Monday, April 13, 2009

Announcing the One Page Dungeon Contest

[Edit - 5/7/09 - ONE WEEK LEFT! Click here for latest dungeon contest updates. Original contest announcement/rules are below.]

A few months ago, a three headed monster was born in the depths of Sham's Grog 'n Blog, Chgowiz's Old Guy RPG Blog and Mike's Society of the Torch, Pole and Rope. We had put our collective DM-evilness together and come up with a neat template to help people create dungeons quickly and effectively, by concentrating on the meat and allowing the user of the dungeon to add in the flavor, fluff and setting.

A few weeks later, that little creation was "discovered" outside of our little niche of a niche by Philippe-Antoine (Chatty DM) Menard who runs a blog called Musings of the Chatty DM. Tapping into the awesome power of a Chatty DM and mixing it with the Dark and Sinister creation of the Three, a Big and Crazy was born - a collaboration between those of the newer editions and those of the original editions... a collaboration full of Prizes and Fun! The One Page Dungeon Creation Contest!

The idea of the contest is to ask readers to create one dungeon level in an edition-less format (ex: you can name monsters but you don't provide stats for them) using the template and submit it for the contest. We'd judge the entries based on criteria such as 'most evocative setting', 'Funniest entry', 'Most creative use of a Trap" and so on. Once we've named winners, we'll be compiling a FREE PDF of the winners/runner-ups and releasing it to the community at large.

The contest starts today, April 14th and ends on May 14th at midnight. Once the contest is done, 6 judges will scratch their heads and figure out just who stands above the rest. Categories include (but not limited to):
  • Best All Around (Contest Grand Prize)
  • Grand Prize Runner-Up: Old School Dungeon Design
  • Grand Prize Runner-Up: New Edition Dungeon Design
  • Alternative prize categories: Most Creative Trap, Funniest, Most Gonzo, for example.The judges will no doubt have other categories in their minds, as we have a ton of prizes lined up!

We have several well known RPG bloggers who will be judging, in addition to us:
Contest Rules

1. Participants create a one page dungeon using the template found here. For a contest entry example see here.

2. The dungeon must have the following features:

  • Name of Dungeon
  • Map
  • Dungeon Key (in an edition-neutral form: Description of monsters, Treasure, Traps, etc... No game stats)
OPTIONAL (If you can fit them on one page...)
  • Wandering Monster or Random Event tables or a list of scripted "events" that can occur over the adventure
  • Background
  • Additional descriptions that add to the dungeon, such as detailed description of trap or trick or unique feature.
3. One entry per participant. Participants may revise/replace their entries up till the end of contest, with the last revision counting as their official entry. Entry may win grand prize or one of the runner up prizes, plus any number of alternative prize categories.

4. Participants are allowed to modify the template, provided it remains a one-page entry.

5. Submission must be emailed in PDF, Word or Open Office format at the following address:

6. Submitting a dungeon to the contest releases it under the Creative Common Share-alike license (US 2008) with credit to the contest participant.

7. Contest closes on May 14th 2009 at Midnight Eastern (US) Time.

The prizes (oh yes, the prizes!)

Grand Prize

  • Patron membership of Wolfgang Baur’s Open 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

Grand Prize Runner-Up: Old School Dungeon Design

  • Bundle of Goblinoid Games product
  • Bundle of Brave Halfling Production products
  • Otherworld Miniatures Demon Idol Miniature
  • Bundles of Fight On and Knockspell issues
  • Bits of Darkness Bundle from Tabletop Adventures
  • 6 month membership Obsidian Portal

Grand Prize Runner-Up: New Edition Dungeon Design

  • D&D 4e Dungeon Delve & Adventurer’s Vault
  • Fantasy Grounds II License
  • 6 month membership Obsidian Portal

To divide among other Categories

  • Open Design’s Kobold’s Guide to Game Design
  • Quarterly membership to Monte Cook’s Dungeon-a-Day
  • Bundle of Necromancer Games products
  • Bundle of Brave Halfling Production PDF products
  • Bundle of Knockspell and City Encounter PDFs
  • Bundle of Fight On Magazine (issues 1-4 PDFs)
  • Tabletop Adventure’s Bits of Darkness Bundle
  • Tabletop Adventures’ Deck O’Names Set
  • A few D&D 4e Adventures and Hardcovers
  • Otherworld Miniatures - Pig Faced Orcs (Or Box of Minis)
  • Goodman Games - The Random Esoteric Creature Generator for Classic Fantasy Role Playing Games and their Modern Simulacra
Our sponsors!
These prizes have been generously donated by our sponsors - they really are excited about this contest and we hope you are just as excited about their support. Please be sure to show them your support as well.

