Instead of, ahem, resting your eyes at your desk this fine Friday, why not check out some GMing links?

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: Yax gathers up past articles and PDFs on starting up a new campaign and looks at the six As of DMing. They’re good As.

→ Musings of the Chatty DM: Phil shares his initial impressions of D&D 4e based on actual play and starts an interesting discussion of how far GMs should go with house rules, especially when demoing or running a game for the first time. Want to give a newbie a bad impression? Do what the GMs in new gamer Heather’s Worldwide D&D Game Day games did…

GMing All Over the Place

→ The Cull: Ryan Stoughton’s relatively new blog culls what he thinks are the best bits of gaming sites with an admirable primary question in mind: “Will this improve your game?” Even if you disagree with what gets culled, it’s a great way to read and find out about some new material. (Via anyway.)

→ Deeper in the Game: Bankuei has some good suggestions for D&D 4e play aids, advice on applying indie RPG approaches to 4e’s skill use and (in his trademark Lots of Goodness, Small Package) my favorite: And breaking old habits… Love the idea of GMing a sandbox game but hate the amount of wasted work that’s likely to involve? Try this.

→ Encounter-a-Day: A new system-neutral encounter three days a week, with encounters spread across all genres — good stuff, particularly if you need a bit of inspiration.

→ Fridge Logic: It’s the stuff in a TV that doesn’t bother you until your brain is idly turning it over away from the tube — and a great principle for game prep: Don’t worry about fridge logic, just prep the critical stuff! (Via Chatty DM.)

→ Jonathan Tweet on first-game rolling: The first time you play an RPG, talk your players through all the numbers — even the ones you might normally hide. If I was as smart as Jonathan, this would have been in my 17 steps to GMing a new RPG for the first time. (Via Chatty DM.)

→ Why D&D Insider isn’t ready yet: From Ken Troop, the executive producer of D&DI. I know lots of GMs out there (myself included) are curious about when they’ll be able to try out some of D&DI’s sexier features, like the Game Table and character builder. (Thanks, Troy!)

It’s not a GMing link per se (maybe if I really stretch the definition it could be), but if you tell me you’ve never wondered about this I will call you a liar: Time travel back to 1000 A.D.: Survival tips. Starts with “I hope you have a strong back and an up to date smallpox vaccination” and gets better from there. (Via kottke.)

Have a weekend so good it’ll haunt you until the end of your days, leaving you a withered shell of your former self!