Article Archives

IN THEORY: Gamemaster Rolls

Gamemasters (GM’s) occupy an unusual position. They have great power over the game, adjudicate the rules, and make major decisions. Sometimes they willingly give up that power, rolling dice and letting fortune decide the outcome. GM’s are not really players, but they’re not quite “not players” either. In this...

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Origins 2017: Social Choices

Origins was last week and I’m still walking around in a gamer high haze. There were games galore and many, many people to see and talk to—so many people! As I made my way through the convention center to a variety of games, both scheduled and off-book, I realized...

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Gnomecast #17 – Gnomecast at Origins 2017

  http://www.gnomestew.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/017-Gnomecast-at-Origins.mp3 Welcome to the Gnomecast, the Gnome Stew’s tabletop gaming advice podcast. Here we talk with the other gnomes about gaming things to avoid becoming part of the stew. So I guess we’d better be good. This episode we’re at Origins and Ang is talking to as many...

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IT Wizardry

In fantasy settings with sufficient magic, there is likely to be a low level spell to send a simple message from person to person. Consider that a permanent magic item with this power is essentially a one way cell phone. This is such an indispensable item that no one...

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Using Intellectual Property

  There are more pre-created settings in role playing supplements than you can shake a stick at. There are even more settings out there in other creations outside just the role playing industry. These include TV shows, movies, novels, graphic novels, comic books, and video games. Some of these...

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Gnome Spotlight: Big Bad Con & Gaming For All

Welcome to the second installment of Gnome Spotlight, where we highlight gamers doing good. Today I’m excited to share the really cool programs and practices of a convention that consistently gets rave reviews: Big Bad Con. It’s a tabletop and live action gaming convention, boasting a wide variety of...

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The Backpocket Adventure

Sometimes players zag when you expected them to zig. It happens to all of us. Often it’s easy to just adapt your current adventure to the changing situation. However, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes they go off into a totally different part of the world (or another plane or planet...

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Making a Thing: Camp Adventure, Part 3

Two weeks ago, I teased you with how different the cabin areas of the Camp would be for the campers. Rather than try to spend words describing them here, I’m going to give you the description directly from the text. The Cabins The cabins at Camp Adventure are perhaps...

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Troy’s Crock Pot: Just Like 007

In level-based fantasy rpgs, trying to match the power level of the big bad adversary to where the player characters will be at that point in an adventure is like trying to thread a needle with your eyes closed. As the GM, you’re anticipating where the PCs are going...

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Gnomecast #16 – The Eight Types of Fun

  http://www.gnomestew.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/016-8-types-of-fun.mp3 Welcome to the Gnomecast, the Gnome Stew’s tabletop gaming advice podcast. Here we talk with the other gnomes about gaming things to avoid becoming part of the stew. So I guess we’d better be good. Today we have Chris and myself, Ang, and we’re going to discuss one...

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Variant Fishfolk

Most fantasy RPGs have a type of fishfolk. Due to logistical concerns they don’t often see a lot of play time, so there are usually just a few varieties in any given system. While from a limited resources perspective, this is understandable, it does a great disservice to the...

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From The Horse’s Mouth

Today’s guest article is from Jerry Weis and covers the topic of chewing on player feedback. – Something in my teeth John It’s no secret that one of the best ways to improve in any field is through regular feedback.  Game mastering is no exception; getting useful suggestions and...

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Uh Oh! Monsters! More Fun For No Thank You, Evil!

You all remember that wonderful game for kids and families with various ages — No Thank You, Evil!? I am delighted to tell you now the newest set of accompanying resources is currently on preorder from Monte Cook Games. Full disclosure: they sent me a PDF to review for...

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