One Page Dungeon Contest: Thoughts

By any measure, the 2009 One Page Dungeon Contest was a smashing success. With the 2010 edition underway (deadline is March 1st), I thought it’d be a good time to think about the concept.

I found the remarks of one of the judges to be very instructive. In examining which dungeons were really successful, I came to realize a shift in perspective.

Rather than thinking of them in terms of a dungeon on one page, they’re really more like One Page Settings. The setting typically revolves around a dungeon, but it’s still a setting. And the good ones have all the attributes of a good setting. Good characters, good atmosphere, good locations, good plot.

That’s the current state of the art as far as my thinking on the subject goes. So far.

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2 Responses to “One Page Dungeon Contest: Thoughts”

  1. A Paladin In Citadel Says:

    I think you’re right. If you look at the winners, they really were just a 30×30 snapshot of a larger setting. I particularly liked the Sewers of the Old City, as it has all the earmarkings of a larger megadungeon setting.

    It will be interesting to see if the 2010 winner uses the same approach. Sometimes, when everyone is doing one thing, its time to do the opposite.

  2. Alex Schroeder Says:

    I think (and hope!) that the breadth of styles will continue to amaze. I want to read it all, from the gonzo to the dry, from the deadly trap to scenic cave.

    I agree with the post that a dungeon is better than it’s text if it manages to insinuate more, promise more, inspire more — that’s how you build excitement and fire the imagination of the referee who’s going to run it, after all.

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