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OPD 2017 in Review: The Runner’s Up and Everyone Else

This is the follow up to my review of the winners where I give the runner’s up a quick review and then share my brief opinion on all the others. If you’ve got a link to your own blog you’d like me to add for your name/entry, leave a comment below and I’ll add it.

Honorable Mentions

Grant Lambe & Adam Chafe: Escape the Kraken!

Magical storms threaten to break apart the evil ship the players have been captured on and they have to work using the many dangerous occurrences to make good their escape from this massive galleon.

Scott Marcley: Rescuing Emelia

A hexcrawl to go rescue a lord’s daughter from a nearby cave with some basic side-areas to explore or serve as red herrings in the chase, all in all a serviceable entry-level encounter that could use a little more detail or creative intrigue to make it stand out more.

James Snake: Stop Stealing My Juices

Like one of those adventures of shrinking down and going inside a body, but this creature is huge and its immune system is waiting, although the whole place is well presented as “four humors” style alchemical goldmine open for abuse or innovation by the players.

Ambika Kirkland: Circles of Madness

Monster sketches round out this cunning and dark crashed alien vessel dungeon. This is one of those dungeons that might have risks that outweight its rewards, depending on how its is run. It opens up many possibilities although I while I appreciate the creatures having some descriptive abilities, it would be helpful to see statistics for the intended relative power levels of the creatures.

Roger SG Sorolla: Wormhole Scramblers in the Deep Dire Door

A dungeon door with worm boreholes as a unique setting for a cavern crawl but the place is stocked with standard monsters like kobolds and worms with some interesting encounters relating to the giant occupants presumably living around the door.

Christopher Mennell: The Purple Road

Evocative encounter area with matching artwork that describes the areas within very generally, making this more of an outline than usable dungeon. The outlined encounters sound cool to run, but they could do with more fleshing out, as well as additional information on what clues or skills can give players the information they need to solve the riddles and puzzles.

Jennevieve Schlemmer: Lair of the Cat Magus

A nicely colored and drawn map of this cave complex with simple room descriptions themed around a crazy cat lady having taken up residence. Perfect for a low level game where rescuing goats is about all the adventurers can muster up.

Kezle: Weatherfield Gardens

Absolutely crazy manor where many different, succinctly personified parties are all vying for their own crack at the deed. Could be toned down a little bit to free up more space to give some usability details on the various monsters, adventurers, and creatures inhabiting the manor.

Gus L: Gravesand Beach

I think this one got missed from inclusion in the pdf from an oversight, as I couldn’t find it in the pages or in the index.

Vincent Bettenfeld: The Burned Library

Absolutely fun map and icons build up the feeling of this wacky dungeon of books, knowledge, and art. No monsters or traps are giving statistics, despite their unusual types and names, so expect to prepare more to run this dungeon.

Jeff White & Hyrum Howes: Rumors

A wide area map covering three separate lines of pursuit that might bring players to this area, the key twist they all share is that the rumor that brought the party here is at best misleading. This will serve best as an outline for a sandbox rather than a gameable map using what’s printed.

Matthew H, Sylvia G, & Katie L: Caiphon Rising

A solid mix of an isometric dungeon map with cultists seeding the ground for the passage of otherworldly horrors, mixed with a sympathetic town and named cultist specialists.

James and Etani di Properzio: Ymir’s Skull

Using a skull drawing, Ymir’s skull is overly generic in its description and will need a great deal of work to fill out the specifics of the magic items left behind here or the statistics of things like the primordial giant or undead giants.

Ian Andrews: Floating Graveyard

A post-apocolyptic mish-mash of boats, crammed together and littered with old-world technology, mutants, and danger. Unfortunately, there is very little treasure listed for the ruined naval vessels

Hodges: Grim

A WWII themed submarine travel adventure where a mind-controlling parasite has infected some of the crew and the heroes must seek to eliminate the threat while performing their normal duties. It runs more like a short, stand-alone story-game than something insertable into a WWII campaign.

Alex Welk: Grime Dungeon

My own dungeon themed around exploration, using traps against the slime boss, and faction disputes.

 

Everyone Else

Alex Schroeder – Darkloch…………………………………………………..12

Old school style grid dungeon of orcs, traps, and monsters.

Andrew & Heleen Durston – One Day Journey ………………………15

A zoomed in overland map with some generic encounters seeding the well-drawn roadmap.

Andrew Harshman – Demigod’s Grave…………………………………16

A magically guarded tomb with a boss demigod that has been split into pieces.

