Neal Litherland is an author, freelance blogger, and RPG designer. A regular on the Chicago convention circuit, he works in a variety of genres.
Blog: Improved Initiative and The Literary Mercenary
How I Lost 40 Pounds by Eating More Taco Bell
When I was a teenager, I had a lot of trouble gaining weight. Part of it was that I stayed pretty active year round (football practice, track, after school weight lifting, all that stuff), and part of it was that when you're still growing and changing your stomach is a gas tank with a hole in it. You can never put too much fuel in it.
5 Tips for Playing Better Elves
Elves are often thought of as the banner-bearers for high fantasy as a genre. With their inhuman lifespan, strange ways, and occasionally alien thoughts, they can be difficult to portray in new, interesting ways. If you've had trouble stepping outside Tolkien's box with your elves, then here are some tips you should think about.
The Real Reason Rob Zombie's 'Halloween' Reboot Failed
I found myself in a rather unique position last month. Because while I'm a fan of slasher movies, I'd never actually seen any installment of the original Halloween series other than the first movie. That meant when Halloween 2018 showed up in my local theater as a direct sequel to John Carpenter's original film, I didn't have an entire series worth of continuity to forget in order to enjoy what was right in front of me.
10 Questions to Put on Your Character Creation Document
If you're a dungeon master, then you need all the information you can get about the player characters at your table. If you've noticed that getting meaty details out of your players feels like pulling teeth, though, then what you need might be a character creation document.
Goddesses of Badassdom: Kali
In the annals of terrifying forces of femininity, one name stands above many others. A name that sends shivers down your spine, and can turn a man's blood to lukewarm piss. A name that is synonymous with death, destruction, and which represents the ultimate mama bear who is not to be poked under any circumstances.
5 Tips for Playing Better Cavaliers
The only thing more dangerous on the battlefield than a skilled warrior is a skilled warrior who believes in something. And when that warrior is willing to back their sword arm with conviction that will keep them and their allies fighting long past the point of sense, battles that looked like certain defeats may become victories.
50 Two-Sentence Horror Stories
For some people, horror is all about building suspense. It's the slow ratcheting up of tension until you get a sudden explosion of terror, or a glimpse into the cosmic workings of some madman's universe. Two-sentence horror stories, though, challenge you to tell us a story without all that time and space. You have the space of a breath to reach into our brains, and hot-wire that fear response.
5 Tips for Playing Better Witches
There are Powers beyond the world we know, beings who tread the spaces between the realms, and who exist in places known only to half-mad scholars. Mysterious and distant though they may be, there are those who reach out to these beings. Those who are bold or foolish enough to establish a conduit with one of these forces will find arcane power is theirs for the asking... "but at what cost?" ask those suspicious of the witch's strange knowledge and dark curses.
Tips for Building a Whip-Wielding Swashbuckler
One of my favorite things to do as a gamer is to find mechanics that are considered niche, useless, or which are otherwise overlooked and to find ways to make them extremely effective. Recently I've been looking at the whip, a weapon usually considered far too underpowered to bother using in Pathfinder, and figuring out how to put a little crack into it.
Old People Have WAY More Sex Than You Think
When you see two older people who are still in love (or still trying to find love, if you remember Grandpa Will always cocking his hat at a rakish angle before winking at his reflection), chances are you think of sweet things. You know, how even though they've been married for decades that old man still brings his wife a bouquet of flowers and calls her his dear heart. Or how there are always a few seniors who sign up for local dance lessons as a way to stay young together.
5 Tips for Playing Better Warlocks
There are some who are born with arcane power pulsing through their veins. Others earn this power through hard work and tireless study. For those who lack the former, and who do not wish to pursue the latter, there is another path. A path that seems easier, in many respects. Pacts are forever, though, and once you have made one there is no unmaking it.