Thursday, July 14, 2011

[osr Challenge] A September of Short Adventures

"Oh, no! It's the dreaded mustache-Dragon!"
(UPDATED: October 1st)

The 2011 osr Challenge: A September of Short Adventures has successfully completed. In all, over 20 blogs with more than 300 adventures are represented here, using nearly 30 different game systems.

For your convenience: 
  • The adventures by blog is linked here.
  • The adventures by system is linked here.
Asshat Paladins, in association with the Mustache-Dragon, thank all the participants for accepting this challenge. We hope that you, the reader, enjoy the imagination, creativity and just-plain-weirdness that went into these adventures. If you use any of these adventures, be sure to let us know as we are all interested in how the 2011 osr Challenge: A September of Short Adventures are used at your table!

Look for the return of the challenge in 2012!

(ORIGINAL POST: July 14th)
This September, I challenge the osr blogosphere to present a month of short adventures, one a day for 25 days. And not just any short adventures, either. Adventures that don't require maps or too much descriptive text or even huge NPCs lists. I challenge you to write minimalist adventures that can be used straight from the post.

Can you write a bare-bones adventure that allows the GMs to add their own fluff? Can you avoid piling it high with extras that they're not going to be interested in using? Can you minimize wasted material that'll never even be show-cased in the game? Then take the osr Challenge!

How does the osr Challenge work?
The premise of the osr Challenge: A September of Short Adventures is to post a short game adventure to your blog every day in September, except for Thursdays. In doing this you will have 25 blog posts of adventures. It's up to you to determine whether these adventures link together.

What is an osr and do I have to use one?
Old School Renaissance (osr) roleplaying games are D20 games that harken back to the late 70s/early 80s style of play. Many, like Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry and OSRIC, are similar to the J. Eric Holmes Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (Blue Box), while some are not.

Do you have to use one of these? Not in the least - use whatever system you want (or no system at all). If you do use a specific game system, be sure to identify which one.

Can I put the mustache-dragon image on my blog?
Yes! Right-click here and Save Link As ... to copy the jpg file to your computer. Place it on your own blog and be sure to link to this post!

The osr Challenge starts on September 1st, right?
The osr Challenge is over the whole month of September. Since the month unfortunately begins on a Thursday (and I'm keeping my traditional Atomic Thursday posts), feel free to post on the 1st if you'd like. My first short adventure will be on Friday, September 2nd. If you want to choose a different "day off," do it. Just post 25 adventures over the month!

What format should I use for the adventures?
Use whatever one you want. You only need to keep it short, simple and easy to read. Avoid maps, pages and pages of descriptive text and massive NPC lists. Personally, I'll be using the Get Ready, Get Set, Go! format that I've used in a number of previous posts.

What is the Get Ready, Get Set, Go! format?
A simple format that breaks an adventure into a title, three adventure sections and NPC notes.

(Title): A Get Ready, Get Set, Go! (Game System) adventure set in (Campaign Setting)
  • Fill out the title, what game system you are using and what, if any, campaign setting you're using.
Get Ready:
  • A short, two-sentences maximum situation description. It's your elevator pitch opportunity to tell us about your adventure.
Get Set:
  • Add more information here, including why the PCs are involved, more details on the situation, and some starting NPCs and why they are doing what they're doing.
  • Here's where the PCs are getting to the meat of the problem. Include twists, turns and additional complications to the situation.
Notable NPCs:
  • Provide a detailed, yet short, NPC stat block. Include any special abilities as well as any notes for further play if the adventure is part of a continuing campaign.

Can I see a Get Ready, Get Set, Go! example?
Sure! Here's an abridged example of one I did a while ago:

About a Boy: A Get Ready, Get Set, Go! Labyrinth Lord adventure set in the Ashford Valley

Get Ready:
While the PCs are at a rural farm, a traumatized boy stumbles through the fields, clutching a Bugbear longsword.   

Get Set:
The PCs could have any reason to be at the farm. The farmer, a Ferndok Eastfield, is friendly and invites the PCs for drinks and food, showing good hospitality. When the boy shows up, Ferndok is noticeably concerned. If the Bugbears are raiding, his family is in danger. 
The trip to the Westfield farm (the boy's home) is picturesque, no matter what time of year it is. Along the way, the PCs will encounter a wild boar and a roadside shrine to a local spirit. 

