Gnome Rodeos are the Stew’s periodic link roundups — articles packed with pointers to excellent GMing material we think you’ll enjoy.

We usually feature a few regulars plus our favorite discoveries from around the web, all with an eye to making your time behind the screen easier and more fun.

If you wrote or read something you’d like to see featured on the Stew, drop us a line. There’s some awesome stuff for GMs out there, and we love to share.

GMing Regulars

Roleplaying Tips: RPT issue #465 features four tips for simple culture creation. Number one is “Struggles and losses become fears,” and number two is “Villains become archetypes of what’s evil.” If had to guess what the tips would be, those wouldn’t have been my guesses — and damn, but these are some good tips! Prepare to be surprised by an interesting perspective on culture-building.

Dungeon Mastering: The one-shot session success formula (item #1: isolation) is excellent, as is Big Bad Good Guy… Wait, What? — think of an imperial navy, which is one of the examples in the article. Solid stuff.

Musings of the Chatty DM: Chatty’s last Friday Chat, Are you a backseat GM? resonated with me — when you’re used to GMing, it’s tough not to do this!

You Other Gnomes Can’t Deny

Rogue Trader RPG review: Gnome Stew reader John W.S. Marvin emailed me about his review, and it’s a good one. If you’re curious about the RT RPG, start here.

WotC’s D&D 4e hotline: Last week, WotC ran a hotline for GMs for several hours a day, and said expert GMs would be standing by to take your calls. I believe it was free, and from the Facebook updates I saw all week, well-received. Did you call? If not, what might prompt you to call?

The Anarchist Gamemaster Cookbook: Fresh on the heels of Tracy Hickman’s XDM: X-Treme Dungeon Mastery is a new GMing book from a different publisher, Sinister Adventures. Like XDM, it’s got a theme of sorts (or maybe “attitude” would be a better descriptor): “Peer into Nicolas Logue’s demented mind and taste his darkest sanity-shattering gamemaster tricks from a decade teaching theater in NYC, China and London. These forbidden fruits come screaming through the interwebs straight to your home gaming table.” The list of topics looks solid. It drops in March 2010, and if you buy the print version you get the PDF for free, which is always neat.

RPG Blog 2’s special deals: RPG blogger and friend of the Stew Zachary Houghton lined up exclusive discounts and special offers with several great publishers, and there’s still some time left to cash in. I recommend checking out Kobold Quarterly, which is 50% off while the deal lasts.