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I Love 4×6 Photo Cards & You Should Too!

Many years ago my wife and I invested in a nondescript color inkjet printer. One that did borderless photos and had a good feature set. The thinking was to print out photos and do a bit of scrapbooking. Well, time and a shift to a digital...Show More Summary

The Need for Fresh Blood in Gaming

Today’s guest article is by Gnome Stew reader Kyle, a long-time role-player who lives out his days in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He has played many different games and GMs more than he plays. Thanks, Kyle! –Martin Not that kind of fresh blood. Show More Summary

The Dark, Secret Roots of Gaming And Ponydom

 I’ve been a brony since around season 2. It was a surprise to me, but after watching a few episodes while trying to figure out what this brony thing was about, I became hooked. I used to work in the TV industry and wanted to work in kids TV because I realized how influential it could be on young minds. Show More Summary

Making Clerics at least 20% Cooler

The cleric has long been a time honored tradition of Dungeons and Dragons, and pony clerics are no different. With multiple gods to choose from including celestia, celestia, luna, twillight sparkle, and of course the correct choice – celestia, pony clerics are an incredible addition to any pony party. Show More Summary

Hold the Sugar: Attitude in your MLP game

It’s pretty obvious that the My Little Pony game is the the setting of the future, but for gamers weaned on hack and slash and brutal rules debates, stomaching the saccharine sweetness of the MLP philosophy of friendship and tolerance and happiness can be like swallowing a horse pill. Show More Summary

Equestria Knights

Tired of evil lycanthropes having all the fun? What about a lycanthropic (or, in this case, alogothrope) force for good? Enter the Equestria Knights! The Equestria Knights are chosen by a Force for Good in your campaign and each is endowed with a supernatural power representing “harmony” in your campaign. Show More Summary

The New Focus of Gnome Stew

Well, it’s time to announce the new change to Gnome Stew. As we push forward into the year, eagerly awaiting the release of D&D Next, we have embraced the latest changes to the D&D next playtest, previously announced in this press release for a version which never went forward. Show More Summary

Skin those Ponies: Re-Skin Friendship is Magic Plots for Your Game

I have a five-year old daughter, so I’ve watched far more My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in the past two years or so than I would have thought possible. (Go ahead, ask me anything. I’m a font of pony trivia!) Unlike some of theShow More Summary

A Micro Odyssey – Managing Micro Campaigns

When it comes to campaigns we often strive for the long running, epic campaign; the kind of campaign that we hear about from other gamers that has been going on since the Reagan administration. Sometimes, though, we are not interested in running a long campaign; quite the opposite, we are looking to run a very short campaign – a micro campaign. Show More Summary

2,000,000 Visitors

Just a couple months shy of our sixth birthday, Gnome Stew has crossed the 2,000,000 visitor mark. Two million. Twooooooo meeeeeelyuuuuuun. Million! Pardon me while my mind boggles for a moment here. “Two million” isn’t a number I ever expected I’d be saying back in 2008. Show More Summary

Alternative Reward Systems

Today’s guest article is by Gnome Stew reader Azrof Darkwood, and it’s all about PC advancement and different ways to handle it within the boundaries established by a particular — and common — style of play. Thanks, Azrof! –Martin Disclaimer: Many tabletop roleplaying games include a risk-reward system. Show More Summary

Avoiding the Familiar

When running adventures, especially in published/licensed universes, it can be tempting to add familiar adversaries, as we often feel our players would appreciate it. After all, who wouldn’t want to face down Daleks or Sontarans in Doctor...Show More Summary

The “High or Low” Method for Improvising Details In-Session

Today’s guest article is by Jeff Lees, who posts on the Stew as Leesplez. Jeff lives and works in NYC and has been GMing for about 9 years. This is Jeff’s second article for the Stew (his first was Saying Isn’t Feeling: Evoking Emotional Engagement in Players. Show More Summary

Sharpening The Saw

Sometimes it’s a nice happenstance when several of the Gnome articles in a series match up and dovetail into one another easily. Both John and Phil have recently written about iterative steps in becoming better GMs and/or exercising best practices for continual service improvement. Show More Summary

For the First Couple of Sessions, PCs are Protean

I’m not sure who started it (though my guess is the Stew’s own Don Mappin), but my group has a longstanding rule that has served us well for years: For the first adventure or two, or the first couple sessions (whatever’s appropriateShow More Summary

Iron Sharpens Iron

Last week John posted an article about being a better Game Master, calling GM’s to define what aspects of GMing they need to improve. This week, I attended a Project Management Institute Professional Development Day, where I got to sit with and learn from fellow PM’s. Show More Summary

Kingdom: The Council will Decide

I got a chance to play a very different game recently at Bookwyrm, a cool local con. Several elements set Kingdom apart: you build a collaborative setting, featuring a high level of player input and control, with very influential characters, who navigate kingdom-wide crises. Show More Summary

Shared Experiences Across Groups

I was reading some old posts on Apathy Games the other day and I stumbled on Why We Need to Pay for More Adventures, written by Tyson Hayes. It’s an old article but it’s a good one. In this gem, Mr. Hayes laments that RPGs lack the shared experience across groups found in video games. Show More Summary

No-Win Scenarios: Making Sure PCs and Players are on the Same Page

I got an email the other day (by way of our Suggestion Pot) from Gnome Stew reader BishopOfBattle asking a great question: How do the Gnomes approach and deal with the (planned) “no-win” scenario? Recently my players were faced with such a scenario during the BBEG reveal, they were asked to side with him or face “certain” death. Show More Summary

Alleviating Cowboy Syndrome

A recent thread over at RPGNet reminded me of something I’d heard long ago. I can’t remember the game designer that said it or the exact quote, but it went along the lines of “the problem with Western RPGs is that there are two types of characters; the good gunfighters and the dead ones.” Highlander, obviously, presents a similar problem. Show More Summary

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