Mapvember Mini Adventures

11. Goldmine

Towards the end of December I posted a trio of blog posts asking people to vote on their favourites out of all the maps I drew during Mapvember. I intended to leave the polls up for a week, then get to work on the first mini adventure.  Then the end of December got in the way, and I left them. Tonight I finally got around to closing them and looking at the results.

The first thing to say is a massive “Thank you!” to those of you who voted on them. Looking through 30 maps is a big ask – especially when they’re split over three different posts and polls – so I really appreciate you taking the time to sift through them all.

I’ve learned a couple of things from this process, and any future polls I do will be run a lot better. But I’m not going to get into that now. We’re here to talk about maps, and adventures, and fun stuff, not the boring minutiae of running a website.

So, before we get to the results of the polls, lets talk about what’s going to happen with them. I’ve already mentioned that I’m planning to turn the most popular maps into mini adventures, and I want to take a second to talk about exactly what I mean by that. And the easiest way to do that is to show you what I mean. So that’s what I’ll do.

Firstly, if you aren’t already familiar with the One Page Dungeon Contest, you should be. I’m not going to talk much more about it, because really if you don’t know what it is you should just click that link and start looking at the site. The winning entries (and many of the non-winning entries) are fantastic, creative adventures that are a massive inspiration to me.

Secondly, go and look at the incredible work that Michael Prescott is doing with his one- and two-page dungeons and adventure locations. Some of his work is beautiful, and he has tons of creative ideas that make for really interesting adventures.

If you’ve looked at both of those sites, then I don’t really need to say anything else here. This is what I’m going to try and produce from these Mapvember maps. I particularly like Michael Prescott’s take on the concept – as simple as it is, adding that second page makes a ton of difference. With that said, there’s a brevity I really like about a true one page dungeon, but in the past I’ve really struggled to condense my work down to that length. So I’m going to take each map as it comes and see what I come up with. I’m aiming to produce something more like Michael’s work, but if I can make it work I’ll also release some one page dungeons. And, if I really get excited by a map, I might make a full adventure module. But we’ll see.

One problem I have to solve is how to include stat blocks in the one/two-page format – because this site has a very definite D&D focus. System-agnostic content is great, but I’m aware that a large chunk of the people reading this site regularly play D&D almost exclusively, and I want the things I produce to be as useful to you as possible. (That said, things like The Wheelhouse are fairly system-neutral and have been quite popular, so I’m not sure where to fall on this. If you have any thoughts on it – even if it’s just to tell me what you’d personally prefer – please leave a comment below!)

In theory I’m going to release one a month until they’re done, but in reality I’m not going to promise that – I’m about the start the second semester of my MA program, so my workload is about to increase exponentially. I don’t want to rush these adventures, so I’ll release them as and when they’re done.

I’m planning to release all of these adventures for free on this site, with the goal of putting together a bundle of them into a paid product I can release on DMs Guild (maybe with a bonus, DMs Guild-only adventure included in there to thank those who choose to support my work financially). But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. As a bonus, I’ll also provide a full-size, 1″ scale gridded version of each adventure’s map to download. I’ve been doing that with the Monday Maps, and the feedback I’ve had on Twitter has been that it’s useful, so that’s definitely something I want to continue.

Anyway. That’s enough talking, I think. To the poll results!

Surprisingly – given how young this site is – there were a decent amount of votes. I thought I’d be working with 5 or 6 responses on each poll, but I received about 5 times that amount. (Thanks again if you voted!) I asked people to pick their top 3 maps from each batch, which should give me 9 maps to work with. Here’s how it worked out:

  • Poll 1 (Maps 1-10)
    • Beacon [14 votes]
    • Derelict [13 votes]
    • Control [12 votes]
  • Poll 2 (Maps 11-20)
    • Goldmine [19 votes]
    • Cave-In [12 votes]
    • Slime [11 votes]
  • Poll 3 (Maps 21-30)
    • Codex [15 votes]
    • Revelation [15 votes]
    • The Fallen God [13 votes]

I was trying to figure out what to do if one poll received a lot more votes than the others for whatever reason – what if all ten maps on one poll got more votes than the winners of the others? – but luckily the number of voters on each post was very consistent, so I’ve got a nice, clear data set to work with. Frankly, that’s really nice. It makes my life a lot easier.

I’m very tempted to round this out to an even 10 adventures, and add the next-highest-voted-for-map (Saloon, with 11 votes) to the list, but if I’m aiming for roughly one a month (and, realistically, it may well be less regular than that) we’re looking at nearly a year’s-worth of content here. So I’ll leave it at 9 for now. I’m going to tackle them in order of popularity – the whole point of this exercise was to take my own biases out of the equation, after all – so I’ll be producing mini adventures for the maps in this order:

  1. Goldmine
  2. Codex
  3. Revelation [yes, I know that they were tied. We’re just going to go with alphabetical order as a tie-breaker.]
  4. Beacon
  5. Derelict
  6. The Fallen God
  7. Cave-In
  8. Control
  9. Slime

So we’ll be starting with Goldmine – which is handy, because I’ve used that map in my game, so I’ve got a good starting point. I’ll aim to get that adventure done in the next few weeks, so watch this space.

Thanks again to everybody who voted, and happy new year!



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