Articles from November 2008



Interlinking Gods and Domains

Many of the gods we’re used to in Western mythology either created their domains or just took charge of them—whatever happens to the domain, the god stays constant. But a common fantasy element is the idea of gods that are mostly tied to their domains—as the domain changes, so too does the god. These can [...]

On the Creation of Gods

Yet more for RPG Blog Carnival.
Fantasy worlds and gods seem to go hand in hand; having or hinting at at least one seems to be practically the price of admission.
Now, this is fine. Except for the fact that there’s a lot more variety in the divine than most people give credit for, let alone use. [...]

Do Gods Need Religion?

More for RPG Blog Carnival: Religion, this time inspired by thinking about the topic itself and the way people have responded to it.
I’ve always been partial to chicken-and-egg questions, particularly within the context of invented worlds. And I always come back to this one: Do gods and religions require each other? Can you have a [...]

Color in the Pews

Another post for this month’s RPG Blog Carnival. A little religion goes a long way.
The first thing most people think about religion in speculative fiction (…okay, after they review the whole “Church is evil” cliché and the holy objects vs. creatures of evil thing—but really, what more do we need to do with those?) [...]

The Generic Villain Recurs!

Read the title. ’nuff said.
So your world is particularly low on evil, and you need to take up the slack. It’s going to be difficult, particularly living long enough to be able to fill the role successfully. But here are some ways to make sure you live long enough to do the work of four [...]

Impractical Applications (Kiara and Mentoring)

This week was one of those times when the subject material fit thematically with the session. Hoorah!
I do a lot with the thematics of the mentor-student relationship in my game, mostly through the NPCs. And one, in particular, is a walking excuse to explore it. You may remember Kiara, from a few weeks ago.
A lot [...]

Issues With Students

Because most of us are young, and because so many stories are from the point of view of the Teenage Hero Out to Save the World, we tend to deal with the mentor-student relationship primarily from the student’s side. As such, we probably have a rosier picture of the student.
But we need to bear in [...]

Why Can’t Teach Save the World?

Mentor figures are popular in our kinds of stories, but they always create one major question: If Teach is better or more experienced, why isn’t she the one solving the problem at hand? Sure, we all know the plot-reason is that she’s not the main character, but there needs to be a reason that functions [...]

Cultivating Mentor-Student Relationships

As I noted day before yesterday, many of the ways mentors aid in dramatics require a strong connection between the mentor and the student. It begs the question: How does one cultivate such a relationship?
One thing that helps a lot, particularly when the student is someone else’s character, is choice. Having the option of taking [...]

On Teaching Style

Teachers teach. It’s pretty much a given, and a matter of definition.
But what this means for us is that when we’re characterizing our mentors, we’re going to have to think about their teaching styles, as those are going to be connected to their philosophies, their relationships with their students, and, of course, how well they [...]