How New is the One Page Dungeon?

The One Page Dungeon, I stated, is a “new” concept to me.

How new?

Well, my introduction to tabletop RPGs came with the board game Hero Quest, a 1990 release by Milton-Bradley in conjunction with Games Workshop. This game came with a Quest Book, which contained a map of the board with symbols to show where to put the various pieces (the doors, the furniture, the enemies, etc). Opened up, the Quest Book was just a little bit larger than an 8-1/2 x 11″ sheet of paper.

The One Page Dungeon, therefore, shouldn’t have been that new to me.

In honor of my introduction to gaming, I thought I would share a simple Quest for the Hero Quest Game System that you can download and play. You will see that it fits neatly on one page.

Download the PDF here.

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.