Meet the team!

How it came to be 

Why hello there, internaut! If you're reading this, bad news. We're about to bore you with an origin story. We are Alvar (disheveled hair dude, left) and Marcelo (gaunt italian-looking bloke, right), two forever DMs and former TTRPG freelancers hailing from the land of Buenos Aires, Argentina, birthplace of such celebrities as [insert argentinian football superstar] and the pope. Our company is based in Delaware, USA.

It was a bitingly cold day when, in a quaint and well-heated café, surrounded by flat whites and cute little pastries (yes we're Gen Z, how did you know?) we decided to put our minds together and try to make something of our growing repository of homebrew rules, monsters, items and player options. Thus began the posting-stuff-on-reddit age that extends to this very day. To our surprise, we got pretty popular!

One year later, and thanks to the support of our amazing buyers and steadfast Patreon supporters, we have made this our full-time job. We are currently working on completing our 12 core settings, which we will use as a base for the many compendiums and adventures of this burgeoning universe. Always 5e compatible!

Made with love (and great tools!)

Our creations are painted in a very special canvas: the Homebrewery, an amazing tool developed by the good folk at NaturalCrit. It is, almost inexplicably, 100% free. If you want to help them keep the lights on, you can do so here.

Almost 1000 published pages into the project, we've learned to push the Homebrewery's functionalities to the very cusp of their potential. Each of the Codex's pages is the result of several hours of work, distributed between mechanics, narrative and formatting. We earnestly believe they are some of the best out there! Here's to hoping you concur. 

The art in our sourcebooks is made using various tools, in a journey that starts with a latent diffusion model (most commonly Adobe Firefly, Dall-E and Midjourney) and ends in the Homebrewery's markdown editor, going through several phases of manual tweaks and corrections in Photoshop. 

This process has yielded us results like the page you see on the left, with great depth of backgrounds and stunning visuals for our monsters, items, and other content. However, the A.I usage we are (for now) limited to for budget reasons imposes great limitations. We are actively phasing towards a mixed process involving real artists.

Prep and improv, the D&D style!

Creating a 70-100 page sourcebook every month is no easy feat, especially when our team is so small. This is how we do it.

We first discuss the setting we want to bring to life, and we make an outline of what we want to add to the entry. We then generate about a hundred preview images, seeing if our ideas can be brought to the page or not. This is where most of our content is cut. Pantry of the Multiverse, for example, was cut-content from an earlier work that never saw the light of day. Only with extensive graphic design work (that we outsourced) did we manage to bring our beloved squid-cook from our campaign setting to life.

After we have our roadmap, we start by describing the setting, coordinating lore and mechanics between the two of us, and in true D&D fashion, saying "Yes, and" to whatever the other wrote. This often leads to a lot of unexpected content, as our writing evolves over the course of the month. Seeing as we are racing against the clock, we don't do much playtesting, though we always revisit our previous content when our mechanics need a fix, and we post our revisions on Patreon. 

We have challenged ourselves to create 12 different settings (one whole year of Ariadne's Codex). After we finish what we are calling our core 12 sourcebooks in june (if all goes well), we will set our sights on bigger projects, such as a full revision of each entry, an adventure book, or other types of fantasy and TTRPG content. 

Community and collaborations

Since we began our journey, we've experimented with a lot of types of content. We made a visual novel, several quests, item compendiums, final bosses complete with narrative and mechanics, and a myriad of other things.

One of these side-projects ended up being an entire Codex of Strings sourcebook: Allfather's Ink, an entry exclusively illustrated with the dark fantasy art of the legendary Kim Diaz Holm. This is our January 2024 sourcebook, and required a whole new perspective on how we create our content. We had to shift through Kim's long and great archives, finding the pieces that could be adapted into a coherent setting, and tweak parts of the artwork to meet the needs of a D&D supplement. This spell page, for example, is illustrated with two separate pieces, fused into a single page. Allfather's Ink was later picked up by Third Party Publishing, and is currently being translated into the German language.

We are eager to venture into other such projects with fellow creatives. Above all, we believe Ariadne's Codex of Strings to be an innovative publisher, adapting to each project and using the newest technologies. We continue to grow our community, from which we recently hired a social media manager. If you would like to collaborate with this passion project in whatever capacity, send us your information at support@codexofstrings.com. We are looking to expand in the future, and we could use the help of coders, graphic artists, and writers alike!