Storyworlds


The Pillar Queen

Previously, I wrote about unique, individual “pillar characters” who appear in multiple stories across the storyworld and fulfill important structural roles within the world itself. Below is one such character from the Empire of Venom & Silk storyworld. Alanna, Queen of Zira Since the day she was born, Alanna was groomed to take the throne of the city-state of…

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Who’s Who in World-Building

I’ve often said that, when creating a storyworld, you should focus on character archetypes rather than unique, specific characters. Don’t worry about “Doris Black, Bounty Hunter” when you can work up “the bounty hunters of House Black.” After all, one character will get you one story, but a character archetype can unleash a horde of…

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Let the Right One Drive

Today I’d like to talk about a fun world-building exercise that I’ve used to some effect myself, and you might find useful in stoking your own fires of creation. I’m a big believer in using random seeds to spark creativity. Draw a card! Roll on a chart! Use the Internet to come up with all…

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Showing and Telling in RPGs

It’s true. I’m obsessed with storyworlds and world-building. I’m also a huge fan of tabletop RPGs. And while these things go together like whatever “two things that go together” cliche you like (I prefer “like peanut butter and bananas” myself), mashing them together does raise some challenges. Me: “Hello, gaming friends! I have picked up…

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The World of Steel Dragons – Part 4

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the setting, characters, and conflict of Steel Dragons, but if you’ve been muttering to yourself, “Yes, that’s nice, but how does it feel?” then today’s entry is for you! Because today, we’re talking about tone. Steel Dragons is a digital adventure board game about heroes exploring…

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The World of Steel Dragons – Part 3

Welcome to the third entry in a series on the storyworld of Steel Dragons! Steel Dragons, as you may recall, is a digital adventure board game I’m designing for Quickcharge Games. Over the past two weeks, we’ve looked at the steam-infused feudal Japanese setting, as well as  the hardy and courageous characters who live there….

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The World of Steel Dragons – Part 2

Steel Dragons, as you may recall, is a digital adventure board game I’m designing for Quickcharge Games. The game is set in a steampunk version of feudal Japan, which I’ve already described a bit last week. This week, I’d like to take a closer look at the people who live, work, and seek adventure  in…

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Weave a Web of Magic

In the Empire of Venom & Silk fantasy storyworld, the world has been been invaded by giant, sentient spiders. Today, thanks to the generosity of my patrons, we’re taking a look at the magic-using spiders known as “spell-spinners” and the spells they spin. Spell-spinners use their webs to create magical effects. Specifically, they arrange their…

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The World of Steel Dragons – Part 1

As a guy who specializes in creating storyworlds, I’ve found Steel Dragons to be a blast to work on. It’s been a fun challenge to take all the cool stuff that everyone already knows and loves (Samurai! Airships!) and integrate it with new, unique features (Lotus Pearls! Smart-Steel!) to create a world that’s exciting and…

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Putting the “Story” in “Storyworld” – Part 3

Welcome to the third part of my series on how stories and storyworlds relate to each other. We’ve already discussed how storyworlds only exist to serve as backdrops for their stories, and how creating stories can develop new details for their storyworlds. Today I’d like to take a brief look at revealing the storyworld through…

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