Notable NPCs:
Wild Boar; No. Encountered: 1; Alignment: Neutral; Armor Class: 7; Hit Dice: 3d8, Hit Points: 16; Attacks: tusk (2d4); Save: F2; morale: 9.

How do I sign up and take the osr Challenge?
Sign up below (I'm using Linky Tools 2 so you can add your blog page to this post), copy the mustache-dragon image from above, and post a link to this post from your blog!

That's it and good luck (Oh, and tell your friends about the challenge, too).


  1. This is a brilliant idea, and the format seems just right for 25. Time to get thinking.

  2. Thanks for being no. 2 in line. I'm excited to read your adventures. We've got about 45 days to set it to boil and see what we cook up!

  3. Okay. This sounds like fun. We've been building a ton of maps, diagrams, geomorphs and such-like for a while now and this would be a nice change of pace...and it makes for an interesting September as well.

    Thanks for setting this up. Maybe the RPG Bloggers Alliance should consider sponsoring a blog hop for all its members...

    25 Short, Sharp and Strange adventures coming up!

  4. I love this idea... and I love even more that you've chosen September rather than August so we can try to stay a bit ahead of the unforgiving calendar! :-)

    Call me... Number Four

  5. Welcome Cygnus aka #4! I look forward to your posts.

  6. Hey, awesome idea.
    I'll be writing mainly for Gamma World and maybe some D&D B/X stuff.
    I am Number Five.
    Hail Eris. All hail Discordia!

  7. Well, I need an excuse to develop more blog content anyway. Count me in.

  8. We've got 6 and 7, Lost Papers and Weekend Wizardry! Congrats and good luck!

  9. And now I've signed up.

    I am Number Eight.

  10. Wonderful! Eight is a magic number!

  11. Wow -- what 8 really means is that there will be soon be two hundred new adventure seeds given to the world due to this project. Awesome!

    FYI, I've got good, but rough notes ready for all of my 25, but when it comes to writing them up in full, I'm only up to number 7. I'll get there! :-)

  12. Seriously considering it... And scarily enough I wrote out 25 titles already...

  13. I throw my hat in, it will be my first challenge for the Blog...


  14. Excellent! We have no. 9 with the Chronicles of Ganth! (Be sure to sign up on the linky above!)

  15. I'm going to give it a go! #10. Mithril & Mages is in the house.

  16. I'm down. number 12 i guess.

    Michael Garcia a.k.a. The Crazy GM

  17. Thanks to The Crazy GM for getting the word out; I think I'll give this a try also. Of course, I've got a day to do whatever early prep work I can, so it might be tough...but this looks like a lot of fun!

  18. Would Traveller LBB adventures fit or are you looking for pure fantasy OSR adventures?

  19. @T.W. Wombat - I would say. It says:
    Do you have to use one of these? Not in the least - use whatever system you want (or no system at all). If you do use a specific game system, be sure to identify which one.

    So, I'd say anything goes. I'll probably stat up some risus just because it's easy to "visualise."

  20. I think Traveller adventures would rock!

  21. I'm in too... this is gonna be more adventure snippets than one can play in a lifetime ;-)

  22. Like the Crazy GM says, anything goes. Use whatever system you want. Everyone is welcome to join!

    Perhaps I shouldn't have labeled the challenge the "osr Challenge" but I got over-excited with making the mustache-dragon image.

  23. The mustache dragon rocks. I'm in. And lucky 21 to boot!

  24. I'm in too - first one will be tonight!

  25. I'd also like to add John Johnson to the list. John doesn't have a blog, but this challenge has inspired him to commit to create a string of content, with his ultimate goal to be to offer content for a variety of RPG's -- not just OSR.

    He's sharing the content via his Google+ account, but I offered to feature his work on my blog (in addition to the content I generate).

    First piece of John's is up on my site now:

    John would appreciate your comments, I'm sure.

  26. Just did a count, and unless I missed something, it looks like we have a total of 193 creations so far, featured across 20 of the 24 participating sites.

    Two weeks down...two more weeks to go (and I've got some catching up of my own to do...)


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