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Thursday, 6th May, 2004, 07:36 PM #121
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Judgment posted above.
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Thursday, 6th May, 2004, 07:54 PM #122
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
Thursday, 6th May, 2004, 08:02 PM #123
Congrats, Zappo! You had a very solid run, and are quite deserving of the Iron DM crown. Well done.
I know the judgement was just posted, but are there any plans yet for who will judge/when the next tourney will be held?
Thursday, 6th May, 2004, 08:09 PM #124
Gallant (Lvl 3)
It is hard writing what you know is going to be a losing entry - and trust me I had barely written the second or third paragraph of this entry when I knew this to be true - but I had to buckle down and finish it.
I liked the failed experiments of a mad wizard theme, and while I understood this would not bind the ingredients well thematically - there was the slightest glimmer of hope that relatively strong use of the ingredients individually might help me some. I think my "Devil in the Details" is one of my favorite ingredient uses ever.
But overall I know this was just not up to usual par.
Confession: I spent over 3 hours writing an entirely different entry and then scrapped it for the one I posted when I realized I had spent 3 hours had already written over 2000 words and had barely gotten past the "Hooks" section. If I had written it as intended I probably would have gotten to somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 words - and I was not even sure the idea was worth working that much on it - especially if it might just be rejected for length regardless of how good it was (and it wasn't all that good, trust me).
Basically, the ingredients were really friggin' hard ya prick - especially the oversight and the shoe horn (which are obvious if you read my entries) and I really struggled to get them all in there even with the loose approach I took.
And yeah, don't ascribe any motives to me except doing my best to win my way. I tend to write grim n' gritty low magic kind of scenarios anyway - so I felt like I did not have to worry about pandering to the judge (even if I normally do not regardless) and my original entry (that I scrapped) was much grittier - but I would never throw a competition (it is not fair and really condescending to my opponent) and there is no way I would take this serious enough and be childish enough to try to stick it Wulf. The suggestion is just silly. If I did not trust him to judge my entries fairly I would not have signed up, or even asked him to join the esteemed company of the IRON DM judges.
Anyway, congratgulations to Zappo. This is a well-earned victory as he clearly did better in this last round than I did.
I'm not sure who will judge the summer tournament (if there even is one) - but I hope to be back to judging either in the Fall and/or a special Holiday newbie edition over on the new Rat Bastard boards.
Thanks again to all my competitors and to Wulf for judging.
Thursday, 6th May, 2004, 09:12 PM #125
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Breath normalizing. Heartbeat slowing. Stunned condition downgraded to dazed.
You know, I'd never expected this kind of friendly competition to get me this excited. Like the Mind's Eye in my entry, it shows something to my own self: I value this community more than I even thought. Maybe it was Wulf's excellent no-nonsense judging, or the high calibre of the competitors, but I feel at the top of a very high mountain.
Thanks SpaceMonkey, thanks Enkhidu, thanks Nemmerle. Thanks Wulf.
I'm sorry that Nemmerle found himself in a dead end and had to restart. It happens, and it happens often. Bad luck happening at the final of an Iron DM. Just wait for the next time, but be warned: this crown is here and it isn't falling without a fight.
Thursday, 6th May, 2004, 09:45 PM #126
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Well, I did say they were absurd theories. Seriously, take it as a compliment that it required me to invent absurd theories to understand why you seemed to struggle this last round.Originally Posted by nemmerle
I prefer playing to judging-- I have a new empathy for the judge-- but if it comes down to having a Summer event or not, I will judge again (assuming folks think I did a good enough job).I'm not sure who will judge the summer tournament (if there even is one) - but I hope to be back to judging either in the Fall and/or a special Holiday newbie edition over on the new Rat Bastard boards.
Thursday, 6th May, 2004, 09:57 PM #127
When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended for self-flagellation solely. (Truman Capote)
Thursday, 6th May, 2004, 10:18 PM #128
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
On for some commentary!
The ingredients were simply devilish. Plenty of abstract concepts, and the hateful, useless shoe horn.
The defeated champion was easy. Literature is chock full of proud, powerful people who get defeated and turn to evil out of humiliation or revenge. Which is exactly the reason for which I didn't do so. The winner became proud and overconfidant (still a clichÚ but not as much); something I hoped wouldn't happen to me. Heck, I'm still hoping. Then I made him be defeated in the rematch, for poetic justice. Enkhidu, I trust we'll have an occasion to see if I am prophetic sooner or later.
