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My Final Five: What Articles Should I Write?

I have decided to stop writing for Gnome Stew, and this time the decision is permanent [1]. This time though I want to end things differently, by asking for your input as to what my final articles should be.

Why Stop Writing for the Site?

I set some goals for myself in regards to my contributions to Gnome Stew, and I have managed to accomplish them all. Combine these personal goals with the amazing accomplishments of the Gnome Stew team and I am very proud of the results.

But now I no longer have the same amount of passion for the work. This is not to say that I am not happy with being a Gnome, because this is a great crew to work with and writing for this site is an honor. It is just that once your passion for an activity is gone it is time to stop doing it.

My passion has been replaced by a sense of contentment. I no longer feel the need to push myself, and that is both good and bad. It is good that I can walk away satisfied, but it is bad that the fire has gone out. Without that spark I do not feel that I would contribute meaningful work to this site.

Five Final Articles

Now all I want to do is end my Gnome Stew run on a high note. For that I am asking for your help.

Comment on this article with your ideas for my final five articles. Is there a past article that you want me to expand upon? Is there a topic that you always wanted me to write about? Is there something that you just want to call me out on?

I will pick the five topics that I think will be the most challenging and enjoyable to write about. I could not think of a better way to exit than to have a bit more time to interact with you, the readers of Gnome Stew, and I hope that you will take me up on this offer.

Thank you all for your many wonderful comments and insights throughout the years! I have enjoyed every moment of being a gnome, and I am sure that this site will continue to deliver great GMing advice for years to come!

10 Comments (Open | Close)

10 Comments To "My Final Five: What Articles Should I Write?"

#1 Comment By Leon Morrison On January 17, 2013 @ 5:35 am

How about an article with tips on making what I call “busy worlds”? Meaning bringing your weird fantasy land to life by giving its denizens something to do rather than just hang about? Kind of like the world of Spirited Away vs. the emptiness of Asgard in Thor (the movie). I ran a game once where the PCs went to the fae realm and they basically went from the “forest with weird plants and animals” to the fae court because I couldn’t for the life of me think about what the regular fae folk do all day.

#2 Comment By Janus On January 17, 2013 @ 6:48 am

Goodbyes are always sad, but i think everyone wishes you well for the future. (me too!) Also you may find a spark to ignite a flame for something new. 🙂

Since the topic is right, what about a article about endings? Ending a campaign, adventure or the parting of a character. (maybe player too?) How to make it memorably for everyone involved and to set up a good climax and maybe a epilog.

There is so much potential to endings… and every ending is the beginning of something new, right? 😉

(sorry for my english, have to write more often.)

#3 Comment By drummy On January 17, 2013 @ 9:38 am

Hi Patrick —

Congratulations on your decision to move forward. We will definitely miss you here, but sounds like it’s time for other mountains, other challenges.

For your final five, I wonder if you could discuss the GM/DM’s role in balancing a party’s progression with the individuals’ progression within the party. I have a group of four, all of whom have interesting character arcs in the works but also have group goals to sort out. Any thoughts on this type of ‘balancing act’ would be great.

Good luck!

Dan Drummond

#4 Comment By Razjah On January 17, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

This is going to sound dumb: how about an article or two on how to make a plot work with players. I have basically stopped running games with a plot prepared before hand, instead I just run things based on the player’s choices. I would love some advice on how to have a truly prepared adventure outside of railroading and dungeon crawling.

#5 Comment By LordTentacle On January 17, 2013 @ 11:55 pm

“Skill expansion” —
when players’ lack certain skills, I tend to let them use skills in a generalist way. “Sure, you can roll survival to track.”
When there are specialists, I like to let them do it. “Sure, ranger, you can roll tracking.” It helps everyone have the spotlight.

But, the characters that played in the group before the ranger joined want to roll survival. And I said no.

Needless to say, my players don’t appreciate that. It’s only come up once recently. The player I shut down on her survival roll didn’t say anything, but I noticed as I reflected on sessions.

I would be interested in your views on skill expansion / shrinkage if it aligns with your passion. Perhaps other gnomes if it does not.

Thank you.

#6 Comment By lomythica On January 18, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

Sorry to see you go Patrick. You will be missed.

I always found your methods of GMing interesting, and particularly well suited to narrative heavy games. I would like to see an article on “the top five things that make a great narrative style GM”.

I would also love to see a final article on improvisational plotting. I know improv is one of those oft feared things by many GMs (myself included). I know the topic has been written about in the past, but I hope for some last nugget of wisdom written through the lens of the Patrick Benson GMing philosophy.

Lastly, good luck in your future endeavors!

#7 Comment By drow On January 18, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

1) That Game I Wish I’d Never Run
2) My GM Patronus is a Dragon, and Yours Can Be Too
3) Social Traps
4) Ten NPCs I’ll Never Have Time to Use Anyway
5) What’s On Fire Now

#8 Comment By randite On January 19, 2013 @ 11:24 am

Hey Patrick,
Sorry to see you go, and I wish you luck in all your endeavors.

As for your final five, I had a couple of ideas.

In relation to this ( [2]) article, I thought you might give us some pointers on maintaining the themes and mood of a session/campaign, encouraging players to engage with them, and (somewhat paradoxically) rolling with player changes to the mood/themes. Plus I think that will create a pretty interesting comments section.

An article about the impact rpgs have had on your life would be interesting as well. It sort of has an air of finality to it, I think. The article should probably also touch on the potential positive impacts tabletop roleplaying can have on others. Again I it’d great on its own, but the comments section would be quite lively.

Thanks for many enjoyable, entertaining, and enlightening articles.

#9 Comment By jpmg90 On January 22, 2013 @ 10:41 am

I think that an article about how rpg’s have impacted your life would be good as well. In my short 22 years, it basically determined my living and financial situation in college as well as my current friends and my gaming group.

Many things in my life would have been different without Tabletop RPGs and just thinking about that puts a smile on my face 🙂

#10 Comment By Roxysteve On January 25, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

Write anything that motivates you, Patrick. We’ve disagreed on much, but you’ve always provoked thought about stuff I’d not usually think about.

So long and thanks for all the articles.

#11 Pingback By My Final Five #5: There Are No Endings | Gnome Stew On May 5, 2016 @ 4:52 pm

[…] is my fifth article in my final five series. That means that it is also my last article for Gnome Stew. I have chosen this comment by reader […]