2013 saw the departure of two gnomes, Patrick Benson and Kurt “Telas” Schneider, and the stew pot’s been feeling too roomy without them. Earlier this year we started looking for a couple of new gnomes, and today I’m pleased to welcome Angela Murray and John Fredericks to the blog.

Angela posts here as Orikes, and wrote a guest article in 2013, The Art of the One-Shot Character. Here’s her bio:

Angela has been playing roleplaying games for over twenty-five years, but it’s only been within the last decade that she got her feet wet as a game master. Despite years of playing games and loving them, it took an insistent friend regularly asking “So when are you going to run a game?” before she felt like it was something she could and should try out. That very first game was a Mutants & Masterminds super hero game that went sideways very quickly, but had the players insisting it didn’t suck and that she needed to keep running it. Since then, she’s continued to run games and experiment with different systems and techniques, trying to find just the right balance between system and story. She’s hopefully doing something right since her regular group keeps asking her to run.

In addition to running games, she’s a nerd to the core. She’s helped do the interior layout and design for a couple of independently published game supplements, and also helped found and contribute to the all-female gaming blog, Rogue Princess Squadron. When not running games, she’s out fighting crime (and paying the rent) by working for a geospatial imaging company that’s provided georeferenced images to 911 centers all over the country and helped in the wake of many natural disasters.

John Fredericks posts on the Stew as teaman, and has written three guest articles in 2012 and 2013: In a Timely Fashion, Gaming With the Very Young, and Letters from Home. Here’s his bio:

In the early 1980’s, John was given the Moldvay Red Box set as a birthday gift. The Blue Expert set soon followed and the mania has yet to subside. Over the years, he has played and GMed various flavors of D&D, Star Trek, Star Wars and the odd superhero game.

Most of his recent GMing has been online using virtual tabletops. He hopes to share some of his reflections from that venue of gaming in his columns. His holy grails of gaming include the perfect character sheet, and the perfect method for prepping for a game. The quest continues.

While not a current photo, John assures you that he has never looked better. Sad, but true.

As big fans of Angela’s and John’s work, we’re excited to see more of their GMing advice, tips, and tricks on the Stew — and we hope you’re as excited as we are.

You won’t have to wait long to see what they’ve been cooking up for you, either: Angela’s first non-guest article goes up tomorrow, and John’s will post this coming Monday.