Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

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...

A floor trigger opens holes in the walls, and millions of army ants pour in from all sides! All characters in the area take 1d4 HP damage per minute from ant bites and stings. Attacking with conventional weapons is fruitless. Optional: Characters may have a chance to react before being covered in...

A cloud of spears fly out from previously hidden holes in the walls. Each character in the area rolls 1d6 for the number of spears that have a chance to hit (AC, Dex roll, Saving Throw, etc. to avoid). Optional: 50% chance of poison for each strike, with character losing 1 HP per minute until cure...

Upon triggering, one or more characters (GM's choice) is immediately sent to another part of the dungeon at random, separating them from the party and possibly each other. Optional: GM may pre-determine the destination(s) for story purposes, or just for humor's sake. (A trip to the sewers, anyone?...

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...

A trigger plate on the floor ejects a noose from the ceiling, which springs down, loops around the character's head, and retracts! Character rolls d100, and will be dead in 1-2 minutes (01-50% = 1 minute, 51-00% = 2 minutes). Companion characters may intervene, but if the character has a bladed weap...

There are elaborate, full-sized bas reliefs on the wall. A magical trigger (touching something, floor plate, etc.) makes the carvings come to life, disengage from the wall, and attack. Consult your favorite monster guide.

Classic Pendulum Trap: Large sharpened pendulum blades swing down from hidden slots in the ceiling. Each character in the area rolls 1d4 to see how many have a chance of hitting them (AC/Dex roll/Saving Throw/etc. to avoid). Each successful hit does 2d6 damage. Optional: There's a 50% chance of p...

White Water: The entire floor collapses into a fast-moving underground river. All characters in the area roll to grab onto a jagged ledge before tumbling in (Dex roll/Saving Throw/etc.). If they fail, characters fall into the river and are swept away. Optional: Characters might drown (Dex roll/Sa...

Classic Spike Pit: A trap door opens up below the character. Roll 1d6 for the number of spikes landed on, and then 1d4 damage for each. Optional: 50% chance of poison for each spike, with character losing 1 HP per minute until cured or dead.

Classic Snake Pit: A trap door opens up below the ch...

Classic Acid Rain: A half-globe of glass, mounted on the ceiling, is sensitive to smoke and similar particulate matter (such as glitterdust, sand, mist, vapour, and so on). If it detects such a substance, tiny spouts on it open, raining burning acid down upon the room.

Characters caught in the ar...

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...

Do you like having fun in your games? We do too.

Constraints are good for a challenge, but restrictions on what you can use in your game content are never fun. And gaming is meant to be fun above all else.

This blog is where we reveal all of our best content, and a few of our crazy ideas. Everyt...