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 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 […]


Today’s guest article is the third by Gnome Stew reader Tony G., who has been GMing for 20 years. Today’s piece features a Christmas-obsessed vampire. Thanks, Tony! –-Martin With the holidays upon us, I was wondering how many of you have added a holiday theme to your games? Whether it’s a tenacious turkeysaurus or a rabid reindeer, I love to add a dash of this to my roleplaying games. For example: Christmas vampire One year, near Christmas, I had a vampire (Masquerade) that was adding […]


Today’s guest article is the second one we’ve featured by Robert A. Neri Jr. of Ranger Games Publishing. His first, Can an Onion Bleed?, looked at engaging NPCs. This one’s about items with backstories. Thanks, Robert! — Martin Items can be given a backstory and a level of detail much like a non-player character (NPC), increasing their role within the gaming narrative (which is different from narratives in the traditional sense as the ‘beats’ of the story tend to follow a Sine-wave type pattern, high […]


This guest article was written by Oliver J. Oviedo of OJO Games, and its topic — sustainability — is one that isn’t often addressed in advice for GMs. Thanks, Oliver! — Martin I have had the luxury of having consistent gaming sessions over the last 19 years. Through changes in jobs, schools, relationships and the arrival of kids, I have been able to keep up consistent gaming in my life. Granted, there have breaks here and there, but on average I have gamed 2-4 times […]


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 […]