Three years ago, when I started Treasure Tables, it was in large part because outside of Roleplaying Tips, there just wasn’t that much GMing material on the web — or if there was, I couldn’t find it.

Now I can easily foresee a time when I won’t just be able to cull the best GMing links for my Gnome Rodeos, I’ll actually have to pare those down to a manageable number as well. It’s ridiculous how much good stuff for GMs there is online these days (get off my lawn, uphill both ways in the snow, etc.) — and I like it.

Gnome Rodeos are our regular link roundups. Provided everyone doesn’t simultaneously stop talking about GMing for a week, you should see one most Fridays.

GMing Regulars

Musings of the Chatty DM: If you can read about Phil and his son, Nico, collaborating on a bedtime story RPG without going “Awwwwww….” and immediately wanting to do the same thing with your own young ‘un — or if you don’t have kids, filing it away for future use — you are clearly a soulless robot programmed only to kill.

Dungeon Mastering: I love Yax’s thinking on this one: The Golden Rule of D&D is that the world doesn’t have to make sense. I’ve never thought about it that way, but he’s absolutely right.

Roleplaying Tips: Issue #412 is my favorite RPT in a long time, because its feature article is six insanely practical organizational tips for GMs. I drive my wife nuts with organizational stuff, so this is right up my alley.


(That’s “Millions of Unusual Small Game Masters Lurking Everywhere” — man, I feel old.)

Danger Magnet is a new magazine for Hollow Earth Expedition, fueled by donations and offering a free preview (which is pretty solid). I think Dragon and Dungeon going digital-only has opened up a huge void in the gaming industry, and I see magazines like DM as one way of filling it — and a positive one, too. (That doesn’t keep me from missing Dragon and Dungeon, though.)

→ Congrats to our gnomies at Kobold Quarterly are in order: industry legend Wolfgang Baur’s fan-driven Open Design Project has won the 2008 Diana Jones Award. Go, Wolf, go! I’ve never really figured out the DJA, but it’s badass that they won one.

→ Dave the Game (Gnome Stew reader and Critical Hits author) took a great set of GenCon 2008 photos. There are several screens from the upcoming (eventually?) D&D Insider, if that’s your cup of dwarven fungus beer.

→ As soon as I saw this mentioned on Gaming Report, I sent out an email to several friends that went like this:

Subject: The Sultan
Holy fucking shit.

Yeah. According to Dante of Stupid Ranger, it weighs in at around $10,000, so don’t get your credit card out just yet. But like I said: holy fucking shit!

→ John over at The Mighty Atom has put together a killer tutorial for creating custom D&D battlemaps, but it’s totally beyond me. His starting and ending points remind me of those little drawing exercises that show you how to draw, say, a herd of zebras in four steps, starting with one circle: 1. square grid, 2. um, what?, 3. okay, seriously, I barely know how to crop, 4. can I just copy yours?, 5. awesome battlemap! If your PS skills are above Level Suck, you should definitely check it out.

→ I haven’t read through the whole thing yet, but I definitely want to give How to Host a Dungeon a try. It has nothing to do with the series of commercially available “How to Host a…” games available — it’s a solo dungeon-creation semi-game, where the goal is to produce a fun, playable dungeon with history and surprises. (It’s most like the Dawn of Worlds PDF, actually.) You can get the whole shebang for $19 in print, $5 in PDF or $Free as a barebones PDF. Check out this crazy-awesome finished dungeon and tell me that doesn’t make you want to try this out. (Via Attacks of Opportunity.)

Have a great weekend!