Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

Before there was Curse of Strahd (CoS), possibly the most famous 5e adventure, there was the 3rd edition adventure Expedition to Castle Ravenloft. Instead of running CoS, I sometimes run Expedition over Halloween. It's fun for players who have never experienced Ravenloft before, and it's got a...

Before there was Curse of Strahd (CoS), possibly the most famous 5e adventure, there was the 3rd edition adventure Expedition to Castle Ravenloft. I run this adventure around Halloween, sometimes starting with Death House, the free introduction to Curse of Strahd. It's fun for players who ha...

I've been painting lots of Pathfinder and Cursed City miniatures lately, using my Citadel Contrast and Vallejo Xpress Color paints. Because I've been using them a lot, I thought it might be useful to provide a review of each Xpress Color paint based on how I've been using it, and what I thin...

If you use miniatures in your tabletop games, it's easy to get spoiled when you start buying Citadel miniatures. Games Workshop miniatures tend to be high-quality, highly detailed, and super imaginative. In fact, if anything, Games Workshop is too imaginative. Really. Some of their sculpts are bizar...

Interested in playing Warhammer 40,000? Don't make the mistakes I did! Whether you're playing Warhammer or something else, wargaming requires preparation before you can actually play the game. This is different than what you're probably used to, if you play other tabletop games. You don't just go...

Interested in playing a wargame that isn't Warhammer 40,000? Wargaming is a complex landscape of gaming possibility, and it can be a little confusing to navigate at first, especially if you venture too far away from firmly established franchises. I do think that Games Workshop, the creator of Warh...

Last year, shortly after the 10th edition of the game was released, I played my first game of Warhammer 40,000 and recorded my process, the battle, and my thoughts. I have no fancy White Dwarf style photos to go with this post, but I think it's interesting to see a game through a new player's ey...

I haven't been painting miniatures for long. In the past, I've purchased pre-painted miniatures because I didn't have the time, money, or bravery required to paint miniatures myself. Recently, I've felt comfortable enough with my personal budget to spend a little money on a paint kit, and I buy a mi...

I'm reading through the published adventures available for Cubicle 7's Wrath and Glory Warhammer RPG. Litanies of the Lost is a book containing four adventures that can be run independently or as a continuous campaign. The framework requires the IMPERIUM keyword, and the first adventure is for T...

Here's the thing about traps. They're the ONLY encounter in an RPG that players cannot opt out of. Once you encounter a trap, whether your character is physically trapped or you're just being blocked from progressing the story by a really hard puzzle, you basically have no choice but to deal with th...

There seems to be a lot of talk these days about character death in D&D and other roleplaying games. It seems that there's an audience that doesn't want their player character to die. Ever.

Which, admittedly, is the point of the game mechanic. If players don't care about death, then there's no poi...

My first experiences in hobby shops (specifically, but not exclusively, a Warhammer store) were not great. And yet some of my best experiences in the hobby have happened in a Warhammer store. I think there's a secret to turning a geeky hobby, like building and paintng 28mm toy soldiers so you can pl...

In a previous post, I wrote about how tracking encumbrance made loot more "valuable" by enforcing a weight-based economy. However, tracking encumbrance can be hard. In theory, it's exclusively the responsibility of each player, but if the game master (GM) doesn't announce the weight of each item t...

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...

Everybody has their own tolerance levels for how much paperwork in an RPG they feel is fun. For some people, updating their character sheet is a milestone system for their character. It's as much a part of the game as NPC interactions, decisions, strategy, solving puzzles, and so on. For others, a c...

I think a lot of us gamers think that tabletop roleplaying games are exhilarating at the beginning, but that they tend to taper off toward the end. Commonly, this is expressed as "the problem with high level play." I sense that it's seen as more of a problem in class-based systems that emphasize the...