Wednesday, April 18, 2018

April 18th Update

Looking at the countdown timer, I see that there is a little over eleven days left to submit an entry for the 2018 One Page Dungeon Contest. Most of the current entries have been sent in by new/ first time participants this year, although I have been assured that many are planning on returning to the contest again this year for the tenth anniversary.  Looking over the entries that have been submitted so far (a perk of organizing the contest is being the first person to see them all as they come in) I can tell you that the judges have their work cut out for them!

The One Page Dungeon Contest has new(ish) Twitter and Facebook pages that are typically more up to date than this blog, so you should definitely check them out:


I added a resources page to the website, but it is anything but exhaustive.

If you have any suggestions for information that would be helpful for first time or returning creators, especially given the ever-dwindling amount of time left in the submission period, by all means let me know in the comments, and I can add it to the website as well.

I started to work on this post earlier while looking for more resources, but I started watching  a Michael Prescott video and barely managed to pull myself out of the isometric rabbit hole in time to make a post.

This is the video that reeled me in and the start of my binge watching and it's worth much more than a crow's nest full of cookie packets!

The Deadline for the 2018 One Page Dungeon Contest is May 1st, by midnight UMT

Visit for more details, and grab a free copy of the submission guide HERE.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Inspiration for One Page Dungeon Contest Entries

I was dropping my daughter off at a friend's house this afternoon, and instead of listening to one of two local college radio stations, she had control of the radio. A Taylor Swift song came on, one that I have passing familiarity with, but had not paid close attention to lyrics wise, and a snippet stuck with me. I thought, taken out of context, this could make for an interesting one page dungeon.

"Island breeze and lights down low
No one has to know
In the middle of the night, in my dreams
You should see the things we do, baby"
-Lyrics from "Ready For It?" by Taylor Swift

So my mind went to Inception, with the players as secret agents remotely invading the mind of a foe in order to uncover secrets, or perhaps even assassinate the villain from within.

The adventure would likely take place in one location given the size constraints of a one page dungeon entry, a memory that involved an Island just after sunset. The twist would be that the players would discover the villain to be a sympathetic character, or perhaps even come to doubt they had the correct person, but still forced to fight a large number of foes manifested by the target's subconscious.

A quick search of islands,and Pinaki Atoll, which is just over 170 acres is good inspiration for a location. A google translation of "lost blue" into French results in "Perdu Bleu", the name for my fictional resort on my fictional island.

The "dream state" of the island and resort has the staff and vacationers reacting to the player characters as other guests of the resort until they initiate any hostilities or are discovered accessing restricted areas. This allows the characters time to explore the island memory, which is an endless night.

I have been to an island resort once, so I can write about what little I know about the experience:
All inclusive, so lots of food and drinks, windsurfing classes, water aerobics, sunbathing, exclusive restaurants as well as buffets, a local town outside of the resort, theme nights, multiple bars, bonfires and beach parties after dark, etc...

So why this memory and this place?  Perhaps this is a memory of when the villain's partner died by drowning or perhaps even killed in the crossfire during an assassination attempt.  Maybe this is a stealth mission and the characters must alter the memory through their actions to convince the villain that he or she was ultimately responsible for the partners death. 

Maybe it is a memory from the villain/ protagonists childhood, and they are represented as a child in the adventure/ memory.

Maybe this whole adventure is set in a dystopian or post apocalyptic future, and a tech genius backed him or herself up with an artificially intelligent "cloud based" clone, and must be unraveled by accessing this seemingly innocuous memory.

There are a lot of ways to go with this, all from a snippet from a song improbably played on my car's radio.  

This is a decent start. Now to work out the map, the encounters, the items, the opponents, the challenges, the rewards, the art, the overall design, and fit it all onto one page!

What a Day, What a Lovely Day (to work on your one page dungeon)!

"Scavenger" class illo from my
Post Apocalyptic Hack.
There is definitely an up-tick in "non-fantasy" entries so far, and by "non-fantasy" I mean Post-Apocalyptic (19% of the current entries!). I am looking forward to the possibility that this year we will see more genre diversity (espionage/ sci-fi/ horror/ modern/ super heroic, etc.)

It is still "early" in the submission process for most creators (based on how close to the deadline entries are typically submitted each year), but for some creators having only two weeks (and three weekends) left (especially those working in collaboration with other creators) the May 1st midnight UMT deadline might be getting tight.

The first One Page Dungeon that Random Wizard and I worked on together (Meckwick's Revenge) took a few weeks to complete, as we were working on different aspects of it independently, and then had to put it all together in the end.  Add in the fact that I was still new to digital art and trying to figure out all the ins an outs of Photoshop and learning how to use my old Intuos tablet, all while juggling life.  Life definitely got in the way that year, but we manage to pull it off, submitting a final version very close to the deadline.

In short, make sure to give yourself enough time to submit an entry this year!
There are a lot of sponsors (twenty three with more coming!) offering incredibly generous prizes and you have the chance to be part of what is now a ten year tradition of wrestling with the constraints and design challenges the contest provides as well as share your work with a large (and ever-growing) audience! It is a great feeling to hear that someone used your creation as part of their campaign or as weekend one shot!

The Deadline for the 2018 One Page Dungeon Contest is May 1st, by midnight UMT

Visit for more details, and grab a free copy of the submission guide HERE.