Posts Tagged by GMing Advice


Today’s guest article by Gnome Stew reader Rickard Elimää is a follow-up to his previous piece on the Stew, The Fish Tank as a Mystery. Thanks, Rickard! Imagine the characters being fishes. Throw them into a fish tank filled with piranhas, lean back and watch what happens when they start swimming around. This article will show you how to create an open-ended intrigue in 20-40 minutes by following five steps. It will also talk about some of the theory behind it and finally how you […]


Today’s guest article is by Jeff Lees, who posts on the Stew as Leesplez. Jeff lives and works in NYC and has been GMing for about 9 years. This is Jeff’s second article for the Stew (his first was Saying Isn’t Feeling: Evoking Emotional Engagement in Players. Thanks, Jeff! –Martin Improvisation is an essential part of role-playing games, for both the players and the game master. Many GMs, myself included, love improvisation, and we rely on it to fill in the holes we decided to […]

Yes. Kurt is wearing a mask.

Every year at this time I write my Gen Con recap, which is often a list of things I saw, people I met, and games I played. This year I am going to save that for G+. Instead, I want to sum up some GMing topics which came up in the various seminars I attended. After all this is a GMing blog, an Award Winning GMing blog at that, so lets stick to GMing. Talkin’ Shop One of the things I love at Gen Con […]

Preorders for our next book, Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Campaign Management, will be opening on June 3, and we want you to be able to check out the book before deciding whether to preorder. You can now download a free 9-page PDF preview of Odyssey that includes the cover, table of contents, introduction, and opening section. This should give you a good idea of what topics the book covers and how it approaches them. The initial announcement of Odyssey also offers some […]


Before GenCon, one of the requests that I got, was to review the new Vincent Baker game Apocalypse World. We at the Stew love to please our readers, so I took some time at GenCon, and got a chance to play a small demo of Apocalypse World (AW) with it’s creator, Vincent Baker, as well as picking up a copy of the book. My intention was to do a straight up review of the game, but as it turns out, my good friend the ChattyDM […]

A lot of my gaming friends and I are into gaming as a storytelling experience. I tend to talk about improving games and focusing on the story at the table. That is how a lot of my games go. However, some of the recent books I’ve been reading, some of the movies I’ve recently seen, and some of the games I’ve run in and played in highlighted something that bounces around my head from time to time: Good stories do not always make good game […]

I run very improv heavy game sessions. I also do a lot of sandbox style game.  Because of this, there are a lot of nights around my gaming table where I’m picking at the players for some direction for the story. Sometimes the players know exactly where they wan to go, sometimes the players really just want to do “stuff” and want someone to tell them what that is. It’s brewed, over the years, a lot of dark roasted Colombian thought in my coffee pot […]