Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

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...

In 2014, probably not on April Fool's day, Frog God Games released the Book of Dirty Tricks, a sort of DMG (Dungeon Master's Guide) addendum containing advice for dungeon masters on how to make a game more challenging.

It's a fairly small book, being only about 78 pages, but it's packed...

Many people think D&D just cannot be played in under 8 or even 4 hours. Yet I've been running one-shot campaigns with friends and at local conventions for the past two years, in about 4 to 2 hours per game. Look, D&D can be laborious if it's always only an epic. Sometimes D&D needs to be episodic,...

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...

I presented at an international tech conference this week, speaking about game design and, specifically, the Lua programming language (which you might know if you ever tried your hand at modding World of Warcraft or Garry's Mod, and a dozen other games and software titles).

To mix things up...

One of the cool things Klaatu has cooked up for us with this blog is a way to load it with content, to be published on set dates in the future. Now, lots of blogging software allows for that sort of functionality, but our situation is unusual; we use the version control system Git on the back e...

I've never considered myself a "serious gamer" even though gaming has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I guess to me a "serious gamer" is someone who spends lots of money on the very latest gaming console or gaming PC, and buys every game as soon as it's released. That's decided...

A pretty common side effect of gaming is that you don't want to ever stop. Most games, for better or for worse, have a beginning and an end. You start a board game by setting up all the pieces, you play the game, and the game ends when someone wins. A good RPG game, however, doesn't have to stop whe...

I've read my fair share of player handbooks and rulebooks, and lots of game mastery guides, and yet I still have a nagging feeling that nobody has yet provided a straight-forward, no-nonsense "recipe" for the mechanics of running an RPG session. Most books assume that if you're ready to take on the...

Tabletop role-playing games are fun, but getting started with them can seem overwhelming. Luckily, we all started somewhere, so if you have yet to dip your toes into RPG, you're in good company. I got started with D&D when I was in middle school: some friends were sitting around on lunch break rolli...