To Think of the Life of a Man – One Page Prep

Pyle_Round_Table_30To Think of the Life of a Man (1967)
In a time that breaks
in cutting pieces all around,
when men, voiceless
against thing-ridden men,
set themselves on fire, it seems
too difficult and rare
to think of the life of a man
grown whole in the world,
at peace and in place.
But having thought of it
I am beyond the time
I might have sold my hands
or sold my voice and mind
to the arguments of power
that go blind against
what they would destroy.
I leave all that behind.

Poem by Wendell Berry
Illustration by Howard Pyle

FaeFarmFarmstead on the edge of the Fae
Every eave and beam is honed with craft and skill
– The larder is full of jams, honeys, and dried goods

Blood-Red Barn
Fresh paint spread evenly across well-sanded lumber
– A dappled roan whinnies, oiled plow-harness nearby 

The Timeless Oak
An idyllic post oak stands alone beside a cleared field
– The tree demands your worship and adoration
– The tree soothes your fears and dulls your mind

Fields of Gold and Barley
The smell of freshly cut hay wafts from shapely bales
– Farmer offers you shelter and food for your labors
– Fields are sown with bones and watered in sweat

Fairy Time:
Time passes more slowly in this realm, every day here is a mortal season.

Forget the World:
Every time a character eats, sleeps, or labors they risk forgetting their:

  1. Dreams
  2. Loves
  3. Friends
  4. Fears
  5. Foes
  6. Family
  7. Home
  8. Self


Adventure Prep PDF: Here
Hex Kit Map
Forest Hymn


Ice Floes of Stygia – One Page Prep

Map of the Harbor town of Izotz

The Keep of Izotz
Five frost-rimed towers pierce the lightning-filled sky
– Battle plans and quality salvage from the great war

The Gates of Memory
An icy bridge crosses the memory-killing River Styx
– Vigilant guards monitor infamous river of the dead

The Mausoleum of the Damned
Lost souls emerge soaked, regretting forgotten sins
– Ghoulish shambling husks, fodder for the great war

The Ice Harbor
Ice-breakers crewed by brine devils & drowned souls
– Unloading leviathan oil, giant squid, and shark fins

The Balefire Lighthouse
Blue flames circles the highest floor, a baleful glare
– Flames guide lost ships and lost souls to harbor

The Lord’s Monolith
Carved from black ice, a blinking blue eye at its peak
– Frozen Lord telepathically monitors his realm

The Obelisk of Doors
Obsidian stone, each side a portal to a distant plane
– Devils never let a soul depart intact and unsworn

The Memorial of Forgotten Lives
Etchings from travelers, damned souls, and the lost
– Names and deeds that have been forgotten by all

Threats in the Stygian Harbor of Izotz:
– Salt-frozen winds flay frostbitten skin and chill the bone
– Gangs of damned souls and frigid planars control streets
– Thick skinned neanderthal fishmongers filet sea monsters
– Baatezu monitor the portals, demand heavy toll to enter
– Barbed devils patrol imperiously as corrupt guards
– Frost giant mercenaries and shamans barter with devils
– Brutal white abishi and erudite blue abishi marshall forces
– Frozen Lord rules from his iceberg tomb beneath waves

By Max VanderheydenHex Kit Map – Play with Portal Rats

Download this Adventure Prep PDF



The Arctic Trail – One Page Prep

The Keep
Summer hunting fortress of a distant prideful lord.

  • Iron-barred gates, deep claw gouges in the wood
  • Rear wall was partially collapsed by a rock slide
  • Pristine trophies decorate the inner chambers
  • Hunting tapestries depict all manner of beasts

Prospector Camp
Spruce-pole longhouse near a mountain stream.

  • Frozen sluice box glimmers with bits of gold dust
  • Scattered remains of prospectors long decayed
  • Buried stashes, a dwarf might smell out the gold
  • Gold is haunted, unless burial rites are performed

The Tower
Biting winds howl through the broken battlements.

