Ancient Egyptian Handbook of Spells Deciphered

Ancient Egyptian spells written in Coptic have been deciphered. Cool inspiration for rpgs and world building.

Alternate History: Picking Out the Threads

Alternate history: love reading it (here are book suggestions), and love writing it. History plus alternate timelines plus a measure of fantasy if needed or desired: what’s not to love? This is Part I of a series looking at why a writer might choose this approach, and how it can incorporate “historical fact” into the “alternate” part of the equation.

World Building Tips Volume 2 on Sale Now!

World Building Tips Vol. 2 is on sale now. The focus here is on travel, transportation, communications and much more for world builders.

Lodging With the Locals

Fantasy writers can take a lesson from this fact: When public accommodations were not available, travelers had to turn to local folk for overnight lodgings.

Urban planning in science fiction, part II

This is the second of a 2-part post about the role cities play in Sa’adani thought and society.  That’s Sa’adani as in the human (but not Earth-human) culture of the eponymous Empire, the backdrop of my science fiction novels. You can see Part I of this “sustainable living in urban spaces” exploration here. ~~ Sheo […]

Urban planning in science fiction

Science fiction often portrays how people live in the future, but rarely gets into the decisions or urban planning processes that got them to that point. I’ve had to think about Sa’adani urban planning philosophies lately in order to better characterize some city settings in my writing. This is part 1 of a 2-part post exploring Sa’adani philosophy about city development and urban living.

RPG Game Design: Building a World that Works

Gamers often create RPG campaign settings that don’t click. Here’s a look at a major game design issue that often causes this problem, and a recommended approach to set things straight. Part I of a two-part post.

How to Build a Better Power Struggle: Forget Good Versus Evil

“Good versus evil” is overrated as a dramatic structure or device. Here’s why, and why a focus on power dynamics is a great alternative instead.

The Water Leech: A Steampunk Device for Wicked North’s Westward Game

Here are some designer notes and backstory on the “water leech”, an item I recently designed for Westward, Wicked North Game’s western steampunk setting.

My Other WIP: Queen Victoria’s Transmogrifier

Here is some context on a work in progress I’ll be blogging about from time to time: Queen Victoria’s Transmogrifier, an alternate history and paranormal tale focused on Victorian London in a time/space where magick is real.