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Why I’m So Excited About the Dusk City Outlaws RPG

In Dusk City Outlaws, players form a team of smooth criminals or outlaw vigilantes and pull off impossible capers in a complex fantasy city known as New Dunhaven. That sounds cool, but the real reason I’m so excited? Creator Rodney....

The Components of Romance

I think romance is a wonderful part of storytelling that we see in just about every form of media. Thing is, in RPGs I feel it often gets the short end of the stick. Why is this? First, I think we’re uncomfortable having romantic moments with our friends in games. It can feel weird, strange, […]

IN THEORY: CALCULATING DAMAGE

There are numerous ways to determine damage in a roleplaying game. It may depend on the weapon (or spell) used, the skill of the combatant, and/or the roll of the dice. In this article, we’ll look at four ways of calculating damage. It’s not meant to be a master’s thesis on the topic. Rather, it’s […]

Punching Injustice In The FACE: Interview With Anna Kreider About The Watch

The Watch (Kickstarter) is some kind of freakish perfect storm; I trust it to produce these hard-to-reach moments, to be a gripping storytelling Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) game, and to inspire deeper thoughts about gender, society, resistance, and love.

DEAD SCARE – Resist

Yesterday, Exploding Rogue Studios released DEAD SCARE, a 1950s, feminist, zed-killing, fascist-punching tabletop RPG by Elsa S. Henry. If you weren’t familiar, I co-own Exploding Rogue with Brian Patterson. We’re absolutely thrilled to have been able to help Elsa bring this game to the public, especially now. So, let’s talk about representation in games. Lots […]

Punching Injustice In The FACE: Interview With Anna Kreider About The Watch

  Illustration by Claudia Cangini …there’s something deeply satisfying about being able to punch allegorical injustice in the face. Reapers, Reavers, Sauron, demons, vampires, darkspawn, magical corruption, Thanos-backed Kree warlord. Show More Summary

Fiasco To Teach Gaming To New Players

A month or so back, my friend Nicole wanted me to help her get into Dungeons and Dragons and tabletop roleplaying in general. She had already been seeding the idea among some friends of ours, and I had a group of interested people who were all new, or practically new to tabletop roleplaying. They were […]

The Teleporting Player

Problem players come in a variety of types, but it all boils down to a player that is somehow disrupting the game or hindering the enjoyment of others at the table. A while back, I wrote about players that deliberately go out of their way to mess with the game and other players, but this […]

Gnomecast 8 – PC Agency

Welcome to the Gnomecast, the Gnome Stew’s tabletop gaming advice podcast. Here we talk with the other gnomes about gaming things to avoid becoming part of the stew. So I guess we’d better be good. Today we have Ang, and myself, Chris talking about PC Agency by J.T. Evans. Hope you enjoy and leave us some feedback […]

Design Flow: World Design

The world of Hydro Hacker Operatives resides mostly in my head. The rules for how to play Hydro Hackers (H2O) have been well enough documented on paper for the game to be run in a playtest capacity. But right now, I am the only person who can GM H2O because no one else fully understands how the […]

Troy’s Crock Pot: Floating Down the Lazy River

Ordinarily, you’d find me in the same camp as those who advocate that a well-run gaming session is one that is highly structured. And that a good GM is someone who is purposeful, putting to good use the time allotted to them. Keep up the energy. Maintain pacing. Provide direct interactions. For certain, there’s been […]

Fun Winter Themed Challenges

As George R. R. Martin is fond of saying: “winter is coming” and with it, a host of massive annoyances fun winter activities! Winter can also bring new and interesting challenges to your game. Here’s a selection of fun winter challenges and features to drop into your next session: Ice wizards: Many games have lots […]

10 Ways Reading The Silmarillion Makes The Lord of the Rings Better, Part 2

The second and final part of my exploration of The Silmarillion and the ways reading it will make The Lord of the Rings more interesting. Before we dive back into the list, two brief notes. First, some of the things...

Locations: Finding the lay of the LAND

  In my last article, I used the acronym AIMS to describe how I create NPC’s. I’ll talk here about how I use another acronym – LAND – to create locations. As with AIMS, I use LAND to help me come up with an actionable piece of usable game content quickly. LAND provides an easy […]

Gnomecast #7 – How the Galaxy Moves Ang Side

Welcome to the Gnomecast, the Gnome Stew’s tabletop gaming advice podcast. Here we talk with the other gnomes about gaming things to avoid becoming part of the stew. So I guess we’d better be good. Today we have Ang and myself, Chris. Today we’re talking about Star Wars: How the Galaxy Moves by Tracy Barnett and […]

10 Ways Reading The Silmarillion Makes The Lord of the Rings Better, Part 1

I am a huge Tolkien fan. I read The Lord of the Rings every other year or so. I love the books and enjoy the movies. But in all these years I’d never read The Silmarillion. I was about to...

Character Arcs

In fiction writing, there are three generally accepted character arcs: change, growth, and failure. Of course, in writing novels, the author can plan and plot this all out for maximum effect. In the collaborative storytelling nature of role playing games, this is much more difficult. The player may want a growth arc, but is continually […]

FORGOT MY CHEAT SHEET

At a recent mini-convention, I was very excited to run Star Trek using my homebrew rules. I made sure i had my session notes, character sheets, dice, and a bunch of other things. Of course, what I forgot was the rules sheet. I had created a very nice table to help resolve most major situations […]

Creating Plot on the Fly

Players often go left when you expect them to go right. Every GM knows this, but most of us still come to the table with material prepared ahead of time. Experienced GMs know how to plan for adjustments when players eventually do the unexpected thing, however it’s still all built on the framework of their […]

Israeli Tabletop: Three Flavors of Delta Green

Today’s guest article is by Haggai Elkayam and is a reworking of an article originally published in Hebrew on Play in Theory. It talks about a style of play found in the Israeli RPG scene. – John In the last year, the Israeli RPG scene has started to define a unique, local genre of one-shots, which […]

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