Two weeks ago, I teased you with how different the cabin areas of the Camp would be for the campers. Rather than try to spend words describing them here, I’m going to give you the description directly from the text. The Cabins The cabins at Camp Adventure are perhaps the most unique and adaptable part of the campgrounds. Unlike the other parts of the camp, which are controlled directly by the counselors, the cabins are enchanted to simply respond to the needs and desires of the campers themselves. Practically speaking, what does this mean for a camper? As an...Read More
Author: Tracy Barnett
About The Author
Tracy was introduced to Basic D&D back in 1988, but didn’t really play and RPGs until D&D 3rd Edition came out. Since then, he’s ventured far and wide across different types of game. He loves indie games and how they empower players, and will always have a soft spot for D&D. In addition to blogging here, Tracy co-owns Exploding Rogue Studios and has published three of his own games in addition to some freelance credits. If you dig his work, you can support his Patreon at: www.patreon.com/theothertracy
When I wrote the first Camp Adventure article a couple of weeks ago, I ended things up knowing I needed to pick a part of the project to work on next. I outlined a few possibilities in the post, but when I went back to the document, one of them jumped out to me. Location, Location, Location In my previous work on this project, I’d established a template for how I wanted to write up each area of camp. The general structure goes like this: Name of Area Short Description What You’ll See What You’ll Hear What You’ll Smell...Read More
I’ve been lucky enough to know Cam Banks for about six years, now. In fact, the first time I met Cam, I interviewed him about the then-brand-new Leverage RPG. I had no idea what I was doing, but he was kind enough to talk to me. Fast-forward to now and Cam is Kickstarting a brand-new, all-inclusive version of Cortex, the system that underpins Leverage, the Marvel Heroic RPG, Smallville, and more. I had a chance to send Cam some questions about Cortex Prime, so sit back, relax, and enjoy! Cortex Prime, Live on Kickstarter! Tracy Barnett: What motivated you to take on a...Read More
I’ve had an idea banging around in my brain for a while and I thought I might let it out. When I’m writing things, I like to talk about them while they’re in progress. It helps me do a couple of things that writing by myself doesn’t accomplish. When I write just for myself, things tend to go around in circles. I start and stop, and I end up not getting much done. I need a reason to write that’s beyond me to get much of anything done. Along that same line, it helps me think clearly. It gives...Read More
So Much Prep, So Little Time Things are going well in my gaming world. Almost too well. With the advent of TheOtherCast, I’ve added hours of audio editing to my day job work, other writing, and game prep. I only run games every other week, which is good, but that’s about to change. In addition to the Star Wars game that I record for the podcast, I’m going to start a likely-once-a-month Planescape game. I figure that about a week out from the first session of that game would be a good time to talk about getting a new...Read More
Sound and Fury Have you ever listened to how you run games? … That small pause was for all of the “oh gods, I hate the sound of my own voice” reactions that no doubt rippled through the Gnome Stew readership. The basic makeup of how we hear what we say in our own heads means that we sound different on recordings than we expect. It can be hard. I’ll tell you this, though: nothing has improved my GMing skills more than recording the audio of my sessions and listening back to it. Enter TheOtherCast Back in September, when...Read More
Yesterday, Exploding Rogue Studios released DEAD SCARE, a 1950s, feminist, zed-killing, fascist-punching tabletop RPG by Elsa S. Henry. If you weren’t familiar, I co-own Exploding Rogue with Brian Patterson. We’re absolutely thrilled to have been able to help Elsa bring this game to the public, especially now. So, let’s talk about representation in games. Lots and Lots of White Dudes In case you haven’t noticed, there are a bunch of white dudes in gaming. Doesn’t matter what kinds of games you’re talking, either. Tabletop? Yup. Video? Double-yup. So when Elsa approached me about DEAD SCARE and pitched it as a...Read More
A Long Time Ago… We all know how Star Wars starts, and that opening sentence firmly situates us in the setting. It’s not our time and it’s not our world. In fact, this has already happened. That phrase acts like an Aspect in that you can call on it and refer to it when you need a bit of story. It’s a bit meta, but it’s a nice jumping-off point for this topic. You’ve got to have a way for things to happen in your game. Sure, you can ask what an NPC would do in a given situation...Read More
I’ve been using the Principles, Agenda, and Moves I’ve talked about in my other posts for my Star Wars game. Now it’s time to take things to another level. We’ve been keeping things pretty basic (both in the posts and in my sessions). Now it’s time to complicate things. The Moves Beneath the Moves The whole point of using this approach to planning and running games is to let player motivation drive the game. We’ve been doing that for about five sessions, now. The players are pushing things forward, and they’re personally interested in the story. This is when...Read More
