Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: a character dies. Maybe the dice weren’t in their favor, maybe they made a tactical error, maybe they grabbed that glowing skull even though it was so completely obvious it was an evil relic, oh my god, it could not have been more obvious if you’d lit it up with neon signs, but whatever. The character is dead. Your player is crestfallen, but one of the others claps them on the shoulder. “Don’t worry, dude. We have, like, 500,000 in the party bank. We’ll get you back tomorrow.” And bam, any...Read More
Author: Avery Liell-kok
About The Author
Avery Liell-Kok is an illustrator and workaholic living with her husband, three cats, and a room full of gaming books. She currently works full time as a children's illustrator for self-publishing authors, with over 80 books under her belt, as well as a freelance gaming and fantasy artist. You can find her work at Chantico Studios
The frozen mountains, locked in perpetual ice. The shifting sands of the burning desert. The leafy green sanctuary of the elven kingdoms. Standard RPGs and their variegated environments exist in a realm of endless summer or seasons that only change when the GM wants to spice things up. But paying attention to the natural cycles of your world makes it more real for both you and your players, and offers a wealth of unconventional storytelling possibilities and challenges. There’s a lot of benefit to keeping a calendar for your games and tracking the party’s progress through the year(s), even if it...Read More
Where would we be as fantasy, sci-fi and gaming enthusiasts if not for the works of the seminal creators of the 20th century? This month’s edition focuses on art by people whom we have lost, and whose classic visions can still inspire us today. There were so many to choose from; these ten barely scratch the surface. We owe a great debt to these early pioneers of genre...Read More
Now that Gnome Angela has convinced you of the merits of getting a character commission, let me give you guys a little look-see behind the curtain. This is a partnership, after all, no matter how fleeting, and understanding builds bridges. The better you and your artist communicate, the more likely you’ll have a delightful experience on both ends. There’s a number of things that you can do as a client that will help facilitate a good working relationship. Be polite in your emails, be it inquiring whether an artist is currently taking commissions or giving feedback on a sketch. Please...Read More
Spookiest greetings, fellow Gnomes! I come bearing dark gifts for the unseelie among you: great frickin’ art to inspire, horrify, and delight. In the Halloween spirit, give us your best scary stories and twisted imaginings these images conjure in you. A grand Samhain to one and all, and enjoy! ...Read More
Art is by Justin Gray at http://burntobuild.com/ I have a new favorite thing, you guys. By that magic known as “checking out the things liked by people I like”, I stumbled across the fantastic and hilarious podcast, The Adventure Zone. And oh my word, I have fallen in love. Here’s the quick rundown: podcast veterans the McElroy family decide to cross the great nerd threshold and try out D&D for (mostly) the first time. This is an example of a guy who has never GMed before, running a game for his two brothers and his dad, and discovering what an...Read More
Art by meeeee, Avery Liell-Kok It would be very nice to have an endless font of ideas, but I spend my days tapping that well so thoroughly, sometimes it can be difficult come game night to squeeze a little more blood out of the stone. When I’m stuck in an imagination desert, I have a lot of sources I can look to, but none revs me up quicker than a good illustration. Illustrations are at their core all about storytelling. I have a nice fat folder on my desktop full of pictures I’ve collected over...Read More
Credit to PiratedPictures. No, his pictures aren’t pirated. A lot of us can trace our gaming roots back to the days of brandishing sticks and pot lids as a sword and shield, rescuing dragon-held captives or fighting illusory villains. Childhood pretend play, or “Imaginative Play”, is an important developmental tool, but the benefits still apply to adults. Gaming is a natural extension of kid-land creativity. They share several important traits, for one. Pretend play is notoriously hard to define, being that possible variations are as broad as the mind can fathom. However, a few traits are pretty well agreed upon:...Read More
I’m in fifth grade. It’s after school and I’m stuck waiting for my mom to pick me up. The middle school kids have their classrooms at the other end of the building, and I can hear shouting, so of course that’s where I go. They’re in our dingy little library gathered round a battered table. They have paper, dice, and books– and they’re playing Dungeons and Dragons. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, to be specific (they are very specific). They offer to teach me, but for now I just want to sit and listen, maybe look at the books. While...Read More
What’s Gnome Stew
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Our Books for GMs
Through our partner Engine Publishing, we've published six system-neutral books for GMs, with over 28,000 copies sold. Available in print and PDF.
The Complete Game Master's Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions
Click To Find Out More Unframed
The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters
Click To Find Out More Odyssey
The Complete Game Master's Guide to Campaign Management
Click To Find Out More Never Unprepared
The Complete Game Master's Guide to Session Prep
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1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game
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501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters
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Through Encoded Designs
Through our partnership in the G.E.M. collective, many of the Gnomes are affiliated with creating products through Encoded Designs. Available in print and PDF.
Gnomes on Podcasts, even a Gnome Only Podcast!
Click To Find Out More Rockerboys and Vending Machines
Do you have what it takes to save Neon City in this 80s, neon, cyberpunk game?
Click To Find Out More Character Cache
Art by Matt Morrow, Characters By Encoded Gnomes
Click To Find Out More Hydro Hacker Operatives
Gnome Phil Vecchione's Dungeon World Hack About Water Rights
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