The Alphastream Game Design Blog

Last Stand at Camp Starfall – May of the Dead

May of the Dead

I’m fortunate to have Ian and Justin of the Going Last podcast in my home town. They put together an incredible undead-themed May of the Dead event, bringing together a relentless horde of authors providing adventures, monsters, PC powers, and all kinds of cool contributions. You should really check it out, even if you (like me) aren’t much of a horror fan. (Edit: Ian and Justin have both over time ceded their place on the podcast, but it continues to be a great podcast.)

I put together my own contribution. I created an adventure called Last Stand at Camp Starfall (download link – now including conversion notes for 5E!). While I admire horror, and I like it in small quantities and in certain ways, I mostly like it when combined with other genres. (For example, I had fun adding some horror aspects into The Five Deadly Shadows). Last Stand at Camp Starfall pulls together a number of campy horror and sci-fi elements. You will find two of my favorite monsters in it as well – an attempt to show how much fun the least heralded monsters can be.


Part of my inspiration for this adventure was my April DDI article on Vegepygmies. I wanted to provide an example encounter or two for how those could be used. (You can easily strip away the campy humor and make use of those encounters). I also wanted to go back to the concepts behind Expedition to the Barrier Peaks and explore that space (pun intended) where genres come together. I wanted this to be a fun adventure, the way it can be an absolute blast to pause a D&D campaign and play a session of Gamma World… except in this case you could do it with the same PCs you are playing in your D&D campaign. Or, a DM could drop this in unexpectedly, surprising PCs and players with the true horror.

On the Going Last site I wrote a blog entry (now reposted here) about the adventure and the idea of mixing sci-fi and fantasy. Many gamers think of Expedition as being this anomaly that perhaps went too far in bringing sci-fi into D&D, but in actuality those elements have been in D&D from the very beginning and have come back far more often than you might think. The history of D&D adventures really starts with lasers. (You can obtain the pdf of the second version of Temple of the Frog here.)

I hope you enjoy the adventure and the blog entry. What has it meant for you to have horror and sci-fi be part of D&D? Are there lines that should not be crossed, genre-wise? Is it fun to inject spores in a PCs’ face and then hand them a laser so strange they don’t know which side to point at an enemy? Did I go too far with that last room in the adventure?

Flumph comic by the excellent D20 Monkey!

Flumph comic by the excellent D20 Monkey!


How Chris Perkins signed my Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle at Gen Con 2013!

How Chris Perkins signed my Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle at Gen Con 2013!


(Originally posted in 2012 on my WotC blog)

May of the Dead 2

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This entry was posted on October 13, 2015 by and tagged , , , , , , , , , .


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