Author: Guest Author

About Guest Author

The article you just read was written by a Gnome Stew reader. We can’t say which one in this bio, since the bio appears with all guest articles, but whoever they are we can all agree that they possess supernatural beauty and magical powers, and are generally awesome. Gnome Stew readers rock!


Today’s guest article is by Clave Jones. By day he manages the Innové Project, which launches social ventures for the betterment of our planet. By night he is the editor-in-chief of Nerds on Earth, a website that discusses nerdy topics such as Star Wars, The Walking Dead, comics, sci-fi, and of course, Dungeons and Dragons. Thanks, Clave! –Martin I attended my first Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League Organized Play event last year as a brand new D&D player. Technically, I wasn’t a brand new D&D […]


Today’s guest article is by Robert A. Neri Jr. of Ranger Games Publishing, and it’s not actually about bleeding onions — it’s about NPCs. Specifically, believable and engaging NPCs, a topic near and dear to every GM. Thanks, Robert! — Martin Non-player characters (NPCs) populate the game master’s fictional game worlds. NPCs provide a life source beside the vitality injected into the game by the player characters (PCs). Unlike PCs, however NPCs don’t need to be complete characters. Their level of completeness is directly related […]

Crock Pot

Today’s guest article is by Patrick Regan, a screenwriter living in Los Angeles, who learned how to write for TV by GMing after a college roommate made the mistake of showing him Dungeons and Dragons. He blogs at, podcasts at Cinema Excelsior, and can be generally found on Facebook and Twitter @underwoodfive. This is his second guest article; his first was In Media Res. Thanks, Patrick! — Martin “Heeeeeeey. I’m gonna be running a little late.” Show of hands, who’s gotten this text come […]


Today’s guest article was written by Gnome Stew reader Mark Kernow, and it tackles a nifty topic: taking existing rules for characters and stretching them to encompass entire groups. He uses d20 System games as a reference point, but the concept is easily extended to other systems. Thanks, Mark! — Martin What if you treated factions like characters? You could easily introduce new factions into your campaign by giving them statistics and backgrounds similar to characters and monsters. You could build on existing rules and […]


Today’s guest article by Gnome Stew reader Nick M. is his second. Last time around, he talked about getting back in the saddle; today, he’s here to share some tips for “preparing to improvise,” if you will. His advice is aimed at a play style that features pre-planned plots and stories. Thanks, Nick! –Martin Some GMs have the enviable ability to go with whatever the PCs throw at them, creating detailed locations and believable NPCs at the drop of hat. I’ve always struggled with that, […]


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 […]


Today’s guest article — on what can be a very awkward topic — is by John Lewis of RPG Alchemy. John’s loved RPGs since the early ’80s and has game mastered dozens of systems over the past few decades. He is one of the founders and authors of RPG Alchemy and is looking forward to RageCON in Reno, Nevada, this year, where he’ll be giving a seminar on player management for GMs (he’s pretty sure this topic will come up). Thanks, John! –Martin The social […]