Last week, I experimented with using Arkham Horror as a chaos engine to help outline a horror story, just to see what kind of crazy results we could come up with. Those of you who’ve read that post might remember that our (perhaps ill-advised) story of Anna and Inspector Yi had actually managed to flesh itself out pretty well just in the setup of the game. While this was super fun, I didn’t actually get to address the thesis of the experiment, which was about using the game itself to plot a story, rather than just using the chaos of game setup as a free brainstorming session. And so, this week, we’re diving back into Tabletop Simulator to see where this story is going to take us.Continue Reading
After a recent back and forth with Rebecca Tucker (@researchib) on Twitter, I’ve been looking into the idea of using solo RPG as a writing aid. As quickly became apparent, the rabbit hole goes super deep, with lots of really cool-looking systems and system-agnostic methods of running a game without a GM. I told myself I wasn’t going to spend too much time on this, since I’ve got tons of other stuff to work on at the moment, but the idea kept nagging at me so I decided to try a bit of an experiment to see what comes out of using solo gameplay for story-writing purposes.Continue Reading
The Moon fell into the Ocean and the Waves wept.
Infinity was once home to a thriving civilisation. That is, before the Moon arrived. The enormous, spherical structure brought with it death and destruction, wiping out most of the population with a series of earthquakes and tsunamis.
Since then the Moon has sat silently on the southern edge of Infinity’s mass continent.
Lucky Marsh is one of three moon-sitters charged with monitoring the Moon, acting as a living alarm system for Infinity’s last city. They must watch, but never touch: that’s the golden rule of moon-sitting. However, for the ever-curious Lucky, that rule has become increasingly difficult to abide.
Her nightmares compel her to do more. Her feet betray her while she sleeps.
I picked this book up on a whim because A) it was short, and B) my heart needed a break after the second Fear University book. Being a novella with a length of only 100 pages, Moon-Sitting is easy enough to read through in one sitting (or two sittings, if you’re a terribly slow reader like I am). Despite the length, however, it’s got a surprising amount of depth to it, an interesting main character, and a super interesting world to boot.Continue Reading
Halloween is nearly upon us. As the moon waxes to full and the skeletons dance their forbidden, frightening dance, spooky stories are again making the rounds–classic stories, new stories, and even some true stories of ghostly encounters. It’s easy to scoff dismissively, and I’ll forgive you if you do. After all, ghosts aren’t real! But did you know that according to a YouGov poll from last year, 45% of Americans believe ghosts do, in fact, exist? Further, according to Pew, 18% of Americans have actually seen a ghost.
Those numbers seem shockingly high, which isn’t too surprising considering the derision that experiencers of the paranormal tend to face when they share their stories. So, in an effort to help #NormalizeTheWeird, I’m going to share my own experience with you, since the season invites all tales of the spooky, no matter how absurd.
It’s embarrassing to admit now, but one of my first great fears in life was alien abduction. One of my earliest clear memories, in fact, is walking into the living room while my dad was watching a Discovery Channel documentary on the subject. I must’ve been around six or seven, which probably explains why the sight of a re-enacted gray shoving a needle into an abductee’s neck left me screaming. And so began my second greatest phobia (right behind spiders).
It’s that time of the year again. The witches gather for their black masses, the dead rise from their graves, and spooky books are in vogue even for people who normally don’t touch horror. Since trick-or-treating may be off the table this year, here’s 5 creepy-spooky books for Halloween (best enjoyed with spiced cider) for you to dig into as the logs burn low and the ghosts swarm.
Between its gloriously bizarre setting and its player-driven storytelling, there’s something truly magical about Monte Cook Games’ Invisible Sun. If you’re running a campaign in the Actuality, or thinking about dipping your toes in, here are five tips to make your group’s narrative even more magical and memorable.Continue Reading
Let me get this out of the way: my love of reading was largely sparked by the work of H.P. Lovecraft. There’s not much to be said about him that hasn’t already been said by somebody older and smarter than I am; the influences the man had on the horror genre speak for themselves at this point. Admittedly, many of his stories have not aged well into 2020, but nobody can deny that he’s left his mark on popular culture in a massive way. Since most if not all of his work is now available in the public domain, the last decade has seen a massive influx in the number of books, games, movies, and comics that either overtly or more subtly reference Lovecraft’s work. And this absolutely kills me, because it’s so rare that I’ve seen anybody get Lovecraftian horror right in the modern era.
I recently saw some people on Twitter expressing confusion about how people enjoy reading with aphantasia. I even saw some people not believing that it was possible to enjoy reading if you were unable to visualize the characters and events.
This got me thinking a bit about what it is that I personally enjoy about reading. And I think most of the things I like and dislike about books can be traced back to aphantasia. While I think aphantasia is far too complicated and nuanced to paint with a single-sized brush, here are five things that I’ve found help me enjoy reading more. I hope these will help you get more out of reading with aphantasia without becoming frustrated at your lack of a mind’s eye.Continue Reading
H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Rats in the Walls” is an uncomfortable story, but not really for the reasons the prolific author originally intended. Although the story is among Lovecraft’s most discussed, it’s difficult for many people to get past the narrator’s cat’s undeniably racist name. Thankfully, in the year of our Lord 2020, we finally have the technology to rename cats at a whim (and really, what greater joy in life is there than naming a cat?).