Saturday, April 14, 2018

Inspiration for One Page Dungeon Contest Entries

I was dropping my daughter off at a friend's house this afternoon, and instead of listening to one of two local college radio stations, she had control of the radio. A Taylor Swift song came on, one that I have passing familiarity with, but had not paid close attention to lyrics wise, and a snippet stuck with me. I thought, taken out of context, this could make for an interesting one page dungeon.

"Island breeze and lights down low
No one has to know
In the middle of the night, in my dreams
You should see the things we do, baby"
-Lyrics from "Ready For It?" by Taylor Swift

So my mind went to Inception, with the players as secret agents remotely invading the mind of a foe in order to uncover secrets, or perhaps even assassinate the villain from within.

The adventure would likely take place in one location given the size constraints of a one page dungeon entry, a memory that involved an Island just after sunset. The twist would be that the players would discover the villain to be a sympathetic character, or perhaps even come to doubt they had the correct person, but still forced to fight a large number of foes manifested by the target's subconscious.


A quick search of islands,and Pinaki Atoll, which is just over 170 acres is good inspiration for a location. A google translation of "lost blue" into French results in "Perdu Bleu", the name for my fictional resort on my fictional island.

The "dream state" of the island and resort has the staff and vacationers reacting to the player characters as other guests of the resort until they initiate any hostilities or are discovered accessing restricted areas. This allows the characters time to explore the island memory, which is an endless night.

I have been to an island resort once, so I can write about what little I know about the experience:
All inclusive, so lots of food and drinks, windsurfing classes, water aerobics, sunbathing, exclusive restaurants as well as buffets, a local town outside of the resort, theme nights, multiple bars, bonfires and beach parties after dark, etc...

So why this memory and this place?  Perhaps this is a memory of when the villain's partner died by drowning or perhaps even killed in the crossfire during an assassination attempt.  Maybe this is a stealth mission and the characters must alter the memory through their actions to convince the villain that he or she was ultimately responsible for the partners death. 

Maybe it is a memory from the villain/ protagonists childhood, and they are represented as a child in the adventure/ memory.

Maybe this whole adventure is set in a dystopian or post apocalyptic future, and a tech genius backed him or herself up with an artificially intelligent "cloud based" clone, and must be unraveled by accessing this seemingly innocuous memory.

There are a lot of ways to go with this, all from a snippet from a song improbably played on my car's radio.  

This is a decent start. Now to work out the map, the encounters, the items, the opponents, the challenges, the rewards, the art, the overall design, and fit it all onto one page!