Alphastream

The Alphastream Gaming Blog

The Threat of D&D Next Monster Design

Should D&D Next stat blocks be so plain? Let’s compare them to a similar 4E monster and identify how the format could improve.

October 14, 2015

Last Stand at Camp Starfall – May of the Dead

Every DM needs a campy fun horror adventure in their arsenal! This free adventure is perfect for October and combines horror, sci-fi, and fun monsters.

October 13, 2015 · 1 Comment

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 · 4 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 · 1 Comment

Point, Counter-Point: Combat Speed

Combats have to be under an hour to be fun? Utter nonsense. If the combat’s elements are engaging, it will never drag.

October 10, 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 · 1 Comment

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

Hexploring the Possibilities

SRM has a cool idea on giving players a hand in overland exploration, turning random encounters into a neat new system of Hexploration. Let’s experiment and apply it to Dark Sun!

October 7, 2015

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

Changing Adventure and Encounter Design

Rob Schwalb reexamines the dungeon – a way to redefine dungeons and encounters to create a greater marriage of story, exploration, and combat.

October 2, 2015