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 here, drop us a line. There’s some awesome stuff for GMs out there, and we love to share.
Making Money in the RPG Industry: Gamer Lifestyle
Two of the biggest names in online RPG writing, Yax of Dungeon Mastering and Johnn Roleplaying Tips, have teamed up to create The Gamer Lifestyle Project.
It’s a bit of a funny name, but if you’re interested in having your work published, making money in the gaming industry, and balancing those concerns with real life, check it out. If you sign up for their email list, you get a free PDF that outlines the program and shares all sorts of useful tips. Even if you have no interest in the program, the PDF is great — I wish I’d had something like this when I started out as a freelancer and blogger.
The Gamer Lifestyle course isn’t cheap — $447 for five months (payable monthly) — but I’ve known Johnn and Yax online for years, and met Yax in person. Not only are they good guys, they know their shit. If you’re interested in the course, there are only a few slots left for this “school year,” and registration closes tomorrow.
Roleplaying Tips: How I Prepared For 19 Hours Of Gameplay In Just One Hour equals an instant chubby for a prep-shy GM like me. Control documents, faction maps, and other simple, efficient tools. Rock!
Dungeon Mastering: The big story is what loads when you visit DMing.com. Hint: it’s not the blog.
Musings of the Chatty DM: The latest Friday Chat, The Issue(s) of Combat length in D&D 4e is excellent, and you may also enjoy Chatty’s GenCon highlights (in two parts).
The Depot: Like Western (as in Old West) RPGs? Longtime fan of the Stew mountzionryan supports this under-represented genre in a big way, and The Depot is simple, earnest, and stuffed with goodies.
Top 10 New Dungeon Master Mistakes: Vanishing villains, meaningless PC death — if you’re not a new GM, you may find yourself reading this list remembering the times you’ve made these mistakes (I sure did). If you’re a new GM, you’ll dig the excellent format — an explanation of why these are mistakes, followed by ways to avoid them — and perhaps head some of these off at the pass.
Gaming Paper: Back in college, I ran and played in games that used large rolls of paper for combat mapping. I’ve since switched to map tiles, but there are lots of reasons to love paper — and Gaming Paper makes this solution easy and affordable. Our own DNAphil checked it out at GenCon, and wrote about it here.
RPG Countdown’s Best of 2008 podcast: The 100 best-selling digital RPG products of 2008 is a neat list just to read, and if you’re a podcast lover it’s 2.5 hours of pure RPG goodness. (Yours truly babbles about number six on the list, the 4e DMG.)
The Keep: Run Call of Cthulhu? The Keep is a donationware program that helps manage your in-game calendar, notes, and stable of NPCs, and also includes a host of period data for 1920s games. I love CoC, and this looks fantastic. (Via YSDC on Twitter.)
RPG Bomb interviews Tim Kask: Curious about the early days of TSR? Tim Kask was there when D&D got started, working with Gary Gygax. This video interview comes courtesy of friend of the Stew dr_nik.
The Dip Method of painting minis: Suck at painting miniatures? I do! I’ve tried many times, and I always lose interest — but this might be the solution: the Dip Method. Easy, and generates pleasing results.
My GenCon 2009 photos: This was one of the weirdest GenCons I’ve attended (my 10th): all of my group’s events were bad, but everything else — the Gnome Stew meetup, the hotel lobby board gaming, the dealers room, etc. — was awesome.
…and if you like bite-sized GMing tips and ideas, don’t miss Gnome Stew’s Twitter feed (@gnomestew).
Nice pictures, congratz…
Nice photos. Except the one of me going “Durrr…”
And I’m glad I wasn’t the only one with poorer-than-expected games. If only there were a website where GMs could go to get better!
Thanks for the link! Not to mention the great batch of other great suggestions. Yay, my first rodeo!
Thanks for including the Depot in the Rodeo.