Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Observations from the One Page Dungeon Contest

I'm in the process of picking my favorites from the more than one hundred entries that the One Page Dungeon Contest received. It's a slow but steady task, as I want to make sure that everyone gets equal consideration for their work.

I won't comment on individual entries or let slip which have been my favorites of those I've read, but I will share two things that have occurred to me during the judging so far. One is that I believe I can determine with 95% accuracy what a contestant's preferred version of D&D is by whether or not they included a description of "Lighting" for their dungeon. This must be something that came into vogue with 3rd edition or later, because it was always assumed in the earlier editions that dungeons were dark - pitch black even - and therefore any need to specify the lighting conditions was unnecessary. This observation has no impact on how I score a particular entry, but it crops up so regularly that I thought it was worth commenting on.

Secondly (and I'm not finished reading all the entries yet so I may still be surprised), since the contest has ended and I can say this, is that if someone had entered a dungeon that featured six asthmatic kobolds guarding the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords (like the dungeons I used to write when I was ten did), I would have lobbied hard for that dungeon to be named "Most Totally Radical Dungeon Ever!!!"

In all seriousness though, you folks had some amazing ideas and everyone who took the chance to enter their dungeons, knowing they'd be viewed by complete strangers, should be proud. That takes some chutzpah.

5 comments:

JB said...

if someone had entered a dungeon that featured six asthmatic kobolds guarding the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords (like the dungeons I used to write when I was ten did)Yep, about age 10 is when I stopped throwing DMG artifacts into fairly mundane treasure troves.

Strangely enough, when I got older and more "mature" I never included ANY artifacts or relics...could never figure out a "good enough reason" for them to be around. Strangely, this may have actually detracted from some of the "magical-ness" of those early games!

Ha! I did laugh out loud when I read that...

lordkilgore said...

it was always assumed in the earlier editions that dungeons were dark - pitch black even - and therefore any need to specify the lighting conditions was unnecessary.

Which is why there are torches and lanterns on the equipment list but not sunglasses or parasols.

Santiago said...

Interesting observation indeed. I'm eager to get the 110 dungeon PDF!

cr0m said...

How many were created specifically for the contest, versus a one-pager that somebody (like me) happened to have done up for an ongoing game?

Just curious.

Amityville Mike said...

How many were created specifically for the contest, versus a one-pager that somebody (like me) happened to have done up for an ongoing game?

It's really impossible to tell with the one-page format. I wounldn't even dare hazard a guess.