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World Building: Race Relations

Some game designers, GMs, and podcasters have been discussing racism in fictional worlds. It’s an issue that touches fields well beyond tabletop roleplaying. Your game may benefit from the strategic introduction of racism to the game world, though it can easily go wrong. Show More Summary

Please vote for Unframed in the Golden Geek Awards

Our latest GMing book, Unframed, is nominated for two Golden Geek Awards: Best Supplement and Best Artwork & Presentation. Thank you to everyone who nominated Unframed! If you’re an RPGGeek member, please consider voting for Unframed in these two categories. Voting is quick and easy. Thanks for your consideration!

Why That Stupid Rule Might Not Be So Stupid

When I am not writing here, I am the co-host of the Misdirected Mark podcast. On our last episode, my co-host challenged me to do a segment talking about how encumbrance is an interesting mechanic. I laughed, because I don’t think I have ever used encumbrance in any of my D&D campaigns. Show More Summary

The Arrogance Trap

Confidence is a key requirement for any good GM. Even if you don’t know the rules backwards and forwards, a certainty in your skill at running and crafting a game is often good enough to give the players a great experience. A large part of the journey in even becoming a GM is in just having the fortitude to try. Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Wonder of Chalklines

So I’m watching an episode of my new favorite TV show, “The Librarians,” which is about a D&D adventuring party …. (Oh, wait, I’m sorry — it’s really about these “librarians” — who fight bad magic on the side of good with John Laroquette...Show More Summary

New Game Day 2015 giveaway winners and wrap-up

The second New Game Day has come and gone, and it wasn’t quite as successful as the first one: 26 gaming groups celebrated New Game Day this year (compared to 65 last year). Which is still pretty good for a holiday that hasn’t yet gained traction, I think. Show More Summary

Dadventures: An Amoosing Diversion

Recently I was cleaning off my desk and found some notes for a 5 room dungeon that I had jotted down. It’s a bit of a silly or punny romp, for which I have coined the term “dadventure”. Background: A tribe of savage humanoids made the fatal mistake of summoning a wicked nature spirit. Show More Summary

Nurturing Imaginary Friendships

Everyone needs a friend, even players characters (PC’s). After a hard day of hunting orcs or killing radioactive zombies, it’s nice to see a friendly face. This article will suggest some ways to fosters friendships with non-player characters (NPC’s) and perhaps even between PC’s. Show More Summary

New Game Day 2015 is 2/2, and We Want to Give You Prizes!

In 2014 we willed a gamer holiday into existence, New Game Day (February 2nd), and it worked! In its first year, New Game Day was celebrated by over 65 gaming groups worldwide, including gamers in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada,Show More Summary

Are you playing D&D 5e? Excited by Pathfinder Core?

What’s old is new again, almost magically. Back in 2009, the people around me were falling in love with Pathfinder–particularly for the slimmed down rules contained in one core book. It felt like a reset–a chance to get back to core of D&D adventure in a way that had been obscured by D&D’s extensive publishing throughout D&D 3.5. Show More Summary

The Essence of Awesome

Everyone wants to be awesome, to find that moment of perfect cool. Maybe the exact style of awesome varies from person to person but make no mistake about this, each player that comes to your table, from the min-maxers to the esoteric...Show More Summary

Please Nominate Unframed for the Golden Geek Awards

The Golden Geek Awards are now accepting nominees, and if you’re an RPGGeek member and a fan of the Stew’s latest book, Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters, I’d like to ask for your nomination. Voting only takes a few moments and runs through February 8th. Show More Summary

NaNewGaMo?

It’s Tuesday, which mean someone, somewhere, decided to just create their own holiday today! Because that’s like a thing now! But here at the Stew, we’re exceptionally excited by any gaming holidays, especially those that lend assistance and inspiration to prospective GMs. Show More Summary

Getting Comfortable With Uncertainty

I just recently started a Night’s Black Agents campaign and while prepping for my first session, I found that what I prepped was far less than I normally would write out. When I looked at what I was leaving out, I saw that it was all the contingency material; all the “if they do this, then this happens”. Show More Summary

A Trip Through RPG History With Designers And Dragons

I was not around for the beginnings of the game industry. I can look at the Red Box D&D set on my gaming shelves and know that I only have it because I acquired it from a friend who acquired it from an ex-girlfriend’s father. It sits next to my D&D Rules Cyclopedia, which I picked up a few years after first publication from a used book store. Show More Summary

Specific vs Amorphous Adjectives

Today I’d like to talk about adjectives. In case English class is an old forgotten or deeply repressed memory for you, a reminder: adjectives are those words that describe other words, specifically they describe things. In some cases they describe other adjectives but that doesn’t interest us here today. Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: “Five Room” Raid on the Bacchanal

In the spirit of “you can never have enough five-room dungeon posts,” here’s a 5-step mini-quest using the fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual. For reference, check out these past posts by myself and Matthew J. Neagley on the utility and craft behind the five-room dungeon. Show More Summary

Three Approaches to Challenge Levels

Designing exciting combat encounters is an important skill for most GM’s. We want to make sure we challenge the party without overwhelming them. In this article, we’ll look at three ways to choose the appropriate number and level of opponents for an encounter. Show More Summary

Fifth Edition D&D, a few months in

D&D’s fifth edition has released all of its core pieces; a standalone starter set, the core three books (a Player’s Handbook, a Monster Manual, and a Dungeon Master’s Guide), a GM’s screen, and some adventures (Hoard of the Dragon Queen and its sequel, The Rise of Tiamat). Show More Summary

Inspired by Ant-Man – Honey I Shrunk The PCs

You’ve probably seen the recent Ant-Man teaser that released at a miniature size.     It was followed by a full sized trailer that showed off more of the overlooked superhero. Seeing the trailers recently reminded me of one experience...Show More Summary

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