CERAMIC D.M. the final judgement is in!

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Clockwork Golem
I've posted the results to Clay, so they are coming.

I appologise to everyone for the delay. I've temporarily changed ISP's, so I guarentee there'll be no problems for the next round.


First Post

shadoes lady- plants us in a very modern spy tale
excellent handling of the pictures her for the most part. the window (the hardest pic to handle imo) was
slighted a wee bit, but i loved the handling of the guru with his head buried. the ending seemed a little abrupt,
but matched the mood of the setting. i found the odd mix of modern and fatasy interesting.

drawmack- gives us a continuation, which springs to mind a way to make the contest even more difficult :)
drawmack handles the mansion underground map exactly as shadoes lady does,
as a setting without much firther explanation, but i do like his characters reflections on the window.

for my money, shadoes lady takes this one.


Shadoe's lady:
Dairy style, Modern Arcana setting, very Buckaroo Banzai story. I really liked it!

The continued story of the elven Paladin. I liked this story much better than his last story. It seemed more "together", Allthough it had a abrupt ending.

The round is for Shadoe's lady. Better use of the pics, and a more complete story. As drawmack himself said it's just was the stronger story!


Shadoe's Lady
The narrator we're introduced to here is intriguing - a secret agent with
knowledge of the arcane, but still vain enough to keep note of the number of
photo-shoots she's done as part of her cover in her dairy. It takes the very
Bridgett Jones style and subverts it in subtle ways, something that always
grabs my attention. It shows a great deal of control in its voice and
structure, it has a very nice, almost clipped tone that suits the concept
well. Slowing down the pace of events may be worthwhile if Shadoe's Lady looks
at re-writing or expanding on the concept. Things, as they stand, are pretty
crushed together, and a longer approach would allow a greater involvement in
the superficial nature of Lucy Browns cover, her pleasure in it, and give
greater impact to the twists to come. The use of the illustrations is
interesting, and done with a great deal of subtlety in most cases. The only
aspect that truly grated on me was the "hey, I don't know what day it is"
approach. It didn't really suit the approach as well as it could- especially
given the eventually complexity to Lucy and her choice to keep a journal/diary
(which usually implies at least some awareness of time).

After a great start in the first round, Drawmack's character lost me here. It
suffers because it reads less like fiction and more like a log of "the party
gathers in the bar" introduction to an adventure - not altogether a bad thing
but the constant trail of intriguing concept and clue that was present in the
beginning is now soured by instant familiarity. There's still a great deal of
strong work here - the characterization and descriptive elements are very nice,
but I couldn't escape the feeling that the piece has taken a step back from the
introduction that lead to it. As the set-up scene for an adventure, this is
particularly good, but as fiction it gets bogged down on elements that just
aren't as important to a reader as they are to a player. In fiction, it's a
case of less-is-more when bringing characters together and giving them a

This round goes to Shadoe's Lady.

unanimous round to shadoes lady.


First Post

speaker- gives us a fantasy special ops unit.
i was less than completely happy with the treatment of the gnomes carved from salt,
while the language worked and i liked the "turn of phrase" i felt it wasn't exactly what i would have illustrated,
but that is more than countered by the hilarious handling of the giant turtle. the rbed man and the arch were handled well enuf, and i did enjoy the
image of the leonardo sketch as a necromancy document.

mirthcard- gives us a nearly uncatergorable tale (is that a word?)
from the introduction with the fiend who inveted wicker thru to our fiend being sentenced to being a gnome (playing to a judge?)
i found this story rollicking fun. the turtle is an interesting handle, and the pinochio buit got to me too. this story is far from anythign i expected from a ceramic d.m. contest, but i loved it anyway.

my vote has to go to mirthcard on this one

A fantasy james bond. nice story! the mix between modern and fantasy is
getting more popular in the ceramic dm contest all the time.

I just finish my coffe otherwise I would heve been cleaning my monitor. That
is one funny story!
Im a bit disturbed by the using gnomes as the ultimate punishment. But its
very funny!! Well done!

Im a bit stumped because of outside influences, so Ill do a more indepth
analysis of my judging tomorrow.
But the Mirthcard story cheered me up, thx!

My vote goes to Mirthcard

To begin with - Yoink! The Giant Turtle Shell as talking point for some stray
noble just showed up in a nobleman's courtyard in my campaign. Nice idea :)
Beyond that, Speakers piece is stylistically strong. The ephemeral nature of
the party Sam's attending comes through very strongly, as does his feeling of
being out of place in such surrounds. Even better, the overall plot of the
story wasn't immediately obvious. Speaker avoids many of the usual mistakes of
this kind of piece, which sets up the main character as far too "Secret Agent"
from the outset, and the pacing moves forward nicely. There are a few places
where the language could be fine-tuned, particularly in the dialogue between
Sam and his nemesis, but this is a minor quibble in light of the time limit and
pressures of the contest.

One thing I like about Mirthcard's entry is the overtone of the
Pratchett/Gaiman collaboration Good Omens, an old favorite of mine. The tale
is stylishly told, with a controlled voice that does the story credit, but in
the end it's its similarity to other tales in this style that is its greatest
drawback. It's a sub-genre I end up reading a lot of at work for some reason,
and although Mirthcard handles it better than most, it does suffer a little in
my eyes. The litany of evil/annoyance the Fiend has accomplished was amusing,
but at the same time was a tad.cheap. At times it seems as though he's taking
an easy shot at pop culture, picking on obvious targets (although I agree on
the evils of wicker). When it brings up something interesting, such as the
points where it incorporates the giant turtle, it truly shines and the ending
is nice (and, I admit, I have to agree once more with the evils of garden
gnomes as well).

Picking between these two stories is particularly tough, probably the hardest
of all I've come across so far. On the whole, Mirthcard's is the slightly more
controlled of the two - it shows a more sparing use of language that gives it a
slight edge over Speakers tale. On the other hand, Speakers piece holds more
surprises for me, it's prose showing a strong control of genre conventions and
a well-paced and well-detailed plot. I've swung backwards and forwards a dozen
times here - both pieces are very strong and their authors should be pleased
with their work. In the end though, I end up leaning towards Speakers piece
because it does the two things that I love in fantasy fiction - it kept me
entertained and gave me things to steal for my games.

winner is mirthcard in a split decision.


First Post
Good show, Speaker and Drawmack :)

So it all boils down to this...

Will Mirthcard defend his title or will Shadoe's LAdy succeed in dethroning the reigning champ?

C'mon, Clay, get with the pictures - I want to see how this plays out...


First Post
here come the finals... i was struggling to make the pics for this one tuff, and fell back on an old art school project.

a few cliches thrown in this time, to flounder on or impress with :D


First Post
mirthcard vs. shadoes lady

for all the marbles...

pic 1


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