Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

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...

With the exception of a handful of pioneering academics and specialist publications, serious critical consideration of gaming as an art form feels, to me, to be seriously lacking. Sure, it's commonly accepted that gaming is now very much mainstream, but it's pretty clear that what most people are t...

Most tabletop roleplaying game systems have the concept of rolling dice as a way of determining whether a player character in the game succeeds or fails when attempting a non-trivial task. A die roll doesn't itself have any meaning. A 20 on a 20-sided die is just a number, no better or worse than a...

At the time of this writing, I'm preparing to run Tomb of Annihilation for the first time. It's been out for a good 5 years, and I've played scenarios from it, but I've yet to run it. As I read through the book to prepare for the game, I've decided to post about my impressions. This review contai...

At the time of this writing, I'm running Tomb of Annihilation for the first time. As I read through the book, I've decided to post about my impressions. Although I started this review before the campaign started, I'm now running this module (using Pathfinder 2, incidentally) for my weekly session,...

I'm a hobbyist game designer. I love looking at games for ideas on how to improve or change them for fun, and I enjoy making up new games. I've arbitrarily decided that during 2024, I'm going to publish one new game each month. Some will be mods of existing games, others will be new games I've devel...

I love the concept of all-in-one starter sets. I think they're the answer to providing an entry point into gaming for people who don't know anything about gaming. Recently, I happened to purchase a Lord of the Rings boxed game plus a mostly-unrelated Lord of the Rings wargame rulebook, and the d...

At the time of this writing, I'm running Tomb of Annihilation for the first time. As I read through the book, I've decided to post about my impressions. Although I started this review before the campaign started, I'm now running this module (using Pathfinder 2, incidentally) for my weekly session,...

At the time of this writing, I'm preparing to run Tomb of Annihilation for the first time. It's been out for a good 5 years, and I've played scenarios from it, but I've yet to run it. As I read through the book to prepare for the game, I've decided to post about my impressions. This review contai...

Although one of the most famous characters in Lord of the Rings is a wizard, I think many people consider Tolkien's setting to be "low magic". It's a matter of comparison, but in RPG settings like Pathfinder's Golarion or Frog God's Lost Lands, powerful violations of the law of physics can be...