Under the Hill

so tired…

Posts Tagged ‘one page dungeon

Under Oak Hill

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My entry for the One Page Dungeon Contest 2010: A small module taking a group of low to mid-level characters through a cave system. I noticed during writing this little dungeon how used I am, as a referee,still thinking in DSA’s terms. Where others would have put in a lot of weird and uncommon monsters more, my enemies are a bit more mundane; if one can call undead bears mundane… (also the sheer mass of creatures is showing the D&D).

This design paradigm is normal for The Dark Eye, as most gamemasters notice pretty soon how hard it is to write extraordinary creatures and plots without completely breaking the whole setting. I kept myself mostly to usual fantasy fare with the monsters in that module. A few were not in the Labyrinth Lord basic rules (which I used as reference); that won’t matter, I will post writeups on those the next few days.

The map was created with Dungeon Crafter v1.4.1 (the free one), then finished off in GIMP. I noticed that at least when using it under WINE I cannot turn tiles in Dungeon Crafter, or even save a map, for reasons unknown, so the mapping took longer than I planned and still is lacking something. Anybody got a better mapper that’s also usable on a Linux system?

Update: Feb 26. 2010 – replaced download link with slightly corrected version

Download: Under Oak Hill

Related: New Creatures

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Written by G. Neuner

25. February 2010 at 2:17 pm

The Art of Dungeoncraft

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I should be doing something entirely else really. Actually I should be finishing the last few things for my MA. But what do I do? Writing an One Page Dungeon.
For the uninitiated: dungeons are the natural habitat of player characters and monsters. For some reason the best and easiest setting to set roleplaying games in was and is an underground lair or something like that. Room after room of monsters, treasures, and traps. Yay! Adventure! Moria for all!
For some reason RPGs never really managed to get away from those. And in many cases they never really tried. (there is a reason the most famous RPG is called Dungeons&Dragons…)
Retroclones, as mentioned before, try to emulate a lot of those old times, and dungeons are a big part of that.
So it comes as kind of a surprise that they, with that, actually are embracing a special sort dungeons, treating dungeons as a sort of art form: dungeons limited to one page only, with map and everything.¹

How much story and adventure can one relate on only one page?

A lot.
Building a dungeon becomes minimalistic art: short sentences, only the most needed of comments, and the dungeon’s map as part of this storytelling. Is it a 70s style TSR-blue dungeon? Is it handdrawn? What’s on the map, what isn’t? And so these dungeons can range from bad to good, and sometimes they move into sheer excellency (look at this guys OPDs for example!).
So why the sudden interest in this kind of dungeon? The One Page Dungeon Contest 2010 has it’s submission date this weekend, and I want to take part. I would have liked to playtest the dungeon before handing it in, but well, that will have to wait until next week or so.

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Written by G. Neuner

25. February 2010 at 6:07 am