Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

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...

These appear to be a bundle of twelve +2 arrows, which, if tested, will radiate magic, and if specifically tested for curses, will reveal their true nature (in practice, most groups don't seem to look for curses in arrows; that will likely change after this). Until used in a crisis, these arrows...

Spellcasters and Thieves only. A particularly nasty item, this appears as an ornate ring with a magical aura. If tested, it will seem to be a ring of great power and utility. The Ring Of Severing will always have a spell function such as Fireballs, Flying, Teleportation, etc.

The ring can be...

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...

When triggered, exits seal up, and the entire corridor/room moves to another level of the dungeon, whereupon the exits unseal. Try as they might, the characters cannot get the elevator to function again. Characters who've been diligently mapping will have no idea where they are.

INTRODUCTION
Right off the bat, it's important to understand that every GM is different. No two styles of running a game match completely, nor should they. And while there is no one correct way to run a game, there are plenty of ways to do it poorly. The GM wears many hats, but in my opinion, th...

When triggered, the floor begins rapidly moving forward like a magical conveyor belt, and a gate or hatch opens on the far end, revealing an active blast furnace. Characters have only 1 to 2 minutes (50-50% chance) to figure something out, or be incinerated.

Characters ending up in the furnace...

Years and years ago, back when Qt4 was new and the KDE 4 desktop was redefining how Linux users interfaced with their PCs, I bought this book so I could learn how about C++ and what surely must be its most popular GUI framework. Qt4 is history now and Qt5 is the latest, greatest library set ava...

When triggered, all characters within a four square radius randomly switch consciousness, no Saving Throw allowed. The characters are still all themselves, even though they look like other people. They retain their old skills (including prepared spells), but must now contend with new bodies, includ...

When triggered, any exits seal up, and the walls (made of metal or stone, of course) begin moving in. Characters have 5 minutes to either jam, disarm, or deactivate the trap.

Jamming might be possible with metal spikes, which take one minute each to set (though multiple characters may do so at...

An elaborate tapestry, if removed from the wall, reveals hundreds of ice needles that shoot from the wall for 1d6 piercing damage, plus 1d4 cold damage.

The needles take 1 minute to melt, during which time they impose a further 2d6 cold damage. If the needles are removed manually, they deal 3d6...

When triggered, duplicates of each character appear and begin attacking their counterparts. The doubles will only attack their likenesses, and will not help their fellow duplicates. The doubles have the exact same statistics, powers, and items as the characters they have copied at the moment that...

A beaded curtain extends across one side of the room. Many of the beads are precious gemstones. The strings holding the beads and gems are curiously strong, but the gems can be removed with a Strength check DC 15. When a gem is removed, 1d6 ghosts, shadows, wraiths, or wights (or similar) appear be...

A trap door opens and one random character slides down to a spinning circular saw. A roll to Hit applies, or perhaps a Dex roll, or Saving throw (whatever the GM prefers). If hit, the character takes 5d6 HP of damage, and the character then lands in a locked room on the floor below. Optional: If...

I first read Dragonlance books a long time ago, as a kid. I didn't remember much about the books, only that it featured characters who were real and vitally important to me, and that Krynn was D&D in my mind until, I guess, I discovered the Forgotten Realms.

I recently had a chance to pick th...

Upon triggering, a black flash of energy jumps out and one character at random must perform a Saving throw or be struck blind. If the character Saves, the effect "bounces" off them, and jumps to the next closest person within 4 squares. If this person Saves, it bounces again, and so on. The bouncing...