Tuesday, June 19, 2018

One Thing: The Dragon's Lantern

One thing that I love about Vance Atkin's 2018 One Page Dungeon Contest entry is the use of "en media res" coupled with a "funnel".  The players find their zero level characters in a dire predicament, confronted by a dragon looking to strike a deal (and make good on it if they survive).

There are clever uses for fledgling adventurer abilities strewn throughout the worm tunnels, and a host of unsavory types for the characters to encounter as they fumble along trying to find the dragon's missing "trinket".  The stakes are particularly high as there is not an endless pool of peasants and torchbearers for the players to inhabit once their initial character falls into a chasm, is boiled alive, or meets some other untimely and probable demise.  This would make for a nice one-shot for a group of players with high level adventurers that have forgotten what the struggle for survival without any "plusses" is like, or as the start of a new campaign with a powerful dragon NPC which Vance has fleshed out enough for any DM to elaborate upon going forward.

Not only did Vance have time to create this winning entry, but he also helped out another creator by volunteering his editorial expertise.

Great work Vance!

One Thing: The Tower of the Great Erpution

One thing that I love about Wind Lothamer's 2018 One Page Dungeon Contest entry "The Tower of the Great Eruption" is the use of gliders by the gnomes that inhabit the tower jutting forth from a lake of lava.  It has a little bit of an "Escape from New York" vibe with the player characters possibly gliding in. If the Character  arrived in some other manner (even possibly through a dream state as one possible hook suggests), then the gliders could be used in a daring escape after having looting heavy cogs or other valuables from the gnomes.  Will the characters be forced to leave behind the majority of their loot in order to keep the gliders aloft on the heat waves as they attempt to flee what is likely to be a veritable army of angry gnomes?

Even if they manage to traverse the lava lake on rising hot air and lucky dice rolls, what lies in store for them after that. Perhaps the lake is near the top of the mountain, which begs for a "wing suit footage" style set piece as they zip downwards towards freedom or doom. There is a whimsical nature to the setting that conjures up imaged of a "Hot Wheels track of doom" with all manner of challenges presenting themselves as the characters attempt an escape. That or it has occurred to me that the whole dungeon is some sort of fever-dream "dick joke", in which case the "It's just a dream" hook would seem inappropriately appropriate. A lot of potential for this one as a game night one-shot, or drop it into a volcanic mountain in your setting and unleash the power of gliders in your campaign.

Nice work Wind!

Monday, June 11, 2018

2018 One Page Dungeon Contest Scores are in!!!!

The scores for the 2018 tenth anniversary contest are in, and 52 entries that scored the most combined points from the judges panel have been declared the winners!  One more winner will be upvoted from the Honorable Mentions, and there will be 3 special judge prizes that have yet to be determined, but for the most part the lion's share of the work is done, and we can finally end the suspense and lead off with the the top scoring entries of 2018!

Best Overall One Page Dungeon (received the most points)

"Town of Rydell" by Jmar  (80 Points)

Winning Entries 

Entries are ordered by number of points awarded. 

"Rampaging Robot" by Karl Stjernberg  (76 Points)
"Beneath the Namless Towers of the Kremlin" by Roger SG Sorolla (70 Points)
"Bartizan of the Blood Egg" by Max White (60 Points)

"Vault of the Witch Queen"  by Noah Lloyd and Matt Ryan (57 Points)
"The Mage in his Tower" by Spaghetting Quester (57 Points)

"Flight of the Moon Beetles" by Bodie Hartley (56 Points)
"Akhronoton" by Anton L.C. (55 Points)
"One Page: A Dungeon" by Steve Kilian (54 Points)
"Morinoux's Prison" by Connor Roberson (52 Points)
"River Gorge Gauntlet" by JD Thornton (50 Points)
"Ascent of the Robot God" by John Love and Matthew "OgreBeef" Seagle (49 Points)
"Frankenstein Leviathan" by Benji Dike (48 Points)
"Wastes of the Rhinofolk" by Glynn Seal (45 Points)
"Elf Bane" by Scott Marcley (44 Points)
"Secrets of the Menhirs" by Chris Walton (41 Points)
"Wage Slaves of the Principality" by Aaron A. Reed (40 Points)
"The Tower of the Silent God" by Daniel Comerci  (39 Points)
"Don't Wake the Dragon" by Simon Forster (34 Points)
"Escape from New Goblin City" by Brother Juniper (31 Points)

