Creating Interesting Magic (and Characters, Plots, and Worlds)

I’ve been long overdue for a blog post like this, because it’s one of the main things that I either get questions about or hear people struggle with. The questions are usually in the form of “how do you come up with this stuff” or “where do you get your ideas from”, while the struggles […]

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 […]

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