Author: Martin Ralya

About The Author

A father, husband, writer, small-press publisher, former RPG industry freelancer, and lifelong geek, Martin has been gaming since 1987 and GMing since 1989. His blog, Yore, is primarily about gaming.

18

Farewell, and thank you for eight awesome years

After lengthy, careful consideration, I’m stepping down from running Gnome Stew. This will also likely be my last article here, at least for the time being. I don’t have the fire in my belly that’s required to run the Stew well anymore, and sticking around without that element isn’t fair to anyone. There’s nothing sinister at play here; I’m just no longer the right person to helm Gnome Stew. When I told the gnomes, I proposed two options: another gnome takes over, or we put the site in archive mode (still free, but no longer updated). Fortunately, the Stew’s...

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12

Round Robin Sandbox GMing: Microscope Plus Dresden Files

Before I moved to Seattle, my group in Utah wrapped up a Dresden Files campaign that ranks as one of my all-time favorites — specifically, a round robin sandbox with our city’s history built collaboratively using Microscope. Round robin GMing was on my gaming bucket list, and it’s something that often comes up when GMs are sitting around chatting, so I wanted to share my impressions here in case it’s something you’ve been curious about as well. A dash of context Prior to this campaign, the closest I’ve gotten to round robin GMing was the “braided” Star Trek campaign...

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5

The Paranet Papers Review (Dresden Files RPG, book 3)

The folks at Evil Hat Productions asked me if I’d like to review their newest Dresden Files RPG book, The Paranet Papers (TPP), and being a big Dresden fan I jumped at the chance. Evil Hat sent me a print copy of the book to review, and 2,000 words later, here we are! Let’s get started. Pre-review notes I like folks to have an idea of where I’m coming from before reading my reviews. In this case: Like I said up top, I’m a Dresden Fan, though I’m pretty new to the series. I’m currently on the sixth book,...

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0

Focal Point is now available in print and digital editions

Focal Point is now in our online store in print+digital and standalone digital editions, and on DriveThruRPG in digital format. Books are in stock and ready to ship, and if you pick up Focal Point in one of our two bundles — either the complete trilogy (with Never Unprepared and Odyssey) or the “all our titles” option — you’ll save 20% or more on your...

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0

100% of Focal Point Preorders Have Shipped

As of this evening, all Focal Point preorders and contributor copies have been shipped out. We sold 114 preorder copies, plus a fair number of back catalog titles, in all. Thank you to everyone who preordered! Time to pack and label books: 6 hours, 30 minutes Time at post office: 2 hours, 15 minutes Total shipping cost: $729.33 Length of USPS receipt: See below What happens next? First, a bit of context. Over the past few weeks I’ve worked full time, put in an additional 100-125 hours of packing and cleaning to prep for a move to Seattle, started...

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0

Focal Point Preorders End July 30

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...

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0

Focal Point Preorder Updates: Proof in Hand, Ebook Version Now Ready

Preorders for our newest book, Focal Point: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions, are chugging right along! We’ve taken 63 preorders so far — thank you to everyone who has preordered so far! Ebook versions Our graphic designer and tech guru, Darren Hardy, has finished the ebook and plain text versions of Focal Point! The delay was my fault, not his; this has been a rough, busy year. When you preorder, the digital edition you’ll receive within 24 hours now includes: DRM-free, bookmarked, hyperlinked PDF .epub .mobi .azw3 (Kindle native) Plain text (great for text-to-speech readers...

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0

Worldwide Preorders Now Open for Focal Point: The Complete GM’s Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions!

You can now preorder our latest system-neutral GMing advice book, Focal Point, from the Engine Publishing online store! When you preorder, you’ll get access to the full DRM-free, hyperlinked, bookmarked PDF within 24 hours, weeks before the book is available anywhere else and months before it’s in retail stores. Preorder Now! Preorders will run through July 31, 2015. I’m running preorders slightly differently this year, and a bit later in the summer than usual, so please read on for details. What’s Focal Point about? Written by award-winning authors Phil Vecchione, Walt Ciechanowski, and John Arcadian, Focal Point is the...

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2

Please Vote for Gnome Stew in the 2015 ENnie Awards

Gnome Stew has been nominated for Best Blog in the 2015 ENnie Awards, and I’d like to ask you to vote for the Stew. The ENnies are judge-nominated, but fan-awarded — and are sometimes decided by veeeery slim margins. This is one of those times when every vote really does matter! Voting is open through July 14, requires no special login/account, and takes just a few seconds. You can vote in as many or as few categories as you like. Here’s the step-by-step process: Visit the ENnie Awards voting booth Scroll to Best Blog and click it Rank Gnome...

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1

Focal Point Preorders Open July 7 — Want a 19-Page Preview PDF?

Focal Point is at the printer! Which means . . . preorders will open July 7! And that means . . . it’s preview time! Specifically, time to share a free 19-page preview of Focal Point, including the front and back covers, table of contents, and a representative sample from each of the book’s three big sections. Preorder details will be in the launch announcement on the 7th. I can’t wait to share this book with...

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0

Focal Point Preview: The Table of Contents

It’s time for our third preview of Focal Point: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions (the third book in the trilogy that begin with Never Unprepared and Odyssey) — specifically, the table of contents. I know that might not sound like the most exciting thing to preview, but it is! I always read the table of contents before buying a gaming book — it gives me a good idea of what the book covers (and doesn’t cover), and whether or not I’m interested in it. But first…here’s the book’s lovely cover by Juan Ochoa again: …and...

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1

Focal Point Preview: Interior Artwork

Our sixth system-neutral book for GMs, Focal Point: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions, will be available for preorder in early July — but in the meantime, how about another preview? If you missed the initial announcement, which includes the gorgeous cover illustrated by Juan Ochoa (with graphic design by Darren Hardy and art direction by John Arcadian), fear not! Take a peek at it now. Let’s talk interior artwork! Focal Point was art directed by our own John Arcadian — who, along with Phil Vecchione and Walt Ciechanowski, is also one of the authors of...

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12

Coming Soon from Gnome Stew – Focal Point: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions!

I’m thrilled to announce that the sixth system-neutral GMing advice book from Gnome Stew and Engine Publishing will be available to preorder soon: Focal Point: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions, by our own John Arcadian, Walt Ciechanowski, and Phil Vecchione! Here’s the cover, illustrated by Juan Ochoa and designed by Darren Hardy: Focal Point is a standalone guide to running great gaming sessions, but it’s also the third and final volume in Gnome Stew’s “accidental trilogy” — it follows Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Campaign Management and its predecessor, Never Unprepared: The Complete...

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What’s Gnome Stew?

Written by a team of veteran Gamers and Gamemasters, Gnome Stew is a widely read gaming blog with multiple awards and close to 3,000 articles. We're dedicated to helping gamers have more fun at the gaming table. Over 2 million visitors can't be wrong!

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