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Campaign Frames – How to Tell the Kind of Story Y’all Want to Tell

Like I said in my first post about campaign frames, we all use them Every time we sit down by ourselves or as a group and decide what kind of game we want to play, we’re establishing the campaign frame. What’s the genre? What kinds of experiences do we want to have? Are there particular […]

Using Your Creative Obsessions & The Three Things Trick

Today’s guest post is by Kira Magraan, who talks about obsessions and how to use them to fuel your creative desires. – John “Bookhouse Boy” Arcadian I get obsessed with things pretty easily. It’s part of being an artist, or at least so I hear from other creative types and all those silly huffpost articles […]

Miniature Painting While Colorblind

  Today’s Guest Article comes from Brandon Barnes, who talks about his experiences learning to paint while dealing with Red-Green Colorblindness. It’s an awesome look at learning to paint and what tools can make it easier to work around issues you might have. – John Arcadian A gaming pub opened in our area and started […]

The Adventures Of Post Apocalyptic Old MacDonald

A variety of new livestock to be stolen for a variety of genres...

Star Trek Adventures Review

Long before I ever picked up my first d20, my older brother received permission from my parents to let me stay up late on Sunday nights so I could watch syndicated episodes of the original Star Trek with him. Whenever a new Star Trek movie would come out, my brother and I would make a […]

Tabletop Gaming and the Visually Impaired

I have so many fond memories, in my 35+ years of tabletop role-playing, of sitting around the table with my gaming buddies... tossing dice, laughing when a “1” was rolled and cheering when a natural “20” saved the day. I remember coloring in my first set of dice, frantically flipping through the […]

In All Their Looks & Words: The Tomb Of Niankhkhnum And Khnumhotep Part 2

This article consists of prep material that works better if you’ve read the intro and Part 1 of this series. Investigative Game Prep I will say, investigation games take a lot more prep than I’m used to. Do some more research into how these types of RPGs are planned and try to work that into […]

Gnomecast #28 – What If’s

  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 Ang, John, and Avery talking about What Ifs.

In All Their Looks & Words: The Tomb Of Niankhkhnum And Khnumhotep Part 1

Our first history lesson comes from Ancient Egypt, and may possibly be the very first historical record of same-sex relationships. It’s important to remember that just because it’s the first record we have does not make it the first to exist. People have been loving people of the same sex for longer than history has […]

In All Their Looks & Words: Introducing Queer History To Your Games

Initial note: the word “queer” has a complex history for a lot of people in the LGBT+ community. For some it’s a painful slur that brings up traumatic events, for others it’s a powerful reclaimed umbrella term for all sorts of identities and orientations. In this series I’ll be using specific terms when possible (“Bisexual” […]

Miniature Painting While Colorblind

  Today’s Guest Article comes from Bradon Barnes, who talks about his experiences learning to paint while dealing with Red-Green Colorblindness. It’s an awesome look at learning to paint and what tools can make it easier to work around issues you might have. – John Arcadian A gaming pub opened in our area and started […]

Strict vs. Lax GMs – It’s Not That Simple

There is no such thing as a Strict or Lax GM. Whoa... before you jump to the comments section to yell at me, let me explain. The idea of a strict or a lax GM is an oversimplification. GMing is way more complicated than that. There are too many facets of GMing […]

Should ALL Dungeons Be Five Room Dungeons?

Is there a place for exploring vast complexes, or should we stick to fewer more interesting rooms?

Now I See, Cold, It Was Them He Loved: Ten Candles And Winter Terror

“Now I see, cold, it was them he loved. Where is he now? Tonight my heart froze.” -excerpt from “Crust on Fresh Snow” by Rolf Jacobsen “Winter is coming” -virtually every character in Game of Thrones In the winter of 2015 I experienced two life-changing texts that sucked me into enjoying horror as a genre. […]

Give Me the Feels – Emotional Gaming

With graceful fins and cruel sharp teeth, I have waited for years for this moment. Finally my revenge is nigh—the woman who sold me to a circus, once my love, is once more within reach of my ill tended tank. I have just cut a deal, sacrificing myself, to ruin her as she ruined me. […]

The Role of Role Playing

Tabletop role playing has been part of my life and a core part of my identity for decades. It fills many roles for me personally including as a creative outlet, a method to meet people, and simply as a fun hobby. Role playing will always be these things for me, but I also see a […]

Troy’s Crock Pot: More Cues from Your Character Sheet

In 2014, I wrote “Three Cues from Your Character Sheet” — which was advice to players on how they could introduce roleplay elements without preparation, simply by identifying three key parts of the character sheet and using them to good effect. It was advice intended to encourage players to roleplay even in one-shot settings, such […]

D&D Beyond Review

  D&D Beyond is an online service for managing content officially published by Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. The service grants access to online character creation, rules references, monster statistics, and, if you purchase the assets, the hardcover adventures that Wizards of the Coast have published up to this point. […]

Review: Writing with Style

Writing with Style by Ray Vallese is a short PDF packed with advice for RPG creators. It’s written from the perspective of an editor who has more than twenty years of experience. The focus of the book is on clarity in writing and executing words in a manner that will allow for the proper expression […]

Missing Stairs – Why We Need To Listen and Why We Can’t Be Silent

The beginning of this week saw the hashtag #metoo trend to increase awareness about how many women have been harassed in their lives.  On my Facebook feed alone, I’d estimate that around 85% of the women I know posted something. The actual number of women who have been harassed is higher than that, based on […]

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