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Three weeks ago, at Gencon, I got to wear the Golden ENnie award medal for Gnome Stew’s Best Website award. I very nearly had a legendary wardrobe malfunction to prove it. Receiving the ENnie is a huge honor, and one that I am very proud I get to be a part of. Our Gnome Stew […]

The Characters Are the Story

Today’s guest article is about one of my favorite topics, characters. When it comes to roleplaying, characters are prime and their stories are the ones being told. Craig Dedrick takes a look at a method of character creation that focuses on the characters’ and their stories. Check it out. — A Character in Real Life […]

GenCon 2016: Help Me, I’m Melting

So, this post is a little later than I would like. GenCon ended on August 7th, but in between then and now, I had to drive back from Indianapolis and then go through the circus of closing on a house and moving into said house. I still don’t have all my stuff in the new […]

Delaying the Eventual Death of Your Play-by-Post Game

  Today’s guest article is by Osmond Arnesto and deals with a different type of roleplaying when you are geographically distant from your group – play by post — Postal Gnome John. One of my first games wasn’t played on a forgotten kitchen table in the basement, or even on a sticky table at Denny’s. […]

THE BACK-UP GAME: FIELD REPORT 1

In a previous article, we looked at reasons for having a back-up game. To recap briefly, adult responsibilities often get in the way of having a full table. A back-up game is a one-shot or series of one-shots that can be dropped in when necessary. In the past few months, we’ve used a back-up game […]

The Finer Points of the FrankenGame

Today’s guest article was stitched together by Robert Neri Jr.  of Ranger Games Publishing and talks about cobbling together games to make something wholly unique. We’ve inspected the lab equipment and found it up to Gnomish standards. – John A.B. Normal Game-Masters are already like mad scientists when through either in-play rulings (e.g. building precedence) […]

Interview With Chris Birch About Star Trek Adventures

“Gnome Stew Guest Author Keith Garrett donned his red shirt and gnome hat to go out and get us an interview with Chris Birch about the new Modiphius star trek game. Beam in and boldy check out the interview Keith brought back from his away mission! – Boldly Going Where Gnome Ann Has Gone Before […]

Troy’s Crock Pot: Roll for Initiative

They are three magic words, as distinctive as the starter’s horn for sprinters and swimmers at the Olympic Games or the command to “Start your engines” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But for gamers, especially those who play Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder and other games in the d20 sphere, it carries the same significance. “Roll for initiative.” […]

Welcome to Warehouse 141

In my last post, I went through the GM/MC’s Principles and the characters that my players made for our Apocalypse World game. Today’s post is all about the first session, a Day in the Life with those players, plus one. An Addition the Party Between sessions, we gained another player, so we kicked things off with […]

Custom Player Encounter Type Deck

I don’t think it’s an earth shattering innovation to say that if you’re designing an adventure, it’s a good idea to drop in a few encounters or situations that cater to the strengths of each of your players. An opportunity for the bard to parlay or the hacker to break a security system will give […]

Gnome Stew At Gen Con

It’s that time of year again when Gen Con rolls around and calls gamers of all sorts to Indianapolis, Indiana for a solid week of gaming fun. Gnome Stew is, of course, not immune to the siren’s song of Gen Con and many of the Gnomes are going to be there running games, giving seminars, and doing […]

CREATURE ROULETTE: A CASE STUDY

  Ever just flip open your monster book at random? I call it “Creature Roulette”, and it’s just one of many strategies for getting out of writers’ block. In this article, we’ll talk through one method for using creature roulette to plan an adventure. We’ll start with a fantasy scenario, and see how to adjust […]

Mini Review: Shadow of The Demon Lord and Interview With Robert J. Schwalb

Back at Origins 2016, I got a chance to sit down and play a game of Shadow of The Demon Lord with game creator Robert J. Schwalb. I sat down to play with a few other people and after our total party kill I convinced the other players to gang up on Robert Schawlb and […]

When The Cats Away – Using NPC back stories for filler

Today’s guest article is by Nick M., who talks about what to do when you can’t run a full game — turn to the NPCs and play out another angle of the story. Check it out and start brainstorming what background characters are about to get an upgrade. — A Face In The Crowd John […]

Mini Review Monday – Chariot and Claustrophobia!

Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of requests for reviews of products and supplements. Doing reviews takes a decent bit of time, so we’ve decided to give you a small taste of what some of the things coming across our gnome sized desks are like in a Mini-review Monday.  For the first installment, here are […]

The Group You Want

A recent meme I saw floating around Facebook contrasted the Avengers with the Mystery Men, suggesting that the Avengers are ‘what the GM hopes for’, while the Mystery Men are ‘what the GM actually gets’. Well, I’m going with an unpopular opinion on this: There’s no one to blame but yourself if your players don’t give you […]

Idle RPGs And Tabletop Game Time

I love me a good Idle RPG. For those of you not in the know, Idle games are games that more or less play themselves with minimal intervention from the player. Progress Quest, pictured above, is a silly fantasy RPG that, once you have made your character, plays more like an operating system installation than […]

Tackling The Tarrasque With 15 Rounds And A Rabbit

As I’ve been getting pulled farther and farther back into the D&D 5e fold, I’ve taken to running more interesting concept games alongside the longer form mini-series campaigns I like to do. I’ve also been running a lot of games for the group of teens at the Worthington library through the Knights of the Northwest […]

One PC Games

Most groups getting around a table consist of 4-6 players (sometimes more!) and a game master. The players sometimes cycle in and out of the group, creating a strange dynamic for the game master. Then are times when groups atrophy because of people moving away, work schedules changing, or other commitments pulling them away from […]

ESTABLISHED MEDIA CHARACTERS: PROS AND CONS

When playing pretend as a kid, we always played established media characters. We were Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, Batman and Robin. We were never “generic Rebel soldier” or “Superhero who’s kinda like Superman.” However, in my experience, playing established characters is much rarer in roleplaying games. Perhaps people want to create their own heroes, […]

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