Roleplaying

Five Tips for Running a Mystery Game

Mystery is one of the most common types of roleplaying game sessions, especially for games that have moved out of the dungeon. They provide both a direction and objective for players: solve the mystery! Mysteries come preloaded with suspense and the subversion of expectations, plus … read more »

Analysis

Misattributed Arousal in Fiction

Our brains can’t always distinguish between different types of arousal. Anger, fear, and excitement (both sexual and nonsexual) are all states of arousal. Each of them elevates the heart rate, increases blood pressure, and heightens our sensory awareness. Read more »

Storytelling

Anatomy of a Fable

It’s easy to think of “fable” as just another name for “fairytale.” It doesn’t help that there’s a series of comics called Fables that star fairytale characters, or a video game series called Fable that is generic fantasy. Like fairytales, fables started as an oral … read more »

Storytelling

Planning Character Arcs

If you like to plan your stories ahead, you’ve almost certainly sketched out your plot. But have you planned your character arcs? Every story needs a character arc for its protagonist, even if it’s simple or subtly conveyed. And while supporting characters don’t always need … read more »

Worldbuilding

Avoiding the Planet of Hats

Worldbuilding is a time-consuming process. There’s all of those governments to decide on, flora and fauna to develop, architecture to design… and when you have to do it for planet after planet in your spacefaring adventure, well, who has the time? Certainly not the writers … read more »