Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

In a previous post, I demonstrated how to do a quick D&D 5e character build with new players. The advantage to this idea is that you get a new player into the game within a quarter of an hour. They might not understand everything about the process, but a quick build gives them a taste of what's...

If you've ever played the Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun Dragonfall, or Shadowrun Hong Kong video games, then you may have developed an interest in the Sixth World.

Building an RPG character is complex. While Shadowrun's character build process is explained well in the 5th Edition Core Rulebo...

Building an RPG character is complex. While Shadowrun's character build process is explained well in the 5th Edition Core Rulebook, there's a lot to filter out because there are so many possibilities. This post describes a linear build process for a Shadowrun magic user character, and is designe...

Building a character in Shadowrun is a lot of fun. It's not quite the roller coaster that Traveler or Dead Earth are (for instance, you can't die during character creation in Shadowrun), but it's a detailed system in which you map out your character's life and education prior to running the shad...

Lately I've been playing a lot of D&D online, and the games often only last for the duration of a single module. Groups come together to play through a 20 or 30 page adventure, the game lasts for a few sessions, and then ends. (My current online gaming group, admittedly, was only supposed to game to...

I was reading through a published adventure a few days ago, and noticed something odd about the way it got started. As written, the player characters are meant to wander into the game world individually, and then meet one another as they travel. The module tells the Dungeon Master to prompt each pla...

The back of Magic: The Gathering cards are iconic. Mimicking, more or less, the leatherbound cover of a spellbook, it has five gemstones inset in the center, and the words "Magic The Gathering" at the top. Mysteriously, there's also the word "Deckmaster" at the bottom. It's very much an artefact o...

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...

The base rules of Magic: The Gathering are no more complex than any other card game, such as Poker or Bridge.

Setup

You start the game with 20 life pointns and a deck of 60 cards, unless you're playing the Commander variant, in which case you start with 40 life and 100 cards.

At the start of...

Can you play Magic: the Gathering by yourself? Is there such a thing as solo magic?

Well, now you can!

Single-player Magic: the Survival format

Single-player Hagic: the Gathering is a survival-mode game. You (the human) are pitted against on onslaught of brute force mechanics by two d...

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...

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...

In my previous posts about converting monsters from 2e and 3e to Fifth Edition, I mention that many monsters have been converted already. I mentioned that to dissuade you from feeling like there's a need to sit down and struggle through the math to convert your favourite monster, at least not b...

I got a lot of great feedback about my previous article, How to Convert D&D monsters to 5e, so it's obviously time for the same article for Third Edition (or 3.5, realistically).

For the longest time, I never really bothered converting from 3.5 to 5e, because I found them to be relatively...

D&D is often called the world's oldest RPG because, well, it literally is. With a history of over 40 years, if you're a player of D&D, you have decades of material at your disposal. Thanks to digital technology, the bulk of that history is available in electronic form, so you don't even have to r...