D&D ENCOUNTER: The Water Princess

For Christmas, my niece received a mermaid costume and a butterfly wand. She wore the costume, carried the wand, and still had both of her stuffed dragons in tow. I knew there was at least a Dungeons & Dragons encounter in this mish-mash of mythology.

The Water Princess (EL 7)

No one knows the origin of the strange creature calling herself the Water Princess. She appeared in the marshes some years back, apparently the only example of her kind. She’s a strange hybrid of nymph and water mephit, so some loremasters have posited that she is a magical experiment escaped from her creator.

The Water Princess is driven by curiosity, latching onto adventurers (especially wizards) and asking endless questions about nature, science, and arcane magic. She thirsts for knowledge and loves learning new things. Even if she isn’t tagging along with a group of adventurers, she can often be spotted doing experiments or studying animals. She may be responsible for building some of the odd contraptions seen in the marshes. Continue reading “D&D ENCOUNTER: The Water Princess”

One Page Dungeon, Part III

In this post, you see that I discovered the magic of the One Page Dungeon, a completely self-contained RPG adventure on a single sheet of paper. What I did then was create a series of interlinked adventures to answer the question: What happens to a god that has no more mortal worshipers? Can it stage a comeback? It crosses over with my interest in philosophy of religion and it gives me an excuse to use the excellent Shrines Map Pack from Paizo Publishing.

It appears that the Old Gods here are trying to make a comeback. If a Chosen of the Old Ones is sacrificed upon a certain altar when the stars are in perfect alignment, the Old Gods will ascend to the heavens again. In the latest installment, the heroes will have track a sage who knows what the alignment is, and how to determine if someone is one of the Chosen.

I love feedback! Please let me know what you think of these adventures in the comments.

One Page Dungeon, part II

As stated previously, the One Page Dungeon is a new (to me) concept of trying to fit an entire dungeon on one page. When I bought the outstanding Shrines Map Pack from Paizo Publishing, I had an idea to use several of them in an interlinked campaign arc to answer the burning question: What becomes of the gods who no longer have mortal worshipers? Could they stage a comeback?

Part II of my answer awaits.

One Page Dungeon

I recently discovered a new (to me) concept: the One Page Dungeon. It’s exactly as it sounds–a complete dungeon (notes and all) that appears on a single sheet of paper.

Is it really all that new? I’ve loved the board game HeroQuest since it came out in the 90s and it was my first introduction to fantasy role-playing games. Too bad I couldn’t find a regular group of friends to game with. I didn’t let that stop me from designing quests and campaigns for it, and I even released a few online at the Ye Olde Inn. Each quest was a single page with a map on top, parchment text meant to be read aloud to the players, and notes for each room explaining what would happen.

What’s new is applying the One Page Concept to a complete Dungeons & Dragons adventure, which is typically contained within a 32-page book.

I have, however, found it to be possible and quite an enjoyable challenge.

My first attempt can be dropped into any campaign. I’ve purposely made the hook vague so that a Dungeon Master can use it as he or she sees fit. It ends with a note of finality, but there are a couple of unanswered questions. What is that list of names? Who are the cultists? What deity is that shrine dedicated to?

The entire linked series (about 6 parts) comes out of an idea I had as I looked at the fantastic Shrines Map Pack from Paizo Publishing. Deities draw their power from their worshipers. So what happens when a god is forgotten? Does it cease to exist? I should think not; it is divine.

In the real world, gods like Set or Osiris have no more mortal worshipers. If they were ever real, what became of them? Did they lose power? Cease to exist? If they still exist, could they stage a comeback?

These are the kinds of questions that skeptics ask you and think are defeaters to your faith in God when you decide to do philosophy of religion on an amateur basis. When you give that up and start focusing on writing fiction, you can answer those questions in a series of interlinked One Page Dungeons.