Selected Topics Pulp Fiction The history and variety of stories and genres that have appeared in popular magazines since the early 20th century. Adding History without Becoming Historical Adding historical elements to stories without having the history become the focal point of the piece. Cosmic Horror and Pulp Adventure The history of cosmic horror, it spread through the pulp magazines of the early 20th century, and its popularity today. Cthulhu and Lovecraftian Fiction The history, impact and popularity of the pantheon popualrized by H.P. Lovecraft and his circle. Alternate History The possibilities and alternate timelines resulting from changes in historical events. World War II Adventures Writing stories and scenarios for role-playing games in a variety of genres with World War II as the backdrop. Role-Playing Games The history, variety, and cultural phenomenon of tabletop role-playing games. Why Choose A Genre: Mashing Up Settings to Create Something Unique Combining established literary or cultural genres to create unique environments for creative projects. How useful are character backgrounds in gaming? Why create a detailed background for your role-playing character if the game master is not going to incorporate it into the campaign? Role-Playing vs. Roll-Playing The debate over storytelling and mechanics (fluff versus crunch) in role-playing games. Working on the Railroad: Keeping Play within the Plot How do you keep players from straying from your plot, or should you even try? Sandbox vs Plot-Point Campaigns The pros and cons of open-ended campaign settings versus pre-scripted, event-oriented games.