Okay, I write one little bastardized lyric for a title, and suddenly I’m picturing eighties music videos with gnomes in them…

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

→ Dungeon Mastering: You should give your GM one of these. (I got this one a few years back, and it rocked.)

→ Musings of the Chatty DM: Chatty reviews the D&D 4e DMG. (I still don’t see what’s supposed to be wrong with the skill challenge system — what am I missing? It seems fine to me.) He also delves deeper into fridge logic — mentioned in last week’s rodeo, also from Chatty’s blog — and its application to gaming.

→ Roleplaying Tips: The flagship article in issue #405 is all about fantasy Greek and Roman settings, but the bit I liked most was the section on ways GMs can use body language at the table.

GMing All Over the Place

→ Amagi Games: This relatively new site is an instant classic for GMs, and has an interesting take on copyrighting their stuff: they don’t. They offer up free RPGs and better still, gambits — snap-on game mechanics and other widgets suitable for use with many RPGs, also free. For example: countdown stacks for keeping the pressure on, or temptation dice, which sound awesome. This is one to watch.

→ ars ludi: Ben creates, defines and implements the concept of a game plugin for RPGs — a modular game element you can use in virtually any RPG. I’m not sure if there’s any connection to Amagi Games’s gambits, mentioned above, but they’re essentially the same concept. For example: Instant Rivalries. It is my deeply held personal belief that Ben Robbins in fact pees awesomeness.

→ Encounter-a-Day: Okay, now I want to run a battle staged on floating lava islands.

→ I Waste The Buddha With My Crossbow: The good doctor discusses using spontaneous, one-line premises to come up with adventure ideas. It reminds me of his excellent adventure funnel. He also mentioned the Risus Companion as being packed with great GMing advice, but there’s no preview of the PDF online. What makes it so awesome?

→ Pen and Paper Portal: PnPP’s Coop is a video game journalist who covers major RPG releases, and also offers up a neat resource for D&D 4e GMs: premade campaigns. Broken down by tier, these will run June 12th through July 12th — check out Two Kobold Tribes for a taste.

→ Robin Laws’s LiveJournal: Robin makes a good point about combat and pacing: “Every second that passes when no one is acting is deadly to combat pacing. He mentions it in the context of fluid action order in D&D 4e, but it’s relevant to nearly every RPG.


→ Critical Hits: CH wants to give one of you money for telling them your funny gaming quotes. $20 smackers on Amazon sound good? Check it out.

So…Gnome Rodeos. I enjoy doing them, but what do you think of them? By their nature they’re not really comment magnets, but I’d love to hear whether you love/hate them and what you might like to see me do differently.