Few things are as exciting to hear around the gaming table as those two simple words: "Roll Initiative!" It is the intake of breath before rushing forward, swords raised, the hearty laugh in the face of danger, the raucous battle cry as you leap into the great unknown, with either victory or doom awaiting you.… Continue reading Roll Initiative: Building Encounters for Kids
"For a fleeting moment, could one of the sleepers have seen him, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried him far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers… Continue reading The Origin Story
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph" Thomas Paine What is a classic tale? Most of us immediately think of a story in which the hero or protagonist must overcome a great challenge, some sort of conflict against an imposing villain or evil force, right? But what about stories that don't have that… Continue reading Is Conflict Necessary?
Fall is my favourite time of year and often finds a place in my writing...it is a time of change, balance, and reflection, of celebration in the fruits of our labor over the past year. The earth itself transforms in a dramatic symphony of fiery reds, oranges, and golds-- a regal raiment to celebrate the… Continue reading Harvest Time!
If you read "Why Stories are Important", you may remember that stories often teach important lessons about life and this world we call home. But wouldn't it be simpler, a more efficient use of time to just...tell them? Why waste time with a drawn-out story? Just say "Hey, don't go into the forest alone" or… Continue reading Remember when…
In "What I Learned from DMing for Children", I talk about running a D&D adventure for kids. In this post, we will explore some of the things that take place before you get to the table when writing the adventure. While there will be some overlap, I recommend reading that first post before you continue… Continue reading Four Tips for Writing Family-Friendly Adventures
And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name. William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream We have a large bookshelf in our dining room...the sort of square, modular kind with sixteen cubes, all filled to the… Continue reading A Scribbler’s Musings
“It is frightfully difficult to know much about the fairies, and almost the only thing for certain is that there are fairies wherever there are children.” J.M. Barrie People all around the world have been enchanted by fairies for centuries, to the point that we have an entire subgenre of stories named after them: the… Continue reading Concerning Fairies
Why do we do the things we do? What guides us to believe the things we believe? Each of us is shaped by our own unique blend of experiences, which creates a lens of perspective, through which we observe and interact with the world around us. For example: whenever I got sick as a child,… Continue reading Workshop Notes: It’s All About Perspective
"Old books smell weird." The child stated, his face screwed into a distasteful expression as he put the book back on the table. We were in the middle of our "Five Senses" activity, which opened with observations about the bookstore hosting our workshop. It must have been a strange sight, the small group of adults… Continue reading Workshop Notes: Old Books Smell Weird (a.k.a. Plot and Elements of Story)