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Sometimes you don’t get a quorum. It’s no one’s fault: people get sick or have other real-world obligations (sigh). Still, it’s tough for both players and game masters (GM’s) alike to show up and realize a session isn’t going to run....Show More Summary

Johnny’s Five – New For The New Year

It’s a new year, 2016, and that means it’s a great time to dig in and find something new for your game. The end of the year – with holidays, travel, and multiple obligations – is often tumultuous for a social activity like gaming, but the new year is a time to refresh and rededicate to the hobby in a new way. Show More Summary

Campaign, Interrupted

It’s that time of year again. In these parts, whether or not you celebrate Christmas there is a definite chill in the air when it comes to gaming. As an adult married parent with a job and other responsibilities, I’ve already made adjustments...Show More Summary

Happy holidays from Gnome Stew!

Happy holidays from all of us here at the Stew! Thank you for reading and commenting on our articles. It means a lot to us! Warm wishes, and may your holidays be joyful.

A Non-T-Shirt Donation Method

If you’re interested in donating to help out with the medical expenses, but don’t want a t-shirt, you can use the button below. The funds will go into a special Paypal account used only to help pay for medical expenses....

Help My Dad Fight Cancer, Get an Awesome T-Shirt

In September of 2015, my father found a lump on the side of his neck. A few weeks later, it was confirmed as a cancerous tumor. He’s ready to take on whatever treatments are necessary (and believe me, none of...

Troy’s Crock Pot: Visiting Steffenhold (and free adventure)

Back in April, on my personal Facebook page, I’d posted a photo of a diorama that I’d done years ago detailing the base town of our gaming group’s campaign, Steffenhold. Based on comments from that post, there’s been a request I do more on Steffenhold for Gnome Stew. Show More Summary

Poking at Lingering Wounds

For the most part, RPGs deal with damage in a numeric sense, with the most common being the Hit Point. There are other games that explore different ways to represent physical damage, but for the most part damage is a resource mechanic. Show More Summary

Hitting the Wall

A couple weeks ago, I lost it. The final straw landed and broke this camel’s back. To be a bit clearer, I ended up throwing a bit of a temper tantrum at my gaming group. I hit the wall and promptly had a meltdown. What wall do I speak of? In my particular case, it was an issue of scheduling. Show More Summary

Wait… Why Exactly Do We Use Hex Maps?

As usual, rather than actually prep, I find it much more useful and productive to agonize and fret over how exactly I should go about prepping until the desire to prep fades away. But at least this time I think I’ve actually gotten somewhere with it: namely I’ve decided on an alternative to overland mapping with a hex map. Show More Summary


Gamemasters don’t always get many opportunities to actually play. Recently, one of my players wanted to take a turn behind the screen and I jumped at the chance for a little break. Of course, the view of the game is different from over here. Show More Summary

The Force’s Pull

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens this weekend. It is also very likely that many ongoing RPG campaigns will die this weekend. It’s a problem I know well. Reflecting on campaigns past I recall a lot of them moving forward with all of...Show More Summary

Location-Based Campaigns

I have recently started a Corporation campaign, and unlike my other campaigns for this game, which spanned the solar system, I wanted this campaign to remain rooted in one location. I wanted to be able to improv a large amount of the...Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: You’ve got your wargame in my rpg

As my home campaign of Tyranny of Dragons rolled into its closing chapter, I knew I was being presented with an opportunity that is pretty rare in rgp adventure storytelling. Namely, it was a chance to see how a massed battle of clashing armies might play out. Show More Summary

Johnny’s Five – Getting The Most Out Of Fear And Wonder

Many stories have elements that defy description, moments that push characters outside their boundaries and take them into a place of the unknown. What is it that makes ghost stories and mysteries truly scary and interesting? What makes...Show More Summary

Holiday-Themed Games

Today’s guest article is the second by Gnome Stew reader Tony G., who has been GMing for 20 years. Last time around he wrote about A Case for Multiple Game Masters. Today’s piece features a Christmas-obsessed vampire. Thanks, Tony! –-Martin...Show More Summary

Advantages of Limited Allies

I’m kicking around the concept of a little frontier town campaign in my head. In my mind one of the exciting parts of this style of game is exploration, and one of the fun old school exploration features is finding unexpected, and often uneasy allies in dangerous terrain. Show More Summary


The day before out school opens, the buses do a dry run. That way they can iron out most of the bugs before the students ride. In the same way, a dry run of your rules or adventure can help you iron out some of the problems before you place them before players. Show More Summary

How Do You Learn?

How many RPGs have you run without having played it first? It can feel like a chicken and an egg conversation, but obviously someone out there read the book and ran a game without ever having played it before. Sitting beside my bed are...Show More Summary

A Time of Family, Feasting, and Plague

Thanksgiving is tomorrow in the US, a time of plentiful food and good cheer for many. Unfortunately, fevers have broken out among my relatives, so we’re staying apart for at least a few days in hopes that we can prevent spreading disease to each other. Show More Summary

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