Spring Ceramic DMô: WINNER POSTED! - Page 56
  1. #551
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    Ah, well... It was a crappy story, anyway. It's what you get when you go to watch Kill Bill 2 and run a game when you're supposed to be writing. Congratulations, BardStephenFox, and good luck to the next round.

  2. #552
    Quote Originally Posted by BardStephenFox
    Well, we will have Zhaneel & RangerWickett posted tonight, so we should know soon. Wow, we both made it to the semi-finals. Now, I have been under the impression that Zhaneel and Mythago game together. Macbeth and I do game together. Depending on how the matchups turn out, it might be an interesting round.
    We don't game together, though we know each other and hang out a bit.

    If I win (*hopehope*) I had been hoping for a final round match-up between Mythago and I. But, whatever.

    My only caveat (which I've been avoiding posting) is that I am away this weekend, so any match-up involving me would really have to wait until next Monday to start.

    Zhaneel

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    Quote Originally Posted by NiTessine
    Ah, well... It was a crappy story, anyway.
    Stop that! Never denigrate your story like that in public, whether you win or lose. Any story can use improvement and tightening, but that doesn't mean they aren't fun to read -- as was yours, in case that didn't come through on the judging analysis. The fact that it didn't beat your opponent's doesn't mean that you should be unduly hard on yourself.

    Mmmm, undead monkeys.

    Anyways, as a judge I don't want to read stories that you think are "crappy." So even if you really feel that way, don't say so afterwards. I know exactly how hard it is to make a good tale out of random photographs, and believe me, I chose the photos to try and avoid easy solutions.

    -- o --

    I never played Star Frontiers. Nice use of the setting, BSF.

    -- o --

    The next round matchups will be decided by my trusty d4. As a result, I won't guarantee that Macbeth and BSF are going head-to-head. We'll announce these matchups this evening.
    Last edited by Piratecat; Tuesday, 27th April, 2004 at 08:25 PM.

  4. #554
    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat
    The next round matchups will be decided by my trusty d4. As a result, I won't guarantee that Macbeth and BSF are going head-to-head. We'll announce these matchups this evening.
    Okay, fair enough. No problem if I face somebody else, it would just be fun to have a friendly showdown between me and BSF. I'll be looking for them.

  5. #555
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macbeth
    Okay, fair enough. No problem if I face somebody else, it would just be fun to have a friendly showdown between me and BSF. I'll be looking for them.
    Heh - well if the D4 dictates otherwise, then we should just consider it motivation to win the semi-finals.

    Star Frontiers - Nifty little game and writing the story has motivated me to start looking at a D20 conversion of the game. I've never done something like that, but it actually sounds kind of fun. Maybe a little here and a little there and someday have a whole conversion to try to talk some players into trying out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat
    Stop that! Never denigrate your story like that in public, whether you win or lose. Any story can use improvement and tightening, but that doesn't mean they aren't fun to read -- as was yours, in case that didn't come through on the judging analysis. The fact that it didn't beat your opponent's doesn't mean that you should be unduly hard on yourself.

    Mmmm, undead monkeys.

    Anyways, as a judge I don't want to read stories that you think are "crappy." So even if you really feel that way, don't say so afterwards. I know exactly how hard it is to make a good tale out of random photographs, and believe me, I chose the photos to try and avoid easy solutions.
    When I wrote the bulk of the story, I was both very tired and in a bit of a hurry. I think it shows. Now that I read it, I wince at some of the stuff I wrote. Though it felt pretty decent at the time of writing, I've written better stories. BSF certainly wrote a better story.

    But it's nice to know that even two minutes away from falling asleep on my keyboard and waking up with 'qwerty' on my forehead, I can form coherent sentences and string them together as an understandable whole.

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    Judgment of Match 2-4: Zhaneel vs. RangerWickett.

    Maldur:


    Hmmm.

    Zhaneel's story is great, Indian myth and once again a weird agency. Then RangerWickett's story, Great stuff, with demons and armies and underdark shenanigans.

    My vote is for Zhaneel. It is a great story, and I think RangerWickett dropped the ball with two things: The comment about the pictures being wrong, and that very hasty ending.

    ----------

    Arwink:

    Zhaneel Ė Vritraís Return

    Zhaneel toys with notions of mythology, warping them into a smart action story that runs a little wild. I like the bones of the story, but in fleshing it out it appears to have grown in strange and odd ways. The tension is a little uneven, and the intricacies of the society and mythology that lead Devang through the story are occasionally a little too much for my taste.

    On the other hand, Zhaneel uses a mythology that doesnít see enough use in fantasy stories (although Kali gets a good deal in horror tales for some reason), and she crafts a world that I would like to see more of should she find the time to trim the story and hone it through further drafting.

    RangerWickett Ė Untitled

    RangerWickett produces a stylish world, but in many respects it becomes less interesting when framed as a dark-elf world as suggested in his introduction. One of the things that immediately struck me is how effective the story could be as a simple fantasy tale, freed of any implications of underdark or drow, and there was little enough to indicate it was otherwise in the story that I barely would have noticed the connection if he hadnít pointed it out.

