Category: Specific RPGs


I’m still reading the Cypher System rulebook, though I suspect many people would get through it faster than I have. So far I’ve finished the first 10 chapters (through page 234) covering character creation and the rules. Though the sections on adapting the base system to various genres and the GMing section remain, what I’ve read so far encompasses all the necessities for running a game. Character creation in the cypher system is fairly easy. Couched as creating the sentence “I am an adjective noun […]


Recently we at Gnome Stew were approached by Monte Cook Games, asking if we’d like a pre-release review copy of their soon to be available Cypher System. I won the ensuing caged gnome knife-fight and have spent several long nights hunched over the eldritch tome. This is the system, by the way, from Monte Cook Games’ popular product lines Numenera and The Strange, and a simplified version is apparently used in their recently kickstarted project for younger players: No Thank You Evil. Standard Boilerplate: Full […]

KRNCH-E's primetime adventures character sheet

I recently received the new version of Primetime Adventures after backing its kickstarter. It’s an excellent game, with a great deal of useful, clarifying text in the new edition. I’ve played it (and written about it) before, but the new third edition does a good job of adjusting the emphasis to clarify some previously confusing elements. A few weeks ago, I excitedly wrote about Primetime Adventures on my local indie-roleplaying group and got a lot of enthusiastic interest. In fact, the interest proved great enough […]


I recently came across some old PDFs while organizing and backing up some of my files. One of them was the complete rules to Cave Adventures, a role playing game I co-authored back in 1990 with Dave, my best friend for a large part of my childhood. At the time both of us were thirteenish. We wanted to run a DnD game for our classmates as a class project and while our teacher was behind the idea there was one problem: DnD and all related […]

D&D’s fifth edition has released all of its core pieces; a standalone starter set, the core three books (a Player’s Handbook, a Monster Manual, and a Dungeon Master’s Guide), a GM’s screen, and some adventures (Hoard of the Dragon Queen and its sequel, The Rise of Tiamat). Mike wrote a final Legends and Lore article about “the end of the beginning”—the core books are out, 5th edition has been fully launched. I didn’t participate in many of the playtests, so the edition was new to […]


Flea circuses are fraudulent mechanical fakes or worse yet, torture boxes built of super glue and heating coils. But that wasn’t always the case. There was one flea circus which was true to advertising. “The Czar” as he liked to be called by his children, awakened near human intelligence in a group of fleas through generations of selective breeding and perhaps a drop or two of blood magic. Your troupe claims descent from that first circus, though perhaps it is all just a legend. Circus […]

I’m running a table of D&D Encounters on Wednesday night. Encounters is the easy, or at least low commitment, fork of D&D’s Adventurer’s League. D&D Encounters is ideal for new players and runs great with even pre-generated characters. So far, it’s going well, though the experience can be a bit odd from a story point of view. Some players show up consistently, week after week. They’ve got an idea about the storyline and are tolerant about the recap and backfilling for new players when they […]