Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

I like re-playing RPG adventures and I don't let my knowledge of the module interfere with the way my character follows clues. Should you re-play an adventure, though, there are some important things to keep in mind.

1. Yarn wall

My primary rule is pretty simple. If I can't trace a decision my...

As a newcomer to miniature painting, I'm, er, fortunate to have made lots of stupid mistakes early in my hobby journey. In my own defence, I did a lot of research before starting to paint. That saved me from some really egregious errors. But I managed to make a mess of a few things. Here's what they...

Last year, I developed and published Skuffle Wammer, the universe's smallest wargame. It's designed to be played in 5 minutes or less, with the intent of being the tabletop gaming equivalent of a good stand-up-and-stretch at work. The play area is an A4 sheet of paper, you throw out some miniature...

Player characters in an RPG can be tricky. A player character is an imaginary person who you're meant to speak for and control. The character is meant to be distinct from you (in reality), and you're also supposed to be mindful of fellow gamers at your table (in reality) which obviously your fiction...

Last year, Catalyst Games ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund BattleTech: Mercenaries, an expansion set of miniatures for BattleTech: A game of armoured combat. I don't play BattleTech (yet?) but I like mechs, I'd like to paint some miniature mechs, and I do play some mech battle wargames, so I...

I love pre-built characters. That might seem strange, because I also love building characters. On a week when I don't have an RPG to play, I'll often sit down with a rulebook and build a character that will probably never get used. And yet, I love a system that provides a good array of pre-built cha...

My partner and I love a good "couch co-op" game, a video game where you and a friend can play together on the same computer rather than over a network. We recently played through Quest Hunter and its Strangewood DLC, and this my review of it. This review contains minor spoilers.

Cutting to the...

The Contrast line of paints by Citadel are designed to provide instant highlighting and shading with just one coat of paint from just one pot. When it works, it's the stuff of science fiction. To this day, I sit and marvel at my painted Ur-Ghul miniatures, and all I did was slap some Pylar Glacier...

I've been a pretty active blogger for a while, although initially most of my content was concentrated on the very technical side of open source computing. My gaming life tended to creep in on my tech blogs, though, and so this past year I made a concerted effort to expand my active blogging to g...

I'm running Tomb of Annihilation as a Pathfinder 2e adventure, and as usual there have been some surprises when comparing what a book says and what happens in a game. I regretted starting my players in Port Nyanzaru because, as hex crawls go, Tomb of Annihilation is not exactly the best. It's ab...

I love a good tabletop game, but with few exceptions most tabletop games take at least 30 minutes to play. Wargames often take substantially longer, and even quick skirmish games can require a lot of setup. Earlier this year, I found myself wanting a really quick and simple wargame to play literally...

A few months ago, I tried Vallejo Xpress Color paints. Aside from the bottles they come in, I like them a lot. They're a great way to get started painting with auto-shading paints for a relatively small investment. It's got a limited colour range, but when you're just starting out, less can be mor...

The problem with colour is that there's a lot of it, and it's never the same to two different people. It's not even the same to one person under different lighting conditions. I love the topic of colour theory, but when you're just starting out as a miniatures painter, it can be overwhelming to see...

Sometimes, after you've painted a miniature you need to go back and fix a mistake you hadn't caught the first time around. When you revise your paint job, though, you're usually filling in something that's missing or concealing something that isn't meant to be there. That means you have to match the...

I've written before that you can never have too many spells for roleplaying games like Pathfinder and Tales of the Valiant, and that's as true for the Game Master as it is for player characters. The problem isn't having too many spells to choose from, it's how to know what spells you have avai...

Death is so frequently the lose condition in games that I think you could argue it's a little lazy. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind when a game threatens my game avatar with death. In fact I enjoy it as a threat. Morbid though it may be, I enjoy imaginary over-the-top violence and pretend gore in m...