System-Neutral GMing Advice
 

Winner of seven ENnie Awards from 2010-2015, Gnome Stew is dedicated to helping GMs and their players have more fun at the gaming table. Since 2008, we've published 2,765 articles packed with GMing tips and advice, had over 2,000,000 visitors, and written six 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


Lemley and Dr. Lobotomy

Two years ago, I asked Wil Wheaton a question. Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana was the answer. Okay, that’s a little more dramatic sounding than it actually was. On the last day of GenCon in 2013, I attended a TableTop Q&A hosted by Wheaton, the show’s personality, and Boyan Radakovich, the show’s producer. Even though TableTop was a huge hit (it was even presented with the Diana Jones Award that year), because it was a Sunday, there was a small enough crowd that it felt […]








GMingAdvice03

Recently, I have become interested in the idea of artifacts of play, those things that are part of the game that persist after the game has been played. They act like souvenirs of the game played; touchstones of the game, linking memories of adventures taken, challenges faced, and treasures gained. While most RPG’s have some kind of artifacts of play, I found myself looking for something different, something both collaborative and informational. This article contains my current thoughts on this topic. I cannot promise a […]

GMingAdvice04

Today’s guest article was written by Gnome Stew reader Mark Kernow, and it tackles a nifty topic: taking existing rules for characters and stretching them to encompass entire groups. He uses d20 System games as a reference point, but the concept is easily extended to other systems. Thanks, Mark! — Martin What if you treated factions like characters? You could easily introduce new factions into your campaign by giving them statistics and backgrounds similar to characters and monsters. You could build on existing rules and […]

GMingAdvice03

Have you ever designed a long, intricate campaign only to have it fall apart before it ever came close to seeing fruition? I know, it’s a rhetorical question. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to end a campaign far short of where I’d planned to end it. It can be frustrating to leave plot threads dangling, especially if you’d put a lot of work into it. I was reminded of this frustration with my current campaign, where I’ve specifically outlined my main […]

GMingAdvice012

Gen Con was a just a few weeks ago, marking the height of the convention season. This year, I was fortunate to play in a number of games, run by some great GM’s. But as with other years, I heard numerous complaints from people about games that were less enjoyable, and in some cases downright painful. After talking to different people about the games they played, and talking about what worked and did not work, I realized that a number of the issues that caused […]

tppbump

The folks at Evil Hat Productions asked me if I’d like to review their newest Dresden Files RPG book, The Paranet Papers (TPP), and being a big Dresden fan I jumped at the chance. Evil Hat sent me a print copy of the book to review, and 2,000 words later, here we are! Let’s get started. Pre-review notes I like folks to have an idea of where I’m coming from before reading my reviews. In this case: Like I said up top, I’m a Dresden […]

FPcoverbig

Focal Point is now in our online store in print+digital and standalone digital editions, and on DriveThruRPG in digital format. Books are in stock and ready to ship, and if you pick up Focal Point in one of our two bundles — either the complete trilogy (with Never Unprepared and Odyssey) or the “all our titles” option — you’ll save 20% or more on your order.