System-Neutral GMing Advice
 

Winner of six ENnie Awards (Gold for Best Blog, 2012-2014; Gold for Best Website, 2013; Silver for Best Blog 2010, 2011), Gnome Stew is dedicated to helping GMs and their players have more fun at the gaming table. Since 2008, we've published 2,562 articles packed with GMing tips and advice, had over 2,000,000 visitors, and written five books for GMs. Thank you for your support, and happy gaming!

"I check Gnome Stew every day." -- Monte Cook
"fantastic blog for game masters, dungeon masters, and rpg fans" -- Wil Wheaton
"If you aren’t reading Gnome Stew, you’re missing out." -- Wolfgang Baur


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Mega dungeons are difficult to fully detail because of their sheer size. Here is a random dungeon generation system that helps make the process easier in two ways. First, it creates chunks all at once instead of single rooms, and second it’s modular so that you can design only as much as you need and have rough notes on the rest of what you’ve made while still allowing you to tack on additional content later and still have a coherent whole. The basic building blocks […]







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Recently, the Syfy channel released the sequel to their cult hit movie Sharknado, Sharknado 2: the Second One (Interesting trivia, my Samsung Galaxy phone’s spellcheck knew the word Sharknado by default. Considering how often I run into words it doesn’t know, this was amazing to me). These movies of course drew comparisons to the earlier, but also campy and ridiculous movie, Snakes on a Plane. Since there’s already a Snakes on a Plane fan RPG (and we’ve reviewed it on the stew), it seemed only […]

Gaming Conventions

Hey all! This year’s GenCon was a whirlwind for me! I worked the Cubicle 7 booth in addition to my usual event-coordinating/running and meetings. I got to visit one of my favorite steakhouses with my fellow Gnomies (and met an epic waiter!) and finally tried Fogo de Chao. I was also fortunate enough to collect a couple of ENnies (a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who voted!). In addition, GenCon boasted record attendance again, easily crushing last year’s count. I have no doubt that this […]

GMingAdvice03

This past week I was at Gen Con, and ran a few sessions of my fantasy world, Elhal. Convention games are always tricky, and something that we have talked about many times here on the Stew. This time around, I ran the same session of Elhal in both Fate and in Savage Worlds. In doing so, I realized all the physical implements that go into running these games, and how scarce space can be at a full table. In order to keep everyone’s focus and […]

GMingAdvice04

What’s more realistic? A group of heroes waits in a tavern until adventure finds them … … or a rich, well-connected patron provides them with the means to set out on the next adventure? As cliched as both options can be, I’ve been rethinking my aversion to using the patron as a means of hooking into an adventure. What’s caused this change of heart? I’m reading David Grann’s story of Victorian-era British explorer Percy Fawcett and his lifelong quest for “The Lost City of Z.” […]

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Last night Gnome Stew won its sixth ENnie Award, the gold for Best Blog. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, especially Evil Hat Productions for charting a course of transparency and customer-centric business practices that kicks major ass. Thank you to all of the Stew’s readers and fans (some of whom have been reading the blog since the Treasure Tables days, nearly 10 years ago!), to the judges for nominating us, and to the Gnome Stew team for being awesome. Six years on, the […]

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I love pregenerated characters. They’re great for con games, online games, pick-up games, or when you need replacement characters after a TPK.  They’re an easy way to get new people gaming quickly.  Obviously you won’t use pregens in every game (more later), but they are handy to have around.  This article will talk about some ways to get the most out of your pregens, perhaps even for years and years.  We’ll first look at some things to consider when creating your pregens, then how to use […]