Alphastream

The Alphastream Game Design Blog

Interlude: D&D Next and Magic Items

D&D Next moves away from PCs being reliant upon many magic items, but does it go far enough to bring back flavor and creativity?

October 16, 2015

Adapting Classic Adventures like Keep on the Borderlands to 5E (or D&D Next)

D&D Next’s first playtest adventure was Caves of Chaos, nearly a copy of the original Keep on the Borderlands. Review the interesting history of this adventure and avoid its faults when you run it.

October 16, 2015 · 4 Comments

Addendum: DnD Next Monster Design and Organized Play

Organized play aims to create fun adventures DMs can run easily. Comparing organized play’s monster formats across the editions is an excellent lens by which to study monster design and identify a path for the future.

October 14, 2015

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 – The Influences of Other Genres on D&D

For the vast majority of gamers, D&D is simply a fantasy game, with no aspects of science-fiction. However, the early history of the game was full of sci-fi influences.

October 13, 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

One-Hour Gaming and the Path to Constructive Response

In edition changes we see approval or rejection of our own interests – even though the designers clearly aren’t writing the edition for or against any one of us. And, can D&D really provide a complete experience in one hour?

October 12, 2015

Basic Damage

Can the 1977 Basic D&D boxed set actually be more confusing that OD&D? Yes, it sure is! Find out what has aged poorly as our group continues playing through the editions.

October 12, 2015

ODnD and the Challenge of Pleasing Everyone, Part 1

Our second session of OD&D takes us deep into the game’s first TSR adventure: Temple of the Frog. Sometimes we can’t even get into the rooms!

October 12, 2015 · 1 Comment

From OD&D to Playtesting New Editions… and Back Again

When I can’t tell my gaming group that I secretly playtested the upcoming version of D&D, I do the next best thing: I run them through the editions, starting with the grandaddy OD&D. The result blows our minds.

October 12, 2015

ODnD and the Challenge of Pleasing Everyone, Part 2

In OD&D a greatsword and a chair do the same damage, the best defense against trolls is a mule, and you heal 1 hit point every other day. And we still have fun.

October 12, 2015

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