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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The Winner of My “Santa Villain” Contest

There were many fine entries, but Gnome Stew reader ManiacClown is the winner with his brilliant mash up of holiday cheer and cold war espionage in this gem of a comment: Kris “Santa” Sinterklaas is many things. Among them is an international criminal mastermind, kept alive on a life-extending...

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Calling All Readers–What Non-Gaming Items are Great Gifts for GMs?

The holiday season is upon us, and that means gifts will be exchanged soon amongst friends and loved ones. This year I wanted to share with you two gift ideas that I think are awesome items to have as a GM, but that are not actually gaming related. One is relatively cheap, and the other is fairly expensive, but I have found both of them to be wonderful tools...

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The Best Things In Life Are Free

I am arranging a small convention that will be open to the public in the small town where I live. More details will be coming about that in future articles, but the purpose of the convention is to introduce new people to RPGs. For this reason I am building the convention around the theme of using open source systems and materials, because a free sample never hurts when you...

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How Do You Learn a New System?

Variety is the spice of life. You may have your favorite game system, but it does not need to be the only game system that you play. One of the joys of this hobby is that by using a different set of rules you can have a completely new...

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Better GMing With Better Snacks

Being the GM is an intense mental exercise. You are dealing with both external stimulation (observing your players, rolling dice, listening, and so on) as well as internal stimulation (your emotional state, keeping track of the game’s activities, adjusting tactics and strategies as needed, and so on). This requires...

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Talk is Cheap

Consider this my manifesto to GMs everywhere. I am tired of hearing about your games. Do not approach me with your stories about how awesome your past campaigns were. Do not bother to share with me how great your gaming group has been for the last X amount of...

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Scrap It For Parts

Over 20 plus years of gaming I have accumulated a lot of dud games, supplements, and adventure modules. Some I purchased and some were given to me, but all of them did not succeed as commercial ventures. What can a GM do with a failed RPG product? Do what...

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What’s Gnome Stew

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