About half the gnomes are at GenCon, and before they took off in their fancy private jets those bastards chained me to the radiator and said, I quote, “There better be a damned Gnome Rodeo while we’re gone, or there’ll be…trouble.”

They fingered their belt buckles ominously while they said it, which I have to say brought to mind a number of unpleasant mental images. So, uh, here we are!

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: With Chatty on vacation, Berin “UncleBear” Kinsman’s Get Your Dice Off My Lawn! fills the void. It’s one of the best RPG blog posts I’ve read in recent memory. Whether you’re an old-school, “I inked my own damn dice” grognard or a new gamer who has never had to deal with shitty dice, it’ll make you laugh.

GMing All Over the Place

Amagi Games: I love it when the whole party belongs to a hierarchical organization (the Federation, a mercenary company, whatever) — it’s a great way to give a game structure, and it makes adventure hooks a breeze. The Troops is a systemless add-on that makes implementing that structure easier, and it looks like a cool approach.

d&dShoebox: I’ve started using this site to track my small but growing collection of D&D Miniatures, and I love it. Back when I was building my Star Wars Starship Battles collection, I used their sister site, swShoebox, to track those, and it worked really well. Having it all online makes avoiding duplicates a lot easier, and blows printed checklists out of the water.

Deeper in the Game: As a term, “creative vector” is an instant eye-glazer for me, but I pushed past it and read Creative Vectors — and I’m glad I did: It’s really sharp work. Over the past couple years of reading Bankeui’s material, I’ve learned a lot about gaming, including some foundation-level stuff that’s completely changed how I think about GMing. This is that kind of post.

The Gamer Dome: Wish the 4e PHB had a longer, more detailed index? Wish no more — Propagandroid has you covered. He did a damned nice job on it, too.

If I Read Japanese I Could Tell You the Site Name: This free online tool converts modern photos into old-timey, turn-of-the-century pictures — absolutely perfect for RPG props for games set in that area (Call of Cthulhu comes to mind, or maybe Cthulhu by Gaslight; Hollow Earth Expedition, too). The finished products look great — you have to give this a try.

The Keep on the Gaming Lands: Mike Mearls starts a new blog, and picks wandering monsters as his first topic. I hate random encounters…but I have to admit that I see Mike’s point about considering them for a 4e campaign.

Nuketown: The excellent geek culture blog Nuketown compares GMing prep for D&D 3.5e to 4e. Ken’s stuff is always worth reading, and this is no exception. I haven’t GMed 4e yet, but from what I’ve seen as a player, his assessment is spot-on.

The RPG Bloggers Network: The network swells to over 55 sites. There’s lots to read here — poke around, see what comes up and try something new.

Stupid Ranger: Stupid Ranger turns one year old. Congrats, SR crew! Vanir’s observations on what has worked well and what hasn’t are very useful for RPG bloggers.

WoAdWriMo: The 2008 Worldwide Adventure Writing Month archive isn’t up yet, but here are links to most of the adventures — including our own Gnomes Gone Wild.

I’ll leave you with 59 photos I shot during my group’s five sessions of Keep on the Shadowfell (SPOILERS ABOUND!), which have nothing to do with GMing but might be fun for the seven of you who aren’t in Indianapolis right now.

PS: We’re kicking off our first contest this coming Monday, with three surprising prizes.