Valley of the Machines

I wrote this one-shot D&D adventure to share with my co-workers on a recent work meetup; it was the first in several years! I now share it with you all. It takes about 3 hours from start to finish and requires very little experience on the part of the players.

For the DM, the adventure is only two pages long and includes lots of text you can read directly to the table. However, unlike previous one-shots I’ve made, in this one I’ve omitted specific skill names and DCs from the scenes because I’ve found that this is often too limiting. Instead, I merely explain the problems that the party is likely to encounter and leave the specific solutions to the group. Make up the DCs on the fly as seems appropriate! This will probably require a little more familiarity with the rules than some of my other one-shots.

Valley of the Machines loosely inspired by Horizon: Zero Dawn, but shifted to a more traditional D&D setting. Enjoy!


The Hunted Queen

As in the before times, this year I wrote a D&D one-shot adventure to share with my co-workers at Automattic. Sadly, I was only able to run the adventure for a few people because 2020. Still, it was a fun adventure and I wanted to share it with the internet, so here you go. (It’s based loosely on a certain scene from the Witcher.)

Queen Kalia of Bragod was married for her beauty, but has become an unexpected champion of the common people. This has made her many enemies in the court, and some whisper that the king is among them. As she returns from a distant voyage, she learns that her life may be in danger. Can you protect the queen from certain doom?


Unusual Things

Every year I write a D&D one-shot game for my friends and co-workers at the Automattic Grand Meetup. This year’s adventure was titled “Unusual Things” and has a certain… upside down feeling to it. I hope you like it! Here’s the blurb:

Nothing much happens in the mountaintop town of Hawkurns, where the populace mines magical crystals and their kids to get into all kinds of mischief. Recently, however, people have been disappearing, and no one knows why. Rumors of unusual things are everywhere. Can you help solve the mystery before something worse assails this small town?

If you’d like to explore the adventure yourself, click here and download the PDF! It runs in just about three hours and is designed for 4-7 characters of level 2.


Legend of the Whale

As has become tradition, every year I design and run a one-shot Dungeons & Dragons game for my co-workers at our annual gathering. This year I was heavily inspired by my experiences playing Breath of the Wild and I wanted to try to re-create that particular “Zelda” feeling in D&D. I’d love to have done more but there’s only so many puzzles you can fit into a 3 hour game!

The adventure is a one-shot adventure for a group of 2nd-level characters and runs in just about 3 hours. It was designed to be fun for brand new players and experienced gamers alike. Myself and several wonderful volunteer DMs ran the game seven times over the past few weeks and I think it runs pretty smooth.

Here is the teaser text:

One hundred years ago the realm of Dunelin built four magical monuments in the shapes of giant animals to concentrate their power and defend against a demon’s attack. Sadly, they did not account for the cunning of their adversary. The demon took control of the monuments, turning them against their creators, making him nearly unstoppable.

Though it cost her life, the realm’s most powerful wizard was able to bind the demon in a magic circle, buying her people some time. All of the demon’s rage is now focused against his prison, and after a hundred years he is close to breaking free.

Time to to recover the monuments is running out.

You may download the adventure yourself here:

Photo by Roberto Lopez on Unsplash


Search for the Sage

My fourth D&D adventure crafted for the Automattic Grand Meetup, Search for the Sage is a one-shot game perfect for new and experienced players alike. It runs in about 3-4 hours. I had a lot of fun creating and running this one! Huge thanks to the many friends who played through this adventure and extra huge thanks to those who DMed it.

Here’s the teaser:

A town sinks slowly into the sea and only the power of an ancient sage can save it. But can the sage be found in time? There’s only one way to find out.

Would you like to try to find the sage yourself? Download the adventure here.

(Incredible formatting courtesy of The Homebrewery. Check them out!)

Photo by Jason Wong.


Temple of the Ruby Sands

A year ago I published a Dungeons & Dragons adventure titled The Stonecutter Samurai which was written to share with my friends and co-workers at Automattic. This year I wrote another adventure, Temple of the Ruby Sands!  As it has now been played a total of seven times and I’ve cleaned up the stats and wording, I’d like to share it with you.

The game is a one-shot adventure for a group of 2nd-level characters and runs in about 3-4 hours (I’m getting better at making them short!). It was designed to be fun for brand new players and experienced die rollers alike. It should even have enough info be run by new DMs (although you may want to get to know the D&D 5e rules a bit first)!

Here is the teaser text:

An ancient temple, buried deep in the desert, has recently been excavated by an eccentric Dwarven archeologist. Unfortunately, the excavation site is surrounded by blood-red sand that many locals claim to be cursed, and the archaeologist’s last team was killed when they discovered a series of deadly traps within. Now he desperately wants to hire a new team to return and claim the temple’s treasure, but is there something more to this ancient ruin than meets the eye?

If you feel like braving the Temple of the Ruby Sands, you can download the adventure here.

(Awesome formatting courtesy of The Homebrewery.)


The Stonecutter Samurai

Once a year Automattic gathers all its employees together for a week of projects, learning, and adventure at an event called the Grand Meetup. This year I wrote a D&D adventure to share with my friends and co-workers, most of whom had never played a tabletop RPG before. It’s now been run seven times (four by me) for a total of 26 players (two even played the game twice!).

Here’s the teaser text:

In the country of O’Taki, there exists a feudal hierarchy of Dwarf lords in the style of old Japan.

As the Emperor’s Prime Minister Okanama ages, a rivalry has arisen over who will take his place. Several factions vie for control. The leader of the most influential faction, the retired General Buren Tomogawa (also known as the Stonecutter Samurai), has fought to keep power away from his strongest rival, Yomo Ishin, a powerful noble whose detractors claim deals in demon-worship and forbidden magic.

Though unmarried, Tomogawa has a secret concubine and two young illegitimate children. The sly lord Ishin has discovered Tomogawa’s secret and the children have been kidnapped. Now the fate of the Empire hangs in the balance.

If you’d like to play this adventure yourself, gather some friends, make some second-level characters, and download the adventure here.