OPD highlights

The One Page Dungeon Contest (link is to main page; you can find all mentioned OPDs there now) has some excellent again entries this year.

I’m pointing out some that I especially like but really almost all of them are just great.  I haven’t had a chance to look at most of them, actually.  There are something like 60 entries this year!

I wish I had the artistic talent to do one with a mostly “visual” key.  I don’t know if there is a term for maps like that where the encounters are drawn directly onto it, but I have been calling them “visual maps” although that sounds kind of redundant. Three with nicely drawn visual maps are: The dungeon with no name (my favorite of all the entries really; bonus: it has a hell mouth!), The sinister puppetee, and Vermin Hollow. The hallways of Thime looks great too, and is very “professional” looking.

There are a lot of entries that are basically a showcase of one interesting and/or original idea, and the OPD format is perfect for them. The great lunar staircase (which reminds me a little of the “Infinite tower” from a previous year) is a neat idea. There’s a sword down there, I promise uses a mapping technique I’ve never seen before. The egg of Gazolba‘s central idea of a non-violent dungeon is something I haven’t seen before (I guess there is that one TSR module with the forest where fighting turns the thing into an almost no-win situuation; The garden of something or other?). The mystery of Godzina house has a great premise too — the house travels through time and the different “levels” of the dungeon are just set in different time periods.  I am seriously impressed too with the idea behind Treasure of Piltarch too — a tactile map provided to the players.

I have to admit that I don’t spend much time looking at non-fantasy OPDs, but I really liked the Old West scenario Hanging in Wolverine City.

I was thinking my own submission, The belly of the beast, would be pretty unique but I see at least two more submissions that are “anatomical” — Down the gullet of the space-god and Into the worm’s gullet; I’m glad I didn’t call my dungeon “Hell in a gullet,” which was one of the titles I was tossing around. 🙂   Both of the gullet OPDs look pretty good.

But that reminds me — I’m getting some free publicity for my OPD via the TV show Adventure Time: see the upcoming episode, “Belly of the beast.” 😉  (poster here)

Anyway the OPDs are a real life-saver and I’m sure I’ll be throw a few of this year’s entries into my own campaign, just as I have with the previous two year’s entries.

<Update> Since posting this, I came across two more stand-outs: Terror in Shadowcliff Vale, which manages to squeeze a village and three adventure locations into one page, and Citadel of Evil, which prints to cut & fold into a six page booklet using the “Pocket Mod” tool.  I’m a sucker for printable booklets.  Maybe someone will start a Pocket Module contest, eh?

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Published in: on April 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey, cool that you liked my piece (“There’s a sword down there…”)! I participated last year too, and find it extremely difficult to stand out amongst so many other great works.

    Good luck in the contest!

  2. If you look back at the older entries you will find a lot of entries with humanoid shaped dungeons. 🙂


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