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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

A Master Class on Dungeon Design

If you don’t follow him regularly, you might not have noticed that Chris Chinn is on fire these days. He’s long been writing great articles to help you diagnose your group and provide awesome tools, like the Same Page tool, or the super quick one sentence character motivator. Show More Summary

Male, Female, and Everything In-between

When we’re first introduced to gaming, we’re told we can play any character we want and our imagination (and the system) is the only limit. Your character can be anyone you want them to be! Do you want to be a brawny fighter despiteShow More Summary

Gen Con 2014 Magic Artist List

I’ve assembled my annual list of Magic: the Gathering artists who will be at Gen Con this year for my own purposes. I share it here in case it’s of use to you. Each artist is listed with the more significant cards he or she has produced — cards that might be in your EDH … Continue reading ?

The 7.5 Hit Point Orcish Standard?

A minor kafuffle went on in the RPG blogging community recently over the concept of the 7.5 hit point orcish standard. I don’t think that’s what anyone else called it. That just seems like a good name to me.  The original premise isShow More Summary

Please Vote for Gnome Stew and Odyssey in the 2014 ENnies

Gnome Stew, Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Campaign Management, and Engine Publishing were nominated for three ENnie Awards this year, and I’d like to ask you to vote for us online. Voting doesn’t require an account orShow More Summary

Unframed is now available on DriveThruRPG

If you’ve been waiting for Unframed to be available on DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, it’s now available for sale there. You can buy Unframed on DTRPG or head to Engine Publishing’s publisher page to buy Unframed as part of a discounted bundle with our other titles. Happy improv!

Troy’s Crock Pot: Show the bhuka some love, people

In our GMing strangeness, we all have a pet monster. Some monster that appeals to us — and to be perfectly honest — to us alone. You bring out this monster and the players around the table may even roll their eyes, as if to say: “That thing, again.” It’s fair to say the flumph falls into this category. Show More Summary

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