An archive of all of the articles I’ve written for Gnome Stew.

Stat Yourself As A Character To Combat Anxiety

I get anxiety – often. I usually do a pretty good job of pushing those anxious voices out of my head and moving on with life, but November is especially rough because it is the anniversary of family deaths and some other well-rooted pieces…

A Structure For Convention Adventures

I was at Con On The Cob this weekend and I got the chance to play in a lot of adventures. I also got to hear friends tell stories, good and bad, about the games they played in. Those stories tended to focus on the extreme moments when they were…

Mundane Magics

Ever since my long-ago teenage years, when I wasn’t allowed to play D&D - just look at the books, I’ve played a kind of mental game with the spell lists from the various editions of D&D – What spells would I want to be able to…

Dragons In The Stacks

At Gencon 2015, a serendipitous meeting led me to spending some time talking to Steven Torres-Roman and talking about a book he worked on called Dragons in the Stacks – A teen Librarian’s Guide to Tabletop Role-playing. Steven gave me a…
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Gnomes At Gencon and You Pick It, We Review It 2015

While listening to Gencon Episode of The Misdirected Mark podcast last night with Christopher M. Sniezak and our own Phil Vecchione , Phil made mention of the You Pick It, We Review It posts that we've done from time to time here on the Stew. This…

Never Look A Gift Orc In The Mouth

The name of the dashing green fellow in the picture to the right is South. He and a bunch of his friends showed up at a game of The One Ring that I ran at Origins this year. South showed up just like this, in full Orc makeup from a larp he…
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Hands On With Hero Forge

Quite some time back, I did an interview with some of the people behind Hero Forge, a very successful kickstarter that funded the creation of a website and printing solution for creating custom miniatures. Playing many games that have characters…

Tabletop Simulator Review

Recently, I came across an interesting program on Steam called Tabletop Simulator. It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for really cool terrain and visual flair at the table. I’ve also moved around multiple times in the last few years, and…

Pacing, Ala Moebius

Recently, I've been reading through the collected works of french comic artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud. Moebius's works are sci-fi/fantasy epics that are fast paced, with the story holding a consistent but somewhat disjointed thread throughout…

There Is No Do, Only Try

We’re all probably familiar with the famous Empire Strikes Back line delivered with incredible gravitas from the wizened old green muppet Yoda: “Do or do not, there is no try". While the meaning is fairly clear – you have to tackle challenges…

Johnny’s Five - Mixed Messages

One of the biggest problems I've ever seen plague any game is miscommunication between the Game Master and the players. The game master will say: "You throw the door open and see the footprints in the ever-deepening snow. The flakes continue…

Hot Button - Brief or Eloquent

The shopkeeper's green tunic clashes oddly with his blue alien skin. The 6 strange nostrils on the top of his head are flaring wildly, a gesture of greeting for his people. As you eye over his wares, he moves his large bulky body over to you,…