Iron DM 2012 -- R2 complete, Finals in Progress


Penguin Herder
Today is the Ides of May. We all know about the Ides of March, but the other Ides (in May, June and October) are also important, even if nobody has gone down in history for killing a Roman Emperor on them (yet). They probably feel neglected.

So, to honor the Ides of May as they deserve, we will be taking a measure of the interest in a gladiatorial event of brutal wit and wicked creativity: Iron DM 2012.

The judges for this tournament shall be:
  • Radiating Gnome
  • Wicht
  • Yours Truly

My plan is to start formal sign-ups this Saturday at high noon.

Edit: What is Iron DM? The founder says it best:
el-remmen said:
Simple. We get 8 people willing to play (and 3 alternates). I pair people off as competitors and give them a set of 6 "ingredients".

The ingredients are elements that must be used in the designing of a scenario/adventure - which should be written up in overview form - players can be as specific as they like - but detailed stat-blocks and the like are not weighed as heavily as uniqueness and playability of the ideas.

The results are then judged by me and the winner moves on to the next round. . .
In this judge's humble opinion -- possibly the last humble opinion he will give in this contest -- it would behoove contestants and prospective contestants to peruse past performances:


Edit 2: Sign ups now in progress!

  • Waylander the Slayer (reigning champion)
  • Rune (instigator)
  • Loonook
  • steeldragons
  • Lwaxy
  • Shoe
  • howandwhy99 -- maybe?
  • Deuce Traveler

  • ender_wiggin
  • FickleGM
  • Imhotepthewise

Edit 3:
The Rules

Contestants are to write an adventure synopsis using all of the 6 ingredients listed for the match-up.


Contestants will be given 48 hours from the time the ingredients are posted to post their entry into this thread.

Judges have leeway to enforce this rule as loosely as they want (in conjunction with agreement by the other contestant) if an entry is late, but some (if not all) judges feel strongly about the importance of the time limit--and may disqualify a late entry automatically. A better tactic, if you are not quite finished, would be to post what you have. Incomplete or unpolished entries have won in the past.

Entrants are expected not to read another contestant's entry in the same match until after their own entry is posted. You are on your honor to do so.


Please list the ingredients used at the top of your entry.

Please limit your entry to 2000 words, including those used for the ingredient list and the title! Judges have leeway to enforce this as strictly as they want--some may, some may not.

Please do not edit your post! Judges have leeway to enforce this as strictly as they want--but I warn you...for those judges who care about this, it is a big deal. Break this rule at your own peril!


Use whatever rules you want; or stay system-neutral. Extensive use of stat-blocks is both a waste of time and space and, even in the form of attachments, may be ignored by the judge(s). You are advised only to include important system-information. That said, assumptions of familiarity with a system may be detrimental, as well. Make sure that you include enough details to explain things that ought to be explained.

Use any genre you want. Just make sure you explain anything you need to.

Including links to outside information as a source of background for your own entry is a cheap trick. The links may be useful for the casual reader and will, therefore, not be forbidden, but the use of these links is not going to be considered part of the submission for purposes of judgement--and will not be followed during judgement.


Each of the first-round matches will have a single judge (determined randomly). One judge will be assigned two matches; two judges will be assigned one each (again, randomly).

In subsequent rounds, matches will be judged by the full panel of judges. There will be a two third-round matches--one to determine a third-place contestant and one, of course, to determine the second place contestant and the IRON DM 2012.

Let me repeat and reinforce: do NOT edit your post!
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First Post
Wouldn't mind throwing my hat in... But I cannot recall the rules behind the contest. Could you perhaps post them here?




Once A Fool
About time!

I've been looking to play in another Iron DM tourney for almost a decade. It's time to skool some youngsters on how we did it back in the day!

...Only, uh...Saturday at noon I'll be at work (and I actually have to work while I'm at work--so no internet for me!).

I hope the slots don't fill up as fast as they used to!
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Once A Fool
Also, Nifft, in case you want to give him an automatic entry into the tournament, [MENTION=1830]Waylander the Slayer[/MENTION] is the reigning Iron DM.


Sounds like a TON of fun, I'm in. Question we have to use a specific setting (assuming that isn't one of the ingredients) ?

Radiating Gnome

The rules do not dictate setting or game system; and, in the end, they shouldn't matter. You won't earn bonus points for including moster stat blocks or starship deck plans -- what matters is the essential qualities of the entry -- the creative use of ingredients, playability, creativity, with a thick creamy dollop of Rat Bastard Gravy[tm] on top.


Radiating Gnome

The most important limit is the time limit -- historically the limit is 24 or 48 hours. In some past contests there has been a word count limit (2000 words, if there is one).

This contest's rules are being nailed down by the judges, and I'm sure we'll post an official set soon, but those are what's fairly typical.

I'd echo Nifft's recommendation to take a look at the Anthology -- thinking in terms of "room count" don't end up making a whole lot of sense because the entries rarely dive down to a room-by-room level of detail.



Once A Fool
It's also worth pointing out that the selections in the]Iron DM Anthology were not made with an eye toward what makes a good entry for the tournament, but, rather, for what makes a good entry for use in your games.

That being the case, not all of the selections were winning entries and fellow participants are cautioned against using them as specific models for winning.

Contestants may find a perusal of some of the actual tournaments (including commentary and judgements!) to be more informative (and/or entertaining) in this regard.

These are all of the surviving EN World Tournaments:

Iron DM Spring 2002

Iron DM Fall 2002

Iron DM Winter (Holiday) 2002

Iron DM Winter 2003

Iron DM Summer 2003

Iron DM Fall 2003

Iron DM Winter 2004

Iron DM Spring 2004

Iron DM 2005

Iron DM 2009

Iron DM 2010 Discussion Thread

Iron DM 2010 Submissions & Judgements

Iron DM 2011


Penguin Herder
...Only, uh...Saturday at noon I'll be at work (and I actually have to work while I'm at work--so no internet for me!).

I hope the slots don't fill up as fast as they used to!

Also, Nifft, in case you want to give him an automatic entry into the tournament, [MENTION=1830]Waylander the Slayer[/MENTION] is the reigning Iron DM.

I have no problem being arbitrary and patently unfair by holding aside two slots for Rune (who helped organize this in secret) and Waylander the Slayer (should interest be indicated).

Everyone else, be on your toes for Saturday noon (specifically noon in New York City, which is US Eastern Time).

Cheers, -- N

I thoroughly recommend to nyone who might be sitting the fence - give it a go.

I've competed twice (and been unceremoniously turfed outin the first round both times) but won't be able to find the time this time round, it's a real mental muscle-stretcher though, and great fun.

best of luck to all competitors.


Ooh, I'll likely be in a casino at that time, but if I remember and have any data service, I'll see if I'm quick enough to get in on this...if not, I'll spectate and enjoy. :)


Steeliest of the dragons
What the hay...just finished judging the Ceramic DM contest. Wouldn't mind flexing my own creative juices (adventure-creating wise as opposed to jsut writing-creative) for a spell.

I'll make sure to pop in on Sat. noon, too, to confirm. But for now, count me in as a contestant.

--Steel Dragons

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