Hey you! Do you like DnD? Are you tired of Artpunk? Are your eyes still bleeding from funky font choices and garish layout nonsense while all you want to do is kill goblins in a beautifully jaqueyed dungeon? Do you want your children to be safe? Well so am I! Everyone is always talking about Artpunk, but no one does something about it. Today that changes!
It is with immense pride, conviction, confidence and other emotions that I present to you the official, PrinceofNothing NoArtpunk Contest, where we drive back the dirty Artpunk hordes by making modules that exemplify the craftsmanship, finesse, and resistance to change that the OSR stands for. And for that I need YOU!
The Only Rule is that there are NO RULES.
No wait that’s not actually true. Okay. Here’s what I need from you. Send me your dungeon adventures. These are the rules:
– Must be for a traditional system (AD&D, Basic or OD&D) or one of its near derivatives (ACKS, Labyrinth Lord, OSE, OSRIC, Swords & Wizardy etc.). 2e is allowed but no funky settings (Planescape, Spelljammer et. al).
– Must involve a dungeon adventure, about 20-30 rooms, stocked with book items and book monsters (that means DMG, MM, Fiend Folio, MM2 & Creature Compendium). You are allowed A SINGLE NEW MAGIC ITEM, MAGIC SPELL and a SINGLE NEW MONSTER of your own invention. Wilderness area is allowed as long as it does not exceed in length the Dungeon component of the adventure.
– For purposes of this adventure, Dungeon can also mean a Ruined Keep, Building, Cavern complex, Tomb, crashed Starship, Earthen Pit, Oversized Latrine, Petrified Elasmosaurus or anything that has rooms with interconnecting passageways.
– Despite this restriction, it must be exciting, fantastic, and fun!
– Level range is whatever you can think you can fit in a dungeon of 23-30 rooms. If you are a beginner at Oldschool D&D, its probably a good idea to go with a lower level range but that’s up to you.
– Number of pages is up to you, don’t go too overboard. 5-20 pages + maps is a good benchmark.
– Presentation and layout should be whatever you want. Worddoc, Plain text or Paint. Homemade maps, terrible self-drawn paint art, is all welcome.
– Send the end result to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
Update: I just checked with Aaron and it turns out Merciless Merchants HQ does not have ONE MILLION DOLLARS in prize money, but it does have A DELUXE EDITION COPY OF PALACE OF UNQUIET REPOSE, FEATURING THE BONUS ADVENTURE THE SCREAMING CAVERNS. The best entry wins a free print + PDF copy (excluding. Printing + shipping costs). The second best entry wins a free PDF copy of the same.
Duration and Procedure: Contest duration is until the end of August. At the end of these month the Judge, Myself, will gather the 8 most worthy entries and bundle them together in a single publication, entitled Not Artpunk, to be made available as PWYW on Drivethru by The Merciless Merchants, with the dozens of dollars generated from this venture going entirely over to the Autism Research Institute non-profit organization. If fewer than 8 entries are handed in, all of them will be published, unless they are of such wretched quality that they are unworthy even of PWYW publication, in which case I will throw up my hands and burn down this whole project in disgust.
So START WRITING.
Still not convinced? People are suffering from Artpunk every day. These are their stories:
“It’s terrible. I went out to buy a module but all I got was a .jpg of a dead bird with a cigarette put out in it. I think I am going to be sick.”
– Anonymous, Artpunk survivor
“They sit there in their creepy club houses, making that infernal racket. What do they do up there? It’s the Mark of the Beast I tell you.”
– Miss Gertrude Schoenmaker, Homeless Cat Lady
“I can’t hold a job. I am estranged from my family. My health has degraded. Artpunk and Drug addiction has ruined my life.”
– Venger Satanis, Za’akier
“I did a search for Mörk Börg on itch.io. Who would do such a thing? Not just once, but again and again, endlessly, atrocity piled upon atrocity. What happened to us? What happened to the American Dream?!?”
– Anonymous, Artpunk survivor
“I attended a session of Patrick Stuart’s at Gencon. He just sat there for 8 hours, motionless, staring at my groin. He never said a word. Or maybe that was a dream I had. Huh.”
-PrinceofNothing, Artpunk expert
“I think I read one once. What’s wrong with these people? I’m afraid to leave the house. I don’t feel safe anymore.”
– Kathy, brave young woman (fictional)
“…I Have A Dream…”
– Martin Luther King
All joking Aside; Too many OSR adventures are coming out that focus on layout, artstyle, or off-the-wall ideas. Surface level pyrotechnics. No staying power or depth. Not enough adventures focus on content, craftsmanship, good maps, player agency and emergent gameplay. This contest is meant to force you to innovate under pressure, discover what makes DnD tick and produce something memorable and fun within those confines. ART FROM ADVERSITY.
Do you have anywhere to begin?
You might want to check out the old Judges Guild Modules Caverns of Thracia, TSR’s GDQ series, Strabonus, Hyqueous Vaults or adventures by Albie Fiorie or Rob Kuntz.
Any other Questions?
Can be mailed to email@example.com.
SO START WRITING DUMMY. GLORY & TREASUR AWAITS!!!1!oneone!.
And spread the word. I have heard it said that people on r/OSR and the OSR Discord really love contests.
UPDATE: The first submission is already in, you absolute madlads.
UPDATE2: There’s been some questions regarding copyright. I don’t actually own your work, but by submitting it to me you are giving me the right to publish it for this contest under the No Artpunk title. This means that you retain ownership of any submissions you send in, you are free to republish them elsewhere and I will not be using them outside of the context of this competition.
UPDATE3: I screwed up my email. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Apologies.
UPDATE 4 (8-8-2021); Some good contributions so far, with some mouth-watering news of more on the way. A little more then half a month to go. Looks like we are going to make that minimum contribution threshold quite comfortably.