Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Winners of the One Page Dungeon Contest

After two-and-a-half months, a minor deadline hiccup, and a whole lot of eyestrain on the part of the Six Sinister Judges, the votes have been tallied, the prizes allotted, and now it’s time to announce the winners!

This is where I normally go into what a pleasure it was to work with my fellow judges (ChattyDM, Chgowiz, Sham AKA Dave, Dave: the Game, and, in a last minute substitution, Alex Schroeder) and how impressed we were with the quality of entries. But I know you’re eager to see the winners, so, without further ado, here they are!

Honorable Mentions

The following entries slugged their way to the cusp of victory, only to be defeated by a few natural twenties and a failed saving throw. These entries put up such a determined defense that the Judges felt they should be given accolades for their quality and effort, and hereby bestow upon them the prestigious, albeit prize-less, rank of “Honorable Mention.” These entries will be included in the Winners One Page Dungeon .pdf. The categories for Honorable Mention were the decisions of the judges who selected them.

Best Aquatic Entry: “The Barnacle Caves” by Sam Kisko
Best Classic: “Ruffthroat's Rathskeller” by Lee Barber
Best Dungeon Circa 1974: “The Crumbling Dungeon” by Lord Kilgore
Best Dungeon Crawl: “Shrine of the Savage Jungle” by John Laviolette
Most Elegant: “Clockwork Crypt” by Gary S. Watkins
Funniest: “The Vareh'gra Depths” by Gary McCammon
Best Geometry: “Halls of the Mad Mage” by Justin Alexander
Best Homage: “The Omenous Portent of the Highlands Meteor” by Tim Hensley
Best Introductory One-Shot: “The Tomb of Dûrahn Oakenshield” by Dyson Logos
Best Non-Dungeon: “The Great Cloud Caper” by Jonathan Lee
Best Unconventional: “Traps-R-Us” by Chris Torrence
Best Use of Tables: “Mountain Lair of the Misanthropic Magus” by Sean Wills

Runners Up

The following entries showed great ingenuity and an abundance of overall quality. Many of them appeared on multiple Judges’ picks for the final round, demonstrating that their appeal was no fluke and that a solid dungeon (or whatever) can be appreciated no matter what school or edition your prefer to call your own. Each of the following entries will be awarded the prize listed immediately following their name. Categories were selected by the submitting judges.

Best Hack-n-Slash: “The Gray Goblin Warrens” by Christopher Brackett
Prize: Random Esoteric Creature Generator

Best Non-Fantasy Entry: “The Horror of Leatherbury House” by Michael Wolf
Prize: Bundle of Goblinoid Games products

Best Pub: “Arendt's Old Peculiar” by Antti Hulkkonen
Prize: Tabletop Adventures bundle: Bits of Darkness, Deck O'Names

Best Replayable Entry: “The Infinite Tower” by James E. Raggi IV
Prize: Otherworld Minatures - Pig Faced Orcs box set

Best Retro Use of 30x30 Space: “Megadungeon of the Mad Archmage Gary Stu” by Adam Thornton
Prize: Bundle of Knockspell and City Encounter PDFs

Best Silly Dungeon: “Maze of NAMCAP” by Patrick Riley
Prize: Bundle of Wizards of the Coast D&D 4e Adventures (or equivalent)

The Top Three

Here are the final three winners, which were also the easiest to pick. Each of the following appeared as the top picks by almost every judge, earning them the coveted top prizes and all the bragging rights that accompany the categories of Best New School Dungeon, Best Old School Dungeon, and Best Overall.

Best New School Dungeon: “Cry of the Gravegod” by Heron Prior
Prizes: Bundle of Necromancer games product, Fantasy Grounds II Licence, Wizards of the Coast - Dungeon Delve book and Adventurer's Vault book, 6 month membership to Obsidian Portal, AvatarArt free artwork, Quarterly membership to

Best Old School Dungeon: “Valley of the Necromancer Kings” by Andrew Gale
Prizes: Bundle of Brave Halfling Production products, Demon Idol Miniature, 6 month membership Obsidian Portal, Fantasy Grounds II License, AvatarArt free artwork, Bundles of Fight On! and Knockspell issues

Finally *cue drums and trumpets*

Best Overall One Page Dungeon: “Secrets of the Old City” by Simon Bull
Prizes: Patron membership of Wolfgang Baur’s Open Design, Kobold Guide to Game Design, Quarterly membership to Monte Cook’s Dungeon a Day, A full Licence for Smitework’s Fantasy Grounds II, 1 year membership to Obsidian Portal, 50$ Gift Certificate from One-Bookshelf, Bundles of Fight On! and Knockspell issues.

I offer my congratulations to all the winners and my profound respect to every one of you who entered. Having the opportunity to read the 112 entries taught me a lot about what I like and don’t like in an adventure, as well as gave me a few hints, pointers, and things to steal outright next time I’m behind the screen.

Chatty and Chgowiz now inherit the not-so-easy task of turning this mass of entries into a set of .pdfs to unleash upon the world. I wish them the best of luck and hope that, once completed, you all take the time to check out the entries for yourselves.

I have another post coming up in which I say a few nice things about some of my own picks that came close to taking home a prize, but fell short a few feet from the finish line. Hopefully that might encourage those authors to keep working at their craft because they’ve really got some great ideas.

For more details about the One Page Dungeon Contest and the .pdf release, please wander over to ChattyDm's or Chgowiz's blogs, where the two masterminds behind the contest go into explicit detail as to things to come.


Christopher B said...

Thanks for helping pull this off, Mike. My mind boggles at the work involved in such an undertaking.

I'm really looking forward to hearing what you and the other judges have to say about the various entries after the dust has settled. And I can't wait to see the compiled PDF of all 112 entries - "hints, pointers, and things to steal," indeed!

Anonymous said...

This was a BRILLIANT idea! I'm flattered to have been an honorable mention and I'm sure the winners are thrilled at their victory and will love their prizes from the awesome sponsors.

But the REAL winners will be the gaming community at large as it benefits from what is sure to be a great collection of one page dungeons.