Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Egg is Laid (Nonviolently)

Instead of serializing the Egg of the Gazolba "nonviolent" adventure, I decided to do it all at one go and make it my entry for the One Page Dungeon Contest. The current draft can be seen here. Comments are welcome; I haven't officially submitted it yet, so still some room to tweak.

A few notes:

1. All the challenges were made using my tables (Bag of Problems and Bag of Tricks, see links to the right).

2. It's not that the players are sworn to nonviolence - of course if they are high enough level they can chop through the troll and ranger - but rather the looser definition of nonviolence, with nonviolent solutions predominant, and available for each problem.

3. I hear kids are a big part of why some people are interested in nonviolent adventures. For the youth run, give lots of hints, maybe a talking squirrel good for one solution. And of course you may want to replace the mildly adult, noir-ish twist ending with something more straight-up. For example:

Dividing this area from 10 is a vast canvas painted with cartoons of the very first Sultan... Exploring overseas, taking a living Gazolba bird as symbol of his reign, sailing away ... The Manalishi speaking with emissaries of the King of Birds ... Inspecting the canvas too long gives headaches and minor damage.

On the south side is a shrine to Truth, incense holder and blue flame. Light incense from area 7, and the Manalishi’s voice tells how keeping the Gazolba as the captive symbol of the kingdom is not right; the Sultan can very well wear a crown in the shape of a Gazolba. She can teleport them anywhere from here, back to the Sultan or to return the egg to the King of Birds .... What will they do?


  1. I love the ending. The statues are clever, (took me a few minutes).

    The slimes might be a little much for a party, but don't quote me on that. I stumbled a little on the platform description-- but figured the stem is flower-like and rising up out of its center ? I'll definitely use this if my players head farther south. Thanks!

  2. You're welcome TC, and thanks for the feedback. You're right about the stem, I'll try to clarify, and also maybe tone down the slimes (though they're also easy to tone up and down in the stats-free environment of the OPDC).

  3. Very nice! I really like the idea of posing challenges that can be met without fighting. I am almost certain to swipe this. Good luck in the OPD!

  4. Really nicely self-contained. Love both endings, although I think I'd take out the teleport: things really get interesting when the PCs are trying to get back to the palace and deciding whether to meet or avoid the vizier, and all those characters you set up at the start are off their patrol paths. I was expecting the royal statues to do something related to the plot. one more thing: instead of sirens without warnings, i think I might put in a squeaky floor the PCs have to tiptoe across and then a heavy weight blocking the door that they have to slide on the squeaky floor, quietly.

    I am so stealing this.

  5. one more thing: re the molds and armour - is there some Pokemon inspiration going on here? fire, water, plant?

  6. @ richard - yeah, the statues are kind of a drop-in. I could make the setting more European (that is, more toward CAS' original story) and have the king and queen be past Gazolba-heads. I'll also consider the floor thing.

    I guess the plant beats water thing is indirectly from Pokemon. I was playing a flash game called Blast RPG and it had a fire beats plant beats water beats fire kind of mechanic to it. Hey, if kids can use their special generational knowledge to get the puzzles, right on for them (though the first Pokemon generation is now in college I guess...)