The 2013 One Page Dungeon Contest is here

…and you are almost out of time to make a submission.   <update> OK times up but now you can see all the submissions! Check it out HERE.

Last night I couldn’t sleep and spent a few hours revising, redrawing, and scanning a dungeon I made for my first D&D campaign (Telengard).  It was level 2a — a sublevel accessible from level 2 of  the Telengard mini-megadungeon, although it was also accessible from an outdoor feature (“The Salt Fens”).  It is now posted my “downloads page” (see the sidebar on the right) and you can also just click here for the pdf: The-Misty-Pond

The main change I made to the dungeon was removing a trick/puzzle that would take too much space on an OPD to explain.  In th OPD it is just a trapped chest, but in my campaign there was a “room” with a sign that said:

One casket holds a treasure. The other two are empty or hold evil spirits. All the inscriptions on the caskets are either true or false. The riting on this sign is all true.  You have one minute to open a casket, or all will open.

There are three caskets: one brass, one tin, and one copper.  They each have an inscription.

Brass: The treasure is in here.

Tin: The treasure is in the copper casket.

Copper: At least two inscriptions are false.

I handed a player two index cards — one with the inscription on the signs, one with the three caskets drawn and labeled on it, and started a one minute timer.   (In my campaign he opened a casket with treasure inside and kept th other two caskets in his pack for many sessions, just in case he found a use for them.)  The evil spirits were wraiths.  You will no doubt figure this puzzle out, as the player did.  He also snarfed the two unopened caskets, “just in case” he might need them later.  I can think of a lot of uses for a box that might have a wraith in it.  Sadly that PC did not ever get a chance to use the caskets.  The PC ‘went bad’ and became a villain for a while but I can’t remember if the villain ever got to use the caskets either.

Anyway the OPD version of this dungeon has some treasure, some monsters, and some tricks or traps, but the main thing that I liked about it is that the “dungeon” is totally open, strictly speaking; however line of sight and movement are blocked by the fact that the “wall” areas are waters infested with monsters and covered with mists that reduce visibility to 10′.   Falling into the water is very dangerous, but a capable swimmer might bypass some dangerous “rooms”.  I also like that it is a fairly surreal location, with giant lily pads, a flail snail (which I was using LONG before the OSR got that flail snail meme, dammit!), and its own logic.

You still have time to create your own submission.  I used Google Drive to upload a scan of the crude drawing and the “Drawing” editor to add a key, text, etc.  It looks kind of crude but is usable!  You could scan your own small map and add the key etc. in a few hours if you want to enter the contest.

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Published in: on April 24, 2013 at 11:34 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. FLAIL SNAIL! Working in overly mailgned monsters is great, I have a campaign that features Flumphs. I like the non-traditional open layout and the surreal setting. I am also a big fan of rolled randomness to enhance player uncertainty. I think using all the sea-related adventures in this year’s contest, one could have an entire coastal campaign.

  2. So, when the sign says “All the inscriptions on the caskets are either true or false”, does it mean that each inscription is either true or false (none is partly-true/partly-false), or does it mean that either all the inscriptions are true or none of them is?

    • It means each one is either true or false. I suppose the word ‘all’ could be left out, but logically it would not be possible for all of them to be true nor all false. It’s more of a disclaimer to indicate that the inscriptions are meaningful — either true or false — as opposed to having *no* truth-value.

      • I worked out that all couldn’t be true or all false, but for players working under a time limit, I like to make sure that the clues are as clear as possible, unless the obscurity is specifically part of the puzzle.


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