Discover a new way to find and share stories you'll love… Learn about Reading Desk

All Blogs / Entertainment / Toys & Games / Role Playing / Popular


Create a One Page System Today

As a GM, we often want to run a different genre or try out a new mechanic. However, learning an entirely new system can be overwhelming. Believe it or not, creating a one-page system can be quicker. Think of it this way: if you can read 50 pages an hour, it will take you 6 hours to read a 300 page rulebook. Show More Summary

DIY GM Screen For Better Play

In thinking more about last week’s piece on mise-en-place, I realized there was one more thing that I often do for the games that I run, that involves setting up a specific space for maximum effect: creating my GM Screen for the game. Show More Summary

A Guide to 5e: Where to Start

I was speaking with a friend who enjoys roleplaying, but hasn’t done lot of it until recently. (He’s first a board gamer, but loves a number of geeky games.) He began running the Starter Set for friends, but given the other more recent releases, he was confused about what’s necessary, what’s required, what’s optional, etc. Show More Summary

Great Character

Here’s a quick overview of the not-so-secret project I’ve been working on since Gen Con. Great Character Great Character is a small project to collect scans of actual character sheets used in RPGs by authors and game designers. The idea is to share some fun gaming stories and uncover a little RPG history. Character sheets … Continue reading ?

Random Mega Generation Via 5 Room Iterations

Mega dungeons are difficult to fully detail because of their sheer size. Here is a random dungeon generation system that helps make the process easier in two ways. First, it creates chunks all at once instead of single rooms, and second...Show More Summary

Sharknado, the Unofficial Fan Game.

Recently, the Syfy channel released the sequel to their cult hit movie Sharknado, Sharknado 2: the Second One (Interesting trivia, my Samsung Galaxy phone’s spellcheck knew the word Sharknado by default. Considering how often I run into words it doesn’t know, this was amazing to me). Show More Summary

From Con to Con: 2014 Edition

Hey all! This year’s GenCon was a whirlwind for me! I worked the Cubicle 7 booth in addition to my usual event-coordinating/running and meetings. I got to visit one of my favorite steakhouses with my fellow Gnomies (and met an epic waiter!) and finally tried Fogo de Chao. Show More Summary

Put In Place Your GMing Space

This past week I was at Gen Con, and ran a few sessions of my fantasy world, Elhal. Convention games are always tricky, and something that we have talked about many times here on the Stew. This time around, I ran the same session of Elhal in both Fate and in Savage Worlds. Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Patrons make sense

What’s more realistic? A group of heroes waits in a tavern until adventure finds them … … or a rich, well-connected patron provides them with the means to set out on the next adventure? As cliched as both options can be, I’ve been rethinking my aversion to using the patron as a means of hooking into an adventure. Show More Summary

Gnome Stew Won the Gold ENnie for Best Blog — Thank You!

Last night Gnome Stew won its sixth ENnie Award, the gold for Best Blog. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, especially Evil Hat Productions for charting a course of transparency and customer-centric business practices that kicks major ass. Show More Summary

Characters to Grow Old With: Getting the Most Out of Your Pregens

I love pregenerated characters. They’re great for con games, online games, pick-up games, or when you need replacement characters after a TPK.  They’re an easy way to get new people gaming quickly.  Obviously you won’t use pregens in every game (more later), but they are handy to have around. Show More Summary

The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Even when your group is lucky enough to have multiple GMs, sometimes you need a backup game in a hurry. Or the GM didn’t have time to prep, but everyone has gathered and is ready for an adventure. There are a lot of solutions in that...Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Signature monsters

A well-utilized signature monster can drive a campaign for a long time. The monster doesn’t necessarily need any exceptional abilities to be compelling. For example, savage orcs move the adventures along in Middle Earth and skulking goblins jump start things in Golarian. Show More Summary

Stopping Short

If you find yourself ending an adventure with significant session time to spare, do you stop short or introduce the next adventure? For most of my GMing life I’ve been in the “if there’s enough game-time to set scene or two then do it” camp. Show More Summary

Movie Magic

Like quite a few other people this past week, I went to see ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. It has a 92% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and if you listen to the buzz, the movie is everything from the absolute best film this year to the second coming of ‘Star Wars’. Show More Summary

THE ONLINE TABLETOP: Preparing Your First Session

So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge: you’re going to GM your first online session.  Maybe you’re a little nervous, concerned about getting all the details right.  This article will give you some guidelines to help you make that first session start smoothly. Show More Summary

A Return To Prep-Lite

I was running out of time to prep my games. Sounds almost ironic from the guy who wrote Never Unprepared, but it was true. Things have changed in my life, and my ability to prep was straining against my dwindling free time. I had maximized the usage of my time, and I simply had less time to prepare than before. Show More Summary

Everything is a Flag: Use the Whole Buffalo that Your Players Provide

You’ve heard of “using the whole buffalo,” right? The idea that if you’re going to kill a buffalo, you should respect the buffalo by making every bit of it useful: eating the meat, tanning the hide, making stuff from its bones? When your players hand you their character sheets, think of each of those character sheets as a buffalo. Show More Summary

Fair or Foul? Playing Fast and Loose during Con Events

Next month I’ll be running several events at GenCon (primarily Victoriana, which is near and dear to my roleplaying heart!). Whenever I run events, I have several goals in mind, including 1) ensuring everyone that plays has a good time,...Show More Summary

The Repositioning Session

Your group has just completed a major story arc. They have been down in the depths of the Dungeon of Ultimate Sorrows for weeks. You are ready to start off the next delve, into the Tower of Unimaginable Anguish, but are your playersShow More Summary

Copyright © 2011 Regator, LLC