Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

When Curse of Strahd was released for 5e, I didn't buy it because I already owned owned Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, a perfectly serviceable Strahd adventure. The Expedition to Castle Ravenloft adventure, released for D&D 3rd Edition, was itself a re-release of sorts, of the original Ravenl...

When the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide DMG came out back in 2014, I read it from cover to cover. I've decided to re-read the 5e DMG to re-discover anything I impatiently overlooked on my first read-through, and I'm going to review it chapter by chapter. In this post, I'm covering Chapter 5, "Adventure...

When the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide DMG came out back in 2014, I read it from cover to cover. I've decided to re-read the 5e DMG to re-discover anything I impatiently overlooked on my first read-through, and I'm going to review it chapter by chapter. In this post, I'm covering Chapter 3 and 4, "Cre...

When the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide DMG came out back in 2014, I read it from cover to cover. I've decided to re-read the 5e DMG, though, to re-discover anything I impatiently overlooked on my first read-through, and I'm going to review it chapter by chapter. Chapter 2 is titled "Creating a multive...

When the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide DMG came out back in 2014, I read it from cover to cover. I knew I'd be running games, so I needed to know about the rules of the world. That is, of course, what the DMG is. It contains the rules for things that aren't the player characters themselves, but that i...

I believe I've reached a definitive conclusion about the organisational structure of most 5e books. I don't know what it is about the way 5e books are put together, but I have yet to find even one that entirely makes sense to me. This isn't a complaint I make lightly, because I see how much informat...

I mostly play Pathfinder and 5e D&D, but if asked, I do also consider myself an AD&D 2nd edition player. In fact, emotionally I consider 2nd edition "my edition" because it for that edition I rolled my first characters (which I then never played, because my parents forbade it), and I read Dragonlanc...

Quick reference is invaluable during a D&D game. Even when you know the page numbern of important tables by heart, sometimes the book you need is in use by another player, or you're already elbows deep into 3 other books as it is, or you just don't have room on the table or your lap for another book...

I picked up a hardcopy of Black Monastery (you can also purchase it as a PDF), which I'd purchased once before as a PDF in a Humble Bundle and found to be slightly overwhelming as a digital-only module. The module, such as it is, consists of 87 pages of a single mega-dungeon, with no particular...

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...

Over the past few weeks of the New Zealand summer, a friend and I decided to speed run through the D&D 5e module Out of the Abyss. There was only two of us, so I played the DM and Sophia played a dragonborn cleric. We decided to play a chapter a day, so we estimated it would only take about two w...

An apparently classic snake pit. You know the drill: something triggers a trap door, or the floor was illusory all along -- whatever it takes to get a player character down a pit filled with spikes and snakes.

Roll 1d6 for the number of spikes landed on and give out 1d4 damage per spike.

Pl...

A lever to open a door is in a small recess of a wall. If a player reaches into the recess to pull the lever, clamps quickly close to ensnare them at the wrist.

A rogue can disable the trap DC 15 (DC 25 if attempting to disable with one hand caught in the trap). Otherwise, brute force DC 15 fo...

A precious chalice is fastened to an altar. There are controls to release the chalice from its fasteners. It takes DC 18 Disable Device or DEX check to disarm.

The bad news: no matter what, when the chalice is released, so is a boiling oil trap.

The good news: players get to c...

An illusory pile of treasure (**true sight** and similar negates) conceals a pressure plate which, when pressed, erects a 5 ft square glass box. The glass chamber's floor is made of coal and sulfur and catches fire, dealing 1d4 damage each minute for the first 10 minutes, then 2d4 for a minute. I...