Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

I picked up Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft and have been reading it cover to cover. This is my review of the book, chapter by chapter.

Chapter 1 provides new player options, including new races, subclasses, backgrounds, some "dark gifts", and some horror-themed trinkets. It opens with another...

I picked up the Horror Realms Pathfinder source book in a Humble Bundle, and have been reading it cover to cover. This is my review of the book, chapter by chapter.

Because I started reading Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft recently, I figured I'd also read Horror Realms for Pathfinder so I...

I picked up Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft and have been reading it cover to cover. This is my review of the book, chapter by chapter.

Ravenloft is a D&D setting named after a very particular castle just outside of a land called Barovia. You have to separate the name "Ravenloft" from "Castle R...

Miniatures are small.

Impossibly small.

So it's no surprise that you might think that painting miniatures would be a nearly impossible task. I have poor eyesight, and terrible eye-hand coordination. My hands tend to shake, I usually have an abundance of nervous energy, and my depth perception is...

As is often the case with me, it was the soundtrack of the Hammer and Bolter animated series that initially convinced me to watch it. The composer is Jonathan Hartman, whose name I didn't know when I started listening to the soundtrack releases, but I found the mini-albums extremely satisfying. He...

I picked up Fizban's Treasury of Dragon and have been reading it cover to cover. This is my review of the book, chapter by chapter. In this post, I discuss Chapter 6: Bestiary.

I say it about almost everything in D&D, from spells to magic items to player options, but I'll say it now about Dragon...

For the longest time, I had no interest in painting miniatures. In an RPG, miniatures aren't essential components of the game. I've probably played as much tabletop RPG with miniantures as I have without. I've never played with miniatures in Shadowrun, for example. So when I did buy miniatures, I bo...

Dragonlance Chronicles starts at the end of the 5-year personal quests of the book's heroes. The Preludes series provides some specific stories from the 5 years leading up to Chronicles, and Tanis, the Shadow Years, the sixth and final Preludes book, is about Tanis Half-Elven. In this stor...

Dragonlance Chronicles starts at the end of the 5-year personal quests of the book's heroes. The Preludes series provides some specific stories from the 5 years leading up to Chronicles, and Flint the King, the fifth book, is about the dwarf Flint Fireforge. Interestingly, we already know wh...

It's annoying that the Open Gaming License 1.0a is under attack, but it's not actually detrimental. As many people (and in fact possibly most people) recognize, you don't need anybody's permission to play a game at home, nor to write an adventure that happens to work with D&D™ 5th Edition. Don't c...

Dragonlance Chronicles starts at the end of the 5-year personal quests of the book's heroes. The Preludes series provides some specific stories from the 5 years leading up to Chronicles, and Riverwalk the Plainsman, the fourth book, is about the barbarian Riverwind. In a way, there are few o...

Many RPG rulebooks start out speaking in the bizarrely theoretical future tense, addressing the reader as if they were going to build a character: "First, you will choose a race, and then you will choose your skills." Then, over the course of the next few chapters, these player guides describe t...

At the time of this writing, Wizards of the Coast was attempting to unjustly, and probably unlawfully, revoke the Open Gaming License. They've recently agreed to stop that attempt, and as a sign of good faith they've released the System Reference Document (SRD) into Creative Commons. That's a minor...

Dragonlance Chronicles starts at the end of the 5-year personal quests of the book's heroes. The Preludes series provides some specific stories from the 5 years leading up to Chronicles, and Brothers Majere, the third book, is obviously about Caramon and Raistlin. You might wonder whether Ca...

Before I knew it was supposed to be hard to do it, I converted adventures from one RPG system to another on a regular basis. It started innocently enough. I'd play in someone's Tunnels & Trolls campaign, and then go home and run the same story as a D&D adventure for my friends. It never occurred t...

Sometimes a game tells you to use a "percentile dice" or a d100. That can be confusing if you're not used to it, so here's how it's done.

Novelty die notwithstanding, there's no such thing as a d100. Instead, you use any one of four methods:

  • Two ten-sided dice (d10) rolled in succession
  • Two...