Author: Craig Dedrick

About The Author

Craig Dedrick

Craig has been playing and running games since 1983, and in later years, has developed an affinity for horror and story-driven games, a love of constructive inter-party conflict, and a healthy level of disdain for challenge rating systems.


Texting in Character

Today’s guest articles comes from Craig Dedrick and covers a way to make texting in game… hold on let me just reply to this… not an annoyance at your… wait, hahha. Man that was funny… table. – Phonebound John I think that we can all agree that when players start to check their phones at the table, it is a signal that there is a problem. For one reason or another, the player is not engaged in the game. Who is at fault in this situation? Is the GM to blame for not creating a compelling scenario? Or is...

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The Characters Are the Story

Today’s guest article is about one of my favorite topics, characters. When it comes to roleplaying, characters are prime and their stories are the ones being told. Craig Dedrick takes a look at a method of character creation that focuses on the characters’ and their stories. Check it out. — A Character in Real Life John There are many ways to create characters. Some groups prefer to create characters in isolation. Players come up with ideas independently. Perhaps they submit the ideas via email, or perhaps they simply show up to the session with their character ready to go....

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I Hate Making Maps!

Today’s guest article is by the awesome Craig Dedrick, who handed off the task of making maps to his players and wrote about the experience. Hum the Indiana Jones theme song in your head as you read. – Cartographer John   In general, one of the things that I take great delight in as a game master is the process of preparing for a game. Finding the monsters/antagonists, coming up with NPC’s, and figuring out encounters and plot points is great fun. However, like many pleasant jobs, there are some tasks that are less enjoyable. For me, the unpleasant...

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Ignorance is Bliss?

Today’s guest article by Gnome Stew reader Craig Dedrick explores handling passing of secrets between players and the Game Master. It’s the most recent of  four he’s done for the Stew, with the others being Fear Itself, Freedom Through Restraint,  and What Makes a Good Monster? – John A. I don’t know about you, but the players in the games that I run like to have secrets. I first noticed this tendency when running Vampire: The Masquerade, which is understandable as that game is high on intrigue and intra-party conflict. However, once players get a taste for it, the game...

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Fear Itself

Today’s guest article is by Gnome Stew reader Craig Dedrick, and it’s his third. (See Freedom Through Restraint and What Makes a Good Monster? for his previous two pieces.) Thanks, Craig! — Martin Scare the S#!t out of your Players I am a big fan of horror games. When all is said and done, horror is probably my favourite RPG genre. I have had many conversations with other game masters about how to frighten players, and they often tell me that it is a trouble spot for them. When you look to create a horror scene, you need to...

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Freedom Through Restraint: E6 and Using Similar Ideas in Other Games

Today’s guest article by Gnome Stew reader Craig Dedrick might look D&D-specific at first, but Craig winds up asking some questions that are relevant to many RPGs — D&D is the lens here, not the real topic. Thanks, Craig! –Martin Dungeons & Dragons has always been my first love in gaming. My mother brought home a copy of Basic D&D when I was eight years old. I had no idea how to play, but it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. It would be two more years before I would actually figure out how the game worked....

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What Makes a Good Monster?

Today’s guest article is by Gnome Stew reader Craig Dedrick. It’s his second; his first was What’s He Building in There? While there’s a fantasy focus here, if you squint a bit you’ll see how easily Craig’s advice applies to other genres. Thanks, Craig! –Martin Having recently received the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons as a Christmas present, I have been reading through the Monster Manual. The book is visually stunning, well laid out, and touches on some of the classic monsters of Dungeons & Dragons, so right away it hits most of the necessary checkpoints for a...

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What’s He Building in There?

Today’s guest article by Gnome Stew reader Craig Dedrick explores villains’ plans that stay in motion while the PCs are doing other things. Thanks, Craig! –Martin What’s He Building? He has no dog And he has no friends and His lawn is dying… and What about all those packages He sends. What’s he building in there? With that hook light On the stairs. What’s he building In there… I’ll tell you one thing He’s not building a playhouse for The children what’s he building In there? — Tom Waits Inspired by the recent Gnome Stew articles Session Organization: Breadcrumbs...

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