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 2,596 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!

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This system makes it so easy to run a Supernatural or Buffy game.

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 World as a replacement for long-running D&Desque games (either D&D or Pathfinder, pick your poison), there are some integral concepts to the games that really speak to my narrative GM soul. One of the primary rules is simple and actually kind […]








GMingAdvice03

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 it over to me, so I spent a couple of days devouring the Lost Mine of Phandelver, built up a mental model of the adventure, figured out how long I thought it would take, and tried to project how many […]

GMingAdvice012

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 many of my fellow GMs this question: Why do we run games by ourselves? Tradition? Why not share the responsibility and the work with a fellow GM? If you think about it, it kind of makes sense. Most entertainment is a […]

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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 by his children, awakened near human intelligence in a group of fleas through generations of selective breeding and perhaps a drop or two of blood magic. Your troupe claims descent from that first circus, though perhaps it is all just a legend. Circus […]

GMingAdvice012

Today’s guest article was written by Will Jobst. Find him @dm_ilf and at www.willjobst.wordpress.com, 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. Thanks, Will! –Martin D&D provides a state-of-the-art power fantasy, but all GMs can do is neuter their players. Gross. Don’t neuter your players, let them be super badass! Let them describe killing blows, feats of athletics, and their guile and charm. Let them […]

GMingAdvice012

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. The galaxy is plunged into chaos as the Rebel Alliance discovered that Grand Moff Tarkin had been head of a military coup that had been manipulating […]

Gnome Gnews

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. The partnership officially launched with A Mobile Base of Operations, but their “back catalog” is pretty robust; you can check out all of their translated articles here. Welcome aboard, Roleplaying […]