Holiday Iron DM!!!! {Final Judgment Posted!}


Moderator Emeritus
Wicht vs. Quickbeam - IRON DM FINAL - Judgment

I’m sorry, Wicht.

I’m really, really sorry. I thought to myself, “This has to be the time Wicht wins. He can’t not win.” I mean, no offense to Quickbeam, but both of Wicht’s entries were better than both of Quickbeam’s –and Wicht had made it to the finals so many others times and wrote consistently the best entries I read.

Okay, so the ingredients were tough. I read Wicht’s entry and thought, “Hmmph, not his best, but still damn good and most likely good enough to finally win the title of ‘Iron DM’”

I’m sorry, Wicht. I was wrong.

Let’s look at Wicht’s entry, shall we?

Right off the bat, Wicht sets up a great atmosphere – a festival and logging contest! - with dwarves and giants and tamed blue bullettes (and allusions to Paul Bunyon) and just great fun. I liked it immediately.

And while I was not sure what giant wanted with 10,000 gold coins, I could excuse that because the curious nature of such a character makes it worth it to have him there.

I also liked the format of the adventure – simply just events that might occur while the party was at this fair whether they be there for hire or for recreation – open-ended things like this usually do well in Iron DM because they do not make the mistake of pigeon-holing PCs. Bravo, Wicht!

The whale encounter sets up a cooperative atmosphere not common to adventures – where players have been conditioned to be suspicious of everyone and try to “figure out” what is “going on”.

The next encounter has a nice non-combative aspect to it as well – with a potential for a good deed or a robbery and the consequences of said good deed. And here there Magic Tea Cup is used so sweetly, I mean. . . what else would pixies want? It fits the atmosphere that was set up from the beginning.

Now, if there is one weakness to this encounter it is right here: the mind-flayer. It is unfortunate that the desire to fit in a secondary ingredient made him try to slip a mind-flayer (a quasi-cthulhuoid creature) into an adventure that could take place in folktale. The ju-ju zombies could have been given any other origin than the said mind-flayer and they might have worked better – but by making them the mind-flayer’s servants they become an extension of this “sore thumb” aspect. However, the idea behind this encounter (a magical thief that plays upon the natural fear of the bulette) is excellent –and allows for a combat encounter (the bulette) by includes the dilemma of how to handle such a dangerous beast. But still, I have to ask the question: what does a mind-flayer want with 10,000 gold coins?

In the end, Wicht’s entry is worthy of more than a handful of Iron DM final round entries. I am really, really impressed.

So, that is why I am so, so sorry.

You see, Quickbeam wins.

QB starts out in a similar mode as Wicht – her sets up a place where the action is to take place – but with only a few words he has set up this peninsula as not only the place where the action will take place – but a place that could be the launching point for many adventures – and usually I would tell people to shy away from presenting too specific a place in an Iron DM entry because of the difficulty of placing into any given campaign – but on the other hand, a good adventure can create a place you want to stick in your setting and this one does it (consider this place yoinked!)

Unlike Wicht’s scenario the mind-flayer (you guys love them secondary ingredients, don’t ya?) works a lot better because the inclusion of the nearby mountains and the fact that this adventure happens in a huge area makes the presence of the illithid much more acceptable – and his motivations are much clearer.

Now, no matter what ju-ju zombies were going to be difficult to fit in here (though I have some crazy ideas of my own) – so I could sense QB’s entry strain here – but only here – But Qucikbeam does a great job of making them work from a practical point of view –making the villain seem all the more clever and unique in his approach – if you really wanted to you could even create a backstory (and fodder for future adventures) where illithid society shuns a voo-doo-like it considers “primitive” – giving mind-flayers a “dark sorcery” side that goes along with their usual psionic abilities (but that is neither here nor there) in order to make it all fit together and link to some future thing.

Oh, but the logging team and the “Bukkar Trees” were excellently used in combination with the bulette – but that is the beauty of this scenario – is how the ingredients were used to check each other – the dwarves are endangered by the bulette (“ The legendary Khaba-Pruul, an awakened dire cricket of dwarven myth – friggin’ brilliant! – connecting the telepathic suggestion that way, just so good), and the bulette could harm the illithid’s plans which has the giant angry which he takes out on the humans and the dwarves. It all fits together so nicely. But still there is more – we are simply setting up the stage. . . to use the classic “villain’s plan gone wrong” scenario to bring in the beached whale and HAVE THE ILLITHID’S ESSENCE TRAPPED IN THERE is just great!

Okay, I lied when I said there was only one weakness to QB’s entry – No, there is another (but really he explains the first so well it shouldn’t even count – there, I took it back, it doesn’t count anymore – I am not a liar – there is only one and this is it): The Tea Cup – what the heck is a mind-flayer doing with a tea cup? So weird. Too weird. Plus the fact that it serves as both a magical dispenser of components AND as the vessel for magic jar spell is definitely too much – choose one or the other – no villain is going to put all his eggs on one basket (so to speak) – I would have made the tea cup be simple a magical vessel and skipped the components part.

