off into a bunch of other things that are not really inn-related and that were not fun. But I found of all of the “building stuff” type stories that I’ve looked at, I think The Wandering Inn actually does that part the best outside of video games.

Chris: Yeah, it’s really too bad because the inn-building part of The Wandering Inn is really good. And yes, some of the best building storyline we’ve seen. But you have to get through other viewpoints that are not as good if you want to continue and you have to get through grimdark, violent goblin attacks. It has a problem where everything, the inn provides a structure and building the inn provides actual structure and ongoing problems for the protagonist to solve. But then we have just random scenes of violence that don’t actually add much to the overall tension. Because to do that, you have to have a sense of anticipation of attack, a response to the attack. But for the most part, this is just random grimdark attacks that just periodically happen without creating structure or boosting the tension for the rest of the storyline. And they’re just unnecessary because the inn-building part has enough tension by itself.

Oren: And to be clear, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have higher tension, violence and action in your story about building stuff. It’s just that The Skin- not The Skin Map, The Skin Map is also bad, but no, The Wandering Inn is not very good at it. And also kind of fails to match the stakes of the thing being built to all of this violence. Because what you have here is a character who is trying to make this inn work, even though it would probably be easier for her to just go to the city. But she wants to have some independence and she wants to make this inn work, so that’s what she’s trying to do. But the whole area is full of vicious murder goblins who are really horrible and grimdark. And it’s like, well, maybe you should just leave, okay? I’m not like that committed to this place.

Chris: Right. And once one of her visitors dies in a goblin attack, now it’s not just about her anymore. When she invites people to her inn, she’s actively endangering people.

Oren: As opposed to if you want something with a higher level of violence, more intense physical conflict, then you can create a higher stakes, more compelling building-type scenario. You might have a group of refugees who are trying to build a space station or repair one that they found or what have you. And they have nowhere else to go and the space station is the only place they can live. And so when some rude military deserters show up to try to take it from them, at that point, it makes sense for them to have a fight. If you want a cool space fight in your space station building story.

Chris: Honestly, the protection racket from Legends and Lattes, if it had been handled better, would have been a good way to do this because in that story, Viv, the main character, has until the end of the month to pay, right? So we know that that could be a problem that’s looming, raising tension a little bit, but it’s not urgent. And because it’s not urgent, that allows us to focus on the business building and then once we want to focus on that storyline that’s higher tension, we just get to the end of the month. And then suddenly now it’s urgent and it’s a big deal.

Oren: Yeah, I think that could have worked very well. It’s just, you know, unfortunate that the author wasn’t actually interested in it.

Chris: The other thing I wanted to mention about Legends and Lattes, as I said, sometimes the right magic to speed up slow parts of running a business is good. I do like that it has a magical stone that is responsible for luring in the perfect people to the business. And in the end, it didn’t make the problems feel too easy to solve, but I think you could have still kept that conceit and still had enough problems for the business.

Oren: Yeah, I would have maybe tuned down the magic baking rat a little bit. He was a little too magical at baking. He was a little too good at it. I think you could have established a cool baking rat and have him be slightly less god-moded and it still would have worked just fine.

Chris: Yeah, something that’s not just like, instantly brings in hordes of customers. You can still be great at baked goods and still not have them instantly bring in hordes. [laughs]

Oren: Or like maybe my perspective is twisted a little because when I think of what it is that makes one of these stories wish fulfillment-like, to me, you can keep a fairly high amount of realism and still have it be wish fulfillment because it would still be much easier than starting an actual business. As trying to run a business or be part of one is extremely difficult and extremely grinding. And I imagine if you took off half of that, there would still be plenty of tension and it would still be very, very wish fulfillment-y. But maybe that wouldn’t be fun for people who aren’t already in the position of trying to run their own business. Like the beginning of Trail of Lightning when she’s negotiating with a difficult client and manages to get what she needed and get the difficult client to pay. I was like, this is wish fulfillment. This is perfect wish fulfillment because she actually made the client do the thing.

Chris: [laughs] Right. But maybe that’s more satisfying for somebody who has worked with clients.

Oren: I mean, certainly for someone who has worked with difficult clients where unless you make them give you your money in advance, once they decide to be difficult, well, there’s very little you can do. Probably just they’re going to leave and not pay you.

