Siberspace Continues

Wayfinder Wolf, by Matthew Johnson

Last month I wrote an article about how I’d combine Spelljammer and Eberron—a space race to reach the Ring of Siberys and the moons. I was so intrigued by the idea that I decided to run the campaign for my Patreon supporters. If it sounds interesting, there’s still time to get on board—I’m running the second session next week!

How Does This Work?

Each month, I run an online Eberron session for my Threshold patrons. The story and the characters are persistent from session to session, but the players change each time. I run the session at a different time each month, to ensure people in different time zones have a chance to play. Once a time is set (patrons are currently voting on the time for this month’s session!) I pose a creative challenge: last month it was tell me which character you want to play, and what they’re leaving behind as they go into space. The rules of Patreon won’t let me pick players randomly; as it is, this creative challenge gives me material I can work into the adventure itself. All patrons have access to the edited audio and video recordings of each session.

A peek at a Discord story hour and a Patreon plot poll.

While only five patrons get to play in each session, I do what I can to give all of the patrons an opportunity to influence the story. I run one adventure each month; between sessions, I post polls on Patreon and occasional interactive story hours on the Threshold Discord that allow everyone to shape the future of the events. Oh, and did I mentioned that there’s a Discord channel where I discuss the campaign and Eberron in general with patrons? One of my favorite things about TTRPGs is how the story evolves over the course of a campaign, and I enjoy finding ways for bring that experience to this format.

Not everyone has time to watch every episode, of course. To help with this, there’s a campaign website that maintains descriptions of all the characters and summaries of all previous sessions—both short overviews like the one here (spoiler alert for Siberspace session 1!) and more detailed breakdowns. And, of course, patrons have access to exclusive previews of upcoming books, like the recent preview of Medusa Characters from Frontiers of Eberron: Threshold, as well as helping to shape the short and long articles I post on this site… and determining the amount of time I have to spend on them.

Now the valiant Dragonhawk crew is preparing to venture beyond the Ring of Siberys. If you’d like to join them, check out the Threshold level of my Patreon!

Siberspace: Dragonhawk Begins!

The Frog Prince of the Dragonhawk Initiative, by Matthew Johnson

In my last article, I described how I’d combine Eberron and Spelljammer… and realized that I want to run that campaign! As a result, I’m putting my current Patreon Eberron campaign on hold, and for the rest of the year I’ll be running a Siberspace space race campaign. We’re currently wrapping up session zero, but I wanted to quickly explain how the campaign works in case you’d like to get on board.

I’ve had a Patreon for some time; this support determines how much time I can put into the articles I post on this blog. A few years I decided to expand this and added the Threshold Tier, giving patrons a chance to take part in an ongoing Eberron campaign. The story is ongoing, and the characters are consistent… but the players change each session. In the week before the session I hold a poll to choose the game time, since I have patrons in different time zones. The rules of Patreon won’t let me choose players at random, so once a time is set, I pose a creative challenge. For example, in this first Siberspace session I might say “Tell me which character you want to play, and tell me what they hate to leave behind as they head into space.” Does the Captain have an ailing sibling? A new love? A dog with separation issues? I look at the answers and pick my five favorites, and those five people play in the session… and their stories become hooks I can use in the adventure. I don’t stream the sessions live, but I record them and patrons have access to audio and video recordings of all sessions.

While only a few people get to play in each session, the story belongs to everyone. I used Patreon polls to create the characters and to establish key directions for the story. I have a Threshold Discord channel where people can discuss the campaign—and I occasionally do choose-your-own-adventure style story hours on Discord, where patrons can vote on things that happen between sessions. That’s going to be especially important in this Siberspace campaign, where months may pass between each session—and negotiations or decisions made by the leaders of the Dragonhawk Initiative could have a vital impact on the next mission. I’ll also be creating new content for the campaign—interstellar hazards, random encounters, navigational challenges—that I’ll be sharing with patrons.

A moment from a recent Threshold story hour.

So every patron gets to be part of the story, whether or not they play in it. This is especially true right now, as we’re building the foundation of the campaign. Over the course of the week, I’ve been running polls on Patreon and discussions on Discord. The patrons have chosen the Dragonhawk Initiative—Aundair’s feytouched explorers—as the focus of the campaign, and we’ve been working through the characters. I’ve pitched a variety of interesting concepts, but even I have been surprised by some of the outcomes; I never expected Dragonhawk’s captain to be an Aundairian noble cursed into the shape of a grung, but the patrons have spoken and we have our frog prince. Currently the final character poll is active on Patreon, determining the nature of the ship’s medic and chief scout; it runs until the morning of Saturday, August 20th, so if you want to help shape the Dragonhawk crew, now’s the time!

The first Siberspace session will happen in the next two weeks, and I expect it to run through the end of the year. If you’d like to join the journey, check out the Threshold tier on Patreon! To the Moons, and beyond!