Anyway, Quickbeam includes some excellent options for how to get the party involved that were broader than those provided by Wicht and thus more readily accessible to a wider variety of situations – and since I found both entries to be so good, I did give some small consideration to how secondary ingredients were used. You both used “a guy named Ralph, which I somehow knew you would – but even in his use of such a lame thing as “a guy named Ralph” – QB used him to help provide a clue as to the adventure’s true villain – thus also making this a “fair” adventure. . . .

But I still haven’t mention how the setting and set-up of Quickbeam’s entry allows for a DM to drop in his own encounters and has the potential for a lot of role-playing, but Wicht’s does as well – and that is why this is so hard for me.

I’m sorry, Wicht

In the end, I give the Iron DM final to Quickbeam

You did great, great work – you both did.

Now the question is do arwink and Mirthcard want to fight it out for third place? :D
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Moderator Emeritus
Final Comments:

Thanks everyone for participating and lurking and commenting and to Seasong for starting up the "Home Thread"

I was thinking of perhaps collecting all these Iron DM examples and staring up a web page with just the list of ingredients and the entries - perhaps an update on who the "current champion" is - and perhaps some examples from the home game and the like.

I think it is a great resource - and when I look them all over I think of how many great adventures we have cooked up in these threads - too bad we couldn't all flesh them out and draw some maps and make some full-fledged modules from these things.


Curses, foiled again. The iron crown shall be mine one day!!!


Congragulations Quickbeam and good job.

Though Nemmerle, I just have to ask, why wouldn't giants and mindflayers want 10,000 gp. :)


I'm too stunned and giddy to say anything clever. I can't believe I won!! Thanks Nemmerle, and thanks to you also Wicht, for the kind congratulatory words.

I promise to post expositions on both of my last two entries later tonight and/or tomorrow. As a prelude, let me say the following:

* I'm honored that you (or anyone on these Boards) would want to "yoink" any of my ideas for their own use. Enjoy the Bukkar Peninsula, Kendall, Nomak-Tar and the rest!!
* In the adventure's initial draft, the Magic Tea Cup was simply a vessel for the magic jar spell. Then I overthought things and got concerned our noble judge might deem the ingredient shoe-horned into the scenario and made it much more important to Ylarrg. And I was just too much at that point. I should have left well enough alone. Thankfully it didn't cost me the battle. *phew*

See you all soon, and Happy Holidays :).
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Clockwork Golem
Wow, congratulations Quickbeam. Tough luck Wicht. That was close game to be sure :)

nemmerle said:
w the question is do arwink and Mirthcard want to fight it out for third place? :D

I'm game if Mirthcard is. It's only luck and insomnia that meant I was around to sign up for the comp, and who knows how long it'll be before that combo means I can compete again. I'll happily play til i can't play no more :D


Wicht?!?! WTF!?!? Man, I feel your pain :(

This takes nothing away from Quickbeam, to whom I say CONGRATULATIONS, Iron DM!

As always, nem is tough but fair. His is a seasoned pallette and if you use too much salt, he's gonna spit that stuff right back in your face :D

arwink said:
I'm game if Mirthcard is. It's only luck and insomnia that meant I was around to sign up for the comp, and who knows how long it'll be before that combo means I can compete again. I'll happily play til i can't play no more :D

I'd be up for this too, but today and tomorrow I'm pretty busy. If you still want to have a go starting on Friday (or preferably Saturday), then I'll make a run for the bronze with ya. I'll just check back here to see what you and nem say.

Damn Wicht, damn damn damn ;)


Clockwork Golem
mirthcard said:
I'd be up for this too, but today and tomorrow I'm pretty busy. If you still want to have a go starting on Friday (or preferably Saturday), then I'll make a run for the bronze with ya. I'll just check back here to see what you and nem say.

I'm happy to wait that long if Nem is.


First Post
Congrats to both contestants.

Wicht consistently puts out a good submisisons. Which means having him as your DM is going to be a thing of beauty. I hope you DM Wicht!

Quickbeam showed some flashes of brilliance, which is really what I look for in an IronDM competition. Take my crappy ingredients, and give me a scenario that sez" "Whoa, I didn't even think of that."

As a Nod to Wicht's consistent performance, however, I am going to break with IronDM tradition, and guaranate him a spot in the January IronDM that I will run.

See everyone can have a Merry Christmas!

..and let's all take a special Christmas moment to thumb our noses at Vax, who is apparently too good to compete in IronDM anymore. (wink).



The day got away from I'll be here tomorrow with the promised expositions and various other remarks. Hope you all had a Merry Xmas and a Happy Holiday Season!!

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