Found on reddit r/osr - How does One Page Dungeon Contest scoring work?

I'm a member of the subreddit r/osr. It's not a bad place at all, and has a pretty good signal to noise ratio. At least to me. As subreddits go, this one is pretty useful to bookmark and come back to.

Yesterday (4/8/19), there was a great question regarding the One Page Dungeon Contest.

Here's my answer:

Hi! I was a judge last year, and I will be a judge this year. I'm Michael S - Chgowiz.

I tried to find the email where the coordinator of the OPDC laid out his expectations, from last year, but I can't find it, so this is going from memory.

Out of the 100+ entries last year, we were asked to sort out our top 30 or so, using whatever subjective judgement and method we felt was best.

As long as the entry followed the guidelines, which the coordinator filtered the entries on, I believe (I could be wrong about that), it was up to us and our own personal metrics.

Once that was done, we were asked to "sort" our top 30, with 30 points going to the "best" that we felt in our list, and 29 to the 2nd best, and so on.

Then Aaron (the coordinator) smooshed our lists together, and added up the points. The dungeon that received the most points was the winner, 2nd most points was 2nd place and so on.

That meant that there were more than 30 dungeons that had points assigned to them, but "Town of Rydell" was the one that received the most points from the judges. There were many dungeons in the top 10 that didn't receive points from all the judges. Just enough points from enough judges to get there.

Aaron also asked us to come up (IIRC) the goofy awards, but I could be misremembering. Rampaging Robot got "Most Delicious Canned Dog Food", for example.

At the end of the day, it's pretty subjective. Which is why Aaron gets judges that are of different approaches, interests and experiences across RPGs/D&D.

I can speak for myself on what flips my switches, but I'm only 20% of the judging panel (we were 4 last year, we're getting 5 this year.) So I don't know how relevant it is... and, to be fair, I learned that what seems to be a "dungeon" in 2009, when ChattyDM (Philippe Menard) and I ran the first OPDC, and what is considered a dungeon today is pretty different! So my goal posts or expectations might shift. We'll see what comes in!

If you've got other questions, please feel free to ask if you like! I've checked with Aaron about answering to this thread, and he was cool with it.

To a further question, I said:
The point of the one page format is that its there to be as useful as the person making it needs it to be - on one page.

When David and I kicked around the idea, we were just excited at the possibilities of a simple, easy to use format. Open to however people saw it.

When I'm judging, I'm looking at it from the initial viewpoint of "how useful would this be at my table?" and I go from there. If you've read Bryce's reviews on - he and I think a lot alike.

It's true that for me, the one page dungeons that I scored high last year hit the aesthetics and usage marks that I like to see. To me, a dungeon has a specific flavor and feel to it.

It's interesting too to look at the 2009 entries versus the 2018 entries - very different vibes! I think the 2009 entries were more rooted in the old-school feel of things, where the 2018 entries reflected the 5th edition approach. It challenged me to grow and be open to how the game is currently played today.

If I had to sum up the biggest difference, it was that the majority of the 2018 dungeons had definitive stories and "encounter" feels to them. Some were open-ended, like sandboxes or megadungeon vibes, but the majority of them felt very similar to the feel I get when I'm playing the "Mines of Phandelver" module with my kids/grandkits in 5e.

This isn't a good or bad thing, but it challenged me to broaden my horizons.

I can't wait to see what folks bring to the One Page Dungeon Contest this year!


  1. Oh damn! They're taking submissions already! I got an email last year reminding about the contest, and I was expecting it again this year. Guess I better get in gear.

    1. Yes, they are! I'm not sure if he's sending out an email this year. But at least you know now :) Good luck!

  2. Just entered mine. This is par for the course when judging music competitions I've been involved in. I like that there is a cross section of judges. I have no intention of winning, just have fun doing it.


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