Distilling the Dungeon
Our submission is complete! Tomb of the Sea Dwarves is available on our downloads page, and will eventually be available at the contest site. We’re listed as Kevin Heuer and Michael Jones, as I wrote it, and Mike did all the layout and cartography.
The original adventure was about 12 pages long. I would publish that, but it’s full of really excellent artwork of which we have no legal right to distribute. The original adventure had a few more encounters, and was written for our particular group who had, in the course of their adventures, managed to buy a tavern. But despite all the specific tailoring to our group, I had to cut a lot of background information, context, and details about the environment.
In the end, I don’t really mind. It leaves a lot of interpretation for the GM, and a lot of flexibility to drop this adventure in just about any city environment. It seems like the trend of recent adventures is to provide a lot of specific details, both “crunch” and “fluff.” If you look at old adventures, a lot of them provided very few details about any particular room or encounter, instead providing a lot of rooms and encounters. One could argue it’s the classic argument of quantity vs. quality, but I feel it allows a clever GM a lot more wiggle room. I guess it really comes down to GMing style. Some feel like everything needs to be spelled out in the text, others can roll with the punches.
All and all it’s been an interesting exercise, and I really enjoy the concept of a one page dungeon. I can’t wait to see all the other submissions this year!