Last post I wrote had me talking about the Agenda and Principles I’d adapted from Apocalypse World to use in my Star Wars: EoE game. I’d left that post off by saying that Moves are really where it’s at. This is the Moves post. Moves Like Jabba In Apocalypse World, if you do something that includes picking up the dice and rolling, it’s called a Move. (FYI, that’s the last time I’m gonna capitalize that word, as it’ll get excessive if I keep it up). That’s the most straightforward definition to start with. From that perspective, moves can be pretty...Read More
In my previous posts, I’d been exploring the Agenda and Principles for Apocalypse World. This was partially because I think they’re really sweet, and partially because I was running a campaign of the game. Sadly, that game seems to be done, as we had two key players move out of state. In the meantime, with another group, I’ve started a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire game set in the Force Awakens-era Star Wars universe. The idea of Agenda, Principles, and Moves won’t leave me alone, though. I find them to be hugely useful, to the point that I’m...Read More
We got the chance to play our second session of Apocalypse World a couple of weeks ago. It was our first “real” session, as I prepped some Fronts and used things that had happened in the first “day in the life” session. It was an amazing session, and without further ado, we’re gonna dive right in to the recap. Primed to Blow The first session left off with Jeanette, the 2nd in command of Warehouse 141, strapped to the driver’s seat of a heavily armored bus, rigged to blow with explosives. The group wasted no time working to free...Read More
In my last post, I went through the GM/MC’s Principles and the characters that my players made for our Apocalypse World game. Today’s post is all about the first session, a Day in the Life with those players, plus one. An Addition the Party Between sessions, we gained another player, so we kicked things off with his choosing of a playbook. We also re-did all of the Hx for the characters. That was for a couple of reasons, the foremost being that we did Hx as we wrapped up the previous session and most everyone didn’t remember the details. The...Read More
In my last post I went through an introduction to Apocalypse World. I’d been running Deadlands Reloaded for my group, including one session of a Fate conversion of the setting. However, I’d realized that I’m not comfortable being responsible for that much setting information. I like the organic nature of how the setting is built in Apocalypse World. Yesterday, I had a chance to do character creation with my group in preparation for our first session. And I’ve not forgotten how I left off my last post. I got some good comments about the Agenda and Principles in Apocalypse...Read More
I’m in a position I’m sure anyone who has run a game has been in before: my group is probably going to move on from the Deadlands Fate game that I’ve been working on. And honestly? I’m fine with that. Since I started that Deadlands game, I’ve found that I have a strong preference for games that intrinsically support player agency in the world and setting building. It’s not that you can’t have that kind of setup with Deadlands, but I didn’t approach it that way. So what’s next? Well, if you know anything about games that are Powered...Read More
What’s Gnome Stew
Written by a team of veteran Gamers and Gamemasters, Gnome Stew is a widely read gaming blog with multiple awards and close to 3,000 articles. We're dedicated to helping gamers have more fun at the gaming table. Over 2 million visitors can't be wrong!
"I check Gnome Stew every day."
— Monte Cook —
"fantastic blog for game masters, dungeon masters, and rpg fans"
— Wil Wheaton —
"If you aren’t reading Gnome Stew, you’re missing out."
— Wolfgang Baur —
Patronize Gnome Stew!
Gnome Stew do awesome things for everyone!
These Might Be The Pages You Are Looking For
Keep The Stew Fires Going
Eat The Stew
Our Books for GMs
Through our partner Engine Publishing, we've published six system-neutral books for GMs, with over 28,000 copies sold. Available in print and PDF.
The Complete Game Master's Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions
Click To Find Out More Unframed
The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters
Click To Find Out More Odyssey
The Complete Game Master's Guide to Campaign Management
Click To Find Out More Never Unprepared
The Complete Game Master's Guide to Session Prep
Click To Find Out More Masks
1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game
Click To Find Out More Eureka
501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters
Click To Find Out More
Through Encoded Designs
Through our partnership in the G.E.M. collective, many of the Gnomes are affiliated with creating products through Encoded Designs. Available in print and PDF.
Gnomes on Podcasts, even a Gnome Only Podcast!
Click To Find Out More Rockerboys and Vending Machines
Do you have what it takes to save Neon City in this 80s, neon, cyberpunk game?
Click To Find Out More Character Cache
Art by Matt Morrow, Characters By Encoded Gnomes
Click To Find Out More Hydro Hacker Operatives
Gnome Phil Vecchione's Dungeon World Hack About Water Rights
Click To Find Out More