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RPGS, Veblen, and Isms

Back when I was working on my masters, I had to take some PhD classes in econometrics. To do that I had to go to the economics department, fill out paperwork and ask them to let me into the classes (Since I wasn’t a PhD student, the department was rightly worried I might find the […]

Review and Giveaway: Harlem Unbound

I recently came across Chris Spivey’s  Harlem Unbound and reached out to see if Chris wanted to provide a digital review copy. He sent us a copy from DriveThruRPG and I dug through it over the weekend. Check out the full review below and drop a comment below (on the blog comments) to be entered […]

Troy’s Crock Pot: Goblins are hopeless coin collectors

It’s winter break. The temperature outside is a minus 12 degrees below zero. Don’t blame me if my gaming thoughts are tad disjointed. I’ve got cabin fever. What’s in your pocket? I keep waiting for an adventuring player character to ask the  question of the next goblin (i.e. game master) they encounter: Why does each […]

Gnomecast #32 – Gaming and Group Style

This episode of Gnomecast rings in the new year with John, Taylor, and Tracy discussing gaming and group styles thanks to Wendelyn’s Gnome Stew article “Role Playing Group Styles.” Visit Gnome Stew, check out Gnome Stew Merch, and support Gnome Stew on Patreon! Learn more about Taylor’s projects at Riverhouse Games and follow him on Twitter […]

Game Pieces from Garbage: Crafting Basics

Crafting is one of the easiest and cheapest hobbies to get into. Most of the prolific youtubers who have way more talent than me make a point of using found materials and dollar store supplies. The most I’ve spent on crafting for anything was about $10. That was for a hair dryer. Because I actually […]

The Watch Review

Looking back on last year, if 2017 taught us anything, it’s that we really need to spend some time looking at how we view issues of gender, and how traditional views on the topic—unexamined—can allow a dangerous and damaging status quo to survive and thrive. The Watch is a game that examines gender roles and […]

Quick-Start Settings and Campaign Frames

I’ve been thinking a lot about how roleplaying campaigns work. The part that fascinates me is the genesis of a campaign; how does it begin, what surrounds it? I’ve written a couple of articles about campaign frames and the setup of different thematic elements to be sort of the pillars of what your campaign is about. […]

Chekhov’s +1 Longsword

In writing, there is a dramatic principle referred to as Chekhov’s Gun. This states that every element in a story should be necessary and anything irrelevant to the story being told should be removed. Basically, if you set up a loaded rifle being put on the stage in the first act, that gun better go […]

Undeveloped Game Elements And Borrowing From Table Talk: Fair or Foul?

I was talking to a fellow GM recently and they said (paraphrased): “You know what I like to do when I GM and you should write an article about: I like to sprinkle in random dressing and clues with no pre-planned purpose in my world and see what the players make of them and maybe […]

I Spent a Day as an Extra for The Purge: The Island

The next movie in the Purge series, a prequel called The Purge: The Island, filmed here in Buffalo throughout autumn of 2017. When I heard they were looking for extras (from my good friend @lotofsnow) I had to find a...

Role Playing Group Styles

Since 2007 I have been an organizer for the Denver RPG group, a group of over 2,200 role players across the Colorado Front Range. When each member joins, they are asked a seemingly simple question: Why do you want to join our group? The most frequent response to this question is some form of […]

Proactive and Reactive Gaming – The Dance

Sometimes skimming twitter the strangest things can start my gears turning. Several weeks ago, I scrolled past a completely non-gaming tweet that mentioned how people like to get reactions. Suddenly I realized, as I quickly tabulated many comments by folks at whose tables I have sat, that when I play, I am very reactive. This […]

New Year’s Gaming Resolution: Productivity

I’m sure we all have gaming related New Year’s Resolutions. Two years ago mine was to write a microgame every month (did it!). Last year it was to finish my two big projects (didn’t even come close!). This year has been a wild one, with lots of changes. Some of the biggest for me were […]

Gnomecast #31 – Gizmo’s in Games

  Welcome to the Gnomecast, the Gnome Stew’s tabletop gaming advice podcast. Here we talk with the other gnomes about gaming things to avoid becoming part of the stew. So I guess we’d better be good. This episode we have John, Ang, and Jared talking about Gizmo’s in games.

The Big Impact of Little (Crappy) Crafts

Today’s guest post is by Tomcollectice, and talks about how game crafting doesn’t have to be phenomenal artistry to be effective at the table. – Steady Hands John Every Sunday before I game I find myself loading my car with this: And a backpack full of books and notes and stuff. Plus any food or […]

Design Flow: Removing A Good Rule

Often we think of playtesting for rooting out bad rules—things that are broken, don’t work, or are not clear. But sometimes in playtesting we find a perfectly good rule that by itself is excellent, but in the greater whole of the game does not work. Recently I found such a rule. One that I liked […]

Analysis Of PolyHero Wizard Dice

I’m a big fan of dice especially unusual dice, so back when it was open I backed PolyHero’s wizard dice kickstarter (Thanks Patreon supporters!). If you’d like to grab your own set, they’re available for purchase  at PolyHero’s web site. These are amazing looking dice, and I can see them being a lot of fun […]

Unmasked Review

Last year, when I backed the Worlds of the Cypher System Kickstarter, I was intrigued by the idea of the Cypher System as a stand-alone system that could be used for multiple genres. All I really picked up on from Unmasked was that it was going to be a superhero themed setting that also delved […]

Troy’s Crock Pot: Historical Amazons at Your Game Table

I just finished reading “The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World” by Adrienne Mayor. If you have any inclination toward including encounters with historical Amazons in your game — either as player characters or nonplayer characters — this work can serve as a go-to resource. This book from 2014 does […]

The Ideal First Level Combat Scenario – 2SLDper+2BT+CR+PP

My schedule lately has been… less than stable, so my gaming has been coming in small chunks. I’ve got games I play in and run that go off once a month or once every two months, I’ve got one-shots that occur on sporadic weekends, and when I feel the need to get some time as […]

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