A month or so back, my friend Nicole wanted me to help her get into Dungeons and Dragons and tabletop roleplaying in general. She had already been seeding the idea among some friends of ours, and I had a group of interested people who were all new, or practically new to tabletop roleplaying. They were eager to learn, but their experiences were all pretty tangential to what D&D was. Some of us had played some Fiasco before, and in talking with the players about what they were unsure of in the upcoming game, I struck upon an idea —...Read More
Author: John Arcadian
About The Author
John Arcadian is a freelance writer and art director, a website developer, a builder of sonic screwdrivers, and a purveyor of kilted mayhem. When he isn't out causing trouble in his kilt... Well, no, that is pretty much what he does when he isn't running RPGs or or trying to take over the world.
A few of my games have recently involved players using flying options to help overcome opponents. I’ve used multiple options like old dice boxes, glasses turned upside down, and small pieces of paper to mark someone who is flying. I put a bit of brain power into making something that would serve the purpose and be pretty cheap. So, here are my DIY flight stands. DIY Flight Stand Recipe One pack of Cheap Plastic Pens Elevator Bolts Plastic Bases or squares Hot Glue The assembly is pretty easy, and the Elevator Bolts are the key to this. With a...Read More
We recently got a review copy of the Dungeonology book by Candlewick Press and Matt Forbeck. It’s a D&D companion book aimed at a setting specific overview of the Forgotten realms and general D&D concepts. Written by Matt Forbeck with an introduction by Ed Greenwood, the book is a pretty interesting and interactive look at the Forgotten Realms and D&D tropes in general. There are many pop up and interactive elements, including a gigantic map of the sword coast.Some of the elements are just for extra tactile effect and to create interactivity for a younger audience, while some like...Read More
This year, a preponderance of Gnomes will be attending Buffalo, New York’s Queen City Conquest convention. While Western New York is home to a larger than normal sample of the Gnomes, many of the Gnomes will be flying and driving in to check out this convention by the waterfall. If you are going to be at QCC, where can you find Gnomes? Angela Murray Due to buying a house and other craziness, Angela missed the deadline to submit official events to the convention, but she’s still coming prepared to run Monster of the Week for at least one...Read More
It’s that time of year again when Gen Con rolls around and calls gamers of all sorts to Indianapolis, Indiana for a solid week of gaming fun. Gnome Stew is, of course, not immune to the siren’s song of Gen Con and many of the Gnomes are going to be there running games, giving seminars, and doing awesome things. You know what is really cool about that? If you are there, we can meet up and get to know some of our readers! We also might be carrying some goodies to give out to any readers who come find us, so...Read More
Back at Origins 2016, I got a chance to sit down and play a game of Shadow of The Demon Lord with game creator Robert J. Schwalb. I sat down to play with a few other people and after our total party kill I convinced the other players to gang up on Robert Schawlb and tag-team interview him. So, here is a mini-review of what Shadow of The Demon lord is and an interview with the creator. Overview Shadow of the Demon Lord sits right at the center of what I’d consider an old school fantasy game. The themes...Read More
Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of requests for reviews of products and supplements. Doing reviews takes a decent bit of time, so we’ve decided to give you a small taste of what some of the things coming across our gnome sized desks are like in a Mini-review Monday. For the first installment, here are our takes on two very different products that came our way. Claustrophobia! Claustrophobia! was sent to us by Rodney Sloan of Rising Phoenix games. It looked interesting and it featured Gnomes… of course I was intrigued. Starting in on checking out the 28 page...Read More
As I’ve been getting pulled farther and farther back into the D&D 5e fold, I’ve taken to running more interesting concept games alongside the longer form mini-series campaigns I like to do. I’ve also been running a lot of games for the group of teens at the Worthington library through the Knights of the Northwest program. Since the teens there are always up for a challenge, I decided to bring out something I’ve always wanted to do in a Dungeons and Dragons game – a fight against the Tarrasque as the end point to an adventure. A Super Quick...Read More
Welcome to the Gnome Stew ENnies 2016 rundown. There are a ton of great nominees out there, and we wanted to point out some Gnome Adjacent projects and the other nominees in the fields we are usually nominated in, Best Blog and Best Website. Of course we want you to give Gnome Stew the best possible vote (Mark Gnome Stew as a 1), but we want you to check out the great competition too. Vote here from now until July 21st!. Gnome Adjacent Projects The Misdirected Mark Podcast (Best Podcast) If you are seeking the pinnacle of podcasting, listen...Read More
You may have heard about the recent court decision over the card game Bang! and a clone of it called Legends of the Three Kingdoms. At issue was the fact that, while thematically different, Legends of the Three Kingdoms was, rules and character ability wise, almost exactly the same as Bang!. The court decision ruled in favor of the cloned game, stating that: “In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated,...Read More
Adventure Scents provided us with samples of scent packets to review their Adventure Scents product. Angela Murray wrote up a review and took incredible images for those without video, while Matt Neagley, Darcy Ross, and John Arcadian took part in a reaction video. Angela’s Review I’m a firm believer in the power certain smells can have to evoke memories and certain feelings, so I was definitely intrigued by the ideas behind Adventure Scents. Heck, I catch a whiff of a particular artificial peach smell and I’m instantly transported back to the age of 13 and riding my bike...Read More
When I think back about the games that have been the least fun for me as a player, it’s always when there is no meaning to my actions – when it feels like I have no real effect on anything or when the story I’m engaging with has a pre-defined ending that I can’t affect. These sorts of games have often been railroad-y, but not always. Sometimes they are wide open sandbox games where the players can do anything, but it never seems like anything the players do affects the world or the story going on. I’ve felt this way...Read More
Life happenings caused two of my players to miss a session. We moved on with the rest of the group, but the main plot mission had them interacting with a big player in the world and being teleported to another location far far away. We ran a small session with just the two players who were missing from the main game, and it went about as well as expected with only one religious cult springing up in the wake of their actions. The side game was fun, but I had a heck of a time getting the two...Read More
So, uh, hey, we’ve got a new site up. After the cowardly attack by Kobolds who hacked our site on the very first day of April this year (evidence archived here and the ensuing twitter war and retaliation hack here, here, and here), we went deep into figuring out how they hacked us and realized we’d completely broken the site while trying to fix it… Stupid kobold hacking and not at all a really fun april fools day joke and cover screen for redesigning the site… So we built a new site, with the very best bits and bobs...Read More
Technology and fantasy settings don’t often mix well. The highest level of technology in most fantasy settings is highly uncommon and unstable gunpowder weapons. High tech in a fantasy world would cause some very distinct world changes. In some fantasy settings and sub-genres, like steampunk or sciency-fantasy, magic and magic-like technology often mix, or magic acts as technology. Introducing higher levels of technology into an actual fantasy world without changing the central concepts that mark fantasy worlds can lead to some interesting world settings and variations. (Tech in fantasy could lead to some bad places. I mean, can you...Read More
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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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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