Tag Archive For "dungeons and dragons"

One Page Dungeon Contest 2019

The One Page Dungeon Contest returns once again!

As we are wont to do, my brother and I crafted an entry for the competition – our fourth submission in the last six years! We decided to keep things a little looser this time around, incorporating gnomes, squid, and pseudo-science into our adventure.

an excerpt from an entry in the one page dungeon contest
Following a total system failure, Captain Huxley recruits a team of adventurers to salvage what is left of the AURA underwater research lab.

You can download the full PDF of Captain Huxley Palloolieth and the Great Underwater Elevator and be sure too keep an eye on the contest website to check out the rest of the entries.

One Page Dungeon Contest 2015: 3rd Place!

A few weeks back I mentioned that Matt and I had entered the One Page Dungeon Contest, an annual competition that challenges amateur designers to create the ultimate single page role-playing adventure. After a month-long judging process, the results are finally in! Matt and I managed to sneak into the 3rd place category with our entry, Vesna’s Refuge.


In celebration of this win, I am releasing a new supplement for the adventure: a random encounter table. We had to cut it from the original release due to length issues (you only get one page, after all), but it can now be used to spice up your gaming session. Just roll a d10 when players enter a new area, and see what crazy things happen!

Vesna's Refuge Random Encounter Table

1The party encounters a foraging, shambling mound named Pendleton. Although powerful, Pendleton will not attack unless provoked.
2The ground gives way underneath the party, dropping them into the subterranean tunnels (see #). Once they regain their bearings, the PCs are free to explore the tunnels or climb back up to the surface.
3An owlbear attacks the group, hoping for an easy meal. If this encounter occurs in the Root Barrows, Mother Vor swoops down and captures the owlbear shortly after combat begins.
4A pair of ankhegs burst forth from the ground, spitting acid at the party. If one of the ankhegs is defeated, the other flees in terror.
5A large bush full of purple berries is found growing from the earth. The berries are actually goodberries, and will heal the party’s wounds.
6A large bush full of orange berries is found growing from the earth. The berries are mildly poisonous, causing nausea to any who consume them.
7The party is stalked by a starving pack of wolves. Weakened by hunger, the wolves are skittish and easily frightened by loud noises or displays of force.
8A ghost appears in the distance, but dissipates before the party can approach. It is the spirit of one of the druids, trying to reach out to the PCs for help.
9A bright light (actually a will-o-wisp) appears in the distance and attempts to lead the party forward. If followed, it will guide them to patch of poisonous fungus before attacking the PCs.
10Old Kaban, an ancient and powerful boar, attacks the party. Various arrows (some magical) are lodged in the boar, and can be recovered if the beast is slain.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Vesna’s Refuge is 100% free to use and copy for non-commercial purposes, and is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license. If you do decide to run it, let me know how it goes. I’d love to get feedback on the adventure!


ConBravo 2014: D&D Next First Impressions

This is part two of a three part series where Michael reviews his experiences as ConBravo.


 I actually didn’t get a chance to play any of the multitude of table-top games available at ConBravo. Sad but true! However, former Spellstorm organizer Dominic Amann was running a newbie table of D&D Next and let me sit in for the first hour to learn the rules and get a feel for the system. I’ve written up some first impressions below:

Simple Is Good


An obvious amalgam of second and third edition, D&D Next does something its predecessors could not: it keeps things pretty simple. A lot of mechanics that were headaches in 3.5 (and continue to be in Pathfinder) have been eliminated or simplified, including attacks of opportunity, ranged combat hindrances, and arbitrary attack bonuses. The straight-forward advantage/disadvantage system is a welcome alternative, allowing players to pick the best roll from two d20s in situations where they have the upper hand. This works in an inverted manner if something is hindering the player’s actions, such as shooting into cover or attacking from prone. It is a relatively simple and elegant system which should up combat greatly.

Tone It Down Everybody


 Dominic explained to me that a lot of the “munchkin” elements of the game have been cut back in 5th edition, with one of his favourite changes being the hard cap on ability scores. Players can not start with an ability score above 17 (unless they roll for them), and can never exceed the maximum of 20. It also appears that player power has been mitigated in general, with players having to make tough decisions between feats and ability bonuses as they level up. Min-maxing runs rampantly throughout earlier iterations of the game, so it is very nice to see it reigned in a little bit.

A Good Start, But…


 The D&D Starter Set comes with a lot of great stuff, but it seems a bit lacking even for a small beginner’s kit. There were a few times over the course of the game where  players had to stop and look up rules, only to learn that weren’t included in the set! I also felt that the lack of at least a single fold-out map was a missed opportunity, as those sorts of add-ons really help to add perspective to the game’s world. I will, however, give big ups for gender neutral character sheets. It’s a small thing, but it is nice to see WoTC at least somewhat embracing an increasingly diverse player base.

Let’s See How Things Play Out


 At the end of the day, D&D Next is a solid tabletop RPG that will not be defined by its game-play, but instead by its publishing strategies. 4th edition was widely regarded as a gong show in terms of release schedules and rules bloat, and if 5th edition follows in the same footsteps it will fall flat on its bottom. Players were burned once already, and they certainly won’t put up with it a second time.