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 2,680 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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TheSpellBookPromoCover

We here at Gnome Stew are excited to announce our newest Engine Publishing project, and a bit of a departure from our regular fare – Gamer Romance Novels! Realizing, at a recent strategy meeting held over G+ hangouts, the untapped crossover market between romance novels and gamer supplements, Engine Publishing set out to utilize our writing resources to fill the gaps and create our new line – Gnomance Novels! Our new line will be a semi-interactive reading experience of Gnome and Fantasy themed romance novels. […]








At Home GMing Box

Last time I talked about the need to learn how to GM the new game you are running. This time, I wanted to look at another aspect of running a new game: GMing Gear. That is, what gear do you need to bring to the table as a GM to run the game? Having the right gear to ease the play of the game is an important component to running a good game. If done well, your games will run smoothly, while done without thought and […]

Recently my wife posted an article on Facebook about how different parenting was when we were kids and now. I’ve seen several similar articles and sentiments in the past, most of which boiled down to “our parents made us play outside more often.” Such articles reminded me of my early days of gaming, where a group of friends and I would want to play only to find that we had no place to play. Our parents wanted us all out of the house. I began […]

barrier

When I first started gaming, not quite at the dawn of time but definitely a ways back, I was in awe of Game Masters. Whether they were good or not was beside the point, they were the masters of the game. They knew the rules backwards and forwards, brought the world to life, and kept all the wacky, fickle players in line following some semblance of plot. Theirs was an arcane and incomprehensible job that I never thought I would ever be worthy of even […]

The Prince of Redhand, one of the great social encounter scenarios. (Dungeon 131, February 2006.

As I run almost exclusively in the d20 fantasy sphere of games — Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, d20 Modern — one of the tools that gets used often is a combat grid, whether it is a published or dry-erase footmat, HirstArts tiles of my construction or printed cardstock tiles. But should you use the grid for social encounters? You might think the default decision for social encounters is to never use the grid, reasoning that if the players aren’t focused on the table, then they […]

GMingAdvice012

I recently started running a Night’s Black Agents game, after coming off of running both Fate and Savage Worlds. This was my first time running anything with the Gumshoe system, and I found myself, for the first time in quite some time, having to get use to running a new system. In order to get comfortable running the game, I was going to not only have to learn the rules, but learn how to GM the game as well. Learning to GM a Game GMing a […]

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It’s time for another short adventure. This one has an old-school feel with a lazily named hybrid monster, the owlid (part owl, part squid). It’s a mix of combat and social encounters for your group and is also a classically styled shaggy-dog story, cementing it firmly in dadventure territory. Background: A small village bordering heavy woodland holds an annual hunt to thin out the dangerous owlid population. This year the infestation is exceptionally bad so they have sent out the call for aid. Owlid: Who […]