Article Archives

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Cultivating New GMs

When I started gaming back in the RPG bronze age of 1986, the role of Dungeon Master was a job cloaked in mystery and the polished veneer of extreme expertise. I was admonished, under no uncertain terms, to never ever look into the Dungeon Master’s Guide. EVER! The secrets...

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RPGS, Veblen, and Isms

Back when I was working on my masters, I had to take some PhD classes in econometrics. To do that I had to go to the economics department, fill out paperwork and ask them to let me into the classes (Since I wasn’t a PhD student, the department was...

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Review and Giveaway: Harlem Unbound

I recently came across Chris Spivey’s  Harlem Unbound and reached out to see if Chris wanted to provide a digital review copy. He sent us a copy from DriveThruRPG and I dug through it over the weekend. Check out the full review below and drop a comment below (on...

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Gnomecast #32 – Gaming and Group Style

https://gnomestew.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Gnomecast-32.mp3 This episode of Gnomecast rings in the new year with John, Taylor, and Tracy discussing gaming and group styles thanks to Wendelyn’s Gnome Stew article “Role Playing Group Styles.” Visit Gnome Stew, check out Gnome Stew Merch, and support Gnome Stew on Patreon! Learn more about Taylor’s projects at...

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Game Pieces from Garbage: Crafting Basics

Crafting is one of the easiest and cheapest hobbies to get into. Most of the prolific youtubers who have way more talent than me make a point of using found materials and dollar store supplies. The most I’ve spent on crafting for anything was about $10. That was for...

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The Watch Review

Looking back on last year, if 2017 taught us anything, it’s that we really need to spend some time looking at how we view issues of gender, and how traditional views on the topic—unexamined—can allow a dangerous and damaging status quo to survive and thrive. The Watch is a...

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Quick-Start Settings and Campaign Frames

I’ve been thinking a lot about how roleplaying campaigns work. The part that fascinates me is the genesis of a campaign; how does it begin, what surrounds it? I’ve written a couple of articles about campaign frames and the setup of different thematic elements to be sort of the pillars of what your campaign is about. More recently, on Twitter, I’ve been crowd-sourcing mini-settings, with adventure hooks and NPCs.  Here’s the start of one of the settings. Most recently, these...

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Chekhov’s +1 Longsword

In writing, there is a dramatic principle referred to as Chekhov’s Gun. This states that every element in a story should be necessary and anything irrelevant to the story being told should be removed. Basically, if you set up a loaded rifle being put on the stage in the...

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Role Playing Group Styles

Since 2007 I have been an organizer for the Denver RPG group, a Meetup.com group of over 2,200 role players across the Colorado Front Range. When each member joins, they are asked a seemingly simple question: Why do you want to join our group? It took me years to...

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Proactive and Reactive Gaming – The Dance

Sometimes skimming twitter the strangest things can start my gears turning. Several weeks ago, I scrolled past a completely non-gaming tweet that mentioned how people like to get reactions. Suddenly I realized, as I quickly tabulated many comments by folks at whose tables I have sat, that when I...

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New Year’s Gaming Resolution: Productivity

I’m sure we all have gaming related New Year’s Resolutions. Two years ago mine was to write a microgame every month (did it!). Last year it was to finish my two big projects (didn’t even come close!). This year has been a wild one, with lots of changes. Some...

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Gnomecast #31 – Gizmos in Games

  https://gnomestew.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/031-Special-Gizmos.mp3 Welcome to the Gnomecast, the Gnome Stew’s tabletop gaming advice podcast. Here we talk with the other gnomes about gaming things to avoid becoming part of the stew. So I guess we’d better be good. This episode we have John, Ang, and Jared talking about Gizmo’s in...

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The Big Impact of Little (Crappy) Crafts

Today’s guest post is by Tomcollectice, and talks about how game crafting doesn’t have to be phenomenal artistry to be effective at the table. – Steady Hands John Every Sunday before I game I find myself loading my car with this: And a backpack full of books and notes...

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