Posts belonging to Category Symbolism

Two (and a Half) Flavors of Dream Quest

Yesterday, I talked about the dream quest, the pseudo-supernatural, pseudo-symbolic trip through a not entirely real realm for the sake of goods, power-ups, fixes to otherwise nigh-on-impossible problems, or understanding of one’s own psychology. One thing I’ve noticed about these dream quests is that they tend to fall into two major types, each of which [...]

Uses of the Dream Quest

The world is a single building, a series of places connected by montages, a place out of an Impressionist painting. Useful objects come readily to hand, and sometimes for the strong-minded even the world itself is malleable. There’s something to be found, and everyone has a pretty good idea what direction to go but less [...]

Antagonists and the Details That Redeem Them

This was inspired by (and, in fact, supposed to be a comment to, before it turned post-length on me) the recent Hathor Legacy article “Pride and Possession”. In it, Gena responds to seeing a debate on whether or not Mother Gothel might not have been so bad after all (I’ll admit, this concept rather scares [...]

Character Kernels: Under Theme

A while back, I wrote about getting to understand the kernels of one’s characters by casting them into character roles from an existing story. That’s a fun way to find the parts of the characters that define them, but it’s not always easy; as often as not, most stories aren’t going to get you anywhere [...]

Magical Location Design: Ravyn’s Guide to Geomancy

In yesterday’s post about creating magical locations based on their purpose, I mentioned the possibility of the purpose being to channel magic, and said I’d discuss it later. “The following day” counts as later, don’t you think?
Like necromancy’s slow shift from “My divinations require a corpse of some sort, preferably fresh” to “OMG FEAR MY [...]

Nonvisual Manifestations of Magic

A long time ago, I asked a question: why do we always see magic? The answer I originally worked with was that it was easier, since people are visual; I know the English language has more sight-words than sound-words or taste-words or scent-words. But sometimes, it makes sense to make someone’s arcane senses pan to [...]

Can Big Drama Be Done Quietly?

I play games in which grand and dramatic is pretty much the gold standard. It’s part of the system, I can deal with that. I see a lot of people writing in ways that are grand and dramatic, and hey, power to them. But there’s one thing I notice, and that’s that they seem to [...]

Image Exercise Follow-Up Tips

Looking over yesterday’s characterization exercise on the images people translate their world into (and getting into a few discussions over it), I realized that I had talked about a lot of what and not too much how, particularly when it comes to figuring out what sort of medium or variety of image any given character [...]

Characterization Exercise: What Image Does This Create?

One of the fun things about the idiosyncratic nature of people is that you can expect them all to have different visualizations for different events. Sometimes, getting into the main image language of a character can result in better understanding her.
In many cases, this image is going to be visual. One way or another, the [...]

Interpretations and Conflict

I once had a conversation with a friend of mine about a game he was running that we were both in. Specifically, about three antagonists, all of whom were aside from one little issue some of my favorite characters in the game. (As we all know, I love a good antagonist.) There was a point [...]