Author: Angela Murray

About The Author

Angela has been playing roleplaying games for about thirty years, but it's only in the last decade that she's gotten into being a game master. Once she got into it, though, her interest in that aspect of gaming exploded. In addition to writing for Gnome Stew, she also helped found and write for the all-female blog, 'Rogue Princess Squadron'.

14 1 Social and

The Illusion of Immersion

Let’s talk immersion in RPGs. Most players and GMs would probably tell you that immersion is a good thing. When looking up the word in a dictionary, right after the definition of dumping ‘someone or something in liquid’, the meaning of immersion is described as ‘deep mental involvement’. So,...

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11 0 Social and

Buying the Canon

If you were within shouting distance of my social circle, you would probably be well aware of the fact that I recently finished the Mass Effect trilogy of video games and was quite blown away by them. Mass Effect 3 came out in 2012, so I’m a little late...

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8 0 Social and

Where Did We Park?

As the GM, it’s can sometimes feel like you’re the only one paying attention to what’s actually happening in the game. You show up to start the next session and no one seems to remember what happened the last time you played, even when you left them hanging on...

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17 0 Social and

Do It Better

When I talk about my inspirations to be a good Game Master, I’ll often reference the great GMs I’ve had the privilege of playing with over the years. If I’m really honest with myself, though, the bad GMs I’ve had the misfortune to play with are just as strong...

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21 0 Social and

Hitting the Wall

A couple weeks ago, I lost it. The final straw landed and broke this camel’s back. To be a bit clearer, I ended up throwing a bit of a temper tantrum at my gaming group. I hit a wall and promptly had a meltdown. What wall do I speak of?...

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17 0 Social and

How Do You Learn?

How many RPGs have you run without having played it first? It can feel like a chicken and an egg conversation, but obviously someone out there read the book and ran a game without ever having played it before. Sitting beside my bed are a pile of books that...

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4 0 Social and

How Lucky is Your Game?

Luck comes in many shades and flavors in roleplaying games. Some games actually build in a mechanic to emulate luck in varying ways. Others have an inherent kind of luck with a bennie, plot point, or some other token type of system. Even games that have no mechanical way...

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5 0 Social and

Precious Time

When I was first introduced to roleplaying games, I was in high school and had all the time in the world. If we wanted to play all weekend, the only difficulty was in convincing my parents that it was okay for me to hang out with the guys for...

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3 0 Social and

Criminal Inspiration

Finding inspiration each week for the games we put together for our players is part of the fun, but it can be a challenge on occasion. When the creative juices aren’t flowing, sometimes you have to dig into other areas of your life to find those nuggets of ideas...

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9 0 Social and

A Look at Titansgrave

Two years ago, I asked Wil Wheaton a question. Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana was the answer. Okay, that’s a little more dramatic sounding than it actually was. On the last day of GenCon in 2013, I attended a TableTop Q&A hosted by Wheaton, the show’s personality, and Boyan...

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11 3 Social and

Convention Survival Tips – GM Edition

GenCon officially starts in under a week and I’m freaking out. It’s a good kind of freaking out. The kind where I look at a random nerdy friend, grin like a maniac and yell, “CONNNNNNN!!!” at a loud volume. Luckily the non-nerdy people around me are mostly used to...

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16 0 Social and

The Trouble with Trolls

“Through the darkness lumbers a large humanoid creature with a rough, green hide. Its glaring face has a pointed chin and a crooked nose, while each finger ends in a claw.” “Oh, it’s a troll. Who’s got acid or fire magic?” “Your character wouldn’t know that!” More than a...

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9 0 Social and

Diversifying PreGens and NPCs

Sometime last week, I got a message from a friend who was starting the early stages of his prep for next year’s convention games and wanted some advice. His dilemma was that he wanted to run a Hollow Earth Expedition game that was faithful to the 1930’s setting, but...

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22 5 Social and

 Good Players = Good GMs

Last weekend I was at Origins, and now a week later, I’m finally starting to recover. While I’m old enough and wise enough to realize I can’t stay up all hours and do ALL the gaming, I still stay up too late, get up earlier than I should, and...

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13 0 Social and

When Your Players Are Smarter Than You

We GMs are a pretty intelligent lot. Anyone who can handle juggling the world building, the story prep, the mechanics, and all of the NPCs while keeping players coming regularly back for more is probably at least a semi-smart person. Thing is, gamers as a whole are generally pretty...

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