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

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The Smell of a Good Wine, The Sound of a Crushing Bone

One of the things that I love to do at the gaming table is to create a sensory experience for the players. I like to use music to set the mood, handouts and props to give a tactile feel, and unique pieces of scenery on the gaming space to create…

Game Balance or Catering to the Players?

Almost as big as the debate over GMs fudging or not fudging die rolls is the debate over whether games should be balanced to the rules or cater to the players enjoyment. Well maybe not so much, but it is definitely something we talk about…

Making Challenges That Players Love To Beat

I talked a bit before about what inspires cool gaming moments. The hardly subtle (the b is silent) tone of that post was about GMs molding their games to the players to make cool things happen. This is one of many ways to get players to talk…

The Inspiration for Cool Gaming Moments

For all the times that I have run a game, it is never a full campaign that is talked about after the fact, but the individual moments that make the characters shine. When Sun the warrior battled the mythic beast in one on one combat, or when…

The Tools Of The Game

The way a GM sets up their personal fortress of solitude at the gaming table is very indicative of their style. Some GMs run their games behind a stack of books and official published material, while some GMs run their games with just a pair…

Illustrations vs. Descriptions: And the winner is . . .

As I've started to run more and more published settings and adventures, I find myself doing something new to my GMing style. I've been turning the adventure/setting/rule book to my players and just pointing to art that is built into the product. Using…