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 Dove 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).