Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

I don't always use battle maps in my D&D games, but when I do, I often use whatever I have lying around for miniatures. I've used Lego figures, glass game tokens, cheap wooden beads from a thrift store, and coins. I lead a pretty minimalist lifestyle, and D&D miniatures just haven't been high on th...

I love feats in D&D 3.5. The concept capitalizes on the excitement of exception-based game design such that each player gets to one-up their opponents, or else be one-upped by them. It mirrors a game like Magic: The Gathering, in which one lucky combo attack can win the game. How much do I love f...

I recently purchased the adventure Fane of the Fallen because it's an adventure for characters level 13 and up, and high-level modules can be hard to find. It's also by Frog God Games, and I tend to find their work pretty reliable.

I purchased a hard copy because I really do prefer physical m...

Earlier this week, I wrote about how much I love spells. The obvious tag line to a book of 708 new spells is you can never have too many spells. While that's definitely true, it wasn't [entirely] the need for more spells that drove me to purchase the Book of Lost Spells from Frog God Games. Wha...

You can never have too many spells. That's what they say. And I guess they're right, because it seems I never tire of looking through spells.

Spells as untold stories

Even if I never have the occasion to use a spell, reading a spell is like reading a story that has yet to be written. In order...

I play D&D 5e as well as Pathfinder (1), and my players are mostly oblivious to which one we use for any given game. We build the characters together, or else I provide pregens, and they reference their character sheet when rolling. It works well, but switching between character sheets every few mo...

The second edition of Pathfinder (P2) is out, and along with it Paizo has released a free conversion guide so you can use P1 material with P2 rules and, in theory, P1 characters in P2 games. At least, that's what you'd imagine a conversion guide would provide. But Paizo's conversion guide clarifi...

In my previous posts about converting monsters from 2e and 3e to Fifth Edition, I mention that many monsters have been converted already. I mentioned that to dissuade you from feeling like there's a need to sit down and struggle through the math to convert your favourite monster, at least not b...

I got a lot of great feedback about my previous article, How to Convert D&D monsters to 5e, so it's obviously time for the same article for Third Edition (or 3.5, realistically).

For the longest time, I never really bothered converting from 3.5 to 5e, because I found them to be relatively...

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...

D&D is often called the world's oldest RPG because, well, it literally is. With a history of over 40 years, if you're a player of D&D, you have decades of material at your disposal. Thanks to digital technology, the bulk of that history is available in electronic form, so you don't even have to r...

The world of Golarion is the default setting for the wildly popular Pathfinder game, a fork of D&D 3.5 edition. While former Dragon Magazine publisher, Paizo, was able to inherit all D&D rules, the OGL didn't enable them to inherit all of the lore, as laid out in decades of novels, magazine art...

Arguments of quality and quantity aside, I'm of the opinion that you can never have too many RPG modules. And short "one-shot" adventures are, for me, priceless. If D&D is both a game and a hobby, then it's the one-shot modules that make it possible for it to be "just" a game. After all, people do...

The Evil Dead film series is a collection of [arguably] loosely-connected horror movies (and a TV show and comics...) that helped define both modern horror and modern fantasy. If you have never seen the original masterpieces of cinema (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness), then you s...

In my 3 Pillar XP and Ultimate Intrigue posts, I explained the D&D 5e and Pathfinder (largely compatible with Starfinder) implementations of noncombat-based XP. Such systems are useful when you find that your gaming group isn't playing for constant non-stop combat.

I don't think of myself a...

In my previous blog post, I explained the D&D 5e implementation of noncombat-based XP, because sometimes your gaming group isn't playing for constant non-stop combat. Now, that doesn't mean your gaming group shouldn't play only to fight; treating D&D as a series of skirmishes with some looting...