"The Chasm of Coalhaven" by Ben Chaplin (30 Points)
"Quest for the Murder Sword" by Johan Nohr (Stockholm Kartell) (30 Points)

"The Colony" by Ned Hugar (29 Points)
"Nether Beasts of Ruby Pearl Island" by Carl Niblaeus (Stockholm Kartell) (29 Points)
"Assault on Mordak's Palace" by Keith Echevarria (29 Points)

"Shannon, the Gold Dragon" by Rose Szabo and Tamora Raze (28 Points)

"Infestation" by Seth Paxton (27 Points)
"The Clock Tower" by Hamish McIntyre and Elphia H-V (27 Points)

"Fortress of Turby" by Aaron Thompson and Kelly Ellerbrook (26 Points)

"The Abandoned Plane" by Sadhbh Brennan (25 Points)

"We're All Trapped in this Cave Together" by Rebecca S. (24 Points)
"Silks Subterfuge" by Matthew H, Sylvia G, and Katie L. (24 Points)
"Salt of the Earth" by Kezle (24 Points)

"Mollusc of Madness" by Patrick Kelly and Ian Andrews (22 Points)

"Pyramid Scheme" by Mike O'Regan (21 Points)
"The Dragon's Lantern" by Vance Atkins (21 Points)

"In the Cradle of the Reborn God" by Chris Hall (20 Points)
"What is in That Large, Abandoned, and Decrepit Building?" by Michael Raston (20 Points)

"Chrono-Labyrinth of the Shattered Aeon" by Michael Wenman (17 Points)
"Crimson Rock Prison" by Stuart Kehoe (17 Points)
"Light of the Lifeless" by Wilmer Dahl (17 Points)

"Stitcher in the Woods" by Travis Cook and Bryan Wuest (16 Points)
"Duchess/ Lichess" by Idiomdrottning (16 Points)
"Mount Zorgoth" by Nate Treme (16 Points)

"The Green King's War" by theinfamousmrmeow (15 Points)
"Timmy Fell in the Well" by GM Lily (15 Points)
"Rat at Will" by AndrĂ© Bogaz and Camila Morais  (15 Points)

"Sinkhole of the Spider Cult" by Andre Lindenfelser (14 Points)
"Golem Like you See 'em" by Jennevieve Schlemmer (14 Points)

"Circadian Tower" by Johnathan Castle and Matt Henderson (13 Points)
"Flying Offerings" by Marco Conti (13 Points)
"Lost in the Coldbless Caves" by Gregorious21778 (13 Points)
"Dorgotar Dungeon" by Daniel Walthall (Up-Voted by Special Judge)
"Lost Lair of Lorthain Shaar" by Jeremy DS Marshall (Cartography prize awarded by Special Judge)

Honorable Mentions

Judges had a limited amount of points to assign, and each of the following entries were given points by one or more judges. 

"I Know I Came Here for a Reason"
"Seaglass Isle"
"Mad Conjurer's Tomb"
"The Love Canyon"
"Ancient Emerald Eyes"
"Tomb of the Donkey God"
"A Secret Beyond the Sewers"
"The Abbey of St. Wilk"
"Gullet of the Rust Demon"
"Monster in the Mines"
"The Scinn"
"Cliffs of Sorrow"
"Adressed to M Bova"
"Lina (9), Hendrik (7), and Joaquin (5) Wrote another Dungeon
"Bungeon of Fear"
"The Green Colossus"
"Stuck in the MUD"

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 "Tenth Anniversary" One Page Dungeon Contest!

Thanks to everyone for their patience as the judged worked through this unprecedented number of entries!

Monday, June 4, 2018

One Thing: "The Cursed Ruins of Graxx Inxomnitrix"

One thing I love about Mattias Lejbrink and Ann-Mari Karlsson's 2018 One Page Dungeon Contest entry is the way it inspired a new-found appreciate for the "fetch quest".  Five relics must be gathered within the crumbling, other-worldly estate: The Phantom Emerald, the Ivory Comb, the Jade Bowl (of salt), the Book of Stains, and finally the Lord's Carpet.

It was all I could do to continue reading the One Page Dungeon, and not stop to "Stat Out" these items, or make quick sketches of them.  The relics can be found in locations that make sense given their themes, and reading this entry gave me the great feeling of playing a vintage "point and click" adventure game. The cursed village hook makes this adventure easy to drop in to an existing campaign, and despite the whimsical layout, there is some surprisingly grim "goings-on" in the Cursed Ruins!
Nice job Mattias and Ann-Mari!