Author: Phil Vecchione


About Phil Vecchione

A gamer for 30 years, Phil cut his teeth on Moldvay D&D and has tried to run everything else since then. He has had the fortune to be gaming with the same group for almost 20 years. When not blogging or writing RPG books, Phil is a husband, father, and project manager. More about Phil.

GMingAdvice04

In many stories in books, on television, and in the movies, the protagonists are often dealt one or more setbacks before the story reaches its climax. In these cases the writer crafts specific events with an intended purpose and outcome. In Role Playing Games, we GM’s often rely on the players to create their own setbacks during a session and within a campaign through bad rolling and impulsive decision making, but there are times the GM wants to write a setback into the game. Depending on […]

GMingAdvice05

When it comes to campaigns we often strive for the long running, epic campaign; the kind of campaign that we hear about from other gamers that has been going on since the Reagan administration. Sometimes, though, we are not interested in running a long campaign; quite the opposite, we are looking to run a very short campaign – a micro campaign. There is plenty of advice about running longer campaigns (I am responsible for a portion of it), but how does that apply to the […]

GMingAdvice012

Last week John posted an article about being a better Game Master , calling GM’s to define what aspects of GMing they need to improve. This week, I attended a Project Management Institute Professional Development Day, where I got to sit with and learn from fellow PM’s. The two things got me thinking about how we as GM’s can improve ourselves. What are the ways to learn more about GMing, and how can we exercise our skills to hone our craft. A Community Effort “Like […]

GMingAdvice012

Pacing in RPG’s is not unlike pacing during sex. Too slow and minds wander, blood re-allocates itself…you get the idea. Too fast and not everyone gets to have a satisfying finish. Much like in sex, pacing during a session is important if you want to be asked to play again. So other than thinking about baseball or Bea Arthur while you are running your game, how can you keep a reasonable pace? Called Out This article is for a friend of mine, Drew, who was […]

GMingAdvice04

This past year I had two significant events occur in my life: I celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary, and I co-authored Odyssey: The Complete Game Masters Guide to Campaign Management with fellow Gnome Walt. As it turns out, there is significant overlap in these two areas of my life, and with this being Valentine’s Day, I thought I would Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup these ideas and put them together to deliver some relationship advice for your campaign. Your Campaign is a Relationship A campaign is a […]

GMingAdvice05

In my last article I talked about the various levels which can be encountered while playing an RPG. That article looked at the levels from a more player-centric view, and we all know that Gnome Stew is a GMing blog. So, this week I want to look at how to GM for each of the levels and how you can traverse the levels during a session. What Past Article? If you want to get caught up from the previous article you can find it here. If […]

GMingAdvice05

In the past year on my journey to get my groove back, I have done a lot of thinking about how people approach RPG’s and what people want to get out of their games. All this thinking has helped me find the style of game that I enjoy running, as well as the rules systems that best support that kind of play. Along the way, I have started to see some patterns in how players and GM’s connect with RPGs. Path…Progression…Something To be honest this […]