[One Page Dungeon] Ancient Ark of the Atlanteans
March 30, 2011
Posted by on
And here it is, my entry for the One Page Dungeon Contest 2011. I would lie if I was saying it was planned from long hand, I just realized the contest was on a few days ago, and in between I did not even know if I was going to participate. Then I got into thinking about it a bit better.
I wanted to have something different this year. Last year it was a rather simple and too railroady fantasy cave system, this year I wanted to do something more science fiction.
I created this with Traveller in the back of my mind, but a few things were influenced by Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future (see all those radioactive signs?). I even dropped a few cavemen in the middle of it, figuring that it even made a bit of sense considering the backstory.
The problem with the design of dungeons for a science fiction setting is that science fiction is not very dungeon-centric. At least not as much as D&D. Traveller, as the first really successful science fiction rpg, did a few dungeon crawls in the beginning (Annic Nova comes to mind), just to drop it after a while and go for planetary or space adventures.
This one is supposed to be a take on the genre and it’s own version of dungeons as they appear in a few novels: megaconstructions. Think Ringworld, Rama, and all the others. The scales on this one are completely changed as a result of course: where normal dungeons cover a small area of space this one is a whole, hollowed out moon. But then the possibilities of the characters, if they are not actually native to the Ark, are different than those of their fantasy counterparts.
This doesn’t mean they HAVE to have fliers and gravs and zeppelins and spaceships inside the Ark, but they could have. And anyway, I think this one is played best with a wide mixture of techlevels. Personally I would give the white apes at least some gunpowder and the technomads some ballons or zeppelins. One fascinating thing also would be if there still was at least one (mostly) working train line from the highlands up to Serpent City. Then we really could railroad at least part of the plot. 🙂
Download Ancient Ark Of The Atlanteans as .pdf (ca. 1mb)