Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

Before I knew it was supposed to be hard to do it, I converted adventures from one RPG system to another on a regular basis. It started innocently enough. I'd play in someone's Tunnels & Trolls campaign, and then go home and run the same story as a D&D adventure for my friends. It never occurred t...

Building a character for an RPG can be mildly intimidating if you're not used to it. You might think it takes special knowledge, or that it's a chore, or that it's just overwhelming. But I find building characters to be fun and invariably easier than sometimes the rulebooks make it seem. And buildin...

I picked up Fizban's Treasury of Dragon and have been reading it cover to cover. This is my review of the book, chapter by chapter. In this post, I discuss Chapter 5: Draconomicon which, despite the its name, is not actually all about Dragons.

In previous chapters, I felt a little strange that d...

I picked up Fizban's Treasury of Dragon and have been reading it cover to cover. This is my review of the book, chapter by chapter. In this post, I discuss Chapter 4: Lairs and hoards.

Look, the fact is that in D&D, high level players run the game. After level 10 (Tier 2), the Dungeon Master is...

Are you thinking about playing D&D or Pathfinder or some other roleplaying game (RPG) like Starfinder, Call of Cthulhu, or similar? Of course you need players, and one player designated as the person (usually called the "Dungeon Master" or the "game master") to "play" the game world itself. The best...

Are you thinking about playing D&D or some other roleplaying game (RPG) like Pathfinder, Starfinder, Call of Cthulhu, or similar? You might be confused by all the trappings of such a game. For instance, there's a special important-sounding title for one of the players, like "Game Master" or "Dungeon...

At the time of this writing, Wizards of the Coast is continuing their attempt to revoke the Open Gaming License. It doesn't much matter, at this point, whether they succeed. They've made their intent clear. They've made it impossible to trust them as caretakers of the legacy of the world's first rol...

I picked up Fizban's Treasury of Dragon and have been reading it cover to cover. This is my review of the book, chapter by chapter. In this post, I discuss Chapter 3: Dragons in play.

This chapter is all about what part Dragons might play in your campaign. In my opinion, the first 2 chapters hav...

In a recent leaked document, Wizards of the Coast has apparently threatened to revoke the Open Gaming License version 1.0a by stating that it will become "unauthorized." From what some lawyers are saying on the Internet, because the OGL 1.0a license does not use the magic word "irrevocable," this is...

I picked up Fizban's Treasury of Dragon and have been reading it cover to cover. This is my review of the book, chapter by chapter. In this post, I discuss Chapter 2: Dragon Magic.

There are just 7 spells in this chapter, which takes up about a third of this 9-page chapter. The rest of the pages...

Shadowrun's character build process is explained in the 5th Edition Core Rulebook, but there are a lot of possibilities. This post describes a linear build process for a Shadowrun technomancer, and is designed to help new players.

Note that this post is for Shadowrun 5th Edition, even though...

Pathfinder is the D&D 3rd edition rule set copied and pasted (legally permitted by the Open Game License), with a few nominal adjustments, into a book labeled "Pathfinder". Now that D&D is on its 5th edition (and heading toward its next incarnation), and Pathfinder has released a 2nd edition of it...

The Rogues in Remballo module, published by Frog God Games, is an investigative adventure for characters from level 4-6. I've run it a few times, and this post represents my thoughts about the module and what it's like to run.

First of all, setting expectations is important. Rogues in Remballo...

The Tomb of Horrors by Gary Gygax is probably the most famous dungeon in all of D&D. Part of the appeal of D&D for many gamers is the shared experience of playing common adventures, and because The Tomb of Horrors has been around for such a long time and has gained such a reputation for being a...

I've written about the RPG metagame debate before, and one contributing factor to what I'll call "metagame anxiety" is familiarity with an adventure. For the record, I don't usually mind the metagame. I believe it can be a fun and valuable part of the game. But some people get concerned that a pla...

I picked up Fizban's Treasury of Dragon and have been reading it cover to cover. This is my review of the book, chapter by chapter. In this post, I discuss Chapter 1: Character Creation.

There are three ancestries in Chapter 1, each one an alternative to the Dragonborn ancestry listed in the Pl...