  • Diabolist dwells here to study the ancient portal
  • Eternal fires burn in volcanic hearths on each floor
  • Bound blue imp deters visitors, loathes
  • Dozens of journals describe the Stygian realm

The Stones
Obsidian slabs stark against a snowy embankment.

  • Ancient hell portal rimed with icy Stygian runes
  • Frigid wind carries whispers from the fifth hell
  • Hoarfrost blights the hillock around the stones
  • Remnants of a recent blood ritual on an icy table

Dangers along the trail:
Yeti Stalker – lurking in the snow, looking to prey on the weak
Woolly Rhinoceros – digging for roughage below the snow
Icy Demon – trap those in cold, promise safety for a pittance
Blizzard – frozen sleet and hail batter those without shelter
Avalanche – pummel and suffocate everything in the path

Adventure Prep PDF: The Arctic Trail
Map made with: Hex Kit


One Page: Space Scrappers of Aom

Derelict ship crawl concept – Intended for play with Strange Stars by Hydra Co-op


In the Instrumentality of Aom your worth is defined by your potential, and each of you has been found lacking. Your prefecture raised you in one of the machine-wombs of Aom, in your growth-coma state your muscles and mind developed, but your genetics were uninspired. Your digitized self has lived a million test recursions and the only role that suits you is that of a space scrapper.

Your cryo-pods clank in their bays. The crystalline fluid empties out slowly. Your eyes open for their first time to reveal a world much bleaker than the one you experienced through your hardlink. A message plays behind your eyes, you know that it is your purpose to assess and salvage. The convoy spits you out like the genetic leftovers that you are and burns off with bays full of other scrappers destined to earn their place in the Instrumentality of Aom or to die trying.

Running a pointcrawl:

At each node, players must be presented with an engaging encounter. After the completion of which, they must make an informed choice about which path to take. The choices they make should be difficult and have lasting consequences.

Room 1 – The Airlock

Prep Questions:

Are the systems running? Is there evidence of life? Are the lights on? Is there artificial gravity? Can you access the ship’s computer? Was this a human ship? Does the ship use a language that you know?

Encounter Ideas:

Gain access to the ship map. Open the sealed door. Identify the source of the airborne contagion. Identify the reason the ship has lost power.

Paths Forward:

One path might be obviously dangerous, there might be a blood trail or claw marks. Perhaps there is a missing section of ship. This should be the “direct” path. The other path should be the indirect path, it should be clear that this is more circuitous. It might also be unclear if this path actually leads to the desired destination.

Rooms 2 & 3 – The First Challenge (2-Direct or 3-Indirect)

Prep Questions:

How will the characters learn more about the ship. What happened here? What is the threat to them now? What resources remain on the ship?

Encounter Ideas:

Confront a lifeform. Overcome a defensive mechanism. Overcome a dangerous obstacle that resulted from the ship’s demise. Lose/use a key resource.

Paths Forward:

One path might involve direct confrontation, while the other might be a stopgap.

Rooms 4 & 5 – Can you commit to your course? (4-Confrontation or 5-Compromise)

Prep Questions:

How will the characters take command of the ship? How will the obstacles be overcome? Are the players hunters or hunted? What is the best case scenario? Can a hard choice come back to haunt the players?

Encounter Ideas:

Betray or be betrayed by a lifeform. Use a defensive mechanism to your advantage, at a great cost. Sacrifice one section of the ship to save another. Can a mistake be fixed?

Paths Forward:

One path is absolute victory at a great cost. The opposite path is submission of self or mission to a power that was greater than you. The middle path is compromise, neither side gets what they wanted fully.

Rooms 6, 7, & 8 – What is the end state? (6-Absolute Victory, 7-Compromise, or 8-Submission)

Resolution Questions:

Will the sacrifices made to overcome this threat doom the crew in the future? What has the crew sacrificed for victory? When will the resources run out? What did the lifeform need from you, can you afford the cost? Which of your beliefs has been changed? Who or what did you betray to save yourself?

Resolution Scenes:

What does the ship look like? What are their final words? How does the world look now that you’ve been altered. What resource is the ship critically low on? What just appeared on the scanner? Was that an alert?

Download as PDF