the Great Stag – a stellar one-page dungeon

Here’s a one-page dungeon that takes mid-level PCs out into the stars in a brand-new space ship. Each “dungeon room” is a planet. onepagedungeon

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SHIP: A richly decorated sailboat, the Omelet, teeters on a high cliff. A peryton sits upon black eggs in the gore-spattered crow’s nest. She will attack any who try to approach. She leaves for an hour each noon in search of human hearts.

SHIP DECK: Single mast; aft cabin; fore ballista. A recent corpse, heart ripped out, lies on deck.

AFT CABIN: Ship wheel; tiny kitchen featuring pan and egg whisk; four beds; four foot lockers. One locker holds foppish clothes worth 150 GP, all monogrammed “Captain P.”

HOLD: 20 barrels, 6 containing water and 5 containing 50 pickled eggs each, no two alike.

SAILING THE OMELET: The “ship wheel” is a white stone disc graven with an unfamiliar constellation: the Great Stag. Each star can be pressed like a button. The PCs start at “Lawless World.” They may navigate along constellation lines to an adjacent star by pressing that star. The ship will rise into space, automatically make sail, and cross the cosmic void. Each voyage takes a day and calls for a mid-trip random encounter roll. At its destination, the boat will land at a pre-programmed spot on the star’s single planet. There is no way to alter the ship’s route mid-journey. Characters can move and breathe normally on the ship’s deck; if separated from the ship, they must swim and hold their breath as if underwater.

SHIP COMBAT: The Omelet: AC 10, HP 50. If reduced to 0 HP: immobile until repaired. Ballista: longbow range, 4d6 dmg.

STAR MAP KEY: Random encounter roll on arrival and every 8 hours.
Lawless world: The PCs’ home world.
Swamp world: d4 random encounters: 1-2: 2d10 cavemen (2 HD) who worship “Sky God’s Blood”, an intelligent deep red ioun stone which will orbit whoever praises it most extravagantly. 3-4: 2d6 lizardmen lying in ambush: their eggs were stolen by “Captain P.”
Egg world: d4 encounters: 1-2: Peryton. 3-4: Villagers (blue, humanoid, lay blue eggs) need “tributes” for next peryton meal. (The route from “Egg World” to “Swamp World” goes over a black hole: 2 in 6 to fall in, d6 ship damage, teleports ship to a random world.)
Dungeon world: Riddled with lost dungeons. Near the landing site is a random dungeon from the 2014 One-Page Dungeon contest, with reflavored alien monsters (three-armed goblins, etc). d3 encounters: 1: 2d6 zombies who repeat the last phrase they hear. 2: wraith lamenting world’s past glories. 3: 1d4 suspicious post-apocalyptic survivors.
Peaceful world: No planet, just asteroid field. Ship takes 1d4 damage.
Lawless moon: Much like the PCs’ world except everyone’s name has apostrophes. d3 encounters: 1: 2d10 bandits led by Chief t’Rath’ri. 2: Village of Hom’Leth, offers to pay 50 gold k’chaa to heroes who’ll save them from the bandits. 3: K’bold tribe, awaiting a Chosen One to lead them against the bullying bandits and villagers.
My world: Only feature is an oak desk near the landing site, containing a manuscript about eggs by “Captain Prometheus.” Allows reader to predict the effect of eating any pickled egg. (Secret space passage: PCs can fly directly to Ice World from this location.)
Deserted world: d3 encounters, all with invisible stalkers: 1: Child voice singing creepy rhymes. 2: PCs feel that they’re being followed. 3: Angry voice asks why the PCs, not content with making us perform their assassinations, must invade our home planet? Speaker then attacks.
Ice world: d4 encounters: 1-2: Dozens of hidden ice worms, each 100 feet apart and attached to a vast medusa head floating under the ice. 3-4: 1d6 frost giants. Will flee from fire, which they have never seen.
Mausoleum world: Deserted planet, covered with burial monuments and quarries. Landing plaza: a tower topped with a swivel mirror in each corner, a huge door in the south wall. If all 4 mirrors shine sunlight on the door, it opens, leading to a mummy and four coffer corpses in an underground funeral barge. 5 pieces of jewelry (1000-6000 GP each), 1 of which fuses permanently to its wearer.
??? Asteroid field. The PCs must turn back, unless the DM has devised another constellation for them to explore.

RANDOM SPACE ENCOUNTER: roll d12. One roll per journey.
1: Blue dragon. Captain P stole her egg; wants it back.
2: Wolf-spider slavers in war galley (AC 13, HP 60). Will catch and board the Omelet in 3 turns. 10 Wolf-spiders: attack as dire wolf. 50 slaves: noncombatants. Hold: 600 GP in ivory and silks.
3: Lurker Above disguised as starry sky, will attack anyone on deck.
4: Solar storm lasts 3 turns. Does 1d4 ship damage each turn, -1 damage for each intelligent countermeasure.
5-8: Uneventful passage.
9: Herd of pegasi in the distance, attracted only by other equines.
10: Merchant ship (AC 12, 100 HP, 30 crew, 3 ballistas). Ask “Where’s Captain P?” Will buy eggs for 10 GP each, sell laser swords (as longswords, d10 fire damage) for 300 GP, repair the Omelet for 100 GP.
11: Migrating flumph tribe. Describe the perils of PCs’ destination.
12: Cthulhoid space leviathan. Will ignore PCs unless they act foolish.

RANDOM EGG INGESTION: roll d12. Effects last d4 days, 1 at a time.
1: Alien parasite: Cure Disease before d4 days or things get crazy.
2: Sickened: Max HP lowered by 1d6.
3: Polymorphed: into egg-laying species, DM’s choice.
4-9: No unusual effects.
10: Sated: PC needs no food, water, or air.
11: Lucky egg: player can reroll any one die roll.
12: Good egg: Random attribute raised 1d4 points.

7 Responses to “the Great Stag – a stellar one-page dungeon”

  1. ben says:

    Very nice! Is this adventure intended for a particular edition?

  2. paul says:

    Nah – intended to be edition-neutral.

  3. Rhenium says:

    What is it with Paul and Peryton’s? 😉

  4. paul paul says:

    Just be glad my signature monster isn’t a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing.

  5. Rhenium says:

    “Just be glad my signature monster isn’t a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing.”

    Isn’t that the “I’m an innocent bunny sitting on a log with tentacles” monster? It could be worse, it could be a flumph!

  6. Matthew Gordon says:

    *sigh* No love for the flumph. Well, at least Paul gave ’em a constellation in that map.

  7. This is great! Spelljamming rulz, dawg!

    But seriously, I love this. I so wish they’d bring out an optional Spelljamming component for 5E. It seems it would fit so well.

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