Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

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...

This is Part 09 of a series wherein we talk about generating an entire campaign, on-the-fly, for your favorite fantasy role-playing game(s). In the future, it might have a tighter focus on either D&D or Pathfinder, but for now, let's consider this material more-or-less generic.

NOTE:...

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...

This is Part 08 of a series wherein we talk about generating an entire campaign, on-the-fly, for your favorite fantasy role-playing game(s). In the future, it might have a tighter focus on either D&D or Pathfinder, but for now, let's consider this material more-or-less generic.

NOTE:...

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...

Put down that copy of The Monster Mash. It's All Hallow's Eve soon, so we're all due for an annual pilgrimage to Barovia, but that doesn't mean you have to resort to the obligatory shopping mall Halloween soundtrack. Here's our top 6 picks for dark music you can play during this year's spooky tab...

This is Part 07 of a series wherein we talk about generating an entire campaign, on-the-fly, for your favorite fantasy role-playing game(s). In the future, it might have a tighter focus on either D&D or Pathfinder, but for now, let's consider this material more-or-less generic.

NOTE:...

I love feats in D&D 3.5. The concept capitalizes on the excitement of exception-based game design such that each player gets to one-up their opponents, or else be one-upped by them. It mirrors a game like Magic: The Gathering, in which one lucky combo attack can win the game. How much do I love f...

I recently purchased the adventure Fane of the Fallen because it's an adventure for characters level 13 and up, and high-level modules can be hard to find. It's also by Frog God Games, and I tend to find their work pretty reliable.

I purchased a hard copy because I really do prefer physical m...

In the USA, there's a fast food chain called Wendy's, and for whatever reason they have released a tabletop role playing game called Feast of Legends. When I heard about it, I was as confused as, probably, everybody else. Why was a fast food joint jumping on the tabletop gaming bandwagon? Was...

I got to play a PC in a Starfinder recently, which was nice because so far I'd only played as GM. One of the most interesting aspects of Starfinder is its game-within-a-game system of starship combat. Played on a hex grid with a unique initiative system (a lower roll is arguably better, because t...

This is Part 06 of a series wherein we talk about generating an entire campaign, on-the-fly, for your favorite fantasy role-playing game(s). In the future, it might have a tighter focus on either D&D or Pathfinder, but for now, let's consider this material more-or-less generic.

NOTE:...

Earlier this week, I wrote about how much I love spells. The obvious tag line to a book of 708 new spells is you can never have too many spells. While that's definitely true, it wasn't [entirely] the need for more spells that drove me to purchase the Book of Lost Spells from Frog God Games. Wha...

Witcher 3 burning village


With the exception of a handful of pioneering academics and specialist publications, serious critical consideration of gaming as an art form feels, to me, to be seriously lacking. Sure, it's commonly accepted that gaming is now very much mainstream, but it's pretty clear that what most peop...