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You Got Technology In My Fantasy Setting

Technology and fantasy settings don’t often mix well. The highest level of technology in most fantasy settings is highly uncommon and unstable gunpowder weapons. High tech in a fantasy world would cause some very distinct world changes. Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Four Ways to Keep the Mission in Mind

You had this adventure all figured out. Pacing was going to be important, you’ve got a cleverly crafted encounter area, and the players were even given a mission objective by their patron. Then one of the players decides their player character is going shopping. Show More Summary

Learning Through Games

Today’s guest article is by Jim Low, an educational therapist who works with special needs kids and uses gaming in the classroom. You can find more of his writing over at Swords and Stationary. Thanks Jim! Working with children with special needs has been an interesting experience. Show More Summary

Are you gaming, narrating, or simulating?

When it comes to role playing, there are many styles of players, game masters, and games out there. We’ve all got different labels for these different parts of the hobby. Generally speaking, these styles and stereotypes can be boiled down to three different categories: gaming, narrating, simulating. Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Making Realms Accessible Again

Not so far back, I wrote a fairly scathing critique of the Neverwinter entry in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. I stand by that. But I also think it fair to note that on the whole, D&D’s creators have been engaged in long process...Show More Summary

Play Better Games, Damn It!!!

Hello Gnomes and gnome adjacent affiliates, and gnome fans, and gnome readers. And the person or group I missed–hello to you too. My name is Chris Sniezak and I say Play Better Games, Damn It!!! It is a philosophy I live by as I am always trying to improve the experience of play that I’m getting out all gaming activities. Show More Summary

All Good Things…

And so it ends. If there is one thing in common with the endings of all of my campaigns, whether it was a Total Party Kill from an unexpectedly hard encounter or things went swimmingly to plan right up until the end, I always feel like there’s something I could have improved upon and made that campaign better. Show More Summary

Farewell, and thank you for eight awesome years

After lengthy, careful consideration, I’m stepping down from running Gnome Stew. This will also likely be my last article here, at least for the time being. I don’t have the fire in my belly that’s required to run the Stew well anymore, and sticking around without that element isn’t fair to anyone. Show More Summary

Welcome to Gnome Stew, the Gaming Blog, Part II

Hello, and welcome to Gnome Stew, part II. If you read Martin’s farewell and explanation article here, then you know what’s going on, but if you haven’t here’s the short version (short is all we’ve got around here, being Gnomes y’know) — After 8 years of manning the helm here at the stew, Martin decided to step down. Show More Summary

Stealing when you should have been buying…

  Recently, Lance, a friend of mine asked me a GMing advice question about something that came up in his Silvervine game. A high fantasy setting with lots of magic and tech, airships are a common way to travel in the world, but are very expensive to own. Show More Summary

The Impact of Re-Roll Keep Highest HPs in 0e

Gnome in Chief keeps his own independent blog over at and of course it’s on our slack feed. He often writes about all things OSR and recently wrote an article about the various ways one could roll for hps in 0e. To...Show More Summary


Ever felt a little empty the day after a game or convention? Perhaps it is to be expected. You’ve had an intense creative experience with people who love the hobby as much as you do. The next day, however, life goes on. This kind ofShow More Summary

Buying the Canon

If you were within shouting distance of my social circle, you would probably be well aware of the fact that I recently finished the Mass Effect trilogy of video games and was quite blown away by them. Mass Effect 3 came out in 2012,Show More Summary

The Butterfly Effect

This guest article by Brian Holland talks about effects and consequences, and theme-wise it seemed perfect to follow up our time travel bender. What was that crunch under my gnome boot? – John When we hear “The Butterfly Effect” we conjure...Show More Summary

An Alternate Blade Runner Theory

A lot of Blade Runner fans like to contemplate the true meaning of the movie, what the origami means, whether or not Deckard himself was a replicant, all of which changes based on which cut of the movie you’re watching....

Back To The Future For GM’s Day

Great Scott! It’s International GM’s Day again! To celebrate, Gnome Stew decided we’d steal a time machine or two — those doctors are fine, right? — and use them to go back in time and tell our past selves some good GMing advice we had yet to learn. Show More Summary


You know the old saying: “Villains, we love to hate them.” I don’t buy it, not for a minute. We love our villains. When Darth Vader, Loki, or even Plankton are on the screen, we can’t take our eyes off them. It’s not that we admire their evil deeds, but there’s something magnetic about their confidence and scheming. Show More Summary

Swords with Attitude aka Can a Sword Pout?

Today’s excellent guest article by Gnome Stew reader Laurence Gillespie is a response to a previous guest article, Can a Sword Smile. Guest articles about Guest articles? Gnomeception! – John A. The following is a response to Robert Neri Jr’s article “Can a Sword Smile” which appeared on November 10, 2015. Show More Summary

TinyPlots – A Way to Manage the Many Plot Threads in an RPG Campaign

There’s an archnemesis whose evil conspiracy has been hinted at since the PCs were second level. There’s the current adventure’s story, the seeds of which were sown in the last adventure. There’s the bard, who’s been searching for a family...

A Teen Library Gaming Program In Action

A few months back I wrote a review of Dragons in the Stacks, a book by Steven Torres-Roman and Cason E. Snow about running teen gaming programs in libraries. I’ve long been a fan of libraries as spaces for the community, and having worked in libraries I set about searching for a teen gaming program at my local library or starting one. Show More Summary

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