I recently entered the One-Page Dungeon contest. It’s my first time. I’d read about One-Page Dungeons here and there over the past year or so. I’d checked out a few examples, including those found in the this free download. The idea fascinated me, but left me with two questions: Stick an entire dungeon on one page? Why?
Well, the answer is rather simple. It’s not too different from the Five-Room Dungeon format. The goal is to provide a usable framework for an entire game session that is generic enough to let the GM customize it to fit the needs of his particular gaming group. A One-Page Dungeon is the opposite of hyper-detailed adventure paths that not only offers an adventure scenario, but also strive to plot out an entire campaign, if not an entire campaign world.
Since I gave up Facebook for Lent, I found myself with much more time on my hands. I decided to give the One-Page Dungeon Contest a try. I came up with a hook quick enough. The hard part came with the actual writing and layout. I’d chosen to outline a five-story, magical pagoda full of ninjas suitable for a site-based adventure. I had to include maps, background text, area descriptions, et cetera. All of this had to fit on a single side of a single page of paper in a format and font-size that would be legible. I went through three different maps. I wrote and rewrote and re-rewrote. I ended up beating the deadline for contest submissions by under 24 hours.
While I doubt I’m going to win anything in the contest, I do think that The Lure of the Jade Throne is a fine first try at a one-page dungeon. You want to take a look at it? Well, click here, and you can download your very own copy. Neat, huh?