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Gnomecast #19 – Gnomes, Kids, & RPGs

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, JT, Matt, & Ang talking about gaming with kids.

Simple Tricks – Using Google To Blow Your Players’ Minds

While over at the house of my friend and fellow game writer and gnome, Tracy Barnett, I recently found my eyes wandering to his map of “haunted” locations in Ohio. He had picked up the map as a resource so that he could travel to different locations near him as weekend trips and see different […]

Bennies For Notecards

I’m trying something new. As a GM, I like it when players come up with small contributions to the game. Players like bennies. So I’ve designed and printed out a handful of 3×5 index cards that players can fill out to get bennies. Each one has a template for a new NPC, location, monster or […]

Troy’s Crock Pot: Adding some magical touches

We play fantasy rpgs because we love magic interwoven in our adventures. Wizards casting spells, sly bards with their enchantments, priests with their miraculous cures — all of it spurs our imagination into believing we are playing in a realm fantastic and weird. [Now, my next assertion is a bit of a generalization, and like […]

GMing in Crunch Time

There Are Many Articles Like It. This One is Mine. It’s been, shall we say, a bit of a rough day. Nothing serious is wrong, but my partner and I spent some time in the ER very early this morning, starting at 3am. This afternoon, the Head Gnome (John Arcadian) reminds me that I have a […]

A Spreadsheet for Writers to Track Story Submissions

I was talking to a writer friend a little while ago, and said writer friend mentioned not having an organized way to track short stories and what publications they’d been submitted to. I was aghast. Here’s the solution I use,...

IN THEORY: Approaches to Social Interactions

Social interactions are what separate roleplaying games (rpg’s) from most other types of games. For example, how often do you talk in character in Monopoly or checkers? However social interactions often have more gray area than other skill tests. For example, it’s easy to determine the results of a CLIMB roll. Either you make it, […]

Interviews from the Loop

Frequent Guest Poster Keith Garrett has been getting into Tales From The Loop recently, and he’s been writing about it on his blog. He decided to doff a red hat and swing over with some of his articles about this awesome looking game.  Check out his interviews with some of the creators below. – Nostalgic […]

How to Build a Custom GM Screen

There are plenty of advice articles out there (much of it here on Gnome Stew) about how to learn a new system without having someone teach it to you. If you’re attempting a high level of system mastery from a book or box set, there are several things you can do. Skim the books, followed […]

Gnomecast #18 – Camp Adventures

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 Tracy & Ang talking about Camp Adventures. Making a Thing: Camp Adventures Part 1 Part 2 […]

Genius Loci

The genius loci is a concept most people are familiar with from fiction: a spirit or intelligence of an area. It can be seen in enchanted forests, in haunted houses, in the rogue smart building. Putting a genius loci in a location in your game can be an interesting element to play with. In some […]

How To Host A Rad Tales From The Loop Game

  Frequent guest poster Keith Garrett has been getting into Tales From The Loop recently, and he’s been writing about it on his blog. He decided to doff a red hat and swing over with some of his articles about this awesome looking game.  Check out the first one below. – Nostalgic John I’m hooked […]

Making a Thing: Camp Adventure – Part 4

NPCs are a GM’s best friend (as far as I’m concerned.) It’s one thing to describe the world to your players. It’s an entirely different thing to show them the world through the varied eyes of the people who call it home. Camp Adventure is no different. The NPCs of the setting are what bring […]

Design Flow: Kill Your Darlings

Right now I am sitting here, not wanting to write an article. Not that I don’t love writing to you all, but rather this article is between me and further game design work I am doing, and I have fallen into the design rabbit hole; a place where nothing matters other than designing—not eating, not […]

IN THEORY: Gamemaster Rolls

Gamemasters (GM’s) occupy an unusual position. They have great power over the game, adjudicate the rules, and make major decisions. Sometimes they willingly give up that power, rolling dice and letting fortune decide the outcome. GM’s are not really players, but they’re not quite “not players” either. In this article, we’ll look when and why […]

Origins 2017: Social Choices

Origins was last week and I’m still walking around in a gamer high haze. There were games galore and many, many people to see and talk to—so many people! As I made my way through the convention center to a variety of games, both scheduled and off-book, I realized I know a crap-ton of people. […]

Gnomecast #17 – Gnomecast at Origins 2017

  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 we’re at Origins and Ang is talking to as many Gnomes as she can find.

IT Wizardry

In fantasy settings with sufficient magic, there is likely to be a low level spell to send a simple message from person to person. Consider that a permanent magic item with this power is essentially a one way cell phone. This is such an indispensable item that no one who could afford it would be […]

Using Intellectual Property

  There are more pre-created settings in role playing supplements than you can shake a stick at. There are even more settings out there in other creations outside just the role playing industry. These include TV shows, movies, novels, graphic novels, comic books, and video games. Some of these have already been adapted to a […]

Notes on Stuff You Should Know: Camp X

Hi SYSK fans! Just a few quick notes on Josh and Chuck’s podcast about Camp X, the top secret World War 2 secret agent training camp in Ontario, Canada. I just wanted to mention the discrepancy the guys found between...

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