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 2,752 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


Gaming Conventions

Hey all! 2015 was another fun year for me; in addition to my usual hanging with Gnomes and working for Cubicle 7 I got to meet a lot of new gamers and a couple of celebrities. I even got to do a little unintentional situational cosplay as the Doctor when I inadvertently blundered into a wedding reception (long story)! We also won another silver ENnie for the blog! On the food front, we had an epic Gnome Stew meal again at St. Elmo’s with the […]








mistakes

If you’ve been running online games for any length of time, well, you may have made a few missteps along the way. At least I have. Some were the kind of mistakes that any GM could make, and some were more particular to online games. So this column will be kind of a GM’s examination of conscience. Don’t worry, it won’t be a cringe-inducing tell-all. Just a chance to look at some majoyr lessons I’ve learned over the years, and hopefully to provide you with […]

Gnome Rodeo

While listening to Gencon Episode of The Misdirected Mark podcast last night with Christopher M. Sniezak and our own Phil Vecchione , Phil made mention of the You Pick It, We Review It posts that we’ve done from time to time here on the Stew. This year, filled with a hundred other projects, moves, and other big life events amongst the gnomish crew, we almost missed doing it. We’ll be at Gencon and you can find us there (More info below), but we still look […]

FPcoverbig

If you’d like to preorder our latest book, Focal Point: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions, time is running out: Preorders end July 30! When you preorder, I’ll send you the digital edition within 24 hours. Physical books should ship within the next two weeks. Want to try before you buy? Check out the free 19-page sample PDF, which should give you a good idea of what the book is like. Many thanks to everyone who has already preordered!

GMingAdvice012

Given that this was my last weekend before leaving for Gen Con I was looking for something fun to do with my kids on Saturday. My wife suggested the Colonial Plantation, which I’d never been to in spite of it being only about 15-20 minutes away from our house. It was not an event weekend, so I didn’t expect to get much out of it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. With hardly anyone else there, my family had the full attention of the people […]

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The name of the dashing green fellow in the picture to the right is South. He and a bunch of his friends showed up at a game of The One Ring that I ran at Origins this year. South showed up just like this, in full Orc makeup from a larp he was involved with earlier. Joking around, he played up his Orcish character and joked around with the other players both known and unknown to him. As I went around the table and gauged […]

If you need a dinosaur, you better have a dinosaur.

GenCon officially starts in under a week and I’m freaking out. It’s a good kind of freaking out. The kind where I look at a random nerdy friend, grin like a maniac and yell, “CONNNNNNN!!!” at a loud volume. Luckily the non-nerdy people around me are mostly used to my eccentricities by now. I love game conventions and I hit between five and seven of them every year. GenCon is, by far, the biggest behemoth of the bunch. They’ll probably top 60,000 people this year […]