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Prep, Planning, and Podcasting

So Much Prep, So Little Time Things are going well in my gaming world. Almost too well. With the advent of TheOtherCast, I’ve added hours of audio editing to my dya job work, other writing, and game prep. I only run game every other week, which is good, but that’s about the change. In addition […]

Gnomecast #12 – 26.5 Shades of Scarlet

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. Today we have J.T. Evans, Senda, Matt, and myself, Ang. Today the topic at hand 26.5 Shades of Scarlet. I […]

Troy’s Crock Pot: D&D’s Little Corner of the Library

During March, elements of my Dungeons and Dragons collection were on display in the main room of the headquarters branch of our local library. My wife, the Motorcycle-Riding Librarian, who is a clerk in the Putnam County Library system, had suggested I do the display. The display was up in advance of my running an […]

Texting in Character

Today’s guest articles comes from Craig Dedrick and covers a way to make texting in game… hold on let me just reply to this… not an annoyance at your… wait, hahha. Man that was funny… table. – Phonebound John I think that we can all agree that when players start to check their phones at […]

Adversarial GMs

In a recent GnomeCast, Chris, Phil, and I got a little sidetracked from the idea of player intent and waxed poetic for a bit about “adversarial GMs.” We all agreed that a GM who considers himself or herself a direct opposing force to the players’ desires can be a detriment to having fun at the […]

Fantasy Crops For Your Game

Something that rarely comes up in fantasy games, though characters often travel through farming villages, is agriculture. Yes, sometimes there’s a fight in a field, or a possessed scarecrow, or orc raiders are burning the fields or slaughtering cattle, but medieval fantasy peasants grow the same crops that we do in the modern world. Which […]

IN THEORY: The GM Levels Up

What player doesn’t like to “level up”? Their characters get improved abilities, and perhaps new ones as well. They can now face stronger adversaries and overcome greater challenges. It’s one of the true joys of the game. Gamemasters (GM’s) level up as well, though not in a formal fashion. With experience, most GM’s will hone […]

Twenty Six Point Five Shades of Scarlet – The First Gnome Stew Gamer Romance Novel!

Back in 2015, we teased a project we had been considering for quite some time, a foray into writing Gamer Romance novels that focused on Gnome Centric erotica. Too long had Vampire erotica and Elven erotica taken the mainstage, it was time for the might gnomes to get some sexy times! It took us a […]

Gnomecast #11 – Player Intent

  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. Today we have J.T. Evans, Phil, and myself, Chris. Today the topic at hand is Player Intent. I hope you […]

Design Flow: One on One Play

I first learned D&D from the boy who’s house I was living in, during a rough period of time my Mother and I were going through. He was older than me, and I was not cool enough to play in his group, so he ran a game for me, alone. For a while, my only […]

Movie Review — Playback (2012)

It can be useful to analyze a movie that wasn’t so great not simply from the “worth watching/not worth watching” reviewer’s standpoint, but as a storyteller and film fan who wants to figure out what worked in a movie and...

The Listen Back

Sound and Fury Have you ever listened to how you run games? … That small pause was for all of the “oh gods, I hate the sound of my own voice” reactions that no doubt rippled through the Gnome Stew readership. The basic makeup of how we hear what we say in our own heads […]

Synthicide Design Diary: Keeping Grid Combat Fluid

Today’s guest article is by Dustin DePenning and is part of our Design Diary series. It covers the use of grids in games and talks about how they make interesting combat options. Check it out, and check out his beautiful and intriguing game Synthicide! – Not a Cylon John Synthicide is set in a violent, […]

FAITH Review and Kickstarter

I’m going to run with the usual format I use on my other review site for this game review. It’s what I’m used to doing, and it seems to cover all the bases. For the record: Burning Games approached Gnome Stew with a request for this review to coincide with their Kickstarter campaign. (More info […]

Class Reskinning: Playing What You Want When It’s Not In The Rules

Sitting down to a game of Dungeon World, I don’t know what playbook I am going to pick up, but I do know that inspiration struck me in the Misdirected Mark chat room the night before and there is a flavor I have planned for whatever character I grab. Blade Singer. I don’t know what […]

Living Through the Satanic Panic

Over on Kickstarter, Third Act Publishing is running a campaign to fund the production of their new game, Satanic Panic. Put together by Jim McClure, Jim Merritt, and Emily Reinhart, the game gleefully asks, “What if the Satanic scare of the 80’s had been real and gamers actually were summoning demons?” Set in an alternate, but […]

Gnomecast #10 – Six Narrative Game Tips

  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. Today we have Ang and myself, Chris. Today the topic at hand is Six Narrative Game Tips. I hope […]

A Randomized Hex Crawl Generator

In the comment section of my last article, reader Roxysteve commented about the random terrain generation of Source Of The Nile, one of the games on my “Great games of yesteryear” wish list. I have never read Source Of The Nile, and am only vaguely familiar with it (players compete for gold and glory by […]


There are costs to improving in any endeavor. If you want to be a great writer, artist, or 70’s disco champion, you have to pay your dues. Folks may think that good gamemastering (GMing) is just a result of natural talent. In reality, we know that there are costs to running a session right. In […]

Troy’s Crock Pot: Putting your frog princes to work

One way to keep a party of adventurers on their toes is to present them with unappealing allies. These are nonplaying characters who, for one reason or another, have an aspect of their personality, demeanor or appearance that the PCs might be inclined to dismiss, keep at arm’s length or even despise. Just as PCs […]

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