Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

In my previous blog post, I explained the Dungeons 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...

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...

Usable by Spellcasters only. This appears as a beautiful robe, with ornate designs upon the cuffs, bottom hem, and collar line. It will radiate strong magic.

This robe will seem to give the wearer a +3 to both AC and all Saving Throws. Upon first putting it on, however, the spellcaster must ro...

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...

Upon activation, 1d4 characters in the party, at random, must make a Saving Throw vs. Magic, or be hit by a beam of light that causes them to shrink to the size of an average person's thumb!

The character's weight, strength, clothing, armor, weapons (along with associated damage), and all ot...

This short sword is engraved with runes disguised as natural cracks and creases in the metal and leather components.

When a successful attack is made with this sword, the player takes 1d4 of the damage that would have otherwise been dealt to their opponent.

Detecting the runes for what the...

In my previous post in my Friday the 13th series, I wrote about the original movie that started it all. It's not just one of the most persistent sequel film franchises, it provided the blueprint for the modern slasher horror genre. This Friday, I'll look at its first sequel in an impossibly long...

This appears as a gold or silver ring, sometimes with expensive gemstones. It will radiate magic. This ring will seem to be a Ring of Invisibility, and all initial tests will seem to confirm that.

Upon first being used when it really matters, the wearer will not go invisible, but every other...

Having recently reread Dragons of Autumn Twilight, I naturally continue with the original Dragonlance books to this, Dragons of Winter Night. Once again proving that my fondness for the series and setting is not due only to nostalgia, this book continues the exciting story of Krynn's battle aga...

Upon activation, the flagstones in a particular area reveal themselves to be the tops of huge stone pistons that begin pumping up and down randomly, slamming into the ceiling. There is a one-second delay between piston strikes, allowing characters to navigate between the madly firing stone pillars,...

A crown of bark and leaves, created for the warrior Princess Lolonyo of the Southern Reaches by the traitorous Prince Idem, her spurned would-be lover. The crown is elegant and masterfully made, easily worth 2000 gp.

It also attracts any hungry animal, size medium or larger, within a 5 mile rad...

Do you or your players get overwhelmed by the Pathfinder character sheet? For some people, the Pathfinder character sheet holds nostalgia for the D&D 3rd Edition days gone by. For others, it's a logical and structured view of a character build. But for some, it's a spreadsheet, and nobody ever accu...

This appears as an ornate square pillow, small enough to be carried in a backpack along with other equipment. It does not seem to radiate magic unless studied extensively, at which time, it's cursed nature may or may not be revealed (GM's option). It is made with silk, and fine threads, and remains...

Three potions on a shelf, each with effects that last until you physically exit the current dungeon.

From left to right:

  1. Shrinks you by one category

  2. Changes your alignment to Chaotic evil

  3. Reduces CON -4

Fortunately, they are clearly labeled.

Unfortunately,...

Upon activation, the floor, walls, and ceiling of a particular stretch of dungeon, or a particular room, begin seeping an impossibly sticky glue. The characters are trapped, unless hovering or flying.

Characters must make Strength or Saving Throws to move, and will require 1d4 of them to clear...

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...