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Rational Fiction as Narrative Focus

Preamble (you can skip this) /r/plotholes is one of my least favorite subreddits, mostly because there simply aren’t that many plotholes in popular films and books. What the sub gets filled with instead, as often pointed out by commenters there, are questions that seek explanation or clarification of the plot, or questions that point out […]

Narrativism vs. Simulationism

Definition: Simulationism In the simulationist approach to writing fiction, rules are defined and then outcomes are decided upon. These rules can be fundamental rules far removed from human/story scales (“there is no up quark”) to something that can be intuitively grasped and whose first order effects are somewhat obvious (“people die of an aneurysm when […]

Thoughts on Adapting Worth the Candle for Tabletop RPGs, Part 3: Gold Magic, Revision Magic, Still Magic, Warding

Part 1 here, Part 2 here. Gold Magic I think this one is definitely the hardest of the magic systems to adapt, mostly because by its very design it’s entirely antithetical to tabletop design philosophy. That said, I don’t think it’s impossible, just difficult. A gold mage has tactile telekinesis, which grows in power the more […]

Thoughts on Adapting Worth the Candle for Tabletop RPGs, Part 2: Flower Magic, Pustule Magic, Druids

Part 1 here. Flower Magic Flower mages are another mage that’s at least somewhat close to the wizard/sorcerer archtypes that are common in TTPRGs. If you squint at them, the flower buds that flower mages use are similar to spells. There are some themes to what flower magic can do, mostly within the realm of […]

Thoughts on Adapting Worth the Candle for Tabletop RPGs, Part 1: Entads, Exclusions, Tattoo Magic, Blood Magic, Bone Magic

Worth the Candle is a fantasy web serial that I write about (among other things) D&D, or more broadly, tabletop roleplaying games. A lot of it is commentary on TTRPGs in one way or another, with some just being fantasy kitchen sink, except doing weird spins on things instead of just cliches. Within this world are […]

A Critical Review of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

This is a critical review of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky. If you haven’t read it, be warned that this review contains major spoilers. I don’t mean “critical” with overtones of “faultfinder” or “censurer”. I mean “critical” as in “a judgement of the merits and faults”. If you really, really […]

(The Lack of) Methodological Problems in High-Rise Syndrome Cat Studies

There’s a popular fact that gets thrown around a lot: cats can survive falling from great heights, and actually survive more often when dropped from a greater height (above seven stories). There’s also a popular rebuttal to this: the study which came to this conclusion was only looking at cats that came into the emergency […]

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