After lengthy, careful consideration, I’m stepping down from running Gnome Stew. This will also likely be my last article here, at least for the time being.

I don’t have the fire in my belly that’s required to run the Stew well anymore, and sticking around without that element isn’t fair to anyone. There’s nothing sinister at play here; I’m just no longer the right person to helm Gnome Stew.

When I told the gnomes, I proposed two options: another gnome takes over, or we put the site in archive mode (still free, but no longer updated). Fortunately, the Stew’s own John Arcadian stepped up to run the joint.

The Stew needs an active, passionate owner, and I’m leaving you in good hands. John has the fire in his belly, he’s full of ideas about where to take the Stew, and I couldn’t be happier that he’s taken over for me. He’s got the support of the rest of the Gnome Stew team, too.

Since 2008, when I started the Stew with a most excellent team of fellow bloggers, I’ve had a kid, changed jobs twice, sold my house, and moved to another state. Which is a roundabout way of saying that the Stew has been a part of my life for a long time.

And I love this place. It’s grown from a simple idea — “Why not see if a bunch of awesome folks want to blog about GMing together?” — back in 2008 to a deep archive of free GMing content supported by a fantastic community of readers. It’s opened doors, garnered awards, launched other ventures, and meant a lot to me and to others. I’m thrilled that it will continue to do those things.

The best part has always been the friends I’ve made and the readers I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with. I’d stand this community up against any other gathering of gamers on the web and be proud of what you’ve done, and what you continue to do.

Frankly, leaving is a bit terrifying. I don’t like attention, but I appreciate recognition. I’ve been working in the RPG industry since 2004, and the single thing I’m best known for is Gnome Stew. Not because it’s “mine” — it is and always has been a fundamentally collaborative venture — but because I’ve run the site, and contributed a ton of content over the years.

As career moves go, leaving Gnome Stew is probably a bad one. But I still think it’s the right thing for the site, the gnomes, and you, our readers.

I may be around from time to time, likely to share Engine Publishing news, but this is the end of my road here at the Stew for now. I need to be George Lucas here: get out of the way and stay out of the way so the creative team behind the site can rock this party.

If you’d like to stay in touch, I’m still writing about gaming on my personal blog, Yore, and I’m active on Google+.

Thank you, gnomes and readers, for your friendship, support, encouragement, awesomeness, and the GMing advice you’ve shared over the years. As I always say, you rock on toast.

Martin Ralya, signing off
Seattle, WA