Category: Hot Buttons


Ever since my long-ago teenage years, when I wasn’t allowed to play D&D – just look at the books, I’ve played a kind of mental game with the spell lists from the various editions of D&D – What spells would I want to be able to cast if I could do so in real life? As a mental exercise, it is a fun way to look at the fantastic and try to envision what the everyday lives of the characters we play would look like. […]


While proofreading the final draft of Focal Point I re-read a story I presented about a time when I was a less-than-stellar player. I’d allowed an encounter that went bad for me early on hang over the entire session and I’d resisted any attempt to get back on board no matter how hard the GM and other players tried. Not only did it ruin the session, but it cut the heart out of the campaign and it died a session or two later. As a GM, I’ve […]


Dear game publishers, Listen, I get it: sex sells. And I know we’re in this enlightened age where no one cares what anyone is into and no one is ashamed of their body (or at least those statements SHOULD be true and we’re working on it), but I belong to the gender that’s often accused of primarily thinking with their gonads and I’d prefer not to foster the image that that’s true. So the thought of buying products that look like porn makes me uncomfortable […]

Hot Buttons

The discussion on how much we GMs should play instead of run has been a bit of a hot topic here at Gnome Stew. John F. just did an article discussing the many good reasons for GMs to make sure to occasionally sit on the other side of the table, and Matthew posted one yesterday discussing Exiles of the Wicked Maze, a unique solo game that would give a GM a chance to play to a certain degree. I’ve also been thinking about this subject, […]


It’s pretty obvious that the My Little Pony game is the the setting of the future, but for gamers weaned on hack and slash and brutal rules debates, stomaching the saccharine sweetness of the MLP philosophy of friendship and tolerance and happiness can be like swallowing a horse pill. For those of us with a little more starch in our shorts than the average Brony, I present the solution in a conveniently familiar package: Edition wars! Deep down, every Brony has a favorite Generation. It’s […]


“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ― Ernest Hemingway GM’s day was just a few days ago, and I was pleased to be thanked on social media by a few people I’d run for in the past. It’s nice to get recognition for the work we put into running games and helping to enable the fun of our players. (You could always go buy your GM something nice from the Drive […]

Hot Buttons

If one of your players feels the need to drop out of your campaign, what should you do? This hot button is relevant for me because I’m actually in this situation. I’m currently running a campaign that the rest of the group is thoroughly enjoying, but one player simply isn’t into it. It seems my choice is whether to end the campaign or go on without him. When starting a new campaign, this isn’t an issue. I never start a game without buy-in from everyone […]