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What Are Your NPC’s AIMS?

Today’s guest article is by Brian Holland, whose previous guest article was about the Butterfly effect. In this one, Brian tackles a Dungeon World inspired way to set up NPCs goals and motivations. – John “Better target than an archer” Arcadian My struggle with building NPCs In the past I’ve struggled with building NPCs because […]


Star Trek is tricky. You can’t just reskin any old science fiction scenario and expect it to feel like Star Trek. There are conventions unique to the Final Frontier. For our October gameday, I decided to run an Original Series era Trek adventure. To begin planning, I made a short list of certain elements that […]

Gnomecast#3 – Resurrecting Your Campaign

Welcome to the Gnomecast where we talk with gnomes about gnome things and avoid becoming part of the stew. This might be mandatory to avoid being volunteered as ingredients for the stew. Today we have Ang, John, and myself, Chris. Today we talk about Resurrecting your Campaigns. Links Resurrecting your Campaigns Serial Criminal Case File […]

Roll With It: Random Encounters And Setting Them Up In Roll 20

Today’s Guest Article and art comes from the Owlington, artist and gamer. He talks about random encounters and setting them up in Roll20. Take it away Owlington! – Randomly Assigned John Random encounters. A lot has been said about this subject and a lot has been created to ease the burden of the time poor […]

Background Assistance for Players

As a creative fiction writer, I’ve never had a problem coming up with unique and compelling backstories for my characters. I usually scribble down a page or three of backstory for each PC I create and for most of my major NPCs as well. When I get super invested in a character, the background can […]

Illustration Inspiration: The Dearly Departed

Where would we be as fantasy, sci-fi and gaming enthusiasts if not for the works of the seminal creators of the 20th century? This month’s edition focuses on art by people whom we have lost, and whose classic visions can still inspire us today. There were so many to choose from; these ten barely scratch the […]

Gifts for Gamers

Happy Black Friday, everyone! For those of you in the United States, I hope your Thanksgiving was fantastic and spent with people you love. For everyone else, I hope you had a lovely Thursday. Now that my guests have gone home and the kitchen is mostly clean (my brother made an amazing turkey dinner – […]

Commissioning Character Art: An Artist’s Perspective

Now that Gnome Angela has convinced you of the merits of getting a character commission, let me give you guys a little look-see behind the curtain. This is a partnership, after all, no matter how fleeting, and understanding builds bridges. The better you and your artist communicate, the more likely you’ll have a delightful experience on […]

A simple system to eliminate “tanking” in pro sports leagues

All of the major American sports leagues have had instances of teams “tanking” to reach last place and get a strong draft pick to rebuild the team in the last ten years. There’s an easy way to fix it. If...

Ghouls & Dolls: Interview With Avery Alder On Monsterhearts 2

Your Vampire might sparkle, might sip daintily from her V Juice box, or might be an ill-advised and off-the-books member of MI6. The fundamental mystery we all really want to know is... will there be kissing?

Troy’s Crock Pot: Frontier Campaign

A straightforward idea that GMs could employ as they embark on their first campaign is to present a series of adventures set on civilization’s frontier. In a frontier campaign, PCs are part of an effort to explore wilderness territory. They can confront the threat represented by monstrous races who roam unchecked, and the petty kingdoms […]

Star War EoE: Moves Are At The Heart

Last post I wrote had me talking about the Agenda and Principles I’d adapted from Apocalypse World to use in my Star Wars: EoE game. I’d left that post off by saying that Moves are really where it’s at. This is the Moves post. Moves Like Jabba In Apocalypse World, if you do something that […]

Gnomecast #2 – Gaming as Imaginative Play

Hello Gnomes and fans of gnomes. It’s episode two of the GNOMECAST, where gnomes talk about gnomes and try to avoid getting thrown in the pot for other gnomes to eat. I, your humble host Chris, have “recruited” fellow gnomes Ang & Avery to join me on this episode. Hopefully we avoid the pot. Today […]

Make your NPCs Flawed

I was recently tossing out notes for a game and I wrote the following: NPCs – get a list o’ NPC traits- NPCs should be larger than life, quirky, flawed Ex: the mage’s guild is just one guy in a town this size. It’s a mid-sized town but he considers it a hellish backwater. He […]


Gamemasters (GM’s) love to tinker. At some point, probably almost every GM has thought “I could do that better.” If you plan on venturing away from published systems, several choices present themselves. In this article, we’ll look at the options of homebrew, hacking, and using a toolkit. Let’s define some terms (just for this article, […]

A Simple Thing To Lift You Up – DIY Flight Stands

A few of my games have recently involved players using flying options to help overcome opponents. I’ve used multiple options like old dice boxes, glasses turned upside down, and small pieces of paper to mark someone who is flying. I put a bit of brain power into making something that would serve the purpose and […]

Story, Please! – Have Adventure, Will Travel

Along the same lines as Evil Hat’s It’s Not My Fault deck, Monte Cook Games’ new Story, Please! deck is a game inspiration deck or randomizer for the ENnie award winning No Thank You, Evil!. If you haven’t encountered No Thank You, Evil!, it’s a kid oriented RPG with multiple levels of play difficulty for […]

Commissioning Artwork of Your Character(s)

I’m a very visual person. When I dream, it’s like scenes from a movie, full of color and detail. Usually very weird details, but still details. When I read a book, I’m irritated if the cover art is completely off from what the author is describing. When I play a roleplaying game, I want to SEE […]


“Spend more time on your drawing.” This is the absolute best advice I’ve ever gotten as an artist. Without a solid drawing, it doesn’t matter how polished your painting technique is. The final work will still end up looking “off.” Session planning is like that too. If one doesn’t have firm foundational elements, the final […]

Gnomecast #1 – Approaches to Continuity

Hello Gnomes and fans of gnomes. This is episode numero uno of the GNOMECAST, where gnomes talk about gnomes and try to avoid getting thrown in the pot for other gnomes to eat. I, your humble host Chris, has “recruited” fellow gnomes Phil & Senda to join me on this inaugural episode. Hopefully we avoid […]

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