Articles from November 2012



Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: The Creation of Enemies

This week, I decided to play with my old exercise on determining a character’s ideal enemy. I’m still not sure why the long-term pseudo-recurring enemy holds as much interest for me as the love interest might for another designer of characters, but still—as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing like a good nemesis.
For sorcerer, unarmed [...]

Complicated Costumes Without Costume Porn

A lot of the time, you can tell a great deal about a character from what she’s wearing—rank, country of origin, social class, occupation, personality, and a lot more. And let’s face it, authors and GMs aren’t immune to the lure of this sort of thing—not just because it makes sense in whatever worlds we’re [...]

Tales from the Sketchbook: I’m Not Sure What This Is, Either

Yes, I still draw, though I haven’t posted too much in a while: I’ve been a bit distracted, and most of my drawing has been either cartoon lizards or preliminary designs for a large mural, and not something I could really talk about it in the way that I do character pictures. Most of my [...]

Impractical Applications (Where the Mapping Takes Me)

As you’ve probably guessed, most of my research on getting a couple of characters together and then designing a world around them has been pretty hands-on recently. (This one even feels like it’s going to let me keep writing it past a month or so, if I can just keep my enthusiasm up. Yippee!)
I’d started [...]

Tales from the Sketchbook: A Scaly Thanksgiving

This is what happens when unusually little is going on at work—except for needing an illustration for an email to the families on the day before Thanksgiving. Have some lizards.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Map, Elaborate, Question: From Characters to World (and Plot!)

Yesterday, I talked about building a world around characters, rather than building enough of a world to mold characters into and moving outward from there. I’ve been toying with this recently, and I’ve found a pretty good sequence for trying to grow outward from one or two characters to a plot and a world.
I start [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: You Don’t Have to Build the World First?

I’ve always looked at putting together a story in a fresh new world as starting with the world, getting enough of it together to give yourself ideas, then sticking characters in it, then letting them bounce off each other until you have something approximating a plot. Wasn’t that how all the people with the really [...]

The Generic Villain Commandeers a Destiny

My own disinterest in the things aside, there are uses for having—or at least, for appearing to have—a Destiny. And let’s face it, Destinies are usually for just about everyone else, particularly the lightsiders. But hey—we’re evil. Stealing is on the fair game list—and stealing people’s PR is fun. Why not just try to swipe [...]

Impractical Applications (Ruination!)

It’s a bit disorienting realizing that I haven’t really done that many ruins—or at least, that I haven’t done that many ruins that I haven’t already written about, one way or the other. And that, while I did get the idea for the posts from giving a friend suggestions for ruins (mostly in the form [...]

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Characters’ Codes

This one was inspired by my old exercise on codes of conduct: I took a small sampling from my primary game. (Jalil, in particular, was requested by two different players–though I’m finding that he would have come through a lot better if I’d written this up back when he was still active as a villain [...]