Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

When Curse of Strahd was released for 5e, I didn't buy it because I already owned owned Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, a perfectly serviceable Strahd adventure. The Expedition to Castle Ravenloft adventure, released for D&D 3rd Edition, was itself a re-release of sorts, of the original Ravenl...

I don't own Curse of Strahd, arguably one of the most famous D&D 5e modules. I love that module, partly because I'm a sucker for horror and also because it's a really good module, and I do own Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft. However, I'm the happy owner of Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, the...

When the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide DMG came out back in 2014, I read it from cover to cover. I've decided to re-read the 5e DMG to re-discover anything I impatiently overlooked on my first read-through, and I'm going to review it chapter by chapter. In this post, I'm covering Chapter 5, "Adventure...

When the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide DMG came out back in 2014, I read it from cover to cover. I've decided to re-read the 5e DMG to re-discover anything I impatiently overlooked on my first read-through, and I'm going to review it chapter by chapter. In this post, I'm covering Chapter 3 and 4, "Cre...

When the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide DMG came out back in 2014, I read it from cover to cover. I've decided to re-read the 5e DMG, though, to re-discover anything I impatiently overlooked on my first read-through, and I'm going to review it chapter by chapter. Chapter 2 is titled "Creating a multive...

As players level up in an RPG, they expect increased challenge. They want bigger monsters that are harder to kill and that threaten to kill them first, faster.

The formula seems like it would be simple: As player characters level-up and gain hit points, you make the monsters deal more damage. In o...

As a hobbyist game designer, I have the distinct advantages of making lots of mistakes. Mistakes are great, because you learn from them, but as a bonus you learn to see the mistakes you made in other people's designs.

Lately, the mistake I've been hyper-focused on is the lack of tags in games....

When the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide DMG came out back in 2014, I read it from cover to cover. I knew I'd be running games, so I needed to know about the rules of the world. That is, of course, what the DMG is. It contains the rules for things that aren't the player characters themselves, but that i...

I believe I've reached a definitive conclusion about the organisational structure of most 5e books. I don't know what it is about the way 5e books are put together, but I have yet to find even one that entirely makes sense to me. This isn't a complaint I make lightly, because I see how much informat...

I mostly play Pathfinder and 5e D&D, but if asked, I do also consider myself an AD&D 2nd edition player. In fact, emotionally I consider 2nd edition "my edition" because it for that edition I rolled my first characters (which I then never played, because my parents forbade it), and I read Dragonlanc...

Quick reference is invaluable during a D&D game. Even when you know the page numbern of important tables by heart, sometimes the book you need is in use by another player, or you're already elbows deep into 3 other books as it is, or you just don't have room on the table or your lap for another book...

Lately I've been playing a lot of D&D online, and the games often only last for the duration of a single module. Groups come together to play through a 20 or 30 page adventure, the game lasts for a few sessions, and then ends. (My current online gaming group, admittedly, was only supposed to game to...

I was reading through a published adventure a few days ago, and noticed something odd about the way it got started. As written, the player characters are meant to wander into the game world individually, and then meet one another as they travel. The module tells the Dungeon Master to prompt each pla...

In a previous post, I explained why I love alignment in D&D, but I acknowledged that it doesn't have to work for everyone. I also admitted that I'd recently discovered an alternative to the system, but I didn't say where I'd found it.

When I bought the book Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica, I w...

In my previous post, I wrote about why D&D shouldn't be seen as a half-day hobby and instead ought to be seen as a 2-hour board game. To many people, the idea of a 2 hour game is baffling, either because they grew up playing in 8 hour sessions as kids with nothing better to do, or because they're u...

Most people seem to think that D&D takes, at a minimum, 4 hours to play. I understand the desire to play an extended game, and indeed 4 hours isn't really that long, especially if you have memories of 8 or 12 hour marathons as a kid. And if you can afford that kind of time, then you may as well...