Ask the Dragonslayer #2: Example Single Sheet Adventure

Let’s get to it!

I love maze rats as a concept for intro/quicker type gameplay! I have a sixth-grader and some other noobs that I would love to introduce to the game, but I don’t know what to do for the dungeon(size, #creatures, strength, features, etc). Is it possible to get some info/stats on the one page dungeon you ran and then shared with your younger players? I love the idea of making my own and sharing it to maybe inspire them to create their own dungeon to play. Thanks for your great articles!

Adam

Well, Adam. You’ve done it. You’ve forced my hand.

After writing how to make Maze Rats adventures for quick play either online or in-person and encouraging to people make their own adventures, someone asked the inevitable: “got any examples?”

And that someone is you, Adam.

I’m saying you’ve forced my hand because transposing my single sheet adventures to the Internet is something I figured I’d be doing to help people understand what exactly I’m blabbering on about. And now that time has come. Please excuse me if what I produce is rough, unusable in it’s current state, or just plain messy.

Now, I’ll start by saying that you should read Maze Rats, cover to cover. Note the section titled “The Dungeon” under “Building the World.” But I’m assuming you’ve done that already. I can’t add much more to what Ben Milton has decreed (except maybe that the chance of a random encounter is too high, but oh well). As for the principles for making a dungeon (size, creatures, etc) that’s going to come down to taste. Which I understand is a useless thing to tell you. So instead, I’ll toss you an example adventure on a single sheet I made and as you requested.

Something to keep in mind: this has been tested exactly one time. I ran it, then gave it to my players. This adventure is fueled by intuition, not experimentation. I went with my gut about what would work, not data. I’ve done little tweaking.

Second: I am encouraging, nearly begging, for you to change something about it. Note how things make you feel when you read it. Could things be done differently, or dare I say it, better? This line of thought is what it takes to be a designer. Go with it. If there are blank spaces, fill them with what you think would be interesting to place there.

Without further excuses, here it is, some time later:

This is the Google Drive link to the full image.

Ain’t it ugly? I could’ve made it with a crayon. It hurts my eyes.

I hope it gets my point across: anyone can make an adventure. My MS-paint-looking-stupid-head made copied this down in an hour. That’s twice as long as it took to make the original on a 8.5″ by 11″ sheet of paper. Again, with little to no editing. Eight rooms. Four monsters. Four Treasures. Maybe that gives you a guideline? But for goodness sake’s don’t copy my answers. At least, not while the teacher is looking. Understand that making a dungeon is more like writing an essay and less like a multiple-choice test. Practice, take some risks, and run them. Rinse and repeat.

If you like the idea of giving your adventure to your players after they’ve completed it, approach what I’ve given you with the same attitude. It may, just may, make you want to make your own.

Thanks for writing, Adam and forcing my hand. Best of luck on your adventures.

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