About Gnome Stew
Welcome to Gnome Stew!
Gnome Stew is an award-winning multi-author blog about tabletop RPG game mastering, written by GMs, for GMs. We think about GMing in every waking moment (okay, GMing and hot, hot gnome sex meals), so we figured we’d put our obsession to good use.
We started Gnome Stew because we believe that GMs are under-served in the RPG community. There are few websites and even fewer books dedicated to game mastering — GMs usually get one chapter in a larger work, and that often doesn’t address a lot of what we actually do at the gaming table.
Here on the Stew, it’s all game mastering, all the time, from system-neutral GMing advice and ideas to tips to help make running your games easier and more fun. We’re all experienced GMs, and we love sharing our knowledge — and learning new GMing tricks and techniques from our readers.
That focus has helped make Gnome Stew the most widely read GMing blog on the planet, with over 2,000,000 visitors since 2008, and one of the largest repositories of GMing material anywhere — we hope you enjoy it!
“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
“The prime ingredients of the site, however, are the advice and tips for what is easily the most difficult job in a role-playing game. The authors work hard to keep their posts to the blog system neutral, meaning that the advice will work for a high fantasy game just as easily as for a game set in deep space.” — Games’ Most Wanted
You can read a little bit about the authors of Gnome Stew over on the Meet the Gnomes page. Martin Ralya is the Head Gnome, and fields questions and feedback about the site at: martin(AT)gnomestew(DOT)com.
Awards and Nominations
“One of the great things about being a game master in 2013 is the collective experience that the RPG community has gathered about running games, and the willingness of many to write about what works. Gnome Stew is one of the best in this regard; each week the blog adds new tips and tricks for game masters as well as thoughtful essays on storytelling techniques.” — Kenneth Newquest, Knights of the Dinner Table #205 (January 2014)
Gnome Stew and the GMing books we’ve produced have won and been nominated for a number of RPG industry awards over the years — many thanks to everyone who has supported the site, the authors, and our work!
- Gold ENnie Award for Best Blog, 2014
- Gold ENnie Award for Best Website, 2013
- Gold ENnie Award for Best Blog, 2013
- RPG Site of the Year Award, 2013
- Gold ENnie Award for Best Blog, 2012
- Gold ENnie Award for Best Aid/Accessory — Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game, 2012
- Silver ENnie Award for Best Blog, 2011
- Silver ENnie Award for Best Blog, 2010
- Golden Geek Award nominee for Best Supplement — Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters (2015)
- Golden Geek Award nominee for Best Artwork & Presentation — Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters (2015)
- ENnie Award nominee for Best Aid/Accesssory — Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Campaign Management, 2014
- Golden Geek Award nominee for Best Supplement — Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Campaign Management, 2014
- ENnie Award nominee for Best Writing — Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep, 2013
- Origins Award nominee for Best Game-Related Publication — Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep, 2013
- ENnie Award nominee for Product of the Year — Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game, 2012
- RPG Site of the Year nominee, 2012
- Golden Geek Award nominee for Best Supplement — Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game, 2012
- Golden Geek Award nominee for Best Supplement — Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep, 2012
- Golden Geek Award nominee for Best Supplement — Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters, 2010
There are four things everyone knows about gnomes: We’re short, we’re lazy, we’re all Chaotic Neutral, and we aim to post every weekday excluding holidays.
Gnome Stew supports Gravatars — globally recognized avatars. If you already have a Gravatar, there’s nothing you need to do — it’ll show up next to every comment you make here.
If you don’t, get one here. They’re free, and lots of sites support them.
The Treasure Tables Category
“Treasure Tables is my new favorite gaming hangout. First and foremost it’s a blog about game mastery. Gamemaster and freelance writer Martin Ralya uses the blog to post thoughtful essays on the art of running a good game and to offer reviews of GM tools.” — Kenneth Newquist, Knights of the Dinner Table #113 (March 2006)
TreasureTables.org was the precursor to Gnome Stew, a system-neutral GMing advice blog written by Martin Ralya that ran from 2005 to 2007. When Martin got burned out writing TT solo, he shuttered the site, took a break, and then recruited the gnomes to start a new GMing blog — Gnome Stew.
We wanted to preserve the content from Treasure Tables — over 750 posts and more than 7,500 comments — in a way that ensured it would be around for GMs to use for many years to come, so we moved it all here to Gnome Stew. The Treasure Tables category contains all of that content. We gave that part of the site its own look so readers would know something was different about those older articles.
Kudos to the free (or cheap) and awesome stuff that lets us bring you Gnome Stew:
Hosting: Gnome Stew started out on DreamHost, but moved to a VPS (virtual private server) with KnownHost in January 2009 because we had too much traffic for shared hosting. (Want a VPS of your own? Sign up for a KH VPS through that link, and Gnome Stew gets a credit.)
Affiliations: Gnome Stew is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. If you use our affiliate links for Amazon or DriveThruRPG, we earn a percentage of what you spend at no cost to you.
In the Beginning
We launched Gnome Stew on May 12th, 2008, with a bit more than 60 registered members and 250 RSS and email feed subscribers. We published our 1,000th article on September 13th, 2011. Thank you to everyone who has joined, subscribed, read, and spread the word about the Stew.
Tiny Disclaimer: Gnome Stew is in no way affiliated with Halfling Soup. And we’ve heard it tastes just awful. Which is what you’d expect, really.