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How Much Time do You Spend Engaged with Gaming as a Hobby? With GMing?

Over on Google+, I asked a question that seems particularly well-suited to Gnome Stew: What does your engagement with gaming as a hobby look like? Specifically, how many hours do you spend on different elements of that engagement, and how does that shake out percentage-wise? Right now I spend about 14 hours a week engaged with the hobby in some way. Show More Summary

Three Leaders At The Table

Over the past few months, I have become interested in the topic of Leadership. As a project manager, leadership comprises a large part of what I do each day as I work with various project teams. As I began to study the area of leadership, I came to realize that it plays a role in RPG’s as well. Show More Summary

Left Behind: Sticking with Older Games

Today I got together with friends and played a fun miniatures game, AT-43. The company that created it went into liquidation four years ago. After a brief flurry of interest brought on by fire sale prices, the game settled into its new normal–it slipped from people’s minds. Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Raiding the Cathedral

The adventuring party’s raid on the abandoned temple was successful. They rousted the bandits and defeated the wight and the other skeletal defenders. A thorough search of the building revealed many treasures, some mundane, some with divine magic. Show More Summary

Getting a Group Together

During a recent conversation, a friend living in another city lamented how hard it has been to try and establish a regular gaming group. Despite having several people express interest in starting a campaign, she’s been unable to get anything off the ground with any consistency. Show More Summary

The Land of the Lost: Limiting Your Campaign Choices

If you are a certain age, you may fondly remember the TV show “Land of the Lost.”  (No, not the Will Ferrel movie).  It was obviously shot on a budget, and like the original “Star Trek,” that is part of its charm.  It becomes more like a science fiction radio or stage play, rather than a competition to see who can squeeze the most out of the CGI. Show More Summary

PSA: Scrivener Sale

Here at the stew more than a few of us are fans of Scrivener, not just as a writing tool but also as a gaming prep tool. In particular, I’m a big fan of its innovative corkboard and ability to free form ideas–“Scrivenings”–into any order you’d like on the fly. Show More Summary

I’m Your Number One Fan

Recently at Con on the Cob, I ran a one shot of Monster of the Week and also stumbled into an opportunity to play Dungeon World. Both games use the system first created in Apocalypse World, and while I’m not completely sold on Dungeon...Show More Summary

Wait Patiently

Waiting can be hard, but savor it while you can. A few months ago, D&D came out with their Starter Set. For a while, my home group thought Jennifer might get a chance to run it, but she was overwhelmed by life. Finally she turned itShow More Summary

A Case for Multiple Game Masters

Today’s guest article was written by Gnome Stew reader Tony G., who has been GMing for 20 years. He’s got co-GMing on the brain, and we thought this was a great topic to revisit from a new perspective. Thanks, Tony! –Martin I have asked...Show More Summary

Circus of the Most Holy Dog

Flea circuses are fraudulent mechanical fakes or worse yet, torture boxes built of super glue and heating coils. But that wasn’t always the case. There was one flea circus which was true to advertising. “The Czar” as he liked to be called...Show More Summary

Don’t Describe Combat

Today’s guest article was written by Will Jobst. Find him @dm_ilf and at, before he finds you. Hurry. Oh God, I hear him. Will is based in Boston, MA. This is his second guest article; his first was Blank Check GMing. Show More Summary

Hot Button: Rejecting Canon

Assume that you are invited to join a Star Wars campaign (RPG system doesn’t matter for this exercise). As you sit down, the GM mentions that the first movie (Star Wars IV: A New Hope) is the only canonical source. The GM then informs you that the campaign starts a few months after the destruction of the Death Star. Show More Summary

Want to Read the Stew in Russian? Now You Can!

Since 2010, we’ve been working with translation partners to get Gnome Stew articles translated into languages other than English. We want GMs everywhere to be able to read our work, and these partners help make that happen. We just added a third language and partner: Roleplaying News Russian is now translating Stew articles into Russian. Show More Summary

Be Our Guest

Recently I went to a Project Management conference and sat in on a great session about how Disney creates their customer experience for their customers. While taking notes for things I need to bring back to my office, I realized that...Show More Summary

The Hunt 107: Your Tools Are Only As Good As You Are

In high school and college, I wanted to learn how to draw like Walter Simonson.  He was one of the most influential comic book artists of the 80’s, and continues to draw to this day.  In an interview or on a letters page, he revealed...Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: A Player Race for Your Table

Thanks to Dungeons & Dragons and Tolkien, the fantasy baseline of “demihumans” (as we used to call them back in the day) were dwarves, elves and halflings. You create a fantasy setting, and there is either an expectation or casual acceptance that those three player races are in it. Show More Summary

Déjà Vu and You

A couple weekends ago, I volunteered to run a spur of the moment game for some friends. I had Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space on hand along with the cast of PCs I had created for conventions and one-shots, so it was easy enough to hand them out and jump right into the game. Show More Summary

Mega Dungeon from 5RD example

As promised, here is an example of the method presented in the earlier article Random Mega Generation Via 5 Room Iterations. The method aims to create a large scale megadungeon in modular chunks with minimal work. Our first step is to create the main map by combining a random number of 5 room dungeons. Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Hey Pop! Where’s the Treasure?

So my son asks, after I’ve been the GM for the second session of Hoard of the Dragon Queen, ‘Where’s the treasure?'” “We really need to find some treasure,” he continues. “I wanna buy that thing that will let me shoot an arrow with a line so we can climb up walls.” “You mean, some kind of grappling line?” “Yeah. Show More Summary

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