I’ve finished reading the submissions to the One Page Dungeon Contest 2013. As always, an interesting mix of styles. Less tombs than in previous years. The ever popular “get into the dungeon and trigger a trap” is there. Bandits, undead, but no pirates! This year’s popular rare monster must have been the gibbernig mouther. It showed up in three submissions.
I wanted to comment on my nominations for the contest winners. I’ve done this before (2010, 2011, 2012). Writing it all down helps me think it through.
- Daniel O'Donnell, Down Among the Dead Men: beautiful map; lovely visuals such as a well surmounted by the jaws of a giant shark or acolytes on stilts “tending” the undead in the water. It’s gruesome. It stands on its own and can be placed in my campaign.
- Gus L., The Brittlestone Parapets: a lovely amalgam of trench warfare, undead soldiers, Beowulf, D&D as an implied post-apocalyptic setting; and it comes with an inspiring map, an interesting list of random encounters, the witch comes with the list of spells prepared, one faction can be hired for a few weeks. It’s fascinating. It stands on its own and can be placed in my campaign.
- Jobe Bittman, Into The Demon Idol: an iconic image, a beautiful map, the giant grab pincer. Best of all: the option of reanimating it! A potential long-term change for your campaign. It’s tempting. It stands on its own and can be placed in my campaign.
- Misha Favorov, Court of the King of No Men: a map that allows multiple approaches; the most important notes are on the map itself. That’s what I love! The two simple magic items are interesting without being overengineered: a sword dealing wounds that heal within 24h, a hammer that can be thrown once a day, a rod that allows you to control the movement of an opponent (but nothing else). It’s sylvan. It stands on its own and can be placed in my campaign.
- Paul Gorman, Faery Ring to Alpha Ari: not the only adventure using myconids and various fungus effects, but what I liked in particular was the strange mix of fantasy and present day space exploration; the observatory and the tiny island on the one hand and a map that looks appropriate for a Mars colony. I also like how enemies come in all sizes from pixies to giant. I’m not sure it would simply fit into my campaign.
- Ramsey Hong, Something Happened At The Temple Near Glourm: a beautiful map with village and five dungeon levels; multiple stairs and entrances; notes on the map itself. This dungeon is beautiful. It’s terrifying. It stands on its own and can be placed in my campaign.
- Rob S, Citadel of the Severed Hand: another beautiful map with notes on the map itself; it also features myconids and “shroom effects”. The part I like is the tragic figure of the orc boss with his staghelm who hates the torturer demon because she has his son in her power. The entire setup with the two slaves is genious. It’s evil. It stands on its own and can be placed in my campaign.
- Roger SG Sorolla, Devil's Acre: when I first read about it on the author’s blog I thought that it was an interesting take on the complex of sin, vigil, prayer, temptation, saint and devils, and all of that in a D&D context. My campaign hasn’t featured these topics, however, so I’m not sure how well it would work for me.
- S. J. Harris, The Baleful Spring: a small tower always comes in handy. This one has a tower with an evil master and a ship with a neutral captain. I like the framing story: two diplomats trying to secure a peace accord have gone missing. It’s nothing fancy with a functional map. It’s useful. It stands on its own and can be placed in my campaign.
- Simon Forster, Church of Consumption: a beatiful map; another cult trying to raise a demon. Unfortunately it’s very linear. Strangely enough it appears to be open on both ends with major treasure sitting right next to one of the two entrances. But… it’s so beautiful. And I love the imagery of the cultists eating their dead god, the meat grinder, the ghouls dreaming about eating the same dead god, one day… It’s gruesome. It stands on its own and can be placed in my campaign.
The One Page Dungeon Contest is just so damn useful it amazes me every year.
Tags: RPG 1PDC
I just posted my nominations for the One Page Dungeon Contest 2013. I also liked the following entries.
- Erik-Karl Read, The Issue of Blipdoolpoolp: a small vertical dungeon, ocean, the tide and watery creatures.
- Heikki Hallamaa, The Diamond of Hishep-Ratep: a short tomb raiding adventure with grey aliens, a lovely combination.
- Josh Burnett, The Burial Mound of Gilliard Wolfclan: a short, simple and cute tomb raid with goblins. I liked the map and the elf leader.
- Jens Thuresson, The Giant's Dollhouse: a giant that petrifies and depetrifies people, go! I like the setup. I just wondered what to do about the rod in the end.
- Joe Pruitt, Echoes of Empire: I don’t think I can simply insert this into my campaign, but perhaps my campaign can use this sort of mini-game one day.
- LSF, A Stolen Spring: a beautiful map, a mage’s expedition gone wrong, a nice encounter to insert into your running adventure.
I saw Roger the GS’ recommendations the other day. What about your favorites?
Tags: RPG 1PDC