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Troy’s Crock Pot: A Player Race for Your Table

Thanks to Dungeons & Dragons and Tolkien, the fantasy baseline of “demihumans” (as we used to call them back in the day) were dwarves, elves and halflings. You create a fantasy setting, and there is either an expectation or casual acceptance that those three player races are in it. Show More Summary

Déjà Vu and You

A couple weekends ago, I volunteered to run a spur of the moment game for some friends. I had Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space on hand along with the cast of PCs I had created for conventions and one-shots, so it was easy enough to hand them out and jump right into the game. Show More Summary

Mega Dungeon from 5RD example

As promised, here is an example of the method presented in the earlier article Random Mega Generation Via 5 Room Iterations. The method aims to create a large scale megadungeon in modular chunks with minimal work. Our first step is to create the main map by combining a random number of 5 room dungeons. Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Hey Pop! Where’s the Treasure?

So my son asks, after I’ve been the GM for the second session of Hoard of the Dragon Queen, ‘Where’s the treasure?'” “We really need to find some treasure,” he continues. “I wanna buy that thing that will let me shoot an arrow with a line so we can climb up walls.” “You mean, some kind of grappling line?” “Yeah. Show More Summary

Storium As A Campaign Chronicle

In a previous article, I talk about discovering Storium, an online narrative game that provides a framework and a mechanic for an online role-playing game with a play by post sort of framework. My own game is going on pretty well, if at a slow pace because of our time constraints, but it is really scratching my gaming itch. Show More Summary

Karthun Lands Of Conflict

  So, last night I did a G+ interview with Brian F’N Patterson (d20 monkey) and Tracy Barnet (Iron Edda, School Daze) of Exploding Rogue Studios about their new Kickstarter called Karthun: Lands Of Conflict. I’m already a backer of this...Show More Summary

SESSION ORGANIZATION: BREADCRUMBS

  Much like a movie or a novel, a roleplaying adventure depends on the flow of information. A game can grind to a halt when players don’t know where to go or what to do next. If players are exploring or clearing out a dungeon, this may not be a big problem. Show More Summary

Traversing Tables in Hoard of the Dragon Queen

I’m running a table of D&D Encounters on Wednesday night. Encounters is the easy, or at least low commitment, fork of D&D’s Adventurer’s League. D&D Encounters is ideal for new players and runs great with even pre-generated characters. Show More Summary

Using Backward Design in Game Prep

Back in February, today’s guest author, Aaron Ryyle, shared Eight Tips for Using Travel as a Plot Device in Fantasy Games here on the Stew, and now Aaron’s back. This time he’s written an in-depth look at how to work backwards when doing game prep. Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Swiping from the pros

One need not be an accomplished author to be a GM, but there is overlap, certainly. Both professions have stories to tell, an audience that awaits the description of the next scene. I recall running an adventure from The Wheel of Time campaign years ago. Show More Summary

GM Spotlight: What Dungeons & Dragons (2014) Brings to the Table

In ages past, when all-in-one boxed sets were common and character sheets were bought in packs, it’s safe to assume that some flavor of Dungeons & Dragons was the gateway into an imaginary world of fantasy roleplaying adventure for most gamers. Show More Summary

Why You Also Need To Be A Player

One thing I hear frequently from my fellow GM’s is that they are always a game master and never a player. Allow me to drag out my soapbox and say that if all you ever do is GM then you are doing yourself a large disservice. You are, in many ways, limiting your ability to grow as a GM. Show More Summary

Let It Go

One of the things I love about being a nerd is that it’s perfectly okay to immerse yourself in the love of a particular subject. It’s actually one of the reasons I love being able to claim the title of ‘nerd’. Unfortunately, though, one of my pet peeves is when some nerds (especially the RPG variety) take that immersion a little too far. Show More Summary

Johnny’s Five – Five Tips To Stoke The Fire That Fuels Your Gaming Mojo

I’ve been in and out of a gaming slump for a while. It started when I moved to Mississippi and all of my gaming opportunities dried up. Though I started groups down there and ran a lot of one shots, I just never got any consistent gaming going on. Show More Summary

A Mobile Base of Operations

In my fantasy campaign, the players recently acquired a flying airship. This gave me the chance to reflect on the advantages and possible concerns with a mobile base of operations. While many of my examples will be based in a fantasy setting, the same principles should apply to any mobile base, be it a starship, sailing ship, or catbus. Show More Summary

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

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