Welcome to the second annual New Year, New Game challenge!

New Year, New Game (NYNG for short) is a Gnome Stew venture that began in 2012 — an annual challenge to GMs all over the world: Run a new game this year. NYNG runs from January 14 to January 28 this year.

Last year’s NYNG contest resulted in 57 game ideas for 39 RPGs and 15 blog posts about running new games. I’d love to top both of those numbers this year.

We hope NYNG will catch on with gamers all over the world, much like GM’s Day did (it’s celebrated on March 4th every year). NYNG has a simple mission:

To inspire game masters to run at least one new game each year, because trying new games broadens your horizons, challenges your skills as a GM, and can deepen your enjoyment of gaming as a hobby.

“New game” can mean a new RPG, a new campaign, or both. And new RPG needn’t be newly published, just new to you. It doesn’t matter what you play, or what new game or games you decide to try — we just want you to have fun gaming!

The Contest

Entering is simple: Think about what new game you want to run this year, and tell us about it in the comment section of this article!

In order to ensure that NYNG challenge entries are useful and inspiring for as many GMs as possible, there are a few guidelines you’ll need to follow to be eligible to win.

Entry Guidelines

Think of your entry as a pitch for the game you want to run, something akin to an elevator pitch. Why should your players be as excited about this game as you are? What do you need to tell someone who knows nothing about your idea beforehand in order to pique their interest?

To be eligible to win the contest, entries must be 200-400 words long, and should address the following:

  • What the game is about
  • Why you’re excited about running it
  • What system you want to use, and why
  • What challenges running this game might involve

That’s all there is to it! This isn’t a formal process, and we hope you’ll find that having these elements to focus on will help you hone your idea into something that may surprise you, and which makes you want to run your game even more.

NYNG 2013 is sponsored by Gnome Stew and Engine Publishing, and we’ve teamed up to offer a killer grand prize package and second prize package.


  • One copy of each of Gnome Stew’s books in print, PDF, MOBI, and EPUB, shipped anywhere in the world: Never Unprepared, Masks, and Eureka.
  • A $60 DriveThruRPG certificate


How to Win

The authors of Gnome Stew will judge all entries based solely on quality, without regard for any other factors. We’re looking for NYNG challenge entries that make us want to play your game, that grab us and won’t let go, that inspire and intrigue us, and which follow the guidelines above.

“Quality” is entirely subjective, and may be partially or entirety determined by the gnomes’ blood sugar levels, sleep deprivation, caffeine-induced psychosis, fascination with internet memes, or overindulgence in bad action movies. In other ways, don’t take this too seriously — we’re just a bunch of GMs who want to run a contest for GMs.

The Deadline

This contest will run until 10:00 pm Mountain Daylight Time on January 28, 2013. We’ll announce the winner after we’ve had time to read and judge your entries.

The Small Print

You’ll need to be a member of Gnome Stew to enter this contest (because only members can comment). Becoming one is quick and simple. One entry per person, and you can only win one prize. As always, authors of Gnome Stew are not eligible to enter this contest (although we may post game ideas of our own just to share them).

Additionally, by entering this contest you grant both GnomeStew.com and NewYearNewGame.com the unlimited, non-exclusive right to post your entry there in perpetuity. In other words, your entry can remain online here on the Stew and on NewYearNewGame.com forever, but you own the rights and can do anything else you like with it.

DriveThruRPG’s New Year, New Game Sale

Gnome Stew’s NYNG event isn’t connected with DriveThruRPG’s excellent annual New Year, New Game sale. DTRPG’s sale is a great event, and their sale and our challenge share plenty in terms of inspiration — like DTRPG, we think new games and expanding your gaming horizons are good things. Their sale came first (starting in 2010, I think), and to my embarassment I wasn’t aware of it when I started up the NYNG website and challenge here.

Do You Accept Our Challenge?

Thanks for reading and for checking out NewYearNewGame.com. If you like this contest, want to see more entries, or know a GM who might enjoy trying a new game this year, spread the word!

I hope you’ll take us up on this challenge, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with!