Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

With the release of Spelljammer for D&D 5th Edition, I decided to break out an old Spelljammer book for some adventuring material. The second Spelljammer adventure book to be released was Skulls & Crossbows. I'm reading through it as prep for an upcoming Spelljammer campaign, so I figured I'd give...

With the release of Spelljammer for D&D 5th Edition, I decided to break out an old Spelljammer book for some adventuring material. The second Spelljammer adventure book to be released was Skulls & Crossbows, a collection of adventures that, in the style of Infinite Staircase or Ghosts of Saltma...

When the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide DMG came out back in 2014, I read it from cover to cover. I knew I'd be running games, so I needed to know about the rules of the world. That is, of course, what the DMG is. It contains the rules for things that aren't the player characters themselves, but that i...

I mentioned in my first look at Spelljammer that ship combat appears to largely be missing from the Astral Adventurer's Guide. I've fixed that with some custom rules, adapted from my well-worn Starfinder ship combat ruleset.

I didn't have high hopes for ship combat rules, honestly, because I'v...

I picked up a copy of Spelljammer, the latest release from Wizards of the Coast, and I've spent the past couple of days reading over the three books in the boxed set. This is a quick cursory review of the new setting.

When Spelljammer was first announced, I was excited about it. I've already pla...

Have you ever thought about how teleportation works? Because it's imaginary, we don't often wonder about the details. It's magic, and that's good enough. Usually. Unless, that is, you're playing a game relying on a series of logical connections to render a predictable and repeatable result. In real...

I play 5e every week, and I absolutely love it. So it may seem strange that I simultaneously believe that the 3rd edition (specifically 3.5) of D&D remains the definitive incarnation of the game.

You might think nostalgia's to blame, but in fact I have nostalgia for 2nd edition DragonLance and Pla...

In a previous post, I explained why I love alignment in D&D, but I acknowledged that it doesn't have to work for everyone. I also admitted that I'd recently discovered an alternative to the system, but I didn't say where I'd found it.

When I bought the book Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica, I w...

I'm a big fan of the alignment system in D&D, and have been since I learned about it in the original DragonLance Adventures book. I used to think that there could be nothing to lure me away from it, especially not in the context of D&D. I'll admit that recently there's been a system that has appe...

I've written about one shots before, and one of my tips for a successful quick game of D&D is to bring prebuild characters. However, there are two potential problems with that advice:

  1. Somebody needs to build those characters

  2. A player may want to build their own character just for the...

I picked up a hardcopy of Black Monastery (you can also purchase it as a PDF), which I'd purchased once before as a PDF in a Humble Bundle and found to be slightly overwhelming as a digital-only module. The module, such as it is, consists of 87 pages of a single mega-dungeon, with no particular...

In my previous post, I wrote about why D&D shouldn't be seen as a half-day hobby and instead ought to be seen as a 2-hour board game. To many people, the idea of a 2 hour game is baffling, either because they grew up playing in 8 hour sessions as kids with nothing better to do, or because they're u...

Most people seem to think that D&D takes, at a minimum, 4 hours to play. I understand the desire to play an extended game, and indeed 4 hours isn't really that long, especially if you have memories of 8 or 12 hour marathons as a kid. And if you can afford that kind of time, then you may as well...

Over the past few weeks of the New Zealand summer, a friend and I decided to speed run through the D&D 5e module Out of the Abyss. There was only two of us, so I played the DM and Sophia played a dragonborn cleric. We decided to play a chapter a day, so we estimated it would only take about two w...

The Ghosts of Saltmarsh module is a Fifth Edition re-release of several old AD&D adventures. It includes all three of the U series (The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater, The Final Enemy) by TSR, and several from Dungeon magazines. In the introduction, the book is posit...

I don't always use battle maps in my D&D games, but when I do, I often use whatever I have lying around for miniatures. I've used Lego figures, glass game tokens, cheap wooden beads from a thrift store, and coins. I lead a pretty minimalist lifestyle, and D&D miniatures just haven't been high on th...