Before we went on our Christmas break (12/24 through 1/4, returning to normal posting 1/5), I asked all of the gnomes to choose their favorite three articles they’d written since our launch in May 2008. These guys have written a massive amount of GMing material — 260+ articles! — in the past seven months, and I thought this would be a good way to highlight some of the best articles you might never have seen.

From now through the end of our break, we’ll be running five posts like this one, each featuring two gnomes’ favorites.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from us gnomes!

Matthew Neagley

1. I Love My Tiny Notebook: “The first article I wrote for Gnome Stew is still my favorite, as is my tiny notebook, though I’ve upgraded to a larger Day Runner with which I can manage multiple ideas/projects at once.”

2. When the Canon goes off…: “I feel a certain camaraderie with the fanboys of the world when I rant about how canon changes ruined this or that aspect of our favorite games.”

3. There’s Snakes in this Motherf$*%ing Stew! – Warning! adventure awaits ahead on the pottymouth skies: “This one was just fun all round. Fun to play the game, fun to write the article, and fun to see what others commented.”

Want to read all of Matthew’s articles? Make with the clicky.

John Arcadian

1. Player Narrative: “The concept of player narrative is dear to my gaming heart, as is anything that engages the players in the “Game Being Played” more. It is one of those concepts that opens up role-playing games and keeps them from being like board games or video games without the video.”

2. What Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog Can Teach You About GMing: “While this post was written somewhat tongue in cheek, it showcased a lot of great ideas about the structure of the villain’s role and story. Most stories and games are written with a focus on a problem and how the good people are going to fix it. The villain is inserted as a means to cause the problem. Generally a second thought. DHSAB brings the villain to the forefront and has a lot that can transfer to gaming.”

3. Inspiring the Game: “I’ve always found the most important part of running a game is why you want to run the game. Looking at various sources of inspiration makes sense in determining how you should run a game. It also helps to look at the differences between the original source and the gaming table so that you can better understand how concepts and story elements have to change between mediums.”

Want to read all of John’s articles? Make with the clicky.