So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge: you’re going to GM your first online session. Maybe you’re a little nervous, concerned about getting all the details right. This article will give you some guidelines to help you make that first session start smoothly. Show More Summary
I was running out of time to prep my games. Sounds almost ironic from the guy who wrote Never Unprepared, but it was true. Things have changed in my life, and my ability to prep was straining against my dwindling free time. I had maximized the usage of my time, and I simply had less time to prepare than before. Show More Summary
You’ve heard of “using the whole buffalo,” right? The idea that if you’re going to kill a buffalo, you should respect the buffalo by making every bit of it useful: eating the meat, tanning the hide, making stuff from its bones? When your players hand you their character sheets, think of each of those character sheets as a buffalo. Show More Summary
Next month I’ll be running several events at GenCon (primarily Victoriana, which is near and dear to my roleplaying heart!). Whenever I run events, I have several goals in mind, including 1) ensuring everyone that plays has a good time,...Show More Summary
Your group has just completed a major story arc. They have been down in the depths of the Dungeon of Ultimate Sorrows for weeks. You are ready to start off the next delve, into the Tower of Unimaginable Anguish, but are your playersShow More Summary
If you don’t follow him regularly, you might not have noticed that Chris Chinn is on fire these days. He’s long been writing great articles to help you diagnose your group and provide awesome tools, like the Same Page tool, or the super quick one sentence character motivator. Show More Summary
When we’re first introduced to gaming, we’re told we can play any character we want and our imagination (and the system) is the only limit. Your character can be anyone you want them to be! Do you want to be a brawny fighter despiteShow More Summary
I’ve assembled my annual list of Magic: the Gathering artists who will be at Gen Con this year for my own purposes. I share it here in case it’s of use to you. Each artist is listed with the more significant cards he or she has produced — cards that might be in your EDH … Continue reading ?
A minor kafuffle went on in the RPG blogging community recently over the concept of the 7.5 hit point orcish standard. I don’t think that’s what anyone else called it. That just seems like a good name to me. The original premise isShow More Summary
Gnome Stew, Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Campaign Management, and Engine Publishing were nominated for three ENnie Awards this year, and I’d like to ask you to vote for us online. Voting doesn’t require an account orShow More Summary
If you’ve been waiting for Unframed to be available on DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, it’s now available for sale there. You can buy Unframed on DTRPG or head to Engine Publishing’s publisher page to buy Unframed as part of a discounted bundle with our other titles. Happy improv!
In our GMing strangeness, we all have a pet monster. Some monster that appeals to us — and to be perfectly honest — to us alone. You bring out this monster and the players around the table may even roll their eyes, as if to say: “That thing, again.” It’s fair to say the flumph falls into this category. Show More Summary
The 2014 ENnie Award nominations were just announced, and I’m crazy-excited to see the Stew up for Best Blog and Engine Publishing‘s Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Campaign Management — written by the Stew’s own Phil Vecchione and Walt Ciechanowski, with art direction by John Arcadian, editing by me, and proofreading by Robert M. Show More Summary
Recently I was a judge of the Two Page Tabletop Contest over at Top Secret games. The parameters of the contest are simple – create a complete tabletop RPG with setting in 2 8.5 by 11 pages. Someone has to be able to pick it up and be able to play it without referencing rules somewhere else and it has to have a setting of some sort. Show More Summary
Robot Viking is no longer an active gaming blog. It was hacked. The hack is fixed. As a result of that, however, the old theme is gone, hence the generic “beach” theme. Hey, robots like the beach too. I’ll fix it up at some point. The old articles and comments will remain intact, however comments … Continue reading ?
We recently had a chance to play an interesting scenario, set in an interesting time. We played a Deadlands: Noir scenario set in 1935 New Orleans. We’re a group that has played together for years, though our Savage Worlds experience isn’t extensive. Show More Summary
Here are three themed NPCs for use in your game. Though they could be tweaked for any genre, they can be dropped directly into a supers or modern fantastic game. Their theme is flawed divine power. Often, divine heroes are portrayed as beautiful and righteous. Show More Summary
As far as random generators go, here’s an oldie but a goody worth revisiting. GMs run the gamut when it comes to their appreciation for compiling random encounter charts. For some, it’s an hour well-spent, a selection of monsters and NPC’s that fits perfectly with the next adventure you plan on running. Show More Summary
Let’s talk about pacing. It’s a subject that’s come up before here on the Stew for very good reason. You can check out some of the previous articles on the subject here, here, and heck, just do a search for ‘pacing’. From the numberShow More Summary
Running a game is a two-way interaction between players and GM. When the table is in sync, the game develops smoothly. There are times though when things fall out of sync and the game starts to slow down, eventually grinding to a halt. Show More Summary