Author: Patrick Benson

About The Author

Patrick was born in 1975, and is more or less your typical American male for someone of his age. Except he is a tabletop RPG gamer and a damn fine game master! What else matters?

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My Final Five #5: There Are No Endings

This is my fifth article in my final five series. That means that it is also my last article for Gnome Stew. I have chosen this comment by reader Janus as the inspiration for my final article: Goodbyes are always sad, but i think everyone wishes you well for the...

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My Final Five #4: How RPGs Influence My Life

This is the fourth article in my final five series for Gnome Stew, and I have chosen this comment by reader jpmg90 as the inspiration for today’s article: I think that an article about how rpg’s have impacted your life would be good as well. In my short 22 years,...

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My Final Five: #3 Skill Domains & Boundaries

This is the third article in my final five series for Gnome Stew, and I have chosen this comment from reader LordTentacle as the inspiration for today’s article: “Skill expansion” — when players’ lack certain skills, I tend to let them use skills in a generalist way. “Sure, you...

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My Final Five #2: On the Fly Plots for Narrators!

This is the second article in my final five series for Gnome Stew, and I have chosen this comment from reader Iomythica as the inspiration for today’s article: Sorry to see you go Patrick. You will be missed. I always found your methods of GMing interesting, and particularly well...

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My Final Five: #1 Keep ‘Em On Schedule

For the first of my final five articles, I decided to go with the very first comment which is from reader Leon Morrison: How about an article with tips on making what I call “busy worlds”? Meaning bringing your weird fantasy land to life by giving its denizens something...

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Deities: Unapproachable or Not?

Many fantasy games include pantheons of deities. Gods of mythical origins and ultimate power. These entities can shape worlds and sculpt reality to their very whims. I have friends who treat the deities in their games as infallible beings. What a deity wants or desires cannot be questioned or...

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PC Gear–Destroyed or Damaged?

Imagine that you are playing King Arthur as a PC in an RPG. You wield the mighty Excalibur – not just a sword but a defining part of the legend surrounding your character! While wielding the blade that identifies your PC as the one true king you are struck...

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Using Disinformation for Plot Development

Disinformation is a fancy term for lying via a network for the purpose of achieving some form of gain. Need an example? Just look to the recent U.S. election campaigns and you will be sure to find plenty of them. In the real world disinformation sucks, but in the...

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The Orbital Path Method of Plot Design

Plots for RPGs are tricky beasts to deal with. Too strict and the game is nothing more than a GM’s railroad. Too loose and there is no cohesion to the story for it to feel like it matters. The ideal plot has structure, but unlike the plot of a...

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Sometimes the Well Runs Dry…

Recently I had a game to prep for and I was mentally bankrupt. I had no good ideas whatsoever. Every concept that I came up with seemed tired and mediocre. Nothing clicked for me. I thought about just foregoing my prep work and improvising the entire session, but I...

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Forget the Game

I struggle with today. I am sure that I am not the only person who does so. I cannot bring myself to offer any GMing advice to you today. It just seems so trivial to me in comparison to what today means to me. My apologies in advance if...

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