Amid the Reaper's Scattered Bones: an evocative one-page milieu for fantasy storytelling

Here is my 2014 One Page Dungeon Contest (1PDC) entry: Amid the Reaper's Scattered Bones. (I actually had written it for the 2013 contest, but I wasn't able to finish it up in time, so when this year's contest rolled around, I decided to go ahead and finish it up.)

The concept centers around creating a fantasy milieu using all of the figures from Reaper Miniatures' 2012 Bones Kickstarter. I managed to cram in about 90 percent of the 200+ figures from the kickstarter, including some of the larger add-ons. When opening the PDF on your screen, all of the bold-faced words are links to the appropriate miniatures on the Reaper web site. Of course, the Bones miniatures are by no means required in order to use the adventure; you can substitute other figures or simply draw inspiration from the linked images when describing them, if you like.

I had two main challenges when putting this adventure together. The first challenge was fitting the basic descriptions of what is essentially an entire campaign onto one page. Including the main village meant to serve as the players' headquarters, there are about eight different locales that serve as adventure sites. I could only devote about 6 square inches of page space to each! I decided to drive the font size down slightly below the size I would normally prefer, rather than edit out valuable details, figuring that most gamemasters actually interested in running the adventure will be able to either print it out on larger paper (or in sections) or else zoom in with their tablet or laptop during the game.

The second challenge was the artwork. I tried various styles of mapping, including traditional overhead map, isometric map, and pictorial representations. Given more time and energy, I would probably have done the entire map in pictorial representations on a larger scale, but there just wasn't time to draw all of the locations, and to do them justice I would have needed to devote more of the cramped space on the page to the imagery.

The obvious answer to both challenges would have been to separate each locale (map and text) as its own one-page dungeon. But then it wouldn't fit as a cohesive entry into the 1PDC, so that would have defeated the purpose. Perhaps in the future, I'll go ahead and separate them out, flesh out some more details, and upload them here. We'll see.

1 comment:

Last Knight said...


...now you need to do one for Bones 2. :D