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When The Cats Away – Using NPC back stories for filler

Today’s guest article is by Nick M., who talks about what to do when you can’t run a full game — turn to the NPCs and play out another angle of the story. Check it out and start brainstorming what background characters are about to get an upgrade. — A Face In The Crowd John […]

Mini Review Monday – Chariot and Claustrophobia!

Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of requests for reviews of products and supplements. Doing reviews takes a decent bit of time, so we’ve decided to give you a small taste of what some of the things coming across our gnome sized desks are like in a Mini-review Monday.  For the first installment, here are […]

The Group You Want

A recent meme I saw floating around Facebook contrasted the Avengers with the Mystery Men, suggesting that the Avengers are ‘what the GM hopes for’, while the Mystery Men are ‘what the GM actually gets’. Well, I’m going with an unpopular opinion on this: There’s no one to blame but yourself if your players don’t give you […]

Idle RPGs And Tabletop Game Time

I love me a good Idle RPG. For those of you not in the know, Idle games are games that more or less play themselves with minimal intervention from the player. Progress Quest, pictured above, is a silly fantasy RPG that, once you have made your character, plays more like an operating system installation than […]

Tackling The Tarrasque With 15 Rounds And A Rabbit

As I’ve been getting pulled farther and farther back into the D&D 5e fold, I’ve taken to running more interesting concept games alongside the longer form mini-series campaigns I like to do. I’ve also been running a lot of games for the group of teens at the Worthington library through the Knights of the Northwest […]

One PC Games

Most groups getting around a table consist of 4-6 players (sometimes more!) and a game master. The players sometimes cycle in and out of the group, creating a strange dynamic for the game master. Then are times when groups atrophy because of people moving away, work schedules changing, or other commitments pulling them away from […]

ESTABLISHED MEDIA CHARACTERS: PROS AND CONS

When playing pretend as a kid, we always played established media characters. We were Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, Batman and Robin. We were never “generic Rebel soldier” or “Superhero who’s kinda like Superman.” However, in my experience, playing established characters is much rarer in roleplaying games. Perhaps people want to create their own heroes, […]

Ghostbusters: The Next Generation

Gnome Stew guest author Keith Garrett is currently celebrating 31 Days of Ghostbusters at his blog adventuresofkeithgarrett.com. He’s writing posts every day to celebrate the franchise’s return to the big screen (tomorrow!). He graciously decided to share not one but two with us. Check out the last one talking about the Ghostbusters RPG of yore. […]

It’s Not The Size That Counts(It’s How You Use It)

Short form games are a newer type of RPG that I find fascinating.  Rather than the standard convention slot of a one shot clocking in at four hours, slipping a short game in can happen practically anywhere in nearly any amount of time.  Most recently my fascination led me to experiment with running five minute […]

Three Horrible Reasons This Town Is So Clean

Garbage. It’s ubiquitous. Some places are definitely cleaner than others, but there’s always a candy wrapper on the floor, coins under the couch, a discarded glove on the side of the road, and bulky items sitting next to instead of in the dumpster. Except when there’s not. Here are three dark secrets where the first […]

The GM’s Principles, and the First Session

In my last post I went through an introduction to Apocalypse World. I’d been running Deadlands Reloaded for my group, including one session of a Fate conversion of the setting. However, I’d realized that I’m not comfortable being responsible for that much setting information. I like the organic nature of how the setting is built […]

Gnome Stew ENnies 2016

Welcome to the Gnome Stew ENnies 2016 rundown. There are a ton of great nominees out there, and we wanted to point out some Gnome Adjacent projects and the other nominees in the fields we are usually nominated in, Best Blog and Best Website. Of course we want you to give Gnome Stew the best […]

Ways Out Of Prep Slump

  If you’re like me, you have times where you don’t want to prepare for your next session. Real life may be wearing us down, we may get sick, or we may just have the old “fear of a blank page.” (I’m also a water-colorist, trust me, I know ALL about that fear.) In this […]

Mothman: An Exposé

A bizarre creature terrorized a town in West Virginia in 1966 and 1967, leering at locals with glowing red eyes, flying over their cars and causing radiation burns and even the collapse of a major bridge over the Ohio River....

Ghostbusters Begins: A History of the Ghostbusters Roleplaying Game

Gnome Stew guest author Keith Garrett is currently celebrating 31 Days of Ghostbusters at his blog adventuresofkeithgarrett.com. He’s writing posts every day to celebrate the franchise’s return to the big screen. He graciously decided to share one with us, and fulfilling our end of the bargain we are going to release him from the containment […]

A Crossover Collision

Every year, I pour over the Origins event list to pick out the perfect combination of events to play. Well, at least that’s the goal. It’s actually a mix of equal parts careful choice and sheer luck, but it usually works out pretty okay. This year, I somehow signed up for back-to-back games that, based […]

Troy’s Crock Pot: Take it outside, kiddos

Ahhh, the great outdoors. It’s a great place to host a roleplaying game. A little camping, a little gaming, what’s not to love? The woods. The ticks. The blistering sunburn. The blood-sucking mosquitoes. The thieving raccoons. The dead humid air on a 90-degree day. Nothing like leaving the cozy confines of the proverbial parent’s basement […]

To Absalom, and Beyond: Interviewing James L. Sutter about Starfinder

A few weeks ago, Paizo announced it was making a new game: STARFINDER. With an exciting science fantasy setting, an OGL license, crunch building on the Pathfinder system, and a great team spearheading the effort, Starfinder looks likely to please plenty of Pathfinder veterans and new converts alike. However, we won’t be able to get our grubby hands on […]

A Sampling of RPG Podcasts

Today’s guest article comes from Keith Garrett, an avid Gnome Stew reader, oft times guest article contributor, and he has now outed himself as a podcast listener. If you like podcasts, check out the Gnome Adjacent podcasts – Misdirected Mark (Chris, Phil, Bob), She’s a Super Geek (Senda), and Talking Games (Send and Phil). […]

The GM’s Agenda and Principles

I’m in a position I’m sure anyone who has run a game has been in before: my group is probably going to move on from the Deadlands Fate game that I’ve been working on. And honestly? I’m fine with that. Since I started that Deadlands game, I’ve found that I have a strong preference for […]

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