Brave Halfling Publishing

Fight On Magazine

Goodman Games

Malhavoc Press/DungeonADay

Mythmere Games
Necromancer Games
Obsidian Portal
Open Designs

Otherworld Miniatures

Tabletop Adventure

So what are you waiting for? Sharpen those pencils, get out those dungeon mapping tools, grab some graph paper and your favorite beverage and show us what you can do... on ONE PAGE!

If you have any questions about the contest, please feel free to contact either of us: Phil ( and/or myself (

Good luck... if YOU DARE! (Look, Tucker's already hard at work!)


Nope said...

I am sooooo going to win this!!!! Holy crap this is going to be fun!

taichara said...

I have to say I'm tempted ;3

I don't know that I can fill enough space with actual dungeon, though ... must think this one over ~

Zachary Houghton said...

This is going to be a blast! I hope my idea for a dungeon is as fun as I think it'll be!

Grim said...


Elton said...

At the very least, it allows us to flex our muscles!

Unknown said...

Since the Ancient Academy was done in this format I just need to compress and tweak it a bit to make everything fit on one page. :)

Anonymous said...


Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Joe - go see the examples in the post, as well as:

The one page keys in this module:

The one page example:

In other words, "Yes you can" That's the map and the descriptions. :D

Anonymous said...


JimLotFP said...

So what are the font size requirements?

I think I could do a one-page dungeon if I could use a 4-point font or something. Since it's being released in pdf, and pdf viewers have zoom functions, no problem, right? :D

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@JamesLotFP - the requirement is legible. I think you'd be surprised what you can get on a page in about 8pt Arial or the like.

Consider this a challenge to be brief, yet verbose! :)

JimLotFP said...

The first edition of the Creature Generator was printed using Times New Roman 6.5. I know exactly what you can get on a page with different-sized fonts. ;)

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

I've looked at the original enough to know that I'd need my miniature painting glasses (1.5 reading glasses) to see that font. :)

I liked it though - had that "feel" of "someone did this with their hands".

Pere Ubu said...

One question - if the entry is "edition-free" can I still specify, say, a "+1 dagger" or do I have to limit it further?

wv - "donterst" 'Cause ersting is bad, kids!

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Either way - "magical dagger" or "dagger +1 to hit/dmg" or "dagger +1" - we just don't want a long explanation of the specific effects.

Michael Tumey said...

Well this sure looks interesting. I just need to find the time to do this, I am currently swamped with commissions and publication development, but I'd love to try!

You know I can put up a fight for best map! We'll see...

Michael "Gamerprinter" Tumey

Michael Tumey said...

Question: What does Old School Dungeon Design vs. New Edition Dungeon Design mean?

My issue, is the whole reason I got in to fantasy mapping in the first place (no offense to anyone else's aesthetics), but I've always hated old school maps - that is black and white only or worse blue and white maps. I create "realistic" full color maps, often incorporating photo textures and 3D objects - however, I am an Old School DM/Player, and refuse to even participate with 4e - blech!

I see in your runner up categories, 4e products in the New School Dungeon Design.

Does a full color, content rich map qualify for an Old School Design?

Just want to understand your rules or categorization ethics.

I may try to squeeze something in!

Michael Tumey (aka Gamerprinter from the Cartographers' Guild)

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Hi Gameprinter - welcome to my blog!

"Old School" vs. "New School" is going to be a completely subjective call, but having a color map or using modern production values will not disqualify you from an Old School type of category. We have three judges from the Old School side of the house who've been working on original edition types of games for a long time; I think we'll have a good consensus on what feels old school.

Hope this helps and looking forward to seeing some tricks and traps from ya!