Devil in the details: well, we have a fallen paladin, blackguard requires contact with an evil outsider, sounds pretty easy. Instead of just turning him evil in the background, I decided to make the corruption the focus of the adventure, and have the PCs witness them first-hand. The "details" part was handily provided by the concept of starting a war by changing some commas of a holy scripture a thousand years ago. However, the idea of the temple details was hovering in my head for a while and I just had to use it; the climax was a nice point and I figured that a double use of an ingredient couldn't hurt. Incidentally, do you know that it can take just 500 byte of virus to turn a 1 megabyte program in the doom of 300 gigabyte of file storage?
The easy part ends here, though. Mind's Eye? It's a metaphor, how do I use it? I must admit that the beholder/illithid idea didn't occur to me. So I made it a proper noun, and an artefact. Of course, it had to have something to do with seeing, and something to do with minds; reading thoughts was automatic. And perfect for the corrupted paladin... thoughtcrime, the ultimate in Orwellian law-over-goodness. That's how the Cataclysm on Krynn happened, so I guess it must be more than enough to make a single paladin not-good. I wondered briefly about having the PCs recover the artefact for him, then I figured that it was an unnecessary complication and not the style I was shooting for. I gave it the extra power for an added twist and made it the "villain"'s weakness.
But I had to get the activation word to the PCs and not to the paladin. Then I realized that I didn't have to find a smart way; I could just make it an Unforgivable Oversight on the paladin's part and kill off another ingredient as an added bonus. I wasn't entirely satisfied though; in the back of my mind something was itching. I dropped "oversight" it in dictionary.com and it kindly reminded me that it also means "supervision". So the paladin is a bad overseer and loses the favor of his god (hence "unforgivable"). Even better, this is the hook for the adventure as the PCs witness the paladin try his powers, fail, and be shocked about it.
Then I went to bed. Did this sound easy? It took me three or four hours of staring at the screen in complete silence, just to get the ideas. A good night's rest later:
Iron Warriors. This would have been easy as an ingredient to start with, but it just didn't mix with the rest. I spent half an hour circling around my room, wracking my mind, thinking what can Iron Warriors be. Iron golems, of course, but that doesn't fit in any way. A chaos legion. No, stupid brain, stop thinking WH40K! Aw, ok, since you insist, let's make them an army, and give'em heavy armor. No chaos or evil though. In fact, this army is honorable and led by the defeated champion. Ok, but it was still a weak use, I needed something more. What's an iron warrior, if it's not an iron golem? Answer: it's an animated iron statue. Now this I can use; the evil devil animates the iron statues of the temple, proving that the situation is bad.
So I'm sitting and typing happily the background bit, while another thread of thought turns the shoe horn around. This popped out the incompetent nephew, which could also be used as a PC-pusher, but again, this was not enough. Since I couldn't make anything of it, I stopped typing and devoted my full attention to the blasted thing. After half an hour, I still didn't have the faintest glimmer of a shadow of an idea of how to make a shoe horn interesting, or how to interpret it in a way that would make it interesting, and I was getting very convinced that it was indeed impossible. I dropped it in as a drama-enhancer which could have been anything else, and left it to that. Have to have a weakness. The bitter irony: the shoehorned ingredient is a shoe horn.
It wasn't over; I still had to refine the plot to its final form. During this stage, the siege engines were added, making my WH40K side finally happy.
The Final Problem. I've noticed that there is always a Final Problem in writing these entries. My Final Problem was: what if the stupid PCs don't say the activation words, or don't grab the Eye, or don't use it on the fiend? After all, they could think that the paladin is the one who must use the words. Or they may think that grabbing it will drive them insane. Or they may think that the fiend is only an illusion (or that, after all, they don't want to see the mind of a fiend, which is pretty reasonable actually).
I had Bob... eerm, Baridon (damn working names) handy. But I couldn't have him drive the action; I hate adventures where NPCs steal the spotlight, it's already bad enough when a PC does it. So I wrote the final battle in such a way that Baridon was very busy doing something else, so that the DM could use him as an emergency plot device if he wants. And, if he doesn't, better outline the consequences of the party failing. I am sure that if ten people ran this adventure, more than one would end up with Dunukai sitting happily in the middle of the city.
I think I made it sound much easier than it was in this report. Believe me, it wasn't, not by a long shot, and if by chance I had lost three hours in a dead end like it happened to Nemmerle, I would have never recovered. As it stands, I already arrived late at gaming club because the boards were slow during the submission.
Once again, thanks Wulf and Nemmerle. The field of battle will see us again.
Thursday, 6th May, 2004, 10:21 PM #129
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Thanks mythago!Yer joking right? You've done a flawless job.Originally Posted by Wulf Ratbane
Thursday, 6th May, 2004, 11:08 PM #130
Gallant (Lvl 3)