Author: Martin Ralya


About Martin Ralya

A father, husband, writer, small-press publisher, former RPG industry freelancer, and lifelong geek, Martin has been gaming since 1987 and GMing since 1989. He lives in Utah with his amazing wife Alysia and their awesome daughter Lark in a house full of books and games.

miller-1

I recently picked up The Art of Ian Miller, a gorgeous book jam-packed with illustrations by one of my favorite fantasy artists. I picked it up not only because I love Ian’s artwork and I’ll enjoy having the book in my collection, but because it gave me an idea: The “art book campaign,” a campaign built around and inspired by the contents of one or more art books. Here’s how it works, broken down into steps with my own examples for each step. 1. Buy […]

Crock Pot

For Black Friday/Cyber Monday, we’ve knocked 25% off of all of our titles on DriveThruRPG. This discount applies to single products only, not bundles, but it’s essentially the best bundle discount we offer…except you can mix and match whichever products you’d like. This is also the first time we’ve offered a discount on our newest book, Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters. This sale will run from now through sometime on Tuesday, December 2. Happy Thanksgiving, and happy gaming from Engine Publishing!

20141124_092444~2

The folks at Hunters Books recently sent me a review copy of their newest RPG, Outbreak: Deep Space, a sci-fi survival horror game in the vein of movies like Event Horizon and Aliens and video games like Resident Evil. Like their first game, Outbreak: Undead, Outbreak: Deep Space tweaks what you might typically expect from a traditional RPG (insomuch as “traditional” is a useful descriptor, etc.), particularly from a GMing standpoint. Given that GMing is our focus on the Stew, that tends to be something […]

Crock Pot

Over on Google+, I asked a question that seems particularly well-suited to Gnome Stew: What does your engagement with gaming as a hobby look like? Specifically, how many hours do you spend on different elements of that engagement, and how does that shake out percentage-wise? Right now I spend about 14 hours a week engaged with the hobby in some way. Here’s my current breakdown, sorted by time spent: Playing 50% Reading 29% Publishing 7% Blogging 7% Researching 7% Buying 0% Design 0% GMing 0% […]

Gnome Gnews

Since 2010, we’ve been working with translation partners to get Gnome Stew articles translated into languages other than English. We want GMs everywhere to be able to read our work, and these partners help make that happen. We just added a third language and partner: Roleplaying News Russian is now translating Stew articles into Russian. The partnership officially launched with A Mobile Base of Operations, but their “back catalog” is pretty robust; you can check out all of their translated articles here. Welcome aboard, Roleplaying […]

ennies2014

Last night Gnome Stew won its sixth ENnie Award, the gold for Best Blog. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, especially Evil Hat Productions for charting a course of transparency and customer-centric business practices that kicks major ass. Thank you to all of the Stew’s readers and fans (some of whom have been reading the blog since the Treasure Tables days, nearly 10 years ago!), to the judges for nominating us, and to the Gnome Stew team for being awesome. Six years on, the […]

GMingAdvice03

You’ve heard of “using the whole buffalo,” right? The idea that if you’re going to kill a buffalo, you should respect the buffalo by making every bit of it useful: eating the meat, tanning the hide, making stuff from its bones? When your players hand you their character sheets, think of each of those character sheets as a buffalo. Then, mix your analogies: Everything on your players’ character sheets is a flag. A what now? A flag, gaming-wise, is this (courtesy of our woefully out-of-date […]