Author: Darcy Ross

About The Author

Darcy Ross

Darcy Ross is a staff member at ConTessa and is interested in getting new people into gaming. Cypher System games are her jam, and she is a snail-ologist by day with a love of weird invertebrate animals.

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Gnome Spotlight: Big Bad Con & Gaming For All

Welcome to the second installment of Gnome Spotlight, where we highlight gamers doing good. Today I’m excited to share the really cool programs and practices of a convention that consistently gets rave reviews: Big Bad Con. It’s a tabletop and live action gaming convention, boasting a wide variety of RPGs, larps, and card/board games. It’s held in California’s Bay Area each October, where they hold games in traditional conference room spaces and ballrooms, but also rent out dozens of hotel rooms for private gaming, which sounds really cool. Big Bad Con is Kickstarting NOW and will end its 2017 fundraiser on...

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Gnome Spotlight: Lawful Good Gaming

Welcome to Gnome Spotlight – an article series celebrating gamers doing good in the world, both within the realm of gaming and outside of it. The idea for Gnome Spotlight came from posts by Shanna Germain, senior designer and co-founder of Monte Cook Games, who was on the hunt for a curation of games, artists, and companies doing great work at being inclusive and representing diverse people. There tend to be voices that call out large missteps made by companies, and this is an important step towards positive change (“Be critical of the media you love”). However, the other side of the...

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The Blue Wedding: Interview With Whitney “Strix” Beltrán About Bluebeard’s Bride

“You put the key in the lock… You turn the key. You open the door… You go inside. The door closes behind you.” I’ve been haunted by the mere prospect of a game for 7 months. Lurking in my podcatcher are three episodes that I could neither delete nor endure: an Actual Play of the tabletop roleplaying game Bluebeard’s Bride, from the One Shot Podcast episodes (parts 1, 2, 3). I have started it and re-started it and re-re-started it, but I still struggle to bear the horror and atmosphere created by GM Sarah Richardson, who is one-third of the epic Bluebeard’s Bride designer & writer trio, along with Marissa Kelly...

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Secret Truths Of The Invisible Sun: A Multisensory Interview With Monte Cook

You’ve always felt like this wasn’t your home, that the world was missing something. Well, you were right, you just forgot why. You need to come home, the War is over, and the Shadows are growing darker. Come back with us into the light of the Invisible Sun. Monte Cook Games is creating waves with its new RPG Invisible Sun, on Kickstarter right now, which whispers sweet nothings of changing the way we play RPGs altogether. Head Snail-Wrangling Gnome Darcy Ross teamed up with Mika Talley, a visiting vislae from the Actuality, to pull secrets from the very mouth of Monte Cook...

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Support Gnome Stew On Patreon – Help Us Make Awesome Articles

Three weeks ago, at Gen Con, I got to wear the Golden ENnie award medal for Gnome Stew’s Best Website award. I very nearly had a legendary wardrobe malfunction to prove it. Receiving the ENnie is a huge honor, and one that I am very proud I get to be a part of. Our Gnome Stew Patrons moved me in a more personal way. At Gen Con, our Patreon exceeded $100, which allowed us to open a beautiful can of worms by providing some good compensation to our authors and letting us increase the sort of content we can bring to...

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To Absalom, And Beyond: Interviewing James L. Sutter About Starfinder

A few weeks ago, Paizo announced it was making a new game: STARFINDER. With an exciting science fantasy setting, an OGL license, crunch building on the Pathfinder system, and a great team spearheading the effort, Starfinder looks likely to please plenty of Pathfinder veterans and new converts alike. However, we won’t be able to get our grubby hands on it until August 2017! As we gnomes are famously short on patience, I decided to acquire the next best thing: James L. Sutter’s precious time and energy. The wonderful James L. Sutter, Starfinder’s Creative Director, gave a great interview delving into many of the details of this...

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An Olfactory Review of Adventure Scents

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...

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Roll20CON: Guests, Games, and Getting the Hang of Roll20

Roll20, a popular browser-based virtual tabletop for online RPG play, is having its first convention Friday, June 3rd, called Roll20CON. It will be 24 hours of delicious online gaming action, with concurrent panels and games being streamed on Twitch with great guests. Viewers will have several opportunities to donate to CyberSmile, an organization that works to support victims of cyberbullying, but the entire event (and as usual, use of Roll20) is free! Even better, starting on Friday, May 27th, Roll20 is opening up its Plus-level Subscription features to anyone setting up a game for Roll20CON through the end of...

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Pop-up Roleplaying Games

As the weather promises to warm up here in Chicago, I dream of venturing forth – gaming with Northside friends, demoing at game stores, and playing in parks. I enjoy running roleplaying game sessions that bend the traditions of my usual 4-hour game nights. This can be by doin’ it in weird places, for varied lengths of time, or with different sorts of people. I love this hobby and I want it to grow – these odd little “pop-up” roleplaying experiences I’ve run help me get the word out and introduce new people to my favorite games and to...

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