Author: Patrick Benson

About Patrick Benson

Patrick was born in 1975, and is more or less your typical American male for someone of his age. Except he is a tabletop RPG gamer and a damn fine game master! What else matters?

This is my fifth article in my final five series. That means that it is also my last article for Gnome Stew. I have chosen this comment by reader Janus as the inspiration for my final article: Goodbyes are always sad, but i think everyone wishes you well for the future. (me too!) Also you may find a spark to ignite a flame for something new.  Since the topic is right, what about a article about endings? Ending a campaign, adventure or the parting of a […]

This is the fourth article in my final five series for Gnome Stew, and I have chosen this comment by reader jpmg90 as the inspiration for today’s article: I think that an article about how rpg’s have impacted your life would be good as well. In my short 22 years, it basically determined my living and financial situation in college as well as my current friends and my gaming group. Many things in my life would have been different without Tabletop RPGs and just thinking about […]


This is the third article in my final five series for Gnome Stew, and I have chosen this comment from reader LordTentacle as the inspiration for today’s article: “Skill expansion” — when players’ lack certain skills, I tend to let them use skills in a generalist way. “Sure, you can roll survival to track.” When there are specialists, I like to let them do it. “Sure, ranger, you can roll tracking.” It helps everyone have the spotlight. But, the characters that played in the group […]


This is the second article in my final five series for Gnome Stew, and I have chosen this comment from reader Iomythica as the inspiration for today’s article: Sorry to see you go Patrick. You will be missed. I always found your methods of GMing interesting, and particularly well suited to narrative heavy games. I would like to see an article on “the top five things that make a great narrative style GM”. I would also love to see a final article on improvisational plotting. […]


For the first of my final five articles, I decided to go with the very first comment which is from reader Leon Morrison: How about an article with tips on making what I call “busy worlds”? Meaning bringing your weird fantasy land to life by giving its denizens something to do rather than just hang about? Kind of like the world of Spirited Away vs. the emptiness of Asgard in Thor (the movie). I ran a game once where the PCs went to the fae […]

Gnome Gnews

I have decided to stop writing for Gnome Stew, and this time the decision is permanent. This time though I want to end things differently, by asking for your input as to what my final articles should be. Why Stop Writing for the Site? I set some goals for myself in regards to my contributions to Gnome Stew, and I have managed to accomplish them all. Combine these personal goals with the amazing accomplishments of the Gnome Stew team and I am very proud of […]

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Many fantasy games include pantheons of deities. Gods of mythical origins and ultimate power. These entities can shape worlds and sculpt reality to their very whims. I have friends who treat the deities in their games as infallible beings. What a deity wants or desires cannot be questioned or challenged, and the mere mortal PCs must comply with a deity’s desires. The only way to avoid destruction for disobeying a deity’s wishes is to gain the favor of another deity to protect the PCs. In […]