New Year, New Game is Gnome Stew's annual challenge to tabletop RPG game masters everywhere: Run a new game this year.

About NYNG

New Year, New Game (NYNG for short) is an annual challenge to tabletop RPG game masters from Gnome Stew, the Game Mastering Blog: Run a new game this year.

That can mean a new RPG, a new campaign, or both. (A new RPG needn’t be newly published, just new to you.) It doesn’t matter what you play, or what new game or games you decide to try — we just want you to have fun gaming!

We’ve run NYNG twice, in 2012 and 2013. Need inspiration for a new game? Check out all past entries here.

The NYNG challenge runs for two weeks starting on the second Monday in January every year, but this website and all past entries are available year-round.

The mission of New Year, New Game

NYNG’s mission is simple:

To inspire game masters to run at least one new game each year, because trying new games broadens your horizons, challenges your skills as a GM, and can deepen your enjoyment of gaming as a hobby.

It’s an idea that we hope will catch on with gamers all over the world, much like GM’s Day did (it’s celebrated on March 4th every year). Whether you’re running it as a game master (GM) or playing it as a player, trying a new RPG exposes you to concepts, play styles, rules, and approaches to gaming that you otherwise might never experience. It challenges you as a gamer, but it’s a fun challenge.

This website is the home base for NYNG, a hub where you can come to read other folks’ game ideas and get inspired to run a new game of your own. It’s not about telling you what to play or how to play, it’s about challenging you as a GM to try something new.

How do I participate?

The New Year, New Game challenge runs for two weeks starting on the second Monday in January every year. During that period, Gnome Stew hosts a contest where readers can enter their new game ideas and a blog carnival where RPG bloggers can post about trying new games. After the contest and carnival end, all of the entries are posted or linked to from as inspiration for gamers to draw upon throughout the year.

Our goal is to attract publishers and retailers to NYNG as well, be it through sales, special offers, contest prizes, or other channels. We want NYNG to become an event that gamers all over the world look forward to every January, and which can inspire you all year long.

After the official challenge period ends, there’s nothing to keep you from taking on the challenge yourself later in the year — and you don’t need to run your new game in January, just sometime during the year.

But I like what I’m running now…

Cool! So do we — NYNG isn’t about quitting your current campaign. If you want to take the NYNG challenge, all you need to do is run a new game this year. It can be a one-shot, a convention event, a demo, or a full-fledged campaign that lasts for months — that’s entirely up to you.

What if I’m a player, not a GM?

While the NYNG challenge is specifically for GMs, we encourage players to participate as well — trying new games as a player is just as fulfilling as running them as a GM.

If you’re in a regular gaming group, consider proposing a new game as a break or sidelight to your current campaign (or better yet, try running your first game — you’ll find lots of support for doing just that on Gnome Stew), or make a point of seeking out a new RPG at the next convention you attend. Check out your local game store and see if they’re running any demos, hosting D&D Encounters, or hosting games you could join.

How did NYNG get started?

The original idea for New Year, New Game was the brainchild of Patrick Benson, who proposed it as a contest for GMing blog Gnome Stew in December 2011. The authors of Gnome Stew — John Arcadian, Patrick Benson, Walt Ciechanowski, Don Mappin, Scott Martin, Matthew Neagley, Martin Ralya, Kurt “Telas” Schneider, Troy Taylor, and Phil “DNAphil” Vecchione — developed the concept, Martin Ralya turned it into this website, and Darren Hardy created the logo. came online on December 28, 2011 and went live on January 1, 2012.

What’s Gnome Stew?

Written by a team of veteran GMs, Gnome Stew is the most widely read game mastering blog on the planet. Since 2008, the authors of Gnome Stew have published system-neutral GMing advice, tips, and tricks for game masters of all experience levels — over 1,300 articles to date. Gnome Stew won the gold GenCon EN World RPG Award (ENnie) for Best Blog in 2012, and the silver in 2011 and 2010; the site was an RPG Site of the Year Award nominee in 2011.

Gnome Stew has also produced the books for GMs, all published by Engine Publishing: Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters in 2010, Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game in 2011, and Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep in 2012. Masks won the 2012 gold ENnie for Best Aid/Accessory and was nominated for an ENnie for Product of the Year, and all three books were nominated for Golden Geek Awards (2010 for Eureka, 2012 for Masks and Never Unprepared).

The gnomes are dedicated to helping GMs have more fun at the gaming table, and NYNG seemed like an interesting way to do just that. We hope you like it!