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Illustration Inspiration

    Art by meeeee, Avery Liell-Kok      It would be very nice to have an endless font of ideas, but I spend my days tapping that well so thoroughly, sometimes it can be difficult come game night to squeeze a little more blood out of the stone. When I’m stuck in an imagination […]

Diseases in RPGs

Diseases are universally feared by everyone. They affect the rich, poor, healthy, sickly, old, young, and everyone in between. In fantasy games, your holy avenger won’t protect you from contracting the black plague. In science fiction games, being the captain of a star cruiser doesn’t stop the evil nanobots afflicting the rest of your crew. […]

The BBC Method Of Story Arcing Part 2

In my first article I hit the high points of how the BBC tells stories and how you can appropriate that for your games. In this article I’ll touch on how you can build up the material you need for a single session of play and how your needs will differ depending on where you […]

Gaming as Imaginative Play

Credit to PiratedPictures. No, his pictures aren’t pirated. A lot of us can trace our gaming roots back to the days of brandishing sticks and pot lids as a sword and shield, rescuing dragon-held captives or fighting illusory villains. Childhood pretend play, or “Imaginative Play”, is an important developmental tool, but the benefits still apply to […]

Steal This: No Forests On Flat Earth

Fringe conspiracy theories are often fertile ground for gaming ideas, but the recent “no forests on flat earth” is so amazingly bizarre that it towers above the competition for material to steal for your game. The original video is an hour and a half long and a bit of a mess, but I’ve embedded it […]


Marvel comics didn’t invent continuity, but they certainly perfected it. From the early 1960’s through the 1990’s, every Marvel story built on every previous one in Byzantine complexity. Many of us long to craft those kinds of campaigns. However, reality often encroaches on our world-building plans. People get busy, go back to school, get addicted […]

One Shot Characters: Fully Detailed or Blank Slate?

One shots are not necessarily my preference for gaming experiences, but I go to so many conventions I end up playing a large number of one shot games. While I love and treasure a good campaign, I end up spending quite a bit of time thinking about what makes a good convention game. I suppose […]

Players Setting Precedent

The cat’s tail flicks as she crouches low in the garden. Her eyes are wide in concentration, unblinking, getting a good cat butt wiggle moving in the back. She pounces, catches the fluttering white butterfly in her mouth, and trots off triumphantly towards the mansion…and at this point, John puts his pencil in his mouth […]

Troy’s Crock Pot: Adversaries that play to PC Strengths

Like the good host of a banquet party, whose table fare is filled with a variety of tasty treats, a game master should be giving the PCs plenty to sink their teeth into. So in building encounters, pick adversaries with the strengths of the player characters in mind. Such encounters should still be challenging — […]

Gnome Stew at Queen City Conquest

  This year, a preponderance of Gnomes will be attending Buffalo, New York’s Queen City Conquest convention. While Western New York is home to a larger than normal sample of the Gnomes, many of the Gnomes will be flying and driving in to check out this convention by the waterfall. If you are going to […]


The advent of the internet was a lifeline for old school gamers. All of a sudden it was easy to find fellow enthusiasts. It could be 1983 forever. Online gaming was a major force in fostering the old school movement. However, just like anything, online gaming has its challenges for people interest in older games. […]

Use Your Illusion — The Final Cut

It’s an interesting mental exercise: can you take Guns N’ Roses’ sprawling, goofy, indulgent conjoined twin records, Use Your Illusion, and reshape them into a single, cohesive album that would stand alone as the undisputed 2nd best thing GNR ever...

Secret Truths Of The Invisible Sun: A Multisensory Interview With Monte Cook

You’ve always felt like this wasn’t your home, that the world was missing something. Well, you were right, you just forgot why. You need to come home, the War is over, and the Shadows are growing darker. Come back with us into the light of the Invisible Sun. Monte Cook Games is creating waves with […]

Apocalypse World: Party at Warehouse 141

We got the chance to play our second session of Apocalypse World a couple of weeks ago. It was our first “real” session, as I prepped some Fronts and used things that had happened in the first “day in the life” session. It was an amazing session, and without further ado, we’re gonna dive right […]

How You Prep Is How You Run

I was making my breakfast the other morning while listening to the boys at Gaming and BS . Specifically, I was listening to an episode (#101) where the question was posed, and I paraphrase, is the rush towards improv style GMing diluting the more traditional storyteller type of GMing? It got me thinking, not so much about a […]

Introducing a New Game System

I suffer from “ooh… shiny!” syndrome. I love finding new toys and playing with them for as long as I can until… the next shiny toy pops up on the horizon. This applies to my role playing life as well. Looking around my office right now, I have at least fifteen different systems I’ve never […]

The GM’s New Clothes – Gaming without a GM Screen

Kyle MacKay has been GMing for years with a GMs screen, and in today’s guest article he talks about his process of getting rid of it. While GMs screens are a staple of more conventional types of role-playing, and I love mine for certain games, Kyle makes some good points about ditching it for the […]

Support Gnome Stew On Patreon – Help Us Make Awesome Articles

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 […]

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