Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

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...

While traveling, I picked up the first installment of the first official Starfinder adventure path: Incident at Absalom Station. I wanted to read through it in anticipation of running it with some friends because I have, so far, only run a homebrew Starfinder adventure (and a homebrew Interface Z...

The world of Golarion is the default setting for the wildly popular Pathfinder game, a fork of D&D 3.5 edition. While former Dragon Magazine publisher, Paizo, was able to inherit all D&D rules, the OGL didn't enable them to inherit all of the lore, as laid out in decades of novels, magazine art...

Originally developed as a random table for Blue Planet, this is a generic random table for any cyberpunk or sci-fi setting. Terminology can obviously differ between game worlds. In Blue Planet, it's body comp, in Shadowrun it's a deck, in Starfinder it's just computer, and so on; adju...

The Evil Dead film series is a collection of [arguably] loosely-connected horror movies (and a TV show and comics...) that helped define both modern horror and modern fantasy. If you have never seen the original masterpieces of cinema (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness), then you s...

At the start of their turn during combat, a player may choose to have the GM to foll on this table for a potential benefit (or impairment).

  1. You are motivated by desperation. Take an extra move this round.
  2. You have quick reflexes. Take half damage.
  3. You are hit by shrapnel. Take 1 point of dam...

This is a d10 random event table I made as a going-away gift for my Blue Planet game group. I've removed the inside jokes and content specific to Blue Planet. Half-way through game night, roll on this table for a random event.

  1. A small spy drone malfunctions overhead and crashes into a par...

In my 3 Pillar XP and Ultimate Intrigue posts, I explained the D&D 5e and Pathfinder (largely compatible with Starfinder) implementations of noncombat-based XP. Such systems are useful when you find that your gaming group isn't playing for constant non-stop combat.

I don't think of myself a...

In my previous blog post, I explained the D&D 5e implementation of noncombat-based XP, because sometimes your gaming group isn't playing for constant non-stop combat. Now, that doesn't mean your gaming group shouldn't play only to fight; treating D&D as a series of skirmishes with some looting...

Not everybody wants to fight. I learned this through "subtle" clues given to me by one specific group of players, including blank stares in reaction to combat encounters, and persistent attempts to negotiate with villains so vile that even Dr. Who wouldn't bother parlaying with.

Yes, it turns...

Because I'm moving house, I'm parting ways with my Blue Planet gaming group. As a parting gift, I left them with a small collection of random tables they could roll on when they thought of me.

There's nothing specific to Blue Planet in this version, so use it in whatever sci fi or cyberpunk...

It's Pi day today in the USA and any nation that expresses dates in the backwards format of day/month. In honour of over-thinking numbers, I present to you my efforts to map human ages to RPG levels.

I'd always meant to generate myself as a character in a game, but since I often play fantasy...

Have you been procrastinating in your resolve to finally get into tabletop RPGs? Have you been thinking about buying Pathfinder or Starfinder rulebooks, but the prices are too steep? Today's your lucky day, because you can get everything you need to play Pathfinder, which is the continuation of D&D...

Yesterday, Klaatu and I worked on rolling up a character for Starfinder. We recorded it for a future Hacker Public Radio episode, which he volunteered to edit. Klaatu was traveling that day, and we got ready to record once he got settled in his motel room. It was a comedy of errors at first, d...