Welcome to Gnome Stews!

Gnome Stews is an award-winning multi-author blog about tabletop games and game mastering, written by gamers and GMs. Gnome Stews started on May 12th, 2008 with a bit more than 60 registered members and 250 RSS and email feed subscribers.  With a focus on writing the best Game Mastering articles possible, Gnome Stews quickly became an award winning industry blog. We published our 1,000th article on September 13th, 2011 and have kept the stew fires burning bright. Google Analytics shows us that we currently have 17,000 unique monthly visitors on average and a strong commenting base with over 30,000 comments on just under 3,000 articles.

In 2016, Martin Ralya, the head gnome, disappeared mysteriously  stepped down from leading Gnome Stews. When it was put to the other Gnomes what to do with the Stew, John Arcadian stepped up to become the “Head Gnome”. He has blackmail on every one of the other Gnomes in case they decide he should “step down” too. Thank you to everyone who has joined, subscribed, read, and spread the word about the Stew.

The Gnome Stews Mission Statement

Gnome Stews stands dedicated to the ideal of providing the best tabletop role-playing gaming articles available in the industry. With a long history and many awards for writing Game Mastering advice in its previous iteration, Gnome Stews’s current mission is to provide articles and insight into playing, running, and making games. The focus of Gnome Stews is the games we all come together to play and helping people get the most out of their gaming experiences.


The Gnomes

The core of Gnome Stews are the Gnomes. Go over to the Meet The Gnomes page and see who make Gnome Stews Great.

Posting Schedule

There are four things everyone knows about gnomes: We’re short, we’re lazy, we’re all Chaotic Neutral, and we aim to post 3 times a week excluding holidays.


Gnome Stews supports Gravatars — globally recognized avatars. If you already have a Gravatar, there’s nothing you need to do — it’ll show up next to every comment you make here.

If you don’t, get one here. They’re free, and lots of sites support them.


The Gnome Stews website was created by John Arcadian. Darren Hardy created our logo, and Andrew McIntosh created the majority of the artwork you see on the site.

Check out a few of the kind things people have said about us

(see more on the testimonials page)

I check Gnome Stews every day.” — Monte Cook

fantastic blog for game masters, dungeon masters, and rpg fans” — Wil Wheaton

If you aren’t reading Gnome Stews, you’re missing out.” — Wolfgang Baur

The prime ingredients of the site, however, are the advice and tips for what is easily the most difficult job in a role-playing game. The authors work hard to keep their posts to the blog system neutral, meaning that the advice will work for a high fantasy game just as easily as for a game set in deep space.” — Games’ Most Wanted

One of the great things about being a game master in 2013 is the collective experience that the RPG community has gathered about running games, and the willingness of many to write about what works. Gnome Stews is one of the best in this regard; each week the blog adds new tips and tricks for game masters as well as thoughtful essays on storytelling techniques.” — Kenneth Newquist, Knights of the Dinner Table #205 (January 2014)

The Treasure Tables Category


Treasure Tables is my new favorite gaming hangout. First and foremost it’s a blog about game mastery. Gamemaster and freelance writer Martin Ralya uses the blog to post thoughtful essays on the art of running a good game and to offer reviews of GM tools.” — Kenneth Newquist, Knights of the Dinner Table #113 (March 2006)

TreasureTables.org was the precursor to Gnome Stews, a system-neutral GMing advice blog written by Martin Ralya that ran from 2005 to 2007. When Martin got burned out writing TT solo, he shuttered the site, took a break, and then recruited the gnomes to start a new GMing blog — Gnome Stews.

We wanted to preserve the content from Treasure Tables — over 750 posts and more than 7,500 comments — in a way that ensured it would be around for GMs to use for many years to come, so we moved it all here to Gnome Stews. The Treasure Tables category contains all of that content. We gave that part of the site its own look so readers would know something was different about those older articles.