We’re on our annual Christmas break (12/27-12/31, returning 1/3/11), a week of non-stop drinking and putting our stock of powdered-dwarf-penis aphrodisiacs to good use family time and anime hairdressing holiday merriment, but we never like to let the stew stop bubbling entirely.

As in past years, we’ll be featuring six articles from the 2010 archives every day this week, with each gnome picking three favorites that they wrote. If you’re new to the Stew, or if you don’t pop in every day, this is a great way to catch up on the past year’s highlights.

Merry Christmas and happy Kick a Kobold in the Junk Day New Year from all of us at Gnome Stew!

Scott Martin

1. Star Wars Saga: Reflections: I really enjoyed getting to discuss the nuts and bolts of a campaign I’d mostly experienced as a player. We had similar, but not perfectly aligned experiences — and it was a great way to revisit some of my favorite roleplaying experiences. The comments added several interesting viewpoints on the system, reflecting experiences at very different tables.

2. The Campaign Starts in 3, 2, 1…: This article was an cross between interesting links and prep advice; it works, mostly on the skew. Great advice is buried in the links, but a bare bones checklist is in the article itself. Kurt and others chime in the comments section with their own twists on what’s important, giving needed perspective.

3. World Building: Monsters and Myths: Sometimes, good things come out of reading bad books — even Twilight! This article was a collection of ideas for varying your monsters, then making sure that your world’s myth and lore match your revised monsters. Plus the comments feature lots of different takes on Ogres, showing little differences make for a wildly different final product.

Honorable Mention. A Mess of Magic Items: A post with a dozen unique magic items from the gnomes, plus several more cool things for whatever campaign you’re running added in comments. They tend toward the practical, with subtly far reaching effects.

Don Mappin

1. You’ve Lost That Motherfudging Feeling…: It’s better to ask the question as to what will make a better game and take a stand than not at all. GMs have to juggle a lot and while it’s human nature to have self-doubt and question your decisions, as long as it was done in the guise of trying to craft a more enjoyable game — and you’ll have to decide what that metric is — then there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

2. A GM’s Guide to the iPad, Part 1: It was our first use of the Gnome-o-Vision and still gets me excited as to the possibilities at the gaming table. In our Star Trek campaign the iPad is my character sheet — which has some nice nerd synergy going for it — and while on the road it’s darn convenient to have stacks of RPG rulebooks a couple of swipes of my fingers away. I only wish the industry was savvy enough to embrace this medium and use it fully, rather than haphazardly or running away screaming from it outright.

3. A GM’s Guide to the iPad, Part 2: (Don picked two, so I picked his third. -MR) Part 2 tackles gaming-specific sites and apps, and continues to show just how awesome the iPad can be for GMs.