Alphastream

The Alphastream Gaming Blog

Ashes of Athas: Where to Begin

Find out how Ashes of Athas designed its first adventure, and the start of its campaign, with a bang!
Use these techniques for your campaign!

October 20, 2015

Ashes of Athas – Looking Back on the Dark Sun Organized Play Campaign

The secrets of Ashes of Athas, the Dark Sun organized play campaign, are shared with Mike Shea and with the Misdirected Mark podcast. Find out how Chad Brown, Derek Guder, and I lost so much sleep.

October 20, 2015

Defining Character

Every RPG struggles with how best to allow players to tell the story of the characters, both their origin or backstory and their ongoing story as they advance in power through accomplishments.

October 13, 2015 · 3 Comments

Adventure Hacking in Dark Sun

Where we mash-up Aliens and Thunderspire Labyrinth to create a fantastic Dark Sun adventure – or was it only in our minds?

October 11, 2015

Breaking Patterns, part 3: Abstract 4E

We break established design patterns to have a strong story-rich wilderness travel skill challenge feel and two abstract combats – including one with an army unit!

October 10, 2015

Breaking Patterns, Part 2

When a combat is dissatisfyingly easy, we drop in a ferocious custom-built sand drake! Download the monster for your game. Episode 8 of my Dark Sun campaign, Crown of Sorrow.

October 10, 2015

Breaking Patterns in Encounter Design

We can work really hard at creating great adventures and yet still not escape the patterns of conventional adventure design. Here is how we break the mold.

October 9, 2015

Tavern Trouble and Taking Risks

What if we create a Dark Sun bar fight, where every PC can discover special tavern-related “powers” they can use? These kinds of experiments can really help us grow as DMs.

October 9, 2015 · 2 Comments

Integrating PC Backstory

A player-driven campaign really takes off when we encourage the players to collaborate on backstories that tie them to the setting.

October 7, 2015 · 1 Comment

Dark Sun Campaign Development: Storyboarding and Arcs

One of the ways we can make our campaign feel like a cool movie or TV show is to employ the same storyboarding and story arc techniques.

October 2, 2015