One Page Dungeons

The One Page Dungeon Contest is a yearly competition where aspiring game designers create a role-playing-game dungeon within the space of an 8.5×11 sheet of paper. Dozens of participants compete with one goal in mind: to create the ultimate single page adventure.

Captain Huxley Palloolieth and the Great Underwater Elevator

an excerpt from an entry in the one page dungeon contest

2019 Participant

Howdy gents and ladygents! I’m Captain Huxley Palloolieth. Until a few months ago, I was commander of the Aquamarine Underwater Research Area – that’s AURA for short! It’s a big underwater lab designed to study sea creatures and ply the secrets of the deep.

However, a cataclysmic failure occurred in the boiler room that forced everyone to evacuate in a big hurry. Although the project has been officially scrubbed, I’m hoping you brave adventurers can help us cut our losses. We’d like you to venture into the AURA and recover the crystal core – the potent (and very expensive) power source of the facility. I have a list of other trinkets you can nab too if you have the opportunity and the wherewithal. A big elevator connects all the levels of the AURA, so getting to the boiler room should be pretty straight-forward. Just watch out for flooded rooms, jets of steam, electrified water, electrified eels, giant squids, regular-sized sharks, and cosmic horrors. Easy-peasy, right?

Of No Small Power

2017 Winning Entry

Thomas Fielding has gone missing! The faculty at the Academy Arcana would, under normal circumstances, not be too troubled by the disappearance of their young student. Fielding has proven himself to be incompetent in all disciplines of magic, save for the shrinking and enlarging of simple objects (a rubbish avenue of the arcane, especially when compared to battle magicks wielded by his more talented classmates). However, Fielding has absconded with a stack of spellbooks from the academy’s collection and, consequently, racked up a huge library fine. With the local pub closed for renovation – and the surrounding countryside uncharacteristically unmenaced – the party has been coaxed into retrieving the Academy Arcana’s D-student.

Although this task seems less than heroic, it will prove more difficult than expected. Browbeaten by his professors and bullied by his classmates, Fielding has spent most of the past semester sequestered in his boarding house obsessing over his size manipulation experiments. While testing a new shrinking spell in a nearby vacant lot, Fielding made a miraculous discovery: a minute race of humanoids named Dwindlings living beneath the grass.

Seeing the naive Dwindlings in awe of a “giant from the heavens,” a hideous smile crept across Fielding’s face. Finally, the recognition and respect his powers deserved! Within a matter of weeks, he had installed himself as king of the Dwindling tribe, using miniature golems and threats of giant footprint-shaped craters to keep his subjects in tow. Now known as Thumbledore the Significant, he rules from a tiny throne in a fortress constructed from pebbles and splinters.

It falls upon the party to enter Thumbledore’s diminutive realm, free the Dwindlings, and collect the precious library fines!

Vesna’s Refuge

2015 3rd Place Winner

For decades, Vesna’s Refuge was a peaceful island sanctuary, home to verdant greenery and abundant wildlife. Tended by a quintet of druids – Fyodor, Mokosh, Koledo, Veles, and Ivan – the great oak Vesna spread its roots across the isle, infusing the land with potent, primal magic.

Over time, Fyodor began to resent the power of Vesna, desiring her wild energies for his own. On the vernal equinox, he finally acted on his ambitions: transforming into a powerful earth elemental, slaughtering his fellow druids, and tapping into Vesna’s power from her very core.

However, the primal energies proved too much for Fyodor to handle, cursing him and sundering the great oak’s upper branches. Permanently stuck in his earth elemental form and unable to leave the tree, he spends his days pacing and muttering to himself incoherently.

Six months later, the island is a much different place. Fyodor’s desecration of Vesna has corrupted the wildlife, petrified the forest, and gnarled the tree’s mighty roots. This blight has not gone unnoticed ashore, and a small druid’s grove has sent forth a party of adventurers to investigate the refuge.

Galiron’s Gauntlet

2014 Participant

An eccentric wizard named Galiron has summoned adventurers from across the globe to participate in a unique test of skills: braving his deadly gauntlet of traps, puzzles, and monsters. The group that performs most admirably in the gauntlet will be rewarded with riches and glory beyond their imagination!

Each room in the gauntlet contains a single exit, which can only be reached by completing a challenge. These challenges vary from martial feats to mental quandaries. PCs can bring anything they wish inside the gauntlet with them, but Galiron gives no promise of safety during the competition.