Chris: Right. Well, I think the wish fulfillment can have a slightly different flavor in different stories. So in Legends and Lattes, finding the perfect person to help the business, I think was important as part of the wish fulfillment. I think you could have kept that but still built up- because businesses have so many problems. So many that have to be solved. I don’t think that that was necessarily incompatible with having enough problems. I agree about the baking being a little over the top. And it is funny that the only coffee things that we have on the menu are just a plain coffee and then latte and then iced coffee. That’s all we get. [laughs] We don’t know anything about the types of coffees. We don’t even get a mocha. We introduce chocolate and we don’t even get a mocha on the menu.

Oren: I was begging them to put chocolate in the coffee. Please put chocolate in the coffee! And they’re like, no, we’re not doing that.

Chris: Right. So then when we describe that we have all of these baked goods in intimate detail, they’re like subtle flavors, it’s just like, why aren’t you talking about different types of coffee beans or light roasts and dark roasts?

Oren: No, it’s like with the baked goods, it’s like full on food porn. With the coffee, it’s like there’s a decent description of it at the very beginning and then that’s it. And then we make it cold later. We introduce iced coffee and it’s like, you’re not going to do any different kinds of roasts or different beans or different things you can put in the coffee. No, none of that. But here is five paragraphs describing a chocolate croissant.

Chris: Yeah, before we go, I wanted to talk about your RPG campaign Across the River real quick.

Oren: Yeah, it was an RPG campaign and it was very good and you have to trust me that it was very good because none of you can verify that.

Chris: No, it was very good! And it also had a great premise that would work just fine in prose. Hint, hint. Just in case someone wants to turn it into a novel sometime. And the premise of this campaign was that people were exiled to the lands when the Imperial Elves took over.

Oren: I do love Imperial Elves.

Chris: And so they had to instead go to the cursed lands across the river and they reestablished a town in the ruins of a monastery. So we have, again, some abandoned ruins and the PCs first had to clear a monster out of the ruins for the town to get shelter. And then we would go on various quests to get essential supplies like iron for plows. So there was plenty to do, problems to solve when it came to establishing the town, searching and finding resources for the town. And wish fulfillment! We found a dinosaur in the ruins of the monastery because there were dinosaurs in this setting and we captured it and trained it. [laughs]

Oren: Everyone loved the dinosaur cavalry.

Chris: Yeah, we started riding them too. Yes. [laughs]

Oren: I mean, that was the game where I managed to get people excited over finding a room full of old bricks. It’s like, we could use those bricks. Those bricks are valuable. We’re going to build a wall with those. And it’s like, great, strong work, everybody.

Chris: Yeah, we would go and, you know, this is a Torchbearer campaign. So we were doing a lot of dungeon delving, but those were also ruins and other nearby that we found. And I just remember I would just collect everything. Hey, a bunch of nails. Well, that’s iron. Like, no matter how trivial it was, we tried to take absolutely everything with us because it could be useful in some way to the townsfolk.

Oren: Yeah, and I had a whole little system for converting the stuff you brought back into supply. The part that you guys were doing, having to make choices, was like, what do you want to carry? It’s like, well, we could carry this frying pan, but that uses up like two spots in my pack. Or I could carry like three bags of nails, that sort of stuff.

Chris: Right. So we have the opportunity to both do kind of exciting adventures and also have some, a little bit of political conflict when we got back to the town, as the town had to make important decisions and people were vying for power a little bit. And then there was, of course, because the whole area was cursed, there was also a magical mystery that we solved by the end that made it so that the whole area was now more habitable. So again, worked out great. It had many different problems that we solved, including the town building stuff.

Oren: One of the problems I had to solve was that one player dropped out and then another player jumped in. And then that first player wanted to come back. And so that meant seven players. But then I had another player who kind of wanted to join. And I ended up with more players than I was expecting through a series of shenanigans. So that was a bit of a challenge.

Chris: But yeah, it was a good campaign. Unlike, we just watched The Stand recently. And I have to say it was so disappointing because they had just tiny teasers of this post-apocalyptic town building, only to immediately abandon it for a plot that was much worse. Do more town building! I just want to see you make your little local movie theater.

Oren: That would have been so cool. But no, instead you got to go to Vegas for the literal deus ex machina plot. All right. Well, with that, I think we’re going to go ahead and call this podcast to a close.

Chris: If any of our podcasts have left you feeling inspired, consider becoming a patron. Just go to

Oren: And before we go, I want to thank a few of our existing patrons. First there’s Callie McLeod. Then there’s Kathy Ferguson, a professor of Political Theory in Star Trek. Next we have Ayman Jaber. He’s an urban fantasy writer and a connoisseur of Marvel. And finally we have Danita Rambo, and she lives at We’ll talk to you next week. [Outro Music]

Chris: This has been the Mythcreant Podcast. Opening/closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself, by Jonathan Coulton.

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