What can I say? I’ve loved this site for years–it’s been one of my favorites since I started reading RPG blogs and one of the ones I still check regularly, even with my limited computer time. Their mix of articles is wonderful, the writing is always top-notch and I always come away from it with ideas I want to apply to my game immediately. They’ve received ENnie awards in 2010 & 2011 and there’s a damn good reason why.
Whatever gaming topic you’re interested in, they’ve probably got a post dealing with it. Their archives are extensive — 1,193 articles last count. If you’re overwhelmed by the available information, start with their Top 30 Game Mastering Articles. I get their posts sent directly to my email and, inevitably will end up printing out several articles a week to stuff into my game bag.
Most of their articles are system generic and the ones aren’t cover a wide range of game systems. And not just the big names either. They run the gamut from D&D to Dresden Files to Fudge to Alpha Omega and just about everything else in-between, on the side, over the top and upside down. To find a listing of all their system-specific posts, check out their Specific RPGs page.
The site’s design is clean, professional and easy to navigate. I’ve never had a problem with the site and they use Google Custom Search, meaning it’s easy to find articles on specific topics. They have over ten writers (not counting authors of guest posts).
Here’s some posts I’ve found particularly useful
The Gnome Stew crowd have also published two books:
Both are available in PDF and actual physical book format. I have PDF versions of both and they’re quality works with tons of useful ideas. They also have a new book coming out this summer
You can bet I’ll be adding it to my bookshelves.
Now if they would just offer the blog on Kindle 😉
Check out my other favorite gaming blogs:
In my continuing and irregular series of my favorite blogs, we come to Sea of Stars. This is great site for items and ideas to steal and use for your own games.
If your the kind of GM that gets inspiration by reading campaign logs of other people’s games, Sea of Stars has several for you to choose from. From Pathfinder to Legend of the Five Rings to Shadowrun, there’s a wide variety of genres and systems to look at.
Sea of Stars also has several good articles on game theory and gaming advice. For some solid advice on playing evil characters, check out Moral Dilemmas: Playing Evil (and I’m not just recommending it because he links it back to this blog 😉 ). Genre Resources is just what it says it is: a list of resources for various gaming genres.
But where this blog really shines is its collections of things–magic items, monsters, people–that you can use in your own games. I like to check the blog for it’s Tuesday Magic Items. The site’s owner, Sean Holland has described over 100 different magic items, from books, to rings, to wands, weapons…even a box of servants.
Sean’s also creating the Sea of Stars game setting and is a fellow member of the Gamer Lifestyle program. You can check out the progress of that here: Sea of Stars RPG
So if you’re needing some item to round out a monster’s hoard or a new monster to challenge your players (complete with 3.x/Pathfinder stats), this is a site to check out.
You want to be a better GM, right? You know you need to get better at things like improvising during a game session, creating more believable NPCs, and be better prepared for your game sessions. But how exactly do you do that?
Check out the Campaign Mastery blog, written by Johnn Four (of Roleplaying Tips and Gamer Lifestyle) and Mike Bourke. This blog is chock full of useful advice. If you’ve noticed in the “Article Zemanta Thinks May be Related” section at the bottom of my posts, you’ll find I often link to Campaign Mastery. That’s because I find so much useful information at this particular blog, I have to share it with y’all.
No matter what kind of advice you’re looking for, Campaign Mastery’s got a post on it somewhere. Need information about improvising adventures? Check out By The Seat Of Your Pants: Six Foundations Of Adventure. Want some information about how to handling things when the PCs do something totally unexpected? Try A potpourri of quick solutions: Eight Lifeboats for GM Emergencies. How about tips on using spells to develop areas of your game world? Look at How To Cast A Spell On Your Campaign And Polish Till It Gleams.
One of the best things about this blog (in addition to the incredibly useful information) is their “Print Friendly” button at the end of every post. It allows you print out the post without printing all the gagillion bits you don’t need to pring, like all the sidebar information. (This is something I’ve just added to both this blog and product excerpts in the main section of the rpgGM site. Check out the row of buttons at the bottom of each post–when you mouse-over, they expand and the “Print Friendly” button is in the middle of the second row).
And I didn’t write this just because Johnn likes my stuff. 😉
[Image courtesy of Tom T via Flickr Creative Commons.]
Other blogs in this series
This is the first of a new post series where talk about my favorite RPG blogs and sites. There’s no particular significance to the order I review things — it’s more of a “who’s on my mind right now”. And these aren’t intended to be reviews, per se–I’m not going to critique the sites. It’s much more like the old Pyramid Magazine’s “Gee, we wish we’d done that” column, for those of you who’ve been gaming long enough to remember Pyramid when it was available in print.
Today’s site is Game Knight Reviews. As you can guess by the name, this site focuses on reviews of game products. From print to e-books to game-related services, if you’re wondering about a specific product, you can probably find a review of it at GKR. If it’s not up yet, it will be sometime. In addition to game reviews, though, they have interviews with prominent members of the RPG community and (my favorite bits) news from the RPG world. It’s really nice to have game news gathered into a single source, since I simply don’t have time to read tons of the wonderful blogs out there, much as I’d like to.
Oh, and did I mention they’ve got some pretty cool art on their header graphic? [Hopefully Fitz won’t mind that I also stole his logo for this post…]
Open Gaming Table is an anthology of roleplaying blog posts. Published in March 2009, it’s definitely worth checking out. Now Jonathan Jacobs, the editor-in-chief for that book is putting together a volume 2. You can nominate your favorite RPG blog posts on this nomination form. Here’s the nomination rules from the form itself:
1. You can anonymously nominate as many blog posts as you want. Keeping in mind that, the more you submit, the more work the reviewers have to do.
2. ANY RPG BLOG POST CAN BE NOMINATED. The type of content that is submitted is extremely broad: any “RPG blog” is eligible to be nominated – let the reviewers figure out if an individual post is appropriate.
3. Nominations must be for specific RPG blog posts (you must send in the URL). This is not a “Best RPG Blog” contest; but it is intended to be a showcase of the RPG blogging community’s best content.
5. Blog posts that were printed in Open Game Table Vol. 1 will not be accepted for Vol 2.
You can nominate up to five posts on one nomination form. There seems to be no limit on the number of nomination forms you can submit. All nominations are kept anonymous. The deadline for nominations is 15 January 2010.
The success of this work depends on the entire gaming community — not just those of us who write these blogs. So please, take a moment and vote for your favorite blog posts. Not just from Evil Machinations, but also from the other great blogs out there.