Andrey Plisko – Dragon Per Se……………………………………………17

Dragon Per Se is an adventure outline laying out a stereotypical town dealing with a dragon demanding sacrifice, whose lair has now been mostly taken over by spiders while he suffers mental maladies. I like how the factions are presented with their motivations, but the entire setup will require plenty of preparation before running this adventure.

Anton L. – Ancient Waterworks …………………………………………..18

A water themed dungeon of fish and frog people with a simple numbered map.

Ben Gibson – Beneath the Bare Hill………………………………………19

A small village holds a dark secret now being awoken, and it holds some interestingly named monsters that sadly have no statistics or listed abilities.

Brandon Pierce – The Tower of Lost Words …………………………20

Lost desert tower of an ancient civilzation with a cheezy twist on its main treasure, though it is hard to parse how the tower is constructed.

Chris Bissette – The Temple of the Half-Tusk………………………. 22

Excellently rendered map in the style of Dyson logos, featuring the remains of peaceful half-orc monks that seems to lack much activity or treasures for adventurers to encounter.

Clark B. Timmins – Cake Walk ………………………………………….. 23

Someone had fun with turning their cake into a dungeon, or perhaps this was the intended display for a gamer’s birthday, an excellent way to celebrate!

Clement Poisson – The Goblin Defense Ministry…………………… 24

A small inn based around the idea of someone standing up for goblin-folk that suffers from trying to present too many options without digging deeply into any one of them.

Dan M. Wiley – Lair of the Mad Alchemist…………………………… 25

Simple, presented dungeon of an alchemist’s hideout that must be plundered for the antidote, unfortunately the adventure doesn’t utilize its short timeline except as an instigating factor.

Daniel Smith – All Roads Lead to the Local Tavern ……………… 27

A common, “under-the-tavern” secret dungeon with classic monsters, tropes, and traps.

Devin Carey and Spencer Hudson – King Thadar’s Catacombs 28

The tiny text of this extensive cave dungeon where the goal is mapping the caverns, but monsters and traps wait inside.

Eugene Fasano – The Sunken Temple………………………………….30

CGI, blocky dungeon of generic room descriptions featuring a ruined sea temple.

Evan and Colin – Life and Death in Oturak …………………………..31

A desert city suffering from cultist activity with listed steps and tactics with no alternatives or possibilities suggested making for a railroading encounter.

Gabriel Perez Gallardi – Crypt of the Lost Hymns ………………… 33

A big wall of text with a tiny map dealing with retrieving old hymns locked away here.

Herr Zinnling – Bubble Guble Super Raum …………………………. 35

Herr Zinnling’s kids put this one together and its randomness certainly fits with a child’s imagination, something that would definitely be useful if a player runs into trouble astral projecting or dream-walking and you need a child’s mind style projection.

M. Abbott – Crypt of the Witch King…………………………………. 37

Abbott created a trapped dungeon of evil magic that requires the Witch King’s key to unravel if the player’s want to truly loot the place. Not a huge fan of the instant death teleport trap right off the initial room though, given that it has no real warning or clues to its deadly effects.

Jackie Campbell – Lord Shen Anagens Palace …………………….. 38

A magical school turned undead haunted halls with the players being the only ones able to investigate. Not sure how it will run with the undead being formerly intelligent and supposedly under the control of the headmaster, so the plot will need some tweaking the make sense.

James Hirst – Aerie Assault………………………………………………… 39

Rescue the kidnapped daughter of a rich merchant with a doppleganger twist at the end. Solid encounters make for a useful adventure that can drop anywhere a floating aerie makes sense.

Jeff McKelley – Cultists in the Keep………………………………………40

Retrieve the elder sign in this basic cultist keep with a few interesting word-plays/riddles.

Jon Smejkal – The Elemental Gauntlet………………………………… 43

A well mapped dungeon of rotating, interlocking sections that will require a little craft-work to really incorporate it into play, but it is a well themed elemental adventure.

Justin Blair – Cultist Hideout ………………………………………………. 44

Isometric dungeon map bearing a useful and well detailed, if basic, cultist lair.

Ken Moore – Underworld Turf War…………………………………….. 45

An interesting system for running the interfactionary disputes in an underworld city, although mapless, that can be applied to any city you can think of, especially given the generic faction names and abilities.

Kevin Worth – White Knuckles…………………………………………… 46

A campaign introduction or outline more than an adventure proper, this entry gives a short description and general overland map but no specific details of its rings powers or the dungeons located within the mountain. Possibly a good excuse to tie in multiple other one page dungeon entries.

Khelren – The Song of the Faeries ………………………………………. 48

A child-illustrated point crawl overworld adventure about rescuing children in a randomly generated forest adventure.