    Rodinn serves as an interesting character, and the dynamics of his team are interesting to read. In many ways, itís unfortunate that the story doesnít reach its conclusion naturally, but such are the constraints of Ceramic DM

    Judgment

    I give the round to Zhaneel on the strength of the mythological choices that dominate her story and the complete nature of the narrative. While RangerWickettís story is interesting and has many strengths, it also suffers slightly from running out of time.

    ----------

    Piratecat:

    Zhaneel's story is a good example that taking risks in storywriting can sometimes pay off. Setting the tale in Indian mythology, she draws on centuries of rich culture and suggests that there is a lot more going on in the Godly interactions than meets the eye. This is something of a cultural shorthand, and it allows her the luxury of not having to go into detail on the extensive history.

    The story itself might have been leaner and more effective if it were pared down a bit. I'd like to see Devang's insouciance play a role in his eventual victory, thus making the beginning development more relevant. I'd also like to see more of the focus on Devang's ending confrontation with the Gods, and less on his recruitment and training. Right now the story feels slightly unbalanced, never quite rising to its potential emotional peak. It's still very good, though; a clever concept, a sneaky ending, an interesting protagonist, a nice plot.

    It surprises me that as someone disrespectful of authority, Devang never figures out that he was played for a fool.

    Photo use was about average. Devang's introduction was handled nicely, and I like how she tied together the boar's head and the river of blood. The rope bridge was a throwaway, and "Listen" - the dragon - was interpreted literally. No real surprises, but no disappointments (other than the rope bridge) either.

    - o -

    RangerWickett gives us a conflicted protagonist, a great dragon encounter, and something of a coming-of-age story. It suffers somewhat from fantasy-name-syndrome ("Guenhavesti") that distracts the reader from the plot, but as far as it goes the story covers some interesting territory. Unfortunately, the story really suffers from not being finished. It's questionable whether the outlined ending would be truly effective; it's difficult not to suffer from anticlimax after the dragon encounter, and I'm not sure if Rodinn's "treason" would carry enough emotional weight to compensate. I'd like to read a version that has the ending fleshed out, as I think RW could do really interesting things with it.

    I have no real worries with the interpretation of the photos as being in the Underdark. It's slightly irregular, but that's something I'm willing to let slip if the story supports them. Did it? I'd say yes. The boar photo was used well, as was the bridge. (Note that the boy in the photo is carrying just the boar's head.) The river of blood was also well introduced, and the dragon played a major and effective story role. I dislike the use of "conformity" largely because it was shoehorned into the summarized ending. Overall, the photos were used quite well.

    Interestingly enough, I think that this story would have more impact without the baggage of the drow. Like Zhaneel's use of the Indian pantheon, though, I can see why it was used: a shorthand so that the invaders cruelty wouldn't have to be explained further.

    - o -

    My judgment is for Zhaneel. The use of mythological themes and a complex protagonist added nice depth to her story, pushing it past a good but uncompleted story from RangerWickett.


    ----------


    FINAL JUDGMENT: 3 out of 3 for Zhaneel, who will go on to the third round.

    Matchups will be announced later this evening. Congratulations, all, on hard-fought matches!

  8. #558
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    The d4 has spoken!

    Match 3-1: BardStephenFox vs. Macbeth.

    Match 3-2: Mythago vs. Zhaneel.


    I've got special photos for you folks this time. Hee hee hee hee hee.

    I'd like to post Match 3-2 next Monday, when Zhaneel is back from a weekend away. BardStephenFox and Macbeth, how soon can I post yours?
    Last edited by Piratecat; Tuesday, 27th April, 2004 at 10:29 PM.

  9. #559
    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat
    The d4 has spoken!

    Match 3-1: BardStephenFox vs. Macbeth.

    Match 3-2: Mythago vs. Zhaneel.


    I've got special photos for you folks this time. Hee hee hee hee hee.

    I'd like to post Match 3-2 next Monday, when Zhaneel is back from a weekend away. BardStephenFox and Macbeth, how soon can I post yours?
    You ready for this, BSF?

    My weekend looks really busy. The best times for me would probably be Friday. That way I can sneak in a look at the pictures, let them simmer in my head for a while, and do some writing towards the end of the weekend, when things finally calm down. The other option would be to post them tonight, giving me some time to get it done early. Does either Today or Friday work for you, BSF?

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    Congrats Zhaneel. I wish I could've given you a more finished story to beat; you deserved a better opponent.

    Fortunately, in Round Three, you'll have one. *grin*

    Great job everybody. Judges, I'm sorry I didn't have the time to give you a more completed story. I do have to thank you, though, for scratching my writing bug. I admit the story was a bit stale on first draft, and so my desire to do better is getting me eager to write some fiction for a change, instead of working on game stuff.

    So thank you, very much.

    Hope you all have a nice day, and a great last two rounds.

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