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Blank Check GMing

Today’s guest article was written by Will Jobst, GM, political science student, musician, and hopefully-maybe-one-day RPG writer. He runs a weekly game with strangers he tricked into his apartment, and waxes RPG-theory @dm_ilf and at www.willjobst.wordpress.com. Show More Summary

The Fish Tank as an Intrigue

Today’s guest article by Gnome Stew reader Rickard Elimää is a follow-up to his previous piece on the Stew, The Fish Tank as a Mystery. Thanks, Rickard! Imagine the characters being fishes. Throw them into a fish tank filled with piranhas, lean back and watch what happens when they start swimming around. Show More Summary

Dis/advantage vs ±2

The new 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons has tweaked some of it’s systems somewhat. One of them is the new advantage/disadvantage system which replaces the system standard plus or minus 2. In addition, advantage and disadvantage doesn’t...Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Sensory Overload

Do you have a party of player characters that hit a dungeon like a well-trained SWAT unit? This is a party that moves through corridors and chambers like a well-oiled machine, muscling past lesser challenges and traps with speed and efficiency. Show More Summary

Mashing Genres: Medieval Superheroes

With the release of Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition I’ve decided to run a fantasy campaign again. One of the things that’s bothered me about D&D and its emulators over the last decade or so is that they don’t “feel” medieval. When every...Show More Summary

Storium – The Best Little Game You Might Not Know About

So, a while back I was making a decent number of trips across country. In order to occupy myself during long, lonely hours in the car, I got into listening to RPG podcast. On one of these Podcasts, I heard an interview with one of the...Show More Summary

Death and Genre

With the advent of a new edition of D&D there’s been a wave of nostalgia among many of my gaming friends, bringing with it talk of old-school gaming with full-on dungeon crawls and all the risks those days of gaming brought for our characters. Show More Summary

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

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