Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Creativity, Contests, and Prizes

When I stepped into the role of organizing the One Page Dungeon Contest, I had only a vague notion of what I wanted to do or, even, what needed to be done. My overriding thoughts on the contest consisted of variations of a theme;
This contest is too good to end. There is something noble and eloquent, something uniquely human about the contest; the act of creating, sharing, struggling with the ever elusive muses, striving to imbue greatness into something a simple as a piece of paper.

The anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons was this past weekend and I am reminded of something Gary Gygax wrote in the foreword to the Dungeon Master's Guide

.. one thing is for certain - Dungeon Mastering is, above all, a labor of love. It is demanding, time consuming, and certainly not a task to be undertaken lightly ... But, as all DM’s know, the rewards are great - an endless challenge to the imagination and intellect, an enjoyable pastime to fill many hours with fantastic and often unpredictable happenings, and an opportunity to watch a story unfold and a grand idea to grow and flourish. The imagination knows no bounds!

I should add, organizing a contest is also not to be undertaken lightly!

My first task I put before myself was to put together a pool of prizes-- every GM knows that every great challenge should have a suitable treasure horde. Since I was a new entity to the contest, I was worried the previous sponsors (or even new ones) would be hesitant or unwilling to back a contest run by some random wizard.

It has been a great experience with every sponsor I have chatted with. Presenting the contest is easy, as the contest sells itself... the past five years of entries are a thing of beauty to look over. Eleven sponsors are behind the contest so far and I hope to find more as the deadline for the contest approaches.

Troll Lord Games is slated to provide a pdf of some sort to be determined when the deadline is closer. Troll Lords was the company that Gary Gygax worked with to produce Castle Zagyg.

Precis Intermedia has mentioned they will support the contest again this year.

Goodman Games has, similarly, committed to providing a pdf of some sort to be determined when the deadline is closer.

Wayne's Books is going to provide a physical product from their collection to be determined near the deadline. By the way, if you are looking for a physical copy of an old edition of a game, check with Wayne's Books, he is a friendly guy.

Engine Publishing is committed to providing several pdfs from their catalogue. This company couldn't be run by a nicer guy.

Rogue Games has signed on board to provide a pdf as a prize. Readers of the blog may note that I am a big fan of Graeme Davis and he has done work for Rogue Games and their fabulous Colonial Gothic rpg.

Sine Nomine Publishing is providing a pdf of their great Red Tide campaign setting as a prize. This is a great prize as it was talked about in blogging circles way back in the early days of the OSR.

Pinnacle Entertainment is providing a very thematic prize in the form of a 2 page pdf adventure for the Savage Worlds Deadlands Noir system.

Pelgrane Press is providing a pdf of the 13th Age rpg and a pdf of Eyes of the Stone Thief which is a campaign of a living dungeon for the 13th Age system.

ProFantasy Software has signed on board to provide 1 copy of Campaign Cartographer C3 and the Dungeon Designer add-on. This is another very thematic prize for a contest about creating dungeons.

And for a final announcement of the prize list (for today)
Gygax Magazine has joined the contest to offer a very interesting prize. One of the winners of this years One Page Dungeon Contest will be selected to appear in issue number 5 of Gygax Magazine. I can think of no higher praise for the contest than for one of the contestants to appear in a publication.

Now, I just have to get the word out there. The quest has been given. The reward is in sight.


  1. I'm glad this is a new start and that you're helming the contest from now on. It's something I always wanted to participate in, but never got around to actually do it. Then I thought I saw it die in a flame war before anything could be done about it ... Maybe I should give it a shot this year.

    And that sure is some sweet, sweet loot!

    1. Thank you JD. I hope I do the contest justice, as it deserves to be held in high regard.

  2. Very good to see this effort got picked up and will continue. Spreading the word around about it -- already posted the notice over at RPG Geek: http://rpggeek.com/thread/1111441/contest-one-page-dungeon-2014

  3. It's great that you picked this up from Alex and are now running with it. I look forward to another year of excellent "little" dungeons to spring on people.