As 2022 draws to an end, we look back on a variety of new field sites visited in the summer and fall. Look for some of these in our 2023 scene description postings! (If anything looks particularly familiar, feel free to send along your own impressions of that place and its landscape.)
We'll be at WindyCon near Chicago next weekend, looking forward to face-to-face (safely masked!) time with writing / game / SFF folks. If you'll be there and want to meet up, it would be best to contact us before the Con, email@example.com. My talks there are Caves 2.0 (Sunday, 11/13 at 10 am) and Karst Landscapes 2.0 (right afterward, 11 am).
This spring I retired from college teaching, research, and administration at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. It's my plan to continue building this website, offering game/writing convention seminars, and otherwise providing earth science insights for game masters, authors and storytellers of all types. We've already begun taking advantage of retirement's looser schedule to visit some new sites, make return visits in varying seasons, and attend more conventions. Thank you for visiting ground4inspiration.net, and I'm continuing to be always reachable via firstname.lastname@example.org .
This spring saw publication of my new book by McFarland Press! Landscapes for Writers and Game Masters draws on sciences of geomorphology (landscape origins), geology and hydrology to highlight hundreds of storytelling opportunities awaiting in realistic natural terrain. Game masters running RPG campaigns in diverse genres will find new adventure hooks as well as hazards and fresh challenges for characters. Fiction writers will become familiar with lesser-employed story settings among actual desert, mountain, volcanic, and coastal landscapes. In addition to these regions, book chapters explore caves, rivers, wooded lowlands, karst landscapes, tundra, and glaciers. A final chapter reviews geologic principles for continent-scale world-building and some effects of regional terrain on society.
I wrote the book through the first year of the pandemic, basing the chapters on GM/writer enrichment seminars I've given at Gen Con and other conventions since 2013. Most of the text photos, like those on this website, are our own, taken during fieldwork and vacation travels starting with our honeymoon in Alaska. Some of the story concepts have been play-tested in our family D&D campaigns. I was able to explore other creative application concepts with intrepid Ball State students in class and in the field.
Jenn and Wesley provided editing and further ideas for book chapters. I also had the regular consultation of two cats. I was impressed by McFarland's careful handling of the project, and it was great to be present for their Gen Con debut of the book this August.
Scott Rice-Snow is a geologist and geomorphologist interested in applications of landscape science to enrich games and storytelling. Scott, Jennifer, and Wesley are your website hosts (see About>Hosts page).