Kosmic Dungeon – The Dungeon of Irvilio…………………………… 49

An inverted dungeon where the players must work to escape that suffers from a lack of direct clue ideas for the DM to hint at for the players and the invincible guardian railroads the whole dungeon something fierce.

L.K. Scott – Secret of Ruby Village ………………………………………50

Ruins of a thieves guild training facility underground but containing little interesting to interact with besides supplies left behind by a supposedly still active guild.

Larry Z Pennyworth – The Forgotten Isles ……………………………51

A sparsely populated archipelago of islands with a lighthouse and a plot of an evil army being created.

McGravin – Halls of the Sasquatch King ……………………………… 53

Sasquatch populated dungeon filled with trapped doors, ruined rooms, and lots of fighting.

Michael Raston – The Inverse Tower…………………………………… 54

Michael has created a tower that can seriously warp a campaign, or give the players just the right tool to solve another problem with this tower that randomly fills from a limited subset of encounters for each floor and room.

Mister Rees – Procyon Gate Report…………………………………….. 55

A minimalist sci-fi dungeon with simple descriptions and a black and white map.

Moorguard Studios – Hettie’s Crag ……………………………………… 56

A quick witch’s lair with concise background and detailed map that can be dropped in any campaign where a witch is needed.

Morgan Long – The Great Pyramid of Water ………………………. 57

Pyramid littered with roaming undead and pre-looted rooms with very little to interact with.

Nathan Hare – Mega Dragon Turtle…………………………………….. 58

A fast, self-destructing delve into a magically enhanced turtle with no statistics to describe the unique monsters named within.

Nical – Search for the Ape Civilization………………………………… 59

A glorified wandering monster and terrain chart for a hexcrawl more than an actual dungeon or adventure.

Philadelphia Hanton-Viney & Hamish McIntyre – Mavira the Magnificent’s Mega Mart!

This silly demi-plane describes an excellent illustrated area divided into different food groups of massive food with descriptions that give encounters and inhabitants for the area. More of a place to visit than to conquer or loot.

PixietheDM – The Underchurch……………………………………………61

Typical hidden necromancer lair with activatable zombie foes, dangerous minions, and a temple aesthetic.

A. McReynolds – The Cursed Monolith and the Caves of the Eyeless

Ancient pre-apocoylpse bunker containing mutant enemies, old-world technology, and danger but the map is simple and makes it hard to connect with the room descriptions below.

Richard Grzela – Fates Enigma ………………………………………….. 63

Cliched riddles and inscrutable things such as destructible walls with no hints make for a relatively boring dungeon with little tying it to the namesake of fate.

Sadhbh Brennan – The Cyclopse’s Eye! ……………………………….65

A jumble of dozens of blocked off rooms in the giant cyclops eye filled out with a random table of wandering monsters.

Sean Smith – Suburban Cathedral ……………………………………….67

A random encounter guide to turn an existing building into a battleground with subterranean threats.

Serge Pecaud – La Necropole Des Rois ………………………………..68

Nice looking coastal map but in spanish so I can’t say if the actual descriptions are good, which is a shame.

Simone Biagini – Temple of the Albino God…………………………. 69

A multi-tiered sewer exploration trope dungeon where the party must track down the cause of disappearances.

Stephen Scott – Mayhem at the Elixir Emporium…………………..70

The map is simple and the block text hard to parse, but the drawn potions and lightning rat brought a smile to my face.

Terra Frank – Dance in the Dark Night………………………………..71

A cut together, creepy church and statues with poems but there is no text that ties them together or layout design to indicate what is happening. Useful to steal for creepiness, but nothing to make it a useful piece of game material as is.

Theo Olsen – The Shard of Akon………………………………………… 72

This mountaintop refuge holds an artifact shard that has some useful properties of truth-telling, but the encounters themselves leave little room for creativity or alternative methodologies.

Todor Pichurov – Fane of the Rat God ………………………………… 73

Old school style blue, square-tiled map with some new enemies that sound interesting but no abilities or statistics are given, meaning more preparation for the DM if the players want to help their ratling kidnappers.

Tony Alexander – Kazeem’s Old Library …………………………….. 74

A wonky library in a felt-tip marker style with interesting encounter left open-ended to various problem-solving techniques.

Ulo Leppik – The Great Levitation………………………………………. 75

Sherlock-holmes style mysterious event that the players must solve. Plenty of clues to lead to the solution, with interesting NPC’s and opportunities for their silliness to be exposed.

Willow Palecek – The Labyrinthine Lair of Lagnarx the Lich.. 77

A dungeon master’s over-the-top crazy ideas crammed together into a simple dungeon layout of corridor connectors. Rooms are described evocatively but with no further explanations.

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