Senseless Pursuits

The Blind God calls on its followers to forgo the sin of sight, and become one with the purity that exists in darkness. Only by removing the lying eyes, can one truly see the shape of the world. The messages burble up into their waking dreams, from deep below the waves, and blind creatures are sent to aid the priests and acolytes in their mission. But now they have stolen away the butcher’s boy, and have nefarious plans to speed the arrival of the

The idea of losing one of the senses is pretty awful. I know that many people live happy and fulfilled lives lacking one or more of the suite of senses that most people are born with, but the fear of losing something you’ve relied on for your whole life for interfacing with the world is intense. I imagine it’s even more terrifying for those in dangerous pursuits, such as adventurers, who rely on their senses to keep them alive on a moment to moment basis. That was the initial seed idea for this dungeon, depriving necessary senses to the characters and see what they would do

Since this is the first post on this blog, it seemed fitting to go big and submit this dungeon to the One Page Dungeon Contest. We’ll see what happens with that, but this was a good exercise for me to produce something tangible from all the notes I have scattered around in various notebooks and documents. This was an idea that had been kicking around in my head, and working out the details, fitting the idea into a cogent map, fitting everything onto one sheet of paper, and making it look decent all took a lot more time than I anticipated.

Map of the hidden shrine below the ruins of the Temple of the Shephard

At one point I considered some storygame/LARP elements of providing players with blindfolds at the table. It seemed like a lot for a one page dungeon though, so I scratched that. Still, I think there’s something to be explored there, pushing some of what the characters would be feeling back up to the PCs.

Is struggled a bit with portraying the blind cultists as evil. The morning after submitting the dungeon to the contest, I had some serious self-doubt about using a real challenge that people deal with every day as the defining quirk of some bad guys. I consoled myself with the idea that the cultists chose their blindness in service to a dark god, and that sets them apart from blindness as it exists in the real world. However, I could have polished up the language a bit more to make it more obvious that the baddies have no eyes because they make bad decisions, not bad because they’re blind.

I’d also like to take a pass and flesh out the descriptions using senses other than sight. That was a missed opportunity I think, and one that’s obvious in hindsight. The restricted format limits what’s possible to include, of course, but on reflection, having a main target to aim at for the project (set of principles, a theme, an emotion, etc.) helps clarify things. The trick is keeping that target in mind through the whole production, and continuing to use that as the guiding principle.

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