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Gnome Rodeo: And the Winner Is… (Plus GMing Links)

Gnome Rodeos are the Stew’s periodic link roundups — articles packed with pointers to excellent GMing material we think you’ll enjoy.

We usually feature a few regulars plus our favorite discoveries from around the web, all with an eye to making your time behind the screen easier and more fun.

If you wrote or read something you’d like to see featured here, drop us a line [1]. There’s some awesome stuff for GMs out there, and we love to share.

The Lucky Tagline Contest Winner

Without further ado, the winner of our tagline contest [2] is: Gnome Stew reader BladeMaster0182. Congrats, BladeMaster0182!

Your copy of The Encountered: Volume 1 [3], the second book for Mind Storm Labs [4]‘ Alpha Omega RPG, will be on its way to you shortly.

A big thank you to everyone who entered the contest and contributed taglines — we got some excellent submissions. The gnomes will be voting on our favorites (and adding a few of our own), and they should start appearing on the site before too long.

GMing Regulars

Roleplaying Tips [5]: It’s tough to argue with adventure design tips [6] from Wolfgang Baur and Open Design [7] contributor Brandon Hodge, so I won’t. From Wolfgang: “The key element is to get the good ideas (and the bad ones) down while they’re fresh, and then shape them as you find time to think them through.

Dungeon Mastering [8]: Want to write or draw for Dungeon Mastering? Yax and the gang are hiring. [9] It’s been fascinating and instructive to watch DMing.com’s transformation from D&D blog to e-tool developer/publisher/paid mentor — what Yax has done with the site over the past couple of years is pretty amazing.

Musings of the Chatty DM [10]: Phil has been reviewing Tracy Hickman’s XDM: X-Treme Dungeon Mastery [11], a GMing tome that came out around GenCon: part one [12], part two [13]. To call this review extensive would be an understatement — I believe there are two more parts still to come!


Character concept generator [14]: Chris Chinn, who writes Deeper in the Game [15], is one sharp dude — and I love his recent musings on character creation. In addition to the generator (which I found helpful in creating a recent PC, as it pointed me in a new direction), he’s also had clever stuff to say about casting PCs as an ensemble [16]. (Also: part two [17].)

Yog-Sothoth fundraiser [18]: YSDC [19] — a familiar site to just about any CoC GM — is having a fundraiser to buy a 3D camera, which they plan to use to bring you nifty 3D projects. They developed the Lovecraftian Tales from the Table DVD [20], so you know they’ll deliver. As a bonus, they’re also running an auction for a drool-worthy leatherbound edition of the excellent Trail of Cthulhu RPG [21].

Ecology of the Deva (D&DI login required) [22]: I normally wouldn’t post a link that requires a login (you’ll need a D&D Insider subscription for this one), but it’s an excellent article that I found quite useful when trying to grok one of 4e’s cooler races, the endlessly-reincarnated ex-angel deva. It also made me think about the online-only versions of Dragon and Dungeon in a different light.

While I definitely miss the print editions — which I grew up with, and which are a lot easier to read during my morning constitutional — it was very handy to be able to hit that link, print out one article, read it, and know that I didn’t have to shelve month after month of magazines for one piece of timely content. I’m still mulling that one over.

Tucker’s Kobolds [23]: If you weren’t reading Dragon back in the late ’80s and early ’90s (this editorial is from 1987), you may not have heard of Tucker’s Kobolds — and you owe it to yourself to check out this site. It’s a straight-up reposting of the original TC editorial, and will give you an entirely different perspective on one of old-school D&D’s wimpier races, force multipliers, and the deviousness you can get up to as a GM. (Via The Labyrinth [24].)

And to close out, delicious gnome stew [25], as seen on the menu at a restaurant in Barcelona. Thanks to Gnome Stew reader Lord Inar for forwarding this to us.

3 Comments (Open | Close)

3 Comments To "Gnome Rodeo: And the Winner Is… (Plus GMing Links)"

#1 Comment By Zig On October 2, 2009 @ 8:15 am

I had completely forgotten that editorial on use of kobolds though now, after reading, I can recall it in an old issue of Dragon.

Great ideas to make those diminutive buggers nasty and challenging for higher lever characters. Too often higher level characters will look at a horde of kobolds with derision and basically take the attitude that they are wasting their time in combating them. With the ideas from this editorial I can see ways to make my players respect the little nasty things.

#2 Comment By Troy E. Taylor On October 2, 2009 @ 10:38 am

Chatty always has his finger on the pulse of 4E – and when he notes that the “Wait I forgot to add XYZ” syndrome is showing up a lot — I can sympathize.

It’s also reassuring — when it happens to a GM as good as Phil, then you know that it’s probably happening a lot elsewhere, too.

#3 Comment By ChattyDM On October 2, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

@Martin: There will only be 2 posts on XDM. In the second post I realized that I was being unfair to the book and that there was no way I would say anything nice about whatever came later so I wrapped it all up. It’s not a book for me and I suspect I don’t get whatever cosmic Inside Joke that the guide is about.

@Troy: Hey, thanks for the Kudos. I don’t think there’s a lot you can do with the Oh Wait syndrome but discuss it openly with your players.

Mine are all very happy with the way things are, Oh Wait included that I decided (10 min ago) that I’ll shut up and focus on playing the monsters better (I used to dumb them down to account for sub optimal player choices… but it’s not needed anymore).